“The word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.” ~Carl Jung
My two-year-old son looked up at me with his big, blue, beautiful eyes.
He wanted me to play. I took a toy car in my hand and rolled it along the wooden living room floor we were both sitting on, making an enthusiastic VROOM as I did it. He smiled. He appreciated my effort at sound effects.
The streetlights standing on the road outside our living room window were already glowing warmly, even though it was barely 4:30 p.m. and the sky was …
“Our words create our world.” ~Rich Litvin
I remember when I was about seven years old, shouting spitefully at my mum, ‘’I wish you were dead, I hate you!” Her jaw dropped in disbelief, and I knew my words had hurt her, which made my young heart heavy.
I remember being fourteen years old asking my first crush, “H-h-hey, do you fancy going to the cinema with me this weekend? To my surprise, she said yes, which taught me there’s never any harm in asking for what you want.
Later this year, I’ll be standing proudly next to my beautiful …
“When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
The only thing worse than not listening to someone is pretending to listen.
Giving the vague murmur of agreement, or a quick nod to communicate “Yes, I’m listening, totally,” when really, we’re not.
I remember vividly a dinner I had with friends about four years ago. I’d been backpacking in New Zealand for twelve months and had just returned to the UK. Traveling in the car to my friend’s house, I imagined how the night …
“I don’t run to add days to my life, I run to add life to my days.” ~Ronald Rook
Growing up, I was always a bit on the tubby side, or, as my mum would say, “stocky.”
Old and grainy camcorder footage from the early nineties shows me at four years old, waddling sassily around the garden naked on a summer’s day. Watching the nostalgic home footage recently, I thought to myself, “Wow, I had a beer belly long before I began drinking beer.”
Apart from a couple of years playing football in my teens, competitive sports and exercise were …
“Seeing is not believing; believing is seeing! You see things, not as they are, but as you are.” ~Eric Butterworth
I didn’t always understand this, but I now know that my beliefs shape my experience of the world.
As I learned from Tony Robbins, our beliefs guide our choices, which ultimately create our results.
Our beliefs can either be a prison, keeping us trapped in negative thinking and behaviors, or they can be empowering and lead to courageous action and new possibilities.
For example, if you believe people are fundamentally bad, you may live life guarded, close yourself off to …
“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.” ~Patrick Rothfuss
Who am I?
I believe this is one of the hardest questions we can ever answer.
I began to ponder this tough question in my early twenties during what I refer to as my “early-life crisis.”
Man, I was stuck. Stuck working in an unfulfilling job. Stuck in ever-growing debt because of my bad habits of drinking and smoking. Stuck feeling anxious and unconfident. I woke up each …
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ~William Arthur Ward
Ahh, my heart skips a beat at just the sound of his name.
In 2018, a tiny human being arrived on the planet, one who would change my life. In the short nine months my nephew Oliver has been in my life, I’ve learned a lot. I’m not talking about changing nappies and bottle-feeding, although I’m getting to grips with these essentials too. No, Oliver has taught me valuable lessons about life itself. Here are nine of the biggest.
“Loving yourself starts with liking yourself, which starts with respecting yourself, which starts with thinking of yourself in positive ways.” ~Jerry Corsten
Useless. Hopeless. Broken.
This was how I saw myself.
I didn’t completely loathe myself, but I didn’t like myself either. At best, I tolerated myself.
I felt I had good reasons to.
I’d gotten myself into, as we say in England, a right old pickle.
If you’re not familiar with this charming expression, I had gotten myself into a big mess.
In my early twenties, over a painful period of about eighteen months, I’d gradually buried myself …
“The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself… that is the moment you might be starting to get it right.” ~Neil Gaiman
The road seemed to go on forever.
Although it was only about 8:30 a.m., the summer sun was already blazing in the sky, shining down with such intensity I felt like an ant under a merciless magnifying glass.
Seven miles into an eight-mile run and growing more and more tired with …
“Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” ~Oprah Winfrey
Occasionally, I experience moments of what I can only describe as “pure bliss.”
It’s like a cool wave of peace washes over me, cleansing me momentarily of my worries, stress, and issues. Last week, I had such an experience.
You may be curious, what was happening for me to experience such a state?
The truth may come as a surprise.
Because my outer reality was, well, rather underwhelming.
I was walking home …
“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another—and ourselves.” ~Jack Kornfield
It was a Monday a few weeks ago, 6:00am, and I was taking a morning walk. The only light in sight was the neon yellow glare of the street lamps.
My heart was heavy. It was as if someone had cut my chest open while I was asleep and slipped a cannonball inside.
My alarm had awoken me at 5:00am, as it had every morning since the start of the year.
My shoes crunch-crunched in the snow as I …
“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.” ~Audrey Hepburn
Happiness and its pursuit fascinate me.
Like most people, I’m curious why on some mornings I wake up and the world is a wonderful place—the sun is shining, happiness oozes out of my heart like warm honey, and the sound of bird song brings a smile to my face. I can only describe this as bliss.
On other mornings, it feels as if all color and wonder in world has drained away. My heart feels heavy in my chest. I’m indifferent to the sound …
“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” ~Zen Shen
Wow, you’re a bit of a loser compared to this guy, aren’t you, Will?
He’s winning at life—great job, great house, obviously making better money than you.
I sigh deeply and continue scrolling.
He takes care of himself, no Buddha belly, unlike you.
It’s true. I begin to feel like a useless lump. I keep scrolling.
No yellow and crooked teeth, either.
“His teeth are pretty straight,” I think to myself, staring at the guy’s mouth on the screen.
Damn right, they’re …