I’ve been wanting to get into minimalism for a while now. The movement started with blogs like The Minimalists, Becoming Minimalist and Zen Habits, and exploded with Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever. The promise of minimalism is that by getting rid of what you don’t need, materially or otherwise, you allow room for more important things. You also feel less burdened by all your stuff and therefore freer in your mind. What’s not to like! We had a recent decluttering exercise in our flat, in preparation for photos for selling it. We wanted it to look super clear with clear surfaces and clean lines. This meant getting rid of a lot of stuff. Me and Angelique aren’t hoarders really, at least not to the extent that you see on TV. We do find it hard to get rid of paperwork. …[Read More]
It’s been a heatwave in London recently, meaning that one of the last things I want to do is drink a heavy red. I’d had chilled red wine only once before at St John. I think it was a chilled Beaujolais but I can’t really remember. The last two weekends, we discovered how good Tooting Markets are. As good as Brixton, but much cheaper. The first Saturday, we had a sensational breakfast at Brickwood of brioche French toast with cream, maple syrup, and bacon. Then headed for a glass of wine at Unwined. They said that that they had one red chilled if I wanted to try that. Yes please. It was a Cannonau from Sardinia. And delicious. Light, fruity and fresh. The next time I had chilled red was last night at 32 Great Queen Street, a cracking little restaurant linked to the legendary Anchor and Hope gastropub in …[Read More]
1. Manage your testosterone Testosterone for men is essential and the defining hormone that makes a man a man. High levels make you feel confident and rambunctious and aggressive. It makes you lean and muscular and gives you a strong sex drive. What’s not to like? In terms of testosterone, we’re supposed to be half the men our fathers and grandfathers were. Testosterone is produced at night and your body needs sleep and dietary fat to produce it. So eat red meat, nuts, butter and oil and get your sleep. And stay away from stress as well as stress produces cortisol, the stress hormone, and the testosterone killer. 2. The mind and body are inextricably linked When you have problems with your body, you will have problems with your mind. When you’re ill with the flu, you have nothing to give with your mind. When you’re sad and depressed, your energy …[Read More]
We know we should save and invest but how should we invest? We’ve seen from a previous article that we should dollar cost average to even out our entry price. But what should we invest in? I’m a big believer in following (scratch that, copying) the best. Who are the best asset managers over the long term? I’m going to talk about two: David Swensen, CIO of Yale University Endowment and Ray Dalio, co-CIO and founder of Bridgewater Associates, and look at the asset allocations that they use. What is an asset allocation? An asset allocation is how your asset classes within your portfolio are divided. An asset class is a type of asset, so one asset class could be stocks (equities), it could be bonds (fixed income), it could be property, gold or just straight cash. It could even be cryptocurrency :). So for many people, their major asset class is …[Read More]
One of my big goals in the gym is to hit 100kg on the bench press. I don’t know why that precise number to be honest. Maybe it’s just because it’s a nice round number. or maybe because not many people can do it. It’s a respectable number. I see a lot of guys in the gym doing 70kg, 75kg, 80kg. But not many doing 100kg. Okay it’s not superman weights, but it’s respectable. It means that I’ve worked at it and stayed consistent and I’ve got there. It could be a domino of success, that leads to more success, more confidence and more momentum for bigger things. I asked my mate Nour who benches 120kg and he said that it might take me a month or so to get there from here. Currently, I bench 82.5kg at 5 reps for 3 sets. With appropriate rest in between workouts and …[Read More]
I’m not a morning person but in the last two months, I wake up, have a coffee to loosen my bowels, take a shit, shower, shave, then I go down to my little community gym which is right down at the bottom of my block. It’s literally 2 mins away which means I have literally NO excuse not to go. I aim for 20 mins. I do bench press first (currently 80kg 5 reps 3 sets), 3 x 5 pull ups, seated row (5 x 90kg x 3 sets), overhead press (5 x 70kg x 3 sets). If I didn’t go, I’d feel like a pussy. When I do go, I feel strong, powerful, and disciplined. What better way to start the day. Do it.
I’ve been an insomniac for most of my life. The first memory I have of it being a thing for me was in my first or second year at boarding school when my housemaster remarked on it. He said it was a condition that affected bright people. Of course, I took that. 🙂 Left to my own devices on school holidays, I would stay awake long past midnight. I would read the latest Harry Potter until I finished it, say at 6am in the morning. I would then wake at 11am or 12 noon and not be tired until the early hours again. Over and over. This is fine when you’re on holiday but less so when you have stuff to do the next morning. I remember at university, I had a 9am exam on Personal Identity. I went to bed at 11pm and watched the hours tick by. By …[Read More]
The legendary Jocko Willink says that Discipline Equals Freedom. I take this to mean that accepting and embracing discipline and structure in your life will take away the need for willpower as well as paralysis by analysis and procrastination. In recent days, I’ve been feeling good and I think it’s down to making decisions, quick decisions and good decisions about things big and small. Deciding yesterday in a Waterloo pub that I’d book us in for lunch in 25 minutes in St. John and Uber it there was pretty good. (Angelique seemed to like the decisiveness) And today, we took inspiration from my sister and decided to sell our flat and buy a bigger one. It’s a decision we’ve put off and off, but having made it in 5 minutes of discussion in the car on the way to dim sum with my Dad, was decisive for sure. Of course, …[Read More]
I’m a big believer in learning from multiple sources to accelerate learning. If you just picked one book, the writer might not teach the concepts in the same way as another writer and different writers might click with you on different sub-topics. Just pick multiple sources when learning anything. I’ve picked a few courses and sources to learn Python from: The first one is from Udemy called The Python Bible™ | Everything You Need to Program in Python. The second is from Udacity called Intro to Computer Science. (The instructor is great!) The third is also from Udacity called Introduction to Python Programming And the fourth is from YouTube from an amazing channel called CS Dojo. Check them out!
When I was at uni, I took an Aesthetics class. The Philosophy of Art. I don’t remember much from that course except for a couple of essays on Plato and Tolstoy. Plato was keen that when educating the young men of his Republic that their art be censored and that the youth should only consume art that promoted nobility. So poetry shouldn’t be about loucheness and hedonism, rather they should be about promoting bravery in battle and moral uprightness. I was reminded of this recently after binge watching a series of Mindhunter on Netflix, a show about the FBI’s profiling of serial killers in the 1970s. This is show that goes deep into the minds and motivations of deeply disturbed people, and it’s very entertaining and very compelling. We watched this off the back of Unabomber, another Netflix show, this time about the hunt for another serial killer, Ted Kaczynski. …[Read More]