Self-Improvement On My Mind

Hamburger Heaven, photograph by Flickr user Dystopos. Click image to visit its Flickr page.Hamburger Heaven, photograph by Flickr user Dystopos. Click image to visit its Flickr page.

'Tis the season, I think, even if I'm a bit early, to concern myself with the self I really wish to be. (I tend to skip the holidays and go straight to January out of self-defense.)

I'm with Merlin. Browser tabs I seem unable to close this week are:

Andrea Zittel An artist concerned with optimizing personal space. You can see a film about her from Season 1 of the PBS series Art21. I'm quite intrigued by the smockshop.

How to Lose 20 lbs of Fat in 30 Days by Tim Ferriss (author of The Four Hour Workweek)

Self-Discipline by Steve Pavlina

Self-discipline is the ability to get yourself to take action regardless of your emotional state. ...Imagine what you could accomplish if you could simply get yourself to follow through on your best intentions no matter what.

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp (free excerpt)

I will keep stressing the point about creativity being augmented by routine and habit. Get used to it. In these pages a philosophical tug of war will periodically rear its head. It is the perennial debate, born in the Romantic era, between the beliefs that all creative acts are born of (a) some transcendent, inexplicable Dionysian act of inspiration, a kiss from God on your brow that allows you to give the world The Magic Flute, or (b) hard work.

If it isn't obvious already, I come down on the side of hard work. That's why this book is called The Creative Habit. Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is a result of good work habits. That's it in a nutshell.

On Being Good by Leslie Harpold I feel like I wrote this:

I'm asleep by ten and up by six, I drink eight to ten glasses of water a day. I get 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise four times a week and I rigidly adhere to the food pyramid guidelines. I just had a serving of fruit.

Read more about the extraordinary Leslie Harpold here.

For dessert, also by Leslie: Possible Scenarios for Heaven

Get up around sunrise, because sunrise is always five minutes after you wake up in heaven, and seeing a different and more magnificent one each day, simultaneously thinking "Wow, earth was beautiful" and also "This is pretty great too."