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How Gretchen Rubin became my virtual mentor

A few years ago, I began my quest for personal growth by reading The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. A world of new possibilities opened for me as I discovered self-help books. One day, I was perusing the library section of my favorite thrift store when I found a little blue book written by Gretchen Rubin. The Title, The Happiness Project, immediately grabbed my attention. I ran home with the book and started reading it right away.

During the summer of 2014, I went to the beach with my in-laws. What I love most about the beach are the long hours without a thing to do, nothing else than read. I read most of The Happiness project during that week at the beach. It was the first memoir I’ve ever read, a literary style I did not know existed. I was blown away by Gretchen Rubin’s style. We seemed to have in common that practical sense of creating experiences to enhance our happiness. She seemed a lot like me, very type-A, driven and disciplined. I really liked her.

Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft
Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft co-host the Happier podcast

Soon after I’ve read Gretchen Rubin’s book, I discovered that she and her sister hosted a podcast called Happier. I love podcasts! I love that I can learn while I walk to work, cook or clean. I started to listen to Rubin’s podcast and I loved it right away. I learned a lot about myself with her know yourself better segment and her try this at home segment is packed with quick exercises that you can integrate into your everyday life to feel a little happier each day. I love that Gretchen and Elizabeth (Craft, her sister) share their personal stories and experiences in a very authentic way that I can relate to.

In 2015, Gretchen Rubin published a new book, Better Than Before : Mastering the habits of our everyday lives. As a type-A girl, I knew I wanted to read that book. In this very thorough compendium of tips and tricks, Rubin shares practical ways to create new habits or to get rid of habits that no longer serves us. She created a framework to understand why certain habits don’t stick and how to improve. The Four Tendencies framework helps us get to know ourselves better and understand why and how certain habits will be easier to implement for us depending on our own tendency. If you’d like to know which of the obliger, upholder, questioner or rebel tendency you might be, you can take a quiz on Gretchen Rubin’s website.

I really enjoyed Better than before. It is an awesome reference book when you are trying to master certain aspects of your life. After reading it, I wanted to explore the other books Rubin has written. I then read Happier at Home, which is a sequel to the Happiness project. In this memoir, Rubin explores in which way our home contributes to our happiness. During a school year, Gretchen Rubin tried one hack each month to make her home a happy place to be.

The more I explore Gretchen Rubin’s work, the more I want to know about her research on happiness, good habits, and human nature. Her next book is about the Four Tendencies and I will make sure to buy a copy as soon as it is published! I am always curious to learn about her new discoveries!

Now your turn. Do you have a virtual mentor? What inspires you about his or her message?
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