10 Tips for Reducing Your Screen Time In a Post-COVID World

With so many people now learning and working from home, our screen time has skyrocketed to a whopping 13+ hours a day during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Excessive screen time doesn’t only pose a distraction to our productivity. It can also lead to strained eye health, poor sleeping habits, and even diminished interpersonal communication skills. Luckily, there are several quick and easy ways to drastically cut down your screen … Continue reading 10 Tips for Reducing Your Screen Time In a Post-COVID World

How to turn communication around

There is an idealistic and romantic belief that society can become so connected, that we function as one well-oiled unit. A land of peace, productivity, happiness and fulfillment. Yet in our quest to creating open and more connected spaces, we ironically use sides, cliques, righteousness and division as tools of unity. A world according to me, rather than a world according to we. In my research … Continue reading How to turn communication around

Love ain’t all you need

In 1968, the Beatles released their single, “All you need is love”, a four chord pop song that would become the 20th century anthem for solving the world’s most complex dilemmas. The problem with love however, is that everyone has a different definition of it. Whether it’s god, coffee, sports teams, politics, or over/under toilet paper, there are multiple interpretations of the same thing, and … Continue reading Love ain’t all you need

Quality is an attitude, not a list of features

If you’re in the business of selling quality, you must be patient, open, adaptable, empathetic, and educated about behavioral psychology. If you can’t or won’t do this, get another job. Quality is not sold by simply repeating features, berating competing products, or growing impatient when people ‘don’t get it’. It’s also not sold with arrogance or complaining. It’s about connecting your values, with another person’s, in a … Continue reading Quality is an attitude, not a list of features

The lost art of card giving

Once upon a time when it was a friend or family member’s birthday, graduation, wedding, after party thanks, or just good fortune, there was an elegant yet popular craft to wishing them well. It was regular practice to give and receive cards with a hand written sentiment inside. In order to give someone a card, I had to get out of bed, shower, get dressed, and … Continue reading The lost art of card giving

Learn to master the art of gratitude with us

A friend of mine recently sent me an article on the value of gratitude in the realm of success and fulfilment. The premise of the author is that one’s ability to express gratitude is a refined and honed skill, similar to a physical work out or any other learned behaviour. Improving your ability to see, feel and express gratitude will have a positive effect on … Continue reading Learn to master the art of gratitude with us

When the paper’s crumpled up, it can’t be perfect again

The two things I like the most about song lyrics are ambiguity and simplicity. Penned words about a lost love might not have been referring to an actual person but a loss of love for one’s self, their work or their identity. The power of a well written lyric lies in its ability to speak into your listening, and to succinctly articulate your thoughts and … Continue reading When the paper’s crumpled up, it can’t be perfect again

Home is wherever I’m with you

When someone close to us passes, a relationship ends, a sentimental item is broken/lost, a job is lost or even as we simply age, mourning and grief reveals itself as a lurking yet prominent companion in our lives. We reflect on times that were, on experiences past and the impact these had in our life. These are our stories and memories, to be re-told externally … Continue reading Home is wherever I’m with you

Tell lies, just don’t lie to ME!

It’s so much easier to just lie sometimes. It’s even beneficial at times – as if you’d ever admit to the police officer that you were intentionally speeding. Some lies keep the peace; telling your girlfriend that she looks fat in her new dress or that you don’t like someone’s cooking isn’t going to win you friends anytime soon. We tell people that we’re feeling … Continue reading Tell lies, just don’t lie to ME!

Why most advice is worth just 2 cents

Advice is an interesting beast. Some people sell it for a living; others offer it for free; some force it down your throat and then there are those who refuse to give it at all. The one thing that is consistent: advice is opinion. My opinion, your opinion, their opinion, our opinion. Opinion that has been drawn from personal experience and interpretation. A hoard of … Continue reading Why most advice is worth just 2 cents

Like a moth to a flame

One of the things that’s always fascinated me is the way moths are attracted to a light yet are considered nocturnal creatures. I’ve read a few articles as to why this is the most ‘scientific’ explanation suggests that it has something to do with their navigation system. According to Mike Saunders and Penn State University, “Moths often use the moon to orient themselves during night … Continue reading Like a moth to a flame

