What Are You Spreading?

Almost everything spreads – viruses, great ideas, fake news, cat pictures. Emotions. We’ve all experienced it – the person who darkens every room they enter. The person that always seems to lift us up, no matter how bad our day has been. ‘Emotional Contagion’ is a thing. We are influenced by the attitude and behaviour of the people around us. …

How WEIRD Are You?

Think of three statements that begin with the words: “I am …” Remember your thoughts – we’ll come back to them in a moment. “The Righteous Mind” by Jonathan Haidt introduced me to the concept of WEIRD-ness, where WEIRD is an acronym of Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re pretty WEIRD. In Haidt’s …

Hurt People Hurt People

There are two sides to this story [as always]. If someone is hurting us we should ask ourselves – what is hurting them? And when we are hurting someone else – what is hurting us? Hurt people hurt people, it is true. But it is usually [always?] a symptom, not the cause.

Planning » Preparation » Progress

First, you make a plan.Then you prepare to execute.Then you take the action needed to progress. It’s a fairly obvious sequence. Ready … Aim … Fire I’ve done things where I tried to move too fast. Ready … Ai -FIRE! Fire again! FIIIIIRREE! It didn’t end well. I tried to learn from that. Ready … Aim … OK, left a …

Effective Optimism

Pessimists just aren’t nice to be around. All that doom and gloom drags you down. The attitude of helplessness is draining. On the other hand, excessive optimism can be just as frustrating – particularly when it ignores the fact that there’s work to be done. Where’s the balance? It’s not about thinking everything will work out, but we do need …

Why Am I Confused About Climate Change?

Last September, the UN’s IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] released a report which Ko Barrett, vice-chair of the IPCC said highlighted “the urgency of timely, ambitious, coordinated, and enduring actions. What’s at stake is the health of ecosystems, wildlife, and importantly, the world we leave our children.” To be clear, it was a 900-page report that compiled data from …

Balancing Commitment

When we commit to something – whether that is an activity, a principle, or a person – does that make us more, or less? Do we gain, or do we lose? It’s easy to see how making a commitment to improving our physical health is a good idea – it makes us a better person. If we commit to reducing …

What Are You Being Authentic To?

Authenticity has become something of a buzzword recently, but the concept goes back a long way – it’s something Aristotle was wrestling with a couple of thousand years ago. It’s not a new idea. In current usage, we associate it with people that are ‘being true to themselves’. But how far do we take that? If you get up in …