Writer Interview: Shana Lebowitz Gaynor

Interview: Shana Lebowitz Gaynor

Shana Lebowitz Gaynor is a correspondent for Insider, the place she covers profession improvement and office tradition. Her new e-book, Do not Name It Quits: Flip the Job You Have into the Job You Love (Amazon, Bookshop), simply hit cabinets.

I could not wait to speak to Shana about happiness, habits, and work.

Gretchen: What’s a easy exercise or behavior that constantly makes you happier, more healthy, extra productive, or extra inventive?

Shana: Studying. Particularly, studying novels. Extra particularly, studying novels on the subway. I discover it’s the one exercise that constantly relaxes me, although I can’t say why with any certainty. Possibly it’s as a result of I lose myself, so to talk, within the narrative. Or perhaps it’s as a result of the textual content sparks the sort of creativity you talked about by citing new concepts and emotions. I used to learn throughout my morning and night commute; now that I’m working from dwelling I do it a lot much less typically. I’ve been excited about methods so as to add that again into my day by day routine.

You’ve performed fascinating analysis. What has stunned or intrigued you – or your readers – most?

Thanks for saying so! I’m nonetheless stunned once I inform somebody concerning the premise of Don’t Name It Quits (discover ways to craft a extra fulfilling work life with out quitting a job you don’t love) they usually inform me that they’ve performed one thing like that of their profession. It occurs on a regular basis. So I’d remind anybody who’s at present feeling pissed off of their profession that they’re not alone, and that there are many comparatively easy methods to get unstuck.

Would you describe your self as an Upholder, a Questioner, a Insurgent, or an Obliger?

After I first learn The 4 Tendencies, I recognized most carefully with the Obliger profile — however understanding that’s the most typical profile, I needed I might select one other as a substitute! Alas, I’m simply now, in my thirties, starting to just accept that the one approach I’ll obtain a private aim (like training yoga extra typically or extra reliably returning calls from buddies) is to have another person maintain me accountable. That mentioned, I see a few of myself in all 4 profiles. I refuse to just accept e-book suggestions, for instance, and can actively keep away from present bestsellers as a result of I don’t need others’ tastes to find out my very own choices — a Rebellious tendency for positive!

Does something are likely to intervene along with your means to maintain your wholesome habits or your happiness?

My ideas veer typically into existential, and generally morbid, territory. (The that means of life, the inevitability of demise, and many others.) I’m unsure these existential meanderings are uniformly unproductive, however I do discover it’s simpler to get by the day once I don’t have interaction in them!

Have you ever ever been hit by a lightning bolt, the place you made a significant change very immediately, as a consequence of studying a e-book, a dialog with a pal, a milestone birthday, a well being scare, and many others.?

I grew to become a vegetarian nearly instantly after I learn Consuming Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer (Amazon, Bookshop) in 2012. I’d been teetering on the sting of that change for some time, however Safran Foer’s argument was convincing sufficient (and the imagery he makes use of was disturbing sufficient) that it pushed me to make the change.

Has a e-book ever modified your life – in that case, which one and why?

Many, many books have modified the way in which I see the world. I might hardly title all of them. Whereas on maternity depart earlier this 12 months, I learn A Life’s Work (Amazon, Bookshop), Rachel Cusk’s memoir of early motherhood, and I used to be struck by how deftly Cusk articulated a few of the experiences I used to be having at that very second. In a single chapter, she describes feeling bare and self-conscious when in public with out her little one and I used to be heartened to be taught that I wasn’t the one new mom to really feel this manner.

In your subject, is there a standard false impression that you simply’d prefer to right?

I feel many professionals imagine that quitting their job will assist them really feel happier at work. Typically that is true — however typically it isn’t!


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