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  • gretchenrubin 19:01:53 on 2018/01/06 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , work   

    Agree: Even One Task Fulfilled at Regular Intervals…Can Bring Order into Life as a Whole. 

    "Even one task fulfilled at regular intervals in a man's life can bring order into his life as a whole; everything else hinges upon it. By keeping a record of my experiences I live my life twice over. The past returns to me. The future is always with me."

    -- The Journal of Eugene Delacroix

    Agree, disagree?

    How I love this book!

     
  • gretchenrubin 12:00:06 on 2017/12/22 Permalink
    Tags: , , , review, work   

    An Interesting and Useful Exercise: The Year-End Review with Myself. 

    In my book The Happiness Project, I describe how I belong to the three-person group "MGM" where we get together periodically to talk about issues, challenges, hopes, and frustrations related to our careers. I'm the "G" in the MGM, and the Ms are Michael Melcher and Marci Alboher.

    We've been meeting now for a long time -- at least ten years. Many things have changed in our careers, and it's great for each of us to talk in a group that has been following the long arc.

    Several years ago, Michael suggested that we do an exercise: the "Year-End Review, with Yourself." Marci wrote about this idea in this article in the New York Times.

    We did the review several years ago, and it was very helpful. But for whatever reason, we didn't do it again until this year.

    Yesterday, the three of us met for three hours. During that time, we each went through our 2017 calendars and wrote down accomplishments, frustrations, high points, and low points from both our personal and professional lives. We used colored markers, stickers, and great paper to make the exercise more striking.

    Several things jumped out at me from doing this exercise:

    • it's easy to forget how much happens in a single year
    • boy, I had a challenging year--a fun year, but a challenging year
    • writing things down really did allow me to see patterns that I hadn't seen before--for instance, in my case, I realize how much my sister is now integrated into my work as well as my personal life.

    On the "Happier" podcast, in episode 134, Elizabeth and I talk about the power of writing a "ta-da list"--if you're feeling overwhelmed by a to-do list, try making a ta-da list, to remind yourself of what you've already accomplished. Often, we get energy and insight from thinking about what we've already done.

    This is essentially an end-of-year ta-da list.

    Last month, I wrote a post about variations on the to-do list: the to-do list, the could-do list, the ta-da list, the to-day list -- all can be powerful, but different people respond better to different versions.

    After we creating our year-in-review pages, we each made a page for 2018. This was especially great for me, because I'd included this exercise in my "18 for 2018" that Elizabeth and I talked about in episode 147. So I checked that off my list.

    Do you have an exercise -- at work or at home -- to review what the previous year has held for you? For me, it was gratifying and surprising to look back.

    If you want to listen to Michael's terrific new podcast with Michael Terrell, you can find "Meanwhile"--"a podcast to improve your life"--here.

    If you want to read Marci's recent and hugely popular "Modern Love" column from the New York Times, "When Your Uber Driver Brings a Time Machine," it's here.

     
  • gretchenrubin 12:44:19 on 2017/11/25 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , work   

    Working Is One of the Most Dangerous Forms of Procrastination–18th Century Style. 

    “Idleness is often covered by turbulence and hurry. He that neglects his known duty and real employment naturally endeavours to crowd his mind with something that may bar out the remembrance of his own folly, and does any thing but what he ought to do with eager diligence, that he may keep himself in his own favour."

    --Samuel Johnson, Selected Writings, "Idler no. 31," November 18, 1758

    One of my Secrets of Adulthood is: "Working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination." I got a kick out of seeing one of my favorite authors, Dr. Johnson, express the same notion in his inimitable, eighteenth-century style.

    Agree, disagree?

     

     
  • gretchenrubin 14:00:53 on 2017/11/04 Permalink
    Tags: , Chuck Palahniuk, , , , work   

    Agree? “Not Everybody Is Looking for an Easy, Fun Job.” 

    Chuck Palahniuk wrote a piece about life on a Navy submarine. As he was leaving the sub, an officer asked him to write a good piece; fewer and fewer people saw the value in the kind of service he valued most. Palahniuk writes:

    I saw the value. I admire those people and the job they do.

