I recently returned to the UK, making a swift transition from a warm and sunny Nairobi to a cold and grey Central London in all it’s Christmas fervour. As I journeyed from the land of little to the land of plenty, I was confronted by the differences but also the similarities. Continue reading A human centric world: are humans really central?
This blog post is part one in this two-part series on perspective. In this I reflect on the value of perspective, gained through the study of history, to turn despair into hope.Continue reading Perspective: the cure of despair
In this blog post, I cover my struggle with forming an identity, the importance society places on it, evident in role models, and the consequences this has for politics. (Apologies for the delay, this past week was spent running a conference in Zambia which was rather tiresome!) Continue reading My Struggle with Identity
This blog post is the final instalment in my ‘self’ series following ‘Self-Help Industry’ and ‘Self-Improvement’ (if it was not obvious already, I am rather obsessed with my-‘self’). In this I uncover what I think self-discipline relates to, why it’s the most important ‘self’ and how I pursue it. Continue reading Self-Discipline: keeping your worst-self in check
As promised, this is the second instalment of a three-part series on ‘Self-help, Self-improvement and Self-discipline‘. In this, I cover self-improvement, why I pursue it and how I do so. Continue reading Self-Improvement: the pursuit of a better self
This is a three-blog series on the lessons from the ‘self-help, self-improvement and self-discipline’ industries. This first instalment covers my thoughts on the self-help industry, the negative perceptions around it and why it’s success is built on more than showmanship. (Question: are these blogs too long? Let me know please!)Continue reading Self-Help: why the Industry is not a complete fraud
For my second blog, I thought I would write about how surprisingly impactful I have found cultural norms to be on day to day living but also at times of difficulty. I had previously given little recognition to how strong cultural norms shape our actions and more importantly the implications this has for our feelings. To illustrate this, I highlight two Kenyan customs which contrast greatly from those in a ‘Western’ world and the virtues these have. (Disclaimer: the following is filled with a set of wide and inaccurate generalisations)
Across the world, the British are famous for their reserve. Speaking to strangers in the underground is seen as a disturbance of public order, an offence worthy of harsh stares and ‘tut-tuts’. Suits in the underground have their earphones in, focusing their eyes on a newspaper in front of them as eye-contact beyond a glance is greatly discouraged. Any attempt to ‘escape’ from their surroundings and journey to work.
Sidewalks in Central London resemble two conveyor belts travelling in opposite directions looking solemnly at the ground whilst tourists wreak havoc on these orderly British queues. Life is fast-paced and people are in a constant rush, idle chit-chat adds little value. Continue reading A taste of Kenyan Culture
Synopsis: When people speak of ‘living by your principles’, it sounds all too fluffy and intangible. It is something you might expect in a sermon or from a yoga-loving hippie. However, over the past few years, I have tried to understand what my ‘core beliefs’ or ‘principles’ and live by them. This post focuses on my attempts to live by them, my failures and the virtues of being a ‘principled hypocrite’.
Disclaimer: I have realised blogging is quite hard, particularly when conveying thoughts as opposed to travelling experiences – apologies if this does not read clearly, any comments/advice would be much appreciated and hopefully, with practice, I shall be more succinct!
To facilitate a clear discussion, I will define both terms:
Principles – core beliefs which you ascribe to and shape your decisions i.e the thing in your head that tells the way in which you would like to achieve something, not how
Hypocrisy – professing beliefs which one’s own behaviour does not conform to, i.e a pacifist initiating a fist brawl
The seduction of a ‘Randian’ World Continue reading A Principled Hypocrite
Writing a blog is an idea I have flirted with but never committed to until now. Glancing at the Huffington Post’s ’10 Reasons you should start blogging’, none appealed. I had no commercial interest, intent to share a blog with strangers or even particular expertise to provide. A chronicle of my thoughts perhaps? I already chronicle them (or at least the interesting ones) and besides, why put it online?
After some thinking, I have begun to establish the purpose of a blog for me:
- An honest collection of some of my key thoughts
- To share them with friends and family
- A nice & easy way to update those interested about some of my life’s ongoings and as writing practice!
However, these alone would suggest I should keep a diary, create an Instagram and take a writing class (or read more as my mother & Tom Simpson would suggest). It’s this last reason that encapsulates why I chose to create a blog:
- To create a discussion – my ultimate hope for this blog is to share some of my thoughts and hear the opinions of the people I value: my close friends and family. Whether through a comment or a message – I really want to hear your opinion on my blog posts!
I’m not placing any strict requirement on posting but I hope to start with a blog post once a week [update Aug 2019: once a month at best]. As such by clicking the ‘Join in’ button, you shouldn’t get inundated with emails.
Finally, you may be curious about the name – ‘The Ramblings of a Hypocrite’. A lot of what I intend to share will be my views on various matters or ways I think that I (and others) should act. Yet, often I will do the very opposite!