A series of short articles on everything, from practical ways of getting things done, to how to handle your feelings and find peace in a hectic world.

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10. Simple Questions for Tackling Any Problem

Even in the most tranquil of lives there lurks the Difficult Person. It might be a colleague who never does what he says he'll do. Or a sibling who shirks responsibility for looking after your aged parents. It might be a parent who doesn't seem to have noticed that you are no longer five years old. Or a member of staff who is always late. Or an impossible boss. Whoever or whatever your difficult person or relationship is, if it has been going on for some time there is one thing that it will have in common with everyone else's. A pattern. A very long time ago I read a book called The Dance of Anger by psychologist Harriet Lerner. I have absolutely no recollection as to why I bought it,

9. The Power of Life's Little Pleasures

Would you humour me by doing a little experiment? Here's a scale of 1 - 10. It's for you to measure your mood, right this minute. The bottom end, 0, is the worst you could ever feel, totally fed up, the world is bleak and there's little hope of improvement. The top end, 10, is feeling fantastic, optimistic, full of life. Where would you put yourself on that scale at this precise moment? 0 __________________________________________10 Now think of one thing in your life that is, shall we say, sub-optimal at the moment. Notice how you feel about it. More on this experiment later. The festivities over, the temperatures below freezing and the prospect of several more weeks of shor