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John’s Law Number 1


This is the first in a series of short articles designed to give you an insight into my thought process. I’ve no idea where it’s going either so bear with me.

Do I Or Don’t I?

Law number one: If I ever find myself thinking “should I do something or shouldn’t I?” then I ALWAYS do it. Always.

I stick to this law because every time I don’t, it always turns out to be the wrong decision. It can be something simple like deciding if I’m going to take an umbrella out with me when I go to the shops (if I don’t it always rains). Or it can be something more major like deciding if I should charge my mobile phone before doing a long drive (the last time that happened and I didn’t charge it I broke down in the middle of nowhere and my phone’s battery went flat as I was calling the AA – long story). But whatever the situation, when I hear that little voice in my head asking if I should do something or not, I just do it knowing that it’s most likely the right decision. Luckily it’s not told me to kill anyone yet or I’d be in real trouble!

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

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  1. I have a derivation of this I call the ‘what would my friends think’ rule.

    I learnt this while attending a twice weekly, 3 month mountaineering course. Towards the end, we had an evening speaker who was fondly called “Dr Death”. He was a leader of a local remote rescue team and had all sorts of grisly tales to tell of trips gone awry due to everything from crass stupidity to plain bad luck. [Oh, and most mountaineering accidents tend to be on the deadly side. He happily trotted out the statistics to prove that mountaineering was much more dangerous than any other activities we might rightfully think of as being dangerous (skiing, skydiving, rock climbing).]

    Anyhow, my big take away from the talk was one useful decision making strategy that he (or some other leader?) suggested:

    Imagine yourself as a ghost attending your own funeral. Your friends are all there looking sadly at your coffin. Listen to what they’re saying. Are they saying “Wow, he sure was unlucky that …” or is “Gee, I thought he had more sense than that” (that’s the nice version – “what a friggin’ idiot” is likely more apt).

    So now when I’m about to do something stupid, I try to pause and think about this. Sometimes I go ahead, but many times I don’t – especially as now these situations are less about my life and more about my young daughter’s. (E.g. “Should I leave her in the car while I just run inside, I’ll be able to see her the whole time” – bzzt, I immediately hear the voices “Geez this is sad, what a friggin idiot. He wouldn’t spend the 2 mins to get her out of the car seat and back again”.)

    A little more intense than your rule, but maybe this helps…


  2. Superb 🙂

    You’re right, it’s a bit more extreme than my rule but I do have a similar (although less extreme) approach that I’ll get to later.


  3. I can’t wait to see John’s Law Number 2! I bet it’s something like “always put the milk in the cup before the hot water”.


  4. Yes – and I think your next article may have something to do with warm sun & relaxed days in California. Not fair!


  5. Ahhh the joys of California – look out for North Beach in San Fran, it’s a bit seedy in parts, but there’s some superb bars there.

    I try to follow your first law – but big weekends do tend to increase the old apathy and lethargy, so I ofen end up sat on my arse in front of Photoshop and not a lot else.

    what about purchasing then – say you could get away with a perfectly decent model, but for an increase of 20% you could get the next model…

    do you

    Settle for the nominal one, it does everything you need

    Go for the better model, you’l probablyn want to ugrade to it later anyway

    Go home and think about it for a while first.

    I’m in the latter category – and usually end up with the better model!


  6. Breaking down is a common event when you drive a Beamer. Yates’s Law, Rule #1: if driving a Beamer, always have at least two cell phones to hand.


  7. Hey, it wasn’t the bmw, it was a lousy citroen that broke down. The bmw has behaved impecably – albeit the servicing is shocking expensive!


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