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

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

    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 16:30:13 on 2016/01/27 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Jake Knapp, Kelly McGonigal, Nir Eyal, organ donation, , , , , ,   

    Podcast 49: Live from San Francisco! Travel without Tears, the Challenge of Public Speaking, and Special Guests. 

    PodcastElizabethandGretchenLiveShowOnStage

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

    Our live show! Boy, Elizabeth and I had a great time. Hear us live, at the Brava Theater in San Francisco. It was such a treat for us to get to record an episode in front of actual live listeners.

    Usually, we do a Very Special Episode for every tenth episode. This is episode 49, but hey, close enough.

    I mention one of my favorite episodes, episode 10, when we cleaned Elizabeth’s closet. Want to hear it? Listen here. Here’s a photo where you can see our special outfits.1pixGretchenandElizabethPodcastLiveEventAfter (We’re standing in the amazing Walgreens in Union Square that Elizabeth mentions during the podcast.)

    Try This at Home: Travel without tears. We talked about TSA pre-check in episode 11. I mention Nick’s Sticks. Yum.

    Interview: Nir Eyal. Nir has founded and sold two technology companies, and he writes for a bunch of different places, teaches at places like Stanford, and consults to startups, venture capital firms, and incubators about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. He has a great blog, Nir and Far, and he wrote Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. And he talks about being a Rebel. Fascinating. (Note: Henry had a little fun choosing Nir’s theme music.)

    Nir’s Try This at Home: Burn or burn. A very Rebel Try This at Home.

    Happiness Stumbling Block: Public speaking.

    I mention Kelly McGonigal’s fascinating book, The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get at It.

    Interview: Jake Knapp. Jake is a designer and facilitator here in SF. While working at Google, he created a “design sprint” — a five-day process to help teams answer big questions in just five days — used in the development of everything from Gmail to Chrome. Now Jake’s a design partner at Google Ventures, where he’s run more than 100 sprints with GV portfolio companies. He’s written Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days to explain how to do a sprint.

    Jake’s Try This at Home: “Turn off the internet.”

    Elizabeth mentions one of our very favorite podcasts, Start Up. If you want to listen to the episode where Jake and his team do a sprint with Gimlet, it’s #13, “Fake It Til You Make It.”

    New Year’s Resolutions Booster for Two Audience Members:

    Erin: Her New Year’s resolutions are to slow down, focus on family, and not sweat the small stuff.

    Lauren: Her New Year’s resolution is to spend more time with her friends.

    Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth used the loophole “I’m out of town!” to indulge in some bad eating habits.

    Gretchen’s Gold Star: I give a gold star to my husband’s liver doctor, Dr. Leona Kim-Schluger. Such a brilliant, caring doctor. If you want to give yourself a gold star, and if you support organ donation, sign the organ-donor registry here or use the hashtag #organdonor on social media.

    Thanks to the audience, for being so terrific. We had so much fun. If you enjoyed the podcast, please tell your friends and give us a rating or review. Click here to tell your friends on Twitter or share the image below on Pinterest. 

    1pixHappier Podcast with Gretchen Rubin #49

    As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors:

    Check out Stamps.com. Want to avoid post-office pain, 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 no-risk trial, plus a $110 bonus offer — just enter the promo code HAPPIER.

    Also check out Boll and Branch. They offer luxurious bedding at outstanding prices. Go to BollandBranch.com and enter promo code HAPPIER to get 20% off your first entire order.

    And check out Audible.com. Audible has more than 180,000 audio-books and spoken-word audio-products. Go to Audible.com/happier to get a free 30-day trial. Audible was also our live event sponsor, so special thanks, Audible!

    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 “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!

     
  • feedwordpress 20:32:55 on 2016/01/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , organ donation, , ,   

    Today Is the Anniversary of the Happiest Day of My Life. Here’s Why. 

    Every year, I celebrate January 9.

    January 9, 2015, was one of the happiest days of my whole life.

    Back then, I wrote this piece about why January 9 was one of the happiest days of my life, and I re-post it every year, to commemorate the occasion. So here it is...

    ***

    Assay: Today is one of the very happiest days of my life.

    I was happy when my two daughters were born, but having a baby is such a tremendous new responsibility; I was extremely happy, but also awestruck and slightly terrified.

    I was happy on my wedding day, but I was also worried about how the whole day would unfold. For instance, strangely, I was very concerned that my veil might fall off as I was going down the aisle.

    Etc.

    Today, though, I’m purely, absolutely happy.

    In The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, I write about the fact that my husband 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. My husband tried many treatments over the years, but nothing worked.

    I’ve so appreciated the thoughtfulness of readers who have emailed me to make sure that we knew about possible new treatments, or to send along their good wishes for my husband’s health. Last year, a new treatment was approved, and my husband went on it right away.

    As of this morning, he has been declared CURED A few hours ago, we got the email from his extraordinary doctor, Dr. Leona Kim-Schluger. He is now free from the virus. It’s over.

    I am so, so happy, and grateful, and relieved, and thrilled. I can’t really put it into words.

    And yet there’s something more I want to say.

    I love children’s literature, and at this minute, I’m reminded of a scene from one of my favorite books, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

    It’s Meg’s wedding day, and she and Laurie start talking about drinking wine. Laurie explains, “I don’t care for it; but when a pretty girl offers it, one doesn’t like to refuse, you see.”

    Meg answers, “But you will, for the sake of others, if not for your own. Come, Laurie, promise, and give me one more reason to call this the happiest day of my life.”

    And in that spirit, my dear readers, out of the fullness of my heart, let me ask something of you, so I have one more reason to call this the happiest day of my life.

    If you support organ donation, take a moment to take a step to show people how you feel -- there are a lot of ways to do it. Sign the donor registry. Tell your friends and family that you’d want to donate your organs. Post a message on social media with the hashtag #organdonor.

    It's a rare privilege, granted to very few of us, to die in a way that permits us to donate our organs, and in a time of sorrow and shock, the people around you might not know what you would’ve wanted. Let them know, now, if you would want to be an organ donor. Over the last many years, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my husband’s liver, and I’m very glad that he gets to keep the one he was born with. But things might not have turned out this way.

    Tears are running down my face…I’m beside myself with joy! I hardly know what to do with myself. What do you do on one of the happiest days of your life? I think I’ll go buy his favorite dessert: a pralines’n’cream ice cream cake.

    ***

    Since I posted this, I've been thrilled by how many people let me know that they'd signed up to be organ donors. It's so important, it makes me so happy to hear that.

     
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