“That which does not kill us makes us stronger” - Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the most influential and contentious philosophers of Modern Age. As well as being my favourite philosopher of all time, he is renowned for his universal psychological insights. But is his infamous comment on the benefits of trauma simply something you can tell your friends next time they are suffering, or does it have scientific merit?
Think about the totality of your suffering. Would you erase that from your life or your memory just to keep the happiest moments? Nietzsche [...]
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work - Thomas Edison
Life is like a roller coaster: ups and downs, happiness, fear, insecurity, laughter and some occasional tears. Failure is part of life. We cannot avoid defeat, the only thing we can do to deal with it is choosing our reaction. When challenges are at our door step we are called to action: we can swim or sink, break or bend. The decision is ours.
Remember when learning to ride a bicycle you fell the first time? What would have happened if you gave up? You will fall numerous times. Just get back on your [...]
Ever heard about the Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule? This idea states that for most processes, 80% of the outcomes come from only 20% of the input effort. It’s been applied in many areas of life:
In economics Pareto noticed that about 80% of Italy's land was owned by 20% of the population (Manual of political economy, 1971).
In computer science Microsoft discovered that by fixing the top 20% of the popular bugs, 80% of the co-related errors and crashes in a given system would be eliminated (Microsoft's CEO, 2002).
There are many applications of the [...]
When it comes to personal productivity, we are exposed to gazillions of theories and opinions. Distinguishing facts from fiction isn’t always a simple task, but this is why I like to make sure all my knowledge and practical tools have a scientific basis…
The truth about Multi-tasking
Multi-tasking has long been considered a cornerstone of productivity, and we constantly use the analogy of juggling to optimise our tasks. But what’s the reality?
Evidence says that media multitasking weakens the working memory and long-term memory. (Uncapher et al., 2016).
Nobody is performing [...]
“Distringit librorum multitudo – The abundance of books is a distraction”. This is how Seneca the Elder, famed Roman rhetorician and father of the infamous stoic philosopher of the same name, expressed the inconvenience of what we nowadays call ‘Information Overload.’
Information overload is recognised as the No. 1 problem in organisations. (Williams, 2012)
Studies show that in 2010 information overload cost the US economy approximatelyUS$ 1trillion (Spira, 2011)
From the minute we leave the safety of our mother’s womb we become overexposed to all [...]
“Spend more time doing things that make you forget about the time.” ― Charlotte Eriksson
Ever been so absorbed in a particular task that you didn’t notice the phone ringing, the emails piling up or the dog whining for dinner? Or been so immersed in reading a great book that, despite being ravenous, you totally forgot to eat for 8 hours?
What activities suck you into this state of complete involvement and concentration that you lose contact with space and time?
The Concept of Flow
Flow was discovered by a Hungarian psychologist with an unpronounceable name who studied[...]
We all know the scientific benefits of setting objectives. (If not - I’ve written before about the profound benefits of setting objectives here.) And most of us have come a long way in using goal setting in our personal or professional lives to significantly improve our productivity and performance. Yet how often do I hear from my clients that their goal has failed or their New Year’s Resolution isn’t going to plan?
The reason why our goals and resolutions almost always fail isn’t because we lack commitment or motivation.
Quite the opposite! We’re often super [...]
As Lao Tzu famously claimed: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’
A great place to start any element of change is by clearly setting objectives. Prioritising our well-being and keeping on top of our stress levels are essential to any goal setting process.
Goals and objectives provide a sense of meaning and purpose. They point us in the direction we want to go and keep us on track. It’s a very strong, grounding exercise simply to ask:
‘where do I want to be in one month, one year, ten years? What are the steps I can take to make my dreams [...]
21st century survival will largely be a function of an organisations ability to place the well-being of all stakeholders at the heart of its strategic objectives – Andrew Stead
Due to the critical importance of our work in many areas of life, not least for governments, the scientific understanding of how it relates to our happiness is extensive. The economic argument for happiness and workplace well-being in organisations is robust.
It's my belief that corporations who are unable to suitably promote the engagement and well-being of their employees will be unable to hire or retain [...]
It’s the most romantic day of the year! That annual opportunity to show our deep adoration, kindness and love for our nearest and dearest.
But for many of us Valentines Day has lost its sparkle. Maybe we’re not surrounded by any nearest and dearest. Perhaps it’s a time of difficulty, stress or deep sadness. Or it’s just that we view Valentines as merely another opportunity to pump up consumerism by spending foolish sums of money on dozens of red roses at 3 times the regular price.
Even if we’re not sold on the idea we might still use [...]