Wise words I heard about focus, efficiency & energy

2 cool quotes I took from ~ Tony Schwartz: The Myths of the Overworked Creative

1 – “We are most efficient when we do one thing at a time, in an absorbed way”
2 – Once you pay attention to what has your attention you’ll find out what really has your attention”

~ so true. There’s a certain level of zen-focus that takes about 15 minutes to get into (ask any computer programmer), which, in these days of checking phones, email, facebook etc, is possibly a state of zen-focus some people might not have experienced for years! Try turning off your email for a day. Even half a day. See what you end up doing with yourself – and maybe ask yourself, did it *really* have any negative repurcussions?


Favourite TED Talks!


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Joshua Foer: Feats of memory anyone can do.

Barry Schwartz: The Paradox of Choice

Chris Jordan: Picturing Excess
This TED talk reminded me of a saying I like; “No single raindrop thinks it is responsible for the flood

Warning – can of ‘my pet rant’ somehow got opened below…

– for me, the raindrop saying above refers to the kind of shift in thinking that is necessary if we’re to solve the problem of planet earth’s dwindling natural resources. We need to relearn to think collectively, to be mindful of the balance between other-centredness and self-centredness, even to ask ourselves before small actions, would I still do this if the outcome was multiplied by 5 million? e.g. getting a takeaway cup when you can sit in the cafe for your coffee – the way italians intended (google ‘slow-food movement’) – or just take the reusable cup! If we can all remember the iPhone, wallet, etc, surely the keepcup isn’t too much of an added intellectual burden.

The ‘5 million’ question has profoundly affected some of my old habits – all of a sudden my conscience just won’t allow me to take small actions like the takeaway coffee cup, or the disposable wee plastic container of water inflight, or polystyrene EVER… as I’m all too aware of the path that action is leading the planet down. The little things really do add up (queue Ghandi: ‘be the change you wish to see’).  Sure, I, like everyone else, would love to see a beautiful, healthy, functioning, joyful planet.  But – wishing for it without taking actual practical steps towards it, is total futility.

Pan the camera back from a street-corner close up, to a bustling city, to the country, to the continent – and think about the millions of people going about millions of small actions throughout their day.  How cognisant is each individual (raindrop) of the environmental impacts of the collective? (flood).  Standing in the supermarket selecting a cleaning product; how many peop’s stand there picturing the city’s water systems, and realise that these chemicals will end up going down their sink into the ocean, into the seafood that they’ll eventually consume the next time they eat fish?

I think I’m beating the issue to a pulp here, but it is actually the guts of my day job 😉

Stolen post! 100 tips about life, people & happiness

from this dude: http://inoveryourhead.net/best/

but I resonated with so many of these, what can you say other than; fuck yeah 😉

1. True wisdom and insight is always free.

2. Give your power over to no one.

3. Going into the unknown is how you expand what is known.

4. Get a library card.

5. Spend more time around people that both challenge and respect you.
6. Remain skeptical forever.

7. Fight for what matters.

8. There is a method that works. Find it.
9. Join a movement.

10. Drink your coffee black.

11. Never let anyone photoshop a picture of you. It creates a false sense of self-confidence.

12. Read more. Especially things you disagree with.

13. Get used to feeling stupid. It’s a sign of growth.

14. It’s easy for people to talk a good game, so watch how they behave instead.
15. Learn something from everyone.

16. Find things that inspire you and pursue them, even if there’s no money in it.

17. Starve if you have to, for as long as you need to.

18. Survive on a little just to prove you can do it.

19. Get one big success at an early age. It’ll help build your confidence for bigger things.
20. Do what you say you’ll do. No one is reliable anymore.

21. Be comfortable with abandonment, even of parts of your identity.
22. Learn a new language.
23. Eat more protein.

24. Keep people around you that will tell you the truth.

25. Genius gets you nowhere. Execution is everything.
26. If given the choice of equity or cash, always take cash.

27. Meet new people as often as possible. Offer to help them.

28. Don’t discriminate. Connect anyone in your network to anyone else.
29. If you can’t do a pull-up, you have a problem.
30. Nobody likes a know-it-all.

31. Get a passport. Fill it up with stamps no one has ever seen.

32. Quit your horrible job.

33. Read biographies. It’s like having access to the best mentors in history.

34. Go to bed, and wake up, early. No one will bother you, letting your best work emerge.

35. Scare yourself a little bit every day. It will expand your inner map.
36. Learn to climb trees.

37. Don’t buy a lot of stuff, and only buy the stuff you really love.
38. Be humble and curious.

39. Twitter followers don’t keep you warm at night.

40. Be as useful as you can in as many circumstances as possible.
41. Show up.

42. Repeat people’s names when you meet them.

43. Turn internet access off your phone. Wifi is fine.

44. Get a deck of Oblique Strategies cards. Use them.

45. Make your home a place where you feel safe.

46. Take people up on bets. Make more bets yourself.

47. Take cold showers. They’re better than coffee.
48. Learn to enjoy hunger.

49. Make everything either shorter, or longer, than it needs to be.

50. Always remember those who helped you. Deliver two or three times as much value back.

51. But also, help people who have never helped you, and can’t.

52. When you know that pain is temporary, it affects all of your decisions.
53. Get a tattoo. Don’t worry about regret.

54. Commit to things, regularly, that are far beyond your ability.

55. Meet with friends more often than you think you have to.
56. Learn to meditate. Go on a retreat if you have to.

57. Your stories are both more and less interesting than you think.
58. Learn to really listen.

59. Walk more.
60. Ugly is just a step on the way to beautiful.
61. Get to know your neighbours.
62. Don’t take anything personally, ever.

