Tag Archives: learning

Podcast 75: Develop a Minor Expertise, a Deep Dive into Signature Color, and How Do You Help a Rebel Sweetheart to Get a New Job?

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

Update: We won an award! At the recent Podcast Movement conference, Happier with Gretchen Rubin won the Academy of Podcasters “Best Health and Fitness Podcast 2016.” Exciting!

Try This at Home: Develop a minor expertise. Right now, I’m obsessed with color. The most fascinating, delightful subject ever.

Happiness Hack: I love the app TimeHop. It shows me what I was doing one year ago today, four years ago today, etc. Fun memories. If you like this one-year-ago-today way of remembering, you might enjoy The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal: a Five-Year Record. I have to say, I’ve been surprised by how popular this journal has proved to be.

Deep Dive: So many fascinating comments and observations about having a signature color, coming off our discussion in episode 71. Listener enthusiasm got me color-obsessed!

Listener Question:Two listeners ask the same question: How do you help a Rebel sweetheart pursue a career change? If you want to take the Four Tendencies quiz, to find out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, it’s here.

Elizabeth’s Demerit and Gold Star: In a single afternoon, Elizabeth got  a demerit for losing her temper with Adam, then she got a gold star for being spontaneous and going to get a drink at a hotel bar with him.

Remember,  I’m doing weekly live videos on my Facebook Page about the podcast. To join the conversation, tune in Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

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Happier with Gretchen Rubin - Podcast #75

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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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For Podcast Listeners, Something New! First Mini-Episode to Make You “A Little Happier.”

My sister Elizabeth and I are having so much fun doing our weekly podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

And I’ve found that there are some powerful ideas about happiness, good habits, and human nature that don’t quite fit the structure of the show.

So, for listeners who’d like to start their weeks with a little boost of happiness, I’ve started doing “A Little Happier.”

Each Monday, I’ll release a little bonus episode — maybe 2-3 minutes long — to help launch the week.

I’ve always been intrigued about how much we love stories, and in the end, how we learn best from stories, so these “A Little Happiers” will feature a story from my life, or something I’ve read or observed, that make a point about happiness. They’ll often feature one of my “Secrets of Adulthood” — the things I’ve learned, with time and experience, about how to be happier.

I love all teaching stories, koans, parables, aphorisms, maxims, epigrams, proverbs, and the like. A Little Happier is another way to explore the power of story and aphorism.

I hope these mini-episodes will help you start your week…a little happier. Let me know what you think!

5 Reasons Why Going to a Podcasting Conference Made Me Happier.

This weekend, my sister Elizabeth and I went to the Podcast Movement conference in Fort Worth, Texas. Now that we’re doing our weekly podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin,  how better to embrace our podcaster identity than to go to a conference?

We had a great time, and it made me happier, for several reasons.

1.  Ancient philosophers and contemporary scientists agree: relationships make people happy, so anything that widens our relationships tends to boost happiness. Elizabeth and I met a bunch of fun new people this weekend.

2. Likewise, anything that deepens relationships tends to boost our happiness. Having a fun sisterly weekend adventure brought me closer to Elizabeth, and we also got to spend time with the terrific Panoply team.

3. As the First Splendid Truth of Happiness explains, a key element of a happy life is a sense of growth — of learning, of fixing something, of helping someone, of creating something, of improving something. I learned a tremendous amount during the weekend, so I got the sense of growth.

4. Novelty and challenge boost happiness. This is hard for me to remember — I’m naturally attracted to familiarity and mastery, and I really have to talk myself into doing new things. But even for a creature of habit like me, novelty does boost happiness. I was really energized by the new experience.

5. We’re happier when we have many sides to our identity. Maybe you get fired, and that’s a blow to your identity,  but you think, “Everyone in the PTA likes and respects me.” That’s comforting. Professionally, I’m a “writer”: when I became a “blogger,” I got a big happiness boost, and now becoming a “podcaster” is giving me another boost.

Bonus happiness boost: Elizabeth made t-shirts with our “Happier with Gretchen Rubin” logo. Corny but fun.

Working on my three books about happiness — The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, and Better Than Before — has really helped me to analyze a situation according to its likely happiness effect. In the past, I might’ve thought, “Nah, why go to the conference? All that bother and expense and inconvenience, for such a short trip.” Now I look at that kind of decision in a very different way.

How about you? When you’re deciding whether or not to do something, do you explicitly consider the effect it will have on your happiness?

Story: Enthusiasm Is the Best Teacher.

For the weekly videos, I now tell a story. I’ve realized that for me, and I think for many people, a story is what holds my attention and makes a point most powerfully.

This week’s story: Enthusiasm is the best teacher.


Do you agree or disagree? Do you find yourself intrigued–or not–by other people’s enthusiasm?

If you want to read more along these lines, check out…

Have fun that’s actually fun–for you.

Just because something is fun for someone else doesn’t mean that it’s fun for me.

What do you find fun? A question that’s surprisingly hard to answer.

You can check out the archives of videos here.  More than 1.3 MILLION views. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Secret of Adulthood: When the Student Is Ready, the Teacher Appears.

Further Secrets of Adulthood:


Have you ever had an experience when a teacher appeared, when you needed one? I find this to be almost uncannily true.