Secrets of Adulthood

  • The best reading is re-reading.
  • Outer order contributes to inner calm.
  • The opposite of a great truth is also true.
  • You manage what you measure.
  • By doing a little bit each day, you can get a lot accomplished.
  • People don’t notice your mistakes and flaws as much as you think.
  • It’s nice to have plenty of money.
  • Most decisions don’t require extensive research.
  • Try not to let yourself get too hungry.
  • Even if you think they’re fake, it’s nice to celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
  • If you can’t find something, clean up.
  • The days are long, but the years are short.
  • Someplace, keep an empty shelf.
  • Turning the computer on and off a few times often fixes a glitch.
  • It’s okay to ask for help.
  • You can choose what you do; you can’t choose what you LIKE to do.
  • Happiness doesn’t always make you feel happy.
  • What you do EVERY DAY matters more than what you do ONCE IN A WHILE.
  • You don’t have to be good at everything.
  • Soap and water removes most stains.
  • It’s important to be nice to EVERYONE.
  • You know as much as most people.
  • Over-the-counter medicines are very effective.
  • Eat better, eat less, exercise more.
  • What’s fun for other people may not be fun for you–and vice versa.
  • People actually prefer that you buy wedding gifts off their registry.
  • Houseplants and photo albums are a lot of trouble.
  • If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.
  • No deposit, no return.

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  • I love them all… (can’t you just hear a but coming) I’d change the 3rd last one to, Houseplants and photo albums are a lot of trouble; but they’re worth it! 🙂

    • sheanders

      I agree. Pets can also be a lot of trouble at times, but they make daily life just a little (or a lot) more enjoyable.

  • Sailendu

    Great list… I specially like this one:
    “You can choose what you do; you can’t choose what you LIKE to do.”

  • Eni

    I admire that you are trying to figure it out, but you’re trying too hard my dear. When you can whittle this list down to around maybe 5 simple truths, you’ll have it.

    Happiness is no more than a choice, it’s all internal, and it’s that simple, so that should be no. 1, and is the most important, out of which everything else flows. Good luck with your project.

    • judge

      that’s a tad arrogant and a lot condescending. if you actually admired it, you would keep quiet

      • Actually, the comment is not condescending at all; it is a viewpoint that espouses simplicity in our otherwise chaotic journey through life. Your statement to ‘keep quiet’, now that’s arrogant and condescending!

  • Wow…some people are just so judgmental. I enjoyed your list!

  • dbs

    Thanks for the nice list and the idea of making a list. My favorite is “If you can’t find something, clean up.” I would change “It’s nice to have plenty of money” to “it’s nice to not need much money,” and although “choosing what you do” is the point, I also believe that it is possible to “choose what you LIKE to do.”

    • Sarah Mathews

      Hi dbs, you have a point here. I am interested in many things. I like office work. However, I have decided to focus on providing social services. I have an illustration about “choosing what you do.” I tried to learn medical sciences. I was good at reading the material. I did not do lab work very well. I quit for a while and then tried it again when I took a biochemistry lab. My teacher suggested I write all the lab instructions by hand, so I did that. I made one mistake, and it ended my quest for many of the medical careers. I held a slide while heating it up, and when it got too hot, I got dark green dye on my tan boots. It wasn’t funny then. I can laugh about that now. I am not good at performing experiments in biology or chemistry lab. I decided not to do that kind of lab work anymore.

  • ameen


  • Thomas

    Dear Lady ” yellow radian flower ” named ” Gretchen “,
    I want of the whole heart, i.e. ” Women rule over the world ” as very well hot and and ” very much welcome ” for the today’s 21 st century. We then would have more order because, in this today’s 21 st century and little ” force ” on this earth.



  • worldking

    thanks for all that you do blessed be

  • As an evolved person (OK someone over 50) I fear not doing or saying what is on my mind more then doing or saying what is on my mind. I find the burden of the unsaid or the undone effects my level of #happiness

  • Thanks 🙂

  • TickledTutu

    Gretchen is a true pro at happiness. First book; loved. Happier At Home; saved my marriage.

  • Wild Highlander

    The comments below endorse the fact that everyone needs to have things on their own terms. Which is why everyone adapts a list to their own needs. A secret of happiness is creating your own terms and then having the courage and determination to live by them, change them and admire others who do the same for themselves. Be gentle.

  • Kris Antonelli

    the next to the last secret listed above is my personal favoritet — the words “fail” and “try” are verbs.

  • suzywoozy

    a little bit of external motivation is good for keeping up the internal motivation.

  • Phillip Bomar

    These are the most helpful tips I’ve seen at once, that can change my life in a big way! Does that mean I’m at the brink and this came at a good time?

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  • Carla Baumgartner

    Gretchen (as well as her sister the sage, Liz) is genius at summarizing insightful thoughts into powerful phrases. Not everyone will agree with what is on the list, but there is something on the list for everyone. More importantly, take away the lesson that the most complex of thoughts and emotions can be expressed simply.

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