Episode #156 with Gretchen Rubin of Better Than Before

Episode 156



In Episode #156 Ari invites Gretchen Rubin, a happiness hero and author of The Happiness Project and Better Then Before to the Less Doing podcast. Listen in as Gretchen and Ari talk about their tips and tricks surrounding happiness, habits and all-around better living.


Special Announcements:

Less Doing Does Europe!

Watch Ari bring the lessons of Less Doing to some of Europe’s most famous cities including Barcelona, Munich, Amsterdam and Budapest for the 2015 European Growth Summit. Ari will be joined by fellow masters of entrepreneurship Steve Martin, Director of Influence at Work in the UK, and Verne Harnish, founder and CEO of Gazelles. For the most up-to-date information on the Growth Summit, check out TwitterFacebookGoogle+ or LinkedIn!

EO Vancouver

On June 18th, join Ari at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in b-e-a-utiful Vancouver, B.C. as he takes the microphone for EO Vancouver. Enjoy this unique opportunity to watch Ari candidly discuss life as an Author, Speaker, Teacher and – most importantly – Achievement Architect.

EO Victoria

Join Ari at one of the Entrepreneur Organization’s high-impact learning events in Victoria, B.C. Like EO Vancouver, this will undoubtedly be a unique opportunity to watch Ari candidly discuss life as an Author, Speaker, Teacher and – most importantly – Achievement Architect.

Fuel the Fire

Come watch Ari light-up the Drake Hotel in Chicago on Wednesday, August 5th as he delivers a rousing keynote speech for IPPA Business Excellence Conference: Fuel the Fire. This will be a great opportunity to watch Ari translate the lessons of Less Doing into terms business leaders can take to the bank.


Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 11:20 – Introduction of Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and Better Then Before
  • 11:55 – How the Happiness Project came to pass
  • 12:15 – We often don’t spend enough time thinking about happiness
  • 13:08 – Gretchen shares some of the things she found immediately improved her happiness
    •      13:30 – Your physical experience always colors your emotional experience
  • 14:30 – The Japanese Art of Decluttering
  • 16:00 – Testing the big theories of happiness
  • 16:55 – www.GretchenRubin.com
  • 17:08 – Happier with Gretchen Rubin
  • 17:45 – Sometimes you have to accept a negative period in order to get the benefits that ultimately lead to happiness
  • 19:05 – Sometimes you just have to trust yourself—You’re doing the right thing, just be patient
  • 20:15 – Even if you don’t see the change right away, stick with it!—As long as you know what you’re doing is right for you
  • 21:10 – Research suggests that 40% of our day is shaped by habit
  • 22:50 – The Four Tendencies
  • 25:25 – Keeping the “streak” is incredibly important in keeping your habits up
  • 26:04 – Ari’s 5 daily habits that he MUST keep up
  • 28:52 – Ari’s habits are about staying balanced and maintaining self-control
  • 29:45 – Some people assume that if they load themselves with guilt and shame they can better practice their good habits—that is not the case
  • 30:35 – Every once and awhile you’ll fail
  • 31:50 – How Gretchen quit sugar
    • 31:55 – Samuel Johnson—Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult
    • 34:40 – “It’s not rigid for me”
  • 36:04 – Habits Gretchen is currently working on implanting in her life
  • 36:46 – “Things that can be done at any time are often done at no time.”
  • 37:15 – Brush your teeth after dinner to stop night-snacking
  • 38:55 – Gretchen’s Top 3 Tips to be More Effective
    • 39:02 – Know thyself
    • 41:10 – Find clarity—be clear about what you want and why you want it
    • 42:25 – Think of your body


7 Key Points:

  1. Take the time to consciously think about your happiness.
  2. Physical experience invariably colors your emotional experience.
  3. When making big change, be patient and stay committed—it takes a while for the benefits to show up.
  4. Things that can be done at any time are often done at no time.
  5. “Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult.”
  6. “Keeping the streak” is an incredibly effective psychological tool for maintaining good habits
  7. Find clarity—about yourself, your goals, your work…everything.


Resources Mentioned:

  • Art Tatum – A partially blind Jazz Pianist who learned to play on a player piano; all about making the impossible possible
  • 7 Apps for People Who Hate Working Out – A Time-magazine article containing 7 apps for people who loathe a trip to the gym
  • Camio – Takes the footage from dropcam and automatically parses it into a series of daily highlights so users don’t have sort through all the footage
  • Junk Food and Stress – Sugar provide stress relief by killing cortisol which is why people crave it
  • Meditation for Productivity – A 7-day series featuring meditation designed to enhance productivity
  • Tylenol and Pain – Not only is Tylenol good for aches, pains and fevers, but it’s also good at dulling emotional pain
  • Dogs Eyes and Oxytocin – Looking into a dog’s eyes triggers the release of the “love” hormone
  • Tzoa – A wearable environmental tracker



Check out this episode!