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How do you want to live?

Is there a better way?

David Gane
David Gane
1 min read

Sometimes life gets the best of us. We get overwhelmed and don't get our work done. The routine is disrupted.

But what if it's not about the routine?

Cal Newport said in the New York Times:

So how do you actually work with your mind and create things of value? What I've identified is three principles: doing fewer things, working at a natural pace, but obsessing over quality. That trio of properties better hits the sweet spot of how we're actually wired and produces valuable meaningful work, but it's sustainable.

And going back to The New Happy:

Think of a goal you have set for yourself. Ask yourself: why am I pursuing this? 

Is it to bolster my ego? To win in a competition against others? To prove that I am good enough? Because I was told that getting it would make me happy?

Or is it to express myself? To be in service to others? To make a meaningful contribution to our world? Because I'm enjoying the actual experience of pursuing it? 

Aim for goals that satisfy the latter. Those will make you far happier than any societally-approved achievement ever could.

I want to nurture my artist and make a meaningful contribution to others, whether in my writing or helping others in my writing.

Does that mean I need to write regularly every day?

Perhaps not.

Perhaps it is about:

  • doing fewer things
  • working at a natural pace
  • obsessing over quality
  • nurturing my artist
  • making a meaningful contribution
  • focus on joyful goals: "Make them fun. Make them interesting. Make them fascinating. Make them engaging. Make them meaningful."
  • and being kind to the people I care about on the way  

Is it possible to make a living that way?


David Gane Twitter

Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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