The difference between a life livable and a life enjoyable

I love rainy days, I just prefer to live in a climate that makes me value rainy days more often. That is the thing with us British folk. We get too much of what some of the world is in desperate need of. Every time I switch on the news it is another nation burning from wildfires- recently Canada and the USA and even more recently Spain and Portugal.

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Wildfires in Portugal. EPA/BBC News

As I sit in this tiny cafe and type up today’s post in Northern Sydney, I can’t help but listen in to the conversation between the lovely Asian owner and a local that stopped by for a quick coffee. ‘I am so happy I don’t have to water the flowers today’ she said in broken English. Here, rain is valued a little more. Downpours are nowhere near as frequent as they are back in blighty, so there is more optimism as the pair gaze out of the cafe entrance. People still walk around in shorts and flip flops, embracing the warm droplets splashing against them on route to pick up their pre orders. Oddly, I am the one wearing the most clothing, I assumed Aussies around me would feel the cool much more than me. Then again I don’t think some people here have jeans to put on.

Our world is incredible. It is capable of producing so many variable climates and terrains; hot and cold, wet and dry, land and sea, incredible peaks and deep oceans, bright days and the darkest nights. The diversity is pretty damn remarkable. What it doesn’t have is a perfect system, these variables aren’t spread evenly to make life struggle free. I imagine earth like a car built with the most incredible engine but with wheels facing opposite directions, the most aerodynamic shell but placed back to front. Would I give this car a ten out of ten if the features were there but not implemented correctly? Of course not. The world is this car. The features are great but the design is far from perfect.

It is certainly enough to help us scrape by, thankfully humans have intervened with technology to make this more bearable. We can all praise the conditions in which we live, but what would these conditions be like without our intervention? Can you imagine no air con, no heating, no cars to escape wildfires and no roof to shelter from the storms? As much as we should all be grateful for the Goldilocks zone we inhabit, let us not forget the incredible human achievements that make life not just livable, but enjoyable. The fact that we can spend a huge chunk of our lives not worrying about our environment killing us is a luxury many people didn’t have and still don’t. To have life is a gift. To have actual leisure time to enjoy it is much more precious.

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Impact

There are probably 25+ people climbing the bridge in this shot at varying levels of ascent. Can you see them?


The more frequently we develop buildings and machines much bigger than ourselves, the more we realise how small we are. This doesn’t mean we have to think less of ourselves, nor does it mean we should boast about being better than we are.
It’s all about the balance, realising we are a tiny fraction of the world but a fraction that can drastically change the world.

Ideally, for the better.

Shackled to fate

A column provides information on the first arrivals in Australia by Europeans. The Rocks, Sydney.


So I did something very silly the other day. I was at the birthday party of a work colleague at her house, in the garden to be precise. I had a few beers, as expected. There was a huge ice bucket at the bottom of the garden filled with our beers and as I went to get my 5th (maybe 6th?), out slipped my iPhone from my pocket and straight into the bucket. 

It was a big bucket. The few seconds it was in there seemed much longer as I frantically pushed the beers and ice cubes around until I found it. This is much harder at night whilst mildly intoxicated. Into a bowl of rice it went and here I am typing to you on it. Woohoo!

I went to the Apple Store to get the charger port cleaned out, I was told that although it is working the water damage indicators have been set off and it is a matter of time before it shuts down. How marvellous. You would think waterproof phones would be a priority for a company that has successfully launched face recognition and living in a country that is very coastal, it would put my mind at rest if they were.

So I just have to wait. Days? Months? Who knows. I hope to one day live in an age in which we don’t have to wait for the expiry date to hit, whether it is a disease of the human body or the technology we use. It is a weird time for us to exist, a time in which we can diagnose disease and predict how long we have before it takes over without being able to stop it in its tracks. This sucks a lot. So today, I thank the lucky stars that it is my phone going down this path and not me.

I knew there was something I should be grateful about today!

Today as seen by the future

I took this photo between cable car rides at Sugarloaf Mountain, I couldn’t have picked a better time of day. I remember looking at the boats below and thinking how unique each and every person that bought one must have felt, until they took it to the harbour. How perspectives can change depending on the environment.

‘I’m not trying to be anyone’s saviour. I just want to think about the future and not be sad’- Elon Musk

I have been watching plenty of his conversations recently and I love this guy. I feel I am watching someone who will always be remembered as one of humanity’s greats. If I had to choose one person to currently represent humanity, it would be Elon.

Whether it is solar powered roof tiles or the Hyperloop system, I get filled with excitement for the future. One rocket, planned to take humans to Mars within the next 20 years, has enough thrust to take a Boeing-747 filled with people, cargo and fuel, as cargo. Amazing!

