Reinventing to Find Happiness with Gretchen Rubin
FROM A CONVERSATION WITH GRETCHEN RUBIN ON THE REINVENT YOURSELF PODCAST
Gretchen Rubin didn’t become The Happiness Lady by accident. She was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized that she was not really interested in the law, but in “power, money and sex.” She realized she would rather fail as a writer than succeed as a lawyer, and she never looked back.
Today Rubin is the best-selling author of The Happiness Project and now, Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness. Rubin reveals the steps she took to transition from one lucrative profession to another.
Gretchen’s Top Tips for Reinvention
Sometimes when you want to reinvent, you know what you don’t want to do, but what you don’t know is what you do want to do. And that can be very painful. So here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What did you like to do for fun when you were 10 years old? It’s probably something you would enjoy now as an adult, either as a profession or in leisure. But surprisingly often, you will see the roots of adult professional happiness in a leisure activities of a 10-year-old. It’s really fun to talk to people about that.
- Whom do you envy? Envy is an unpleasant emotion; we often want to deny that we have it. But if you envy someone it’s because they have something you want. And it’s not the same as admiration, because I can admire someone but I don’t want it. Envy is “I want that” in a painful way. It’s very instructive.
- What do you do? When you are free and just doing stuff in the world, what did you do? On the weekends and at night, what is it that you love to do. Are you cooking? Are you hosting events? There’s a lot of times clues in what you want to do in what you already do.
And lastly, stop thinking you have to either risk everything and start your reinvention now, or stay in the same life you’ve had forever. Set up a side hustle to learn as you go. So you still have your regular job, but you’re gaining skills, you’re figuring out if you like it. So that’s a way that you don’t have to gamble everything on a reinvention, but still make steps towards something new.
Can You Cook Yourself Happy? (TheCovey, Mar. 2019 Issue)
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