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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56. The Mystery of Charisma

Don't you love it when you're settled in your seat to listen to a talk, maybe after a few talks that haven't really grabbed your attention, and someone comes onto the stage and within the first few moments you're captivated? Your whole being relaxes gratefully into your seat, glad in the knowledge that the next thirty or so minutes are going to be pure, effortless enjoyment. Typically this person will have the audience laughing in the first minute or so, usually at their own expense; they have an openness and honesty that makes you trust and like them; and they have something of importance to say. These are people with charisma. We listen to them, believe them, and will go the extra

55. Medicine and the Dalai Lama

Medicine and the Dalai Lama have very different attitudes to suffering - this week's tip looks at how those attitudes affect our day to day lives and how a bit of balance between the two might bring us more peace and happiness. I read an article in a public health journal the other day, by Richard Smith, a doctor and once long-time editor of the British Medical Journal. He tells a story of when he was a student in Edinburgh and Ivan Illich came to give a lecture. Ivan Illich was an Austrian philosopher who gained notoriety in the 70s for his detailed and trenchant attack on medicine in his book Medical Nemesis, claiming that, on balance, it does more harm than good. When Illich made his ca