A while back, someone was interviewing me and asked me if I’ve tried yoga.

Right now a zillion people are thinking I’m writing about them. Because so many people, in the middle of an interview, decide they need to recommend to me that I do yoga.

The person tells me that yoga changed their life and they think it would help my life.

So I say that I have been practicing Ashtanga yoga for fifteen years.

This shuts the person up. Because I am, invariably, much more studly about yoga than the person telling me that I should do yoga because they do it.

So they say, invariably, “Oh. I don’t read about it on your blog. Why don’t you write about it?”

First of all, I do write about it, occasionally, like now, to tell everyone that I am better than they are.

But in general, yoga is a topic you should never write about. Because telling someone how your life is great because you are so disciplined to put your leg behind your head every morning is just not interesting. People don’t want to hear about how great you are and how you’re the most healthy person around. Anyway, truly healthy people do not feel compelled to tell the world about how healthy they are.

Not every morning. I mean, I don’t do it every morning. Although every morning that I don’t do it I hate myself for not doing it.

Self-hatred is an interesting topic. Which is why I write about it a lot. The mornings where I wake up and roll into downward dog: not interesting.

It’s the same reason that good sex is not interesting. Everyone has good sex the same way. You have sex with a long-term partner who loves you, you do it so many times that you can each have a nice orgasm every time. No big surprises. No disappointments. Probably a little more fat each year but that’s the only change.

Bad sex. That’s interesting. Sex with someone who doesn’t give a shit about you: scintillating. Because the dichotomy between pretending to be close and not actually being close is emotionally scratchy to the reader.

Why do people insist on writing about how great they are? This is not interesting. You know this from going to cocktail parties. If you only talk about why you’re great no one will want to talk to you.

Do you know what people really like to read? Cynical analysis about news items. Here’s one:  The Forte Foundation reports that among people younger than 25, more women than men take the GMAT.  This means that it’s official that an MBA is useless. Because anything in the workplace that has more women than men is low-paying and totally uncool. This also makes sense, because as women are finally getting their certification for business smarts, it is more fashionable to do a startup where the world rewards you for trying to do business with no qualifications beyond a good idea and a 100-hour workweek.

See. If you want to be interesting, talk about stuff like that.

You also need to be useful, though. The majority of blog posts that I throw out are garbage because they are fun but not useful. If people want only fun, they go to Disney World. People read a blog to have fun AND learn something.

Something I can teach you is that people who have new experiences are happier people. They are called neophiles. Humans are an inherently neophilic species, but it’s a spectrum. Isolated communities have more DNA for neophilism, like descendants from populations that crossed the Bering Strait.

Young people are great at having new experiences. But as we age, we lose our drive to try new things. And this is bad. The magic formula for trying something new is doing something difficult, according to science writer Winifred Gallagher, author of the book, New: Understanding Our Need for Novelty and Change. Gallagher is not writing about trying new food at an expensive restaurant. The need for novelty means taking tons of cooking classes and learning to cook the new food yourself. That’s much more difficult. The wellbeing you get from doing something new comes not from the newness but from the difficulty.

Similarly, you should not visit a farm you should move to one. Hence the pig photos in this post.

Melissa visited and took a million pig pictures and I love the little pigs so much that I am sneaking in a post full of photos. But they fit here because the farm is difficult for me. And so is figuring out how to put photos in every post. Melissa jokes with me that every time I can’t figure out how to do a photo in a post, I add a pig.

This is why you should not take advice from people who write about doing yoga. You should take advice from people who write about NOT doing yoga. Because not doing yoga means the person is struggling to do yoga, which means waking up every day and trying to do something new and difficult. Someone who tells you about how great they are and how they have already figured everything out—those are people with a low sense of wellbeing because they are too invested in looking like their life is in order. They can’t do anything difficult because they don’t want to fail in front of you.

But failing in front of you is a sign that the person is living the kind of life you’d like to live – one where every day you wake up and struggle to do something difficult. That you have not done before.

