Archives for the Month of June, 2013

Race for Life

The older I get, the more I’ve come to value my physical and mental well-being. Whenever I get stuck in a reinforcing loop of negative thinking and feeling, the quickest way to break free and think fresh is to go for a walk. Better still, I go for a run.

Why run?

This morning, as I get ready to set off on my first 5K charity run after giving birth to a bouncing baby girl in December 2012, my friend Thoughtful Jim gives me a gentle nudge.

“Remember, you are not running for yourself,” says Jim, in his usual quiet voice.

Exercise With Heart

“Who am I running for then?” I snap back. Perhaps defiantly. More like petulantly. Most definitely selfishly.

Jim remains silent to give me time to reflect.

I feel my blood pressure rise as I psych myself up to beat my fellow runners. Raising money for charity is all well and good. Why shouldn’t I also use the opportunity to beat my PB?

When I see the swell of crowds gathering on the hilltop where we are to race, I remember.

That we are gathered here today to promote awareness of cancer sufferers past, present and future. That we are gathered here to prevent cancer by keeping fit ourselves. And that the race of life can be best enjoyed when run in the company of our friends.


Happy Father’s Day

Unconditional Acceptance

Strange But Not Surprising

Just as there’s no definitive job description for “Mother”, “Mum” or “Ma” (or whatever you call your mother or mother figure), there isn’t one for “Father”, “Dad” or “Da” either.

Love No Matter What

To me, “Father” means gentle, kind, patient, loving, responsible, lead-by-example, team player, always learning and makes things better. After watching an inspiring Ted talk by Andrew Solomon, I have added to my list “accepting”.

According to Andrew Solomon, a father or parent not only loves their child unconditionally, they unconditionally accept who their child is. They accept who their child has chosen to be. They accept who their child has become.

The Transformative Power of Love

Now that I’m a parent, I realise acceptance is a big ask of a parent, perhaps even more than unconditional love, because it demands we forego judging our children.

So how do we stop judging our children when we spend so much time and effort judging what’s good and bad for them when they’re little (and may be even long after they need us to make decisions on their behalf)?

The answer lies in what defines a father. By being gentler, kinder and more patient with ourselves, we don’t just become better parents, it’s a chance to change who we are and become a better person.

Happy Birthday to Agile Adventures!

1 Year Old Balloon


The first ever Agile Adventure “The Dream Team Nightmare” is one year old today!

It’s a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure where you, the protagonist, get to play the role of Agile Coach and help out The Dream Team who are in deep trouble. Your choices steer the story and determine the outcome for the team.

About the Book

The book was self-published last year. Since then, it’s had more than 600 downloads.

To find out more about the book, visit

To find out more about the story behind the writing of the book, click here.

Last Chance to Own the First e-book Edition

The good news is that you can still get hold of the original version from for a nightmarishly reasonable $6.66.

Or you can buy it as part of a great Agile bundle of books for $50 instead of the recommended price of $142.61.

But not for much longer. That’s because The Pragmatic Programmers and I are busy having fun producing the next edition which will exist as both an e-book and in hard copy. Yaay!

Finding Mojo

Not waving but drowning

Do you feel exhausted and frustrated? Or perhaps you feel annoyed and demotivated? May be you’ve had this feeling a thousand times before but can’t quite remember how to shake it? The French have a special name for this state of being. They call it “ennui” which roughly translates to boredom (and possibly something much darker). Whatever you choose to call it, don’t just wait for it to pass. Not this time.

In order to rediscover your mojo, we need to first agree on its meaning. defines it as “the art or practice of casting magic spells; magic; voodoo”. In essence, it’s getting into the groove or feeling the buzz. In practice, it’s creating or doing things that make you feel remarkable, amazing, happy.

In his Ted talk, neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert has come up with an unusual premise of why the brain has evolved. According to him, our brains have evolved not to think or feel but to move. To create mojo.

Not drowning but waving

If Daniel Wolpert’s premise is true, that we’re creatures created for mojo, then the first step to rediscovering our mojo is to get moving.

  1. Stop what you’re doing right now (in a safe way).
  2. Say the one thing you’d really like to do today to get your mojo flowing again OUT LOUD. (Remember, you don’t have to realise your world domination dream today. That would be like trying to swallow the sun. Instead go for the smallest baby step you can do today towards your goal.)
  3. Just do it.

Instead of “not waving but drowning”, get moving to find your mojo. Because if your mojo is missing, it misses you.