Related to: 'Build Your Resilience'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Teach Yourself

Stoicism and the Art of Happiness: Teach Yourself - Ancient tips for modern challenges

Donald Robertson
Authors:
Donald Robertson
Teach Yourself

Stoicism and the Art of Happiness

Donald Robertson
Authors:
Donald Robertson

The stoics lived a long time ago, but they had some startling insights into the human condition - insights which endure to this day. The philosophical tradition, founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in 301 BC, endured as an active movement for almost 500 years, and contributions from dazzling minds such as Cicero, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius helped create a body of thought with an extraordinary goal - to provide a rational, healthy way of living in harmony with the nature of the universe and in respect of our relationships with each other.In many ways a precursor to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Stoicism provides an armamentarium of strategies and techniques for developing psychological resilience, while celebrating all in life which is beautiful and important. By learning what stoicism is, you can revolutionise your life and learn how to seize the day, live happily and be a better person. This simple, empowering book shows how to use this ancient wisdom to make practical, positive changes to your life. Using thought-provoking case studies, highlighting key ideas and things to remember and providing tools for self-assessment, it demonstrates that Stoicism is a proven, profound pathway to happiness.

Carol O'Connor

Dr Carol O'Connor is the author of eight business books and director of Vision in Practice Ltd, a leadership development consultancy and publisher. She has spent more than 30 years teaching, writing and consulting about leadership, innovation and strategic thinking. She sees her role as preparing leaders to identify strategic goals, clarify performance standards and retain talent that supports organizational growth. Her client list is global and her books have collectively been translated into more than 20 languages. Current projects include the publication of a series of business workbooks for under 25-year-olds in developing nations - with apps in support of key topics - and working at the London School of Economics and Political Science in support of its entrepreneurship programmes.

Clive Steeper

Clive Steeper has been a business leader and change executive for over 25 years. His career includes several roles as Managing Director in the UK, USA and Asia. Central to his success has been Clive's ability to help leaders effectively navigate through change, and get the best from their people. Now as an executive coach, consultant and facilitator, he works internationally with many different organisations ranging from public bodies and international corporations to fast-growth businesses.

Dena Michelli

Dr Dena Michelli is a specialist in personal and professional transformation. She works extensively with leaders in commerce and industry, not only through programmes offered by international business schools but also as an independent coach and consultant. She has written extensively and runs seminars and workshops on subjects pertaining to leadership and personal development. She is often quoted in mainstream media on these issues.http://www.denamichelli.com/

Diana Mather

Diana Mather is a communications trainer, writer, broadcaster and personal image consultant. She started her career as a newsreader and interviewer at the BBC, and for the past 30 years has taught communication skills to people from 5 continents, including UK MPs and US senators. She is a regular talking head on TV, including The Culture Show, Trisha and Jeremy Kyle.

Emma Gannon

Emma Gannon is a writer, broadcaster, podcast host and has been a guest digital lecturer at Condé Nast College since 2014. Her podcast CTRL, ALT, DELETE discussing online life has had 2 million downloads to date. She was selected in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list 2018 in media and marketing and is a regular on BBC Woman's Hour. Find her online: twitter @emmagannon / Instagram @emmagannonuk

Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt served as Google's CEO from 2001 to 2011. During that time he shepherded the company's growth from a Silicon Valley start-up to a global technology leader that today has over $55 billion in annual revenues and offices in more than 40 countries. Eric is now Google's executive chairman.

Iain Maitland

Iain Maitland has been a professional writer since 1987. He has written over 50 books, mainly on business, and been published as far away as Russia, India, Japan, USA and Australia. He has also written for the Sunday Times, Which? and the Financial Times amongst many others.

