5 Share Friday – 15 Dec 2017

After today it’s only one more 5 share to Christmas. I’ve been doing these in a couple of different formats for well over a year now and I appreciate you coming with me on the ride. Readership is growing and so the content must be ok!

1. Quote I’ve been pondering this week “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” – Pema Chodron

2. I went back to this 5 minute read on books several times this week. I like the idea of being a constant work in progress. Books really help with that, though my wish list keeps on getting longer: Why you should stop feeling bad about all those books you buy dont read

3. A colleague shared this hilarious write up on how a guy made his shed the #1 restaurant in London on Trip Advisor. He was interviewed on TV and has since been made semi-famous from his antics. Read it and never trust an online review again I made my shed the top rated restaurant on tripadvisor

4. In my quest for music at work and to increase productivity, I’ve discovered this 5 hour compilation of video game music and it’s pretty good. I’m still trying it out and so far the results are positive.

5. I’m shopping for a turntable for next year, this one is currently my favourite choice  if anyone has any advice or input to help me get a great player for under £300 let me know!

5 books that have the ability to change your life

2017 has been quite the year for me. I left a fabulous team in Xbox at Microsoft, I became a father for the second time, I started a new role at Unity where I’m surrounded by smart people looking at solving hard problems, and I re-entered the world of Cryptocurrency after coming to terms with my earlier bitcoin losses.

At the same time I read a lot. 5 books this year changed me forever, I think they have the ability to do the same for anyone else that reads them. Here they are in no particular order:

Tools of Titans – Tim Ferriss: A book I find hard to describe without tears of gratitude forming in the corner of my eyes. The wisdom, methods and inspiration for being more effective across all areas of life is incredible.
This hasn’t only changed my life, I’ve seen people around me who’ve read it change also. Bit by bit Tim Ferriss is helping us change our lives and make the world a better place.

Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health – Jo Robinson: This book is incredible. Jo describes that over the course of four hundred generations, the human race has eliminated nutrients and replaced our once-wild fruits and vegetables with better-tasting, easy-to-harvest varieties, full of starch and sugar, and lacking the vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols of the original wild version.

What I love is not just being educated to think more about this, it also contains how best to spot nutrient rich fruit and veg in the shops while at home how to retain those nutrients.

Principles – Ray Dalio: After watching his excellent TED talk on how to build a company where the best ideas win, I was excited to learn about this book. I pre ordered and when it arrived got stuck in right away. It’s hard not to admire Dalio, he’s not just an investment manager, he’s a deep thinker whose philosophy extends beyond just his own life.

His principles are designed for creating a good life and he has hundreds of them written down for that purpose. What I’ve found useful is his recommendation that people note their own so they can make better choices, I’m doing just that and can’t recommend this book highly enough.

Becoming Wise: An inquiry into the Mystery and Art of living – Krista Tippett: A book I wish I’d had years ago. Reading it gave me a more hopeful vision of humanity along with my own personal growth to match.

Krista focuses on the exhilaration of engagement with life for its own sake, not as a means to an end. After reflecting on this I realised I had greater strength and ability to meet the world where it really is, and help work at making it better.

The Artists way – Julia Cameron: This book takes dedication and I’m not done with it yet. I first got wind of this from Brian Koppelman who recommended it to Tim Ferriss. Like many others I feel the tone and some of the content is not me, yet the idea of a morning brain dump (writing 3 pages each morning, aka morning pages) has stuck with me.

I feel more creative again! For the last decade I’ve been stuck in a low creative mode and it’s not who I am, The artists way has helped me be me again, it can do the same for you.

5 Crypto Friday – 08 Dec 2017

The world has gone crazy for Bitcoin this week, it’s everywhere. There are many millionaires all over the world from Bitcoin, I myself would be one if I hadn’t thrown away my computer back in 2012, damn!

So, with people buying in right now (at such a high price) I thought I’d devote this post to five things around Crypto in my life this week:

1.Quote I’ve been pondering  “Bitcoin is the most important invention in the history of the world since the Internet.” – Roger Ver

2.That’s right, crypto will be like the internet is to us now, an integral part of the world as we know it. Back in the days when I used WinAmp for music (Usenet to get the music) and ICQ for chatting, mainstream media didn’t even know how to pronounce the @ symbol or what use email would have, this video is a hilarious reminder: YouTube

3.There is no one I have learned more from regarding Bitcoin and blockchain than Andreas Antonopoulos. Thanks to Martyn, a friend and old colleague who pointed me to him earlier this year. When I started seeing Andreas’ tweets coming through one evening this week I was intrigued, then tears started forming in the corner of my eyes. There really are wonderful people out there, and yes they own Bitcoin. Gratitude is beautiful : https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/7hylea/andreas_antonopoulos_posted_this_response_to_a/

4. Crypto Kitties! If this one has passed you by, go to the link now and sign up: https://www.cryptokitties.co/ A game that’s actually slowing down the Eth network due to it’s popularity, enjoy.

5.I’ve had many people asking me how to get in on Bitcoin this week. I’ll write a future post dedicated to it, in the meantime I’ve been sharing various links to get started, this is a great one https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-buy-bitcoins/ Remember to not put in what you cannot afford to lose!

The surprising benefits of having a dog in your life

“I think it’s time to have a dog back in our lives” – my wife said…

….That was 18 months ago and a little over 18 months after our much loved Bob the dog (a Tibetan Terrier my wife rescued from the streets of Portugal) had passed away in her arms.

I’ve spent the majority of my life with no pets, though I’ve always loved animals. So by my late 20’s I decided I’d keep chickens (they do make great pets), unfortunately they became impractical as my lifestyle became more travel and working longer hours.

After that, it wasn’t until my 30’s when I realised that responsible and respectful dog owners are some of the most interesting and successful people I’d spent time with. I consistently saw that the majority of responsible dog owners naturally create positive impact in their lives as well as those around them.

Not only that, I discovered there are several key benefits to having a healthy relationship with dogs, ranging from living longer to being a clearer communicator. Here are my top 4:

1. You become a black belt in communication. Susan Garrett is a great person to learn from. I’ve really had to up my game on communication since having a dog, and this has improved my whole life, even though I’m constantly making mistakes, I’m still improving and having a dog has forced me to think about clarity.

2. You become a stronger parent and leader. 4 years before I became a dad, Bob the dog entered my life (he and my wife came as a pair). The culture shock of being a coach, mentor, partner and someone who Bob relied upon for play, walking and feeding was difficult to deal with in the beginning. I was used to being selfish and doing what I wanted on my own terms. By the time I became a dad I was pretty good at balancing the needs of a family member that depended on me as well as not forgetting my own.

3. Families who have dogs have children with stronger immune systems. Babies and toddlers who grow up in a home with a dog are much less likely to get common illnesses and suffer from allergies:

4. Dogs build routine into your life, and routine is good for the mind, body and spirit. This results in reduced stress and increased happiness. David Agus tells us in his book “A short guide to a long life” (rule 49) to get a dog. A dog keeps you on a regular schedule, reduces stress and increases exercise outside.

Embracing a dogs companionship and love is a joy. I’m grateful for having a family dog (he’s called Bertie and is just over 1 years old). I’m grateful even though there are times I have to remind myself of that. Bertie ate my sons Lego Batman and Darth Vadar earlier this year (I had to find replacements sharpish!), and the garden plants have suffered somewhat from his puppyhood.

Bertie the dog at age 5 months

All in, I’ve not only become a better person, my kids have a stronger immune system and my wife and I might even live longer!

Go rescue a dog.