Echoes through time: a reputation for generosity

If your generosity is good and sincere it may pass unnoticed and it will not save you from being reproached for its opposite. If you want to sustain a reputation for generosity, therefore, you have to be ostentatiously lavish; and a prince acting in that fashion will soon squander all his resources…

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 – 1527), The Prince, chapter 16

Behind with your New Year resolutions? Here’s some inspiration

If you’re like me, planning and resolving for the new year is a slow-cooked, ruminative affair. However, if you are still in planning mode, here’s a couple of posts to kick-start that move from planning to doing.

Your Word 2019

I love this simple but powerful idea from Nicholas Bate.

Choose a word. Any word. One word. Make it yours. Whiteboard it. Write it every day on your planner, put the word on a handful of 3 by 5 cards and place them in strategic places as an ever-present reminder. Get a personal T-shirt printed with it. Learn it in ten other languages. Grab it now: meditate on it, reflect on it; live it, breathe it and nurture it. For 2019.



Read the full 101, here. Number 92 is Story-teller.

The top 5%

Seth Godin offers a useful perspective:

In every field, extraordinary benefits go to those seen as being in the top five percent. One out of twenty.

Sure, the biggest prizes go to the once-in-a-generation superstar. But that’s largely out of reach. It turns out, though, that if you’re thoughtful and diligent, the top 5% is attainable.

Read the rest, here.

7 chores

And, Michael Wade has seven essential non-chores

1.Rank relationships higher than projects.

7.Write more thank-you notes.

The full list, here.

So, no excuses now. Stop planning and start doing.


Photo by ChuXue Lu(@luchuxue1997) on Unsplash

Echoes through time: When books have all seized up

To Posterity

When books have all seized up like the book in graveyards
And reading and even speaking have been replaced
By other, less difficult media, we wonder if you
Will find flowers and fruit the same colour and taste
They held for us for whom they were framed in words,
And will your grass be green, your sky be blue,
Or will your birds be always wingless birds?

Louis MacNeice (1907-1963), Poems Selected by Michael Longley

Heart calleth unto heart

Cultural Offering has a beautiful, wintery quote from Washington Irving:

The dreariness and desolation of the landscape, the short gloomy days and darksome nights, while they circumscribe our wanderings, shut in our feelings also from rambling abroad, and make us more keenly disposed for the pleasure of the social circle. 

Read the rest, here.

Photo by Ian Keefe on Unsplash

I didn’t do the reading – @thisisseth

A great post from Seth Godin.

But doing the reading matters. It’s the shortcut to being better at your craft. And it’s respectful to those you’re working with, the ones who cared enough to allocate the time.

I’ve worked in organisations where no-one ever did the reading – so much time wasted, so many poor decisions.

Strangely, no-one ever confessed “I didn’t do the writing”.

Read the rest from Seth, here.


Photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash