We spend our lives hunting for something that has a very limited life span, sometimes lasting only seconds (see sex). Whatever that rush of fireworks in the blood is; winning the lottery, making a billion, getting on the volleyball team, there will be a fall. We've known this forever (see Greek tragedy) and yet we never learn.
It's the only illness where you get - absolutely free with the package - a real sense of shame. I've heard people say, "I know people with real diseases, show me lumps show me X-Rays", and of course you can't so you begin to feel bombarded with self-disgust thinking," I'm not being carpet-bombed, I'm not living in a Township, how dare I, who has everything, be depressed?"
Why is it such an 'out of the blue' experience for everyone that Robin Williams killed himself? Is it because we think if someone's funny they must spend their lives, head thrown back, wheezing away? I know very few comedians who in their real lives have their heads thrown back, it's not funny being funny; it's a killer.
I'm placed next to Brain Cox and something inside me wilts because I know I am sitting next to a superior being and he will soon find out I'm a two-celled worm... This is my trigger, if I'm near someone that smart, I tailspin into the interior pre-recorded CD made in childhood that goes something like this, "You're a total idiot and people will find out that you're an idiot."
I had a dinner party last week where I invited a few famous people I knew from when I did my interview shows. Many of them suffer from something I call 'movie star disease.' They live in their own time zone so when invited to dinner at seven they either come in at eleven with no apology or not at all.
In the beginning things were fine, we lived in tribes with family members. We all shared the same genes so we trusted and protected each other. The bad news about this is the bit about all being related which caused infinite mutations; some of our cousins had more fingers than needed, others had their feet growing backwards.
Most mornings I try to drag myself into a sitting position to practice mindfulness. I do this because if I delay and say to myself, "Later," I'll never do it. My body craves to stay prone, probably forever. But sitting up and following my breath, I can check my internal weather conditions and if I don't check in, they'll unconsciously influence everything I do in the day.
At this party - with so many people in one room - my mind scattered so I fell straight into my old habits from way back in childhood; getting people laugh to get their approval. Why I need to do this I don't know. It could be because as a child I always thought the more people I could get to like me, the more protected I was from my parents' abuse.
I woke up this morning with that agony that fills your body when you're deep in the depths of despair. There are people who think emotional pain isn't as bad as physical pain but here's the rub, there's empirical evidence that physical pain and emotional pain are registered in the exact same region of the brain.
When we get something we want badly, the wanting diminishes, which is great news until the next want comes along. This puts us into a constant state of want, need, lust, greed and most of the seven deadly sins... The other problem is because we never really feel like we get what we want because there's always someone who has more, we live in a constant state of wanting. This need for success is embedded in our culture. If we don't reach these self- imposed goals, we may experience a sense of worthlessness. In my opinion this is why so many people over-shop.
Today, we're leading with Aaron Eccles, head of social media of Cancer Research and how they turned around a meme that wasn't even theirs and have raised £8m so far off the back of it. We've then got comedy legend Ruby Wax with a fantastic post on how to use mindfulness as an internal weathervane to predict depression...
In my new show, Sane New World which is for everyone, not just the mentally ill but all of us, I'm getting a lot of questions on how to deal with the digital viagra we're all addicted to (I'm even answering spam these days) - especially, how do we help our kids manage this? How do we deal with all this in-coming bombardment of everything from fashion tips to terrorists?
What is real success, why is happiness more elusive than ever for so many, and why are happiness and success so difficult to get together? Stress is becoming the number one health killer in our modern world. What do we need to do to make some positive changes so we can get successful and be happy? How can we manage the stress we're all under?