How to Change Your Life for the Better

Today I posted a comment to an article by Tara Parker-Pope titled “Writing Your Way to Happiness.” Here’s my comment:

I graduated in the lowest quarter of my high school class, so I went off to a two year community college instead of a university. Yet, just two weeks into classes, I was totally demoralized, didn’t know what I was doing there, knew I wasn’t cut out for college, and had decided to quit. One evening I sat down at my desk and wrote a long letter to my parents explaining why I was going to quit and come home. I poured everything I had into that letter. The next morning I realized that none of it was true. I tore up the letter and went to class. I never looked back. I didn’t do well, but I did graduate with a two-year degree and a few years later went on to a university where I got a BS in mechanical engineer, then went on to graduate school at Stanford University and got an MS in astronautical engineering. Decades later, I worked for a while on a second undergraduate degree in literature. I have now written nine books. But everything, my entire academic future and who I became, hinged on the one night when I wrote that letter of total defeat to my parents.

I didn’t have space to get into it, but I’ve written a book on storytelling, titled Story Alchemy, that describes the process by which an author comes to terms with him/herself. It’s based on the psychologist Carl Jung’s Active Imagination. If you’re interested, you can pick up a free digital copy just about anywhere online. Here it is on Amazon. It’s also available on a website I created here:

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