450: A Realistic Approach to Sustaining Your Unique Happiness | Gretchen Rubin

Powered by RedCircle

Gretchen Rubin is the author of several books, including the #1 New York Times and international bestseller, The Happiness Project. Her books have sold over 3.5 million copies and have been published in more than thirty languages. Her “Four Tendencies” personality framework on sustaining happiness divides people into Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. More than 500,000 people have taken the quiz to figure out which tendency they hold, and you can to here. Millions of people read her blog each year, where she reports on her daily adventures in the pursuit of happiness and habits. As you can probably tell, Gretchen is the real deal and we could go on and on. The last note is that listening to her podcast Happier with “Gretchen Rubin” has been referred to as “one of the 10 life-changing things to do” by BuzzFeed.

Gretchen dives into her Four Tendencies framework, going over how you can self-assess and determine which one you fall under. This is determined by how you react to internal and external expectations and frames routine in a way that we’ve never experienced before. Why is this so important? It directly relates to your happiness. How often are you trying to mimic others’ routines and processes for finding happiness and success? As you listen to this episode, debrief. Be honest with yourself and be confident. Do you hold yourself accountable? Or do you find motivation in knowing that an external party is counting on you? Consider this and the much deeper dive within the episode, and let’s find a little more happiness moving into 2022. Gretchen Rubin and your host, George Leith leave you with some insights into your own happiness and some very realistic measures you can take to make your personal happiness not only more attainable but sustainable.

Conquer Local is presented by Vendasta. We have proudly served 5+ million local businesses through 50,000+ channel partners. Learn more about Vendasta and we can help you build your dream agency or learn more about Vendasta’s Affiliate Program and how our listeners (like yourself) are making up to $10,000 off referrals.

Are you an entrepreneur, salesperson, or marketer? Keep the learning going in the Conquer Local Academy.


George: This is the Conquer Local podcast, a show about billion-dollar-sales leaders, marketers leading local economic growth, and entrepreneurs that have created their dream organizations. They wanna share their secrets, giving you the distilled version of their extraordinary feats. Our hope is with the tangible takeaways from each episode, you can rewire, rework, and re-imagine your business. I’m George Leith, and on this episode, we’re very proud to feature Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen is the author of several books, including the New York Times number one international bestseller, “The happiness project”. Her books have sold 3.5 million copies, and have been published in more than 30 different languages. Millions of people read her blog every year, where she reports on her daily adventures in the pursuit of happiness and habits. Rubin is in demand as a speaker on TV, at places such as Google, LinkedIn, Accenture, Facebook, Procter and Gamble, Yale, Harvard, and Wharton Schools, and at conferences like South by Southwest, World Domination Summit, and the Atlantic. On her popular weekly podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, she discusses happiness with her sister Elizabeth Craft. It was named an iTunes list of the best podcasts of 2015, and won the academy of podcasters Best Health and Fitness Podcast in 2016. Get ready conquerors, Gretchen Rubin is coming up next on this week’s episode of the Conquer Local podcast. Well, for those of you that know me know that I talk about my morning routine quite a bit. And we thought what if we were to bring in Gretchen, who is an expert on talking about morning routines, and why George can’t stick to it? So, you know, Gretchen, there’s a lot of stuff that we could talk about, because of all of the, you know, in the intro, we talked about your books and the material that you’ve been producing, but let’s kick it off with the morning routine. Why can’t people stick to a morning routine? I put it in the calendar, I try to make it work, and then, you know, three or four weeks in I’m like, yeah, I’m not following that anymore.

How To Stick To A Morning Routine By Understanding The Four Tendencies

Gretchen: Well, this was when I was researching habits for my book “Better Than Before”, this was a question that I was very preoccupied with. Why is it that sometimes we seem to form habits very easily and sometimes they just do not seem to stick, why do some people seem able to pick up habits pretty easily, other people, it’s like such a huge effort, how do you explain those differences? And that’s what led me to figure out my four tendencies personality framework, because it turns out that there are four types of people, upholders, questioners, obligers, and rebels. And when you look at why people find it challenging to do something like a morning routine, it’s often due to the fact that they’ve tried to set it up in a way that’s not right for their tendency. So they’ve got a good tool, but they haven’t figured out how to use it correctly.

