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  • gretchenrubin 16:00:38 on 2017/07/24 Permalink
    Tags: , decision-making, , , regret   

    A Little Happier: Sometimes, You Feel Regret Either Way. 


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    As I’ve mentioned many times, I love examples of someone knowing the right thing to say.

    In this case, a doctor said the right thing to my friend — when she admitted to feeling a little let down by the news that she was going to give birth to a boy. She’d been so excited to be having a baby, boy or girl, but when she head the news, she felt a bit sorry.

    He told her, “Of course you feel this way. Before you knew if you were having a boy or a girl, you could look forward to both experiences. Now you know that you’re having a boy. It’s natural to feel regret about the future that’s not going to happen.

    I thought that was such a wise observation. Sometimes in life, going down one path means abandoning another path. And it’s natural to feel regret about the path not taken. That doesn’t mean you’re unhappy with the path you’re on.

    This mini-episode is brought to you by Prudential. Their new podcast Everyday Bravery brings inspiring and personal stories about finding the courage that brings out the best in us. Go to EverydayBravery.com or subscribe everywhere podcasts are available.

    Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:

     

     Happier listening!

    The post A Little Happier: Sometimes, You Feel Regret Either Way. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:02:41 on 2016/12/07 Permalink
    Tags: , decision-making, , , , Jonathan Field, , , , , vitality,   

    Podcast 94: Don’t Treat Yourself, an Interview with Jonathan Fields, and Two Podcasts Recommendations. 


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    It’s time for the next installment of  Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

    Holidays are approaching! Want a Happier t-shirt? Email us if you want to get one. Or if you want to buy one of my books, journals, calendar, mug, etc., look here.

    Try This at Home: Don’t treat yourself. We talked before in episode 9 about why you should treat yourself, and in Better Than Before, I have a whole chapter on how healthy treats can help us stick to our good habits — but the opposite of a profound truth is also true, so it’s also true that we shouldn’t treat ourselves.

    If you’re curious to read more about loopholes, here’s a list of all ten categories of loopholes. I get the biggest kick out of the loopholes.

    If you want to read more about the idea of making a planned exception, I discuss my friend’s “pie policy” here.

    Happiness Hack: Clare suggests, “If you travel, put a work shoe in the safe, so you won’t leave the hotel without checking the safe.”

    Interview: Jonathan Fields, author of How to Live a Good Life and the podcast Good Life Project. To take the quiz Jonathan mentions, go here.

    I mention that I’ve launched an app, the Better app, to help people learn about the Four Tendencies — and also to help people form Accountability Groups (Obligers, I’m thinking about you!). Learn all about it here. Don’t know about the Four Tendencies — about whether you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel? Learn about the framework and take the quiz here.

    Gretchen’s Demerit: I dithered on an important decision.

    Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth recommends two podcasts: The Other F Word, where the “f word” here is “failure, and Short & Sweet, which is about “adulting.”

    And once again, here’s the link to the Happier 911 playlist on Spotify.

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here.

    Remember,  I’m doing weekly live videos on my Facebook Page to continue the conversation from the podcast — usually on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm ET. To join the conversation, check the schedule.

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

    Sign up for The Great Courses Plus today for access to thousands of fascinating lectures taught by top professors and experts in their fields. Special offer for our listeners: try it for free when you sign up at www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/happier.

    Check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid trips to the post office, and buy and print official U.S. postage for any letter or package, right from your own computer and printer? Visit Stamps.com to sign up for a 4-week trial, plus a $110 bonus offer — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

    And check out Olive and Cocoa. Surprise someone you love with a meaningful gift today. Go to OliveandCocoa.com/happier to see gift options specifically chosen for our listeners.

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    We love hearing from listeners:

     

    To sign up for my free monthly newsletter, text me at 66866 and enter the word (surprise) “happier.“ Or click here.

    If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter.

    Listeners really respect the views of other listeners, so your response helps people find good material. (Not sure how to review? Instructions here; scroll to the bottom.)

    How to Subscribe

    If you’re like me (until recently) you’re intrigued by podcasts, but you don’t know how to listen or subscribe. It’s very easy, really. Really.  To listen to more than one episode, and to have it all in a handier way, on your phone or tablet, it’s better to subscribe. Really, it’s easy.

    Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen to the award-winning Happier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 94: Don’t Treat Yourself, an Interview with Jonathan Fields, and Two Podcasts Recommendations. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:30:51 on 2016/12/05 Permalink
    Tags: , decision-making, , , , , , , ,   

    A Little Happier: During the Holidays, Say “Yes” If We Can. 


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    A Little Happier: During busy holiday time, it’s tempting to say “no” to try to make life easier, but in the end, we’re usually happier if we say “yes”—to the office party, the school show, or the holiday gathering.

    So the hack is: say “yes”if you can. Don’t do anything contrary to your nature or your values, but if you can, say “yes.” In the end, showing up strengthens relationships and boosts happiness.

    Here’s the video that I mention: The days are long, but the years are short. Of everything I’ve ever written or created, I think this one-minute video is the thing that has resonated most with people.

    Have you learned any great hacks for figuring out how to make the holidays happier?

    Check out LOFT.com — it’s a great go-to spot to pull together modern,  feminine outfits for all your holiday adventures.

    Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:

     

    Happier listening!