    But by hiding the hardships they endure, it seems the Navy cheats these men out of the greater part of their glory. By trying to make the job seem fun and no-big-deal, the Navy may be repelling the people who want this kind of challenge.

    Not everybody is looking for an easy, fun job.

    Chuck Palahniuk, “The People Can,” Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories

    I'm haunted by this last line. I agree: I suspect that sometimes, when we try to convince people to undertake a certain job, activity, or aim as pleasant and fun (or even manageable), we might dissuade people who might otherwise be interested.

    Not everybody is looking for a fun, easy job.

    Agree, disagree? Can you think of examples about yourself or someone else, when a person was attracted to a difficult, arduous task?

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

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

    “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 13:00:04 on 2017/10/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Tim O'Reilly, work   

    The Future and Why We Should “Work on Stuff that Matters.” 

    Interview: Tim O'Reilly.

    Tim O'Reilly is the founder and head of O'Reilly Media. Of all the people writing and speaking about the interrelated issues of emerging technology, media, work, and government, he is one of the most thoughtful and far-sighed.

    His new book just hit the shelves. WTF: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us is a combination of memoir, business strategy guide, and call to action related to the future of technology -- and the future of all of us.

    I was interested to hear his views on habits, happiness, productivity, and creativity.

    Gretchen: What’s a simple habit or activity that consistently makes you happier?

    Tim: Every morning, before I plunge into work, checking my devices and getting pulled into the digital whirl, I do some yoga or go running, and do morning chores -- feeding my backyard chickens, emptying the dishwasher, hanging the laundry that I ran overnight, making tea for my wife and for myself. I treat morning chores as a kind of meditation. Hanging laundry on the line is especially like that for me. It's a wonderful practice that saves energy, makes clothes last longer, and gives me a chance to watch the sunrise over my back yard.

    The clothesline is also the subject of one of my favorite poems, Richard Wilbur's "Love Calls Us to the Things of This World" and one of my favorite thought pieces, Steve Baer's "The Clothesline Paradox." Back in 1970, Baer described how in our metrics-obsessed society, we ignore what we can't measure. When we put our clothes in the dryer, our collective electric bill goes a bit higher. When we put them on the line, we don't say "look, a win for renewable energy." It just disappears from our accounting.

    I've used this wonderful thought experiment over the years to talk about the economic value of open source software and internet enabled collaboration, and more recently, in my book WTF? What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us, as a way of talking about how we might get to a "caring economy" in which machines do more of the routine work, and what humans do to care for each other becomes more deeply valued.

    Lots of folks are worried about robots and the "jobless" future. I'm worried that we won't use the fruits of machine productivity to give people more freedom to spend their time caring for each other, being creative, and yes, getting work done (though not necessarily through the limiting 19th century construct of the job, as something provided by someone else.)

    Gretchen: What’s something you know now about building healthy habits or happiness that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?

    Tim: There are a lot of things you learn as you get older, most of them having to do with the interrelated values of discipline and moderation. Irving Yalom once wrote "First will what is necessary. Then love what you will." This is incredibly good life advice. Decide what you need to do, make a habit of it, and come to love it rather than resent it. That applies to the habits of householding, to exercise and diet, to work, and to taking the time to reach out to friends and family. It is so easy to be full of resentment against the things that we feel are keeping us from our joy. Finding joy in what needs doing is magical.

    Gretchen: Do you have any habits that continually get in the way of your happiness?

    Tim: Being tethered to a phone or the internet. When I am out of cell range, or leave my phone at home, I feel unaccountably freer. I don't realize how much the simple presence of the device pulls on me until it is out of reach.

    I have been thinking more and more about setting out big blocks of time when I put it deliberately out of reach.

    I remember vividly when I first had this experience, around 1984. I had my first internet-connected Unix workstation in my home office. Unlike a PC, which you tended to turn off when you were done. This was always on, always connected. My office was in a converted barn next to my house, and I could feel it calling to me. Everyone now lives with devices all the time, and they are changing us in ways we don't entirely understand.

