What keeps you going despite the odds

“It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away“.* What keeps you going? You might have all sorts of clever stuff, and make all sorts of efforts to look convincing to others, but what really lights you up and is your source of passion? What is your “rock of ages” that truly keeps you going and believing in yourself and putting your self out there or simply carrying on in your everyday world when the chips are down and nothing seems … Read more

Are our values at odds with those around us?

It can often seem as though our own values are out of step with those around us. This could include a feeling that in the place where we work the senior managers don’t seem to think the same way, or the culture there isn’t what we ourselves might value. Then the community in which we live might not live quite according to our own ways. Or that the overall culture in which we live is somehow out of step with our own. I read in the news today for example of how a Muslim family felt compelled to move out … Read more

To mean what you say and say what you mean

Honesty, sincerity and integrity are things many of us say we espouse, but how much do we do it in practice? It’s a useful test: do you mean what you say and say what you mean? So, you might ask yourself, “Do I show up? Am I who I say I am? Do I do what I say I will do?” No doubt many of us can think of people and situations where statements aren’t matched by actions. Most often people immediately mention politicians or bosses past and present, and can readily itemise various betrayals. Think of the rousing meetings … Read more

How to have self confidence when you don’t know where you are going

Bit difficult, not knowing where you’re going, or what you are about, and still have confidence in your endeavours! It’s a bit of a “chicken-and-egg” question, which comes first? Yet the question of how to have self confidence when things aren’t clear offers important opportunities for insight into your creative potential. When starting out on a new project, whatever that is, it’s well known that it helps to get clear what your vision and purpose is. Your vision would be some description of the end result and what it will feel and look like. The vision needs to match your … Read more

When our values can put us on the spot

Do you recognise occasions where you are asked to make a choice and you find yourself hesitating about what is the right course of action? It can even seem like you are “put on the spot”, seemingly being asked to choose to do or say something that doesn’t sit right with you, or by contrast something where there’s a stirring within you that this course of action you are contemplating is totally who you are and what you are about. These are occasions when we are contronted with our values, with an ethical choice, one that can even strike at … Read more

Are you not achieving what you really want?

The word “total success” produces all sorts of reactions in people. There are those for whom it is the sine qua non of their value system, for others the final fling of the capitalist system bankrupted by the recession desperately trying to cling to beliefs past their sell-by date. Yet being successful has a much broader meaning than the money and career value usually given to it. To feel that sense of completion, that sense of fulfilment, that sense that I have got to where I want to get to, that all feels right in my life, as I perceive … Read more

How near death experiences serve to inspire us

It’s a continuing puzzle for us, how to explain near death experiences (NDE’s) in ways that can sound convincing to those that seek a rational explanation and also to those perhaps already convinced that they indicate the existence of some kind of ultimate reality and thus of an ultimate purpose. When even a leading neurosurgeon has an NDE, it can be tempting to sit up and take notice. Like many other NDE’s, his story is of course very moving, which perhaps also says something about how we need to hear such experience of what is possible, like it serves to … Read more

Where are you going with your life that gives you meaning?

A theme that I hear a lot concerns the “prevailing gloom” in our society at present, ascribed as it is to the still-ongoing recession. Despite brief attempted “fixes” like the Olympics or the Jubilee here in the UK this undercurrent seems to run and run. We can get brief “fixes” from all sorts of directions, entertainment, eating and drinking among them, but when there’s an underlying malaise the problem doesn’t necessarily go away unless we deal with what’s causing it. Not surprisingly with another economic downturn, there‚Äôs lots of change happening and motivation at work has fallen. A brief respite … Read more

Athletes too can lose their sense of purpose

It’s not just the spectators who feel a drop in spirits after the Olympics. Athletes do too. The post-games depression is a very real occurrence that many sports lovers will know well. There you are, for two weeks absorbed in what might be for you the best sporting event in ages, caught up in all the drama, sharing in the emotion, rejoicing when your stars win, it can become almost a life of its own. And it brings people together and we all feel the collective joy of a particular success by some sportsperson. Just think of the enormous cheering … Read more

The mid life crisis is an opportunity

People often joke about the mid life crisis, which somehow makes it not OK, but which suggests a discomfort about a very real occurrence for very many people. The recipient of the joke, or humour at another’s expense which is whatt I often call it, then looks embarrassed and changes the subject. It’s a pity, since this occurrence needs to be embraced and seen as an opportunity. Both my wife and I work a lot with people at this stage in their lives. In general, it’s a realisation that the paradigm that one has been living one’s life out of … Read more