Monday Musings: Closer to the end than the beginning

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With January now under our belt, how are you feeling about the year ahead?

A colleague in the industry commented during the week that he was just pleased “to be closer to the end than the beginning” – and it made us think.

Have we really passed an invisible line in the sand? A halfway marker that’s gone unnoticed, but that brings us closer to the end of this crisis and in touching distance of normality once more? 

Good grief, we hope so.

The signs are certainly there: we’re a world away from the bewilderment, shock and confusion of early 2020; a global vaccine programme is underway (and vaccination selfies are a thing); Johnson & Johnson’s new one-dose COVID vaccine is looking good; Iceland leads the way by allowing vaccinated travellers to bypass testing and quarantine requirements (bringing us a step closer to a digital ‘Travel Pass’), and South Africa’s active cases have been on a steady decline for the last two weeks – which could signal an easing of lockdown restrictions.   At Big Ambitions, we’re still exploring ‘real skills’ (things like productivity, time management, agility and assertiveness) – but the one thing that is going to see us to the end is resilience.

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And if you’re looking to build resilience, here are 10 things that can help:

  • Making connections and building your social support network,
  • Avoiding the tendency to view crises as insurmountable challenges,
  • Accepting that change is a natural and unavoidable part of life,
  • Moving towards your (realistic) goals,
  • Taking decisive actions that will help you face your challenges,
  • Looking for opportunities for self-discovery,
  • Nurturing a positive view of yourself and your abilities,
  • Keeping things in perspective and in context,
  • Maintaining a hopeful outlook on life, and
  • Taking care of yourself.

Another? Avoiding the need to respond immediately. Twenty-twenty’s pervasive ‘panic’ and ‘urgency’ remains, and it’s easy to respond in the moment, without taking a minute to breathe  – and think deeply about how you want to answer.

Inc. Magazine reckons we all feel an overwhelming need to respond right away (how quickly do you find yourself responding on email, Teams, Slack or WhatsApp?), that we’re somehow being irresponsible if we don’t. It takes a lot of practice, but we need to embrace the ‘awkward silence’ – a powerful tool of emotional intelligence, resilience and leadership.

Of course, it’s also good to pause when things just become too much. If you haven’t discovered the ‘Brief Guide for Navigating Toomuchery’ video yet, you’re in for a treat. It’s the sweetest, purest answer for when our resilience slips and we’re feeling up against it.  

But take heart team toomuchery, we’re closer to the end than the beginning.


Mindful Musings

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Marketing Musings

We talk a lot about the importance of community at Big Ambitions, and last week served up the perfect example as Reddit users harnessed the power of community to tank GameStop hedge funds.

In a nutshell: A few months ago, a redditer on the subreddit group WallStreetBets (a niche community) noticed that a hedge fund had taken a massive amount of short trades against GameStop (a video game and electronics company in the US). The redditer in question managed to  convince everyone on the thread to join forces and buy as much GameStop stock as possible, driving up the price of GameStop shares (by as much as 8,000 per cent in six months) and destroying the hedge fund’s short position – to the tune of billions.  And while us regular folk don’t necessarily understand all the ins and outs, the sheer audacity of the group’s efforts has the internet ablaze.

Even Trevor Noah has had a go at explaining it, but the bottom line? It’s best not to get on the wrong side of a passionate internet community.    

Try something new, New Zealand

The team behind New Zealand tourism are having a cracker of a run, delivering an absolute masterclass in destination marketing.

In October, they convinced locals to do something new, New Zealand, then they delivered a message from New Zealand and finally they’ve upped the stakes by asking people not to ‘travel under the social influence’. The spots are funny, authentic and oh so proudly New Zealand. And if you need a good belly laugh, the ‘follow me, fedora, lavender’ combination will leave you weeping.

Enter the Reignite Africa Award

Feeling the same passion and pride about Africa? Enter your campaign for the Reignite Africa Award run by WTM Africa. Entries close 15 Feb and remember, you have to be in it, to win it!

Winners will be announced at WTM Africa 2021, a 100% virtual show running from 07-09 April – with plenty of additional events planned throughout the year.

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What the world was musing over this past week:

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Sunset picnic in Kruger is Londolozi’s ‘mane’ event

January was full of stories of the Fourways hippo (now safely home), a croc in a swimming pool in the North West – and now a lion who crashed a sunset picnic at Londolozi. Not only did it result in the ‘purrfect’ picture, but it proves that there’s never a dull moment in Mzansi!


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African Wildlife Foundation launches virtual safaris

If you can’t get into the bush yourself, AWF’s virtual safaris will give you a taste of the safari experience, as well as insights on the pandemic threats on wildlife and local communities. The first episode took viewers into the heart of Tanzania, the second visited Uganda and we can look forward to a trip around Zimbabwe in March.


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Travel ‘facts’ that simply aren’t true

From misconceptions about countries to mind-bending geography and some heated debates, MSN Lifestyle takes a look at 25 travel ‘facts’ that are far from the truth … what do you mean Route 66 is not the longest highway in the US?


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Stay warm the Sanders way

Bernie’s mittens continue to dominate the internet (including a whirlwind trip around Alaska), and while the memes bring a massive smile to all the man himself has embraced the viral hysteria by creating Bernie sweatshirts – with 100% per cent of the proceeds going to charity. The creator of the mittens, Vermont teacher Jen Ellis, is also branching out with a range of socks inspired by the now-famous look. Now you can keep warm and contribute to a good cause!


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When will you feel safe to travel again?

The Los Angeles Times just asked five epidemiologists when (or if) they’ll feel confident to travel again and they share their hopes, fears, data and best guesses here.


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Portuguese island to house world’s first ‘digital nomad village’

The rise of the digital nomad is likely to be 2021’s most notable trend – and the remote Portuguese island of Madeira aims to cash in on the action with an exciting ‘digital nomad village project’. Refreshing glass of Poncha anyone?