Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

– Neil Gaiman, Coraline

It feels like there is always one or two dragons in my life. A project that I can’t seem to finish, a conflict I really don’t want to solve, or a bad habit that I just can’t seem to quit. When I can get some time to reflect and think the problem through I can usually find a similar dragon I have conquered before. It gives me some hope, courage and inspiration.

The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they’ll ease
Your will they’ll mend
And charge you not a shilling.

 – Wayne Fields

I love this short poem and I will use it as a guide for my next 5 months of vacation in New York. To make sure that every day contains sunshine and air through walking, rest through sleeping and taking it easy, exercise through running and yoga, and diet through eating well. So simple and so effective at the same time.

She told me that if magic gives people what they want, then not using magic can give them what they need.

– Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

When giving a lecture, writing a book or giving a course; the challenge is to find a good mix between giving people what they want and what they need. If you only give people what they want they will go away satisfied but you will only have a short term effect on their lives. If you only give them what they need they will probably not feel satisfied and might not listen to what you say. It’s about fulfilling people’s expectations then taking it to the next level.

sympathy vs empathy

The ending of sympathy and empathy comes from the same greek word, pathos, that means feeling. Sym- means together/the same, and em- means in. This means that sympathy can be translated as having the same feeling as the other person, while empathy is being in the feeling of the other person. The strength of empathy is to continue being yourself, feeling your feelings, while still being with the other person letting them feel what they need at this moment.

write

Originally write meant to carve, scratch or cut. It is not that strange as the first writing was on rock. But writing can still have this sense of carving something new, or to just make meaningless scratches until you feel you have found a new angle, a new perspective on reality.

The difference is between saying something to a person, and saying something about a person. The first might be rude, but the second is always gossip.

– Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

I just loved how simply he managed to explain the concept of gossip and what it means.

Naturally we have to ignore the awkward fact that the smartest thing is all too often only obvious in hindsight, but never mind.

– Iain M. Banks, Surface Detail

You can only make the best of every situation you are in or have created yourself. What to do to make the certain situation better will always change and there is no clear recipe to follow. The one thing we should always do is to learn from the situation and what we did to create it. Especially if the situation turned out great, then you should really sit down and think about what you did to create it.

random

Random comes from Old German meaning to run, according to Merriam-Webster. The word today is defined as “lacking a definite plan, purpose or pattern”. When we run through life without taking the time to sit down and think what we want to achieve then our actions might well appear random to people who watch us or even to ourselves. Our randomness might well be that we are controlled by our stress and fears that are very short-sighted instead of our needs or desires that may be more long-term.

‘While the cards are being shuffled, they’re random,’ I said. ‘Once they’re dealt they’re not random any more – you just don’t know what they are.

– Benedict Jacka, Chosen

There is a great difference between something being random and you not knowing the reason for it. Just because I don’t know the pattern behind someone’s actions does not mean people are acting randomly. Most people are not stupid or evil; they just have another set of rules, needs and preferences than you that they follow in life.

real

The word real comes from Latin’s realis which means actual, and in medieval latin it meant “belonging to the thing itself”, according to etymonline.

So when I’m being real then I belong to myself, when I don’t feel real who do I belong to then?