“I remember it as October days are always remembered, cloudless, maple-flavored, the air gold and so clean it quivers.”
~ Leif Enger, Peace Like a River
“In 2002, Peace Like a River was a National Bestseller and hailed as one of the year’s top five novels by Time, and selected as one of the best books of the year by nearly all major newspapers.” If you haven’t read this wonderful book, it is worth your time. Find it here.
“Beauty is often treated as an essentially feminine subject, something trivial and frivolous that women are excessively concerned with. Men, meanwhile, are typically seen as having a straightforward and uncomplicated relationship with it: they are drawn to it. The implication is that this may be unfortunate—not exactly ideal morally—but it can’t be helped, because it’s natural, biological. This seems more than a little ironic. Women are not only subject to a constant and exhausting and sometimes humiliating scrutiny—they are also belittled for caring about their beauty, mocked for seeking to enhance or to hold onto their good looks, while men are just, well, being men.
The reality is, of course, far more complicated, as our best novelists show us. They train our gazes on men at not only their most shallow and status conscious but also at their most ridiculous (the clenched jaw). It’s not always easy to know what to make of these men, who certainly aren’t wholly bad. But in a world where women are so frequently judged by their looks, it’s refreshing to encounter male characters whose superficial thoughts are at least acknowledged by their creators.”
~ Adelle Waldman, in an excerpt from The New Yorker, “A First-Rate Girl”: The Problem of Female Beauty
“That old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air… Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.”
— Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose
By one my favorite authors from one of my favorite books, the Pulitzer Prize Winning Angle of Repose.
“Often when you take on the voice of a great writer, speak his or her words aloud, you are taking on the voice of inspiration, you are breathing their breath at the moment of their heightened feelings, that what all writers ultimately do is pass on their breath.”
I paused and reflected on the “great” writers that I have read. Marilynne Robinson immediately came to mind. She has the ability to transport me to another place and time – - writing with such grace, such beauty and such humanity. She’s won literary “hardware” for her three major novels.
- Housekeeping. Nominated for the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and winner of the Hemingway/PEN Award for first fiction novel.
- Gilead. Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and winner of the National Book Circle Critics Award for Fiction.
- Home. Winner of the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction award.
Soon after I read Goldberg’s thoughts on great writers, I came this excerpt from a Chicago Tribune article shared at Lit Verve where the writer asks Robinson about Rev. John Ames, a congregational minister in Gilead, Iowa and the main character in her novel Gilead: [Read more...]
“…The prose in the last few pages of Ulysses is breathtakingly beautiful. Throughout Bloom’s day, we’ve been forced to see all the banal unattractive parts of life: boredom, hunger, despair, the need to go to the bathroom, broken trust, small-mindedness, unrealizable dreams, apathy, our own insignificance. Joyce gives us a lot of very good reasons to think that life is a pretty tiny and horrible thing. Of course, we read this and we think that our life isn’t going to be like Bloom’s. I mean, he’s one pathetic guy, our life will be infinitely better than Bloom’s. But, truth be told, we have no way of knowing what our life is going to be. It’s quite possible that one day we’ll find ourselves in Bloom’s shoes, in a marriage based more in fondness than in romantic love, in a place where most of our dreams are stretched out behind us rather than laid out in front of us. And for all that, Joyce is telling us: Do not despair. He’s telling us to say yes to life, to swallow it whole, to find happiness wherever we can…”
~ Sir John Richardson
Sir John Richardson, 89 year old art historian, set to receive the London Library’s Life in Literature award, one of his many honours, including a knighthood, accorded him for his multi-volume, still unfinished biography of Pablo Picasso. Volume One appeared in 1991, Volume Four is expected next year.
I’m on the 6:22 am train to Grand Central.
One of few trips a month taking me back to Manhattan.
I drift away for a moment.
It has been six years.
Six years since I’ve changed Company. Changed routine. Changed my life.
Two hours a day of uninterrupted reading time.
To, near zero.
Churning through three books a week. 150 books a year.
To, near zero.
Lost. In a character. In a story. In another place. In another time. [Read more...]
