1. Respond honestly to what you really love
When punk emerged in the mid-70s, the whole fabric of John
Peel’s BBC Radio 1 programme changed overnight. He
abandoned epic 25-minute Prog-Rock overtures made by men in
embroidered capes, and gave over all of his...
When you are able to improvise, almost anything becomes
possible. I really believe that - and just as I was planning
to write this blog post I was handed a wonderful example of
improvisation actually saving people's lives.
But what do I mean by...
When people stay in a hotel, they hope to have a nice time.
And, at a given price point, the hotel management will go to
great lengths to remove the obstacles to a happy visit. They
aim to provide excellent beds, linen, televisions,...
The having it all wars are on again. Sheryl Sandberg
Facebook's COO, is advising women to “lean in”: to
believe in themselves and be more pro-active if they want to
combine career success with a vibrant family life. Others,
such as Princeton professor Anne-Marie Slaughter,...
A few years ago I started consciously watching the first
thing that came to mind as I awoke each morning.
More often than not what would appear during those first few
hazy moments was “The List”. The curtains I must
remember to fix, the...
What would you do if money was no object? How would you
really enjoy spending your life? Watch this inspiring
short film narrated by the British philosopher Alan Watts on
the topic of defining your life by what you enjoy doing.
The final principle of successful optimists is easy to say
and hard to do. It is simply this: try to kick out your
It’s hard to do because cynicism has become embedded in
our society and is even held up as wisdom. But...
We’re used to treating information as ‘free’,* but the
price we pay for the illusion of ‘free’ is only workable
so long as most of the overall economy isn’t about
information. Today, we can still think of information as the
intangible enabler of communications,...
The legendary computer engineer Howard H. Aitken once
advised, “Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas.
If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down
Successful optimists understand that the beginning of many
endeavours involves being told you’re mad, bad...
The expression ‘office politics’ has got a bad name. We
think of them as something undesirable, unwholesome, toxic.
In my book they are far from bad, just an inevitable part of
professional life. They must be embraced with as much
humour, self-conscious deliberation and...
Parents often comment on the startling creativity of their
children. Pablo Picasso famously remarked, “Every child is
an artist. The problem is how to remain one once we grow
up.” I’ll go further. Every child is an artist, yes, but
also a scientist, engineer...