It’s hard to know who to take advice from. But my instinct tells me that the best advice comes from the people with the most difficulties. Not in the past. But right now. Because that’s where you want to be: doing something difficult right this moment.

89 replies
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  1. M Brown
    M Brown says:

    I got halfway through this before I realized how bored I was. So I’d say that, unless she changed her tune after the halfway mark, that she’s wrong. Of all of her posts that I’ve read, this one was the least inspiring.

    • csts
      csts says:

      silly — you missed the best part, which was at the end.

      One of my favorite mentors used to say “anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” If you beat a baby for falling down, s/he’ll never learn to walk. Failure is not only interesting, it’s instructive. May we all learn to embrace failure in our lives and learn to profit hugely from it!

      Beautifully done, Penelope. Thanks, again.

      • Brett Fyfield
        Brett Fyfield says:

        “Fail hard, fail fast” Is something I picked up in the gym. You’re not going to challenge any physiological, neurological or human system if it is not set up from the start to deal with a recovery from failure. So true.

    • Drill Rigs
      Drill Rigs says:

      It didn’t seem like it was suppose to be inspiring. It felt like a challenge to motivate yourself. If you can’t rely on yourself and take it upon yourself to solve the problem by learning and expanding your own horizons, you will never grow.

      • penelopetrunk
        penelopetrunk says:

        Hahah. That’s a good one.

        It SHOULD be a photo of me in a headstand. But it’s not. It’s a pig. I should have had Melissa take 100 photos of me doing yoga. Next time.

        Still, though, I want the photo to show up. And I just moved my blog to a new server, so maybe there’s an error. Are lots of people not seeing the photo?

        Penelope

        • Daniel
          Daniel says:

          There are at least three errors in this post:

          – The top photo is broken because the URL is to https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/

          – “So I says” should be “So I say”

          – “anything in the workplace that has more men than women is low-paying” should be “anything in the workplace that has more women than men is low-paying” to be consistent with your argument

          • Pen
            Pen says:

            I noticed this too.

            “This means that it’s official that an MBA is useless. Because anything in the workplace that has more men than women is low-paying and totally uncool. ”

            This goes against Penelope’s consistent message that in order to be “cool” you have to hang with the guys. Women, in her world, are not worth it because they (apparently) cannot provide you with help, leverage, power or whatever.

            I seem to live in a less proscribed world, but I’m not complaining!

            Pen

          • GingerR
            GingerR says:

            I noticed that too.

            I considered an MBA when I was about that age but then I found something I loved doing that paid pretty well and I decided not to bother.

            With some exceptions I think people get MBAs because the don’t want to spend the time digging in at work.

          • Clinton
            Clinton says:

            True, Daniel.
            But the little bit of difficulty in understanding what P meant (instead of wrote) made the post more valuable! (jk)

            Reminds me of what a family counselor once said: “The best family therapy in the world is a camping trip every summer.”

        • Mark W.
          Mark W. says:

          Yep, the top photo is coming through fine now. It wasn’t about an hour ago regardless of the browser (Chrome, IE, Firefox, or Safari) so I guess the link was fixed.
          You moved to a new server. That explains why your latest post (homeschooling blog) in my Google reader is titled ‘Hello World!’ dated 2/20/2012. :)

  2. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    did you ever consider that people are merely engaging in conversation when they ask you about yoga? that perhaps they had a really great experience with it and they think you could benefit from it too? that perhaps that they think you are so uptight and do not demonstrate the benefits of yoga so they think that you could not possibly practice it? i think you are completely misjudging people’s intentions. i read this quite frequently in your blog, and quite honestly, your blog is getting more and more difficult to read. i value your career advice, but even i wonder sometimes if i should be taking advice from someone who completely misjudges people and their intentions.

  3. Dries
    Dries says:

    Ahhh. Neophile. Well, that’s new to me, and it explains a lot.

    And you say most of your posts are garbage. Tsk tsk.

  4. Jacob
    Jacob says:

    Photo’s not working for me, either (both from the email and the website).

    I, for one, would love to subscribe to “Studly Penelope does Yoga”.

