As I was researching The Happiness Project, I was struck by the fact that I often found it more helpful to read about one person’s idiosyncratic happiness project than to read about general principles applying to all humankind or studies applying to large populations. For some reason, reading about Thoreau’s very individual decision to move to Walden Pond, or St. Therese’s struggle to stay patient with the nun who made clicking noises during evening prayers, was what taught me most about myself.
I’ve heard from people whose lives are very different from mine, on the surface — but it turns out that we face many of the same challenges in our happiness projects.
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