Drink Like a Lady Podcast

How to be Happier: A Framework with Gretchen Rubin

June 21, 2022 Joya Dass/Gretchen Rubin
Drink Like a Lady Podcast
How to be Happier: A Framework with Gretchen Rubin
Show Notes Transcript

An expert on human nature, Gretchen Rubin discusses the ways we, as women, can develop a framework to create happier, more productive, and creative lives.

In our conversation, you will learn:

- How her pursuit of happiness began

- How habits cultivate happiness

- How you can change your habits

- Tips for sticking to your habit resolutions

- The four tendencies framework and how knowing which category you fall into can help with habit formation

- How we can build a happy life by looking at the foundation of our own nature, our own values, and own interests

June 8, we have a conversation with former lawyer turned author of four best sellers, “The Four Tendencies”, “Better Than Before”, “The Happiness Project” and “Happier at Home” Gretchen Rubin


Bio:

Gretchen Rubin is one of today’s most influential and thought-provoking observers of happiness and human nature. She’s known for her ability to distill and convey complex ideas with humor and clarity, in a way that’s accessible to a wide audience.

She’s the author of many books, including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers The Four Tendencies, Better Than Before, and The Happiness Project. She has an enormous readership, both in print and online, and her books have sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide, in more than thirty languages. (The Happiness Project spent two years on the bestseller list.)

On her top-ranking, award-winning podcast “Happier with Gretchen Rubin,” she discusses happiness and good habits with her sister Elizabeth Craft.

She’s been interviewed by Oprah, eaten dinner with Daniel Kahneman, walked arm-in-arm with the Dalai Lama, had her work written up in a medical journal, and been an answer on the game show Jeopardy!

In her work, she draws from cutting-edge science, the wisdom of the ages, lessons from popular culture, and her own experiences to explore how we can make our lives happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative.

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. Raised in Kansas City, she lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

Joya:

All right. We are live today with Gretchen Rubin, who is the best-selling author of four books. But the topic that we are talking about today is happiness. Gretchen, every weekend I sit down and I write down my top 10 life goals and interconnect contentedness, and how I can practice that on a daily basis is something that always ranks number three. And I would love to make that number one. So why happiness and all the sort of human elements that we could be talking about today.

Gretchen:

Well, it's interesting people sometimes really want to argue about what is happiness or should we even want happiness? Maybe we should want contentment or bliss or fulfillment or life satisfaction and or wellbeing. I really love the openness of the term happiness. It's whatever you want, if you want peace, then you can want peace. If you want happiness, you can want happiness. Because I think sometimes people get very caught up in like really trying to understand the definition and then they can also get caught up in how do I achieve it perfectly 24 7, which is not very realistic. So I think it's more helpful to think about being happier. However, whatever that means for me in my circumstances and moving in the right direction. So it's not about a chain. The specific aim, but moving towards, wherever it is that I think would make me, have your healthier, more productive and more creative.

Joya:

But tell me about your journey specifically. How did you end up writing about happiness of all things?

Gretchen:

Well, it was a very inconspicuous moment of my life. I was just finishing up another book. So I had a little bit, I had this open bandwidth in my head. And, I was stuck in a city bus and I looked out the window and I thought, "what do I want from life anyway?" And I thought, "well, I want to be happy." But I realized, like you said, it was number three or number 11. I didn't spend any time thinking about whether I was happy or how I could be happier. I should have a happiness project. And I was like, yes. And I ran to the library and got a giant stack of books, contemporary science, ancient philosophy, memoirs, novels, pop culture, to try to figure out, can we make ourselves happier? What would I do if I were going to try to make myself happier and. It turns out that the subject of happiness is so limitless and exhausting that I decided to write my next book about it. And I basically been researching different aspects of it ever since.

Joya:

All right, so let's get into it. What are some of the habits? Tony Robbins always talks about your life being reflection of your habits and your standards. What are some of the habits that we can start to instill in order to make happiness a daily endeavor?

