Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pascal's thoughts about inactivity

Nothing is so insufferable to man as to be completely at rest, withoutpassions, without business, without diversion, without effort. Then he feels his nothingness, his forlornness, his insufficiency, his weakness,his emptiness. 

(Pascal, The Pensees, 1660/1950, p. 57).              

David Brent on the Meaning of Life

I never thought I would quote David Brent approvingly on these pages, but here goes.

A philosopher once wrote you need three things to have a good life. One, a meaningful relationship, two, a decent job of work, and three, to make a difference. And it was always that third one that stressed me, to make a difference. And I realize that I do. Every day, we all do. It's how we interact, with our fellow man."

Not sure who the philosopher was, but Freud is attributed as saying  that mental health means the ability "to love and to work"  

(from The UK version of The Office starring Ricky Gervais)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

David Hume on how to stop overthinking

Most fortunately it happens, that since reason is incapable of dispelling these clouds, nature herself suffices to that purpose, and cures me of this philosophical melancholy and delirium, either by relaxing this bent of mind, or by some avocation, and lively impression of my senses, which obliterate all these chimeras. I dine, I play a game of backgammon, I converse, and am merry with my friends; and when after three or four hours' amusement, I would return to these speculations, they appear so cold, and strained, and ridiculous, that I cannot find in my heart to enter into them any farther.

From David Hume's Treatise on Human Nature

Saturday, September 07, 2013

William Glasser's key question

'What are you going to do about your life, beginning today?' "

Glasser was the creator of Reality Therapy -he died aged 88 in Sept 2013

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Zig Ziglar on the importance of goals

 People don't tend to wander around and then suddenly find themselves at the top of Mount Everest.  Zig Ziglar (motivational speaker)

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Psychologist David Lykken on how we can change our happiness level

 If we let our personal genetic steersman have his way, we shall tend to follow a course laid down for us in our DNA. But if much of what is inherited consists of behaviour tendencies that can be resisted, modified and shaped, there is a real possibility for intervention, for countermanding the genetic steersman.

Particularly interesting as Lykken (and Tellegen) are often quoted as saying
 "trying to be happier [may be] as futile as trying to be taller"

(Lykken D, Tellegen A. Happiness is a stochastic phenomenon. Psychological Science. 1996;7:186–189.)