Crossing the street: Seth Godin on monopolies

Every successful business has a monopoly—a monopoly on what it makes that someone else can’t make the way they make it. That leaves out commodity businesses—people who bring coal out of the ground. I don’t think of those businesses as particularly successful. I think of them as useful. I’m glad if I need a bag of coal someone’s doing it,…

Gordon Brown: All for one

An ideology of “everyone for himself” will not work when the health of each of us depends so unavoidably on the health of all of us. Gordon Brown in The Guardian: In the coronavirus crisis, our leaders are failing us Gordon Brown’s timely reminder about health applies equally to… General economic prosperity; The quality of our education systems; The civility…

Any given day

On any given day, it’s quite possible that you’ll wonder if this is the thing you should be doing. You might be bored, or aimless. You might be stressed and struggling. Something else might look easier or more attractive: more lucrative, more fun, more popular. Any and all of these feelings are quite possible on any given day – which…

No finish line (2)

“No finish line” applies to most of our work too. There will be tasks to tick off and projects that we complete, but most of the important stuff – helping people who need help, making something important available, working so that things get better rather than worse – doesn’t stop. Won’t stop. This means: That projects and milestones become more…

Solon of Athens (via Herodotus) on looking to the end

Solon, the great law-giver of Athens, is visiting Croesus, the rich and poweful King of Lidya. After showing off his wealth, Croesus is disappointed when Solon declares three unknown men of middling rank to be the happiest he’s ever seen. Croesus snapped, “That’s all very well my Athenian friend, but what of my own happiness? Is it so utterly comtemptible…

Worse than this change

Change – especially change that feels beyond our control – is often unsettling. Will things ever be this good again? When people talk about change being the only constant,* it isn’t just change in the world around us and in the culture that we’re talking about: at an individual level, change is written into our DNA. The clock is ticking.…

Speed x time

When someone overtakes you – or you cruise past someone else – there are things you need to know before you can feel bad or good about yourself.* How long have they been running?How far have they come, and how far are they planning to go?How far did they run yesterday?Is “fast” even their aim?Is it yours?What did they have…

Alcuin of York on ageing and the human condition

“We poor wretches!Why do we love you, World, when you’re running away from us?You keep running away from us,and yet we still love You.” Alcuin of York (AD 735 – 804)