Monday, 31 October 2016

Happy Halloween

If there is an extrovert "holiday" then Halloween has to be it. Getting all dressed up in gaudy costumes and going to parties. This is made for the extrovert. The costumes, the interesting food, the colour. I'm sure that extroverts love it and Facebook and Instagram will be full of photos of Halloween parties for days to come.

Have an enjoyable Halloween and if you are an introvert, remember your limits and if you have to recharge, go and do it. You will thank yourself in the morning.

Here is my take on the Starland Vocal Band song, the classic Afternoon Delight. It could be rewritten as a new song. In fact, lets do that and call the new song, 'Extrovert Delight.' (I suggest you listen to the video as you read the next part

Gonna find my costume, gonna wear it tight
Gonna grab some extrovert delight
My motto's always been when it's fright, its fright 
Why wait until the middle of the frightening night
When everything is great in a fantastic partay
And we know we are going to go to another one on another day

Thinking of that party just feels so right
Looking forward to a little extrovert delight
Using matchsticks and zippos make the jack o lanterns ignite
And the thought of drinking with you is getting so exciting

Halloween is so right
Extrovert delight
Extrovert delight
Extrovert delight

Got up this morning feeling so uptight
I always thought that I would like to be alone but it doesn't feel right
But you got a little costume a waiting' and I think
like experiencing some extrovert delight

Halloween is so right
Extrovert delight
Extrovert delight
Extrovert delight

Please get my treat ready for when I come around
We could do a little trick and treating before the sun goes down

Thinking of that party just feels so right
Looking forward to a little extrovert delight
Using matchsticks and zippos make the jack o lanterns ignite
And the thought of drinking with you is getting so exciting

Halloween is so right
Extrovert delight
Extrovert delight
Extrovert delight
Extrovert delight
Extrovert delight

Sunday, 30 October 2016

What do Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor, King Edward VIII and King George VI have in common?

Cricket is one of the more popular sports in New Zealand. It is a summer sport and although the New Zealand team isn't as successful as the all-conquering All Black rugby team they still compete on the world stage against the heavyweights of the sport, India, Australia and England.

New Zealand are considered the dark horse at world tournaments because they can beat any team on any given day and they are given the utmost respect by all the opposition because the heavyweights know that they can be made to look silly.

New Zealand has just completed an unsuccessful tour of India in which they were whitewashed in the test matches and lost 3-2 in the one day internationals. The captain was Kane Williamson who has taken over from Brendon McCullum early in 2016.

During the tour Brendon McCullum's book was launched and one of the talking points of the book was his side of the captaincy story.

Brendon McCullum took over from Ross Taylor as captain  when a new coach was appointed. The coach decided that McCullum was more suited as captain.

With McCullum as captain New Zealand played some very attacking cricket. From the sidelines it seemed that McCullum was saying follow me fellas. I will lead and you guys follow and together we will take on the best sides.

Ross Taylor seems to be a bit more laid-back. According to this article it seemed that Ross Taylor wasn't the best communicator which in any sports team you need the captain to be vocal so that is why it seems that Ross Taylor was replaced by Brendon McCullum as captain in The New Zealand criekct team.

To me this seems like a classic case of extrovert/introvert.

I have said many times that in this day in age you need to be a little out there. For introverted people that may be a little difficult to hear but unfortunately that is the case.

In Susan Cain's book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that can't stop talking she talks about how Al Gore couldnt get the extroverted members of Congress to listen to his concerns on global warming as they weren't really interested in a couple of grainy photos of a crack or two in a glacier so he made a movie and then they sat up and listened.

I can imagine a few people who wouldn't be interested in the slightest with the photos but as soon as you produce that multimedia extravaganza then they are going to love it.

Back to Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand cricket team seemed to evolve into a mirror image of it's captain when Brendon McCullum took over. He seems to be an extroverted guy. I haven't read his book but I read an excerpt on Amazon and seems that McCullum is one of the lads. He played cricket for the social aspects of it. Hanging out with the guys, enjoying the after match just as much as the match itself.

New Zealand under McCullum became an attacking cricket side with his lead from the front captaincy. He seemed to be very vocal in the media. By vocal I mean that he was the face of the team and spoke well.

Ross Taylor seems to be a bit quieter and in the 21st century, unfortunately that doesn't really fit. You need to be out there.

McCullum team played attacking cricket and everyone bought into the philosophy and he was able to lead his team to the Cricket World Cup final against Australia in 2015.

McCullum was able to change the face of the team and that attitude has carried on after his retirement. This just goes to show you how one man can change a team. However what about a country which leads me to my next pair.

Have you seen the movie The King's Speech? It is about King George VI's working relationship with Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue.

King George VI was portrayed in the movie as been a stammerer which is true. Logue helped him get over his fear of public speaking.

A subplot in the movie was the relationship between King George VI and his brother King Edward VIII.

In the movie, Colin Firth plays the introverted King George VI while Guy Pearce plays the more extroverted King Edward VIII.

For those of you who don't know, here is a brief history of that time. King George V died in January 1936 leaving King Edward VIII as King of the United Kingdom and it's colonies.

At the time he was involved with an American woman named Wallis Simpson who was twice divorced. As the head of The Church of England, divorce was very much frowned upon.

After 326 days on the throne, King Edward VIII abdicated. He chose his love for Wallis Simpson over his duty to his country.

King Edward VIII was very charismatic. He was handsome and very popular amongst the people of the UK. He came across as someone like Prince Harry does today. However his love for his woman was more than his love for the job and he stepped down.

I watched a couple of documentaries about this and as with any historical times you always get two sides to the story. One of the documentaries suggested that the government of the time wanted to get rid of him and his relationship with Wallis Simpson was just an excuse while another documentary suggested that the King's actions were tantamount to treason.

What can we believe? Well, that is up to you and what you read and decide for yourself. What we do know however is that Edward VIII was the outgoing of the brothers and George VI was more introverted.

King Edward VIII reigned for 326 days until his abdication while King George VI reigned for about 15 years until his death when his daughter Elizabeth took over and still reigns 64 years later.

King Edward VIII (at the time he was called the Duke of Windsor) died in 1972 in exile in France. Which means that if he had continued as king he would have reigned for 36 years. This begs the question, would the UK be any different today if he had reigned for those 36 years?

Many people say that he may have died earlier because of the stress of the war but lets just presume that he carried on to 1972 would Britain be any different? Would the people be any different? Would King Edward VIII have moulded the British people in his image the way that Brendon McCullum did with his cricket team? Can we compare a sporting team of 11 men with a country of 50 million people?

Lets assume that King Edward VIII had married Wallis Simpson and had continued on as king and lets also assume that the couple had no children which they didn't and lets assume that the current monarch had ascended the throne in 1972 instead of 1952, would the more extroverted King Edward VIII  have the power to change the national character?

What a difficult question and my answer would be a little bit. I think it would be a little different from what we know of British people and Britain now. (But lets face it, when we say British people we really mean English people. I don't mean to annoy the Welsh, the Scots or the Northern Irish because I'm just being realistic.)

King Edward VIII had little patience for the protocol of the royal family and this caused some politicians of the time to have concerns about his appropriateness for the job.

This is what I can see that may have happened:

1. The royal family wouldn't play as big role in British life as it does now. I have been to Britain a number of times and and it seems that the British Royal Family is a big money spinner for companies focusing towards the tourists. It would still be there but I'm sure that we wouldn't hear as much about it as we do now. I'm sure the tabloids and paparazzi would not want to hear that.

2. The British think that Americans can be "a bit forward." With an American "queen" would this be a concern in British society. Maybe that gap wouldn't be there and British people might not be as reserved and that island mentality would not play a big part in the fabric of society.

3. The British might be a little bit more direct. For example rather than being vague about their plans they might decline that invitation in a more direct way.

