The Transformational Power of Trauma

Tissot_Joseph_and_His_Brethren_Welcomed_by_Pharaoh

This notion that it is only through trauma that we can truly change is not an outlandish idea. Indeed, it is the common understanding throughout cultures and throughout time. Take the story of Joseph, son of Jacob, that Christians Jews, Muslims and theatre musical lovers are well versed in. Joseph/Yosef/Yusuf,  was the favoured son of Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. His brothers were terribly jealous of him, though. They threw him a well and allowed him to be taken as a slave by some passing travellers, whilst telling their father he had been killed. Continue reading “The Transformational Power of Trauma”

Imprisoned By Economic Theory, Liberated By Big Bang Theory

BigBangTheoryTitleCard

My blog on an alternative view of economic theory turned out to be very popular. So here’s another one in a similar vein, this time it was a speech given to academics and central bankers last summer. It’s a 7 minute read: Continue reading “Imprisoned By Economic Theory, Liberated By Big Bang Theory”

You Are Being Watched

BigBrother

In an earlier blog, I wrote about the impact of social media and smartphones on children, but it also has a deeper impact on us all. Indeed, it could mark the beginning of the  “Age of Transparency”. Everything we do, say or think can now be tracked. I include thinking, because any thought you have often leads to you quickly checking it on your smart phone. All of this is recorded somewhere. On top of that, we know from spy agency revelations that our cameras on our phones, computers and TVs can be accessed and so we can be watched at home [1]. We know that our smartphone microphone can be remotely accessed. Any websites we visit, most our purchases and what we are reading (e-books) are all tracked. Continue reading “You Are Being Watched”

Ready For Change?

Each of us look at the same world in very different ways. The same can be said of change, some loathe it, some embrace it.

Lao-Tzu, the founder of Taoism, who lived 2,500 years ago said:

“life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like”

and

“If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve”.

This is echoed by a more contemporary sage, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is quoted as saying

“strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength”.

He also had more mundane wisdom such as

“It’s simple, if it jiggles, it’s fat”.

Bilal

How Not To Be Evil Working For A Big Company

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Global corporations get a bad rep. They are easily derided as sinister, sometimes even called psychopathic. It follows that those that work for them share similar characteristics. But is it possible to imagine an alternative? Below is an excerpt from a speech I gave to newly hired graduates in a global corporation which tries to do just that: Continue reading “How Not To Be Evil Working For A Big Company”

A Man In A Woman’s World

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I gave the speech below at a conference for Women Global Leaders in Germany back in 2013. It’s a five minute read.

“I must say I feel daunted speaking to an audience consisting solely of women. A question that springs to mind is whether as a man I can see the world from the eyes of women. I would think I may have advantage as I am from a minority group. Growing up in the UK with dark skin did make me stand out. Often it would elicit racial abuse. So I have often felt negatively affected by being different. In some ways, that has spurred me on. It has given me the mentality of “I’ll show you society” and” I’ll be as good as anyone else”. However, in the process of trying to measure up to the standard set by society, it has at some level forced me to repress something of myself and feel the opinions of the “other” is more important than myself. Continue reading “A Man In A Woman’s World”

11 Ways To Improve Your Work/Life From Books I’ve Read Recently

1. Demote the importance of email. Your inbox is other people’s priorities (Craig Jarrow, Time Management Ninja)

2. To make networking successful, follow up is everything (Jayson Gaignard, MastemindTalks)

3. Scaling requires grinding it out and pressing each person, team, group, division or organization to make one small change after another (Robert Sutton, Hayagreeva Rao, “Scaling Up Excellence”)

4. Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do (Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”)

5. Unless you give at least forty-five minutes to careful, fatiguing reflection (it is an awful bore at first) upon what you are reading, your ninety minutes a night [of reading]] are chiefly wasted (Arnold Bennett, “How to Live on 24 Hours a Day”)

6. The acid test for creativity is simply stated: has the domain in which you operate been significantly altered by your contribution? (Howard Gardner, “Five Minds for the Future”)

7. Keeping things “just in case” indicates a lack of trust in the future…Good things cannot easily come into your life if you block the flow of energy by persistently clinging to outdated clutter (Karen Kingston, “Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui”)

8. Judging is what the mind does, I discovered. But what you can begin to do is write your judgments down and question them. That will give you a sane and happy life (Byron Katie, “Who Would You Be Without Your Story”)

9. Great presenters have the ability to tell you something you already know, in a way that gives it new and more powerful meaning (Jon Steel, “Perfect Pitch: The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business”)

10. What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do (Timothy Ferriss, “The 4-Hour Work Week”)

11. “Politics is when people choose their words and actions based on how they want others to react rather than based on what they really think” (Patrick Lencioni, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable”)

Bilal