Author Archives: Mr Bashful

If you are young . . .

. . . this book is for you. It’s to tell you things I wish my sister and I had known when we were young. It’s a  pre-self-help book, designed to help you not become anxious in the first place. … Continue reading

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What is happiness?

Being happy is not about living ‘life’s spectacular journey’. Nor is it about avoiding pain. A happy person feels all the dark emotions: anger, fear, sadness, grief . . . They’re just not broken by them.   There are two … Continue reading

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How did happiness evolve?

It is hard to speak of evolution without inadvertently attributing to it intent. I might say, ‘beetles evolved to fly’, which sounds like the beetles had a choice in the matter. Of course they didn’t. Or, I might say, ‘evolution … Continue reading

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Getting the balance right.

Every day we experience fears: the fear of failure, of rejection, of looking stupid, the fear that our dinner will get cold . . .  We have a myriad of fears. We can reduce those fears by developing the belief … Continue reading

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Should we even seek happiness?

Q. ‘Who wants to be a grinning idiot with no real substance?’ Being happy is not about being a grinning idiot. Happy people still suffer; they still feel all the dark emotions – hurt, anger, fear, sadness . . . … Continue reading

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The difference between stoicism and resilience

Let us not confuse resilience with stoicism, or toughness.      A resilient person might endure hardship, but will recover. That’s what resilience means: having the capacity to recover from hardship. Resilient people might express their pain by talking about … Continue reading

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What are you thinking? What are you feeling?

Some of us grow up with mixed messages: our parents tell us what we are feeling, or should be feeling, instead of allowing us to experience what we are actually feeling. Tell a child they’re happy, or grateful, when they’re not, and they’ll … Continue reading

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Label it. And be specific!

I once invited someone to dinner. I prepared the food and by 7pm everything was ready. By 7.30pm she hadn’t arrived, so I rang her.   ‘Didn’t you get my email?’ she asked me. ‘I sent it this morning.’   … Continue reading

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Distinguish between your thoughts and feelings.

Years ago, when I was visiting my uncle Geoff at his farm in Korumburra, he casually asked, ’Mark, how do you feel about circus lions being kept in cages?’          I answered, ‘It’s cruel, it’s wrong, it … Continue reading

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What presses your button?

Rolf was a road-rager. One time, when a car in front of him had stopped at the lights, Rolf got out of his car and rapped on the driver’s window, screaming. Fortunately for Rolf the incident did not lead to … Continue reading

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