5 Share – 20 Oct 2017

5 share is here again! It must be close to the weekend I hear you say? Well yes, that’s what Friday does best, apart from 5 Share of course.

1. Quote I’ve been pondering this week “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar

2. Donald Rumsfeld wrote a book a few years ago titled Rumsfelds rules (lessons in leadership..) It’s an ok read which I recommend (putting politics aside). In the book he describes his standing desk and ever since, I’ve wanted one myself, especially after reading The End of Illness ,which gives data on sitting down as something that can shorten your life. At Unity where I work, I now have a fabulous desk, one that I can sit down at or at the touch of a button stand at, yay!

3. This week I’ve been experimenting with meditation and music. I still use the Headspace app for the majority of my meditation (highly recommend it) though I’ve found that listening to Cora from the album The last of the Mohicans really sets me up for the rest of my meditation time. Even if you don’t meditate, it’s worth listening to this tune. It can make your hair stand up on end and switch your brain to instant relax mode. Those that have followed me for some time know I use the album The last of the Mohicans as a productivity tool, I still do this multiple times a week when I’m working.

4. Alan Page (who also works at Unity) is one of my favourite people to learn from when it comes to quality, testing and software engineering. He also shares 5 things each Friday, which is awesome and contains useful gems. I’d recommend checking them out: http://angryweasel.com/blog/

5. Lastly, this week I had what is now my favourite toilet encounter ever. On the way into the toilet at the office I bumped into Mike Cooper. He is a person I used to play Counterstrike with many years ago as well as work alongside on games like Harry Potter (where he was part of the production team). More recently he can be found working with Jamie Oliver, and I recommend checking out a few of his videos if you’d like to learn how to make the perfect coffee! https://www.jamieoliver.com/videos/how-to-make-a-latte-mike-cooper/

Be curious, be grateful, be playful

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious” – Albert Einstein

My 4 year old son started school last month as he is a summer born. The legal requirement for attending school in the UK is 5 years old, and due to this there are many 4 year old children beginning their school life 6-12 months earlier than many of their peers. Interestingly it comes from a Victorian system designed in the late 1800’s to help women get into work, not look after the interests of the children.

My Scandinavian colleagues look at me with bewilderment when I explain this, as places such as Denmark and Sweden do not require children in full time education until 6 / 7 – a starting age proven to result in better academic achievement and well-being, an article in The New Scientist explains this well: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22029435-000-too-much-too-young-should-schooling-start-at-age-7/

What surprises me the most about this early schooling in the UK is that if you attend a state run school they don’t spend the first 1 to 2 years learning solely through play. Learning through play is proven to be the most effective way a child can learn, why doesn’t our school system and society overall embrace this? I’m still trying to work this out.

If your child attends a Montesorri (such as Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs did) they use a system that expands on a childs curiosity not one that diminishes it by forcing wisdom. Children in the UK school system are on the receiving end of wisdom and have the curiosity taken from them, and not only that, they have KPI’s and other metrics that must be met, really quite bewildering. Free education should not be treated like a business.

Ken Robinson did a fabulous TED talk on the subject of killing creativity at schools: https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity/transcript if you’re a parent and haven’t seen this then it’s worth the 20 minutes.

As parents ourselves, my wife and I realise it’s not the actual schools that are the problem, it’s the system they use for education. From the above TED talk there are 2 key points that as parents we understand and reverse / make up for as best we can at home:

  1. They train people to become compliant workers, sit in straight rows, and do what they’re told.
  2. They teach kids that the best way to fit in is to want what others have / buy stuff.

One resounding quote from Kens talk is this “They churn out people who await instruction….but we don’t churn out people who are innovative, creative, and ask questions, who interrupt…who are by almost any any definition artists. We actually shun those people.”

Anyone here familiar with sticker charts? Way to go creating a culture of doing things only to receive, how did that become a thing? Just one example of our school system setting up our children for a more difficult adulthood.

