Monday Musings 27 September: Have you tried looking at it upside down?

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Sometimes, you just need to turn things on their head. It’s refreshing and it helps gain perspective … especially when times are tough.  

I’m not going to tell you that you need to ‘pivot’ because of the pandemic. I hate the word – I find it belligerent. And frankly, all I can think of when hearing ‘pivot’ is Ross and his couch. (Millennials – if you’re unsure what I’m talking about, check it out.)  

No pivoting. Rather allowing yourself to look at things in a different way. We see by learning how to see. Our brains have evolved to identify patterns, creating associations by interacting with the real world. It’s a survival instinct. In the words of the renowned neuroscientist Dr Beau Lotto, “The brain didn’t actually evolve to see the world the way it is … The brain has evolved to see the world in what it thinks is a useful way.” 

But yesterday’s useful isn’t necessarily the useful of today.  

One remarkable lady who shifted the way she sees the world of work is  Megan Witherspoon, a vice president of communications and mother of two. She understood quite quickly that employees are exhausted from the yo-yo of good news followed by bad news, the pressure to get things in order with the kids and family, resuming some social life, and the anxiety of the unknown.  

She shared this heart-warming post on flexible work on LinkedIn, which got over 100 000 reactions. By summing up what she ‘does care’ about for employees and what she ‘does not,’ Megan showed how actually caring about your employees is what should be at the heart of every company. 

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Megan is not the only one who has started to see the world through a more caring lens. Around the world, there are now libraries, called ‘human libraries’, where you can borrow a person instead of a book to listen to their life story for 30 minutes. Each person has a title – unemployed, refugee, bipolar, etc. but by listening to their story, you realise how you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.  

The key to building a better ‘you’ also lies in changing your perspective on well … yourself. This is according to Ben Stulberg in his ‘8 rules to do everything better’. And if you’re a procrastinator of note, you’ll be happy to hear that you can change your habits by changing how you interpret them. Find out what type of procrastinator you are and how you can change your perspectives on the tasks of the day.  

Still not sure how you can change your views on the constant flow of bad news? Maybe consider the rule of reappraisal

Justin Bariso teaches us that whenever he feels unproductive, or stuck in a rut, or afraid he won’t manage what’s ahead, he reminds himself not to focus on the path ahead. Instead he looks back at what he’s already accomplished. 

So, the next time you feel that your day, week, or even year was a failure, resist the urge to look ahead. Instead, take a moment to look back. You’ll be surprised to see just how far you’ve come. 


Mindful Musings

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Marketing Musings 

If there’s one industry that likes to play with perceptions, it’s marketing. In today’s always-connected world, brands and products are becoming more and more identical. And they’re looking for a way to stand out. A ballsy but effective way to stand out? Ironic marketing.  

To capture customers’ attention, ironic ads play an important role when they astonish the viewer by presenting a random situation, or something that goes against the natural order of things. There are lots of brilliant examples of ironic advertising, but the latest ad that really caught our attention is the truck carrying a billboard that reads “Don’t get vaccinated: Wilmore Funeral Home.”  

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The truck, which sparked a viral buzz, was in fact a pro-vaccine advertising stunt. “It was us,” reads a tweet from the BooneOakley advertising agency, the company behind the truck and its viral slogan. “Get vaccinated.” 

Agency owner David Oakley told a US radio station that the company wanted to deliver an effective pro-vaccination message with a twist. “The idea came about when we thought about who would really benefit from people not getting the shot,” Oakley told the station. “And you kind of go back to the simple fact that people are dying that aren’t vaccinated, so who benefits from people dying? A funeral home!”  

The agency chose the name Wilmore for the neighbourhood where the company is located, Oakley told the station. And while the funeral home isn’t real, the URL on the truck really does work. WilmoreFuneralHome.com takes web users to a stark black-and-white website that reads, “Get vaccinated now. If not, see you soon.” It links to a healthcare site where users can sign up to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 


What the world was musing over this week? 

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Local is lekker for Netflix 

We know that SA is incredible. And now Netflix does too. They announced the launch of the ‘Made in South Africa’ content collection – a curated collection featuring over 80 South African films, series, documentaries and reality TV shows. 


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The weirdest stuff sold online 

From presidential votes to Doritos in the shape of the pope’s hat, you can literally buy anything online


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Ricoffy celebrates all things South African 

For its birthday, Ricoffy is celebrating uniquely South African words, expressions, sayings, colloquialisms, sounds, gestures and even hand signals from South Africans across all walks of life. 


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Tempting Newton 

There are strange places around the world where the laws of gravity don’t seem to work. It might sound crazy, but you will need to see it to believe it. Check out this list of places where gravity has no role to play. 


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SA makes the list of most extreme golf courses 

Coober Pedy Opal Fields Golf Course made it onto the list of the top 10 most extreme golf courses. There’s no grass, the fairways are white sand, and the greens are black. Oh – and you’re advised to play at night because it just gets too hot during the day.