I realised something was up for sure the second time I managed to upset a friend with some misplaced snark. Same had happened with someone else who matters in my life the previous day. Drive-by shootings like that aren't my usual style.

Unsettled, I continued the day paying more attention to how I was feeling and what was going on with my internal chatter. In the evening, I passed a homeless guy. He was in my field of view, and got caught up in whatever churning ugliness was happening with me at that moment.  And I realised that wasn't good enough. 

There wasn't even a quid in the coins I handed him, but they were all I had. And I gave him half of the cookies I'd just bought to snack on. It wasn't about him being homeless, particularly. More that it wasn't fair I'd caught him up in whatever nonsense was going on within me. Something enabled me to see that happening as it happened. And that meant an opportunity to do something else. Immediately I felt lighter, and realised I was happy again - or at any rate content, and not spraying those I came across with the day's detritus.

The intent, by the way, isn't to approach the world in a stupor of positivity. But at least give it a fair chance, rather than draping it with the day's cognitive gunge courtesy of the latest political upsets, social media chatter, and reheated moods.

There's no shortage of ways to deal with this kind of stuff. I've explored plenty, got results from time to time with quite a few. Careful though - some people call such interventions brainhacking, and that doesn't bring to mind images I'm happy with. Besides, any method to reset yourself that can be described in three cheery steps or a 2 minute YouTube video probably doesn't offer much of real value.

I've been fortunate to have some extraordinary mentors over the years. As I wrote the last paragraph I was reminded of a nugget from one of them: knowledge is self. Which is to say, all you can ever really know is you. You are the lens through which you experience the whole caboodle. Family. Love. Work. Health. Money. All of it.

Anyway, even if one of those three step processes or videos is helpful, it won't be for long. We are more complex than the means by which we seek to be what we'd like to be. And that means we need to be wily. Hence the words of another much loved mentor: 

It is recommended to break habits, any of them, from the silliest to the most serious, and to try and do things that you don't normally do - breaking up routines and habits and not making a routine or habit out of breaking routines and habits is a Zen koan which you can puzzle your way through. It will reward you richly with moments of incredible insight, intuition and all of those magical things that light up life so beautifully.

(Thank you, K.G.)

All of this, by the way, will also serve to give you a feel for how I approach the work I do with coaching clients. I'm not interested in magic bullet solutions because I've yet to meet anyone with a magic gun. I like working with individuals keen to embrace their uniqueness, not people who want to experience someone else's idea of success because they're uncomfortable with who they are. Whether you're looking to build a business, open a restaurant, or sing to an audience of thousands, I want you to do that your way and not someone else's. Other people are there to learn from, sure enough. But when you wake up in the morning, it's a warts and all person who's doing that - bedhair and bad breath included - and that's the one I want to work with.