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Gretchen Rubin on Why The Key to Happiness Is Knowing Yourself
The importance of outer order inner calm

Gretchen Rubin (@gretchenrubin) – Why The Key to Happiness Is Knowing Yourself | Brought to you by Babbel ( and Trade Coffee (

Gretchen Rubin is an expert on understanding human nature and being able to explain complex emotional topics in easy-to-digest ways. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers, The Happiness Project, Better Than Before, Outer Order Inner Calm, and The Four Tendencies. Gretchen has an enormous readership, both in print and online, and her books have sold almost three and a half million copies worldwide, in more than thirty languages.

The Key to Happiness is Knowing Yourself

On her popular weekly podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin, she discusses good habits and happiness with her sister Elizabeth Craft; they’ve been called the “Click and Clack of podcasters.” Fast Company named Gretchen to its list of Most Creative People in Business, and she’s a member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100. She’s been interviewed by Oprah, walked arm-in-arm with the Dalai Lama, and eaten dinner with Daniel Kahneman.

To know ourselves is the great challenge of our lives. I’m more struck by how true it is that there is no magic, one size fits all solution. We really have to decide for ourselves, what is going to make me happier? What’s going to work for me?

Gretchen Rubin

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What I Discuss With Gretchen Rubin About the Key to Happiness

  • The life lessons Gretchen Rubin learned clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
  • How during that clerkship she realized that her purpose was to become a writer and not a lawyer.
  • Why the study of human nature became her purpose and the key to knowing yourself.
  • The importance of having Outer Order Inner Calm.
  • The Key to Happiness and the biggest lesson she learned during her twelve-month happiness project.
  • The difference between happiness and being happy.
  • Her views on how negative experiences influence our happiness.
  • The importance of decluttering our lives and why doing so brings us more joy,
  • Building habits and why they are a key to happiness.
  • The Happier With Gretchen Rubin podcast.
  • The Happier App
  • Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at [email protected]m!
  • And much more…
134 | The Key to Happiness Is Knowing Yourself | Gretchen Rubin | Passion Struck with John R. Miles
134 | The Key to Happiness Is Knowing Yourself | Gretchen Rubin | Passion Struck with John R. Miles

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Gretchen Rubin quote on inner and outer expectations for Passion Struck

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More about Why the Key to Happiness is Knowing Yourself with Gretchen Rubin

I spoke to Gretchen about several newer authors out there, most notably Mark Manson, who argue that we should stop finding the positives in life and instead find happiness by focusing on the tolerance and acceptance of negative experiences. I asked Gretchen if that is something that she believes is accurate?

Gretchen Rubin explains, “I definitely think there’s a very important role for negative experiences. Sometimes people sort of act as if you’re thinking about how to be happier that you aim to have a perfectly happy life where you’re at a ten on the one to ten scale 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that is not possible, and that would not even be a good life because obviously there are many times when we want to feel sorrow, and grief and regret and guilt and righteous indignation and a whole host of negative emotions. Negative emotions are very important because they’re like the big flashing warning sign that something needs to change.”

Outer Order Inner Calm

Outer Order Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin

I asked Gretchen Rubin Why do you feel more energized when you get rid of things that we don’t love?

Gretchen says, “It’s funny, I think there’s this disproportionate connection between outer order and inner calm and it just mystifies me. You could say like in the context of a happy life, a crowded inbox or a messy closet, It’s not a big deal. And yet over and over people say to me, I feel lighter. I feel more focused. I feel more energized. A friend of mine said I finally cleaned out my fridge and now I know I can switch careers like I know exactly how that feels.

It’s also true that when we get rid of the things that we don’t need don’t use or don’t love we often feel like we have more. I’m constantly trying to get my friends to let me help them clear their closets because I love clearing clutter. It’s even more fun when it’s somebody else’s clutter because there’s no emotional drain to it. And what people over and over say is ‘now that I’ve gotten rid of so much I feel like I have so much more,’ because when you get rid of all that stuff If that’s sort of clogging the system and clouding your vision, you feel more connected with the things that you actually love.”

Thanks, Gretchen Rubin!

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The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

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* Interview with Susan Cain

* Interview with Astronaut Nicole Stott

*Solo episode on work-life balance:

*Solo episode on overcoming burnout: 

*Solo episode on how you stop living in fear: 

About Today’s Guest Gretchen Rubin

Passion Struck with John R. Miles episode 134 album cover with Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is one of today’s most influential and thought-provoking observers of happiness and human nature. She’s known for her ability to distill and convey complex ideas with humor and clarity, in a way that’s accessible to a wide audience. 

She is a regular columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine and makes regular appearances on CBS This Morning.

She’s been interviewed by Oprah, eaten dinner with Daniel Kahneman, walked arm-in-arm with the Dalai Lama, had her work written up in a medical journal, and been an answer on the game show Jeopardy! 

In her work, she draws from cutting-edge science, the wisdom of the ages, lessons from popular culture, and her own experiences to explore how we can make our lives happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative.

Gretchen Rubin started her career in law and was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. Raised in Kansas City, she lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

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John R. Miles is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of Passion Struck. This full-service media company helps people live intentionally by creating best-in-class educational and entertainment content. John is also a prolific public speaker, venture capitalist, and author named to the ComputerWorld Top 100 IT Leaders.

John is the host of the PassionStruckPodcast. A show focused on exploring the mindset and philosophy of the world’s highest achievers to learn their lessons to living intentionally. Passion Struck aspires to speak to the humanity of people in a way that makes them want to live better, be better and impact.

Stay tuned for John’s latest project, his upcoming book, which will be published in summer 2022.

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