Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Can you live without 'The Box'?

Television, TV, Telly, The Box, Tube, whatever you call it, it is undeniably a part of most people's lives. Whether you watch TV shows or just use the television to stream Netflix movies or Youtube videos some people can not live without it.

I was talking to a guy the other day who is about to be transferred by his company in Tokyo to his company's subsidiary in Hanoi, Vietnam. When I was talking to him he had just come from Hanoi the day before where he had got to meet his new colleagues and see where he was going to work and also to find a place to live while he is seconded to Vietnam.

I asked him about the hotel that he stayed in and he said that it was nice and comfortable and the building that he will be working in is very nice too but the Japanese language is not widely spoken in that building as it was constructed by a Korean company and there is still a heavy Korean presence in that area.

The conversation got to the theme of television. He seemed to be quite worried as there was only one Japanese channel at the hotel and that was NHK World which is predominately an English channel anyway.

This conversation got me thinking, why is it when we go to a country that doesn't speak your native language that we get worried about what is on television? Has it become such a dominant part of our lives that we can't live without it?

The answer to that is "well yes, maybe."

With internet we can basically watch anything we want and keep up to date with all of our favourite shows even on Youtube or with a VPN connection.

Maybe the older people find that difficult. The idea of watching 'TV' on your computer is not the most popular among older people and I'm saying people over 50 years old.

Also one other idea is that television is a connection to home. My first few years in Japan I had satellite/cable television. I as able to watch all the rugby matches and I felt like I was at home. I would talk to my father at half time and we would speculate what was going to happen. Of course now, we have Facebook, texting etc. That has become easier.

What I can say is that it is nice to have television but if you want to get ahead then you might need to back off from that piece of home apparatus and read a book or even write a blog.

Hey! That sounds like a great idea. I might try that. Now, what am I going to blog about? Any ideas?

Monday, 30 January 2017

From shy guy to passionate, exuberant billionaire

If by now you don't know the difference between introverts and extroverts, have a look at this video. I think that you might get some kind of an idea.

This is the launch of the Windows 95 operating system by Microsoft executives. I presume in 1995. You might recognise one of the men, Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The others I'm not sure, except for one guy, the guy jumping up and down is former Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer.

Steve Ballmer is one of the richest people in the world and is known for his antics on stage. Have a look at this video and you will see what I mean.

By the way, he is now the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA. (National Basketball Asscociation. The number one basketball league in North America.) I can only imagine what he is like at a game. Actually, you can get an idea below.

You can't fault him for his enthusiasm.

Obviously, it takes more than jumping up and down and clapping your hands and stamping your feet to make a billion dollars. Obviously it takes intelligence (check), it takes timing (check - he lived on the same floor as Bill Gates at university), it takes passion (check, check, check). As you can see, he has passion in spades.

Two things I have got out of watching these videos over the last couple of days is:

1. Isn't it interesting in the first video the obvious difference between Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates. You can see Ballmer jumping up and down in the very extroverted way and Bill Gates dancing away but not looking very comfortable at all. He almost looks like he is thinking to himself, "what am I doing here?"

I think any good company needs that sort of yin and yang. Steve Ballmer is the extroverted guy who keeps everyone motivated while Bill Gates is the quiet introverted guy behind the scenes doing a lot of the work as well. I'm willing to bet as Microsoft grew and grew that Bill Gates probably didn't enjoy the limelight much. He knew that he had to do interviews and the like and be the face but I'm sure that he wasn't comfortable doing it.

This reminds me of the Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak partnership. Steve Jobs was the face of the company but without Steve Wozniak there wouldn't have been much of a product. Steve Jobs the more extroverted face of Apple. Steve Wozniak, the behind the scenes guy who created the product. What a great combination.

2. The second thing I got out of watching these videos was passion. He obviously loved working at Microsoft. I don't believe that you can pretend to show that can passion.

This video is his retirement speech from Microsoft and the tears look very real.

I learnt that when you go into something, go all in. Give it everything and who knows? You could get the rewards that Steve Ballmer has got. He work hard for those riches and I'm sure his passion for his job and the company was a huge part in his success.

Another thing I learned was that he wasn't always this exuberant guy. In fact, up until university he was actually quite shy. He said that when he was at university, he was the manager of the American football team and he had to talk to the team everyday and he had to overcome his shyness and his hatred of talking publicly to get through to the team. They didn't want to listen to him as much as he didn't want to stand up in front 100 American football players and speak.

