Which Virtue Gives Other Virtues Their “Principal Lustre”?

“Self-command is not only itself a great virtue, but from it all the other virtues seem to derive their principal lustre.”

Are You “Addicted” to Something?

Sometimes, a behavior that one person considers to be healthy and positive is viewed as another person as extreme and negative.

5 Ways to Make Your Day Work for You

Habits are easier when they feel like treats. Try never to let yourself feel deprived.

Accept Yourself, and Expect More From Yourself

Is there an area where you struggle to decide whether to “accept yourself” or to “expect more from myself”?

13 Tips for Getting More Reading Done

Of my hundreds of happiness-project resolutions, and of the habits I’ve tried to form, one of my very favorites is to read more.

When Facing Temptation, Are You an All-or-Nothing Person?

One of my big conclusions: if you want to change a habit, you should start by understanding yourself.

Why I’ve Grown Wary of Accepting Anything That’s Free

Because I’m focused on clutter-busting, I’m now very wary of anything that’s free.

Have Any Toys From Childhood That Are Still Important?

For some reason, I lay awake last night thinking about toys. Do you have any toys or “comfort objects” from childhood that are still important to you?

A Key to Good Habits? Don’t Allow Ourselves to Feel Deprived

Do you find that deprivation makes you feel justified in indulging or breaking a good habit?

Are You Chronically Late? 8 Tips for Showing Up on Time

Many people have the habit of constantly running late — and they drive themselves, and other people, crazy.

The Danger of the Finish Line

One thing that took me a long time to realize, in the study of habits: the danger of finish lines.

Has a “Clean Slate” Ever Led You to a Major Habit Change?

The fresh start, the do-over, or the new year is a crucial time, because it offers tremendous opportunity for forming new habits - but it can also pose great risk to existing habits that we want to maintain.

Lost Your Keys Again? Eight Tips to Find Misplaced Objects

Keeping track of my stuff. Not being able to find something is a minor challenge to happiness, of course—but it’s one of those minor things that can make me crazy.

Further Secrets of Adulthood — for Habits

For years, I’ve been writing my “Secrets of Adulthood,” which are the principles I’ve managed to grasp as I’ve become an adult.

Can You Add to This List of Famous Upholders...

I want to provide examples of the Rubin Tendencies from well-known movies, TV shows, and literature, or from memoirs, autobiographies, or biographies.

What are Your Treats?

What exactly counts as a “treat?” A treat is different from a reward, which must be justified or earned. A treat is a small pleasure or indulgence that we give to ourselves just because we want it.

A Better Way to Wake Up

I knew from experience that setting my alarm to 6 A.M. when I was used to 8 P.M. wasn’t going to work in the long run, so I instead committed to pushing the time back for just 15 minutes once a week to give my brain a better chance of adapting.

Want to Read About Writing?

Okay I must stop, or I’ll end up quoting dozens of passages.

Want to Know Yourself Better, to Shape Your Habits Better?

It’s hard, however, to know ourselves. And it’s hard to know the aspects of our nature that are relevant to how we might form habits.

My New Habit for Tackling Nagging Tasks: Power Hour

But how could I form a single habit to cover a bunch of non-recurring, highly diverse tasks?

The Habits We Most Want to Foster, or The Essential Seven

It was my interest in happiness that led me to the subject of habits, and of course, the study of habits is really the study of happiness.

What Habit Would Add the Most to Your Happiness?

When I talk to people about their happiness challenges, they often point to hurdles related to a habit they want to make or break.

Did You See the Movie “Enough Said”?

But what’s the client thinking? Probably…nothing.

Rebels, I’d Love to Hear Your Perspective

Your response to expectations may sound slightly obscure, but it turns out to be very, very important.

Strategy of Loophole-Spotting No. 1: False Choice Loophole

Of all of them, perhaps my favorite strategy to study is the Strategy of Loophole-Spotting — because the loopholes are so funny.

Are You an “Energizer” or a “De-Energizer” at Work?

Cross and Parker argue that energy is a key factor in understanding who is effective at work, and why. When they analyzed networks of co-workers, knowing whether someone was considered an “energizer” and a “de-energizer” shed a great deal of light on how networks worked, and how productive various people managed to be.

Do You Have These Friends?

We need many kinds of relationships; for one thing, we need friends.

Wake Up 15 Minutes Earlier

I knew from experience that setting my alarm to 6 am when I was used to 8 am wasn’t going to work in the long run, so I instead committed to pushing the time back for just 15 minutes once a week to give my brain a better chance of adapting.

How to Spot a Psychopath

I love finding—or inventing—ways to categorize people. I agree with philosopher Isaiah Berlin, who observed, “Every classification throws light on something.”

Questions for You Questioners and Obligers, About Treats

Questioners: do you have trouble giving yourself a treat if you feel that it isn’t “necessary” or “justified”? In other words, do you feel like there has to be a sound reason to give yourself a treat?

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