Every year, in the middle of August, we congratulate young people across the UK for their A-level results. That day's media is packed with stories of success and failure. There is the usual debate about whether the exams are getting easier or harder, coupled with mountains of footage of students opening envelopes and photos of despair and elation. The following day we all go back to normal. Until next year.
Many of us can hold on to the pain and shame that can be associated with failure which derails us from pushing on. Giving yourself a timeline to accept the situation and make peace with the way things turned out is the first step to adjusting to your new reality, coping with adversity is a skill which is acquired, not one we're born with.
I believe it's incumbent on those who want change in the European Union to offer up a positive alternative vision that would benefit the whole region rather than take a "me first" approach that many Euro-sceptics take. So here is a Europe I passionately believe in, a Europe that can genuinely advance the causes of peace, prosperity and democracy for the benefit of all...
Productivity. It's a word that strikes boredom into the heart of the majority of people. And I'll grant you, it's hard to get excited about a measure of input versus output value per worker, per hour. But it is a vital measure of how we're doing as a country. And since the economic crash, productivity in the UK, and many Western economies, has been absolutely dire and shows little sign of sustainable growth in the future.
Goals give entrepreneurs a direction and the motivation to achieve something. If we pick a goal that blocks us however, we might get there in the end but it will be a hard slog and can lead to bad decisions or inactivity. When we begin to feel overwhelmed and things feel more difficult than they should be, it's at this stage that it helps to question what really motivates us and our beliefs.