Overall, if we continue on this destructive path where education branches away from learning, the gap that’s already felt between millenials and generation X & Y will continue to widen and get larger between future generations.

I’ll end with one of the most important influences on schooling for me personally, and that is Seth Godin’s thinking and action. As parents we absolutely have a duty of care to make up for the gaps and inadequacies our schooling brings into our children’s lives. Seth has some fabulous materials available here http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/09/the-shameful-fraud-of-sorting-for-youth-meritocracy.html

5 Share – 13th Oct 2017

It’s share time! Specifically 5 share time, where you (lovely readers) get 5 unbelievably life changing snippets of information to brighten your weekend and life*, it should also help stop any bad luck on Friday 13th**

*I hope **Not based on fact

1. Quote I’m pondering this week “For the first 30 years of your life, you make your habits. For the last 30 years of your life, your habits make you.” – From a Steve Jobs interview with Playboy magazine in 1985. This has me thinking about growth mindset and how I’ve been able to overcome some of the habits from my first 30 years. It takes some doing though I truly believe our minds are elastic.

2. Most profound read this week is the above mentioned interview with Steve Jobs: http://reprints.longform.org/playboy-interview-steve-jobs I sat in a restaurant and read the interview on my phone, it took an hour to read and digest and I ate my whole meal and drank half a bottle of wine at the same time. It’s a fantastic piece and will remain with me forever (book marked in my Evernote). I highly recommend making the time as it’s insightful and incredibly wise.

3. TV show I’m watching – This week my wife and I began watching season 2 of Designated Survivor: https://www.netflix.com/dk-en/title/80113647 an incredibly compelling show that like the West Wing has one of the best presidents the USA could ever have (this one is played by Kiefer Sutherland). I learned about great leadership in my late 20’s from watching the West Wing, now I’m upgrading myself by watching Kiefer play one of the greatest leaders on the screen at the moment – watch it too and get better.

4. A random Google search I did this week for the X files brought up a snippet from a book published many years ago. The book details a published magazine article where I explained how to get on the set of the X files in Vancouver (I actually did this and spent time with Gillian Anderson). I’m including here just because I’m still proud: https://books.google.co.uk/books=fancultures

5. A friend shared this satirical unofficial TED talk with me a couple of weeks back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZBKX-6Gz6A and I watched it again recently. It’s hilarious and also has elements of how one can actually present with impact. Worth watching for smiles and lessons.

Money is a story

How does money make you feel? Society does it’s best to convince us that we need more money, how about a new car? That new 60 inch TV is a must, 50 inches just doesn’t cut it any more, how about that gadget you saw in the movies, everyone’s raving about it so you’ve got to have it.

The reality is that as long as you have money to put food on the table, a roof over your head and other items like clothing then you don’t really need more. Seth Godin says money is a story and I think he’s right http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/02/most-of-all-money-is-a-story.html

I’d like more money now so I don’t need to earn money in the future, that’s the only reason I work towards generating more. I want to get to financial freedom where I have a roof over my head and food on the table for myself and my family and I no longer have to spend time away from them to do it.

How is this possible? It really is, you just have to know who to learn from, how to do it and the difference between generating wealth and earning money.

Below are links to 3 amazing people that have achieved financial freedom in very different ways.  You can see that working for others isn’t a life sentence, it’s something to be grateful for, though primarily for a period of time and a stepping stone to being free in the future.

J L Collins has a blog that’s popular with financially free people and those who want to get there. It’s crucial reading for anyone who wants to commit to financial freedom: http://jlcollinsnh.com/

Mr Money Moustache is another person who’s done this and shares how he and his family continue to live a free life with enough money for everything they want and need: https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/

The 4 hour work week:  https://fourhourworkweek.com/ really is possible and it’s not just another self help book. I’m not living that dream yet though if I wasn’t trying to get there I’m not sure what other bigger and audacious goal would be worth working towards?