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Three Life-Lessons from How to Not Die Alone

I read it so you don't have to.


Although, it's a great book and I have a copy if you want to borrow it. Author, Behavioral Scientist and Dating Coach Logan Ury "reveals the hidden forces that cause [dating/love] mistakes and shows you how to change for the better."


What I loved about the book was the sequence that it was written in, the vast amount of research, and how the lessons related not just to dating but how we interact with our environment, coworkers, friends, significant others, etc.


I learned about goal setting, listening & luck and have already begun implementing them into my life as a friend, physical therapist and yoga teacher. I plucked these three life-lessons because I felt they were simple yet have magnitude for everyone.

 

Goal Setting: In a section about breakups, Ury helps readers understand that an action plan will help them carry out their goal despite it being painful or scary.


Here's the thing, this action plan is rooted in evidence from Gail Matthews, psychology professor, and it relates to more goals than just breaking up.


Research showed that participants who wrote down their goals, defined their action plan, and provided weekly progress updates to friends were 33% more likely to achieve their goals than those who did not take those actions.


THIRTY THREE. That evidence is good enough for me. And hey, I'm proud of you for writing your goals down. I'm very proud of you if you started to define your action plan. But I am still waiting for you to send me those progress updates. I jest but please note, a trusted friend or loved one is going to help you achieve your goals. DO IT! Hashtag, accountability buddy.

 

Being a Better Listener: In a section about going on dates, Ury helps readers understand how to become a better conversationalist.


This was such a simple concept that I immediately caught myself utilizing in conversations with patients. I often want them to feel understood and related to, but I've found this has helped them open up to me in a new way.


Sociologist Charles Derber gives weight to a simple concept: shift responses vs. support responses.


Shift responses are the moment in conversation where you shift the focus back on to yourself. For simple example, a friend tells you they had a salad for lunch and you say "I love salad!" Support responses, however, would allow for the speaker to continue their thought, ie. "what did you have on your salad?"


Though this example is silly, I can think of dozens of conversations I have had with friends, family and clients over the past week that the shift response is the first response I think of, and I have to intentionally choose a support response. And... only once used, "how does that make you feel?"

 

Let's Talk About Luck: In a section about dating, Ury explains a study that I've summarized below.


Richard Wiseman, a University of Hertfordshire researcher, has written a book called The Luck Factor. Wiseman had investigated beliefs and experiences of "lucky" and "unlucky" people, and the results revealed something significant: we make our own luck.


If you think you're unlucky, that bad luck may be the direct result of you believing you're unlucky.


The experiment Ury uses to clarify this principle: Luckies and unluckies were given the task to count the number of photographs in a newspaper. Those who had self-proclaimed themselves as lucky correctly counted swiftly. The "unluckies" took 2+ minutes. Why? Because on page 2 there was a big, bold sign that said "STOP COUNTING THERE ARE 43 PHOTOS."

The lucky folks saw the sign, took it and sat back. The unluckies tensed up, anxiously scouring pages with blinders on.

This is a simplified study of how lucky/unlucky people interact with their environment. Lucky people expect good things to happen.


Disclaimer, I have not read Wiseman's book but know that he has a successful "Luck School" that has helped people who feel they are unlucky reframe their thinking.


 

I hope you found this information interesting & the research significant enough to begin implementing slight changes. I'd love to hear what you think about these topics, or if you've read How to Not Die Alone and want to talk about it I am all ears!


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With love & a little bit of luck,

Kaylee



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