Tag Archives: gretchen rubin

One happiness challenge? Chronic lateness. If you’re always running late, try these tips:

1. Time your commute. Late people often underestimate how much travel time they need.

2. Don’t try to squeeze in one last task before you leave. This is a common reason for tardiness.

3. Get organized in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute to pull together everything you need to bring with you.

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Aggressively expressing anger doesn’t relieve anger but rather amplifies it. On the other hand, not expressing anger often allows it to disappear without leaving ugly traces.

  • What’s the most helpful advice you’ve ever received?
  • What can you do for hours without feeling bored?
  • What were the last three books you read? What brought you to them?

Nothing is more exhausting than the task that is never started. When we dread a task, it’s often hard to get started — but once we’ve begun, it gets easier.

1. Put yourself in jail. If you feel pressure to jump in and finish something in a rush, and, therefore, can’t bear to start, try putting yourself in “jail”. If you’re in jail, you have no reason to hurry, no reason to cut corners or to try to do too many things at once.

2. Ask for help. If you’re having trouble getting started because you don’t know exactly what to do, ask for help. It really … helps.

3. Take a baby step. Just take one step today. Tomorrow, another. The forward motion is encouraging, and before long, you’ll probably find yourself speeding toward completion.

Habits tend to deaden our response. If you’ve lost pleasure in an activity because it has become a habit, break the habit for a week or two. If you no longer taste your morning cup of coffee, give it up temporarily. When you start drinking coffee again, you’ll enjoy it much more.

One effective way to complete a project is to abandon it. Be honest: are you going to finish that knitting project, or learn to play that instrument, or use that piece of exercise equipment? If not, the presence of those possessions can be very uncomfortable. Give them away to someone who will use them, and get them off your shelves and your conscience.

“A well-spent day brings happy sleep.”

— Leonardo da Vinci

Try not to judge people harshly, especially on first meeting. Their actions might not reveal their enduring character, but instead reflect some current situation in which they find themselves.

These “proverbs” from William Blake’s book The Marriage of Heaven and Hell are thought-provoking because their meaning isn’t always immediately clear.

  • “If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.”
  • “Where man is not, nature is barren.”
  • “Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believ’d.”
  • “The apple tree never asks the beech how he shall grow, nor the lion, the horse, how he shall take his prey.”
  • “The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.”
  • “If others had not been foolish, we should be so.”
  • What’s best? Getting better.
  • Self-sacrifice can be self-indulgent.
  • Flawed can be more perfect than perfection.