George: So, you know, there is a litany of tools that we can find, the Internet’s made that really easy for us to find them, but they may not map to who we are, and that’s where these things fall apart is what I’m hearing from you.

Gretchen: Yes, we always have to, there’s no one right way. There’s no one best way. It really depends on the person. So say something with a morning routine, something as simple as are you a morning person or night person? Like if you say, “Oh, I’m gonna get up early “and go for a 45-minute-jog before work” if you’re a night person, you are not setting yourself up for success, because you’re at your most productive and creative and energetic later in the day. And so it’s not that there’s anything wrong with the idea, and of course on paper, I can show you so many reasons why it is a good idea to go for a run first thing in the day, but the best run is the run you take not the theoretical run that you never do, and so we really have to think about what’s right for us. And back to the four tendencies, what you see is that obligers really need accountability. So they’re the people that do really well when they go for a walk with a friend who’s counting on them or they take their dog for a run who’s gonna be so disappointed if she doesn’t get to go, or they work out with a trainer, who is expecting them to show up and is charging them either way. But some people don’t really need accountability, they’ll go for their own reasons. And so when you understand what kind of person you are, you’re much better able to set yourself up for success.

George: When you were researching the book, and by the way, it’s brilliant, four tendencies,

Gretchen: Oh, thank you.

George: Did, you know, did you interview a bunch of people, like where did the idea of these four tendencies come from?

Gretchen: Well, you know, it came, the first inkling I had came from two pieces of information that I couldn’t make sense of. First is I was talking to a friend about what made her happier, and my sister calls me a happiness bully, ’cause I can kind of get up in your face if I think there’s a way for you to be happier, and she said something that I had heard many times before in different versions, she said, “I don’t understand it. “I know I’m happier when I exercise, “and when I was in high school, I was on the track team. “So why can’t I go running now?” Well, why, it’s the same person, it’s the same behavior at one time, it was effortless, now she can’t do it. I can think of many possible explanations, but how do you account for that? Then I also, because I often ask people about New Year’s resolutions, ’cause if you’re interested in happiness and good habits, like this is something that comes up a lot. There was a group of people where if I asked them about new year’s resolutions, they would look indignant and they would say, “I would not keep a New Year’s resolution. “January 1st is an arbitrary date. “I’ll make a resolution whenever it makes sense to me.” And I thought, well, that’s interesting because the arbitariness of January 1st never really bothered me, but they all use that word arbitrary. And it took me months of like the sweat pouring down my face with intellectual exertion to figure out that this framework, the four tendencies framework, which looks at something that seems obscure, but turns out to be really significant, which is how we respond to expectations, ’cause we all face outer expectations, like a work deadline, and we all have inner expectations, like my own desire to get back into meditation. And it turns out that depending on whether we meet or resist outer or inner expectations, that’s what makes us an upholder, a questioner, an obliger, or a rebel, and it often also has tremendous consequences for how we most effectively set up our habits.

How Do You Know Which Of The Four Tendencies You Are?

George: So how do we know which one of the four we are?

