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.

Vanity, me and the chase

Recently a few people have asked me how many readers this blog site has, so I logged on to check the details. What I found was a mix of varying data that didn’t make sense. I ran tests and most social network views (using the links from LinkedIn etc.) aren’t registered through my WordPress analytics, so I signed up to google analytics.

That was yesterday and google hasn’t gathered its data yet.  WordPress tells me I get triple digits at times, that’s not many! I hear you say? Well, I’m pretty stoked given I started in October last year, a little under 4 months ago and I don’t focus on Search engine optimisation.

My motivation is to share what I write (I love the activity of writing), learn from others and maybe inspire and be inspired along the way. There’s enough negativity on the internet, so I’ve created this space for myself and anyone who wants to visit, away from it all.

“We learned about gratitude and humility – that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean… and we were taught to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect.” –Michelle Obama

Seth Godin said in a recent interview that he no longer looks at his readership numbers, it’s not why he writes, he advises others do the same. Like any good product, if it’s great then people will find it.

As humans we’re hard wired to love the chase, that feeling of trying to get something we aren’t sure we can have, like that person you feel an attraction towards, or that fast car you’ve dreamt of. We’ve all chased and many live for that chase. Lots of people that blog are no different. I’m trying to be, as if I chase anything then it’s with good reason not vanity.

Vanity metrics are things like readership numbers. Metrics that mean something are things like the number of people who made a positive change in their life by being inspired through a blog post. That isn’t something easy to measure..

So the best I can do for now is not to completely ignore my readership numbers,  I’ll look a few times a year. If they go down or don’t increase in anyway perhaps it means my writing and the subject matter isn’t interesting to people? It would be terrific if anything I write created positive change for just one persons life, I doubt I’ll ever really know, in fact I rarely tell someone when they’ve inspired me, I’m going to change that from now on.

5 Share Friday – 26 Jan 2018

It’s that day when you get a life upgrade for free, yes it’s Friday! Thank you for reading, according to my site stats, 5 share continues to be my most popular post, with an upwards trend like a crypto currency graph after a McAfee tweet.

1. Quote I’ve been pondering this week: “The greatest of human emotions is love. The most valuable of human gifts is the ability to learn. Therefore learn to love.” UJ Ramdas 

2. I’ve been reading and writing a bit more than usual the last few days and in my quest for inspirational music, I’ve been listening to the Dances with Wolves soundtrack. If you haven’t seen the film here’s the IMDB link – it’s an epic story about friendship and choosing your path.

I really love the musical energy from the Buffalo hunt scene (often cited as the greatest movie scene ever filmed. Magical cinematography, no computer effects, no animals hurt during any of the filming). Also, the background music to this scene between Two Socks and John Dunbar is great for mindfulness (Two socks is the wolf, he’s awesome!).

3. I was reminded of the below picture earlier this week, which reminded me how much life can be affected by how we see things. I love the humour on top of the serious message – which is optimism is powerful. It’s true for all of us.

4. What I’ve been reading on the internet: It’s not a dress rehearsal – for many of us it’s easy to forget we’re in the play, not the rehearsal. Revisiting Dances with Wolves has reminded me of all the adventures I’ve had and those I’ve yet to have (the ones I’ve planned for when the time is right). Planning isn’t bad, though delaying until the ‘time is right’ can mean that something (travel, a career, that special person, a life changing decision) never happens. 

5. I’m writing this from my hotel room in Copenhagen, Denmark. Brrr, it’s cold outside, lucky for me I have my trusted OR beanie. I’ve had one for over 10 years and simply put, there isn’t a better hat for cold weather. I’ve used it for everything from exploring snowy mountains in North America to walking Bertie the dog during icy rain in our local woodland. They do all sorts of styles and male/female ones too, so if you’re on the look out for a winter hat, Outdoor Research is a great place to start.

Choosing who I spend time with

For a lot of us, we’ll spend more time with the people we work with than our own partners, families and non work friends.

Moving jobs from Team Xbox to Unity has shown me how much of a family I had been part of. Some friends and co-workers from my previous job had joined me at Xbox, meaning for my last 2 jobs (17 years combined) I’d been working with people I’d spent more time with than anyone else in my life.

It’s something I’ve only recently realised. Luckily for me they are smart, amazing people. I say lucky for me, as I agree with Jim Rohn when he says we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with.

I’m also lucky I’ve met and get to work alongside some terrific people in my new role at Unity. From recruitment to marketing and quality to engineering. More importantly, I enjoy my time with them, not something everyone can say about the people they work with ( I hope you can).

“Your purpose in relationships is simply to be your best self, regardless of the circumstances.” – Rosalene Glickman, Ph.D.

So, I’m grateful for my life having such positive influences from the people I work with. People who have taught me unconsciously (and many times consciously) how to enjoy life and have meaning.

In addition to this, with technology as it is today I get to spend virtual time with fabulous people too. Each year I choose 5 people who I spend time with.

For 2018 I’m spending virtual time with:

1. Seth Godin

2. Ray Dalio

3. Marcus Aurelius (he’s in my list every year)

4. Tim Ferriss (Also in my list every year for the last 9 years)

5. Dan Harris

It’s an interesting exercise to do, choosing virtual people who can shape your life positively, through books, podcasts, talks, blogs and other media. If you haven’t done it give it a go, I think you’ll be amazed at what a difference it can make.