Articles by Neil Hughes
How—and Why—to End Something Good
It can be difficult to know when to quit. Especially something you still love!
Use It or Lose It: a Terrifying Concept
How are you supposed to stop skills fading if you don’t keep regularly using them?
The Demoralising Truth About Learning New Things
Learning can be overwhelming when new areas of knowledge open up as we go.
Why You Should Take Up Something Old
You know what’s surprisingly fun? Things I used to enjoy.
A Love Note to Amateurishness
Doing things “just for fun” opens us to new kinds of satisfaction, joy and enthusiasm.
Your Wins Exist. Celebrate Them.
Having goals is great, but if achievement only means moving on to the next task…what’s the point?
What to Do When Trying New Things is No Longer Exciting
Here’s how to get back on track with what brings you joy.
Anatomy of a Failed Month
Not every month can be great, but last month was a total disaster.
Can Niceness Change the World?
Can kindness prevail in the real world? “Gentle rebel” Andy Mort thinks so.
Have I Really Missed My Chance?
Being late to the party doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no point in trying.
Can I Be Happy with my Mediocre Life?
Why does having a nice, normal life sometimes feel so painful?
You are Original. Here’s Why.
What if the life you build, and the memories you make, are your most stunning works of art?
What an Artificial Intelligence Taught Me about Perfectionism
I thought it would be fun to teach a computer to write like me. It went wrong.
Stop Trying So Hard
More effort does not always yield better results. Try this instead.
Let’s Become Specialists. In Failure.
Frustrated hopes and unsuccessful efforts are normal. Honest.
Does Adversity Really Make Us Stronger?
Adversity can be a powerful tool for updating our belief systems. Which is nice.
What If I Don’t Know What I Love to Do?
Ever find yourself doubting your most basic assumptions?
How to Let Go of an Old Life, or Neil Hughes and the Fiery Death of the Phoenix
Huge, sudden transitions can make our heads spin. But rebirth brings magic, if we can process it emotionally.
Is It Best to Work a Little Bit Every Day, or in Bursts of Dedication?
Let’s solve an age-old struggle.
6 Experiments to Help You Recharge When You’re Feeling Drained and Weird
After a month of trying new strategies to feel better, I’m certain of one thing: self-help can have hilarious results.
The Case of The Missing Joy
Joy is so important. But it doesn’t seem to come as easily as it once did…
Isn’t There Something More I Should Be Doing?
No matter how many different paths I follow or skills I gain, I always seem to be lacking.
Getting Out of a Rut With Physics & Cleaning Spray
Ever feel like you’re falling further and further behind, and can’t get momentum on your side?
Can Jealousy Be Good? Finding Perspective on Others’ Successes
They say “comparison is the thief of joy.” But, unfortunately, comparison can’t steal other people’s joy.
Believe me, I’ve tried.
The Bright Side of Getting Distracted
I can be a champion of distracting myself. But is this always bad?
Scared of Public Speaking? Tips from an Anxious Comedian
Upcoming Events… Presentations… Interviews… Here are some ways to work with the anxiety.
Untying the Knot of Anxiety, One Strand at a Time
Each attempt to fix my anxiety only unearthed more problems… but it IS possible to get anxiety under control.
One Life in Lockdown
After 50 days alone, I have some insights for you. And some new imaginary friends.
Feeling Scared as Lockdown Ends? An Anxious Human Explores Some Feelings
Reflections as lockdown begins to ease… for now.
Nostalgia, Regret and the Coronavirus Lockdown
I’ve been spending lots of time in the past. Here’s what I learned there.
What Your Low Mood May Be Telling You
Have you ever entered the doldrums? Not the literal doldrums—the tedious places at sea where winds are few and sailors struggled to escape. I mean those times in life when nothing at all feels interesting.
Death Anxiety & Change in Life
Some people believe that all anxiety is ultimately about death. What does that even mean?!
Making Good Choices
There’s only one thing I hate more than having no choices, and that’s having to actually make a choice.
How to Be Happy By Understanding Instrumental Values
Why do we want the things we want?
Be Careful What You Wish For: Lessons from an Unusual Opportunity
With opportunity comes problems.
When Every Day Is The Same… Make Each Day A Little Better
Excitement doesn’t require massive changes.
Six Lessons from Writing the Book I Swore I Wouldn’t Write
“Never again.” – Neil Hughes, lying after writing a book.
You Might As Well Do The Thing: How to Make Decisions While Anxious
I’ve developed a technique for figuring out when to leap into something. (And when to swerve it.)
How to Tolerate Uncertainty When Waiting
Waiting for news is hard. Here’s how to make it (a little) better.
A Simple Trick to Sidestep Self-Criticism
Here’s a fun trick to stop listening to that inner voice that holds you back.
Self-Esteem, Self-Confidence and Anxiety
There’s a difference between self-esteem and self-confidence.
The 3 Ways My Ideas Die
Some reflections on failed dreams and how not to let your dreams flop or fizzle out.
How to Change Your Life with One Small Move
How to get out of a rut easily with a small trick that really helps.
A Simple Idea to Help With Repetitive Anxiety
How often have I feared this before? And how many times was the fear “correct”?!
How to Recover After a Setback
Do you find it hard to deal with unanticipated obstacles?