Try This at Home
Give yourself a derby name.
This suggestion is a twist on episode 355‘s suggestion to “Talk to yourself by name,” in which we talked about the research showing the benefit of “distanced self-talk.” A listener who plays roller derby explained that she did this by calling herself by her derby name.
- Elizabeth’s derby name: Lightning Lizzy.
- My derby name: The Arrow.
We mention the distanced self-talk in John Lennon’s 1970 song “Hold On,” where he opens by encouraging himself, and addressing himself, as “John.”
When signing up for a birthday bonus from a store or service, spread your “birthdays” out across the year.
Interview: Mike Schur
I’m a giant fan of the TV shows that Mike Schur has worked on and created. He was the creator of The Good Place and the co-creator of Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and he was also a writer and producer for The Office, where he played Dwight’s Cousin Mose.
He has a new book, How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question (Amazon, Bookshop). It’s a hilarious, thought-provoking guide to how to think about ethical challenges—both big and small–drawing on 2,500 years of deep thinking from around the world.
- why he’s drawn to presenting profound philosophical debates in lighter, more accessible forms (like The Good Place and How to Be Perfect). I quote from G. K. Chesterton: “It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.”
- how these moral questions are fodder for TV characters
- how and why Hollywood is notorious for bad behavior
Mike Schur’s Tendency: UPHOLDER/Questioner.
We talk about the Four Tendencies quiz. If you want to find out whether you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, it’s here.
Mike Schur’s Try This at Home:
- Don’t allow your smartphone to enter your bedroom
- Write notes by hand on paper
Demerits & Gold Stars
Elizabeth’s Demerit: She hasn’t even opened the Don’t Break the Chain Habit Tracker I gave her, even though she really wants to use it – especially for #Rest22in22.
Gretchen’s Gold Star: I give a gold star to the light-hearted, sweet 2021 movie Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.
- Listeners respect the views of other listeners, so when you rate and review—assuming you have good things to say!—you help new people find our show. We so appreciate it! It’s not hard, once you know what to do. Here are step-by-step instructions.
- Do you love beautiful quotations as much as I do? Sign up for my free “Moment of Happiness” newsletter, and five days a week, I’ll share a quotation related to happiness or good habits. The design also makes it easy to screenshot and share. Visit gretchenrubin.com/newsletter and select “Daily Happiness Quotation.”
What We’re Reading
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We talk about why it’s helpful to talk to yourself in the third person, a listener suggests the hack of making a “To Don’t” list, and we do a deep dive into listeners’ suggestions for resisting over-buying.
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Want to be happier in 2022? Order Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project to see how she approached the question, “How can I be happier?” and start a Happiness Project of your own.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin is part of ‘The Onward Project,’ a family of podcasts brought together by Gretchen Rubin—all about how to make your life better. Check out the other Onward Project podcasts—Do The Thing, Side Hustle School, Happier in Hollywood and Everything Happens with Kate Bowler. If you liked this episode, please subscribe, leave a review, and tell your friends!
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