Our mission is to work towards living remarkable lives and to support each other on our journeys. Join us.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
we are living in the most turbulent times most of us have ever seen
Now, more than ever, we need to take personal responsibility for our lives and have the creativity and discipline to create the life we want to live.
now, more than ever, it is time to
Interesting is the enemy of remarkable
Interesting is ok. It keeps your attention for a while
Remarkable is in your face, won’t go away, sticks in your mind and in your heart, makes you smile, makes you cry, makes you feel you belong, brings you together with other people, helps you be the best version of you
Once you’ve seen, felt, heard, and tasted remarkable, nothing else will ever be the same
We have promised ourselves we will live a remarkable life
We have promised that every day we will find, feel, create and experience something that is remarkable, no matter how small
We have promised to support other like-minded folk on their journey
We have promised every single day to #BeRemarkable.
Because we already are
It’s a call-to-arms to stop living a zombie life and start living the life we want to live
Our mission is to work towards living remarkable lives and support each other on our journeys
How it works
#BeRemarkable is a members only community on Facebook and at monthly meetups in London. Our mission is to support each other in living remarkable lives.
If you’d like to get involved, this is how it works:
Apply to become a member
We’ll be in touch if you’re a good fit
If you are, you’re in
Then we’ll invite you to our secret Facebook group
Plus we’ll invite you to our exclusive members-only meetups
We’ll also ask you what you’re working to achieve this and we’ll be your accountability partner gently nudging you throughout the month
Finally, every week you’ll receive three emails to help you get inspired and feel supported
Can anyone join?
Nope. #BeRemarkable is only right for the few people with the vision, ambition, discipline and tenacity to create a remarkable life.
What criteria do you use in evaluating member applications?
We have this amazing algorithm that we run to assess whether you are a good fit once we feed application data into it. It’s called ‘gut feel’. It’s almost always right
Why do you charge £15 to join?
Servers, admin costs, and drinks for meetups don’t come free. Remember this is a lifetime’s membership. However old you are, a lifetime at £15 is a bargain.
What do I get as a member?
Weekly inspiration by email: insights, ideas and stories of real world experiences from people out there doing it – all to help you live a remarkable life.
Private Facebook Group: connect with other like-minded people in a group of supportive like-minded folks connecting, sharing and commenting every day.
Meetups: exclusive invitations to members-only London events in quirky venues, with as much free alcohol as we can blag.
Monthly accountability: tell us what you plan to achieve this month and we’ll be that nagging – in a caring way – voice reminding you to get your shit together and get it done.
It is time to #BeRemarkable
Memories make me grateful. Remembering work before the Internet helps me appreciate so many things we have to to be grateful for now.
It had its own room.
I would stand at one end of it feeding in pages of scripts for television commercials. Sometimes they were for cars, other times it was tea – PG Tips. A long-running series of commercials in the UK featuring talking monkeys. They were simpler days back then. Talking monkeys sold tea. The room was windowless and usually hot because of all the heat being kicked out by the rather large and noisy fax machine. It was relatively new. A way of communicating far faster than the postal service. It sped up business. I took it for granted because it was already there when I started my first job as an account executive at an advertising agency in London.
I took a fax machine for granted. A technology that had revolutionised the lives of my older colleagues. The speed of the fax machine meant that they didn’t as often have to get in their cars and drive to client meetings; probably not wearing a seat belt and smoking all the way there. The TV scripts I fed it would appear on sheets of shiny paper wherever I needed to send them. It was revolutionary. But I took it for granted. I knew no different.
That room was useful. I could hide in it. Sometimes I even slept in there. Most often after we had been to the pub at lunch and I’d drank at least 3 pints of beer. Different times back then – monkeys sold tea, you could drink at lunchtime without anyone thinking you had a problem, and there was no Internet.
No searching, browsing, streaming, or downloading. No email. No email!
If you wanted to communicate with somebody you picked up the phone. A landline. Today my landline sits on my desk behind a stack of trays. I have never answered a call on it because nobody has ever rung it. Ever.
I remember work before the Internet. Before everything and everyone was immediately accessible, always on. Work was still full of the same politics, stresses, highs and lows. Except there was no Internet and monkeys could sell tea.
