Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Are you being yourself, am I?

This post has been inspired by Neils Hermus, a guy who I've gotten to know more about over the last few weeks since. Like me, he decided to quit his job, jump into the unknown, and write about the whole experience. His blog stands out because of it's honesty. Neils is writing exactly what he is thinking and feeling, and if some people don't like it that's fine by him. In fact he's so keen to ensure his true message and personality come across that he's dedicated a whole post to it.
It made me think about a couple of things...

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Get the most out of Istanbul - 7 fun things to do

We just spent a few days in Istanbul the 2010 European City of Culture. It's the fifth largest city in the world with nearly 13 million inhabitants, has a history that stretches back 9,000 years and is the gateway between Europe and Asia. It's beautiful, chaotic, friendly, overcrowded, noisy and exciting all at the same time, a real city of extremes. The locals seem to know how to live life to the maximum and it really is a city that never sleeps.

It's huge, even compared to London and you could explore for years. But if you have limited time then here are my top 7 recommendations to get the maximum from your visit:

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Top tips from the top lifestyle bloggers - 3 takeouts

Jesse Jacobs of brought together two of my favourite bloggers, Leo Babuta of Zen Habits and Tim Ferriss along with Zen practioner Susan O'Connell to discuss 'Zen, Tea and the Art of Life Management'.

This is the video of the event. It's well worth a watch from end to end, but it's very long so I've summarised my own top 3 takeouts in case you don't have time to watch it all.

Here are my top 3...

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

5 EASY ways to be happier and more alive TODAY!

First of all I want to say I've had a lot of fun writing this post, was just what I needed after a tough week last week. If you have as much fun trying out some of these techniques as I have then I'll be even happier. Now back to the post...

What are we really looking for out of our lives? More money, bigger house, more stuff, vacations in the sun? But think beyond those things, what are we really looking to gain from climbing the corporate, financial or social ladders? Most people would say happiness. They just want to be happy in their lives.

'be happy' a popular goal on

I guess one of the great 'con's of the 'con'sumer society is that owning more stuff, having more money, or consuming more will make you happy. Watching programs like Mad Men is an interesting look back at how mass advertising trained people to think it that way, and for many people that's still the philosophy that they buy into or are told to buy into. I myself have tried it, working hard to climb the ladder to get more money to buy the stuff that I thought would make me happy. You know what, it really didn't work, I wasn't a very happy person at all.

To some extent stuff can make you happy, but in my own experience I found that it didn't bring real, deep, long lasting, meaningful happiness and in some cases it brought more problems than not having the stuff in the first place. Owning a gorgeous sports car sounds like a superb idea until you get one and have to spend a small fortune on servicing it or have to spend a week getting a scratch professionally repaired. And think about all the cool things you could be doing instead of sitting in an office trying to pay for it.

Also in my life to date the happiest people I've met have had very little. And the most miserable people had the most material wealth. The conventional wisdom doesn't seem to be true at all. And this is a good thing. Once you realise that conventional thinking doesn't make sense you can stop working so hard to get all the things you don't need and spend more time doing the things that make you happy.

So what kind of things can make you happy if amassing money and stuff won't?

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The importance of reconnecting with old friends, before it's too late.

This blog is primarily focused on how to be more positive and get the most out of life. Today however I'm going to talk about death. It's something that I've recently experienced in that one of my closest childhood friends passed away and we went through the painful emotional experience of burying him. It was incredibly sad and brought out a whole spectrum of feelings including anger, frustration, sorrow, sympathy and thankfulness.

Don't you just love embarrassing old school photos

Justin was a great friend. We were born 6 months apart and lived about 20 yards from each other. We spent a huge amount of time together growing up and eventually shared an apartment and house once we'd left home. We walked the Yorkshire Dales, worked part time in the same garage and had some of the best nights out ever. 

I don't think anyone had a bad word to say about him. He was a great listener and conversationalist. He had so much potential, he was intelligent, easy going and charming. His life ended well before it should have done and now he is gone many people will miss him. A life that is cut short like this really makes you how fragile and temporary our existence is. Any day could be our last and we should be making the most of each and every moment. And we should be making time for each other.