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  • feedwordpress 20:23:25 on 2022/08/04 Permalink
    Tags: author interview, , , Tamar Haspel, To Boldly Grow   

    Tamar Haspel: “Time on the Steep Part of the Learning Curve Builds Confidence” 


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    Interview: Tamar Haspel

    Tamar Haspel writes the James Beard Award-winning Washington Post column "Unearthed," which looks at how our diet affects us and our planet. She’s also written for Discover, Vox, Slate, Fortune, Eater, and Edible Cape Cod. With journalist Mike Grunwald, she co-hosts the Climavores podcast, which examines food’s impact on climate and environment.

    Her book, To Boldly Grow: Finding Joy, Adventure, and Dinner in Your Own Backyard came out earlier this year.

    I couldn't wait to talk to Tamar about happiness, habits, and food.

    Gretchen: What’s a simple activity or habit that consistently makes you happier, healthier, more productive, or more creative?

    Tamar: Doing something I’ve never done before because that first iteration – from zero to one – is where you learn more than any subsequent iteration. I can work and work – for decades! – at becoming a better writer, but the increments of improvement are small and uncertain. Undetectable, even.

    But over the last decade, I’ve built a chicken coop, grown shiitake mushrooms, caught fish, raised several kinds of livestock, and (this is a big one) learned to back up a trailer. What it taught me, besides those actual skills, of course, is that spending time on the steep part of the learning curve builds confidence and competence. It makes you ready to tackle the next thing.

    When the new things you tackle are food-related, it’s a self-improvement two-fer: your diet gets better, and your own self does, too.

    What’s something you know now about happiness that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?

    It doesn’t seek you out; you have to find it. You have to want it.

    You’ve done fascinating research. What has surprised or intrigued you – or your readers – most?

    I write about food, and food is personal. The most intriguing – and, let’s face it, irritating – research findings are the ones that conflict with our preferences. The most hate mail I’ve ever gotten was when I wrote that all eggs taste the same. Yes, if you taste them blind (and it’s gotta be blind because eggs often look different) the ones from your backyard chickens – or mine – taste exactly like the lowest-common-denominator supermarket eggs.

    I care about the life of the hens that lay my eggs. I want them to know happiness to the extent a chicken can. The fact that their eggs taste like other eggs doesn’t change that.

    Would you describe yourself as an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger?

    I am a Questioner (a sensible type for a journalist to be).

    Does anything tend to interfere with your ability to keep your healthy habits or your happiness? 

    I’m sorry to say that it’s laziness. I know, from long and varied experience, that I thrive on new activities, but sometimes I just stay on Twitter too long. I’m working on that.

    Have you ever been hit by a lightning bolt, where you made a major change very suddenly, as a consequence of reading a book?

    In 2012 I read Jonathan Haidt’s book, The Righteous Mind. It’s a very compelling explanation of the shortcomings of human decision-making, and why facts are so stubbornly unpersuasive. As a journalist, I’m supposed to evaluate evidence for a living, and Haidt’s book convinced me that humans absolutely suck at that.

    That conviction changed my journalistic M.O. I learned to be skeptical of my own conclusions, to develop strategies to check my own bias, and to look for opportunities to change my mind. It has made me slower to form opinions, and to be less dug-in on them once they’re formed. Don’t get me wrong! There are still hills I will die on. Just not very many.

    In your field, is there a common misconception that you’d like to correct?

    Oh is there! It’s that food is the province of experts. The human species’ ability to feed itself has propelled us to planetary dominance, yet there’s a kind of learned helplessness about food in the modern, developed world. Growing it, cooking it, choosing which of it is good for us – those things just aren’t that hard, and we can generally handle it with minimal expert intervention.

    In a complex world, there aren’t many problems we can solve single-handedly. If something goes wrong with your job, or your marriage, or your finances, or even your dishwasher, chances are you can’t fix it all by yourself. But if you’re unhappy with your diet, that’s a problem you can solve.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:00:49 on 2022/07/21 Permalink
    Tags: author interview, , Ed Mylett, , , The Power of One More   

    Ed Mylett: “I Spend Very Little Time Dwelling About the Past.” 


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    Interview: Ed Mylett

    Ed Mylett is an entrepreneur, performance coach, author, and host of The Ed Mylett Show podcast. His new book, The Power of One More: The Ultimate Guide to Happiness and Success (Amazon, Bookshop), is available now.

    I couldn't wait to talk to Ed about happiness, habits, and success

    Gretchen: What’s a simple activity or habit that consistently makes you happier, healthier, more productive, or more creative?

    Ed: I spend very little time dwelling about the past. We’re often weighed down by our past, and that can cripple what we want to do in the future. What’s done is done, and sometimes, the best you can do is catalog the event, learn from it, and use that knowledge to help you do better in the future.

    What’s something you know now about happiness that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?

    You don’t find true happiness in material possessions. You find true happiness by having close and loving relationships with your wife, children, pets, extended family members, friends, and most importantly, with God.

    You’ve done fascinating research. What has surprised or intrigued you – or your readers – most?

    The beauty of what I do is that every day reveals itself in fascinating ways to me. I’m just as excited to talk to a health and wellness expert as I am talking to a music superstar or a pro athlete. I love hearing about interesting journeys that unlock new ways of doing things better, or how people have overcome adversity in their lives. The real payoff comes when I share it with my audience and they let me know how they’ve found value too.

    The bottom line…and this is not a cop-out…I mean it when I say everything surprises and intrigues me in one way or another.

    Have you ever managed to gain a challenging healthy habit – or to break an unhealthy habit? If so, how did you do it?

    I have been a bodybuilder for several years now. The great thing about this type of healthy habit is that it’s entirely internal. It’s you versus the resistance of lifting dead weight. The other thing is that it allows me to keep a promise to myself to keep going with this habit even when I don’t feel like lifting, or I’ve got some minor injuries that I deal with from time to time. That’s an important part of maintaining my confidence, to work through adversity which feeds my self-esteem into and carries over to several other parts of my life.

    Does anything tend to interfere with your ability to keep your healthy habits or your happiness?

    There are a few things that come to mind and they revolve around my health.

