More Happier: Family Tradition, Using a Shared Enthusiasm to Make Friends, and the Fun of Helping

Something Making Us (More) Happier

  • Elizabeth: Elizabeth has started a fun and easy family Halloween tradition.
  • Gretchen: I really enjoy hearing great gift ideas from listeners. For instance, I mention the gift idea of the Shashibo Shape Shifting Box. Keep sending them in!

I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You

I tell Elizabeth how much pleasure I get from supplying quotations for her TV pitches.

For instance, for the Fantasy Island pitch, I suggested this quotation: “Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves.” Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate (Amazon, Bookshop).

As Elizabeth points out, just about anything is made better by a quotation.

Spotlight on a Tool

Self-knowledge is a key to happiness. When we know ourselves, we can build the lives we want on a foundation of our own nature, values, and experience.

If you’d like to boost your self-knowledge through a journal, consider these:

  • Know Yourself Better Journal
  • Know Yourself Better: Embracing Change (new)
  • Know Yourself Better: Building Connections (new) 

Lessons from Real Housewives:

Elizabeth points out that she was able to deepen a friendship through a shared love of the Real Housewives—and, by extension, we can use our enthusiasm for anything to connect with other people.


“Everything salt touches becomes better as if by magic, and often in irresistible ways, like the ocean—how fresh and bracing the salty ocean is compared to the sweet freshwater of inland!” Summer, Karl Ove Knausgaard (Amazon, Bookshop).

“Sugar cares only about itself, salt brings out the best in others.” Summer, Karl Ove Knausgaard (Amazon, Bookshop).




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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.