Do you have any lighter fuel?


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‘Do you have any lighter fuel?’ the interviewer asked Chris Darwin, Charles Darwin’s great-great grandson.

Once upon a time, Chris had a job where he had to wear a suit. Having tried it though, he decided that it wasn’t for him. It just wasn’t the right fit – and fit, he resolved, was going to be one of his priorities from now on.

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Be still my analogue heart!


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My godmother was in hospital a few years ago having her right knee reconstructed. On operation day, the surgeon came in and carefully marked her leg with a black texta before she was wheeled into the theatre. He wanted to ensure there was no mistake about which knee was due for operation! Isn’t it funny? Despite all our advancements in technology and medicine, this simple step with the most basic of tools is still crucial to preventing error.

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Social norms: your waiter says more than you think


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During a recent commute between meetings, I found myself tuned into an interview with a psychology researcher. The discussion focused on how restaurant-goers tend to order more when served by heavy waiting staff.

Diners ordered significantly more items when served by heavy waiting staff with high body mass indexes, compared with waiting staff with low body mass indexes,’according to research fromCornell University and the University of Jena, ‘The impact was the same regardless of the diner’s own BMI.’

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What is the opposite of courage?


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When Paul McCartney was in school, he was told he should give up music and get a ‘safe job’ in Liverpool’s then-thriving shipping or manufacturing sectors, just like everyone else. Thank god he didn’t follow that advice! The rest, of course, is history: he launched himself to stardom in the world’s most iconic band.

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My love bomb for you


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Yes, it’s that time of year again: the tinsel is out, carols are playing, and countdown clocks with the number of days until Christmas are popping up everywhere. As if we could forget!

These reminders always make me both reflective and grateful for the year that was. I am grateful to do ‘work I love with people I like’ all over the world, as my mentor Matt Church puts it.

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Defying The F-Word


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The hermit crab lives in a salvaged empty shell. As it continues to grow, this shell eventually starts to pinch. The crab must then move into a new shell or die: its price for not changing is the steepest imaginable. So the crab leaves its shell and for a time is naked and vulnerable, an easy target for predators… Until it finds a new, bigger shell. What bliss when it does! It will live in its new home, enjoying the change it has made.

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Why NOT in my backyard?


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A few years ago one of Australia’s leading retailers was preparing to open a flagship warehouse store near where I live in Melbourne. Many local residents were up in arms against the project but it went ahead – and today each of those same locals can be spotted happily shopping there on weekends!

Change is a funny thing, isn’t it? While we might in principle agree with a change (like safe injecting rooms, or wind farms) we are often known to balk when change threatens the comfortably familiar – when it lands in our own backyard.

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How to do a Warren Buffett


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When Warren Buffet was asked at a conference how he got smarter, he simply held up a stack of papers and said, ‘Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will.’

In last week’s post, we figured out what to read. Our next challenge is learning to read both fast and smart. How can you get instant gratification from a book without having to plough through 50,000 words?

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Strategically Expanding Your Mind


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In the film The Book Thief a young girl named Liesel finds solace through literature amidst the horrors of World War II Nazi Germany. One powerful scene depicts Nazi soldiers destroying books in a giant bonfire. They want to get rid of the words and ideas that books contain. Liesel finds the smouldering remains of three books and carries them home, hidden under her dress, almost burning herself.

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If It Ain’t Got That Swing!


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I am so over passion, aren’t you? Lately the term “passion” feels like just another buzzword tossed around to sell someone or something. In business, you could define passion as deep expertise combined with a fervent enthusiasm for the topic, the product and the people with whom you engage. But I think there might be more to it.

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