Gretchen: Okay, that is the most fun. Once you know these categories, they are very obvious. I can do the Game of Thrones characters. I can do the Parks and Rec characters, these are like, you will see them all around you. I will give a brief explanation, and most people will instantly know what they are. You’ll, you know, your whole team will probably know who you are, but there is a quiz, if you go to gretchenrubin.com/fourtendencies, F-O-U-R tendencies, you can take a free, quick quiz, like three and a half million people have taken that quiz. And it will give you an answer and like a little report, but most people don’t even need to do that, okay. So upholders readily meet outer and inner expectations. They meet the work deadline, they keep the New Year’s resolution without much fuss. They wanna know what other people expect from them, but their expectations for themselves are just as important. So their motto is “Discipline is my freedom.” Then there are questioners, questioners question all expectations. They’ll do something only if they think it makes sense. They don’t like anything arbitrary like January 1st, or ineffective or unjustified, they have to know why. So once, they’re making everything an inner expectation, if it meets their inner standard, they will do it, no problem. If they decide it fails their inner standard, they will resist. So their motto is “I’ll comply if you convince me why.” Then there are obligers, obligers readily meet outer expectations, but they struggle to meet inner expectations. So this explains my friend on the track team. When she had a team and a coach expecting her to show up, she showed up, no problem, but when she’s trying to go running on her own, it was a challenge. Obligers need outer accountability, even for inner expectations. They are good at keeping their promises to other people, but they need accountability to keep their promises to themselves. So their motto is “You can count on me, “and I’m counting on you to count on me.” And by the way, this is the biggest tendency, for both men and women, you either are an obliger or you have many ledgers in your life. And then finally, rebels, rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike. They wanna do what they wanna do in their own way, in their own time. They can do anything they want to do, anything they choose to do, but if you ask or if you ask or tell them to do something, they’re very likely to resist, and typically they don’t tell themselves what to do, like they don’t say, “Oh, I’m gonna get up at 6:30 AM and go for a run every single day.” because they think, I don’t know what I’m gonna wanna do tomorrow morning when I wake up, and just the idea that somebody’s telling me to do it bugs me, even if it’s me telling me to do it, it bugs me. So their motto is “You can’t make me and neither can I.” And so those are the four tendencies, and how you set up a habit is very influenced by what works best for your tendency.

Gretchen’s Four Tendencies vs. Traditional Personality Frameworks

George: You know, they make a lot of sense, and I appreciate the explanation. The one question I have, Gretchen, I just came through a session, where we had our leadership onsite for Q4 with a company, they bring in Deloitte, Deloitte does business chemistry, so think DiSC, if you haven’t saw the Deloitte program, it’s the DiSC profile, what’s the difference between your four tendency framework and you know, those traditional Myers-Briggs or DiSC or business chemistry, where do you line up against that, or are they complimentary or, you know, have you thought about that?

Gretchen: Yes, absolutely. Now I’m a big fan of personality frameworks, and I think each has its strength. Like each kind of has its own vocabulary, and its own strength. And I think you kind of lose the nuance if you try to map them on top of each other. So I sort of say like, let them each kind of dial in and certain vocabulary, certain metaphors will resonate more with different people or in different circumstances. What is different about the four tendencies is it’s very narrow. Something like Myers-Briggs or DiSC tries to explain your whole personality. The four tendencies does not. We can take 50 questioners and line them up, and how ambitious they were, how creative they were, how extroverted or introverted they were, how adventurous they were, how analytical they were, how curious they were. All of that would be different. We couldn’t predict any of that. We don’t know anything about these people, except we know one thing. If I ask her to tell them to do something, they will all look at me and say, “Why should I?” Because what they wanna know is why. So this only goes to how you respond to expectations. And so it’s narrow, but it turns out this actually is a very significant aspect, and it comes up a lot like in teams, because we’re either trying to make ourselves do something, or we’re trying to make somebody else do something, and either way the four tendencies, but it doesn’t tell you other kinds of things like, do you thrive in a big group? Well, your tendency doesn’t say anything about that. Sometimes people are like, “Oh, all rebels are creative” and I’m like, “No, being a rebel doesn’t tell us anything “about whether you’re creative or not.” You might be, but we don’t know that from the fact that you’re a rebel, that doesn’t give us that information.

How To Apply The Four Tendencies To Your Sales Processes

George: The reason why I’m asking is because when I look at these four tendencies, I’m starting to measure people that I’m interacting with. And you mentioned people on your own team, but this podcast is about entrepreneurship and sales, and the salespeople on the listing end are they’re saying, “How do I know when my prospect or my customer “is one of these? “And then do I relate to them differently “with this information, “with what we’re learning here today?”