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
~ Dr. Seuss
Theodore Seuss Geisel was born today in 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He attended Dartmouth College and Oxford. He was a perfectionist in his work and he would sometimes spend up to a year on a book. It was not uncommon for him to throw out 95% of his material until he settled on a theme for his book. Geisel’s first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was rejected 27 times before it was finally published by Vanguard Press in 1937. The Cat in the Hat was published in 1957. Green Eggs and Ham in 1960. (Could it have been that long ago?) Geisel’s birthday, March 2, has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day.
He’s Joe Queenan, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal. He started reading when he was 7 years old. Fifty-five years later, he has read 6,128 books. He “hopes to get through another 2,137 books before he dies.”
He often “reads dozens of books simultaneously.” “(He) starts a book in 1978 and finishes it 34 years later.”
He states that “a case can be made that people who read a preposterous number of books are not playing with a full deck. I prefer to think of us as dissatisfied customers. If you have read 6,000 books in your lifetime, or even 600, it’s probably because at some level you find ‘reality’ a bit of a disappointment.”
“For every hundred words I write, I spend about thirty to sixty minutes of editing and rewriting.” Jeff Goins
In Jeff Goins’ book titled You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One), Goins shares his secret sauce on becoming a writer. And this message never seems to get old (for me):
- Believe: You have to believe in yourself. Say you are a writer. And get started. Do it every day. Build the discipline and mental muscle.
- Follow your Passion: Don’t pander to your audience. Find your voice. The audience will follow. “The more I love what I do, the more others do, too.”
- Writing is hard work. “It’s harder than you think.” “You better love it. (Otherwise, quit now.)”
- Build Relationships: “It’s more about who you know than what you know.” Build a community of followers (via blogging). You have more channels to do so today than at any time in history. Network. Build relationships with publishers.
Jeff Goins is an author, blogger, and speaker. In 2011, his blog, goinswriter.com, was voted as one of the “Top 10 Blogs on Writing” and his writing has been featured on some of the most popular blogs including Copyblogger, Problogger and Zen Habits.
My book summary:
From HBR Blog Network: For Those Who Want to Lead, Read. (DK: I believe all of this to be true.)
“…This is terrible for leadership, where trends are even more pronounced. Business people seem to be reading less — particularly material unrelated to business. But deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders and can catalyze insight, innovation, empathy, and personal effectiveness.”
“…And history is littered not only with great leaders who were avid readers and writers (remember, Winston Churchill won his Nobel prize in Literature, not Peace), but with business leaders who believed that deep, broad reading cultivated in them the knowledge, habits, and talents to improve their organizations.”
“…Evidence suggests reading can improve intelligence and lead to innovation and insight…reading makes you smarter through “a larger vocabulary and more world knowledge in addition to the abstract reasoning skills.” Reading…is one of the quickest ways to acquire and assimilate new information.” [Read more...]
There was no air conditioning, central, window or otherwise. There were no large, five-speed oscillating fans. The one 12-inch fan in the house, hummed like a diesel and was in the kitchen where it kept Mom cool while she was preparing our meal. Dinner included a cool cucumber soup, vareneki and peach pie – - cucumbers individually pulled off the vines in the garden and plump, ripe peaches picked from our fruit trees. The oven, running all afternoon, added to the oppressive heat in the house.
We had one TV, with one channel, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Hockey Night in Canada (Saturday Nights) was one of the few programs worthy of watching. And, in any event, watching TV during the day was taboo. We had one radio station, and it was country. (So no radio.) There was no internet. No Playstation. No iPhones, iTunes, iPods, iPads, iAnthing. No desktops or laptops. No Barnes & Noble, Borders, Waldenbooks or Amazon. No Kindles, Nooks or Readers. The Public Library was miles away and I had never set my foot in it. We had a camera but that was off limits and of little interest. [Read more...]
Rule No. 1: Show and Tell.
Rule No. 2: Don’t go searching for a subject, let your subject find you. You can’t rush inspiration…you can’t force it. Once your subject finds you, it’s like falling in love. It will be your constant companion…Your ideal subject should be like a stalker with limitless resources…
Rule No. 3: Write what you know…listen to your heart. Ask your heart, Is it true? And if it is, let it be. Once the lawyers sign off, you’re good to go…
Rule No. 4: Never use three words when one will do. Be concise. Don’t fall in love with the gentle trilling of your mellifluous sentences…
Sendak, in his quote below, summarizes my operating philosophy.
