Tag Archives: failure

Podcast 19: Enjoy the Fun of Failure, an Interview with TV Anchor Dan Harris, and Plane-Ticket Pain.

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

First, a quick digression: do you try to say “Rabbit, rabbit,” on the first day of the month? I do, and today I remembered. Yay.

Thanks again to everyone who contacted us with a comment for our next episode, the Very Special Episode where we’ll feature our listeners. It has been so fun to pull this episode together. Stay tuned for next week.

This week…

Update: I report on my encounter with the Dalai Lama.

Try This at Home: Enjoy the fun of failure. That’s right, the fun. Send us your stories!

Interview: Dan Harris. Dan is an ABC News correspondent, an anchor for Nightline, and co-anchor for the weekend edition of Good Morning America — and the author of 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story. (I love that title.) In this interview, we discuss how did he tame the voice in his head.

To see the on-air panic attack that Dan describes, view it here. To see the scene from the movie Broadcast News that Elizabeth mentions, view it here (the sweating part starts at 4:10).

Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth procrastinates about buying plane tickets for the family trip to Kansas City. (Maybe it’s a family thing; I also hate to buy plane tickets.)

Gretchen’s Gold Star: I love the strange, brilliant book, A  Pattern Language: Towns, Building, Construction. Child caves! Half-hidden garden! Cascade of roofs! And, my favorite, Secret place.

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors. 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 20% off your first Framebridge order.

Also check out Little Passports, www.littlepassports.com/happier. Keep your kids busy this summer with this award-winning subscription for kids — they get a monthly package in the mail that highlights a new global destination. To save 40% on your first month’s subscription, enter the promo code HAPPY.

We’d love to hear from you: have you ever enjoyed the fun of failure, — and if so, how?

Comment below. Email: podcast@gretchenrubin.com. Twitter: @gretchenrubin and @elizabethcraft. Call: 744-277-9336. Here’s the Facebook Page.

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Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen toHappier 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!

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Pigeon of Discontent: “I’m a Perfectionist; I Fear Failure.”

Each week, I post a video about some Pigeon of Discontent raised by a reader. Because, as much as we try to find the Bluebird of Happiness, we’re also plagued by those small but pesky Pigeons of Discontent.

This week’s Pigeon of Discontent, suggested by a reader, is: “I’m a perfectionist, and I fear failure.”


If you want to read more about this resolution, check out…

Enjoy the fun of failure.

7 tips for handling criticism.

Lower the bar.

Post your own Pigeon of Discontent. But be fast! I’m considering changing the subject of the videos, so I may only do a few more Pigeons of Discontent. Time to try something new (and risk failure…)

You can check out the archives of videos here. It’s crazy–my YouTube channel has passed the mark for one million viewers.

Secret of Adulthood: Succeed By Failing.

Further Secrets of Adulthood:

“So Many People Detract From Their Happiness By Worry About What Might Happen…and What People Think About Them.”

Interview: Alina Tugend.

Alina Tugend writes the biweekly ShortCuts column for the New York Times business section, and she has a great new book that just hit the shelves: Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong.

One of my most helpful happiness-project resolutions is to Enjoy the fun of failure, and I’m very interested in how to deal with failure and mistakes in an effective and happier way. As Alina points out, although we’re told that we learn from mistakes, most of us actually hate making mistakes — but making mistakes can be an important source of creativity and improvement.

Gretchen: What’s a simple activity that consistently makes you happier?
Alina: Reading. I love to escape into other worlds. Also watching Law & Order! The real ones, not spin-offs!

What’s something you know now about happiness that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?
This too shall pass. If you’re feeling bad about something, it will pass. Knowing that the bad times move on, has made me much more able not to collapse in a funk when things go wrong.

Is there anything you find yourself doing repeatedly that gets in the way of your happiness?
Wishing things could be perfect. They can’t. If you aim for perfection, you’re going to always be disappointed.

And fretting about the future. Worrying about things that may not and often don’t happen.

Is there a happiness mantra or motto that you’ve found very helpful? (e.g., I remind myself to “Be Gretchen.”)
Live in the moment. It’s such a cliché, but since I’ve really started to believe it and focus on that exact moment – whether it be talking to my sons or walking outside or eating a hamburger, it’s helped me not dwell on regrets about the past or worries about the future.

Is there anything that you see people around you doing or saying that adds a lot to their happiness, or detracts a lot from their happiness?
I see so many people detract from their happiness by worrying about what might happen. And worrying about what people think about them. We all do this to a certain extent, the but the more we can reduce those two useless activities, the happier we can be.

Do you work on being happier? If so, how?
Yes. By, as I said above, being more mindful about the moment I’m in. Appreciating what I have. Hey, I’m not always successful at that, but I try much harder. Someone once said, “Worrying isn’t preparation.” Once I figured out that worrying about something won’t prevent it from happening, I’ve been quite a bit happier.

Have you ever been surprised that something you expected would make you very happy, didn’t – or vice versa?
What I’ve learned – really learned, not just give lip service to: Emphasize efforts and deemphasize results. Good grades and awards and all things we drive ourselves crazy about are important, but if that’s all we care about, it’s empty. Taking risks means we’re going to make mistakes – and that’s okay.

* A few weeks ago, I was on a panel with the fabulous Liz Lange. She told me about the new site she’s doing with her sister, Shopafrolic — “We search. We select. You shop!” As a confirmed under-buyer, I’m not a shopper myself, but even I got a huge kick out of the site, because of the relationship between her and her sister. Beware: if you love clothes, you may spend waaaaaay too much time there.

* Want to get my free monthly newsletter? It highlights the best of the month’s material from the blog and the Facebook Page. Sign up here or email me at gretchenrubin1 at gmail dot com (don’t forget the “1). Just write “newsletter” in the subject line.

“We Do Not Learn So Much By Our Successes As We Learn By Failures–Our Own and Others’.”

“We do not learn so much by our successes as we learn by failures—our own and others’. Especially if we see the failures properly corrected.”
— Frank Lloyd Wright

* Want to launch a group for people doing happiness projects together? Email me at gretchenrubin1 at gmail dot com. Just write “starter kit” in the subject line.