Michael Lewis: Stories people tell themselves

“As I’ve gotten older…I could not help but notice the effect on people of the stories they told about themselves. If you listen to people—if you just sit and listen—you’ll find that there are patterns in the way they talk about themselves. There’s the kind of person who’s always the victim in any story that they tell—always on the receiving end of some injustice. There’s the person who’s always kind of the hero in every story they tell. The smart person—they deliver the clever put down. There are lots of versions of this. And you gotta be very careful about how you tell these stories because it starts to become you. You are, in the way you craft your narrative, kind of crafting your character. And so, I did at some point decide: I am going to adopt self-consciously as my narrative that I’m the happiest person anybody knows. And it is amazing how happy-inducing it is.”
—Michael Lewis.

Michael Lewis: Happiest person anybody knows

As I’ve gotten older…I could not help but notice the effect on people of the stories they told about themselves. If you listen to people—if you just sit and listen—you’ll find that there are patterns in the way they talk about themselves. There’s the kind of person who’s always the victim in any story that they tell—always on the receiving end of some injustice. There’s the person who’s always kind of the hero in every story they tell. The smart person—they deliver the clever put down. There are lots of versions of this. And you gotta be very careful about how you tell these stories because it starts to become you. You are, in the way you craft your narrative, kind of crafting your character. And so, I did at some point decide: I am going to adopt self-consciously as my narrative that I’m the happiest person anybody knows. And it is amazing how happy-inducing it is.”

—Michael Lewis.

Michael Lewis: Not infallible

“The doctor is not infallible and does not know everything, and it’s a shame that we need to thrust him into a position where he has to seem infallible in order to make everybody feel good. Because we are much better off if he’s very aware of how highly fallible he is and how little we do know. That’s how progress happens. You start by acknowledging what you do not know.” – Michael Lewis.