    While I enjoy my down and quiet time at home, the habits I’ve developed mean that I’m very intense and in the moment when I do work. If I go for long periods like this, I’ll empty my physical and my mental gas tank. Sometimes, but not always, I’ll catch a bug or just feel wiped out for a couple of days. My recovery time is shorter than for most people though because I do eat the right way and always add exercise into my life by playing golf, working out, or going for walks.

    The other thing I could probably be better is learning how to say “no” more often. Unfortunately for me, I’m intensely curious, and saying “no” stifles that need to know.

    As far as happiness goes, nothing interferes with my decision to be happy. I recognize that I’m leading a blessed life and so I’m filled with gratitude in everything I do. Gratitude is a form of happiness.

    Have you ever been hit by a lightning bolt, where you made a major change very suddenly, as a consequence of reading a book, a conversation with a friend, a milestone birthday, a health scare, etc.?

    I’ve had a few but the one that stands out for me was early in my career. I had been struggling for a while to find any kind of success, and I was not having any luck. One night when I was hosting a seminar, I expected 40 people based on RSVPs. Only eight people showed up. I was crushed and I went home and had a talk with myself. That night’s events had put me at a crossroads. After a lot of deep thought and prayers, I decided not to give and make a change in my career. I dug my heels in and said I was going all-in on this with everything I had. On the surface, I did not change, but deep down, I did.

    Is there a particular motto or saying that you’ve found very helpful? Or a quotation that has struck you as particularly insightful?

    Absolutely! I continue to draw a lot of strength and inspiration from my favorite passage in the Bible, Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

    Has a book ever changed your life – if so, which one and why?

    The Bible. My faith is the cornerstone of my life.

    In your field, is there a common misconception that you’d like to correct?

    There are a couple of things.

    The biggest thing I see is that many people think you must make huge changes in your life to get more success and happiness. Nothing could be further from the truth, which is exactly why I wrote The Power of One More. It’s based on the premise that you’re only one more try, emotion, relationship, or habit away from getting the life you deserve.

    The other thing is that I see many people who invest in all kinds of great material about being more successful or achieving peak performance. Some of them think that simply by reading or watching these materials, they’ll automatically reach their success goals.

    They completely miss the point that all we can do as teachers and mentors is give them a roadmap to a better life. It’s up to them to not only learn and think about a better life but to also jump into action and take the required steps. Action is the key.

    I would also, of course, shine a spotlight on anything that you’d particularly like to bring to readers’ attention.

    After my dad died a couple years ago, I was going through his personal items and I found a bunch of notecards each with just 2 letters and a single date on them. After a bit of investigative work, I discovered that they were the initials and the sobriety anniversary dates of dozens of people that my father helped to battle their struggle with alcohol. He often called these people to remind them of the power or staying sober for just “one more day.” That was the philosophy that he had used to transform him from being an alcoholic most of my childhood to then becoming my best friend and role model as he remained sober for 35 years.

    The “one more” philosophy was how he quit drinking. He tried “one more” time. And then he never committed to staying sober the rest of his life, but he did it by committing to do it for just “one more” day. God then used his own struggle and brokenness to bless the lives of others.

    I have applied that “one more” strategy to every part of my life and business. It’s helped me to accumulate millions of dollars and to also reach millions of people. So I recently wrote a book called The Power of One More where I teach how I’ve applied it to relationships, faith, money, success, health and many different aspects of my life. The book has already sold over 100k copies in the first few weeks and became a #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller. The book is dedicated to my father and a reminder to all of us about the transformative “Power of One More.”

     
  • feedwordpress 16:00:34 on 2022/07/14 Permalink
    Tags: author interview, , , Crying in the Bathroom, Erika L. Sanchez, , ,   

    Erika Sánchez: “I Realized…You Can’t Achieve Your Way Out of Trauma.” 


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    Interview: Erika Sánchez

    Erika Sánchez is a poet, novelist, and essayist. Her debut poetry collection, Lessons on Expulsion (Amazon, Bookshop) was a finalist for the PEN America Open Book Award. Her debut young-adult novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter (Amazon, Bookshop) is a New York Times bestseller, a National Book Awards finalist, and is currently being made into a Netflix film directed by America Ferrera. Her memoir, a collection of essays called Crying in the Bathroom (Amazon, Bookshop), just hit shelves.

    I've read both her novel and her memoir, and I couldn't wait to talk to Erika about happiness, habits, and mental health.

    Gretchen: What’s a simple activity or habit that consistently makes you happier, healthier, more productive, or more creative?

    Erika: I have to take solitary walks to feel balanced. There’s a large park and river trail close to my house that I love. It’s a beautiful piece of nature in the city. I enjoy the trees, the birds, and the people, most of whom appear to be in a happy mood. Whenever I start to feel anxious or depressed, I make myself take a walk even if I don’t want to. By the end, I usually feel refreshed, and I have drawn some sort of conclusion or made a connection I didn’t expect. My imagination comes alive. My mind wanders in all directions because I’m present, which perhaps makes no sense to anyone but me.

    What’s something you know now about happiness that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?

    At that time, I thought that if I achieved enough success, my depression would magically disappear and that I would be happy for the rest of my life. It wasn’t until I had a mental breakdown after my first two books were published that I realized this wasn’t true. You can’t achieve your way out of trauma. At 18 I also hadn’t yet learned that I have a mental illness that requires medication. I now understand that I literally can’t experience happiness when my brain chemistry is not right. Thank you, science!

    Have you ever managed to gain a challenging healthy habit – or to break an unhealthy habit? If so, how did you do it?

    I don’t always particularly enjoy working out—it’s a love/hate relationship— but I force myself to do it because I know how relieved l will feel after the fact. My favorite form of exercising is running outdoors. I like to get fresh air and enjoy the scenery. There’s something very satisfying about exerting myself physically. I’ve also shifted my perspective on working out. I make myself move because it feels good, not to lose or maintain my weight. Even though I’m incredibly slow, I feel like I deserve a parade when I’m finished.

    Would you describe yourself as an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger?

    I’m a Questioner!