    Clay Johnson gave some good advice years ago in a book called The Information Diet, which turned out to be quite prescient. He urged his readers to manage their information intake, and to take the time to produce thoughtful content, rather than just mindlessly sucking it in.

    Gretchen: Which habits are most important to you? (for health, for creativity, for productivity, for leisure, etc.)

    Tim: In addition to my aforementioned morning routine, probably the most important habit is one that I had dropped for some time in favor of time with my phone, but which has now regained its place in my life, with great results: reading books. Sustained time with another mind rather than constant media snacking is so important!

    Poetry is one of the joys of my life. There are more tools for living in a good poem than most people realize. When I was going through a midlife crisis, I found enormous guidance in T. S. Eliot's "East Coker," which is a poem about the necessity for things to be torn down so that something new can be built.

    Gretchen: Have you ever managed to gain a challenging healthy habit—or to break an unhealthy habit? If so, how did you do it?

    Tim: I ran in high school, and at a few times after that, but I'd lost it as a regular habit. What brought it back was doing it together with my fiancé (now my wife). Working together to maintain good habits is incredibly powerful. 

    Gretchen: Would you describe yourself as an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger?

    Tim: When I took the test, I came out as a Questioner, but I find myself with so many elements of the others. In my personal life, I'm a strong Obliger. In my public life, definitely a Questioner. In my business, a mix of questioner and upholder. I even find streaks of Rebel, which mostly comes out when I find myself "bitten to death by ducks"--beleaguered by constant requests for attention from my over-extended network. [Yes, this response absolutely confirms that you are a Questioner.]

    Gretchen: Does anything tend to interfere with your ability to keep your healthy habits? (e.g. travel, parties)

    Tim: Travel definitely makes it harder to avoid eating too much, especially when it's coupled with business meals. One "hack" that my wife and I have used to reduce this burden is to share a single meal whenever possible. Restaurant portions are so large!

    As to exercise, it's important to make time for it even when you travel. So I always bring exercise clothes with me. And if it's possible, I try to incorporate exercise - and not necessarily vigorous exercise, but just movement - into my daily routine. On my recent trip to New York City, I used Citibike (bike share) or walking to get to all of my appointments. I try to do that at home as well. And if I can do a "walking meeting" that is almost always preferable to sitting around a table.

    Gretchen: Have you ever been hit by a lightning bolt, where you made a major change very suddenly, as a consequence of reading a book, a conversation with a friend, a milestone birthday, a health scare, etc.?

    Tim: Absolutely. Around 2010, I read a line in a novel, Pascal Mercier's Night Train to Lisbon, that set off a mid-life crisis, and led me to change my life in major ways. "Given that we can live only a small part of what there is in us, what happens to the rest?" This really struck a nerve. When I was a kid reading science fiction, I thought that I would one day write a book that involved a character who was able to live out the consequence of different life choices, different branching futures, rather than being stuck with the consequences of a single choice. Living in another country for a while can give you this kind of completely new experience, or changing your job. It's so easy to get into ruts, and forget how to let go. The year before I read that, I kept having a line from the Tao Te Ching keep going through my head, but I didn't know what it meant: "Keep stretching the bow, you repent of the pull." I didn't realize how stretched thin I was by the constant demands of work, and this odd new compulsion to feed a social media following on Twitter. That was the beginning of my wrestling with the social media sickness that has pervaded so much of our society.

    Don't get me wrong. I love social media for the ways it lets me keep in touch with people. But in the same way that abundance of calories and a lack of exercise can make us fat, an abundance of empty social calories and lack of vigorous mental exercise and true social contact can make our minds and our feelings flabby and lacking in lustre.

    Gretchen: Is there a particular motto or saying that you’ve found very helpful? (e.g., I remind myself to “Be Gretchen.”) Or a quotation that has struck you as particularly insightful? Or a particular book that has stayed with you?

