Sam Radford

November 24, 2021

When what we think is hard is actually easy

Much of life is about perception. We put off that task because, in our head, it feels huge. Eventually, when we can put if off no longer, we embrace the task. Thirty minutes later, it’s done. And we’re left wondering why we ever thought it was a big deal. In his latest newsletter, Oliver Burkeman tackles this issue. Reflecting on how h...
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November 22, 2021

Thoughts on ‘Maid’

A friend of mine suggested I watch the Netflix show ‘Maid’ recently. I get a lot of TV show recommendations though, and many end up forgotten. Or on a list that I already have no chance of ever getting through. But I dived straight into this one. And I’m glad I did. What an incredible, moving, devastating-yet-heart-warming, depressing-...
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November 19, 2021

Can you learn while you’re talking?

“I never learned anything while I was talking. —Larry King” I came across the quote above earlier in the daily email I get from The Economist. It makes a lot of sense. If you’re not listening, how are you learning? And if you’re busy talking, how can you be listening? But then I thought about the times when ideas have crystallised for ...
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November 17, 2021

Blindfolding ourselves

I’m continuing to enjoy Will by Will Smith. Here’s another line that’s stayed with me: “Sometimes we'd rather blindfold ourselves than take a cold, hard look at the world exactly as it is.” Denial, it seems, is part of human nature. Put another way, we have a tendency as humans to put a narrative over painful truths to stop us facing u...
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November 15, 2021

Reading about writing

Once or twice a year, I pick up a book about writing. It’s not always a new book – On Writing Well is one book I go back to again and again – but I like to take time on a regular basis to think about my written words. This last week, I’ve been reading a book that is new to me. It’s called Several short sentences about writing, written ...
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November 12, 2021

Book Notes – ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’ by Christy Lefteri

I don’t listen to lots of audiobooks. I tend to save them for when I know I have long drive coming up. With a visit down to London and then back up to Buxton a few weeks back, I decided to listen to The Beekeeper of Aleppo. The fact Audible were offering it for free may or may not have influenced my choice... Either way, I’m glad I pic...
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November 10, 2021

Improving on silence

I started reading Will, the new memoir from Will Smith last night. Only a chapter in, but enjoying it and gaining wisdom and insight already. Though this is a complete aside from the point of the opening chapter, I loved his description of his mother, in sharp contrast, he writes, to his father: “Mom-Mom is quiet and reserved; not beca...
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November 8, 2021

The loveliness is everywhere

I finished Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul by John Philip Newell over the weekend. In short: it’s wonderful! An incredible book. But, I’ll save my book notes for another post. Today I want to share this delightful poem, shared in the last chapter of Newell’s book, by Kenneth White: “the loveliness is everywhere even in the ugliest and most h...
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November 3, 2021

Prompts to get me to begin noticing

Kat Cuthbert wrote a blog post recently about her rediscovery of journalling. I was grateful for her insights on the value of ‘journal prompts’. These are questions that can help trigger meaningful self-reflection. Before sharing her ‘journal prompts for uncertain times’ though, I want to share a couple of paragraphs from her post: “Fr...
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November 1, 2021

Always present (smartphone lessons from Will Ferrell)

I appreciated this segment from from The Hollywood Reporter’s recent profile of Will Ferrell. They capture this insight from Paul Rudd, his co-star in the upcoming Apple TV+ series The Shrink Next Door: “Rudd, who’d worked with Ferrell on the Anchorman films, says he was struck at how committed his co-star was: “Normally, when you’re d...
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