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LATEST ADDITIONS TO THE BOOK OF LIFE

  • The Importance of Flattery

    Flattery has a bad name. It’s associated with saying something upbeat but untrue in order to hoodwink its unsuspecting target for low personal gain. In Aesop’s famous fable, The Fox and the Crow, an ugly crow has found a piece of cheese and retired to a branch to eat it. A sly fox, wanting it for himself, flatters the crow, calling it beautiful and wondering whether its voice will be as sweet as its appearance. The crow lets out a horrific screeching sound and640px-Brasilia_Congresso_Nacional_05_2007_221
  • How to Argue in Relationships

    Arguments in relationships are typically so regrettable and often so bitter, it’s natural to hope we might - with greater maturity - overcome them once and for all. But given what human nature is like, it would be unwise to make this our goal: the hope can’t be to eliminate arguments altogether, it should be to try to find our way to a better kind of argument. Arguments tend to start when we are confronted - usually rather suddenly - by what appears to us to
  • How to Narrate Your Life Story

    At moments of sorrow and exhaustion, it is only too easy to look back over the years and feel that our lives have, in essence, been meaningless. We take stock of just how much has gone wrong: how many errors there have been; how many unfulfilled plans and frustrated dreams we’ve had. We may feel like the distraught, damned Macbeth who, on learning of his wife’s death, exclaims at a pitch of agony that man is a cursed creature who: ...struts and frets his608px-Orson_Welles_as_Macbeth
  • How to Be a Good Teacher

    A discussion of how to be a good teacher sounds a little narrow - and probably not very relevant to most of us. Few of us want to be a school teacher, instructing children in some narrow academic subject or other, which is what we overwhelmingly associate with the word ‘teacher’, the person in a rather frayed jacket in front of the class, the type who bored us rigid for long stretches of our early years. However, teaching is far from being something that we784px-Jan_Vermeer_van_Delft_014
  • How to Live More Wisely Around Our Phones

    Introduction The dark truth is that it’s become very hard to find anyone (and certainly anything) more interesting than one’s smartphone. This perplexing and troubling realisation has for most of us had huge consequences for our love stories, family lives, work, leisure time and health. There is almost no relationship in which the presence of the phone has not had a profound impact. The genuine beauty and interest of our phones wouldn’t be a matter of such
  • The Art of Listening

    Many of us probably have a nagging feeling that we don’t listen enough to other people. Here we’re not going to make the guilt worse by telling you that listening is a good thing, worthy but in fact rather dull. We’re going to show you that listening to others is first and foremost an interesting thing to do, something that could be as pleasurable for you as it is for your speaking companion. And as a result, we try to minimise how much we’refun2

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