Book Review #3 and My Happiness Project

Book Review #3

The next book I read was The Happiness Project, or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin.

It’s been a long time since I observed that many people have read this book but I was unsure and a little bit skeptic. Can you really teach people how to be happy? It turns out you can! It’s a very enjoyable reading and my heart lighten up as I read more pages. If mere reading (this book) can make you happy, all the more doing it. After I finished reading, I decided to start my happiness project immediately.

First, I set some commandments as guides for me to pursue a happier life:

  1. Do everything for yourself.
  2. Love yourself.

The first commandment is set based on the fact that I always hope for reciprocation. For example, if I play with my daughter while my husband takes a nap, I expect that I can have my turn for nap while he plays with Alya. Or if he goes out to meet his friends then later I can have me-time, too, undisturbed. I always seek for (what I thought was) justice and equality. However, I feel resentful most of the times since I rarely receive a mutual act after everything I did (mostly because Alya refuses to be separated from me). Then I find myself easily annoyed at trivial things and subsequently snap at my husband and daughter. This bad feeling affects the whole emotional state of our family and it’s very uncomfortable. Soon I regret my mistakes and it got me thinking, why can’t I just sincerely accept my role as a wife and a mom? They rely on you so much to take care of them, home as well. Why can’t I do everything for the sake of myself? I realize that I should be grateful for everything that I have now.

For the second commandment, I think I had troubles loving myself since I got back from finishing my master degree. I used to feel proud, having been able to score a scholarship. But then, after experiencing a rather disappointing education in my second year, I felt like I just learned measly. I lost confidence and reluctant to challenge myself to apply for some interesting jobs. Turns out, it’s just my pessimistic self-assessment since a colleague who pursued a second year the same way as I was, is proving herself great by having an interesting job in an international development organization. Then I felt better. But it came back again soon after I gave birth. I felt insecure most of the times, inferior because of my bloated body, and my self-esteem diminished. So severe that it led to a depression. Just after the doctor suggested me to seek help, I began regaining my senses. Why can’t I love myself? I have been through many things and I have proven that I could deal with them all. I should learn to love myself first.

After writing up the commandments (which feels like an enlightenment for me) I make some notes about things I like or enjoy doing, and elaborate projects for each topic based on some of them. But I will adopt a slightly different method from the book for my happiness project. Rather than focusing on one big topic every month, I’m going to tackle all at once incrementally. I think this fits me better.

So, here are my resolutions:


Get up early, go out for a walk in the morning, drink milk everyday, drink water 4 bottles/day, listen to favorite songs.


Avoid snapping and nagging, give proofs of love, ask for help, take it easy, no complain, more patient, talk good, say thanks and sorry, smile and laugh more.


Start a blog with my own domain (Done! It is indeed makes me happier, and boosts my spirit to write more). Tidy a little before sleep, write post(s) every week, read more books, finish learning Korean and Spanish, learn more vocabularies, write a job-related policy brief.


No complain, no to say ‘I’m tired’, smile, greet Alya cheerfully, more patient, try making more varieties of healthy food, go to library every week, play more, going outside everyday.


Make new friends, meet more people, strengthen friendships.


Pray at earliest, read Al-Qur’an everyday. I will keep you updated with the progress.

Wish me happier! 🙂

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