Welcome to Keep Calm and Relax.This website was inspired by the profound and insightful wisdom of courageous people throughout the ages. Historically events and circumstances that can cause us stress, have remained surprisingly unchanged. These words are my interpretation of how the inspirational philosophy of yesterday can be a positive influence on how we cope with tomorrow. I have woven my thoughts on coping with difficult times and how to survive them around the wise and wonderful words of great men and women.

Do get in touch if you agree or disagree with anything I have to say. I don't have answers just my thoughts and the thoughts of wise men and women that might just make you think differently.

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It is often said that in order to be successful in this world man has to be ruthless. The word ruth means kind and so ruthless can be a very cruel word. 

There are those of us who are willing to sacrifice everything to reach where we want to be, for those watching from the sidelines this can seem brave, fearless, heroic even. Being brave and taking chances is admirable, but the line between bravado and ruthlessness is sometimes so fine we miss it and step over it without even noticing. Is crossing the line permissible if the end excuses the means, if at the end we reach the goal we have worked so hard and sacrificed so much for and ended up where we want to be?

Someone once wrote conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good, can we really be proud of our achievements when they came at any cost. Gandhi thought conscience was as big a dictator of how much we have really achieved as pride, saying “The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still small voice within

Many successful men and women live life as a race and they see personal success as the reward for crossing the line first, they often achieve this at any cost and without looking back. Neil Peart wrote and sang about living for yourself “There’s no one else more worth living for, begging hands and bleeding hearts will only cry out for more “and there is a sad sense of reason in this.  

Any actions can be justified as a means to an end, wars have been won, evil eradicated and empires built using this philosophy. History has shown it is impossible to win a war by being kind to the opposing army, but showing compassion in victory is what separates good men from tyrants and what in the end brings about a lasting peace. Life is often our own personal war and in the fight to succeed we don’t have time to notice others who fall by the wayside. Can we truly claim success as ours though if it comes at a cost to others? There is a Chinese proverb that says “Clear conscience never fears midnight knocking.”  All those we treat with kindness on our way up could be the ones holding out a blanket if we find yourself falling back down again. 

Title quote by Robert Green Ingersoll




Feeling frightened and distressed by life can feel like standing on the beach as the tide comes in, troubles come at us relentlessly, waves of despair drive us back onto ever higher land. Desperately trying to back away from them makes us stumble, struggling as feet get sucked into sand and even allowing the water to engulf us at times, making us scramble higher and higher onto the rocks. Then just when we are exhausted and losing ground everything starts to calm, the tide will turn and water starts to retreat, leaving behind smooth hard sand, and we can stand firm again. . 

Ralph Waldo Emerson  wrote “We acquire the strength we have overcome” after all if you are alive then you have survived and the thing about survivors is that once they have learnt how to do it they become good at it.

Most of us weather the storm and out run the tide, even though exhausted and worn out by life, we know good times will come again and life will get better. Just as the tide always turns so days will get brighter, warmer, longer, and the winter of our despair will be over. Knowing that, is the secret to survival, no one can survive adversity by thinking this is it, there is no going back, things will never change. Voltaire said “Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us”.

 If we are convinced that our troubles will not ebb like the tide then we simply sink under the weight of the water and drown. The turning point is when you discover the core of strength within you that over rides the desire to lie down and give in, that pushes you to break the surface that is threatening to close over you and gulp in life saving air again.

“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” Chinese Proverb

Title quote by Stephan Jenkins




Buddha wrote “There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills”.

Are you standing on the brink of doing something, but so full of doubt you just can’t take that first step? That small leap off the edge that means there is no going back.

Shakespeare said “Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise” and it is true that caution is a kind of wisdom, but if you let doubts become embedded they can be a self fulfilling prophesy ensuring failure before you even start. Doubting is easy; it’s believing that is the hard part, and any belief worth having must survive doubt. 

Doubts are full of risks but they are also full of possibilities, if we stop to demand proof that all things are possible then doubt becomes fear in disguise. Julia Cameron wrote “Doubt comes to the door in darkness, pretending to be alone and in need of your compassionate ear. But if you let him in, he'll bring his friends” 

The opposite of doubt is not certainty but trust; the trust that you have the courage to go ahead despite your doubts. Life is an uncertain journey full of questions that don’t come with answers, living means making a series of judgments, and doubts are a safeguard, a touchstone on reality.   

Though it is true that great deeds are often conducted with the deepest conviction, if we wait until we can safely remove all doubts then belief will not survive. So believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts and just leap, you’ll make it.

Title quote by Bertrand Russell




When we are young there is a certain madness to us all, our minds are clogged up with longing and loathing, we long to be good looking but loathe how we look, we long to be rich and famous but loathe that we are not clever enough, witty enough, confident enough to reach those heights. We are too interested in what’s within us to care about anything without. As we rail against the unfairness of the world anger and frustration can start to lay down deep roots, and if that anger is directed inward it can easily lead to depression. Buddha wrote “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal; intending to throw it at someone else, you are the one who gets burned”.

Anger can cloud your mind or suddenly make everything clear; it can destroy lives or be an agent for change. If anger is directed at people it can turn into hatred and become a need for revenge, it soon becomes a habit, the default reaction to all adversity.

 If we harness our anger and direct its force towards the problem, it has a powerful energy that can be focussed on formulating solutions, and finding answers. The strength of our resolve to change the outcome can build up ripples of determination that spread far and wide so preparing us for what lies ahead in life.  James Russell Lowell wrote “Usually when people are sad they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition, but when they get angry they bring about change”.

We all have hidden away a version of ourselves that is slightly unbalanced and teetering on the edge of anger at our lot in life, and though we may not be able to quell the rage we can use it as a motivation to bring about change, and to do the right thing.

Events will take their course, it is no good of being angry at them; he is happiest who wisely turns them to the best account”. Euripides

Title quote by Horace




It is that time of year again, when that vague ache of loneliness we acknowledge now and then, but manage to soothe away with a busy life, becomes the elephant in the room. The air is filled with the thick musk of shared love, once again plans are being made, outfits bought, cards sent for Valentines Day, and the world becomes divided.

All focus is on partnerships, togetherness and mutual love. The lucky ones boast of candle lit dinners, thoughtful gifts and poetry. Most are simply happy to be reminded that someone loves them above all else and they are not alone. James Baldwin wrote “Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within”.

This one day of the year can bring loneliness into sharper focus than any other day. Like Christmas it is closely associated with togetherness and whilst it can unite people in love, it isolates those who have no one to celebrate it with.

Pascal wrote "The heart has its reasons that reason does not know." and those who have ever experienced being ‘in love’ certainly describe that feeling of madness that shuts out the rest of the world. It becomes all consuming, controlling every ounce of our being and every second of our lives. It takes on a magical quality having the power to alter people and direct lives. Lao Tzu wrote “Being deeply loved gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage”.

 Love is the narrative thread not only in novels, but in life, it produces possibilities and is an agent for change. If you are single on Valentines Day and wish you weren’t, the temptation to wrap your self up in misery and hide away must be banished, that way lies loneliness.

Not being in love is not important, what is important is that one is capable of love. If you are open to love there is more truth than nonsense in the idea that if you live the life you have imagined it will become reality. In order to be loved you have to be loveable, people in love give off a palpable air of happiness which is infectious so try  to copy them, even if you fake it get out there and have fun. Often when your expectations are at there lowest love will find you.

Wordsworth wrote ‘Love can be found in huts where poor men lie’ so explore every avenue, your greatest love may turn out not to be someone you think you can be happy with, but someone you know you can never be happy without.  

Title quote by Mother Theresa