202 words on the shortness of life

Life is short and despite all the troubles and struggles we endure, it is beautiful too. It's a rainy Sunday morning here in Ireland. Some blue skies are pushing through the cloud, but the dark clouds heavy with rain are visible in every…

The power of the placebo effect

There's something unspoken and unwritten that usually accompanies the words "the placebo effect". It goes something like this. "The placebo effect is imaginary. The effect is real, but because it's caused by imaginary factors, it's less…

How important ideas work

There are a few sites that I read, or try to read, regularly. RSS feeds have been valuable here -- while Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn are governed by multi-layered algorithms which choose to display content for me based on how other…

Joy and meaning

Joy and meaning. That's it. No more, no less. If we can approach each day with an openness to joy and a sense of meaning, we're living life in a way that is in alignment with the best and most nourishing human values. Over time, that adds…

The danger of labels

Why are we so desperate for labels? I'm an edge case. My birthday leaves me between two star signs (Libra / Scorpio). My birth year leaves me between two generations (Gen X / Millennial). My psychological profile leaves me between…

Fencing systems

Out in the park one recent morning, my eye was drawn to a new fence, marking a new riverside entry point, to be used, presumably, for easy access for the likes of the ambulance and river rescue services. It's an impressive structure, no more…

Instagram makes me disappointed with my life

Instagram makes me disappointed with my life, and I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing. Instagram is different to other social media in this way. Twitter can be a source of toxic, lose-lose "debate", but it can also be constructed…

How to Build Trust: Investing in The Brand of You

August 14th, 2020 We’ve had the fourth industrial revolution, and the passion economy, and the attention economy. All of them are valid. But something that's perhaps as important as any of those, something that has always been important…

The most important thing

So much of our lives is code for the one truly important thing. In the business world, we have B2B, B2C, Marketing, Communications, Human Resources, Finance, Senior Management Teams, and we have leadership programs, and MBAs, and executive…

Limitations and boundaries

There is a difference between limitations and boundaries. Our limitations are often the limitations on what we can achieve. Our boundaries are often the boundaries we set for ourselves. If we have firm boundaries, we can limit the distractions…

Seán Boylan and me

This week, on RTE television in Ireland, a new documentary goes out. It’s called, simply, "Seán", and it’s going to tell some of the story of the legendary Meath Gaelic football coach, Seán Boylan.  Perhaps you're into US sports…

The journey from boy to man

It can happen on just one day. "What makes a man?" is a question I broached in the short book Rafa Nadal Makes Me Want to Be a Better Man, published this summer. There are a number of qualities that a man embodies: humility, honour, service…

The direction of the wind

You notice the wind when it's in your face. Whether you're on the deck of a ship, or out for a leisurely cycle, or training for a marathon, you notice when the wind is a headwind. But when the wind is behind you, it's easy not to notice. It's…

Things unseen

We are at the mercy of things unseen. This has been made especially obvious during the coronavirus pandemic: the virus is unseen as it transmits from person to person to person, inflicting suffering on many and asking some to pay the ultimate…

The middle kilometres

A few years ago I started jogging. I'd never had a comfortable relationship with running. I played football, but after a few years I became goalkeeper and stayed there for more than a decade. Goalkeepers do many things; running is generally…