Podcast #030 Do you need more sleep?

“If you want to be a billionaire, sleep as little as possible.” Donald Trump.

“Sleep is a criminal waste of time. A heritage from our cave days.” Thomas Edison.

“Every important mistake I’ve made in my life, I’ve made because I was too tired.” Bill Clinton

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Sleep. So easy to take for granted, but so essential – especially if you are not getting enough. And yet there is so much bravado and neglect when we think about sleep. Whatever you may think of Donald Trump and Thomas Edison, their opinions on sleep are way off the mark when it comes to what the research and even what common sense shows. And whatever your opinion of Bill Clinton there is much wisdom in his reflection on sleep and making errors of judgement.

On this podcast my co-host Andrew Horton and I discuss:

The importance of prioritising sleep in our lives.

The dangerous consequences of not having enough sleep.

How do I know I am getting enough sleep?

An embarrassing example in my life of not getting enough sleep.

How much are people in positions of authority making decisions from a place of inadequate sleep?

A Biblical perspective on sleep.

Three suggestions for those struggling to get to sleep.

You may also find of interest:

Do You Need More Sleep?

The Importance Of A Good Night’s Sleep

What questions, reflections and comments on sleep do you have?

Podcast #029: The literal end of the world?

A discussion with Chris Wright on what the Bible actually says

What will happen at the end of time? How will the world end? How will our lives end? Where is history heading to? Is there any sense or coherence in this increasingly complex and challenging world that we live in? That is the subject of Hollywood movies and popular science fiction novels down the ages. Popular movies and novels can be great fun and escapism, but then you have to get on with the rest of life with all of its predictability and mundaneness.

Could there be another narrative? Indeed, what does the world’s best selling, and also arguably often least read and understood book actually say about the end of the world?

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On this podcast I have a fascinating conversation with Bible scholar Chris Wright on a subject that is often not given much serious consideration, at least not in popular culture. Is it a subject we can give sustained deliberate thought to in a world of such diverse views and opinions? There is certainly much mystery, but understanding ‘The End Times’ has profound implications on the way we live our lives today in the here and now.

Do join us on this podcast as we discuss the seven last things, according to the Bible, of this life and universe:

Death and resurrection: how the end of the world is actually a new beginning and how Jesus’ bodily and physical resurrection points to a new level of life and existence.

How the metaphor  of sleep describes the interim state between the physical death of our bodies and the end of the world.

The return of Christ at the end of history as an integral part  of the Bible narrative and its implications for us.

The resurrection of the dead and what that actually means for our earthly bodies. Do listen out for the analogy of twins in their mother’s womb!

Why the day of judgement and hell is actually a good thing in a world where so much evil and wrong-doing appears to go unpunished and unresolved.

What the Bible actually reveals about what heaven and the new creation will be like. It is so much more than sitting on a cloud, playing a harp, endless singing or even one long holiday! Heaven is not even my final destination when I die! It is only, as it were, a transit lounge for the new creation. In fact, the Bible makes clear that we don’t even go up to heaven! The new creation is actually heaven, at the end of time, coming down to earth.

Quoting from Chris’ book, ‘The God I Don’t Understand’:

“The new creation will start with the unimaginable reservoir of all that human civilisation has accomplished in the old creation – but purged, cleansed, disinfected, sanctified and blessed…… Think of the prospect! all human language, literature, art, music, science, business, sport, technological achievement – actual and potential – all available to us. All of it with the poison of evil and sin sucked out of it forever…… Whatever it may be like, we can rest assured that, for those who are in Christ, anything that has enriched and blessed us in this life will not be lost, but infinitely enhanced in the resurrection and anything that we have not been able to enjoy in this life (because of disability, disease or premature death – or simply through the natural limitations of time and space) will be amply restored or compensated for in resurrection life.”

So how should we then live?

“We are to live then as people who not only have a future, but know the future we have and go out and live in the light of that future, in preparation for it and characterised by its values.”

What questions, thoughts and comments does our discussion raise for you?

The link to Chris’ book is below.

