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Pearls of wisdom from Rome’s greatest emperor.

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…

Critics are not welcome in the church of Bitcoin

Photo by André François McKenzie on Unsplash

Cryptocurrency is forcing its way into the mainstream.

A few months, we were treated to the bizarre spectacle of Elon Musk promoting Dogecoin to millions of people on Saturday Night Live. A coin based on a meme and created as a joke in 20 minutes.

Never mind that Musk is the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and Neuralink, he took time out of these roles to go on national television and promote what amounts to a worthless asset to millions of people.

This is the world of cryptocurrencies folks.

If you scroll through Twitter, you’ll see similar sentiments expressed by a…

We often underestimate our own intelligence.

Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

Intelligence is crucial in everyday life. Without it, you’re liable to overestimate your abilities and run into trouble. But, it’s also true you can underestimate how smart you are.

Unless you’re Donald Trump, you’re probably not proclaiming yourself to be a genius to anyone who’ll listen. More likely, you’ll play down your intelligence, or just not realise how smart you are. It’s a curious quirk of life that we’re often better at assessing other people than we are ourselves.

Yet, that’s exactly what we do. I know lots of smart people who downplay their intelligence. They ace tests, run companies…

A reading list to challenge your thinking

Photo by Ugur Akdemir on Unsplash

One of the best things about reading is that it can open your eyes to new ways of thinking. A book can change your views on life and expose you to a different way of seeing the world.

It’s a cliche, but most of us have a book or two which has changed our view of the world. Once we’ve put the book down, our outlook has changed. It will never be the same again.

I don’t claim these books will cause you to drop all your prior beliefs and become a new person. But, they will cause to step…

It’s a damning indictment of the American healthcare system

Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

Breaking Bad is one of the most popular TV series of the past twenty years.

It tells the story of Walter White and his descent from high school teacher to drug lord following a cancer diagnosis. The series is a fascinating look at how an ordinary person can turn into a scheming Machiavellian sociopath in the pursuit of money and power.

This is a common narrative from the series and to a certain extent, it’s right. As the series progresses, we see Walter turn more and more sinister. From coming across as weak at the start, he becomes the complete…

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows

Photo by Cookie the Pom on Unsplash

Becoming a full-time creator is now a goal for more and more people. The advent of the creator economy has made this a reality when it would have been fantasy a few years ago.

Dreams are one thing, but reality is different. Our best expectations can fall apart as we bring them to life. While working for yourself is something I enjoy, I’m not going to say it’s without its difficulties.

That’s not the case.

Being a full-time creator is a lot of work and the picture painted by many people online doesn’t match the full reality. …

That’s because you’re not really free

Photo by Josefa nDiaz on Unsplash

Would you describe yourself as free?

Most of us would, but the term has a loose definition. Depending on who you talk to, some people may consider you to be as free as a bird or tied down in knots.

But when it comes to work, our perceptions have begun to shift. The rise of the ‘creator economy’ has led to a growing movement of people seeking to become ‘free.’

What are they looking to free themselves from? Reliance on traditional jobs as a source of income. After I graduated from university, I was one of these people. …

A reading list for self-improvement

Photo by Jaz King on Unsplash

The sheer number of self-improvement books is overwhelming. There’s so many you could stock a whole library full of them and have no room for any other genre.

This creates a problem if you’re looking to buy a book to improve your life. Which ones do you choose? It’s a problem I had a few years ago. I wanted to read a few books on self-help but had no idea where to start.

I was overwhelmed and couldn’t decide what I should go for. I ended up buying a variety of books, some of which were good, some of which…

How to have more ideas than you know what to do with

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

If you’re a writer, there’s a feeling you’ll experience at some point.

You may not have experienced it yet, or you may have experienced it several times now, but every writer experiences it.

The feeling of being stuck for ideas.

I’ve experienced the drying up of ideas multiple times now. When I first started writing on Medium back in 2017, the ideas flowed out of me. I had so many ideas it was a struggle to write them all down.

This lasted for a year and then, nothing. My mind resembled an old town in the wild west with tumbleweed…

The digital gold rush is fueling climate change

Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

It’s not often I agree with Elon Musk, but his opinion on the environmental impact of bitcoin is something I see eye-to-eye with him on.

If you don’t know what bitcoin is, it’s a decentralised digital currency without a central bank or entity overseeing it, which can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the involvement of intermediaries.

Sounds interesting, right?

In principle, it’s a good idea. Banks aren’t popular, and their policies can lead to economic crashes such as the 2008 financial crash. A decentralised system offers a solution to this issue.

But how…

Tom Stevenson

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