I’ve been around for 50 years.

Sometimes it feels like a lot.

Sometimes it feels like no time at all.

Sometimes I have loved life so much that I didn’t want to sleep.

Sometimes I have feared life so much that I didn’t want to wake up.


In order to make life better, and to learn, I sometimes look for patterns.

Patterns that might help me understand how I can nurture the natural highs and remove the lows.

One pattern I have come to recognise is that the more people I listen to, the more lows I have.

The more I try to analyse and understand who is saying what and why, the worse I feel – no matter what I discover – good or bad.

And the learning from this is simple.

It is to never try to understand people. Don’t try to unpick their thoughts and don’t spend any time trying to influence them.


The best way I can try to explain the futility of this activity – yearning to understand why someone likes a thing or does not like a thing – is with Marmite.

Some people like it.

Some people don’t like it.

If you were Marmite, wanting to be happy and successful Marmite, which of these two strategies would you adopt?

  1. Look for the people that like Marmite, build a relationship with them and look after them.
  2. Look for the people that don’t like Marmite and try to convince them they are wrong – or of the ‘rightness’ of Marmite.

It has to be 1.

Especially as I am 606 months into my 1,000 months on earth.

And I suggest you adopt the same strategy as we burst into a beautiful, brilliant, brand new year.


In 2019 I will continue to like Marmite.

And those that don’t, won’t.

If they have any sense they will flock with other Marmite dislikers.

If they have time to waste, they’ll come and bother me.

Telling me how disgusting Marmite is.

Wasting my time.

And theirs.

Happy New Year

So Happy New Year to you, whatever your tastes.

And in the months you have left, if you are not doing it already, please work towards doing what you were born to do.

And believe me, if you too listen only to those on your side of the Marmite fence – you’ll get there a lot more quickly.

And that’s good for all of us.


  1. Perfect advice Michael. I’m 66 and it took me until I was 59 to fully realise this and commit to living every day much more like my favourite philosopher, Diogenes the Dog. Be useful. It’s a lot of fun and so lucky to have had so many months of it – fingers crossed for lots more in 2019. Happy New Year.

Write A Comment