How do we live with our mistakes?

‘We usually agonise more over the mistakes we know we have made than the bigger ones we might have made’

Can we lead a fulfilling life without children?

‘A genuine mistake is the idea that anything can complete a life and make it full’

Who’s responsible for our happiness?

‘The obligation of the state is to protect and enable citizens’ right to pursue happiness, not to make sure they find it’

Should we come to terms with death?

‘Living with an awareness of death doesn’t have to imply gloomily dwelling on it all the time’

Why aren’t tea towels enough?

‘Inspirational quotes on mugs and tea towels do offer wisdom, but the insight is here today and gone tomorrow’

Should we collect memories?

‘Meaningful experiences don’t leave us with nothing — they give us memories that can bring emotional succour for years to come’

Should we change ourselves or the world?

‘It’s important to understand why you’re finding an aspect of life difficult but equally crucial to try and change the situation’

How do we choose our guides?

‘Give someone good advice and they’ll make a good choice today, teach them how to make good choices and they’ll keep on making them’

Should we stress about stress?

‘If we think of stress as a prelude to a heart attack, we’re likely to suffer worse consequences than if we see it as a healthy sign’

Can we get used to anything?

‘We all have a set point of happiness or unhappiness we revert to after the first flush of change has died down’

Which great thinker is most relevant today?

‘We need someone who understands why we ought to be sceptical and who can help us not just survive but thrive on our doubt’

Should we avoid distraction?

‘I often find people who monomaniacally keep their focus on one thing quite disturbing’

Can we be too secure?

‘We have to accept that what we believe might be false, what we take to be most real might be an illusion’

Should we strike a balance?

‘Sometimes what is needed is not balance but someone really to rock the boat’

How can we be content in a world full of choice?

We waste too many hours comparing the options on smartphones or computers, for marginal benefit, if any

When should we say no?

‘The greatest injustices in history have persisted because not enough people were willing to say no to the status quo’

Is confusion good?

‘There is something attractive about the idea of embracing life’s mysteries but there is nothing appealing about discombobulation’

Should we invite the unwelcome?

‘Our natural tendency is to focus on what fits our world view and ignore what doesn’t’

How should we look after ourselves?

‘“Go on, you deserve it,” we’re told, only to be ticked off for having splurged too much’

Are you selfish?

‘Selfishness in genes is not the same as selfishness in the whole human being’

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