Thinking

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.” 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
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Is it really that person’s fault they are irritating you so much?

Do you find some people really annoying? The things they say or the way they behave can be so bothersome and irritating. I know I do and I am sure I am not alone in that! We say things like ‘she makes me so mad’ or ‘he frustrates and irritates me so much’. And maybe there are legitimate things that the other person says or does which are understandably frustrating and annoying. However, the diagram below (from Stephen Covey’s book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) challenges those assumptions
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Is it work-life balance or integration?

I’ve come to the conclusion that work-life balance is fundamentally a flawed concept.  The problem with balance is that it implies giving an equal amount of time and attention to every area of my life – and that is simply just not possible. It’s not possible to give in equal measure each week the same same amount of time to, say work; the same amount to family; the same amount to exercise or to friends or to other meaningful activities.(I’ve explained more on this in a previous post).   Perhaps
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We’re all materialists now!

We live in a culture which is dominated by one particular worldview…. Stop, Andy! What do you mean by ‘worldview’? Everyone has a worldview. It’s all about the assumptions we make about people, the world, the universe and all that is. Because they are assumptions, they usually operate at a subconscious level. They are like specs that we wear all the time, colouring our view of everything. They are so pervasive that we don’t even notice we’re wearing them! No one can live without a worldview. Worldview questions sound a
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When it feels as if you will never get there

Its that proverbial chant of little children on a long journey from the back seat of the car, “Are we there yet?” They are getting bored and fidgety about reaching the destination they are travelling with their parents to. Every 5 minutes that same question comes. And yet in many ways we never grow out of it. We all have dreams and aspirations. We all live with a sense of wanting to find deep and lasting fulfilment. Some of us are better at articulating that than others. One of my
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How to develop a deeply resilient life

I first picked up the book, ‘A Resilient Life’ by Gordon MacDonald when I was just turning 40. That was a very long time ago! Even so I still remember the profound impact it had on me then (and still continues to have). At the time I was entering into mid-life with all the associated questioning and self-doubt as to what had I achieved or, perhaps more accurately, not achieved in my life. It seemed to me so many others had done so much more, were further along the road
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Work-life balance. Is it possible?

The idea of work-life balance is popular. For many years I strived to achieve it. I now think, as it is commonly understood, it is grossly over-rated and even potentially harmful. I know that is a radical thing to say. Here’s why. Balance is dynamic and not static. Another way of saying that is life-work balance is a tension to be managed rather than a problem to be solved. When we think of balance we instinctively think of a scale. There are two priorities of equal value and we are
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Podcast #021: Grit

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. Do come and join my
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What does it actually take to be a more caring person?

Developing care and compassion for others is not necessarily something that comes naturally. It cannot be easily taught in a classroom or from lectures. However, being a caring person is an essential life skill for our own character development and to grow into maturity. This 5 minute video from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, United States powerfully shows what it actually takes to develop a truly caring and compassionate mindset. As you watch it you will see an unexpected and surprising twist in the lives of the subjects portrayed: The
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What can the Olympics teach you about your life?

It’s great fun to watch the Olympics. Seeing the athletes and sports men and women perform to such a high standard is often incredibly inspiring and exciting. Their dedication and commitment to excellence and achieving that elusive gold medal is quite remarkable. The vast majority do not reach that level of acclaim and greatness. Their lives can seem so far removed from ours. Yet there are principles on life we can glean from such champions. Anson Dorrance, who started the University of North Carolina Women’s Soccer Program in 1979 and
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Midlife – Crisis or Chrysalis?

“Is this all I am ever going to do?” Have you ever had this thought? If so, you might be approaching midlife, or maybe you already got there. Where is that exactly? Well it keeps moving because people live longer and healthier, but for most of us it starts anywhere from your forties through to sixty-something. Of course the idea that there might be something new to do isn’t limited to middle-age but it is often a feature of middle-age. Some people call this time of re-thinking and longing a
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What if you could read other people’s minds?

I know for myself how easy it is to assume things about other people with little or no evidence. They don’t say anything or they say something we don’t like and we make assumptions about who they are and what their faults and failings are. Psychologists call this the fundamental attribution error, which basically means we judge ourselves by our motives, but others by their actions. So, for example, I see a father getting angry with his child and make a judgement that he must be a bad parent. However, when I
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What should you actually be doing next?

While I’m afraid I can’t give you a specific answer to that question, you don’t need me to tell you that life can get incredibly busy. There has been an exponential increase in technology and so there are an almost infinite number of priorities pressing for our attention every moment of the day.  It can be practically anything from emails to instant messaging and social media to the person who comes to you saying “Do you have a spare minute?” And you know its going to be a lot more than
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Finding momentum in your life

A train when it is going fast enough and has sufficient momentum can knock down a concrete wall. That same train if it is stationary and has a one inch block in front of the driving wheel on the track will not be able to even start. In life with no momentum a one inch size problem can stop you. But with momentum you can make incredible progress and hardly notice that there was a problem there in the first place. Such is the power of momentum. John Maxwell’s 16th
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7 simple ways you can develop grit

Do you want to do something meaningful and make a significant difference with your life? If the answer is no then you can stop reading now. If yes then whatever you want to do, you are going to need grit. You don’t need me to tell you that life can be incredibly tough and challenging at times. (For more on that see here). The difference between those who find a way to not just survive, but actually go on to thrive and flourish has to do with grit. We have previously
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    This information is for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to be personal medical advice. Please ask your physician about any health guidelines seen in this blog, as everyone is different in his or her medical needs.