Gretchen Rubin

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Does success make you happy?

Gretchen Rubin has a pretty good idea. Her book, “The Happiness Project,” struck a chord with people and it spent weeks atop best-seller lists.

For awhile, it even looked like it was going to be turned into an NBC comedy staring “Sex and the City’s” Kristen Davis (those plans recently fell through).

Gretchen says she’s thrilled the book has found an audience but she says success does not equal happiness. She says too many of us fall for the arrival fallacy — when we arrive at a goal, we’ll be happy. Whether it’s getting a new job, a new house or getting married, those things rarely bring instant happiness.

But if you love the process (in Gretchen’s case, writing the book), then you don’t need a big finish to be happy.

Gretchen says one of the things she’s learned through her research is that decluttering seems to make people disproportionally happy. She says she’s discovered many people can actually self-medicate just by clearing the clutter off their desk or cleaning out their closets.

Get her other tips for happiness and find out which two historical figures she’s looked to as examples since they seemed to live lives bigger than the rest of us.

Want to hear more from Gretchen? Click here to listen to our 2010 interview with Gretchen.