Big Ideas

With a relentless curiosity for human nature, Gretchen Rubin has helped people live happier, healthier, more creative, and more productive lives. 

In her 2009 blockbuster bestseller The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin took happiness from the abstract to the concrete, by offering a practical framework focused on making small changes and trying personal experiments. 

Through that research, she saw the connection between happiness and habits. Because  habits account for forty percent of our daily behavior, she realized that we can change our lives by changing our habits. In her bestselling book Better Than Before, Gretchen describes the twenty-one strategies we can use to make or break our habits.

Gretchen also recognized that there wasn’t a one-size-fits-all approach or strategy that worked for everyone—rather, different things worked for different people, and these differences seemed to be very important for habit formation. In her next body of research, Gretchen created her “ Four Tendencies” personality framework, which clarifies how people respond to inner and outer expectations. When you know your Tendency, you’re better able  to choose the strategies and approaches likely to work for you. This research was the basis of her best-selling book and her proprietary quiz, which has been taken by more than four million people.

In her ongoing research, Gretchen had an important observation about happiness: For most of us, outer order contributes to inner calm. In the context of a happy life, a messy desk or crowded coat closet is a trivial problem—yet Gretchen has found that getting more control of our stuff makes us feel more in control of our lives. By getting rid of things we don’t use, don’t need, or don’t love, as well as things that don’t work, don’t fit, or don’t suit, we free our mind (and our shelves) for what we truly value. In her bestselling book, Outer Order Inner Calm, she writes about how and why to create outer order. 

Another important realization about happiness? Now more than ever, it’s easy to get stuck in our heads or behind a screen and forget to engage with the world around us. By tuning in to our five senses, we can cheer up, calm down, live in the moment, remember the past, experience more pleasure and energy, deepen connections, and even touch the transcendent.. In her bestselling book Life in Five Senses, Gretchen explores how we can harness the power of our five senses to make our lives happier.

Big Ideas