People gravitate towards food. The food courts in shopping malls are the busiest parts. Ideal for people watching.

I’m almost done for the year finding gifts for family. We go back to Kenya in a couple of days and I’m pretty excited to get there and into the Christmas spirit.

Til then lots of organising to do. Some final purchases, lining up some work for next year, sort out the house and cars while we are away. Make sure the dogs are fed.

That sort of stuff is what people are escaping in malls and food courts. Responsibilities and work.

My coffee is done. Time to get to it for two more days.

Happy Christmas.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has completed a comeback for the ages, winning his 80th (!!) PGA tournament after huge public meltdowns, divorce, multiple surgeries, and all the uncertainty that goes with it. I am a big fan. I think this comeback is a great thing.

Why is this great? I saw on Twitter a person questioning why so many people are interested and are applauding Tiger when he has clearly shown his faults and vices to us over the years. The basic gist was that he’s a nasty man not worth celebrating. He’s a womaniser and a snob. A drunken philanderer. A thug Alpha Male. But this simplistic assessment misses the point.

So what is the point then? The point is that we see ourselves in Tiger. We see a microcosm of all our talents, our possibilities, all our failures and all our potential for redemption. His is a complete comeback story with a near-perfect arc in terms of drama and recovery. To write off such a story as immoral and uninteresting is to misunderstand what being a human is. We humans relate best to stories. To archetypes. Tiger’s story has everything required for an amazing spectacle. He has been through hell and come out the other side with a new back and a changed personality. And my God, he plays nice golf!

Judging celebrities is easy. What’s rare is a celebrity who can offer us such a journey to the top, the bottom and back up to the top again. Enjoy the drama as it unfolds in real-time. I’m backing him to win another major soon.


Light and shade

Contrast makes life interesting. Whether it’s art, or social life or in work, having a little light and shade in the mix is essential.

Some examples – The Rolling Stones were good at leaving space in a song. Listen to the verse of “honky tonk woman”…big gaps in there to contrast with the raucous chorus.

Shakespeare’s greatest characters were great because of their lightness and darkness all in one. They had flaws. Hamlet starts off the play hoping to die. In the end he is enlightened. Contrast and tension make the art.

In my work I am similarly trying to merge light and dark of sorts. I trained in environmental management but lacked the financial knowledge that is often critical to getting investment in more environmentally friendly projects. Now I am training as a CFA and hope to have more financial ying to my hippie environmental yang.

Everything interesting has tension and contrast.

Hunting for community

We never had to do it before. We were born, grew up, and died in the same village. Not true anymore. We move schools, jobs, towns, countries more often than ever before. It’s great for experience but not for community. Unfortunately our needs have not changed as quickly as our technology and our wealth.

No matter how much traveling we distract ourselves with, at the end of the day we humans need to belong to something bigger than ourselves. We need family and familiarity around us. We need it for contentment. I have moved around a lot. I am now trying to settle- And so I hunt for community as follows:

  • Rejoined Twitter
  • Play sports
  • Lift the head and ask people questions about themselves when talking to them
  • Write regularly

Some tactics work better than others but in the absence of a childhood history to build bonds, I have to start somewhere 🙂


Making an impact on an audience is difficult. Powerpoint presentation design, tone of voice, content, lighting, manner when speaking – it all needs to be thought of when you make a public presentation. The speech needs to be refined and rehearsed.

However, more important is what you have done in the years and decades leading up to that point. If you don’t have the message clarified over time due to a consistent history with the subject, then it will all sound a little desperate. I think you need to have a long track record behind you and the impact you make with a speech is not the result of a couple of nights’ work – rather it is the culmination of many bits of previous work. If you gain a reputation for a line of work that is channeled, focussed and weighty due to your reputation with the audience – you will probably make an impact. If a speech is grappling to be relevant and consistent with who you really are then it will fall on deaf ears.





I am on a constant mission to try to limit the amount of rubbish I read. When I started this mission, the internet was my friend, a whole world of opportunity waiting to be tapped. All I had to do was filter out what was thrown at me through free and easy channels (Twitter, Facebook).

Trying to filter information is a tricky thing, and can have unintended consequences. Online personalization can effectively isolate people from a diversity of viewpoints or content. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook do not work how I want them to work. Maybe it is just a matter of me not spending enough time curating the content, but the  barrage of rubbish just kept coming with seemingly little quality control despite my efforts to block, promote etc.. And so I am coming full circle and subscribing to what I think is quality media.

Paying for content after years of winging it on the internet feels surprisingly good. Whether it is music or news or tv series – the quality of what I am consuming has raised dramatically compared to the old Facebook feed.

Any problem you have…

…is probably fixable.

Think about it. Humans have cured polio. We discovered bacteria. We put people on the moon. We have cell phones which are as sci-fi as you can imagine. They let me talk to someone in China…if I so choose. So progress happens if we want it to, but it is not automatic.

In my personal experience, I am learning that there are two key components of creativity and progress.

First, I have to accept that progress will bring with it unintended consequences. These can be positive: For example back in the day we learned about atmospheric pressure which allowed us to create vacuums which allowed us to create combustion engines to push trains down a track. But they can also be negative: those combustion engines spit out pollution of all sorts. Personally, to become more creative has led me to quit unsatisfactory jobs, to learn about publishing, marketing and blogging. However it has also led me to become super self-critical. This is good sometimes in a work context, but it can impact other areas of my life. I never expected this as a side-effect.

The key for me is that progress is always better than the alternative, which is stagnation. It is a truth which I have had to get my head around. Stagnation is easier but far more destructive to my life. I think this applies universally to our race.

Next, for progress to occur, there needs to be focus. This may be internal – are you sure of what you are trying to achieve? Are you putting in the time and work? Or it may be a matter of collaboration. Do you have another person who will help you progress? I am learning that focus essentially means aligning of habits and habitual behaviour. Mine were all out of whack before I chose to be more creative.

I find it comforting that there are broad rules and conditions for progress. It helps my creativity and keeps pushing me on to fix problems each day. What helps you make progress?