10 lessons from Gretchen Rubin that I use daily


Do you like Gretchen Rubin? Me too! Everything she preaches is simple, logical, doable and fun. No moving to Himalaya for the long meditation practice, no ultra marathons or trips around the world. Gretchen talks about tiny things that each one of us can try in order to have a happier life and better habits.

I love everything that she does, her blog, her books and her podcast. (She also has an awesome Facebook page.) If you haven’t already, check her out.

And today, I compiled my favorite pieces of Gretchen’s wisdom that I use daily. Enjoy!
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[FREE ebook] 100 ways to be creative today

Let me ask you something.

Have you ever believed that you’re not creative at all? That there are some people out there that are creative and you are just not one of them?

Have you ever thought that you don’t need the creativity since you have more of a traditional career?

Have you ever wanted to create and then giving up because of the:

  • lack of time
  • lack of money
  • lack of ideas
  • lack of skills
  • lack of confidence

Have you ever been afraid that you’ll deplete your creativity?
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The lesson I have to learn again and again

Again and again

Last weekend I wrote 10+10 lessons I learned from being married for 1 year. And the big one, related to the period when I was separated from my husband, was : “There is only so much we can do. Relax, have fun and trust the Universe.”

A few of months ago, I wrote another list. 10 things I wish I knew when I was 25. The first item on the list was: “RELAX.”

When I first read Marianne Williamson’s book “Return to Love” (and I read it more than once), I vividly remember her overall impression with the lessons from “The Course in Miracles”. The main message was: “Relax.” It resonated with me. I remembered it well.

As a part of one introspection course, I imagined an encounter with my 15-year old self. I would tell her to relax, because everything will be all right.

In short: relax, relax, relax. That is the lesson that haunts me and that I need to learn over and over again. Every single time when I’m asked to identify the important lessons, I will say: “Relax.” And am I relaxed on a daily basis? Not really.

Why do I need constant reminders to relax? Why am I so proficient in seeing that the relaxation is what I’m missing, and yet I fail to relax today? I always wish I knew that everything is going to be all right. When I look backwards, I see clearly that the Universe was there for me. And do I believe in that today, with the respect to my future? Not exactly. Not all the time. What if it doesn’t work this time? What if I screw up my life? What if I shouldn’t relax, but worry a little bit more and work a little bit harder? We often hear that we are the creators of our own future. Action is indispensable. We are 100% responsible for our lives. So how can I relax? I have a work to do.

In fact, these repetitive lessons might be the pattern of passive learning that we got used to in school. We can identify lessons clearly and reproduce them. But we fail in implementation. Real learning happens in a different way. I have to remind myself on a lesson daily. I have to identify the ways in which I applied it today. I have to change my automatism slowly and gradually. I need to reflect. Identifying the same unlearned lesson is just the first step.

Did you have a similar experience?


Why can’t you learn it already? What is missing? How can you take it one step further?

Repetition is the mother of the skill. Repetition is also the rut. Do you know the difference? How can you break free?

Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.


Miss Strangelove

P. S. Cookie of Wisdom: “The significant problems we face today cannot be solved by the same level of thinking which created them.” Albert Einstein ((Tweet this!))

10 great mini habits to practice daily


We are ending the four weeks under the MAGNIFYING GLASS, I would like to share with you one of my answers from Quora. It is about mini habits. We all know that habits are important, yet we have so much on our plates. Who can meditate half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening? I certainly can’t.

Instead of talking about radical changes that take tons of time, let’s talk about tiny changes that everyone can do in a couple of minutes and make life easier. Or happier. ((Tweet this!))

Here are my 10 ideas:

1. Clean as you go.

2. If you have pending task that you can do in 2 minutes or less (answering “yes” on an email, hanging your coat the second you enter the house), do it immediately!

3. Wash the dishes the same moment you put them in the sink.

4. When you are starting new task… pause, take a deep breath. Ask yourself: “What do I want to create now?” Don’t just jump from one thing to another.

5. When tempted to check your facebook/twitter/fill-in-the-blank, write one line on the paper. Next time write another one. When you draw 5th line, open facebook/twitter/fill-in-the-blank. So good hack!

