The One Thing You Need To Do To Improve Your Life Instantly

Boxing Gloves

Give a man a fish and he’ll feed himself for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll feed himself forever. Or so the saying goes. It’s probably true, but who really knows? Fish can be damned smart. Particularly the ones that have been caught before.

Here’s a saying which I know is absolutely true:

Give someone five minutes with nothing to do but think and they’ll find a way to beat themselves up about something, no matter how small or trivial.

It’s a sentence or thought that starts with the words If only I hadn’t

… said that, done the other, been mean about Rachel’s new hairstyle, bought that dress, maxed out my credit card, asked out the guy/girl in the Costa queue on an irrational impulse, inhaled an entire packet of Hobnobs in a single sitting, been quite so unkind to my mother, jumped to that conclusion about Dawn Smith when we were ten, poked the cat with a stick, got back with her / him for the 30th time, thought bad things about that woman before I knew she had cancer, turned down that job promotion, frittered away my teens … the list is endlessly long.

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When The Solution Has Become The Problem

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Whether your view of human history is founded on Darwinism or doctrine, a common factor of man’s existence on Earth has been his almost obsessive need to fit in with his environment.

As social animals designed to co-exist in group, we are defined by elements that are as diverse as they are disparate. Blood, money, breeding, interest, appearance, education, profession and more are all part of our individual social DNA and determine our physical and mental behaviours.

And when we can’t fit in, two things generally happen. Either we modify our own behaviours to become more like the group we want to belong to; or we seek to mask our social discomfort by finding a different focus.

Sometimes that can be harmless. Often, it’s quite the opposite. Welcome to addiction.

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A Word On Defence Mechanisms…..

A Word On Defence Mechanisms

As children we are sensitive, vulnerable and dependent on others for our survival and well being.

Sometimes contact with our caregivers and with the outside world wounds us or fails to meet our needs. To cope with the painful or the unbearable we build defences that make our lives more bearable and thus help us to survive. These defences then stay with us and become parts of our personality structures so that we continue to meet the world with those same defences in place. But those defences may no longer be necessary. And the walls we have built often keep us from contact (with others and with our selves) and from living fully. Problems of today were often once solutions to problems in the past. For example being angry may have been a source of attention when you were younger, and it may well be the source of attention now …. but is it the right attention when you are an adult, is it benefiting you in the same way? Most of you will find that what was once a solution to a problem is now the problem.

To dismantle these defences we need first to appreciate how important they were in protecting us when we needed them and then to be willing allow ourselves, slowly and carefully, to become vulnerable again.

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Additional Credits

Video by Weeks360.

Photography by Liz Bishop Photography.

Production by Mark Norman at Little Joe Media and Joanne Brooks.

Hair by Jonny Albutt.

Make up by Olly Fisk and Nabeel Hussain.