    Tim: There are so many. I am full of quotations that spring to mind on every occasion. But I want to share the goal that animates us at my company, O'Reilly Media: "Create more value than you capture."

    At a company management retreat around 2000, I remember telling the stories of several internet billionaires who'd told me they'd started their company with the aid of an O'Reilly technical book. We got $35, they got $Billions. That seemed like a wonderful thing -- that the work we did could have such an impact on other people's lives. Brian Erwin, then our VP of marketing, said our slogan ought to be "We create more value than we capture." We've been using it ever since, though as a call to action rather than a self-description.

    Another similar sentiment that I've use to shape my company has been widely posterized on the internet:  "Money in a business is like gas in your car. You don't want to run out, but your business is not a tour of gas stations." And of course that ties to another one of my mantras: "Work on stuff that matters."

    We really try to live by these principles in our business decision making at O'Reilly, and our economy would be better off if everyone did the same. In my book, WTF? What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us, I share lessons from the great technology platforms. There's a lot in there about how AI, and on demand networks, and other technologies are reshaping the business landscape, the economy, and the future of work, but there are also lessons about generosity that I've taken from watching the rise and fall of technology platforms. New waves of innovation that I've been part of -- the personal computer industry, open source software, the internet, the maker movement, even AI -- have been kicked off through a gift to the world. IBM published the specifications for their personal computer, and let anyone build one. Tim Berners-Lee put the web into the public domain. But then I've watched again and again as companies come along, gain control of the new technology, dry up the innovation, taking too much of the value for themselves and forcing entrepreneurs to go elsewhere. Right now, Google and Facebook and Apple are following in the footsteps of Microsoft, learning none of the lessons that brought Microsoft down from its peak of control over the industry.

    Those same lessons apply to our broader economy. Our financial markets have become extractive rather than a support for the real market of goods and services. "Investment" no longer means investing in people or factories. It means placing bets on stocks, and trying to manipulate them so they go higher, whether or not any value has been created. When Carl Icahn bought $3.6 billion in Apple stock, Apple didn't need his money. They had billions on hand. He was hoping to get them to do stock buybacks to artificially drive up the price, in fact extracting value from Apple rather than creating it.

    This is what's wrong with our economy writ large. "Investors" are not really investors. They are bettors in the financial market casino, while the world's great problems -- and the people who could be solving them -- are no longer seen as the proper focus for investment. We have told our companies to optimize for "the bottom line," while treating people as a cost to be eliminated. It doesn't have to be that way. We can build an economy that treats people as an asset to invest in.

    I think that we're in a wonderful teachable moment because of what is happening with Facebook. People can see that Facebook created newsfeed algorithms that didn't quite do what Mark Zuckerberg and his team expected. They thought that by showing people more of what they liked and re-shared with their friends, they'd create an engaging social platform that reinforced the connections between people. They didn't expect that it would increase hyper-partisanship, and that spammers and foreign governments would exploit the system. We can see that they need to fix their system. In a similar way, the economists whose theories shaped business and politics didn't mean to create an opioid epidemic, but they did. When, in 1970, Milton Friedman said that the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits, and when, a few years later, Michael Jensen began to preach the gospel of shareholder value maximization and the need to align executive compensation with rising stock prices, they didn’t mean to create the devastation they wreaked on the economy, but it’s time to recognize it.

    I believe that we can create an economy where people matter.

     
  • gretchenrubin 16:12:01 on 2017/08/30 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , work   

    Podcast 132: Consider Reading Children’s Literature, Refresh Your Workspace, 

    Update: I’m excited because my new book, The Four Tendencies, hits the shelves in just 13 days. Not long now!

    I’m looking forward to heading to Los Angeles, and many other cities, on my book tour. Info here if you’d like to come to an event.

    Try This at Home: Feeling overwhelmed by the news, or by events in your life — or both? Consider reading children’s literature. I love reading children’s literature all the time, but when I feel anxiety or dread, I often turn even more readily than usual to children’s literature.

