MonthJune 2017

Increase The Capacity

Sometimes, to improve or fix something, you need to isolate the issue and work hard at it – rest isn’t always the answer.

I’ve had a bit of an elbow injury recently from badminton. I went to the physio to get some advice on how to help it recover. I was expecting the usual; “rest it for 2 weeks, only doing these light exercises, then slowly build up the exercise”. Instead, I got almost the opposite. He observed that I needed to put a lot of stress on my elbow for any pain to occur, therefore, light exercises would be no help. Instead, he said “we need to increase the capacity the tendons can take, and to do that we must isolate the muscles around it and work them hard!”

This got me thinking, are small steps always that beneficial? Take presenting for example, should you build up slowly, by adding more and more people, or should you isolate the various parts of it and push them hard?! For example, you could isolate body language and more and more often think about how to move and present yourself when talking to others. Isolate the speaking part and learn more and more scripts, learn more jokes and practice explaining things clearly. Add the parts together and you’re a better presenter.

I guess it is similar to practising aspects for a sport – taking 100 free kicks in a row for example. If you are bad at penalties, the solution isn’t to ‘rest’ and not take any for a while. Break down what’s going wrong, can you see which way the keeper is going, are you striking the ball cleanly etc. Go hard on the components and the bigger picture will come together.

So when you’re next facing a challenge, don’t back down. Break it down and go hard on each part to increase your capacity.

P.S. please don’t take my advice for any physical injuries and consult your own physio 🙂

Fiction v Non-fiction

I recently finished the book, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. I’ll be blunt, I wouldn’t recommend it. Perhaps to a child, but it didn’t do it for me, despite being highly rated.

It seems like a sensible question to ask why I’d read it in the first place. Well, recently I’ve been looking for more fiction books to read. Non-fiction books are great; autobiographies, stories of how companies started etc, all full of great advice, stories and lessons to learn. Sometimes they are also some of the most gripping books I’ve read. However, I think they sometimes lack the human touch or the personal side. Perhaps due to the real topic in question not wanting to be exposed too much, whereas, with a made up topic, you can reveal all.

So, for now, I’m switching to a few more fiction books, to see if they too can teach lessons – I have no doubt they can. Also, you would imagine that on average they are more gripping (leaving out The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). I am also certain that many fiction books contain lots of true examples. My current book is All Quiet on the Western Front. Unless the war suddenly starts to be fought with laser guns, I’m expecting to get a real feeling for what life was like in the war and that could be invaluable.

So a little ask to anyone reading this. Have you read a fiction book that taught you a lot? Please let me know!!

Election Day’s Gone: Can I Return to Social Media?!

Yesterday was election day here in the UK, it has ended in a hung parliament. Whether that’s good news is up to you, so please keep it to yourself too.

I can’t quite believe this… but I’m about to quote Frankie Boyle (humble brag – I was in the audience for episode one of his new show, New World Order, this quote came from that show).

The media is a huge obstacle to meaningful democracy.”

Ok, I’ll be changing his meaning a bit. His argument was that mainstream media’s coverage is either biased or only scratches the surface – that’s a different debate.

Why do I think the media is an obstacle? I begin to wish we didn’t have a vote (thus democracy) purely because social media becomes a no-go zone, unless you want to be bombarded with fake news, one-sided arguments, abuse for you views, “you’re wrong, I’m right” status’, videos exposing all the bad of the opposition, and memes that turn the ruling of our country into a joke…. all of which does make the whole experience one big joke.

It’s very easy to shout from the rooftops on Facebook and preach about how you know what’s best for everyone, without much backlash, if you just delete any comments that disagree with you. The ease of stamping your authority and showing the world that you’re doing ‘the right thing’ leads people to do it hour by hour. But, in an election, there are many sides. There ISN’T a best party, there is not one correct manifesto, not everything the opposition does is evil and people forget that others will disagree and that they are allowed to disagree.

I strongly encourage political debate and conversation, but in a forum that allows for an even discussion, on a level that’s educated and not riddled with fake headlines and detrimental quotes that really don’t matter.

I’m not surprised Labour had a strong backing from the younger generation as the social media feeds for this generation were full of pro labour and anti-conservative posts – which side is better I will not say, what I will say is that it isn’t correct that at least some of the younger generation voted Labour, purely because “they look like the good guys according to Facebook”, and without any consideration they go and vote. Yes, fantastic that they voted, but please allow for an even education of the situation.

Rant over. It is great to see more engagement with politics, however, for now with a hung parliament, I think I’ll stay away from social media feeds for just a little longer…

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