I’m certainly not the most intelligent leader. (Thundering applause in the stadium from my team – - in complete agreement.)
And, not the best strategic operator. Or even possess average analytical skills compared to the crackerjacks I’m surrounded by. (Roof coming off stadium – Team giddy in agreement.)
However. However, as to “fierce honesty” – FIERCE HONESTY, there’s no doubting the boss on his proclamation of competence in this area. (You can now hear a pin drop. With murmurs and grumbling oozing out of the rafters.)
Don’t let your team down.
Don’t let your team members get unfairly punished.
Don’t let your team “be dealt with a boring, simpering, crushing-of-the-spirit kind of way.”
In other words, L-E-A-D.
The Wall Street Journal: Photo-Op: Color Field:
“Everybody dreams of soaring like an eagle, but few consider that they probably wouldn’t be alone in the sky. The 200 photographs in John Downer’s ‘EarthFlight‘ offer the exultant wing-to-wing camaraderie enjoyed otherwise only by fighter pilots and birds themselves, juxtaposing graceful avians aloft and stunning landscapes beneath. To infiltrate the flocks, Downer and his team used…hang gliders, ultralight aircraft and the ‘vulturecam,’ a miniature remote-controlled plane disguised as a bird. Even more unusual were the tiny cameras they mounted on the backs of trained birds, such as a bald eagle that banked and wheeled above the Grand Canyon…Six continents and all four seasons are represented: A squadron of barnacle geese cross wintry fields on the south coast of Sweden, the pale shading of their feathers mirroring the snow cover below; a common crane (above) surveys the bright stripes of a Dutch tulip farm in the spring…(and) Hovering over the roofs of Rome, a cloud of starlings forms a dark calligraphic blob like something from a painting by Miró—a startling reminder that birds are always there, whether we notice them from the ground or not.”
A friend (thanks GP) shared a Financial Times article titled “Reasons to Be Cheerful. Seriously.” The article struck a chord. I read another similar themed article called “Defying the Doomsayers” in a book review in the Wall Street Journal.
Turn on the TV or radio or read the newspaper and you have a deluge of darkness. Joblessness. Poverty. Politics. Iran. Afghanistan. Kony. Poaching. Extinction of endangered species. Deforestation of rainforests. Racism. Global Warming. Violent crime. Hazings. Gas Prices. Poor test results for U.S. high school students. Cheating on college entrance exams. Steroid use. Corruption. Terrorism. Medicinal commercials for depression, constipation, virility, hair loss, anxiety, ADD and on and on and on. Is it any wonder that we are the most fully medicated generation to have existed?
As the FT article states: “If it bleeds, it leads” (the news broadcasts). One might conclude from the media that we are three steps shy of Apocalypse.
Solution? Turn off the tele. Feed your mind a more constructive source of fuel. And as the WSJ article closes: “The best way to predict the future, is to create it yourself.”
Here’s some excerpts that share an inspiring alternative view of the world – more inspiring than you will see on your nightly news and cable broadcasts or your morning paper:
“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.”
- Franz Kafka
How one goes from this morning’s post on Charlie Brown and Snoopy and being-grateful-for-everything-dancing-and-whooping-it-up in the morning – to this topic in the evening – should give you a sense of my day. And it should also give you a sense of what I was reading on my train ride home from work. Yes, I question my own judgment on my forms of stress relief. Nonetheless, I made a commitment to me that I would post what was on my mind. So, this post is related to the “LIVE” part of “LEAD, LEARN, LIVE.” LIVE in capital letters. LIVE Forever.
WTMI* Factoid 2:
I’m a MWMC. (That’s Man-With-Mortality-Complex). I’m sayin’ like anxiety attacks – cold sweat – darkness. Fear of not waking up. THE END.
Conversely, there are few (very few) bouts of light on the subject. The most recent light being tied to a Steve Jobs story. (See Post Oh Wow, Oh Wow, Oh Wow.)
So, when I saw a pre-release version of Stephen Cave’s new book: Immortality-The Quest To Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization – I thought maybe…just maybe, I tripped into the Holy Grail.
