WRITING: the art of taking action, 5/10

In this book, Gregg Krech argues that taking action is a sure way to reduce stress, improve health, and live a happy life. He makes many insightful points, but overall the book is  not well organized; it reads fragmented and incoherent. I am disappointed.

Nevertheless, several points are noteworthy.

1. Just do it. In many cases we cannot control the outcome but we can control our effort—the actions we take towards our goal. The most difficult part is often the first step. Once we start, the momentum will carry we through. Often we do not have the clarity at the outset. But the very actions are the ways to figure out the directions and purposes.

2. Take small steps one at a time. The complexity is one culprit of procrastination. Facing a daunting task, we balk if we do not break it into chewable bites. Also, taking initial steps can build the momentum and habits, which are vital for completing the task.

3. Take calculated risks. Changes are hard. By nature, we love safety and hate uncertainty. Ironically, our best moments in life often come from taking bold actions.


[Rocky Mountain National Park , CO, 5/3/2013]



“Academic politics are so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.”

E’s story is typical. She got three NO votes on her promotion, a nonfatal but disturbing outcome. Indeed, she is so disturbed that she now stops talking to three colleagues she suspects.

The situation should not go this bad. First, the meeting is supposed to be confidential. But apparently her confident told her all. The breach makes P. a causality of academic politics: because of his less supportive comments, he is now E’s archenemy.

The other two enemies are largely E’s own making. Two years ago, the Boss wanted to screw his oppositions with tailored measures. But like Obama, he wants to lead from behind, watching others to fight the war for him. Despite colleagues’ warnings, E did the fight for the benefit of one more resume line,  believing that will seal her case. But she failed to see the political cost of upsetting B and R, who cast the critical votes on her promotion.

E will get the promotion, time will heal the wound, but the scar of the school politics will forever stay.


[Rocky Mountain National Park , CO, 5/3/2013]

Day 111, 5pts, 1.06:

jog: 0;
learn: 0;
swim: 30r;
TYM: writing, 2hr;
submit JDW’s letter online, 20min;
lunch with M.E. at Mission, 11:30am-2:30pm;
chat with parents, 8:30pm-9pm;

For Day 112,
deco: furniture;
schedule physical exam and dental visits;

[happy moment]
Over the lunch, M.E. told me some good news for the school.


[Rocky Mountain National Park , CO, 5/3/2013]