    Does anything tend to interfere with your ability to keep your healthy habits or your happiness? (e.g. travel, parties, email)

    Social media is a real pain in the butt for me. Part of me wants to delete it forever, but another part of me enjoys it and believes it’s now necessary to my career. Sometimes I scroll mindlessly, and I hate myself for it. Sometimes it becomes a compulsion, and it makes me feel very gross. I’m still trying to figure out my relationship to it. I don’t want it to take up too much space in my brain. I want to be present in the world.

    Have you ever been hit by a lightning bolt, where you made a major change very suddenly, as a consequence of reading a book, a conversation with a friend, a milestone birthday, a health scare, etc.?

    This happens a lot when I’m reading or taking a walk. A few months ago, I was at the park and realized that I carried my female ancestors with me. Their flesh is my flesh. I believe both my rage and talent come from them. I’m the first woman in my family to have the opportunity to determine my own life. I had been working through a lot generational trauma, and that fact stunned me. I cried it out and felt stronger for it.

    Is there a particular quotation that has struck you as particularly insightful?

    “I stood at the border, stood at the edge and claimed it as central. l claimed it as central, and let the rest of the world move over to where I was.” –Toni Morrison

    Has a book ever changed your life – if so, which one and why?

    Books change me all the time. One that comes to mind right now is When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron (Amazon, Bookshop). I read it when I was recovering from a very severe bout of depression. It helped me reconnect with my Buddhist faith and find meaning in my suffering.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:00:01 on 2022/07/07 Permalink
    Tags: author interview, , Bookends, , , Zibby Owens   

    Zibby Owens: “Books Change My Life Every Day.” 


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    Interview: Zibby Owens

    Zibby Owens is the founder of Zibby Owens Media, which, among other things, includes a new publishing house for fiction and memoir. She's also the host of the award-winning podcast, Moms Don't Have Time to Read Books, and a regular columnist for Good Morning America. And if all that's not enough, she's also an editor and author—her new memoir, Bookends: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Literature (Amazon, Bookshop), just hit the shelves this week.

    I've known Zibby for many years. We first got to know each other through our deep love of reading and libraries.

    I couldn't wait to talk to Zibby about happiness, habits, and, of course, books.

    Gretchen: What’s a simple activity or habit that consistently makes you happier, healthier, more productive, or more creative?

    Zibby: A habit that makes me more productive is active email management. Once a day, I stop replying to incoming messages and attack the backlog. (Okay, fine, maybe once a week.) When I do that, I dedicate at least two hours to it and sort the emails alphabetically rather than by date received. That way, I can go through one person’s emails at a time, delete unnecessary emails, and then really dig into the rest. I note the starting amount when I get discouraged about how many I have left, I start working my way up from the Z’s. Then I’ll flip back to working down from the A’s. If I don’t do this after two weeks max or when I get to 500 emails, I basically freak out.

    What’s something you know now about happiness that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?

    That I could be profoundly happy at my current weight. I think that would have horrified me then.

    Have you ever managed to gain a challenging healthy habit – or to break an unhealthy habit? If so, how did you do it?

    I’ve started eating a protein and veggie shake for breakfast every morning instead of my kids' leftover pancakes. It sets the day on a better path. (I love the chocolate flavor from Ka’Chava, a sponsor of my podcast that I have grown obsessed with.) I did it a few times in a row and realized it really did make me feel better. Now I miss it on the days I’m traveling or have run out.

    Would you describe yourself as an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger?

    Obliger. 100%. After doing a recent event with Gretchen, I realized that each one of my four kids is a different temperament. It’s actually changed the way I parent in such a positive way!

    Does anything tend to interfere with your ability to keep your healthy habits or your happiness?

    My compulsion to manage my emails and not get behind on work. (See #1 above.) It throws a huge wrench in my determination to move more.

    Is there a particular motto or saying that you’ve found very helpful?

    Don’t miss the plot. An old therapist told me that and it helps me every day.

    Has a book ever changed your life – if so, which one and why?

    Books change my life every day. I do 365 podcasts a year, each one with a different author. I’ve learned such an enormous amount it’s crazy. I’m like in the school of life.

    In your field, is there a common misconception that you’d like to correct?

    I’m in a lot of fields: podcasting, publishing, book-fluencing (is that a thing?!), parenting, being an author. A misconception is that you have to pick just one field!

     
  • feedwordpress 20:20:04 on 2022/05/26 Permalink
    Tags: author interview, , , In the Early Times, , Tad Friend   

    Tad Friend: “Happiness Comes from Immersion—in a Job, an Art Form, a Challenge, a Relationship.” 


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    Interview: Tad Friend

    Tad Friend is a staff writer at the New Yorker, and previously was a contributing editor at Esquire and Outside. He is the author of a memoir, Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor (Amazon, Bookshop), and Lost in Mongolia: Travels in Hollywood and Other Foreign Lands (Amazon, Bookshop), a collection of his articles. His latest memoir, In the Early Times: A Life Reframed (Amazon, Bookshop), hit shelves this month.

    I couldn't wait to talk to Tad about happiness, habits, and relationships.

    Gretchen: What’s a simple activity or habit that consistently makes you happier, healthier, more productive, or more creative?

    Tad: Drinking way too much coffee. Fight me! But I’ll win because I’m teeming with caffeination.

    Has a book ever changed your life – if so, which one and why?

    Let us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee (Amazon, Bookshop). I read Agee’s account of three Alabama tenant farming families struggling through the Great Depression when I was in college, and the book was a revelation. No one had thought tenant farmers worthy of much attention, but Agee made me care deeply about every aspect of their lives. His work made me realize that nothing is anything until a writer makes it something. And that it’s possible to report so thoroughly and write so passionately and empathetically that nonfiction rises to the level of art.

    What’s something you know now about happiness that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?

    Happiness comes from immersion—in a job, an art form, a challenge, a relationship. But while you’re immersed it doesn’t even occur to you to assess your emotional state. Only later do you realize, “Oh, I was happy then.” The challenge of life is that it’s lived forward but understood backward.

    Would you describe yourself as an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger?

    I’ve long been an Upholder with Questioner tendencies. I wanted to do the thing that people expect of me, but I also wanted to make sure that doing it made sense, and that I’d be rewarded. However, I’ve recently discovered that if someone I love really wants something, that alone is reason enough to do it, no questions asked, no reciprocity demanded. Reciprocity comes unsought, as selflessness turns out to be contagious.

