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What if talent isn’t real?

Don’t penalise yourself, or anyone else, for lack of talent. You might think: ‘Hey! I’m an enlightened 21st century earthling, I don’t judge people!’ But listen: I think we all do this, subconsciously, all day long! Criticising people for putting visible skills and experience to work only fosters a misconception about talent that harms all of us. It also …

Take a chance on someone

Lean closer, children. I’m going to tell you about one of the most understated secrets that keeps the world turning… ready? Most success happens because someone took a chance on someone else. The opportunities I’ve had in my career have had nothing to do with begging and chasing. Almost all of them can be traced …

Don’t be cool

Life is a balance of the cool and the uncool. Glamour and excitement and dreary reality. Cocktails and hangovers. Magical Christmas Days and overflowing bins on Boxing Day. Mark Cleaver and Mr Darcy. From what I’ve observed, and the people I’ve met: Embracing the uncool stuff is one of the biggest indicators of success. I …

How to avoid missed opportunities

What if missed opportunities were never, technically, opportunities? Being interested in things is what buys you real opportunities. Enthusiasm will get you rolling the dice more often. That’s really the only way to try out enough of life’s games to discover which ones you have a decent shot at. Now obviously there are all sorts of blocks …

What’s the Punk Hotelier?

I’ve made a video to explain! The Punk Hotelier is me, Leila Johnston. I have always been a host (in different ways) and I hope to use this identity and website to promote the idea of ‘places to dream’ – inside our heads and outside in the world. And I plan to create many more places …

Where are you flourishing?

The chances are you’ve been spending a bit of time thinking about your shortcomings. It’s natural, times are particularly hard, we’re all looking for a way out and being confronted with our least tolerant, least compassionate, least fun selves on a regular basis. But while ‘How can I do better?’ feels like a positive starting point, it …

How do we know what we want?

Self development always seems to start with a hefty presumption. It’s taken for granted that, deep down, everyone knows what they want (what they really, really want) and a bit of psychological archaeology can uncover this crucial piece of the puzzle and set us on the path to eternal happiness. In my experience, that’s just …

Do one more

We are still in the throes of a global pandemic. It’s been over a year, and motivation levels are not high, let’s face it. The Frozen movies contain much wisdom, and if you’ve seen the latest one, or have attended a children’s party recently, you might know the song ‘The next right thing’. If somehow …

Cures for self-interrupting

Those of us with a fitness YouTube habit know the fundamental truth of getting painful stuff over with: it goes quicker if you don’t pause it. Self-interrupting is an enormous issue for me — and therefore, I can only assume, for others. The only way I can get through anything without opening a different device, …

Passion isn’t everything

Does it matter if you don’t have a passion? What does it even mean to have one? Is passion one of those ‘if you have to ask…’ things? I know quite a few successful artists. The definition of a successful artist, I think, isn’t a rich and famous one, but one who really enjoys what …