Tag Archives: quotations

Ta-Da! Announcing…My Coloring Book of Great Quotes. Do You Love to Color?

I’m excited to announce that I’ve created — yes! — a coloring book. Check it out: The Happiness Project Mini Posters: A Coloring Book of 20 Hand-Lettered Quotes to Pull Out and Frame.

It was a particular delight to be creating a coloring book now, given my recent obsession with color, and accompanying obsession with beautiful markers and colored pencils.

Also, it’s a big trend across the United States. (Is coloring becoming a popular adult activity in other countries?) More and more adults are returning to the coloring books they loved as children.

Great idea! Coloring boosts happiness for many reasons.

1. Coloring is calming, even meditative.

The activity of coloring helps to focus the mind and rest the body in a constructive, creative way. In this book, you’re coloring various quotations, and II hope that the quotations, too, will inspire quiet reflection.

2. Coloring is very satisfying, because there’s a special pleasure in doing things with our hands.

Very often these days, we’re sitting behind screens and living in our heads. Like activities such as knitting or tying flies, coloring allows us to connect with the physical world, in the present moment. And there’s something about the repetitive, wordless nature of the work that boosts creativity and energy.

3. Coloring is a great activity to do with other people.

Research shows that a secret—probably the secret—to happiness is strong connections with other people. Coloring is fun to do with other people. It’s companionable, and allows for conversation, and at the same time, gives a sense of shared purpose.

With my sister Elizabeth Craft, I host a podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Many people have written to tell me that they like to color as they listen to the latest episode—the two activities are highly compatible.

How about you? Do you like to color? And if so: markers or pencils? Or both — I love both.

Podcast 85: Have Something to Look Forward To, Keep a “Bowl of Requirement,” and Request a Collection of Great Wedding Readings.

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

To take the survey that Laura Mayer mentions, go here.

Update: If you live near Seattle, please come to our live event! We’ll be recording an episode of the podcast live on stage at Seattle’s Town Hall on October 13, 7:30. Tickets are $25. More info and buy tickets here. Please come, bring your friends. We hope to sell t-shirts — cash only, if we do manage to pull it together.

Try This at Home: Have something to look forward to.

Happiness Hack: I love my travel “Bowl of Requirement,” the bowl where we keep everything important when we’re not at home.

Know Yourself Better: Have you ever been made angry or upset by a well-intentioned gift? The line I quote from Andy Warhol comes from The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again): “You can never predict what little things in the way somebody looks or talks or acts will set off peculiar emotional reactions in other people.”

Listener Question: Elizabeth asks, “How can I stick to my writing goal of writing a novel in November, with NaNoWriMo?” You can also read about this technique in Chris Baty’s No Plot? No Problem: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days. I write about my own experience of writing a novel in a month in The Happiness Project.  Want to take the quiz, to see which of the Four Tendencies describes you? It’s here.

 Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth hasn’t adjusted her sleep schedule for the school year.

If you want to watch that clip from the movie School of Rock, about demerits, it’s here at about 1:35.

Gretchen’s Gold Star: If you want to request the collection of people’s favorite wedding readings, click the button below.

Click here to get the Wedding Readings PDF now

If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here.

Remember,  I’m doing weekly live videos on my Facebook Page about the podcast. To join the conversation, check the schedule. 

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

Sign up for The Great Courses Plus today and you’ll get a month of unlimited access to thousands of fascinating lectures taught by top professors and experts in their fields. Special offer for our listeners: try it for free when you sign up at www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/happier.

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1pixHappier with Gretchen Rubin - Podcast #85

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Each Year, the Anniversary of September 11 Reminds Me of This Broadcast by Winston Churchill.

For me, and for everyone in New York City, and for the world, the day of September 11 stands out from the rest of the year.

And each year,  I remember how back in 2001, just a month after the terrible events had occurred, I was doing research for my biography of Winston Churchill,  Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill, and was reading some speeches Churchill gave during the early years of the war.

And I noticed that it was on September 11, 1940, that Churchill gave one of his most memorable broadcasts — about the “Blitz,” the brutal nightly bombing of London.

Churchill’s words seemed to have been written for our own circumstances.

These cruel, wanton, indiscriminate bombings of London are, of course, a part of Hitler’s invasion plans. He hopes, by killing large numbers of civilians, and women and children, that he will terrorise and cow the people of this mighty imperial city, and make them a burden and anxiety to the Government…Little does he know the spirit of the British nation, or the tough fibre of the Londoners…who have been bred to value freedom far above their lives. This wicked man, the repository and embodiment of many forms of soul-destroying hatreds, this monstrous product of former wrongs and shame, has now resolved to try to break our famous Island race by a process of indiscriminate slaughter and destruction. What he has done is to kindle a fire in British hearts, here and all over the world, which will glow long after all traces of the conflagration he has caused in London have been removed.

One of the most striking things about New York City in the period after the attack on the World Trade Center was that, despite the shock and devastation, there was a tremendous mood of morale, determination, and fellow feeling.

If you want to listen to Churchill give his broadcast, you can listen here. The section I quote above begins at 7:43.

For me, the anniversary of September 11 also reminds me to reflect on the values of the United States, and to challenge myself to live up to those values in my own life.

Inspiring Quotes and Readings for Weddings about Marriage and Love

In episode  76 of our podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin, Elizabeth and I talked about a question from listener Sarah — she asked for ideas for good wedding readings.

We asked listeners for their suggestions, and we received so many terrific ones. So many, in fact, that we couldn’t possibly have read them during the podcast.

So I decided to create a PDF of some of the outstanding choices.

If you’d like to get your copy of the suggestions for wedding readings, just click here to get the PDF now. 

I included the readings from my own wedding — they’re marked with an asterisk. If you want to hear me read “I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone,” the very short Richard Brautigan story that was read at my wedding, you can hear me read it here. How I love that story.

Elizabeth doesn’t remember what was read at her wedding! She was in a crazy period at work, and my mother did almost all the planning for the wedding, and Elizabeth and Adam picked their readings so close to the actual day, that now none of us remember.

It was so much fun to read people’s submissions. If you have a quotation you’d like to add, write it in the comments below. People really love to see what other people have used for wedding readings.

Click here to get the Wedding Readings PDF now

A Little Happier: Ray Bradbury Says, “Love What YOU Love!”

I have to say, I love this postcard from science-fiction legend Ray Bradbury so much, it makes me choke up every time I look at it. I’d love to have it as a giant poster hanging on my office wall.

Because so much of what I’ve learned about happiness, habits, human nature, everything, comes down to that same point: acknowledge who I am.

Be Gretchen.

Just because something’s fun for someone else doesn’t mean that it’s fun for me — and vice versa.

The strategy that works for someone else may be the opposite of what works for me. I’m an Abstainer; others are Moderators. I’m a morning person; others are night people. I’m an Upholder, but very few people are Upholders.

In The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, I write about how I used to ignore my love of children’s literature, and now it’s a huge element of my life.  I want to love what I love!

Have you ever loved something that other people thought was dumb, shallow, a waste of time?  Were you tempted to renounce or ignore it?

If you’re curious about Ray Bradbury’s books, I recommend The Martian Chronicles or 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales.

As I mention, if you want to get the  Moment of Happiness newsletter, where I email you a quote about happiness or human nature every morning, sign up here. I love gathering and sharing quotations.

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Happier listening!