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Newsletter – No 1 September 2020


Welcome to my first email update which aims to keep you thinking positively, share some recent learning and help you get the most out of your life!

So first an update – why a website?

Several years ago I got into the habit of sharing my book reviews on a Facebook group, then got thrown out of the group for providing a non-controversial review of a Donald Trump book.  So I decided why not make my own Facebook group.  Did this around 4 years ago, now has over 600 members from 60 countries all across the world.  If you like looking at data Facebook do provide you with the opportunity to download various metrics from this, this is a good thing.  However, Facebook could just remove the group and all posts and connections would be lost.  Therefore set up, opted for this name and to be fair inspired to make the website after listening to this blog interviewing Dr Ali Abdaal. 

My website also aims to broaden my impact on the world by sharing the content I produce more widely.  Instead of solely a Facebook group am going to try to upload posts to my website, share these on Twitter and also start to do YouTube videos.  Over the years have gained an understanding of these platforms but am certainly no influencer.  In terms of YouTube it is really a learning process but have already established need to keep these shorter.  Would encourage you all to try here I think fail fast is the way forward.  Will need to work this one up more. 

Recently have read Jim Collins – Great By Choice

Well this book is not that great but does highlight that you can’t control many factors but keep ‘marching’ in a direction that you can control.  Fire ‘bullets’ often, these are small minimal effort, minimal risk changes. Until you are ready to fire your ‘cannon’ the large effort in the correct direction.  These lessons are clearly applicable to not just business and day to day life.

Planning on exploring Instagram – so set up an account, feel free to check my Instagram out and let me know what you think. Soon realised didn’t really understand the point of Instagram.  After being constantly bombarded by spam bots thought would give a book about making money on Instagram this a quick read, check out my review.  I summarise the mains points and have at least put up the suggested ‘cool’ photos with relevant hashtags.  Think will put Instagram on hold for the moment. 

The main concept would like to highlight in this newsletter is a method of remembering items in a certain order using a mind map.

If you ever wanted to play the conveyor belt memory challenge on the television programme thee Generation Game it would be useful for playing. Wouldn’t recommend watching a full re-run of any episode of the Generation Game but someone on Youtube has made a cartoon version of the game you could check out.  

The trick is to create a mind map of a familiar route such as entering your house, remember this in detail and number objects.  When you then try to remember a new list think of the list that you have learnt based on the route and make in your mind both these objects vividly interact.

So for example, in my house have done this; objects as follows:

  1. Clock
  2. Dishwasher
  3. Kettle
  4. Microwave
  5. Oven
  6. Lava Lamp
  7. Google Home
  8. Keyboard
  9. Computer
  10. TV
  11. Fire
  12. Table Football
  13. Bookshelf
  14. Sofa
  15. Router
  16. Radiator
  17. Mirror
  18. Toilet
  19. Sink
  20. Shower

Have even added stickers to make me remember these clearly and also to teach the concept to my children. 

Then when I encounter a list of things it is easier to remember then and recall the position in that order.  So for example this diagram below:

I would look at these and vividly think:

  1. Clock and Bike
  2. Dishwasher and Apple
  3. Kettle and Dog
  4. Microwave and Cola
  5. Oven and Plane
  6. Lava Lamp and Coffee
  7. Google home and handshake
  8. Keyboard and Ball
  9. Computer and Tooth
  10. TV and number nine
  11. Fire and Bird
  12. Table Football and Tree
  13. Bookshelf and House
  14. Sofa and Piano
  15. Router and Axe
  16. Radiator and letter K
  17. Mirror and Car
  18. Toilet and Cake
  19. Sink and Umbrella
  20. Shower and Party Hat

You can reuse this mental list as long as you remember your first list very well!  Ideally you have a few lists in your head to ‘peg’ things onto in case you need to remember similar items. 

  1. Clock and Bus
  2. Dishwasher and Cook
  3. Kettle and Teacher
  4. Microwave and exam result
  5. Oven and Letters
  6. Lavalamp and Calendar
  7. Google home and girl by door
  8. Keyboard and Slide
  9. Computer and Basketball
  10. TV and chemistry
  11. Fire and Swing
  12. Table football and helmet
  13. Bookshelf and food tray
  14. Sofa and Pencil
  15. Router and Numbers
  16. Radiator and Guitar

It is not perfect but with a bit of practice could help remember things.  The difficulty is who needs to remember a list of things now anyway as everyone has their phone!

