Phones – Weapons of Mass Distraction

Tied to phone

Next time you’re on a train. Look around you. Everyone’s on their phones. It’s a bit eerie!

That pocket-sized supercomputer that contains your life. 1,270 times faster than the Apollo 11 guidance computer that guided man to the moon in 1969.

I often say –

“What the hell did we do before mobile phones?”

It’s difficult to remember. You had to make arrangements to meet someone and stick to it. Actually turn up on time. You had to use a map or ask for directions. You carried a separate camera. Continue reading “Phones – Weapons of Mass Distraction”

Meditation – What is it? What does it do?

Bushy Park Meditation

I listen to plenty of podcasts. Many are about health, fitness, business and entrepreneurship. When people on these podcasts are asked – “What’s the one thing that made a profound change in your life?” The answer is often meditation.

After hearing this answer so many times I had to see what the panacea for a successful (1), wholesome life was! I downloaded the free Headspace app and tried the Take 10 (Ten 10 minutes guided introductory sessions) pack. I liked it and following that, I became a fully paid up subscriber and have now been meditating (on and off) for around a year. (2)

So what’s the science?

Continue reading “Meditation – What is it? What does it do?”

Sssssssh! – Are you an Introvert?

Haze in Bushy Park

I recently watched Susan Cain’s Ted Talk – The Power of Introverts. It’s excellent and has been watched nearly 15 million times. The Ted Talk led me to read her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

I wasn’t sure if I was an introvert or not, but reading the book made me realise I was.

I was outgoing at school. Always asking questions, was fairly lively and always engaging in the class.

When I look back to those times I think –

Was that really me? Was I an extrovert at school and now I am an introvert. Continue reading “Sssssssh! – Are you an Introvert?”

Inner chatter and your chimp

Chimp Paradox

I mentioned in my review of the Ealing Half Marathon that after weeks of training and planning for the race, I ended up having a few beers the night before. Not blind drunk. I had 3 bottles of Corona over the course of about 4 hours. It didn’t have an effect on me the next day, but it is a good little example of self-sabotage.

I recently read The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters. He is a psychiatrist and best known for his work with the GB Cycling team. Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton regularly sing his praises. Ronnie O’ Sullivan is also a client. Since there are so many takeaways from the book I wanted to reinforce, I also used a free Audible download to get the audio version so I could re-listen to it on the go.

What the book made me realise is that there is a Chimp (the name used in the book) in my head telling me things that are inconsistent with my goals and what I want to achieve. Continue reading “Inner chatter and your chimp”

The best thing you can wear is a smile

A few weeks ago I was walking down the street and across the road was a lady in her 30s, possibly early 40s riding along the pavement on an adult scooter. You know the ones, like the ones all the kids are on, but bigger. She looked to be having great fun. It made me smile. She saw me smiling and smiled back at me. And you know what, a smile from a complete stranger made me feel great.

Scooter
An adult scooter. They look fun!

Smiling is a very powerful act and can have many positive effects on you and others around you.

Smiling makes you more attractive. The more you smile the more attractive your face looks. It also activates other people’s sensory rewards which makes you attractive in their eyes. Continue reading “The best thing you can wear is a smile”

FOMO – The Fear of Missing Out

Wikipedia describes FOMO as “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”

If you don’t think you are subjected to this, then either you are not being entirely truthful or you are super comfortable doing your own thing.

It get it! I have managed to give Facebook a fairly wide berth, but have recently got into Instagram. I tend to follow other fitness bloggers, runners, cyclists, athletes and people getting out there and doing big things. The thing with this is, that when I check my feed, (only once a day) I see all these people out there winning medals, smashing ultras, climbing mountains, cycling with friends and generally living excellent interesting lives while I do my washing.

I am very aware that people only show the shiny interesting bits of their lives and not the family sharing bag of crisps they just destroyed. But I still get it a bit of FOMO, which manifests itself as anxiety.

When I think about though, am I really missing out? Continue reading “FOMO – The Fear of Missing Out”

Superstitions

This week I grabbed my boxer shorts and socks and threw them into my backpack to commute to work on my bike. Once I showered and pulled my socks on, I realised they were odd! Not strange, just different colours. I have the socks that the majority of the male UK population have, from M&S, socks that have different coloured toes and heals so you can always match one sock back to its partner. For many people, this may not be a big deal, but I have not worn odd socks since I can remember.

Odd Socks
The offending articles!

I think it is just something I have come to do. Why would I wear odd socks? It looks as if I can’t dress myself and shouts – Here is a person who does not care about themselves. But there is a little more to it! Continue reading “Superstitions”

Facing your Fears – Heights

Eiffel tower at night.

I went to Paris a couple of weeks ago. What is the first thing that enters your mind when you think of Paris? The Eiffel Tower, right? If you go to Paris, you have to go up the Eiffel Tower!

I have been to Paris a number of times and I have even been up the Eiffel Tower a couple of times, but I have never made it to the top. I have made it to the second level twice. I have always a little ashamed of this. I went with a group of friend back in 1999, and while they went all the way to the top, I stayed on my own and played it “safe”.

So, am I scared of heights? Sometimes yes, and sometimes no!

I always jokingly say “I am not scared of heights. I am scared of falling”. This is just a smart way of saying I am not really scared of heights and making myself feel a little better. Continue reading “Facing your Fears – Heights”