He overcame this and that is where he learned his passionate nature, for want of a better expression.

This just goes to show that you can overcome shyness. This just goes to show that you don't have to use shyness as an excuse.

By the way, it is not an illness it is something that you have developed over the course of your lifetime and like anything, you can change that.

Why don't you try something today to get out of your comfort zone?

Why don't you say to yourself that I will beat this shyness? I wont let it get the better of me.

Why don't you say to yourself that if Steve can do it, so can I?

Now is the time to make that decision.

I have made that decision. Why don't you come along with me for the ride?

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Chasing The Ashes: Would you do anything to win .... and to get a pay cheque?


Believe it or not, cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world thanks to a fanatical following in India.

Cricket is the sport of the British Empire. The 10 test match playing countries are all former British colonies. Well, England is there too.

New Zealand
South Africa
Sri Lanka
West Indies

Cricket was started in England a few hundred years ago and has developed to where it is the most popular sport in most of those countries listed above.

Today the best players from the above countries can make millions of dollars playing in the professional leagues around the world. More money than actually playing for your country. In places like India, the best players are up there with some of the highest paid sport athletes in the world.

Cricket hasn't always been that way. In Australia, it wasn't until the mid 1970's when media mogul, Kerry Packer, transformed the game of cricket with his World Series Cricket revolution that saw the best Australian players getting a liveable wage from the game.

In England, up until 1962, there was a distinction between amateur players and professional players. In fact, they even had an annual game called Gentlemen v Players.

The Gentlemen were the amateurs. They were traditionally from the middle to upper classes of English society. They went to public schools and onto university and generally had a career outside of cricket. In my mind, the poster child of The Gentlemen was W.G. Grace who was a medical doctor although it is said that he made more money from cricket than from looking after patients.

Douglas Jardine, the architect of the Bodyline series against Australia in 1932/1933 trained as a lawyer. He was also an amateur cricketer but with a very professional attitude.

What does this have to do with the theme of my blog?

I want to talk about The Gentlemen and The Players. As I said the Gentlemen were the rich people of English society and The Players were the working men. It was a very strict structure with The Players been addressed by their first names and The Gentlemen been addressed by their family names, Mr. Smith, Mr.Jones etc.

In 1932, England toured Australia which turned into one of the most controversial series in cricket history. Douglas Jardine who was in the 1930 English team that got thrashed by the touring Australians was the captain and he was dead keen to turn the tables on the Aussies. There was one stumbling block, a man from a small town in New South Wales called Don Bradman. Bradman scored many runs in the 1930 series and was the main reason why Australia won the series.

Don Bradman is arguably one of the best sportsman in history, not just cricket. No other cricketer in the 140 year history of test cricket has dominated the game as he did

Jardine was so obsessed to win the series in 1932/1933 that he developed a strategy to curb the batsmanship of Bradman. He called it leg theory while the press called it Bodyline in which the bowler would deliberately bowl at the batsman's body and head. This strategy worked and Jardine's team won the series and returned to England with the prized trophy, The Ashes.

The Ashes is the trophy that these two countries have been playing for since 1882. It is only 15 centimetres high but generations of Australian and English cricketers have fought over it in classic matches.

In 1984, an Australian mini-series starring Hugo Weaving of 'The Matrix' fame was made, showing the classic 'Bodyline' series.

In this miniseries (you can see the first episode below) we can see both the English and Australian teams and the characteristics of both.

As you would expect, the Australian team is egalitarian. They are all mates as you can imagine an Australian team would be like.

The English team on the other hand is a mix of professionals and rich amateurs. What struck me about it was that the professionals were happy to do whatever they were told. The professionals were just good old fashioned cricketers and they just did what the captain ordered them to do. This brought much hostility from the pro-Australian crowds and the English fast bowlers lead by Harold Larwood weren't the most popular people in Australia at the time.

Even though the English players weren't the most popular at the time the managed to win the series and accomplish what they had gone to Australia for. Tours at that time were more than 6 months in length and throw in the boat trip to and from England and the players were away from their respective families for a very long time. They were effectively going to war and the 1932/1933 almost became that.

The point of all this is, should you carry out orders even though you might be morally against it and you know that tactically it is the wrong thing to do?