Hope this has been useful.  Plan to write occasional newsletters. 

It would really help if you could try to ask seven people within 10 days to sign up.  Got this magic number from a Netflix documentary.   This will help my mailing list to grow and sustain my motivation to write these

Copyright © *2020* *chrisweatherburn*, All rights reserved.
** *Mailing List Letter 1 September 2020*

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Welcome to my second newsletter in which am excited to share tips to help you get the most out of your life.

It dawns on me that there is a real skill to be able to speak well in videos. These maybe the only chance you get to pitch you point across and can potentially be viewed by millions. Useful for pre interview screening, pitching a funding requests, launching new products, explaining a concept or perhaps a small advert. Other than practice, not being afraid to try and fail I wondered what other things are available to help you. Then I stumbled upon the fact that the ‘teleprompter’ technology, the stuff that newsreaders use is freely available to anyone who owns a smart phone or a computer.

For example here is a free teleprompter website for a computer and one for android.

The advantages of using a teleprompter are that you will not miss points that you planned to include and you can change the speed the text runs. This means you can get adjust to your speed of speech and predict the time your videos will take. Although, using this does mean you need to make a script, set it up and get used to reading to the camera it is probably worthwhile. Will let you know a benefit of writing a script in a future newsletter (teaser alert!).

To make it look like you are not reading a script try putting the text small so viewers won’t see your eyes dart around as much. Works well at the top of a smart phone just below the camera. Certainly am no expert at using this, having solely made one video but think it is definitely worth mentioning to others to consider using and I certainly plan to use this again in future. Now when I look at lots of professional videos it is clear to me they use teleprompting.

It is worth considering not using teleprompting and instead solely making videos spontaneously such as this one. Would be interested to know which you feel looks better.

As always have been reading, or more accurately listening to audiobooks. Particularly enjoyed reading about different ways of becoming a genius the main concept to highlight is called ‘satisfies’. Unlike perfectionism in which multiple revisions are required, satisfies is doing things to a satisfactory standard but being prolific. By putting out a lot of content one of your things may actually be very good. In addition it is always worthwhile reading about negotiation, remember the first goal of negotiation is to know exactly what you want, then attempt to create value by assessing what both parties want. If what both parties want is different then there is a chance you can come to a good compromise.

Will leave you with a thought that Above &| Beyond have just celebrated 20 years of producing awesome Anjunabeats music. It is my belief this group are a true inspiration and demonstrate that if you work on something you love, together with a shared goal then persistence can indeed pay off. In addition Above & Beyond adapted to changing times and now utilise social media to it’s maximum potential. Certainly an inspiration to all.

Hope that helps, have a great October!

Copyright © *2020* *chrisweatherburn*, All rights reserved.
** *Mailing List Letter 2 October 2020*

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Dear Friends,

As clocks have moved backwards, the short benefit of the extra hour in bed has been replaced with dark evenings and numerous virtual

I realised in these current times it is of paramount importance to be able to use a screen recorder. Some are easy enough to use but lack great functionality and several have a watermark printed on the screen. Having tried a few I sincerely believe that OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is excellent, available for Windows, macOS and Linux. Free to download and the functionality certainly has more than what you could hope for. Main sponsor is Twitch which is also a great if you want to do live streaming or watch world class DJs performing in their kitchens as clubs
are shut.

Plan to utilise screen recording to make a few instructional educational videos with ‘nuggets’ of wisdom, here is an example in which I am demonstrating the desktop version of BMJ Best Practice.

Recently I had the pleasure of presenting about the topic of Negotiation to the Scottish Digital Health and Care Network. The full presentation can be viewed here (warning it is 50 minutes). To summarise the key to negotiation is to firstly be clear about what you want. Be sure to listen, take the time to understand what the other party values and try to put yourself their shoes. With preparation you can understand their proclivity, aim for win – win situations in which value is created for all, being a nice person also helps! 


