5 Share Friday 21 December 2018

1. Quote I’ve been pondering this week “There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”John Lennon

2. Christmas decorations made this week – No cook cinnamon ornaments. My 5 year old and wife made these for his Kindergarten friends, they’re amazing. If you’re looking for nice homemade presents, then these are personal and hand made, there isn’t much that can beat that.

3. Most inspiring read this week – Armand David shared 3 life lessons from a masterclass with Chris Hadfield. He used Masterclass.com a fantastic resource where famously skilled people teach all sorts of subject (think Gordon Ramsey cooking and James Patterson on writing). I’m starting the Malcolm Gladwell teaches writing in the New Year, there are many many courses, take a look if you haven’t seen it already, it’s a wonderful place for learning.

4.  Since the birth of our first son, each December the Kindness elves visit overnight, setup an activity and leave a little note. This happens in our house for all 24 days till Christmas. We find it’s a great way to cement acts of kindness into a day, as well as a good reminder of the power of kindness to others. You don’t have to just do it at Christmas, the Kindness elves are for anytime really. So if you have children, it’s worth considering integrating Kindness elves into your lives.

5. This week I’ve been listening to Whatever, a December chart release from 1994. It’s by Oasis, an often misunderstood band. They wrote many great ballads and acoustic songs, Whatever is one of them, an inspiring song filled with meaningful lyrics, violins and electric guitar. It reminded me of the first time I saw Oasis live, in a small pub in Cardiff, Wales. It wasn’t long after the release of Definitely Maybe, there debut album and Liam the lead singer was punched by someone jumping on stage. He wasn’t best pleased, yet the crowd was filled with approbation because he kept on singing and didn’t stop the gig. I was in a strange place at the age of 21, and it’s fair to say their music helped save my life, I’ll always be grateful.

For those celebrating Christmas next week, I wish you all the joy and love Christmas can bring!

5 Share Friday 14 December 2018

1. Quote I’m pondering “Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it white.” – Bing Crosby

2. I’ve made my yearly Wikipedia donation. I use Wikipedia a lot (including links here on my blog). It’s not perfect, it’s not always 100% accurate, but wow what would we do without it? If Wikipedia has helped you at all this year, consider donating, it’s a non profit and has no other way of existing. You can find donation links here: https://wikimediafoundation.org/

3. The Danes love sweet potato’s, and there’s no shortage of them. I love them to (we all do in the Purvis clan). So we’ve been enjoying this sweet potato smoothie for a while. Unlike white potato varieties, sweet potato is supremely alkaline and doesn’t create gas or wind (phew). Try it and see, the below ingredients serve 2:

1 sweet potato, 2 carrots, 2 oranges – Peel the potato, top and tail the carrots, peel the orange and break into segments, add to the juicer – voila!

4. I’m looking at my list of books to read in 2018 and have found this list of non fiction I’m really looking forward to. Take a look at these 8 books and see if they get your reading buds going too:

5. I’ve been reading this article on stress. Thankfully stress for me is not perennial, though it can be chronic for some. Reading this has helped me realise that much of our stress can come from the fight between the logical voice in our head and our heart. The author shares several ways to overcome and reduce this type of stress. I’m pondering on the below a little this week:

When your life and success accelerate, you need to up-level.
You can’t keep operating from the same dialogue that worked before. It’s not going to be enough. It’s not going to fit.

I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Then one day, when you least expect it, the great adventure finds you..

Life is for adventure, that’s how the saying goes. Though for many, life feels like a whirlwind of work and family commitments.

How much adventure do you have in your life? How much of that adventure is attitude and how much of it is choosing to get out of your comfort zone?“

“Adventure isn’t hanging on a rope off the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day to day obstacles in life.” – John Amatt

This time last year I was 3 months into a new role. One where’d I’d chosen to leave the comfort of a large corporation and dive headfirst into a smaller, growing company. A company that has arguably changed the way video games are made forever. Like Apple’s app store, which spawned new business groups and new millionaires, Unity has done the same for  video games. Democratising the ability to create, enabling anyone the opportunity to make a great experience for little or no financial cost upfront.

Over that Christmas period of 2017, I was going through stages of regret. What had I done? I’d tripled my commute time, I’d left a company with quite possibly the best CEO in history – Satya Nadella –  (He’s the Abe Lincoln of CEO’s and I still look to him for ways I can better myself). I’d taken a pay cut, I’d left my friends and I’d also given up working on Minecraft, one of the biggest gaming franchises in history (my son still hasn’t quite forgiven me). Yet I was on an adventure, one where I was out of my comfort zone both physically and mentally (attitude).

”Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure” – Bob Bitchin

Now we’re coming up to Christmas 2018 I’m pondering my decisions from the last 12 months. I’ve moved with my family to Denmark, taken on more responsibility at Unity, I’m surrounded by a language no one else in the world speaks. I’m not able to put aside as much money to my f#ck you fund due to the high cost of living here, and I miss popping out for the weekend to see family and close friends. Yet I’m on an adventure, not just an attitude adventure, a lifestyle one too. It’s one that reminds me of when I was in my twenties, flying off to America for train hopping and then Nigeria to volunteer in a remote village.

Back then I had little knowledge on how to deal with the stress of being out of my comfort zone, other than constantly pushing myself to not be in it. Years later, I can see I have a mature mental toolbox for dealing with the daily challenges of a zero comfort zone life. I’ve learned there is good stress (eustress) which we need for our overall wellness and I’ve learned that attitude is quite possibly the single most important piece to frame each and every day.

So as this year is rapidly coming to an end, I’m reflecting on the madness I’m putting myself and my family through. My reflection is helping me see that it’s not actually madness. What’s madness is not living a life with adventure, a life where you haven’t examined your attitude.

A life lived where you’ve not taken yourself out of your comfort zone, and grown into the type of person others benefit from is a life with gaps. I naturally gravitate to those people who strive for zero comfort zone lives (either consciously or unconsciously) and I aspire to be one myself.

I wonder if we all did the same, the world might be better for everyone?

”Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.”

5 Share Friday 7 December 2018

1. Quote I’ve been pondering this week “The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement”Helmut Schmidt

2. Bill Gates’ book list is a corker yet again. I love it when Bill shares favourite books of his and this Christmas he shares what looks like some great reads. Have a look at his short festive video here. I’ve not read any of them yet, I will have by this time next year.

3. My phone is turned off at nightI’ve been working in Vilnius, Lithuania this week. During one conversation, the subject of not having phones as alarm clocks came up. It’s a notion that’s getting more popular and when asked what I do instead, I said I have a clock. Sounds obvious, but it isn’t for many. I have a Pure radio alarm clock at home and this little silent alarm clock for my travels (as hotels rarely include clocks in their rooms nowadays).

4. I’m working on my unconscious bias. While working at Microsoft I took part in a lot of training in this area (it’s a company that’s really helping employees understand the concept and it’s impact). Since leaving I haven’t kept working at it and so lick started my thinking again by reading this article by Dr. Pragya Agarwal. It’s a great article and shows how AI is now being affected by the data and actually amplifying bias, scary stuff and good to understand.

5. Gratitude has become a big part of my life in recent years. If you’re wondering about it too, is it a fad? How come everyone is talking about? What an earth is a gratitude journal? The check out this short read with 5 interesting ways to add gratitude into your life (I’m going to start No. 2 in the New Year).

Have a great weekend everyone!