How I think about everything

As we get older (and hopefully wiser), our thinking about the important things in life changes. We learn new things. We have amazing, good, bad and awful experiences. We try things that work and don’t work. We slowly build informed opinions and beliefs from all of this.

I’ve noticed that in the first 35 years of life, my thinking on certain things has changed a lot. As I’ve got closer to 40, things are starting to settle. I’ve had a few epiphany / mid life type movements. These have either solidified how I think about something, or significantly changed my thinking — probably for the rest of my life.

Here are two examples:

When I was 35, I had no knowledge of investing. Anything I had, was in property or cash. Over the course of three years, I got interested in investing and my strategy changed a lot. I settled on something which felt right, which I wrote about in Investing, simply. Two years on, it still broadly reflects my approach to investing. I say broadly, because recently it’s shifted a little bit — but it’s more of an iteration, than a big shift in thinking.

Throughout my whole life, I’ve tried lots of different ways to eat. Around 35, I stumbled across paleo and intermittent fasting and haven’t looked back. I’m lighter and feel better than I’ve ever felt. Importantly, it fits my lifestyle and doesn’t feel like a huge sacrifice. Again, it’s shifted recently, but it’s more of a slight change to how I’m eating paleo and fasting.

Looking back at Investing, simply, got me thinking. It’s useful to look back at how you used to think about something. You get to notice what you’ve learned, what’s changed, and reflect on how you think about it now.

I’m going to start doing it at the beginning of each year. I’ll summarise how I think about an area and then reflect back on how I used to think about it a year ago. I’m going to force myself to stick to a 240 twitter style character limitation to keep things concise.


Get 7+ hours of sleep every day. Be able to move freely, and without pain before anything else. Eat Paleo and fast 12-14 hours a day. Be active and get outside as much as you can. Vary your exercise and do things you enjoy. GMB + Crossfit + being active outdoors sum it up for me.


Be frugal. Live below your means. But, spend lavishly on what adds value. Save. Have 6 months in the bank. Start investing early. Invest in indexes — contribute regularly and hold for the long-term. Once you have a lump, invest 5-10% at higher risk. Get into a fuck you position.

Work / Career

Get good at something. Do something you like and is helpful to others. Work with people you like and can learn from. Find work that fits your personal life. Learn to self-promote. Joining a rocketship startup is the holy grail.


Make being the best version of yourself a conscious effort. Be open minded and try new things. Read. Surround yourself with smart, positive people — both at work and outside of it. Do 1-2 things a year that push you outside of your comfort zone. Oh, and read.

Life & Being Happy

Wake early. Learn to build habits. Spend most of your time focusing on the present. Don’t take things too seriously. Be minimal. Learn to cook. Don’t have a smartphone. Live the principles of How to Win Friends and Influence People. Be positive and see life as full of opportunity. Do less things, better. (Yes, that’s 296 characters, but I couldn’t get it down!)


Cultivate strong friend and family relationships. Consciously spend more time with people that make you happy, are positive and supportive. Spend less time with those that aren’t. Experiences with people you love are more important than anything else.

See you in 2019!

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All jobs have their ups and downs. I tend to find I go through periods of about 8-10 weeks when things feel really good. The work is engaging and challenging, and the results are there. And then I will hit a couple of weeks where I feel low. Everything feels like a bit of a slog. Sometimes it’s an unexpected miss or a problem. Sometimes, it’s just a case of burnout. But, I soon come out of it and get myself back into a good stretch.

Around the middle of last year, I found the good periods were getting shorter and the slogs were getting longer. It forced me to do some thinking and exploring around what is important for me at work.

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Freedom is an app that helps you control distractions by blocking the internet, apps and websites — or any combination of those. You can start a freedom session whenever you like, or schedule a session for the future. It supports recurring sessions too. You have complete control over how long you want sessions to be, and what distractions you want to block.

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I don’t think it’s a coincidence that most of the people I consider successful and happy, get up early and follow some type of morning routine. I challenge you to think about this too. Look at well known people, colleagues and friends. I bet you come to the same conclusion.

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The power of broad focuses

Recently I read ‘In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto’ by Michael Pollan. Here’s how it starts:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

That, more or less, is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy. I hate to give the game away right here at the beginning of a whole book devoted to the subject, and I’m tempted to complicate matters in the interest of keeping things going for a couple hundred more pages or so. I’ll try to resist, but will go ahead and add a few more details to flesh out the recommendations.

I love how Michael Pollan simplified a complex topic (and a whole book) down to 7 words:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

It’s beautiful. Those 7 words have stuck with me since — and as a result, have helped influence my eating.

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Two years without a smartphone

Two years ago, I ditched my iPhone 6 for a Nokia 130.

It was an extreme decision, but it felt the only thing left to do. I was tired of being constantly connected. I couldn’t find a way to break the addiction of compulsively checking things.

It took a couple of weeks for the urges to go away —  but go away they did. And once they did, life got better. I’m not tempted to go back one bit. It’s been life changing.

Recently I reflected on some of the benefits from living without a smartphone….

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Being self critical: My biggest strength and weakness

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We had to pick two movements that we hated and sucked at. I went with thrusters and kipping pull ups. We practiced them throughout the session and used them in the workout at the end.

6 thrusters, followed by 6 kipping pull ups — repeated for as many reps as possible in 20 mins.

Pretty tough. I found the movements awkward throughout. As I was driving home after the workout, here’s what played through my head…

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When No One is Looking

This is embarrassing, but here it goes. I have a massive man crush on Mat Fraser.

It started when I watched Fittest on Earth 2015. Mat placed second and stood out as an incredible athlete. He made a few mistakes and wasn’t quite the all rounder Ben Smith was.

Recently I watched Fittest on Earth: A Decade of Fitness (Crossfit Games 2016). Mat blew through the competition (including Ben Smith) to finish first. It was awesome to see Mat dominate the competition, including beating last years winner. But, I figured, sometimes it happens like that. You see the same thing with football teams. No matter the odds, sometimes you get an upset. Maybe he should have won in 2015? Or maybe 2016 was a fluke?

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