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 almost three 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.
In 2019, Gretchen began a new partnership with CBS This Morning as a contributor with a weekly slot on the show's “Before We Go” closer.
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; they have two daughters (a college freshman and a seventh-grader).
Working Better Than Before: Understanding Habits to Manage Yourself—and Others—Better
When it comes to work habits, there’s no one right approach for creativity or productivity, just what works for each individual. In many ways, we are all alike—but our differences are very important. The better you understand yourself, and your colleagues, the easier it will be to start working better than before.
Rubin points out several crucial differences in how people approach the world. Understanding these differences allows us to manage ourselves better, manage other people better, and reduce arguments about who is “right” and “wrong.” She highlights the difference between Abstainers vs. Moderators (about how to fight temptation); Marathoners vs. Sprinters vs. Procrastinators (about the pace at which work should be completed—a real issue within teams); Finishers vs. Openers (about a person’s willingness to work toward completion or to start something new); and the “Four Tendencies” framework (about how a person responds to a request or an order). Together, these distinctions throw new light on how best to motivate people, help them change their habits, make it possible for them to work and live together harmoniously—and how to manage yourself.
Four Tendencies: The Key to Better Habits
It’s very important to know ourselves, but self-knowledge is challenging. Gretchen sorts everyone into four categories, which describe how people tend to respond to expectations: outer expectations (a deadline, a “request” from a sweetheart) and inner expectations (write a novel in your free time, keep a New Year’s resolution).
Your response to expectations may sound slightly obscure, but it turns out to be very, very important.
In a nutshell:
• Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations (Gretchen is an Upholder, 100%)
• Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense (her husband is a Questioner)
• Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike
• Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves
Do you find yourself within this framework? Doing so can help you understand how to manage yourself better. Figuring out the Tendencies helped Gretchen understand herself, and it has also made it much easier for her to understand other people’s perspectives.
In this talk, learn about the four tendencies and find out what kind of person you are.
The Happiness Project
Gretchen has a wide, enthusiastic following, and her idea for a “happiness project” no longer describes just a book or a blog; it’s a movement. Happiness Project groups have sprung up from Los Angeles to Enid, Oklahoma to Boston, where people meet to discuss their own happiness projects. More than a dozen blogs have been launched by people who are following Gretchen’s example. On her companion website, the Happiness Project Toolbox, enthusiastic readers track and share their own happiness projects.
Getting the Most from Your Employees—and Yourself
Gretchen invites you into The Happiness Project community. She discusses how she uses her blog, the Happiness Project Toolbox, her newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to spread ideas and connect with an audience. She describes five visionary statements that guide innovative thinking about using the internet to connect with people.
Outer Order = Inner Calm
With clarity and humor, Gretchen Rubin illuminates one of her key realizations about happiness: For most of us, outer order contributes to inner calm. In the context of a happy life, a messy desk or crowded coat closet is a trivial problem—yet Gretchen Rubin has found that getting control of our stuff makes us feel more in control of our lives. By getting rid of things we don't use, don't need, or don't love, as well as things that don't work, don't fit, or don't suit, we free our mind (and our shelves) for what we truly value. Rubin discusses manageable, concrete clutter-clearing ideas to fill audience members with fresh ideas for creating outer order in their own lives. Rubin explains the five-step process for creating outer order, with practical examples and insights about how to:
· Make Choices
· Create Order
· Know Yourself--and Others
· Cultivate Helpful Habits
· Add Beauty
At home, at work, and in life, when we get our possessions under control we feel both calmer and more energetic. With a sense of fun, and also a clear idea of what's realistic for most people, Gretchen Rubin suggests dozens of manageable steps for creating a more serene, orderly environment--one that helps us to create the happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative lives that we yearn for.
Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness
For most of us, outer order contributes to inner calm. And for most of us, a rigid, one-size-fits-all solution doesn't work.
The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too)
In this groundbreaking analysis of personality type, bestselling author of Better Than Before and The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin reveals the one simple question that will transform what you do at home, at work, and in life.
Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
The author of the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, tackles the critical question: How do we change?
Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life
In the spirit of her blockbuster #1 New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin embarks on a new project to make home a happier place.
The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
Drawing at once on cutting-edge science, classical philosophy, and real-world applicability, Rubin has written an engaging, eminently relatable chronicle of transformation.
In the award-winning, chart-topping podcast “Happier,” Gretchen talks about ideas and tips for making your life happier. Her co-host (and guinea pig) is her younger sister, TV writer and producer Elizabeth Craft, and together they propose try-this-at-home ideas, offer simple happiness hacks, listener questions, discuss common stumbling blocks, take debate know-yourself-better questions, and give weekly demerits and gold stars. "Happier" has been downloaded over 95 million times.