With Christmas coming up, and lockdown ongoing would urge you to consider using a Cashback website to earn some money back when you purchase things online. A cashback website is a website that you visit first then click the store such as eBay through the website prior to making
your purchases. The one I use is 
Quidco and here is my referral link which currently states you would get £5 cashback for signing up, it is free and may give you some extra coins 🙂

Tweet of the month

Hope you all enjoy whatever it is you are doing at the moment, even all those virtual meetings!

Until next time,


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Newsletter – No 4 December 2020

Dear Friends,

People ask me why am I doing this?

The honest answer is to share knowledge which I believe will help people. In addition it is about learning, my learning to be specific which provides some motivation.

Getting this website off the ground has enhanced my knowledge of:

Available applications

Computers in general

Mailing list management


Screen recording software

Social Media

Presentation skills

Video production

Website development

Unlike lots of scientific disciplines in which one does things aiming for a certain outcome am really doing this to just see if it works and hope that what I share people find useful.

Tweet of the Month

Have thought a bit about social media and looked at several ‘viral’ Twitter posts – it is interesting to note that a popular post may have tens of thousands of likes and retweets but the person who made the initial Tweet gains very few followers. Have attempted to go in with an open mind and engage with some people who have very different views from me. It is fascinating how argumentative some people are, using absolutes and being clearly wrong but not willing to change their views. That is fine, let them be.

In real life perhaps some would describe these people as ‘toxic’ or perhaps they would be too busy looking at their phone trolling someone. I have come to think of a ‘toxic’ person like a boulder rolling down a hill. You can’t really change the rock rolling downwards, perhaps at best you can steer it in the right direction.  Due to gravity if you are not careful you may potentially be crushed and severely injure yourself by attempting to stop this.

You may recall Sisyphus, a figure from Greek mythology who had the eternal punishment of rolling a boulder up a hill, so be easy on yourself.  At times it is better to simply step out of the way and simply observe rock’s descent. At one point I do plan to get a photo of a boulder rolling down a hill for my office at work!

In the past I found social media is useful to organise events, however given a certain pandemic that has been difficult this year. Spirits are lower than usual at this magical time of the year. So thinking about happiness, if you want to improve yours – one tip is to stop reading the news. We must be very mindful about what news we expose ourselves to, given the brain’s negativity bias. The brain has a tendency to remember bad things more than good things as well as a recall bias in which it is easier to recall something we have heard recently. Therefore it is important to fill yourself and surround yourself with uplifting things.

On that note will wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2021!



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Copyright © *2020* *chrisweatherburn*, All rights reserved.

A new year is a great time to set new challenges for yourself and strategically assess how your life is going and plan what you want to achieve. Am an advocate of new years goals rather than resolutions. It tends to be good things happen as a result of goals, for example a few years back I challenged myself to undertake every group exercise class in my local gym. Had thought wouldn’t enjoy these but it turned out I enjoyed them all, now incorporating these classes into my day to day routine. To be honest didn’t really feel in place in Aquarobics, being the only man and probably the only person who was not retired but everyone was always welcoming. Some people may not try new things as they perceive others are watching and judging, this is called the ‘spotlight effect’. The truth is most other people tend to have their focus on themselves rather than looking out for people to judge.

Remember, passions grow out of action, so take action and experience new things.

My challenge have set myself this year is to proactively start my own YouTube channel username ‘MegaCW007’. The main content will be uploading will be VLOGs summarising key learning points from books that I read. Really am looking forward to this learning journey. Feel free to check it out, like and subscribe 🙂

Tweet of the Month

A new years resolution to stop something can mean you may expend your mental energy on not doing something rather than being in the moment and enjoying the thing you are doing. If that is what you want to do good luck, but would suggest trying to replace the thing you want to stop with a behaviour you want to do to so you can use your energy focusing on this. It is hard to achieve flow state if you are depleting your energy not doing something. Make it easier to do the desired behaviour and harder to do the one you want to stop, this taking batteries out of a TV remote and putting your gym bag in your car. The fact that gyms are not going to be open for awhile does mean that deliberately incorporating ways to prompt a healthy routine is even more important now than ever.