Gretchen: Yeah, 100% you should take it into consideration. So, and this comes up a lot. I hear this question in this context a lot. So here’s some things that you might think about in this context. So one is, you might have somebody who’s asking you question after question to the point where you’re like, “This person doesn’t trust my judgment, “this person, isn’t like, “they have no faith in me. “Like, I don’t understand. “Like, I feel very defensive, “because they keep questioning, questioning, questioning.” But if you understand that questioners, like that’s how they relate. That’s how they get on board, and you have to be patient and go through that process with them, because then they, if they do decide that you know what you’re talking about, and, you know, they think you know, they will follow suit, but they have to get to that comfort level, and I will say that to the other three tendencies, often the questioners questioning can seem draining and overwhelming. And so it’s often the case that other tendencies find those questionings, it kind of puts them on edge and they misinterpret it. They don’t understand that the questioner is truly just trying to understand, and so maybe have a little bit more patience and understand that the person isn’t signaling to you disrespect, they’re just trying to get on board. And you might also, if you’re thinking about a rebel, one thing you wanna be very careful about when you’re dealing with a rebel is you do not wanna tell them what to do or what to think. Now you might think, “Oh, I would never tell a client “what to do or what to think.” But we do this more often than we think, even something like, “Hey, George, you have a good day.” It’s like, “I don’t have a good day. “Who are you to tell me to have a good day?” Or like, “Well get back to me to the end of the day.” It’s like, “Who are you to tell me “when to get back to you?” With a rebel you really wanna frame it in terms of choice and option, and like, if you want this, then that, it’s like, “Oh, well, you know, what? “If I can hear from you by the end of the week, “I think I can get you $1,000 discount. “But if that doesn’t work for you, that’s okay.” And it’s like, “You can get to me, “you can get me the information sooner, “and I can maybe get you a discount, “if you don’t wanna deal with it, “you can pay a little bit more, totally up to you.” But again, it’s always like, “If this works for you, “if this is convenient, if this is what you want, “I’m here for you, I have what you might want” but you wanna be very careful not to ignite the spirit of resistance by saying, like, “Get back to me by this time, “let me know, you said you would” things like that that make the rebel feel like you’re trying to tell them what to do, or limit, and they also like, they love options, and choices and freedom. So you could say something like, “Oh, look, you know, “take all week, like, think about it, kick it around, “you know, there is no rush, “like we want this to work for you, “just like, whenever you wanna get started, “you know, let me know.” And really preserving that sense that they are choosing what they want. And then with obligers, it really helps to have that accountability. So you could try to create certain kinds of deadlines, or limit something like “I would love to hear from you by Friday, “cause then I can close out my books” or “It would be great to hear from you by Friday, “because that’s gonna let me plan ahead, “so I can schedule the appointments that I know you’re gonna want.” So it’s sort of like, “I’m waiting for you. “I need to hear from you because until you get back to me, “somehow, I can’t move forward or I’m depending on you. “And we know when that is. “It’s not like whenever you want, “it’s like by the end of the month.” And that often works much better for obligers in terms of like that back and forth.

George: So we’re playing into the tendencies, and you know, I’m just working on a lecture series around prospecting. And one of the things that I’m trying to teach sales reps is that people ghost, that’s just the way it is. And if you’re a new sales rep, you’re like, “Oh, it’s 62% of my people are ghosting me.” Okay, well, when you get, maybe you’re here three years from now, it’ll be 62% again, or maybe even more ’cause it’s just the way that people are. But when I read through this, I’m thinking this might be a rebel that is ghosting you, because you try to dial them in, and they just don’t wanna be told what to do. So by looking at the tendencies, there may be a reason why they’re ghosting, or maybe on the obligers, you didn’t dial it in with a little bit more accountability, and that’s why they’re ghosting you is because you didn’t meet them where are those tendencies, you know, where their core tendencies are.

Gretchen: Right, or maybe with a question, or you said something that struck them as arbitrary or kind of capricious like, “Well, we’ve always done it this way.” Or “I don’t know this is what corporate wants” or, you know, “I don’t know why we do it that way, but like, ” this is just the way it has to be.” And they’re like, “Well, that doesn’t make any sense.” So it’s much more like there’s reasons like, oh, there’s a reason for that. So I think you’re right. When you don’t make that connection, it’s really, we’re thinking about whether there’s some kind of conflict with tendency, because as you might predict, most of us go through the world, assuming that other people are more or less like we are, and we tend to like very much play to our tendency. Now I’m an upholder, which is the second to smallest tendency, and, boy it sure explained to me a lot about the world and how I was different from a lot of other people, when I understand like, “Oh, I’m an upholder.” and there are not that many upholders. And I really can’t go through the world treating other people like me, because we’re a pretty small group. We’re like, you know, less than one-fifth of the population is upholder, so it doesn’t serve me well to treat everybody like an upholder.

