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Reverse Bucket Lists – Arthur Brooks x Rich Roll

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This conversation between Arthur Brookes and Rich Roll was a real good listen.

Rich Roll always provides transcript and time stamps, which is amazing. Topics with time stamps below.


00:00:00 Intro
00:00:32 Happiness Defined
00:02:11 The Three Macronutrients of Happiness
00:04:11 The Biggest Confusion About Pleasure and Enjoyment
00:08:32 The Struggle for Joy
00:14:52 Reverse Bucket List
00:16:16 Metacognition Defined
00:18:14 Choosing a Better Reaction: The Importance of Time
00:22:18 Developing Self-Awareness and Metacognition
00:25:06 The Limbic System’s Response to Threats
00:28:20 Ad Break
00:29:26 Making Uncomfortable Decisions for Personal Growth
00:35:20 The Evolution of Happiness
00:36:12 Reconnecting in a Relationship
00:40:32 Arthur’s New Book with Oprah
00:45:12 The Function and Purpose of Negative Emotions
00:48:35 The Neurochemistry of Schadenfreude
00:49:43 Guilt and Shame
00:53:35 The Genetic Basis of Happiness
00:54:43 Understanding Positive and Negative Affect
00:57:39 Different Profiles and Complementarity in Relationships
01:02:36 The Negativity Bias and its Management
01:04:36 The As-If Principle and Changing Emotional States
01:09:31 Depression, Rumination and Creativity
01:12:04 The Fear of Losing Oneself
01:13:59 The Crisis of Meaning
01:20:41 Finding the Answers
01:24:35 The Four Pillars of Happiness
01:32:00 Holding Opinions Lightly and the Attachment to Opinions
01:38:27 The Revolution of Love
01:41:15 Creating Happiness Teachers
01:45:01 Work as an Opportunity to Serve
01:47:03 The Importance of Serving One Person
01:49:25 The Magic of Love in Little Acts
01:51:07 Making a Public Commitment to Virtue
01:56:16 The Importance of Consistency and Values
02:00:27 The Role of Choice and Compatibility in Dating Apps
02:05:08 Finding Love on Dating Apps
02:06:46 Misconceptions about Happiness
02:11:27 Balancing Friendships and Family
02:13:53 The Temptation of Opportunities
02:15:54 Teaching Happiness
02:22:18 The Importance of Neuroscience and Psychology in Career Trajectory
02:22:50 Closing Remarks





Use Your Words

Use Your Words

Here’s a sample list to start with.

I filled in a few cells. Maybe we could share the rest later with each other. I grow these lists each day in my journal, log, whatever you call it. Not all at once. I add them slowly throughout the day as the ideas evolve more organically. As I remember things I used to know or as I am reminded of feelings, memories, and all of that, I jot words down for revisiting later. Then, when I revisit later, I can see where I want to focus more attention or less attention. You get the drift. I can take what I’ve written and feed it into CBT, DBT, writing, word art, lyrics, dialogue, whatever.

Try it. Add your own words. I use Microsoft OneNote for this type of journaling because OneNote easily organizes into topic headings, subs, etc and because OneNote automatically updates.

I posted this over at Substack. I am checking out Substack’s Chat feature. If you’re over there, find me at Cartoons and Ketamine.

Happy Sunday!

xoxo, d (and bella)

I stole your chart.

Thank you to the fabulous creator of this really helpful chart. If it’s yours, please let me know. I would love to ask you questions about it!

What else…. it’s hard to think the day after Halloween. I know I ate sugar yesterday. I don’t recall feeling considerably different after all the sugar. I guess I eat enough sugar on a regular basis to support the occasional candy-fest. There were Snickers, Mounds, Butterfingers and Peppermint Patties.  There were a bunch left and now they’re in the freezer since all chocolate and pound cake is better frozen.

The nice thing about getting older and remembering less is that you forget there are Peppermint Patties and Peanut Butter Cups in the freezer. And then, one day, when you’re looking for that last bag of Edamame, you find a frozen well-sealed collection of Hershey’s minis.  And you think, thank you God for making me forget those were there. That was a nice surprise. Kind of like when you start wearing your winter jackets and you find cash in the pockets.

And gum.  And doggy poop bags. Tiny collections of cash, gum and doggy poop bags in all of my jackets.

At least I’m consistent.

