Thursday, April 23, 2015

Gretchen Rubin: 'Better Than Before' (2015)

Gretchen Rubin's Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives (2015) is a fun read. What's it about? "Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life." Over time, you may want to strengthen a habit, or weaken or abolish a habit. Or create and follow multiple new habits. This is all about vital psychology and action, crossroads and choices, attention and reflection. Becoming. 

One topic: the psychology of aversion. Say you're developing a habit to drink less booze, write more, eat better, exercise more or be on time. And then, the special occasion appears, giving you de facto permission to toss all previous choices to the winds. Yes, "there's a loophole for every occasion," right?  

Rubin discusses four types, or archetypes, when it comes to people and habits, personality traits. Here's one of her online teaser quizzes to see where you might fit in:  

Are you an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger?

In addition to psychology and personality angles, there's also a bit of philosophy. Whereas Rubin identifies herself as an Upholder, I totally identify as her foil type -- the Rebel. And yet, I choose to agree with much of what she has to say!  Kind of funny, that.

There's another element that runs through Better Than Before: time. Free time, wasted time, compressed time, sleepy time, happy time. I find this particularly interesting. Rubin points out that as far as brain and mind processing and internal time sense, "the first month of a new job seems to last longer than the fifth year at that job." True dat. Can you dig?

Today's Rune: Warrior. 

1 comment:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I seem to be an upholder with some obliger tendencies. Oh dear, that can't be good.
But oh how true the fluidity of time. The laws of physics simply don't apply sometimes.