In the time you have read this more data has been produced than existed at all back then. Think about that for a moment.
We live in the most revolutionary, advanced times the world has ever seen. The pace of change is increasing; far faster than we can see.
Sometimes it is only by looking back that we can truly appreciate how far we have progressed. What we have. What we take for granted.
Every morning I think of three things that I am grateful for, and I write them down. It makes me more appreciative of life, calmer, and more creative. It’s a habit I learnt when Gratitude saved my life.
I remember work before the Internet. So today, above anything else, I am grateful for the Internet – it has utterly transformed my life, and continues to do so every day. I am grateful that I don’t take the Internet for granted because it makes me think of other things I shouldn’t take for granted – like the mini-computer I am writing this on. My iPhone. Or the fitness tracker which is helping me stay healthier.
The Internet changed everything for me – and so has being grateful every day.
There’s only one thing from those simpler days that I’m not grateful isn’t around any more. One thing I miss.
Monkeys don’t sell tea any more. Tell you what – I’ll look at some of my old commercials on YouTube.
Procrastinating, over-complicating and being a perfectionist are all very safe places for me to be
I procrastinate because I’m scared. I’m scared of rejection, that I’m not good enough, that every time I release something into the world I will get laughed at. Or, even worse, ignored. I ignore that anything out there is better than thoughts crowding my head.
I over-complicate because I lack confidence. I don’t believe enough in the purity of simplicity.
I am a perfectionist because I judge myself too harshly.
I didn’t live a remarkable life for these silly reasons. I held myself back. Lived less than half a life. Didn’t fulfil my true potential.
I did little that was remarkable.
And that was my biggest life problem – I was double scared. Too scared to create anything meaningful, and scared that my life wouldn’t be meaningful.
So one day I took a risk. I wrote a post about living a remarkable life. People liked it. So I wrote another, then another, then another. I wrote posts like this that people said made a difference. They asked me to write about the problems they were having.
Eventually I realised the biggest barrier to a life of meaning – a remarkable life – was in my head. Now, every day, I take a step towards living a remarkable life. It’s not always easy. It is always utterly fulfilling.
And, over time, I learnt how to stop procrastinating, over-complicating and being a perfectionist. I still don’t always get it right but I do always try.
When I first took my steps towards a remarkable life there was nobody there. Now there is. I have supporters – allies who are on the same journey as me. People who are passing through their own version of procrastination, over-complication and perfectionism.
What’s your problem?
Maybe I can help.
Why don’t you get in touch?
Stupid ideas don’t move us — we simply don’t connect with them. We don’t believe in them, or the people who’ve come up with them. If we bother to say anything it’s simply to say how stupid they are. Remarkable Ideas — we viscerally connect with them, we believe in them, and we share them.
It gets into your head and it won’t go away.
Something about it appeals deep down to some really basic part of you.
You begin to think of possibilities.
You start to imagine “what if” and “maybe” and “I could” and “this would mean that”.
And so you talk about it. Tell others about the idea and its possibilities.
They get excited too.
We’re onto something.
All because of a Remarkable Idea.
Now, more than ever, we need bold entrepreneurs with Remarkable Ideas.
Technological innovation and disruption. Robots ‘stealing’ our jobs. An ageing population. All of these forces and more mean that we are at modern civilisation’s greatest ever inflection point.
Incrementalism. More of the same. Small tweaks. They’re simply not good enough.
Every morning you should be waking up excited about what you are going to create that day.
When people ask you what you are doing, you DON’T say, “I work for” and you DO say “I’m working TOWARDS.”
To thrive in this near future you need to be working towards something audacious. Something that some people will walk away from you and say, “Crazy. That’ll never happen.”
What these mediocre, incremental thinkers and doers say to you doesn’t matter.
Because you’ve got a Remarkable Idea.
So, what is a Remarkable Idea?
All Remarkable Ideas come in three parts: we viscerally connect with them, we believe in them, and we share them.
Part 1: Connection
Remarkable Ideas are incredibly exciting. Once you’ve encountered them, they stick in your head and they won’t go away.
