More Happier: The Silver Lining of Summer Camp, a Happiness Bully for Writing, and Not Getting Choked Up

Something Making Us (More) Happier

  • Elizabeth: It was nice to have some time alone with her husband Adam while her son Jack was away at summer camp.
  • Gretchen: I’ve started hacking my way into my aphorisms project. Or possibly a project involving Secrets of Adulthood, paradoxes, proverbs, teaching stories…

I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You

When I was listening episode 321 of the Happier in Hollywood podcast, and heard Elizabeth and Sarah talking about how the “summer vacation” feeling was making it hard to work on their novel, my happiness-bully side kicked in.

I fired off a lot of suggestions about how, as Obligers, they could create more outer accountability. Elizabeth and I talked about whether any of my suggestions worked.

If you’d like to to take the free “Four Tendencies” personality quiz—to find out if you’re an Obliger (like Elizabeth), an Upholder (like me), a Questioner, or Rebel—it’s here. More than three million people have taken this quiz.

Spotlight on a Tool

Are you drifting? The questions included in this free worksheet may be a helpful resource. 

If you’re interested, I talk about drift in the commencement address I gave at my daughter’s high-school graduation. You can read the address here or listen to to me give the address here

I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You

When I was preparing to give that commencement address, I wanted to make sure I could keep my composure.

I wanted to tell Elizabeth all the tips I used to make sure I didn’t get choked up.

I mention that I channeled Joan Didion, based on her brilliant memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking (Amazon, Bookshop). 


In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high. —Henry David Thoreau, Walden (Amazon, Bookshop




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