David Amerland
David Amerland
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Deal with the unexpected. Learning to deal with the unexpected sounds like an oxymoron. If we can predict something and prepare for it, it's not unexpected. Yet every unexpected event, however unique it might be, produces specific neurobiological pressures in us which we then must work hard to overcome in order to make better decisions and take actions that benefit us.  As it turns out there are small things we can implement in our daily lives that can better prepare us for adversity by hardening our mental and emotional responses.… more
15 hours ago
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Being well-adjusted is all about emotional control. Being able to exercise adequate emotional control delivers tangible physical and psychological benefits. Less stress. Greater self-control. A calmer disposition. Better judgements. More measured responses. Better choices. Better decisions. And it all starts from relatively small, foundational elements of the self. The way we build up who we are and establish what we want.… more
Feb 10, 2020
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Consistency requires an anchor. A point of reference you can go to every time you face a fluid situation or deal with a novel issue. That point of reference has to be your prime directive. A core element of who you are. To work that out you need to really understand what you care for. And why. That is also part of who you are.… more
Feb 2, 2020
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Make Technology Work For You. Technology is always about shortcuts. But the shortcuts themselves should never be about technology. To understand this better consider why we seek to use technology in the first instance. It is an augmentation of current abilities that represents an optimization of our skills as we scale things up.  In the plainest English possible, technology allows us to do less with more or, better said perhaps, it allows us to do more with just what we have. Marketing, advertising, branding, travelling, fishing and agriculture are some very obvious examples of this. But really, technology works exactly like that in everything. Just using a can-opener at home is the perfect example of what I've described.  The subtext here is that while technology changes because our capabilities to apply ever more powerful layers of it becomes better; the foundations that make this desirable in the first instance, remain the same.  The needs, wants, motivation and drive that lead us to develop better and better technology in the first instance have never changed. In a marketing context we still need to sell something in an environment where others also sell something very similar. To succeed in our sale we need to first arrest the attention of our prospect and then succeed in getting them to trust us.  While the 'How' we achieve this today is completely different from how we'd have done it 4,000 years ago, the reasons behind it remain the same. Since the 'Why' hasn't changed we're still faced with the same challenges: how do we get someone to trust us and then create a connection that leads to a sale?  Humanizing our technology requires investment in real effort to break through the impersonality of our various technological interfaces. Those who think in terms of that never, ever truly feel they're being left behind, no matter what changes our technology undergoes. For them it is always people doing business with people.… more
Jan 21, 2020
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Productivity has always been a bugbear. It makes perfect sense of course. The moment you invest in any type of work (or someone else invests by hiring you) your next task is optimizing the effort involved so it gives you maximum returns for the least amount of work.  I know you know this makes sense. The thing is that in order to actually optimize this process correctly we need to attend to a whole host of fundamental, underlying factors.… more
Jan 15, 2020
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Rules for life. Let's start with two indisputable facts: First, you were born. Second, you will die. What happens in between should serve to explain the first fact before the second one happens. It doesn't always work out that way which is sad. To avoid that sadness we should all really embrace life not just living. Life is unpredictable. It's an adventure, with all that this implies.  It requires us to cultivate a specific frame of mind where discomfort, surprises and adversity are simply part of the journey.  That, takes both intent and perseverance. Effort and discipline.… more
Jan 13, 2020
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Leave Your Mark On The World. I know that you know that I know that you’ve noticed that we’re in a brand-new decade. It also happens to be the beginning of the run towards the first quarter of the 21st century. Great, hey? Except it’s not. We are all seeing now that our institutions are not up to the task.  We all feel demotivated by the difficulties we perceive in the world. We feel rudderless; without true leaders. We sense that, somehow, the ‘script’ has changed and we’ve been left to fend for ourselves. None of us truly know how. Do we take to the streets alongside Extinction Rebellion? Do we find a demonstration to join? Do we become the resistance fighting against change or fighting for change depending on which perspective we’re seeing? The problem with all of this is that none of it will pay the bills and bills tend to come up and rule our life regardless of whether we are doing the ‘right thing’ or not. Survival always monopolizes our energy and attention which means that sooner or later we shall stray from causes because we simply don’t have the extra bandwidth. It doesn’t have to be like that however. I’ve written about three ‘golden’ rules we could use as a guide to the future.  They also act as a moral compass to tell us what we should do. If we don’t know if a course of action is the right one to take we should always ask “how would it make me feel if I were on the receiving end?” If, we’re not sure whether something is right or wrong, we need to weigh it on how it impacts those it will affect and be able to fully explain why. And if we’re not certain about our position in the world; we should always ask “how would I like to be remembered as?” Whether we feel it or not, the world is ours. We can only change it if our actions tally with our beliefs and our beliefs are informed by our values. Leaving our mark upon it needn’t be big. We all affect each other in small ways. Collectively those ways become public sentiment and global perception. They power movements and change cultures. But they all start small. Be that small change. Daily.… more
Jan 6, 2020
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The future is not set. In the Trois Frères caves, in the south of France, is perhaps the most famous prehistoric recorded example of ancient man's intuitive belief in the power of the mind. In the deepest part of the cave, above a high rock ledge approximately twelve feet up from the cave floor, is the picture of a man wearing an animal's skin and tail. An owlish-looking mask and the antlers of a stag adorn his head. It is perhaps one of the earliest recorded attempts of man trying to control uncertainty and produce a particular, favorable outcome. In this case a hunt. The validity of the external world, like that of colors, lies in the brain's interpretation of what it perceives. And that interpretation has always been subject to needs, wants and cultural development. None of this is new. Being able to recognize the patterns of behavior provides an easier means of analyzing what is going on in the world we live in. Being able to understand the world around us is exactly what the brain has been designed for. It is its prime directive, if you like. From that relatively simple, singular focus it is able to help us survive by predicting the next moment. From that relatively simple, singular focus also springs every aspect of complexity we see in the world around us. If the brain in its focus is the compass that sets our course what happens along the way depends upon our decision making capability. At the ground level of each life, lived nothing is simple. In Terminator 2: Judgement Day John Connor sends this message back to his mother: "The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves." The future, of course, is never set. The fate we meet is determined by the choices we make and the decisions those choices lead to. In The Sniper Mind I posited how every choice is a decision. Every decision has consequences. As we enter the second decade of the 21st century we begin to see just how deep that goes in virtually every aspect of what we do. The only answer lies in levelling up our skillset and upping our game. The last century is truly behind us now.… more
Dec 27, 2019
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