1. I know more about what makes relationships work than ever before.

2. I know less about what makes relationships work than ever before.

3. The world is a world of grace, not justice. Yes, bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. But good things also happen to good people and bad things also happen to bad people. The Universe isn’t out to get you, the Universe just doesn’t play favorites.

4. You create your own definition of success. It’s not going to be (nor should it be) the same as anyone else’s.

5. In defining your own success, only choose barometers that you actually have control over.

6. If someone is going through a difficult time, the greatest gift you can give them is to suffer with them. We all just want to know we aren’t alone.

7. Trying to be “great” can be a frustrating pursuit. Instead focus on being more “you.”

8. Don’t be afraid of change. It may be uncomfortable but I’m not so sure that ‘comfort’ and ‘happiness’ are related to one another. Even if it leads to failure, be proud, that just means you’re trying.

9. Just because it doesn’t happen when you want it to happen doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

10. The minute we think we know better than anyone else is when growth stops. Always be open to new thoughts, new challenges, new experiences.

11. Don’t worry about what the future might hold, envision what it will hold.

12. Take control of your life. Recognize what you can and cannot change. Make an effort to work on the things you can, accept the things you can’t.

13. Love more. Trust more. Accept more. Empathize more.

This question is easier to answer if you aren't hiding your allegiances to protect the son of the woman you selflessly loved your entire life.

This question is easier to answer if you aren’t hiding your allegiances to protect the son of the woman you selflessly loved your entire life.

Hopefully this comes off more inspirational than morose, but…

1. What do you want people to say about you after you die?

2. Are people saying that about you now? 

3. If not, what steps can you take to change that today?

Look back over your twitter, facebook, instagram, tumblr, and/or wordpress feeds:  The “permanent” records of your life that will survive long after memories fade.  What are you leaving behind?

Are you adding something unique and beautiful to the world?

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I’ve been perusing and occasionally posting on The Black Board –’s forums and had the pleasure of meeting writer Sutinder Bola.  We were discussing the idea of success and dealing with rejection in screenwriting and he posted the following inspiring statements.  Reposted here with his permission:

I was at the London Screen Writers Festival in 2010 and Tim Bevan of Working Title Films was doing a Q&A. He’s produced some of the biggest films in the last 20 years. Check him out on iMDB.

Even he said life in the movie business is a struggle. Every picture that gets made has to overcome “No” after “No” after “No”. But every “No” is one step closer to the magic “YES”.

You’ve just got to keep going, rejection is part of the job, it’s just like rewriting, you learn to live with it and eventually get better at handling it.

I also went to a Q&A at the British Film Institute featuring Simon Beaufoy (writer of The Full Monty, Slumdog Millionaire and 127 hours). He said one of the specs he feels most proud of is sitting in his drawer at home because nobody ever wanted to make it. Sometimes thats just how the cookie crumbles.

I graduated from Business School with a BA in Marketing and an MSC in Strategic Marketing and have worked in marketing for nearly 15 years. I’ve had a really good career, I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.

But I can honestly say I never felt anywhere near as good as I did when I finished the first draft of my first script. Or the 2nd draft. Or the latest draft that is being polished for The Black List.

I write because I know deep down it’s what I am supposed to do. Sure, I want to make a breakthrough and make a career out of it. And I am determined to do it. But if I don’t, I will always write. It’s what makes me feel good, it’s the best way for me to express how I see the world and what I feel about what I see.

I consider myself to be one of the few people in the world (but one of the many on TBB) who actually know what they want to do with their lives because 95% of people don’t.

Whether you sell a script or not the fact that you showed the confidence, discipline and perseverance to write one means you have already succeeded. I know I have.

You can find Sutinder on twitter.




I don’t like the word ‘purpose.’ It implies that somewhere in the future I will find something that will make me happy, and until then, I will be unhappy. People fool themselves into thinking that the currency of unhappiness will buy them happiness. That we have to ‘pay our dues,’ go on some sort of ride, and then get dropped off at a big location called our ‘purpose,’ where now we can be happy. It doesn’t work that way. You can find the tools to be happy right now.”

– James Altucher




p.s.- Absolutely LOVE this book.  Highly recommended! – HP

I recently caught a TED talk by Dr. Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology (which basically states that psychology can be used for more than just making miserable people not-miserable, but also for making not-miserable people happy.)

In this study of happiness, Seligman has divided happiness into three categories:

Emotional Happiness – This is what we typically think of as happiness.  Laughing, spending time with friends, falling in love.  Activities that bring about an emotional reaction.

Seligman states that the one thing that happy people have in common is that they are all social.  They are in romantic relationships and have deep friendships.  BUT for those lonely, friendless folks, there are two other types of happiness that are deeper and longer lasting…

Engaging Happiness – These are those moments when life disappears around you and you’re “in the zone.”  When you’re writing a song and you look up at the clock and realize you’ve been sitting there with a guitar for 4 hours.  I think everyone can relate to those moments.

Maybe your zone is basketball.  Maybe it’s drawing, writing, knitting, game-playing, climbing, speaking, designing – maybe it’s a hobby, or maybe it’s your job.  This is much of what I was getting at with this post on doing what you were meant to be doing.

Generally these activities are absent of “emotional happiness” but the one emotion I would assign to this type of happiness is exhilaration.

Meaningful Happiness – The final type of happiness is the one with the most lasting effect.  And it’s to be part of something bigger than yourself.  To give of yourself.  To serve others.  To live a life of gratitude and gratefulness.  To live a life of meaning and purpose.

Seligman tells us that if a person has all three types of happiness, they are exponentially greater than the sum of their parts.

What occurred to me though, is how these three types of happiness show up in all kinds of places.  Take movies for example.  Don’t your favorite movies explore these three types of happiness?  Aren’t they emotionally deep – even if that emotion is laughter or excitement or romance?  Aren’t they engaging – that you disappear from the real world for an hour or two, away from all your problems?  And aren’t the very best ones meaningful – that you leave the theater questioning your own life?

So this week’s challenge is to explore these three types of happiness, not just in your life, but in your art and in your work.  Don’t just create something fun, create something engaging, create something meaningful.  These are the things that last.

You can find out more about happiness (and take lots of fun quizes) at Speligman’s website,, or watch the talk in its entirety here:

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