BAD NEWS can come in any form and in any measure; even the tiniest grain – even an imagined grain – of criticism is often enough to open a giant trapdoor in your psyche and let out every ounce of energy and motivation that you have for a project. (OK, not everyone; there are those who, like some politicians, are so thick-skinned and resilient that bad news bounces off them like bullets off an American tank. It was true for me, though; I had zero tolerance.

I’m glad to be able to report that there’s a way out of that spiral. I had read for years that you could choose your thoughts, and I scoffed at the notion. Your thoughts just flood in and they provide reliable truths about your reality, I argued. An insight, followed by years of conscious practice, got me to the point where I could actually choose my thoughts and therefore my reality, moment to moment, all day long. Next I’ll be working on changing the ones I have when I sleep. Sweet dreams!