4. Could we all be speaking German? It is speculated that King Edward VIII was a Nazi sympathiser. Could he have unwittingly helped the enemy as it was at the time to defeat the Allies?

Of course we will never know and what good does it do speculating anymore than this.

What we do know however is that you have more chance of making an impact if you are a bit more "out there," a bit more extroverted.

I believe that Brendon McCullum took the New Zealand cricket team to a place where Ross Taylor may not have been able to take them to and King Edward VIII would of had a significant more impact on Britain than his brother did. Both of these people are in my opinion, extroverts and you need to have some kind of extroversion to make that impact.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Ambivert training from the Ambivert Trainer.

Whether we like it or not we do live in a society that likes you to speak out. We like to go to a party and we like to listen to the person who rules the room. However, usually from an introvert's perspective anyway they are talking codswallop. That is beside the point.

What is one way to become an ambivert? What is one way to come out of our shell so to speak?

That one way is to talk to strangers.

After you read that I bet some of you tightened up. You probably thought WHAT? I can't do that. I'll get myself stabbed.

Don't worry, I'm pretty sure that you won't get a knife in your back. The worst thing that could happen is that that person will walk away, while the best thing that could happen is that person could become a friend. Not bad if I do say so myself.

How do we go about talking to strangers when you have trouble now talking to someone that you have known for a few months?

The best way to do this is to do what you are afraid to do.

How do we do that I hear you ask?

Well, we devise a strategy. Here it is:

1. Look for appropriate people to talk to.

A few years ago I read a book about relationships and one of the first things it said for men or women who are shy was when you are walking along the street to look at another person walking the other way in the eye and smile. I used to do this especially with women and I must admit that it does sound a little bit creepy at first but you find that it really makes your day if the other person smiles back at you. It also shows you that other people are not so confident as well because many will look away.

We walk around thinking that everyone has the perfect life and by looking at them they must have it all together but that isn't the case at all.

When you walk around and someone holds that eye contact and smiles then you may have permission to engage that person in conversation. Remember, and I am talking to guys here, don't just smile at the pretty women. Treat everyone the same, men, women. This is not a competition to see who can shag the most.

2. Keep the initial contact light.

When you initiate the conversation, (well done by the way) keep it light. The best way is to comment on something that the other person is carrying or reading or something similar. In other words be observant.

A few years ago I worked in a bar. It was very interesting serving people drinking as they could come across as very powerful for want of a better word. In New Zealand they seem to train the service people to ask customers how their day has been. I think that is a real dreary question and should be avoided. A better question is to ask something that is relevant to the customer and they will come away with a far better experience.

3. Remember that you are not going to win every time.

If you are a salesperson, are you going to sell every time you meet someone? I think that you already know the answer to that, but let me spell that out for you, NO!

When you decide that you are going to meet more people and approach and talk to more people you are going to get people who just don't want anything to do with you. For whatever reason, maybe they are in a bad mood. Maybe, their cat just passed away. You don't know. I know it is difficult but don't let their negativity get you down. Try to concentrate on the next approach.

4. If you talk to a stranger, any stranger, it is a good thing. 

When you talk to a stranger, that is a good thing. The result of that interaction is secondary to what happened. You plucked up the confidence to go and talk to someone. That is what you should be focusing on not the other person's reaction.

Go through in your mind how the interaction went. How did you feel? Was it difficult? Did you feel uncomfortable? (If so, that is good)

5. Practice makes perfect.

Hands up if you go to the gym? How often do you go? Once a week? Three times a week? Once a year?

To get gains in the gym you need to go consistently. (You also need to eat properly) You are not going to become Superman by going once a month. You have to be consistent so that you make progress. The same is with becoming an ambivert. You need to practice these approaches a number of times. By the way, don't make the excuse that many people do by saying that they approached TWO people and they both brushed them off so this ambivert thing is a scam. It isn't. You approached TWO people. Let me repeat that, TWO people. Go away and approach at least TEN people and then come back. If you had no luck then we might have to look at you as opposed to them.

There you go. Five things to consider when you make the leap from being in your shell to out of your shell.

Good luck in your journey from introvert to ambivert and maybe situational extrovert.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Persistence, Consistency, Relentlessness. Is this the secret?

Today, I would like to make two points. One point continues on about being unconventional and the other is about not underestimating that quieter person.

In this post I talked about how being unconventional is actually a good thing. In a society where being unconventional doesn't seem to be the done thing it can almost be seen as a negative concept when actually it is far from that.

At the same time, I was also called relentless. That statement about me was prefaced by the fact that once I get on a roll I can be relentless. To me this sounds like quite a negative very much like unconventional was when I first saw it. In this case I would prefer to use the words:




If you do things consistently with persistence whether you want to do them or not then you have no option but to succeed in what you are trying to do.

My friend mentioned that once I get on a roll that I can be relentless. That does sound positive doesn't it and it is but now it is time to build consistency into this equation where you are doing what you need to do whether you like it or not everyday for years and years until it gets to the stage where you have other people doing that work or you have so much that you make the decision whether you want to continue doing it or not.

Persistency, consistency, relentlessness whatever you call it, do what you need to do, not what you want to and then you will have all the time to do what you want to do. It sounds simple doesn't it?

The second thing I want to talk about is to never underestimate an introvert. They might be quiet, they might not say very much but when they do open their mouth you better listen because you should that that person has been thinking about it for quite some time.

Just because someone doesn't say much, it doesn't make them any less intelligent. In fact they may be more intelligent because they have chosen to listen rather than speak and as a lot of people say, you learn more by listening than by talking.

When you have someone quiet in the room, don't think that they are being passive because before you know it you can be made to look very stupid very quickly.

Underestimate an introvert at your peril.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

F**K Conformity

This was interesting on Instagram. It is talking about conformity.

People try to place you in some kind of box so that they can understand you. Why do you think the question, "What do you do?" is so common? It is so the other person can put you in that box and because they have done that they think that they know you a lot better.

Why should you conform to their standards though? Why should you say:

"I'm a lawyer."

"I'm a doctor."

"I'm a garbologist."

When someone asks you that question, tell them what you DO. They might not understand it but you are being true to yourself and you are answering their question. They probably won't understand the answer but that is their problem for asking an inaccurate question.

There is only one you, so live your life how you want to not how society says you should at your age or your position in that society.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Has Pokemon Go changed your life?

As usual with most things I'm a bit slow on this but I was reminded of it and I thought that I would comment on it even though my knowledge of it is minimal at best. That is, drumroll please ...


What I have heard is that a lot of people who would generally stay at home and read books or play video games are getting out and about. They are mingling with other Pokemon Go users and basically being sociable which is good to hear.

Another good thing about Pokemon Go which is highlighted in this meme is the fact that people are getting out and about and getting more exercise and that can only be good.

Pokemon Go seems to have been invented with the introvert in mind. The introvert who wants to become a little bit more social and become an ambivert possibly.

Here is my recommendation, get out from behind that computer, game console or book from time to time and go and meet some people. It doesn't have to be a bar or night club which most people seem to think is the thing to do. Go to a gym class. Join a sports club. Join a band. Join an orchestra. There are many, many things out there to do to become just a little bit more social.

Pokemon Go is just the tip of the iceberg as you get out there and become that sociable person that both you and I know that you can be.

Good luck and how do I download the Pokemon Go app onto my iPhone?

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Have you even been derided for accomplishing a goal?

Yesterday I talked about a guy in Blenheim, New Zealand who dared to wear a pink shirt on the way home one night. He got attacked by a couple of guys who didn't think a guy wearing a pink shirt was very manly. What a couple of idiots.

On the back of that article I see this article about a woman who lost 113 kilograms getting hate mail and death threats because ... she lost 113 kilograms. WHAT?!?! You have got to be kidding me.

