Just a few short thoughts for you today, since the Where I Got Published list is very, very long…

In 2019, I reviewed The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga — and two years later people are still discovering and reading my review (it remains the most popular book review I’ve ever done).

On Monday, I’m going to review the sequel, The Courage to Be Happy (very excited about this, I have a lot to say). I re-read The Courage to Be Disliked as prep, and re-discovered a lot of insights that seem very applicable to our current political-social situation (go read the sections on “feelings of inferiority,” go go go) as well as one insight that seemed particularly directed towards me:

I withdrew from places that are preoccupied with winning and losing. When one is trying to be oneself, competition will inevitably get in the way.

I had already figured out, by the time I read that, that I didn’t need to preoccupy myself with either fantasies or strategies related to winning international piano competitions two years from now. I may still enter something like that in the future, just to see what it’s like and meet other amateur pianists, but I’m not thinking about winning and fame and public recognition.

Because — and I shouldn’t have to tell you that somebody else said this for it to be true, but still — I played for Marian Call last night (over Zoom) and she said “Wow. You’ve gotten to an entirely different level since the last time I heard you.”

And I said, just like I did last Friday when I played for L, “I know. I know. I know.”

And my knowing that, without needing anyone else to tell me I’m doing well because I already know, the only thing that matters is sharing what I’m learning with other people, is what’s really important.

More on Monday. ❤️

Where did I get published this week?

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