Little Victories

Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living Hardcover

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The Wall Street Journal's popular columnist Jason Gay delivers a hilarious and heartfelt guide to modern living.

The book you hold in your hand is a rule book. There have been rule books before—stacks upon stacks of them—but this book is unlike any other rule book you have ever read. It will not make you rich in twenty-four hours, or even seventy-two hours. It will not cause you to lose eighty pounds in a week. This book has no abdominal exercises. I have been doing abdominal exercises for most of my adult life, and my abdomen looks like it’s always looked. It looks like flan. Syrupy flan. So we can just limit those expectations. This book does not offer a crash diet or a plan for maximizing your best self. I don’t know a thing about your best self. It may be embarrassing. Your best self might be sprinkling peanut M&M’s onto rest-stop pizza as we speak. I cannot promise that this book is a road map to success. And we should probably set aside the goal of total happiness. There’s no such thing.

I would, however, like for it to make you laugh. Maybe think. I believe it is possible to find, at any age, a new appreciation for what you have—and what you don’t have—as well as for the people closest to you. There’s a way to experience life that does not involve a phone, a tablet, a television screen. There’s also a way to experience life that does not involve eating seafood at the airport, because you should really never eat seafood at the airport.

Like the title says, I want us all to achieve little victories. I believe that happiness is derived less from a significant single accomplishment than it is from a series of successful daily maneuvers. Maybe it’s the way you feel when you walk out the door after drinking six cups of coffee, or surviving a family vacation, or playing the rowdy family Thanksgiving touch football game, or just learning to embrace that music at the gym. Accomplishments do not have to be large to be meaningful. I think little victories are the most important ones in life.”

— From the Introduction

Praise

“The thought of leaning in makes my neck ache, and taking seven steps to accomplish things only makes me want to lie down. Thankfully, Jason Gay has written a life guide for people like me—and you. He can't get the hang of grilling corn—and he's okay with that. He's faced cancer, unemployment, the death of a loved one, and fathered two kids after many setbacks—I think pretty much all at the same time—and has written a unique, heartfelt book about what he's learned from it all. Thanks to Jason, I've crossed trekking to the South Pole off my to-do list.  Instead I'll focus on something that'll really make me happy: eating brownies while listening to some pre-1978 Stevie Wonder. See? You can do this! We all can!”
—Diane Muldrow, bestselling author of Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book

“Jason Gay’s rules for living will make you laugh out loud, and also make a whole lot of sense.  This is an advice book that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is all the more valuable for it.”
—Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of The Power of Habit

“I loved this book. Jason Gay's Little Victories is funny, wise, direct, deceptively straight-forward and incredibly moving. As soon as I was finished reading it, I put it in the mail to my father, along with a reminder of my love. Such reminders, after all, are what we are here for, as this story—well—reminds us."
—Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Little Victories manages to be hilarious, helpful, and profound, in one unpredictable mix. It made me happy."
—Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives