Tagged: quotations Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • gretchenrubin 07:00:57 on 2017/10/21 Permalink
    Tags: , , , quotations, ,   

    What Is Work, and What Is Play — for You? 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    “But what is work and what is not work?  Is it work to dig, to carpenter, to plant trees, to fell trees, to ride, to fish, to hunt, to feed chickens, to play the piano, to take photographs, to build a house, to cook, to sew, to trim hats, to mend motor bicycles?  All of these things are work to somebody, and all of them are play to somebody.  There are in fact very few activities which cannot be classed either as work or play according as you choose to regard them.”

    --George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier

    What is work for you, and what is play for you? For me, as my play, I usually do something involving writing, which is my work -- I'm not a well-rounded person. I've tried hard to develop non-bookish hobbies, but they never progress very far.

    And sometimes my play becomes my work. I've been doing a tremendous amount of research and note-taking on the subject of my obsessive interest: color. At some point, perhaps I'll try to turn that material into an actual book -- I've even chosen a title, "My Color Pilgrimage." How delightful, but rare, when work and play converge.

    I do love the writing of George Orwell! I've read The Road to Wigan Pier three or four times, and I've re-read some of my favorite Orwell essays -- such as "Reflections on Gandhi," "Charles Dickens," and "Such, Such Were the Joys" -- even more often. Though, oddly, I haven't re-read any of his fiction since high school. (Should I?)

    What is work for you, that might be play to someone else? And what is play for you, that might be work for someone else?

    Of course, conditions matter tremendously. Work that might be enjoyable in some circumstances becomes hideous drudgery in other circumstances.

    And choice matters. It matters if you're doing what you choose to do, when and because you choose to do it. And if you feel that you could do something else, if you wanted to stop.

    And money matters. Getting paid for something influences whether we regard it as work or play. In fact, research suggests that if we reward people to do an activity that they'd otherwise do for play, they may begin to view that activity as work -- and may not want to do it voluntarily. At the same time, we might enjoy doing something for work that we wouldn't choose to do for play. And vice versa.

    What is work, and what is play?

     

     
  • gretchenrubin 10:40:32 on 2017/08/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , quotations, , ,   

    Why I Named the Four Tendencies the “Four Tendencies.” 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    Since college, when I first read it, I’ve been haunted by an observation by Freud, where he notes that the names of the three Goddesses of Fate mean “the accidental within the decrees of destiny,” “the inevitable,” and “the fateful tendencies each one of us brings into the world.

    — Sigmund Freud, The Freud Reader, “The Theme of the Three Caskets.”

    When I read this, it seemed perfectly to distill the three threads of fate.

    The fateful tendencies each one of us brings into the world. Years later, when I was trying to figure out what to name the categories that I’d identified as part of human nature — Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, Rebel — I thought back on that passage. So I named my framework the “Four Tendencies.”

    Calling them “fateful” struck me as slightly melodramatic. What do you think? Would that have been a terrific name, or too much?

    The post Why I Named the Four Tendencies the “Four Tendencies.” appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 12:00:48 on 2017/07/29 Permalink
    Tags: , , progress, , quotations,   

    Do You Believe You Can Improve Human Nature Before You’ve Changed The System? And Vice Versa. 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    “Progress is not an illusion, it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing…Consequently two viewpoints are always tenable. The one, how can you improve human nature until you have changed the system? The other, what is the use of changing the system before you have improved human nature? They appeal to different individuals, and they probably show a tendency to alternate in point of time.”

    –George Orwell, “Charles Dickens” in A Collection of Essays

    This is one of my favorite essays by George Orwell, and that’s saying a lot.

    I think about this quotation often, because I spend most of my time thinking about individual change. How steps can each of us take, in our own lives, to become happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative?

    Which is not to say that I don’t think that the system should change — just that, for whatever reason, it’s the second question that interests me more.

    How about you?

    The post Do You Believe You Can Improve Human Nature Before You’ve Changed The System? And Vice Versa. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 11:00:00 on 2017/06/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , , quotations, ,   

    “Sometimes I Dream About Him When He Was Younger, and I Remember It with Such Sweetness that It Wakes Me.” 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    “I also can still see many of Sam’s ages in him. New parents grieve as their babies get bigger, because they cannot imagine the child will ever be so heartbreakingly cute and needy again. Sam is a swirl of every age he’s ever been, and all the new ones, like cotton candy, like the Milky Way. I can see the stoned wonder of the toddler, the watchfulness of the young child sopping stuff up, the busy purpose and workmanship of the nine-year-old…

    “I held him loosely and smelled his neck. Sometimes when I dream about him, he’s in danger, he’s doing things that are too risky, but most of the time he’s stomping around or we’re just hanging out together. Sometimes I dream about him when he was younger, and I remember it with such sweetness that it wakes me.”

    –Anne Lamott, “Diamond Heart,” in Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

    My daughter graduated from high school this week, so you see where my head is.

    The post “Sometimes I Dream About Him When He Was Younger, and I Remember It with Such Sweetness that It Wakes Me.” appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 10:00:35 on 2017/05/20 Permalink
    Tags: , Heraclitus, , , quotations,   

    Agree, Disagree? “Nature Loves to Hide.” 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    “Nature loves to hide.”

    –Heraclitus, Fragments

    I’m not exactly sure what this line means, but I love it. It’s an elegant, thought-provoking, enigmatic observation.

    When I think about it in terms of “human nature,” I do agree.  I think it’s hard to see ourselves clearly; many of the most important aspects of our nature is obscured from us.

    What do you think it means? Do you agree?

    The post Agree, Disagree? “Nature Loves to Hide.” appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 13:48:58 on 2017/04/22 Permalink
    Tags: , Philip Lopate, , quotations, , ,   

    How Do We Learn Most About Another Person? 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    “You learn more about a person by living in his house for a week than by years of running into him at social gatherings.”

    –Philip Lopate, “Reflections on Subletting” in Against Joie de Vivre: Personal Essays

    Agree, disagree? I agree.

    What are other good ways to get to know someone? Travel together, work on a project together, meet his or her family, look at the photos on his or her phone…

    The post How Do We Learn Most About Another Person? appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 11:19:49 on 2017/04/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , , quotations, , , , Simone de Beauvoir   

    Without You, There is No Copper-Red of the Beech to Set Against the Blue of the Cedar. 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    “I became unique and I felt I was needed: my own eyes were needed in order that the copper-red of the beech could be set against the blue of the cedar and the silver of the poplars. When I went away, the landscape fell to pieces, and no longer existed for anyone; it no longer existed at all.”

    –Simone de Beauvoir, Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter

    Does color exist when no one is there to see it? No. A beautiful realization.

    The post Without You, There is No Copper-Red of the Beech to Set Against the Blue of the Cedar. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 17:55:57 on 2017/03/28 Permalink
    Tags: , , , coloring book, , , quotations, , , ,   

    Announcing My New Happiness Project Coloring Book! Do You Love to Color? 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77
    Coloring book by Gretchen Rubin

    As I may have mentioned once or twice, I’ve become obsessed with the subject of color — and I’m also a big fan of coloring.

    So I was thrilled to get the chance to design my own coloring book, which goes on sale today: The Happiness Project Mini Posters: A Coloring Book of 20 Hand-Lettered Quotes to Pull Out and Frame.

    Click here to get a peek inside the pages and learn about a special giveaway from my publisher. (Winner will be chosen April 4.)

    I had so much fun working with the artist on the design for the pages, and choosing the quotations to include.

    I’m not the only grown-up who still enjoys coloring — more and more adults are returning to the coloring books they loved as children. Great idea! Coloring boosts happiness for many reasons.

    Coloring is calming, even meditative. The activity of coloring helps to focus the mind and rest the body in a constructive, creative way. In my coloring book, I hope that the quotations, too, will inspire quiet reflection.

    Coloring is very satisfying, because there’s a special pleasure in doing things with our hands. Very often these days, we’re sitting behind screens and living in our heads. Like activities such as knitting or tying flies or walking, coloring allows us to connect with the physical world, in the present moment. And there’s something about the repetitive, wordless nature of the work that boosts creativity and energy.

    Coloring is a great activity to do with other people. Research shows that a secret—probably the secret—to happiness is strong connections with other people. Coloring is fun to do with other people. It’s companionable, and allows for conversation, and at the same time, gives a sense of shared purpose.

    With my sister Elizabeth Craft, I host a podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Many people have written to tell me that they like to color as they listen to the latest episode—the two activities are highly compatible.

