More Happier: Great Accountability for Obligers, the Important vs. the Urgent, and How to Spark Creativity

Something Making Us (More) Happier

  • Elizabeth: It makes her happy to watch her son Jack during cross-country meets.
  • Gretchen: I went to the wedding of an old friend, and saw many childhood friends from Kansas City. I also mention the LinkedIn Live I’m doing with another longtime friend, Kim Scott of Radical Candor, on October 17, 2023. We’ll talk about managing workplace issues using the Four Tendencies and the Radical Candor framework. For info, search @gretchenrubin on LinkedIn or click here.

Also, Elizabeth challenges both of us to try Pumpkin Spice Latte—for the first time. Want to know your most neglected sense? Take the “What’s Your Most Neglected Sense?” quiz here.

I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You

I asked Elizabeth about how her novel-writing is going, now that the WGA strike is over.

Spotlight on a Tool

I’m so excited to unveil…the Muse Machine!

The Muse Machine is a card deck that includes 150 cards of “indirect directions”— enigmatic prompts to consult whenever you feel creatively stuck. The directions are short, suggestive, and open-ended, so that they spark unexpected insights.

For my book Life in Five Senses, I made my own messy DIY version, so it’s thrilling to have a beautifully designed product to hold in my hands.

Note: The Muse Machine is currently available for pre-order. Purchases made during the pre-order period can get 10% off using the code MUSE10 at checkout.

Happier in Action

A listener describes how her boss framed a task with accountability in a way that helped her, as an Obliger, to follow through.

Don’t know about Obligers, Questioners, Rebels, and Upholders? Take the free, short quiz here.


From the moment I held the box of colors in my hands, I knew this was my life. I threw myself into it like a beast that plunges towards the thing it loves. —Henry Matisse with Pierre Courthion, Chatting with Matisse: The Lost 1941 Interview




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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.