D is for Decide: Say no to all the alternatives

Imagine if 20 years ago you were a genius who had the idea of starting up Google, and Amazon, and Facebook. You just invented three of the best business ideas of the last century, and if you had started any one of them you could now be worth billions. But if you were determined to do all…

D is for Decide: Everything else will follow

As businesses and entrepreneurs grow, it gets more difficult to innovate. There are issues of coordination, sure, but mostly it is about fear. The fear of failing is greater, because it seems as though you have got more to lose. So urgency disappears first. Why deliver it today if you can deliver it next week…

Selfie vs. Youfie

Watch this because I’m in it vs. I’m in it because you will enjoy watching it. Or, I published a book so I need you to read it vs. There is something you need to read, so I wrote about it. Or I'm fifty and I just made an album because it was time for…

D is for Decide: Divided Attention

Indecision not only robs us of our happiness, but it also lead to poorer performance. Once again, it is because thoughts related to making the right decision stay active in your mind when your options are open.  This places a rather hefty burden on your working memory, and it is distracting. It becomes difficult to…

D is for Decide: … and Don’t Look Back

Given the choice, would you prefer to make: A fixed, no-turning-back decision, or A decision you could back out of if you needed to and change it? People overwhelmingly prefer reversible decisions (decisions they can go back to and change) instead of irreversible ones (casting stone decisions). They believe it is better to “keep your…

The lesson from two lemonade stands

The first stand is run by two kids. They use Clover lemonade, paper cups and a bridge table. It is a pretty decent lemonade stand, one in the long tradition of standard lemonade stands. It costs a R5 to buy a cup, which is a pretty good price, considering you get both the lemonade and…

The secret of being wrong…

..... is not to avoid being wrong. - Seth Godin The secret is being willing to be wrong. The secret is realising that wrong is not fatal. The sky wont fall because you failed. The only thing that makes people and businesses great is their willingness to be not great along the way. The desire to…

Focus: Narrow it…

What I know now about happiness that I didn't know when I was 18 years old is to narrow my focus. Back then I did Karate, played soccer, tennis and cricket and I enjoyed them. These days, I get a lot of joy from getting better at what I do (mostly research and writing), even…

Focus: No is essential

If you believe that you must keep your promises, over-deliver and treat every commitment as though it is an opportunity for a transformation, the only way you can do this is to turn down most opportunities and focus on that one important opportunity. No I can't meet with you, no I can't sell it to…

Focus: Life is like a Camera

At the end of his TED Talk, Bryan Stevenson summarises his talk as follows: "I have come to TED because I believe that many of you understand that the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice. That we cannot be full evolved human beings until we care about human rights and…