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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72. What Lies Between You and Your Dreams?

Do you ever dream about who you could be or what you could do in your life? If you do, are you making plans to be or do all those things; or have you told yourself not to be so silly? This week's tip is about how we create the gap between what we want and what we believe we can have. It's adapted from a chapter my book, Finding Square Holes. The Chicken Eagle There was once a farmer who found an eagle's nest while out rock-climbing. In it were three eggs, and giving into temptation he put one of the three eggs into his rucksack and took it home. He placed the egg in the hen house, and one of the hens sat on it. In time the egg hatched, and the baby eagling emerged into a family of

71. Time to Reassess Your Competence?

Coaches, therapists, teachers and self help writers spend a lot of their time trying to boost people's confidence. But is confidence always a good thing? This week's tip explores. 'All you need is ignorance and confidence and success is sure'. Mark Twain A few years ago there was a series on Channel 4 called 'Faking It'. Somebody would be taken under the wing of a team of teachers, coaches, body language specialists, and they would be taught, for one month, a new skill. That skill was usually obliquely related to their usual occupation. For example, an Irish sheep shearer was taught to cut hair in a West End salon, a classical violinist was turned into a hip

70. How to Handle a Bad Day

We all have bad days. Here are some ideas for dealing with them, ideas that can make you feel much better on average days as well.... There are two kinds of bad day. There's the type where, for example, you're 86 and you're having a celebration of sixty years in your job and you end up standing for nearly four hours on a river in horizontal rain and unseasonably cold weather. Without a coat. Then your husband, no doubt as a result, is whisked into hospital with an infection, leaving you to face an evening of Kylie Minogue and friends the following day, and lunch with every last Commonwealth dignitary the day after, alone. Then there's the type where you wake up feeling lousy for no appa