Sometimes I feel like I know myself really well. But every day, every year, I am learning new things about myself. Sometimes big things, sometimes little things. (I want to adopt a baby rather than being inseminated. I like exercising alone and not in groups.)
I’ve been listening to an audiobook version of one of Gretchen Rubin’s happiness books, and I really like her fifth splendid truth: “I can build a happy life only on the foundation of my own nature.” I am happiest when I am true to myself.
Thanks to my FABULOUS, generous older sister, a copy of Gretchen Rubin’s latest book, Better Than Before, was shipped to my house the week it was released. (Best sister ever!)
Tee and I read The Happiness Project (another of Gretchen’s books) several years ago; we’d take turns reading chapters out loud to each other. The focus of Gretchen’s first two books on happiness – The Happiness Project and Happier at Home – was how Gretchen made small but significant changes in her everyday life to increase her happiness. She pores through all the research on what makes people happy, and she pulls out helpful tips and makes resolutions about ways she can act and be that will increase her personal happiness.
Here are my thoughts about some of my favorites of Gretchen’s Secrets of Adulthood:
- What you do EVERY DAY matters more than what you do ONCE IN A WHILE. Yes! This morning is a perfect example; I woke up late and I had a lot less time for my morning writing. So I decided to make sure I wrote for five minutes, instead of the usual 30, to keep the habit in place.
- People don’t notice your mistakes and flaws as much as you think. Our ego tricks us into thinking that what we do, who we are, how we fail, is the most important thing in the universe. It’s not. We are part of a vast, infinite universe, and what we do is only hugely important to us. Yes, others care about us – but they don’t ruminate about our mistakes and flaws nearly as much as we do.
- If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough. I have a lot of fear about putting myself out into the universe and then being rejected or hurt. But out there in the arena – that’s where all the good stuff is, too.
I have loved reading Gretchen Rubin’s books focused on happiness and habits, and I love podcasts. So I was especially excited when I learned that Gretchen has a new podcast! Happier With Gretchen Rubin is now in my main podcast rotation.
A recent episode talked about “The Power of Envy” – which resonated with me. Gretchen talked about how much we can learn about when and why we feel envy. She felt envious when she read about law school classmates who had writing careers; I feel similarly envious when I hear about friends, classmates, strangers who have published a book. (Currently, I can’t figure out how to link to the podcast from this post; hopefully my blog skills will improve and I’ll be able to share things more directly.)
The podcasts I listen to definitely help to feed my #mind – one of the reasons I love Happier is that Gretchen talks about concepts from her books, small ways to make life happier that are thought-provoking. Tee and I often end up re-hashing the podcast after we’ve both listened, talking about ideas we want to embrace, things we’re already putting in place, or (sometimes) concepts that don’t really resonate with us. Definitely food for thought. #mind #happier