Divide your life into chapters. The unhappiest of my correspondents saw time as an unbroken flow, with themselves as corks bobbing on top of it. A man named Neil lamented that he had been “an Eeyore not a Tigger; a pessimist, not an optimist; an aimless grasshopper, not a purposeful ant; a dreamer, not a doer; a nomad, not a settler; a voyager, not an adventurer; a spectator, not an actor, player or participant.” He concluded: “Neil never amounted to anything.” The happier ones divided time into (somewhat artificial) phases. They wrote things like: There were six crucial decisions in my life. Then they organized their lives around those pivot points. By seeing time as something divisible into chunks, they could more easily stop and self-appraise. They had more control over their fate.