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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90. Humour - The Best Medicine?

Humour is suffering detached. I read that in a book on Zen Buddhism that I spotted while browsing the bookshelves in a friend's flat. It could easily be the title of the excellent and hilarious book I am currently reading, but it isn't, it's called Provocative Coaching, and it is by Jaap Hollander, a Dutch therapist and coach. Something that characterises our most difficult problems is that they are serious, deadly serious. Being made redundant, relationship splitting up, suspicious lump somewhere, these are serious challenges. It would be a brave coach or therapist that would attempt to help you with such challenges by making a big joke of them. But.... longer term, repetitive, habitu

89. Making Comparisons Work For You

In 2001, Professor Windy Dryden, an eminent cognitive therapist, wrote a book called 'How to make yourself miserable'. I read a few reviews of this book when deciding if I wanted to buy it, and one of them was excoriating. 'This is a dreadful book', wrote the disgruntled reader. 'It tells you how to make yourself dissatisfied and unhappy. Why would anyone want to do that?'. Leaving aside for a moment the fact that this person had sadly missed the point of the book, they nevertheless posed an important question? Why would anyone want to do that? This week's tip explores one of Dryden's top tips for making yourself miserable - comparing yourself to others - why you do it, and how you can tur