Tag Archives: Gretchen Rubin

enter the critic

“But instead of spending our lives running towards our dreams, we are often running away from a fear of failure or a fear of criticism.”
― Eric Wright
The Happiness Project (2009)

Here’s a post by Gretchen Rubin on criticism.    What lessons can you learn?

It’s easy to talk first and listen later.  The price is often much higher when we listen after the fact.    How often are you forming a response to what someone is saying and missing the essence of what they have said?   We spend so much time thinking  about what to respond with that  we fail to hear their words.

What happens when someone critiques you?   Do you immediately go on the defensive?  Do you shutdown and stop listening?   Do you start preparing a message to defend your position?   Most people do just that, they are not listening they are preparing a defense and missing out on the importance of the information being shared.    Next time try a different approach and listen to what is being said.   Understand the real issue.   Is there something you can learn?  Is the information useful to you?

It is easier to respond when someone is criticizing you than it is to step back for a few seconds and think about what was being said.   The first reaction to criticism is to respond like a tiger is attacking you.    Ask yourself if what is being said is really threat.   What is really happening?   Understand what is triggering your emotions.   To engage your higher order thinking means to take five seconds or so to shift the automatic response to a cognitive thought process and respond with a well thought out statement.   Try it and see what happens.

Being willing to admit that you made a mistake if you did make one.   Be accountable and responsible for your actions and that will reduce the intensity of any criticism.  If you understand how the mistake was made you can correct it and offer that as a solution to the critic.  Make it easy on yourself and make it easier for the other person.   Make it a win-win outcome.
You can learn more about Gretchen here.

Create your own happiness project

Gretchen Rubin the author of “The Happiness Project” has a new happy project ready to launch in American stores, “Happiness at Home”.    Projects that you can do to increase your own happiness.   Happiness isn’t something that happens to us, it is something we create within ourselves.

Listen to Gretchen provide some happiness hints.  Getting started on being happier is something that you can do and it doesn’t cost a lot.   Becoming happier might mean giving something up, something that is energy draining.

Maybe your one of those people who for whatever reason gets stuck and delays doing the work you know you should do.   How do you get out of that rut of procrastination, here’s a tip.

The idea is to generate some fun ways to get excited about life everyday.  Small happiness moments that can elevate your mood and your view of life.    Thinking positive or in positive ways cultivates creative activity and creative activity provides benefits.   Negative thinking is often destructive and energy robbing and doesn’t generate much in benefits.   So why not change your way of thinking and put more time into building momentum for creative events in your life.

Start generating more happiness in your life today.   If you can’t do it by yourself hire a coach to work with you so that you can start living that life you really want to live.   Happiness matters.

 

creativity … right brain thinking

“True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found.” — Eckhart Tolle

Where do your best ideas come from?

Are you able to use your creative talents daily?    When do you use your creativity?

Creativity leads to innovation if action is taken and that is what thwarts many creative people, the inability to take action.    Having great ideas works when something becomes of them.   Perhaps you have tons of great ideas and they are carefully written in a book, the ideas are there but they aren’t going anywhere.  What would it take to take the best ideas and take action on them?

If you are thinking, “I’m not a creative thinker” then try to different approaches to solving problems.   For example Daniel Pink suggests that you give the problem to someone else to solve.   Gretchen Rubin the author of the “Happiness Project” has these suggestions to generate new ideas.

Some people just draw pictures and link those pictures to a central theme, or do what is popularly called “Mind Mapping“.    There are other brain storming methods that can be used to generate new ideas, ideas that can improve your life.    Visiting a book store can be a good way to look at things in a new way, new ideas and new thoughts can lead to your innovative spirit coming to life.

Some ideas to cultivate creative thoughts:

1. Invite some friends over for a creativity party.

2. Take a walk

3. Journal – and then reflect on what you wrote

4. Solve a problem for someone else

5. Play with some children .. let them solve a problem for you.

6. Take something apart blindfolded

7. Read a book you normally wouldn’t read

The idea is to shift you out of your comfort zone, your normal zone of thinking, so that you exercise a part of the brain you don’t normally use.   Flip things upside down, tackle the idea from a different point of view and see what happens.    Change the rules to a game, like Monopoly or Scrabble, what can you come up with?

Elizabeth Gilbert the author of “Eat, Pray, Love” talks about the creativity challenge …

What are your creativity challenges? What would spark a new idea? What would cause you to leap to action?

your thought patterns

In the past researchers focused on negative thought patterns and depression and now researchers like Martin Seligman, Tal Ben Shahar, Sonja Lyubomirsky and Gretchen Rubin are focusing on positive thinking.

 

When a negative thought enters your mind what do you do with it?  Do you dwell on it as if it were true?   Take an example from your past, a time when a negative thought just turned over and over in your mind.   What was that thought?  

Evaluate the thought through the prism of these four questions to see if the thought is true.

  1. Is the thought true?
  2. Can you absolutely know that it is true?
  3. How do you feel when you have that thought?
  4. Who would you be or what would you feel if it you didn’t have that thought?

Now, reverse the thought and change it to its opposite.

  1. Is the thought false?
  2. Can you absolutely know that it is false?
  3. How do you feel when you have that thought?
  4. What would you be or what would you feel if you did something with this thought?

 

 

Which scenario is more valid, the positive thought or the negative thought?   Which thought has the possibility of creating a better mood and better outcome?

Take time to think about the positive outcomes and your life will become more positive as a result.