Who are these people who are giving this woman these ridiculous threats just because she decided that enough was enough and did something about it? How stupid can you be? We should be applauding her not telling he to fall off a bridge or jump in front of a train.

This woman obviously took a look at her life and thought that something was not really right and so she decided to do something about it and my word she really has done something about it, just look at the photos in the article.

This is I am sure what she did:

1. She would have set herself a goal.

2. She would have constructed a plan to accomplish that goal.

3. She would have worked that plan.

4. She would have celebrated getting to various milestones.

Simple really.

When I look at it, that is what you do for any goal and the people around you will support you until the end and if they don't, get rid of them. They should be almost as happy about you accomplishing your goal as you are not telling you to do nasty things to yourself.

If you want to make a difference in life look at changing yourself which is what this woman did and I say good on her and we need to support her, give her a standing ovation.

Remember what the late Michael Jackson said:

Monday, 24 October 2016

Wear what you like

Early this morning I read this article about a man in Blenheim, New Zealand getting beaten up because he was wearing pink shirt. I'll write that again, he was punched repeatedly because he was wearing a pink shirt.

Isn't that ridiculous? What century do we live in that we still have idiots walking around with thoughts in their head like that?

Alcohol or drugs was bound to be involved, no doubt about that. However, that is no excuse. Do people in Blenheim now have to worry about what colour they wear? I know that in gang related activities the wrong colour could get you messed up but this was purely a hate crime.

I feel sorry for the man who got beaten up but I say well done for continuing to wear pink. If you like it go for it and I say to all of the men in Blenheim, why don't you pick a day and all wear a pink shirt to show these idiots and anyone else who have the same thoughts that you are against these schoolyard bullies and you are not going to be pushed around.

Don't worry, wearing pink won't make you any less of a man and anyway you shouldn't really be thinking like that. Not in this day in age.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Have you ever been rejected online?

We are living in the age of the smartphone. You can basically do everything these days with your smartphone with the exception of maybe brushing your teeth although I'm sure that there is someone out there who is developing an app that will brush your teeth for you. Who knows? Maybe the next Apple product will be the iPhone 8T.

There are many kinds of apps out there and there seems to be a multitude of dating apps. Tinder, Hinge, Happn and Bumble to name a few.

These apps are all slightly different in how they work but the main thing is that you match with someone and then you try to set up a date offline, in other words, face-to-face.

However, on the day of the date, he or she sends you a text and says that they can't meet that day. They don't give you an alternative day. Basically they are brushing you off and you have been flat out rejected. It does hurt and you feel like you may have done something wrong when in fact it is the other person who had the problem because you have done nothing wrong, in fact you have done nothing. They have decided for whatever reason that they don't want to see you. I know that it is easier said than done but at the end of the day, it is their loss.

What can you do to handle this rejection?

1. Focus on the people around you.

You have many people around you that love and/or respect you. Whether it be family or friends, these people have been in your life for a long time and they will be in your life for a long time. Think how lucky you are don't think about someone that you have been texting for a week. As far as you are concerned, they are just a photograph on your smartphone and quite frankly they don't deserve to take up space in your mind.

2. Don't be hard on yourself.

The rejection was never your fault, it had everything to do with the other person. You were just being yourself and they made a arbitrary decision about some obscure thing in their minds that you texted. Maybe they live a bit far away and they decided that you couldn't be bothered with the hassle of travelling to meet you. Maybe they have a problem with their personality and in the end they are doing you a big favour. You don't have to deal with all that.

3. Don't succumb to oneitis*.

*Oneitis is a feeling that this one man or woman is the only person in the world and you can't mess up with them.
If you match with someone on online dating and you only focus on them, some time down the line you are going to get very, very disappointed. Also don't expect too much from them because if you do get rejected before you meet it can hurt you a lot and your confidence will get knocked for six.

4. Will this matter in 5 years?

A lot of people ask this question, will this disaster matter in 5 years? Everyone knows the answer, right? You would have forgotten his or her name. They have probably been deleted from your contacts a long time ago and if you are still single you have probably met 50 people. Sure it hurts now but in the long term it is a lesson in life and you move on.

5. Never, never, never give up. 

The late Winston Churchill said it best, "Never, never, never give up." Sure you had a rejection or the person you met didn't live up to your expectations but don't give. You are, unless you are very, very lucky, not going to meet Prince Charming or Princess Diana on the first one or two occasions. Don't dismiss the whole online dating thing if you get rejected or the guy you met had three eyes and claws coming out of his back. That's going to happen because at the end of the day it is a numbers game. I know that doesn't sound very romantic but unfortunately that is how it goes.

Hey, you got rejected. Unfortunately that is a part of life. It is going to happen. Think about it is part of life and part of growing up.

The next time you get rejected and you will get rejected, go out and do something fun. Don't stew in your own juices. You will make yourself feel worse and that is not what we want.

Saturday, 22 October 2016


As an introvert does small talk scare you? Do you find it a pain in the butt when you you go along to events or parties? Would you rather be talking about something else?

Guess what, it is not going away and as long as their are humans on this planet we are going to have small talk whether you like it or not.

The first thing to remember is that the one who asks questions has the control of the conversation and if you start asking questions about them they are going to think you are the best person in the world because people love talking about themselves.

Before I get talking about some strategies can I just say don't ask, "What do you do?" Look at that question. They are asking you for a verb. Have you even noticed that? They want to know what you DO. However when you answer what you do, most of the people don't understand and they expect you to say a noun.

"I'm a butcher."
"I'm a baker."
"I'm a candlestick maker."

Here is a better question to ask:

"What keeps you busy?"


"How do you spend most of your time?"

Do you know what these questions do? They let the other person decide what they want to talk about. They can talk about their job if they want to. They can talk about their business if they want to. They can talk about their tennis game yesterday if they want to. They can even talk about their cat(s) if they want to.

OK, Small Talk. What can you do to prepare for the scariness that is small talk?

1. My friend's friend used to read the newspaper* before he went out. He did this so he was up with the play on what was going on and if they asked him he could come up with a comment or two. Of course in small talk you want to stay away from the real heavy duty topics like politics, finance and natural disasters. Keep it light.

*For younger readers a newspaper is, according to the dictionary on my computer, a printed publication consisting of folded unstapled sheets and containing news, feature articles, advertisements and the horse racing details for today's meeting. For New Zealand young people, it is what they wrap fish and chips in.

2. Find out about pop culture and what is going on. Are you keeping up with the Kardashians? Do you know who Tyler Swift is dating? Why did Angelina walk out on Brad? You could have a very good conversation with someone who is interested in all of this.

3. Sports. A lot of people, especially men like talking about sport, right? Find out a little bit about what is going on in the NFL, NBA, EPL, NHL or IPL. (For American readers, the EPL is the soccer league in England and the IPL is cricket league in India. Believe it or not, cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world and the IPL is one of the most lucrative sporting leagues.)

4. Countries. My knowledge of some things can be best described as superficial at best but I try to find out at least one thing about most things. Countries for instance, then you can have a base to build a conversation. I remember talking to a woman from Lithuania. I mentioned about basketball which is very popular in that country and they have had several NBA players over the years. She was so excited that I knew something about her country, that we talked for quite a while.

5. I know that I tell the same stories over and over but if people haven't heard it then it can be quite funny for them. So always have a bunch of stories or jokes in your arsenal and bring them out at the appropriate time.

6. Think about things that you have bought recently. Have you found any cool items at new hip shops? People are always looking for good new things to purchase so you can really help them out by advising them on new shops and more importantly for them anyway, new bargains.

There you go. Small talk doesn't have to be as scary as you think. All it takes is a little preparation and you are well on you way to small talk mastery.

