Boost Cognition, Cacophony and Cheating

A picture may paint a thousand words, but that sort of painting will no longer happen in this newsletter. It seems that pictures in emails add more than just a thousand extra words. They also trigger spam detectors and other creative AI thingies that are designed to make life better for us but don’t.

From now on you will have to “picture this” without pictures from me. But don’t fret. I will give you three words to boost your creative picturing of this and of that.

Cognition. Cacophony. Cheating.

Believe Differently To Create Insight

A long, long time ago two shoe-salesmen went to Africa. (Yes…

Struggle easier is the wise lesson to learn from your mistakes

Were you taught that life is a struggle? Of course you were. And so was I. We heard adults say silly things like “no pain, no gain.” And “if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”

That might have been sound advice when you were young. But now that you’re older is it wise advice?

There’s only one way to find out. If at first you don’t succeed, don’t try and try again.

Fail if you must, then try something else. Try something easier. Try not to be so trying. Believe me, no pain will be your gain.

It’s often easier to keep a lid on

As we begin to open up… As some countries, some states, some counties, some municipalities, some businesses and some minds begin to open up, let me open up about what I don’t know whether to keep bottled up.

As you know, nonsense at work causes the nonsense at work. Like the Yo-Yo decisions on flexi or in-flexi jobs. And the unnecessary confusion as to who at work has the real power to pick who works from where.

Should I open up and admit that nonsense at work does not really annoy me? …

And the Ones We Don’t

Do you know what I like about living in a (relatively) free country? I make my own choices. Every day.

Do you know what I don’t like about living in a (relatively) free country? I must choose. Every day.

Enough said.

Live Life the Way You Plan Vacations

Is this my planned life or my unplanned vacation? (free public domain:

It’s vacation planning time (viruses permitting).

Do you go on vacation without planning it? And do you plan your vacation without bothering to find out more about the place you have chosen? Of course not. You spend hours looking at exotic photographs, researching local “things to do”, reading reviews and imagining yourself enjoying it all. …

By asking better questions

Our new world order… Note, I did not say New World Order. Oh, what the heck. Let me cut the nonsense.

In our new world dis-order, a lot of questions are asked and even more remain unanswered. (I’m sure you can figure that out.)

So let me ask you. Have you asked good questions lately? Or have you, too, been asking the same questions over and over? (No, sorry. “Why me?” does not count. You are not the only one who has asked that one over and over this past year.)

Now let me ask you this. Would you like…

Share what you know or be isolated again

As we approach our time of The Great Unmasking (whatever the form of unmasking) and step away from the curtain (or screen), it behooves us to take a moment to reflect on what isolation has taught us. Or not.

Reflecting on what we know or don’t know is always tricky. So let’s turn to a knowledgeable knowledge fellow to help us shake the bull from the dung beetle, so to speak:

“… as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there…

Or you’ll face the wrong problem as you back into the future

On Days Like This (Van Morrison), when I Can’t Tell The Bottom From The Top (The Hollies) and everything is Over My Head (Fleetwood Mac), what’s a Poor Boy (Steve Earle) gonna do?

I suppose this is just The Trouble With Normal (Bruce Cockburn). The new normal, that is. The old normal is history. It Don’t Come Easy (Ringo Starr) no more.

I know I am Taking It All Too Hard (Genesis). Surely, All Things Must Pass (George Harrison). And With A Bit Of Luck (Frederick Loewe/My Fair Lady), I will Get It Right The Next Time (Gerry Rafferty).


Or zoom out of your job

With a lot of luck, a garnish of garlic and a wooden stake or two, we can finally go back to…

…in-person meetings!

Maybe I got that wrong. Maybe it should be: With a lot of luck, a garnish of garlic and a wooden stake or two, we can finally kill off (unnecessary) meetings.

Not matter which one applies to you, I offer the following thoughts to make your next meeting less of a nonsense event.

Feel compelled to meet. Or not.

Just another typical, boring meeting. (free public domain:

Meetings, meetings, bl… boring meetings. Are you also tired of unproductive meetings? Here’s how to get out of them, constructively.

But first, let’s define…

…Flip a Coin

It’s time for all decision-makers (yes, you) to play the latest decisions-decisions game. Here’s how to play. Fill in the blanks between the brackets in the following sentence. Then drive yourself nuts trying to pick one:

To be (…) or not to be (…).

(Don’t let Prince Hamlet fool you. To be is not the question. To be is the decision. Your decision.)

Here are a few hints to get you going. To be (in the office) or not to be (in the office). To be (masked) or not to be (masked). To be (vaccinated) or not to be (vaccinated)…

Mother Earth will deal with you later

Listen up, you many kids of all ages. It’s almost Mother’s Day.

You know what that means, don’t you? Florists are happy as flowers are sacrificed.

What about mothers? Believe it or not, this one-day be-nice behavior does not fool mothers. They worry about your conduct on the other 364 days.

(What if you don’t have a mother? You had one. Once. And you still have Mother Earth. She needs you now more than ever. So please leave her flowers alone.)

How To Deal With Mother-Stress

Mothers can but dream. (free public domain:

Dear Mother, just when you think you can’t handle any more stress, the schools, even the virtual ones, close…

James McIntosh

Born in RSA winelands. Earned 3 degrees drinking red wine. Chased by lioness, ran with elephants, got bored, moved to USA seeking adventure. Ex-CEO now coach.

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