When I launched this blog, I had said that there was a possibility that one my obsessions may prove to be an actual person. Today, I’m making good on that claim.
I’m just going to say it: I’m obsessed with Gretchen Rubin.
I’ve been a fan of Gretchen’s ever since reading one of her bestselling books, The Happiness Project. In it, Gretchen talks about how she spent a full year trying to figure out the secret to true contentment. I’m currently reading another one of her books, Better Than Before, in which she discusses making and breaking habits. You can imagine how thrilled I was to discover that Gretchen also hosts a podcast—with her sister, Elizabeth Craft—called Happier. I binge-listened for days until I was caught up. So much essential information: Travel tips, how to carve out more time to read, how to “remember love” (not as hokey as it sounds), why you should be willing to delegate, and much more. And Gretchen, sweetheart that she is, responded to my e-mail when I asked about one of the travel tips she mentioned for avoiding “passport panic.” You know, that feeling when you start frantically checking your carry-on going, “Where’s my passport?!” even though you just saw it two seconds ago?? Yes…The answer: A plastic sleeve in which to encase your travel documents. Simple, right? (But why didn’t I think of that??)
And if all of this weren’t enough to satisfy my inner nerd, Gretchen recently published a book that has been a game-changer for me. It’s called, The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too). In it, she discusses how answering just one simple question--“How do I respond to expectations?”—will “transform what you do at home, at work, and in life.” Truth.
Gretchen—a former lawyer who once clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor—says that people fit into one of four tendencies: Upholder, Obliger, Questioner or Rebel, and claims that once you find out what your tendency is, it is “far easier to succeed when you know what actually works—and why.” I have to say, I agree.
While it was no surprise to find out that I’m a Questioner, it was helpful to have the validation—the “aha moment” if you will--as to why I do the things I do in the ways that I do them; not to mention why my behavior may, at times, frustrate the non-Questioners who interact with me. I truly believe that once you find out what your tendency is, you will experience your own “aha moment.” You’ll interact with your spouse or significant other differently (who should also find out what his/her tendency is). You’ll figure out how you work best; for example, maybe you’ve always struggled with conventional workplace rules and are more comfortable working independently. You’ll also see how your tendency affects how you meet both personal and professional goals, and if you struggle to meet certain goals, why that’s so. Trust me, guys, this is genius.
So what’s your tendency?
And let me know!