    The post A Little Happier: During the Holidays, Say “Yes” If We Can. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:10:45 on 2016/05/20 Permalink
    Tags: , choice, decision-making, graduate school, law school, medical school, , , ,   

    Can You “Drift” Your Way into Graduate School? Oh Yes. 


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    Should I go to graduate school?

    From time to time, I write about “drift.” Drift is the decision you make by not deciding, or by making a decision that unleashes consequences for which you don’t take responsibility.

    You want to dodge a fight with the people around you, or you want to please them, or you want to avoid a struggle with self-doubt or uncertainty.

    In my case, I drifted into law school.

    If you want to hear me talk about drift, and tell my law-school story, you can watch it here.

    You can also take the popular quiz, Are You Drifting?

    Because I think drift is so important, I made a vow to myself that I’d raise the issue anytime I spoke to students — high school, undergraduate, or graduate.  And the issue always strikes a chord.

    For instance, each year I speak to a group of first-year medical students, and it turns out that medical students can be subject to drift. Initially, this surprised me, because I thought, “Medical school is so hard, and so specific, and takes so much time and money. No one would drift into med school.”

    But no! It happens. People think, “My mother and father are both doctors, so I should be a doctor.” Or “I’m good at math and science, people keep telling me I should become a doctor.” They can do it, and they don’t know what else to do, so they move forward. That’s drift.

    So I was very interested, but not surprised, to see this piece by Tatiana Schlossberg in the New York Times, about the Sauermann and Roach study “Why Pursue the Postdoc Path?

    Schlossberg writes:

    “Doctoral students in the sciences are more like the rest of us than previously thought: They don’t know what they want to do with their lives, either…The authors [of the study found] evidence that many students pursued postdocs as a default option after graduate school, or as part of a ‘holding pattern’ until the job they wanted was available. The authors…conclusively demonstrated the need for more career planning among graduate students, and that graduate students should consider their career paths before they even begin a Ph.D. program.”

    In other words, these students drifted into graduate work without a clear plan for why they were there.

    The word “drift” has overtones of laziness or ease. Not true! Drift is often disguised by a huge amount of effort and perseverance. Just because you’re working hard — I’m sure those graduate students are working hard — is no guarantee that you’re not drifting.

    Here’s another complication. I drifted into law school, and in the end, I’m happy I did go to law school. Sometimes drift does make you happy. But don’t count on it.

    One of my drift-related Secrets of Adulthood is “You can choose what you do, but you can’t choose what you like to do.” And here’s another one: “Approval from the people we admire is sweet, but it’s not enough to be the foundation of a happy life.

    Have you ever found yourself drifting? How did you start, how did you end it — or not?

    The post Can You “Drift” Your Way into Graduate School? Oh Yes. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:23:54 on 2016/05/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , decision-making, , , personal commandments, , ,   

    Have You Ever Been Made Happier by a “Modest Splurge?” Of What? For Me, Magic Markers. 


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    I’m an under-buyer, and for the most part, I dislike shopping, errands, and buying stuff.

    In fact, one of my happiness-project resolutions is to “Indulge in a modest splurge.” I remind myself that sometimes, it makes me happy to indulge in a modest splurge — to buy something that I don’t absolutely need, but that makes my day brighter in some way.

    I indulged in a modest splurge a few days ago.

    I was early for a meeting (I’m always early), so I decided to spend the time wandering around an art store. I love just looking at the things in art stores. This store, sadly, was going out of business, so prices were slashed.

    As a result, the shelves were fairly bare, but I happened to notice a giant box of beautiful, high-quality, double-ended magic markers.

    These particular markers hold special memories for me, because when I was in college, my roommate had twelve of these markers, and she prized them highly. She never let anyone borrow them, and we could use them only under her supervision. (Very wisely–she knew that we’d lose them, or leave the caps loose.) We had so much fun with those markers.

    I looked at the price. For a box of markers, it was still expensive. At the same time, it was an extraordinary bargain. But I didn’t really need the markers–we have lots of good markers already. But this was a really good set of markers. It would make me very happy to use them, and my daughters would also use them. But couldn’t we use the markers we already had? Well-made tools make work a joy; having these terrific markers might boost my creativity. Looking at the markers brought back happy memories. But if we didn’t make good use of the markers, I would feel guilty.  Etc., etc., etc.

    I bet the other customers thought I was a very odd person — I stood stock still, gazing at the box, as these questions played out in my head, for several minutes.

    At last, I remembered my resolution to “Indulge in a modest splurge.” And I thought, well, I’m going to get them! I love them.

    I got them home, my daughters were delighted with the markers, we all tried them out — and my older daughter asked, “Can I take some to school tomorrow?”

    First, I said “No way.” I was thinking–I want to keep the set nice, I don’t want to risk losing or spoiling one, I want to “save” them to keep them nice, etc.

    Then I remembered #7 of my Twelve Personal Commandments. Spend out. I tend to hold things back, so I have to remind myself to spend out. Use things up! Put them into circulation, put them to work! Better to use the markers all the time, and risk losing them, than to save them on the shelf, and never use them at all. (Plus my daughter is fairly responsible.)

    Have you ever made a “modest splurge,” where a purchase made you happier? What did you splurge on?

    The post Have You Ever Been Made Happier by a “Modest Splurge?” Of What? For Me, Magic Markers. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
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