“Outer Order Inner Calm” book review

I am thrilled to be reviewing “Outer Order Inner Calm” by best-selling author Gretchen Rubin (“The Happiness Project”, “Better Than Before”, “The Four Tendencies”, and several other books as well as co-host of the “Happier” podcast). Rubin is one of my favorite authors. She is a graduate of Yale and Yale Law School, and was also a former law clerk for the distinguished U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Fortunately for millions of readers and listeners, Rubin decided she REALLY wanted to be a writer, not a lawyer.

Rubin’s last book “The Four Tendencies” (2017) features the personality framework she created which helps you understand how you respond to expectations. Figuring out WHY you do the things you do, and DON’T do the things you should, will help you determine how to change your habits, which ultimately leads to creating outer order, and eventually, inner calm. Understanding yourself better by knowing your “tendency” will improve the quality of your life, so hop on over here to determine how you respond to expectations. I promise it’s quick, easy and VERY illuminating. (In my family there is one Obliger, two Rebels, and two Questioners.)

I am pleased the public is now interested in the minimalist, decluttering “movement” due, in part, to Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” (2014). I read devoured this cute little book in one sitting, but felt frustrated with some of Kondo’s suggestions/assertions: emptying your purse every single day, not rolling your socks into balls because it makes them “angry”, asking yourself if every single item sparks joy. I found some of the ideas to be silly, but I love how the Kondo book started a national conversation on creating order.

“For some people, owning a minimal amount of possessions makes them feel freer and happier. That’s absolutely true. But it’s not true for everyone.”

Gretchen Rubin

What I appreciate most about “Outer Order Inner Calm” is the presentation of the information. The entire book is put together in short, concise and immediately applicable steps and tips. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • When in doubt, throw it out! Or recycle it. Or give it away. Think about clutter now to forget about clutter later.
  • What we do every day matters more than what we do once in a while.
  • Outer order is something to pursue if it makes you (or someone else) happier; not for its own sake.
  • Once outer order emerges, take the opportunity to enjoy it, experience the ease, space, and growth that comes from inner calm.
  • There are no magic, one-size-fits-all solutions for establishing order; we all need to do it in the way that’s right for us.
  • Outer order saves time, money, space, energy and patience.

I ordered this book from one of my favorite independent bookstores, Litchfield Books and received in just a few days after it was released. I hope you’ll consider supporting an independent bookstore by giving them your business the next time you need or want a book. Litchfield Books has an impressive group of authors they are hosting this year for fun events so check them out here.

Have a great weekend!

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