Reading Ideas for the Weekend

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Hi everyone, here are some “reading” ideas for the weekend, “reading” in quotes, because this week I offer you two speeches and one quotation:

1.  “A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success“: I’ve been on an Alain de Botton kick lately. I love to listen to him speak and think on just about any topic — this one no exception.

2.  J.K. Rowling, on “The Fringe Benefits of Failure“: quiet, charming, inspiring.

3.  “As far as the search for solitude is concerned, we live in a negative atmosphere as invisible, as all-pervasive, and as enervating as high humidity on an August afternoon. The world today does not understand, in either man or woman, the need to be alone. How inexplicable it seems. Anything else will be accepted as a better excuse. If one sets aside time for a business appointment, a trip to the hairdresser, a social engagement, or a shopping expedition, that time is accepted as inviolable. But if one says: I cannot come because that is my hour to be alone, one is considered rude, egotistical or strange. What a commentary on our civilization, when being alone is considered suspect; when one has to apologize for it, make excuses, hide the fact that one practices it — like a secret vice!”  —- Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1955.

Sorry I’m late to post these. We gave a garden party this afternoon for my wonderful author’s group, and the weekend ran away with me.

Have a great Sunday.


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12 Comments

  1. marina on 24.07.2011 at 07:26 (Reply)

    I love that quote!

  2. rajnish on 24.07.2011 at 08:19 (Reply)

    superb quote*****
    ”As far as the search for solitude is concerned, we live in a negative atmosphere as invisible, as all-pervasive, and as enervating as high humidity on an August afternoon. The world today does not understand, in either man or woman, the need to be alone. How inexplicable it seems. Anything else will be accepted as a better excuse. If one sets aside time for a business appointment, a trip to the hairdresser, a social engagement, or a shopping expedition, that time is accepted as inviolable. But if one says: I cannot come because that is my hour to be alone, one is considered rude, egotistical or strange. What a commentary on our civilization, when being alone is considered suspect; when one has to apologize for it, make excuses, hide the fact that one practices it — like a secret vice!” —– Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1955.

  3. Tracy on 24.07.2011 at 11:16 (Reply)

    I listened to both talks and I LOVE that quote. Thank you! Fascinating. Inspiring. Both Alain & J.K. refer to Seneca - and now I want to learn more about him.

  4. neil on 24.07.2011 at 12:13 (Reply)

    Re the Lindbergh solitude quote: Anthony Storr’s “Solitude: A Return to the Self” has this intriguing blurb on the back cover: — “Man was not born for love alone.” Storr’s book is a sort of “defense” of solitude, and perhaps easier on the brain than Seneca….

    1. Susan Cain on 24.07.2011 at 19:43 (Reply)

      Storr’s book is terrific — thx for mentioning it, Neil. I drew on a it a bit for my own book.

  5. Timo on 24.07.2011 at 15:15 (Reply)

    Excellent talks and quote!

    I like the idea of both speakers that what counts as success or failure should be determined by yourself and not by others.

    Like J.K., I also frequently experience “weeks of fear and nausea” (or maybe just days) before I have to talk in public.
    The 10 public speaking tips Susan gave the other day were extremely useful to me.

  6. Susan Cain on 24.07.2011 at 19:44 (Reply)

    Timo, I also used to experience anticipatory fear and nausea before public speaking experiences. Amazingly, it really does get better with time!

  7. nandi on 24.07.2011 at 20:27 (Reply)

    The winner of the Tour de France, the leader of a 9-strong team, seems to be an introvert as well.

    http://www.theage.com.au/sport/cycling/in-silence-a-lone-wolf-breaks-from-noisy-pack-20110724-1hvdp.html?rand=1311545676503

    1. Susan Cain on 24.07.2011 at 20:32 (Reply)

      Wow, thx so much for posting this. I hadn’t heard about him before. Fascinating article.

  8. Kristen on 24.07.2011 at 21:39 (Reply)

    Wow, fantastic and inspiring speeches for a lazy Sunday evening. I am now really asking myself how I personally define success.

    Thanks for posting these!! :)

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  10. Shanon on 20.11.2011 at 16:37 (Reply)

    Really enjoyed Rowling’s speech… her reference to rock bottom being an excellent foundation from which to build a new life is inspiring…

    I always wanted to pick her brain as a fellow author… I think it would be a lot of fun to sit down and have a conversation with her…

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