#5: 1 in 10 cars stop to pick up hitch-hikers…

… That’s better than waiting for a bus!

There don’t seem to be so many studies done on hitch-hiking these days, but comparing studies from 1975 and 2009 it seems that (among female hitch-hikers in France at least) a car is as likely to stop now as 45 years ago: about 10% of the time. Continue reading “#5: 1 in 10 cars stop to pick up hitch-hikers…”

#4: Irishmen walk faster than Indonesians – but are they happier?

In 1748, Benjamin Franklin said that time is money, but he was talking rubbish. Time isn’t money; time is everything – after all, you can’t take your bank balance with you when you go. Continue reading “#4: Irishmen walk faster than Indonesians – but are they happier?”

#3 Constraints are Creativity

I didn’t invent positive constraints. No way. Humans have been exploiting them for personal growth since the dawn of history. Religions, for example, use limits to bond their communities, distinguish themselves from others and show the strength of their faith in god or gods. Roman Catholic priests take a vow of celibacy (No Marriage) and many lay Christians promise No Sex before Marriage. Only in 1966 did Pope Paul VI relax rules on fasting to allow Catholics to eat meat on Fridays, causing a panic among the world’s commercial fishing concerns.

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#2 Do Something Different / Become Someone Different

It is almost impossible for most breathing humans to resist noshing into a passing chocolate brownie sundae if one is dangled before their eyes. Willpower won’t work and we can’t lock all the chocolate brownie sundaes in the world into a cupboard (they’d all melt). No: the prospective follower of No Sugar (say) must re-mould their self-image and become that kind of person who doesn’t eat chocolate brownie sundaes, no matter how tempting they might be to others. There can be no struggle any longer: the chocolate brownie sundae is simply of no special interest. The difficulty, of course, is how to become that person.

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#1 Dancing Makes You Happy

Time: half eight. Location: bed. State of consciousness: awake, albeit reluctantly. Now what? My autopilot script is fall out of bed, stumble across the room, open the blinds and blink into the scarcely receding gloom of another miserable January morning in London. Everyone’s miserable before noon, that’s why they call it “the mourning”. Today, though, the autopilot script is going to be torn up and scattered to the incipient drizzle. Today, I will not walk – and that includes the stumbling shuffle that usually passes for locomotion before my legs have warmed up.

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