By day, The Glad Stork works at a soul-crushing corporate job and is an Adjunct IT Professor; by night, he makes comics about parenting, life, and cubicles at TheGladStork.com. These are his good things.
Good things to read.
This Is Water. Sometimes life is tough and it seems like everyone is in your way. This is actually your “default” way of thinking–that the world revolves around you. Get out of your default setting. “This Is Water” is a commencement address given by the late great David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College in 2005. I make a point to reread this at least once a year.
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed.David Cain writes Raptitude, one of my favorite sources for insight on mindfulness, happiness, and living a good life. This is one of my favorite Raptitude articles. It is a refreshing take on the close knit relationship between the indentured servitude of the 9-5 and our consumerist culture.
Your Money Or Your Life. A dollar spent is a portion of your life spent earning that dollar that you’ll never get back. Spend wisely on the things that matter most to you. Stop thinking of money as something that is used to buy stuff, and instead think of it as something that is used to buy your own time. Your Money Or Your Life should be required reading for all high school kids.
Good things to watch.
23 ½ Hours. Laughter is the best medicine? Wrong. It’s actually a walk. Stay active. Stay healthy. Stay happy.
Everything is amazing and nobody’s happy or Hilarious” on Netflix (28 minutes in). Louis CK says, “We live in an amazing world and it’s wasted on the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots.” Watch him discuss the insane contradiction between our bad attitudes and the amazingness of everything around us.
Marc Maron’s Interview with Robin Williams. This interview is audio only, so I’m cheating the system here. I’m not normally affected by celebrity deaths, but this one got to me. I’ve been watching a lot of Robin Williams interviews, as if to tell myself to face the emotions and let them wash over me and use it to understand the hard times others are going through and to get through my own hard times. I’d recommend the full interview, or skip to 55:34 when Robin discusses the gratitude-driven thought process that got him through the first time he considered suicide.
Good things to use.
Affirmations. If you use computers, you have to change your password frequently. If you’re a functioning adult, you desire positive change in your life. Combine these two seemingly unrelated life aspects to naturally begin using affirmations. Affirmations are the closest thing to real magic I’ve ever seen.
The Circle of Control. I was at a Fourth of July parade with my older brother when we passed a ‘roided out guy in a cutoff t-shirt that said “USA… Back-to-Back World War Champs”. My brother was filled with rage. “What an asshole. Treating death and destruction like a sporting event.” I agree; that guy’s an asshole. But letting an asshole ruin your day is a waste of a day. Instead fill your Circle of Concern with your Circle of Control–devoting time, energy, and thoughts only to the things that you can affect.
Stoicism. Many of the above Good Things are ways of thinking that fall in line with a Stoicism “Life Philosophy”. There was a time when philosophy focused less on answering the unanswerable and more on how to live a purposeful and good life. This book is a very accessible introduction to “The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy”.