Insight and advice
Ask people what they want in life and they often say that they want to “be happy”. But why does happiness matter? And how can you achieve happiness?
1. Being happy may help you to be better at your job
Some people dismiss happiness as inconsequential. For example, I’ve heard a few managers say that they don’t really care whether their employees are happy so long as they are performing … Read more
What are your goals right now? I currently have a variety of professional and personal goals about staying in touch with clients, my eating and exercise habits, reading non-fiction books, improving my Cantonese language skills, staying in touch with friends and family, and so on.
A recent research paper in the journal Behavioural Public Policy by social scientists Samuli Reijula at the University of Helsinki and Ralph Hertwig of the … Read more
How are you doing during the pandemic? A few months ago, I wrote about some behaviours that I have personally found useful in terms of maintaining my productivity and psychological well-being.
Here are some other things that I am personally finding helpful in terms of maintaining my mental well-being:
Work while standing up
Prior to the pandemic, I used to spend about an hour or couple of hours travelling – … Read more
How cynical are you? Let’s try to estimate your level of cynicism by considering the extent to which you agree with three statements:
- Generally speaking, you can’t be too careful when dealing with other people.
- Most people would try to take advantage of you if they got the chance.
- People are mostly just looking out for themselves.
The more you agree with those statements, the higher your level of cynicism. … Read more
The UK – like many other countries around the world – is currently in lockdown. As a psychologist, I’m used to working mainly face-to-face with people – coaching people one-on-one, running workshops for a dozen or so people, or giving conference presentations to hundreds of people at a time. Clearly, none of that is possible.
Here are some personal methods that I have found useful for staying productive and managing … Read more
1. Would you like to feel less stressed?
2. Would you like to boost your motivation and get better at achieving your work and life goals?
3. Would you like to lose weight or get physically healthier?
4. Would you like to make better decisions either at work or in life?
5. Would you … Read more
I coach quite a few people who want to find new jobs. I’ve been doing a lot of this recently and it made me think of some of the commonest mistakes I’ve been seeing people make when job hunting.
1. Sending the same CV out to multiple employers
Do you have considerable, directly-relevant experience on your CV? If the answer to that question is ‘yes’, then by all means just … Read more
Want to change your mood or boost your performance?
There’s increasing evidence that the body and mind are tightly connected. Of course we all know that our minds can direct our bodies. But the opposite is also true to a degree: what we do with our bodies can affect our minds – how we feel, how we think and how we perform.
I’ve written before on this body-mind connection, specifically … Read more
What are your goals in life?
New research suggests that most human goals may fall into four broad categories. Researchers led by Benjamin Wilkowski at the University of Wyoming used what’s known as a lexical approach to investigate the structure of goal-related words in the English language.
The researchers initially identified more than 140,000 English nouns; they then asked hundreds of people to rate the extent to which the nouns … Read more
Do you ever feel anxious, moody or depressed? Well, a growing body of evidence suggests that what we eat may have very real effects on our mental health.
A group of scientists recently published the results of a major study in which they monitored the physical and mental health of 15,546 adults over a 10-year period. A team led by Almudena Sanchez-Villegas found that higher levels of added sugars and … Read more
Want to boost your commitment to your goals and achieve more?
Silly question, really. Because I’m sure your answer is “yes”.
Perhaps your biggest goal at the moment is to do with your work – getting a promotion, finding a new job, securing a pay rise, or reducing your stress levels, for instance. Or maybe your main goal is to do with your personal life – finding someone to date, … Read more
It’s worth doing a quick checkup on your career every now and again. Perhaps you have just had a long holiday and a relatively quiet period at work. Or maybe you have had the opposite – a very busy or even stressful period at work. Whenever you feel as if you have either fallen into a rut or need to check how things are going, here are a few quick … Read more
Lots of magazines have question and answer sections in which the magazine asks the same set of questions every issue of different people.
So I thought I would set up my own simple set of questions based around the theme of things that are OUTSTANDING. Then, I will occasionally get interesting people to share some of their insights, too. But in this first instance, I’m going to answer my own … Read more
You know that networking matters. You don’t need me to tell you that again.
I have previously written networking tips for introverts on this site. However, a new journalist recently asked me some different questions about networking, so I thought I would post my answers to her questions in full:
‘Why do so many people hate networking?’
Introverts in particular find it emotionally draining when they have to engage with … Read more
What makes you angry? Perhaps it’s rude or disorganised behaviour by your colleagues at work. Maybe you get angry about bad drivers or friends and family members who repeatedly let you down.
Anger can sometimes be a useful emotion. It can motivate us to speak up or act about injustices and wrongdoing. However, talking and behaving in a very angry fashion can be harmful to us – one study led … Read more
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad advice around online. So I decided I’d debunk four particular myths about success in life.
1. Successful people all get up really early every morning
I often see claims that all millionaires or CEOs or successful people get up incredibly early every day. But I know for a fact that it’s not true. When I was researching a book some years ago, I interviewed … Read more