The relative size of things

The time we spend thinking about something often doesn’t match its importance in our lives. If we parked all our worries in a line, they would stretch to the horizon. When is the ‘eat by’ date of the yoghurt? Did I use the wrong title on the presentation? Should I smile more at the check-outContinue reading “The relative size of things”

Being a frog in a well

Count the number of times I’ve included Japan in my blog posts and you’d think I was in love with the place. Japan appears every few weeks – here on regrets, here on career advice, this on the power of words, one on having a calling and here on the strength of letting go. I use the word “appearing” as I’m not doingContinue reading “Being a frog in a well”

Why we’re always learning

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” The author of this saying is lost to the mists of time, although it’s routinely attributed to The Buddha, the Chinese text The Confucian Analects, The Theosophics, or even Tao Te Ching (in a longer form): “when the student is ready the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready,Continue reading “Why we’re always learning”

Being lost and also found

Who doesn’t love a horror film? Me actually, but many people do. Why do we snuggle up on the sofa to watch gore? Why do we invite terror into our homes? Isn’t life stressful enough anyway? Christian Jarrett wrote about this in The Psychologist magazine. “Fear coils in your stomach and clutches at your heart. It’s anContinue reading “Being lost and also found”

When life is two sides of the same coin

The expression “two sides of the same coin” refers to things that seem different but are actually related; tragedy and comedy for example or love and hate. According to The Cambridge Dictionary “violent behaviour and deep insecurity are often two sides of the same coin.” The Longman Dictionary has “great opportunity and great danger areContinue reading “When life is two sides of the same coin”

Why I’m better than him, but worse than her

Gaussian Curve is the name of a music trio – an Italian, a Dutchman and a Scot. I’m not starting with a culturally insensitive joke though. The direction I want to take is a mathematical one; the statistical Gaussian Curve from where the band takes its name. A Gaussian Curve describes the normal distribution of things,Continue reading “Why I’m better than him, but worse than her”

Words, schmerds

“’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.” Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll, 1871 Words are funny things. They’re a jumble of letters and sounds which intrinsically don’t mean anything. A few words are onomatopoeiac – the ones that sound like the things theyContinue reading “Words, schmerds”

How to change by not changing at all

Margaret Thatcher was the UK’s Prime Minister from 1979 – 1990. In her party’s October 1980 conference, she said: “You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning!” She was hitting back at those who wanted to force her hand, to get her to change her mind. She stood firm, despite the concernContinue reading “How to change by not changing at all”

Waking up from unmindfulness

Here’s a bit of Greek mythology that I discovered the other day. In Greek legend, Lethe is the River of Unmindfulness, one of five rivers in the Underworld. The river winds around a cave where a character called Hypnos lives and anyone who drinks from Lethe’s waters forgets everything that went before. As is the wayContinue reading “Waking up from unmindfulness”