Be Careful What You Wish For: Lessons from an Unusual Opportunity

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] Wishes are dangerous. So every fairy tale tells us. The genie will grant your desires… but too literally. The monkey paw will give you what you want… but with an evil twist. And, just when you think you’re safe, the magic lemming steals your fruit in the night. […]

Doing Things The Stupidest Possible Way

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] Earlier this year an email newsletter inspired me with a new motto: “I’m only doing easy things from now on”. Unfortunately, this wasn’t purely intended encourage my natural laziness. The idea is that doing ‘easy’ things—meaning activities which come naturally—puts us in a state of flow, so we […]

You Might As Well Do The Thing: How to Make Decisions While Anxious

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] As a standup comedian who talks a lot about anxiety, I frequently get asked the same question: “how are you SO great?” But after that, people often ask how anyone with anxiety can possibly do something as terrifying as standup. For a long time this confused me, too. […]

How to Tolerate Uncertainty When Waiting

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] Ding. You’ve Got Mail. Later, you will think, “I really ought to turn off that notification. It’s not 1997.” But right now, other things are on your mind. Your throat is tight, your heart is thumping, and you’re nervously staring at that bold subject line which has appeared […]

A Simple Trick to Sidestep Self-Criticism

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] Sometimes I’m ashamed to share my work. You might think that’s understandable (particularly if you’ve been exposed to many of my posts before!) but this isn’t just a healthy sense of shame at my evident limitations.  Often, it’s fear of my own unoriginality. That inner voice of shame […]

The 3 Ways My Ideas Die

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] Sometimes I grow tired of the constant hum of random failure. Most of my dreams end up as flops. I’m sure I’m not alone in this—we all struggle with the guilt of not finishing from time to time. It might be unambitious, but occasionally I think it would be nice […]

A Simple Idea to Help With Repetitive Anxiety

[content: a quick tip for repetitive anxiety] In the past, I’d regularly get trapped in the exact same worry over and over. Often, it would be health anxiety. For example, I’d experience a symptom of some kind. And I’d immediately imagine that this symptom was coming from the worst possible cause. Perhaps a pain would […]

How to Recover After a Setback

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] This year I’ve experienced a constant stream of setbacks, of varying degrees of seriousness: minor administrative life hassle, major family tragedy, missed career opportunities, painful emotional entanglements, idiotic breakages, unexpected financial demands. At times, it’s felt as if the universe was sending me regular doses of deliberate punishment. […]

Exhausted and Unproductive? This Might Help

[This post was originally written for puttylike.com] As a kid, I never understood why adults were so slow. Surely it would be more natural to run around and bounce and clamber – what was wrong with them? Why were all adults so lazy?! Now I’m (allegedly) an adult, I get it: We’re not lazy… we’re […]