The English professional players just wanted to win and so they just followed instructions. In the end by following those instructions they won.

Later in life, Harold Larwood said that he was sick of being associated with the BodyLine series and after that series he never played for England again even though he said he was just following instructions.

Would you do that? Would you follow tactics even though they were against your idea of what fair play is? Would you do anything to win a sporting game?

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Get back on that horse!!!

Regular readers will know that I do daily reading. I read from several books. I summarise what I have read and send the summary to my friend. My friend also does the same thing. He sends his summaries to me.

It was very interesting what he sent me the other day:

As mentioned in the last summary, we often associate things with certain situations.

e.g. You may not want to go to a sporting facility because that's where you got injured badly. 

But this can cause irrational behaviour. (Like all these cricketers with rituals and superstitions)

Also we can wrongly associate certain people with bad things and needlessly dislike them for it.

e.g. When I started my company my financial adviser at the time, told me that the company would probably fail. I haven't spoken to her since, even though she was right.

I have been struggling with this today. I am writing this in a place that I didn't really want to come to as I associate it with a bad memory from a few years ago, even though, and this is the surprising thing the bad memory didn't actually happen here. I just associate that "event" with this place.

All day today, I knew that I had to come to this place to write this post because I find it difficult to do work at home.

I had an appointment for most of the day and I knew that I had to come here when that finished.

Even after the appointment I stuck around writing a report (procrastination). I walked slowly to the station. I checked something at the convenience store that I knew wouldn't be there. (procrastination) I got on the train. Got off the train and walked slowly to the place stopping at another convenience store. (procrastination)

I got to the place and went up the stairs and for some reason as soon as I got there all of the bad memories disappeared from my mind as I was thinking about this post.

That whole story just goes to show that the best way to get over something is to go and do it again. For example, if you fall off a horse you should get right back on.

If you get a serious injury playing sport, you should recover from it and go straight back playing it because the longer you hold it off the harder it will be to play again.

If you have an accident in a car, get back to driving as soon as possible.

I think introverted people tend to think too much about it and they put too much meaning on a place or what people say. Extroverted people would in my opinion just let it pass and forget about very quickly.

It took me a while to get here but I'm glad I did as I got back on that horse and so should YOU.

Friday, 27 January 2017

The Opposite with George Costanza

Seinfeld was an American sitcom for about 10 years in the late 1980's and 1990's.

One of the most well known episodes when George Costanza decides to do 'The Opposite.' He decided that nothing ever worked out for him the conventional way and what his instincts were saying so he decides to do everything 'The Opposite.' Believe it or not, he gets some unbelievable results. New job, new girlfriend, new apartment.

It starts off by ordering something different to what he usually does. Then he talks to a woman at the restaurant who he normally wouldn't. He gets a job at the New York Yankees by basically not caring and telling the owner what he really thinks.

If you are not getting the results you want what harm is there in doing the opposite? It surely can't be any worse than what is happening at the moment and like George you might become 'the assistant to the travelling secretary' for the New York Yankees. Or you might meet the partner of your dreams or find yourself in a place that you really enjoy living in.

Remember, do 'The Opposite' and see what happens. You might surprise yourself and the people around you and who knows where your decision might lead you.

Good luck. Tell me how it goes.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Extroversion = charisma???

I was reading the other day about extroverts being more charismatic. I was thinking, is that true?

Lets have a look at the word charisma. My dictionary on this computer that I'm writing this post on says that charisma is: compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others. 

That sounds good but do you have to be extroverted i.e. someone who might say things without thinking about it to be considered charismatic?

Basically, what the author of the book was saying is that because an extrovert can talk better than an introvert then he or she must be charismatic. Usually what they are talking about isn't as important as how they are saying it. They could be talking about absolutely nothing but because it sounds good or they are saying it with a lot of enthusiasm and passion then people will listen.

Introverted people might be talking about things in a great more deal and intelligence but because they are not climbing up the walls doing it then people get bored with it very easily.

Are extroverted people more charismatic?

The quick answer to that is NO.

Charisma, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Many people say that Bill Clinton is a very charismatic guy and that might be true but not everyone is going to like him and consider him charismatic. They might think he is over the top or not very sincere. That is up to the individual.

Don't pigeonhole people. Don't think that because they are like so then they must be so. That guy sitting in the corner sipping on his vodka and ginger ale (Moscow Mule) might look boring but he might be the most charismatic person at the event.

Don't judge a person by his or her energy levels and how fast they can get the story out of their mouths. That quiet person in the corner might just have something really interesting to say.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Are they being nice to you? Are they your friend?

In this post the author talks about stereotypes and whether they are dangerous or not.

The reason I was reminded of this is because a friend of mine asked me the following question:

"Someone told me once that when a Chinese person is nice to you, YOU KNOW they either are your friend or they want something. When a Japanese person is rude to you, YOU KNOW they are your friend. Is this true?"

That is an interesting question and it sort of focuses on national stereotypes.

First of all the first one about Chinese could apply to anyone from any country. Most people will be nice to you if they are your friend, they wouldn't be your friend otherwise, right?

Also, there are many people from all over the world who will be nice to you if they want something. I know from personal experience. I would get a phone from a so called friend from time to time:

"Hey man! How are you? We haven't seen each other for awhile we should go and get a beer."

I would always say yes because who doesn't want to get a beer, right?

"By the way, could you do me a favour, could you call ******* and ask them a question for me."

Of course I would always say yes and then when the answer to the question wasn't what he wanted to hear he would get angry at me and I would have to make more phone calls but of course I was getting a beer so why should I complain?

I learnt the hard way with that one.

About the second part to my friend's question that if a Japanese person is rude to you, you know that they are your friend.

I would say that this is true believe it to not and it is not just Japanese people, I think it is everyone who I classify as being a shy introvert.

I remember more than 10 years ago, I had my friend staying with me and he noticed when I was talking on the phone that I was being really relaxed and I was making fun of the person on the phone. My friend remarked at the time that I must be comfortable with that person because he hadn't heard more talk like that with many people.

The same applies with this Japanese example. Obviously you can't paint everyone with the same brush in a particular country but many people in Japan are a little shy and introverted around strangers but if they are rude to you, I believe that they are being friendly and they trust you to know that they are just joking.

I must admit that I have made mistakes in the past but that is called growing up. I have said something to someone who I thought that I could trust and they would know that I was joking and they have not seen it the same way as me.

That's life isn't it? We live and learn.

To answer my friend's question.

Yes! Chinese people will be nice to you if they are your friend or they want something but so will other nationalities.

Yes! Japanese people will be rude to you if they are your friend but so will other nationalities.

At the end of the day, nationality doesn't have anything to do with it. Look at the individual and their actions. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Island life?

St. HelenaPitcairn IslandTristan da CunhaAscension. Do you know any of these places?

These are all British overseas territories. Basically the last bastion of the British Empire.

They say that the sun doesn't set on the British Empire and thanks to the above places and a few other territories that is still true ... just.

There are about 4500 people on St. Helena. There are about 300 people on Tristan da Cunha. There are about 800 people on Ascension and less than 50 people on Pitcairn Island.

All of these islands are very isolated from the rest of the world. You can only reach them by boat and you have to be committed to want to get there.

(*An airport on St. Helena was supposed to be opened in 2016 but they found that due to wind shear it couldn't be used. I have no idea what wind shear is but it sounds pretty bad if they close down a whole airport because of it.)

Would any of these islands be some place that you would like to live on to get away from it all?

If island life was something that you might be interested in and you quite like the isolation of it all then it might be something you could consider. Just bare in mind that if you get bored you just can't take a taxi to the airport and go away for the long weekend.

Also if you can't sustain yourself with your savings then you might want to get a job and these may be few and far between depending on which island you go to.

You are not going to be like this guy who lives by himself on an island in the south of Japan but if you are used to a fast paced city lifestyle it might be a bit of a shock at first.

Are you going to sign up or do you think you can get a certain amount of solitude where you are now?

I suppose it is up to you and what you are looking for.

For the more curious people out there the other places that make up the British overseas territories  are:

  • Anguilla
  • Bermuda
  • British Antarctica Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory (Diego Garcia)
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Falkland Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Montserrat
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

Monday, 23 January 2017

Using your passion to become more outgoing

I had the good fortune recently to watch a very good Rakugo performance.

Rakugo for the people who haven't seen this word before is a traditional Japanese entertainment where a performer tells a comical story while sitting on a cushion on an elevated stage.

The performer was actually a native Canadian who has perfected the art of Rakugo and now travels all over the world sharing the art form.