    Need an excellent work of children’s literature — or rather, young-adult literature? Elizabeth’s book Flower is a terrific read. And here’s my list of my 81 favorite works of children’s literature.

    The book I mention reading is E. L. Konigsburg’s brilliant From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Elizabeth mentioned Paula Danziger’s The Cat Ate My Gymsuit. So, so good!

    This try-this-at-home isn’t about escapism, or turning away from difficult truths and realities, but about finding ways to maintain your mental equilibrium during tough times. When we have more command of ourselves, we’re better able to engage with the world.

    C. S. Lewis’s essay, “On Three Ways of Writing for Children,” is fascinating. I’ve read it ten times.

    Elizabeth and Sarah talked about “feeling on the rack” in episode 9 of “Happier in Hollywood.”

    Happiness Hack: Cat, a Rebel, suggests choosing new desktop wallpaper as a fun way to change a work environment. She used the free service Unsplash.

    Four Tendencies Tip: Can you switch Tendencies? No, not really. But you can change your circumstances to harness the strengths of your Tendency, and to buttress the limitations and weaknesses of your Tendency.

    Want to take the Quiz to tell you whether you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger or Rebel? It’s here. Or to learn even more, buy The Four Tendencies book.

    Listener Question: Abby is an Obliger who’s trying to work on a side hustle, but it’s hard to put the time into that effort when she’s also working for her father.

    If you’re pursuing a side hustle, be sure to check out Chris Guillebeau’s terrific podcastSide Hustle School.” If you’re an Obliger who wants to create an accountability group (for anything you need to be accountable for), check out the free Better app.

    Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth has been feeling very crabby; she took it out on her husband Adam; and now she feels even worse.

    Gretchen’s Gold Star: I give a giant gold star to the Delta counter agent who did a terrific job in handling the chaos that ensued during a five-hour weather delay. (Demerit: I should’ve found out his name, so I could acknowledge his excellence.)

    Here’s some fascinating research about waiting in line.


    Free Resources:

    1. To get the pre-order bonus, you can find info here, or at happiercast.com/4tbonus. You’ll get the overview video as well as subject videos on using the Four Tendencies at work, with spouses and sweethearts, with children and students, and in health-care settings.  Free now; after the book comes out, there will be a charge for the video series.
    2. If you’d like a free, signed bookplate or signature card, sign up here. U.S. and Canada only — sorry about that, mailing costs. Ask for as many as you’d like (within reason).

    As I mentioned above, I do 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

    Check out Texture. Get access to all your favorite magazines — including back issues and bonus video content — in one super-convenient place. Try the app Texture for free by going to Texture.com/happier.

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    And check out BlueApron.comWish you cooked more? Get all the delicious, fresh ingredients you need to make great meals, delivered to your front door. Check out BlueApron.com/happier to get your first three meals free, with free shipping.

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    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!

    Want a new podcast to listen to, with the same vibe as Happier? The Onward Project is the family of podcasts that I’ve launched, for podcasts that are about “your life–made better.” Check out these great shows: Side Hustle School and Happier in Hollywood.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 132: Consider Reading Children’s Literature, Refresh Your Workspace, appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 12:00:08 on 2017/08/15 Permalink
    Tags: , , , work   

    A Four Tendencies Dilemma: What Would You Do with the Office Coffee Mug? 

    Have  I mentioned that my book The Four Tendencies is coming out in September? Oh right, I think I have.

    Well, I’m gearing up for my book tour, and thinking about my book talk.

    I’m considering opening my talk by describing a familiar situation that illustrates how differently the Four Tendencies see the world. What do you think of that idea? Consider this scenario:

    “What Would You Do with the Office Coffee Mug?”

    Imagine that you’ve been hired to work in sales in a small-to-medium sized office.

    There’s an office kitchen with a sink, fridge, dishwasher, and a cabinet stocked with office mugs.

    Although you haven’t met the night cleaning staff, you know that a crew comes in every night to vacuum, dust, empty the trash cans, handle the recycling, clean the kitchen, and wash and put the office mugs back in the cupboard.

