The Secret of My Success

Jane Jacobs said dozens of things that impressed me, this most of all:

You can’t prescribe decently for something you hate. It will always come out wrong. You can’t prescribe decently for something you despair in. . . . I think people [who] give prescriptions, who have ideas for improving things, ought to concentrate on the things that they love and that they want to nurture.

She had noticed that people who hate cities or who despair of cities make bad prescriptions for them.

It was a long time before I realized this comment applied to me. I used self-experimentation to improve my sleep and mood and to lose weight. Unlike most health researchers, I wasn’t trying to solve other people’s problems — I was trying to solve my own. No wonder I persisted in spite of many failures.

Similar advice. Another example.