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  • David Bloomfield

#20 Sharing some things that I’ve Read, Heard & Seen

What I’ve Read

Farsighted - How we make the decisions that matter most by Steven Johnson

Firstly some of my favourite quotes on analysing situations and decision making...

I love this one from Freud which has often guided me-

"When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however, such as the choice of a mate or a profession, the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within ourselves. In the important decisions of our personal life, we should be governed, I think, by the deep inner needs of our nature". - Freud

And the best one from 2Pac...

“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analysing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could've, would've happened... or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on.” ― Tupac Shakur

So a bit compromised when I read this as it really tries to look at how to best make complicated and consequential decisions. The hook which got me interested was looking at how to remove the biases and old habits which distort both our choices and decisions. I found some very useful techniques that (which I've set out further below) I will certainly look to adopt

There's no one-size-fits-all model but using examples such as how the pentagon set out to capture Osama Bin Laden, Farsighted explains how we can approach these more effectively though 3 key phases:

  • Mapping

  1. Helps us to find inventive ways to generate more options that go beyond option A or option B

  2. Whilst also seeking out diverse viewpoints - Diversity trumps ability


  1. Drawing upon lots of different potential options

  2. Multiple version of what the long-term consequences (scenario plans)

  3. Pre-mortems - A form of imaginative story telling whereby you define a narrative about how this decision ended up going wrong in the future…


  1. Probability - avoiding the tendency to focus exclusively on the most likely outcome but also those considered to be catastrophic

  2. Value modelling - Weighting the values that are most important to you and then grade each option to get a ranking based on the weighted values of the options that best address your needs.

What I’ve Seen

I'm focusing quite a bit of my learning and understanding on health in 2019 and particular new trends and approaches - open to looking into areas that I had previously had little understanding or exposure of to see what makes sense to me, so excited to explore and share some of these further through the year.

As a side whilst doing some work and looking into different epilepsy treatments it led me to begin reading on treatments such as electrical stimulation for patients where they hadn't responded to drug therapy… anyway I soon discovered something called Halo which is an extension but not directly acting as a treatment for epilepsy but similar in the sense that it applies a small electric current to the brain but Halo puts it into a state of hyper learning - so that you can essentially learn and grow quicker - not really sure what to think about this and how different it is say to doping in sport but not sure I have the interest or desire to get involved in that… just interesting

Not necessarily new in terms of its techniques, but certainly our understanding of the benefits of different holistic and alternative medicines has grown significantly, I watched The Netflix documentary Heal - which explores the connection between how our beliefs, thoughts and emotions have a huge impact upon our health and ability to fight disease. Whilst I couldn't help the urge to question the credibility of certain practises and also whether it should be considered as a single method of fighting disease or in fact more interesting to me in how it complements other therapies… It does shine a light on some important research by featuring some prominent figures in the world of alternative medicine such as Deepak Chopra and Bruce Lipton - who looks at why some genes are turned on or off simply by their environments and therefore how humans can impact directly upon their health.

Highly thought provoking…

What I’ve Heard

Russell Brands Under the Skin podcast with Fearne Cotton

A very entertaining discussion between Russell Brand and Fearne Cotton (TV personality and author of Happy, Calm and Quiet) who talks about fame, her mental health struggles and in particular her vulnerability to managing her destructive inner dialogue as she battles with self-worth.

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