The best thing to do is to set process goals rather than outcome goals. Stop telling yourself you’re going to write the great American novel, and tell yourself you’re going to do 500 words a day. Step back from focusing on the outcome and focus on process.
Excerpts from my interview with Oliver Burkeman, author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking.
What The Ancient Stoics Can Teach You About Happiness
To sum up the Stoic perspective very simply: it’s your beliefs about the world that cause distress, not the world itself.
And this leads to a very powerful technique for increasing happiness.
Yes. It’s what the Stoics call, “the premeditation” – that there’s actually a lot of peace of mind to be gained in thinking carefully and in detail and consciously about how badly things could go.
In most situations you’re going to discover that your anxiety or your fears about those situations were exaggerated. It’s so tempting to respond to anxiety and worry with reassurance, whether it’s in ourselves or our kids or our friends. Somebody is really worried about the future. You want to…
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