Every Age With a Famous Writer

I love this beautifully produced book: 100 Years by Joshua Prager. Every age from 0 to 100 years is featured with a quote from a famous writer. Here’s a selection.

14 Even though I’m only fourteen, I know what I want, I know who’s right and who’s wrong, I have my own opinions, ideas, and principles… (Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank)

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My Advice For Twenty-Somethings

I recently gave a speech to new graduates joining my bank. Rather than given a dull speech on the economic outlook, I thought I’d talk about transitions they are facing in the world, in banking and in their lives. The excerpt below is the part on their transition from being students to becoming workers. It could apply to twenty-somethings in any industry. Oh, and if you want the full speech, let me know and I’ll email it over. Continue reading “My Advice For Twenty-Somethings”

Yikes! My Phone Died (and How I Survived)

It happened while on holiday. I dropped my iPhone in the salty sea, my phone got soaked, end of phone. I’ve been iPhone-less for over a week now. That means no WhatsApp, no social media, no Google Maps, no newsfeeds and no camera. I’ve had to resort to using my “back-up” old-school Nokia (pictured) – it can make calls and its battery lasts forever, but that’s about all it can do.

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Enter the Way Of Bruce Lee (3 min read)

Growing up I loved Bruce Lee. His fighting skills, elegance and wit were unique. But beyond that, he showed that someone who looked different from the conventional superstar could become a global icon (a bit like Muhammad Ali). I wasn’t alone in thinking that. In a strange mash-up, the American rap scene took him up as an icon most notably with the American hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan. Continue reading “Enter the Way Of Bruce Lee (3 min read)”

Recovering the Lost Art Of Chivalry (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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The Statistics Of Our Death (2 min read)

Death. When we hear about it, usually on the news in the form of murders and wars, it is presented as shocking and rare events. The rest of the time, we take cues from our youth-centric culture to live in a cocoon of apparent immortality. Yet, we all know we will die. It is as inevitable as paying taxes. And it much more common than we think.

Guess how many people died in the United States last year? 5,000, 100,000, more?  Continue reading “The Statistics Of Our Death (2 min read)”

Spring Cleaning For the Mind, Body and Soul (4 min read)

Spring is here, the sun is out and days are getting longer. There is something special about this time of year. Most cultures mark this time as the beginning of new things – we have Easter (Christian-influenced cultures), Nowruz (new year, Persian), Passover (Jewish), Holi (festival of colour, Hindu), Qingming (Tomb-sweeping, China), the spring equinox (usually March 20th when day and night are of equal length) and of course the new fiscal year (!). So rather than using Jan 1st as the time to make resolutions for the year ahead, I think spring is a much better time to begin afresh. The trick is to pick small changes that have outsized impacts on your life, and here would be mine: Continue reading “Spring Cleaning For the Mind, Body and Soul (4 min read)”

How Bankers Can Save the World (8 mins)

Purpose

What is the purpose of our life? We don’t often think of that question, especially when at work. Many of us will say that it is to be happy and healthy. Others may say to have a fun time. For me, it would have to be leaving the world in a better place than when I entered it. This would be at every level from family to work to community to the world. Another related question, then, is what is the biggest problem in the world? Some may say climate change, others income inequality, yet others war and terrorism. For me though, when I think about this I think is the lack trust that pervades our culture. Continue reading “How Bankers Can Save the World (8 mins)”

How To Stop Being Rich and Happy

Derek Sivers

I recently came across a chap called Derek Sivers. He started a multi-million dollar business (CDBaby) and then gave it away. Now he writes, programmes and is a student of life. He’s massive reader, lives a simple life and regularly imparts his words of wisdom on his blog. He also makes lists of “do’s and don’ts”. I loved this one on how to be stop being rich. From Sivers: Continue reading “How To Stop Being Rich and Happy”

My Reading List For Success At Work (Part 1)

shelf-of-books

I often get asked what the best books are to help one at work. As it turns out, I give reading lists to whoever works for me. One list is focused on developing good character and “soft skills” and is relevant for whichever line of work you are in. The other list is on more technical knowledge related to the finance industry. Below is the first list, I’ll post the second one next week: Continue reading “My Reading List For Success At Work (Part 1)”