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 […]

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. […]

It’s Okay to Be Bad at Things

“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” – G. K. Chesterton Last week I was overcome with paralyzing guilt after slightly miscooking a sausage sandwich. Don’t worry—the sandwich was delicious. But even as I was putting it together, a critical internal voice was opining that the pan had been too hot, […]

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 […]

How to Have No Regrets

[this article was originally written for Puttylike] Once upon a time, my parents took me to the zoo. This day is full of memories which have stuck with me ever since—the sunshine, the excitement, the ice cream… even holding hands with my dad, watching eagerly as he unfolded the map. One of the sharpest and […]

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 […]