  5. Jan
    Jan says:

    “embrace struggle”

    I learned more about life & myself in the year after a major medical accident than the 35 years before.

    Gardening, cooking and writing for 2 decades have taught patience and there’s always a different approach.

  6. S A
    S A says:

    I’d gladly kill to help a man searching for the truth

    I’d gladly kill a man claiming to have found the truth.

  7. Kathie
    Kathie says:

    Holy.Mother.ofGod.
    I couldn’t read more than 1/4 of the post.
    I mean. Ok, I never read the whole thing, but I love the writing. It’s just that this one exacerbates my ADHD.
    I hope the post has a point.

  8. Harriet May
    Harriet May says:

    This makes me feel better. Because I am doing a marathon next month but sticking to the training plan is so hard for me. And on the days I don’t run or don’t run as far as I’m supposed to I just know I’m going to read about someone’s 30 mile run and how great it was. So I remind myself that I’m sure they had to poop at some point which is something no one ever talks about in inspiring “I just ran 30 miles” posts. And when I’m having a bad day I secretly hope they didn’t have any toilet paper.

  9. kate
    kate says:

    i laughed as i read this and realized yup, all my favorite things to read are the struggles and the learning. And all my favorite things to do are my favorite after i have cursed them during the learning process for being so damn hard, why do i do this to myself, etc. so thank you, you just gave me an answer.

    also the top pic works for me (maybe just timing?) and it really is the best, most adorable photo!!

  10. Angela
    Angela says:

    I started reading your blog a couple months ago and I love reading it. I was born and raised in Houston, TX, but I always wanted to be a country girl. I lived in Houston for 39 years and finally moved to Waco, TX 10 years ago. I was married at the time and moved here with my husband and 2 children at the time. I have since divorced and am remarried to a Waco native and we live on 40 acres where his famly also lives on the property. I am an Environmental Development Planner as my career and only started this position 3 years ago. I am trying to learn to live life more sustainable so I compost and garden and recycle and I live what I learn in my life. I like reading your blog because I enjoy reading about your change in your life from city girl to country girl and about living on the farm. I am working on getting some chickens to help with bug control in my garden and for the eggs and I wold love to have other farms animals, but it’s one step at a time. My husband is a country boy, and has raised animals in the past, but we don’t have any now except 2 cats to keep the mice and snakes away.
    I so embrace your comments in the particular blog, because my life is pretty much always in troubled waters. Either with my ex-husband taking me to court about custody of our daughter, my current husbands ex-wife giving us grief, money problems galore, me taking classes for schooling now, and on and on. I continually am out of my comfort zone everyday. I have toxic parents to berate me, I work in a job that I deal with high ranking officials on a weekly basis, I work 3 positions at my job and I have 2 daughters and 2 step-daughters that are all teenagers, (one of them is 22 though) and 3 of the daughters are in every sport that is in season at the time. We go to their games and have to deal with our ex’s being there too. Right now it’s track, next it’s softball, cheerleading & then basketball and they are in band too. My 13 year old daughter is an all A honor student and is in all honors classes and excel’s in athletics. So as you can see, I am always on the go and my daughters, my job and my home. Keep up the good work and blog. It’s nice to read other peoples struggles and hear them work through them and their thought process.

  11. Shelly
    Shelly says:

    I love this post! It makes me think about the power of empathy and how that correlates to our ability to help others. When you’re going through something really difficult, the last person that you want to listen to is the one who’s life is going perfectly. Having someone next to us in the trenches is a lot more comforting than someone shouting encouragement from the top of the hill.

  12. ReportingLife
    ReportingLife says:

    Everyone’s definition of difficulty is different.

    Not doing what everyone else is doing around you….that’s difficult because you’re one of the few that’s genuinely happy and figured out it’s because you’re not following the herd.

    Making the same mistakes as everyone else…easy peasy…because misery loves company.

    Don’t take “advice”. Read things that make you think. Read a different perspective from your own. Penelope makes me think.

    Don’t judge…because the people that have it all figured out had to learn it the hard way too. Wisdom and ignorance go hand in hand. One doesn’t exist without the other. Experience brings you closer to where you want to be.

  13. Tara
    Tara says:

    This was just what I needed to hear today. Thanks for the reminder that we are not required or expected to be perfect at what we try, but the trying is worth it for its own sake.

  14. D
    D says:

    I think the next frontier of happiness is reliving old (but good) experiences. I use OhLife to enter short daily diary entries, and it randomly emails past entries to me. Lately I’ve been using Morning Pics the same way. Every morning it emails me a picture it randomly selects from my past photo stream.

    Both of these services always put a smile on my face.

  15. karelys.
    karelys. says:

    when I read facebook status telling you what to do in your life rather than reading what people do to overcome issues in their own I get annoyed and “unsuscribe.” I just don’t care to hear what people say when they believe they got all figured out.

    Also, I am a believer. I believe in the Bible. I don’t quite believe all the translations. But when people (reknown authors and such) describe God’s character as such and such, ugh! so annoying.

    It’s like “do you mean to tell me you know exactly what God was thinking when my friend’s brother died?! the f!?”

    According to the Bible you won’t need people to teach you beacause all believers have access to the Holy Spirit, thus, they can pray if they don’t understand a scripture and find help directly from the Lord to understand it. Then you get these wankers telling you exactly what the Lord was thinking and if you don’t agree you are fried.

    So annoying!

    same with people in every other areas of life. Just tell me how you overcame issues and I want to hear about that. Don’t pretend to be a manual about how to live life!

  16. annemarie
    annemarie says:

    I am in love with the piglets. You could probably do an entire blog devoted to the little darlings and I would love it. Please tell me you don’t kill them. I really don’t want to face the truth about farm life.

  17. Maria Killam
    Maria Killam says:

    What makes your blog so interesting is that you write about your interactions with the struggles you have with the people you are in a relationship with and that is what I find hard to do publicly on my blog.

    When I read this post I was cranky that the current post I have up is just beige. Literally.
    Great post Penelope, Maria

    • Megan
      Megan says:

      My two favorite blogs just intersected!!!!!!!!
      Crazy strange. Sitting in my beloved “maria killam” inspired white kitchen, reading Penelope, who ever would have guessed!!!!!!

  18. Gabby
    Gabby says:

    First, the pigs are so adorable.

    Second, I kept thinking of Zen Habits being a great example of it being boring to read other people talk about how great they are. It definitely explains why your blog has been in my feed reader for years, and Zen Habits didn’t last too long at all.

    • prime
      prime says:

      Gabby, I agree with you how boring Zen Habits is. and useless. and not really worth my time. I joined Leo’s blog bootcamp. for one month only. I unsubscribed asap as I was so bored out of my skull.

  19. chris
    chris says:

    And maybe one of the hardest new things to pursue is to NOT do some of the destructive things you have done in the past. To break bad habits and “addictions” and compulsions.

    Another hard thing is to raise your children well. This falls into the category of things that are never complete–you have to continually follow up and monitor your progress. You certainly never “arrive”. (I hate when that happens . . . )

  20. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    P.S. I love the pictures of the pigs. I think their tiny new-ness and baby-ness is perfectly captured in the photos.

  21. redrock
    redrock says:

    no life is perfect, perfection comes in small slices of time. However, we don’t actually have to throw our imperfection in everybody’s face – especially if we do not know a person well. What is wrong with saying that one does yoga and it did amazing things to one’s life? It does not imply any kind of superiority, just the idea of chatting about yoga and its benefits. However, isn’t the reply with ” have been doing this for a long time, you are so late to the game, you cannot beat me at this because I am so much better at it” much more a statement of superiority?

    And just to summarize: women should have kids (before turning 35 ..) and then focus on the kids for a while, or they should work in a male-dominated field, because doing a typical “women” job is not worth it? So an MBA is useless and uncool since it is devalued if more women than men get this kind of degree? Great choices, I hope that the generation x,y, or z are not listening to this advice.

