I don't know if it's a British thing, or maybe just human, but we do tend to underplay our achievements. 

This week, I went back to the journalism job and interviewed a man whose sister was murdered twenty years ago, when he was just 15. 

His courage and dignity were simply humbling. 

When I asked how he had kept going, at the time, he said he was well looked after by his parents and friends, and always had been since. 

What he didn't say was anything about his own incredible inner strength. 

Another example - 

I did a double gym class this weekend, a weights session followed by an hour of CV. 

One of my fellow sufferers told me how great that was, and that she was embarrassed to have only managed the CV session.

How about seeing it the other way, I replied? And being proud of getting out of bed that weekend morning to go to the gym.

A fellow writer got in touch this week to ask my opinion on a short story. She wanted me to be honest, which I was.  

Not quite enough sense of the characters, I thought, but otherwise excellent. 

She apologised, and immediately forgot about how good the other thousands of words of the story were. 

So - maybe instead of seeing the downsides, we should think more of the positives. 

Like the current favourite pub of my Cambridge exploring - 


Apart from being a cracking, old fashioned, wooden pews and real ales inn, you know what else I like? 

Their pride in what they do. 

There's a chalkboard at the front, which proclaims the total number of beers they've served in their years of operation. 

Sometimes we can find lessons in life in unexpected places.