Are good intentions enough?

‘Effort and intention are up to us, whereas results depend on the precarious outside world’

Should we have pets?

‘At best, the pet-human relationship is a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship’

Do we need props?

‘The main issue is whether gadgets and apps help us to run our lives or whether we allow ourselves to be ruled by them’

Illustration of a mother and child by Laura Carlin
©Laura Carlin

What do we owe our parents?

We want to both pay our debt to our parents and lash out for the baggage they’ve bequeathed us

Should we meditate?

In terms of health, meditation is lodging itself firmly alongside your five-a-day and physical exercise

Should you show you care?

‘There are sometimes good reasons why feelings do not result in clear expressions of love’

Are we in denial?

How many of our most cherished beliefs are strongly immune from evidence?

What is comfort?

‘There is a reason why one of the oldest soap opera clichés is to put the kettle on’

Should we seek material security?

‘Instead of chasing chimeras, we should learn to come to terms with life’s fundamental insecurity’

©Laura Carlin

Where does motivation come from?

You can discover your motivation by simply noticing what you are inclined to do or what you find yourself doing

Should we cultivate resilience?

If you find yourself drawing on your resilience a lot, then you ought to ask yourself why you keep hitting the floor

Best of 2014 - Should we stop moaning?

There is something therapeutic about having a mutual moan – ‘mutual’ being the operative word here

Best of 2014 - Do you suffer from Fear Of Missing Out?

What a relief it is to realise that it’s actually OK to miss out sometimes

What’s the problem with anger?

The more a machine is designed to look as though it’s trying to help, the more angry we get when it lets us down

How should we present ourselves?

We feel we have to blow our own trumpet for fear of being perceived as negative and lacking in self-esteem

How gloomy should we be?

‘Yes, there is a lot to be disheartened about, but that doesn’t mean we have to forgo what happiness comes our way’

Do we need hobbies?

The things that matter most are appreciated for what they are, not for where they lead

Where should we draw the line?

It’s too demanding for most people to think things through clearly when they are in the grip of a powerful desire

Is it OK not to have an opinion?

Having fixed opinions on subjects we know little about can be a problem

Is the whole really greater than the sum of its parts?

‘While we can easily take individual problems in our stride, when they exceed a certain load it can all become too much’

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