A Little Happier: My Inconvenience May Be Someone Else’s Miracle.

When we’d just graduated from college and were working at our first “real” jobs, a friend told me how her local subway train ran express all the way downtown, so she got to a crucial meeting on time. For many people, that change in service was highly annoying — but for her, it was a personal miracle!

I remember that when things go wrong: My inconvenience may be someone else’s miracle.

Listen to this mini podcase episode by clicking PLAY below.

Check out Yogi Tea. When it comes to enjoying life, little moments — like drinking a delicious cup of tea — can make a big difference.

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Happier listening!

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E. M. Forster Explains How To Know If a Book Is Influencing You.

“I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have got ourselves. I suggest, furthermore, that when you feel that you could almost have written the book yourself—that’s the moment when it’s influencing you. You are not influenced when you say, ‘How marvelous! What a revelation! How monumental! Oh!’ You are being extended. You are being influenced when you say ‘I might have written that myself if I hadn’t be so busy.’”

– E. M. Forster, “A Book That Influenced Me,” from Two Cheers for Democracy

Does this ring true for you?

I have to say, I think that people sometimes get that feeling from my books, especially The Happiness Project. People often say to me,  “Wow, I could’ve written a book like yours myself.” And I always think, “Terrific, you should!”

One of my favorite happiness-project resolutions is to “Imitate a spiritual master,” and I feel influenced (I hope) every time I read Story of a Soul, the memoir of my spiritual master, St. …

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A Happy Memory: the “Stripey House” of Kansas City.

Gosh, I don’t remember much of my life. I constantly work on keeping mementos and photographs, because it seems like other people are so much better at remembering the past than I am. And I love to remember the past.

And it’s funny what I remember — the weirdest, most random moments and thoughts.

Some memories stick in my mind from sheer repetition, and for some reason, while I was walking home from the subway today, I was hit by the memory of the beloved “Stripey House.”

In Kansas City, there’s a mall called Ward Parkway where we often use to go, and on the way home, we’d pass the “Stripey House.” We didn’t know anything about it — who lived there, why they’d decided to paint their house in pastel stripes like a pack of FruitStripe Gum.

And we loved it — my sister Elizabeth and I always looked for it, and called out “Stripey House!” as we passed by.

Remembering that funny house brought back happy memories, of all those car trips to the mall with my sister and mother (not my father; my father avoids the mall whenever possible).

I was just back at Ward Parkway at Christmastime, but alas, the Stripey House …

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“I Really Dislike Traveling for Work…How Easily Travel Destroys What Makes Me Happy.”

Interview: Russ Laraway.

I’m thrilled that the Radical Candor podcast is one of the terrific new podcasts launching on The Onward Project, the family of podcasts about your life, made better — brought to you by me (!). The Radical Candor podcast is about being a better boss, a better colleague, a better team member. Something that many of us aim for.

Russ has tackled many work environments: Company Commander in the Marines; launching his own company; Google; Twitter; and co-founder of Candor.

I was very intrigued to hear what Russ had to say about habits, happiness, health, productivity, and all the rest.

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

Russ: I have two.  First, I am committed to not allowing my career to interfere with being a good dad.  The easiest way to make this real is to prioritize my family, which means getting home at a normal hour to spend time with them.  I am maniacally …

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Podcast 99: Take Personality Quizzes, Consider Your Email Habits, and Book Club Conflicts.

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

We’re having so much fun with our Instagram project. Every day, for the month of January, Elizabeth and I are posting a photo on Instagram of something that makes us happier (giving us a boost, helping us stick to good habits, reminding us to feel grateful, etc.).  Join in! Use the hashtag #Happier2017 and tag us — I’m @gretchenrubin and Elizabeth is @lizcraft.

Try This at Home: Katie suggested taking personality quizzes to get to know yourself better. We agree!

In episode 80, we talked about the “Five Love Languages” and why we found them so helpful. As a reminder, the Five Languages are:

Words of Affirmation — the love language for both Elizabeth and me
Quality Time
Receiving Gifts
Acts of Service
Physical Touch

 

We discuss the fascinating book by Daniel Nettle, Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are. In it, you can take the