Gretchen:

Well, this is a crucial question because I think a lot of times people are like, "Hey, hand me the seven." Like, what is the list? Do I need to get up at 6:00 AM? Do I need to get up at 5:00 AM? Like, am I supposed to? Yeah, but what I realized is that there is no magic one size fits all solution. We all have to figure out our happiness project for ourselves. It has to reflect our own nature, our own interests, our own temperament, our own values, because if somebody says, Hey, you should get up. If something's important to you, you should get up and do it first thing in the morning. Well, that's good advice for me because I'm a morning person, but what if you're a night person you're at your most productive and creative and energetic later in the day, that would not be setting yourself up for success? Sometimes people get frustrated with this. They're like, give me the answer. And I always say, "well, what's the best way to cook an egg?" And then people are like, "well, it depends on how you like your eggs or maybe you don't like eggs." It's like, yeah, no one can tell you how now there are certain basics, like relationships. We are wired as humans to be made happier by connections with other people. But what that looks like and what those habits look like would be very different among different people. And another thing is self knowledge. We need self knowledge if we are going to base our happiness on ourselves. So if you said relationships and self knowledge, And then from there we all have to do that self scrutiny.

Joya:

I love that. You talked about the self knowledge because I did a whole module yesterday on the importance of reflection. You know, we as women are we as new Yorkers, I'm not sure where you are in the country are people just are constantly do, do do, but do we sanction out time to actually. Reflect what's working, what's not working. And so one of the habits that I'll, I'm happy to talk about is that every Sunday, I really say no to a lot of social commitments, including brunches. I, in fact, left a brunch early and everyone was like, why, why, why? I'm like Sunday is an important strategy day for me. It's when I stop and I sit down, what's working, what's not working and what do I need to change for the week coming up? So for me, that's one habit that I've instilled, but I'm curious, what are some of the habits that you've instilled in order to be a happier.

Gretchen:

Well, it's interesting. It sounds like you're, you have a lot of habits related to planning. And now that I reflect on that, I don't have a lot of habits related to planning. I guess I'm more focused on sort of action. I'll I have, I wrote a book better than before. It's just, I love habits. I wrote them. I have so many habits. One habit I love is, the one minute rule, which is anything I can do in less than a minute. I do without delay. Whether that's filing a document or hanging up my coat instead of throwing it over a chair. And that gets rid of that scum of tiny tasks that can really slow us down as we go through. Now, some people are morning people, or some people are night people, but the truth is most adults need at least seven hours of sleep. So I am asleep zealot. I have many habits related to making sure that I get enough sleep. I'm a knowledge worker. My brain is all I have, so I got to wake up like refresh and recharge. I started taking a nap, a 25 minute nap, this for 2022, that's one of the new habits that I'm experimenting with because I'm sure you've seen, there's a tremendous amount of research about, the benefits of taking a nap. And I fortunately had the flexibility to take a nap. That's a real, that's a new habit. A kind of interesting habit that I've been doing this year is up. Cause I'm not this year, but for a while now, because I'm working on a book about the five senses, I started going to the met everyday. So I get it because I live very close to the met. I'm so fortunate. And what I realized is that many people have this where they'll do something every single day, the walk on the same path, or they'll sit, they'll go look at some view of a river and take a picture of it every single day. And there's something about that repetition. And that may be, it goes back to your idea of reflection that there's something about just the familiarity and seeing the slow change over time. That kind of helps you feel connected to yourself and to time and to a place in a way that's very refreshing. So that's a more idiosyncratic habit that I've experimented with that I really enjoy.

Joya:

I put this question to my mastermind yesterday, I offer a journal prompt and it was. What is one thing that makes you happy and what could you do everyday to make sure that shows up? So maybe that's germane to the next topic, which is how can you change your habits.

Gretchen:

Well, that's the million dollar question. Absolutely. So I, again, like I wrote this book better than before, because there are 21 strategies you can use to make or break your habits. And the fact is some of them work very well for just about everyone. Like the strategy of convenience. If you make something more convenient, you're much more likely to do it. If you make it less convenient, you're much less likely to do it. And you can harness this. If you don't want to watch TV, put your remote control on a high shelf on the other corner of your house. And it's like, you can't just lock down and turn on Netflix. Like you gotta work for that. Those were participant everybody, but then there are strategies that are very, very effective for some people, but are not effective for other people that can actually be counterproductive. So for instance, when you're facing strong temptation, a lot of people want to change habits related to a strong temptation related to eating, drinking, scrolling. So for some people. The strategy of abstaining is very effective. For me, it's easier to have none than to have a little bit. I can have no cookies or I can have 10 cookies. I can't have one cookie, but for some people they do better when they have a little bit sometimes. And so for them, moderation is better. And so you really have to say to yourself, am I a moderator or an abstainer? Because if an abstainer tries to moderate, It doesn't work very well. And a lot of people get really frustrated because they keep trying to do something in a way that just isn't right for them. It's not that it's not a perfectly effective strategy. It's just not an, a strategy that's effective for you because people are different. Another thing is accountability. So many people need accountability. And I have my four tendencies framework that divides people into upholders, questioners, obligers, and rebels, depending on how they respond to expectations. Which is part of what accountability is. It's outer accountability, outer expectation. So for some people, accountability is crucial. It is necessary even for an inner expectation. Even if I want to get back into yoga, I want to meditate. I want to keep it new year's resolution. For some people obligers. They still need outer accountability. If I want to read more, I joined. But for some people it's actually counterproductive. Some people rebels, they don't like somebody looking over their shoulder. They don't want to have check-in meetings. They don't want to sign up for class. They don't want to work out with a trainer. The fact that somebody's checking on them, it's going to make them want to resist. These are exactly the opposite. So there you go. So once you know your tendency or, someone else's tendency, if you're trying to get somebody else to do something, which, be honest, a lot of the time we were trying to get somebody else to do something, you can tailor an approach. So that it's right for that person. Because again, all these things work for some people. Great. But what happens is a lot of times people get discouraged and frustrated with themselves because they're like, "well, everybody else can do it. What's wrong with me?"

Joya:

So, do you have a quiz in one of your books that someone can take to see? I know that we're going to talk about that four tendencies framework and just about a second here, but where can somebody go to get that quiz to understand what personality type they are?

Gretchen:

Yeah, it's a very short, free quiz go to Gretchen ruben.com/four tendencies, F O U R tendencies. And it'll tell you what you are and spit out a report to tell you what to do with that information. And then of course, I have a whole book, the four tendencies, which really gets into the nuances of it. Because people are like, "oh, I have a rebel seven year old, how do I, what do I do? Or my boss is a rebel, or my boss, a questioner. How do I manage that?" But right, if you just want to know what you are, that quiz will tell you, it's just 11 questions or something.

Joya:

Before we move on from that point though. And by the way, I see some folks are live and they're watching our interview today. Gretchen, I encourage you to please submit your questions and I'm going to submit those to Gretchen at the end of our chat here, but please feel free to start putting your questions into the chat function. Gretchen, I often say when you're on that precipice, when you're on that brink and you need to make a decision, "Do I have the apple? Do I have the apple tart?" The apple tart is way more tempting, but I said I wanted to lose weight. How do you remember your, why? Where does your why fit into this entire scheme of things we're talking about?

Gretchen:

Well, that's such a good question because just the fact that you're saying that is giving me a sense of what your tendency might be, because for a lot of people, the why doesn't really matter. It doesn't really mean. That the tapping into the why doesn't really effectively help them change their habits. For them probably at our accountability would be a much better way, to have a nutrition coach or to have an accountability partner, like I'm going to text you a photo of every single thing that. If that's useful to you, some people find that kind of, it's not a healthy, helpful way. Thinking about your duty to be a role model for someone else. I have other people in my household and I want to show them that we can enjoy healthy foods. We don't always need to reach for sweets. Or just don't buy it. Just say, "I'm just not going to buy it. I'm not going to bring it in." Because I think for some people connecting with the why is extremely powerful. And for some people connecting with the why is really it's helpful and interesting, but it doesn't actually change their behavior. Because that's what I'm interested in is not what is just like intellectually satisfying, but what is actually going to make you change your behavior? Because often people are in, because what I found, and this is why I try never to use the word motivation, because I think motivation combines the idea of really wanting an outcome and being willing to work towards that outcome. I'm very motivated. To get into shape. I don't know what that means, because it might mean you really want to get into shape, or it might mean that you're actually working towards that. So I think it's, I find it's more helpful to think about what, what is my aim and what am I going to do to reach that aim effectively? Because if you get into your head, I think a lot of times people think of, they whip themselves into a frenzy of desire. Their actions will follow, but then that doesn't happen. And then they're like, "Well, what's wrong with me?"

Joya:

Gretchen how much time do you spend talking about the subconscious mind? Because a little bit of what we're really referring to here is willpower versus scripts that are on autopilot, right? And we know that your subconscious is driving 95% of your decision-making. You're talking about repetition. We tend to do the same things over and over again until we check ourselves. And then when we actually sit and do some investigation, is when we're able to see, oh, that's how I'm hardwired. Now I can start to make some changes. So I wondered if you had some thoughts.

Gretchen:

About 50% of happiness is hardwired. It's genetically determined. You're born a Tigger or an Eyore, and that you bring that into the world. And then about 10 to 20% is something called life circumstances. So that's things like health, education, income, marital status, things like that. And then all the rest is very much influenced by our conscious thoughts and actions. And that's really what I focus on. So I'm really, I really ignore everything that's out of. Like I never talk about. Brain the cortex or adrenaline or because I'm like, I can't affect, I can't directly affect my adrenaline or my endorphins. I'm just thinking that what can I consciously shape with my, what can I, my conscious thoughts and actions, because that's really what. We can act with more certainty. So I spent all my time thinking about that and because I think that it's easier to go from the outside to the inside than from the inside to the outside. So I just find that a more effective way to go about it.

Joya:

Oh, so let's move to tips. What are some tips for anyone who's listening here that wants to stick to their habit resolutions, but is struggling to be able to do that?

Gretchen:

One thing I would say is take the quiz and find out your tendency because your tendency is going to give you a lot of insight into how to most effectively go about it. Because if you find out that you're an obliger, and that is the biggest tendency for both men and women, you're probably saying to yourself like, "well, I always keep my promises to other people so why can't I keep my promises to myself?" That is what happens when you're an obliger, get that outer accountability that you need. There's many, many ways to create outer accountability once, you know, that's what you need. So then you can build that in. And so that's a really good way to do it. Another way back to this idea of convenience and inconvenience is just go around and make it very easy to do the things that you want. And very hard to do the things that you don't want. For instance, I've talked to people who sleep in their exercise clothes so that they do not have to, and I'm looking for my phone and then just like on your phone, it's in color. You can switch your phone to, you can switch your phone to gray scale. Let's see. I'll do it. And then it's much harder to use it. It's like using your grandparents, black and white TV set. It's much more difficult. It's much more alluring. So it's just harder to use it because it's less convenient. It's less pleasurable you're leg. You're going to put your phone down. Another thing to think about is other people. We are swapping habits amongst ourselves for better and for worse. If you have a married couple and one is really good about going to the doctor, the other one gets better. If you have one that develops diabetes, the other one is more likely to develop diabetes. So we pass these habits back and forth. So you want to think about that? Can I put myself in the company if I want to do a lot of yoga, do I have some friends that are really into yoga and I can go out of my way to put myself in that company or. Read articles and journals and things like that that are going to make me feel like, oh, this is just the, this is what one does. And so that helps.

Joya:

One more habit. Oh, one more. We've got convenience, make it super easy to stall the right people around you to make sure that you follow through. And then what's one more for those who are still skeptical about this whole thing, actually working out for them.

Gretchen:

One of the fun funniest one, this is the chapter that I loved writing the most was the one about loophole spotting. Because when we're trying to keep a habit, we are really good at figuring out loopholes to let ourselves off the hook. There's the tomorrow loophole. It doesn't matter what I'm doing today because I'm going to be so good starting tomorrow, or there's the moral licensing loophole, which is, I've been so good yesterday. Now I get to be bad today. Or there's the fake self-actualization loophole. On such a beautiful day. I deserve to be outside in nature and not sit here and work on my PhD. It's like, okay. Anyway, so there's 10 loopholes. So looking out for this loopholes, because we're all adults, and sometimes we want to make a mindful exception to a habit and that's fine. As long as it is mindful. So being aware there's 10 kinds of loopholes being aware of what they are. Most of us have a go-to one minus false choice loophole, which is like, I don't have any time to, I don't have time to go to the dentist because I'm so busy working. It's you really can't find time to go to the dentist. Cause I think you can, that's a false choice. So once you're aware of that, you can often catch yourself slipping into it and then you do a better job of saying, okay, what do I like back to what you were saying before? Like mindfully with reflection? What do I want to ask for myself? And when do I want to give myself that time off?

Joya:

You know what's interesting about what you just said though, that some people don't feel like they even deserve to put their own self care first. Those are the obligers. Those

Gretchen:

are obligers. Yeah.

Joya:

And I often do a deserve level test and I'll say finances, relationship health. And I'm interested to see how people rank their deserve level, not where they are on how great their health is, but how much they deserve that. And I wondered if you had any thoughts on deserved levels?

Gretchen:

Well, I do think if you feel like that's an issue, you're probably an obliger. So I would look to outer accountability, but another, just another way to frame the same thing that I think for some people, maybe it feels less loaded is treat yourself like a toddler, right? A toddler needs sleep, a toddler can't get too hungry. A toddler can't be jerked from one thing to another, without a little bit of transition. A toddler needs time to relax, treat yourself like a toddler. Or if that doesn't ring true for you, treat yourself like a puppy. Would you treat a puppy the way you treat yourself a puppy needs fun and exercise and healthy food and company and, affection. Treat yourself like a puppy, because I think this is also a trick that they, that a lot of people talk about with us. If you think about yourself in the third person, like sometimes people will say, imagine that you're talking to a friend, what advice would you give to a friend in your situation? Sometimes by getting outside of ourselves and thinking of ourselves in the third person unlocked something. So I think for some people, if it's hard for them to think about what I deserve, because that maybe gets complicated for them, if they're like, "well, what I treat a puppy this way, would I treat a toddler this way? Would I treat a friend this way?" Maybe allows them to see what they themselves need and deserve.

Joya:

I love it, Gretchen. All right. Let's get to these four tendencies framework. And again, I'm going to welcome everybody that's tuning in here, live to put your questions in the chat and I'm going to get to them as soon as we cover off on this four tendencies framework. So let's get started. What does this mean? First of all, what was the Genesis of this?

Gretchen:

So I was, as I said, I was studying the habits and the patterns and habits, and I began to notice these really deep patterns. And it became crystal clear to me when a friend said to me, "I know I'd be happier if I exercise. And the weird thing is when I was in high school, I was on the track team and I never missed track practice. So why can't I go running?" And I thought why? Because it's the same person. It's the same behavior at one time, it was effortless. Now it's really challenging. And I can think of many hypotheses about why that was. But what I realized that in the heart of it, it's this idea of expectation that we all face outer expectations, like a work deadline or inner expectations, like my own desire to go, to keep a new year's resolution. And depending on whether we meet or resist outer and inner expectations. That's what makes us an upholder, a questioner, obliger, or rebel. And so in the case of my friend on the track team, when she had a team and a coach expecting her to show up, she showed up no problem. When she was just trying to go on her own, she struggled and that meant she was an obliger. She readily meet outer expectations, but she struggles to meet inner expectation. And therefore she needs outer accountability. So my friend started working out with a friend who got really annoyed. If she didn't show up for their group meet, their team workout and that's what her going.

Joya:

For anybody, that's struggling to find an accountability partner, any tips on that? Because I think to you and I living in New York city, we network all the time. We've got a big social circle. It's pretty easy peasy. But I realized that when I travel that I take a lot of this for granted. It is not as easy to find someone who's like-minded, that's going to hold you accountable. Well, that's

Gretchen:

a great question. And the fact is a lot of people don't want to have an accountability person partner. That's another person, like many introverted obligers are like, oh my gosh, like the idea of checking in with a person, it makes me feel overwhelmed, because I already have so much social stimulus in my life. I don't want to like, take a swim class or join a group text. So yeah, there's many forms of accountability that don't require that. And what's really interesting as that pro-black. Th there they are responsive to very different things. So even as an obliger might have to experiment to see what kind of a accountability works for you for some obligers, like getting an auto reminder from an app, like I have this app, the happier app, and for a lot of people using an app is enough. Some obligers can even use kind of what I would call their imagination, like their duty to their future self. If I come to the end of this year and I have not like really spent that time on yoga, I'm going to be so disappointed with myself or my duty to be a role model for other people. I want to show other people what it looks like. But then other things there are, because this is such a big issue for people. There are many focus Maine, I think is the name of the app where you can let log on and. And, there's a cafe in Japan where you can go and get accountability. I think there's coaches for everything. And I think the reason that they're nutrition coaches and executive coaches and organizational coaches and every kind of coach you can imagine is it for a lot of people, that's what they need. They need the professional advice, but even more than that, they need the accountability. And I'm a big fan of professional because it's a lot of work to hold someone accountable. If you can afford it, it can be very effective. But one thing I should say is that one thing that does not typically work is sweethearts and spouses as accountability partners for a very romantic reason. It's all, honey. I am so close to you. You're like me. And so I'm going to ignore you just the way I would ignore me. And so sometimes you want to, you want to think about that as you're creating accountability. Children, if you have a child in your life, they make great accountability partners. If you're like, Hey, when you're doing your homework, I'm going to be writing my novel that I'm writing in my free time. And if I'm not writing my novel, you don't have to do your own work. And that child will be your like accountability partner for sure.

Joya:

So good. So good. All right. Gretchen a question from a professional woman. She's like, "I'm really thinking about happiness in the context of my job. I want to be happy even though it's not the perfect job." What would you recommend to someone who's a woman leader? Not just somebody, a junior associate, but a woman leader who has a little bit of authority and agency over which way things can go.

Gretchen:

One of the things that the research shows is that the people who say they are happy at work, have a friend at work. And so this is not just a casual acquaintance that you're like making conversation at the coffee machine. This is someone who has your back. This is someone to whom you would confide in an important secret. And sometimes with work, it can be a challenge to go from having acquaintances to true friends. I think especially, I think this is going to be a growing challenge now that we're increasingly hybrid. So maybe we're not having those face-to-face encounters that kind of can more easily slide you into that kind of friend space. So you really want to think about if there's somebody that you like, can you get them into that level of intimacy where you would say this person is a true friend. Often that's things like inviting them to your home, making plans outside work that have nothing to do with work like, oh, we're both into this band. Let's go to this concert. Or we both really want to see this movie. Let's go. Something where you're explicitly acknowledging that you have a relationship that's bigger than work.

Joya:

Gretchen this next question is about values. This person did a values exercise and realized that adventure and beauty were their top values. Freedom was pretty far up there as well. And when they get out of alignment with their work, they look back on their day and they figure out was some elements of their value showing up in order for them to stay happy. And they wondered what you thought about the values piece of it.

Gretchen:

Well, this person says like a rebel to me because when people start talking about freedom and choice, it sounds like this person may be value spontaneity. I'm guessing, that starts to sound like rebel language to me. And so I would say one of the things to do is to think about harnessing the powers of the rebel tendency. But also thinking about the things that tend not to work for rebels, which is like, feeling very trapped by a calendar or feeling like there's a lot of delay, like a lot of supervision and the more that you can make yourself feel like I'm just doing what I choose everyday. I'm doing what I feel like doing. Rebels often thrive in work situations where there's a lot of variety. So say for example, I talked to a rebel who was a restaurant manager, and so every day she would go to a different restaurant and kind of check in. So there was a lot of different people and she was on the road and nobody ever really knew where she was. She could set her own schedule. That kind of thing tends to work very well for rebels. And so part of it, I think is recognizing that this is something that like, as this person was doing, realizing that these are very high values, which is incredible. Useful and significant work to do, and then to think like, "okay, well, am I in a place which is really going to allow me to harness the power of this?" Because I'll say I'm an upholder, that's the opposite of a rebel. I put no value on adventure. Like one out of a hundred on adventure. I met a very adventurous person. So this is not a universal value. So it's very valuable that some people like it. And it's valuable this, some people don't really like adventure don't really need adventure to feel like happy. I think it's really good to think about these values and then how to incorporate them into what is your daily life?

Joya:

Gretchen? You've got four books, 'The Four Tendencies', 'Better Than Before', 'The Happiness Project', and 'Happier At Home'. What are we going to learn from reading 'Happier At Home?'

Gretchen:

So when I wrote the happiness project, I was focused on the deep, the overview understanding of happiness. And then the more I got into, the more I realized, I'm very fascinated. What would you say? Very few things it turns out are universal, but it turns out that if you're not happy at home, it's very hard to be happy. So in happier home, I went much deeper into sort of the experience of home with things like neighborhood, marriage, family, time, possessions, and looked very closely at those as related to having. Somebody in earlier on earlier, a listener was saying she wanted to be happy at work. You could write a book about happiness at work because obviously work is super important to our happiness because we spend so much time at work and have so much invested in work. But it happier at home I talked about home, which is another very important issue. So, so if those are the kinds of things that you're most interested in or want to work on, that's the book where I did go deeper into.

Joya:

Gretchen. What's a question I should've asked you today that I didn't.

Gretchen:

Oh, what a good question.

Joya:

This is the journalist in me, this is always my final question. I ask anybody because maybe there's something that I left on the table and there's some magic gold there.

Gretchen:

I think we hit the most important thing, which is that there is no magic, one size fits all solution for happiness. What is the other thing I would say about, well, I guess I would say when we talked about it briefly, but just to come back to it. Which is in the end, we're so wired for people, relationships matter to us so much. So if you're trying to think about what to do with your precious time, energy or money. Anything that broadens your relationships or deepens your relationships is probably something that's going to make you happier. And obviously for some people that means like a big credit cocktail party. And for some people that means like quiet. A quiet walk through a park with a friend, or even just a little, just like a moment of chit-chat with the drugstore clerk, can give us the lift.

Joya:

You know, that is a great answer to this question that I answer in my journal every day. And it's like, "how could I feel more connected to other people today?" And I don't ever answer the question, but that might be it because I work from home. I'm usually by myself. I feel like I'm talking to people all day long, but maybe it's the simple act of picking up the phone and speaking to a friend as opposed to a work colleague.

Gretchen:

Yeah, no, it's such a great question. No. And because of the way that we're relating to each other is changing so dramatically over the last few years, I think we're all having to reevaluate what our practices are and what we need to build in moving forward as things change.

Joya:

Gretchen, if anyone wants to work with you, how do they get in touch with you? I'm putting your link here in the banner about how to get the quiz, but if anyone wants to get in touch with you, so you what's the best way?

Gretchen:

Well, you can go to my website, Gretchenrubin.com and there's the quiz and information about my books, and tons of free resources. You can hit me up on social media at Gretchen Rubin. I'm all over the place and all the usual spots. I have a podcast, a weekly podcast where I talk about practical tips for how to be happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. Which I co-host with my sister, who is a Hollywood showrunner. So she's got a big job of her own and that's called happier with Gretchen Ruben. So you can listen to that wherever you get your. And I love to hear from people, I love questions and insights and examples and observations. You can email me through my website too. It comes right to me. So I'm wildly accessible. And I love to hear from people. I feel like the world is my research assistant. So yeah hit me up.

Joya:

Awesome. And I host a mastermind for executive women and business leaders. You'll notice Gretchen behind me. I'm in a photo studio today because we're getting everyone's head shots done for their personal brands. Anyone wants to get in touch with me. You can always get in touch with me at Joya@joydass.com. Gretchen, this was great. Again, like I said, as I started to, when we first started this whole conversation is that I'm thinking about my own daily contentedness and how can I make sure in the next 10 years that's something that's an inside job versus an outside job. I don't need the aramis purse or to feel happy. And so I'm glad that I got some handles on that today.

Gretchen:

Wonderful. I so enjoyed talking to you. Thank you so much for having me.

Joya:

And have fun at the met. If you haven't been there today.

Gretchen:

It's close today, unfortunately, but it'll go tomorrow. Yeah. Yeah.

Joya:

Take care of, thank you.