Unplugged…

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I’m sure many of you will have encountered this situation: you leave the house without your mobile phone. For many this induces a palpable sense of panic and fear. Many people will turn around, even if it makes them late for work, to go back and get their phone.

How could we get through the day without it? Our mobile devices have become much more than just a phone. In fact the phone ‘application’ on your mobile device is the part that most use the least.

Our mobiles help us feel connected to the world, help us get our work done, help us record and document our lives. It’s amazing how, in conjunction with social media apps, they allow us to connect with old friends, discover unknown connections that make the world seem smaller, more joined up. Somehow friendlier.

Our mobiles are also a portal to the collective knowledge of the human race. Our history, our humour, our desires are all just a few clicks away and can be carried around in the palm of our hands. They contain so much information for us and about us.

They have literally transformed our lives.

So it’s understandable that we feel panicked when we leave them behind, or when we can’t put our hands on them immediately. But there is also a darker more uncomfortable relationship we have with these devices…

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Happy Endings!

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Everyone wants a fairytale-style happy ending, right? Everything turns out as planned, for the best, everyone’s happy, dreams are achieved. Movies are great at creating the perfect happy ending, against all odds, where it all just “comes together” in the closing scene.

In real life we too want happy endings, our dreams achieved, challenges overcome, happiness secured. However, real life is not the same as a movie; we have two big stumbling blocks:

How do you define happy?

When exactly is the ending?

Happiness tends to be far more complicated and elusive in real life than in a movie. Nothing is ever really perfect; there will always be some lingering issue or concern. The stuff the characters presumably have to deal after the credits roll and the movie theatre gets cleaned up ready for the next showing.

And what is an ending in our lives? The end of the week, the month, the holiday, the wedding, the big event…?

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The Most Valuable Thing On The Planet

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What is the most valuable thing on the planet?

When we talk about value, we have a tendency to attach a monetary value; what is something worth in Dollars, Pounds, Euros, Yen? Most things, even your happiness, can be attached to an economic value. And, because we live in an economic world, it’s almost impossible to imagine a world without money.

So what is the most expensive thing money could buy? At the moment it’s probably the company Apple, with a market value of approximately half a trillion dollars. Just pause and consider that: five hundred billion dollars. It is an amount of money that is almost unimaginable.

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Breaking News

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We are living in what is being termed the ‘connection economy’; never before in human history have connections been so important. Social media platforms such as Facebook are worth hundreds of billions of dollars and generate billions of dollars in profit from advertising. We are connected to our mobile devices and the value of our connectivity is immense.

These technologies have also transformed how we consume the news; Facebook, Twitter and more recently Snapchat have become huge news sources, allowing us to see news stories unfolding in real time from anywhere on the planet. Generally with no editorial, we can watch news events – sometimes horrific in nature – in real time, like some strange reality TV show.

Another storm has hit, another person stabbed, another child missing, another shooting.

Another bad thing has happened…

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Cover Versions

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Creating original content can be very hard, no matter what your field.  Whether it’s writing, composing, leading a business or even inventing, chances are someone has done it before you.

This makes for challenging times, as everyone is trying to bring something new to market, trying to saying something original, trying to tell a new story.

It’s not impossible to be the creator of something truly original, but it’s rare. The narratives of most films can be traced back to stories in Shakespeare, which in turn echo folk tales that were passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years, long before Shakespeare was born.

Your dreams, your goals, your aspirations, it’s likely someone has gone before you and done it already. Does this mean you shouldn’t bother? Of course not. There’s nothing wrong with a “cover version”. The beauty to embrace is that you already have your originality – you.

There is only one of you.

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Looking For The Better Job

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What is your ideal job? Is it the job you are doing right now? If not, what would be your ideal job? What would make it better than your current role?

How we feel about our job has a massive impact on how well we perform in them. It’s one of the many reasons businesses have strategies to engage their employees. It is also a self repeating cycle; if you feel good about your job you are generally better at it – if you are good at your job you generally feel good.