    There’s no sign in the office telling you what to do with your dirty mugs, and no one has mentioned the office etiquette to you.

    The first time you used a mug and were deciding what to do with it, what idea most likely ran through your mind?

    1. My job is to do sales, and the cleaning staff’s job is to clean.
    2. It’s more efficient for the cleaning staff to spend the time cleaning, and for me to spend my time making sales.
    3. The cleaning staff shouldn’t have to clean up after me.
    4. No one can tell me what to do with my mug.

    To be sure, your Tendency is just one narrow aspect of your character; two people of the same Tendency might behave differently depending on how considerate they are, how ambitious they are, how busy, how extroverted, and a million other things.

    And of course your life experience influences your behavior. You might automatically deal with your mug  the way you dealt with mugs at your last job.

    Nevertheless, I think there are some very general patterns, if you identified with those reactions:

    1-likely to be an Upholder

    2-likely to be a Questioner

    3-likely to be an Obliger

    4-likely to be a Rebel

    However, it’s crucial to note that you can’t judge people’s Tendencies from their actions; you have to know what they’re thinking.

    And you often can’t predict people’s actions from knowing their Tendency, because so many factors come into play.

    For instance, in contrast to the predictions listed above, a Rebel might choose to clean a mug, with the thought, “It’s important to me to be a thoughtful member of this office.” An Obliger might not clean a mug, with the thought, “This office is dangerously close to failure. I need to spend every minute I possibly can making sales, or everyone will lose their jobs.” A Questioner might clean a mug, with the thought, “If clients come in and see a sink full of dirty dishes, they may assume we run a sloppy operation. The risk of losing sales is a very good reason for me to clean my dishes.”

    Given the many different perspectives that can arise, even within the same Tendency, it’s easy how often people disagree. An Obliger might think, “I can’t believe that other people show so little common courtesy for others.”  A Questioner might think, “If you want to clean the mugs, fine, but don’t expect me to help. I’m here to make sales!” An Upholder might think, “I wouldn’t empty the trash cans, and I wouldn’t vacuum, and I don’t feel like I have to wash the dishes, those aren’t my jobs.” A Rebel thinks, “Why does everyone keep talking about the mugs? Sheesh, do whatever you want, that’s what I do.”

    Studying the Four Tendencies has shown me that very often, there’s no single correct way to view a situation.

    Want to learn your Tendency? Take the quiz here. (Hundreds of thousands of people have taken it.)

    Want to join a lively discussion about the Four Tendencies? Join the Better app to ask questions, offer strategies and insights, and join Accountability Groups.

    Want to get free access to my five videos about how to apply the Four Tendencies? To get the pre-order bonus, you can find details here. You’ll get the overview video as well as subject videos on using the Four Tendencies at work, with spouses and sweethearts, with children and students, and in health-care settings.  Free now; note after the book comes out, there will be a (fairly hefty) charge for the video series.

    The post A Four Tendencies Dilemma: What Would You Do with the Office Coffee Mug? appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 16:06:02 on 2017/08/09 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , work   

    Podcast 129: September Is the Other January, the Fun of Post-It Notes, and What “They” Think. 

    Update: I’m excited because my new book, The Four Tendencies, hits the shelves in just 34 days. So close, and yet so far!

    Elizabeth and I are considering planning a meet-up with listeners and readers on Sunday, September 17, around 6:00 p.m. Would you be interested in coming? What would be a good neighborhood or spot? Weigh in on the Better app, under Events — that makes it much easier to coordinate responses. We’re trying to figure out if this would be a good idea. If you’re already a member of the app, click here to go directly to the event to RSVP.

    Pre-orders give a big boost to a book, so to thank readers who pre-order, I worked with a terrific production team to create a series of videos about the Four Tendencies. After the book goes on sale, I’ll charge for these videos, but until then, you can get access to them for free if you pre-order. Find all the info here. There’s an overview video, then subject videos on using the Four Tendencies at work, with spouses and sweethearts, with children and students, and in health-care settings.