His performance was excellent and I managed to speak to him after the show and it was obvious that he absolutely loved it and was the kind of person who was equally comfortable in front of a crowd as well as in a one on one situation. He spoke very enthusiastically about Rakugo and I could tell straight away that he was a very extroverted person.

Now you are probably thinking, I'm not extroverted, I can't possibly get up in front of a lot of people and crack jokes or perform or play guitar or whatever.

What I say to that is bulls**t. Of course you can for two reasons:

Number 1 - If you are passionate about something as this guy certainly is then it doesn't matter. I'm sure that not every rock and roller is an extroverted, groupie banging bro. They are passionate about it and they will get up in front of thousands of people and do their thing. I'm sure you can too.

Number 2 - The Situational Extrovert. This is when you are fundamentally introverted but for the performance or the time you have to give a speech, you flick a switch and it is like you are Doctor Bruce Banner changing into the Hulk. Don't worry, you don't change into a big green monster, you just turn into an outgoing extroverted performer who loves the spotlight and is playing a character.

There you go, what is your passion? I'm sure that if it involves performing on the stage you can do it if you love it and if you are practiced and are confident enough. I've gotten over my fear of public speaking by doing that. Think that you are playing a character and with practice it becomes easier and easier.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Are you a hermit?

Could you live like this? A hermitage (I always thought that was an art museum in Russia and a hotel near Mount Cook in South Island of New Zealand) in Austria is looking for someone to be the hermit.

Huh? Is that actually a thing?

Well, thanks to good old Wikipedia it says that a hermitage is a place for religious seclusion. I did not know that. Shows you how much I know.

This post is not to showcase my knowledge or lack of knowledge of hermitages. It is to ask you a question:

Could you do this job? Could you live on the side of a mountain with no running water, no electricity and the worst part, no internet for eight months?

I like solitude as much as the next person but I think that this is crossing the line. You would have to be very dedicated to the cause and even a little bit social. A social hermit? Now there is an oxymoron if ever I've heard one.

Who should apply for this "job?"

Well, in my opinion, if you identify as an ambivert then this "job" would be perfect for you. You get your solitude plus you get to talk to a stream of tourists. What could be better? Obviously without internet you won't able to see how your shares are going or whether Chelsea won the premiership or you won't be able to keep up with the Kardashians but you will have a great story to tell.

There you have it. Are you in? This is the best of both worlds, solitude and human contact.

Tell me how it goes and what they asked you at the interview. That would be interesting.

(I do know that this is some place in Italy. I couldn't find the actual place in Austria. You get the point though.)

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Comparisons can be bad for your health

Social media! Do you use social media? If you are reading this I am guessing that you have some kind of profile somewhere.

What do you use?


OK. So you use some or all of those. Good.

Now, second question. How many of you would classify yourself as shy or introverted? (By the way, they are not the same thing. Click herehere, or here for more information about the difference.)

OK. I see a few of you out there.

Right. Here is the next part and I want you to listen up and listen carefully. OK? Are you ready to do that? Right, here goes:

DON'T and I mean DON'T compare yourself with other people out there. It will, and I apologise for my language here but it needs it, it will fuck you up big time.

I'll give you an example. I like Facebook and I have found it a way to keep in touch with family members and people that I went to school with. However I find that I get a little bit down by some of the things I see. Photos of holidays in exotic locations and big houses and flash cars and the like.

One guy that I went to school with has done incredibly well. Actually I knew from when I went to school that he would be a success. He has become a well respected medical professional. He has his own practice that seems to employ a large number of people. He has a beautiful house. He is married to a beautiful, intelligent woman and he seems to be away on exotic holidays every month. (Maybe some of that is work related, I don't know. Unfortunately people don't post photos of their meetings on Facebook. They only post photos of them standing on isolated beaches.)

So what happens when you start comparing yourself with other people on social media?

Well, quite a bit actually.

1. You take your eye of the ball. You forget about what you are doing and think about what the other person is doing and you completely lose focus. What you have to remember is that people post good stuff. As my friend said to me a few days ago, "I just want someone one time to write "I spent all day today lying on the couch in the foetal position sucking my thumb." Hmmm, what is the chance of that happening? Slim, I would say.

