Podcast 144: Be Willing to Delegate, Why a Rebel Is Crying Less, and Is It Possible to Make Yourself Happier?

Try This at Home

Be willing to delegate. If, like me, you struggle to delegate, here are some questions I’ve found helpful, as I’ve been working to delegate:

  • Does this task need to be done at all?
  • Is this task something that only I can do?
  • Would delegating this task help me fulfill my mission better?

Happiness Hack

Our listener Courtney suggested setting up a shared family photo account so that family members can order their own prints. Courtney quoted Michael Scott, a character from one of my very favorite TV shows The Office, to describe this solution as a “win-win-win.” Speaking of The Office, over on “Happier in Hollywood,” Elizabeth and Sarah just did a terrific interview with Jenna Fisher (who played Pam) about her new book The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide. I just read it myself — it’s terrific.

Before and After Story

I had to write to you today because I am a Rebel raising a Rebel who is having a hard time in school. She is 7, in second grade. After a phone call from her teacher, I drove to the bookstore, bought a copy of The Four Tendencies, put post-it notes on the Rebel chapters, highlighted passages I really wanted her to read, wrote notes in the margins, and sent two other emails. I felt like you wrote a manual on my kid, and I was so grateful that I could just GIVE it to the teacher, you know? Thank you. As a fellow Rebel, I know intuitively how to handle her, but it’s so hard to explain to others! And you wrote a book I could highlight, wrap up, and put in her hands. Words cannot describe what this does for a mama. I hope that as a fellow mom you can understand what your work has meant to us. We had a parent-teacher conference today, and her teacher said she thought all teachers should read your book and later, said that it would make a great book club book for teachers. She is still butting heads with my kid, but my precious baby girl says her teacher is yelling at her “a lot less” and she is crying less in class since we gave her your book. I’m almost crying myself right now.

I’m almost crying myself! 

Listener Question

Is it possible to make yourself happier? What about the idea “I’ll be as happy as soon as I ____?” If you want to read my post about 10 Common Myths About Happiness, it’s here

Elizabeth’s Demerit

Elizabeth has a big backlog of unused smoothie ingredients from Green Blender, her Smoothie delivery service. (How L.A. is that demerit?) 

Gretchen’s Gold Star

Gold star to Elizabeth. When I was recently in L.A for a quick visit, she was very understanding of the fact that I didn’t want to have dinner together, because the time difference was hitting me so hard.

Free Resources

  1. If you’d like personalized, signed bookplates to make your gifts more specialrequest it here. U.S. and Canada only, sorry — mailing costs. If you want the bookplates for holiday gifts, please request them now! These take time to mail out, and time is short.
  2. If you’d like a copy of my “Resolution Chart,” that I used to design my own happiness project, you can get it here.




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Every Friday, Gretchen Rubin shares 5 things that are making her happier, asks readers and listeners questions, and includes exclusive updates and behind-the-scenes material.