    Try This at Home: Remember that September is the other January. In my book Happier at Home, I describe my happiness project that stretched from September to May — a school year, which is another kind of year for me.

    September, for many people, marks a fresh start and a new beginning, so it’s good to think about changes to make with this clean slate.

    Elizabeth vows to start grilling — not expecting Adam to grill, but to grill herself. I’m planning to start “Weekly Adventures” with Eleanor.

    In my book Better Than Before, I talk about using the “Strategy of the Clean Slate” as a way to harness new beginnings to help yourself make important changes. The clean slate is a powerful catalyst for me.

    1pix

    Happiness Hack: I love an office-supplies hack! Elizabeth ordered personalized post-it notes — easy, inexpensive, and seem special — specifically for “Happier in Hollywood” for her and Sarah to use. She ordered hers from Zazzle.com. Post a photo of your personalized post-it notes on #happier2017 on Instagram, and tag us @lizcraft and @gretchenrubin.

    Happiness Stumbling Block: What will “they” think?

    Here’s the video I mention, of the twelve-minute talk that I gave about drift, and here’s the quiz “Are you drifting?

    Gretchen’s Demerit: I’m a dedicated hair twister, and I’ve been twisting my hair more than usual.

    Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth’s young son Jack participated enthusiastically on a hike. Elizabeth’s fantasy is to do family hikes on the weekend — so now her fantasy self and real self are colliding, thanks to Jack.


    Free Resources:

    1. To get the pre-order bonus, you can find info here, or at happiercast.com/4tbonus. You’ll get the overview video as well as subject videos on using the Four Tendencies at work, with spouses and sweethearts, with children and students, and in health-care settings.  Free now; after the book comes out, there will be a charge for the video series.
    2.  Want to join my group of Super-Fans? From time to time, I’ll offer you a little bonus, or ask for a small favor (nothing onerous, I promise). Sign up here. Super-Fans, I so appreciate your support and enthusiasm.

    If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here. Remember, it really helps us if you do rate or review the podcast — it helps other listeners discover us.

    As I mentioned above, I do 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

    Check out StitchFix, an online personal styling service with real stylists who handpick clothing for you — your taste, your schedule, your lifestyle, your budget. Sign up at StitchFix.com.

    Also check out Texture. Get access to all your favorite magazines — including back issues and bonus video content — in one super-convenient place. Try the app Texture for free by going to Texture.com/happier.

    Visit Framebridge.com — a terrific way to get your art and photos framed, in a super easy and affordable way. Use the code HAPPIER at checkout to get 15% off your first Framebridge order.

    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!

    Want a new podcast to listen to, with the same vibe as Happier? The Onward Project is the family of podcasts that I’ve launched, for podcasts that are about “your life–made better.” Check out these great shows: Side Hustle School and Radical Candor and Happier in Hollywood.

    HAPPIER listening!

    The post Podcast 129: September Is the Other January, the Fun of Post-It Notes, and What “They” Think. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • gretchenrubin 16:15:07 on 2017/08/07 Permalink
    Tags: , Andy Warhol, , , , , , work   

    A Little Happier: Why Andy Warhol (and I) Want To Have a Boss–on Retainer. 

    Any Warhol quote

    I agree wholeheartedly with Andy Warhol. Sometimes I wish I had a boss who could tell me what to do, so I wouldn’t have to figure it out myself.

    Often, for me, the toughest part is figuring out what to tell myself to do.

    Here’s the actual quotation, from The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), a book I love and have re-read several times:

    When I think about what sort of person I would most like to have on a retainer, I think it would be a boss. A boss who could tell me what to do, because that makes everything easy when you’re working.

    Agree, disagree?

     

    This mini-episode is brought to you by the Platinum Card from American Express. There’s a world of experiences waiting to open up with the Platinum Card–backed by the services and security of American Express.

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

     

     Happier listening!

    The post A Little Happier: Why Andy Warhol (and I) Want To Have a Boss–on Retainer. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
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