Time To Get Out Of COVID Hibernation

The past twelve months really have felt like being in hibernation. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. What helps is that spring is upon us, and so there is literally more sunlight each day. After the short dark days of winter, this makes a big difference. Most importantly, we have more visibility on the end of COVID-related lockdowns. I recently got vaccinated and I can tell you it makes a big psychological difference. Hopefully, by the summer, we should return to some normality. Therefore, now is a good time to start making resolutions for the year ahead (I find spring rather than the new year the best time for this). Here are some of my goals:

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Get Inspired, Read Rumi (3 min read)

I was recently speaking to a good friend, and we ended talking about the 13th-century poet and mystic Rumi. It reminded me how some words of wisdom are timeless. And in a world today that is full of noise, it’s even more important to be reminded about what is truly important. Here’s a selection of his words that I find especially relevant today*:

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How To Be Chivalrous (3 min read)

noun  /ˈʃɪv.əl.ri/  1) very polite, honest, and kind behaviour, especially by men towards women 2) the system of behaviour followed by knights in the medieval period of history, that put a high value on honour, kindness, and courage

Chivalry sounds so old-fashioned, but if any tradition needs to be revived perhaps it should be this one. What sparked my interest is a 10th-century book I stumbled across called “The Way Of Chivalry”.

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Who is the most successful person?

When you google the question, you get a list of the rich and powerful – Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos or Angela Merkel. But why does success have to defined by money or political power? I think the better approach is to personalise the question. So out of all the people you personally know, who is the most successful person? And what word would you associate with that person?

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Stop Labelling Other People!

The US election seems to have brought out the worst in people. Democrats call Republican supporters fascists and racists; Republicans call Democrat supporters communists and anti-American. But this isn’t just happening during election time, nor just in the US, but it seems to be happening all the time and everywhere – people are quick to negatively label others they don’t like and dismiss them completely. I scanned Wikipedia and the broader internet (not recommended!) for common negative stereotypes of different social groupings, here’s what I found:

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How Luck Looks Like Genius In Hindsight (1 min)


Jaws is the most successful “horror” movie of all time. Adjusted for inflation, it also comes in at number seven for all genres of movie*. The film is 124 minutes long. But guess when the shark first makes it full appearance? 80 minutes into the film. So for most the movie, we just hear about the shark, which is what makes it so scary. Continue reading “How Luck Looks Like Genius In Hindsight (1 min)”

Stop Envy From Hurting You

It’s one of the seven deadly sins and in some traditions it’s thought to be the   root of all evil. Aristotle defined it as feeling pain at the good fortune of others. Immanuel Kant extended the definition to include aiming at destroying others’ good fortune. Contemporary society, however, rarely talks about envy, perhaps because consumerism is fuelled by it. This is all the more reason to shine a light on it.  Continue reading “Stop Envy From Hurting You”

Don’t Doubt, Try the Difference

I was reminded how wise Derek Sivers is when I listened to a recent podcast interview of him where he talked on innovation vs imitation. I’ve featured his insights once before, but in case you don’t remember him, he’s a music entrepreneur turned wise owl. To give you a taste of his thoughts, here’s something he wrote on overcoming doubt by trying the difference:

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Don’t Take Politicians So Seriously!

Private Eye

In the current climate of taking political debate over social media so seriously, it’s worth deflating our pompousness by hearing politicians over the ages mocking their profession*:

The Nature of politics

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it wrongly and applying unsuitable remedies. (Ernest Benn)

‘Politics’ is made up of two words: ‘poli’, which is Greek for ‘many’, and ‘tics’, which are bloodsucking insects. (Gore Vidal) Continue reading “Don’t Take Politicians So Seriously!”