Insights

Say, do - image for article by Greg Alder

Say, do

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What we say and what we do aren’t always the same. Sometimes our words mask an underlying, unexpressed discomfort. We say we don’t like something, when the truth is that we don’t understand it – but can’t admit it. Many…

Florida effect - image for article by Greg Alder

The Florida Effect

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In 1996 in New York University, students sat in a room where they were asked to form grammatically correct 4-word sentences from a set of 5 random words. Having completed the task, each student was sent down the corridor to…

life lessons for a frozen chicken - image for article by Greg Alder

Life lessons from a frozen chicken

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Some of you might know that I spent a chunk of my life in advertising. Advertising is an industry that likes to pay itself well. I liked being well paid. I enjoyed the comfortable lifestyle. But money doesn’t last. Advertising…

Jack of none - image for article by Greg Alder

Jack of none

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“Jack of all trades, master of none” is a phrase used to describe someone who’s broadly skilled but lacks depth of knowledge in one area. Often it’s abbreviated. When someone says “Jack of all trades”, we mentally add the second…

Small joys - image for article by Greg Alder

Small Joys

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Which has the greater influence on your happiness? Your life’s great positive events? Or small daily pleasures? It turns out that how you answer depends on 2 things. First, how old you are and, second, how readily you savour the…

You are the measure - image for article by Greg Alder

You are the measure

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A short while back, around 450 BC, the philosopher Protagoras said, “Of all things the measure is Man, of the things that are, that they are, and of the things that are not, that they are not.” What’s generally accepted…

You are - image for article by Greg Alder

You are

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You are not one of seven billion. You are not a file number, case number, customer number or pin number. You are not the lady in number 7, the man upstairs, the family across the road. You are not the…

Unburdened - image for article by Greg Alder

Unburdened

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What would you do? Imagine that every one of life’s commitments and expectations were magically lifted. You wake one morning unburdened by pressures, overt and covert, external and internal, implicit and explicit. You have no financial obligations. No debts to…

The world in 500 words - image for article by Greg Alder

The world in 500 words

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Imagine you are asked this question a generation from now. What was the world like in 2016? I have read no more succinct, accurate, potent or depressing description than one in Ian McEwan’s latest novel, Nutshell. The narrator is an…

Choose happiness - image for article by Greg Alder

Choose happiness

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Why is it that some people who seem to have everything don’t have happiness? And why do those who seem to have nothing often have a broad, irrepressible smile? Some time back, I was in the weekly market at Zaachila,…