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  • feedwordpress 07:00:58 on 2018/10/30 Permalink
    Tags: , , Dalai Lama, , Happier Podcast, hepatitis c, , , , quitting sugar, ,   

    A Question I’m Often Asked: What’s Changed in My Life Since “The Happiness Project” Was Published? 

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    Zoikes, it’s hard to believe that almost a full decade has passed since The Happiness Project first hit the shelves. In many ways, my life is much the same—and of course, many things have changed as well. The Tenth Anniversary edition is on shelves today. Order a copy here.

    By far the most important thing that happened was that my husband Jamie’s hepatitis C was cured—a medical miracle.

    As I write about in The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, Jamie got hepatitis C from a blood transfusion during a heart operation when he was eight years old. You really don’t want to have hepatitis C; eventually, it destroys your liver. Jamie tried many treatments over the years, but nothing worked.

    When a new treatment was approved, Jamie went on it right away, and as of January 9, 2015 (a date we celebrate every year), Jamie was cured. You can read more about it in my post "Today is one of the happiest days of my life. Here’s why."

    Brief service announcement: If you support organ donation, sign the registry at organdonor.gov, tell your family that you’d want to donate your organs, or post a message with #organdonor.

    Other big news: My older daughter Eliza is now off at college! That was a big family milestone. Here's the advice I gave her when she left.

    After much discussion and pleading, my family got a dog, a delightful black cockapoo named Barnaby. If you want to hear me talk about this decision, Elizabeth and I discuss it in episodes 24 and 27 of the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast.

    Speaking of the Happier podcast, launching the podcast has been one of my favorite undertakings from the last ten years. My co-host is my sister Elizabeth Craft, the TV writer and producer who lives in Los Angeles, and together we talk about happiness, habits, and human nature. We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much! We’ve had so many terrific sisterly adventures together because of the show.

    I quit sugar, and really, almost all carbs. (If you want to know more about this change, I write about it in my book Better Than Before.)

    Since The Happiness Project came out, I’ve written four additional books: Happier at Home, Better Than Before, The Four Tendencies, and Outer Order, Inner Calm. (Plus I’ve written My Color Pilgrimage, but it’s still in the manuscript stage.)

    In The Happiness Project, I write about starting a children’s literature reading group. Well, that group got so big that I started a second group, and now even a third group. Yes, I’m in three kid-lit reading groups, and these groups are a giant engine of happiness for me.

    A big personal highlight was getting interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. She recorded the interview at her home in Montecito, so I got to visit "The Promised Land," and I also got to bring my sister Elizabeth with me, on a terrific sisterly adventure. Oprah is so...Oprah. In person, she’s exactly the way I’d imagined her to be. (You can listen to the interview here.)

    Another highlight was meeting the Dalai Lama. In fact, at the end of our meeting, we needed to walk to the other end of the conference center in the rain, so he grabbed my arm to help him stay steady—yes, I walked arm in arm with the Dalai Lama.

    I had dinner with Nobel Prize-winner Daniel Kahneman—he’s notable for his work on the psychology of judgment, decision-making, and behavioral economics, subjects that fascinate me. He’s the author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, among countless other accomplishments, and a person I was thrilled to meet.

    One very fun thing that happened—though I had nothing to do with it—was that "The Happiness Project" was an answer on the gameshow Jeopardy!

    Less flashy, but very gratifying, was that my personality framework of "Four Tendencies" was written up in a scientific journal.

    I’ve been on the cover of a few magazines. That’s surreal.

    I’ve also created several interesting projects. One-sentence journals, habit journals, mugs, Page-a-Day calendars, 21 Day Projects—I even designed a coloring book.

    My blog (which I now call my "site," because the very word "blog" seems old-fashioned) has been going strong for more than a decade. To celebrate the tenth anniversary, I created an e-book, The Best of the Happiness Project Blog—that was a lot of fun to put together.

    I started "Ask Gretchen Rubin Live," a weekly show on Facebook. It’s great to get a chance to talk about happiness, habits, and human nature with people in real time.

    I launched the free "Better" app to help people make their lives happier, healthier, more productive and more creative—just search "Better Gretchen Rubin" in the app store. It’s a place where you can join discussions, ask questions, weigh in, and form accountability groups.

    I also created my first video course to help more people harness the power of the Four Tendencies.

    Of everything I’ve written in the last ten years, I think my one-minute video "The Years Are Short" resonates most with people. It was a truth that I felt deeply at the time that I wrote The Happiness Project, and I feel it more deeply with every passing year. The days are long, but the years are short.