Flow state is when you are living in the moment, being able to completely focus on one task, this is what mindfulness is based on and what living life to the full is all about. Learning to ski as an adult is an example in which I had to use my absolute focus on the moment, to not fall over and is a way of inducing this flow state. Learning skiing was also a great way to meet good friends. Have heard a similar thing said about riding a motorbike, in which when the visor is down it is your absolute focus. Have never driven a motorbike and have no plans to do this, it is not because I don’t want to meet ‘bikers’, I believe every person is potentially a wonderful individual that can teach you something. Am using this example to point out that stereotypes tend to be short cuts in decision making, which although can be handy, but the downside with these generalisations is that they can lead to a culture of ignorance and racism. Personally plan not to drive a motorbike and stick to a car purely for safety reasons.

Social media is what we are turning to for entertainment as further lockdowns occur. The opportunities are enormous however if you seek validation by comparing yourself to others then you may face a hard time. My suggestion would be to engage and learn with others, collaborate and help others. If you are competing with others on number of followers it is bound to end in misery as there is always a bigger fish. There are websites when you can simply buy someone else’s account with lots of followers. In addition results may occur many years after you start something with persistent effort, when you don’t make an immediate gain compared to others it is too easy to stop.

So will leave this January Newsletter wishing you all well and suggesting you practice gratitude about what went well, this will help you in all aspects of your life!

My VLOG of the month

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Dear Friends,

Hope that 2021 is going as well as it can for you all.

At the moment in the United Kingdom there is a national lockdown so it is extremely important that  we look after ourselves and find useful things to occupy or minds with.  As I mentioned in my last newsletter, am planning on making 50 videos on YouTube this year summarising books.  If you have any books that you recommend would love to hear from you, please get in touch!

This challenge provides me with the opportunity to learn more about video editing and have found that OpenShot is an excellent bit of open-source software, simple and powerful, it is free to download.  In the past I played a DJ game in which you constructed your own music moving blocks around, never would have predicted that almost two decades later those skills are coming in handy.  To me, this is an example that if you always take opportunities to learn over time you never know when the skills you have learnt may help.  There is always a chance they will compound into greatness.

Tweet of the Month

An interesting study I read about was titled Envy on Facebook: A Hidden Threat to Users’ Life Satisfaction, this shows that ‘passive following (on Facebook) exacerbates envy feelings, which decrease life satisfaction.  This is challenging as many of us are looking to social media to cope with lockdown life.

One of the challenges of starting up a YouTube channel and a mailing list is that inevitably you then comparing to more successful people which can be demoralising.  However it is important to have metrics to determine if you are being successful and certainly you can learn from others.   Equally being aware that we are all unique is important to remember when comparing metrics to others, the VLOG below highlights this.

My VLOG of the month

Thought provokingly would like to introduce the concept of types of thinking from Neuro Lingistic Profiling (NLP).  If you think in first person you may appear self-centred, second person too accommodating, third person at times too cold.  Being aware of this empowers you to be able to alter your thinking pattern to help analyse a situation from a variety of viewpoints.

Will leave you with this one challenge, try to think  ‘behind every behaviour is a positive intention toward you.’ this will help you practice gratitude.

Until next time, take care,


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Dear Friends,

If you have never thought about how to best deliberately use your mind and optimise the way you think, it is worth taking a few moments to reflect on this. A book that I have read suggests you are your mind, which is separate from your brain.  At times your brain can provide unhelpful thoughts. If you intentionally direct your attention you can improve the your thinking. I summarise a book ‘You Are Not Your Brain’ in some detail which recommends the following steps to help reduce unhelpful thinking:

Step 1: Relabel—Identify your deceptive brain messages

Step 2: Reframe—Change your perception of the importance of the deceptive brain messages

Step 3: Refocus—Direct your attention toward an activity or mental process that is wholesome and productive

Step 4: Revalue—Clearly see deceptive brain messages as something to dismiss, not focus on).

Remember you speak to yourself more than anybody else!

Tweet of the Month

This light hearted Tweet resonated with me as it summarises the challenges of home schooling and is a good example of actively looking for humour in day to day life.

Regarding YouTube am well on my way to my self-imposed challenge of summarising 50 books this year.  Have been putting out quite a few so selecting my video of the month is harder!  Have opted for this book, Principles by Ray Dalio, a fairly dry book that has a lot of useful learning points.  I summarise it in just over 11 minutes and hopefully have removed the need for you to read this fairly dry book yourself!

