Having suffered from life-threatening bouts of depression for four years which led to alcoholism, drug abuse, medicine-induced psychosis, near-suicide attempts and multiple hospitalisations before my eventual recovery at the start of 2012, feeling overwhelmed is something I'm very familiar with.
That refusal arms us with the all-important key to unlock the gates of self-preoccupation and open our hearts to the health-giving joy of loving - and living - who it is we spiritually are.
When long-time nurse Bronnie Ware questioned dying patients about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, the number one response was, "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."
Every human's greatest fear is that we are not enough and as a result that we won't be loved. We are born this way. It is human psychology 101. Without love a human baby dies. Other animals won't. So this is not some artificial construct that develops over time--it is hardwired into us at our most fundamental level, via our autonomic nervous system.
I love September. It's the ultimate start afresh, get-a-new-pencil-case time of year for me; much more inviting than the stern face of January. It's more of a friendly nudge to roll up our sleeves and get on with all the things we'd promise we'd achieve, those self-set expectations and anything that's been idling on our 'to do' list for the past year or in my case, years.
We need a variety of ways to cope with the resulting pressures of daily life. We need to maintain some semblance of balance, and a sense of purpose in our lives. One of the best ways is by seeking, and enjoying, solitude.
Feeling guilty or ashamed about being jealous will lead into a downward spiral. Instead recognise that jealousy is just a passing feeling, it is not who you are. Many people feel jealous, including the person you are jealous about!
To be human is not in fashion these days. Successful people like to think of themselves as an extension of their digital hardware, that they are the software like the Wizard of Oz was behind the curtain, playing God... which is sadly the predicament we're in today.
Now, as a proper grown up - whatever that means - I can see that the flurry of youth brings with it deep uncertainty and glorious freedom in equal measure. Good friends are like rocks throughout this process and we cling to them for comfort and security, whilst benefitting from all the fun of new-found adulthood in the safety of warm and familiar company.
Fear! We all have fears, whether it's speaking in front of a crowd, the spider in the bedroom, heights, commitment, failure, success, rejection and the most famous one of all - fear of the unknown. When fear shows up, do you Forget Everything And Run (F.E.A.R)? Or do you Find Excuses And Reasons (F.E.A.R) to hide under the covers of life and stay right where you are?
Make the journey more important than the destination. In other words, don't automatically buy into the mantra that 'there's no gain without pain', instead allow yourself to experience the 'joy of the getting there' while also enjoying the 'here and now' too.
I applied for a job a few years ago and I got down to the last few candidates. I was very excited as it was a 'big brand' and at the final 'papal nod of the CEO' stage he began to ask me what I thought was an odd line of questioning. It started pretty early into what became the longest half hour of my life. "So Mark, have you always been overweight?" he asked.
The job of our unconscious mind is to keep us safe and protected - to keep us out of the way of potentially life threatening situations. Fear in these situations is obviously very useful, but the trouble is that our minds often connect up what should actually be neutral situations to something it perceives is harmful to us.
No-one who has ever been successful has ever done it alone. Use the inner guidance system of fear to support you. Whenever you feel scared, it's because you are being too independent. Independence is something the interdisciplinary minded do way too much of.
There are certain choices in life that are "difficult". Often, this is not because we lack the information we need to make them. Neither is it because it's hard to gauge which option will benefit us more. Rather, it's because these choices are defining - they define who we are as human beings.
From the national data that's being collected, mostly by developed nations, one thing is clear and it's that increased GDP and higher levels of consumer spending doesn't seem to make us that much happier. So what does?