    Does anything tend to interfere with your ability to keep your healthy habits or your happiness? 

    Rampant procrastination. I catch up on “Atlanta” or do the Spelling Bee instead of just tacking the onerous thing and rewarding myself later with a pop-culture treat. Using Pomodoro helps: I set the timer for 25 minutes and go, knowing that I’ll soon have 5 minutes to refill my coffee mug.

    Multitasking is another bad habit. Multitasking is actually just rapid focus switching, so I keep losing all the clarity and momentum that attends sustained attention. On the other hand, I have become quite adept at doing a crappy job on three things at once.

    Have you ever been hit by a lightning bolt, where you made a major change very suddenly, as a consequence of reading a book, a conversation with a friend, a milestone birthday, a health scare, etc.?

    Yes, I stopped being unfaithful. My wife discovered my infidelities, and I so hated the monstrous me that I saw reflected in her eyes, and was so grateful to her for being willing to work this very thorny issue through together, that I reversed course, hard, overnight. Without her willingness to give me a second chance—if, and only if, I became an actual, you know, husband and partner—I would have remained lost. Amanda is not only my true love, she’s my hero. I write about all this in In the Early Times.

    Is there a particular motto or saying that you’ve found very helpful?

    “Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.” It’s from Theodore Roosevelt’s Autobiography (Amazon, Bookshop), where he attributes it to someone else. I heard the maxim from a squash coach, and it absolutely applies to squash, to keeping your focus and playing within yourself when you feel outmatched. But it also struck me as a great motto for daily life. It’s both a recognition of imperfections and a summons to get the most out of your imperfect vehicle, nonetheless.

    If I had to pick a second quotation, it would be from Sigmund Freud: “Life, as we find it, is too hard for us.” It sounds glum, but once you realize, well, ok, life is too much for everyone, it’s actually curiously freeing. You’re going to lose eventually, so why not fight a strong rearguard action? And that fight, for me, is embodied by “Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.”

     
  • feedwordpress 16:00:16 on 2022/05/12 Permalink
    Tags: author interview, , , Data science, Don't Trust Your Gut, , Seth Stephens-Davidowitz   

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz: “I Started Giving Myself a Life Report Card.” 


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    Interview: Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz worked as a data scientist at Google and is currently a contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times. His first book, Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us about Who We Really Are (Amazon, Bookshop), was a New York Times bestseller and an Economist Book of the Year. I loved his first book, and was very happy when I happened to meet Seth at an event here in New York.

    His new book is Don't Trust Your Gut: Using Data to Get What You Really Want in Life (Amazon, Bookshop). If you'd like to get a sense of his approach, he recently published the article "The One Parenting Decision That Really Matters: Almost none of the choices you make are as fraught as you think they are" in the Atlantic.

    I couldn't wait to read his new book and to ask him about happiness, habits, and the human psyche.

    Gretchen: What’s a simple activity or habit that consistently makes you happier, healthier, more productive, or more creative?

    Seth: I started giving myself a Life Report Card. At the end of every month, I grade myself on 15 categories for that month, including “relationships with friends, relationships with family, financial performance, fitness, fun, career advancement, giving back, and learning. “When I tell people this, they say it sounds nerdy, high-pressure and insane. And maybe it is. But I find it helps me achieve balance. If, for a few months in a row, I get a very low grade in, say, fun, I make sure to schedule more fun things the next month. Also, discussing the report card with others has allowed me to learn of new areas for growth that I hadn’t realized. My girlfriend suggested I add a category for “emotional openness” and hinted that my grade in that category is very low. Now I am working on turning those Fs into Ds.

    What’s something you know now about happiness that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?

    Happiness is more of a choice than I realized. My brilliant, life-changing therapist Rick told me I was choosing to be depressed. It was a somewhat shocking thing to say, and a lot of people would recoil at the suggestion. But it immediately registered with me. And my mood has improved by telling myself I can choose how I feel.

    You’ve done fascinating research. What has surprised or intrigued you – or your readers – most?

    In researching Don’t Trust Your Gut, I became obsessed with the Mappiness project founded by George MacKerron and Susana Mourato. They pinged people on iPhones and asked them some simple questions: What are you doing? Who are you with? How happy are you? From this, they created a dataset containing more than 3 million data points.  The major lesson I took from their ground-breaking research is that the things that make people happy are really simple and obvious. As I summed up the research, the answer to happiness is “to be with your love, on an 80 degree and sunny day, overlooking a beautiful body of water, having sex.” The key to happiness, I concluded, is ignoring the noise from the world that over-complicates things.

    Have you ever managed to gain a challenging healthy habit – or to break an unhealthy habit? If so, how did you do it?

    On my Life Report Card, I noticed the only category I was consistently getting A’s in was fitness. And that’s because I hired an awesome personal trainer, John. From this, I concluded the only way I can really stick to difficult habits is external pressure. I’m working on setting up systems that pressure me to do the (many) things I don’t want to do but should do.

    Would you describe yourself as an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger

    I’m a questioner and a rebel, which gave me a proud smile upon writing. Makes me seem like a badass. [Gretchen: Hmmm...from the way you answered the question above, I'm wondering about that.]

    Does anything tend to interfere with your ability to keep your healthy habits or your happiness? 

    My job is really isolating, which is not good for happiness. Research shows that both introverts and extroverts get a big mood boost from being around people.

    Have you ever been hit by a lightning bolt, where you made a major change very suddenly, as a consequence of reading a book, a conversation with a friend, a milestone birthday, a health scare, etc.?

    I get hit by lightning bolts like once a week. I have strong emotional responses to things I read; pretty much every time I read a book, I am tempted to make some massive change based on the content. Like yesterday, I read the book The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins (Amazon, Bookshop). It included the parable of The Monk and the Minister, which goes as follows:

    Two close boyhood friends grow up and go their separate ways. One becomes a humble monk, the other a rich and powerful minister to the king. Years later they meet. As they catch up, the portly minister (in his fine robes) takes pity on the thin and shabby monk.

    Seeking to help, he says: “You know, if you could learn to cater to the king, you wouldn’t have to live on rice and beans.”

