Wednesday, 13 December 2006

The Enemies of Reason

I am really looking forward to Richard Dawkins' programme this evening, the Enemies of Reason. Richard Dawkins is a bit of a hero of mine, as The Selfish Gene is, I think, the best science book I have ever read.

However, I have an uneasy relationship with him, as I do all of my heroes. These doubts are twofold:
1. I don’t actually hate religion as I know that my Mum effectively owes her life to it. He attacks religion with such relish that, whilst I basically agree with him, it makes me uneasy.
2. For all the evidence he will pile up this evening against ‘new age therapies’ there is a nagging feeling in me that knows that even science cannot explain everything. The scientific method is itself flawed, as anyone who has ever studied statistics will testify.

I think the area I can wholeheartedly agree with Dawkins is the area of funding. The NHS should not be supporting anything that cannot be empirically tested, after all, this seems the only ‘proper’ test of efficacy. Leaving the issue of funding aside, I share the same doubts about horoscopes and inviting angels to sit on your shoulder as Dawkins.

But a nagging doubt remains: if those same angels offer one crumb of comfort to one dying person, who am I to argue?

Friday, 6 October 2006

Presence brings luck

It's funny, but since finding a new direction in life, I've been luckier.

At work, people are approaching me with new projects which, if I weren't already leaving, I'd be really quite excited about. As it is, I'm just excited to be asked. I'm actually almost happy at work at the moment.

What is it that attracts this sort of thing? It's like when a cat heads to sit on the knee of the person who is making the least effort for it to do so.

Do I look different as well as feel different? Or is it that my new, nonchalant attitude somehow attracts people, like a film star at a bar? Yes, maybe I've suddenly become the paragon of cool at work.

My best mate swears that he is making his stellar career in investment banking (he works at Goldman Sachs) mainly by saying 'I've only been in the job for (insert time) - I can't be expected to know that sort of thing' all the time.

I watched a film last night, Office Space. The less the guy cared about the career which he hated, the more successful he got.

There's a lesson here somewhere, but what?

Saturday, 5 August 2006

Performing with presence

I went on this course in the week, 'Performing with Presence' at Maynard Leigh.

I went not as the management consultant which I still am, but as the co-founder of Bloom Psychology, which technically does not yet exist but there we go.

It was an interesting experience, like trying on garish new clothes and seeing if anyone notices me, or laughs at the imposter.

But no one did notice, and no one laughed. (Except when I wanted them to of course).

But instead everyone was warm and supportive and incredibly positive about Bloom. We did an exercise where people provided their impressions and amongst mine were (repeatedly) 'successful'.

It seems when you have something you're passionate about, you sort of radiate success.

It's nice to have that feeling back, as it's been a while.


Are routines good or bad?

After all, routines help us cope with the relentless assualt of information which comes our way, and are necessary to allow us to fit everything in, aren't they?

Or do routines kill us? By sticking to a routine, am I living a half life, devoid of inspiration, proper feeling, proper consciousness?

Tuesday, 18 July 2006

Does it have to be like this?

I've returned to work after some time out to study. One of the most depressing aspects is going to work in one of these business parks. You essentially have to drive there in a car because usually they can only be found in the middle of a large field.

I don't have a car, so at the end of my 2 hour commute I have a 30 minute walk across a field. I'm enjoying it, as you can imagine.

As I sit on the train, I pass the commuters. Those people, standing on platforms for day after day, year after year.

Does it have to be like this? Sould we be grateful that we aren't starving and that our children are healthy? Or worried that we waste our lives waiting for the 07:52 from Brighton, day after day?

This is a genuine question, as I have not (yet) been brave enough to do anything else either.

Saturday, 15 July 2006

A beginning...

Sitting at my desk on a wet Sunday in London in July I am thinking about how to start a new blog.
I know what I want to do in this blog, the sort of things I want to talk about. They are the things that interest me, that have helped me, that constitute my new direction in life. These things are psychology, the science of well-being, career change, counselling, running and other related thoughts and issues which affect our ability to be happy.
I know the style in which I want to blog, too. I want to be full and frank, open and inquisitive. I want to pose and debate questions which affect a lot of us. I want to be light-hearted at the same time because otherwise I may come across as a strange evangelical.
And evangelical I am not. (Strange possibly).
So how to start this blog? The first thing that I have found to be useful when faced with problems from being unable to make a decision: do something. Anything. Take action. Any action.
See, I’ve started it. Now we’re underway.
Who knows where this will lead, but I hope it will be interesting and worth reading.