Sam Radford

July 23, 2021

Seven types of rest

I came across an article on the TED website this week about rest. It’s easy to think of rest as something singular. And, not only that, something we merge with sleep. But we’ve all experienced those times when, despite a good night of sleep, or a decent period of what we thought was rest, we don’t feel rested at all. Why is that? It’s ...
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July 22, 2021

Losing track of what we spend

Tim Harford’s recent column for the Financial Times, reproduced on his blog, addresses the challenges of living in an increasingly cashless society. What is the main challenge? How easy it is to spend money! With contactless payments, Apple Pay, Amazon’s one-click payments, it’s never been easier to spend money. Online stores have, oh-...
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July 21, 2021

Generosity and kindness: The true nature of humanity

As some of you may well have picked up, we’ve been isolating as a family for the last 10 days. Today was the first day we were allowed back out following Imogen, my youngest daughter, getting Covid. The main thing that struck me throughout this time has been the kindness and generosity of friends, family, and neighbours. So many people...
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July 20, 2021

How to give advice

Baltasar Gracian, a Spanish philosopher, had this to say about giving advice to others: “When you counsel someone, you should appear to be reminding him of something he had forgotten, not of the light he was unable to see.” I love this! No one likes to feel stupid. Or that they don’t know something. And the truth is, more often than no...
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July 19, 2021

Max vs. Lewis (AKA despair at human nature)

Though I don’t watch much Formula 1 racing nowadays, I do still follow it. And, since we’re currently having to isolate after my youngest daughter tested positive for Covid, I was able to watch the British Grand Prix yesterday. What a race! (Quick aside: before you switch off thinking this is a sports post, it isn’t a sports post – tha...
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July 16, 2021

Easy has a cost

James Clear’s latest newsletter delivers a good reminder that there’s a cost to always taking the path of least resistance: “Strangely, life gets harder when you try to make it easy. Exercising might be hard, but never moving makes life harder. Uncomfortable conversations are hard, but avoiding every conflict is harder. Mastering your ...
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July 15, 2021

How many close friendships are sustainable?

You’ve probably heard of “Dunbar’s number”. It is the number of stable relationships people are cognitively able to maintain at once. And, in case you’ve forgotten or didn’t know, that number is 150. But it’s not just about that number 150. In reality, that 150 consists of a series of concentric circles, each representing different kin...
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July 14, 2021

Slowing down to go further

I enjoyed Anne-Laure Le Cunff’s recent article on slowness for Ness Labs. She explores the benefits of slowing down, reminding us that faster is not always (often?) better: “It may seem counterintuitive, but slowing down can be a faster way to achieve your goals. Fighting our urge to live and work faster can lead to clearer thinking, d...
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July 13, 2021

The death throes of masculine power

I’m reading Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul by John Philip Newell at the moment. It came out last week and is an exploration of Celtic wisdom and what we can learn from various Celtic teachers through the ages. Two chapters in and I’m loving it. I’ll write a ‘Book Notes’ post once I’ve finished it. But this, from chapter two, entitled ’Sacre...
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July 12, 2021

Inspired by a 19 year-old

So, it wasn't to be. England lost to Italy on penalties in the final of the European football championship. Ultimately, the penalty shootout came down to England’s 19 year-old player, Bukayo Saka. Score and the shootout would continue, miss and the trophy would head to Rome. And he missed. You didn’t have to imagine the devastation and...
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