Learning & Robots  🏄🏻‍♀️ 👋 🎰 #24

Learning & Robots 🏄🏻‍♀️ 👋 🎰 #24

Open Your Mind. 

I went surfing last week and had a brilliant time. This time I spontaneously decided to go after seeing the great forecast. I invited two friends on the off chance they were free to leave the city in the next 20 mins and it turned out one was. Yay! She was also having a challenging time at work which cleared via a chat on our roadtrip and massive smiles in the waves. Sometimes, our challenges need space. The amazing thing about learning to surf is that there are heaps of unexpected benefits. Getting beyond beginner-beginner stage (I’m now a beginner), means you can paddle ‘out the back’, beyond the breaking waves. One time out the back I watched the triangular peak of a wave effortlessly move passed me. I was mesmerised. It hit me:

“it’s SO BEAUTIFUL out here!”

…the waves, my feet happily dangling from my board, the wide open water, the big sky, the birds above, being in the saltwater,…

“It’s enough to just be here” I thought.
I didn’t even need to catch a wave. WOW.

There’s the fascinating chats I have with friends and with new people I meet out the back too. I’ve met lovely people and heard their stories of travelling through South America and I’ve met travellers who are stoked to be here in Australia – it’s so uplifting. Sometimes it’s a conversation that takes place over a few waves (some caught) and sometimes it’s a short grin and ‘hello’.

Pretty great.

I’ve learnt surfers of all ability levels are hugely generous and offer great tips. I headed to my car one time and met a surf school teacher of 10 years who was rapt to see me learning and who taught me to catch waves by paddling fast “like there’s a shark behind you”. I paddle faster and catch more waves now!

I want/need to be fit for surfing which has given me great reason for a morning exercise practice. …and I’ve a charming new friendship with a beginner surfer who worked at my favourite coffee place.

Surfing isn’t just about mastering my body on a board in the ocean. Amazing. I’ve a passion for learning which sees me trying many new things. (I wrote a few years back about emptying my bucket-list.) Now I hear so many futurists and commentators advocate the need to constantly learn – sounds good to me. What are you learning now? What’s surprising you?

Partner with the Robots.

The rubber is hitting the road in discussions about robots and machines taking over jobs and it’s easy to feel a sense of separation or even fear. Next time you’re reading about or wondering what life will be like in the future with robots, think of partnering with computers/robots/machines that learn for the betterment of your life. As life is getting more complex, our new tech partners will aid our understanding, enhance our memory, reduce risk and help us progress. We’ll keep discovering things robots and machines are better at than us. Being open to how we best integrate will help.

LinkedIn Achievements.

This week I added specific achievements, more projects and refined my commercial offer on LinkedIn and created a new CV. The master I worked with for my CV is wise Peter Pick of Nine Lives Consulting. The process was fast and fun and he has loads of great tips for writing a CV including: 4 pages or less. Front large with summary. Make the start an amazing 8 second read – it may be all people read. Always stick to: What impact did I have? What was the context? Why was I successful? Be clear on your commercial offer: What will an organisation gain by having you on board? Get your online presence, LinkedInLinkedIn summary and commercial offer / CV really clear. The world is listening to you online. Craft it well.

Favourite reads & listens:

Great online presence:

Have a wonderful week,

~ Sam

P.S. I asked a friend what they’d like to read in this email. He suggested “surfing and other things” and included this link to Chantelle’s painful experience to remind us life is short. Go get it!

P.P.S. If you want to start surfing here are (Melbourne-biased) tips:

  • Get lessons – Go Ride a Wave at Torquay, Salty Surf School at Shoreham (great for kids too) and surf schools in Bali (warm water!) were all amazing.
  • get a wetsuit – I started with a 3″2 from Rip Curl which has been perfect in Victoria for December to March (maybe for next month or two) and I’m about to purchase a 4″3 from Need Essentials or Rip Curl.
  • get a board – I’ve started with a 8″6 foamy (I’m just shy of 5″9 tall) from Go Ride a Wave’s Queen’s Birthday sale – where they sell their old hired boards. They checked the longest board that’d fit inside my car. 8″6! I like their thinking: longer board = catch more waves = learn quicker.
  • you may need roofracks and tie downs (these are working well for me when the board isn’t in my car).
  • start to know what to look for on the forecasts (waves around 2m!). I use Swellnet and Surfstitch app. This post is amazing for learning about tide, wind and more.
  • to have new friends come with you, check out the Sneaky Surf app. Good fun.
  • shoot me a reply to this email if you’ve more questions for a beginner surfer 🙂 

Your Digital Profile 😍 #23

Welcome to a previous issue of Online Highfliers. To get the latest issue delivered to your inbox sign up for the newsletter here.

