An amazing 75 year longitudinal study at Harvard reveals the secret to a long and meaningful life.
My final exam for London School of Economics Executive MSc in Behavioral Science. Just submitting my exam now, one hour early. 24 hours and three 1500 word essays. Thanks to my wife, coffee and Red Bull.
Now I have a 4,000 word essay to complete by July 11th and a 10,000 word dissertation to complete by Xmas. I'll do a systematic review of behavioral research and internet dating. Something useful hopefully.
To my daughters: Resilience is key. Failure will never overtake you if your determination to succeed is strong enough! I hope you'll have the chance to do a sales job early-on in your career. Every no just brings you closer to a yes. Success is a numbers game really, once you have the right strategy in life. Its just about resilience, and focus and having the self-awareness to continually adapt and grow stronger.
Professor Paul Dolan is one of my Professors on the MSc Behavioral Science course and was featured in this ABC Australia article on happiness. He used to be skinny and had a bad stutter, but he managed to turn his attention away from his stutter, and changed his behavior. He lost the stutter and turned into the bodybuilding professor.
Mark Lesnick, CEO of the Internet Dating Conference, in Malta. We've worked together for ten years now, in an entirely symbiotic manner. We've been keys to each others businesses, and served the Internet dating industry for over ten years now. Cause for celebration. I'm committed to the dating/matchmaking/relationships industry for another 30 years.
One of the highlights of attending Singularity University's Executive intensive-week program was having a one-on-one breakfast with fellow attendee Chris Anderson, the curator of TED. I'm fascinated by the concept of the TED conference. Chris is one of my heroes.
But it turns out, Chris is not the founder of TED. He acquired it in 2001 from a fellow by the name of Richard Saul Wurman. A former architect, turned information architect. Richard admits that he's "not very bright intellectually" and that he's "just trying to understand things, not trying to change the world."
He's carefully knit people together and pulled them through his conference experiences, largely for his own amusement it seems. His fascination, curiosity and humility have appealed to vast minds and captured their attention into TED. Richard is one of my heroes. I love his frankness and the way he thinks.
I'm looking forward, with trepidation, to seeing the 'Grimsby' movie by Sacha Baron Cohen. I was born in Grimsby and spent my life age 10-18 living in a terraced house in Grimsby. Before that I was in neighboring Cleethorpes age 3-10, and before that from age 0-3 in Malaysia.
Grimsby is indeed a bit roughneck. I stayed the hell away from football games. I liked playing 'footie' but never took to fan sports as a consequence of observing idiocy and aggression as a child around football. Football hooliganism is definitely part-and-parcel with Grimsby town. And this mockumentary will certainly not be good for the Grimsby image. But, I'm proud of my heritage. It's given me greater social range. There are some wonderful places to live in Grimsby. Just not near the soccer grounds!
Here's a video of Austin Mitchell, the very very long term MP for Grimsby, complaining about the movie.
I think Digital Tonto did a great summary of the One To Zero book by Peter Thiel. In short, to compete you should do 4 things.
1. Build proprietary technology that is 10x better than competitors
2. Look for network effects. i.e. the fax machine
3. Create economies of scale
4. Build a strong brand
I love Groucho Marx. He's one of my heroes. He was mentioned in the Independent on Sunday. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is famously tough to get in to, and it has finally just opened its membership to women, finally...after 260 years!
Of course, Groucho Marx famously declared that he would not to be a member of any club that would have accept him as a member. A wry wit indeed.
But he made an exception when it made to golf. He liked to play golf. At the pinnacle of his career the R&A St Andrews Golf Club made an exception and invite him, a Jew, to join. (They excluded Jews from their membership). The only condition to his joining was... he must promise not to use the pool! The comedian responded to this invitation and favor with a further inquiry: "My daughter is only half Jewish - can she wade in up to her knees?"
Love it. :-)
He didn't join the club.
What terrible and ignorant times.
I've realized in the last few days that I am finally happy. My dreams and loves and purposes are being realized. ...and I am finally perfectly pristinely happy. My dreams have come true.
I like what Denzel Washington just said about dreams...
Dreams are not enough. Hope is not enough. Cast your dreams in the fires of your will and determination. Picture them. Claim them.
Bonny Madeleine May Brooks was born 6:15am on Wednesday 21st May. We thought we were in the clear for a cesarean at 9am, but nope. Mads surprised us and Irena's water broke 3:15am. With 2 minute contractions, we made a beeline for St James hospital and she was born a tad early.
Singularity University has a rockstar faculty and regularly attracts celebrity businesspeople onto their course. So I wondered who might show when I did their one week executive education course in January. The illustrious and controversial futurist Ray Kurzweil was speaking, so I knew I'd be meeting him. ...and Chris Anderson showed up as an attendee. Chris Anderson is the curator of TED.
Then, on the second morning of the week-long course, I jumped into the hotel elevator and there was Chris. We talked and he invited me to share a breakfast with him, one-on-one. He's very thoughtful and considerate. I picked up some tips. Then we sat next to each other on the bus and he shared his vision and concerns for the future of the welfare of humanity. Literally. Chris has designs on encouraging and inspiring the biggest wealth creators on the planet to share and donate more and change their attitude of what 'success' means. Ultimately to change the way economics from the wealthy class to the rising classes work.
Here's some tips from TheNextWeb for making your workspace a zenspace.
1. Sound - Have some ambient noise to optimize creativity levels. Try the Focus@Will app.
2. Temperature - Keep your office warm.
3. Lighting - Turn down the lights for more creativity. Use natural light.
4. Space - Keep a separate, messy desk. That should be your create-space.
In 2012 I did Launching New Ventures at HBS. In 2013 I took Driving Digital and Social Strategy. Both were excellent, and I can't recommend them enough. Then I learned about Harvard's executive MBA equivalent. A 6 month program called PLD - Program for Leadership Development. I love the case approach, and find the time in classroom exhilarating and thought-provoking, so I applied and got accepted to PLD starting December 2013. I'll be on campus for two 2 week sessions, and study for 6 months, ending July, 2014. Then, together with the two prior classes, I'll be an official Harvard Grad and have access to the Harvard Alumni...and a considerable and prestigious network of knowledge.
Hanson plc bought companies, culled them, and brought them back to life. Lord Hanson was the head of the company, and a controversial character, along with Gordon White, an even more controversial figure. They had a nose for value and waste, and were good at creating good viable companies from under-performing industrial companies.
Key to the Hanson philosophy, and the reason they walked away from an opportunity to acquire Avis, the car rental company, was that they believed "never risk more than you can afford to lose."