Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers - The Four Tendencies, Better Than Before, The Happiness Project, and Happier at Home.
She has an enormous readership, both in print and online, and her books have sold 3.5 million copies worldwide, in more than thirty languages.
On her popular weekly podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin, she discusses good habits and happiness with her sister Elizabeth Craft; they’ve been called the “Click and Clack of Podcasters.” Her podcast was named in iTunes’s lists of “Best Podcasts of 2015” and was named in the Academy of Podcasters “Best Podcasts of 2016.”
So she knows a thing or two about happiness and well, she also happens to be swinging adulting out of the park — well at least better than most of us average Joeys.
Without further ado, here are some lessons we all can learn from her
People don’t notice your mistakes as much as you think
Everybody is busy in their own lives, dealing with their own problems, loathing in their own self pity and celebrating their own joys.
Yet we are constantly worried about what others think about us when we get out!
Nobody is perfect so neither are you going to be! So why not embrace your shortcomings and learn to leverage them instead of constantly thinking about how they let you down in front of others.
You don’t have to be good at everything
Frankly, I am tired of competition. Aren’t you?
It is easy to get pulled into the competitive spirit because that is what makes you stand out — and I am not questioning that.
But not everything is a competition you have to ace. It is okay to be bad at poetry or average at drawing. It is completely normal to struggle your way through a gym.
You don’t have to be the best at everything you do!
Its okay to ask for help
Humanity exists because we help each other. Imagine the carnage if we didn’t!
Then what is stopping you from asking for help?
As we grow older, and shoulder more responsibilities, we will have to lean on our friends and family from time to time. After all, isn’t that what having a friend and a family is all about?
People like to help! Some people find a lot of joy in it because it tells them that they matter in your life. So reach out to them whenever you need help.
And don’t shy off from asking for it!
It’s important to be nice to everyone
It was Maya Angelou who said:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
And I have personally experienced this! How you treat people speaks a lot about what kind of a person you are. Not only that, treating people kindly will serve you well because it will open you up to receive a lot of kindness from others
And trust me you will need the kindness. Life is full of curve balls. Kindness helps soften the blow!
What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while
Practice makes a man perfect. Now the goal here is not to become perfect but to tell you to choose the right habits.
A bad habit repeated daily will destroy you. A good habit repeated daily, will compound the benefits. The longer you wait, the more deeply embedded you get in your current lifestyle. Your habits solidify. Your beliefs harden. You get comfortable
Be mindful of what you do daily for it can take you places — good or bad you get to choose.
By doing a little bit each day, you can get a lot accomplished.
Brick by brick, you can build the house of your dreams!
Every expert was once a beginner, taking small steps daily towards excellence. None of your overnight stars actually became stars overnight. They toiled and toiled for decades before people discovered their magic.
Franz Kafka worked his day job from 8:30 AM -2:30 PM. 2:30–3:30 PM was for lunch. 3:30–7:30 was nap-time, followed by time spent with family until 11 PM. From 11 PM — 2 AM he wrote. Daily!
Immanuel Kant woke up at 5 AM daily and then wrote for 3 hours to prepare for the lectures he was giving that day, followed by the lectures themselves for 4 hours, before stopping for lunch at the same restaurant daily.
Lebron James and Kobe Bryant had been shooting hoops for decades before they could play professionally. Arnold Schwarzzenegger had been lifting weights and working on his form for 5 years before he won his first Mr. Olympia title.
If you can’t find something, clean up
Adulting involves a lot of cleaning up. You find that you are putting in a considerable amount of time trying to keep things in order and if you don’t, it usually reflects in your daily life.
A cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind and a cluttered mind leads to a clutter life.
So when you are lost in life, looking for directions, it is probably a good idea to start cleaning up — your mind and your wardrobe both!
Most decisions don’t require extensive search
We live in a world of abundance. Try ordering a laptop online today and you will notice the infinite options-Same is the case with clothes, shoes, accessories. Try searching for anything you can think of and you will find a myriad of options, which more often than not, leads to analysis paralysis.
What should take a few minutes, usually ends up taking a lot of time and energy because we want the best for ourselves, which means we start digging and researching and before you know, those amazon tabs are long forgotten and you are halfway through a Netflix show while munching on your favorite snack.
So remember this one the next time you are in a similar situation. Pause and recall that the decision you are about to make doesn't require a lot of research.
Do good, feel good.
Have you ever met someone who has donated their time or money but still feels bad about him or herself?
Neither have I and I can bet neither has Gretchen Rubin. The more you do good, the better you feel. There are studies which prove this theory.
If you want to feel better, start doing small good deeds.
Bring a sweater
Have a back up plan. Always take intelligent risks and when you do, know what you don’t know.
Expect the best and prepare for the worst. It might be sunny but bring a sweater, just in case the place you are going to, might have the AC on full blast.
Turning a computer on and off a few times fixes a glitch
In other words, there is nothing a good night’s sleep wont fix!
Not feeling well, try and sleep longer.
Cant decide if you want to buy something — sleep over it.
Having a bad day? Get some sleep.
Computer giving you issues? Turn it off and turn it on again.
The point is, most of our worries and problems are not as serious as we think of them to be. Most of them can be solved if we are patient and willing to work towards solving them.
Sometimes, the best you can do, is to let things work out on their own by just switching off and switching on.
Next time, when you feel a little lost and need some guidance adulting, lean on Gretchen Rubin. Take her help and help her principles navigate you out of your conundrum.