The ironic abundance of scarcity

I’ve waited in a queue for five hours for limited concert tickets lamenting that the wait was longer than the actual show. I then turned down plentiful tickets to the same band available at half the cost (and half the effort). I’ve fussily pored over the best looking fruit turning my nose up at a whole shelf of produce; then I’ve been grateful that the … Continue reading The ironic abundance of scarcity

They told me “It’s for your success…”

I turned down a job the other day that would have solved a lot of my problems. Great company, great job responsibility, great team, healthy budgets to work with, good compensation, a working visa and they wanted me to start immediately. It sounded almost too good to be true, particularly in the closing months to Christmas. Many thought I’d be mad to turn it down; … Continue reading They told me “It’s for your success…”

The small details are the reason you care

I noticed when you didn’t wash your hands. I noticed when you borrowed something and didn’t put it back. I noticed when you put a scratch on my car and didn’t tell me. I noticed when you were late and didn’t apologise. I noticed when you didn’t hold my hand the same way you used to. I noticed when you said that it didn’t matter … Continue reading The small details are the reason you care

I sold my life for a $2 waffle maker

Well, I survived my first Thanksgiving in the US. Although it’s not over yet – I have one more lunch tomorrow so perhaps I shouldn’t speak so soon. It reminds me a lot of Christmas Day meets Australia Day. Except there’s less bogans (Australian Rednecks) and no ‘oi oi oi’ being crassly shouted from cars. I don’t miss that. I do miss beach barbecues however. … Continue reading I sold my life for a $2 waffle maker

The real reason you need to practice

Today was the first day I’ve ever rowed in a double. A double is a boat with two people and an oar each. I’ve rowed in a single scull (two oars), an eight, a four, a quad (eight oars) and even a double scull (two people/two oars each). But never a double. I’ve always looked at them suspiciously because they represent the ultimate in balance … Continue reading The real reason you need to practice

How do you eat an elephant?

I remember as a kid having the fear of diving into a cold pool. I’d take twenty minutes to toe dip and think about the consequences, feeling it one more time to check if it was still cold. Meanwhile, my sister had already jumped in, accepted the reality and her body had adjusted to the temperature. Within seconds she went from ‘OMG!’ to ‘it’s beautiful … Continue reading How do you eat an elephant?

Why we’ll never be independent (or want to be)

The world is in love with independence. It sounds alluring. Imagine being on your own without the need or reliance of others. Life done your way, in your time, at your disposal. Many would call this success; perfection even. Whether it’s riches, free thought or just the ‘right’ to do as you please, the people that also live in the world are in love with … Continue reading Why we’ll never be independent (or want to be)

Being a jack of all trades is the path to master

The greatest thing I love about my mama is that she’s good at so many things. She’s not so good at some things too but I forgive her for those – she’s human after all. I don’t know she used to be able to cook a gourmet meal whilst helping me interpret, answer and articulate complex homework. She’d juggle the phone talking business, welcome friends … Continue reading Being a jack of all trades is the path to master

What to do when the wave crashes over you

Beware your thoughts for they become your words. Beware your words for they become your actions. Beware your actions for they become your habits. Beware your habits for they become your character. And beware your character for it becomes your destiny. – The Tao I’ve really come to appreciate and respect my thoughts as complex as they may be at the best of times. My … Continue reading What to do when the wave crashes over you

Who are the real 99%?

Never before in time have we had greater social acceptance, access to information, resources and teachers. We are living longer, have a overall higher standard quality of life and we are more accepting of differing races, religions, genders, sexualities, attitudes and beliefs. Even the poorest countries on earth are benefitting from the standard quality of modern life. Whether it’s access to cheaper technology, the chance … Continue reading Who are the real 99%?

How to lift your stress threshold forever with one easy step!

What is your stress threshold? Y’know, that point where you stop trying or say ‘enough?’ That very notable point where your mind floods and hell will freeze over before you can take another second. Do you find that your threshold changes according to your level of hunger, tiredness, schedule, urgency, stress etcetera? Mine certainly does. We often hear and talk about how people perform under … Continue reading How to lift your stress threshold forever with one easy step!