Friday, 21 October 2016

The wisdom of Aristotle

Aristotle once said, "Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom."

Once you understand this your whole world comes into perspective and you can pick and choose what you want to do as opposed to what you think you should do or what society expects you to do.

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom."

I am writing this on a Friday and for a lot of people who work five days a week, Friday is the light at the end of the tunnel. Friday is the time when they can let their hair down and go for it. I suppose I could talk about sacrificing 5 days so that you can get 2 days of freedom but I'll leave that for another day.

Also for a great deal of people Friday may mean worry and anxiety because they don't have any plans to celebrate Friday night. In their mind they should be out with their friends, they should be out at a bar celebrating the end of the week. However, if you know yourself well and you know that you may be introverted in nature then staying at home by yourself and relaxing in front of the television is the much better option.

Don't get dragged into something that you don't want. Don't get dragged into going out because "that is what everyone does on Friday night." If you want to stay home and relax then do it. You know yourself and you know that that is how you recharge.

"That is what everyone does on Friday night."

Once you understand yourself and why you are like you are, those feelings of guilt and regret about not going to the party will slowly fade away because you have taken the time to understand yourself and you know that some only you time is the best for you.

Going out and getting hammered is not what everyone does on Friday night. Some like to pop in a DVD and open a bottle wine. If this is you, don't get sucked into the pressure of confirming to "normality." What is normal anyway?

Thursday, 20 October 2016

"Fake it until you make it"

"Fake it until you make it." Have you heard this phrase? I'm sure you have. What does it actually mean?

Fake it until you make it basically means to act like something so that in the end you can become that something. For example if you want to become confident then act confident.

"Just be confident" is one of those phrases that means absolutely nothing. When someone gives you advice that starts with "Just ... " run away, run away fast.

There are some things that you can do that help you become confident. Lets have a look at some of them:

1. Smile. When you smile you suddenly feel better. You don't feel depressed or drained. How can you feel depressed when you have a big smile on your dial? A smile is an instant mood lifter and it is healthier than Red Bull or a strong coffee. One of the coaches at my gym suggests that I smile more. I must admit when you are halfway through a 20 minute AMRAP* WOD* smiling is the last thing on your mind but it does work.  Try it.

2. Strong posture. Recently, someone at my gym suggested that I really pull my shoulders back when I attempt a lift. I followed her advice and it has helped my lifting. I have now being walking around Tokyo with my shoulders back and really making an effort and stick my chest out. I tell you something it work great. When I walk around like that I feel stronger and 100 times more confident than before.

3. Dress to impress. I don't know about you but there is nothing better for a man than putting on a nice suit, nicely polished shoes. Some men like a good tie. I'm not a tie man myself but I nice suit does wonders and you walk around feeling good about yourself. What is that saying, 'the clothes make the man.'

4. Listen to some music. As I write this I've got my earphones in and I'm listening to some music. It sounds good and it is making me feel alive and well even though I am dead tired. I feel very positive about today's post and it is just relaxing and making the whole experience fun. If you are feeling down, put on some music, I'm sure you will feel a lot better.

5. Copy leaders. A good way to really build your confidence up is to act like someone else that you admire. If you try to act like them and make it consistent then over time you are going to see big changes in your whole manner and appearance.

If you believe in "fake it until you make it" why don't you try some of these things? What is the worst thing that can happen? You might become more confident and what is wrong with that?

* AMRAP = As Many Reps As Possible

* WOD = Workout Of the Day

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Thank you everybody

I would like to thank everybody who has taken the time to read/have a look at/peruse my blog over the last six months.

I appreciate everyone's support and I look forward to trying to provide more good content over the next six months for you all.

If there is anything that you would like me to write about in upcoming posts, I am always open to ideas.

In the next six months I'm planning to bring out more video and look out for my new website in the coming months.

Once again, thank you everyone and here's to another 200 posts.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Another introvert quote

"Introverts want company just as much as extroverts do, but they prefer it in either short doses or with people they know well."

Remember that this week. When someone turns down your party invitation, don't take it personally. More often than not it is because they want to spend some time alone or with another close person. Respect their decision and even encourage it and you will get a very loyal friend. That's not a bad thing to come out of a rejected invitation.

Monday, 17 October 2016

The Miracle Morning revisited.

This article was interesting. The morning routines of people under the age of 35. Of course, as you can imagine there were some people complaining about it in the comments section as most of the people in this article didn't have children to worry about in the morning. Well neither do I and I don't think I make the most of my mornings.

Earlier in the year, I read this book which talked about how to get the most benefit out of your mornings.

It wasn't sustainable for me getting up at 5am and trying to do work at night. I couldn't keep it going.

Let me refresh your memoryThis book, Miracle Morning suggests you do six things in the morning.

  • Meditation
  • Affirmations 
  • Visualisation
  • Exercise
  • Reading
  • Journalling 
I found that if I started at 5am that I would be finished at about 6am and it was a good start to the day. Unfortunately I found that I was fading in the early evening and I had to go to bed early. 

I was thinking the other day that do I have to do all of these things at 5am? I regularly go to the gym so that can count as exercise and I do the reading at another part of the day. The other parts take ten minutes each or so. Why can't I do those during the rest of the day? 

I know that the whole idea of the Miracle Morning is to get your day off to a good start but lets say that I do ten minutes of meditation in the morning then that is better than nothing, right? I can easily do the rest of the activities sometime during the day.

Why don't you get your hands on a copy of The Miracle Morning and see how it can benefit you in your life? I'm sure you will find a couple of ways that it will. Who knows, it may even change your life for the better.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Travelling: Are you a Wanderluster or a Sunluster?

I'm sure that most of you have heard of the term wanderlust. Wanderlust is the concept where you have a strong desire to get out and see the world, travel, explore, discover new places and have new experiences.

Another concept that you may have not heard of is sunlust. As the word suggests this is where you look for places to sit on the beach or lie on a boat. It is not all sunshine and beaches however because going skiing could be thought of as sunlust as well.

In summary wanderlusters seek experiences while sunlusters seek relaxation.

What does all of this mean? What has tourism got to do with introverts and extroverts and everyone in between?

Are sunlusters the introverts of the tourism world and are wanderlusters the extroverts of the tourism world?

I'll give you an example. My friend, a few years ago, travelled throughout Europe by himself. He is an extroverted character and he had a great time visiting the capitals of Eastern Europe and meeting lots of people. He is gregarious, outgoing, has a great sense of humour and is a good guy. So he had no problem meeting people, finding things to do and enjoying himself.

Me, on the other hand, I am definitely a sunluster. When I go on vacation I want to have a beach, a swimming pool, maybe a golf course and sunny weather. Is that too much to ask? I wonder if this has to do with my introverted nature.

Most people will say that they would like nothing better to sit by the beach and a pool for two weeks sipping on tropical drinks and blobbing out. Sounds good right? However, I am willing to bet that the extroverts of this world can only take this for so much before they get bored and would want to do some stuff.

My point here is that a couple of friends or a couple are going to have to realise that about each other. For an introvert, if they are holidaying with an extrovert they may get quite annoyed with the extrovert for never being able to relax and wanting to get out of that deck chair and do things. The extrovert will also get annoyed that the introvert doesn't want to do anything and is a bit boring. However, if they knew this stuff then their relationship would be more stable as they understood each other and for example if the introvert knew that they would be able to relax after doing the exciting activity then he or she would go along with it.

Even on holiday, the time when you think that you should leave all your problems behind, you need to be aware of your travelling companions and know what makes them tick so that you holiday can be stress free and you arrive back home refreshed and ready to take on the world.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Building your confidence one decision at a time.

We go on ad nauseam about introverts and extroverts. Introverts recharge by being alone while extroverts recharge by going to a party and this has nothing to do with relative self-confidence levels of people it is just the way they relate to the environment around them.

However, there are still some who may shut themselves away from society because of lack of confidence and these people may like the energy being around other people brings them.

What can you do to bring more confidence to your life and hopefully become the best version of yourself.

1. Set yourself some small goals

For me even finishing this blog post is a small goal and it gives me a little bit of confidence each and every day. This blog post is number 196 so you can imagine that I have gained quite a bit of confidence from it. Another example would be the gym. I'm sure many of you set yourself to go there 4 times a week and then life takes over and you get there maybe less than 4 times a month. Every time you get there think of your confidence building up

Peter Voogd, in his book 6 Months to 6 Figures says that we all have a confidence account and every decision we make will mean a deposit in our confidence account or a withdrawal. For example, me writing this post is deposit while going home and watching a movie may be a withdrawal.

2. Speak with authority

One of the things recently that I have been trying to eliminate is the words "I think." It doesn't really come across as you are really confident about what you are saying.

Something else to eliminate are the umms and ahs in your talking. That shows hesitation and a lack of confidence. Toastmasters is a way to get rid of those umms and ahs.

3. Exercise

I went to the gym this morning. I must admit the second workout wasn't much fun but I'm glad I went. It makes me feel more confident and gives me more energy and it is just good for your health. What more can I say?

It goes back to Peter Voogd's confidence account. You go to the gym and you make a deposit in your confidence account. You stay in bed and watch television and you make a withdrawal.

4. Passing judgement on other people

Do you really need to do this? Sure, it might make you feel good but for how long? It is like having a large helping of fast food. It tastes good for sure and it makes you happy but for how long? Stop judging people and you will feel good about yourself.

5. Try to listen rather than speak.

The more you listen and ask interesting questions the more people are going to like you and want to spend time with you and believe me when I say that that will do wonders for your confidence levels. They say that we were giving two ears and one mouth for a reason, so stop talking and start listening. As they say, you might learn something.

6. Take a risk or two

By jumping out of your comfort zone you are going to increase your confidence levels. Think about it, if you decide to jump out of an airplane or jump off a bridge with a rubber band around your ankles then things that happen after that are not going to matter much and you are not going to feel the fear as much because you have taken a risk and anything after that is quite easy.

7. Don't be afraid to be wrong.

You might think that making a mistake may bring your confidence crashing down but it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. By admitting your mistakes you are showing a lot of confidence and it may even win you some respect from the people around you.

Remember that you are not going to wake up one day and suddenly be confident. Confidence will build up slowly over time by making the right decisions and building up that confidence account.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Introvert Problems Part 3

We continue my commentary on this meme.

You can see Part 1 here. You can also see Part 2 here.

30 problems that only introverts can understand.

19. Trying to be extra outgoing when you flirt so your crush doesn't think you hate them. 

OK. I'm not really sure that I get this one. I suppose you are as it says friendly and outgoing rather than play it cool around a man or a woman that you find attractive. That is my best guess anyway.

20. When you're asked to do a group project, and know that you're going to hate every minute of it.

Yes, I can relate to this. Sometimes you have to go along with the group and you have to go among with the whim of the strongest person in the group who won't show his or her hand straight away but after listening to everyone not make a good job of the beginning they will just take over and sometimes it can be great and other times it can be a disaster because he or she doesn't want to listen to anyone else and they are away

21. When you hear the question "Wanna hang out?" and your plans start to sweat with anxiety.

This is difficult especially if he or she is a close friend and you do want to hang out but just not today as you promised yourself that you will have an alone night. Of course if your friend is truly your friend then he or she will accept that you want to spend some time alone and let you be and maybe you can do it another night or day.

22. When you hear, "Are you OK?" or "Why are you so quiet?" for the umpteenth time. 

This can be quite annoying for an introvert because they are just being themselves but the more social people around us are thinking that because they are not climbing the walls and shouting then they must be sick. Let me repeat, we are just being ourselves and just because we are not conforming to a standard that you believe in, it doesn't make sick or weird.

23. Having visitors stay with you is a nightmare because it means you have to be on at ALL TIMES. 

It can be a nightmare or it can be a lot of fun. It depends on what mindset you go with. I have a friend who had come to stay with me on a number of occasions and it is a lot of fun. Sure I don't get enough sleep and I might be forced to step out of my comfort zone from time to time but it can be unforgettable and you might even learn something about yourself and create something that might affect the rest of your life.

24. When people stop inviting you places because you're the one that keeps cancelling plans.

If it is a legitimate reason then go ahead and cancel but if you made plans quite a few days before then try to commit to those plans. Don't just say yes because you are sure that that is what your friend wants to hear. If you don't think you want to, say it there and the and avoid everyone a hassle.

25. Being horrified of small talk, but enjoying deep discussions.

Small talk can be boring but I must admit that it is necessary on occasions because you want to find out about the other person. Here is a tip though: rather than asking "What do you do?" You could ask this question instead, "How do you spend your time?" This means that they don't have to say anything about their job. They can talk about their hobbies passions. That will really get going, believe me.

26. When you need to take breaks and recharge after socialising for too long. 

This is non-negotiable. That's it. Non-negotiable.

27. The requirement to think introspectively rather than go to someone else with your problems.

You have to pick your times when you go to someone else for advice or you sort it out yourself. Someone can give you a valuable piece of advice that you haven't thought about but then again you can always trust your own gut instinct and on a lot of occasions that gut instinct of yours is right.

28. Not wanting to be alone, just wanting to be left alone and people not understanding that. 

This is a big one. I don't want to be anti-social I just want to be at that time and place by myself. Sure I want to go out for a beer at a later time it is just that now I don't want to. Please understand this and don't take offence. We are not trying to offend you, we are only trying to recharge so that we can have fun next time.

29. When people mistake your thoughtful look for being shy, or worse, moody. 

It get this all the time. I'm just thinking about things and trying to work it all out and like most people with thoughts that doesn't involve you.

30. That people need to know that you aren't mad, depressed or anti-social. You just need to not talk to anyone for a while. And that's ok. 

All I can say about this is amen. Amen brother. Amen!.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Introvert Problems Part 2

We continue my commentary on this meme

You can see Part 1 here.

30 problems that only introverts can understand.

9. People saying "just be more social."

Believe me, this advice is absolutely terrible. My friend and I have a saying JBC. This means 'just be confident.' How? How the hell can I be ... just more social or how can I be just more confident? I'm sorry, this advice, although I'm sure well meaning is pretty useless. They are just meaningless words. Hmmm, pretty much like small talk, right?

10. When you're able to enjoy parties and meetings, but after a short amount of time wish you were home in your pyjamas. 

I'm not sure if I wish I was at home, I think I wish having a drink with one other person or at the most two other people rather than listening to some loud mouth telling some boring story that everyone laughs at but wasn't really that funny. (This sounds like real introvert sour grape, doesn't it?)

11. Staying up late every night because it's the only time that you can actually be alone. 

Maybe this might be an option if you live with a lot of other people but when you live alone you have this bliss whenever you want.

12. People making you feel weird by for wanting to do things by yourself.

"You want to do what? What do you mean you want to walk around the Yamanote Line on your birthday? You should have a party with 700 of your closest friends."
It is OK to do things by yourself although I must admit that I struggle to travel by myself. Why is that? Well, it is difficult for me to start up a conversation with a stranger so imagine if I am travelling around Europe by myself for three weeks. Basically the only conversations I would have are:

"Yes, I'll have another beer please."


"A single room please."

13. Having more conversations in your head than you do in real life. 

Yep. Guilty as charged. Do you do this as well? It is a lot of wasted energy and it is just not worth it. Think of something else. Be in the present moment. Visualise what is going to happen in the future. Look at number 1 from Part 1.

