Why my jockey is lost…

After some time away I have returned to Existentialism. I guess when working life is getting the better part of you, it pays to focus on the things under your own control – your mind, how you spend your free time and where you focus your attention. And this is a key aspect of Existentialism, … Continue reading Why my jockey is lost…

Maximus

“Of all people only those are at leisure who make time for philosophy, only they truly live.” “Not satisfied to merely keep good watch over their own days, they annex every age to their own. All the harvest of the past is added to their store.” “Only an ingrate would fail to see that these … Continue reading Maximus

Diced Relevant-Complexity

Having codified it three years ago, I amply proved the central premise of relevantcomplexity.com: “But then, subtly and imperceptibly, sometimes even the things we once enjoyed the most, tail off into familiarity, boredom and ennui.” I got bored of it. Thanks goodness for Sonja Lyubomorsky… in the ‘How of Happiness‘ (which is also a website … Continue reading Diced Relevant-Complexity

War and Peace

Two good books came to my aid this week – ‘Fierce Conversations’ and ‘The Anatomy of Peace’. The first argues persuasively that there isn’t a relationship you can’t improve (or set back) with your next conversation.  The thesis is that the conversation is the relationship – and you’re relationship only as good as the conversation you’re … Continue reading War and Peace

Never Mind the B%llocks

I found myself swearing a lot this week – a sure sign I’ve been depleting my modest ego. Self-control carries a cognitive cost: the more you soak up the more you get p155ed off. There were good bits, but also plenty of b%llocks. According to the Broadcasting Standards Commission the relative severity of the various … Continue reading Never Mind the B%llocks

Inner Disposition

Twice this week I made myself feel a lot better by acting to adjust my ‘inner disposition’. Before Christmas I read the Stoic Epictetus’s ‘Handbook’. The translator and expert guide Keith Seddon has produced a simple summary of Stoicism in a flow diagram (above). In the centre is ‘adjusting one’s inner disposition’ which reduces ‘wrong … Continue reading Inner Disposition

Playing to win

I’ve been thinking recently about how to ‘be’ at work. Not everything – or everyone – is easy to get along with. Working life has many pressures and frustrations. I’ve often worked too long or too hard in my working life and sometimes got cross, spiky and brittle because of it. So looking after myself … Continue reading Playing to win

Indignity

Life is full of indignities, small and large. I, like most people, am easily persuaded that life’s indignities have been targeted at me by some malign intent. Human beings are programmed to look for causation. It’s a key survival skill. The moment you move beyond blind instinct, learning from your mistakes and finding patterns and … Continue reading Indignity

The Fridge Door

I read a top neuroscientist’s suggestion last night that our capacity to understand how the human brain works may ultimately be limited by the capacity of our nervous system. This reminds me of a thought I had when studying philosophy of mind at Oxford: if our brain was simple enough to understand we’d probably be … Continue reading The Fridge Door