The choice to be happy

In lots of places I read about how we can choose to be happy. My experience, confirmed by therapists, is that it’s not so simple. What we can do daily though, is make choices that lead to a more content state. We can disengage from unhelpful thinking. Acknowledge patterns and move toward better ones. Recognise possibility and seize opportunity. For those who’ve long been in … Continue reading The choice to be happy

You’re only cheating yourself

When I run with a friend I enjoy saying “you’re only cheating yourself” if either of us take an iddy biddy shortcut. Over time I’ve come to (mostly) avoid those shortcuts as a matter of principle. If there’s a task I’m reluctant to do, I sometimes line up a reward for when it’s completed. In the past I’d often indulge a seductive voice that nudged … Continue reading You’re only cheating yourself

Goals and direction

A good friend asked me a question about goals and the danger of spiralling thoughts if they’re not reached. In replying I thought about the Stockdale paradox and noted that I’ve been that broken optimist around some of my own desires. If setting a goal that isn’t entirely within your control, or is a remarkable stretch, it might be better to choose merely a direction … Continue reading Goals and direction

Pleasing everyone, all the time

It’s impossible to cater for everyone, especially in contexts that are focused on individual preference. Aiming to do so is the right thing, though there comes a point where a decision must be made on the best compromise. I don’t like to compromise, though there may be no better way when there are finite resources or opportunities. Where compromise is made, we must be conscious … Continue reading Pleasing everyone, all the time