Secrets to Fulfilled Life, Part 1

I recently read this great article from Oliver Burkeman regarding secrets to a fulfilled life. I wanted to comment on each item over the next few days and how I think they relate to what I’ve experienced with regards to stuttering.

My thoughts have some overlap between them, but here we go … these aren’t in any particular order from the original article.

The advice you don’t want to hear is usually the advice you need.

He goes on to say about this, “so the advice that could really help is likely to make you uncomfortable.”

When I think back to my younger years in school, what would have made me very, very, very uncomfortable would have been having someone say, “you should call this person up on the phone, just to try to talk to them.”

Or, “you should go up to that person and try to have a conversation.”

Or, “you should attend an NSA conference and be surrounded by other people who stutter.”

Or … so many things.

But nobody ever did. Since I was covert, and since I didn’t like to talk about my stuttering, my friends never brought it up. So they could never challenge me to get out of my comfort zone.

He goes on to say:

“One good question to ask is what kind of practices strike you as intolerably cheesy or self-indulgent: gratitude journals, mindfulness meditation, seeing a therapist? That might mean they are worth pursuing.”

I spent a few years journaling about stuttering. I’d put down my thoughts from when I first started stuttering through college. While I was doing that, I realized a lot of things about myself, my reactions, and what motivated a lot of my decisions. Nobody specifically asked me to try it, but I certainly wish someone would have done it earlier.

Through all that writing, I had plenty of things to blog about here which went really well. And then all that introspection finally gave me the strength to sign up for my first NSA Conference. And that changed everything for me.

So I would strongly support what Burkeman suggested — getting advice you need is definitely uncomfortable. But it’s also completely worth it to help with your stuttering journey.

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  1. […] wrote previously about Oliver Burkeman’s piece in the Guardian. Today I wanted to expand on another point […]

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