John Dickerson is a correspondent for 60 Minutes. He is also a Contributing Editor to The Atlantic and the host of the Whistlestop podcast and co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest.

We want a Superman

We often think of presidents as Supermen. In 1958 Jimmy Olson thought so too and that was the topic of an entire Superman cartoon:

1 thought on “We want a Superman”

  1. Hi – I hope this is not an inappropriate place for this comment. I just read your wonderful essay in The Atlantic on developing a routine during the pandemic.

    As a life long meditator, I’ve been fascinated by routines for years. In the early 70s, I struggled to begin a meditation routine, failing for at least 3-4 years. One morning, I ran into a friend in the same meditation group, and asked how his morning “routine” (ie meditation routine) was going, and he responded, “What routine?”

    We lived near each other in New York City’s East Village, so we arranged to meet each other at 445 AM (our group was meditating – supposedly – at sunrise and sunset), ride our bikes down to the pier on the East River, and sit together.

    We did this every morning for a month, and that routine (along with the evening meditation – post sunset) somehow fell into place for the next 44 years.

    Having those “bookends’ of twice daily meditation was – one can hardly refer to it as anything but Grace, as it supported me through 3 graduate programs (one in music, two in psychology).

    We left NY shortly after 9/11 (jan, my wife, was working a few blocks away when the towers were hit, and it was taken as a sign it was finally time to leave NY). Not long after leaving, I discovered my blood pressure had gone up from 130/80 to 160/100. I had also gone from a thin person up to my late 20s to 200 pounds on a 5’10” frame.

    I think it was that decades-long routine that made it so easy to take off 30 pounds in 3 months (in 2003) and keep it off all these years.

    Not that it’s necessarily any easier than it was for Charles Duhigg (who you mention in your article) to resist that chocolate chip cookie, but still, the book-ended routine has a way of organically structuring the rest of the day without having to keep so many lists and to struggle with “willpower” (though I still love my daily todo list).

    Just thought it would be nice to drop by and suggest the possibility that rather than trying to outline a whole day’s routine, having something regular that you love (doesn’t have to be meditation; could dancing, throwing a football, doing a goofy 5 minute improv podcast, or making that 15 minute brownie in 5 minutes) may be enough.

    “That you love” and look forward to is the key.

    http://www.remember-to-breathe.org

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