Category: Inspiration

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor – @DonJRobertson

Stoic, cognitive psychotherapist, trainer and writer Donald Robertson has a new book out in April. If you took part in the recent Stoic Week event, you’ll recognise him and his voice from the introductory webinar and recorded exercises.

In How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, Robertson combines historical biography, stoic philosophy and cognitive behavioural therapy. The result promises to be an effective, hands-on guide to applying stoicism in everyday life.

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Freelancer? Are you ready for the coming storm?

A recession, or at least a significant downturn, is inevitable. No-one knows when or what the cause will be, but recessions are a part of the economic cycle. Will you be ready?

It comes with the deal. If you are a sovereign professional, your sovereignty requires that you make provision for whatever fate my fling at you. That can be tough to hear if you haven’t even got the hang of saving cash for your tax bill.

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Learn slowly … and deeply

Tanmay Vora on learning slowly… and why social media is often not the right channel.

I guess it’s the same with the media we consume. In a  bid to stay updated all the time (which is hardly what we call learning), we consume a lot of Tweets, Instagram posts, Facebook updates etc. These are quick bites that may fill your time with an illusion of learning, unless your goal is to just fill the time with something (and hide behind it).

But if you are set out to truly learn something and go deeper, then you need slow media that is cooked slowly with care, has the right ingredients and is nourishing.

Via Michael Wade’s Execupundit.

Image from Minkewink at Pixabay.

Reasons to say No to more work

Another thought-provoking list from Nicholas Bate.

When you’re a sovereign professional, or run a small business, it often feels like a crazy, reckless sin to turn down work.

Nicholas tells us why we should…

  1. Most great things (time, energy, attention) are finite. Another yes will destroy their power.
  2. And the few astonishing things (the night sky, true love, appreciation for Chopin) which are infinite, require a no to appreciate them fully.
  3. There is not a single reason why you should take on the consequences of their poor planning and ruin your evening.
  4. Babies are not small and cute for very long at all.
  5. To respect yourself.
  6. To have time to go to the gym.
  7. To-paradoxically-build your value because of the focus and quality of your work.

Read the full 22 here and mull over Christmas.

 

Photo by Enrico Carcasci on Unsplash

Jagged – the necessarily uncomfortable thoughts of Nicholas Bate

I’m currently enjoying a new, mini-book collection, Jagged Thoughts for Jagged Times 101, from the irrepressible Nicholas Bate.

Snagging my eye are the following:

6. What is the purpose of work? Purpose.

21. Changing your language will change how you think; changing your posture will change how you feel.

30. Long read more by short reading less.

33. This day deliberately left blank.

44. No doughnut is ever free.

76. Procrastination is so tomorrow.

Nicholas is always thought-provoking and inspiring (though I fret for those poor, indentured doughnuts). Catch his live and jagged thoughts, here.

 

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

We are imperfect people functioning in imperfect systems within an imperfect world @execupundit

Very wise words from Execupundit’s Michael Wade:

I don’t know where many young people get the idea that they and the world are supposed to be perfect but that is a cause of paralysis in the first case and delusion in the second.

Let’s start with the first. Being reasonably good in most jobs will put you close to super-star status. Do you think Babe Ruth or Ted Williams always hit home runs? Is every play by Shakespeare great?

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

A place to live and work

Back in the century of 9 to 5, there was Home, there was the Commute and there was the Office.

In the age of the sovereign professional, the Commute often disappears. Home and Office become one.

According to the UK’s Office of National Statistics, 4.3 million people now work from home. That’s 13.6% of the total workforce (both employed and self-employed). However, the data suggests that half (50.3%) of all self-employed people work from home, either wholly or using home as a base from which to visit clients.

That’s a lot of home-offices.

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Steely Dan and the Renaissance Men

Oh, the wondrous synchronicity of the interweb.

These last couple of weeks I’ve been having something of a Steely Dan wallow. I still can’t quite decide which is my favourite album, although 1974’s Pretzel Logic is high in the running, but then again…

Today, I discover these delights from Cultural Offering. Firstly a live video of Reelin’ in the Years:

Then, this profile of guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter. I had previously read that Baxter was now a missile expert, but the whole story (on Business Insider) is fascinating.

And, in sharing these delights with my oldest, and vinyl-collecting, friend I find he had “just picked up an original US press of Katy Lied last Saturday – sensational stuff & the original sounds SOOO much better than the re-press I had.”

Baxter is one of those individuals who has forged hugely successful careers in wildly different fields. John Perry Barlow was another: cattle rancher, internet pioneer, lyricist with the Grateful Dead, cyber-libertarian and founding member of the  Electronic Frontier Foundation.

A third is John Kao: entrepreneur, psychiatrist, a talented jazz pianist who played with Frank Zappa, and a theatre and film producer with the film Sex, Lies and Videotape to his credit.

Do they all qualify as sovereign professionals? I guess they do.

And an eclectic set of fantasy dinner-guests.

 

Write it down – Nicholas Bate

Another jagged thought (number 324) from Nicholas Bate. It reminds me of the stoic practice of journaling.

It’s tempting not to write the problem down for fear of making it real.

But the process of writing it down starts the process of reducing the problem, taming its power and identifying a solution.

Sometimes saying it, writing it, places boundaries on an otherwise infinite worry.

Read Nicholas, here.

 

Photo by Asdrubal luna on Unsplash