14. The need to recharge after social situations. 

As most of you should know by now, introverts recharge by being alone while extroverts recharge by being in and amongst people. So when an introvert heads on out they are going to want to recharge the batteries big time when they get home. They are going to be exhausted.

15. People calling you out for daydreaming too much.

I suppose this has happened to me from time to time where I have literally tuned out and have been thinking about another thing and people literally slap me to concentrate on what they are saying. I wonder if what they had to say was not interesting or that my thing was just so mush more important. I'm sure that you have all had a moment like this.

16. Carrying a book to a public place so no one will bug you , but other people take that as a conversation starter. 

This is an interesting one. I think that one of the secrets for an introvert to compete in an extroverted world is to start a conversation with a complete stranger from time to time and one of the best ways to do that is to use the power of observation. So if the person next to you is reading a book that you may know well you should comment on it. Start a conversation. Although a friend of mine said to me that he started a conversation on the train the other day and the other person couldn't get away from him fast enough.

17. People interrupting your thoughts, and you get irrationally angry. 

I'm not sure about this one. Maybe it is the classic one when the girlfriend asks the boyfriend that question, "what are you thinking about?" Nine times out of ten the guy is usually not thinking about anything. You can see more information in the video below.

18. Having to say "I kind of want to spend some time by myself" when you have to deal with that friend who always wants to hang out. 

This is a difficult one because you don't want to let your friend down but you really need time to recharge by yourself. I think that you have to treat this case by case. If you feel like it, by all means go out and have that beer however when you don't feel like it, don't do it. You have to be strong and say no thank you, how about another day.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Introvert Problems Part 1

Over the next three days I want to go through 30 problems that only introverts can relate to and the more extroverted person is probably thinking, WHAT?

You can find the meme here.

Anyway, without further ado, lets get into the list of problems with my commentary.

1. Practicing conversations with people you'll never talk to. 

Does that sound familiar to you introverts? I do this all the time and as it says most of these conversations never happen. Earlier this year I was stressing about a conversation that I was sure that was going to occur and nothing ever came of it. It was just all wasted energy and time and stress when I should have just got on with my life.

2. When you want to cut all ties to civilisation but still be on the internet. 

Of course! I might not want to talk to anyone face to face but I still want to know what is going on in the rugby and cricket around the world. Why not? I'm not interacting with anyone. I'm just looking at a computer screen Hey, at least give me the internet.

3. When you friend wants to invite more people over, and you don't want to sound like a bad person by saying no.

I have a friend like this. Every time, I mean every time, "can I bring a friend?" Really? I want to hang out with you. I don't want awkward conversation with someone I just met. That's not the point. I want to catch up with you and you only. Three is definitely a crowd.

4. When spending a heavenly weekend alone means that you're missing out on time with friends.

Yes, I have had weekends like this where I just had to stay by myself because quite frankly I needed the time alone but I still wanted to know what was going on as it was important to me just know what I was missing out on so that in the next instance I could make an "informed" decision about whether or not I should waste my precious alone time by socialising. Hey, for introverts these are big decisions and don't mock them.

5. And you fear that by doing so, you are nearing hermit status.

Lets get it straight, introverts are not hermits, far from it. Also remember that there isn't just two boxes with introverts in one box and extroverts in the other box. There is a scale. Lets say introverts on the left and extroverts on the right, well the hermit will be on the extreme left but most of you who are reading this are not that. You like to socialise on occasions so you will never become a hermit. Most of you have to go to work anyway.

6. When your ride at a party doesn't want to leave early, and no one seems to understand your distress. 

My extroverted friend was telling me the other day about his introverted wife trying to drag him out of a party. Usually he is just starting to warm up when she is ready to go home. You can see the conflict in this one, right? Neither person is probably going to understand each other. He probably thinks she is being anti-social and she thinks he is being inconsiderate. I wonder if there are going to many marriages saved after people figure this stuff out.

7. The feeling of dread that washes over you when the phone rings and you're not mentally prepared to chat.

Just don't answer it or better yet, turn your phone off. There you go, problem solved.

8. When you have an awesome night out, but have to deal with feeling exhausted for days after the fact. 

See I told you, introverts like to have the night out. We aren't hermits, we like to go out, have a few drinks. Flirt a bit, have a bit of boogie. But we know our limits, we know we can't stay out to the sparrows start chirping. It is just not going to happen. We need time to decompress.

There you have the first 8 of introvert problems. Do you see any of yourself in these? I bet you do. I can relate to all of them.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Blairina (Griselda)

It really hurts me to write about this today as I can get quite emotional about it all.

Blairina, as you see in the title is name that my friend came up with about times when I don't want to talk with him or when I am out of contact. I don't reply to his email or his texts. It is basically a nickname for my extreme introvert personality.

I'm not alone with this. Eleanor Roosevelt, the former first lady of the United States of America was known to have moods in which she called Griselda.

'Griselda' (Blairina) moments are moments of fear, jealously, sadness in which they get so bad they basically immobilise you. This immobilisation could be a few hours, or a few days or a few weeks. You just want to hide away and not talk to anyone and basically stew in your own juices. Believe me, it is not very healthy at all. It is not fun especially if you are sitting by yourself and constantly looking at Facebook. You see people having fun at the beach or having a great dinner with their partner and you are there in your room wishing that you hadn't been born. It isn't a way to live your life.

How do you get rid of this? How do you get out of bed and face the world with the enthusiasm and intelligence that we all have?

You have to find your purpose. You have to find a why. If you have that then those late nights and those early mornings and those dead end jobs that are paying the bills are going to be worth it.

I found my purpose with this blog. I haven't missed a day for about six months and now I am looking to expand on this blog to bigger and better things.

When you feel that things are not going your way, think about what is your purpose, why have you been put on this earth to do and you will wake up in the morning and want to get going. It won't feel like a chore, it will feel good and you can't help it. You will be on the way to succeeding.

Good luck and if Griselda comes along, kick it out and say you are not going to get me because I know what I am doing.

Monday, 10 October 2016

John Gleeson: An Australian cricket player

I grew up playing cricket. In the summer we played cricket and in the winter I played soccer or (field) hockey.

I haven't watched much cricket recently and haven't played for a number of years but I still follow the game and one of the best ways to follow it is this website.

Cricinfo is one of the most popular websites on the internet. Well it helps that cricket is the most popular sport in India. On Cricinfo you can get all the latest cricket information with live scoring and statistics and videos an everything you would expect for a website produced by ESPN.

One of the interesting features of the website however are the interesting articles about bygone eras and past players and the behind the scenes look at cricket all through the ages.

I came across this article on the Cricinfo homepage and what drew me to it was the sentence, '... unreadable on and off the field.'

Hmmm, I thought I wonder what that means. I read the article about John Gleeson, an Australian cricketer of the 1960's and 1970's.

Obviously the article talked a great deal about his cricket career and what he had achieved but there was a little part about his nickname, CHO which stood for 'cricket hours only.' Basically his team mates would see him at the practice nets and the game and that was it. He remained a mystery.

I wonder if this was because he preferred to spend time alone. He enjoyed cricket and he enjoyed the challenge of the sport but in the end he wanted to spend time alone or with his partner and that is how he energised for the next day of cricket.

A lot of sports that I grew up around are very much a social thing. Cricket, rugby, hockey, soccer etc. You make lifelong friends and you make memories that will last with you for the rest of your life. Team mates go out together, they drink together, they eat together, they are basically friends both on and off the field because basically they spend so much time together.

I never had this. My friends were not really guys I played sport with. I didn't hate them, actually I got on quite well with them and I still keep in contact with them on Facebook etc but besides cricket or any of the other sports we really never had anything in common.

I wonder if this was the same with John Glesson. He enjoyed his cricket. He enjoyed the success that he had with it but I wonder if his personality wasn't suited to team sports. He wasn't one of the boys. He was someone who liked to take time out by himself to recharge. Obviously to his more social team mates this would be considered weird behaviour.