You may also find of interest:

Podcast #028: The God I Don’t Understand

Podcast #007: Religion

 

Podcast #028 The God I Don’t Understand

Discussing tough questions of faith with Christ Wright

Religious faith. That is certainly a subject that can polarise and divide opinion between different people! 

Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 17.40.54We live in a world where it seems as though the more committed someone is to their particular faith view, then the more certain they seem to be about life and what others should or should not do.  That is often the impression that comes through much of the popular media’s analysis of faith and life issues. But does that really help to make sense of life in all its mystery and complexity?

Why do terrible things happen in our world and why does it so often appear God is silent and not involved?

Chris Wright is a scholar of the Old Testament of the Bible who has written a number of books on knowing and understanding God. He is someone who has a life long passion for knowing God through the Bible scriptures and communicating that clearly to others.

It is somewhat surprising then that Chris has also written a book called “The God I Don’t Understand”. Here is what he writes in the introduction:

“It seems to me that the older I get the less I think I really understand God. Which is not to say that I don’t love and trust Him. On the contrary, as life goes on my love and trust grow deeper, but my struggle with what God does or allows grows deeper too.”

On this podcast we have the privilege of interviewing Chris about the book he has written and exploring this tension between living a life of faith, loving and trusting God, while at the same time being honest enough to admit there is often mystery and much we do not understand about life.

Do join us in this fascinating conversation as we explore:

How anger and frustration with what God allows and does not allow in our world is nothing new. Indeed an author like Richard Dawkins writes in his book ‘The God Delusion’:

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser, a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filiacidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

How Psalm 73 written 2,700 years ago by someone called Asaph dealt with similar anger and frustration with God’s dealings with the world, but came to a very different conclusion.

Why the question of evil and suffering is a specific problem for people who have a Biblical faith, compared to those of other religions.

Why the Bible says we should not bottle up our feelings and be stoical when suffering and evil comes into our lives, but actually to be angry, lament and protest.

Why Chris surprisingly says, “Of all the things that lead me to speak of the God I don’t understand, the cross is top of the list.”

Why was the death of Christ necessary?

What did God actually accomplish through the death of His Son?

How did it all work? Or to be even more specific: How did one man’s bleeding body stretched on two pieces of wood for six hours of torture and death on a particular Friday one spring outside a city in a remote province of the Roman Empire change everything in the universe?

How can it be possible for God to be both loving and angry?

What comments and questions does this discussion raise for you?

You may also find of interest:

What Is So Good About Good Friday?

How Can I Find Hope In My Darkest Days?

Why Understanding Easter Brings Hope

Is This The Best News You Have Ever Heard?

4 Personal Implications Of The Resurrection

A Day That Changed The World

Podcast #027 Beating Burnout

A frank discussion on a sensitive topic

It’s not necessarily a comfortable subject to talk about, but it is increasingly relevant in the complex and challenging world we live in. Burnout is a state of chronic stress that has profound effects on many aspects of our lives. It covers a wide range of emotions that include physical and emotional exhaustion; cynicism and detachment from others as ell as an overall reduction in performance and levels of effectiveness.

1024px-Burnout_-_Patrick_O'Neill_celebrates_after_winning_a_Formula_Car_Challenge_championshipIn this podcast conversation, my co-host Andrew Horton and I discuss our own personal experiences of burnout.

We also explore just how pervasive burnout is. Statistics from organisations like the Boston Consulting Group state for 2016 it affects:

31% of doctors in the United States.

69% of male financial professionals

87% of Hong Kong financial professionals in institutional asset management.

In the UK it it has been reported that 90% of general practice consultations have some degree of stress related to them.

These are staggeringly high figures and yet we do not hear much about burnout.

Do join us in this discussion as we look at practical steps you can take to protect yourself during times of stress and find ways to not just survive, but actually thrive.

For additional resources on this subject do see:

5 Lessons I’ve Learnt From Burnout

Podcast #022 The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Podcast #013 How To Grow In Resilience

Podcast #003 Stress

What thoughts, comments and strategies do you have about preventing burnout in your own life?