Jen Sincero

Jen Sincero is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, success coach and motivational cattle prod who's helped countless people transform their personal and professional lives via her products, speaking engagements, newsletters, seminars and books. Her #1 New York Times bestseller, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, has sold well over two million copies, is available in twenty-plus languages, and continues to grow in popularity around the globe. Her follow-up, You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth, also a New York Times bestseller, is written with the same inimitable sass, down-to-earth humor and blunt practicality that made You Are a Badass an indomitable bestseller and Jen a celebrated voice in the world of self development.

Joel Osteen

Joel Osteen is the senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Listed by several sources as America's largest and fastest-growing congregation, Lakewood church has approximately 45,000 adult attendees every week. Millions more watch Joel's messages as they are broadcast on national and international television networks. He resides in Houston with his wife, Victoria, and their children.

John Knell

John Knell (Author) John Knell, along with Richard Reeves, are co-founders of the Intelligence Agency, a strategy and research consultancy. Their roster of clients includes BT, Accenture, Sky, PricewaterhouseCoopers, NESTA, PepsiCo, the Arts Council, Orange and the BBC. They are both contributors to the Whitehall Top Management Programme.

John Lees

John Lees is one of the UK's best-known career stategists. He writes regularly for the Times and the Guardian. His work appears regularly in glossies including Psychologies, Marie Claire and Red and he has appeared several times on both the BBC and ITV. He has trained recruitment specialists since the mid-1980s and worked with numerous organisations including HSBC and Reuters.

Jonathan Rosenberg

Jonathan Rosenberg joined Google in 2002 and managed the design and development of the company's consumer, advertiser, and partner products, including Search, Ads, Gmail, Android, Apps, and Chrome. He is currently an advisor to Google CEO Larry Page.

Martin Manser

Martin Manser is a professional reference-book editor. He is also a language consultant with national companies and organizations. Martin is Part-time tutor at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London and Part-time visiting lecturer at Buckinghamshire New University.

Martin Seligman

Martin Seligman PhD, Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Positive Psychology Network, gave the Centennial address to the British Psychological Society in 2002 and is an Honorary Professor at the University of Cardiff. A former President of the American Psychological Association, he has written over 20 books including the bestselling Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness and in 2009 was awarded the British Academy's Wiley Prize in Psychology. He is widely considered the pre-eminent expert on applied psychology in the world.

Nigel Cumberland

Nigel Cumberland is an award-winning global coach who helps leaders and teams to optimise and enhance their success in both their careers and lives. He has coached and trained at some of the world's most prestigious organisations such as the United Nations, the World Bank Group, Standard Chartered Bank, Google, Dell, LVMH, Christian Dior, Continental AG and the Dubai Government. He is also one of the elite Marshall Goldsmith approved coaches and a member of Harvard Business Review's Advisory Council. He is also a Freeman of the City of London and has been given the award as one of the world's top 100 leadership coaches.

Paul Jenner

Paul Jenner is a writer and journalist specializing in lifestyle subjects. He lives with his partner, three horses, two dogs and two sheep, in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees, where, when he's not working, he enjoys hiking, riding, cycling, sailing, swimming, diving and snowboarding. His other books include Teach Yourself Living Longer, Living Well and Teach Yourself Happiness.

Richard Reeves

Richard Reeves (Author) Richard Reeves, along with John Knell, are co-founders of the Intelligence Agency, a strategy and research consultancy. Their roster of clients includes BT, Accenture, Sky, PricewaterhouseCoopers, NESTA, PepsiCo, the Arts Council, Orange and the BBC. They are both contributors to the Whitehall Top Management Programme. Richard is currently European Business Speaker of the Year. He is a columnist and editor-at-large for Management Today.

Rob Moore

Rob Moore is a self made property investor, businessman, entrepreneur, best-selling author, world record holder, speaker, pilot & proud dad, who co-owns 7 companies in property, lettings & finance.Rob has partnered with many of the biggest business and household names, featured in prime time TV shows for Living as a business mentor, on Channel 4, the BBC, The Independent and The Business Channel, as well as mentoring success-hungry people who want to achieve more money & recognition in business & life.