Life Lessons

Last weekend the squirrel and I were at the Barbican for a two-day event called Life Lessons put on by The Times. Billed as a weekend of big talks from big thinkers, that encouraged us to dream of a better future.

I loved the event and thoroughly recommend you attend if they repeat it next year. The format was a series of one-hour talks throughout the day. Each talk cost £20, with a free book from one of the speakers if you booked at least three. We were able to mix and match the talks that interested us creating a personal experience.

We chose three talks on Saturday and one on Sunday. Our line-up included Darren Brown discussing the philosophy of happiness; Richard Dawkins and the Rev Richard Coles finding happiness in a world with or without God; Dr Rangan Chatterjee and guests in, around the world in 80 ideas of happiness and finally Marie Forleo discussing her book, Everything is Figureoutable.

I came away from these sessions buzzing with energy and enthusiasm. Not it must be said, about happiness as you might expect given the titles of the talks we heard. It was more the excitement of listening and learning from great thinkers. Most of whom completely ignored the title of their talks anyway!

Their discussions swept across a wide range of topics and it was deeply inspiring to be in the room with them. I’m struck by the excitement of learning new things. The opportunities and possibilities that open for us as we engage and embrace new thoughts and ideas.

Learning is at the heart of our human experience. As I get older, I realise I don’t seek happiness, but instead to understand the world I live in and how I can contribute to making it a better place.

Often, with new thoughts and ideas comes fear and uncertainty, but we must fight this fear. It is on the dark side of fear and failure that your future lies. Embrace the challenges, approach each day with an open heart and mind for the learning and growth it offers you. The life you lead is in your hands

Together, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.

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