What advice can you give to those who..

–        Cry because someone broke their heart?

Brooks: Know that you can choose to learn lessons from what has happened and it will hone your skill to love.  Love is a skill as much as it is a feeling.

–        Succeed but doesn’t consider looking back from where they’ve started?

Brooks: It’s always important for me to remember where I came from, particularly all of the hard stuff.  It keeps me grateful.  And I try to always acknowledge the kindness and help of others. Of course, this is subjective and success is measured in different ways.

–        Feel like they’re nothing in this world?

Brooks: This is the seed at our center as humans – the need to feel like we matter.  I would say to look into the mirror and remind yourself that you do matter and that you should be as good to yourself as you are to others.  I read this Jack Kornfield quote last week and I think it’s a perfect point to this question:  “If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”  Remember, be as kind to yourself as you are to others.  Also, once your compassion is more complete, the friendships you form will be stronger.

–        Dream but always fail?

Brooks: Every success is built on a big pile of failures.  It’s practically the ladder that is used to succeed at something.  Pat yourself on the back when you overcome an obstacle.  For example, when I completed my manuscript for Red August, my friends and I went out for a big dinner just to celebrate. You can’t have failed at everything.  There are some parts that were successful.  So combine all of those positives and let them teach you how to do better next time.

How do you feel when most people look at you as..

–        Someone who can do everything?

Brooks: I’m grateful that they think well of me.  Also, I try to live up to the expectation, but I’m kind to myself when I can’t.  Well, most of the time I am.  I have rough days like everybody else, but I have them, then move past them.

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