 

Podcast #026: The search for happiness

I like to cheekily describe my friend Andy Parnham as a happiness guru. He works part of the week for the charity Livability, that serves people with disabilities, while the rest of the time he acts as an independent wellbeing advisor and coach, running amongst other things, The Happiness Course. This is in a variety of settings, including schools, health centres, companies and the voluntary sector.

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 10.00.28Do join us on this podcast as Andy and I discuss a subject of relevance to every one of us. We discuss and explore:

How happiness is not the same as wellness.

The over-emphasis on physical health when we talk about wellness.

The need to also include emotional, psychological, spiritual, relational and community aspects to fully understand wellness.

How and why Andy developed The Happiness Course.

How positive psychology research emphasises health is not just the absence of illness.

What the research shows are the factors that contribute to a flourishing life
– living lives of appreciation and gratitude.
– nurturing healthy relationships.
– forgiveness
– practising acts of kindness
– savouring experiences

Some hard bottom line results that result from happy employees:

Podcast #025: Is there a difficult person in your life?

3 steps to breaking through interpersonal conflict

To be human is to have conflict with other people. You cannot avoid it. Conflict can cause stress, as well as a host of other consequences, such as loss of sleep and even physical illness. But if you’ve had a difficult relationship, you come to realise that just ignoring it is often not the best way to handle it. So how can conflict be a means to growth and getting closer to others rather than being driven further apart? Is that even a possiblity for the difficult relationship in your own life?

On this podcast I have the privilege of talking to Linda Outka about her book, “Pebbles In My Shoe- Three Steps For Breaking Through Interpersonal Conflict.”

The 4 minute video below gives a flavour of why this is such an important subject for all of us.

Linda Outka is a certified coach, speaker and trainer. She has over 20 years experience in helping people resolve conflicts. She is also the founder of Breakthrough Solutions Inc, which creates a space  where people can feel safe to be real and discover new insights that open doors to their potential.

Do join Linda and I as we discuss:

  • How relational hurts are like pebbles in our shoes
  • How strained relationships, failed conversations and unresolved conflicts drain our energy and sabotage our success.
  • Why trying to just ignore the conflict does not mean it necessarily will go away.
  • The metaphor of mountain climbing as a simple model for dealing with conflict.
  • What it means to move from basecamp (the preparation) to ascent (the conversation) and reach the summit (the gratification of a more fulfilled relationship).
  • The importance of preparing both your heart and you mind for dealing with that difficult conversation.
  • What is at stake by not resolving the conflict?
  • Distinguishing between fact and story in the conflict. Or as Linda likes to say, “When someone spits on you, they don’t make you mad, but they do make you wet!”
  • How at the root of every conflict is the assumption of negative intention. But what the other person did made sense to them.
  • Acknowledging the role I may have played in the conflict situation and why that is so important in order to move forward.
  • Accepting it may not always be possible to satisfactorily resolve the conflict if the other person does not want to engage.
  • How to keep defences low so as to have a productive non-blame conversation.
  • Examples from Linda’s 20 years’ experience in working with a large variety of conflict situations and much more…..

For more on Linda Outka and her work see here.

You may also find of interest Podcast #022: The Stories We Tell Ourselves and the blog post Is It Really That Person’s Fault They Are Irritating You So Much?

What questions, thoughts and comments does the issue of conflict raise for you?

To find out more you can also order the book from the link below.

 

Podcast #024: Making sense of time

What we never seem to get enough of

Time. Such an important part of our lives and yet so hard to get a grasp of! We all have the same amount – 168 hours or 10,080 minutes a week or 86, 400 seconds a day. But we all struggle and wrestle with it.

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On top of that time is such a strange concept to grasp. What do we exactly mean by time and why does it seem to go at such a varying pace during different periods of our life? As someone once said:

If you want to know the value of one year, just ask a student who failed a course.
If you want to know the value of one month, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
If you want to know the value of one hour, ask two lovers waiting to meet.
If you want to know the value of one minute, ask the person who just missed the bus.
If you want to know the value of one second, ask the person who just escaped death in a car accident.
And if you want to know the value of one-hundredth of a second, ask the athlete who won a silver medal in the Olympics.

