In one of our previous blogs we wrote about bespoke wellbeing, and how it’s catching on everywhere, particularly amongst High Net Worth Individuals. Another huge trend in health and wellbeing is, of course, mindfulness. But what about mindgrowing? Doesn’t that just mean thinking? We suspect it might have become a full blown extra-curricular activity, without us even noticing.
This weekend, Financial Times Weekend section ran a feature on Oxford University’s latest offering: mindgrowing holidays. What that literally means is doing intelligent things, as well as walking in the intelligentsia’s footsteps, around Oxford. Is it just a clever PR move, or born out of a genuine desire to spread the joy of the dreaming spires? Who knows. All that matters is that now anybody can book themselves in via mindgrowing.org and pick from various itineraries that include visits to libraries, museums, galleries and staying in rooms in infamous college quads. It’s all very family friendly too. Harry Potter fans will enjoy the tours of hidden rooms in Bodleain Library, whilst gardeners shouldn’t miss The Botanic Gardens. The cost is hardly elitist either – with rooms on a self-catering business starting at £35 (mostly available during students’ vacations). Check out www.universityrooms.com and, if you prefer, book a room at Oxford’s strongest competitor, Cambridge University, and consider designing your own itinerary.
But doesn’t this all follow some kind of far broader trend that extends to evenings, weekends and day trips as well as full blown holidays? We’re thinking of that hugely successful venture The School of Life (https://www.theschooloflife.com/), which covers a broad spectrum of topics such as relationships, creativity and confidence as well as another The How To Academy (http://www.howtoacademy.com/), holding live events on everything from business to philosophy. Everywhere you look there’s another chance to expand your mind and ‘grow’ your skills, which must be a good thing.
If you’re keen for some intellectual kind of self inquiry, The School of Life now has a conference, which is three days long and costs one thousand pounds (www.theschooloflife.com/events/the-school-of-life-conference ) It seems like a new departure in self development weekends, straddling the ubiquitous and brilliant Ted conference (www.ted.com/) on the one hand and the turbo-charged change your life approach of self-help guru Tony Robbins on the other.