6. When you meet your partner, kiss him or her. Always. Although you live together for years.

7. When you work on your computer for more than half an hour, stand up, stretch backwards, shake your hands. Just move. Sitting for hours is killing us.

8. Instead of liking/upvoting someone’s post, write a comment. That establishes real connection and it takes a minute.

9. Unplug from all electronic devices at least 1 hour before going to bed. + Set go-to-bed-alarm.

10. Smile.

Now I would like to hear from you. What are the mini habits that you recommend? What small improvements can I introduce to make my life more fun, more productive or just simpler? Share your favorite mini habits with me in the comment section below.


Miss Strangelove

P. S. The Cookie of Wisdom: “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”  Napoleon Hill ((Tweet this!))

Celebrate your evolution


Inspired by Danielle Laporte’s brilliant post.

We are running and working and driving and striving. Which is awesome. But let’s do something else today. Pull out your notebook and pencil, open a blank document or note, set 20 minutes on your stopwatch. Today write 20 minutes on the prompt:


Take time to stop. Turn around. What do you see behind you? How far have you come? How have you changed? What obstacles, difficulties, limiting beliefs have you overcome? What seemed impossibly hard and bad, but led you to this moment and this state of mind? This is the celebration of your personal evolution.

Let me try. 10 years ago (feel free to choose any time frame):

* I was wild. Crazy. (Read: going out and drinking a lot.) And deeply unhappy. Resentful. I was waiting for other people and outside circumstances to make me happy. Now I know it’s my job. I live in a peace. I am happy. But I still drink. Moderately. (That’s good for the mental health, right?)

* I constantly needed to prove something. Probably because I wasn’t approving of myself. Now I don’t prove anything. (Except for my hypothesis in a research.) I am living my life and doing the best I can. You can choose what do you want to believe in. I don’t mind.

* I judged another people. I felt constant need to change and fix everyone. Probably because I myself needed a major repair. Now I accept. I let everyone to be whoever they need to be. Everyone is fighting the battle I may not be able to see.

* I knew that I am not good enough, smart enough, capable enough and that drove my ambition. Now I know that I am good enough, smart enough, capable enough and that drives my ambition.

* I spent tons of time feeling resentful about my past and anxious about my future. Now I spend more time in NOW.

* I have got a few degrees, diplomas, certificates, cool thing to write in my CV. But I consider my own evolution more valuable than all of that.

* I didn’t want to wear shorts. Don’t ask me why. I probably had a good reason.

I was a jerk. I know. But look at me now! Isn’t that great? What an awesome evolution I went through! Now it’s your turn.

Try to remember absolutely worst moments and details. These are more valuable because you overcame them. Small things count, they take you far away. Hard times count, they make you who you are. Glorious moments count, these are worth remembering. List everything. And celebrate!

There is only one catch. Only one party breaker. That is the comparison. With others or with your own (or someone else’s) expectations. “Yes, I came this far, but look at Jane, she came even further!” Or, “Yes, this is nice, but at my age I should have been married with two kids.” These are toxic thoughts.

Comparison with others doesn’t make any sense. We are all different beings, with different gifts, talents, interests, backgrounds, different purposes and circumstances. How can we possibly compare so that it makes sense? And then the expectations… they kill the joy. “You should be XYZ at the age ABC.” Who says so? Since all of us are different, how can we all be compared based on one criteria? Cookie cutters don’t work well in real life.

The only comparison that makes sense is the comparison between you today and you from the past. That is your evolution. Celebrate it!

Day and night are changing, seasons are changing, grass is growing. Acorn turns into an oak and caterpillar into a butterfly. You are evolving. And growing. Every single day. The only constant in life is change. Acknowledge it. Celebrate it. It will foster more growth, more evolution and more reasons to celebrate. ((Tweet this!))

Your turn. Jim Kwik uses the acronym HHH (Head- Heart- Hands) for quick learning. If you read this post (Head) and it resonated with you (Heart), you have to do the writing exercise and answer the question in the comment below (Hands) so that the lesson can stick. And the question is: “What is the single thing about your evolution you are most proud of?” Share it with me in the comments and let’s celebrate it together.

And if you have a friend who feels stuck, encourage him or her to celebrate his or her evolution by sharing this post with him or her.



P. S. Cookie of Wisdom: “It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to the change.” Charles Darwin ((Tweet this!))