388: Reclaim a Dormant Activity, Share a Podcast Episode, and What Kind of Collector Are You?


In episode 385, a listener asked for ways to deal with a husband who constantly interrupts her. We received two more suggestions for how to respond when someone interrupts:

  • say, “Hold that thought, I was right in the middle of saying something.”
  • pause, let that person say what they want, then resume what you’re saying without responding

Also, in the discussion of a listener’s use of a bullseye metaphor, in response to episode 386, we mention Happier in Hollywood episode 271, about using a bullseye metaphor to evaluate a creative idea.

Try This at Home

Revive a dormant activity. Return to an activity you once pursued, but for some reason, you’ve dropped. You might:

  • Brush up on a language you once spoke
  • Practice a musical instrument or singing or reading music
  • Pick up paints, clay, markers, a writing project
  • Play a video game you used to love
  • Go fishing, skiing, bike-riding, etc.
  • Play a sport

Elizabeth plans to revive her regular mahjong game. We talk about how the atmosphere of growth is an aspect of a happy life. I mention using the tools in the Happier app to help you revive a dormant activity.

Happiness Hack

Share a specific podcast episode with a friend or family member. It’s always great to let people know you’re thinking of them.

Know Yourself Better

What kind of collector are you?

Collectors are basically of two kinds; those who aim at completing a series, and those who long to possess things that have bewitched them. The former, of whom stamp and coin collectors are the obvious examples, enjoy the pleasures of a limited aim, and its comforting certainties. The latter may suffer ups and downs, changes of heart and deceptions, but they have several great advantages. They never know when some new love will inflame them; they learn a great deal more about themselves from their possessions; and in the end they are surrounded by old friends, with long love stories which they must try hard not to tell their friends. 
— Kenneth Clark, Another Part of the Wood (Amazon)

Elizabeth mentions the terrific TV show Hacks.

Listener Question

A listener asks for creative ways to celebrate her 50th birthday by reflecting back and looking forward. We mention:

We talk about “How to Practice,” Ann Patchett’s essay about possessions from the New Yorker.  

Demerits & Gold Stars

  • Elizabeth’s Demerit: She was reading a book that she didn’t love, but she finished it anyway.
  • Gretchen’s Gold Star: I gave a gold star to myself, for testing my long-held assumption that I get carsick if I read in the car. I finally gave it another try, and I realized I can read in the car.
  • Bonus! A listener gives a well-deserved gold star to our executive producer Chuck Reed, for our excellent sound quality.


  • The Happier app is on TwitterFollow @thehappierapp for Know Yourself Better questions, ideas for aims, and more. And if you’re using the app, be sure to tag us in your Tweets — we’d love to hear what you’re working on and how you’re using the app.
  • For 30% off select items from the Happiness Project collection, use code HAPPIERSUMMER30 at checkout. You’ll get 30% off on purchases of t-shirts, travels mugs, water bottles, and pouches.

What we’re reading

  • Elizabeth: Listening to These Precious Days by Ann Patchett (AmazonBookshop)
  • GretchenThe Last Days of Roger Federer: and Other Endings by Geoff Dyer (AmazonBookshop)




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