The subject this time round is YOU. (How fun!)


It’s about YOU.

What’s on your mind? What could I help you with? Shoot me a reply with:

~ a question

~ a query on a current challenge

~ ideas of topics you’d like to read in future newsletters

Fun 🙂

Deep Work.

Amazingly a month after finishing Cal Newport’s “Deep Work” book the learnings, reminders and productivity tips have continued to (usefully) pop into my mind.

Turns out this book and Kevin Kelly’s are my favourites in the past year.

Did you enjoy them too?

Industries of the Future ~ Alec Ross

Another recent read was Alec Ross’s “Industries of the Future” which went deeper than his TED talk. The main outtake: get your unique life/career/work purpose very clear and start profiling and marketing yourself online.

Get to it!

Here’s a favourite quote:

In case of overwhelm (“more books to read!”)

Any of the books I recommend have quotes on the Good Reads website. If you’re wondering about reading something, type into Google:

“good reads quotes [name of book / author]”

…and then click through to the Good Reads quotes page where you’ll gain a quick overview of the book. These days this helps me decide whether to read a book.


Favourite reads & listens:

Great online presence:

I’ve heard Spring is in the air in London, the snowfalls have slowed in Japan, and we’re continuing an excellent Summer here in Melbourne. Wherever you are, have fun!

~ Sam


Thank you for inviting me into your inbox. Hit reply anytime.

Say ‘hi’ on Instagram and enjoy these fascinating audiobooks & podcasts.


February 2027 😎 🚁 👌 #22

Life Beyond-Productivity: A Day in February 2027  ???? ???? ????


Hi Sam

Welcome to the 22nd edition of this email. Did you know you can read all past editions in our archive?

The subject this time round is Life Beyond Productivity.

It’s a slight change of format, inspired by what I’ve been researching. Let me know if you like it.


Have you ever wondered what your life will be like in 10 years time?

I’ve written a story of a day in February 2027, complete with possible tech (robots, house help, passenger drones, health data and more). I’ve referred to it as “Life Beyond Productivity” as we’ll be integrating robots / AI / machine learning into our lives within the next 10 years and I imagine by 2027 we will have learnt a lot about how we best operate in life, work and any other aspect.

This story is a playful look on this subject and I wonder if it may be easier for people to understand what could be coming through this ‘a day in the life’ style. The first part of the day is below (click on the link to read the full story) and perhaps as you’re reading it wonder:

“What will my life be like in February 2027?”

Day in February 2027

New tunes wake me. It’s 6am. The music is new to me and was chosen from analysing my body’s morning brainwaves. It has the desired effect: I’m feeling ultra-calm. A great way to start the day.

My partner is sleeping in today so the music is playing through my ear implant. I get out of our ultra-comfortable bed. It dynamically moulds to each of our bodies and is made from materials that aid sleep (we used tech that matches our health data and personal preferences). Plus the bedding regulates our temperatures. I daresay if I checked my overnight sleep data I’ve had a deep, high quality sleep which is a regular occurrence, on-par with others of similar DNA and age.

The blinds automatically open showing the view and I glance at the superimposed weather and surf forecast for today as I pad into our ensuite. The lights come on at the morning brightness setting. I brush my teeth with a comfortable toothbrush and floss – they’re both designed for my specific mouth conditions and their sensors take another reading on my health. On the mirror, I see there’s only one preventative health measure prescribed (tablets, food or exercise) – there’ll be a slow release Vitamin D supplement in my morning juice.

Being increasingly aware of my health data over the past 10 years has been a blessing and a curse. The past 3 years I’ve actively worked on improving my body’s nutrient absorption, gave up coffee and I’ve increased my bone strength. The blessing is all that comes from better health, the curse is the extra logistics to do what’s prescribed – this is part of the reason we invested in Marta (She’s our house help (robot)) and since then, things have been super easy, assisted by ultra-fast home-delivery of such a wide selection of specific foods that are good for our health – raw, pre-prepared or fully-cooked.

I change into workout gear that has the usually sensors and temperature-regulation and head downstairs, saying “Hi” to Marta – she’s preparing our breakfasts. I can hear the kitchen 3D printer creating my Vitamin D supplement.

Popping my slim headset on I see our spare room transform to a workout room with my (virtual) personal trainer. My implants and house sensors accurately track my vitals and workout results. As my workout finishes my favourite beach surrounds me as the environment changes for a guided meditation. The technology has worked out from my current brainwaves, recent moods and today’s schedule that the meditation length will be 9 minutes.

I head into the kitchen ready for Marta’s green juice. She’s just started making my cooked breakfast in our tiny kitchen with it’s few, multi-functional gadgets. Cooking from scratch these days is a novelty with so many accessible, delicious, healthy, quick options. Since the identification of so many health-affecting germs over the past 10 years and home help that can eradicate them real-time with sustainable products, everything on the food front is so easy.

Marta suggests I chat with my cousin who’s free. While I eat breakfast we chat generally then notice the suggested discussion topics on our hologram screens that then strengthen our conversation (recent birthdays, family activities, new health innovations and her recent virtual build of another use for their spare room). At the end of the call I see that my productivity tech picked up a couple of actions we talked about and is already making them happen (namely logistics for our next catch up and booking in time to try out my cousin’s new virtual room that could be useful in our home). It’s great to be in regular contact which is now easier owing to less work hours these days.

After the call, my mobile hologram switches to my fun, daily checks of today’s selections for travel (air/passenger drones and ground/self-driven capsules), clothing and meals. A quick scan has me aware and satisfied. There’s nothing to alter and I’m mindful that my (artificial) assistants are constantly learning and their suggested selections and automated choices are amazingly helpful now both as time savers, productivity enhancement and to free my mind of mundane decisions. I review Marta’s list of suggested actions to have our life running smoothly and agree to most and answer outstanding questions via verbal comment. Marta receives this information immediately and starts working on it while she’s sorting the washing.

I pad upstairs to our wardrobe and see today’s outfit suggested by my stylist. She’s had such a fast knack of finding great clothes that are ultra-comfortable, made of sustainable fabrics (my tech identified I’ve a sensitivity to certain dyes), and incorporate useful new tech. She’s cleverly integrated tech and data to complement her work skills and experience. She’s based in Tel Aviv.

Her process starts by her tech analysing (pretty much) the world’s outfits based on my measurements, my personal and health data (including my skin toning) as well as all of my data on the internet (much of this shows my preferences for style and lifestyle). It then gathers 1,000 outfits and as you skim through the first 20 many are discarded with respect to what you don’t like. – saying what you do and don’t like – it has worked out a wardrobe. I particularly like the colour pallets, the consistent geometric tailored necklines with a hint of femininity from the 20’s, and that every outfit has a pocket (I remember a time when women’s fashion didn’t). Over the following three weeks and then the following seasons, the stylist checks in with suggested tweaks. Now it constantly receives measurements via my sensors and fast communication connections and combines it with a vast database of new clothes and fabrics. She’s saved us time and money as my clothes and wardrobe is actually pretty small and much has been printed at home – including accessories from the library she has installed on our 3D printer.

My clothing style is quickly solidifying. It’s been an enlightening process as I was never that interested in clothes before though my style is now clear and we’ve co-designed unique pieces that work so well that they’re being sold and I gain a small commission. Who knew there were others who wanted similar pieces to me!

I head down to my office where there’s a standup desk with VR 3D sensors around it, and (old school style) a physical A3 sketch pad with a few colourful pens ready to go for jotting ideas. A tea (tailored for concentration) is atop my standup desk. I sip it while I look at today’s list aside my computer. There’s not much to do before my surf this afternoon.

I voice activate my virtual office and the team appears around me. We’re a specialised think tank that finds current and future opportunities for subscribed companies. It’s fast, focused, fascinating and exhilarating work. The team (from Madrid, Yemen, Paris, Boston, Argentina and Melbourne) is a lot of fun. Practical jokes are a regular occurrence. Today we’re scoping the impacts and the opportunities from a potential new piece of software to incorporate through an organisation. If it works for this organisation, we’ll include it as a quick-to-implement bonus report for other relevant customers. We do a quick brainstorm for 30 minutes, then 20 minutes to see how far we can implement / analyse on our own, onto a 20 minute focused debrief with next steps. Dynamic, fun and interesting.

We check in with each other and see what’s happened overnight on other projects and ideas. A new system we suggested for a client has worked well (all implemented by specialised robots). After a high five (that feels real!) and a check in about other plans we say bye, leaving our virtual assistant (robots) to sort out the details of our next meetings and some of the actions we agreed on. I write a few notes, send a few messages to gain more information on a few things, check in with my assistant to answer her questions.

Marta calls out that my transport is here to take me to a new cafe for lunch. It’s 15 minutes by passenger drone. I’ve heard it has the latest tech to integrate personal taste preferences and health data into their menu which is co-designed each day by a local chef, a coastal nutrition expert, and the latest health AI. Marta uploaded my health data and personal preferences this morning.

… the rest of the day is here (click this link).


Image credit: Business Insider and Moley Robotics

I hope you enjoyed the story and perhaps your reflection. What will your life be like? I’d love to hear your perspective. Shoot me a reply with ideas, challenging comments, or even questions to expand parts of this story. I’ll be fascinated.

Here are aspects I wanted to incorporate:
– constant experimentation
– feedback loops
– shared collective data – it’s more interesting and useful to share data and experiences
– consistent, startling innovation that reduces life friction
– less work
– an individual’s refinement of style, productivity and attention
– smaller houses as VR transforms spaces

Be aware, take an interest and guide your world.

Fly high,

~ Sam



P.S. I’ve updated the details on my personal website’s homepage. If you’ve wanted to know more about me – it’s here.


Self-Driving Cars 👀 🚘 🎰 😊 #21

Deep Work, Self-Driving Cars, Automation & Great Online Presence


Welcome to the 21st edition of this email. Did you know you can read all past editions in our archive?

The subject this time round is Deep Work.

Ready? Let’s focus…


Deep Work

Hi from Torquay, overlooking the waves rolling in. I’m freshly inspired from listening to Cal Newport’s “Deep Work”. These words are interesting:

“In this new economy, three groups will have a particular advantage: those who can work well and creatively with intelligent machines, those who are the best at what they do, and those with access to capital.” 

“To remain valuable in our economy, therefore, you must master the art of quickly learning complicated things. This task requires deep work.
If you don’t cultivate this ability, you’re likely to fall behind as technology advances.”

Cal’s book is fascinating with quickly actionable tips and this is a great list by Ryan Holiday on how he does deep work. Fascinating.

Things getting too heavy?

“Piaggio recently unveiled the company’s first product, a personal cargo robot named Gita. The bot can carry up to 40 pounds autonomously using maps, or by following a human operating the bot’s path… It’s fast enough to keep up with you on a bike (22MPH), and [has] the “human agility” needed to navigate sidewalks.” via Peter Diamandis

Gita and other helpful-to-humans technology excites me! You too?


Self-driving cars: coming sooner

Recently in conversations I’ve suggested we’ll use self-driving cars sooner than expected, for a couple of reasons:

  1. With so many other things to do, see, read, watch, catch up on (including sleep), car driving will start to be less of interest compared to other things we could do.
  2. As more images of newly designed car interiors (movie cinema, sleeping pod, working space / shared office) appear the idea of the car being a location to do other things than drive will grow on us… quickly.

Automation and employment

This graph shows job titles and their probability for automation. It’s worth reading the sidebar too. It’s from this month’s Oxford University and Citibank Report (good article to read).
“the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining.” Stephen Hawking

I’ve also recently heard the entrancing term the “post-work economy”. Universal Basic Income anyone? What do you think?

Favourite reads & listens:

Great online presence:


Happy week!