    To which the monk replies: “If you could learn to live on rice and beans, you wouldn’t have to cater to the king.”

    That was a major lightning bolt and tempted me to quit the consulting work I do. But I think making big, dramatic decisions based on something you read or hear isn’t a great life strategy. I try to talk things over with people and be more deliberate.

    Is there a particular motto or saying that you’ve found very helpful?

    “This too shall pass” has gotten me through some rough times.

    Has a book ever changed your life – if so, which one and why?

    I thought Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman (Amazon, Bookshop) was profound.

    In your field, is there a common misconception that you’d like to correct?

    My entire book is about correcting misconceptions. Here are some: that successful entrepreneurs tend to be young; that the average rich person works in tech; that joy and smiles are the way to sell products; that work makes people happy; that great businesses are due to luck; that lacrosse is a better path than baseball for getting a college scholarship; that it’s crazy to try to be a celebrity; that parents have a big impact on their kids; that lounging around makes people happy; and that marital happiness can be predicted.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:00:49 on 2022/05/05 Permalink
    Tags: author interview, , , , Daniel Coyle, , interviews, , , teamwork, The Culture Playbook   

    Daniel Coyle: “When You Shift into a New Narrative, You Are Opening Up an Entirely New Set of Possibilities” 


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    Interview: Daniel Coyle

    Daniel Coyle is a contributing editor for Outside Magazine and the author of six books, including the New York Times bestsellers Lance Armstrong's War (Amazon, Bookshop) and The Culture Code (Amazon, Bookshop). In his new book, The Culture Playbook: 60 Highly Effective Actions to Help Your Group Succeed (Amazon, Bookshop), he provides readers with sixty concrete skills to help any team build a strong, cohesive, positive culture.

    I couldn't wait to talk to Daniel about happiness, habits, and success.

    Gretchen: What’s a simple activity or habit that consistently makes you happier, healthier, more productive, or more creative?

    Daniel: I find it deeply insane how much my internal state can be boosted by a hard physical workout. The simple, idiotic, Neanderthal act of putting your head down and pushing really hard for a few minutes shifts something deep inside you. It wakes you up in a new way. It’s your body saying, Hey, I’m down here, and the outside world saying, Me too! And those combine to get you out of your own head. It’s not that different from losing yourself in beautiful music.  

    What’s something you know now about happiness that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?

    Being young brings many happiness advantages because A) you don’t know much about the world; and B) you’re not actively trying to be happy. I find that the instant you start aiming for happiness as a goal, it evaporates. I think that’s why people who focus on happiness as an extrinsic goal (hello, wellness industry) project such a narrow, almost businesslike vibe. Now that I’m older, I focus less on happiness, and instead try to spot it out of the corner of my eye whenever it bubbles up. To pause and take it in for a second. Then get back to whatever it was that caused it to happen. Which usually involves some activity that is not centered on me – either absorbing work or doing something for someone else. 

    You’ve done fascinating research. What has surprised or intrigued you – or your readers – most?

    I’ve spent most of my career exploring big mysterious questions right under our noses – why do certain people and groups succeed, and others don’t? What is success, really? The continuing, everlasting surprise has been how much success is generated and governed by our internal narratives. To put it simply: success looks like a talent contest, but it turns out to be a story contest. Certain stories generate awareness and behaviors that generate virtuous spirals, producing creativity, well-being, and connection. Other stories generate the opposite effect. So story remains the strongest drug ever invented. When you shift into a new narrative, you are opening up an entirely new set of possibilities and pathways – which is sometimes a bummer but ultimately hopeful, especially considering the challenges we are facing as a species right now. 

    Have you ever managed to gain a challenging healthy habit – or to break an unhealthy habit? If so, how did you do it?

    For most of my life, I had a big-time sweet tooth. I would not want to estimate my glucose intake from ages 5-25, but it would be measured in metric tons. Over the past few years, I’ve dialed back a lot, mostly by noticing the chain of sensations – the desire and the taste and the feelings in the body afterwards -- and then thinking about what is really happening during each of these steps. Not that I didn’t eat an entire box of Milk Duds at a movie last night – but hey, at least I realized what was going on! 😉 

    Would you describe yourself as an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger

    I’m an Upholder with my kids, an Obliger with colleagues, a Questioner with my siblings, but down deep I’d describe myself as a Rebel. I am attracted to boundaries and I like to push against them to see what happens. Maybe this is connected to spending my childhood in Alaska and visiting my parents’ homes in near St. Louis, Missouri, every summer. Early on, I was alert to the nearly-cartoonish contrast between the two places – one place wild and invented, with gravel roads and a culture of making up the rules as you went, the other tidy and traditional, where you color inside the lines (or else!). All that added up to create in me the unshakable idea that borders are most fun if they are discovered, stretched, and occasionally broken. 

    Does anything tend to interfere with your ability to keep your healthy habits or your happiness?

    Like everybody, I would put distraction at the top of the list. At the same time, I want to put a good word in for distraction, because I find that it can help with creativity. I know it’s not supposed to (the research on “switching time” is pretty definitive) but I have to confess: the little time spent watching a funny video while I’m from writing (even as I’m writing this) ends up leaving me a bit refreshed and able to see new pathways that I might have missed. I’d say that the key is in paying attention to the ways that you are distracted – and in being intentional about it, so that you use your distraction in a healthy way (as a lever), and not in an unhealthy way (as a perpetual escape).  

    Have you ever been hit by a lightning bolt, where you made a major change very suddenly, as a consequence of reading a book, a conversation with a friend, a milestone birthday, a health scare, etc.?

    Reading The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe (Amazon, Bookshop) at age 15 set me onto this path of being a writer. For me, that experience was like when musicians of a certain age describe the feeling seeing the Beatles perform for the first time on television – a feeling a door opening to reveal an entirely new world — you mean people can get paid to do that? That book – that smart, fun, rollicking voice — lit me up and led to a set of questions that I’ve ended up exploring in various ways for my entire career: where does greatness come from? How do you get it? What is the price?

    Is there a particular motto or saying that you’ve found very helpful?