63. Consider avoiding school. Go to lots of conferences instead.
64. As soon as you can, buy some art.

65. Apologize more than you need to.

66. Find out if there will be food there.

67. A good haircut changes everything.
68. Read Man’s Search For Meaning.

69. Say no to projects you don’t care about.

70. Do things that are uncool. Later on, they usually end up becoming cool anyway.

71. Find your voice.
72. Have some manners.

73. Learn to play chess, go, and bridge. They’ll keep you from going senile.

74. Learn about the Tetrapharmakos.

75. Find ways to cheat the system– just don’t cheat people.

76. Be like Jesus, not like his followers. (This applies to all of them.)
77. At least once, date someone that’s out of your league.

78. Examine your jealousy. You’ll learn a lot about yourself.
79. Good connections are about people, not social networks.

80. Address small problems. They will become big problems.
81. Dress like a cooler version of yourself.

82. Yes, there is such a thing as bad press.
83. Add “adventurer” to your Twitter bio. Then, become one.

84. If the internet is the best thing in your life, you have a serious problem.

85. Give away your best work for free.
86. Find mentors. Just don’t call them that.

87. Actually write on your blog. Nobody cares if it’s hard.

88. Download Freedom. Use it for an hour every day.

89. Join a gym. Lift the heaviest you can. (This applies to girls too.)

90. Do some freewriting. It helps you think things through.

91. When you’re having supper with rich people, pick up the cheque.
92. Learn how to speak in public.

93. If you see someone who needs help, stop asking yourself if they need help. Instead, just help.
94. Bring a bottle of wine.

95. The best conversations are had side by side, not one in front of the other.
96. Protect your hearing. Trust me.

97. Do what’s most important first thing in the morning, before you check email.

98. Everyone feels like they’re not good enough. It’s not just you.

99. Courage is a learned skill.
100. Go to Iceland. It’s worth it.



Literally a copy/paste from a friend’s FB page, another butterfly for this butterfly-net blog (without the negative connotations of catching something that should be free), ANYWAY – for this green-room-for-the-mind:

Hey guys, Humanism.

Humanism is one of those philosophies for people who think for themselves. There is no area of thought that a Humanist is afraid to challenge and explore.

Humanism is a philosophy focused upon human means for comprehending reality. Humanists make no claims to possess or have access to supposed transcendent knowledge.

Humanism is a philosophy of reason and science in the pursuit of knowledge. Therefore, when it comes to the question of the most valid means for acquiring knowledge of the world, Humanists reject arbitrary faith, authority, revelation, and altered states of consciousness.

Humanism is a philosophy of imagination. Humanists recognize that intuitive feelings, hunches, speculation, flashes of inspiration, emotion, altered states of consciousness, and even religious experience, while not valid means to acquire knowledge, remain useful sources of ideas that can lead us to new ways of looking at the world. These ideas, after they have been assessed rationally for their usefulness, can then be put to work, often as alternative approaches for solving problems.

Humanism is a philosophy for the here and now. Humanists regard human values as making sense only in the context of human life rather than in the promise of a supposed life after death.

Humanism is a philosophy of compassion. Humanist ethics is solely concerned with meeting human needs and answering human problems-for both the individual and society-and devotes no attention to the satisfaction of the desires of supposed theological entities.

Humanism is a realistic philosophy. Humanists recognize the existence of moral dilemmas and the need for careful consideration of immediate and future consequences in moral decision making.

Humanism is in tune with the science of today. Humanists therefore recognize that we live in a natural universe of great size and age, that we evolved on this planet over a long period of time, that there is no compelling evidence for a separable “soul,” and that human beings have certain built-in needs that effectively form the basis for any human-oriented value system.

Humanism is in tune with today’s enlightened social thought. Humanists are committed to civil liberties, human rights, church-state separation, the extension of participatory democracy not only in government but in the workplace and education, an expansion of global consciousness and exchange of products and ideas internationally, and an open-ended approach to solving social problems, an approach that allows for the testing of new alternatives.

Humanism is in tune with new technological developments. Humanists are willing to take part in emerging scientific and technological discoveries in order to exercise their moral influence on these revolutions as they come about, especially in the interest of protecting the environment.

Humanism is, in sum, a philosophy for those in love with life. Humanists take responsibility for their own lives and relish the adventure of being part of new discoveries, seeking new knowledge, exploring new options. Instead of finding solace in prefabricated answers to the great questions of life, humanists enjoy the open-endedness of a quest and the freedom of discovery that this entails.

The Power of Music



A friend just shared this link, a heart-warming reminder of some of the essentials of humanity’s hard-wiring – we are supreme beings of leisure; our minds might be powerful, logical, analytical tools that can conceive of regulations, legislation, mergers and acquisitions; but what really keeps our minds functional is connected to our heart and soul: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKDXuCE7LeQ

Green – The Film

One of the conclusions I arrived at during third year psychology was the conviction that film is one of the most powerful mediums available to change behaviour, and also strongly held beliefs. I decided this because, when produced well, film elicits an emotional response – and it is emotions (not the logic we’d like to tell ourselves) which dictates so much human behaviour.


Max Planck


As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.

~ Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944) (from Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Abt. Va, Rep. 11 Planck, Nr. 1797)

Shared Links – snapshot

So, one day you log into facebook to accompany your coffee. You’re world-changing friends all post the latest inspiration, shocking news, cute cartoons, gravestone-worthy quotes, compelling socio-political blog reads… what to do? Throw them into the web-version of a desk’s top drawer; this post, that is.

To come back to when I have time (!)