A time always comes in an artist’s life when he must take his bearings, draw closer to his own centre, and then try to stay there… A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened. This is why, perhaps, after working and producing for twenty years, I still live with the idea that my work has not even begun.Albert Camus – 1968
Don’t aim for consistently heroic efforts. Aim for being heroic at consistency.
Heroic efforts = take a huge toll emotionally, physically, and cognitively. Not a sustainable thing to strive for.
Consistency = compounds over time. Good enough over and over again makes you great.— Brad Stulberg (@BStulberg) September 18, 2018
I’m often asked why my site has this subtitle – here’s a concise explanation:
For the second time this year, we had a chance to see Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert live, in one of my favourite London venues – Oslo in Hackney.
Taking to the stage in novelty jumpers and hats, there was a Christmas feel about the show, with some tracks taken from their recently released ‘Ghost Stories from Christmas‘ album. We even had Asda lights, and a cracker pulled with one of the more ‘active’ audience members.
A few pictures from the show:
I tweet more than I blog. Interesting links, good reads and occasionally a pithy comment.
So to keep my content all flowing to one place – I’ve added a Twitter Digest here – each day a plugin pulls all of my tweets from the day before, and posts them here.
Hopefully will be a dynamic way to keep my site updated.
I ran five kilometres this morning. Four months ago I couldn’t run for a minute.
I used to visit the gym two or three times a week, repeat twenty or thirty minutes of cardio. Sure, I’d be sweaty and puffed out, but I couldn’t ever run. In the end, I’d blame my knees or my ankles and stick with exercise that had no impact.
Then, this winter I decided that I wanted to do some walking – I headed down to a local stretch of river and would walk three or four kilometres listening to a podcast or audiobook. Every time I would be overtaken by healthy-looking joggers and cyclists.
After completing some walking laps of Dorney Lake, I decided that I really wanted to run
Enter the NHS Couch to 5km programme – I started on June
Now, I’ve ran around Dorney Lake on a 5km track a total of four times – slowly, but surely I plod my way round.
To me, it’s proof that miracles can happen…
I did a few things to help me get there:
- Held myself accountable – a video diary, telling people I was on a journey made me accountable for my work.
- Enrolled a cheer squad – one or two positive messages of support after each run was enough to lift my spirits.
- Found the right tools – good shoes, good socks and some proper running tops made me feel like an athlete, even as I was learning.
- Geeked out – Strava and some decent Bluetooth headphones kept me amused and entertained.
- Enjoyed it – one of the best pieces of advice was to look up and out and the world as I ran.
As I’ve said on more than one of my videos, if I can do it, you can too. Take a few steps, run for a minute and before you know it, you’ll be running a five kilometre stretch.
I stumbled across Boys don’t Cry, hosted by Russell Kane today and listened to the latest episode on the way to work. It’s hosted by joe.co.uk which is an interesting online
The episode I was listening too, debated the issue of flirting in the post #metoo era and how (primarily) young men act now that the dynamics of relationships have shifted a bit.
The archive promises to discuss the ‘issues that men don’t usually like discussing’ – probing the ‘inner recesses of male insecurity’.
I’d highly recommend Boys Don’t Cry – an entertaining listen, I’m going to be working my way back through the other episodes next.
What podcasts am I missing? Let me know in the comments what I should be checking out?
I’m over halfway through the Couch to 5km programme, it’s the first time I have undertaken a fitness challenge like this one. I’m not a natural runner, so it has taken some effort to get here, but as I was running this morning, I was thinking about what I have learned so far on this journey.
- It’s OK to reset, it’s not OK to give up – at the end of week one, I thought I had made a mistake. I was suffering with painful ankles and calves and I started to entertain that idea that I couldn’t do this. A bit of investigation and research and I came up with an alternative approach that reduced the pain and kept me going.
- If you need to repeat a week, do that – whilst I was researching, I kept repeating week 2, making small changes each time to see what would work. I did week two a total of three times before I felt I could move on.
- Prepare properly – it seems obvious, but stretches and the right equipment can be the difference. The pain I felt in Week 1 and 2 were alleviated by getting shoes with more support for my ‘over pronating’ feet, better socks and then finding a stretching regime that really works for me.
- Take it slowly – a bit like lesson 2, it’s OK to do this at your pace and ignore everyone else. Watching other runners is fatal, they are all better than me – so trying to keep up with a pace that is anything other than mine is not a good move.
- Reward yourself – I promised myself a new pair of cheap earbuds when I got to week 5 / run 3, two thirds of the way through the programme. It felt like a milestone to run 20 minutes, and so I treated myself to a prize. Now, I’m thinking about what to get myself at the end of week 9.
So far, the programme has been hard but the results have surprised me – in week 1 I struggled to run for 60 seconds and never thought I would get to run for 20 minutes. I have a way to go before I can hit 30 mins, and then a full 5km – but I’m confident with this programme, I’ll get there.
I’ve been a bit behind on my reading over the last few weeks, but this book fell into my pile as a ‘prize’ at a recent event and quick flick through had me immediately hooked.
Non Obvious 2018 is the latest instalment in an annual report of ‘trends’ that are researched and curated by Bhargava. What originally started out as an online-only report, has made the leap to a book and comes wrapped in some interesting extra chapters.
The book opens with a good explanation of what trends are, and how the author goes about researching, gathering and then curating the ideas for each year. It might seem counter-intuitive to provide a guide to writing your trend book, but the examples and process look fun and anyone can collate their opinions into a book. As someone who struggles to label ideas and projects, I especially liked the methodology that is used to name the trends, and the haystack method of collating information is easily transferrable to other fields of information.
The body of the book is the 2018 report, where Bhargava brings together 15 trends, each with supporting evidence. The 2018 report contains some excellent concepts, from ‘Truthing’ – the idea that people will search out truth based on personal connection through to ‘Manipulated Outrage’ – a perpetual stream of noise that is designed to incite rage.
Each of the trends is well described, with a short and the detailed summary and some good examples. At the end of the trend, there is a ‘why this matters’ section and some ways that you can use this trend to your advantage in business or in your product.
The book is backed up with some online resources, which can help find the articles cited in the examples and some exercises that can help with brainstorming your trends.
At the end of the book, there is a Trend Action Guide, a set of ‘go-do’ actions that can help you continue your thinking about the trends, as well as a comprehensive analysis of the trends identified in the previous books, which I thought was a transparent way of assessing accuracy.
Overall, I really enjoyed Non Obvious, the trends identified were both interesting and provocative. I found myself translating some of these trends into my day job and thinking whether there were opportunities for me leverage some of the thinking into the Customer Experience work I am doing.
The book is written in a very readable style, almost like a magazine or blog with short, snappy chapters containing sensible, relatable examples. I found it a great book for the commute where I might have to stop and start, and it was easy to plough through it at a good pace.
I’d highly recommend Non Obvious to anyone who likes to think about the big picture of the trends that are affecting all of us on a daily basis. The ideas and provocations included feel both accurate and interesting.