  22. Whitney Lamar
    Whitney Lamar says:

    Your blog confirms all of my thoughts about revamping and revamping again. It IS boring to hear about someone else’s awesomeness. Thanks! The journey to rawness is difficult and interesting! On the note of revamping, I think I’ll rename my blog now! hahaha!

  23. Brett Fyfield
    Brett Fyfield says:

    I’ve been doing yoga since I was 5 years old and I’m still hopeless. My biggest problem used to be that everything came easy to me, and now that I’m approaching 40, that is no longer the case.

    I don’t think you misjudge people’s intentions at all, most people are giving advice for their own sake, not for yours. Anyone who is reading this please tell me this isn’t true for you, go on.

    I rarely write about yoga, because it is essentially an inner journey. I might respond to what others are doing in yoga, or not doing yoga. I especially enjoy hearing about struggling yogis and yoginis, because no one is more qualified to talk about yoga than someone who falls a lot. Screw perfection.

    This is my first time on your blog Penelope, and really glad I found it. From glancing at the headlines of your other posts, and some of the other comments here you seem to enjoy challenging peoples perceptions. To do so at the risk of shutting people out pissing people of is a good sign. If they’re still talking about the pig photos by the time they reach here, I think they are missing the point.

    B.T.W. Your MBA is of no value to me if you’re too precious to shovel shit.

  24. TPJ
    TPJ says:

    How can you judge whether a mentor is offering you real wisdom, or just empty formulas? Here are some methods to critically evaluate whether you should put your belief in that person or not.
    Check him out against some concept you’re sure about. Let’s say you feel certain that the definition of happiness is “to appreciate what you have.” Now ask your prospective teacher what a person should do to be happy. If he replies “meditate” – which doesn’t answer your question – ask what his definition of happiness is. If he can’t adequately explain what happiness is, then you know he isn’t a serious source of wisdom.
    See if the answers he offers enrich your life and the lives of others. Ask other people about their long-term experiences.
    See whether your teacher lives by the ethical standards that he preaches.
    Is your teacher willing to hear opposing views, or does he merely overwhelm you with his (i.e. brainwashing)? A good teacher gives his students room to argue, and encourages them to develop their own critical abilities.
    Source http://www.aish.com/sp/48w/48955746.html

    My theory is that a Jew’s best friend is a pig, that is why we don’t eat them.

  25. Bev Klein
    Bev Klein says:

    Some time ago I attended a seminar. The speaker described how he learnt to understand people by reading a very short book by Les Giblin called ‘Skill with People’. Now if you are like I was with very few people skills and believed the only way to communicate was to get to the bottom line immediately, and couldn’t understand why people walked away so quickly, you need to take note of this. The author intimated that if you followed his instructions to the tee, then you would master being able to communicate with anyone.

    In the book the author states that “the most important person in anyone’s life is themselves”. I liked that because I believed I always put others before myself. Les Giblin advises not to be embarrassed about recognising that man’s nature is self interest.

    The only problem is that I totally misunderstood what he meant by that. No-one wants to hear about you or your problems particularly, but if you want to get to know someone, ask them questions about themselves. Everyone loves to talk about themselves and it is the easiest way to get a conversation going. For example, Hi, how are you doing; what brings you here is enquiring about them and from there you can ask questions that help people to feel comfortable, not too personal but general questions about themselves. Try, you will notice how people open up quite easily when you ask them to talk about themselves.

    I am not inferring that everyone is conceited and loves to talk about themselves but if you struggle to build relationships, an essential requirement in any type of marketing, then you may have to change a few things that you are currently doing. It is always good to review things if you feel they are not giving you the results you require. It may just take a slight tweak, here or there, to give you the edge you need.

    The above incident was a real learning curve for me and made it so much easier to get to know what people really wanted and to be able to decide for myself if I really wanted to work with them in my business.

  26. Mike Nolan
    Mike Nolan says:

    Mona, our towns fantastic Yoga evangelist was giving a speech to us over-weight, over-forty Rotarians.