Do join my co-host Andrew Horton and I as we discuss:

  • How do we make best use of the limited time we have?
  • How the fundamental issue is not managing time, but handling the explosion of choices that we are constantly confronted with.
  • The dangers of partial attention and inner restlessness when it comes to time.
  • Thinking about energy management rather than time management
  • The significant role of rest and recuperation for living in the knowledge worker age.
  • Self-identity and time.
  • A spiritual view of time that enables me to be fully engaged in the here and now while at the same time having a heart fixed on eternity.

You may also find of interest:

Is it Work-Life Balance or Integration?

Podcast #001 Wisdom

Podcast #003 Stress

Podcast #010 Stephen R. Covey

Time Management Part 1

Time Management Part 2

Time Management Part 3

What thoughts, comments and reflections does this discussion on time raise for you?

 

Podcast #023: What makes for a good education?

According to the futurist and philosopher Alvin Toffler, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”

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The subject of education evokes strong views from all sorts of people. It is multi-billion dollar industry.

In this podcast with my co-host Andrew Horton we give our personal reflections on education and learning.

Do join us as we discuss:

What do we actually mean by education?

How doing well at school so often has little correlation with being successful later in life.

The importance of developing much more than technical skills – there are two other attributes that can either enormously enhance your life or completely derail you.

The dangers of measuring everybody by the same standard.

How so often education systems over time can drain the creative abilities of so many people.

Developing a universal and holistic view of education.

How learning is much more than what we learn at school.

Or in a quote attributed to Mark Twain, “I never let schooling interfere with my education.”

You may also find of interest:

Do You Still Believe Your Old School Report?

What Do We Mean By Education?

How Schools Kill Creativity Part 1

How Schools Kill Creativity Part 2

Over to you: What are your thoughts and reflections on the podcast and on what makes for a good education?

 

Podcast #022: The stories we tell ourselves

Everyone loves a good story. Stories are part of what make us human. But I am not talking about the novels and classics many of us love to read.

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 15.52.57There is already a story going on in each of our minds. It is those stories that we tell ourselves about what happens to us that can have huge implications for our lives. How do those stories come from the way we see the world?

Do come and join my co-host Andrew Horton and I as we discuss:

  • The see-do-get model of human behaviour.
  • How the way you see the world profoundly affects what you will do.
  • How stories create our paradigm (or mental map) of the world.
  • The power of changing your story by changing your paradigm.
  • Why we resist listening to other people’s stories.
  • The part of the podcast Andrew was tempted to delete about our own personal stories (don’t worry its not that scandalous!)
  • Stories and paradigms of how to approach God and the implications in our own lives.

You may also find of interest the following related posts and podcasts:

What Is The Story You Are Telling Yourself?

Podcast #010 Stephen R. Covey

Podcast #007 Religion

Podcast #021: Grit

What it is, why we need it and how to develop it

In  a world that is becoming increasingly volatile, unpredictable, challenging and complex, the development of grit has arguably never been more necessary. On the one hand, especially in the more prosperous parts of the world, we have never had more access to technology and labour saving devices. At the same time it is incredibly easy to become overwhelmed and exhausted by the never ending demands on our time and the things that need to be done at what seems to be greater and greater speed.

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Do come and join my co-host Andrew Horton and I as we discuss on this podcast:

What grit actually is and why it is so important.

Examples of grit in the lives of people like JK Rowling, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and Steve Jobs.

Dissecting grit into 5 key components.

7 simple ways to develop grit in your own life.

The Jewish carpenter and His development of grit.

You may also find of interest:

The difference grit can make to you.

Do you need more grit?

Should living in a VUCA world matter to you?

An interview with Baroness Caroline Cox, a lady of remarkable grit.

What thoughts, questions and reflections does grit raise for you?