At the end of the fifteenth century the spice trade was the world’s biggest industry. Trade in spices were so valuable that it helped create and destroy empires. Advances in shipping and navigation enabled Portugal in 1497, under the command of Vasco da Gama, to circumnavigate Africa and reach the Spice Islands by the East. It was the foundation of the Portuguese Empire, which made tiny Portugal become the most powerful nation on Earth. 20 years later another Portuguese adventurer declared:
The Church says that the Earth is flat, but I know that it is round. For I have seen the shadow of the earth on the moon and I have more faith in the Shadow than in the Church.
Ferdinand Magellan believed that he could find a shorter route to the Spice Islands by sailing west, across the Atlantic Ocean, around South America and across the Pacific. Because the world is round.
Magellan’s Remarkable Idea — the world is round and so I can reach the riches of the Spice Islands more easily and quickly — utterly compelled the King of Spain who funded this unknown Portuguese adventurer.
It was not only the King of Spain who connected with this idea — preparations for Ferdinand’s epic journey were the talk of Europe. Once the idea was out there, it compelled everyone.
Magellan’s expedition was successful at the cost of his life. This didn’t worry the King too much because he got what had compelled him from the very start — a faster route to the Spice Islands and ownership of all the lands to the West.
Part 2: Authenticity
The British Inventor Sir Clive Sinclair in 1985 was one of the first entrepreneurs to produce an electric vehicle: the Sinclair C5. The C5 became known as “one of the great marketing bombs of postwar British industry” and a “notorious example of failure”.
Sinclair was the brains behind the ZX Spectrum, among the first mainstream-audience home computers in the UK, similar in significance to the Commodore 64 in the USA.
A Remarkable Idea is authentic with its source. We believe in it because we trust where the idea is coming from. Sir Clive, it was obvious, knew nothing about how people wanted to get about. He was not an authentic source.
“A Tesla vehicle will drive in fully autonomous mode from LA to New York City by the end of 2017.”— Elon Musk
The idea of being driven by a car at speed without our hands on the controls is both scary and exciting. But I trust Elon to get this right. This is a man who is making more progress in space than NASA, and who wants us to go to Mars. Driverless cars are easy compared to that.
Elon Musk has high authenticity and that is why people believe in his ideas; however remarkable they may seem.
Part 3: Sharing
Remarkable Ideas you HAVE to share. Much like Magellan’s expedition being the talk of Europe. Or, as you might be learning now for for the first time, what is going to happen to us humans because of computers:
“2029 is the consistent date I have predicted for when an AI will pass a valid Turing test and therefore achieve human levels of intelligence. I have set the date 2045 for the ‘Singularity’ which is when we will multiply our effective intelligence a billion fold by merging with the intelligence we have created.”
This prediction is by Ray Kurzweil. He’s authentic — he’s Google’s Head of Engineering. He goes on to further describe this impact of the Singularity:
That leads to computers having human intelligence, our putting them inside our brains, connecting them to the cloud, expanding who we are. Today, that’s not just a future scenario. It’s here, in part, and it’s going to accelerate.
And just to make it clear how significant this is — Kevin Kelly has described the Singularity as the point at which:
All the change in the last million years will be superseded by the change in the next five minutes.
Let’s add in a bit of context here. 2029 is 12 years away. 12 years ago, Facebook was only a year old. 12 years ago nobody had an iPhone.
Now, if computers as smart as us in 12 years and the Singularity where we merge with them in 28 years aren’t Remarkable Ideas that you just have to share with people; then I don’t know what is.
My Remarkable Idea
I believe that Remarkable Ideas have the potential to be 10Xed — to be made 10 times better — and change the lives of a billion people.
We can take something that seems remarkable now, and make it 10 times more remarkable.
That’s my mission: to work with bold entrepreneurs who want to change the world, and help them by 10Xing their Remarkable Ideas.
“Crazy. That’ll never happen,” the mediocre incrementalists might say.
Doesn’t matter. That’s what I’m working TOWARDS.
What about you?
What’s your Remarkable Idea?
I was the “crazy British guy” who stripped off, jumped into the pool at the party in the Hamptons, and got everybody to do the same.