YouTube Video of the Month


If there is a book that you would like me to summarise please get touch, will consider it!

Until next time, take care,


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Dear Friends,

In the United Kingdom there has been an ongoing lockdown due to coronavirus restrictions, with no indoor meetings and only meeting up to one person.  Spring has arrived and there has been a recent announcement about being able to meet more people outdoors for exercise.  This is good news, hopefully it will lead to more people becoming active, although suspect will lead to more people purporting meeting for outdoor “sport”. 

Previously I used to enjoy squash, clearly not best for social distancing so took up tennis instead when this was allowed.  Haven’t been able to play this either for some time so have taken up a new sport – Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP).  If not windy, this is an excellent refreshing trip out, learnt this from a couple of excellent YouTube videos, here is one.  Have got more than one board so if any of you are local to Tayside and fancy something different please get in touch, assuming you can swim! My website has been updated with some background about SUP and if you have any feedback would be delighted to hear this.

Tweet of the Month

Brief thoughts about subtitles these are very useful, not just for people with hearing impairment, they genuinely make your video content more accessible.  Just imagine you are watching a video on public transport. In addition if you have Netflix and want to learn another language worth having subtitles in the language you are wanting to learn.  Am led to believe containing subtitles may make the YouTube algorithm more likely to promote your content.  It is easy to generate YouTube subtitles that you can correct after your video has been watched a few times.  If you are making a short video clip for Twitter it is worth putting the effort in of adding subtitles which may help it get watched more often. 

In Newsletter 2 October 2020 I mentioned would reveal a benefit from using a Teleprompter is that it can assist with producing subtitles.  However, after listening to kind feedback received, personally have stopped using a Teleprompter as it makes my videos appears very scripted. I do believe being able to use a Teleprompter is a good skill to develop and worth exploring in future, particularly if you ascend the greasy pole of career success and need to stick to the co-operate message!  

YouTube Video of the Month

Opted for this video as leadership is an interesting topic, it is clear some people suffering from imposter syndrome and at times are reluctant to take up leadership positions.  This book was written by a former military commanders who now provide leadership expertise to various businesses, it is different from other books on leadership that I have read.  Dichotomies of leadership are conflicting characteristics or actions that you may or may not take and obtaining a good balance is required.  A few examples of dichotomies would include leadership versus followership, making training too easy versus too hard and planning versus over-planning. Simply reflecting on these dichotomies can help you develop your own optimum leadership style.   It is worth watching to find out about the symptoms of micromanagement, if these occur in your team take creative action with less ownership to enable your team to perform to their best. 

Hope you have found this helpful, as always thanks for reading, take care and keep in touch,

Until next time, take care,


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Dear Friends,

It is always fascinating to learn about other disciplines, then witness how knowledge is put into action. Take screenwriting for example, have never deliberately thought about this until I read and summarised this book Save the Cat. The rule that “the hero has to do something when we meet him so that we like him and want him to win” certainly resonates. In addition, “A screenwriter must be mindful of getting the audience ‘in sync’ with the plight of the hero from the very start.” When you next watch Netflix, it is interesting to think about how they are constructing the story, burying the backstory and imparting the essential information often with comedy to keep us interested.

If you are interested in learning more about sales feel free to check out my YouTube video above or my blog summary of the Way of the Wolf. This outlines the buyer needs to want to get the product, have a connection with you and the company that you are working for. People buy with emotion then make a logical case to justify it!

In sales urgency and scarcity are key. A few years ago, I went to an in-person sales pitch, largely as it had Rich Dad, Poor Dad in the title, although noted in the small print that Robert Kiyosaki wasn’t going to be there. After arrival it was quite clear their agenda was to sell a course. Witnessing how they attempted to install a sense of urgency and pushed attendees to take action was interesting. The team, after stating they won’t take any questions, got the audience to say ‘yes’ collectively several times to obvious questions, such as “do you want to be financially free?” At the end they ‘stacked’ several time limited highly priced offers and presumably had ‘stooges’ placed in the audience to rush and sign up. On retrospect they followed the exact formula from this book on sales that I have summarised. It is not a surprise that the forward is written by Robert Kiyoasaki. Highlighting a problem, then showing the pain it took to solve this problem, followed by the ease you can obtain this solution is the formula.

