This cheeky slogan, on postcards, mugs and screensavers, provides as much encouragement and motivation to modern office workers today as it did to the US Army Corps of Engineers during the Second World War. Whoever coined it, though, was certainly not talking about human decision-making, as the opposite might well be the case: tough decisions take a while, but impossible ones are easier.
Over Christmas I became reacquainted with the parable of the Prodigal Son. It is a frequently told story from the New Testament, yet it so often provokes grumbles amongst its audience. And this muffled disapproval always concerns the father’s behaviour. Although everyone can understand the actions of the selfish but ultimately repentant title character, and one can also sympathise with his steadfast but ultimately resentful brother, the father’s response to the return of his lost-but-now-found son strikes many as disproportionate. ..Read more on TCAM’s website
I was recently fortunate enough to have been able to attend a lecture by French economist, Professor Thomas Piketty, at Frankfurt’s Goethe University. So celebrated is the author of ‘Capital in the 21st Century‘, the packed amphitheatre had to wait fully 30 minutes before the professor was allowed to open his mouth. First we had to endure a speech from the university’s chancellor, then the French ambassador (who had been flown in from Berlin, even though France has consular representation in Frankfurt scarcely three kilometers from where we sat). Thereafter came the obligatory word from the sponsors, and an unusually lengthy introduction from the moderator. Everyone wanted a piece of the action – a sprinkling of Piketty Dust.
Click here for the presentation
In 2004 I came across a treatise on the subject of happiness, and how to achieve it, in quite possibly the last place on earth I would have expected to find it: a newsletter published by an investment bank. The author’s name was James Montier, a stock market analyst. In the very first paragraph, he took the unusual step of cautioning any reader who was seeking specific investment advice to read no further. This was a very prudent step because his first recommendation for living a happier life was that his profit-hungry readers should not equate happiness with money. His nine other tips for improving wellbeing included getting plenty of exercise, sleep and sex, doing enjoyable work, meditation, and developing close personal relationships. None of the tips depended directly on money.