General

Feeling stuck? When you don’t know how to do something

Kyle Maynard was born with a rare condition known as congenital amputation. This has left him with arms that end at the elbows and legs that end near his knees. From a young age he has learnt how to live life independently and without prosthetics. In 2012, Kyle became the first quadruple amputee to climb – actually bearcrawl – the 19,340 feet to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro without the aid of prosthetics. His 10-day ascent was widely covered by the press, followed on social media, and raised money and awareness
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Do you need more sleep?

Russell Foster is a professor of circadian neuroscience at the University of Oxford. In this 22 minute TED talk he very helpfully explains the importance of something we so often take for granted and underestimate the importance of – sleep! Or to put it another way, sleep is the single most important behavioural experience we have. We spend on average 36% of our life sleeping. So for someone living to say the age of 90, they will have spent on average 32 years asleep! When you put it in those
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It took just a change of words

Words are powerful and can have a dramatic effect on our feelings, energy and attitude. To illustrate this, have a look at the introduction to Charles Dickens’ classic book ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ : “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it
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The First Question To Ask Yourself To Thrive And Not Just Survive

In our rapidly changing and complex world, for those fortunate to have the opportunities and skills,  there has never been a better time to develop and grow in your chosen field or profession. However, in many ways this is a double edged sword. The further you rise and develop, the more responsibilities and expectations will come your way. With more opportunities will come more responsibility and more people will look to you for guidance, leadership and direction. Will you have the depth of character and resources to handle that apparent
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When life just doesn’t make sense

Joseph is one of my favourite Bible characters. The story has been well known over the centuries, and more recently was the subject of a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Who was Joseph? He was the favourite son of Jacob. Jacob in turn was the grandson of Abraham, greatly revered in the three great monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Joseph was given the famous multi-coloured coat and also had the ability to interpret dreams. However, he went through a series of unfortunate and undeserved betrayals and tragedies. Joseph
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5 things you can control in an increasingly uncontrollable world

Life is complex and unpredictable. So much happens that is outside of our control. Just in this past week I have had to contend with major organisational changes at work, a gas leak at home with freezing temperatures outside and cataract surgery. On the grand scale of things these are all relatively minor, but each has the capability to unsettle or cause major disquiet,especially if you are something of a control addict like me! There is also so much that happens we don’t expect or takes us by surprise. It
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Podcast #026: The search for happiness

I like to cheekily describe my friend Andy Parnham as a happiness guru. He works part of the week for the charity Livability, that serves people with disabilities, while the rest of the time he acts as an independent wellbeing advisor and coach, running amongst other things, The Happiness Course. This is in a variety of settings, including schools, health centres, companies and the voluntary sector. Do join us on this podcast as Andy and I discuss a subject of relevance to every one of us. We discuss and explore: How
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5 lessons I’ve learnt from burnout

Looking back I have burnt out at least three times in my life. The first two times were at the end of my first and third year at university, studying medicine. The challenges of moving away from home, being out of my depth academically, feeling isolated and alone all gradually took their toll. The third time was around 2009. I was juggling being on the leadership team of a church with all its demands while having a growing family and working as a psychiatrist. It  all became too much for me
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Where do I find the time?

In 2017 where do I find the time to do the things that I tell myself are important to me? All of us know what it feels like to be overwhelmed and rushed. We also all know what it feels like to have time seem to be moving quickly ahead and not getting to that important project or task we know we should be doing. As someone humorously once said, ‘Life is like a toilet roll. The nearer you get to the end the faster it goes, and the more
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Podcast #025: Is there a difficult person in your life?

To be human is to have conflict with other people. You cannot avoid it. Conflict can cause stress, as well as a host of other consequences, such as loss of sleep and even physical illness. But if you’ve had a difficult relationship, you come to realise that just ignoring it is often not the best way to handle it. So how can conflict be a means to growth and getting closer to others rather than being driven further apart? Is that even a possiblity for the difficult relationship in your
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Looking Back With Gratitude on 2016

What a year 2016 has been! Internationally there has been the surprise and for many the shock of the Brexit vote in the UK; the chaos and hardship of the demonetisation of the 500 and 1000 Indian Rupee note and the election of Donald Trump in the United States. Less publicised, but just as significant and probably the most clearly positive event, was the end of the 50 year war in Colombia that has claimed as many as 220,000 lives. So often in our media saturated world there is much that
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The Courage of Christmas

Courage is not usually the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to thinking about Christmas. It is such a feel good time of year, along with a sense of unreality compared to the rest of life. We look forward to the holidays and putting aside the usual worries and concerns. Everyone seems so relaxed and everything for a few days appears to slow down. All over the world, children enact nativity scenes and Father Christmas comes to jolly everyone with presents and good cheer. So what does
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The importance of a good night’s sleep

“If you want to be a billionaire, sleep as little as possible.” Donald Trump. “Sleep is a criminal waste of time. A heritage from our cave days.” Thomas Edison. “Every important mistake I’ve made in my life, I’ve made because I was too tired.” Bill Clinton Sleep. So easy to take for granted, but so essential – especially if you are not getting enough. And yet there is so much bravado and neglect when we think about sleep. Whatever you may think of Donald Trump and Thomas Edison, their opinions
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Podcast #024: Making sense of time

Time. Such an important part of our lives and yet so hard to get a grasp of! We all have the same amount – 168 hours or 10,080 minutes a week or 86, 400 seconds a day. But we all struggle and wrestle with it. On top of that time is such a strange concept to grasp. What do we exactly mean by time and why does it seem to go at such a varying pace during different periods of our life? As someone once said: If you want to
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Daring Greatly

At first glance these seem pretty heavy subjects – vulnerability and shame. Actually they don’t just seem heavy they really are! But please don’t stop reading!  According to Brene Brown in the TED talk below vulnerability and shame also hold the key to living a whole-hearted life – that is a life of courage and authenticity. If you are a regular reader of this blog my hunch is that you too hunger for this.   If courage and authenticity is something you aspire to then please don’t allow your initial
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    This information is for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to be personal medical advice. Please ask your physician about any health guidelines seen in this blog, as everyone is different in his or her medical needs.