23 January, 2016

Word cocktail

One of the creative exercises I wrote (and did) this week is the following:

Draw a the outline of a blender on a piece of paper. Take another piece of paper and write all sorts of words, a) to a particular topic, b) you like the meaning of, or, c) how they sound. Cut the words out and place (glue) them into the blender. Describe what your word cocktail tastes like.

This is my creative endeavour:

My meditation cocktail includes many nuanced words from over the past 30 years of my mediation practice. I have spent endless hours drinking in and digesting their meaning. So my word cocktail tastes comfortingly familiar and tantalizingly unknown all at the same time.

17 January, 2016

10 Things you need to make a perfect cup of tea

  1. Excellent quality of water (spring or Volvic)
  2. Right temperature (black=boiling, green=160-170°C)
  3. Excellent tea leaves (buy at tea shop and not grocery store)
  4. Use beautiful cup (my current favorite above)
  5. Right measure of tea (too much and tea will be bitter)
  6. Warm up cup before pouring water
  7. Always put tea into pot or cup before pouring water
  8. Brew for the right amount of time (3-5 minutes or to your taste)
  9. Time to enjoy it slowly
  10. Good comfy corner with a view

15 January, 2016

Are you non, or are you anti?

Oh, does Marlon James' words travel deep within the heart of matters. What a question to ask, am I non or am I anti? It doesn't seem a brave choice when asked in this matter. It only makes sense to be anti.

10 January, 2016

Who am I?

In this week's creative exercise you are asked to choose the five words that best describe you as a person.

Here are my words: problem-solver, introvert, engineer, storyteller, sailor


I believe there are two types of persons in this world. Those who spend a lot of time and effort talking about problems and all the reasons they exist. And, those of us who try to fix them. Sometimes I lose patience with people who go on and on about the problem they are experiencing. I just want to know what the problem is in 10 words or less and then they should just step aside and let me fix it!


Many people think being shy is the same as being introverted. It’s not. Shy people are shy of talking. Introverts just wait to be asked a question before talking.


I am the third generation of engineer in my family. My son is currently studying engineering and will be the fourth.


Robert Mckee, the legendary screenwriter, believes all business is about persuasion. He says the best way to be persuasive is to tell a story. I often find it useful to tell my business colleagues a story than it is to overwhelm them with too much technical information.


My father was an avid sailor and so we were a sailing family. Sailing taught me a lot about being self-reliant and also, what skills you need to develop to become a good crew member. It's more than a fun past-time, it's a life's philosophy. When I first get to know a new friend, I often ask the question of whether I would like to be marooned on a deserted island with the person. If not, then I inwardly take a small step backwards.

03 January, 2016

5 Things... better and worse...

I'm a great fan of Stephan Dubner and James Altucher's podcast, Question of the Day. Its short, sassy, and, at times, rather provocative episodes are fun to listen to.

My son recently asked the family one of their recent questions:

What are the 5 things you do better than most people and what are the 5 things you do worse than most people?

Here are my answers:

Better than most

  • draw or make simple visualisations
  • remember stories people have told me
  • a master at small talk (or getting people to tell stories)
  • good at making and keeping friends
  • finding a simple solution to a complex problem
Worse than most
  • singing
  • absolutely no sense of direction
  • can not multitask
  • great at worrying too much
  • letting go of things that I need to distance myself from