  • feedwordpress 11:35:04 on 2018/07/31 Permalink
    Tags: , Best of, , Elizabeth Craft, , Happier Podcast, , podcast episodes, , Try This at Home   

    Want to Start Listening to the “Happier with Gretchen Rubin” Podcast? Consider These Episodes. 

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    Of course, I love every episode of the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast—but if I had to choose just a few, here are some episodes that have resonated most with listeners, Elizabeth, and me.

    My personal favorites will always include the two sisterly clutter-clearing episodes. In episode 10, we did a recording live from Elizabeth’s messy closet, as I helped her clear clothes clutter. In episode 160, we tackled her messy home office. I love to clear clutter, and much to my delight, Elizabeth is very messy. If you’re interested in clutter-clearing, stay tuned for my book Outer Order, Inner Calm, which is coming out in March 2019.

    Listeners (and we) loved the idea of creating a list of "18 for 2018." We introduce the idea in episodes 147 and 149, do a deep dive in episode 152, and in Very Special Episode 170, Elizabeth and I each give a personal update of how we’re doing on our own lists.

    In episode 154, Elizabeth and I challenged ourselves to wear "clothes" for a month. We thought this was our private problem, so we were very encouraged to find that many people struggle with this issue.

    People responded to the Try This at Home to "Create a 'ta-da' list" as discussed in episode 134. Here's a post where I talk about the to-do list, why a to-do list doesn’t work for everyone, and alternatives, such as the "to-day list," "could-do list," "might-could list."

    If you want something a little wacky, we had a great time doing our "unplugged" episode 150. We recorded an ordinary phone conversation between the two of us.

    In episode 130, we discussed the seven myths of happiness: Happy people are annoying and stupid; A "treat" will cheer you up; It’s selfish to try to be happier; and four others. In my book The Happiness Project, I address these myths as part of my exploration of making my life happier.

    In episode 122, I asked for advice from kids and parents about how to deal with my daughter Eliza’s imminent departure for college. In episode 125, we did a deep dive on the great advice and insights that listeners gave us. Fast forward: Eliza had a great freshman year in college, in part because of all great suggestions we got.

    If you’re intrigued with the "Four Tendencies"—my personality framework that divides people into Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels—check out episode 120, where we discussed listener questions about the Four Tendencies. (Don’t know your Tendency? You can take the short free quiz here.) If you still want to learn still more after listening to our discussions, check out my book The Four Tendencies.

    A common and serious happiness stumbling block is loneliness. We devote episode 110 to the question, "Are you lonely?" and return to do a deep dive into the subject in episode 115.

    Some very popular Try This at Home suggestions include episode 79’s "Revive a dormant friendship" and episode 26’s "Pick a one-word theme for the year."

    My imagination was fired by listeners’ enthusiastic response to episode 71’s "Choose a signature color." We followed up with a deep dive into color in episode 75. In fact, I’ve become so interested in color that I’m writing a little book, My Color Pilgrimage. I can’t learn enough about color.

    In episode 39, Elizabeth talks about the experience of getting fired. She’s been fired more than once! If you enjoy hearing her talk about her crazy experiences in Hollywood, check out Happier in Hollywood, the weekly podcast she does with her writing partner Sarah Fain.

    Speaking of Hollywood, in episode 137, I went with Elizabeth at her office on the Disney lot, and in episode 60, I visited a sound stage where she was working. Lots of fabulousness.

    In episode 24, I talk about how my family really wanted a dog, but I couldn’t decide whether or not we should get one—so I ask listeners for advice. In episode 27, all is revealed.

    Way back in episode 3, we talk about two issues that struck a chord with listeners: the Try This at Home of "Make Your Bed" and the Happiness Stumbling Block of "Resisting the Evil Donut-Bringer." This last idea proved to be very controversial. We talk about the evil donut-bringer in many subsequent episodes.

    In episode 2, we talk about our family "update," an idea from our mother which people have loved.

    Well, I could keep going, but I’ll stop here.

    It’s been thrilling to get such a warm response from listeners. Each week I’m fascinated to see how people respond to the ideas and suggestions from the most recent episode. If you’re a long-time listener, you may have noticed how over time, we’ve started incorporating more and more ideas from the audience. That’s because people have such brilliant, insightful, thought-provoking commentary, we can’t resist including it.

    If you like the show, and if you have the time and the inclination, it really is a tremendous help to us if you subscribe to the show, and if you take the time to rate and review it. This kind of endorsement helps other listeners find the show. You can find instructions about subscribing, rating, and reviewing here.

    Making this podcast is one of the joys of my life, and I know Elizabeth feels the same way. Onward and upward!

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