Monday Musings 10 May: Keeping the blah at bay

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Five months in and the year has definitely been filled with drama. This week alone saw newly-suspended ANC secretary Ace Magashule boldly ‘suspending’ Cyril Ramaphosa in return; an attempted high-speed heist on the N4 highway in Pretoria; a West Coast wine spill (particularly sad after a tough few months in the wine industry) AND an ‘out-of-control’ rocket tumbling to earth. Not to mention the first hints of South Africa’s third wave. Twenty-twenty one has been a lot. Which is why, when the team shared Switzerland Tourism’s new ad on Teams this week, I was ready to pack my bags.

If you haven’t already seen it, this warm, funny, feel-good spot will make your day. I don’t know if it’s the wonderful Federer/De Niro dynamic, the sweeping Swiss scenery, Bob’s shorts or the promise of a drama-free holiday, but sign me up!

The promise of life post-pandemic is also powerful. Especially as we’re all feeling decidedly blah. There’s now an official word for the colourless void we find ourselves in  – and it couldn’t be more perfect: we’re languishing.

But as author Adam Grant explains, we can’t just succumb to languishing. We have to find our own antidote. It could be about cultivating flow at work (turning off all digital distractions, avoiding switch-tasking or listening to music to get in the zone); gifting yourself uninterrupted time by setting boundaries; focussing on small goals – or trying something new.     

It’s also about knowing why you are doing what you’re doing. Here Niklas Göke explores Seth Godin’s 10 questions to help you do work that matters.

And it helps to remember that South Africa – and South Africans – are pretty special too. Another wonderful ad popping up in my Twitter feed this week? A spectacular ad by King James for Cape Town and the Western Cape. The ‘Neverending Tourists’ follows four tourists who visited the Western Cape and chose to stay. They now have an incredible 16,103 combined days spent in our country. It is a stunning snapshot of life in South Africa and a reminder to get in a good space: one surf at a time, one hike at a time, one swim at a time, one ride at a time, and one experience at a time.

So this week, remember to laugh (this Canadian’s take on 24 weird things about South Africa will definitely do the trick), stay positive, eat some NikNaks and go with the flow.

p.s. If you have a colleague or a friend with family in India, remember to check in and see how they’re doing. We might be feeling a little ‘blah’, but they are feeling scared and distressed. Let’s spread a little love and kindness.

Mindful Musings


Marketing Musings

Nike never puts a foot wrong, and their latest ad is no exception. In line with the theme of keeping the blah at bay by trying something new, this ad has all the feels. Not only does the #PlayNew campaign capture my tennis serve perfectly, but it’s convinced me that trying something you’ve never done before is always, always worthwhile.

Do you love destination marketing, tag lines and slogans? Have a look at this map which UK-based website, FamilyBreakFinder, put together a few years ago. For example, you can “Go Nomadic” in Mongolia; Egypt is “Where It All Begins”; Gambia is “The Smiling Coast of Africa”; “Travel in Slovakia is a Good Idea”; and Brazil is simply “Sensational”. From the brilliant to the bizarre, I absolutely love it!

What the world was musing over this week

Koala asleep

Even Zoom’s CEO is tired of Zoom …

Well, with a personal record of 19 Zoom calls in one day who can blame him! Here, Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan shares his 6 top tips on how to avoid Zoom fatigue, including shorter calls (max 25 minutes or 55 minutes) and a day free of internal meets!

Statue of Liberty Close-up

NYC may offer vaccination vacays

First it was the Maldives, and now New York City would like to get in on the action. The “visit, vaccinate and vacation” action that is. The plan still needs state approval, but Mayor Bill de Blasio is keen to offer free coronavirus vaccines to tourists as the city prepares to reopen for the summer.

I wonder who will be next? Crossing fingers it’s Mauritius.  

Stormtrooper holding a flower

Four lessons in leadership from Star Wars

Did you make it through Star Wars Day without anyone saying, “May the fourth be with you?”. Non-Star Wars fans look away now, as Forbes shares four powerful business lessons from the Rebel Alliance.

Lion Close Up

Lion and leopard take a tumble

In undoubtedly the best video of the month so far (and it’ll take some beating), a leopard and lion both fall from a tree while fighting over food. It made us think of another oldie but goodie, where a hunting leopard surprised a safari vehicle. Amazing!

scone on a plate

Cornish tea controversy

The Brits take their scones pretty seriously. So much so that Sainsburys has apologised after customers in Cornwall complained it had used a photo of (gasp!) a scone laden with cream – with the jam on top. Of course it’s all a bit tongue-in-cheek, but Cornish locals have a long-standing rivalry with neighbours Devon over the perfect afternoon tea, and for Sainsbury’s it’s all “scone wrong!”.