Showing posts from June, 2017

COMMITMENT - The Grass Is Greener Where You Water It

The Grass is Greener Where You Water It Recently I was staying at a monastery .  I sought spiritual direction from one of the monks and during our time together I discussed some of the things that I was thinking about. He began to speak to me about the importance of faithfulness within the commitments that I had made. Commitments in marriage , commitments to my children , to my church , to my career . As he spoke it reminded me of the quote above that I had read a few weeks earlier. It is relevant in so many circumstances. In our relationships, our careers, our geographical location. As humans we are terrible at judging where we currently are – we take so much for granted – and it isn’t till it is gone that we realise just how good it was. This is where we get the concept of the grass is greener on the other side . We look at everyone around us and think “they have a nicer car than I do”, or a better job, or more happiness etc. Wherever You Go, There You Are

BEHAVIOUR - Why We Do What We Do, And What To Do About It

Saint Paul famously said in his letter to the church in Rome: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15) Thanks to developments in Psychology and Neuro-science we are able to say with more certainty why we do the things that we do (and equally, why we do the things that we don’t want to do). One of the core models for understanding behaviour is Fogg’s Behaviour Model . As illustrated below: The diagram shows how three factors are needed for a behaviour to occur: Motivation – How much do we want to do the behaviour. Our motivation can be split into 3 categories: Sensation, anticipation, belonging. These three motivators can then be split further: Sensation : Pleasure / Pain Anticipation : Hope / Fear Belonging : Social rejection / Social acceptance. Ability (also called simplicity) - How easy or hard is it for us to do the behaviour. These can be split into 6 factors: Time Money Physic

HAPPINESS – How To Find It (And How Not To Find It)

Many view the pursuit of happiness to be synonymous with the pursuit of pleasure and wealth . We have all heard Howard Hughes-esque stories of rich successful people who had everything that they wanted except happiness. Research suggests that wealth is indeed important – to a certain degree. To constantly be worried about whether you are going to be able to afford to feed your children or pay your rent is certainly not a path to happiness. But what the research found is that once you have enough money to alleviate the basic pressures of life, adding any more on top of that will not lead to happiness. Equally a pursuit of pleasure, as epitomised by Aleister Crowley’s ‘do what thou wilst’, does not lead to happiness. John Stuart Mill , the famous utilitarian philosopher who argued for a pure pursuit of happiness nearing the end of his life said this: “ I never, indeed, wavered in the conviction that happiness is the test of all rules of conduct, and the en

VALUES - Why Knowing Your Values Will Change Your Life

Your values are those things that you hold dear.  They can be assessed by where we place our time , our money , our efforts and resources .  For some this is family , friends or helping people , for others it is the pursuit of knowledge , learning and growing , still for others it is the pursuit of material gains or power and prestige . Before we look at how knowing our values will change our life, let us look at how it has shaped others by looking at a large societal issue: The difference in educational achievement between minority groups and non-minority groups . Researchers at Stanford University had minority students complete value affirmations within critical points of the school year (beginning, prior to a test, and near the holiday season) – this involved writing about what they valued i.e. family relationships, friendships etc. Whilst a control group wrote about other things, such as daily routines. They followed the academic results of these children