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They used to think that running a mile in just four minutes was impossible.    Then a guy called Roger Bannister did it. Then everyone was doing it.    They used to think that travelling to the moon was impossible.    Barring some skeptics, it is now ridiculous to think the opposite.    Jesus of Nazareth asked his heavenly father to forgive the people who brutally crucified him, and Nelson Mandela left prison after almost thirty years with a will to work rather than bitterness.    An Austrian psychotherapist.    An Austrian psychotherapist who was taken to multiple concentration camps during WWII lost his parents, brother and wife in the process, as

I’ve talked about this idea before, but let’s be clear.    A lot of those things you call goals, a lot of your desires are simply heavy, leaky jars. ‘Leaky’ because as Liam Hounsell puts it, you keep trying to fill them but they don’t stay full.    ‘Heavy’ because they take huge energy to carry, to lug around. As such, they burden your existence.    Take the young man who desperately wants to be a famous business CEO.  By holding up such a goal, the boy immediately becomes less than his ideal self. From the outset, he is doomed. All due to his perspective, he must

The Law of Cooling When you take a hot bowl of water out of the oven and sit it on the counter, thanks to the law of cooling, it will eventually adjust to the temperature of the room. The room temperature becomes the temperature of the bowl, and not the other way around.  The culture and the environment are always more powerful than the individual. We always fall back to the bare minimum systems we have in place.   But what is the source? But when you place that water in the stove and light the gas, the water will heat up, and irrespective of

The Mirror of Erised is a magical mirror from the Harry Potter series of books and films. You can familiarise yourself here.    It does not simply show one their reflection.    Harry’s friend, Ronald Weasley, looks into the Mirror and sees himself achieving sporting and leadership glory at their school, clearly jealous of his older, high-achieving brothers.    Harry on the other hand sees his parents, who died protecting him when he was young, standing beside him. The two can’t make sense of their differing visions.    It takes the intervention of the wise school Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, to fill Harry in on the mirror’s magic; the

You are used to looking at some people as disabled and others, maybe you, as ‘abled’.    You are used to looking at these people as black, and these people as white.    You are used to thinking that you are not good at sports, but are good at reading books.    You are used to thinking that he is a failure, and that she is a success.    You are used to thinking of people from Africa as poor, and people from Western countries as rich.    You are used to thinking of the world in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’, and that you are either good at things,

How does one run an Apocalypse Test?    One simply imagines that tomorrow the apocalypse begins - this is an event of catastrophic destruction which interrupts most or all social systems.    We run the hypothetical Apocalypse Test to ask ourselves what still matters when everything we’ve taken for granted is threatened and interrupted.    Things that do not pass the Apocalypse Test.    Social media followers no longer matter, because our digital systems have fallen.    The stock market no longer exists. Your ownership of your assets is now contestable - you will struggle to defend your claim to a single deed of land, as the deeds you signed

It is rare that you get sadder once you step out into nature on your own. It is rare that your mood lowers. Have you ever tested your ability to be alone? Not lonely, but alone. Remember the difference? Because not all time spent on one’s own is painful. As Anthony De Mello once said, "Loneliness is not cured by human company. Loneliness is cured by contact with reality." And to him, reality meant dropping one’s illusions, the distorted way we see the world. Other people can be fruits and treats - the finer things in life that we constantly enjoy, but

Imagine your life one year from now.   You cannot be certain that you’ll have more money than you do now. Incomes rise and fall, markets change overnight, and you never know what is lurking around the corner. Your job can go, the banking system can collapse, and everything you’ve saved and worked hard for can be wiped away in an instant. And you may be sufficiently diversified. You may listen to Ray Dalio, you may have a few piles of gold, and your fat-bellied, horn-rimmed glasses-wearing financial advisor might tell you at your appointments that everything is in order. But even

Turn the clock back a few centuries and it was normal to believe the world was flat. It was also normal for the majority of your children not to live past the age of five. Normal is not necessarily good, and certainly doesn’t always equate to good enough.   Tell Me Why I Don’t Like Mondays Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats made the famous song, Tell Me Why I Don’t Like Mondays in 1979, about the Cleveland Elementary School Shooting in San Diego by Brenda Spencer. When asked why she carried out the shooting, Spencer is reported to have answered

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