top of page

"Unlocking Deep Health: Exploring Gretchen Rubin's 'The Happiness Project' Secrets" - Part 1

I recently finished the book "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin that has been on my "to read" list for a long time, and I enjoyed it. The book is Gretchen's dive into her year long project of happiness and shares her ups and downs, info she discovered in her research etc...

At the end of the book, Gretchen shares a couple lists;

Secrets of Adulthood & Paradoxes of Happiness

I really like these lists, and in particular certain items on these lists jumped out at me. I related to them not only from the happiness perspective, but our deep health overall and how impactful these mindsets and understandings can be. I decided it would be a fun project of my own, to share my favourites, one by one, in the Zen Blog where I'll add my own knowledge and experience (lucky you eh? ... Stop rolling your eyes) so that I can share how I relate it to our deep health. (I'll try to keep them fairly short, that'll be our deal).

*Disclaimer - I am not sharing the entire lists, as I don't want to take anything away from anyone who may want to read the book. These are just my favourite points on these lists that jumped out at me.

Secret of Adulthood:

"Things often get harder before they get easier"

Let's address the elephant in the room - Change. Change is hard. That doesn't mean it's a bad thing. All the more reason to be patient and take things one step at a time.

There are many examples in health that we can use with Gretchen's "Secret of Adulthood" here, with change being at the forefront of most conversations in this regard;

-Whether you're trying to add more physical activity into your day

-Create more healthy eating habits

-Promote a better pre-bed routine, it's going to be hard at first

... to name a few...

Change is going to be a challenge at first before it gets easier.

This is the exact point where a person can set themselves up for success or not. In today's world, we like to do everything with the "afterburners on", "no pain no gain", "go big or go home" and we try to make the change as "perfect" as we can (because there must be a trophy at the end? Or maybe you'll go viral when you post your efforts on social media?). Well, how's that working for you?

Roadmap for Progress?

As regular Zen Blog readers know - KEEP IT SIMPLE. Rather than focusing on making everything "perfect" and completely different than what you're doing now, do what's EASY. What could you do that's a little bit closer to your goal, than what you're doing right now??


If you want to add more physical activity to your day = Add a 10min walk around the block after work, before you go into the house.

If you want to add healthier eating habits = Add 1 fist of vegetables to each meal

If you want to improve your pre-bed routine = Aim to go to bed 10min earlier than you do now

We tend to look at these "easy" forms of progress and think; "That can't help? It's not enough... right?" And then we actually do what truly isn't enough - NOTHING, because we overanalyse and/or talk ourselves out of the fact that change could happen this way. We forget that it's not WHAT we're choosing to do, it's the ACT OF DOING IT that makes the difference. That act of doing it / action, IS THE CHANGE. It's different than we normally would do! And we just reiterated, change is hard. So then that sense, aren't you still challening yourself?

Did I lose you?

I completely agree with this point on Gretchen Rubin's list: Things get harder before they get easier:

-Learning to draw or paint

-Learning to play a musical instrument

-Learning to walk

-Learning to read or write

-Training to do a chinup

-Having a tough conversation with a loved one

-Healing / re-habing from an injury

-Playing a sport

-Learning to drive

-Rock climbing, skating, skiing...friggin' horseshoes!

You name it, it's hard before it gets easier.

... The list is endless. This is LIFE.

Our deep health is not immune to life folks. It WILL be hard. It will take TIME. It will require EFFORT and CONSISTENCY. It's because of these things, that it's so much sweeter when things do become easier.


bottom of page