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Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

My experiments in the pursuit of happiness and good habits

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Video: How Other People Affect Your Habits, and You Affect Their Habits

January 27th, 2015

Episode 27 of 399 episodes

I’m doing a video series in which I discuss the various strategies that we can use for habit-formation. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life, and a significant element of happiness. If we have habits that work for us, we’re much more likely to be happy, healthy, productive, and creative. My forthcoming book, Better Than Before, describes the multiple strategies we can exploit to change our habits. To pre-order, click here. (Pre-orders give a real boost to a book, so if you’re inclined to buy the book, I’d really appreciate it if you pre-order it.) Here, I talk about the Strategy of Other People. In Letters from a Stoic, Seneca wrote, “Associate with people who are likely to improve you,” and if you want to form good habits, this is a very important thing to keep in mind. Other people’s actions and habits exert tremendous influence on me, as mine do on them. What others do, say, and think rubs off on me. For instance, in a phenomenon known as “health concordance,” couples’ health habits and statuses tend to merge over time. One partner’s health behaviors—habits related to ...

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