There are no second chances when it comes to first impressions.

Most people decide whether or not they like you within minutes of meeting you, so why exhibit anything but warmth and positivity?

People who build their personalities around intimidating others fall prey to shallow loneliness in the long run. Compassion and generosity are the tools by which lasting relationships are formed.

Greet new people as you would an old friend, and you’ll end up with more old friends once you’re old.

It’s fun to take small risks on little invitations: testing a new route to work, or adding something new to a recepie you know already delivers.

Occasionally, these baby innovations reward us with a nice little breakthrough that slightly changes the way we do things. More often than not, this isn’t the case. Instead, we end up driving for a couple of minutes longer or with a grainy mouthful of matcha crème brûlée.

The cost of these risks is so low that these no reason not to test these ideas when they come around.

Just remember to trust the tried and true from time to time.

The ability to remain ‘neutral’ on the oppression of others implies privilege; it’s easier not to bother with oppression when it isn’t happening to you.

An even worse response would be the reactive undermining of someone else’s oppression.

There are no counter protests at breast cancer awareness events, because the words ‘all cancers matter’ are so obvious that they need not be exclaimed.

‘Black Lives Matter’ is not a challenge to the idea that ‘All Lives Matter’, but the latter is a challenge to the former. Our reaction to systematic violence and oppression cannot be to undermine it.

We are sensory animals, well adapted to allowing our noses and mouths to guide our thoughts.

The smell of petrichor, of rain falling on dry earth, release primal hormones which steady us.

When we get that first bite of a dish our family used to make, that junk food we were treated to after a big game, or the meal we ate on our first dates, our brains start firing with memory.

In method acting there’s a technique called sense memory, in which an actor will recall a specific physical feeling which evokes a certain emotion which they hope will inform their performance.

What actors do synthetically, our bodies perform naturally.

There are a billion micro memories your mind could access at any moment, all it needs is the right sensory input.

Finally, Australia is seeing the impacts of COVID-19 fade away.

Schools are open, sports are back on and (even though we not seem far more attentive to each other’s personal space) people are able to gather safely.

Life is returning to new normal. There’s something refreshing about that.

Meetings are the bane of productivity; they allow participants to feel like they’re getting things done, even when they’re not.

Meetings belong to the person who called the meeting. Usually, the person who calls a big meeting feels great afterwards becuase they got to say everything they felt they needed to say.

The question is: did everyone else in the room really need to hear it?

Too often, that answer is no.

I played my first soccer game tonight, filling in on a friend’s team in a community futsal league.

The team we played weren’t that good, but they were leagues better than us. A couple of them clearly had some fundamentals, a couple of us played when we were eight (me not being one of them, unfortunately).

We fought hard to the final whistle, even though the referee had stopped tallying their score on the board, “there’s no need to put any more up,” he said to me off the court.

Learning how to lose is perhaps the clearest sign of growing up. We’ll be back next week, and if we don’t score a goal, we will in the next one.

Sometimes there’s no winning. That sucks, of course. Maybe it even hurts. But wallowing in the hopelessness of a losing situation is aimless.  

Instead, exit. Take off the jersey, surrender the king, hang up the phone.

Unless your life is on the line, there will always be another opportunity to make better choices and avoid a lose – lose situation entirely.

Remember, it’s your own decisions which ultimately led you here – no matter where you are.

Your circumstances may well have limited the choices available to you, but it was your own action which put you where you are here and now.

Live with it, or change. It’s always up to you.

It’s okay for your plan to change, as long as you have a plan. Quitting to pursue better is never a failure; quitting without a better path, is.

Life is too precious to squander meddling in things which don’t enrich us.

In a few hours, NASA will launch two astronauts into space from US soil for the first time since 2011.

The launch will mark the final stage of their SpaceX program, which is laying the groundwork for future exploration of Mars and the Moon.

You can watch live here. Just try not to lose any brain cells reading the YouTube comments.