My friend and fellow #BlogPals19 blogger, Cathy explored the topic of physical books vs electronic books, which I thought was interesting.

The Kindle has been the best thing and the most dangerous thing for me. I love books. In fact, you might say I’m addicted to books. I have to have them. Without books and music, there is no life for me. The problem with the Kindle is the books are too easy to obtain. If I come across a title while surfing the Net and it’s in the Kindle store, chances are I’ll buy it! Versus back in the day, pre-kindle, I’d have to make the trek to a bookstore to try and find the book (which was an adventure in itself).

I used to love going to the bookstore, new or used, and wander around and browse for hours until something caught my eye and then I’d buy it, take home and read it from cover to cover (however long that took).

My love of books goes way back to before school. I was far ahead of the other kids my age when came to reading. I was so good in fact, that for English I was bumped up a grade. I hated it because it meant for that hour or so I had to leave my friend and go to class with kids older than me! I didn’t really dig that.

The library was my sanctuary. I would walk 5 miles to go spend the whole day in the post library. I’d wander up and down the library stacks sometimes in science, other times in history or literature or mechanics, it didn’t matter. I read anything and everything I could get my hands on.

Even now, my bookshelves are filled with books on many different subjects.

I don’t tend to read cover to cover anymore, not in one shot, but over time as i dip in and out of the books i have on the go unless the book has not lived up to its promises and is terrible, then happy to abandon it. Whereas before when i bought a physical book, i read it from cover to cover regardless. if it was bad, i’d suffer through it.

Now i think the Kindle feels much like surfing the web. I mostly read on the Kindle iPad app, even though i do have a physical Kindle, i tend only to read that on holiday in an anticipation of reading on a beach or mountain or lake somewhere out in the sun. Plus the Kindle on the iPad is easier to highlight and use the note function or to screenshot a passage to share on the social web.

Here are my last 10 books I bought and am currently reading:

The bottom line for me is that I love books. Yes, I do love the feel of a physical book in my hand, on the hand, I love the convenience of having a huge library in my pocket as well as the instant purchase without having to leave the comfort of my reading chair.

It’s been a long old slog of a day, so much so that it feels like tomorrow should be Thursday. I’ve crammed so much into the last couple of days, I’m sure I must have somehow squeezed in an extra day. But anyway, I’m sure that’s the story of everyone’s life these days. My mind has been racing with thoughts of the future and where I want to evolve to next with my career. I think I’ve found a really nice sweet spot that will allow me to combine several of the things I love doing. And it’s still in the learning and development world so that’s a bonus. It’s called learning experience design. And these two diagrams show all the elements learning experience design, or LxD, brings together for me:

And this one:

Through on top of this the revolution in workplace learning to move from formal classroom based training to in the flow of work solutions. Although, I have to admin, many of the company I work for still cling to the old model (which still has a place in my book, but should’n’t be the first port call).


I blow hot and cold when it comes to the idea of having one true purpose in a life. Sometimes I think we all have an individual purpose that we must discover and once we discover it would can truly reach our potential and be happy, if not content. Other times, I completely fall inline with the existentialist and realise that we have no ordained purpose and that life is ultimately meaningless. And that it’s up to each individual make their own meaning.

Today, I’m interested in the Japanese take on this with their concept called Ikigai, which means “a reason for being.” “ikigai” is usually used to indicate the source of value in your life or the things that makes your life worthwhile. The English translation means the “the thing you live for.”

Ikigai is meant to be the key to true happiness, at least according to the Japanese. It breaks down like this:

My plan this week is to see if I can identify my ikigai. Here’s the diagram if you want to try it out too:

If were to venture to say where I feel I am in the diagram right now, it would be in the ‘delight and fullness, but no wealth.’ So what needs to happen for me to shift that? I’ll put this question in the percolator and see whar comes out.

What’s been good about this 30-day challenge is that it has forced me to be still for a few minutes and contribute to my own blog, which is in effect, contributing to my story. What do I mean by that? Let’s face it I’m not writing earth-shattering posts. I’m not even solving some great problem or servicing a need. But what I am doing is taking a snapshot of what’s on my mind at the time I sit down to write a post. And over time, all those snapshots will tell parts of my story. It’s like a multimedia scrapbook of my life and thoughts. Little pieces of my life juxtaposed together that when looked at as a whole, contribute to a larger narrative.

One of the goals of the IndieWeb Movement is to encourage people to post everything to their blog and the syndicate out. I haven’t quite got there yet, apart from syndicating to Twitter (automatically using WordPress’s native syndication tool), Facebook (which I have to do manually because FB restricted API access to their site are no longer allow 3rd party posting to the profile. They didn’t under the guise of protecting your privacy so things like Cambridge Analytica can’t happen, it if dig a little deeper, it now forces you to have to go on Facebook to post, which of course gives them the opportunity to serve you up some adverts, boost their user stats which they use to sell advertising. And I get that. It’s a company, and companies exist to make money. But it’s a shining example of why you want to control your own space by having your own blog (that you own) not subject to algorithms and the whims of company who might suddenly changed their rules or bail on you completely (take a look at google graveyard and all the web apps they’ve abandoned over the years, some of which I really liked using).

Plus if you’re blog acts as your central hub, then you have everything in one place. Your blog becomes your basecamp. Because you own it, you don’t have to worry about it going the way of MySpace or Google + and other social media platforms that have come and gone over the years.

Viva la IndieWeb Movement!

P.S. They say it takes 3 weeks to form a new habit. Well, it’s Day 21 of our little blogging challenge so here’s to a new habit! #BlogPals19


It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.  Alan Cohen

I enjoy challenging my clients to question their thinking. We are so skilled at our thinking that we don’t think about our thinking. We accept our thoughts as gospel and do not challenge the perceptions that drive them. We think we know that when “X” happens, the only consequence or answer is always and only “Y” because we have already had that experience. So we collapse the wave of other possibilities without first examining them to see what other outcomes are possible. Here are some famous examples of collapsing the wave of possibilities:

This `telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a practical form of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us. – Western Union internal memo, 1878

Well informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value. – Editorial in the Boston Post (1865)

[Television] won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night. – Darryl F. Zanuck, head of 20th Century-Fox, 1946.

A new source of power… called gasoline has been produced by a Boston engineer. Instead of burning the fuel under a boiler, it is exploded inside the cylinder of an engine. The dangers are obvious. Stores of gasoline in the hands of people interested primarily in profit would constitute a fire and explosive hazard of the first rank. Horseless carriages propelled by gasoline might attain speeds of 14 or even 20 miles per hour. The menace to our people of vehicles of this type hurtling through our streets and along our roads and poisoning the atmosphere would call for prompt legislative action even if the military and economic implications were not so overwhelming… the cost of producing gasoline is far beyond the financial capacity of private industry… In addition the development of this new power may displace the use of horses, which would wreck our agriculture. – U. S. Congressional Record, 1875

…no possible combination of known substances, known forms of machinery, and known forms of force, can be united in a practical machine by which man shall fly long distances through the air… – Simon Newcomb (1835-1909), astronomer, head of the U. S. Naval Observatory

Computers in the future may…perhaps only weigh 1.5 tons. – Popular Mechanics, 1949.

There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home. – Kenneth Olsen, president and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

Where would be if no one had challenged the thinking of these men? The next time you find yourself deciding an outcome based on past experiences or perceptions, ask yourself instead:

What are the possibilities?

It’s Friday. It’s raining. But we can still have fun. And even though it’s not quite beer-o’clock yet, I’m going to share with you my musical guilty pleasures!


I’m almost afraid to admit this one…

Tiffany – I Think We’re Alone Now

 Katy Perry – I Kissed a Girl

Avril Lavigne – Complicated

Bobby Brown – Every Little Step

James Reyne – Any Day Above Ground

KT Tunstall – Other Side of the World

Maroon 5 – She Will Be Loved

Madonna – Like a Virgin

Natalie Imbruglia – Torn

Robbie Williams – No Regrets

I showed you mine, now show me yours. What’s your music guilty pleasure?

I chipped a tooth today eating a mint. That sucks! But life goes on. I was going to double-dip and cross-post from my Havana Cafe Sessions podcast, which goes out today (Episode #145: Cultivating your life using design thinking). But I made this cool cooking video and felt compelled to share that with you instead:

One of my clients is using food to bring the team together. Once a month, one of the sub-teams makes a potluck lunch for the rest of the team. I did my bit by cooking up some Clay’s Beans (as the recipe has become known in my house).

The Recipe:

Let’s swap recipes. Share one of your favourite recipes that’s become known as your signature dish.

Looks like I’m going just get this in under the wire! It’s been a long old crazy day, topped off doing good – making Clay’s Beans (Old Settler’s Bean) for a potluck lunch tomorrow for one of my clients. Anyway here’s a piece of fiction I’ve been scribbling:

I’ll tell you this, no eternal reward awaits you for wasting the dawn. You have to do what you set out to do. It bothers me that so many of the people in my life think it’s ok to waste time. I know what you’re thinking, me sitting here in another coffee shop in another town, writing this novella, that no one will read, is a waste of time. And equally, if you’ve made it to this point in the narrative, you’re wasting time too. But stick with me dear reader, go on this mind trip with me, I promise to show you, if not a good time, at least a bizarre one. Because you see the only thing worth pursuing in this lousy world is the absurd. It’s the only thing that makes sense.

“Where has God gone?” (the madman asked) “I shall tell you. We have killed him – you and I. We are his murderers.” “But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the horizon? What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not perpetually falling? Backward, sideward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing?”*

After God died, everything changed. God always was a bit of a hoarder, he kept all the meaning to himself stashed away up in heaven. So when he died, or rather when we killed him, we had no way to get to heaven and retrieve any of the meaning that was promised to us. It took a while to realise that if we wanted meaning, we’d have to make it for ourselves.

