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Pearls of wisdom from Rome’s greatest emperor.

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Photo by Simone Savoldi on Unsplash

The first time I learnt about Marcus Aurelius was probably the same time most people became familiar with his name — after watching Gladiator.

In the film, he is portrayed as a wise elder statesmen who knows his reign is coming to an end. Faced with the difficult choice of anointing his narcissistic and sadistic son Commodus, or the General, Maximus, as his successor, he chose the latter.

I won’t spoil the film for you if you haven’t seen it, but things don’t go according to plan.

The Marcus Aurelius that is portrayed in the film is only a glimpse…


Timeless knowledge from some lesser-known texts

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Photo by L’odyssée Belle on Unsplash

With so many books to read, it’s no surprise most of us gravitate to the most popular books. They’re the easiest to remember and it’s all too easy to jump on the bandwagon.

While it’s beneficial to read these books, if everyone else is reading them, you’re not broadening your thinking. You're not striking out and searching for books which fall outside of the most popular lists.

Just because a book isn’t well-known doesn’t mean it’s worth reading. Plenty of books have fallen out of fashion, only for them to re-emerge and become popular once again.

One person’s classic is…


‘I know that I know nothing.’

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Statue of Socrates (source)

Socrates is one of the founders of western philosophy. Born in Athens in 470 BC, his teachings are as relevant today as they were in the heady days of Greece.

What’s remarkable about Socrates is that he wrote no texts while he was alive. What we know about Socrates comes from the dialogues of Plato and Xenophon, two of his students.

These dialogues form the basis of Socrates’ philosophy. One of the key components of this is the Socratic method. …


#1. You’re replaceable

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Photo: Austin Distel/Unsplash

The office is a strange environment. Hundreds of people working away at various problems while huddled at their desks staring at a screen.

This is one way of looking at how an office works.

Another is to look at the office like a giant social experiment. You can tell a lot about people from how they conduct themselves in an office environment for better and worse.

Some people try to climb the greasy pole by demeaning others. Some people sit at their desk while their life passes them by. While others look around and wonder how they ended up there.


Creativity without consistency is nothing

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Photo by GR Stocks on Unsplash

If creativity is the king of the chessboard, then consistency is the Queen.

Without consistency, your efforts to be creative will fall flat.

Like the Queen on the chessboard, consistency allows you to move in different directions, build momentum and develop a winning strategy.

Creativity is the King because it’s where all your ideas flow from.

Without creativity, you’re staring at an empty board with no means to move forwards.

Yet, creativity alone will only take you so far. If your creativity comes in fits and bursts it won’t hold up over the long term.

The King can only move…


Your life is unscripted and you’re the author

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Photo by 董 博儒 on Unsplash

Before a show, actors will perform numerous rehearsals to iron out the kinks in their performance.

They’ll rehearse their lines, discuss ways to improve the show and get the chance to act out the performance from start to finish.

When the curtains go up on opening night, they’re ready to go with no question about what they have to do.

Life is a little different.

We don’t get to rehearse our lines, or the chance to smooth out our rough edges. We have to perform live from the day we’re born to the day we die.

Mistakes are common. Moments…


The American Dream is over for me

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Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash

Growing up in the UK in the 90s, the influence of American culture was everywhere.

Whether it was The Simpsons, Friends or Britney Spears, American culture had a big impact on our lives. In some ways, it had a bigger impact than British culture. I remember watching WWE when I was younger, repeating the catchphrases and mimicking the accents of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Even though this was happening on the other side of the Atlantic, it still felt close to home. You felt like you understood America. That we weren't so different. The shared language reduced…


Recommendations from the 44th President of the United States

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Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

Barack Obama is not only a famed political figure and all-around cool dude, he’s also an avid reader. Every year, he releases a list of books he’s enjoyed.

The best thing about Obama’s list is the variety of books. You’re as likely to find an inspiring novel as you are a book on a key period of history. His interests spread far and wide.

It was another US president, Harry Truman, who uttered the following words:

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

While the majority of us won’t go into politics full-time, almost everyone who does…


How to trash your brand in a single day

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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be aware of what’s going on with GameStop.

In case some people remain unaware of the story, here’s the lowdown. GameStop, which sells video games, has suffered due to COVID. The company closed many of its stores due to lockdowns and a downturn in trade from the pandemic.

Hedge funds, never shy to make a quick buck, noticed this and decided to short the company toward the end of last year. By shorting the company they are betting the value of GameStop’s shares will decrease. …


Comparing yourself to outliers is counter-productive

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JD Lasica from Pleasanton, CA, US, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

At the start of the year, Elon Musk became the richest man on the planet.

A surge in the price of Tesla stock, the company which Elon is CEO of, put him above Jeff Bezos. If you flashback to June 2019, the price of a single Tesla share was around 600% lower. Questions over the long-term viability of the company were frequent.

Now, Tesla is worth more than some of the oldest automotive companies on the planet combined! It’s a turn of events that gives Lazarus’ rise from the dead competition in the comeback stakes.

For a lot of people…

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