Lessons from The School of Life

I’ve been reading The School of Life: An Emotional Education by Alain De Botton. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the ideas that have come from The School of Lifeand this book is no exception.

De Botton looks at the four markers of emotional health which I want to share with you today. He talks about how the key areas we can focus on to enable our emotional and mental wellbeing are self-love, candour, communication and trust.

Self-love is all about how we talk to ourselves. Are we our own cheerleader? Do we feel like we deserve to ask for what we need and desire? Do we think we are worth fighting for?

Candour is about how able we are to identify and own our own challenges. It’s about knowing we are human and messy. It’s about being brave enough to look at that mess rather than brush it under the carpet and pretend we have no issues.

Communication is about how easily we verbalise and share our needs and concerns. Are we able to name our desires and challenges to others, even when the conversations are messy and uncertain?

And finally trust is about cultivating that sense that no matter what happens, we will be ok. That the world isn’t against us, that when things go ‘wrong’ they can actually bring us learning and growth. This is about feeling and believing that the universe has got our backs.

For me personally, I can see I am a work in progress in all areas. The area that has evolved the most recently for me has been trust. I have noticed that I’ve stepped away from trying to control things around me, and have rested into a deeper feeling that whatever happens I’ll be ok. It has been a game changing journey, which actually only really developed when life got hard.

As guideposts the above seem to cover most bases in my understanding of personal development. If we take the time to nurture each area we can be pretty confident that we can navigate life in a robust and resilient way.

So, where do you stand with each of the markers of emotional health? Which ones need more work for you? What can you do to make a change?

With love as always, Hannah and Team Bird

Photo by Sam Martin

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