UpdateI went to Kansas City! I was so happy to see our parents for the first time in such a long time.
Try This at Home
Pick the right word.
We discuss research about the power of precise emotional language, in what’s called “labeling.”
I mention my friend Susan David’s book: Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life (Amazon, Bookshop).This idea is related to the importance of taking the time to “identify the problem.”
Have a weekend book and a weekday book, for different levels of reading complexity. A great hack for everyone doing #Read21in21.
Leslie Jordan is a writer, singer, and Emmy Award-winning actor, known for his roles in shows like Will & Grace, American Horror Story, and most recently, Call Me Kat. During the height of pandemic lockdowns, millions of people tuned in to Leslie Jordan’s Instagram feed where he talks about the pandemic, life, his Southern roots, and his show business career.
Elizabeth gave him a gold star in episode 301 for his Instagram feed—she especially loves when he sings a hymn every Sunday.
He has certainly made good use of the pandemic period. In addition to his Instagram feed, he released the album “Company’s Comin’” of his version of classic gospel hymns sung with an all-star guest list. And he has a new book, How Y’All doing? Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived (Amazon, Bookshop).
We talked about
- what it was like to be bored, stuck being safer-at-home in Tennessee during the pandemic, and suddenly become an Internet sensation
- how his years of sobriety led to his realization that “Happiness is something you have to work hard at. It does not just happen.”
- whether it’s a challenge to radiate such happiness, humor, and energy
- how he found his way back to hymn-singing after many years away
Some insights from Leslie
- “I just wanted a place where people could come and laugh.”
- “Sobriety is a big part of my life. I have 22 years.”
- “I love the fact that in recovery, they make you write.”
- “All my fears were just imagined.”
- “You realize how you go through the day fear-riddled.”
- “I just have a huge capacity for happiness. I don’t have many off days.”
- “Eat right, exercise, and be kind to others.”
- “We all need a spiritual path of some sort.”
- “It is in the seeking that I have found my faith.”
- “Hymns were the music of my childhood.”
- “I have to make lists. I make lists of my lists.”
Leslie Jordan is an Obliger. (If you want to find out if you’re an Obliger, Upholder, Questioner, or Rebel, take the free quick quiz here.)
Leslie’s Try This at Home
Make lists. A classic!
She hasn’t been posting pictures of Puerto Rico. (If you want to see pictures, you can look at Sarah Fain’s Instagram feed, @sfain.)
Gretchen’s Gold Star
I give a gold star to our mother and father for nothing in particular, just being such great parents. I was so happy to get to travel to Kansas City, after such a long time, to see them both.
- Created by popular demand! You can download and print my free PDF of Happiness Hacks from the Happier podcast. Click here to download it for free.
What we’re reading
Elizabeth: Leslie Jordan’s How Y’all Doing?: Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived by Leslie Jordan (Amazon, Bookshop)
Gretchen: John Lanchester’s The Debt to Pleasure (Amazon, Bookshop).