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Podcast 138: Always Leave Some Extra Room in the Suitcase, the Stress of Giving a Toast, and the Joy of Seeing a Color for the First Time.


Update: I’m excited because my new book The Four Tendencies is a bestseller. Yay! This is the fourth time that I've had a book that hit the bestseller list, and wow, that's something that will never get old.

On my book tour, I've been thrilled to hear from people who are fans of "Happier in Hollywood," the podcast that Elizabeth co-hosts with her longtime friend and writing partner Sarah Fain, and also from fans of "Eliza Starting at 16," my daughter Eliza's podcast (she's now 18 years old, but she started it when she was 16).

Try This at Home: Always leave some extra room in the suitcase. Literally and figuratively.

In my book Happier at Home, I write about how much I love my empty shelf. If you want to see that empty shelf, watch here at minute 6:45.

Happiness Hack: Stephanie suggests using The New York Times product-review website The Wirecutter when deciding what to buy. Stephanie is a Questioner, and she relies on The Wirecutter when she feels herself falling into analysis-paralysis.

If you want to take the Quiz to tell you whether you’re a Questioner like Stephanie, or an Upholder like me, an Obliger like Elizabeth, or a Rebel like Chris Guillebeau of "Side Hustle School," it's here. Or to learn even more, buy The Four Tendencies book.

Happiness Stumbling Block: For many people, having to make a toast -- like a wedding toast -- is a big happiness stumbling block.

Some toast-making tips: prepare in advance; don't drink too much; remember that the toast is meant to celebrate someone else; for a wedding toast, talk about both members of a couple; and just do give a toast, even if it's short and simple.

Listener Question: Maya asks, "If I don't want to be my office's evil donut-bringer, what else might I bring to share with my co-workers?"

Some ideas: a fun, unusual drink like Fresca or LaCroix; boxes of coffee-to-go from Starbucks; a puzzle; a set of word magnets; festive holiday decorations.

Here's a picture of me in the Panoply offices, with the noodle kugel.

Elizabeth's Demerit: Elizabeth isn't using her home treadmill, because the TV in that room is broken.

We talk about the Strategy of Pairing, which I discuss in Better Than Before, my book about habit change.

Gretchen's Gold Star: I'm obsessed with the subject of color, and I love watching the videos that show people putting on Enchroma glasses that allow them to see true color for the first time; these glasses correct for red-green color-blindness. Imagine seeing a new color as an adult! To see a mash-up of these videos, watch this fascinating CNBC clip.

Want to take the Panoply survey about podcasts? Click here.

Free Resources:

  1. Want to learn how to harness the strengths of your Tendency to change your habits? Download the PDF here to get the one-pager on changing habits for Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, or Rebels.
  2. If you'd like to get my free newslettersign up here. It comes out every few weeks, and I include links, updates, bonuses, and anything I found interesting.

Remember, I do a weekly live show on Facebook called: “Ask Gretchen Rubin Live.”  To join the conversation, check the schedule.


Quote From the Podcast

Always leave some room in the suitcase – it’s helpful both literally and metaphorically.
Gretchen Rubin

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