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Every year in early January, many of us are thinking about new year resolutions. What happened to last year’s ?

Since this is the first post of 2012, I will indulge a bit on this exercise here. The graphic above and one at the end are borrowed from the web site of Alain de Botton, a writer who applies philosophical concepts and ideas from literature to address issues of modern living in his books. Last year, I came across one of his book – “Status Anxiety” (here is an extract) – in a small collection of English language non-fictions in our local library. Didn’t get to finish it. Although it is not strictly speaking a self-help book, his analysis is well reasoned and the expositions can be helpful in provoking interesting thoughts.

English edition cover (above).  I might pick up a few of his books in 2012, such as …

Alain de Botton started an educational institution in London called the School of Life. It is running a three-day course (starting on 3 January)  which purports “to give you the chance to step outside your daily existence and think productively about your strengths and weaknesses, values and priorities, goals and dreams.” It aims to supply ideas to help one find answers to some of these questions:

  • How can we make our lives more fulfilling?
  • How can we enjoy better relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and most of all ourselves?
  • How can we best negotiate the challenges of modern life, whilst ensuring we stay true to our core values?
  • How can we make the most of our potential, and also understand our limits?

Is this cheesy self-help mumble jumble? I am curious.


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