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21 February 2024Unveiling the Untapped Value: A Reflection on Unique Knowledge and Skills

In the realm of valuable processes that contribute to society, there lies an interesting dichotomy: the ones we comprehend deeply versus those that elude our understanding. The former often becomes a lucrative avenue, a pathway to financial gain, especially when others are unaware of these intricacies.

Take Bitcoin arbitrage, for instance—a concept widely known, yet its mastery is an elusive feat. Personally, I stumbled upon its complexities with the guidance of a friend pre-Covid. Without their expertise, navigating this terrain would have been an impossible challenge, and I would have abandoned the endeavor prematurely.

Similarly, the skill of website updating remains a puzzle for me. Despite attempts, I find myself seeking assistance at every turn. It underscores the value of knowing something others don’t—a skill that, when mastered, can prove to be a valuable asset.

In contrast, my proficiency in cooking for large groups stems from a well-established system. Knowing where to source fresh, packaging-free ingredients and establishing connections with importers for nuts and seeds significantly cuts costs and enhances the quality of the end product. The average person, lacking these insights, might find themselves grappling with higher expenses and a considerable time investment.

This leads to a fundamental question: What unique knowledge or skill do you possess that others don’t? It’s worth introspecting, as this distinct expertise has the potential to elevate personal or collective value. Whether acquired through experience or guided by mentors and family members, the steps to mastery can be obtained. So, consider what you know that could be a game-changer and how you can leverage it to increase value, either for yourself or others.

19 January 2024Rethinking Success: Beyond the Trifecta of Power, Fame, and Money

So I read recently that society’s idea of success rests on the attainment of Power, Fame and/or Money. That your social status rests on this trio and the number of ooohs and aaahs you might get at a dinner party. But what wasn’t quite so obvious was that everyone has different intrinsic definitions of success. Your motivations could be to live an interesting life or to live debt-free in which case you might not be happy in attaining Power, Fame or Money. What is sad is that this isn’t obvious at the start of our individual races and many of us position our lives differently to what would actually make us feel successful. The result of course is the gnawing ache in our stomachs and a feeling of stuck-ness. I think the core for feeling successful is the feeling of being/bringing our authentic selves, whether at work, in relationships at church or wherever we find ourselves.

27 August 2023 – Making changes obvious

We went to a wedding recently serving a buffet. Adriaan is gluten intolerant and kindly, a special meal was made for him. The buffet would have been easy to navigate – roast potatoes, rice, fish in a sauce, vegetables but the special meal was a thick, cloudy, saucy affair with dumplings of some kind. Usually things made WITH the use of flour. It didn’t help his suspicion that the vegetarian at the table received the exact same meal. Needless to say he didn’t eat it. It made us think, if something is addressed it helps to make the safety mechanism or change uber visible. You had knee surgery? Have the doctor add a big bandage; replaced your windscreen wipers? have the customer remove the stickers off the wipers. It probably points to our distrust or expectation that others are going to cut corners.

22 February 2023 – The Senior Obsession: Unraveling the Ego’s Quest for Status

When was the last time you came across a title adorned with the adjective “junior”? It seems that in the professional landscape, the prevalence of “senior” labels is undeniable. Whether it’s a Senior Copywriter, Senior Business Analyst, or Senior Project Manager, these titles raise questions about our collective ego’s yearning for status and distinction.

Do these senior titles reflect a genuine need for acknowledgment, or are they fueled by a deeper desire for differentiation from our peers? In a world where job titles often serve as badges of honor, it’s worth exploring the motivations behind this senior obsession and whether our professional identities are entwined with an insatiable hunger for recognition.

1 February 2023 – Chasing Protea Cryophila.

January comes and goes with dreams of a new us packed away with the kettle bells we keep tripping over. February rolls around and people can drink again and eat meat. There’s a piece in the Bible which speaks of laziness keeping us poor, A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man, but an insight recently highlighted that poverty can mean so much more than financial riches. Poverty in spirit, in thought, in friendship, in interests, in experiences, in energy. You’ll feel better once you get started, James Clear said recently and it is so much easier to start with good things, early in the morning.

We recently went to the Cederberg, to find the rare Snow Proteas (Protea Cryophila). It took a couple hours of steep climbing to altitudes where it snows but the alternative was to maybe sleep late after binge watching/drinking something. Here’s to a 2023 of choosing early and choosing what makes our hearts sing.

4 January 2023 – Insights from a DJ desk.

I had the privilege of playing at a very exclusive New Year’s party in Cape Town for 25 people. 7 course meal, 2 incredible bands, and I played hand selected rhythm and blues on vinyl. The event was perfect. Drinks paired with each of the seven courses, poured by the best bar-men and bar-ladies in the city. Yet it struck me that patrons, who could afford R3000 a ticket, could not (visibly) enjoy themselves. Their Instagram and Facebook showed them at a great party – I know this as they took plenty of videos. But they could not get over themselves to show that they were having a good time. As soon as the two arms said “Happy New Year” they also emptied the venue quickly in search of the next place to be.
And this reminded me of the fairness of life. Those with the means aren’t guaranteed to be merry.
In a different setting two days later we had friends visit who lack for nothing except general life satisfaction. And again. Yes you might be able to retire early but only because you so desperately need to retire from your soul crushing daily existence. We know others who have portfolio lives, teaching a bit, giving yoga classes, making tempeh and miso paste. Living simply but difficult from our vantage point. They can’t retire no, but they probably don’t want to either. And like Alanis Morrissette sings. Isn’t it ironic.