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Reading The Ethical Carnivore by Louise Gray and it has unleashed my inner hunter gatherer. Not sure what to make of it!

Looking forward to trying some pork directly from the farmer and also finding some real pigs to scratch on the belly/back/chin:

  • Jonai’s Farm (and I particularly like their idea of the pig share delivery into Melbourne… must check that out)
  • McIvor Farm and their pork packs

And to add some lamb to the mix, we will go back to Yarallah Lamb where we’ve ordered lamb packs from Tom and Cath in the past.

Now to find an appropriate place for our pantry supplies like bulgar and barley and lentils. Any thoughts?

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Lessons from Kierkegaard

Life Lessons from Kierkegaard

Back in January I thought it would be easy to smash through this 98-page guide on Life Lessons from Kierkegaard by Robert Ferguson for The School of Life.

It wasn’t.

I actually found it incredibly hard to follow and I loved that because it made it more of a challenge. The Kierkegaard excerpts were the tough bits. And Ferguson makes people like me understand a tenth of it.

Despite this, I did take some thoughts from it.

  • How to wake up
    • Am I on autopilot right now?
    • Am I living an aesthetic (in the moment), ethical (focused on myself as a goal) or religious (no idea) life?
  • How to see through things
    • With all the Instagram accounts and Real Housewives of Springfield episodes, am I losing sight of what’s real and what’s fictional?
  • How to avoid living in the past
    • Am I falling asleep each time I create comfort in a memory from a past experience?
    • Should I try to create happiness in a new way in each moment?
  • Why we should cultivate dissatisfaction
    • From Diapsalmata, “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought, which they seldom use”. This might be the most frightening thought itself. Not sure whether my thoughts should be unfiltered or what that means.
  • On not thinking too much
    • When I justify not doing something I know I should do, this is a result of thinking too much. Almost happened last week for the gym session on Monday. I wrote my colleague two emails about not joining him. But I hit delete before sending both emails. What a waste of time and thoughts. In the spirit of our favourite sportswear company we love to hate, “Just do it”. And don’t think too much.
  • When to say nothing
    • This was my favourite lesson. As I have too much noise in my life. The TV is usually on. I’m always listening to music. I’m constantly distracted by Instagram and Facebook feeds full of absolutely valueless content. I also talk too much. I share too much. I don’t take enough time to process. I don’t meditate. I’m a bad listener.
    • Kierkegaard: when “silence rests over the land, and from some far meadow you hear the lowing of cattle, or from a distant farmer’s house the homely bark of a dog”.
  • How to deal with despair
    • Being truthful about life’s potential for awfulness is the first precondition for enjoying life.
    • Is it harder to praise or complain about life? In the past, I would have said praise. Now I would say it is harder to complain about it. There are things that could be better, but there is so much more to praise than complain about.
    • There’s a great School of Life video titled Should We Laugh Or Should We Cry? and it covers the philospher Democritus. Very relevant to these thoughts. Too bad Democritus didn’t extend his thoughts to women or slaves at the time.
  • How to think about death
    • Kierkegaard urges us to hear the quiet background hum of death throughout our days. Not for it to spoil them. To enrich them. And remember to to waste them as they are not endless. No promise of tomorrow.

Marie Kondo says

Marie Kondo's book: The life-changing magic of tidying

Back a month or so I finished reading Marie Kondo’s The life-changing magic of tidying, and ever since I’ve been walking around starting statements with “Marie Kondo says” (to the disappointment of others).

I can’t help it. I read something. I become a fanatic.

The secret to Marie Kondo is just getting rid of stuff that doesn’t spark joy in your life (and yes, I have a second Marie Kondo book to read too – Spark Joy). I have a lot of that.

The first step is to discard, then to tidy by category and the store your things. And you have to do it category at a time. You also have to do it right (tidying is not a family occasion, it can take months, and you should do it at the beginning of the day and at the start of the process, not sprinkled here and there). You shouldn’t have to tidy every day. Because once you go through the process and everything you have is in the right place, it all goes back there after it is used.

The category order is very important:

  • Clothing: tops, bottoms, clothes for hanging, socks, underwear, handbags (or for me canvas bags), accessories, special events clothes, shoes
  • Books: general (sorry KonMari, you are going to another home even though you suggest against passing our stuff onto others), practical (all the cookbooks), visual (some of the cookbooks!), magazines (hey baby, I’m keeping ALL my Monocle magazines and papers)
  • Papers: this one will be interesting because I keep every single paper I come by (eek); goodbye medical records, goodbye whitepapers from seven months/years ago; and I will find a home for the white goods, sorry Marie!
  • Miscellaneous 1: CDs, DVDs, skincare, make-up, accessories, valuables, electrical equipment and appliances (digital cords, digital cameras, anything electric), household equipment (stationery, sewing, writing), household supplies (medicine, detergents, tissues – oh yeah, I have tissues), kitchen goods/food supplies (happy to say, I have very little to worry about here except for some tahini that should have never been brought/bought into our lives)
  • Miscellaneous 2: things you keep just because (gifts, mobile phone packaging, spare buttons, skincare samples… tick, tick, tick)
  • Sentimentals: I guess for me its just stuff that I might have that is sentimental. If I can keep it to a single shoe box that would be great. I have a sketch from when I was a baby (one I did, one dad did, another one, and another)
  • Photos – live in the now!

I’ve started with a few items since I read the book. But now, I’m designated May “Marie Kondo May”.

Good to Great: A culture of discipline

goodtogreat

In Good to Great, the structure follows three core disciplines. Disciplined people, disciplined thought and disciplined action.

Disciplined people covers Level 5 Leadership and First Who… Then What.

Disciplined thought covers Confront the Brutal Facts and Hedgehog Concept.

Disciplined action covers Culture of Discipline and Technology Accelerators.

Culture of discipline in good-to-great companies means that they have a consistent system with clear constraints but they also give people freedom and responsibility within that system. The company employees self-disciplined people who do not need to be managed, and instead manage the company instead of the people.

Jim Collins’s research of those companies uncovered consistent use of words like disciplined, rigorous, dogged, determined, diligent, precise, fastidious, systematic, methodical, workmanlike, demanding, consistent, focused, accountable and responsible.

The chapter states that great companies had people who were “extreme in their fulfillment of responsibilities bordering on fanaticism”. And it likened the fanaticism to athlete Dave Scott who won Hawaii Ironman Triathlon six times and was known to even rinse his cottage cheese to remove any extra fat.

Kind of makes me think of what the 2015 & 2016 fittest woman on earth must go through each day… You can’t have an off day. Or an off moment.

crossfit

The key takeaways for this topic were:

  • You need to build a culture of self-disciplined people that focus their disciplined action within the three circles
  • You don’t need bureaucracy in your workplace if you have the right people on the bus; it only exists when compensating for those self-disciplined people you need
  • A culture of discipline is a balance between two opposites: people who strictly adhere to a consistent system and also people who are given every freedom and responsibility within the framework of the system
  • People have to engage in disciplined thought and then take disciplined action
  • Good-to-great companies appear boring on the outside, but under the microscope are frantic with diligence and the intensity of rinsing their cottage cheese
  • A culture of discipline is not ruled by a tyrant; saviour CEOs ruling through force will fail to produce sustained results
  • People must strictly adhere to the Hedgehog Concept and leave behind any opportunities that fall outside of it; that will also ensure more opportunities for growth
  • AND most importantly “stop doing” lists are critical… even more so that “to do” lists

That last one is going to be a hard one. I will really have to review what I’m committing to.

Time to get out those weekly planning tools and really figure out what we’re going to achieve day by day, week by week, month by month…

EU referendum

The EU referendum is coming up this week and, although it has affected the ASX, Australian businesses say it will have little lasting impact on our share market locally.

CIM (The Chartered Institute of Marketing) has published a post on what UK marketers need to know about potential Brexit.

  • The Digital Single Market could be impacted with a move away from the digitally inclusive society and reverting back to geoblocking
  • Data protection laws definition and accountability may be impacted
  • Trade with Europe and the US may be impacted, particularly with separate regulatory systems creating barriers to trade with any new UK legislation

Interesting times ahead either way.

Saying/Doing

Just read a blog post from Seth Godin on saying versus doing. That when the gap between saying something and doing something becomes too big, people stop listening to your saying altogether. It’s a problem I’m all too familiar with, both at work and at home!

It’s also a big deal when it comes to brands. You make a brand promise, and then failing when it comes to brand delivery impacts your brand. Whether you’re a company or an individual, same rules apply.

Back!

After an amazing European holiday and crazy busy months leading up to it, I’m back!

Key holiday takeaways:

  • It’s time to get those herbs on the balcony: parsley, rosemary and thyme are critical with our eating habits… maybe some mint and basil too. Starting with a Pinterest board to capture the best way to use our space, and will then source to grow. Oh, and that will feed my interest in medicinal uses of herbs.
  • Gin. Get onto it. Starting to like it. Had a simple drink the other night with gin, a little water and fresh cucumber. And I plan to purchase a bottle of The Botanist gin as a nice starting point to learn how to enjoy this drink more.
  • City of London… Madeira… And other tax havens. Currently reading Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men who Stole the World. What a great read and real eyeopener.
  • Oysters. Having now eaten oysters in Portugal, Spain, London and Australia, I’m starting to question what makes these delicious molluscs develop different flavour profiles (the water, the location, the temperature). Something to look into!
  • Plus more blogging…

See you tomorrow 🙂