Sometimes people simply amaze me. When a friend of a friend had a spare front row ticket to a new ballet at the Royal Opera House – she offered it to me.

It was an offer based on mutual ballet appreciation, and one that I will never forget.

This kind stranger didn’t want anything in return and I only hope that one day I can pass the culture vulture love on to another unsuspecting stranger.

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Elephant chalkboard

Two ninjas, dressed in sharply tailored black, approach the wall of pure sound. There is no turning back now, the only option is a full attack. There is no backup for our heroes, ninjas fight alone. It is enough of an oddity that these two have been drawn together for this mission and it was only through a shared history and powerful telepathic link that even this pair could avoid killing each other in cold blood.

The ninjas paused to examine their foe. The wall of sound was not the solid barrier that it first appeared, it was made from an infinite number of flowing audio waves. Some were big enough to stop a skyscraper and others were so small and vibrated with such intensity that they would have ruptured our brave ninja’s internal organs in a heartbeat.

They took the first step.

One soft leather footstep after another they slowly moved forward waiting for the first barrier. As one they leapt over the first wave, clearing it easily. But a second and third wave followed close behind. As one they fell, tripped by the crest of sound.

But in temporary defeat they were lucky, they missed the thousands of small sounds flocking to tear them apart. Never giving up they rose and continued. Dividing they each battled on their own path.

The audio waves were relentless as each ninja ducked, jumped and pirouetted through the invisible field.

As they reached the wall they shared a glance, they had reached the target.

Please note: the above is a 100% factual account of what took place in a Wellington art gallery in 2012. Although, I am sure to the security guards watching we looked less like audio wave ninjas and more like knob-heads who didn’t understand the ‘art’.

To do list on a yellow post-it note

Ever struggle to get to sleep because there are too many things in your head? Oh, just me?

Sometimes the ‘things’ come in the shape of unsolvable philosophical quandaries  But more often than not, the ‘things’ are just silly little tasks that I need to do the following day.

The very un-sexy solution is to take post-it notes to bed with me. Write it all down, get it out of your head, and sweet dreams you will have.

But wait, there’s more! Have you ever had the feeling of soul-crushing de-motivation, where nothing can get you to move? Oh, just me again?

Well, the ‘write it down’ trick works again. Write a short and simple list – maximum of about five items. Don’t put any big tasks on it, just the core tasks that will make you feel happy (yes, I actually put ‘wash hair’ on my list).

At the end of the day you will have accomplished something. Yes you could have just sat down and watched Tomb Raider, but by putting it on a list you made an active decision and followed through with it. Increasing happiness all round.

It may sound simple and silly but it works.