Here’s a really good podcast from Mel Robbins. I am on my third listen of this particular episode. I may listen to it in the mornings for a while as a meditation. It’s really full of good instructions. I’ll list them below later.  She is just so easy to listen to and understand.  She talks about friends for a reason, friends for a season and friends for a lifetime.  It’s helpful.

And I like her six-month rule. This was helpful for learning boundaries.

Read more

Easy to teach to parents and kids!
If they can remember to say ‘Alexa’ and not Siri.
Working on that now.

My best score yet. This thing’s addictive.

I still suck at the game where you guess which four words have a connection.  And it’s not timed so I can sit there for an hour thinking about how stupid I am. I wish everything was timed. At least I would give up after a reasonable amount of time. It’s more exciting that way. Easier to make bets.

Spelling Bee is also so frustrating. No bets on that one. And it also needs a timer. My score always indicates I have reached an amazing level but then says I need five more levels in order to be competitive.

A friend on Facebook – an acquaintance, I guess- posted his scores one day in games other than Wordle and it was so tempting to do all the puzzles. That’s what got me. Peer presssure. So now I do anything short. It’s really fun.  We just need timers on everything.

And I started watching one hour of a funny movie at night. That makes advancement far easier on the laughing front. And I’m so excited to see so much content out there. If you’re saying there’s nothing on, maybe you watch too much tv. I see a lot of stuff. And most of it looks pretty interesting and fun. Granted, not everything can be Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones or Sopranos. But laughing is just really fun.

Here are some other highlights from last week as I contemplate the week ahead.  Snippets from the diaries:

This past week was really fun for seeing old Reply All comics. I really appreciate when readers post those on social. It’s especially nice if it was funny or cute. It’s almost always true ten years later. And that is always a reassuring thought. It’s reassuring to know that the stupidity and laziness of ten years ago still rings true. : )

I love this cutie. Does anyone know who she belongs to? I really like her.

****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ******

Somebody on Reddit wondered about how to remember that OCD thoughts aren’t real necessarily and may just be in your head.  I interpreted that very broadly to think about how I would answer it. So I thought about this question: how can you triage your thoughts instead of having to put up with them getting lodged in your head and looping?

Here is my response.

Write down the thought as soon as you have it. Call it anything, a note, notes, a journal or list as you go through your day. Write down your thought at the moment you have the thought. Use common words that are easy for you to remember. Make your own customized keywords that you can easily remember. You do not have to write a dissertation. Just jot down your thoughts in real time. It’s not poetry. At first. It’s just raw pieces at first. For some people.

Give it enough detail that YOU can come back to it later and understand what you are referring to.  Capture the time and date. Done.

Then come back to it when you can and make a decision on what you think about it or how it feels or what you might say if the same thing happened to you. And write that down.

On future bad days, at the moment the thought comes up, jot it down. Now do a keyword search for your common words related to that thought. You will get a list with links of all the times you mentioned that. You mentioned it because you were having those thoughts.  And you totally analyzed it so many times, you can see from your own documenting. So now you can just note that this is a thought that comes up a lot and this is how you deal with it. A record of what works and what does now work.

And maybe the writing has been therapeutic or insightful for you. Maybe for multiple reasons. Maybe it helps you to keep those great work ideas straight.

And for some of you, like me, the writing part becomes the most fun thing. You pleasure yourself by writing. And no, you perverts. I did not say I pleasure myself while writing. I did not. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

The cool thing is that in addition to practicing daily writing of any kind, taking these notes of your thoughts means you have research data.

Because every day you are collecting research about your mind. Just search for one of your own customized common keywords – custom to whatever you’re searching for – and you should get a bunch of your writing dating back from whenever your started, a lot of it real time. You can tell how much you ate, drank, smoked, swallowed, licked, bit, oooh. Now it’s getting gross.

You get it. You can take a calendar, notes, list, a timeline, any recorded real time memories and gather the data to become poems or books or memoirs.

I’m sure that response had nothing to do with the question.  Try it anyway. You might find it entertaining.

Happy Sunday evening.

I love watching funny movies now. Thank you, scientists.

xoxoxo, d and bella


I didn’t want to die


There’s hope as long as you haven’t tried everything.
And you haven’t.

Link to OCD Conference Video

I only wanted to satisfy my really physically strong compulsion to jump from a window, a train platform or a roof in order to stop the recurring intrusive thoughts, images and movies of crashing my car that played constantly in my brain. I cannot say it any plainer. Or any more plain.  Or plainly. I’m a writer so you get all the options.

I did not want to die. I was not suicidal. Although I literally at times felt I could not continue and often felt no interest in continuing because the quality of basic daily activities of working, commuting, socializing, eating, engaging and sleeping were increasingly compromised. To the point they affected my ability to do things I wanted to do.  Even little things.

It’s confusing because it is confusing. Intrusive thoughts of violence, harm, death, suicide – they sound suicidal, right? But I didn’t want them to happen. I just thought they were inevitable and so I was trying to just get it over with already. If that makes sense. I was frustrated to the point that I couldn’t do anything but try to end it finally.

But when I was finally treated for intrusive thoughts, I got medication and treatment that almost completely stops the thoughts. Almost completely to the point that the rest is pretty eff-ing manageable.

That is why I keep urging you to keep trying to find more helpful descriptive wording to convey what you are experiencing until you feel that doctors and your health advocates and support system understand what you are actually experiencing. Suicidal is not necessarily the same as intrusive thoughts of killing yourself. And the treatment can make a big difference. I am proof. And I can even believe I can say I am HAPPY to report that. Yeah. It makes me happy in an uninterrupted way.

I am happy and I can feel it.  Not every minute of every day. I didn’t discover something magical or illegal. I just discovered effective treatment for my worst symptoms of a condition I never knew I had but really suffered from.

And you might be able to get happy too.

If you haven’t tried everything, there’s still hope.

I’ll add the link to the video above as soon as it’s outside the paywall. It was for the 2023 Online Conference of the International OCD Foundation 

xoxoxo, d and bell

Trigger Warning
Go ahead and talk about the hard stuff.
You don’t need to worry about triggering anyone.
Everybody’s already triggered.


Draw New Lines

I broke lots of cartoon rules today. I was up against a deadline and my editor has a life outside of her deadline and, well, sometimes you just have to finish the Gee Dee Cartoon.

So I let up on a few rules.  And they were all insane and unnecessary rules, of course. And I thought of you. I thought you might be interested to hear a few of the absurd, unrealistic, completely illogical constrictions I have placed on myself over the years to ensure that cartooning is as painful as possible. Otherwise known as OCD.

Read more

Try a Different Vegetable.


Try a Different Vegetable. Or Fruit.

Let your life be different.

Let your life be changed.

See a different kind of hope.

See a different option or two.

Think a different thought.

Find a different distraction.

Find different people.

Find different love.

Find five minutes today to do something different.

I am willing to bet you $10 that doing something different today will make a difference you can report back on tomorrow. So you can just send me $10 now.

I prefer PayPal. Venmo is too out there for me.

But seriously. Do something different. Every day.

I know it sounds so easy.

Go ahead. Try it. See how easy it is.

Do something different. But do something that is actually different. Not a fake check-it-off-the-list different. Something that makes a difference different.

And have a great Tuesday.

Or have a Take Out Tuesday or Toss Out Tuesday or Throw Away Tuesday.

Maybe it’s a good day to get rid of things you don’t need or want or use.

Maybe it’s a good day to NOT do something. Maybe that would be different.

So many options and you only need one.

Try not to focus too much on the news. Unless you can change it, of course.

Even then, try not to focus too much on it.

xoxoxo, d and bella


But It’s Strawberry!


Try making a list. Not a big list. Not a serious, inspiring, motivating, nudge-your-butt TO DO LIST. ‘

No. No. No. No. No.

A Little List. A FUN LIST.

I make a nice, relaxed, no pressure, doesn’t-have-to-be-perfect, not final, not-gonna-be-laminated, fun list of say 3 items.

A list that requires some thought. Something fun to think about. And I give it a name. Because it’s fun giving names to lists. It makes them official. And it’s fun when things are official. Even if they are unofficially official.

Read more

But It’s Strawberry!


Try making a list. Not a big list. Not a serious, inspiring, motivating, nudge-your-butt TO DO LIST. ‘

No. No. No. No. No.

A Little List. A FUN LIST.

I make a nice, relaxed, no pressure, doesn’t-have-to-be-perfect, not final, not-gonna-be-laminated, fun list of say 3 items.

A list that requires some thought. Something fun to think about. And I give it a name. Because it’s fun giving names to lists. It makes them official. And it’s fun when things are official. Even if they are unofficially official.

Read more

Why Do Side Effects Matter?

