How does the mind affect health?

It is clear that we need our lives to have a purpose, to feel that our actions form part of something bigger than ourselves.

When Julia, a passionate and committed teacher, was forced to take extended leave from work, she had to find activities to fill the gap and to provide meaning to her day to day existence. Going from such an intrinsically fulfilling and gregarious job to a quieter, slower, less social existence would have come as a severe shock. It would have been easy for Julia to slip into a cycle of anxiety and stress leading to isolation and depression.

Continue reading “How does the mind affect health?”


Books: “Flow” by Csikszentmihalyi (1990)

The book Flow

“Flow: the psychology of optimal experience”


Harper Perennial Modern Classics, paperback, published 2008 in New York

When I read it

Summer 2009, quite a lot of it in Bristol where I was beginning my SASP course (science additional specialism programme – gaining an official second specialism in chemistry after teaching A level chemistry for 4 years!) Continue reading “Books: “Flow” by Csikszentmihalyi (1990)”

Some quotes – The Streets

“I came to this world with nothing, and I’ll leave with nothing but love. Everything else is just borrowed.”

“It’s not the Earth that’s in trouble, it’s the people that live on it. [No no] Earth’ll be here long after we’ve all gone the way of the dodo”

“For billions of years, since the outset of time, every single one of your ancestors survived. Every single person on your mum and dad’s side successfully looked after and passed on you life. What are the chances of that, like? It comes to me once in a while. And everywhere I tell folk it gets the best smile.”

“Do you what you think’s right, and you will feel alright. ‘Cos when you’re bad you will feel sad. That’s the religion I live by.”

The Streets, Everything is Borrowed

Some quotes – Scroobius Pip

“In this life you can be oh so smart or oh so pleasant; for years I was smart, I recommend pleasant. Being smart can make you rich and bring you respect and reverence, but the rewards of being pleasant are far more incandescent.”

“I won’t attempt to tell you how to love or be loved, because you get a different genie every time that lantern is rubbed.”

“How hard is it to decide to be in a good mood, and then just be in a good mood? That’s all I have to say cos it’s a straight up fact: you control your emotions, it’s as simple as that.”

Scroobius Pip vs Dan le Sac

A (non-fiction) reading list – but no descriptions, yet

More or less in order, these have been read in the last three years or so, and have had major impacts on how and what I think:

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1991) Flow: The psychology of optimal experience

Daniel H. Pink (2009) Drive: the surprising truth behind what motivates us

Matt Ridley (2010) The Rational Optimist: how prosperity evolves

Daniel Kahnemann (2011) Thinking, Fast and Slow

Carol S. Dweck (2006) Mindset: how you can fulfil your potential

Jim Collins (2001) Good to Great: why some companies make the leap… and others don’t AND (2006) Good to Great and the Social Sectors

Patrick Lencioni (2004) Death by Meeting: a leadership fable about solving the most painful problem in business

Daniel T. Willingham (2009) Why Don’t Students Like School? A cognitive scientist answers questions about how the mind works and what it means for the classroom

John-Paul Flintoff (2012) How to Change the World

Read a longer time ago, but had a lasting influence: Continue reading “A (non-fiction) reading list – but no descriptions, yet”