The big ego, the small ego and the journey to the self

I am all of these people

At any given time, depending on who I'm with, I am one of these people. A lover to a phenomenal woman who has suffered plenty but loves him still. A father to two young children, and trying not to screw up the biggest responsibility…
The big ego, the small ego and the journey to the self

The heartstopping beauty of a genius at work

From Tom Brady to Velazquez to Virginia Woolf, the innate human capacity for genius and the witnesses to its expression, is endlessly beautiful. I realised something important over the past few days. My mind was a little addled, my…
The big ego, the small ego and the journey to the self

The joy of tennis

I've watched tennis for years, and always loved it. When I was 10, I laughed at Henri Leconte. I listened to my dad tut-tutting about John McEnroe. I fell madly in love with Steffi Graf and Gabriele Sabatini. (Yes, both of them.) And…
The big ego, the small ego and the journey to the self

We probably don't need more information

By default, we often believe we need more information. More knowledge. More courses. More qualifications. We probably don't. Information used to require a significant investment. Think back to the World Book or Encyclopedia Britannica.…
The big ego, the small ego and the journey to the self

The definition of sacrifice: an alternative view

So much about so many things is just the way we choose to look at them. Take sacrifice. For most of us, most of the time, sacrifice seems like something negative. Bad. Painful. Something to make us grimace. What if we choose to look…
The big ego, the small ego and the journey to the self

Silence in the aftermath of trauma: golden or grim?

Diarmuid Ferriter, the Irish historian who has become a campaigner for history itself as much as anything that history might tell us, was speaking to Ryan Tubridy on RTE Radio One on Tuesday morning. Ferriter is unbelievably prolific. As…
The big ego, the small ego and the journey to the self

Identity and deciding who we truly are

Dr Phil Hammond was talking about defining "health" recently. But five words he said in the middle of his speech have been coming back to me regularly over the past couple of weeks. ... one world and precious life... We have one world and…
The big ego, the small ego and the journey to the self

Extraordinary ordinary

This post inspired by my friend Claire Bellis's beautiful tribute to her extraordinary, ordinary Nana Delia, who was born 100 years ago this weekend. Claire writes: "During her long life (she died in 2012) she experienced such changes I’m…
The big ego, the small ego and the journey to the self

Brexit and the mood of uncertainty

If you're anywhere in Europe, it's hard to avoid talk of Brexit and the uncertainty of just about everything these days. Theresa May, negotiations, Commons vote, People's Vote, no deal, Norway minus, Canada plus plus plus, hard border, backstop.…
The big ego, the small ego and the journey to the self

The best definition of success I've ever heard

There's many a definition of success, but I haven't yet heard one as on-point as this. Yesterday I heard Gerry Hussey speak for the first time, at the All-Ireland Business All-Star awards. Gerry Hussey is an Irish high performance psychologist,…
The big ego, the small ego and the journey to the self

The power of small: education, business and sport

I posted the second episode of my new podcast this week, with university professor Finbarr Bradley, and have lined up business for good entrepreneur Masami Sato for an interview in the New Year. Finbarr Bradley is a finance and business lecturer…
The big ego, the small ego and the journey to the self

Dr. Phil Hammond's definition of health

Dr. Phil Hammond was on Channel 4's Countdown a couple of weeks back. (I've been getting back into Countdown recently. As anyone who watched my TEDx talk will know, me and Countdown go way back...) I confess that I didn't know much about…
The big ego, the small ego and the journey to the self

Birdwatching with Granda at the kitchen table

My mother likes to tell a story about me when I was maybe seven or eight years' old, sitting at the table in my grandparents' kitchen in a farmhouse in County Meath, looking out the window over the garden and the fields. I loved that kitchen,…
The big ego, the small ego and the journey to the self

What's in a name? Names, labels and depression

There are a few lines in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the "what's in a name?" lines about names and titles and labels. Juliet is locked in passionate conversation with Romeo, talking about the fact that the obstacle to their joy is…
The big ego, the small ego and the journey to the self

Big ego, small ego

We can all recognise the big ego. It's usually one or all of self-important, self-righteous and self-serving. We don't hear much about the small ego. The small ego is self-deprecating and self-devaluing. The small ego is people-pleasing.…