The ironic thing about this article is however is that the writer, Ashley Mallett is also a quiet guy. I think his nickname was Rowdy which was a reference to his quiet nature. It's ironic isn't it? Because you are quiet it is considered almost strange in a team environment. I had that experience in my sporting career.

In sports and especially in team sports you are going have all sorts of characters in your team. Just because your team mate doesn't want to go drinking with you doesn't make him or her weird. Accept that they just like to spend time alone. But remember that when they get out on the field or court, they are not going to let you down.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Why Toastmasters?

Have you heard of Toastmasters?

Toastmasters is a worldwide organisation formed in 1924 with the aim of helping it's members build their communication, public speaking and leadership skills.

I have attended a few Toastmasters clubs and the procedure of the meetings are basically the same. Each club has their own idiosyncrasies but the concept is consistent.

Each meeting has people who have roles in the meeting.

There is the Toastmaster of the Day who basically runs the meeting. The chairperson so to speak.

Other roles in the meetings are a grammarian who talks about the language used in the meeting.

There is an um and ah counter. When you are speaking they try to persuade you not to say these ums and ahs. I know that at one of the clubs I went to we were fined for each um and ah.

There is also a timer for each meeting who times the speeches.

Basically each meeting is divided into three sections, the prepared speeches, table topics and evaluations.

Prepared speeches are exactly what it sounds like. Three or four club members each meeting prepare a speech to present in front of the meeting. These speeches can be anywhere between four to ten minutes in length.

My favourite part of a Toastmasters meeting is the Table Topics section which is basically an impromptu speech. Depending on time there can be quite a few two minute speeches with the Table Topics Master giving you a topic.

Depending on the topic it can be quite fun or it can be quite tortuous and believe me I have had them both where the speech just flowed or it was the longest two minutes of my life.

The final part are the evaluations where everyone is evaluated, the speeches as well as the people who had roles in the meeting. I think this is the most difficult part of the meeting and I know that I always wanted to do a role that wasn't an evaluator when I first joined the club. However, as I got more and more experienced I found that being an evaluator was quite fun as well because you had to really listen to what was been said.

If you really want to develop your confidence and your public speaking ability, I strongly suggest you check out a Toastmasters club near you. At the very least you are going to have some fun and you are going to meet some interesting people.

Here is the link. Look for that club and go along to a couple of meetings. It might be for you and it might not, you won't know until you go along.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Netflix and ..... Pizza

This is an interesting article. It says to stop calling yourself an introvert. I agree don't call yourself an introvert but remember that that is what you are though.

You don't have to call yourself an introvert, I agree with that however you do need to remember how you recharge. How you get your energy back. Don't be someone that you are not. Don't go out when you want to stay in. Have that pizza and watch Netflix as the article suggests.

Where I take issue with this article is that introverted people love to identify themselves as that.

Well it has just been in the last few years that people in this obviously extroverted world have taken notice that introverts are not these weird people who are sitting in the corner by themselves. They are doing that because they are trying to refuel and the more social people in our society who are wondering why they don't want to engage in banal conversation are not helping matters much.

I must admit that it is nice to know what you are and why you are doing something, so don't call yourself an introvert but know that is what you are and realise that you don't have to do what the extroverted society says to do on a Friday night.

What can I say? Get out that pizza delivery menu. Order yourself a pizza. Personally I like pineapple on mine and park yourself in front of the television. Turn on Netflix and away you go. Have the time of your life and don't worry what the haters are saying. You are being true to yourself and that is all we can ask.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Breaking the ice with Steven Spielberg

Have a read of this article. It is about one of the great movie makers of our time, Steven Spielberg. Actually why have I written one of? He has to be the greatest movie maker of our time. Lets list some of them:

  • Jaws
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • ET
  • Back to the Future
  • Empire of the Sun (probably not his most famous, but I like it)
  • Schindler's List
Not a bad half-dozen if I do say so myself. 

In this article the author says that Steven Spielberg doesn't really stand out. The author found it very difficult to describe the famous director. I wonder if this is because of his introversion. I have been told in the past that I don't really stand out. I wonder subconsciously if that is the reason I decided to grow a beard. I honestly thought it looked cool and always wondered what it would be like. (For those of you wondering, it can be a pain in the ass especially if you don't bother to clip for a week or so. It takes me forever to get it right. But I wonder if it does make me stand out a bit. You decide.

Hmmm, the pride of 2016? As I said, you be the judge.

What is interesting is that Spielberg said that he was assertive at home. That reminds me of the uchibenkei post that I wrote here. Uchibenkei is someone who is someone who is quiet outside but lord of the manor at home. 

Spielberg says he is still very shy although not as much as he used to be and he is getting better at breaking the ice. That sounds very familiar and I think that people out there who are like Steven Spielberg and myself should looks for ways to practice breaking the ice everyday. 

There you go that is yours and my challenge for the next month. Everyday we have to break the ice with someone. What do you think? Are you up for the challenge? 

Hey, if Steven Spielberg can do it so can we. Break the ice with one person everyday for the next month. Good luck.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

The Okinawan naked hermit

Have you seen this video from Vice Japan? It is a story about an old man who lives by himself on an island in Okinawa. He is the only person on the island so basically he is the king of his own little island.

Mr. Nagasaki has lived on Sotobanari Island for over 20 years. He doesn't wear any clothes and basically survives off the land, the sea and some money that family send to him every month. So he isn't entirely self-sufficient but pretty close to it.

Could you do this? Could you live by yourself for many, many years? It sounds like paradise to some people, right? This guy loves his isolation and if it works for him who are we to judge.

The interesting thing about this video is that the guy comes across as being quite social. He seems to be very chatty and he does not seem to be quiet or introverted in the least.

Because of this I wonder if he does miss the modern world and he has just been on the island for so long that I thinks that if he goes back to the city that he might not make it, a bit like the character Brooks Hatlen on that very good movie The Shawshank Redemption. Brooks had been in jail for about 50 years that when he finally got released he couldn't handle it on the outside and killed himself in the halfway house that was his home on release.

We are social beings and we do need some human contact from time to time. I suppose his once monthly trip to the next island for shopping does give some human contact. I wonder if he covers himself when he does that. He might get arrested if he walks down the main street in his birthday suit or maybe they are used to it. I might have to go there to find out.

All I can say about this is that this kind of lifestyle is not for me. I like my comfortable bed and running water and a hot shower too much to want to spend the rest of my days on a deserted island and anyway I also like talking to people occasionally. You learn a lot by asking questions and you get a different perspective on life.

Sure it might be nice to go to a tropical island for a week or so,  but I'm sure that 99.99% of you would love to get back to civilisation and you would really appreciate the good things that modern society brings.

I hope Mr. Nagasaki is happy and he lives out his remaining days (and in Okinawa that could be quite a few days) in peace and he dies happy knowing that he has lived his perfect life.

It just isn't for me.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Don't judge a book by it's cover

Never, ever, ever judge a book by its cover. Don't do it because it will come back and bite you in the backside.

I know that I have done it many times where I have judged someone by the clothes they are wearing or their hairstyle or even by how tall they are.

This is just not a good way to look at life and other people. I'll give you an example. A guy was setting up a room I was in the other day. He would have been about 4 foot 11 and had weird hair, kind of a comb over and he had funny teeth. Of course I passed judgement and it was all wrong. He was fluent in English, ultra-intelligent and he loved Chopin. I played something on youtube and he immediately recognised the music. I honestly felt very embarrassed.

Whenever you meet someone quiet don't think that they don't have energy. Don't think that they are not very intelligent because they don't say much. If you underestimate an introvert you are going to come out as the loser

Don't judge a book by it's cover. The introvert might not be saying very much but they have a lot of good ideas under the surface and they will be out hustling you before you know it.

