Episode 362: Give Yourself a Derby Name, an Easy Way to Give Yourself a Treat, and a Conversation with “The Good Place” Creator Mike Schur

Try This at Home

Give yourself a derby name.

This suggestion is a twist on episode 355‘s suggestion to “Talk to yourself by name,” in which we talked about the research showing the benefit of “distanced self-talk.” A listener who plays roller derby explained that she did this by calling herself by her derby name.

  • Elizabeth’s derby name: Lightning Lizzy.
  • My derby name: The Arrow.

We mention the distanced self-talk in John Lennon’s 1970 song “Hold On,” where he opens by encouraging himself, and addressing himself, as “John.”

Happiness Hack

When signing up for a birthday bonus from a store or service, spread your “birthdays” out across the year.

Interview: Mike Schur

I’m a giant fan of the TV shows that Mike Schur has worked on and created. He was the creator of The Good Place and the co-creator of Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nineand he was also a writer and producer for The Office, where he played Dwight’s Cousin Mose.

He has a new book, How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question (AmazonBookshop). It’s a hilarious, thought-provoking guide to how to think about ethical challenges—both big and small–drawing on 2,500 years of deep thinking from around the world.

We discuss:

  • why he’s drawn to presenting profound philosophical debates in lighter, more accessible forms (like The Good Place and How to Be Perfect). I quote from G. K. Chesterton: “It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.”
  • how these moral questions are fodder for TV characters
  • how and why Hollywood is notorious for bad behavior

Mike Schur’s Tendency: UPHOLDER/Questioner.

We talk about the Four Tendencies quiz. If you want to find out whether you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, it’s here.

Mike Schur’s Try This at Home:

  1. Don’t allow your smartphone to enter your bedroom
  2. Write notes by hand on paper

Demerits & Gold Stars

Elizabeth’s Demerit: She hasn’t even opened the Don’t Break the Chain Habit Tracker I gave her, even though she really wants to use it – especially for #Rest22in22.

Don't Break the Chain journal

Gretchen’s Gold Star: I give a gold star to the light-hearted, sweet 2021 movie Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.


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What We’re Reading

  • Elizabeth: Still listening to What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (AmazonBookshop)
  • Gretchen: The Way I Hear It by Gael Hannan (AmazonBookshop)




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