How to Develop a Positive Mental Attitude: Stop Expecting to Win


January 31, 2018
This book is my prized possession. I was gifted this book by my mom at age thirteen. It was gifted to her by an old boyfriend. I devoured this book as a newly minted teenager, relishing in the words of beauty and longing and sex. As I passed into my high school years, I discovered Leonard Cohen’s music, but it wasn’t until years later that I truly understood the beauty and majesty of his musical work. I recently rewatched the documentary “Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man” and in between performances, there were interviews with Leonard. I was particularly moved by this quote and I’ve been contemplating and dissecting it’s meaning over the last few days. I think it seems especially poignant now.

“Sometimes when you no longer see yourself as the hero of your own drama, you know, expecting victory after victory, and you understand deeply that this is not paradise. Somehow we’re, especially the privileged ones that we are, we somehow embrace the notion that this veil of tears is perfectable that you can get it all straight. I found that things became a lot easier when I no longer expected to win. I tried to put that into the song 1,000 kisses deep, where you understand that you abandon your masterpiece and you sink into the real masterpiece.” - Leonard Cohen