468: Why It’s Important to Be Polite, What Form of Gold Star You Appreciate Most, and Aims vs. Goals

Try This at Home

Be polite. In a world full of suffering, injustice, violence, despair, and need, this suggestion may sound trivial, but it’s actually an important way to show respect, courtesy, and consideration for others.

It’s one of my Secrets of Adulthood: If we can’t be loving, we can be kind; if we can’t be kind, we can be courteous; if we can’t be courteous, we can be quiet.

Happiness Hack

Have you figured out a way to deal with the super-bright “on” lights that so many devices have? Send in your hacks!

Know Yourself Better

When you do something right, what type of gold star do you appreciate most?

I mention the Happier app and the Don’t Break the Chain Habit Tracker.

Listener Question

A listener asks, “Gretchen, is there a reason you use the term “aims” instead of “goals?” Yes, there is!

I mention Better Than Before, my book about habit-formation, as well as the Strategy of First Steps. If you’d like to read more, here’s an article I wrote about the risks of reaching a goal.

Demerits & Gold Stars

Elizabeth’s Demerit: She and her family haven’t been doing their posture exercises. 

Gretchen’s Gold Star: I give a gold star to trash collectors, who do so much for the health and comfort of cities.


People often ask me, “Where should I start? What’s the best new habit to help me become happier?” Now I have a quiz to give people the answer! Take the “Habits for Happiness” quiz and let me know if your result rings true for you.

What We’re Reading

  • Elizabeth: Everything/Nothing/Someone: A Memoir by Alice Carrière  (Amazon, Bookshop
  • Gretchen: Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian (Amazon, Bookshop

Transcript coming soon. 

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