    On a less lofty note, coloring helps to curb snacking! Coloring keeps hands busy, which diminishes the urge to snack; plus, after carefully working on a beautiful design, who wants to risk getting a grease stain or smudge on the page?

    Finally, one of my own favorite things about coloring is that It gives me a reason to buy and use beautiful supplies—gorgeous colored markers and pens, as well as lovely books of designs and paper. Well-made tools make work a joy. And I love to feast my eyes on beautiful, brilliant colors.

    Do you love to color? If so, I hope the The Happiness Project Mini Posters makes you happier.

    The post Announcing My New Happiness Project Coloring Book! Do You Love to Color? appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 16:00:15 on 2017/03/27 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Narnia, , , quotations, , The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,   

    A Little Happier: A Reminder from a Favorite Moment in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    I’m a huge fan of children’s and young-adult literature. I’m in three book groups where we discuss children’s and YA literature. I read those books all the time — and I also re-read my favorites, over and over.

    One of my very favorite scenes in children’s literature — and maybe all literature — is in C. S. Lewis’s masterpiece, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

    It’s an enormously satisfying scene, and it’s also a very good reminder: If all else fails, we can try minding our own business.

    Here’s the conversation, if you want to read it:

    The Professor says, “There are only three possibilities. Either your sister is telling lies, or she is mad, or she is telling the truth. You know she doesn’t tell lies and it is obvious that she is not mad. For the moment then and unless any further evidence turns up, we must assume that she is telling the truth.”

    The children continue to explain why they don’t accept Lucy’s story.

    “But there was no time,” said Susan. “Lucy had no time to have gone anywhere, even if there was such a place. She came running after us the very moment we were out of the room. It was less than minute, and she pretended to have been away for hours.”

    “That is the very thing that makes her story so likely to be true,” said the Professor. “If there really is a door in this house that leads to some other world (and I should warn you that this is a very strange house, and even I know very little about it) – if, I say, she had got into another world, I should not be at all surprised to find that the other world had a separate time of its own; so that however long you stayed there it would never take up any of our time. On the other hand, I don’t think many girls of her age would invent that idea for themselves. If she had been pretending, she would have hidden for a reasonable time before coming out and telling her story.”

    “But do you really mean, sir,” said Peter, “that there could be other worlds — all over the place, just round the corner — like that?”

    “Nothing is more probable,” said the Professor, taking off his spectacles and beginning to polish them, while he muttered to himself, “I wonder what they do teach them at these schools.”

    “But what are we to do?” said Susan. She felt that the conversation was beginning to get off the point.

    “My dear young lady,” said the Professor, suddenly looking up with a very sharp expression at both of them, “there is one plan which no one has yet suggested and which is well worth trying.”

    “What’s that?” said Susan.

    “We might all try minding our own business,” said he. And that was the end of that conversation.

    After this things were a good deal better for Lucy.

    Whenever I’m not sure how to address a tricky situation involving other people, I always remind myself, “I might try minding my own business.” It surprises me how often that advice works.

    Do you love the Narnia books as much as I do?

    Which is your favorite? For me, it’s a toss-up between The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Silver Chair, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Magician’s Nephew.

    If you’re a fan of children’s/YA literature, you can check out my list of my 81 favorite books here. So many wonderful books.

    Listen to this mini-podcast episode by clicking PLAY below.

    Check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 20% off window treatments and free in-home or on-phone design consultations and free professional measuring.

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

     

    Happier listening!

    The post A Little Happier: A Reminder from a Favorite Moment in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 14:18:40 on 2017/03/25 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , quotations, , ,   

    “All That I Ever Hope to Say Is that I Love the World.” What Do You Hope to Say? 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

    “All that I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world.”

    –E. B. White

    He wrote this to a reader of his masterpiece of children’s literature, Charlotte’s Web.

    If you were to fill in the blank, “All that I ever hope to say is that I _____,” how would you answer?

    Ah, Charlotte’s Web. An extraordinary, beautiful book. If you haven’t read it since you were a child, re-read it now. It’s a book that immediately made it onto my list of my 81 Favorite Works of Children’s and Young-Adult Literature.

    The post “All That I Ever Hope to Say Is that I Love the World.” What Do You Hope to Say? appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
esc
cancel