Making Good Choices

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] Making good choices is hard. In fact, there’s only one thing I hate more than not having any choice, and that’s having to make one at all. I feel trapped when I have too few options, and overwhelmed when I have too many. Why are choices so difficult?

How to Be Happy By Understanding Instrumental Values

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] You could make a strong argument that the universe is poorly designed. Don’t get me wrong, I doubt I could do a better job. But, due to what appears to be a mistake in the grand universal design, nothing is purely, unequivocally good. There’s always a trade-off. Sometimes […]

When Every Day Is The Same… Make Each Day A Little Better

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] Last year, life was tedious. It was like my own personal Groundhog Day, except I actually got older and I barely learned anything. Each day was the same: I awoke, I worked in my little office, I slept.  And repeat. At least, that’s how it felt at the […]

Six Lessons from Writing the Book I Swore I Wouldn’t Write

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] “Never again.” – Neil Hughes, after writing one book… and before writing another book. After winning four Olympic gold medals, Steve Redgrave famously said that if anyone found him close to a rowing boat again, they could shoot him. Four years later, he won a fifth gold.  Let’s […]

The Shop Before Life – A Novel by Neil Hughes

” This is one of those books that I’m sure will stay with me for a while, if not for the rest of my life. There’s just something so unique and real about it and I just felt very connected to the themes it presented. ” – review The day has finally arrived – my […]

Why Goals Aren’t Enough—You Need to Set Directions Too

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] Recently, I caught up with a friend I don’t get to see often enough. Neither of us were in a Major Life Crisis, so we were doing that thing where we swap minor problems back and forth—everything from busyness to boredom to the various ways our ageing bodies […]

Freedom vs Security

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] Today: some thoughts about life decisions. But First: Let’s Talk About Fourier Transforms, [WARNING: THIS SECTION CONTAINS MATHS! (It’s optional, so skip it, if you like.)] A few months ago, I was making a decision, and every time I thought about it, a mathematical analogy sprung to mind.

Oh no, I’m Motivated By Fear!

Now that I’m (mostly) successfully managing my anxiety, everything should be great forever… right?! Well, no. Obviously life isn’t magically perfect. (Though of course “less anxiety” is a huge improvement!) This is fine. I never expected perfection. But something else I didn’t expect was that managing anxiety better could itself cause problems.