I wish I had the guts

From Derek Sivers, back in March this year:

You are the way you are because of what you’ve experienced.

Your country, family, town, random circumstances, and friends shaped the way you think. If you grew up on the other side of the world, you would have a different set of values and thought patterns.

But if you keep experiencing the same things, your mind keeps its same patterns. Same input, same response. Your brain, which was once curious and growing, gets fixed into deep habits. Your values and opinions harden and resist change. If you don’t flex, you lose your flexibility.

You only really learn when you’re surprised. Unless you’re surprised, everything is fitting into your existing thought patterns. So to get smarter, you need to get surprised, think in new ways, and deeply understand different perspectives.

With effort, you could do this from the comforts of home. But the most effective way to shake things up is to move across the world. Pick a place that’s most unlike what you know, and go.

I wish I had the guts.

Read the full post on Derek’s blog.

In need of adventure

Read Jane’s short account of her small camping adventure on Harlosh Island and then weep about how rubbish your week has been:

We loaded our kayaks with all we would need for the night and made the short paddle across from Harlosh to Harlosh Island where we set up camp for the night. We spent a lovely afternoon exploring the island and swimming.

If that got you in the mood for adventure, head straight over to read Katie Tunn’s comprehensive tips for quick outdoor adventures.

It’s been a good few years now since I’ve done any wild camping. Both of these popped up in my feeds today. Someone, somewhere, is trying to tell me something..

Building websites

I like building websites. I wouldn’t want to do it for a living but I enjoy the challenge of taking a rough idea through to a finished project. Since I rarely get to do it for anyone other than myself I was happy to offer my services to my brother when he needed a site for his new venture.

The site runs a custom Bootstrap theme on top of a Jekyll backend. I’m really pleased with it.

My brother is brilliant – and well qualified – so give him a shout if you are looking for a therapist in Scarborough. Tell him you liked his website!

Link: The Quiet Space

End of The Listserve

I opened my email today and found a message from The Listserve, announcing the end of the long running project.

The Listserv was an email based community with a simple premise. Each weekday a member of the community is randomly selected and asked to craft a message for distribution to all list members. This was known as ‘Winning the Lottery’ and was something that only a small proportion ofmembers would experience. Some of the emails were sad, but an equal amount were optimistic; brimming with compassion, humour & joy. Each was a privilege to read and I will miss it.

I never did win the lottery though.

The first email is still may favorite.

A Year of Reading: 2017

I don’t know how it happened but the stats don’t lie; I read more books last year than in any year since I started counting.

Books: Audiobooks: Pages:
48 3 24174

It’s tough to choose favorites in a year full of so many good books, but here’s a couple that stood out:

Favourite Fiction Book

Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett

I like churches and I like history; so a book about a man who sets about to build the worlds greatest gothic cathedral in 12th century England is right up my street.

This is a huge book of over a thousand pages. The author has done his research too. He skilfully weaves fact and fiction so tightly that it’s difficult to separate them.

I knew the village an its inhabitants so well by the time the book came to a close that I felt a brief pang of grief. A brilliant book and one I will definitely return to.

Favourite Non-Fiction Book

Getting things Done, by David Allen

There’s been so much written about this book already that nothing can be gained by saying any more.

I’ve not managed to become an effective practitioner of GTD but I’m working at it, and the results so far have shown that it’s a goal worth pursuing.

Previous Years:

Year Books Audiobooks Pages Total
2016 36 8 20584 45
2015 34 0 14494 34
2014 42 0 18537 42
2013 31 0 12576 31
2012 0 0 10974 29