    A member asked her “How many days a week do you do Yoga?”

    Her answer: “Only on the days I want to feel good.”

  27. Deborah Hymes
    Deborah Hymes says:

    I enjoyed this post. Reminds me of why I find so many people’s Facebook updates really annoying — even the “I’m so grateful for” posts are really just blatant bragging with a socially acceptable mask. BORING!!

    BTW, is this sentence backwards? “Because anything in the workplace that has more men than women is low-paying and totally uncool.” It should be “more women than men,” right? ;)

  28. Marie
    Marie says:

    Penelope,

    If you have any time, I really need advice.

    I work at a small arts non-profit and have for 3 and a half years. On a whim, I applied to 13 (!) creative writing MFA programs across the country at the end of last year. So far, I have gotten 3 acceptances and at least one University offered me a full 3-year paid Fellowship. I’m definitely not just leaving my job, but the city and state (and coast) I live in as well. It’s a great thing to tell a boss because it’s a huge life transition that obviously isn’t about this particular job.

    The problem is, it’s only late February and I’m not leaving until August. I can’t keep this big of a life change secret. I’ve already told several friends and my fear is that it’s going to get back to my boss before I tell her myself.

    It is OK to give someone that much notice that I’m transitioning careers? I do hold a Manager position and we’re a small non-profit so I know until someone gets hired to replace me, a lot of the work I do is going to get tossed off on other already over-burdened staff members (who are also my friends).

    I also know, the last person who quit gave three months notice and it barely felt like enough time for the rest of us to make due without her. We didn’t hire a replacement for a year because my boss wanted to save money AND find the right person. The person who left before that gave even more than 3 months notice.

    Any help is much appreciated. Yes, I’m basically saying I want to give 5 months notice, which I know is totally crazy. But I’m really afraid of her hearing it from someone else first.

    • Another Andrea
      Another Andrea says:

      Penelope would probably tell you not to get a Creative Writing MFA, to start.

      And, I know I’m not Penelope, but if it takes your work a year to hire replacements, your job is probably OK if you give a five-month notice. You might start by letting your boss know you’re “on the lookout” for going back to school. You can then give her an artificial “update” on your quest, so it doesn’t feel as abrupt.

      (Maybe…)

    • penelopetrunk
      penelopetrunk says:

      You are not difficult to replace because you are important. You’re difficult to replace because your boss is a jerk and won’t spend the money to replace people who leave. Instead he relies on the fact that the people who work for him will always work harder. So this job you have sucks.

      The other thing is that you are not making any career change here. Because getting an MFA is not a career. Let’s say you get two novels published and the NYT loves them. You still will not be able to support a family. It’ll be a $75K advance, if you are amazing, truly amazing, and it’ll take you three years to publish each book, and that’s living off $25K a year, which is not a job. I mean it is, but you would make more flipping burgers at McDonald’s.

      The other thing is that there are no teaching positions for MFAs. Because there are too many people who want those jobs. They go to someone who is sleeping with the department head. Or someone who can get someone an agent. Or something. They are just impossible to get.

      And let’s say you get one. It’s non-tenured and and the salary will not support a family.

      So you do not have a good job now. And you are going to be unemployable with that MFA.

      This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get the MFA. If you like your writing to be torn apart among crushed egos and desperate alcoholic writers (this is all good MFA programs) then the three years will be fun (I actually liked it when I had a fellowship to get an MFA – it was a good time for me). But afterward you will need to get a new career.

      Penelope

      • Jen
        Jen says:

        @ Marie – first, congrats on being accepted on your MFA program.
        Second, yes, you could give 5 months notice; 1) I’ve done it myself when I moved from corporate to consulting.
        2) You are right that your boss should find out from you first.
        3) Your group is understaffed, so you won’t be asked to leave
        4) Also, if your co-workers are your friends, they already know your are leaving, so better get going with this.
        The only thing is that you can get a case of short-timer/senioritis when you give such a long notice. Other than that, I’ve seen it done, specially for people with responsibility.

        @ Penelope – the heck?

