Monday Musings 20 September: “You Need to be that Bright Spot”

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As an industry, we desperately needed the green list news. Personally, I needed the green list news as a post-third-wave, everything’s-going-to-be-okay, psychological turning point of sorts. But sadly, it wasn’t to be.  

South Africa is set to remain on the red list for at least the next few weeks. To add insult to injury, Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla now says that an implementation plan for SA’s digital vaccine passport will only be presented to the National Coronavirus Control Council in the next ten days. A frustrating delay for those keen to get back on the road.  

And then, as The Daily Stoic explains, another day of pandemic, red list and vaccine chatter means another day of trolls on social media. Another day of vulgarity and partisanship in the media. Another day of needlessly rude emails and people shouting conspiracy theories instead of caring about each other.  

“It’s enough to make anyone despair, what’s wrong with everyone? Is everything going to pieces? Like the rest of us, you’re probably looking for something to be hopeful about, something to inspire you. And it’d be wonderful if there was something major to point to, but there isn’t. If you want to see good today, there is only one option—do good yourself. As Marcus Aurelius writes, good news is something you make. You make it with good character, good intentions, and good actions, he says. You can’t wait around for that to happen. In fact, he said, it doesn’t matter if you hold your breath until you’re blue in the face, people are going to stay selfish, stay mean, stay stupid. All you can do is refuse to be implicated in that ugliness. All you can do is be the bright spot you’d like to see in the light. So, will you? Can you? Please. Because we really, really need it.” 

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Of course, it’s tough to find that spark when your tank is empty. This blog is a great reminder that there are things you can do when you’re feeling stuck in a rut. Bored, flat and despondent? Maybe it’s time to mix things up: 

  1. Say yes instead of no.  

You never know where saying yes to a new/different/unusual opportunity might take you.  

  1. Say no instead of yes. 

Start saying no to the things that don’t serve you – or are a waste of your time.

  1. Change how you start and end your day. 

Think walk, yoga – or coffee at a new café.  

  1. Ban your ‘regular’ places. 

Switch up your regular spots for the untried and the untested – they might just surprise you. 

  1. Change your inputs. 

Consume new info, follow new people on social media, and change up the information you feed your brain. 

  1. Change your outputs. 

Good at long content? Try a blog. Love blogs – have a bash at a thought leadership piece. Look at how you can contribute in new ways and give it a try. 

  1. Ask questions you’ve never asked. 

Whether it’s of a friend, family member, colleague, or stranger, look for opportunities to ask people questions you’ve never asked before. 

  1. Do something you haven’t done in 10 years. 

Not everything has to be ‘new’ to help you reinvent your life, it’s just as important to rediscover things you once enjoyed.  

  1. Pay attention.  

Sometimes the simplest way to snap out of your life funk is to pay attention to it. 


Mindful Musings 

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Marketing Musings 

This new Heineken ad, #OpenYourWorld, captures exactly what Anthony Bourdain was saying: Be open to a world where you may not understand or agree with the person next to you, but have a drink with them anyway.  

If you have four or so minutes (even if you don’t drink) have a watch. It helps you remember that people are just people. The world over.  

Copywriting must be one of the most difficult crafts there is. As Seth Godin says, copywriting turns words into action. But which words? And which action? Godin believes that it all starts with strategy:  

“We have a word for the strategies involved in creating a product or service that fills a niche and solves a problem. That’s what designers do. The pretty part comes next (and it’s confusingly called design as well, when it should probably be called craft.) Design leads to leaps and breakthroughs,” says Godin. “Craft ensures that great design accomplishes its mission.” 

In other words, quippy, quirky copy is great. But it’s meaningless if it doesn’t support the strategy. When it does, magic happens.  

How’s this for an example of great, confronting copy for an Aussie behaviour change campaign (so much more difficult than selling a product or service) … pretty impressive.  

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And just for a smile, Twitter came to the party in the last couple of weeks with a thread of the funniest press apologies/corrections. It was a timely reminder that mistakes happen to the best of us – so you might as well keep things in perspective, live, learn, and have a laugh! 

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If you’re on Twitter and in the mood for a giggle, you can read the entire thread here. It’s hilarious.  


What the world was musing over this past week 

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UK pledges to restore pounds and ounces  

Wait, what? Are imperial measures making a comeback? Might well be, if the UK government brings back pounds and ounces as a Brexit benefit.  


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The Arc de Triomphe is wrapped in fabric – a vision six decades in the making 

The latest in a series of environmental artworks (intended to interrupt the experience of the everyday), the monument’s new ‘jacket’ – a poetic interpretation of the blue, white and red of the French flag – will only be in place for 16 days.  


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Wine leads the way out of tourism slump for Portugal, Greece and Italy 

Wine tourism is going from strength to strength with strong recoveries in Portugal, Greece and Italy. And with some of the world’s best wine routes on our doorstep, we say bring it on! 


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Trend alert: Travellers looking for more active holidays and adventures 

Brian Young of G Adventures says this trend developed as people got out – and active – as an antidote to lockdown … and now they’re looking for active and achievement-oriented experiences. 


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Winnie-the-Pooh’s cottage available to rent 

With ‘hunny’ in the cupboard and walks in the Hundred Acre Wood, could this be the best cottage stay ever?  


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Can’t beat this loo with a view… 

A new NASA video shows exactly where SpaceX’s 4 civilian passengers will live for 3 days. And while it’ll be cramped, the view will be out of this world. 


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First edition of ‘Frankenstein’ sells for record-breaking $1.17 million 

One for the literature lovers. Mary Shelley’s first edition of Frankenstein, which is one of the blueprints for gothic horror, was sold at auction for $1.17 million – setting a record for a printed work by a woman.