Brooklyn (2015)

What if an Irish girl emigrates to America, gets in love and has to come back Ireland? This movie is set in the Ireland and New York of the 1960s and I found the story beautifully told. The main topic is immigration and what is “home” but it also touches on love, career and duty to your family. Given that I’m an immigrant myself I thought this could add another perspective to my experience.

How to become financially independent

If you would like to be free to work at any project you want regardless of the pay or be able to do things that are hard or impossible with most jobs (like going on a 3 months trip) before you become 60 or 65 I suggest taking a look at this story, for initial motivation (although there are more colorful ones on that blog), and then at the simple math behind how to do it which I summarize here:

The Fugitive (1993)

What if a doctor who has been wrongly accused of killing his wife and sentenced to death escapes from prison? What I liked the most of this movie are the main characters: Harrison Ford as Dr Richard Kimble and Tommy Lee Jones as Samuel Gerard, the US Marshal who is tracking him down. Richard is trying to figure out who killed his wife. He doesn’t care going being so close to the police and he cannot help but save lives when the opportunity arises.

Einsiedeln to Schwyz (Via Jacobi)

Today’s adventure started in Einsiedeln, in the canton of Schwyz. This time we decided to one stage of the Via Jacobi which is part of “El Camino de Santiago”. The first part of the hike ran through a wide valley outside of Einsiedeln. The weather looked challenging but the forecast promised no rain over the following hours and we are trusting people. View right outside of Eisiedeln. We saw various small Christian chapels and altars along the way as well as a fancy-looking convent for Benedictine nuns.

One Small Step Can Change Your Life

#kaizen #self-improvement This is one of the two most valuable books that I’ve read in the last year about self improvement. In recent weeks I’ve put it into practice multiple times and it’s helping me get over bad habits that I haven’t been able to make a dent before. Recommended to anyone frustrated with repeated failed attempts at getting rid of bad habits. There are two basic approaches to changing things: big steps (innovation) and small steps (kaizen).

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

What if an experienced squad is sent behind enemy lines to find and bring back a soldier in the middle of World War II? This movie is graphically brutal: every body part that can be shot, vaporized, burned or mutilated gets such treatment. But behind the surface there is a series of moral dilemmas and statements that will make you think.“Well, it seems to me, sir, that God gave me a special gift.

The power of incentives

It’s imperative that we think very literally about the incentive systems we create. Farnamstreet illustrates this point with three examples where incentives went horribly wrong: The British wanted to get rid of cobras in Delhi so they started paying people for every dead cobra brought in. Result: people started breeding cobras. Belgian soldiers in Congo were told to bring severed hands as proof that they were using bullets to kill those who didn’t meet certain rubber production quotas.

Hiking from Richterswil to Pfäffikon SZ

Yesterday we decided to go hiking. We are thinking about eventually walking long trails like the Via Alpina, the Appalachian Trial and the Pacific Crest Trail but we need to start somewhere closer to what we can do today so we decided to start with Route 84 stage 4 which is a comfortable 16km hike near Lake Zürich. We started the hike in Richterswil, a short train ride away from home.

Bellinzona

At around the time we visited Konstanz we also went south, to Bellinzona, literally “war zone”. The city is known for its three castles (UNESCO World Heritage) and is located in the valley of the Ticino River. As you can guess by its name it’s recorded history is mostly battles. At several points in the past it has been independent and it also has belonged to Italy, France and Switzerland. When you see the surrounding valley it’s easy to understand how strategically important it must have been as a safe pass through the Alps.

The ways in which we need to grow

“The ways in which we need to grow are usually those we are the most supremely defended against and are least willing to admit even exist, let alone take an undefended, mindful peek at and then act on to change. It won’t be sustaining enough to have a quixotic idea of yourself as a meditator, or to hold the opinion that meditation is good for you because it has been good for others, or because Eastern wisdom sounds deep to you, or because you are in the habit of meditating.