Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Ten Indian Commandments: A Covid-19 Playbook

Ten years ago I was in Andy and Chris’ The Jumble Room in Grasmere dining with Trudy and some Lancastrian friends.  A poster hanging above our table laid out the Ten Indian Commandments.

Most of our evening was spent talking about them. 

Now I have them hanging in my Arizona home and they’ve never been more relevant.  150 years on they are totally relevant and inspirational.

Here they are:
·       Remain close to the Great Spirit.
·       Show great respect for your fellow beings.
·       Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
·       Be truthful and honest at all times.
·       Do what you know to be right.
·       Look after the wellbeing of mind and body.
·       Treat the earth and all that dwell thereon with respect.
·       Take full responsibility for your actions.
·       Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
·       Work together for the benefit of all mankind.

Especially now.


Monday, April 27, 2020


Robin sent me a great article from the Harvard Business Review by Scott Berinato on the anxiety/fear we’re all feeling today about Covid-19.

And he labelled it GRIEF.

A key concept in Lovemarks is that revolution starts with language – and naming what we are all feeling as Grief will revolutionise the way we deal with it.

Mr Berinato turned to David Kessler – the world’s top Grief expert – and leading author on the topic to get his thoughts.

The full article is uplifting and insightful and worth checking out ( ).

Mr Kessler points out:
·       Going to the airport is forever different from what it was before 9/11.
·       Things will be different when we find a vaccine – but how?
·       The loss of normalcy, isolation, job insecurity, economic Armageddon – we are grieving – Collectively.
·       Uncertainty, fear, the unknown, death – anticipatory grief, something bad is attacking us but we can’t see it.  All we can do is anticipate it / worry about it / fear it.  We don’t feel safe.

And we’ve been going through five stages:
1)   Denial – it’s just a ‘flu.
2)   Bargaining – OK, I’ll wash my hands and stay home.
3)   Anger – I’m fed up with staying home.
4)   Sadness – Oh hell, people are really dying.  When will it end?
5)   Acceptance – OK, how do we get through this and reboot?

Mr Kessler lays out four things to do that will help us move into the Acceptance mode and give us back power and control.
·       Find balance in the fear.  When you feel the worst, make yourself visualize the best image instead.  We all get a little sick, we recover and we beat it and carry on.
·       Come back into the present.  A mindfulness approach.  Calm yourself by focusing on the now.  Simple stuff, but not easy stuff.  Name five things in your room, breathe, realise that in the present nothing bad is happening.  You’re OK.  Use all five of your senses.  Listen.  Smell.  Touch.  Look.  Taste something.  Relax.  Smile.
·       Control the controllables and let go of the rest.  You can’t control government policy, your neighbours – just stay six feet away from them and wash your hands!
·       Stock up on Compassion.  Be kind.  Be generous.  Pack up your judgemental gene and put it into storage.  Be patient, optimistic and believe in the best.

And finally, it’s OK to feel sad, to feel worried, to feel scared.  Feel your sadness, accept it, talk about it – let the feeling out, let it happen – then get back up, follow the four suggestions and Keep on Keeping On!


Friday, April 24, 2020


Here are 12 tips on how to get a good night’s sleep, thanks to the team at the Edison Healthcare Clinic.

Stick to a sleep schedule
We should aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. People generally have a hard time adjusting to changes in sleep patterns.  Unfortunately, sleeping late on weekends doesn’t make up for poor sleep during the week. If necessary, set the alarm for bedtime.

Don’t exercise too late in the day
Exercise is excellent and we should try to exercise at least 30 minutes on most days. But try to time it no later than 2-3 hours before bed.

Avoid caffeine & nicotine
Coffee, black and green teas and chocolate all contain caffeine, which is a stimulant. Even consuming these in the afternoon can affect your sleep. Nicotine is also a stimulant and smokers will often wake up earlier than they would otherwise, due to nicotine withdrawal.

Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed
The presence of alcohol in the body can reduce your REM sleep, keeping you in the lighter stages of sleep. This affects processing of memory and emotions.

Avoid large meals and beverages late at night
A light snack before bed is okay, but a heavy meal can cause digestive issues, which interferes with sleep. Drinking too many fluids can cause frequent awakening to urinate.

Where possible, avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep
Some commonly prescribed heart, blood pressure or asthma medications, as well as some over the counter and herbal medicines for coughs, colds or allergies, can disrupt sleep patterns. If you have trouble sleeping, it may be
worth speaking to your doctor or pharmacist to see if any of the drugs you’re taking may be contributing to this.

