Episode 233: Gretchen Rubin – How To Be Happy

Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, Better Than BeforeThe Happiness Project and Happier at Home. She has an enormous readership, both in print and online, and her books have sold almost three million copies worldwide, in more than thirty languages. Fast Company named Gretchen Rubin to its list of Most Creative People in Business, and she’s a member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100.

She’s been interviewed by Oprah, eaten dinner with Daniel Kahneman, and walked arm-in-arm with the Dalai Lama.

Gretchen Rubin started her career in law and was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

Episode 233: Gretchen Rubin – How To Be Happy

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The Learning Leader Show

“What do I want from my life? I want to be happy. How can I be happier?”

Show Notes:

  • Commonalities of leaders who sustain excellence:
    • They are self aware
    • They are happy and healthy and figured themselves out
  • Better Than Before — How to create great habits
  • “I can’t have a little.  I either have none or a lot.”  — Needed to abstain from things like that (sugar)
  • Think — “What do I want from my life?” “I want to be happy…” She then went to the library to study. Did a deep dive on happiness
    • What are the keys to happiness?
    • Every month (for a year), she created a theme for the month: 3-5 concrete resolutions she could measure to make herself happier
  • Aim higher — “Enjoying the fun of failure” — Starting a blog. Initially worrying that nobody would read it. “It’s okay to fail.”
  • How can you buy happiness?
  • How to be grateful for what you have… Both experiences and possessions
  • Bill Gates takes “think weeks” — Why we all should do this
  • Warren Buffett can buy anything he wants… But he cannot buy time
  • Gretchen describes her typical day
  • The Four Tendencies (Personality Profiles) — How you respond to expectations
    • Upholders – Respond readily to both outer expectations and inner expecations
    • Questioners – Question all expectations; they meet an expectation only if they believe it’s justified, so in effect they respond only to inner expectations
    • Obligers – Respond readily to outer expectations but struggle to meet inner expectations
    • Rebels – Resist all expectations, outer and inner alike
  • A live role play between Gretchen and me describing which tendency we inhibit and why we are different
  • Questioner vs Upholder – An upholder wants to always follow the rules (Gretchen)… A questioner (me) thinks differently
  • Gretchen’s advice – Get clarity on who you are, your personality profile, and how you respond to expectations
    • Questioner – Why are you doing this? Know who, what when, why?
    • Obliger – Go beyond. Let’s both commit. Find outer accountability. Take action
    • Rebel – Freedom, choice. “I want my voice heard.”Influence change

“Less Advice. More Curiosity.”

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Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell