Self-knowledge

The Two Things Everyone Needs to Be Happy (Yes, everyone!) – Self Improvement Article

I often talk about how there’s no magic, one-size-fits-all answer for boosting happiness, creativity, and maintaining healthy habits. And it’s true—except that there are two things that everyone needs to be happy. After spending years studying and thinking about happiness, I really do believe that most of us can take simple steps that will boost our happiness. We can be happier now, within the course of our ordinary days. You need two things to be happy: 1) Relationships. Anything we can do…

Read More

My Metropolitan Museum Experiment: The Aims, the Rules, the Questions. – Happiness Article

Soon, Elizabeth and I will reveal our “20 for 2020” lists in episode 255 of the Happier podcast. One item on my list is particularly ambitious: it’s my Metropolitan Museum experiment. For the year of 2020, every day that I’m in New York City and the Met is open, I will visit. Every single day. Why? For my next book project, I’m exploring…I don’t yet know how to describe it. I want to shake myself, I want to reach my…

Read More

By Popular Demand—Merchandise! Drink from Your “Choose the Bigger Life” Mug, Wear your “Tendency” T-Shirt, or Give as a Gift. – Happiness Article

At last! We’ve got merchandise! We’ve got t-shirts, both short- and long-sleeved. We’ve got sweatshirts, with the “Onward and Upward” motto. We’ve got mugs. Elizabeth loves mugs so much, of course we had to offer mugs. We’ve got tote bags. I do love a canvas tote bag. Just in time, too! “Merchandise” was #4 on my “19 for 2019” list, and we’re not far from the end of the year now. So take a look here and see what strikes your…

Read More

A Happiness Booster: Flying Through the Air in a Bamboo Grove (by the Magic of Photography) – Happiness Article

Earlier this year, my sister Elizabeth (also co-host of the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast) and I went for a visit to the Golden Door spa in California, and we had a wonderful sisterly time there. So when the Golden Door suggested that I participate in an advertising spread they were planning, I was intrigued—especially when I learned that the photographer was Alexi Lubomirski. Lubomirski is a very well-known photographer who’s perhaps best known for taking the official photographs of…

Read More

“Why is it Easy to Make That Initial Decision to Change, and Even to Start, But Difficult to Persist?” – Self Improvement Article

Interview: Wendy Wood. From my time researching and writing Better Than Before, my book about habit change, I know the fascinating work of Wendy Wood. Wendy Wood is a social psychologist whose research addresses the ways that habits guide behavior—and why they are so difficult to break—as well as evolutionary accounts of gender differences in behavior. She is Provost Professor of Psychology and Business at the University of Southern California, where she also served as Vice Dean of Social Sciences.…

Read More

FAQ: What if My Result from the Four Tendencies Quiz Doesn’t Seem Right? – Happiness Article

I’ve developed a personality framework that divides people into four categories, the “Four Tendencies“: Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, and Rebel. To find out your “Tendency,” take the quick free quiz here. More than two million people have taken this quiz! From time to time, people ask me, “But what if I feel like I’m all four of the Tendencies?” or “I got a certain answer on the quiz, but I think I’m actually a combo of two Tendencies, is that possible?”…

Read More

A Happiness Question: What Should We Do if We Feel Like We’ve Fallen Behind or Fallen Off the Wagon? – Self Improvement Article

When we’re trying to make our lives happier, healthier, more productive, or more creative, we often find ourselves in a frustrating situation: we fall behind or we fall off the wagon. What to do? Here are some useful points to consider: 1. Don’t beat yourself up. Although some people assume that strong feelings of guilt or shame act as safeguards to help people stick to good habits, the opposite is true. People who feel less guilt and who show compassion…

Read More

“The Most Important Habit I’ve Changed Is Going from Being Self-Critical to Being Kind to Myself While Holding Myself Accountable.” – Self Improvement Article

Interview: Lori Gottlieb. Lori Gottlieb is a bestselling writer and a practicing psychotherapist. I can’t remember how I became aware of her work. Did I meet her at an event? Did I read a magazine story she wrote? Do we have a mutual friend? It’s lost in the sands of time, but for some reason, for several years, I’ve paid particular attention to the career of Lori Gottlieb. I know I read her books Marry Him: The Case for Settling…

Read More