In this sales presentation a very slickly dressed sales person stated the first person to put a £1 coin in his right hand can take this £5 from his left hand. Of course, I was listening so got up and took the money. Then they mentioned why was he the only one to take action – don’t miss out on your bundled opportunity to purchase this winning formula. For what it’s worth I didn’t purchase the winning formula. Instead, I went to a very similar sales pitch a few months later ran by similarly well dressed sales people. This time the event had a TV property ‘expert’ Martin Roberts on the cover, who of course, also wasn’t there in person. They had almost exactly the same pitch, this time offering £10 if anyone puts £5 in their other hand. Fortunately I had a fiver so once again got this 🙂

On retrospect I do wonder if the people providing these event in fact paid into a franchise to obtain the scripts. It was also interesting to note, when searching for the ‘expert’ off TV’s name (whom I had forgotten) that there were protests against these events. It is interesting to hear the people referred to as ‘property parasites’ rather than people who are being manipulated into buying a course of questionable value!

One thing I do certainly agree with Robert Kiyoasaki is that financial education isn’t taught in schools. A fairly dry book I read previously has a long list of suggestions about how to manage your finances. A different book on finances ‘lessons a millionaire taught me for women’ proposes a useful question when buying: is that the best you can do?” Worth trying to use this question when making your next big purchase and let me know if you get anything thrown in!

Tweet of the Month

Went for this as it is a magnificent photo. Dr Gordon Caldwell also has a YouTube channel with idyllic scenes from across Scotland and enjoys comparing his height to the amount of paper documentation required to be completed for a single hospital admission!

As I started this newsletter with how fascinating it is to see knowledge put into action, would like to remind you that it is the application of knowledge that will bring you wealth, not simply learning.

Thanks for reading this, really appreciate it, until next month,


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Newsletter – No 10 June 2021

Dear Friends,

It’s been a busy productive month, have metaphorically speaking continued to spin lots of plates. One of the things I did was took part in a brief course called School for Change which aims to help people implement change, the focus is mainly on health and social care. This led to several great book recommendations, it is free to sign up and I found about about this opportunity only due to Twitter. It is my belief that life remains full of opportunities but you first need to take steps to enable these. Positivity needs to be topped up frequently. To do this in part you need more positive thinking than negative thinking. There is some science behind it – 3:1 positive to negative ratio in terms of your thoughts puts you on an upward spiral – below this the reverse is true. Therefore, my advice is to deliberately seek out and notice things in life that make you feel good and take great satisfaction in these moments, remember life is about enjoying the journey not the destination.

YouTube Video of the Month

Positivity is about more than having a positive state of mind. It’s also a life changer and gives people a competitive advantage in business, sports, and politics. The “more you energize people in your workplace, the higher your work performance”, this is in part because people will want to be around you, and people are more likely to devote their discretionary time to your projects. By interacting positivity with others you will increasingly obtain new ideas, information, and greater opportunities. This reminds me of a principle referred to as the Matthew effect of accumulated advantage – those that have more get more. It is my firm belief that opting to be positive is a key trait that will help you in life.

Recommended Website If you want to make posters, business cards, cool invitations or what I use it for YouTube thumbnails this is easy to use and has great potential. Was recommended this by my favourite freelancer from Fiverr. When my daughter saw me looking at it she was bemused, asking me what I was doing as they are now using this in schools!

Tweet of the Month

 When I mention positivity I realise it is hard to maintain, can feel like this chasm in the innovation curve. Therefore, even if you are already feeling positive please remember to deliberately put the effort in to further develop this trait. This is one of the keys to help you get the most out of your life.

until next month,

Chris PS if this was too much about positivity feel free to check out another of my recent book summaries about a completely unrelated topic.

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Newsletter – No 10.5 June 2021

Dear Friends,

Hope you are all well. Just wanted to reach out and say thanks for subscribing to my newsletter – your support is much appreciated. Do really enjoy learning and growing together! As a spontaneous thank you am giving away my book ‘

Book of Inspirational Book Reviews: All You Need To Know To Get The Most Out of Your Life’, for free via Amazon kindle. In honesty, it is not the best book in the world, but in life action beats inaction and this is a start. If you want to take action and get my book for free please use this link Select buy book, it will be free from Monday June 14th 12.00 AM PDT until Friday June 18th 11.59 PM PDT for kindle readers. If you are feeling generous feel free to leave a positive review on Amazon or consider sharing some learning by forwarding this newsletter to a friend.



