5 Share Friday 14 June 2019

Quote I’m pondering – “Your goal in life is to find out the people who need you the most, to find out the business that needs you the most, to find the project and the art that needs you the most. There is something out there just for you.“Naval Ravikant

How to read faster – I’m finding time to read is getting less and less for me  nowadays, so I’ve gone back to a Tim Ferriss blog on how to read faster. It requires some specific practice and I’m not finished yet, though the results so far have been pretty amazing! Try it yourself and you’ll see what I mean.

Podcast I’m listening toTo live and die in LA – This was shared in Tim Ferriss’ own Friday email and I got hooked instantly. There are mixed feelings from many listeners (15 million and counting), with some saying it’s amazing and others really disliking it. I’m enjoying it so far and have made it to episode 7 still keen to listen to more. If you’re interested in true crime this short form podcast might be right up your street.

The £20 boiled egg in London – A friend shared the below on Twitter and I was happy I read all the way through (as the author suggests). Take a look yourself, as there is more to the £20 boiled egg than you might think..

Do you get cold on passenger planes? – I was on a flight this week where it was so cold even the blankets didn’t keep me warm. I asked why it needed to be arctic conditions and the airline staff didn’t know themselves, so when we landed I looked it up. Apparently it’s for our own benefit, and the Telegraph newspaper  went on a discovery of it’s own to find out (click the link to read).


If you’re wondering where this 5 share was on Friday then wonder no more! I was travelling and couldn’t publish in time. I hope you had a fabulous weekend, despite missing out on this amazing 5 share until now.

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5 Share Friday 7 June 2019

Quote I’ve been pondering “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” – Henri Bergson

Books in 8 minutes – I’ve been reminding myself of classic books and learning about new ones using these 8 minute videos. The author has a great style and flow, they really are good. He also shares the tools he uses in case you’re interested in producing vids yourself.

Staying with learning – HBR has a great read here, inspiring me to practice metacognition, that is stopping myself and asking if I really get something, which I realised I’ve not been doing. Learning is a learned behaviour and we can all get better at it.

I’m getting more productive & inspired – I’ve returned to ‘Epic music’ on YouTube and Apple Music for the last week. I’m finding that when practicing metacognition, as well as producing content for work or my blog, epic music is a fantastic driver for results. I recommend trying it yourself to see if you notice a difference too? YouTube has some cracking tunes here: YouTube 2 hours of Epic Music

Want to improve your life? Just learn to say no – I’m constantly trying to improve my ability to say no to the non essential. It’s not easy, especially at work. The Guardian published a terrific piece with insights and advice, ending with the great Warren Buffet quote “Successful people say no to almost everything”


I hope you have a fantastic weekend doing the things you enjoy with the people you love.

Missed last weeks 5 Share? Find it here.

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For other blog posts on work and life go here: https://www.marcuspurvis.com/category/posts/

Genuine Kindness is the Ultimate Strength

So there I am in Nigeria, sitting across the road from a dead man in a ditch and all I’m thinking is ‘why hasn’t anyone moved him? The flies and the stink, arrggh!’

At the time it was only the second dead person I’d ever seen, and I was already becoming numb.

I spoke to the other volunteer next to me, he just nodded and said someone would come along at some point that day ‘I already said they’re never left for more than a day or two.’ was his reply.

Let’s call him Nigel, though that’s not his real name. He’d been volunteering in South Nigeria for the last 3 years and I was with him to learn how to get through the culture shock of my first few months. Then I’d be sent to the jungle village of my assignment, left to my own devices teaching mechanical engineering.

I remember that moment with Nigel clearly. It was the moment I realised I didn’t want to be like he was, that is numb to a dead person across the street.

One of my strengths is empathy and connection with people. I’m not perfect at it and still make mistakes, yet I’ve a solid foundation I’m working from. I didn’t realise that strength until my mid thirties while surrounded by software engineering teams, where at that time the people side was often neglected.

‘Leadership is about empathy.’ – Oprah Winfrey

It’s disappointing how long it can take for many organisations to understand the value of empathy and connection, it’s a proven winning ingredient for the success of individuals and teams.

A second strength I build on is intuition, again often overlooked and under valued in a world of software engineering and data centric decision making. In teams I support, I value intuition from everyone, otherwise why hire a person? There’s an old proverb ‘One cannot hire a hand – the whole man always comes with it’ . So why do so many organisations create a burden of proof required for people to do what their intuition (from the experience and skill they have), says needs doing? A culture of experimentation allows for this, another important ingredient for the success of individuals and teams.

So back to the dead person in the ditch not far from me. I stood up, put down my Sprite, took one of the dirty table cloths from a nearby table and walked across the dusty road. I placed it over the top half of the dead mans body, hoping to give him some dignity in the best way I could. I could see the diseased lower half that had killed him and felt sad all of a sudden, what if it was me?

After pausing with that thought and brushing off the flies buzzing around me, I walked back to the small street cafe. The cafe where Nigel was sitting, watching me. He was sat under a corrugated metal roof, a roof with rusty pin holes where the sun shone down across his head, making him look more angel like than he really was.

“I wish I’d have thought of doing that, I guess I’m just so numb to it now” he said looking at the ground.

Here’s what I promised to myself from that moment onwards. I’ll never get numb to my surroundings, I won’t blindly follow others, I’ll always take note of my intuition, and most of all, I’ll always have empathy.

Genuine Kindness is the Ultimate Strength” – Quote from Gary Vee

If empathy and connecting with people is one of your strengths, use it and build on it. It’s amazing how many people in the work place don’t understand it’s value, and when they do you’ll be the one they look to for direction and support.

“If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” – Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)


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5 Share Friday 31 May 2019

Quote I’m pondering -“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” –Zig Ziglar

How to reduce serious disease by 20% – Drink more coffee! A large research project has discovered the importance of drinking lots of coffee. This is really interesting as it found people who drink a lot of coffee tend to live longer than people who drink moderately or sparsely.

Favourite purchaseThis camera phone lens kit.  If you have an android or iPhone and want to take great macro photo’s, then this small kit is pretty fantastic. I’m still playing around and the results are great so far (especially for Lego mini figures).

What I’m readingThis is Lean – Resolving the Efficiency Paradox. I was recommended this book by a couple of people at work and it really is good. Do you find getting things done in your life and work takes longer than you’d expect? Do they feel things could become more efficient and ‘flow’ more? Even if you think you know lean, this book will teach you ways of thinking you hadn’t considered before.

Stockholm is still No.1 for work life balance – I’ve seen similar here in Copenhagen, where people arrive at 9am and leave around 3:30pm. I’ve often wondered how anything gets done longer term, but it does get done. What’s pertinent is the difference in how people are focused during their working hours. This article puts it well, and it somewhat matches my work experience in the UK and USA (where efficiency isn’t a goal as the expectation is to stay in the office later either way). Here’s a snippet:

“I think we are much more efficient during the day,” Lagander says. “There’s so much more lazing around, especially in the United States. They put in a lot of work hours, but they’re so inefficient.”


I hope you have a fantastic weekend doing what you love.

Missed last weeks 5 Share? Find it here.

If you like this 5 share, please share with others. You can also get notified by email every Friday, simply sign up using the sign up box on this page.

For other blog posts on work and life go here: https://www.marcuspurvis.com/category/posts/