5 share – Friday 16 March 2018

1. Quote I’m pondering this week Me, I still believe in paradise. But now at least I know it’s not some place you can look for because it’s not where you go. It’s how you feel for a moment in your life when you’re a part of something and if you find that moment, it lasts forever.” – Richard from The Beach – Alex Garland

2. Decisions – Back at the tail end of 2017 I chose my word of the year for the upcoming year. That word is ‘change‘. 2018 is already proving to be one requiring big decisions in my life, so having my word of the year is helping me make important choices (big and small). If you’re interested in having a word to guide decisions (it really can make a huge difference), have a look at this short guide.

3. I had a conversation about Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird this week. Atticus from the original novel, is the person I’ve always (and still do) aspire to be like.

When a person sees injustice where others don’t, that makes them a prototype, Atticus is that prototype. No matter if you read the book or see the movie (both are outstanding), it’s hard not to feel in the presence of justice, love, and fairness – the good in the world. A business I once had was named after him and I’ll always be grateful to the author Harper Lee for giving me a strong male figure to fill that gap in my childhood.

If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie then don’t wait any longer, you’ll be hooked forever.

4. Free online learning for work & life – I’ve been using www.businessballs.com since 2012 and they’ve recently upgraded their site, making it even better. No matter what I’m after for work or personal this is the first place I go as chances are there is magic to be gained. If you haven’t tried it then go check it out, I highly recommend it.

5. I’ve been learning more about Denmark and what much of the US and UK population do not like about it – i.e. Scandinavia’s high taxes or socialist ideas. I’m fine with the idea of paying high taxes and getting what the Danes get back, it’s actually pretty marvellous, I’m not sure what all the fuss is about?

On top of being super happy, they have that Nordic insistence on knowing how to do practical things and doing them well, as well as taking care of their body with time outdoors every day. The hard-earned lesson of freezing Scandinavian winters is that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing—that all you really need to get through difficult times is shelter and sustenance, kith and kin.

If you haven’t looked at adding a little Danish into your life, it’s worth exploring. Read more here https://www.amara.com/luxpad/hygge/

5 share – Friday 9 March 2018

1. Quote I’ve been pondering this week “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible!‘”- Audrey Hepburn

As part of international women’s day I looked back through the life of Audrey Hepburn, one of the most inspirational women to ever come out of Hollywood. If you haven’t read her life story by Alexander Walker I recommend it.

2. Article I’ve been reading– Found that incredible someone at the wrong time? Got an incredible job offer though can’t move? These and other things like them happen to us now and then. For me, although I’ve found taking control of my life essential, I’m also mellowing on the idea that if something is meant to be then maybe it will be, in its own time. Perhaps the universe is just prepping? Maybe it’s all woo woo? Either way, sometimes it’s worth just enjoying the ride and seeing where the universe takes you.

3. Most impactful purchase – I miss my stand up desk when I’m working from home. So I’ve been experimenting with different setups. I’ve decided on this cardboard one, it’s rough around the edges though perfect for what I need. It’s also under £20 and takes up little to no room when not in use (flat packs down).

4. Favourite drink – Throughout the arctic weather conditions here in the UK we’ve been making this homemade hot chocolate at home. It’s delicious and in the evening we’ve even added a little Irish whiskey to make it tastier! Try it and see (best results are with medjool dates).

5. What I’ve been listening too – While rifling through the attic a couple of weeks ago, I found my lost Kurt Cobain Journals, this book is incredible. He was an often misunderstood genius and ultimately a great poet and musician. So this week I’ve been listening to Nirvana (my most played has been Nirvana unplugged) and enjoying Kurt Cobain’s artwork and writing. 

5 share – Friday 2 March 2018

1. Quote I’ve been pondering this week – “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. “John Lennon

2. What I’ve been reading on the internet- I’ve been reading and re reading this article about how who we spend time with can change what we think is impossible to possible. It’s a really good read, helping you think about the people you surround yourself with and the effect they have on you and your view of the world.

3. Best health hack – standing on one leg brushing my teeth. A while back I discovered I’ve got an extra disc at the base of my spine. Apparently we used to have tails and so I’m part of the 10% that has a left over (proof that I’m special!). All this led me to researching spinal health where one of the outcomes was keeping my core in good shape. With so much to do each day I’ve started to merge activities. This is one of them. I use an electric toothbrush with a built in timer and do 60 seconds on each leg, try it, you’ll be amazed at the benefits.

4. I found my picture of the Imagine mosaic this week (I’d lost one since moving companies). I have one at home and one for my desk at the office. Whenever I visit NYC I make sure to sit and watch the world go by at Strawberry fields. Seeing the picture daily reminds me not to give up dreaming.

5. If you’re after a short form podcast you might want to listen to Adam Grants new one WorklifeEpisode 1 is about benefiting from criticism, it’s a fascinating listen. Historically it’s been hard for me to accept criticism, it’s really not that easy to hear and then act upon. I still find it hard, though thankfully reading and listening to Tim Ferriss and others has helped me see how it’s actually a gift. If you find criticism hard to take and act upon, listen to this podcast and see if you feel differently.

