I’ll Make It

Sunday 6 October, 2013

Disembarking from a rush-hour train and racing to catch my connection, my haste dissolved in an instant – first mentally, then physically – as the thought expressed itself that, ‘I’ll make it.‘ In and of itself, this is unspectacular, but for someone whose default position is more concerned with what might go wrong specifically, or just that, generally, something will go wrong, it represents a departure from the norm. My cautionary, nay negative, attitude is such an automatic position that I barely notice it, but on this particular morning it was replaced with ease. The thought came naturally, I relaxed, and then another thought came: ‘Even if I don’t, I’ll be fine‘. And I relaxed even further.

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Switching To Manual

Thursday 27 June, 2013

It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that changing our patterns and habits can seem an arduous undertaking. It feels awkward and unnatural. And it’s tiring. But that is only because we are having to resort to manual techniques in order to make it possible. In any walk of life, the switch from automatic to manual is a frustrating one because automatic, by definition, requires no thought and minimal effort. Manual, on the other hand, is slow and cumbersome. To begin with, at least.

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An Unconscious Strategy

Tuesday 21 May, 2013

Nature is exquisitely and ingeniously lazy. She builds strategies into life in order to simplify her work. Brilliant really, because once those strategies are in place, nature is able to relax and enjoy the show as the beauty and complexity of life unfolds. Natural selection – the process by which organisms best adapted to their environment are the ones most likely to survive and reproduce – is perhaps her greatest achievement. But in a finite world, the success of natural selection hinges on one strategy in particular, without which the progression of life towards ever more complex organisms would not be possible: competition.

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Confidence & Self-Belief

Wednesday 16 January, 2013

Confidence is vital. In sport any competitor with confidence in their abilities will excel. In social situations it is a prized asset which allows those who possess it to move freely and comfortably from one interaction to another. And in business and politics it can be a highly persuasive attribute used to inspire or, sadly, to deceive. (The word con is an abbreviation of confidence.)

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Genes, Memes & Then What?

Wednesday 17 October, 2012

There are good reasons why we are all different. For a start, we have to be. Aside from the ‘wouldn’t the world be dull if we were all the same argument, evolution – the effects of environment on genetic variation – would simply have nothing to work with if there were no variation. Only through diversity does a species have any chance of coping with the powerful impact of its habitat. Indeed, in nature, those two factors – genes and environment – along with behaviour, dictate a species’ chances of survival and the course of its development. But there is one species which has found a way to lay a veneer over those factors and steer its development in any direction it chooses.

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Acknowledging Our Nature

Tuesday 31 July, 2012

We are not perfect. Far from it. We are able to love, create and nurture but we can also hate, neglect and destroy. When I witness human kindness I am deeply touched. Conversely, when I experience malice I feel dispirited. It is naïve to think we can keep the good and rid ourselves of the bad, but there is something we can do to improve humanity. We can acknowledge our nature. Acknowledge who we are.

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It’s Easier To Look At Yourself

Saturday 2 June, 2012

Of the seven billion people who live on our planet, there are at least one billion (conservative estimate) who have the capacity to annoy me very easily. So here’s a question: do I a) spend my energy trying to change their behaviour in order to reduce the chance of annoyance; or b) find a way of just not getting annoyed?

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There’s A Choice To Be Made

Saturday 7 April, 2012

Without awareness much of our behaviour occurs automatically, unconsciously. When that happens we surrender control of our lives to our conditioning and to the patterns of behaviour which have been our companions for so long. There is, however, an alternative. In the everyday situations in which we find ourselves – whether real or assumed – we always have a choice of how to act, react, behave, think and speak. We are able to choose how to be.

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Thoughts on Conditioning

Tuesday 6 December, 2011

Nearly all of us have experienced it. Some of us are in too much of a hurry to notice it. Of those who do become aware of it, a number dismiss it as being a little strange and think nothing more of it. But there is more to it. It is a testament to the power of conditioning and is known as the broken escalator phenomenon.

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Passive Aggressive

Friday 20 June, 2003

Tired but buoyed by last night’s achievements and not too annoyed by Simran’s presence. Talking to him is an easier option than withdrawing and being resentful.

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Monthly Feedback – October 2002

Thursday 31 October, 2002

Karaj’s feedback to me for October:

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A Reminder Of First Principles

Tuesday 8 October, 2002

Too tired to exercise and no motivation to exercise either. Began to get a headache with all the different jobs going round in my head. (1) Wrote a to-do list to empty my head, and created enough space to get on with work. I began sorting out my outstanding appraisal documents for Karaj. He told me yesterday that I have been neglected recently (regarding the appraisals) and that this is mostly my own fault. I need to start (2) putting myself first more.

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Behaving Like a Child

Sunday 3 March, 2002

Newsletter 10. Having been unable to complete the newsletter during the week we worked hard all day to meet a very tight deadline – one which caused my script to rear up to something approaching its full height, such that I was unable to put any of the procedures into practice which help me deal with my script.

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Take Charge

Friday 1 March, 2002

07.20 E&M 40 mins. Feeling very tired today and not really with it. We were all given a lesson in taking charge this morning when the latest set of boards were delivered. All three of us, Sunil, Robert and myself, showed our subservience once again as we waited for Karaj to issue instructions. Take charge.

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