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Podcast 268: Limit Yourself to One Option, a Self-Care Solution, and Chris Guillebeau Talks about “The Money Tree” and Creating the Work Life We Want


NOTE: In calmer times, Elizabeth and I had both planned to travel with our families for spring break, so we recorded a few episodes in advance—so this episode was recorded before the COVID-19 situation took hold. Given the rapidly changing situation, it’s jarring to hear us ignore the issue—and that’s why. We decided to go ahead and release the episode, because so many people have said that they find it helpful to have a respite from current events. We hope you enjoy this break.

If you'd like to listen to our bonus episode, "Coping with COVID-19: How to Stay Happier and Calmer in Difficult Times," click here. For all resources related to coping with this situation, click here.

Update: Happy National Sibling Day—it's coming up on April 10.

Try This at Home: Limit yourself to one option. Visit one store, buy from one brand, make one stop to do an errand, as a way to limit decision fatigue and save time, money, and energy.

We mention the distinction between satisficers and maximizers; you can read about it here.

We also mention my "Four Tendencies" personality framework—such as Questioners and analysis-paralysis. You can learn more here, and take the quiz to learn if you're an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel here.

In Happier in Hollywood, in episode 127, Elizabeth talks about choosing a signature designer: Veronica Beard.

Of course, some people enjoy the process! In which case this limitation isn't necessary.

One of my Secrets of Adulthood is: Most decisions don’t require extensive research.

Happiness Hack: An Obliger listener explains how she uses a daily pill dispenser as a way to hold herself accountable for healthy daily habits such as yoga, meditation, and walking the dog.

She selected beads of different colors to represent the “pills” for each activity—purple for yoga, blue for meditation, etc. When she's finished an activity, she moves a bead from morning to evening slots. It's a brilliant, elegant, inexpensive solution.

Interview: Chris Guillebeau.

We are huge fans of the brilliant Chris Guillebeau! His fantastic daily podcast Side Hustle School is part of the Onward Project. He was a guest at one of our first live shows; we’ve had him on the podcast several times.

He’s the bestselling author of many books, such as Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days, The $100 Startup, Born for This, and The Art of Nonconformity, The Happiness of Pursuitall about how to create the work-life you want, while also giving yourself financial freedom and security.

Now he’s written The Money Tree: A Story about Finding the Fortune in Your Own Back Yard. He uses fiction to make his core insight: we’re never at the mercy of fortune as long as we have an appetite for hard work and a willingness to step outside our comfort zone.

Chris is a Rebel! For my Happiness Project Experience video course, I interview him for the Rebel perspective. 

Chris's Try This at Home: Challenge yourself to make $100 by re-selling items that you no longer need or use. Chris argues that making even a small amount of money is very satisfying. He suggests using platforms like eBay, Etsy, Nextdoor, Offerup, Craig's List, Gumtree.

Elizabeth's Demerit: Elizabeth bought a big stack of books, even though she already has so many books on her TBR pile.

Gretchen's Gold Star: I give my husband Jamie a gold star for learning French.


  • If you’re interested in using this time to learn more about yourself through my Four Tendencies video course, I’m offering an extreme discount price of only $25. (This is $74 off the normal price of $99). You have lifetime access to the course material and can go at your own pace or follow the 5-week structure. Click here to join for only $25—no code needed.
  • We don't talk about COVID-19 in this episode, but if you'd like to check out the resources I've created for coping during this crisis, click here.
  • Download my free Outer Order, Inner Calm Manifesto at You can print and display this PDF to help you focus as your clear clutter and add beauty to your home or office.
  • Want a t-shirt with your Tendency on it? Visit to order a t-shirt or sweatshirt with Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or Rebel on it.

Quote From the Podcast

I encourage people to think practically: what can you do that’s in front of you right now?
Chris Guillebeau

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