George: I like what you said earlier, too, that these are across, it doesn’t matter, like we had Matt Pollard on the show here a couple of months back, where he’s talking about introverts can sell, and pretty obvious that I’m not an introvert, although I seem to be having more introverted tendencies lately, but you’re saying that these are across the entire spectrum. You could be introverted or extroverted, and then you dial into one of these. So how do I, we can take the test. We can take the quiz as you mentioned, but is there some that just hits you in the head, when you see these, like on the upholders, it’s a list. They send you an agenda for a meeting, pretty good chance they’re an upholder. Are there certain like things that just flag it for you quickly?

Gretchen: Yeah, anything like, anything that’s very execution-focused, like lists, calendars, that kind of thing, that does tend to be upholder, it can also be obliger that they often do it because they’re very, like, they’re very good at meeting outer expectations. So if you and I are working together, then this is an outer expectation. So in that way, upholders and obligers will look alike ’cause they both readily meet outer expectations. Anytime someone is insisting on understanding why, or wanting efficiency or wanting justification, or wanting to customize, these are indicators of a questioner. Usually when I’m trying to figure out somebody’s tendency, I can get them to the word arbitrary in like five minutes. Like they just really don’t like things that are arbitrary. So that’s often a big red flag. In fact, if you’re looking for kind of, a nutshell guide to the four tendencies, or if you’re looking for a way to try to figure out someone’s tendency, without asking them to take the quiz, you’re trying to kind of diagnose them on the fly. If you go to my website, gretchenrubin.com/resources, and you look under the four tendencies, there’s like a cheat sheet that you can look at. So that, because it’s not necessarily what they say, it’s kind of like the overall meaning. So if somebody keeps asking you questions and like, saying like, “Well, why are you doing this, “and how about that? “And can you explain this to me?” You’re like, okay, I’m getting questioner here. If somebody keeps pushing back, and insisting on spontaneity, like rebels often, like they really highly value spontaneity, and like making up your mind, like at the moment that it matters, that’s the sign of rebel. If anything backs upholders, if anything, upholders are rigid, so if you’re dealing with somebody where you’re like, “Wow, this is a person who’s like, “so committed to the calendar, “so committed to the to-do list “that they like really cannot pivot.” It’s like, I’m thinking, hmm, that sounds like upholder. I’m an upholder, and definitely we are rigid. We can get, it doesn’t seem rigid to us, but others often say that we are rigid.

George: Gretchen, of all of the guests that we’ve had, you are three minutes early for the media, upholder.

Gretchen: Yes.

Gretchen’s World-Renowned Happiness Project

George: You’re number one New York Times bestseller, “The Happiness Project”, a year-long journey that you embarked on to truly figure out the big question, what am I doing? I do have to note, T-Bone, our sound engineer, when we got in the episode, he went and grabbed the book, he had your book, The Happiness Project. So I’d love —

Gretchen: Awesome.

George: to talk about it. Congratulations on all your success as an author, but let’s talk specifically about The Happiness Project, because, you know, I think all of us could do a little bit better, with a little bit more happiness.

Gretchen: Absolutely, yes. And I think for most of what I’ve found is that for most people, there’s kind of low-hanging fruit, you know, it’s very easy in the tumult of everyday life to just be focusing on the day-to-day and not step back and ask ourselves big questions, like how could I be happier, but I think for most people, when they do step back and ask themselves that question, they see things, you know, things that they could do as part of an ordinary day, you know, without spending a lot of time, energy, or money, ’cause for a lot of people, time, energy and money are in short supply, but just little things that can, you know, little changes that can add up to quite a big boost in our happiness.

George: So is there, there’s a formula then, to happiness, or are there questions that we need to ask ourselves to unearth these, what’s the methodology that you’re professing here?

