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Understanding the set-up and what you can do about it

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

‘Ullo John, gotta new motor?

Selling and buying cars does not rank very highly on my ‘fun things to do’ list. I find it all very tedious and if I’m honest, stressful. I acknowledge this is not helpful self-talk. My car recently developed a fault. A big fault and because of its age and mileage, it wasn’t worth getting it fixed. Our options – sell it privately but I couldn’t face the tyre kickers, nor someone nice buying it and then something even worse happening to the car. Part-ex with a car dealer isn’t always the best plan either because they just do that thing when they walk round the car appraising it, when they rub their chin, point out the defects and then give with one hand and take with another when you get down to talking turkey.

So, we went to that place where they always buy your car. Having done some research, we think we did quite well as it goes, so that...

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Why our success perhaps doesn’t start with passion

What lies at the heart of our motivation?

There’s a theory that building a career around your passion just doesn’t cut the mustard. It’s more a case of focusing on your skills and the passion develops from there…

Cal Newport is Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. and he believes what you do for a living is less important than how you do it. His advice is to concentrate on building your career capital i.e. rare and invaluable skills and knowledge, through a process of ‘deliberate practice’; over time, as you continue to focus and systematically do your work – any work that interests you - with passion, you will excel in your field and can use your career capital as leverage to build the kind of lifestyle that matters to you.

Newport gives the example of Steve Jobs and a famous quote taken from an address he once gave: “You’ve got to find what you love… If you...

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How your thinking affects stress

The word ‘stress’ is bandied around a lot – some people use it informally to perhaps describe a time when they have a lot to do – they’re busy and maybe concerned about how they’ll get it all done; others will use the word when they feel everything is closing in on them and are in a state of high anxiety. It’s all relative and who are we to make judgements about how one person’s stress compares to another’s and the effect it can have? 

It’s very important to consider our mindset when we’re feeling like things are getting too much and to remember the brain cannot be in an open and resourceful state when we’re panicking, feeling like there’s no way out. The important thing is not to co-exist with these problems but to find ways of consciously helping yourself, whilst also recognising that seeking help and advice may also be beneficial.

Severe and clinical depression requires counselling, medication or a...

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