Just because he or she is not talking, is not being exuberant does not mean they can't do anything. Underestimate them at your peril.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Would you live on Mars?

There have been many people over the years talk about living on Mars. Here is the latest one. In this article, Elon Musk the billionaire engineer and inventor says that we are closer to living on Mars than we think. That might be exciting for some people who see it as the last frontier and they want to experience the red planet in all it's glory.

It got me thinking, wouldn't this be an introvert's dream? I mean you would go to Mars with a handful of other people. You might not be able to return to planet Earth but you would have plenty of solitude. As I said there are only going to be a handful of people and when you feel like getting some alone time I'm sure that there will be plenty of places to go.

So, should introverts be getting there applications ready for this once in a lifetime opportunity?


Why on earth (pun intended) would you want to do something like this?

There is no guarantee that you will be able to get back home and you will probably die on Mars.

If there is only a handful of people going and you don't get on with them then it is going to be a pretty lonely existence and don't tell me that that is what you are looking for. I mean it is OK to be away from other people for a couple of days and nights but for the rest of your life? I think that you would be crazy to even contemplate it.

Remember, just because you classify yourself as an introvert, it doesn't mean that you want to get away from all other human beings.

You are an introvert. You recharge by spending time alone not by cutting yourself off from all mankind.

Monday, 3 October 2016

A Wise Man Can Always Be Found Alone! Really???

I came across this meme on Instagram the other day:

"A wise man can always be found alone. A weak man can always be found in a crowd."

This got me thinking. Obviously it is related to the theme of my blog but is it necessarily a correct assumption? Are wise men found alone and weak men found in crowds?

Before I answer this question let me define the word crowd. According to the New American Oxford Dictionary, crowd is a large number of people gathered together. Another definition is a group of people who a linked by a common interest to activity.

Anyway, the answer to the above question is yes and no. If a man has a purpose in his life and he believes in it and is willing to break down barriers to achieve that purpose then a lot of his time is going to be spent alone working on it and making it happen. Obviously at times he is going to need and want the help of others. He is going to ask advisers and mentors for their advice but proportionally a lot of his time is going to be spent by himself getting s**t done.

I think another meaning of this meme is that sometimes you have to go against the underlying thinking of society, to go out on a limb, to risk humiliation to get something that you believe in done.

Most of the famous inventors probably did that. They had an idea and they went out and did it but they had to detach themselves from the crowd. They had to risk being ostracised from the crowd to deliver on their vision.

Being ostracised from society is something that is biologically hard to take. Throughout the history of man we have stuck in groups purely to survive. 30,000 years ago if you ventured out on your own, you might have never come back. So we stayed together. These days are different because we don't have to deal with tigers or wolves looking for their Sunday dinner but the idea of staying together as a group remains. So when you are staying with the group you are not necessarily being weak, you are just doing what comes naturally over thousands of years of human evolution.

In summary, yes you are going to have to go out on your own to accomplish something. The wise part is to find something that is good for you as a person and suits your strengths.

To be in a group is not weak at all. You are being you and anyway, many heads are better than one on occasions and you may come up with the next biggest and greatest idea.

Choose what is best for you, what is best for your strength and weaknesses is the most important thing and go and do it. Generic advice I know but that is what is takes.

I'm writing this on December 13, 2017. I never knew who made that quote but I saw that it could be Bruce Lee. So thank you to him.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

What does Dr. Seuss teach us?

How many of you had and read Dr. Seuss books?

I see most of you with your hand up.

Apparently Dr. Seuss was very quiet and introverted that he was scared to go and meet the local children because they would be confused about how quiet he was. I'm sure that they would have been expecting an outgoing, exuberant man. He didn't want to disappoint them.

It's interesting. I wonder if I disappoint some people when I meet them in this country. When we think of caucasian, English speaking people the country we immediately think of is America and (apologies to American readers, but it's true) the stereotype is loud and proud, stars and stripes bearing Americans.

In this country there is sometimes a thought that all caucasian, English speaking people are American and the stereotype is loud and proud so I'm sure that sometimes I disappoint people when I'm not that typical American boy.

Lets go back to Dr. Seuss. I found a good quote from him:

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

Have a read of that again. It is so true, isn't it? If you say something or do something and people object to it, it is usually people who have nothing whatsoever to do with you and your life. They probably don't know you very well or they are just miserable themselves. If you do say or do something that may not be the best thing to do then the people that are important in your life will back you up. They will give you advice. They will have your back.

So, don't worry about offending people. Statistically, you are going to offend them anyway so just concentrate on the people who matter and they will support you through thick and thin. You know who these people are.

Well, it's Sunday, I'm going to have some green eggs and ham.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

What do Michael Jackson, Tiger Woods and Bill Gates have in common?

I was thinking today about different brands and their rivalries. I'm sure 95% of you would think as I did that the number one brand rivalry in our society today is Coca Cola v Pepsi Cola. I reckon we are right when we think that. Sure enough, in this article we get an answer to that question.

OK, so we have Coca Cola v Pepsi Cola. I was thinking can we put an introvert/extrovert slant on this battle of the Colas? Can we judge the personality of the product by who they choose to promote it? Probably not but lets see.

I realise that this battle isn't as bloodthirsty as it once was, as it seems that Pepsi has branched out and is concentrating on other things but lets have a look at this topic historically.

When I think about Pepsi Cola my mind instantly goes to Michael Jackson.

Hmmm, I can imagine he liked to recharge in solitude. Judging what I have seen on television over the years I can't imagine him rushing off to party away the night at the newest, coolest, hottest nightclub in town.

OK, now, who have Coca Cola got to advertise for them over the years? One person I can think of is Sir Elton John. Do you remember the Diet Coke ads? I thought that they were pretty cool.

I've never met the man and I'm just speculating here but he looks quite extroverted, right. Flamboyant doesn't even begin to describe this fantastic entertainer.

So, does this make Pepsi introverted and Coke extroverted? Maybe. I might have to do a bit more research on this topic.

Next, Nike v Reebok. I think Nike is miles ahead of Reebok which is now owned by Adidas but lets look at two athletes who epitomise the Nike brand. I'm sure you know at least one of these guys but you probably know both, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. When you think Nike, I immediately think of Michael Jordan even though he hasn't played for many years and I also think of Tiger Woods who although not being in top form the last few years is still arguably the greatest golfer of all time.

According to this article guess who are the top of the list of introverted athletes. Yes, well done for guessing the aforementioned Jordan and Woods. So is Nike an introverted company? I don't know.

Lets look at Reebok. Guess what Reebok has thrown their weight behind in the last few years. If you guessed Crossfit, you would be correct.

Before continuing I have to disclose that I have trained at a Crossfit gym for three years.

When you watch the Crossfit Games or the announcements of the Open workouts, the crowds are very loud and proud. The constant cheering and woooooooing could only be done by a large group of extroverts who are getting their energy from everyone else in the stadium.

Nike is introvert and Reebok is extrovert? I'll let you decided.

Bill Gates v Steve Jobs

Not exactly brands per se but they represent two of the major brands in our lifetime and do I really need to say who the introvert is and who the extrovert is? Do you need me to type that out?

It is pretty well documented that Bill Gates likes his own company (by that I mean solitude) while it would seem that Steve Jobs was an extrovert.

So, does that mean their respective companies could be classified introvert/ extrovert?

Quite possibly. I'm not big on the whole computer industry but they say that more creative people like to use Apple and I equate creative with being out there which we know is not entirely correct as a lot of creative people in our history have been introverted.

At the end of the day, does it really matter that a company is this or that? If you enjoy using the product or service and it provides you with good quality for money then that is all that matters.