Positive reinforcement is the key to the heart

When I adopted my beautiful cattle dog Stitch, he was a handful. In fact he still is and I’m forever appreciative (as I’m sure he is) of my patient parents who are his current guardians. At the animal shelter, I was apparently the first person that he actually stopped jumping around for and came and sat quietly next to. It’s like he was on his … Continue reading Positive reinforcement is the key to the heart

Once upon a time…

Since time began, man has been telling stories. From cave paintings to the Bible to the famous works of Plato, Shakespeare and Mozart. Every moment of your day, you are exposed to stories. You’re either telling them or consuming one. From the barista’s small talk about your accent to the boardroom executive’s reasons for why they want it done ‘this way, this time’, stories are … Continue reading Once upon a time…

LifeFear™ – for the low price of self-esteem! Hurry!

Since I started writing my blog just 50 or so days ago, I’ve been blown away by how many people have opened up to me and shown me their secret stash of social guilt, low self esteem, fears, confusion, personal battles and possibly the hero of them all – life fear. What is life fear I hear you ask? Starting from my very own blog … Continue reading LifeFear™ – for the low price of self-esteem! Hurry!

Yay you made a big decision! Now what?

I’m thrilled to hear that over the course of the last couple of months, I’ve managed to influence and encourage readers of my blog to take action, to effect change and to make bold decisions toward the life they seek to have. It’s quite humbling when I hear these stories and have people reach out to me to thank me for my words and perspective. … Continue reading Yay you made a big decision! Now what?

Are you really passionate or do you just like it a lot?

What are you passionate about? I think it’s the most liberally used phrase I hear in my average week. From friendship circles to networking to business meetings etcetera, I keep hearing this word and it’s starting to get on my nerves. People say they are passionate about food, about saving the world, about writing, about helping business get something. It’s become a bit of a … Continue reading Are you really passionate or do you just like it a lot?

The value of future potential

One of the very cool things that makes San Francisco stand out from nearly any other city in the world is the culture of investing into future potential. It’s a bit crazy when you step into it for the first time and most people don’t believe the stories of smart kids meeting smart money and it equalling billion dollar valuations. You have thousands of talented … Continue reading The value of future potential

Wanted: Imagineers wanting to be rich. Apply within.

The brilliant thing about humans is that we have the ability to imagine things and then bring them to life. Unlike other species that roam the earth, our capacity for connecting dots, imagining the missing ones and then inventing things to paint a new picture is what keeps us out of the trees. As a result, the world we live in has been imagined and … Continue reading Wanted: Imagineers wanting to be rich. Apply within.

Why you’re paying far too much for your identity

Our clothes, our job, our language, our bodies, our cars, houses and friends. Everything we have and do in our lives helps to create and present our ‘identity’. The image of our projected selves onto others. We commit our lives to it – racking up debt, working harder, spending that extra hour in the bathroom, sacrificing experiences and time with loved ones in order to … Continue reading Why you’re paying far too much for your identity

You can’t switch the music off

The one thing that gets me up every day is music. Listening to it, playing it, writing it, thinking about it, performing it, discovering it, talking about it. It’s only been recently that I’ve really acknowledged how much it dominates my life. Back home in Australia, I was obsessed with music in my car opting to spend lots of money on upgrading everything to make … Continue reading You can’t switch the music off

The expectations of consistency

We’ve all eaten lumpy custard or bitten into a piece of meat to taste a mouthful of gristle. It’s the kind of moment that makes you shudder and screw up your face. It’s a bad surprise, it’s unwelcome and it’s inconsistent with the expectations of the experience. Interestingly enough, when you eat olives or a chicken leg there’s a great big seed/bone in the middle … Continue reading The expectations of consistency

The path to happiness is upside down

There’s this concept called “have-do-be” that my friend Simon Bell told me about a few years ago. Effectively it goes like this: If I have this, then I can do that then I can be happy. It’s the commonly believed path to happiness. We’re sold through marketing, advertising and ultimately social proof that our path to being fulfilled is through the acquisition of stuff. If … Continue reading The path to happiness is upside down

