Happiness Project

Outer Order, Inner Calm

The Happiness Project author turns attention to clutter

Posted on March 13, 2019

Whether or not you’re an avid self-help reader, there’s no denying the universal appeal of author Gretchen Rubin’s approach to finding joy. Her 2009 New York Times bestselling book, The Happiness Project, was an “aha moment” for millions seeking greater happiness throughout their lives, and follow-up works Happier at Home, Better Than Before, and The Four Tendencies have helped people in their pursuit through every aspect of life. Her tour for her latest book, Outer Order, Inner Calm, will bring the author to San Diego for a luncheon in partnership with La Jolla’s independent bookstore, Warwick’s, on Tuesday, March 19 at the Atkinson Pavilion of the Ida & Cecil Green Faculty Club at UC San Diego.

Happiness Project“Ever since I wrote The Happiness Project, one thing that has really struck me is how much I feel, and clearly other people feel the same way, that there’s something about getting outer order that contributes to inner calm more than it should. We can all agree that in the context of a happy life, something like a crowded coat closet or office is trivial, and yet over and over people tell me that when you feel in control of the ‘stuff’ of your life, you feel more in control of your life generally,” explains Rubin. “I always think of a friend who told me, ‘I finally cleaned out my fridge, and now I know I can switch careers.’ It’s an element that keeps coming up in the study of happiness, which is that our surroundings shape our emotional state, so it’s worth thinking about.”

There couldn’t be a better time to talk about the role that our material things play (or how they inhibit us) in overall happiness given the current buzz around this topic in large part due to the success of the Tidying Up with Marie Kondo Netflix series, though Rubin’s approach differs greatly from Kondo’s strict methods. “I don’t believe that there’s a magic one-size-fits-all solution,” she says. “Some people like to do small incremental changes, and some people like big, transformative, radical changes, and neither one is better or worse. It’s just whatever works for you.”

Rubin’s San Diego stop is the first of what is hoped to be many events in a newly-forged partnership between Warwick’s and local nonprofit Voices for Children, an organization dedicated to supporting children in foster care in San Diego and Riverside counties by providing court-appointed special advocates (CASAs) to defend the children’s rights and promote their well-being. The event will include lunch, a signed copy of Outer Order, Inner Calm, and Rubin’s presentation and discussion of the book. With only 120 seats available at the intimate event, it is anticipated to sell out. Half of the luncheon’s $150 ticket price will go directly to Voices for Children. speakupnow.org/warwicks   Deanna Murphy

Happiness Project

Gretchen Rubin