Theano Coaching & Writers' Workshops

Notes for Podcasts:

For LH60, Karel Vredenburg invited me to provide quotations and top tips.  Also given below are the topics covered in LH-16 and the topics covered in the interview with Thomas Heffner.

LH60 - Mastering Gratitude:  Quotations:

  • “If a fellow isn't thankful for what he's got, he isn't likely to be thankful for what he's going to get.”  ~Frank A. Clark
  •  “The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.” ~William Penn 
  • “One of the ways we can honor those who face great hardship is to be aware of how blessed we are not to face the same trouble.”  ~ Anonymous 
  • “When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them.”  ~ Chinese Proverb 
  • “The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!”  ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Mastering Gratitude:  Top 10 List.  The first three tips are based on Robert Emmons’ book, Thanks.  The rest come from the book that we published late last year:  Gratitude: How to Appreciate Life’s Gifts (

  1. When people systematically cultivate gratitude in their lives, they benefit physically, psychologically, and in their relationships.  “Gratitude is literally one of the few things that can measurably change people’s lives.”
  2. The first step is to acknowledging the particular goodness of your life.
  3. The second step is to recognize that the source of this goodness lies mostly outside of yourself.  “We could not be who we are or where we are in life without the contributions of others.”
  4. Pay attention to good things large and small.  It is a blessing to be able to walk, to enjoy food, to feel fresh air, …
  5. Pay attention to bad things that are avoided.  You wreck your car, but your life was saved.  You fall, but break no bones.
  6. Practice downward comparisons – things could be worse, used to be worse, or are worse for someone else.  “Sorrows remembered sweeten present joy.”  ~ Robert Pollock
  7. Establish regular times to practice being grateful, for example at bedtime, during meals, on arising.  Gratitude is a strength that improves with practice.
  8. Keep a gratitude log can help you become aware of the many blessings in your life.  Reading old entries can remind you of things you have started taking for granted.
  9. Share the practice of looking for three good things in each day with your family. It can be a lovely bedtime routine with a child or an engaging dinner topic.
  10. It takes effort to be aware of the goodness of life.  Use whatever rituals help you remember to give thanks.

LH-16 Positive Psychology Topics

  • Four Ways to Build Self-Efficacy 
  • Gratitude at Work 
  • Learned Optimism and Resilience 
  • Celebrating Successes Effectively 
  • Establishing the Conditions for Flow 
  • Broaden and Build: The Power of Positive Emotions 
  • Meaningful Work Strategies for High-Quality Connections 
  • Discovering and applying strengths
Notes from Next Year Now episode on writing by Thomas Heffner:  In today’s episode, Kathryn and I discuss:
  • The roots of procrastination when it comes to writing and how we can overcome this obstacle
  • How we can find story seeds to inspire our writing
  • Practical ways we can integrate writing into our busy lives
  • A book recommendation that will change you and your writing for the better.
  • And a ton of other key insights and practical lessons!
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