Tag Archives: quotes

Agree, Disagree? “Nature Loves to Hide.”

“Nature loves to hide.”

–Heraclitus, Fragments

I’m not exactly sure what this line means, but I love it. It’s an elegant, thought-provoking, enigmatic observation.

When I think about it in terms of “human nature,” I do agree.  I think it’s hard to see ourselves clearly; many of the most important aspects of our nature is obscured from us.

What do you think it means? Do you agree?

Announcing My New Happiness Project Coloring Book! Do You Love to Color?

As I may have mentioned once or twice, I’ve become obsessed with the subject of color — and I’m also a big fan of coloring.

So I was thrilled to get the chance to design my own coloring book, which goes on sale today: The Happiness Project Mini Posters: A Coloring Book of 20 Hand-Lettered Quotes to Pull Out and Frame.

Click here to get a peek inside the pages and learn about a special giveaway from my publisher. (Winner will be chosen April 4.)

I had so much fun working with the artist on the design for the pages, and choosing the quotations to include.

I’m not the only grown-up who still enjoys coloring — more and more adults are returning to the coloring books they loved as children. Great idea! Coloring boosts happiness for many reasons.

Coloring is calming, even meditative. The activity of coloring helps to focus the mind and rest the body in a constructive, creative way. In my coloring book, I hope that the quotations, too, will inspire quiet reflection.

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 or walking, 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.

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.

On a less lofty note, coloring helps to curb snacking! Coloring keeps hands busy, which diminishes the urge to snack; plus, after carefully working on a beautiful design, who wants to risk getting a grease stain or smudge on the page?

Finally, one of my own favorite things about coloring is that It gives me a reason to buy and use beautiful supplies—gorgeous colored markers and pens, as well as lovely books of designs and paper. Well-made tools make work a joy. And I love to feast my eyes on beautiful, brilliant colors.

Do you love to color? If so, I hope the The Happiness Project Mini Posters makes you happier.

A Little Happier: A Reminder from a Favorite Moment in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

I’m a huge fan of children’s and young-adult literature. I’m in three book groups where we discuss children’s and YA literature. I read those books all the time — and I also re-read my favorites, over and over.

One of my very favorite scenes in children’s literature — and maybe all literature — is in C. S. Lewis’s masterpiece, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

It’s an enormously satisfying scene, and it’s also a very good reminder: If all else fails, we can try minding our own business.

Here’s the conversation, if you want to read it:

The Professor says, “There are only three possibilities. Either your sister is telling lies, or she is mad, or she is telling the truth. You know she doesn’t tell lies and it is obvious that she is not mad. For the moment then and unless any further evidence turns up, we must assume that she is telling the truth.”

The children continue to explain why they don’t accept Lucy’s story.

“But there was no time,” said Susan. “Lucy had no time to have gone anywhere, even if there was such a place. She came running after us the very moment we were out of the room. It was less than minute, and she pretended to have been away for hours.”

“That is the very thing that makes her story so likely to be true,” said the Professor. “If there really is a door in this house that leads to some other world (and I should warn you that this is a very strange house, and even I know very little about it) – if, I say, she had got into another world, I should not be at all surprised to find that the other world had a separate time of its own; so that however long you stayed there it would never take up any of our time. On the other hand, I don’t think many girls of her age would invent that idea for themselves. If she had been pretending, she would have hidden for a reasonable time before coming out and telling her story.”

“But do you really mean, sir,” said Peter, “that there could be other worlds — all over the place, just round the corner — like that?”

“Nothing is more probable,” said the Professor, taking off his spectacles and beginning to polish them, while he muttered to himself, “I wonder what they do teach them at these schools.”

“But what are we to do?” said Susan. She felt that the conversation was beginning to get off the point.

“My dear young lady,” said the Professor, suddenly looking up with a very sharp expression at both of them, “there is one plan which no one has yet suggested and which is well worth trying.”

“What’s that?” said Susan.

“We might all try minding our own business,” said he. And that was the end of that conversation.

After this things were a good deal better for Lucy.

Whenever I’m not sure how to address a tricky situation involving other people, I always remind myself, “I might try minding my own business.” It surprises me how often that advice works.

Do you love the Narnia books as much as I do?

Which is your favorite? For me, it’s a toss-up between The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Silver Chair, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Magician’s Nephew.

If you’re a fan of children’s/YA literature, you can check out my list of my 81 favorite books here. So many wonderful books.

Listen to this mini-podcast episode by clicking PLAY below.

Check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 20% off window treatments and free in-home or on-phone design consultations and free professional measuring.

Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:

 

Happier listening!

A Little Happier: A Happiness Lesson from a Founding Father.

When I was still working as a lawyer, before I switched to writing, I worked at the Federal Communications Commission. My former boss, Chairman Reed Hundt, had a line he often quoted, and it made a big impression on me.

It’s from the Founding Father Benjamin Franklin:

“Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.”

Note: “Dear” is an old-fashioned term for “costly.”

Meaning: Experience is a costly way to learn, but sometimes it’s the only thing that can teach us. And I find that immensely comforting. Sometimes, the only way to learn is to learn the hard way!

As I mention, the reason that I know Kim Scott, one of the co-hosts of the terrific podcast Radical Candor, is that we worked at the FCC together.

Listen to this mini-podcast episode by clicking PLAY below.

Check out Smith and Noble, the solution for beautiful window treatments. Go to smithandnoble.com/happier for 20% off window treatments and free in-home or on-phone design consultations and free professional measuring.

Want to get in touch? I love hearing from listeners:

 

Happier listening!

Agree? “It Is Hard, So Terribly Hard, to Please Yourself…It Is Almost the Hardest Thing in the World.”

“It is hard, so terribly hard, to please yourself. Far from being the easy thing that it sounds like, it is almost the hardest thing in the world, because we are not always comfortable with that true self that lies deep within us.”
–Christopher Alexander, The Nature of Order Book Four: The Luminous Ground

I agree. It is so, so hard to please yourself.

The more I write about happiness and human nature, the more clearly I see this.

But it sure does sound easy.

What do you think? Do you find it hard, or easy, to please yourself?