5 share – Friday 23 Feb 2018

1. Quote I’ve been pondering this week “The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace”Mahatma Gandhi

2. I’m in Pune, India this week on a work trip. I’ve been lucky enough to have had a few hours to explore the city. The strange feeling of blended chaos and peace is one I’ve not experienced before, an experience of calm despite the madness. I visited the Gandhi National Memorial, the national monument of India’s freedom movement. There are many people who’ve changed the world for good in some way, none more so than Gandhi (why not watch or rewatch the movie? It’s fantastic!  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083987/

3. I watched Hidden Figures recently, a terrifically inspiring movie about the true story of the women who changed Nasa’s place in the space race. It’s had an amazing impact since it’s release last year, inspiring more young women to seek careers in technology and science. There are only a handful of movies recently where art and truth are blended in such a way that lives are changed forever, this is one of them.

4. I’m lucky enough to have a hotel room overlooking the chaotic streets of Pune. With green trees and flowers blooming as well as the 24 hour rush of people jumping on the trains by the station (my ear plugs have definitely come in handy!). Here’s a typical view..

Each morning I’ve opened the curtains to let the sun beam through (it’s 100F or nearly 40C), sitting cross legged in my baggy linen trousers and meditating before I move on to the rest of the day. It may seem cliche given where I am, though the power of mediation brings ease and peace to each day, ridding my body of aches and pains that have built up over the previous 24 hours and helping me focus. I recommend trying Headspace  if you’re interested in meditation and want to try it out.

5. A colleague lent me the book Idiot Brain by Dean Burnett, a neuroscientist and Guardian blogger. Dean is also a stand up comedian, which definitely comes across in his writing style. I’m enjoying it and recommend checking it out. I’m not not finished, yet so far it’s a charming collection of pop neuroscience musings on “how the human brain does its own thing despite everything the modern world can throw at it.” 

Have a great weekend everyone!

5 Share – Friday 16 Feb 2018

1. Quote I’m pondering this week “Life is like a cup of tea…it’s all in how you make it.” 

2. Article I’ve been reading: Turns out the way you hang your toilet paper tells a bigger story than you may think.

My preference is roll over and I’m totally guilty of flipping someone else’s roll under to a roll over. I feel bad after reading this..

3. This week gave us Shrove Tuesday and Valentines day, pancakes and love seem a perfect match!

This year the internet was a buzz with all sorts of valentine stories. The good news is, whether it’s someone in your life you’re already with or someone you want to be with, the internet can tell you if you’re actually in love with them.  It must be true as the internet never lies..

I hope you got to spend time with the one you love this valentines day.

4. I’ve been looking up recipes in Dale Pinnocks Medicinal Chef recipe books. Dale’s recipes have been a staple at home for a few years now, I highly recommend them for their taste and nutrition.

Matcha coconut porridge for breakfast? yes please!

5. This amazing article made it’s way onto Linkedin last week. The author has the same name as me and even looks familiar…It’s worth reading if you’re interested in improving your mind and how it controls you.

5 Share – Friday 9 Feb 2018

1. Quote I’ve been pondering this week“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.” – John Lennon

2. A colleague at work shared this buzzfeed link. Take a look at the straw holder you never knew existed, along with the correct way to get Tic Tacs out of their box, genius!

3. What I’m reading: Food Rules by Michael Pollen – The New York Times bestseller containing lots of great reminders and principles to follow when it comes to food. Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does is one of them.

4. It’s nearly Valentines day, that day people send cards anonymously to the one they like. I’m not entirely sure anonymous achieves the desired result? Anyhow, do you know the real history of valentines day? It was pretty wild..in this write up of The Dark Origins Of Valentine’s Day it’s clear we’ve got it easier. So unless you like that sort of thing, thank the card shops and present makers you don’t have to go through what the Romans did.

5. Slippers…No longer the footwear reserved for pensioners or the untrendy. We’ve only got carpets upstairs in Purvis mansions, so it’s essential to have good slippers throughout the winter. Finding Giesswein slippers has been amazing. Now I’ve got a pair I’ll never go back. Forget all those adverts for Mahabis on facebook… Giesswein are the perfect, No.1 slipper out there, they do footwear for both men and women. You’ll thank me once you try them.

5 share Friday – 2 February 2018

5 Share Friday, where you get 5 life upgrades / hacks for free, tested by myself, where I only share the best.

1. Quote I’ve been pondering this week “The point is not to pay back kindness but to pass it on”Julia Alvrarez

2. Every year, I watch Steve Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford University. I watch it multiple times a year as it’s so powerful, inspiring and true and I made time for it again this week. If you’ve never watched it or haven’t seen it in a while, why not check it out? Just click on the picture below. Stay hungry, stay foolish.

3. I’ve been using my new carry on bag for travelling and it’s changed my life. If you’re after a practical carry on the Osprey Farpoint 40 is the best one I’ve ever owned. It turns into a rucksack or carrys like a bag. It’s lightweight and means no more waiting for bags at the other end (approved for cabin carry on), it’s a no brainer.

4. What I’m listening to: 10% Happier podcast. This week the guest was Tim Ferriss and it was awesome. Dan has a book that was my inspiration for trying meditation, I’ve not looked back since and it’s something I do every day.

5. This week I stayed in a hotel at Heathrow airport for a few nights (for Unity meetings). So I packed my trusty earplugs in case of aircraft and road noise. I don’t stay anywhere without these babies as they don’t fall out or feel like you have earplugs in your ears, yet they block almost all noise. It turns out the hotel had great soundproofing from the outside, just not the inside, where my neighbour liked to wake up to loud television at 5:30am, these plugs helped me dream of my future Land Rover and all the fun I’m going to have.