Bleeding Heart Pigeons and Bono's advice for artists

Your own deep well of wisdom

There is one thing that's true for everyone. Wherever you are in the world, whatever you've done or seen or experienced, whether you're 18 years old and just setting out on the path through adulthood, or you're 78 and you're thinking about…
Bleeding Heart Pigeons and Bono's advice for artists

Visualising your own virtual board of advisors

I've always struggled with the concept of "visualisation". Sports psychologists talk about how athletes visualise, in detail, the thing they want to transpire when they get to the track or the pitch or the pool deck. Visualisation owes…
Bleeding Heart Pigeons and Bono's advice for artists

The spread of ideas

The tagline of the TED talks organisation is "Ideas worth spreading". It curates ideas worth spreading, and helps elevate and amplify the message around the world. It works, too. Careers and entire movements have started from the ripple…
Bleeding Heart Pigeons and Bono's advice for artists

The honesty trade-off

In the short term, when you don't speak honestly: Other people might like you a bit more You will like yourself a bit less In the short term, when you speak honestly: Other people might like you a bit less You might begin…
Bleeding Heart Pigeons and Bono's advice for artists

Offenbach, Dylan and the timeless lesson of perseverance

Jacques Offenbach, a French-German music composer who died 140 years ago, is back in vogue this year. During his life he wrote almost 100 operettas -- a form of musical theatre bridging the gap between the classic operas (Mozart) and modern…
Bleeding Heart Pigeons and Bono's advice for artists

A re-commitment to daily writing

Inspired by two people I admire a lot, Seth Godin and Tyler Cowen, I'm back to daily writing -- publishing one short blog a day. Seth is a business and marketing writer who, through his online learning vehicles, is transforming the online…
Bleeding Heart Pigeons and Bono's advice for artists

The wonder of the growth of grass

Not far from where I live, there's a road where I often walk, jog or cycle. It's a quiet road -- not quite the "grass growing up the middle" type you sometimes get as you go deep into the Irish countryside, but whatever car traffic there…
how to find your own true north star

How to find your own "true north"

The North Star, or finding one’s “true north”, is a concept that has come up a number of times in my reading and viewing in recent weeks. Two examples that come immediately to mind: 1. The Financial Times' North Star Responding to…
Bleeding Heart Pigeons and Bono's advice for artists

One song could change your life

I watched some old footage of U2 recently. It was an interview from Irish television in 1986. They were already a big deal by then — they had played a great set at Live Aid a year before — but it was before The Joshua Tree and Achtung…
Bleeding Heart Pigeons and Bono's advice for artists

Why is decision-making so hard?

Why is decision-making so hard? We have an almost infinite number of choices ahead of us every day. Watch this show. Read that article. Listen to this podcast. Open that app. All of them are clutching at your attention, and the best*…
Bleeding Heart Pigeons and Bono's advice for artists

The next step

The next step reveals itself. Big dreams and significant goals and detailed visions of a better future have their place. If you have something big you're aiming at, it's a good thing to keep it visible. Even better, write it down and put…
Bleeding Heart Pigeons and Bono's advice for artists

Getting reminders

There's a phrase that's common in the particular lingo of horse racing: "Getting reminders". All sports and hobbies and games and pursuits have their own language. Cricket is maybe the most wonderful example. There is a long list of phrases…
Bleeding Heart Pigeons and Bono's advice for artists

Why accountability sometimes doesn't work

Accountability is a common practice in business networking and self-development circles. Accountability partners meet or talk regularly to keep each other on track to the commitments they've made. The principle is a sound one. When we…
Bleeding Heart Pigeons and Bono's advice for artists

The human condition and the future-present principle

Two thoughts that bounce around in my head constantly. 1. I can't accept that things won't change. One of the most fundamental laws of the universe is that things never remain the same. Because of this, and because humans -- you and…
Bleeding Heart Pigeons and Bono's advice for artists

Leadership and inequality

[A version of this piece first appeared in my short Saturday morning "Three Things" email. To sign up for regular writing from me on life, thinking, acting and being, go here.] Inequality is on everyone's minds right now. There is much…