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Your attitude = the quality of your life. Simples.

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

You’re in for a big surprise

2020 has in no way panned out in the way we thought it would. Except for one person I know of… My friend took delivery for her neighbour back in late January because her neighbour wasn’t home. When he collected the box from her, he told her it was full of face masks. At that point, there was news of a virus in China, but not much more was known than that. Clearly, someone had their finger on the pulse and whilst my friend and I found it amusing he was panic buying face masks, we were laughing on the other side of our face (mask) as the months wore on…

As individuals, and businesses, we made plans for 2020. Plans for trips afar, maybe savings plans for exciting adventures in 2021; intentions to see old friends; begin new pastimes and activities to meet new ones; maybe to grow a role at work, to move on to enhance skills, or maybe to stretch oneself, perhaps to...

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You think there’s no freedom right now? Why you’ve got it all wrong.

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

Your ‘why’

Sidney Rittenberg was an American journalist and scholar. He was sent to China during the Second World War as a Chinese linguist and when the war ended, he chose to stay in the country. As a committed Socialist, he was sympathetic to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cause. He knew Chairman Mao personally, as well as many of the other high-ranking leaders but just as Mao was a friend, he was also Rittenberg’s jailor. At various points, over the coming years, as suspicions grew about foreigners, Sidney fell afoul of the CCP and was imprisoned in solitary confinement not just once but twice, for a total period of 16 years.

During Rittenberg’s first imprisonment, for the initial 12 months, he was kept in a completely dark room. His incarceration continued for a further five years before he was finally released. Through his understanding of human nature and empathy with the prison...

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Why we not only need to fight the good fight from the outside in, but so too from the inside out

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

The ripple effect

I read with regularity that we’re going to soon be facing a mental health crisis in the UK, due to the effects of the Coronavirus. The pandemic has no signs of abating, as cases increase, and more local Lockdowns are imposed. If you look around and see the effects it’s having, you can understand that the human psyche is taking quite a battering at the moment.

Whilst there are pockets of businesses managing, pivoting and diversifying, there are so many at breaking point. Only recently, I read about a travel agency owner who had successfully run her own firm for 20 years but is now struggling to keep things going. In her late 50’s, she’s needing to put a CV together, something she hasn’t done in decades, and she feels desperate about the whole situation. Unfortunately, her story is not unique.

The entertainment and hospitality sectors are fighting to hang on but every...

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Which ninja turtle are you? Maybe strive to be a resilience ninja…

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

Altering our course

Resilience. That’s something we need by the bucket load right now. We hear the words ‘challenging’, ‘uncertain’ and ‘unprecedented’ a lot because well, that’s the situation we find ourselves in right now. The fact that COVID-19 is not going anywhere for the foreseeable future, means that the majority, if not all facets of our lives are affected by the virus. Our job and how we carry it out, our home life – how we all feel mentally and emotionally and how we might allow this to affect our relationships; if we have children – how they’re feeling about school, college, university and their varied experiences and how we can help them to navigate all this; any pastimes we might have – whether they can still continue, or maybe a different version of; seeing friends – we need to be creative with who we can see and where -...

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Understanding the set-up and what you can do about it

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

‘Ullo John, gotta new motor?

Selling and buying cars does not rank very highly on my ‘fun things to do’ list. I find it all very tedious and if I’m honest, stressful. I acknowledge this is not helpful self-talk. My car recently developed a fault. A big fault and because of its age and mileage, it wasn’t worth getting it fixed. Our options – sell it privately but I couldn’t face the tyre kickers, nor someone nice buying it and then something even worse happening to the car. Part-ex with a car dealer isn’t always the best plan either because they just do that thing when they walk round the car appraising it, when they rub their chin, point out the defects and then give with one hand and take with another when you get down to talking turkey.

So, we went to that place where they always buy your car. Having done some research, we think we did quite well as it goes, so that...

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Why our success perhaps doesn’t start with passion

What lies at the heart of our motivation?

There’s a theory that building a career around your passion just doesn’t cut the mustard. It’s more a case of focusing on your skills and the passion develops from there…

Cal Newport is Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. and he believes what you do for a living is less important than how you do it. His advice is to concentrate on building your career capital i.e. rare and invaluable skills and knowledge, through a process of ‘deliberate practice’; over time, as you continue to focus and systematically do your work – any work that interests you - with passion, you will excel in your field and can use your career capital as leverage to build the kind of lifestyle that matters to you.

Newport gives the example of Steve Jobs and a famous quote taken from an address he once gave: “You’ve got to find what you love… If you...

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How your thinking affects stress

The word ‘stress’ is bandied around a lot – some people use it informally to perhaps describe a time when they have a lot to do – they’re busy and maybe concerned about how they’ll get it all done; others will use the word when they feel everything is closing in on them and are in a state of high anxiety. It’s all relative and who are we to make judgements about how one person’s stress compares to another’s and the effect it can have? 

It’s very important to consider our mindset when we’re feeling like things are getting too much and to remember the brain cannot be in an open and resourceful state when we’re panicking, feeling like there’s no way out. The important thing is not to co-exist with these problems but to find ways of consciously helping yourself, whilst also recognising that seeking help and advice may also be beneficial.

Severe and clinical depression requires counselling, medication or a...

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