Top Tips to Becoming a Polyglot

Learning a new language stimulates both your curiosity and cognitive abilities in a variety of incredibly useful ways. Understanding the cultural aspects behind colloquialisms and gestures is a skill that can be applied and tested in multiple contexts. Even if the learning and assimilation is tough and does require commitment and hard work, it pays off.

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What Matters Most to You?

Each day, we are given 86,400 seconds to live and do what we can. If we are lucky, this time is renewed on a daily basis but are we using this time to our fullest potential? If you left the world tomorrow, would you really want to know how much time was spent wasting on your smartphone instead of doing something more worthwhile? 

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“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson

So, happiness in a career. Why does that matter? Every person has a purpose, whether it’s to be the best sibling, a great leader, or to be generous. Unfortunately, such purposes tend to be obscured by the human desire to build careers and make money. We have a multitude of options available to us, yet we feel stressed and unfulfilled because we are trying to do it all. By attempting to do it all, we end up concentrating on all of our different choices and opportunities all at the same time which will lead to little result and total burn-out.

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“Solider Spy” by Tom Marcus

“Soldier Spy” is a raw and explosive memoir about the life of an M-15 agent working as a Surveillance Officer for the United Kingdom. It is one of the first true story books about what it is really like to work for one of the most elite and prestigious intelligence agencies in the world and Tom Marcus doesn’t hold back.

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“Long-Term Thinking for a Short-Sighted World” by Jim Brumm

We find ourselves working in 5-year cycles, satisfying the immediate goals of a government administration instead of implementing long-term solutions that can stand the test of time against an inevitable change of government. When working in international relations and diplomacy, how do we ensure that we think long-term, whilst also meeting goals and objectives of more short-term perspectives? How do we stay effective, motivated and energised when the work we complete gets undermined by whoever runs the country next?

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“How to Run the World” by Parag Khanna

If there is one man who built his name off the international relations brand well, it is Parag Khanna - a global citizen in action, born in India and a resident of Singapore who has lived in more than 4 countries in his lifetime. He also believes that anyone can be a diplomat today but looks at things from a realistic and practical angle that we can appreciate.

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“Hard Choices” by Hillary Clinton

International relations is filled with hard choices we have to make, particularly when it comes to top level management. The stakes are high and the wrong choices could end up costing lives. Sometimes, it is better for us not to live through experiences particularly when such experiences are marred with heartache, pain, and public humiliation.

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"Find your Why” by Simon Sinek, David Mead & Peter Docker

We will be very surprised if you haven’t heard this author’s name Simon Sinek is a great example of how it is possible for someone to carve a niche and become known worldwide, simply by tapping into what you are most passionate about and have the ability to create content that actually matter to people. Simon Sinek is known for his work “Start with Why” that helps people to uncover their passion.

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"China’s Second Continent” by Howard W. French

When looking into the world of international relations, it is hard to ignore how the world has changed. We are no longer confined to borders of our birth place. We are incredibly privileged to have the freedom to move around, to relocate, to start elsewhere, and to call a stranger land our homes. So what happens when a million migrants go abroad? How does migration change the environment? How does migration impact policy and economies? How is migration good for the world?

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"Brave New War” by John Robb

Over the past two decades, we have started to see a trend of terrorism activity take place at grassroots level, in the streets of bust metropolitan cities, and in our very homes through cyber attacks. Modern technology and globalisation has made it possible for even one man to wage war against an entire country. This is not fiction. It is fact, and a fact that has heightened the security level of nearly all countries around the world.

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“A Splendid Exchange” by William J. Bernstein

If there is limited commercial interest, the likelihood of diplomatic relations being strong between those countries is likely to be weakened due to lack of economic motivation. In order to help expand your understanding of the role trade plays in international relations, we recommend the book “A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World from Prehistory to Today” by William J. Bernstein.

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"The Future of Professions” by Richard & Daniel Susskind

Modern technology and the internet has very simply revolutionised our society. When we go on to crafting our niche and area of expertise, are we in competition of crowdsourced information or is our job safe from modern technology? To put these issues into context, we would like to recommend the book “The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts” by Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind in support of Chapter 1 "Skills for a Changing World" of the Diplomatic Planner.

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