Podcast 256: Use Up What You Have, and a Conversation about Stillness with Ryan Holiday


Update: Registration for my video course and community, “The Happiness Project Experience” closes on January 20. (The first live “Ask Gretchen Anything” call is a few days later so we have to close registration now, so people can dive in and be ready to join the live call.) If you've ever tried a happiness project in the past but struggled to finish and stay focused for the year, this course is for you. Learn more here.

Send us your questions and insights for our conversation with writer Adrienne Brodeur. Her book Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me is the next choice for the Happier Podcast Book Club. Add them in the comments here, or share them on social media using #happierpodcastbookclub.

Try This at Home: Use up what you have.

We've talked about pursuing this aim in many ways. It's harder than it sounds!

Happiness Hack: Our listener Sara suggests that if you're trying to figure out the best route to take you through several stops, use an app—she recommends “My Route Online."

There’s an app for everything!

Interview: Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday is a bestselling writer and highly successful media strategist. He’s done a lot of different things—most recently, he’s published a trilogy of books that relate ancient wisdom to contemporary society: The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, and most recently, is Stillness is the Key. This new book was an instant #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.

In it, Ryan draws on timeless Stoic and Buddhist philosophy to show why slowing down is the secret weapon for those charging ahead.

He argues that stillness allows us to conquer our tempers, avoid distraction, and discover great insights.

If you'd like to read a written interview I did with Ryan, it's here.

Ryan's Try This at Home: Don't use your phone for the first hour you’re awake.

Elizabeth's Demerit: She hasn't been getting her son Jack to bed on time.

Gretchen's Gold Star: I give a gold star to our mother, who has adopted the habit of sending photos. We enjoy it so much.

Button: I quote from the writer (and Kansas Citian) Calvin Trillin: "The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found."


  1. Are you reading one of my books, like The Four Tendencies or The Happiness Project, with a group? Click here to download free PDF group discussion guides for my books.
  2. An easy way to make every day happier is to subscribe to my free “Moment of Happiness” newsletter. Every weekday, I share a quotation related to happiness or good habits. Join at gretchenrubin.com/newsletter.

Quote From the Podcast

The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
Calvin Trillin

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