10 October 2017

Raising your hand can(not) kill you

I just went to a talk by Dan Jones about his superb new book The Templars. Following the talk there was the inevitable Q&A session.

I had a question lined up, but just as I was about to raise my hand and ask my question in front of a packed-out room and award-winning author and TV presenter I turned into an absolute bottle-merchant.

Why? Ooh I'll tell you exactly why.

I thought to myself: Don't be that guy, Nino. It's a stupid question and everybody is going to burst into uncontrollable laughter. Someone will video it, put it online and it'll go viral. You'll never be able to get a date ever again. But that's the least of your worries. You'll never be able to get another job again. At least not without a whole new identity in a non-English speaking country. With no job you'll be forced onto the streets. Heroin addiction. Overdose. Death.

So I kept my hand down. But then out of nowhere I had a second wind. I was going to ask the question and I don't care how much death I suffered.

Then just as I was about to raise my hand - you guessed it: "Okay, let's wrap the Q&A up there, folks".

The thing that really irks me is that I know the cure to this drummed-up ailment. It's simply to force yourself into the arena. To dance with the fear. Time and again.

It's one of the reasons I started a daily blog. At first, the self-doubt was almost as crippling. But I now know that with practice and good habits it's easy to see that nothing bad ever comes from putting yourself out there in a constructive manner.

by Nino Rosella
09 October 2017

The two types of action

There are only ever two types of action: destructive and constructive. 

You can build a relationship or neglect one.

You can write a blog post or you can troll someone else's.

You can stuff your face with junk food or you can eat healthily.

You can take up a new hobby in your spare time or you can watch shit on TV.

Constructive action is always harder. Constructive action is always worthwhile.

by Nino Rosella
08 October 2017

Being impressionable

Chatting to a lovely colleague at work today I was having trouble placing her accent. For the most part it's accentless English, yet you can definitely hear muted tones of 'the North'.

Turns out she's from Liverpool and - like myself - her accent changes according to who she's currently in conversation with. 

"I suppose I'm just impressionable like that". I'd argue we all are, but to what extent?

Does it stop at our accents or does it go deeper? How susceptible are we to the media - left-wing, right-wing and all the wings in between? Whose agenda are we unconsciously enacting? 

We always hear stories of mob mentality; of normally peaceful and law-abiding citizens reneging on these values, spurred on by the fervour of others.

Conversely, how impressionable are we when the motives are kinder? It's hard not to be spurred on and energised when participating with a group of like-minded people doing great work. 

Or in a great relationship where the other person's joyous attitude to life infects you makes you a better person.

I reckon we're only as impressionable as we let ourselves, which is why it's so important to keep tabs on everything we expose ourselves to.

by Nino Rosella
06 October 2017

The best time to fix something

Eating healthily and taking vitamins when you're ill is futile. It's already too late.

Applying a sticking plaster to your messed up company culture isn't going to stem the bleeding. It's already too late.

Starting revision the night before an exam (usually) isn't going to help you pass. It's already too late.

The best time to fix something is before it gets broken. Yes, it takes more effort and requires you to delay gratification, but the outcome is worth it.

by Nino Rosella
05 October 2017

Tax the robots!

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution machines have been taking over the jobs that were once the preserve of human beings. 

And we know now that this trend is accelerating at quite some rate and is only going to go fast still with ever more clever robots and the advent of artificial intelligence.


Think of all those people slaving away at innane jobs that a machine can't easily do. Poof - gone! They'll never have to waste another minute of their life doing meaningless shit.

It means that we can all focus on doing things we love. Things that matter. Things that only humans can do.

Yes, change is scary. Yes, we're all gonna have to level up. But I truly believe it'll make the world a better place - as long as we let it.

by Nino Rosella
04 October 2017

Defaulting to nice

Watching a guy on the train this morning have a small coughing fit without covering his mouth, I realised how easy it is for humans to spew their germs, infections and shit all over the place for everyone to catch.

In fact, it's easier than easy. As I saw this morning it can be completely involuntary.

And so it goes each and every time we moan, bitch about someone behind their back, call people names, spread lies, vitriol and hate. It's easy.

With the same amount of effort we could share a compliment, an idea to solve a problem, a story, a piece of much-needed advice.

Imagine how great the world could be if we defaulted to nice.

by Nino Rosella
03 October 2017

What you get out...

very much depends on what you put in.

As obvious as this is we all forget it. Often.

Car coughing and wheezing? You fill it with the cheap petrol and oil. It's obvious.

Lack of energy, sleeping poorly and irritable? Well, you (I) eat like a dustbin, drink to much alcohol and caffeine, and go to bed too late. It's obvious.

Substandard results on that last project? It was poorly planned and left until the last minute. It's obvious.

Relationships coming undone at the seams? You didn't spent enough time and effort nurturing them. You did more taking than giving. It's obvious.

Of course, recognising that these things are obvious in hindsight is easy. Identifying these problems at the beginning (or anytime that's not the end) is much harder. But vital.

by Nino Rosella
02 October 2017

"Guns don't kill people..."

"...people kill people".

Which is precisely why people shouldn't be allowed to have guns.

"But, it's a Second Amendment right, so it can't be changed."

Which I'd be more likely to belie if it wasn't already an amendment.

by Nino Rosella
01 October 2017

Innocent procrastination

Sometimes our procrastination is magnificently overt. When this is the case it's much easier to fix owing to the fact we know outright that it’s happening. 

But much more dangerous are the types of procrastination that at first glance actually seem productive. Mine is reading. I justify it to myself as learning or research. But really, I’m just avoiding the work - probably out of fear. I’ve already done enough research and I’ve already learned enough about a certain topic to start that project.  

There're ways to fix this: good habits, an accountability partner, deadlines… The hardest part is - as ever - noticing the behaviour in the first place. 

How do you procrastinate? 

by Nino Rosella
30 September 2017

Clear definitions

I had a (drunken) conversation with someone yesterday where we talked about what we want from life. Her main goal was to achieve "happiness".

Yet, amazingly, when I asked her how she defines it she struggled.

A big goal of my life is to achieve freedom. I define 'freedom' as: discipline plus self-knowledge plus self-reliance.

It's so important to clearly define your goals. If not how do you know what steps you need to take in order to achieve them? How do you know when you've got there?

by Nino Rosella