Self-Knowledge

Trauma and Fearfulness

Some the reason why we are far more fearful, inhibited and sad than we should be is that we are – unbeknownst to ourselves – wandering through our lives with a…

Self-Knowledge

Trauma and EMDR Therapy

The fundamental idea behind psychotherapy is that we tend to grow mentally unwell because we haven’t been able to think with sufficient clarity about the difficulties in our past, typically in…

Sociability

How Often Do We Need to Go to Parties?

One of the major reasons why our lives are busier than they might be is that we come under immense pressures to ‘go out’, usually in the evening, typically to one…

Work

How to Retire Early

One of the most common and deeply-cherished fantasies of our times is the idea that we might ‘retire early.’ Websites abound promising to help us with the dream, managing our finances,…

Leisure

How to Read Fewer Books

The modern world firmly equates the intelligent person with the well-read person. Reading books, a lot of books, is the hallmark of brilliance as well as the supreme gateway to prestige…

Work

Winners and Losers in the Race of Life

Our societies have advanced tendencies to label certain people ‘winners’ and others – logically enough – ‘losers’. Aside from the evident meanness of this categorisation, the underlying problem with it is…

Work

The Concept of Voluntary Poverty

A distinctive feature of modern times is the extent to which we tend to devote our brief lives to making – or aspiring to make – money. We worry as we…

Work

Being on the Receiving End of Pity

Given how outright mean many people are, it might be odd to single out as particularly problematic and especially painful a kind of treatment that might, on the surface, seem very…

Self-Knowledge

On Despair and the Imagination

It may sound strange to locate the problem here, but some of our most despairing moods are caused by failures of the imagination. We are not merely ‘sad’; we cannot picture…

Calm

How to Go to Bed Earlier

There’s a pattern that goes like this: it’s late, given when we’ve got to wake in the morning, but instead of going to bed, we stay up. The next day, of…

Calm

Why We All Need Quiet Days

For the last two centuries a cult has been spreading widely and rapidly around the world, seeking to dominate and control every moment of our lives; today it has hundreds of…

Calm

The Benefits of Provincial Life

There’s a grand, subtle and beguiling myth that can work it’s way into the centre of our brains, lead us to judge our lives as calamitous failures and drive us into…

Calm

How to Live in a Hut

There’s a dread that we normally keep at the far edges of our minds but which occasionally – particularly at 3am on a restless night – floods our thoughts: if we…

Relationships

What Relationships Should Really Be About

Many people, after they’ve been in a couple for some time, will privately admit that they are – in many ways – frustrated and disappointed by the person they’ve chosen to…

Relationships

Being Honest on a Date

A powerful instinct when we meet someone we’re attracted to is to try to please them – and we naturally assume that the best way we might do this is to…

Relationships

Coping with One's Parents

A few lucky ones among us get on easily with their parents, but for most of us, mothers and fathers are the source of continually complicated and emotionally-draining trials. One strategy…

Work

What Should Truly Motivate Us at Work

In a perfect world, when it came to choosing an occupation, we would have only two priorities in mind: – to find a job that we enjoyed – to find a…

Self-Knowledge

Taming a Pitiless Inner Critic

One of the tedious aspects of having problems with our minds is that we need to take more of an interest in how they work than untroubled people do: we have…