SXSW Poker #15: Gretchen Rubin
I spent a year on my “happiness project,” when I test-drove the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.
Research shows that novelty and challenge bring happiness. People who go new places, meet new people, and try new things are happier. However, I didn’t think this would be true in my case; mastery and familiarity (I thought) made me happy.
But for my project, I had to test this theory.
A friend offhandedly said, “Why don’t you start a blog?”
“Oh, I don’t want to do that,” I answered. “I’m not tech-y, I don’t read blogs, I like to write long, not short.”
But I needed something novel and challenging for my experiment. Without knowing exactly what to do, I sat down at the computer and started my blog. o
Five years later, my blog is an enormous engine of happiness for me—and I came so close to dismissing the idea entirely. If I hadn’t sat down at my desk that particular evening, a March 27, I might never have started the endeavor that has changed my life. The biggest obstacle to overcome was myself.
Gretchen Rubin is the author of the #1 New York Times and international bestseller, The Happiness Project—an account of the year she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. On her popular blog, The Happiness Project, www.happiness-project.com, she reports on her daily adventures in the pursuit of happiness. She was clerking for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she really wanted to be a writer.