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It is a breath of fresh air to see someone break free from the troubles that keep us from moving forward and focus on progression. Escaping the pointless arguments and small differences that keep cultures from merging. We are so diverse and offended by our differences that we don’t venture away from the norm, we try to preserve our traditions even more.

I don’t want my news filled with headlines such as ‘Can the hijab be empowering to women?’, I want my news feed filled with stories of whether or not the latest rocket launch was successful. Headlines informing me of how our future is transforming, not reminding me how the present is so similar to our past. The day that we stop obsessing over our beloved societal norms will be a glorious and incredibly progressive one.

Sometimes we worry too much about our perceived values that we do not realise there is an option to change them. I love looking at the negative aspects of our existence as there is no quicker way to make progress.

As Musk says in one of his Ted Talks, he likes to take the view that he is wrong and work towards being right. I love looking at the wrongs, change doesn’t come from turning a blind eye.

Watching a ship hit the ocean bottom may be a little depressing but if we didn’t watch the ships sink, we wouldn’t build the lifeboats.

£1,000,000

I woke up today stinking of smoke. Sitting around the fire after a birthday BBQ, drunken conversations ’til 3am and a dozen topics of conversation.

One was the classic ‘What would you do if…’ question and what we would all do if we were millionaires. 

‘I wouldn’t want to be too rich. Give me £1,000,000 and I will be happy’. I hear this a lot.

Tai Lopez calls money ‘freedom units’. I think that’s a great term, money doesn’t bring happiness but it certainly brings a great deal more freedom and opportunity.

How long would £1,000,000 last? Personally, I would not be happy with that sum if I was to be offered more. Not that I’m greedy, I would just love all the possibilities and freedom.
Would I want enough to simply get by? Screw that. The world needs more people putting money into great opportunity and progression. Look at Elon Musk, is he worried about buying everything and becoming depressed? Forgetting his roots and the value of money for the 99%? No, he is too busy aiming to get humans populating another planet in our lifetime. I don’t have the intelligence to achieve something like that but with the right money, I would make sure I would speak to the people that could.

For me, given the opportunity for huge wealth only to refuse it, is a wasted opportunity. A lack of imagination. A missed opportunity to get my ideas out there and be the change I want to see in the world. It wouldn’t be a breath of fresh air to make the humble decision to stay grounded, the ground is full of idiots. Let’s get away from it as soon as we are capable, too many people want to keep us here and in the past. There are a few people out there offering a much needed change and I certainly want to join them. 

Of course, I can only talk from my experience of not being a millionaire, it’s easy for me to say these things. Who knows, one day there may be an opportunity to stand by my word, life’s better with a little optimism.

The system.

What is your excuse for a lack of motivation? This is aimed at myself as much as it is to anyone.

After getting lost in thought walking around my neighbourhood last night I took to my balcony with a beer and listened to a few Joe Rogan podcasts.

I highly recommend this guy, simply YouTube the Joe Rogan Experience and you could spend forever listening to the weird and wonderful guests he has on his show. My personal favourite is Sam Harris, always a fantastic conversation whether it be religion, artificial intelligence or Trump. Almost hitting one thousand shows, there will certainly be one almost tailored for you.

I was listening to Joe taking about his past, how he couldn’t keep a full time job. He becomes obsessed with certain things such as puzzles and playing pool, working a job he doesn’t like certainly isn’t one of these things. Most of us don’t either, we just don’t do enough to escape the role we find ourselves in to keep us going. Many people don’t flick that internal switch that takes us off road into unpredictability, challenge, stress, change. Into the gutter or into the stratosphere. Joe made it, I am confident almost everyone we look up to took the dirt road. We don’t remember those on the safe road, the one with everyone else on it. That is because there are too many people to remember and if they are all going in the same direction, why be remembered?

Not that we should all strive to be remembered. There is nothing wrong with the safe road, there are just plenty of people that want to find a slip-road off it without looking elsewhere. Spending a life complaining about their life and where it is going. That’s not healthy.

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It doesn’t help that we are put on a path at such a young age. We spend an eternity not existing and then before we know it, we are all grouped together on these yellow buses. Taken to large halls occupied with adults and white booklets with our names printed on resting on a flat surface with four legs, five feet away from the next kid. These tests often determine the path we head in and into what field. I would love to see the statistics displaying what percentage of people are currently in the fields they wished to be as children, and how many people have had a change in tastes since then.

Why should I chose at such a young age? I could barely write the name I was given let alone know what I wanted to do. It is a strange, strange world we live in, if it doesn’t seem so that is probably because it is all we have ever known.

If it is all we have ever known, is it any wonder we all go through life doing what is expected of us? Religion, the nine to five, the political beliefs… often all stem from the metaphorical yellow buses we spend our lives in. Each bus is different, and this is why I want to travel, to speak to people in different buses and to see which motherfucker is driving that bus. I bet many of them are taking advantage of our sheep like behavior in the rear view mirror.