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CategoryMind & Spirit

Gail Sher’s Four Noble Truths for Writers

Gail Sher’s One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers is a quick, insightful read. I recommend it. But the core principles, those four noble truths, are right on the back cover and worth making of (literally) what you will:

  • Writers write
  • Writing is a process
  • You don’t know what your writing will be until the end of the process
  • If writing is your practice, the only way to fail is not to write

Shawn Achor’s Happiness Practices

Gleaned from “happiness researcher” Shawn Achor’s 10% Happier podcast interview with Dan Harris, five practices for being happier, which Achor defines as “the joy you feel moving toward your potential.”

  1. Gratitude (2 minutes) — Write down three new things you are grateful for each day. Be specific and write down not just what, but why. As you instill this practice, your brain will be “building a background app” to scan constantly throughout the day for positive things to note the next day.
  2. The “Doubler” (2 minutes) — Record one positive, meaningful experience from the day (or day before) along with at least three details of the experience.
  3. The “Fun Fifteen” (15 minutes) — 15 minutes of cardio activity, even a brisk walk.
  4. Conscious Act of Kindness (2 minutes) — For example, sending an email or note of praise, writing a charming note, performing a Random Act of Kindness, etc.
  5. Meditation (2-XXX minutes)

Side note: Achor observed that practices of gratitude and mindfulness contribute to creating a healthy “emotional immune system.” Love that.

Worth repeating now and for the foreseeable future: To live with joy and gratitude in the face of wrong is a powerful form of resistance. It’s also the only resistance I am remotely capable of sometimes.

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