Bella forgot to take her meds.

(This impassioned speech was in response to a question asked on LinkedIn. That is attached below.)

Side effects matter for those who can’t work if they are sedated, lethargic, losing their balance, falling, confused, unable to find words to make sentences, crying while speaking or unable to understand the directions they are being given. All because of side effects from medications that have to be at a high enough dosage to actually treat the symptoms of the related disorder effectively.

That is why side effects matter to us. Because we need to work.

If you are interested in getting health insurance to pay for treatments that enable you to be free of your worst symptoms and able to work, you might be interested in this conversation. Even just as an example of how a person like me, a nobody in the grand scheme of things, starts a conversation like this.

I could have had this treatment seven years ago. In theory. In reality, I wouldn’t have been able to get it, but I would have started fighting for it. It has changed my life completely. I have gone from planning my death to planning my life.

Are your side effects keeping you from living your life? Or are you unable to get to your effective dosage because the side effects disable you and keep you from working? Maybe there is treatment with fewer side effects. Maybe you can get insurance to pay for it. Like I did.

If you are sick of reading about #TMS, if this stuff is not for you, don’t worry. It’s over.

And I PROMISE the very next post will be F.U.N.


Or, as Missy used to say, it will be FUNNER!

Happy Friday Eve.

Do something different today.

I did something different and it changed my entire life.

xoxo2nth, d and bella

And JK about Bella. She doesn’t take any meds. She meditates and does yoga.



This is the LinkedIn post that prompted my response on LinkedIn today – which prompted this post – which violated my own rule that I wouldn’t post anymore about TMS for a while – but it’s okay, because we’re flexible now that we’ve had TMS. : )

@donnalewisdc on linkedin


90 Day Fiancé is really getting good.  I usually highly recommend it. Now I super duper highly recommend it.  Times two.  If you watch it, you’ll find out what neuro-spiciness is.

And Match Me Abroad too! So good!

Now,  does anyone know where one can watch the first five years of MTV over and over again. Is there a way to do that?

Playing MTV years 1981-1986 in the background would be amazing. And I’m not just talking video clips. I want the mix of videos and talking so I feel like Martha Quinn and Nina Blackwood are hanging out with me. Those two  could go everywhere with me on my laptop. Now THAT would be fun.

Read more


Somebody I said Ruh-Roh to this past week didn’t know the reference. What’s the age cutoff for that reference?

And today somebody posted a quote by a pretty well know Buddhist and I disagreed. Is that bad karma?

How much weight does that stuff carry?

I call BS. Even though I really like a lot of Buddhism. I just don’t believe this one part.

Read more

Who Are We?

On what subjects or topics could you present for 40 minutes?
With minimal preparation?

I’ill post mine along with yours in the comments.

You go first. No, You. You.


What’s Your Thing?


Everyone is completely fascinated by something. Completely drawn to something.
What is your fascination? What is your thing?
And is it mostly good for you or not really so good?

Your fascination may be something new.  Or maybe it’s something you’ve been fascinated with all your life.
It may be something or someone.
Maybe it’s more than one thing. Maybe you are attracted to, drawn to, devoted to more than one thing.
But remember, we’re talking fascinated. F-a-S-c-I-n-A-t-E-D

Do you currently engage with your fascination in a way that is satisfying to you? Did you in the past? The near past? Far past?
Do you want to engage with your fascination the same, more or less?

Do you engage with your fascination in a way that is satisfying to the person or people whose opinion you care about most?
Do they want you to engage  the same, more or less?
And how does that work with with your responses to the questions you just answered?

Trying to figure out whether to punch, hike or walk. Need a better default method for decision making. Current default doesn’t work on days ending in day.

But it tastes good.

Hope your Saturday has more good parts than bad.
Hope you’re moving in the right direction.
Even if it’s hard. Hope it’s the direction you want.

Show your work. 

xoxoxo, d and bella



Something in Your Story

Something in your story will save someone else. It may not save their life, but it may save their day. Or their night.

Your story could save someone a lot of pain.  Or money. Or going in the wrong direction.

Someone needs to hear your story.

If you are ready, and only if you are ready, share your story. Or part of it. The juicy part. JK

But truth. Someone needs to hear your story.

Stories are life savers.  Share if you can.

Happy Friday

Try the New York Times Questions with someone you like.

Or someone you might like.


xoxoxo, d and bella



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