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.…

Seth Godin on uncertainty: starting before you see the end

The second group of you – and I can see it in your eyes – is saying: “Ah, it’s possible to build the perfect entrepreneurial project. [But] I can’t, because I don’t see it.” And you have to start before you see the end. There’s no way to do this without starting before you see the end. You build the…

Soichiro Honda on success and failure

Success represents the 1% of your work which results from the 99% that is called failure. Instead of being afraid of the challenge and failure, be afraid of avoiding the challenge and doing nothing. Soichiro Honda – found in various forms online and in The Excellence Dividend See also: Quality as a function of quantity

Malcolm Gladwell on creativity, quality and quantity

This is from a great New Yorker article – I recommend checking out the whole thing. He refers to the researchers at Xerox Parc (often credited as the inventors of the computer mouse, graphical internet, ethernet and laser printing) as Wild geysers of creative energy The psychologist Dean Simonton argues that this fecundity [of ideas] is often at the heart…

Ahead of the day

It’s a wonderful feeling to be ahead of the day. Up early, time to spare, space to think, an open road ahead where you’ll get stuff done with clear-headed poise. And yet… There’s a danger here: In how quickly twenty minutes early becomes ten minutes late; In how the couple of things you can just fit in spill over and…

A good day

Disclaimer: It’s possible that this is lifted directly from a book I’ve read recently or something I’ve listened to. If so, please point it out! If not – it’s certainly a variation on a theme, but I hope it’s helpful. I started work this morning by sitting with a notebook for five minutes, writing (and then answering) the question: “What…

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)

Recommendation: In Our Time on Alcuin of York

Alcuin (AD735-804) turns out to be the most important Anglo-Saxon (specifically, Northumbrian) you’ve never heard of. A swerve in Western culture He was a crucial educator, preserver and sharer of knowledge at a time when a rich tradition of learning was in danger of being entirely wiped out in Britain (thanks to the Vikings) and in wider western Europe: According…

The monkey and the oranges

The monkey appeared by the fruit bowl, snaffled two armfuls of oranges and made a clean getaway before any of us could react. It legged it for the wall with swaying, monkey gait… but had to climb a tree to make good its escape. The monkey did its level best to run up the tree, leaving arms free for the…