The Outside In

Radar, helicopters, satellites, lookouts, zooming out and just plain old standing back. They all share the same property of gaining a wider perspective of a scenario by increasing the distance between you and the subject matter. Focus is important. Being in the ‘thick of it’ is important. Working at the coal face is invaluably important. But it’s not the whole picture. When we get entrenched … Continue reading The Outside In

Stuck in the ‘time-being’

When you do stuff just for the time being, what are you referring to? The ‘time-being’ is this voided place in time that is related to the ‘around to it’ and ‘one day’. It’s the vague projection of time and space that enables us to remain non-committal, ambiguous and justify a half-arsed effort. If you preface things with ‘the time-being’, it’s kind of like saying … Continue reading Stuck in the ‘time-being’

The fundamental confusion about jelly

One of the interesting things I’ve noticed about sacrifice and compromise is where one draws the line in the moment of fight or flight. Obviously, the ‘line’ is all based on context. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all that jazz. It’s easy to say – I stand for this, I believe in that and no matter what happens, this is where I … Continue reading The fundamental confusion about jelly

Being in or being out

Ever been faced with a decision that you’re sitting on the fence about? Or perhaps it’s just easier to remain indecisive? Maybe it’s always worked for you and maybe it always will. Maybe you think it’s always worked for you but instead you’ve just sterilised the flavour of life. I’ve spent a lifetime being unsure and making very slow decisions disguised as ‘being sure’. My … Continue reading Being in or being out

Always do it your way – you’re going to anyway

Yesterday I applied for YCombinator which is an accelerator program for tech startups. Basically they have some cash, a network of experienced people from a range of industry that can help mentor these startups and they mix it all together to build a community of like minded people. The result? A forceful reputation for being a place where innovation and innovators are ‘incubated’ producing extra-ordinary … Continue reading Always do it your way – you’re going to anyway

We’re all cogs and it’s perfect that way

One of the characteristics about life is that it doesn’t stop moving forward regardless of what you think, what you feel and what you want. You can spend your time fighting it, accepting it, flowing with it, tolerating it, changing it or working with it. The fact is, everyone on the face of the planet will evolve and ultimately change who they are as a … Continue reading We’re all cogs and it’s perfect that way

Your attention to detale reveals more than you think

I was walking down the street in San Francisco today and noticed this homeless man on the side of the road with a shopping cart full of knick knacks. Now at first I was a bit grossed out by what I saw in the cart but then on closer inspection, I was fascinated with his attention to detail. Everything had a place, a purpose and … Continue reading Your attention to detale reveals more than you think

Why it’s important to be a hacker

I’ve had the privilege to meet a lot of amazing entrepreneurs, product peeps, business minds and generally cool kids since moving to San Francisco. The lifestyle here is really something that my dreams are made of. I wake up everyday and am faced with ambitious, focussed, hard working and ridiculously intelligent individuals who will stop for little to achieve their dreams. They are driven, they’re … Continue reading Why it’s important to be a hacker

How to make big decisions easier

There have been many reasons in my life that I’ve hesitated. Perhaps it was a shortage of valuable information, a cloud of doubt over my ability/judgement or just the belief that I needed more time or money than perhaps was necessary. Other people in my ear, myself in my own ear, the media in my ear and basically all the sources of influence have made … Continue reading How to make big decisions easier

Write the melody of your life and the chords will be there

As part of my music training, I’m going back to basics and have been re-entering the world of musical theory. It makes a lot more sense to me nowadays than it did as a six year old but it still makes my brain tired after an hour or two. Part of my reason to step back to the core and learn music all over again … Continue reading Write the melody of your life and the chords will be there

Your life is a cumulation of details. Never ignore the details.

There have been many times in life that I have forced an issue by making decisions I wasn’t aligned with. I’m sure you have too. You know the situation, you want something SO badly that you will do whatever it takes to get it? You will even hold your breath and bite your tongue to make a decision you’re not comfortable with but you do … Continue reading Your life is a cumulation of details. Never ignore the details.