You know the pitch. Face your fears head on – and only then do you grow. Or Dorothy Thompson: “Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.” [Read more...]
Prior to my iPad acquisition, I was a minimum one-book-a-week reader. Now that’s slumped to maybe 2 per month and the trendline “ain’t pretty.” And I am the type that MUST finish my book…no matter what. (There must be a personality disorder for needing to finish a horrible book…no matter what.) I now have a growing collection of DNFs (Did-Not-Finish) and a knot in my stomach. DNFs are also so much easier to hide and forget on your eReader. This New York Times article sums up my malady: Finding Your Book Interrupted … By the Tablet You Read It On. Here’s some choice excerpts:
“Can you concentrate on Flaubert when Facebook is only a swipe away, or give your true devotion to Mr. Darcy while Twitter beckons?”
“E-mail lurks tantalizingly within reach. Looking up a tricky word or unknown fact in the book is easily accomplished through a quick Google search. And if a book starts to drag, giving up on it to stream a movie over Netflix or scroll through your Twitter feed is only a few taps away.”
“Some of the millions of consumers who have bought tablets and sampled e-books on apps have come away with a conclusion: It’s harder than ever to sit down and focus on reading…These apps beg you to review them all the time…” [Read more...]
There is nothing rigid in life. You are always moving forward; when you’re not, you’re not standing still – you’re going backward.
Stedman Graham is the CEO of his own management, marketing and consulting firm. He is the author of ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers including You Can Make It Happen – A Nine-Step Plan For Success. “The nine-step plan is a life management system that teaches you how to organize your personal and professional life around your identity.” Yet, with all of his accomplishments, Graham may be best known for being Oprah Winfrey’s life partner.
The core premise of this book is “Your happiness and success in life flow from becoming clear about who you are and establishing your authentic identity – first inside yourself and then externally with the world…building your identity is about knowing what your calling is, learning how to do it well and creating value in the world.” Graham states that he feels “extraordinary people are simply ordinary people doing extraordinary things that matter to them. They relentless align all the elements of their life to support their pursuit of what has deep meaning to them.”
You can find my full book review titled “Chicken Soup for Your Identity” at this link on Amazon.
Here are two of my favorite excerpts from the book:
I first watched this video 2 weeks ago. I found it a bit weird. (OK, maybe a lot wierd.) A bit quirky. Yet, I couldn’t shake it from my mind. I went back once. Then twice. On to 4, 5, 6 times. Perhaps it was the cadence of her voice. Perhaps it was her accent. (Purely Canadian.) Should I share? Hmmmm. I’ll be the weird-non-manly man sharing his bizarre poetry video. I checked the number of views: 4.2 million and counting. (Wow!) So, I’m not alone. Runway is clear. OK for me to share. Tanya Davis – BRAVO!
If you are at first lonely, be patient.
If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.
“The nectar that nurtured me turned me to poison.”
“Then what did you do?”
“What can one do in such circumstances? Accept it and go on. Please always remember that the secret of survival is to embrace change, and to adapt. To quote: ‘All things fall and are built again, and those that build them are gay.’”
“Yeats?” guessed Maneck.
The proofreader nodded, “You see, you cannot draw lines and compartments, and refuse to budge beyond them. Sometimes you have to use your failures as stepping stones to success. You have to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair.” He paused, considered what he had just said. “Yes,” he repeated. “In the end, it’s all a question of balance.”
~ Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance
I’ve been wading (slowly) through this book. The core principles in Chapter Four (“Leading People Talent to Teams”) keep returning to my consciousness long since I’ve blown threw this chapter. Why? Why does it keep drifting back to needle me? Where does the time go in my day? What takes me away from my focus on my top performers? Why haven’t I spent more time building my bench? As they say, you can pay now or pay later. This book is getting under my skin and moving up the rating scale. Here’s a few excerpts from Chapter 4 of John Hamm’s book titled: Unusually Excellent: The Necessary Nine Skills Required For the Practice of Great Leadership).
