The great Ernest Shackleton look for three attributes in his men above anything else:
We know that in order to create a new future, a person needs to marry a clear intention (coherent brain) with an elevated emotion (coherent heart). With the intention or thought acting as the electrical charge, and the feeling or emotion acting as a magnetic charge, this is how we change our energy—and when we change our energy, we change our life. It’s the communion of these two ingredients that begin to produce a clear effect on matter by moving our biology from living in the past to living in the future. Only then can we cease being a victim of circumstance and begin living as a creator of our reality. This is the process whereby we create a new personal reality.
For me, inspirtaion comes from reading, listening and watching. Be conscious of the type of content your are absorbing - does it make you think.
Chatting to a pal this week who edits magazines, he stressed the importance of standing for something. Let’s not get stuck in the middle.
As a writer we can be diplomatic, and respectful but let’s stand for something.
As a brands, we simply cannot be everything to everyone. Please god stand for something - regardless of what “they” say.
When asked how he might find zen, master replied:
You are seeking an ox while you are yourself on it
I heard a crazy story today.
A pal of mine was in New York having breakfast, when Richard Branson interrupted and asked to join him for company. How such a man, felt compelled to do that kinda blows my mind. Needless to say, they had a great breakfast and there is ongoing conversation about how they can collaborate work wise. Mad. Don’t be too big to say hello and introduce yourself.
This true story blew me away. “When They See Us “ chronicles the notorious case of five teenagers of color, labeled the “Central Park Five”, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The four part series focuses on the five teenagers from Harlem -- Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. At times it is hard to watch the injustice - but do it, it will give you new insights into how some have to live, even today.
I am a super competitive guy. This is often not externalised, but I hate looseing. Not because I’m not in the bright lights, but because I beat myself up for not preparing better.
I had an insight this week around the idea of being competitive, but not being in competition. It’s only a small change in word sequencing, but it’s been helpful for me.
Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the great lessons I have learnt in life is that making introductions is one of the most powerful things you can do. Not only is it supremely satisfying, but it puts you right in the centre of all the action. The great leaders know this. I would also say, there are few things as enjoyable as meeting somebody you instantly connect with. It is one of the great joys of being a human.
“If you’ve ever bought a mattress online, or a private label product from Amazon, you’ve experienced the value created by the last step.
That mattress company didn’t make the mattress.
And Amazon doesn’t make light bulbs.
There are countless factories vying to sell generic products to the companies that own the customer relationship. Perhaps 90% (sometimes 100%) of the profit goes to companies that make the sale, not the ones who actually made the product.
That’s because while they make the thing, they don’t do the work. The hard part is earning attention and trust. The hard part is helping someone make the choice. (There’s a difference between the hard part and the important part. Without the factory, there’s nothing to sell. Making it is important. But increasingly, it’s not the hard part.)
The Broadway producer makes a profit, the chorus member ekes out a living.
Either you’re doing the hard part or you’re left out of the transaction.”
“It’s not things that upset us, but our judgement about things.”
Marcus Aurelius talked about practicing the “art of acquiescence.” Seneca and Epictetus spoke often about surrendering to fate—understanding that we are not in control, accepting that there is a larger plan for us spelled out in the logos. It seems like resignation, and it’s a very scary thing for us to try. So most people don’t. We refuse to yield, like Odysseus, and we never end up getting where we want to go.
My old pal Aleks is producing a killer podcast on style and menswear. Ok, maybe not the most important topic for many men, but this interview goes well beyond stuff, and dives deep into culture and psychology. Gauthier is direct and passionate. What I love are his comments around being polite as the first step to elegance and the importance of how important a “mix” of people, styles and views makes things cool, not duplicates of people or stuff with “big watches and big cigars”. I love this. This is a must listen for the curious.
I was taken to see this documentary by a good friend about a year ago. It was also the first date (kind of) I went on with my girlfriend. I went in not knowing a huge amount Mr Rams, but my god did I leave worshipping him. The doc is now live on BBC here. If you are even remotely interested in how things function and look - this is a must watch.
A passage of text to a friend today:
The personal satisfaction that comes from knowing you gave it your best. R. Nadal
It was not lost even on the Stoics that some parts of this philosophy come more naturally to some people than others. Some folks just seem chill by default. Some are so-called “old souls” who have wisdom and perspective, almost from birth. Others were not blessed (or cursed) with ambition or opportunities, and so there is very little challenge going on in their life anyway.
Good for them. That’s their lot in life. It’s not ours. It certainly wasn’t Seneca’s.
The rest of us have to struggle. We struggle against our impulses. We struggle to really internalize these teachings. We are struggling to manage our tempers or the envy that creeps up out of nowhere, into our souls, and then out through our hands and mouths as deeds we wish we could undo. It’d be nice if we didn’t have to struggle so much, but we do.
And yet, this struggle—and the triumphs over it, however temporary—that is what’s impressive about us. Seneca wrote that he doesn’t admire the person who has it easy, who is naturally Stoic. No, he admires the man “who has won a victory over the meanness of his own nature, and has not gently led himself, but has wrestled his way, to wisdom.” Seneca reserved his deepest appreciation for the person who’d survived the crucible of ego, who’d navigated the gauntlet of envy and pride, who’d walked through the shadow of the valley of death, but with himself as his own shepherd.
Today, we must continue to wrestle. We must continue to struggle and fight for victory. It won’t be easy—it never is—but that’s the whole point. It’s the man in the arena that we admire. It’s the one covered in dust and sweat that matters. And that’s who we are.