Scottish, British, whatever. Chumbawumba.

Many sports journalists and “fans” (I use the word guardedly) seem to love building individuals up and then knocking them down. It’s OK for someone to sweat blood for their sport, practice for hours, put up with injuries, defeats, interviewers who ask the same inane questions and then snide comments about whether they are dedicated or talented enough. Then when they are champions through their own talent and hard work they are lauded by the same people.

Then often knocked down again. Kicked and abused on social media.

In Andy Murray’s case the joke was “Scottish when he loses, British when he wins”. Could he have done any more? No. Was he the best to come out of the UK? Almost certainly. Does he deserve everything he has obtained? Without a doubt.

For Murray read Froome, Wiggins, even Paula Radcliffe.

The Economist has written a good piece on his retirement, which will be sooner rather later. Our loss as well as yours. Thanks for the edge of the seat matches, the pleasure of watching and enjoying and sometimes not being able to do either (a hedge was trimmed during the Olympic final) and have a great rest of your life Andy. You did it and we didnae’.

Chumbawumba?

The Monday Morning Quote #516

“I think the big thing is don’t be afraid to fail.

I think, you know, in our society today, Instagram, Twitter, it’s a highlight reel.

It’s all the good things.

Failure is a part of life.

It’s a part of building character and growing.

Without failure, who would you be?”

Nick Foles

Winner Super Bowl MVP 2017.

The Ten Rules of Anti-Social Media (according to Alan Stevens)

(#1 in a series of newsletters that I recommend)

I didn’t write this but I am happy to share it. The writer was Alan Stevens, The Media Coach, and it came from his excellent, free weekly newsletter available at www.mediacoach.co.uk

THE TEN RULES OF ANTI-SOCIAL MEDIA

I didn’t coin the phrase “anti-social media”, but I did come up with these rules back in 2009. I’ve updated them, and suggest that they still apply if you want to be really anti-social online. They should ensure that you use anti-social media for no gain and scant profit:

1) Promote yourself relentlessly, at all times. Make sure that every message is a selling one, so that your friends and followers understand what you are really about.

2) Never offer help. Why give away something that people should pay you for?

3) Re-send messages from experts, to give the impression that you have the same thoughts. Occasionally “forget” to mention their name to reinforce this impression.

4) Hide your identity behind a silly name or jumble of letters. You don’t want to end up on a spammers list, do you?

5) Try to get as many people to follow you as possible, but ignore them completely. They are just your potential customers, so they have nothing to offer you.

6) Cut and paste articles and pretend that you wrote them (or at least hint at it by making it hard to spot the name of the original author).

7) Automate everything so that you never have to be at your computer, There are better things to do than listen to the dull conversations in social networks.

8) Constantly promote money-making schemes that you don’t use yourself (because they don’t work). You can make loads of money selling these as an affiliate.

9) Insult and abuse others, to damage their reputations and reduce their chance of getting work.

10) Never miss an opportunity to tell people that they are doing it wrong, and you are doing it right. They will get the message eventually, and give up, leaving you the winner.

The information in this ezine may be freely re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line – “This information was written by Alan Stevens, and originally appeared in “The MediaCoach”, his free weekly ezine, available at http://www.mediacoach.co.uk.”

Put down your smart phone…

The more I watch the way people behave with mobile devices the more uncomfortable I become. I was secretly pleased a couple of years ago when my son justified his use of a Nokia (non-smart) phone, “Makes and takes calls, sends and receives texts. What else do I need?”

I have regular conversations with dentists and practice managers who face resentment at best and mutinies at worst because team members aren’t allowed to keep their phones with them (and on line) at all times, on the pretext of “what happens if someone has to get hold of me?” which really means, “but I’ll have to go without Instagram/FB/Snapchat/Twitter/etc.” (Perm any 3 from a multitude).

This comes from The Economist via “Memex” (the blog of John Naughton which I consider to be essential reading).

Distraction is a constant these days; supplying it is the business model of some of the world’s most powerful firms. As economists search for explanations for sagging productivity, some are asking whether the inability to focus for longer than a minute is to blame…..

….Distractions clearly affect performance on the job. In a recent essay, Dan Nixon of the Bank of England pointed to a mass of compelling evidence that they could also be eating into productivity growth. Depending on the study you pick, smartphone-users touch their device somewhere between twice a minute to once every seven minutes.

Conducting tasks while receiving e-mails and phone calls reduces a worker’s IQ by about ten points relative to working in uninterrupted quiet. That is equivalent to losing a night’s sleep, and twice as debilitating as using marijuana. By one estimate, it takes nearly half an hour to recover focus fully for the task at hand after an interruption. What’s more, Mr Nixon notes, constant interruptions accustom workers to distraction, teaching them, in effect, to lose focus and seek diversions.

The Monday Morning Quote #515

“It’s easy to make it lousy.

It’s difficult to make it right.”

Ben & Jerry.

The Binge Listen #1 – Don’t Tell Me The Score

I came across the “Don’t Tell Me The Score” podcast a week or so ago and have listened to the eleven episodes whilst wrestling with wood over the past couple of days – one great advantage of the ear protectors that I employ whilst using the chain-saw is that they both isolate me and keep my headphones in place.

The premise of this BBC Radio 4 podcast is that sport can teach us a great deal about life. Presenter Simon Mundie interviews at length his guest, who has direct association with sport as a player, coach, writer, or scientist. I particularly enjoyed Ben Ryan on Motivation, Mike Brearley on Leadership and James Kerr on Legacy. There are lessons to be learned from each and every episodes and I thoroughly recommend it. More books to read! If they are as good as “Legacy” then I’m going to enjoy myself.

Available from all good podcast sources and the BBC website.

PS – One small criticism – Simon I do wish you wouldn’t keep mentioning England winning the Rugby World Cup in 2003 as if it was the greatest achievement in history – or indeed a surprise. Whilst it sticks in my craw to say it they were the best team both in the tournament and during the year leading up to it, so victory was deserved.

 

Jim Lovell’s Perspective

Sometimes we (well me definitely) get up ourselves and think that the world, or even the universe revolves around us. At those times I try to remember the words of astronaut Jim Lovell who 50 years and a 12 days ago was privileged to see our world as it “rose”. The photograph “Earthrise”, taken by his fellow crew member Bill Anders, has become justly famous.

In a few months in late July, I look forward to revisiting The West Cork Hotel, 5km from where I now live, where my brother & I watched the moon landings on the black and white telly in their TV room – (TVs in hotel bedrooms being some way in the future, in Skibbereen anyway) and raising a glass to the memory.

Lovell said in a recent interview, “We’re so close to the Earth that our worlds are only as far as the eye can see. Right here, this building, our worlds exist within these walls. But suddenly, when you get out there and see the Earth as it really is, and when you realise that the Earth is only one of nine planets and it’s a mere speck in the Milky Way galaxy, and it’s lost to oblivion in the universe — I mean, we’re a nothing as far as the universe goes, or even our galaxy. So, you have to say, “Gee, how did I get here? Why am I here?”

It helps me keep some perspective. We are so very small but are capable of great achievements when we work together.

 

 

 

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