Learning to love again

‘Cause that was the real you running through the fields of gold wide open, standing in places no picture contains; That was the real you, windows down, we could smell the mint fields crying, sing with the radio to songs we can’t name – Mat Kearney, musician This weekend I went to the Two Door Cinema Club concert with close friends, played guitar/sang three nights … Continue reading Learning to love again

You don’t have any spare time, just time.

I started playing the piano when I was five years old, I played the violin and cello for a couple of years as a pre-teen then found my love in the guitar around fifteen. Since then I’ve tinkered around between playing the guitar and the piano and only recently in the last few years decided to give my vocal chords a try. I play guitar … Continue reading You don’t have any spare time, just time.

Embracing your vulnerability is the key to happiness

I’ve been writing my blog now for a few weeks and when I first started out, I was emphatically writing about my disgust at the face of modern retail trends and the importance of your environment and the influences within it. I didn’t really choose a particular tone or direction for my blog other than to dump all the critical thoughts I’ve had in my … Continue reading Embracing your vulnerability is the key to happiness

Being authentic – what are you so afraid of?

I’m not sure how many times I check my phone in a day but with some quick mathematics, I would say: I’m awake for roughly 18 hours a day On average I would check my phone 2 times an hour I definitely use it every day whether for searching, emailing, messaging, calling etc That’s about 36 times a day I would check my phone at … Continue reading Being authentic – what are you so afraid of?

50 things I want in a girl – The Official List

Well due to popular demand from my post yesterday, The list of 50 things I want in a girl, here is my full list of 50 things I want in a girl. Yes some things are specific. We all have our specifics so this isn’t being discriminatory or judgemental of others but rather what I like in life. This list of 50 things was written … Continue reading 50 things I want in a girl – The Official List

The list of 50 things I want in a girl

Yesterday I went out with some girl friends for a birthday brunch celebration. Well a few rounds of mimosas later, the conversation turned more serious onto the subject of intimate relationships, girls versus boys and how we all have our version of what we want in life and how few people fit that criteria. It started out because a few years back when out on … Continue reading The list of 50 things I want in a girl

Please set your bar MUCH higher

You know the story all too well. That sickening feeling in your stomach as you just agreed to something against your real wishes, or you tolerated something past the point of no return or maybe you are dealing with the consequences of a decision you buckled on. The worst bit is when they now think you’re happy to do this all the time. Whether it’s … Continue reading Please set your bar MUCH higher

Choosing the right words for your life

So one of my little things in life that I tend to be quite particular about is selecting the right word for the occasion. From social situations, to business, to spending time with a friend or a girlfriend, we all have been on the receiving end of a poor choice of words. Similarly, we have also been responsible at times for delivering the social faux … Continue reading Choosing the right words for your life

Be happy and achieve greatness by not being disciplined

I was having a chat with a good friend of mine last night about all the pursuits I have recently committed back into my life and the conversation suddenly got snagged in my mind, on one word. Discipline. As some of you may be aware, I wake up at 4am four mornings a week to jump out of bed, cook/eat two eggs on toast, drink … Continue reading Be happy and achieve greatness by not being disciplined

Who is influencing you in life?

My grandfather, Paul Toose was a brilliant man. He was a Major in the Army at 23, a QC and a NSW Supreme Court Judge, created one of the largest legal communities for South East Asia long before the internet existed, he held Chairman of the Board at numerous companies and was highly sought after for his wealth of experience, knowledge, insight and general brilliance. … Continue reading Who is influencing you in life?

