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Pearls of wisdom from Rome’s greatest emperor.

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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…

Tips to reach a century of books in 365 days

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If you’re an avid reader, there’s one question you might have asked yourself a few times. How many books can I read in a year?

Then, you might have conjured up your next question: How to read 100 books in a year? Humans love round numbers and reading 100 books in a year has a nice ring to it.

But is it possible?

The answer is yes, but it takes a lot of effort. Reading 50 books in a year is tough, so reading 100 is going to be twice the work.

If you want to know how to read…

Fantastic fiction stories to add to your reading list

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While I love reading non-fiction, there’s something about reading novels that makes my heart sing. As much as I can become engrossed by a fascinating history book, there’s nothing that sparks my imagination like a good novel.

There’s a reason fiction has endured as a genre throughout the ages. Novels inspire and make us reflect on life. Novels have an uncanny ability to describe the absurdities and mundanity of life in a way non-fiction can’t.

Humans love stories. It’s why the Bible is still one of the most popular books ever published and the reason Greek epics persist to this…

Is it all downhill from here? Or will things get better?

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This is a question I’ve been asking myself for the past couple of days. Has my life peaked? Have I experienced the best parts of my life already?

It might seem like a strange question to ask when you’re only 31, but the question has nestled itself in my mind and refuses to go away. The more I think about it, the more I start to wonder whether my best years are behind me.

To understand why I feel this way, it’s best to reflect on what I did previously. Once I graduated from university, I spent a year working…

A reading list to alter your perceptions

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Reading is one of the best ways to broaden your horizons. By reading about what you’re unfamiliar with, you extend your knowledge and realise what you don’t know.

Not every book will change how you see the world, but some will. A book that will do this offers a counterpoint to views you’ve already established or references a subject you’re unfamiliar with.

While I can’t guarantee the books I’ve chosen will completely change the way you see the world, at the very least, they’ll make you think. This is what the best books do. …

There’s more to freedom than the rights of the individual.

Photo by Hanna Zhyhar on Unsplash

Since March 2020, most people around the world have experienced some form of limitations on their freedom. Before this date, this idea would have been unfathomable to most in the western world.

But the emergence of Covid-19, a deadly virus for which humans had no collective immunity, the choice was either limit freedoms or let a novel virus run riot and claim thousands, if not millions of lives.

Many of us saw the Wuhan lockdown in January 2020 and thought it could never happen here. I was one of them. …

Critics are not welcome in the church of Bitcoin

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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.

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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

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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…

Tom Stevenson

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