        • Jen
          Jen says:

          …I’m still in awe with P’s answer.
          It’s like asking for advice on a wedding dress, and hearing a rant about how expensive will be your wedding, how you really don’t love your soon-to-be husband, and how miserable you will be in your marriage.Incredible!

  29. Sadya
    Sadya says:

    what about the outcomes? Why isnt happiness dependent on that? It feels happy when you look at in retrospect, but when you are trying out something new and difficult it feels like hell, and you are always tempted to quit.

  30. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    Someone else already pointed this out, but I am pretty sure that when you talk about an MBA being useless, you do not mean “more men than women,” you mean “more women than men.”

    I know you have an editor, and this is an obvious error.

    Also, did you see the article in the NYT yesterday on correcting errors?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/opinion/sunday/the-error-iceberg.html

    How about the magazine article about the fact-checking book? I figured this would be right up your alley, a big debate about whether or not accuracy is important in the essay genre.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/magazine/the-fact-checker-versus-the-fabulist.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=fact%20checking&st=case

  31. AliceXandria
    AliceXandria says:

    There is a time to do new things and a time not to. In any case I really don’t care for anyone telling me what I should and shouldn’t do. The thing I like about this post, is that you posted it regardless of what the person giving you the advice to do yoga would think if they saw it.

  32. Mary
    Mary says:

    Hi Penelope,

    I think you are completely right on about the irritation of hearing about the greatness of other people’s lives. And I wholeheartedly agree with some of the other comments about how people think facebook is permission to do just that. I am a documentary filmmaker and I find that when I am interviewing a subject I need to get past their achievements and accomplishments. No one can relate to someone who only shows us the good stuff. It’s the vulnerabilities and flaws mixed in with the good that help us connect. I also like to make sure that I show my subjects taking risks, striving to get something or succeed at something and often failing. Because the best stories are what happens to them after they fail. Thanks for this great post. By the way I was drawn to your blog at first because we both have the same last name and as you may already have experienced there aren’t a lot of Trunks out there. Thanks! -Mary

  33. Rich
    Rich says:

    Thanks so much Penelope. This post has come to me at the perfect time. I’m trying something new at the moment and having a really difficult time with it….reading this has given me a bit of hope, inspiration and motivation to continue so I get through it. Thanks xx

  34. Abby
    Abby says:

    A suggestion. Try not doing yoga for a month. Stop standing on your head. Soften your belly. Let go of the studly routine.

    A more interesting discussion of yoga — how easy it is to abuse the practice. Well intentioned yogis getting high and tweaked from adrenaline. Fatigue and irritability when the adrenal system starts to rebel. Happens all the time. Especially to studs.

  35. Andi
    Andi says:

    I don’t understand the trolls. Why do they get on someone’s website & spend time ripping it up? Why don’t they spend that time instead on a website they actually enjoy? I know misery loves company, but this just seems weird to me. And now I’ve gone & fed them, exactly what you’re *not* supposed to do! Dang!

    Anyway, I related to your struggle with starting out your morning correctly. I’m supposed to be jogging every day, but can’t seem to find the motivation. Even though, like you & so many others, I always feel better when I follow through on my exercise regimen, & I always feel terribly when I don’t.

    But why do you suppose we enjoy each other’s struggles more than each other’s successes? Again, I know misery loves company, but this seems counter-intuitive.

    Yet it’s true. Successful people suck balls. Miscreants unite! :)

    • SS
      SS says:

      Some trolls are just jerks looking for a place to spout off without any consequences so they can feel important. other times after reading a blog for a while, the tone changes or aspects of the blogger are revealed that readers find offensive (Not knocking yours Penelope!) and want to comment on before no longer visiting the site.

  36. kozaburo
    kozaburo says:

    “But failing in front of you is a sign that the person is living the kind of life you’d like to live – one where every day you wake up and struggle to do something difficult. That you have not done before”

    That is so true. There are alot of people who do not dare to fail and are afraid to leave their comfort zone, only to regret the missed opportunities later in their life.

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