5 Share Friday 15 Feb 2019

Quote I’m pondering “They invented hugs to let people know you love them without saying anything” – Bil Keane
 
Book that gripped meThe Tattooist of Auschwitz. This is the story of a holocaust survivor. It’s a fictional story based on true events. It caught me by surprise as it was so compelling I read the whole book within a 48 hour period. At its core it’s a love story, one containing the horrifying reality of life in Auschwitz and how 2 people survived to find each other after liberation.
 
Music I’m listening tooMinecraftable – My 5 year old son loves the abtmelody Minecraft playlist on Apple music. The Minecraftable tune is the first tune in a playlist of Minecraft parody songs. It’s not my usual taste in music, yet having it play in the background while building lego or having breakfast with my son, I’m finding I like it more and more.
 
Thoughts on BREXIT – I’ve been in Denmark for the last 7 months and I still don’t know what the UK is hoping to ‘get back’ from exiting the EU, I don’t think anyone really knows. A Dane who lives in the UK has made a comic strip that describes his experience and feelings over the last 2 years, it’s worth reading.
 
Purchase I’m enjoying Gore windstopper beanie . My wife bought me this a while ago and it’s fantastic for wearing under a bicycle helmet or while running. With the cold weather this winter, I wouldn’t go without it now.
 
Happy Friday everyone!
 
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5 Share Friday 8 Feb 2019

Quote I’m pondering “1 universe, 9 planets, 204 countries, 809 islands, 7 seas, and I had the privilege of meeting you.” – Author unknown.

This quote one really hit me this week. There are so many people I’m grateful to have spent time with, working with and being friends with. It’s incredible when you put this into context. The chance of actually meeting people who’s company you enjoy while they enjoy yours back, is surely not that big? Yet it happens to all of us.

Story that inspired me this weekRepairing buildings and structures with Lego. This is a wonderful use of Lego. With so many Lego bricks around the world available, what better use is there for those that are spare?

(Image credit: Jan Vormann / VG Bild)

Children aren’t ruining the planet, you areThis article amazed me due to the response adults have had regarding children protesting on climate change. Not only does it beg the question of how does a few days off school hurt a lifetime of education? (it doesn’t) Why do many adults assume they know more than their children on any subject? Of course, the main question is – why do we not care enough about the legacy we leave future generations?

Favourite purchaseOdor eaters heavy duty insoles. If you want comfy insoles and fresh smelling shoes then these are what you have been looking for. They’re even washable. I’ve been using them in my shoes for months and after washing this week they still work well. They’re cheap, you can buy them almost anywhere and you’ll have fresh smelling shoes!

Interesting read – Living abroad increases satisfaction in life and reduces stress. According to the research team cited in this article, living abroad not only provides people with a new sense of self, but can also bring greater life satisfaction and decreased stress, improved job performance and even “enhanced clarity about the types of careers that best match an individual’s strengths and values.”

Happy weekend everyone!

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Stop thinking, and end your problems

I was in Sweden for a work retreat last week. It was at a hotel complex on the coast. The beach (a short walk from the hotel) was calm, snowy and a great place to visit to gather my thoughts over what became full and hectic days.

It was a difficult week in some regards, I prefer to be alone or in the company of 1 or 2 others, not such large groups. John Cleese once said (after reading Susan Cains Quiet) “I’m on the introverted side, but I can function perfectly well in an extroverted way. But at the end of the day when I’ve been extroverted a lot, I need some quiet time on my own…”

I feel similar. Put me in a group of 20 people and I’ll seem right at home. So much so, that people I’ve got to know appear surprised when they discover I prefer quiet time. The thing is, I can function perfectly well in an extroverted way, it just takes a lot of energy.

It wasn’t until a few years ago I realised that my tiredness comes from this. I used to ask myself if there was something wrong with me. Why am I so tired most of the time? Do I have an illness? Why doesn’t anyone else feel like this?

It turns out other people do feel the same, it’s just not widely spoken about.

So, while standing on that snowy beach in Sweden, looking out to sea, I was reminded how much I benefit from quiet time. I used to live by a beach, back when I was 10 years old. My brother and I would spend hours playing in the rock pools ands collecting pebbles. I remember staring out to sea back then and wondering what sort of life was ahead of me. It’s no different now, over 30 years later and I’m wondering what’s ahead of me still, only this time I know I’m in the drivers seat.

So I make sure I have quiet time when I can. I go for walks alone at lunchtime rather than socialise in the canteen. I take an hour or two out of the day to work in a meeting room or a space without others. Most sacred to me is my time without my phone, music or anything else. This is usually on my way home, commuting on the train. While everyone else is watching or listening to media of some kind, I allow my mind the freedom to spin on it’s own, it’s my not-thinking time.

Not-thinking time is amazing and I’d recommend trying it if you don’t already. For thousands of years humans had not-thinking time weaved into their days naturally. In the last 100 years it’s been stolen from us and we are only just recognising that increased anxiety and depression are linked to being ‘always on.’

“I’m tired of being inside my head. I want to live out here, with you.” – Colleen McCarty

So why not try some not-thinking time. If you’d like some tips on how to get not thinking time into your life Psychology today has a good write up.

 

5 Share Friday 1 February 2019

Quote I’ve been pondering – “We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.”– George Bernard Shaw

What I’m readingGatesnotes is becoming one of the websites I spend the most time on. Bill has a thirst for growth and uses that growth for positive change in the world. Gatesnotes is pretty inspiring and interesting. He’s not the person he was in his 20’s and If I’m ever half the person Bill is now I’ll be happy (I don’t agree with all of his views either which makes his site all the more interesting for me).

His end of year post on wrapping up 2018 is inspiring. It contains his 4 quality of life questions, ones I’m now asking myself more often: Did I devote enough time to my family? Did I learn enough new things? Did I develop new friendships and deepen old ones? Do the people I care about love me back?

Here’s a scary photo of Bill before he asked himself those sorts of questions..

App I’ve been playing withYousician, where I’ve been looking at the guitar lessons (I used to play but got rusty). I had the pleasure of spending some time with their head of engineering this week (who visited the team I’m part of at Unity). Yousician are a company that’s going places. The guitar tuner is awesome and they have more than just guitar lessons so go take a look.

Most shocking readOne in 20 Britons does not believe the Holocaust took place. I’ve always known there are people who just don’t believe it, yet it’s saddened me to learn the number of people who don’t know or believe. It’s a real eye opener, reminding me I need to make sure that, as my children grow older, they’re aware and educated. At the very least, we need to know the past in order to make a better future.

Something I learnt – Hotel keys do not get wiped by your phone. I use an RFID blocking wallet. I was tired with hotel keys that stopped working, as well as the risks around mixed payments while using multiple cards. It turns out that hotel keys being wiped by your phone is a complete myth, who knew? Not me!

Happy weekend everyone!

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See my other blog posts and interesting topics here: https://www.marcuspurvis.com/category/posts/