Don’t nap after 3 pm
Naps are great, but taking them too late in the day can make it hard to fall asleep at night, as they reduce the natural ‘sleep pressure’ that builds each day.

Make sure to leave time to relax before bed.
It’s important to have time before bed to unwind. Try to schedule your days so that there is time to relax before bed.

Take a hot bath before bed.
The drop in body temperature after a bath may help you to feel sleepy and the bath can help you to slow down and relax before bed.

Have a dark, cool (in temperature), gadget-free bedroom.
We sleep better at night if the temperature in the room is kept on the cool side. Gadgets such as mobile phones and computers can be a distraction. A comfortable mattress and pillow can set you up for a good sleep. Those with
insomnia will often watch the clock. Turn it away from view, so you don’t have to worry about the time while trying to sleep.

Get the right sunlight exposure
Sun exposure during the day helps us to regulate sleeping patterns.
Try to get outside in the natural sunlight for at least 30 minutes per day.

Don’t stay in bed if you (really) can’t sleep
If you find yourself still in bed for more than 20 minutes, or you’re starting to get anxious in bed, get up and do something else until you feel sleepy. Keep the lights dim. Anxiety while trying to sleep can make it harder to fall asleep.


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Wallow, Be Kind and Keep Safe

Point 10)
Have a ‘timed wallow’.  No good ever comes from ruminating or wallowing in misery and self-pity for over a minute – put a timer on, and then phone a friend or find something really distracting to do.

Point 11)
Be kind to yourself and others.  Remember everyone is doing their best to navigate these exceptional times.  A little kindness will go a long way.  A lot of kindness is even better (even to the drama queens).

Point 12)
Keep safe and don’t be reckless.  Stress breeds unusual behaviours and can sometimes prompt us to forget the simple things like wearing our seatbelts, stopping at red lights, using Personal Protective Equipment at work, turning off taps, and thinking it’s helpful to drink ourselves in to a stupor.  It’s not.  Try to stick to your usual routines – as you’ve no doubt been reminded by now, this is a marathon, not a sprint.


Monday, April 20, 2020

Survive. Revive. Thrive.

Henry Kissinger recently wrote that the challenge for all leaders today was ‘To Manage the Crisis while Building for the Future’.

I couldn’t agree more.  As a committed believer in that 2000-year-old tool, The Power of Three, I have been trialing with several CEO’s/HRD’s:


And it has passed the test.

You’ll be hearing more from this as we go forward – it appears to be a very helpful framework to plan, choose and resource strategies and tactics in this challenging period.

Doing the right thing in the right way with the right people at the right time will define us all in these unchartered waters.


Friday, April 17, 2020

Tune In, (Turn On), Drop Out.

Point 9)

Give your brain a holiday from Coronavirus.  Avoid ‘rumination’ by giving your poor overly-busy wandering mind a rest by deliberately participating in seriously engaging activities.  Be that the crossword, Netflix, following a new recipe, dancing, listening to music or a Podcast, reading, chatting on the phone, playing dress ups with the kids, drawing, or meditating, you’ll know your thing.  This is the best way to turn off our running ruminating minds which otherwise can chew over worries, making us feel worse.


Be Kind

Point 8)

Help yourself by helping others.  This takes the attention off ourselves and we all need to feel useful and needed right now.  The research is unequivocal: being able to give as well as receive is hugely important for our life satisfaction.  How can you help vulnerable neighbours, colleagues, friends or strangers – emotionally, physically, practically?


Thursday, April 16, 2020

Success Made To Last

I recently recorded an interview for Rick Tocquigny’s podcast – Success Made to Last.

Rick has recorded interviews with authors, business leaders, entrepreneurs, entertainers, sporting legends etc – all aimed to help you live the best version of yourself.


Ride ‘em Cowboy

If you want a break from all this isolation, get hold of Richard Prince’s epic new book Cowboy.

You can spend an entire day and more reading the great stories, looking at the amazing photos / pictures and imagining yourself back in the Wild West.

Saddle Up and Ride.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Weed out the Cynics / Contrarians and Fearmongers.

Point 7)

Find the right people to talk to.  (Yes, the ‘helping or harming’ test apples to the people in your life too.)  Share your thoughts and feelings, but don’t get swept up in pointless speculation.  Stick to the facts and avoid the drama queens.  Keep asking yourself, ‘Is this conversation helping or harming me in my quest to feel good and function as best I can right now?’.