Adventures in Awesome Living

by Sunil Bali, 11-03-12

A rather cruel experiment with rats, carried out many years ago at John Hopkins University in New York, showed the importance of hope when it comes to achieving success.

A large number of rats were each put into their own glass jar, which was full of water. After a brief period, half the rats were rescued from their ordeal before being put back in the water. The other half were left to swim for their life.

The group of rats that had been rescued and thereby given hope that they may be rescued again, swam for an average of three days. The group of rats that hadn’t been rescued all drowned in less than 24 hours.

Many psychotherapists use a simple scale of 1-10, when reframing the problems of their patients to give them hope.

When I was a psychotherapist, I would ask my patients to score their progress against a scale of 1 to 10. If, at the outset, they said they were a 3, I would reply “Great! So you’re already 30% there.” If they came back the next week and said they were a 4, I would say “Excellent. That’s an improvement of over 33%.”

We’re all told to set big, audacious goals, but too often we’re overwhelmed by both the enormity and remoteness of the challenge and our progress falters.

Celebrating small milestones which are visible and attainable, fuels us with hope to keep moving forward and reach the next milestone.

When Paula Radcliffe set the current world record of 2hrs 15mins 25secs, she was asked what her race strategy was. Her reply was “I didn’t really run a marathon; I ran 26 one mile races and smiled to myself after I had completed each mile.”


Only one thing matters, one thing; to be able to dare – Fyodor Dostoevsky

All that ever holds somebody back, I think, is fear. For a minute I had fear, then I went into the dressing room and shot my fear in the face! – Lady Gaga

When something goes wrong, its inevitably part of a larger right – Jed McKenna

Don’t bother trying to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself – William Faulkner


Short and sweet from Peter Kay:

1. I saw six men kicking and punching the mother-in-law. My neighbour said ‘Are you going to help?’ I said ‘No, six should be enough.’

2. Why is it that when someone tells you that there are over a billion stars in the universe, you believe them, but if they tell you there is wet paint somewhere, you have to touch it to make sure.

3. I saw a fat person wearing a sweatshirt with ‘Guess’ on it. I said ‘Thyroid problem?’

4. When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bike. Then I realised that the Lord doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and asked him to forgive me.

5. I’ve often wanted to drown my troubles, but I can’t get my wife to go swimming.

6. I went to a restaurant that serves ‘breakfast at any time’. So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.

7. If we aren’t supposed to eat animals, then why are they made out of meat?

8. Right now I’m having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.

9. Why are they called stairs inside but steps outside?

10. Why does mineral water that ‘has trickled through mountains for centuries’ have a ‘use by’ date?

11. Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp no one would eat?

12. Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don’t point to their crotch when they ask where the bathroom is?

To your success,