the burning questions with gretchen rubin, mistress of happiness


You know Gretchen, right? She’s got one of the most popular blogs going, The Happiness Project. You can find her on Huffington Post, Slate and on Amazon with her forthcoming book, aptly called, The Happiness Project: Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.

She’s classy and warm-hearted, and her work is helping people to not just consider being more happy, but to actually do something about it.

1. What are you positively addicted to? (Note: my shrink defines positive addiction as “a healthy high, it makes you stronger. As long as the craving for it doesn’t take you over, then it’s, like totally cool.”) Reading… books for adults and also for children. Blogging. Walking the streets of New York City. These days, True Blood on HBO.

2. What do you wish you knew for sure?
That nothing too terrible would befall my family.

3. If you had an altar, what symbols of devotion would you put on it?
* Dice, to symbolize the role of chance.
* A blue bird, to symbolize happiness.
* A dictionary, to symbolize reading and writing.
* A flower, to symbolize growth.
* Locks of hair from everyone in my family.
* An apple, to symbolize health.
* Ruby slippers, to symbolize the idea that I already have what I need to be happy; it’s with me all the time.
* A peacock feather, to symbolize symbols beyond words.

4. What great idea do you wish that you had the good sense to think of?
Diet Coke.

5. What book(s) are you always telling people to read?

Christopher Alexander, A PATTERN LANGUAGE
St. Therese of Lisieux, STORY OF A SOUL
Flannery O’Connor, WISE BLOOD
Everything by Samuel Johnson

6. Who or what has rendered you awe-struck?
The internet. Not a day goes by when I don’t marvel at the incredible treasures that it offers. I’m old enough to remember, REALLY remember, pre-internet days, and I will never become jaded about the incalculable richness of knowledge, creativity, and connection that it affords.

7. I’m going to give you a word. Tell me the first thing that comes to mind when you read itReady? The word is: SINCERITY.
The first thing that comes to mind is my personal First Commandment… to “Be Gretchen.” This sounds so easy, and yet the more I try to “Be Gretchen,” the more I realize how hard it is to do. Sincerity, authenticity, enthusiasm, humility, cheerfulness… all follow from knowing ourselves. A constant challenge!

Thanks for inspiring all of us rise to that very divine challenge, Gretchen.

With Love,

. . . . . . .

Find Gretchen:
The Happiness Project
The Happiness Project ToolBox
On Amazon