Gretchen: That is a great question, and happiness can feel so like abstract and transcendent, and everything’s tangled up in everything else, I couldn’t, like when I started researching it, I could not figure out like, how do I even approach this? Okay, so here’s a really helpful way to think about your life, and you can dial into any of these four, these four, or you can think about all four together. So when you’re thinking about your life and how to be happier, you should think about feeling good, feeling bad, feeling right, and an atmosphere of growth. So feeling good, that’s very obvious. If you wanna live a happier life, you wanna feel good. You want more joy, more enthusiasm, more love, more friendship, more engagement, like more of the things that make you feel good, but you also wanna think about the things that make you feel bad. What makes you feel angry, resentful, bored, indignant, guilty, and think about, well, are there ways that I could kind of bring up the bottom, like, are there ways to, so I’m not feeling bored. Are there ways that I can not feel resentful, and to sort of, how can I not feel like physically uncomfortable in my office? Like, oh, maybe I need an office chair, a new office chair. So that’s feeling good, feeling bad. And then there’s feeling right. Feeling right is do you feel like your life reflects your values? Are you living the life that you want? And sometimes to live a life that reflects our values, we do things that don’t make us feel good. So you might say like, “Well, I’m going to visit “this sick relative in a hospital, “and I hate hospitals, “and my relative was like, never that nice to me, “and so I don’t look forward to it with pleasure, “I don’t enjoy it when I’m there. “I kind of dread going again. “And yet I feel like that’s the right thing to do, “the right thing to do is to show up for this person “in my family, who’s in the hospital, “so I’m living up to my values and that’s part of happiness, “even though it doesn’t really make me feel good.” Then finally, there’s atmosphere of growth. And the atmosphere of growth is the fact that we feel happier when we’re growing, when we’re learning or teaching, when we’re fixing, when we’re improving, when we’re stretching, and this is a great engine of happiness, even when, if like a lot of things are sort of not going well, if you’re like, “Oh, maybe I can tutor somebody in English as a second language, “or I can volunteer at this organization that I admire “and fix their books, which are a mess, “or maybe I can learn Spanish, “or I can get back into practicing the guitar every day. “Or I can even just like clean up the basement.” You know, having that atmosphere of growth is also an engine of happiness. So just about anything that you would think about, it’s like, you could think about feeling good, feeling bad, feeling right, and an atmosphere of growth. And so those are good ways to sort of tackle the big, complicated question of like, how can I be happier? Which feels like an impossible question to answer.

George: Well, I’m feeling as I listen to you, that you believe that happiness can be, it can be created or manufactured, if you really take a good look at what’s going on. Am I hearing you correctly?

Gretchen: Well, that’s an excellent question. So research shows that about 50% of our happiness levels are genetically determined. So a lot of that is just hardwired. Some people are Tiggers from Winnie the Pooh, some people are Eeyores from Winnie the Pooh, and we see that in everyday life. Then about 10 to 20% is something called life circumstances. So that’s things like age, income, health, occupation, marital status, those kinds of things. Then all the rest is very much a consequence of our conscious thoughts and actions. So that’s where we can really make a big difference. So what I say that someone has complete control over their happiness, absolutely not, of course, many, many, many things come into play and affect our happiness levels, things that aren’t in our control, that are sort of in our control, but sort of not in our control, consequences of decisions we made a long time ago, all that kind of thing. But that said, are there things within our conscious control that can make a difference? Then I would say, yes, there are things that are within our conscious control. We can’t totally control it, but we can influence it.

George: It’s amazing in two topics we’ve covered off the tendencies. And I’d learned so much from that. And it’s just another lens that I hadn’t really considered when it comes to personality profiles, and how to relate to people. And then over here, you get me thinking that maybe there’s some things that I could do to be a hell of a lot more happier next year if I just paid attention to it.

Gretchen: Excellent, excellent.

George: I really appreciate that. Gretchen, you know, off the top, when we did the intro, I told everybody you’re from New York, and then we heard the sirens in the background, so we knew you’re from —

Gretchen: Oh, did you hear them?

George: It’s all good though, that’s about as New York

Gretchen: I don’t even hear them anymore.

George: but we really appreciate you joining us. You mentioned earlier the website, kudos on your website, by the way, it’s brilliant, and that’s where we can find out more about your titles that you’ve authored, because these are just two of a number of books that you’ve written, and we’re gonna make sure that we put all of the contact information inside the show notes. But the last thing that I wanted to ask, because we always love to leave something that our listeners can take and use. So from the four tendencies, is there anything that our listeners would be able to take and just use tomorrow, aside from the quiz, and the learnings that you gave us today?

