4-minute miles and 2-hour marathons

Last weekend in Berlin, Eliud Kipchoge set a new world record for the marathon of 2:01:39. He averaged 4:38 per mile, and took an astonishing 78 seconds off the previous record. Kipchoge has trained for years in order to set that world record. For decades he has monitored his diet and sleeping habits, has run hundreds of miles a week …

Letting Go v Holding On

I have been interested in Chinese martial arts for as long as I can remember – and whether I was watching the ‘Kung Fu’ TV series, or Bruce Lee in ‘Enter the Dragon’, it was always the philosophy that caught my attention more than the physical side. I’ve been re-reading “The Shaolin Grandmaster’s Text”, and there’s an interesting point in there …

What can you do with 10 minutes a day?

Is there anything you’ve always wanted to learn? Maybe a language? A musical instrument? Or how to build a website? One of the things that holds most of us back is the idea that the thing we want to learn is too big – when you’re just starting out, it can seem overwhelming. You’re probably familiar with the old joke …

We can always do better

When we work on something that we care about, knowing when to stop can be hard. You tell yourself to keep editing … You care enough to keep making those infinitesimal changes that only you can see, because you want it to be absolutely perfect before anyone else reads/hears/sees your work. But of course nothing is ever perfect – everything …

Is technology a symptom or the cause?

  After hearing his TED talk, I became very interested in what Tristan Harris was doing at the Centre for Humane Technology. Essentially, he is one of a growing number of tech experts who are concerned about the impact technology – particularly social media – is having on us both as individuals, and society as a whole. With research showing that ‘pull to …

Setting Goals v Acquiring Skills

“Man is a goal setting machine,” said Aristotle, more than 2000 years ago. That message has been echoed time and again by lots of very smart people in the intervening years by everyone from Seneca through to Benjamin E. Mays. I’ve had some success with goal setting, but the simple fact is that none of us achieve every goal we …

Should NGOs do an Amazon?

The five Big Tech companies together are valued at about $3.5billion. The entire UK economy generates around $2.6billion. The combined influence of Apple, Alphabet (who own Google), Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft is extraordinary, affects all of our lives on a daily basis, and is only going to increase. Amazon purchased Whole Foods last year, and this week the rights to some Premier …

Why the quick fix is a bad idea

When we are confronted with a challenging situation, our first instinct is to just make it go away as quickly as possible. The tendency is to look for the quickest and simplest solution, but this may not always be the best idea. Our greatest successes usually come when we can move to what Shane Parrish calls ‘Second-Order Thinking’ – the ability …