Some years ago I read a book by Alain de Botton called Status Anxiety. In it he outlined the many and myriad ways we as human beings succumb to the anxiety about what others think of us; about whether we’re judged a success or a failure, a winner or a loser. We all encounter this in our daily lives. I was in the middle of an artistic argument recently and realised that what was at stake was not the particular decision at hand, but rather who was going to win. We were like two male adult moose locking antlers in a struggle to establish supremacy.

Some people who acquire status in one area find it difficult to operate in areas where there is no status. I met a fellow on a plane coming back from London who ran a successful business helping people who couldn’t cope with driving on England’s motorways. One client was the CEO of a major company with his own car space in London’s Oxford Street and yet he was so terrified by the traffic on the motorway that he eventually went from the fast lane to the slow lane and then off the motorway altogether, trying...

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