Gretchen: Yes, it’s really wrapping your mind around the idea that other people may not be like you, and something that you feel like, well, every sensible person in the world would respond to lots of documentation giving, lots of backup resources, or everybody in the world does better with accountability, or everybody in the world does better with a lot of options and choices, it’s like maybe not, we’re all different. And so to really think about what’s true for you, and what might be true for someone else, and that they just may not be the same thing. It sounds so obvious, and yet over and over, I find myself slipping into the trap of thinking that other people see the world the way I do. I didn’t even hear those sirens, George. My brain takes those out, it doesn’t tell me anymore ’cause there are too many. So we even live in a different physical world, because my world doesn’t have the sound of sirens until you pointed it out.

George: I don’t think that anyone listening would say, “Yeah, I’ve way too much happiness.” There’s too much, too much happiness. So one thing —

Gretchen: There you go.

How Can We Become Happier? Here Are Some Boxes To Check In Your Search For More Happiness

George: that we could do in 2022 to find a little bit more happiness from all the research you did in the happiness project.

Gretchen: Look, ancient philosophers, and contemporary scientists agree that if you had to pick one thing, that is the key to happiness, probably you would say relationships, to be happy, we need to have strong, intimate bonds, we need to feel like we belong, we need to feel like we can confide, and we feel like we need to feel like we can get support, and just as important for happiness, we need to be able to feel like we can give support. And so if you are thinking about what you can do in 2022, anything that deepens relationships, like gets you closer to the people who are already important to you, or broadens your relationship, which like expands the number of people who you feel like you have a significant relationship with, those are things that are very likely to boost your happiness. Really, relationships are a key.


George: Gretchen Rubin joining us this week. One of the commitments that we have to our listeners here in the Conquer Local podcast is to give you great thought leaders like Gretchen so that we can learn some things, and that commitment of constant improvement is one of the things that we wanna bring through the show. And Gretchen, you did that in spades. Thank you so much for joining us, by the way, there was another siren there while you were talking —

Gretchen: I know, what’s going on, this one I heard.

George: Gretchen Rubin joining us this week of the Conquer Local podcast. Thank you so much. We’ll let you get back to the sirens, and the bustle of New York City. We really appreciate your time.

Gretchen: Thank you.

George: We can’t thank Gretchen enough for sharing your stories this week. Here’s our team’s top three takeaways from this episode. Why can’t we stick to that morning routine? If you’re managing your family’s morning routine or dealing with an unpredictable work schedule, it can be very tough to establish a solid routine, that’s the reality, but sometimes we can’t stick to the morning routine because we’re not wired that way. That’s not the tendency that we have. How do we know which of those four tendencies we are? The best way is to take the quiz on our website, which we will put the link in the show notes, but here are those four tendencies. Upholders meet inner and outer expectations. The point that she made in the episode was that discipline is my freedom idea. Questioners have to know why, everything is inner expectation. I’ll comply if you convince me why. Obligers could run the track meet because the coach set the expectations. And now they’re not able to do certain things, if they don’t have that outer expectation setting. So they perform a lot better if they’ve got a companion to go on the task, or they have a coach. And then rebels, well, the word speaks for itself. Don’t tell me what to do. Oh, by the way, I can’t tell me what to do either. How do you feel happier in 2022? We gotta realize that other people aren’t like you, really considering what’s true for you, and that other people are different. And the one thing that leads to the key to happiness is the need to have strong, intimate bonds, like we belong to something, like we can confide in someone, like we can give and get support, anything that deepens relationships, or expands the number of people you have relationships with will lead you to more happiness in 2022. If you’d like Gretchen’s episode discussing the psychology of happiness, it’s just one of over 200 episodes we produced in the last four years to help you Conquer Local. If you found value in this episode, we ask you to please leave us a review wherever you consume your podcasts. This feedback will help us grow and better adapt to what you wanna hear in the coming season. Be sure to subscribe to the Finny Award winning Conquer Local podcast, as we continue to welcome extraordinary sales leaders, marketers, and entrepreneurs like Gretchen. My name is George Leith. I’ll see you when I see you.

Subscribe to podcast


Introducing Conquer Local podcast for marketers, sales experts