There were always cracks in the system. But somehow we missed or ignored the warning signs – the increased angst, dread, and anxiety – the war to end all wars, Oppenheimer’s deadly toy, women’s liberation, the sexual revolution, civil rights, Vietnam, aids, an actor playing the part of the president, a president playing God. Stop. Get grip MR Lowe, you’re spiraling out of control again.

Where was I? Yes, God. Dead. Life. Meaningless.

“No answers will be forthcoming”, said the priest who was the last human to see God alive. He then promptly committed suicide. The people were shocked. He was finally out from under God’s thumb, finally able to experience true freedom. Why would he commit suicide?

Several days later, when they were clearing his room, they stumbled upon the priest’s journal:

“There’s no way I can tell them what really happened. It wouldn’t have believed it if someone had told me. There was only one part that mattered, to me anyway. I don’t even know if I remember all of it. I can’t remember how it ended, exactly, but when it ended, I knew the question would drive me insane.”

How should I live?

I had such fun with yesterday’s list post, and I learned so more about my friend Cathy and her hopes, that I thought I’d do another. This time list the movies you watch over and over again and why.

Here’s my list, in no particular order:

It’s a Wonderful Life – i totally relate to George Bailey – big dreams of doing great things only to find that I’m an average guy, with an average life, doing average things – when Jimmy Stewart’s characters says “I’m shaking the dust of this crummy little town off my shoes and I’m gonna see the world. Then, I’ll go to college, see what they know, then I’m going to build things, big things…that was me at 17 when i left home to seek my fame and fortune! On the positive side, It’s a Wonderful Life helps me remember that everything touches everything else and I wouldn’t be who i am today without all of the interactions I’ve had with people who have come in and out of my life…however briefly.




Trading Places – on top of being a very funny movie with Eddie Murphy at his best, it’s also a reminder to me that one day your Billy Ray (down on your luck, bum) the next day you’re William. Or vice versa, one day you’re Louis Winthrop the 3rd (everything is going for you – you have the killer job, hotwife, plenty of money) the next day your Louie (flat broke, homeless, a hooker for a girlfriend).





Last of the Mohicans – makes me run faster and train harder whenever i play the soundtrack of this movie in my head. It inspires me to live with purpose and intent, and to be intense in pursuit of what i want, no matter the cost.







Crossroads – i love the blues, i love the lines, and Joe Seneca’s character, Willie Brown is the king of verbal aphorisms like ‘a man ain’t no man ain’t got no car’ or ‘blues ain’t nothing but a good man feeling bad thinking about the woman he left behind.’







The Last Samurai – I’m always a sucker for a good warrior movie that emphasizes true warriorship and the deep connection to spirit the true warrior has to have to be a fully realised human being. I love the samurai and the Bushido Code – do everything as if it is the last time you’ll ever get to do it…kiss partner like its the last time you’ll ever kiss them (because one day it will be) that’s intense!






Point Break – not Kenau Reeves finest acting hour, but it’s one Patrick Swayze’s best in my opinion. I love the who surfing as a spiritual quest motif and the whole adrenaline junkie live free or die mentality, as Brodie, original Bodhvitsta says, “it’s not a tragedy dying doing something you love.” Conjures up that longing inside of me to be that passionate about something.







American Pie – When I’m feeling overly nostalgic for the good old days when the world was my oyster and me and my homies were masters of the universe and obsessed with getting wasted and getting laid.






American Beauty – There have been huge stretches in time in my life, particularly my early 40s where I was Lester Burnham – There are so many great lines in this movie:

Look at me, jerking off in the shower — this will be the high point of my day. It’s all downhill from here.

It’s a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself.

Our marriage is just for show. A commercial for how normal we are when we’re anything but.

And my absolute favorite line:

Both my wife and daughter think I’m this gigantic loser and they’re right, I have lost something. I’m not exactly sure what it is but I know I didn’t always feel this… sedated. But you know what? It’s never too late to get it back.

When I watch this movie, I feel like Lester, desperate to be passionate about life, to really, truly feel alive in the moment. The rhythm of eat, work, sleep – rinse and repeat, where every day is pretty much the same as the day before. Even now, my day today was no different from yesterday, and I suspect tomorrow will be the same as today on the whole. It’s beyond mundane and repetitive.

So which movies to you watch and over and over again? Write a post and tag me in it or leave your thoughts in the comments.

Write 10 lines, each starting with the words, I hope…

I hope the Zombie Apocalypse starts soon; humanity needs saving.
I hope tomorrow is a better day than today.
I hope my knee gets better.
I hope someday to see my name 10 feet high and luminous green.
I hope the political arena on both sides of the pond settles down again to something of some semblance of order.
I hope I’m not stuck in a Glory Days scenario.
I hope (and I know I probably shouldn’t say this) I die before I get too old.
I hope someday I get what I truly want (which is what, I hear you ask).
I hope I never run out of good coffee.
I hope one day this will all make sense.

Your turn. Write an ‘I hope…’ post on your blog and tag me in it.