Habits, Happiness and Human Nature – Gretchen Rubin – #636

Photo of Gretchen Rubin
Drawing from cutting-edge science, the wisdom of the ages, lessons from popular culture, and her own experiences, Gretchen Rubin explores how we can make our lives happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative.

In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, I have the pleasure of talking with Gretchen Rubin, who 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 and relevant.

She’s been interviewed by Oprah, walked arm-in-arm with the Dalai Lama, had her work written up in a medical journal, been the subject of a “The Talk of the Town” piece in The New Yorker magazine, and been an answer on the game show Jeopardy!

She’s the author of numerous books, including the “New York Times” bestsellers, “The Four Tendencies” and “Better Than Before.”” Her book The Happiness Project” spent more than two years on the ”New York Times” bestseller list, including at No. 1. Combined, her books have sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide and have been published in more than 30 languages.

Here are a few “Gretchen says” moments from our discussion: 

  • About habits: “ ‘We know these things will make us happier. Why don’t we do them?’ and that’s often a problem with habit formation.”
  • About happiness: “There are some things that we can’t really affect, and then there are some things that we really can affect with our conscious thoughts and actions, and so, to me, it’s much more interesting to think like, “Whoever I am, wherever I’m coming from, can I be happier?” 
  • About human nature: “It really shines a spotlight on some aspect of your character, your nature that is very, very helpful, so I think sometimes it’s just that showing you something about yourself that maybe you weren’t keyed into.”

Gretchen 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.

Enjoy the show!

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Follow Along with the Transcript

Habits, Happiness and Human Nature – Gretchen Rubin – #636


Website: gretchenrubin.com
Facebook: facebook.com/GretchenRubin
Twitter: @gretchenrubin
Instagram: @gretchenrubin
YouTube: youtube.com/gretchenrubin
“Happier” podcast: gretchenrubin.com/podcasts/

Tune into Gretchen’s recent “Happier” podcast: Bonus Episode–A Deep Dive into the “Four Tendencies” Personality Framework: https://gretchenrubin.com/podcast-episode/bonus-episode-four-tendencies-deep-dive

Key Notes

  • Gretchen’s Journey 00:03:50
  • Are all humans discontented? 00:05:50
  • Are most people actually as happy as they say? 00:08:00
  • Does social media lead to stress and anxiety? 00:09:20
  • How to determine how happy you are 00:10:50
  • 50% of happiness is genetic 00:12:25
  • The arrival fallacy 00:14:30
  • The four tendencies 00:18:45
  • The difference between an inner and outer expectation 00:21:50
  • Which tendency makes the best employee? 00:24:25
  • Rebels and Obligers get along the best 00:29:00
  • Are personality tendencies correlated to neuroscience? 0030:40
  • Can you change your tendency? 00:31:50
  • Are there other tests that work well with the four tendencies? 00:34:30
  • Dave’s adventure with tidiness 00:37:20
  • What is clutter? 00:39:50
  • The five stages of de-clutter 00:43:10
  • Placebo and longevity 00:51:45

Go check out my new book Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever and also “Game Changers“, “Headstrong” and “The Bulletproof Diet” on Amazon and consider leaving a review!

If you like today’s episode, check us out on Apple Podcasts at daveasprey.com/apple and leave us a 5-star rating and a creative review.

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