I Don’t Know

Is the most sensible answer to all the big questions, “I don’t know”? We’re still dealing with the fallout from Covid-19. Will there be a vaccine? How long will it take? How effective will it be? The scientists working on it are doing their best – but no-one can give definitive answers. And if Covid-19 ‘goes away’, how long before …

Born Lucky

I was born lucky. I’m white.Male.British.Straight.I have a stable, loving family.I have neither physical nor mental disability.In global terms, my income is top 1%. I did absolutely nothing to earn those privileges. Through blind luck, I have not faced a day – not even a single moment – of discrimination in my entire life. In his 1963 ‘Letter from Birmingham …

Disappointment v Regret

What’s the difference between disappointment and regret? And why does it matter? During challenging times, we may find ourselves feeling down about the things that happen – or don’t happen. This is entirely understandable – and it’s important to recognise and acknowledge our emotions, but how we frame things is vitally important. REGRET can be a useful emotion. We feel …

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 …