I read it somewhere – reading something new

Most of my family are all musicians. Really, really good musicians. My dad is a Jazzer, my mum a singer, Amy can pick up any instrument and just play it.

I never really gave the time to become anything more than average. I know some guitar chords, how to play a walking bass part and can play some chords on Piano – though can’t tell you what the chords are…

Sometimes I go through times where I am just desperate to play music and get frustrated that I can’t play more. Out comes the Jack Johnson chord book, the guitar is picked up and away I go.

I often feel that way about normal books as well. I get frustrated as I want to explore some ideas but don’t have the right book in my collection. I order another and it may be good but maybe not quite right, but it moves me on. I’ve started to see books like this, as stepping stones to build a new idea. I may not need the information now but hopefully I can store it – something to build.

I read it somewhere – The next ones

The books above the tv

Every day I try to read something, it is yoga for the brain. Possibly it is weight lifting for the brain. If you’re reading something long and boring its an ultra marathon for the brain, painful but you know you will feel a sense of achievement for finishing. At the very least you can tell people you did it.

At various points in my life people have celebrated reading and encouraged me to read.

‘Leaders are readers’ some would cry

‘You can travel without leaving your lounge;

‘I don’t care, you have to read the teacher said so’

Each impacted me in a different way.

The books next on my list fit into my usual pattern. A business book, a dog training book, a preparing for baby book and a biography. I don’t really ever leave this pattern. I would like to branch out a bit more so will be trying two new types of books.

Poetry

Fiction

Brave aren’t I.

What if I am missing out on the very book that will unlock something wonderful just because I tried before and I didn’t like it?

The trouble is, I don’t know where to start. What poetry do you read first? A classic? The highly celebrated new one?

Don’t even get me started on novels. The choice is unlimited!

I suppose that is the point, choose one quickly, read it, spend some time with it and move on. It doesn’t have to be THE book. The one that changes everything. It may just be a signpost to that book, the point is you’re moving towards it.

The challenge is to keep reading, keep engaging and keep moving. Keep on keeping on perhaps.

I shall of course let you know which books I settle on. They could be the signpost to a great one.

I read it somewhere – the search

I caught a wave of inspiration yesterday. I’d finished a book, was working on some projects and felt excited about life. As the saying goes, it is easier to steer a moving boat. I focussed on the win and how good it felt and decided to start planning more decorating and code work, moving forward.

I had heard on a podcast about planning your work with ‘what by when’ in mind. What will you deliver by when.

One of the weirdest reactions I have to starting projects, or at least defining their scope, is to buy a new notebook.

I know, weird isn’t it.

I will be using this notebook to define what my projects are. The two week experiments and 6 month goals. I won’t share here, that is between me and the notebook.

The picture above was the one I settled on. I found it in a little stationary shop in Brighton. The title is taken from a religious tract from 1875 called ‘Dreaming and doing’. It took me ages to get a synopsis but eventually found the whole book which you can read for free here on Google books.

I bought the notebook with no idea what the book was actually about. I just liked the title. It turns out I love the book as well.

What are the steps between dreaming and doing? Ideas are celebrated, and rightly so, but they have quite a small (if any) value without hard work to bring them to life.

“How vexing it is!” said Luke “I meant to have got forward but somehow everything is against me”

Dreaming and doing – Uncle Rupert

Ideas and plans are all good but what will be put in place to move towards them this week? Early to bed early to rise? Slightly less Netflix? Let’s not get to the end of this week with the words “I meant to have got forward” being the best summary of our week. Give it your all at work, at home, in every area. Sacrifice to build something wonderful. Move from dreaming to doing.

It’ll be worth it.

I read it somewhere – The most recent

Ian Wright, Wright, Wright.

When you write football chants down they don’t have the same affect as when sung.

I was 9 years old and was on my way to my first Arsenal game at Highbury. Junior gunner autograph book in hand. I was prepared. I didn’t have a replica shirt at that point because they cost too much. I think I wore as much red as I owned.

That game sticks in the mind for many reasons, John Jensen scored his only goal for the club (if anyone can get their hands on a ‘I was there when John Jensen scored’ T-shirt I will be forever grateful), we lost to QPR and my friends dad warned us that if he ever heard us saying those swear words in the songs at home we could never come back to Highbury or any other football match. That threat was enough to put me off swearing for the whole of my time at primary school.

Back to the matter at hand. Ian Wright, and really autobiographies in general.

I love them.

A good biography has always been of more interest than any work of fiction to me. To come away feeling like you know someone a little bit, with some snippets to reflect on and apply (or avoid as it may be). Time well spent.

Footballer biographies have always been a bit hit or miss. Whilst their skill on the pitch can’t be questioned, their lives can occasionally be rather repetitive unless you want a blow by blow account of goals they scored. This book was different.

If I loved Ian Wright before I read the book, I admire him now.

The book is about progression, never staying still and always going for more.

He could have continued with a bad crowd when he was young, he didn’t.

He could have given up after countless rejections from clubs all over the country, he didn’t.

He could have accepted his fate at any point. Instead it appears that he moulded it.

As the book draws to a close he talks about his marriages and family. When I read athletes accounts of their relationships you can feel rather sorry for the partner, the unrepentant athlete who was never around moved on. I will never know Ian Wright’s situation in detail but he came across as humble about his mistakes and trying to move past them to be the best man he can be. I respect that.

That’s what is great about biographies, insight to heroes that you would never otherwise have. See the person behind the goals, chants and Nike commercials.

Also, one major positive in my book – an entire chapter dedicated to my favourite player of all time Dennis Bergkamp.

Mr Wright, thank you for the goals and for your book.

I read it somewhere

There have been a few posts about how and why I love to read. This has largely revolved around books. As part of my project to blog every day in March I am going to write a little bit about the different things I read in a week.

Books, newspapers, websites, spreadsheets etc.

Maybe not spreadsheets.

Ideas have always come to me with most regularity when I am reading.

There was a season where I read too much and didn’t apply anything.

That was bad.

There was a season where I read nothing and got frustrated that I felt that all my ideas dried up.

That was also bad.

I now try to read the right amount (this varies between times off life) and apply or at least reflect on what I’m reading.

So, that will be this week. Reading and all the fun that goes with it.

Happy Monday.