I’ve driven a beautiful old Jaguar at 160 miles an hour on a deserted road in Scotland, and nearly lost it on a corner. Twice.
I’ve learnt how to fly a plane.
I’ve staggered out of more than one club in Ibiza at lunchtime, only to go into the next one, until the next morning.
I’ve eaten the most exquisite food created by genius chefs in hard-to-get-into restaurants, as well as stuffed myself with the humblest and tastiest of tapas.
I know where to find the best martini you’ve ever tasted in at least 5 cities.
I earned, lost, and earned again a reasonable amount of money.
I live a remarkable life.
But, if I have learnt one thing this week from seeing my beautiful daughters graduate but also from not seeing my gorgeous wife that much this week, and failing to give her a hug when I left her yesterday, it is this:
Life is short. There’s too little time to worry or to be smug. Throw yourself into every day. Make people laugh, because why the hell not. Make people think. Make every day matter. Because it does. Make every day remarkable. Because it is.
Be Remarkable. Because you are.
A few years ago I nearly died. Gratitude saved my life.
I lay in intensive care, connected by cables and tubes to machines that beeped and whirred. Machines which were either monitoring me, or drip feeding stuff into me. I was dimly aware of a group of people at the end of my bed talking quietly. Two hours before my wife Isabel had driven me to hospital, not quite sure what was wrong with me. I had pneumonia, and my decline was rapid.
I’d like to say that I had the presence of mind in those first few hours to will myself better. That I had the fighting spirit to pull through. Maybe I had but I have no idea because I was totally out of it. The real work was done by the nurses and doctors, whose care and expertise rescued me and kick-started my recovery. And, for that, I will always be grateful.
Gratitude is extremely powerful. In those first few hours in hospital when I regained consciousness, it wasn’t willpower I felt most. It was feeling grateful:
Grateful for Isabel coming home from Spain to look after me.
Grateful that I would be around to see my girls.
Grateful that I had been given a second chance.
Some time later I became grateful for the lessons that getting pneumonia taught me: live a life in balance, listen to my body, and don’t do nothing when I start to feel ill.
Gratitude helped me pull through then, and makes me a wiser man now.
Since those days in a hospital bed I have stopped often for a moment to think how grateful I am about so many things: from enjoying a simple cup of coffee, to the support of my friends, or just that my train was on time.
Within the last few months I have established a new habit – a Daily Gratitude Ritual. Every day I write down three things I am grateful for. Today it is:
1. The sharp frosty air that properly woke me up this morning.
2. Having the common sense to go through my diary and realistically work out what I can achieve today.
3. It’s pay day in a couple of days.
Writing these three down makes me smile, and helps set me up for a tough busy day. I do this every day now.
Gratitude reconnects me with reality. It’s a stress-buster and anxiety-reducer because it forces me to realise that things are simply not that bad / hectic / out of my control.
Being grateful every day works very powerfully for me. I know that it has far-reaching effects in my life.
Every so often when I think about these posts I ask myself the question, “What would I want someone to tell me.” Today it was about the remarkable impact of thinking every day about three things I am grateful for.
So, what are you grateful for today?
I have a stress rash that’s only just going. It’s my own fault because I’d forgotten that gratitude can help us deal with stress.
More than two thirds of us in Britain are stressed, according to a survey by Green Flag published yesterday.
We say that transport delays, heavy workloads, and bills are the main things that stress us out. 10% of us say that what stresses us most is when people don’t reply to our texts.
Can you imagine it? People not replying to our texts. Simply appalling behaviour. It would stress anyone.
As I type this I have just heard an announcement, “This train is experiencing difficulties, which are being dealt with by the guard.” Stress.
Today I’ve got a stack of meetings in my diary and no time to do any work. Stress.
I’ve noticed that I’ve put a bit of weight on, and I can’t get to the gym until the weekend. Even more stress.
That email I looked at this morning. The bastard. How dare he say that to me.
And now some person stinking of stale booze has sat next to me.
Somebody has just SNEEZED!
It’s 07:03 and already my stress is getting out of control.