“No man can be happy, efficient, creative at his work when he is unhappy with his situation and lives for another day. All of us are too prone to postpone our living until some nebulous time when “our ship will come in.” Nothing is so apt to inject dissatisfaction into our lives as this wasteful attitude toward the most perishable of all things we know – time. Today, this very day, is the most important time of all, for what we do today determines what we will be tomorrow. Therefore turn all your attention to your labors of the moment, absorb yourself, take your satisfactions from each thing you do, however humble in your mind. Nothing is small or petty in this life. The massive door of a vault swings on the apex of a tiny jewel, and men have become great through learning how to do well the lowliest of jobs.
- U.S. Anderson, Three Magic Words
Related U.S. Andersen Posts:
- Most people only exist, never truly are at all… (davidkanigan.com)
- The law of life is this: All things both good and evil are constructed from an image held in mind (davidkanigan.com)
- You do not achieve your goals simply by wanting it… (davidkanigan.com)
“…Trust the power of allowing others to know you. Even though it can seem scary, and it requires the willingness to be vulnerable, it is the key to influence. The real you – no imitations and role playing – is what people want to know, and the real you is the person to whom they will commit…”
I had a series of separate meetings with professionals over a period of two days. (Including representation from our firm and two third-party firms.) All individuals conducted themselves professionally and exuded competence in their respective subject matter areas. Yet, after having some time to reflect on these meetings, two Leaders stood out. Two Leaders seemed to make the meeting come alive. They had executive presence. They had energy. They are fair but tough and resolute. They have fervent employee followership. (One not having a single regrettable employee resignation on the team in memory.)
However, that wasn’t the secret sauce.
THEY WERE AUTHENTIC…and AUTHENTIC LEADERS WIN. They were passionate about their vision. They have developed a reputation for execution and being in the trenches with their teams. They conduct themselves with humility. They share their anxieties and missteps. They have developed strong relationships with their teams at all levels. They don’t shade, color or hide from the truth.
So, when I finished the chapter on Authenticity in the new book I’m reading, I wasn’t surprised to find these two Leaders possessing the profile of “Unusually Excellent” Leaders. The book is authored by John Hamm and titled: Unusually Excellent: The Necessary Nine Skills Required For the Practice of Great Leadership). Here’s a few excerpts from the chapter:
Here’s “Take 2″ from U.S. Andersen. (See my prior post: Most people only exist, never truly are at all…). Andersen’s book The Magic In Your Mind was originally published in 1961 – - well before Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer and Rhonda Byrne (The Secret) became household names. This man could write and he’s genius…his thought leadership is still as pertinent today as it was more than 40 years ago.
“…It is astounding and sad to see the many thousands of people whose mental machinery keeps delivering to them the very effects they say they do not want. They bewail the fact that they are poor, but that doesn’t make them richer. They complain about their aches and pains but they keep right on being sick. They say that nobody likes them, which means they don’t like anybody. They aren’t bold, they aren’t aggressive, they aren’t imaginative; mental they quiver and quake and are bound to negative delusions. It simply doesn’t matter what the picture in your mind is, it is delivered nonetheless with the same amount of faithfulness and promptness if it is a picture of poverty or disease or fear or failure as it would be if it were a picture of wealth or health or courage or success…
…any picture we hold in our minds is bound to resolve in the material world. We cannot help ourselves in this. As long as we live and think, we will hold images in our minds, and these images develop into the things of our lives, and so long as we think in a certain way we must live a certain way, and no amount of willing or wishing will change it, only the vision we carry within…
…The law of life is this: All things both good and evil are constructed from an image held in mind…
“…Shakespeare’s Hamlet in his famed soliloquy pondered, “To be or not to be,” and thus faced squarely the primary challenge of life. Most people only exist, never truly are at all…
…We exist in order that we may become something more than we are, not through favorable circumstance or auspicious occurrence, but through an inner search for increased awareness. To be, to become, these are the commandments of evolving life, which is going somewhere, aspires to some unscaled heights, and the awakened soul answers the call, seeks, grows, expands. To do less is to sink into the reactive prison of the ego, with all its pain, suffering, limitation, decay, and death. The man who lives through reaction to the world about him is the victim of every change in his environment, now happy, now sad, now victorious, now defeated, affected but never affecting. He may live years in this manner, rapt with sensory perception and the ups and downs of his surface self, but one day pain so outweighs pleasure that he suddenly perceives his ego is illusory, a product of outside circumstances only. Then he either sinks into complete animal lethargy or, turning away from the senses, seeks inner awareness and self-mastery. Then he is on the road to really living, truly becoming; then he begins to uncover his real potential; then he discovers the miracle of his own consciousness, the magic in his mind.