The above video in under two minutes and summarises all the key learning from this book on servant leadership. Until July, take care, enjoy the summer and the European Cup


Newsletter – No 11 July 2021                            

Dear Friends,

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Summer is upon us and things are opening up again.  This is great, but have felt a bit too busy recently trying to balance multiple jobs and also learn R.  R is an impressive statistical analysis software which is completely free, for example maps that automatically update data can be produced with R.  It is rewarding when the bits of code work and R Markdown can produce impressive documents.  The downside is it takes lots of time. 

Learning R required me to obtain true focus and the elusive ‘flow state’.  If you want a hack  have found deep trance music really helps obtain this peak state of being present – although be aware the hours can pass by very quickly.

Like everything finding the balance is key. For me, I realised that I need to have a holiday and perhaps reduce the amount of work I am taking on. 

YouTube Video of the Month

Influence has a huge amount of learning, check out the above fairly long VLOG summary or my comprehensive written summary.  Particularly enjoyed the case of rectal ear ache, in which a doctor ordered ear drops to be administered to the right ear of a patient with an ear infection. Instead of writing out completely the location “right ear” on the prescription, the doctor abbreviated it so that the instructions read “place in R ear.” Upon receiving the prescription, the duty nurse promptly put the required number of ear drops into the patient’s anus. Neither the patient nor the nurse questioned this. The important lesson of this story is that in many situations where a legitimate authority has spoken, what would otherwise make sense is irrelevant.

From experience I don’t think this occurs in Scotland much, people are more likely to eat suppositories, without looking at the written instructions!

Recommended Website

Ok, appreciated started with a dry topic so will recommend a lighthearted website:

Fark contains lots of links to news websites across the world with excellent one line comical summaries that are bound to put a smile on your face.

Tweet of the Month

Opted for this Tweet of the month as it followed an example of excellent powerful story telling relating to coping with change from the pandemic.  Story telling in leadership is particularly important, had just read and summarised this related book.  This particular Tweet resonates as:

  1. You are not alone
  2. Your internal monologue is important – have plenty of books summaries on thinking
  3. Cope with change, I often refer to change as the only constant
  4. Importance of leadership

Until next time,


PS This July newsletter is uniquely titled No 11 July, as it happens 11th of July is my daughter, Eva’s birthday.  So happy 13th birthday 🙂

You are always an inspiration and have provided so much joy and purpose into my life, thanks.  Although, you won’t be reading this as your email bounces my newsletter x

Newsletter – No 12 August 2021                            

Dear Friends,

Hope that summer has been good to you all.  Had the pleasure of going to Gibraltar for my sister’s wedding, it was lovely to be there in person and catch up with family.  One thing that it made me realise was that the temperature in Scotland is just right for me – would struggle to get much done in the heat!

Previously I mentioned would share the best book about positivity that I have ever read and trust me, have read a lot of them.  Drum roll … well below here it is as my YouTube video of the month or feel free to check my written summary

YouTube Video of the Month

What I most like about the video is found at 4:05 in which dogs respond to barking on my electronic speaker.  They settled quickly, no animals were harmed in the making of this video but is a nice example of light-hearted amusement!

It remains my belief, particularly when times are hard to make a deliberate effort to focus on being more positive, anything else is a red herring. 

It was with great fascination that I stumbled across how a red herring, a term for a distraction that I have been using for years actually got it’s name.  People who didn’t like fox hunts sabotaged these with red herrings! Before the hunt they would slit a herring’s throat and smear blood across the field tin an attempt to divert the hunt into a ditch.  The hounds, that lead the hunt, would be distracted by the smell of blood and be sent in the wrong direction, hence the term red herring. 

Don’t know any more of the background – it may well be the people liked pheasants but really didn’t like herrings!

Recommended Website

UX = User Experience. 

What a great website, well designed which has lots of succinct summarises about concepts relevant to user design. 

