Thinking

Podcast #048: Finding meaning and direction

The pace and rate of technological change over the last few decades has been extraordinary. We have the potential to be  and do things faster, better and more efficiently in ways previous generations could never have dreamed possible. But there is also a sense that there has to be something more than just what we see around us. One writer, Tom Wright puts it in terms of four areas of concern in our culture. In these areas just being or doing faster, better or more efficiently is inadequate: – the
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Podcast #046: The problem of longing and wanting more

Longing. Its something we all experience at one time or another, but find so hard to explain or define. On this podcast Andy Parnham and I discuss this “reaching out towards or yearning for something that you can’t describe but which draws you very powerfully with a mixture of joy and sadness.” The writer C. S. Lewis put it even more potently when he called this longing  ‘joy’ and described it as ‘an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction…… anyone who has experienced it will
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Podcast #044 Lasting Happiness

Happiness! Who doesn’t want it? A recent google search on ‘how to be happy’ turned up 626 million results. Compare that to typing in ‘Donald Trump’ and you get 237 million items or ‘Brexit news’ where there is just 90 million! We all want to be happy. But what do we mean by happiness? I can be happy eating an ice cream and I can be happy meeting a long lost friend. But those two experiences are clearly very different. How can I find a happiness that leads to deeper
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How to get out of your head

How do I handle all the overwhelm and the many distractions I find myself having to deal with not just on a daily but even moment-by-moment basis? We have been looking at this 18 minute video by David Allen that gives much wisdom into this increasingly common life challenge: David Allen’s fundamental point is that the best way to deal with feelings of overwhelm is to get everything that is on your mind out of your head into some trustworthy external system. The simple act of writing it down is
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Why feeling overwhelmed can actually be a mind trick

I know that can seem hard to believe – but trust me on this! One of the marks of modern life is the nagging sense of all the things that need to be done. The list never seems to finish and it is so easy to feel overwhelmed and exhausted thinking about all you have to do. But does that have to be the case at all?  This 18 minute TED talk by David Allen gives a helpful perspective on how to deal with the feelings of overwhelm and never-ending
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Are you out of your mind?

That might well seem like a strange question for me to ask, especially as I work as a psychiatrist! It is actually from this 18 minute video by David Allen, who has spent many decades researching how the most productive people use their time in the least stressful way possible. I have been following David Allen’s work for approaching a decade and found his insights enormously helpful. I think you will too. Here are three ways our brains can help or hinder us: David Allen’s first main insight is that
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The Master and His Emissary

You can make a pretty strong case for saying that the human brain is the most complex object in the entire universe. It contains 100 billion nerve cells (called neurones). Each of these neurones contains a vast electrochemical complex and powerful micro-data-processing system. As complex as each cell is it would fit on the head of a pin! And in spite of all the research in the last century there is much we still do not understand. Someone who has thought about this a lot is Iain McGilchrist. He is a
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Podcast #042: What does it take to live a meaningful life?

Dr John Geater is at the time of writing aged 73. He is married to Jane and has three adult children. He is a medical doctor and has worked in Bhutan, New Zealand and in England. In 2006 he received an MBE from the Queen for his work in setting up the postgraduate medical education charity, PRIME (Partnerships in International Medical Education). He has taught holistic medical education in 26 different countries around  the world. Just before Christmas 2017 he was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Do join us in
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When science demonstrates truth is stranger than fiction

It is a commonly held assumption among many people that faith in God is incompatible with a scientific world view. Our largely secular media would have us believe that science and faith in a universal creator God is an irreconcilable contradiction. (See We’re All Materialists Now!).Yet the more closely you examine the evidence the more you realise this does not have to be the case at all. Brian Enderle holds graduate degrees in both science and theology. In this 13 minute TED talk he explains how scientific understanding of the universe
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Why having margin is not just about more time

“I need more time!” How often have you said that to yourself? Its frequently how I feel. So much to do and apparently so little time to do what needs to be done. And yet when I have found myself with more time available, I’ve also found myself too exhausted or distracted to make significant headway with the different projects that I have told myself are important to me. When that happens it is easy to feel guilty or be too hard on oneself. Maybe part of the reason for
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Can the right form of rest actually make you more productive?

Everyone seems agreed that we live in an overwhelming world with far too much to do and too little time to do what needs to be done. With our busy frenetic lifestyles there is always one more email to write, one more phone call to make, or one more task that could be done. Our electronic devices never switch off and we can feel the same way. The more productive I become then the more work I create for myself! I can feel like the proverbial hamster on a wheel going
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Do you need more margin in your life?

So much to do and so little time to do it! That seems like the cry and experience of our day and age. With such an explosion of choice there is no limit it seems to what I can, have, do and fill my time with. But where do I put the limits? Should there be limits? How do I decide what is really important or trivial? What should I do now or leave for another day or time? That is why the concept of margin is so vital. For
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The power of the right question

I now suspect it was bound to happen sooner or later. I was recently on a skiing holiday and managed to break a bone in my left arm. As I write this I am plastered up with a sling and can just about type with a single finger! At this point it would be so easy to get frustrated and disappointed with life, myself and the universe. I could ask myself questions like, “Why am I such a bad skier? Why did I allow myself to go on that slope?
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How to get better at almost anything

This short 5 minute video helpfully illustrates what is needed to get better at practically any skill. While the focus is on physical activities such as playing an instrument or throwing a ball, the same principles are assumed to apply to any field of endeavour you might want to get better at. In a fast changing and increasingly complex world the need to learn new skills and to be able to get better is vital if not essential. Hence practice becomes very important if we are going to improve in
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Everybody dies but not everybody lives

This 6 minute video by Prince Ea, who is an American spoken word artist, poet, rapper and filmmaker makes some challenging points about what it means to live life with purpose and passion. His entertaining style and vivid imagery challenge us to think deeply about living life with a higher and greater perspective than what we may necessarily see in front of us or how we feel about ourselves. He emphasises the dangers of living with regret for not having been more appropriately ambitious, or without courage and living instead with
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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.