Always choose to deepen your relationships

This week I’ve stared loneliness and fear in the face. Not my loneliness and fear anymore but that of my friends’. I can see how much it affects them because I was there too until recently and it breaks my heart to see them suppressing these emotions. Being male, I want to ‘fix’ it for them but realise the only respectful and objective way I … Continue reading Always choose to deepen your relationships

Tall Poppy Syndrome – The idiot’s guide

One of the conversation topics that has recurred recently has been the meaning and origins of ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’. In layman’s terms, it’s effectively the act of cutting someone down who you think is better than you out of jealousy/inadequacy/lack of understanding. I thought however I’d do some more reading into it and share this version of events to help you get a better picture … Continue reading Tall Poppy Syndrome – The idiot’s guide

Taking responsibility for your success

One of my greatest challenges in my life has dealing with success. Not because I consider myself successful but rather quite the contrary. I’ve become very good at understanding and admitting my failures and absorbing that as part of my brand. I’ve found it easier to acknowledge a lack of skill or knowledge which has resulted in ‘failure’ rather than take responsibility for the components … Continue reading Taking responsibility for your success

Mentoring versus Lecturing

When friends, family or colleagues come to us for advice we are faced with some important decisions. Decisions that we need to be conscious about and really force ourselves to consider what it is we’re being asked and the role we play in this important and valuable interaction. You see there’s what they are wanting to hear and then there’s what you are saying. Back … Continue reading Mentoring versus Lecturing

The path of least resistance

One of the things that has been prevalent with my mindset since moving to San Francisco has been following the path of least resistance. However when I tell people about this, it’s often interpreted that I’m not exerting an excessive amount of effort to make something work or persisting with anything in particular. But following the path of least resistance isn’t as simple as people … Continue reading The path of least resistance

The responsibility of communication

When you’re having an interaction with someone about anything there’s a few simple ‘rules’ to achieve a successful outcome for both of you. Supposing that you’re in China and you want a cab. You hail one down and the driver asks you in Chinese where you want to go. Now supposing for stereotype purposes you’re a blonde haired, blue eyed english speaking citizen who speaks … Continue reading The responsibility of communication

Envy is what you think they did

The well dressed man in the BMW with his swagger, new shoes, the money clip full of bills and the nonchalant comment that anything is obtainable. The pretty girl with her long flowing hair, new designer handbag, casual elegance and a pace that suggests she has all the time in the world.  It’s easy to be lured into the image of others and base our … Continue reading Envy is what you think they did

Knowing many words means choose the right few

As many of you may be aware, I’m currently studying further musical studies with my teacher Robert Robinson who is a seasoned and inspiring teacher, producer, song writer and thought leader. For those interested in his techniques and about him please check out his website. Today is musical theory day and we were going into the mechanical depths of how music is written. Effectively it’s … Continue reading Knowing many words means choose the right few

Their good intentions could be your kryptonite

When I started my companies five years ago, I had zero business experience. I was 22 years old and was full of bravado and naivety and like most young men, felt I was bulletproof. The thought of starting a company was thrilling and the learning curve ahead of me was not only in the dark but the thought was ‘how hard could it be?’. During … Continue reading Their good intentions could be your kryptonite

You’re a product of your environment

Today I came back to my regular haunt which is The Summit at 780 Valencia Street. It’s this rad space that’s owned by I/O Ventures which is a startup incubator and they have segmented half of the space into a cafe with free internet. As a result the place is abundant with creatives, entrepreneurs, tech employees and just generally cool people so it’s like a … Continue reading You’re a product of your environment

The power of validation

When we have a particular view (or wish to have a particular view) on something, we tend to first look around for evidence to validate our views. This might be anything from people, pop culture, resources even to symbols including horoscopes and the word ‘fate’. The validation we seek can be to change our body image to our career or even changing the world. Whilst … Continue reading The power of validation

Mistaking generosity for entitlement

The digital world has really brought forward the sentiments of social acceptance, accessibility of information and the generosity of experience and knowledge. Once upon a time you would have paid $1000’s for advice that you can now essentially access for free – with videos and diagrams. So how has this changed the value of information and the generosity in which it’s given? Has this made … Continue reading Mistaking generosity for entitlement

Why aren’t we selling value anymore?

Definition of Value (n) – the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance or preciousness of something. The material or monetary worth or something. I’m curious as to why during the course of evolution we have associated ‘value’ as being a synonym of the word ‘cheap’. I’d say that a heart transplant is not cheap, but it’s good value. Yet people will opt … Continue reading Why aren’t we selling value anymore?