    I like “Get up on the Roof.” You use it when you feel stuck in a situation or in a particularly narrow emotional reaction to a situation, and it works because it nudges you toward the truth: there exists a higher perspective, and all you have to do is take the time and step up onto it, and look around.  I also like the way it speaks to the magic inherent in perspective shifts. Unlike so many other progressions in life, which require sweat and grit and time, changes in perspective actually do happen in a micro-second. Life seems fixed and utterly irreversible and then — presto! — you get on the roof and see it in a new way that makes your old way of seeing seem like a distant memory. This mantra is doubly useful because it applies in both “good” and “bad” situations.  It reinforces the truth: our lives, no matter how dire or how wonderful, are never purely bad or good, but rather exist in multiple ways. 

    In your field, is there a common misconception that you’d like to correct?

    Most people – me included, for much of my life – walk around thinking that good books are about providing answers, that the role of the author is to be the deliverer of Big Secrets. I’ve come to think this is wrong. Great writers aren’t the ones with the answers; they are the ones with the enduring questions and the useful tools for exploration. 

    They are able to do this because they are in in touch with the inner lives and curiosities of their readers. They have a sense for what anxieties, dreams, and questions people are thinking about when they’re laying awake at 3 am. Then they find ways to explore those areas – mostly questions. In all, I think good writers are sort of like the divers who explore these great oceans inside of us, and then they hand you a snorkel and flippers or maybe even a scuba set so that you can do it yourself.

     
  • feedwordpress 16:00:36 on 2022/04/28 Permalink
    Tags: author interview, , Bomb Shelter, , , Mary Laura Philpott, memoirs   

    Mary Laura Philpott: “I’m What I Call an ‘Anxious Optimist.’” 


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    Interview: Mary Laura Philpott

    Mary Laura Philpott is an author, former bookseller, and Emmy-winning co-host of A Word on Words, the literary interview program on Nashville Public Television. She's the author of the national bestseller I Miss You When I Blink (Amazon, Bookshop) and her new memoir, Bomb Shelter: Love, Time and Other Explosives (Amazon, Bookshop) just hit shelves this month.

    I couldn't wait to talk to Mary Laura about happiness, habits, and seasons of life.

    Gretchen: What’s a simple activity or habit that consistently makes you calmer?

    Mary Laura: I was so skeptical about meditation before I started, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t work. It should be required from preschool onward — we humans need it!

    What’s something you know now about happiness that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?

    There’s no finish line. I keep having to re-learn this lesson. I’m always setting my sights on some elusive goal or state of being, thinking, “Once I reach _______, I can finally relax and be happy.” Nope. Happiness doesn’t come from finally reaching a particular status or achievement.

    Can you think of a spontaneous, unexpected moment of joy, silliness, or amusement you’ve had recently? What sparked it?

    During the Winter Olympics, there was a tweet going around asking what song people would choose if they were doing a figure skating routine. I knew the answer instantly: “MMMBop” by Hanson. Wait, hear me out! I know it’s cheesy, but it is one of my core beliefs that you cannot feel sad listening to that song. Can you even imagine someone gliding out onto the ice as that chorus kicks in?

    It makes me laugh every time I think about it.

    Have you ever been hit by a lightning bolt, where you made a major change very suddenly, as a consequence of reading a book, a conversation with a friend, a milestone birthday, a health scare, etc.?

    I changed my eating habits significantly when I was pregnant with my first child and I was diagnosed with borderline gestational diabetes. I’d always had a sweet tooth — I loved good ol’ refined carbs and white flour, too — and I had never tried very hard to eat better. Knowing that what I ate would be the only source of nutrition for my unborn baby and that if I didn’t change my ways he’d be swimming in sugar-water (*not a scientifically accurate description) made me overhaul my habits completely. I do eat sugar and carbs now in moderation, but I never really went back to how I ate before. That’s the number-one way to get me to do something: tell me someone else’s well-being depends on my behavior.

    Would you describe yourself as an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger?

    Oh, I am an Obliger, through and through.

    Does anything tend to interfere with your ability to keep your healthy habits or your happiness?

    My own brain! I’m what I call an “anxious optimist.” I have a general baseline belief that most things will probably turn out okay, but my mind also never stops spinning an array of horror stories about all the ways things could go wrong. It’s as if by anticipating every possible catastrophe, I can be prepared for them all, and thus avoid any unfortunate surprises…which, of course, is not really how life works. And it’s exhausting. That’s how meditation helps me; it makes me practice holding my mind still in the present instead of letting it run wild into a hundred hypothetical futures.

    Is there a particular motto or saying that you’ve found very helpful?

    This is my favorite work motto lately: “Be so good they can’t ignore you,” a quote from Steve Martin. It can be hard to stay confident and focused during the in-between phases of a literary career, the years when you’re just sitting alone, writing, with no idea what will ultimately become of what you’re creating. There are so many ways a book can ultimately succeed or fail, and during those long periods of uncertainty it’s easy to get caught up in comparisons. Will my book sell as many copies as so-and-so’s? Will the reviews be good, or will it even be reviewed at all? The truth is that I can’t control any of that. The only thing I can control is the work itself, and I’m the only one who can make that work great.

    I also tend to be attracted to shiny, new endeavors and often feel drawn to multi-task more than is actually good for me. I’m always thinking, should I start another newsletter? Maybe a blog or podcast or show? I tell myself, “Be so good they can’t ignore you” as a way of saying, “Get back to work, and write a book that’ll get you on everyone else’s blog or podcast or show.”

    In your field, is there a common misconception that you’d like to correct?

    There’s a funny tendency among readers — not all readers, obviously, but enough that I’ve heard it often: People will say they love the latest novel set in space, they can’t wait for the new tell-all biography about a movie star, or they’re absolutely addicted to a murder mystery series. And then some of these same people, if you were to recommend to them a memoir that includes motherhood, will say, “Eh, I can’t really relate to that. I’m not a mom.” Really?? You’re not an astronaut, a celebrity, or a serial killer either, are you?

    I used to avoid writing about family and motherhood, and I still draw my boundaries very carefully when I do write about it, but exploring the experience of parenting another human being is at least as good a way to illuminate the meaning of love, risk, joy, and pain as writing about the trials of life on Mars. I mean, didn’t we all — at some point, for at least a little while — come from a mother?

