August Wilson is renowned for his Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, such as Pittsburgh Cycle (ten plays about his life in Pittsburgh’s Hill District). Although he writes of discrimination that stirs empathy — housewives shouting racial epithets at one another, Oyster House refusing him service, and jealous men taking violent revenge — How I Learned What I Learned stands on its own as an engaging one-man show that explores August Wilson’s experiences beyond preamble and coda to this cycle (ten plays about himself).
1. Learn to be patient.
Patience isn’t something everyone possesses naturally; it requires hard work, determination, and time. To become more patient, start small changes to your daily life until they gradually become more significant goals.
First, identify what triggers your impatience. Next, write down all the instances when things didn’t move quickly enough and look for common themes on this list; perhaps, for instance when colleagues don’t respond promptly or when a deadline approaches.
Now, it is essential to avoid similar situations in the future. A proven technique for doing this is taking deep breaths when your impatience flares – this helps lower heart rates and calm minds simultaneously, teaching patience in stressful situations. Repetition will teach you patience in stressful situations.
2. Learn to love yourself.
Unfortunately, many people fail to give themselves enough attention when developing the most crucial relationship in their lives: that with themselves. Instead, they distract themselves with drugs, alcohol, white lies, busyness, bad relationships, or external validation as a form of distraction. Making time to love yourself first is crucial for fulfilling life and success elsewhere.
As an initial step, try creating a list of things you admire about yourself and reading them regularly in front of a mirror to begin replacing negative self-talk with more loving and positive ideas.
Step two is to acknowledge any trauma or pain you’ve endured and accept that it does not define who you are or the love you can give or receive. This may involve more apparent physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or subtler ones like recurring themes from childhood or adulthood that continue to manifest today. Once this process has begun, create boundaries for yourself that prevent these experiences from harming anyone else in the future.
3. Learn to love others.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to loving others; each encounter should require you to adapt your love in response to each person. Over time, your skill at loving will improve, so practice is the key!
For example, growing up in an abusive home environment may make showing kindness towards those around you hard. Or, if you lead an overly-scheduled life, it may be difficult for you to dedicate enough time for those needing love and compassion.
But even if your childhood experiences weren’t optimal, it’s never too late to change. With some patience and practice, loving others should come naturally over time.
4. Learn to love your job.
As most people don’t experience an overwhelming sense of purpose from what they do for work, not everyone will always love every aspect of it. It is essential to realize this and find happiness elsewhere, such as spending time with family, exercising, or volunteering.
If you’re having difficulty enjoying your work, identify elements that no longer make it enjoyable. For example, if your office space remains unchanged daily, try changing its decor or adding plants – even small changes can significantly affect your mood!
Another great way to love your job again is by learning new skills. Learning something different will refresh your work experience and may even impress your boss! NYC career analyst Laura Handrick recommends setting up coffee dates with colleagues you don’t know well or managers from departments you wish to join; you might be amazed at what new knowledge emerges – you may start loving what you do once again!
5. Learn to love your family.
Learning how to love your family is essential. Remembering that family life is a long journey with relationships constantly evolving will be crucial. Try appreciating each member for their contributions while listening and responding sympathetically when their emotions surface; this will enable you to love them even when things become challenging.
Important to understand is that not all families are as sweet and loving as they appear on the outside; some family members may exploit you and try to take advantage of you, yet you must remain loyal because family is all about unconditional love.
Wilson’s plays may have been thinly veiled, but their truth was undeniable – people of color faced severe discrimination in Pittsburgh. From housewives hollering racist insults as they mow lawns to jealous men launching violent rampages against black Pittsburghers, Wilson’s tales elicit empathy in viewers. But even after facing these obstacles, Wilson found love within his family, believing that learning to love those closest to you first would help anyone.