Self-Help: why the Industry is not a complete fraud

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. Continue reading Self-Help: why the Industry is not a complete fraud

A taste of Kenyan Culture

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)

  1. ‘Cool Runnings’

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

A Principled Hypocrite

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

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The first google link when looking up ‘principles – a fashion range by Debenhams!

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

Why I am writing a blog

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. 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!

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