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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Entries in Inspirational thoughts (11)



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



Life is a series of plans, we all make them, what we want to do when we grow up, who we want to marry, how many children, where to roam and where to put down roots. We spend a lot of time making plans. It is easy to devise a plan that will make dreams come true and solve all problems, when it’s still in your head.

However planning is not achievement and achievement is only realised through action, as William Howells said “An acre of performance is worth a whole lot of promise”. There is great joy in planning; the incubation period is when hope is at its highest. Everything works on paper and if it hasn’t been tried no one can say it will fail.

It’s stepping out from the safety of your mind and exposing your idea to the criticism of others that takes courage. The execution of every plan worth producing is accompanied by doubt and insecurity and it is easy to despair at every set back. Edward burke wrote “Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair” because nothing is more powerful than persistence.

It is human nature that those around you witnessing your struggle will encourage you to give up, perhaps they cannot share your vision, people may protest your plan but they will applaud your performance, so change your plan if you have to, choosing another way is not the same as giving up, sometimes you must bend something to prevent it breaking altogether. Some anonymous person wrote “Better a has-been than a never-was, but better a never-was than a never-tried-to-be”. As an old American proverb goes, if you don't have a plan for yourself, you will become part of someone elses.

Title quote is a Hebrew Proverb



It’s a wonderful word freedom; it conjures up a life with no commitments, no responsibilities, the world stretched out in front of you with no one to hold you back.

 Dr Seuss stated “You have brains in your head; you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own and you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” 

There are times when everyone longs to get away from people and the accountability they impose.  People consume time and energy we would rather spend on ourselves; but is being alone the same thing as being free?  If you had no one to think about but yourself would that make you free, or would it make you lonely.

Great minds ponder on whether if no one is there to hear a tree fall in the middle of the forest; does the sound of it falling actually exist?  In the same way does never having to explain or justify your actions make everything you do less important? If no one says “well done” is the deed diminished?

Most of us need to share life’s dramas in order to make sense of them and to give them meaning. We need to seek advice, receive praise, and gain sympathy.  If we have to become less free, to experience the comfort of feeling someone cares, we consider it a fair trade.

Gide wrote “To know how to free ones self is nothing, the arduous thing is to know what to do with ones freedom”,   

If you feel suffocated by the people around you and yearn to be free, take comfort in knowing that there will be times when you have to stand alone, and you will find satisfaction in proving that you can, but if you begin to wobble, it's reassuring to know that someone is there to catch you.  

Title quote by Goethe



 Are you angry with the world? For some people each day represents another battle in a war against what they perceive to be a partisan world. Full of anger and driven on by feelings of injustice and inequality they rage against life as if it were a hostile regime.

When troubles come at you with a force that knocks you off balance, it is easy to see life as a fight for survival in a society divided into the haves and the have-nots, as a contest to be won or lost.

No one would deny that at times life is a struggle, when it becomes a war the conflict is often with ourselves, feeling impotent to change anything and unable to move on, we apportion blame, and deny responsibility. An old Chinese proverb says “It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness”.

Even the smallest triumph can change everything and make your life worthwhile, so don’t stand against the wind, you don’t always have to swim against the tide, no where is it written that the hard way is best.

Never give up fighting for the life you think you deserve, but if you accomplish this without blame or scapegoat, you may bring about lasting peace. 

As Buddha described  “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell”.

 Title quote by Franz Kafka



Goldberg wrote,” Stress is an ignorant state; it believes everything is an emergency, nothing  is that important”.

I think we would all agree that this is somewhat of a generalisation, some things are that important. The secret is to allow stress to release every hormone, raise every hair and consume every thought, over events that can threaten life or destroy happiness, but never to allow stress to dictate your thoughts and actions over the irritating, upsetting,  in your face  problems that life throws up every day.

Mark twain said” Drag your thoughts away from your worries by ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it”.

 If something you said, a mistake you made, a decision you have taken, is all you can think about, then don’t obsess about it any longer. Use every means at your disposal to put it right and then resolved or not let it go, because worry consumes courage and drains the spirit and if you don’t let go you will never have the strength to see it for what it is, simply a lesson learnt and not a tragic milestone directing the rest of your life.

The art of living lies less in eliminating our trouble than in growing with them”.    Baruch

Title quote from Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie