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41 Things You Should Say "No" to for a Happier 2019

A lot of people think happiness is about saying "yes" to the right stuff. Well, that's one side of a coin. There are many things we say "yes" to that we really should be saying "no" to.

For a happier 2019, try saying "no" to the following things:


1. Mediocrity
You're almost always better than you think you are.

2. Procrastination
Stop thinking, start doing.

3. Talking Shit About Yourself
Be positive. Don't seek loathing, seek improvement.

4. Selfishness

Be a giver. Be happier.

5. Perfection
Don't waste time on perfection. Great is good enough.

6. Excuses

Ask why three times and you'll know the real reason.

7. Always Comparing To Others
Spend time on self-improvement over fascination over competitors.

8. Impulsive Decisions
Think deeper.

Health & Sleep

9. Unhealthy Food
The more you eat healthy, the tastier the food gets.

10. Skipping A Meal
Your brain needs all the good nutrients it can get to function optimally. Eat better, not less.

11. Taking The Car
The grocery store is 15 minutes walk away? Walk to it!

12. The Snooze Button
Be so focused on achieving your goals and set tight deadlines and you won't ever think about snoozing anymore!

13. Partying Every Night
Enjoy a party, but don't forget your goals, and resting of course!

14. Stimulants Before Bed
Don't get in the way of a good sleep.


15. Long Commute
Waste as little time as possible on non-productive activities.

16. Distractions
When comes time to be productive. Shut any distractions down.

17. Blockers Of Personal Progress
Bad friend? Block. Netflix? Block. Video Games? Block. Unblock when comes time to unwind.

18. Reading Things You Don't Enjoy
Seriously. You don't have to finish everything you start! The author won't know. Stop reading shit things, there's too much great stuff out there!

19. Completing Useless Things
Plan things. Organize priorities. Do the ones that matter.

20. Planning Things That Don't Need Planning
Planning is great and all, but don't forget to execute!


21. Takers
Say "yes" to givers. Give yourself.

22. Social Media
Uninstall the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram apps from your phone. BAM! I gave you back an hour of your day!

23. Talking Shit About Others
Always be honest. Don't be a hater.

24. Listening To Complaints About Others
Gossiping is poisonous. Avoid people who spread it.

25. Naysayers

If someone doesn't have time for you, don't find time for them. Relationships are mutual.

Work-Life Balance

26. Bad Routines
Don't get stuck in a non-productive routine. You can change things around.

27. Meetings Without An Agenda
These tend to last too long and have no focus. No sense of direction. Avoid them.

28. Overly Long Team Meetings
Bring people back on track or leave. Seems rude, but in the long run, people will thank you for it.

29. Bad Clients
To hell with the good money. If a client is not good to you, focus your energy on the good clients.

30. Good
Say "yes" to great.

31. Cluttered Environment
Have a clean workspace, both physically, mentally and on your computer.

32. Responding To Messages Ad-hoc
As much as possible set blocks of times to answer messages.

33. Doing Life Stuff At Work
Give your full attention to your work, it won't go unnoticed.

34. Doing Work Stuff At Home
Give you full attention to your family, it won't go unnoticed.

35. Doing Things You Can Delegate
Find your superpower, delegate the stuff that's outside of it.

36. A Bad Business Partner
Communication is key. Work things out or walk away.
"I can't control your behavior; nor do I want that burden... 


37. Your TV And Couch
Make your environment uncomfortable so you can focus on the things that matter.

38. Waiting For Things You Don't Need To
Coffee machine? A traffic light when there are other options? A file upload? Just do something else!

39. Things That Don't Work Towards Your Goals

Question the things you do. Better yet, question it before you start it.

40. Comparing Apples To Oranges
Don't waste time comparing things that don't compare. It's it's quantified or qualified using a different set of attributes, it's not the same thing!

41. Your Cellphone
Top productive people set their phones on Airplane mode for most of the day.For me, it has become a brick of sorts.


Feel like saying "no" now?

You can start right away! Reading this article on your cellphone? Just toss it!
Learning to say "no" is a skill. Practice it. Master it. Say "no" to the right things in 2019 and you'll be happier for it.

You can do this!

Read the complete original article on Medium

*Danny Forest is a Viking-looking polymath writing for today's knowledge economy, building a more skillful tomorrow.
Book Review:
The beauty of this book is in it's lack of organization. We can all search for inspirational quotes, when we already know what we want. Search engines have made us all experts in this. But when do we have or make the time to be motivated, inspired, or to just think? Put this book at your breakfast table, and with your morning coffee, just randomly turn pages and you will find yourself thinking. Yes, just thinking. Some of the quotes will make you think about yourself, others about, someone, and others about some thing. And the benefit is some of Brad Heckman's wonderful illustrations.

You can find it here:  Amazon

I was outside a city-centre store in the drizzle and dark two days ago, wondering whether my brain was made for better things than standing reflecting on waiting for my wife to emerge from a busy shop with another last-minute Christmas present. The human brain is a wondrous thing; we waste its powers in the name of trivial consumerist capitalism.

Yesterday I finished reading Yuval Noah Harari's Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. It describes a worldview in which humanism appears as just another (rather small) episode in the history of Homo Sapiens, as we are witnessing (making?) its replacement by Dataism. Human emotions and human intelligence can be understood by science to be based on biological algorithms. The new world will see the algorithms of data management and artificial intelligence make ever more and ever better decisions than can be made by human biology, and so they will increasingly replace human agency. Harari's vision of a post-humanist world in which Dataism reigns and where our choices are made by algorithms that ultimately serve efficiency and profit made me feel glad not to be young - it is a world I hopefully will not have to learn to live in. Although I already am learning that, as the new age of the universal freedom of information flows is gradual and has long begun.

My son is presently in Cambodia, finding it strange to be in such a hot country for Christmas-time, and missing his family back in Europe. He is repeatedly appalled by the effect industrial and particularly plastic waste is having on the environment in south-east Asia. Our economies of growth mean that pollution levels will continue to rise; new EU bans on throwaway plastics are literally no more than a drop in the ocean.

The last hard coal mine in Germany closed last week. Two hundred years of industrial history came to an end. Phasing out coal mining in Germany is a peaceful business, done gradually and accompanied by efforts to reshape employment in the affected communities. It is also seen as an element in creating a more sustainable economy. I remember the bitter miners' strikes in the UK in the 1980s, in which irreconcilable positions clashed against each other, and there was no attempt at political consensus and not yet any public awareness of the need to reduce carbon emissions. Today, with Brexit, the UK seems to be an ever more divided country. Instead of hardened positions, how about trying consensual governance?

My daughter is vegan and refuses to fly, as neither meat nor dairy nor flying are sustainable. The days when people like my daughter were seen as eccentric dropouts or hippies are over. She is studying law and hopes one day to use law to make a difference. I think she will. She is already an influencer. To visit our family in the UK this Christmas, we are taking the train (from Germany) - just as I always used to do before the days of "cheap" flights. She has taken me close to vegan living, and I am now flying less and taking trains more, and I am finally offsetting my bad conscience at flying lots for work by buying compensation schemes.

Can I make my own choices in this world of algorithms?

In the last-but-one mediation I conducted in 2018 the parties came to an agreement that seemed to be satisfying to them and promising. Time will tell whether it will be sustainable. They made their own decisions, following the basic premise of mediation: the outcome is in the hands of the parties. It is their choice.

At the university where I work there was a Christmas concert, performed by our very own university choir and orchestra. They sang and played an arrangement by Gustav Holst of a nativity poem by the nineteenth-century English poet Christina Rosetti: In the Bleak Midwinter. I had never heard this before. The first verse goes:

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone,
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

I am not sure that there was much snow in Bethlehem two thousand years ago, even if Christ was born just after the winter solstice, so I could just put this imagery down to the Christmas fantasies of Victorian England.

This poem has meaning for what it does not and cannot say - that only few of us are now experiencing deep midwinters of the kind Rosetti describes. The past four years have been the hottest ever recorded, and 2018 was bleak in much of Europe for its searing midsummer heat. Is the recent Katowice Climate Change Conference really the best - and worst - we can do?

But isn't this verse more striking for its image of the beauty of "our" vulnerable world? None of my politics takes anything away from the beauty of Rosetti's poem, which begins with the monosyllabic and gleaming beauty of the iron-hard stone-cold winter, and ends with the beauty of the human heart:

What can I give Him, poor as I am?                       
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

Sorry for not writing much about mediation here today. The "algorithm" gave me the 24th of each month for the Kluwer blog, and I make a choice to take note of that date in December.

See original post at here:  Kluwer
Mediation and Cups of Tea

--John Sturrock

"If only we'd had this conversation over a cup of tea fifteen years ago." The client expressed frustration at the time which had passed, during which she and her opposite numbers had spent hundreds of thousands of pounds in litigation. That had got them no nearer to solving the underlying problem about which a court action had been raised all those years ago.

Now at mediation, remarkably this was the first occasion the clients had met during that period. Three different court actions, with a fourth pending, had left them financially impoverished and deeply angry at the legal system.
The (fairly recently instructed) lawyers at the mediation could only acknowledge the shocking nature of the situation. There was no rational explanation. Things had got out of hand. That of course had led to the well known problem of sunk costs - and who bears them. There was a possible route to pursue recovery of some of these but it would take that fourth litigation to open that up. Meantime, the real practical issue on the ground still needed to be addressed.

A "cup of tea policy" seems a rather quaint notion. But as a metaphor for meaningful negotiations it works well. Negotiating over a cuppa eases the tension. There is choreography in it too. Mediators can set up these moments well in order to make the very best of the opportunity.

Much more poignantly, the idea of a "cup of tea policy" was proposed at a mediation seminar in Edinburgh last week by Jo Berry, daughter of the murdered British MP Sir Anthony Berry, as an antidote to violence in political conflicts. She did so while sitting next to Patrick Magee, the one time IRA member who planted the bomb which killed her father at the Conservative Party conference in 1984. For seventeen years they have been speaking together about what it takes to overcome hatred and violence and consider healing and reconciliation. The key point they made, though, was the need for real understanding of the "other side". Conversation over a real or metaphorical cup of tea can help achieve that.

"I did not understand where you were coming from." "We felt misunderstood, demonised, not heard properly." "Their political allegiance meant they couldn't see beyond the uniforms..." "Your lawyers didn't even try to make contact to find out what we really needed."

Political malfunction and legal malfunction are not that far apart. For lawyers representing clients in claims handling and dispute resolution, whether in negotiation or mediation, it is critical to make - and take - time to listen and understand as well as to explain and be understood. For mediators, enabling that to happen is one of our primary roles. We must not underestimate its importance.

 Click Here for Article on Core Solutions Group Blog

Billion-Dollar Technology Dispute Resolved with 'Gig Judiciary'

by  Amanda G. Ciccatelli* 

FedArb, a Silicon Valley-based alternative dispute resolution firm, was recently involved in helping bring to resolution a $1 billion-plus cathode ray tubes antitrust tech dispute that expanded to over 50 parties and United States international jurisdictions. The lawsuit was filed in 2007, and pursuing the typical litigation path proved challenging: one judge fell ill, another retired. And nearly 10 years later, it was finally resolved using a "gig judiciary."

In 2013, the court designated a retired federal judge as a special master and discovery disputes were fast-tracked, a calendar system designed for complex arbitrations was deployed, and FedArb was engaged to support the special master by administering all aspects of the case, which by then included some 150 lawyers in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and more than 100 different motions. Once the discovery process was completed, the parties considered going to trial but ended up choosing mediation, and a dozen separate mediations followed, including one in which a settlement totaling over half a billion dollars was reached.

Kennen Hagen, president and CEO of FedArb, and Jay Weil, COO and co-founder of FedArb, sat down with Inside Counsel to discuss the case. According to Hagen, the appointment of a special master is becoming more common in complex civil matters, though it is far from being the norm. A prominent example of this in the Northern District of California is the Uber/Waymo litigation where U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup appointed John Cooper, a partner at Farella Braun + Martel, to oversee all discovery matters.

"FedArb's work with the special master was somewhat unique, with the decision largely driven by the stature and experience of Judge Walker.  FedArb's logistical expertise and back office services kept the parties on a tight timetable and enabled the litigants to focus on important legal issues," he explained.

The two most significant challenges FedArb faced in handling this matter, per Weil, included: First, with respect to the discovery issues, the problem was one of massive logistics given the number of parties involved; and second, with respect to the settlement/mediation, the issue was successfully conducted over a dozen separate settlement talks.

"On the defendants' side, the biggest risk of taking the case to trial was a runaway jury with the potential for punitive damages. On the plaintiffs' side, the biggest risk was a jury verdict of minimal damages or, even if there were substantial damages, another decade of appellate procedures before they got paid," said Hagen.

So, what kind of complex civil disputes are most appropriate for being resolved through mediation?

According to Hagen, the most appropriate complex civil disputes that lend themselves to mediation are those where the parties are ready to entertain mediation discussions, and this often means that big issues have already been resolved through discovery or preliminary motion practice.

* Amanda G. Ciccatelli is a Freelance Journalist for Corporate Counsel and InsideCounsel, where she covers intellectual property, legal technology, patent litigation, cybersecurity, innovation, and more.

WIPO Mediation Case Examples

M1. A WIPO Patent Mediation
A technology consulting company holding patents on three continents disclosed a patented invention to a major manufacturer in the context of a consulting contract. The contract neither transferred nor licensed any rights to the manufacturer. When the manufacturer started selling products which the consulting company alleged included the patented invention, the consulting company threatened to file patent infringement court proceedings in all jurisdictions in which the consulting company was holding patents.

The parties started negotiating a patent license with the help of external experts but failed to agree on the royalty as the multimillion dollar damages sought by the consulting company significantly exceeded the amount the manufacturer was willing to offer.

The parties submitted their dispute to mediation under the WIPO Rules. The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center suggested to the parties potential mediators with specific expertise in patents and the relevant technology. The parties chose one of those mediators, who conducted a two-day meeting in which the parties eventually reached a settlement that not only covered the royalty issue, but also included agreement on future consulting contracts.

The mediation was thus instrumental in transforming a hostile situation in which the parties were preparing to engage in prolonged and expensive litigation into one in which they were able to conclude an arrangement which suits the business interests of both parties and ensures the profitable use of the technology in the service of those interests.

The Center, together with the mediator, has prepared a more detailed, step-by-step  description of the development of this WIPO mediation.

M2. A WIPO Copyright Mediation
A Dutch company concluded a copyright license with a French company regarding the publication of a technical publication. The license agreement includes a WIPO mediation clause. The licensee became insolvent and defaulted on the royalties due under the license. When the licensor requested the mediation procedure, the Center, after consultation with the parties, and with approval of the court appointed liquidator, appointed an intellectual property specialist as the mediator. Following two meetings between the parties and the mediator, a settlement agreement was concluded.

  See More WIPO Cases Here;

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Thank you for reading my newsletter, and as always, if you have any questions on any of the articles listed, do not hesitate to contact me.




Tom Valenti
Thomas P. Valenti, P.C.

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