    Anyway, I guess my point is this: Books, especially memoirs, are not meant only for readers who are just like the people in those books. It’s wonderful if you can relate to something you read, but it’s especially cool when you find something elemental to relate to in a story about someone who, on the surface, is different from you.

    If you were to describe your work using a comparison from a different field, what would that be?

    I write books, so I’ll use a comparison from a different entertainment medium, television: I’d say the experience of reading my new book, Bomb Shelter, combines the big, cathartic emotional range of watching a show like Parenthood or This Is Us with the quirky, feel-good laughs of, say, Ted Lasso. I love it when something hits that sweet spot that lights up my whole emotional circuit board — when I’ve both cried and laughed by the end of an episode or a chapter. That’s what I’m going for.

     

     
  • feedwordpress 16:00:41 on 2022/04/26 Permalink
    Tags: author interview, , , cleaning, , How to Keep House While Drowning, , KC Davis, , , ,   

    KC Davis: “You Don’t Have to Care About Yourself to Start Learning to Care for Yourself” 


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    Interview: KC Davis.

    KC Davis is a therapist, author, and creator of the mental health platform Struggle Care. She has a new book, How to Keep House While Drowning (Amazon, Bookshop).

    I couldn't wait to talk to KC about happiness, habits, and mental health.

    Gretchen: What’s a simple activity or habit that consistently makes you happier, healthier, more productive, or more creative?

    KC: Closing duties! As a busy mom, I found myself collapsing on the couch each night at 7:30pm as soon as the kids were down, and not moving again until I went to bed. This made my mornings stressful because I had to hit the ground running as soon as the babies were up. Yet the idea of cleaning the house after my kids went to bed was daunting because…when do you stop? I felt like I could clean for hours and there would still be more to do. 

    Since doing nothing wasn’t functional, and trying to do it all wasn’t possible, I took some inspiration from my waitress days and came up with a short list of “closing duties” to do every night after my kids go to bed. It only takes me about 25 minutes, but I am always shocked how much I can get done in that time. Having a list helps keep me on track and feel accomplished. Every night I unload and reload the dishwasher, clear the island, sweep the kitchen floor, and take out the trash. Voila! Functional space for a calm morning. I often add something to the list that just makes me happy, like making ice coffee or making sure my slippers are by the bed. It’s been a game changer to find a way to be kind to morning-me, while still having my evenings to myself to rest or create. 

    Have you ever managed to gain a challenging healthy habit – or to break an unhealthy habit? If so, how did you do it?

    I have always struggled to stay on top of housework. Laundry, dishes, clutter…it all seems to pile up so quickly and I get too overwhelmed to deal with it. For most of my life I felt embarrassment by this, as if it was some sort of moral failure to not be good at domestic tasks. I would always tell myself that I just needed to try harder – and, in general, I had a lot of critical self-talk around it. 

    Today, I have amazing systems in my home that keep it functional, and I don’t feel overwhelmed anymore. The big change was when I started practicing self-compassion. I realized that being messy is not a moral failure. I deserve to be treated with kindness, even when speaking to myself. I started changing my self-talk, and realized that as a woman with ADHD, I may need to think creatively about creating systems in my home that work for me. I gave myself permission to throw out all the rules, and just think about what works for me. 

    So now we have a family closet and a no-fold bin system for all of us. And just like that—laundry gets done every week. I bought a dishrack and a second silverware caddy for my dishwasher and set up a “dirty dish station” where I could quickly dump dishes throughout the day, but they stayed organized and out of the sink. Like magic, now my dishes get done every evening. I do my “closing duties” list at night, and I’m kinder to myself. It’s amazing how self-compassion and adaptive routines have completely changed how I function in my home. 

    Would you describe yourself as an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger

    I got Rebel! That makes sense as I prefer to be internally motivated, rather than to simply meet expectations. 

    Does anything tend to interfere with your ability to keep your healthy habits or your happiness?

    My ADHD certainly does. I find that I need to give myself lots of grace and work with my brain, instead of against it. Like most people with ADHD, I benefit from having structure in my life, but I also get easily bored and prefer to always be inspired to action. I’ve learned that trying to stick to a habit through pure self-will doesn’t work for me. Instead, I think of ways to create momentum in my life to push me forward, making it easier to engage in rituals and behaviors that help me. 

    Is there a particular motto or saying that you’ve found very helpful?

    Whenever I talk about hacks for taking care of yourself or your space, I always have someone say, “but what if I don’t feel I deserve a functional space or self-care?” One motto that I use frequently on my platform is “you don’t have to care about yourself to start learning to care for yourself.” There are three powerful reasons why this statement is so profound. 

    First, I think a reason a lot of us get stuck when we struggle with mental health is that we feel like the motivation to care for ourselves must come from thinking you deserve to be cared for. So, we often spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to love ourselves, so that we can care for ourselves. I have found that it’s the opposite. Once we begin the journey of learning to care for ourselves, often liking ourselves flows from that. 

    Two, trying to learn to love yourself is an ambiguous goal and we can become absorbed with self by thinking about it all the time. Learning to care for yourself, on the other hand, can be a very practical and actionable journey—one where you do not have to dwell on yourself, but can face outward towards the world. 

    And three, the connection between care and admiration isn’t as innate as we assume. We can always make the choice to care for someone that has done nothing to deserve it. We care for our newborns that haven’t done anything, we rescue dogs even when they’ve bitten people or torn up the furniture, and we give to charities even when those receiving have made big mistakes in their lives. So, it often hits people like a ton of bricks when they realize they can just….decide to care for themselves, even though they’re not entirely convinced they deserve it. Heck, most of us agree even murderers have the right to three meals a day—yet how many of us have skipped a meal because we feel we don’t deserve to eat that day?

    Has a book ever changed your life – if so, which one and why?

    A couple of years ago I read The F*ck It Diet by Caroline Dooner (Amazon, Bookshop), and it had a profound impact on the way I view my body and my diet. It helped kickstart my journey of moral neutrality around food and weight; this idea that there are no good or bad foods and that my weight was not a moral failing or something I had to fix. This inspired my philosophy of moral neutrality when it comes to housework. There is something life-changing about the idea of moral neutrality that makes us kinder to ourselves, and in turn makes it easier to make changes that benefit us. 