Except it isn’t. All of the above has just happened but I’m not letting it get to me. I am making the choice not to be stressed. Because that’s what stress is. It’s a choice. Maybe an unconscious one. Certainly an unwelcome one. But a choice it is. We choose to let the things that bother us get on top of us. I know this because I do still let stress get to me. As I said, my stress rash is only just going. I have just started a new job and last week completed my first big high-profile piece of work. A pitch for a big piece of business, working directly with the CEO and other senior colleagues. Too right I was stressed but I made the choice to let it bother me as little as possible. Vitally, I chose to deal with my stress every day. The presentation went well. The stress rash is going.
Stress is a choice. It’s a choice to get annoyed by the unanswered text, the delayed train, or the late night (probably stress-induced) email. I can let these things get to me. I can let these stressors pile on top of each other, compounding their effects. I can make that choice.
I could make the choice to deal with them all by drinking a whole bottle of Malbec. Or shouting at Isabel. Or going silent on her. Or emailing that bastard back. I’ve done all those things before. Too many times.
Or I could make the choice to get out a stop early and walk for a bit. Maybe I could write down three things I am grateful for this morning. Perhaps I could email somebody and say something that will make them smile. I’ve done all of these things. Not often enough. But I know they work. I know that they help me to keep things in perspective. Keep my stress under control.
Life IS hard. There are plenty of bumps in the road. Massive boulders sometimes. But we all have choices. And I choose to be stressed as little as possible. It doesn’t always work. But it’s always worth trying.
Sometimes we need a reminder that life is remarkable and you are remarkable. Here it is.
The chances of you being here right now reading this is are so tiny that it is almost a miracle.
Your ancestors escaped woolly mammoths, the Black Death, bullets and bombs, so that you could be here now.
You live in the most innovative period the world had ever seen. The device you are probably reading this on 50 years ago would have been the world’s most powerful computer. And the pace of innovation is getting faster.
Your problems may seem enormous and stress may seem overwhelming at times. There are friends, bars, gyms, counsellors, and mindfulness apps to help you with that.
Life IS hard at times. There is so much wrong the world. But most of it is good. Too often we take that for granted.
Life is remarkable. You are remarkable.
Sometimes we all just need a little reminder.
I learnt how to be grateful every day, and remembering a school lesson showed me how saying “please” and “thank you” helps me practice daily gratitude.
When I was a wee boy my junior school teacher once said to her unruly class of Scottish tearaways, “Manners maketh man.” I then spent the next couple of days being excessively polite: opening as many doors as possible, trying to walk on the road side of any girl I was with, and saying please and thank you as much as possible. I thought that good manners were instantly going to turn me into a man. At the age of 6. Obviously I soon got bored and returned to my usual self: climbing trees, not wanting to go to bed, reading with a torch in bed – standard behaviour for a six year old.
The expression stuck with me, though and I remembered it this morning as I was thinking about everything I have to be grateful for. Yes I do that. Because I am grateful for saying “please” and “thank you” throughout the day.
Saying “please” and “thank you” makes you grateful
We ask throughout the day every day. Skinny milk, fries with that, when’s the next train? Anything you ask for accompanied by a genuine “please” helps you empathise with the person you’re asking. Empathising is great – it gets you out of your head, helps you see things from the perspective of others, and builds relationships.
And when you get what you want “thank you” is a source of gratitude. Be grateful that you’ve been given what you asked for – particularly if its given to you with a smile, because now there is a connection.
Gratitude makes you happy
Here’s some science. Feeling gratitude releases the ‘happiness hormones’, notably endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. These help combat any negative feelings you might be experiencing.
Simply acknowledging throughout the day that there are so many things to be grateful for helps to increase your happiness. You’re getting out of your head and taking pleasure in even the smallest things.
So, saying “please” and “thank you” throughout the day gives you multiple opportunities to experience gratitude.
A Daily Gratitude Ritual makes you even happier
If feeling gratitude throughout the day makes you feel happier, why not start the day strong by practising gratitude?
Along with the other things I do to prime my day I have a gratitude ritual. As I sip my morning coffee I think about and write down the answers to this question:
Today I am grateful for?
It’s a daily ritual I never miss.
Have a great day and, don’t forget your please and thank yous.