Tweet of the Month

Have been reading a fair bit about ‘building’, funnels and internet marketing and it really does strike me that collaboration is key.  This can be a win-win providing mutual exposure.  Opted for this Tweet of the month as Mustafa has a few things to learn from about building in Twitter – consistently show up, be responsive to others and being willing to retweet a good idea!

Something completely different for you all now, have completed a self-imposed 200 push up a day challenge for 50 days earlier this year.  Gyms were closed and it was one of the many lockdowns.  Now have a fair bit of content to edit.  The question is should I bother?

Keen for your opinion … here is a link to a one question survey multiple choice question, appreciate your thoughts:

If the idea of seeing me ‘flexing’ with my top off for 50 days is very appealing or grossly unappealing and you want further influence this vote feel free to click here to forward this newsletter to friends so they can sign up and vote!

Until next time,


Newsletter – No 13 September 2021                            

Dear Friends,

Knowledge is useful, but particularly useful when we actually apply knowledge.  By putting knowledge into action we get results. It is still worth learning about things for the sake of it, this can be rewarding, but if you can learn whilst actually doing I believe it is more satisfying and will lead to great gains.

The knowledge to do things is certainly out there, just look on the internet but it is most important to prioritise and actually take action to achieve your goals. Recently I hung up two SUP boards in my garage ceiling after finding out how to do this online.  Thought this was a good example of acquiring knowledge and putting it into action.  Of course I have recorded my attempt of hanging these SUP boards and plan to put this up on YouTube.

YouTube Video of the Month

Selected this video because it includes the clip of me breaking out of duct tape, first ever attempt.  I learnt it solely from reading this book.  Couldn’t think of a better example of knowledge into action. 

Recommended Website

Interesting website that contains a button to click ‘take me to another useless website’.  Did this a few times, quite liked the results such as ‘’ and ‘’.  Completely useless but entertaining!

Tweet of the Month

Was easy to select Sahil for Tweet of the month, this thread was great and will allow me to keep recommending cool websites for a long time, like the one above. To be honest Tweets like these are the main reasons I go on Twitter learning about cool things, rather than hearing about people’s fixed views on issues. This Tweet adds value and uses a cool emoji of a thread so what is there not to like?

Thanks to those of you who took the time to vote about whether I should publish my 50 days Push Up Challenge on YouTube. Had completed the challenge in April 2021 but there was a lot of footage and photos to get through. The votes of encouragement helped me actually make it. Making the video was probably tougher than the actual challenge as it was extremely boring adding 100 photos of me that all looked very similar to a video, this put a strain on my computer. If you want to see the end results click here.

Hope you are all getting the most out of your lives and I will see you next time,


Newsletter – No 14 October 2021                              

Dear Friends,

Wow – it’s October already! Over the months I have gradually been learning more about video editing and am optimistic to think my YouTube videos are slowly improving as a consequence.  The challenge am facing is the more I learn about video editing, the longer producing each video takes.  If I get to the point when I am being overly critical of my own videos this can lead to inaction. 

Tweet of the Month

This tweet resonated with me, as am very aware that I need to accept ‘good enough’ otherwise I simply won’t make any more videos.  I would suggest that this goes for not just YouTube videos, in life in general trying to avoid being a perfectionist – particularly when it comes to submitting university assignments 🙂

Two of my goals for this year were to make regular video book summaries on YouTube, aiming for one per week and to keep going with this monthly newsletter.  To be fair, am just about managing this but sustaining momentum can be challenging. I think the key is careful planning.  Time is finite, life is short and so we must prioritise about what we actually want to do. 

A good way of taking action, after you have decided what you want to do, is then to forget about other potential options. It seems obvious but if you spend too much time thinking about other things that aren’t your main goals this will also lead to inaction.   So, make a decision and stick with it!

To achieve goals it is important to break them down into achievable small action points, factor the time into your planned week to do these action points.  This could relate to anything – studying for an exam, learning a new language or skill.  The thing is you need to first decide what is most important for you then prioritise. 

Feel free to reach out and let me know what you are prioritising in your life.

Youtube of the Month

If you liked the book Influence by the same author then you will love this one.  This was a long video based on a great book, perhaps I went over the top with the number of slides but I have summarised the key learning points, there are just so many.  Here is a