Give Myself Limits to Give Myself Freedom

Gretchen Aphorism

From Further Secrets of Adulthood.

This is one of my Secrets of Adulthood, absolutely, and I used to think it was true for everyone, but now I know that not everyone has the same view about limits and discipline that I do.

I’m an Upholder. And an Abstainer. And an Under-buyer.

For all these reasons, and others, too, it seems right to me that discipline brings freedom. But now I understand that other people may have different perspectives. For instance, Rebels! I should have made the Secret of Adulthood, “Give myself limits to give myself freedom.”

For instance, as I describe in Better Than Before, in the chapter on the “Strategy of the Lightning Bolt,” my eating habits are very limited. For me, observing those limits is tremendously freeing and energizing — but that doesn’t mean that everyone feels the same way.

I remind myself, as always to Be Gretchen — and also to remember one of the entries on my Habits Manifesto: We’re not very different from other people, but those differences are very important.

How about you? For you, do limits give you freedom?

While traveling for my book tour for Better Than Before, I’ve had the chance to talk to so many interesting people and groups.

If you’re interested, you can…

watch my talk at Google, in conversation with Logan Ury

watch my interview on the BBC about how habits affect happiness

–check out the special page that iTunes created for me, which lists both my podcast and my books. I can’t resist quoting what they say about my work—zoikes!

“We’re major fans of Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project. Rubin’s fascination with human behavior—as well as her sincere belief that we can make our lives more fulfilling and joyous—shines through in her podcasts, blog, and books. Her new book, Better Than Before, looks at how we form and break habits and is packed with her trademark warmth, wit, and down-to-earth intelligence.”

–listen to the Washington Post podcast “On Leadership” or read it here

watch a clip on Big Think

I love getting a chance to talk about habits with readers, but boy it’s nice to be home for a few days. This year, for once, I remembered well in advance to get out the Easter decorations.

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