Philosophy

Sometimes it’s scary; sometimes that’s the point.

The only sure thing is that you’ll never find the bliss if you don’t.

Your gut has your back.

Jump.

It’s not often a zero sum game.

We talk in terms of give-and-take, but these are not the only available outcomes of negotiation.

Our priorities are never wholly aligned; if they were, we would never need to negotiate. This means that whatever is being given or taken is worth different sums to different people.

Giving a little in the right places can mean a lot more to someone than what it cost to give.

Standing firm and insisting in taking in the places most important to you might generate the same effect in reverse.

Balancing the ledger in such a way that all parties feel as though they walked away with more than they gave is not just possible, it should be the focus of all negotiation.

Those who commit to joviality tend to enjoy happier lives. They aren’t necessarily jokesters or pranksters, nor are they unable to take things seriously when they need to.

What separates the jovial from the rest is an intuitive ability to turn dull moments into joyous ones.

The stakes are rarely so high that we can’t enjoy a laugh. The jovial amongst us are commuted to finding that laugh, and sharing it.

If only we could all commit to joy; we might find less bitterness between us all.

We don’t always get the chance to curate our experience of life.

Sometimes things fall into place; the right chance occurs at the perfect time and we’re better off as a result. Other times, it can feel as though our lives have been designed by a creator who is taking cruel delight in ensuring that everything goes wrong for us all at once.

Finding ourselves in a position we didn’t want to be in is not a good enough reason to dismiss the rules of the game we’re playing. It’s jarring, and people don’t like it.

You can’t show up to your first day at an internship and start making suggestions as if you’re company’s CEO, regardless of how much you’d like the be.

We alone are responsible for operating in line with our current position. Because, while life itself is rarely concerned with fairness, the other people we share this life with do. Ultimately, connecting with them is our best opportunity to create better positions for the future.

We make art about the things we most wish to remember; we externalise them in the best ways we know how.

Great art stays with us because it conveys a fragment of the human experience in such a way that it can be re-framed and re-accessed by others. In that sense, art is an act of sharing; art is collaborative memory.

Art is the core of our culture. We should therefore be prepared to protect our art with the same rigour we would muster to protect our countries; because if we don’t, there won’t be much left to protect.

In his classic book of ancient stratagems, The Art of War, Sun Tzu describes the various ways a wise commander might approach a battle.

Above all, Tzu emphasises that a commander should only initiate a fight when absolutely necessary, and only when the circumstances favour a successful outcome.

If possible, wars should be won without any battle at all; for the threat of battle alone is powerful enough to force surrender in some situations. 

The skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy battles in the field.

Sun Tzu

The way an army positions its leverage is essential to it’s success.

‘It is the rule in war, if our forces are ten to the enemy’s one, surround him; if five to one, attack him; if twice as numerous, to divide our army in two.’

Sun Tzu

Fortunately, if you’re reading this, it’s unlikely that you’ll be engaging in hand to hand combat in a field any time soon.

Still, Tzu’s elegant logic perforates our modern age in more ways than can be listed.

Strategic adaptation is the core of all success; be it in war, or life.

A master never blames her tools, but she also doesn’t try to force a stone to cut steel.

You can’t put a DSLR into someone’s hand and expect them to shoot a film; it takes more than a pen and paper to produce a novel; and the ingredients for a soufflĂ© are in no way guaranteed to become a soufflĂ©, despite our best laid plans.

Sometimes we need new tools, sometimes we’re what needs to be sharpened.

How do you determine the right time to take a plunge; to finally try the thing you’ve been thinking about and training for, but haven’t yet attempted?

How much risk is too much? Riding downhill helps keep us balanced, while tackling a hill too steep might end in tragedy.

Growth is sustainable when the risks we take are calculated.

Risk nothing, get nowhere. Risk everything, risk the same fate.

The credits at the end of a film are acknowledgement of the hard work done to put the film together. Most of us barely ever read them… But they’re there.

I think it’s important for us to think about how we’re going to acknowledge the front line workers who are seeing us though this time.

Live every film, this pandemic will eventually come to an end. When it does, let’s consider how we might honour those who put in the hard work to keep us all together.

Pressure makes diamonds, but that doesn’t mean diamonds are immune to being cracked.

Sometimes self-acclaimed diamonds just haven’t yet felt the pressure they think they have.

Enough pressure with destroy anything.