The Uniqueness of Uniqueness

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We are all unique, in almost every way. From our DNA, to our fingerprints, our eyes, our hair, our personality, our dreams and desires – our uniqueness defines who we are.

Funnily enough, uniqueness is completely ubiquitous, it is present throughout the universe. Everything in the universe is unique. There are no two snowflakes, no two grains of sand, no two clouds in the sky that are exactly the same.

Even manufactured items produced by machines with incredible precision, and which may appear uniform at first glance, contain small differences – albeit microscopic – that make them ultimately unique.

I find this infinite variation in our universe awe-inspiring. Everything should be appreciated for its unique beauty in its own time and place.

The fleeting manner in which we encounter so many elements in our lives – the uniqueness of the human experience – should make it even more precious. Whether it’s a friendship which makes a difference when you need it, a chance moment that pushes your life in a new direction, or the simple crunch of leaves under foot on a crisp autumn day, our lives are filled with uniqueness every single day.

And of course, each day is unique in its own way. We can be guilty sometimes of forgetting this; it can be too easy to forget the unique awesomeness that each day brings, and the endless possibilities contained within it.

It can be easy to brush aside a day as just another day – the same, hum-drum, monotony. We wish away the days so we can get to the weekend or the next holiday, when we can feel alive!

To truly appreciate the gift of the possible, to embrace the uniqueness of our lives, of our experiences and of our potential, we have to take ownership for what can be done, what could happen, what we make possible.

Every day, month and year of your life offers unique opportunities to live life on your terms, to seek happiness and fulfilment. It doesn’t mean it’s easy, but what other option have you got?

Something as unique as your life shouldn’t be wasted, wished away or spent in a rut of unhappiness. Do what you want. Live your life. Be you.

Embrace your uniqueness.


Image credit: Jude Beck | stocksnap.io

 

I Don’t Know If I Like It Or Not…

 

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We all have a tendency to play it safe. We don’t want to take risks. We only go to restaurants we know we will like. We only going to the cinema if we are absolutely certain we will like the film. We prefer to engage with like-minded individuals with whom we share similar views or experiences.

If we think there is a risk we might not like something, all too often we don’t take the risk.

In many respects it makes sense to avoid things that you don’t like. But the problem is that when we don’t even try, all we risk is that we might not like something. Perhaps the cost of a meal or a cinema ticket, but in the scheme of your life that’s not a huge expense.

By not doing something because we think we might not like it we could wind up leading a very bland life…

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Have You Made Up Your Mind Yet?

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What’s on your mind?

How many choices and decisions do you have to make today?

How many long term decisions or concerns are occupying your mind right now?

Our minds are only capable of making a certain number of decisions. This number can vary depending on the type of decisions you have to make; we all know that some decisions are easier to make than others. Our cognitive resources are limited in their capacity to make decisions; and the more decisions you have to make the less cognitive resources you have available.

If you have several programs open on your computer it uses active memory to keep them running in the background. The more tasks you want your computer to perform, the more slowly and more frustratingly it will operate. Similarly, when our cognitive resources are occupied by lots of decisions – from the small to the large – it’s like running a bunch of programs in the background. Those huge decisions you keep putting off, or the small stuff that gets bumped on to tomorrow’s to-do list, all take a toll and leave you emotionally drained, struggling to focus on anything more than passive activities like watching TV or listening to music.

The big problem here is that you need the full capacity of your cognitive resources if you want to achieve your goals and dreams. Sadly that important stuff often gets neglected because our minds are constantly occupied with other decisions and thoughts.

So how do we free up our cognitive resources to focus on the good stuff?

Continue reading “Have You Made Up Your Mind Yet?”

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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Clouds

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Too many clouds in the sky block the sun, but too few and we burn. Clouds may frustrate us sometimes, but the right amount of cloud cover is just what’s needed to create the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises.

I was flying into Warsaw recently and a cabin crew member peeked out of my window to see what the weather was like. We were still above the clouds so we really had no idea what it was like below. From our vantage point the sun shone brightly against a pure blue sky. I took the picture above at that very moment.

But, as we began our descent, we quickly sank into the heart of a thick cloud.  As all visibility seemed to fade, I began to wonder how dense the cloud was. For a while it seemed that we were stuck, suspended mid-cloud. I didn’t know where I was, or how far from the ground I was, or what it would be like when I finally emerged from the cloud.

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Insane or Inspired

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When it comes to original ideas, the line between insane or inspired can be very thin.