    In your field, is there a common misconception that you’d like to correct?

    One misconception I get is that people believe I am enabling people to be dysfunctional. The truth couldn’t be farther from that. What I am doing is empowering people to care for themselves in a way that makes sense to them and is sustainable. I want people to function, and I find that the best foundation sustainable motivation and skill building is radical self-kindness and self-acceptance.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:00:03 on 2019/05/23 Permalink
    Tags: author interview, , , , , Lori Gottlieb, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, , , therapy   

    “The Most Important Habit I’ve Changed Is Going from Being Self-Critical to Being Kind to Myself While Holding Myself Accountable.” 


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    Interview: Lori Gottlieb.

    Lori Gottlieb is a bestselling writer and a practicing psychotherapist. I can't remember how I became aware of her work. Did I meet her at an event? Did I read a magazine story she wrote? Do we have a mutual friend? It's lost in the sands of time, but for some reason, for several years, I've paid particular attention to the career of Lori Gottlieb. I know I read her books Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough and Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self.

    Now she has a new book, an instant New York Times bestseller: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed.

    She also has a weekly “Dear Therapist” advice column in The Atlantic.

    I was eager to hear what she had to say about happiness and good habits.

    Gretchen: What’s a simple activity or habit that consistently makes you happier, healthier, more productive, or more creative?

    Lori: Breathing! This might sound strange, but as a therapist, I notice that sometimes people forget to breathe—I mean really replenishing themselves with air. We tend to take shallow, short breaths as we rush through our days, but a simple way to make you happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative is to close your eyes and take a one-minute breathing break (slow, deep breaths) every so often throughout the day. It resets you both physiologically and emotionally. This one easy practice really works wonders!

    What’s something you know now about happiness that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?

    I’ve discovered that happiness—a lasting sense of peace or contentment—is simply a byproduct of living your life in a fulfilling way. This will mean something different for each person, and that’s important to remember when comparing your own happiness to what you imagine other people’s happiness looks like. (You’re often wrong.) If you live your life with intention—What am I doing and why am I doing it? Am I really trapped doing what I don’t like or are there other options? Am I wasting time today on people or activities that don’t matter?—the happiness follows.

    Have you ever managed to gain a challenging healthy habit—or to break an unhealthy habit? If so, how did you do it?

    I started to notice that many of my therapy patients were so unkind to themselves. There were these critical voices in their heads that they weren’t even aware of. I had one therapy patient write down everything she said to herself in the course of a few days, and when she came back the next week, she was almost embarrassed to read it to me. “I’m such a bully to myself!” she said. “If I talked this way to any of my friends, I wouldn’t have friends anymore!”

    The more I saw this in my patients, the more I made a concerted effort to be kind to myself. Being kind and having self-compassion doesn’t mean that you don’t take responsibility for your mistakes or what you’d like to do differently. But you don’t have to self-flagellate while you take responsibility. In fact, the kinder you are to yourself, the easier it will be to make the necessary changes.

    Also, having self-compassion breeds compassion for others, so being kinder to yourself also tends to improve the other relationships in your life. Hands down, the single most important habit I’ve changed is going from being self-critical to being kind to myself while still holding myself accountable.

    Would you describe yourself as an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger?

    According to the quiz, I’m a Rebel. Not surprising, given that I went from being a film and TV executive to medical student to journalist to therapist! It was a very circuitous route, and people often thought I was crazy to leave what I was doing for something else. But I did what I wanted to do—it was my life to live, after all, not theirs—and in the end, it makes so much sense. Everything I’ve done and continue to do are related to my greatest interests and passions: story and the human condition.

    I went from telling fictional stories (in film and TV) to real people’s stories (in medical school), and then from telling people’s stories (as a journalist) to helping people change their stories (as a therapist).

    If I hadn’t had some “Rebel” in me, I wouldn’t have taken those risks.

    Have you ever been hit by a lightning bolt, where you made a major change very suddenly, as a consequence of reading a book, a conversation with a friend, a milestone birthday, a health scare, etc.?

    In the book, I write about my experience treating a young newlywed who’s diagnosed with breast cancer. Her doctors think she’ll be fine—it’s a very treatable form of cancer—and after surgery and chemotherapy, she is. But then, six months later, on a routine scan they discover a rare, aggressive form of cancer, and they tell her she has only a few years to live.

    “Will you stay with me until I die?” she asks. It was such a profound experience, looking death in the eye with her in way we normally don’t, and it made me consider my own mortality in a new way, a healthier way. We can deny death completely, even though we’re all going to die one day—and most of us have no idea how or when—or we can have some awareness of it so that we can pay more attention to the time we do have.

    There were many lightning bolts moments with her, but one stands out. In a session, she said that because of her illness, she noticed how much other people put things off for the future—I’m going to apply for that job I really want next year; I’ll try dating again after I’m done with this project in the summer; I’ll apologize to my sibling or repair that relationship when I’m not so busy—but what, she wondered, is everyone waiting for? I remember sitting in that session and thinking, “What am I waiting for?” It changed how I approached my daily life—I stopped putting the important things off for “later.”

    Is there a particular motto or saying that you’ve found very helpful? (e.g., I remind myself to “Be Gretchen.”) 

    “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” - Viktor Frankl

    In your field, is there a common misperception or incorrect assumption that you’d like to correct?

    I think a common misperception of therapy is that you go in, talk about your childhood ad nauseam, and never leave (or leave years and years later). In my book, I wanted to bring people directly into the therapy room to show them what therapy really is. Therapists will hold up a mirror to you so that you can see your reflection more clearly. We all have blind spots, ways of shooting ourselves in the foot over and over and ending up in the same place because of something we’re doing that we aren’t aware of.

    Therapy is about helping people relate to themselves and others more smoothly so that they don’t have to struggle so much. We all struggle, of course, but we can change our role in it, and our response to it. That what therapy teaches you how to do. And then you leave—our goal is to encourage your independence, to get you not to need us anymore, to be able to manage life’s universal challenges more easily with the insight and tools you gained in therapy. As the late psychotherapist John Weakland famously said, “Before successful therapy, it’s the same damn thing over and over. After successful therapy, it’s one damn thing after another.”

    Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

     
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