Liked Nick Cave – The Red Hand Files – Issue #176 – I’m sixteen and have just recently gotten really into your work. I was wondering: what advice would you give to your sixteen year old self and why? (The Red Hand Files)

My older self knows that life’s mistakes are destiny’s way of laying the tracks that will bring my younger self to the place where I am at this very moment — the mostly happy place, where I sit, with the sun coming through the window, writing an answer to your excellent question.

I was asked to call a school today who explained we had made a mistake. It was an honest mistake, a case of misinterpretation, but a mistake none the less. I negotiated with the person that I would put together a list of errors I found and fix them. I think they were a little taken aback, they were fearing that they would have to do the laborious task of clearing things up. It made me think that although you cannot always prevent issues and errors, you can appease anxiety by being humble and saying sorry.
Bookmarked Looking for something in these Icarus moments – Dan Donahoo – Medium by Dan Donahoo (Medium)

And, I just want to write words again. Describe the world around me. Like the faded surf brand sticker that is almost translucent and sits in the corner of the window I look out from in my home office, with carpet disintegrating underfoot. It only slightly obscures the gums that reach up from across the road where an easement allowing water to flow down into what remains of suburban water ways (it has to go somewhere) means that no one will build a monstrosity there and cut them down. If I clean my glasses and squint I can make out the words above the faded logo that looks something like a wave.

“The Search,” it reads. And, that is what I’m still doing.

Replied to 40 things I’ve learned in 40 years. | Open Thinkering by Doug Belshaw (Open Thinkering | Doug Belshaw’s blog)

A decade ago, I wrote a post entitled 30 things I’ve learned in 30 years. While I still agree with most of that, on reflection it just doesn’t seem particularly… deep? So, here, in no particular order are 40 things I’ve learned in 40 years

I always appreciate your reflections Doug. This reminds me of your ‘letter from the future‘.
I remember being on after-school homework/detention duty a few years ago. It was on the second story of a building to separate it from the rest of the school. The time had started and the students had spread themselves around and were getting on with their work, when out of the lift came three students, one of whom was riding a scooter. Can I just say, the seriousness and control that was in that space quickly dissipated, turning into chaos. It was interesting to see other students initially laugh, until it stopped being funny.
Replied to Four Questions by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller (

1. What did you do today?
2. What did you enjoy?
3. What did you find difficult?
4. What has changed?
5. What are you grateful for?
6. Which changes do you want to keep?
7. What are you scared of?
8. What has stayed the same?
9. When did you last laugh?

Many have written about documenting the current situation for posterity. I like the way you structure this Ben, especially the stretch options. Next step is to carve out time in my day to stop and reflect.
Replied to

Not deliberately, but I often reference older material. I think the challenge is to have a structured process/activity to support such reflections.
I got caught in another discussion about ‘lookup tables‘ today. There are some people I work with who get really caught up with what they are and how they work. Another colleague pointed out to me afterwards that most applications have lookup tables it is just that our application actually allows users to easily edit the various tables.

This had me wondering if a way of thinking about ‘lookup tables’ is the collection of ideas and values that we reference each and every day? As with different applications, maybe there are those whose foundations are more visible and obvious that others? As Ben Werdmuller suggests,

We’ve all got red lines. They’re ours alone to draw.

Bookmarked Some values-based career advice (Open Educational Thinkering)

Responding to a request for advice via blog post, instead of email.

Doug Belshaw provides some thinking and practice associated with getting the most out of your career. Although I have a few questions about opportunity and family, it is definitely a post worth reading and reflecting upon.


Your reactions tell people more about your character than your actions

When all is said and done, the person who holds you back the most in your life and career is… you

Once you’ve got that PhD or have worked for Google, people aren’t asking for ‘three years project management experience’, and the like.

Perhaps I’m becoming middle-aged, but it seems that a lot of the problems with today’s society is that people don’t stand for anything other than individualism and whatever late-stage capitalism can offer them.

There’s a reason I travel so much. It’s to meet new people, be exposed to ideas that might not always be shared online, and to experience places that open my mind. These days, we gain a competitive advantage by connecting the dots in new and novel ways. That depends, of course, on knowing where the dots are.