Mastery over life is not attained by dominion over material things, but by mental perception of their true case and nature.”
- U.S. Anderson, The Magic In Your Mind (Book Review)
My Son knows his Mother. His Father. His Sister. He is loved unconditionally. He sleeps in a warm, clean bed. He has not experienced hunger. Real hunger. Yet, some (many) others in this world…”not so much.”
Part 1 of this book is called “An Orphan Boy.” Beginning at 3 years old, Stephen Pemberton, is bounced from one foster family (who neglects him) to another – - The Robinsons…who can best be described as monstrous. He’s subjected to merciless beatings – - deliberate attempts to thwart his academic progress — and he’s hungry, always hungry. He’s not permitted to open the refrigerator – ever. He’s required to adhere to a series of Robinson Rules which include #1-You are to never tell anyone outside this house about what goes on here. #2-We aren’t your mother and father. You call us ma’am and sir. #4-You are dumb, and ugly. Something about you isn’t right. Everybody knows this. #7-We can beat you at any moment. #8-No one wants you, especially your own mother and father. Young Pemberton finds refuge in books. He is a reader. A kind soul, a neighbor, who sees a spark in this child – gifts him books. He’s forced to read in a cold, dank basement.
I came to live not just in fear but abject terror, the kind that rises up and takes over every sense of your being. Years later, long after the hunger and beatings were no longer residents of my mind, it would be that fear that would be that last to leave. [Read more...]
At 20, I wouldn’t have read it. I was in a hurry – learning, climbing. Mortality? Huh?
At 30, it’s family, career and it’s obligations – no time to contemplate. Little time to read.
At 40, I’m beginning to settle, mind is opening – I might have given this book a glance. But I’m wary.
At x0, (I can’t believe it or say it or type it). Where did the years go? My eyes are WIDE OPEN. I’m locked in on this book.
90 year old, Jane Hilliard, in 30 Lessons For Living: Tried and True Advice From the Wisest Americans by Karl Pillemer
“…my later years have been much easier because I learned to be grateful for what I have, and no longer bemoan what I don’t have or can’t do. Saying “thank you” reminds me of my blessings, which are many. When I look back over my life, the most important things I have learned are these. [Read more...]
…What the whole world wants is a good job…
…Whether you and I were walking down the street in Khartoum, Cairo, Berlin, Lima, Los Angeles, Baghdad, or Istanbul, we would discover that the single most dominant thought on most people’s minds is about having a good job….
…Humans used to desire love, money, food, shelter, safety, peace, and freedom more than anything else. The last 30 years have changed us. Now people want to have a good job, and they want their children to have a good job. This changes everything for world leaders. Everything they do — from waging war to building societies — will need to be carried out within the new context of the need for a good job….
We are the strivingest people who have ever lived. We are ambitious, time-starved, competitive, distracted. We move at full velocity, yet constantly fear we are not doing enough. Though we live longer than any humans before us, our lives feel shorter, restless, breathless…
Dear ones, EASE UP. Pump the brakes. Take a step back. Seriously. Take two steps back. Turn off all your electronics and surrender over all your aspirations and do absolutely nothing for a spell. I know, I know – we all need to save the world. But trust me: The world will still need saving tomorrow.
In the meantime, you’re going to have a stroke soon (or cause a stroke in somebody else) if you don’t calm the hell down. So go take a walk. Or don’t. Consider actually exhaling. Find a body of water and float. Hit a tennis ball against a wall. Tell your colleagues that you’re off meditating (people take meditation seriously, so you’ll be absolved from guilt) and then actually, secretly, nap.
My radical suggestion? Cease participation, if only for one day this year – if only to make sure that we don’t lose forever the rare and vanishing human talent of appreciating ease.
~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Author of Eat, Pray, Love, in What Matters Now
Image: Thank you Flowerpics09