Podcast 107: Plan a Secret Date, a Conversation with “Quiet” Author Susan Cain, and Discover New Podcasts.

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

Update: Elizabeth got great advice from listeners about how to organize her jewelry.

Try This at Home: Our listener Kelly suggested “planning a secret date.”

We mention the discussion we had way back in episode 3, about the “evil donut-bringer.”

Happiness Hack: Listen to podcasts at 1.5x speed to get more listening done — or if it’s going too fast, you can slow it down. Not sure how to change your settings? Instructions here.

Interview: The brilliant Susan Cain is the author of Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and the founder of the “Quiet Revolution.” She also did a podcast series that focused on giving parents and teachers tools to help quiet kids.

If you want to watch Susan’s super-popular TED talk, it’s here. More than sixteen million people have watched it.

For her Try-This-at-Home, Susan’s suggestion ties back to the Strategies of Convenience and Pairing: she helped herself form the habit of writing by associating it with her love of sitting in cafes.

Demerit: When I got a new laptop, instead of taking the time to work with it for a few minutes while I had an expert there to help me, I didn’t do it. And now everything on my screen is too small, and I don’t know how to fix it.

Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to nature, because of all the rain recently in L.A.

Bonus Gold Star for listeners, I’d be curious to hear: What are you doing when you listen to our podcast?


As I mentioned, I have a coloring book coming out soon (!); you can check out The Happiness Project Mini Posters: 20 Hand-Lettered Quotes to Pull Out and Frame.

If you want easy instructions about how to rate or review the podcast, look here. Remember, it really helps us if you do rate or review the podcast — it helps other listeners discover us.

I do weekly live videos on my Facebook Page to continue the conversation from the podcast — usually on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm ET. To join the conversation, check the schedule.

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

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Happier with Gretchen Rubin - Podcast #107

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Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen to the award-winning Happier 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!

Want a new podcast to listen to, with the same vibe as Happier? The Onward Project is the family of podcasts that I’ve launched, for podcasts that are about “your life–made better.” The first shows are Side Hustle School and Radical Candor. Elizabeth’s show with her writing partner, Sarah Fain, will be Happier in Hollywood, so stay tuned for that.

HAPPIER listening!

“How Does One Bring One’s Mind and Body Back Together? The Best Means Is ___”

In The Awakened Eye, Ross Parmenter writes, “How does one bring one’s mind and body back together? The best means is a vacation.”

Hmmmm…I think there are many ways a person could answer the question, “How does one bring one’s mind and body back together?”

I think some people would say “Meditation.” As I write about in Better Than Before, meditation wasn’t helpful for me, but many people do find it useful.

For me, I’ve found, I can bring my body and mind together by mindfully enjoying the experience of my body. Which is delightful.

For instance, I take a moment to enjoy my sense of smell. We can enjoy beautiful scents without any time, energy, or money; a scent ties us to the present moment, because we can’t bookmark it, or save it for later, or even continue to experience it for very long. In my book Happier at Home, I write about the power of the sense of smell, and all I did to try to get more good smells into my life (and also get rid of bad smells, very helpful!)

I also deliberately notice the colors around me. I’ve become obsessed with color. So many beautiful colors, so many fascinating aspects of seeing color.

Do you agree that a vacation is a good way to bring your mind and body back together?

How would you fill in the blank?

A Little Happier: Never Have a Crush on Just One Person.

A friend in college told me something that I’ve never forgotten, “Never have a crush on just one person. With one crush, it matters too much what’s happening with your crush. With two crushes, if one crush isn’t going well, you think about the other crush.”

I’ve found this to be excellent advice, in all sorts of non-crush situations. Like work. If one project isn’t going well, I can turn to a different project.

How about you? Have you found that it’s good not to get too focused on just one person or project?

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.

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Happier listening!

Do You Feel that You’re Growing in Mastery as You Grow Older?

“From the age of six, I had a passion for copying the form of things and since the age of fifty I have published many drawings, yet of all I drew by my seventieth year there is nothing worth taking in to account. At seventy-three years I partly understood the structure of animals, birds, insects and fishes, and the life of grasses and plants. And so, at eighty-six I shall progress further; at ninety I shall even further penetrate their secret meaning, and by one hundred I shall perhaps truly have reached the level of the marvelous and divine. When I am one hundred and ten, each dot, each line will possess a life of its own.”

–Katsushika Hokusai

I love this description of continuous growth and increasing mastery. Do you feel that in some aspect of your life, you’re doing a better job with time?

For happiness, an “atmosphere of growth” is crucial — of the Eight Splendid Truths, that’s part of #1.

Fun! My Book “The Happiness Project” Makes a Cameo in the HBO TV Show “Big Little Lies.”

Several thoughtful readers emailed me to let me know that they spotted my book The Happiness Project in the first episode of HBO’s new dark comedy-drama TV miniseries, Big Little Lies.

So of course, my whole family watched the show this weekend (we had to fast-forward through some parts, because of my twelve-year-old), and we were so engrossed in the story that we utterly failed to notice the book!

Fortunately, readers had told me to look for it in the final scene, so we were easily able to rewind.

I think the book is meant to give an ironic touch, given that it appears on the bedside table at the moment when the mysterious character Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley) is pulling a pistol out of the drawer.

I get such a kick out of this cameo! “The Happiness Project” was an answer on the game show Jeopardy!, and that was really fun, too.

Now I’m off to email my sister, who’s a TV writer herself.