sunday life: the secret to happiness (a chat with Gretchen Rubin)

This week I get happy…close to home


Gretchen Rubin calls it her “Beautiful House” moment. As in, “This is not my beautiful house”, the existential lament from the Talking Heads hit “Once in a Lifetime”. Gretchen’s life was ticking along just fine. She had a beautiful house. Two kids. And all the rest. But she woke one day with that feeling of discontent and disbelief and asked, Is this it? Is this me?

Happiness Project Cover

It wasn’t. There was more she yearned for and so she set off on The Happiness Project, which launched – as everything does these days – as a blog in March 2006. I’ve been following it for years, often somewhat bewildered by the Cartesian precision with which she pulls apart the bumbling ways we humans happen upon happiness. She’s written thousands of posts over the course of her journey, attracting a monthly following of 300,000 readers. She’s a regular on the American morning TV circuit, contributes to the Huffington Post and has turned her findings into a number one bestselling book that sat on the New York Times list for 18 weeks (and it’s released her this month).

Sweet bonus on a Sunday: I’M GIVING AWAY THREE COPIES of the book today to three readers generous enough to share what they think makes human’s happy. A simple tip will do. I’ll get Gretchen to pick the winners!

Which begs: after such a long, imbedded journey, what’s the one take-home-wrapped-in-ribbon-with-warrantee trick that has resonated with her disciples? What, dear Gretchen, moves us beyond our beautiful house and makes us happy?

On Monday I posed this very question. Gretchen’s response down the phone from New York? You ready for it?

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