It benefits us all

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All photographs courtesy of Asia Stec Photography

Two years ago when I first visited Ubud, one of the things that really stood out to me was how truly welcoming the locals were.

Whenever I walked past someone on the street, they would look me in the eye and smile. These were genuine smiles too; radiant, abundant smiles that emanated from the eyes, not just the mouth.

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They were welcoming me to their neighbourhood, and immediately I felt at home.

I sensed that they saw every interaction — every time they crossed paths with me, and I presume with anyone else — as a chance to have a positive exchange, a chance to contribute to the positive energy in the community. …

So you want to have more time to work on what you want to work on.

You want to spend less time at your job and more time doing your own thing — like developing a skill, interest or area of knowledge to the point where you can quit your day job for it.

In practice, this probably means running a business of some sort or becoming a freelancer, but for the purpose of this article, let’s just call it your side project.

Your first action, of course, should be to spend all of your spare time doing it.

But now let’s say you’re in a position where your spare time is not enough — your progress is too slow. …

12 months ago, I set my stall out for 2017 by calling it The Year of Action. For too many years, I had sat on an ever-growing list of side-business ideas and personal projects without actually doing anything.

Nothing on my list stood out to me as my life’s calling, and as a result I sat in a prolonged state of severe choice overload regarding which one(s) to prioritise.

To overcome this, I gave up on trying to prioritise and decided that in 2017, my focus would simply be on bringing projects to reality. …

My boss often tells the story of how a woman at a business-help conference changed his life.

The woman was a corporate performance coach who had been invited to talk on stage about a CEO research project she had led.

Her question to the audience was this: “What is it that separates the top 10% of CEOs from the rest? What makes them so much better at their job, and their companies so much better performing, on every metric?”

The audience fired back answers.

Education? No.

Years in industry? No.

Personality type? No.

“After all of our research”, she continued, “we discovered it was something so very simple”. …

Meeting Qinran 秦然

— Read the background to this story here.

Qinran was working on a video project in the same place we were doing our photoshoot with Sebastian.

I thought his style was interesting, so interrupted and asked to take a few shots of him.

Turns out he’s a dance teacher in Hangzhou and communications manager for Chinese streetwear brand HiPanda.

We exchanged WeChats and I sent him the shots I took the next day — he responded by inviting me to come and shoot at a HiPanda show in a few weeks.

Unfortunately the dates don’t work so I can’t attend…

…but more importantly, my theory about photography being a social enabler was proven at the first…

Today I decided I should pick up photography.

Not so much for the art of it, but to use as a tool for meeting new people, building friendships and engaging with communities.

The power of a camera | Seoul

I saw how powerful having a camera in your hand can be on a recent trip to Seoul, South Korea, where we arrived in time for the city’s second Fashion Week of the year.

What struck me at the event was how little engagement there was between photographers and models (I’m referring here to the informal shoots that were taking place among the huge crowds outside the event itself — between the casual photographers and the dressed-up cool kids who’d come to check things out and hopefully have their photo taken).

Google Sites is a free tool that allows you to create simple, clean and functional websites. You can have a site live in minutes. No coding skills needed. No need to buy a domain name or pay for hosting. And no, Google aren’t paying me any money to say good things about it :p

Sites is awesome, here’s why

After recently moving back home from China I’ve started cooking for myself again. I’m a lousy cook, so I wanted to put my favourite recipes in one place to make life as a home-chef easier.

I went to create a Docs file in Google Drive but then I saw that Sites was now an option. I’d used Sites before and found it to be clumsy and ugly. But back then I couldn’t access it directly from Drive’s right-click menu, so I figured they’d updated it, and decided to give it a try.

Almost instantly I realised that making my recipe book with Sites was a much better choice than with a word processor i.e. what I’d been doing habitually my whole life. …


Ryan Crocombe

Design. Ethics. Long-term focus on revolutionising education systems.

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