So if you’re not feeling too good about your job right now, what would be better?

Better is an interesting concept when you start to dig beneath it. “Better” is dependant on each individual’s circumstances, and that can lead to some internal conflict.

Let’s start with how you feel: surely a better job would be one that you find more enjoyable? But what if the better job paid you significantly less than what you earn today? Of course, happiness isn’t about material reward, but if it meant that you couldn’t maintain your current lifestyle, could you do it?

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A Dream And A Whisper


The value of a business on the stock exchange is largely determined by the confidence of its shareholders in that company’s goals being achieved.

If your goals were a business listed on the stock exchange, would their value be rising or falling? How confident are you and other shareholders (your family, friends and colleagues) of your goals being achieved?

What are your goals built on? How strong and resilient are they? How confident are you in them?

Are your goals built on a foundation of confidence and unwavering belief borne out of defined action plans? Have you communicated those plans to the most important people around you?

Your nearest and dearest are shareholders in your goals; they have a vested interest in you achieving your goals and living a fulfilled life. Have you communicated your goals and plans in such a robust fashion that those around hold the same belief and confidence in your ability to achieve them?

Or are your goals built on a dream and whisper?

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Eyes On The Prize

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“Keep your eyes on the prize”, is something most of us have been encouraged to do at some point. Keeping focused on the end state, the goal, the prize can be an effective way of achieving a target. There is a risk, however, that the eyes on the prize mentality leads to a lack of focus on what needs to be done to get the prize.

Or, perhaps even more importantly, what will you do when you get the prize?

I know many people who have dreams of achieving success in a chosen field or discipline, and yet, when I ask them what they would do once they have achieved that success, they pause and look slightly confused. They’ve not actually thought about what they would do when they’ve attained their success – they’ve only spent time dreaming of it.

It could be that you have a target at work, and perhaps in achieving it you will get a financial reward. But then what? The business goes on and the next prize becomes the focus. This can lead to a feeling of constant pressure, and a sense that the “goal posts” are being moved.

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You Have Something To Do

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7 billion human beings exist right now. Our hearts beat the same. We all look up at the same sky and see the same stars, the same moon. We all live in the same time: right now. One other thing unites and binds us all together, no matter what our race, religion or location: every one of us, right now, has something to do. Even if that something is ‘doing nothing’.

Right now someone is choosing a wedding dress, someone is choosing the starter for their meal, someone is quitting their job, someone has to decide whether to forgive an unfaithful partner, someone is putting fuel in their car, someone is giving birth, someone is being born, someone is reading a book, someone is looking for shoes to go with their outfit, someone is working out where their next meal will come from, someone is wondering how they will make it through the night… From the momentous to the mundane… the list of activities is, well, 7 billion long.

So, you have something to do. Sometimes it’s unpleasant. Sometimes it’s dull. Sometimes it makes you smile. Sometimes it makes you feel like every fibre in your being is exactly where it is meant to be right now. Sometimes you realise that these times are the ones that matter. These times. This time. Right now…

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Have You Ever Kissed Money?

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During a recent trip to Mexico City, I found myself stuck in stationary traffic – it’s something that happens quite frequently in Mexico City. As I sat there I noticed a man washing the windscreens of the cars as they slowly crawled along. For every car that accepted his services he received a coin in payment. Although the amounts given to him seemed to vary, they always appeared small. Nonetheless, he kissed each coin before putting it in his pocket.

It made me realise that I’ve never kissed money; I’ve never felt the need to. It’s not that I’m ungrateful for the money I have, but it made me realise that gratitude often depends on certain thresholds.

I can easily pour away a glass of water that I’m not going to finish drinking, but imagine how grateful I would be for that water if I was stranded in a desert?

Farmers in many developed countries are forced to dump tons of vegetables before they ever make it to the shelves of our supermarkets, just because they are the wrong shape! Imagine how grateful we would be for any food, regardless of its shape, if we were starving.

Let’s face it, there is a huge variance in circumstances throughout the world. Some have more, a great many have less.

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