As a $100 billion company, the idea behind Facebook is inspired but imagine someone trying to explain the concept to you just 15 years ago – it would have probably seemed insane… updating our lives on our phones and computers for everyone to see? Telling people when you’re in a restaurant or what you’re watching on TV or sharing pictures of your children or pets.

Perhaps to some people the concept still seems insane, but clearly for very many the idea works – it’s inspired. Because it’s what we know. How brilliant that we can all share in each others’ lives. It’s great that friends can see my holiday photos and actually comment on them, whilst I’m still on holiday!

Around the year 1440 the printing press was invented. At that time, about 96% of the world’s population couldn’t read and, of those who could, many didn’t have the means to purchase a book! It surely seems insane to invent something that is practically of no use to the vast majority of human beings on the planet? Of course we know now that it was inspired, not insane.

We know now… but it’s often impossible to know then

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From Bad to Brilliant

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We all have bad days, weeks and months. Some people have a bad year. Whilst our reactions to our circumstances can have a huge impact on how we feel, there’s no denying that some people are dealt a bad hand.

Sometimes circumstances seem so bad that they consume individuals; perhaps it seems that there are situations that cannot be turned around.

That said, I want to tell you a story of a small boy in France called Louis who was born in January 1809. Like most children, Louis was curious about the world, and one day whilst exploring in his father’s workshop (his father was a leatherer) he hurt one of his eyes on a tool used for punching holes in the leather.

Unfortunately Louis’ eye became infected and very soon the infection spread to his other eye. Tragically, it wasn’t long before Louis was completely blind…

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The Value in Motion

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“Money makes the world go round” is a phrase I’m sure everyone has heard at some point in their life.

Certainly, it would be difficult to imagine the world without money; in some form or other, money and currency have existed for thousands of years.

But money does have an interesting property: it gains value when it is in motion. When it is still money loses its value.

Think about it: the global financial crisis in 2008 was brought about by the flow of money slowing down, literally to a near stand still. When money isn’t flowing through the system, like blood through a vein, it loses it’s impact, purpose and value.

The same could be said of your goals and dreams; if you are not moving forward with them, doing something, anything, then their value is decreasing.

To increase the value of your dreams you need to keep them in motion. Keep doing something, however small, that moves you towards them… Continue reading “The Value in Motion”

The Least You Could Do

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Have you heard about the new Prayer app for your mobile device?

It’s great, whenever you need to pray to God you just click on the app. Or, if it’s a really important prayer, you can simply tell the app how many prayers you want – one click can equal 10,000 prayers.

The app will also connect with your camera, so that you can take pictures of those in need in the hope that you can get them some ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ on Facebook or, if you’re really lucky, maybe even get them trending on Twitter.

How simple is that? How easy and accessible?

You can pray on the go, no need for a church! No need to clasp your hands together – you don’t even need to believe in God!

Obviously, and thankfully, there is no such application. However, I see on a regular basis Facebook posts of desperate situations that tell me to like or share the post ‘equals a thousand prayers’ and that ‘scrolling past is a heartless act’. Of course, scrolling past is not a heartless act, in the same way that ‘liking’ or ‘reposting’ a status does not equal a thousand prayers.

If you want to pray, then pray… Continue reading “The Least You Could Do”

The Currency of Imagination

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Cash, reddies, wonga, big-ones, dough… there are many words used to describe the life blood of our economic world. Whilst money mainly flows through the arteries of our economy in electronic form, when you look at those digitised numbers on a bank statement or on a computer screen what they represent is cash.

And, whatever you call it, or wherever you live, we all know what cash looks like and what it feels like… possibly even what it smells like! Whilst there has been much written about how money can’t buy you happiness, it can certainly cause a lot of stress if we feel we don’t have enough of it.

So, what is money actually worth? Of course those numbers we see on bank statements, computer screens and our receipts all represent cash, but what does cash represent?

The intrinsic value of cash is next to nothing: the actual value of the metal or paper used is very small. But once shaped, cut, engraved, printed or embossed with certain words and images it suddenly becomes worth the designated amount printed upon it.

All cash is in essence an “I Owe You”, a promise to pay the bearer the amount stated in gold. In days of old, you could do just that – exchange your cash for the equivalent amount of gold. But since central banks don’t allow that anymore, we’ve all come to believe that the cash itself is actually worth what is printed on it.

But whilst gold is often referred to as being a place to store value, it is ultimately just metal. A rare form of metal, but metal nonetheless. We have had to collectively imagine and agree that gold holds a certain value for it to be worth something, beyond it’s classification as a type of metal.

Which to me suggests that it is actually the power within the human imagination that is the true store of value…

Continue reading “The Currency of Imagination”