2. Comparing yourself to others can erode your confidence. You might think you are going along OK but then you see other people in their multi-story 6 bathroom house (yes I wrote bathroom instead of bedroom, that wasn't a typo) and you think that you are no where near them but you have no idea what they have done. All that you can do is concentrate on what you are doing.

3. As I have eluded to in the two above examples, you don't know the full story. Hey, that Lamborghini looks really cool and I am super jealous but what you don't know is that the guy is in debt for the next 53 years paying it off at a ridiculous interest rate.

Another thing about photos on Facebook and this is a common one. They might all look happy but they may have just stopped an argument and as soon as the camera is put down they will be off again.

4. There is always someone who is better than you. There is always going to be someone who is more successful than you. It is a fact of life. Get over it. I'm sure that someone out there will go past Sachin Tendulkar or Usain Bolt or Richie McCaw or Roger Federer. That's life.

Focus on what you are doing and you will get the results that you want. Don't compare yourself to other people on Instagram, Facebook etc. You don't know what they are doing. You know what you are doing. Keep it like that.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Walk straight ahead with your head up, not with your head down

I own an iPhone. I think it is great. It is amazing what you can do on it.

You can:

  • Take photos
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Find your way if you get lost
  • Watch a movie
  • Check your email
  • Place a bet on a horse race
  • Find any bit of information that you need
  • Message a friend
  • Do your social media
  • Make a movie
  • Check the latest cricket scores
  • Book a restaurant 
The list goes on and on and on and on and on. 

I must admit that I use my iPhone a lot and I like looking at it and reading about the latest news. Today I was watching the New Zealand cricket team's game on Youtube. It was streamed live on Youtube. I'm not sure how legal it was but the fact that it was Youtube suggested to me that it was probably OK. 

Isn't that amazing? You are sitting on a train in the middle of Tokyo watching a cricket game on your phone that is being played more than 9000 kilometres away. 

Technology is amazing. 

The one thing though is and I believe this to be a huge negative is that the smartphone has created a great deal of zombies. I don't have a problem with people reading their phones on the train. What is the difference between doing that and reading a book or a newspaper? Nothing. What I do have a problem with is people who walk slowly holding up people behind them while looking at their phones. 

What is so important on that apparatus that you have to look at it while you are walking and create traffic jam? I bet nothing. 

People say to me often that they are shy and they want to meet people. My first two questions are do you have a smartphone and/or a video game console? 

Invariably the answer is yes and yes. I tell these people that you have to put down the phone and the game controller once in a while and get out of the comfortable chair and get out of the house. Obviously it is not as easy as that as you have to prepare yourself mentally and make a plan on what you are going to do once you leave the house but putting down those two things are a good start. 

I want to clarify one thing, I'm not saying to give up these things, what I am saying is to put them down occasionally and look at people and smile and maybe say hello. I know that sounds difficult and it freaked the hell out of me but it works and do you know what, you become present. You notice things around you and you feel a hell of a lot better. 

OK! Are you ready put that phone down. Look straight ahead get out of the chair and start walking.

If you need the phone to tell you where to go, that is fine but when you need to look at it, you stop walking, step to one side and examine the map and then put it back in your pocket and walk again. Sounds simple right? It is but it takes a lot of discipline and I'm sure you have the discipline. 

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Is it OK to act differently around different people?

Yes, I act differently around different people. But it's not because I am fake. It's because I have a different comfort zone around certain people.

We are all different. We all have different thoughts, different opinions, different agendas, different senses of humour, different idiosyncrasies.

What you do with some people you wouldn't do with other people. I'll give you an example, you wouldn't swear like a sailor when you are around your grandmother, right? You modify your character whereas if you were around friends you might drop the F Bomb on occasions.

I always used to laugh when I would see my mother interacting with her uncle. We would be on holiday with other relatives, cousins, aunts, uncles etc and it was fairly relaxed shall we say. However when my mother's uncle would turn up every year for the afternoon, everyone seemed to be on their best behaviour. It amused me at the time but now I realise that they were just modifying their behaviour for this particular occasion and their comfort zone around their uncle was a little bit smaller than normal.

I'm sure if Queen Elizabeth turned up at your place your would act very differently than if your mate showed up for a beer and to watch the big game.

Have a look at this clip in which we see how the Lionel Logue's wife acts when she finds out that Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother is having a cup of tea in her dining room.

See, Mrs. Logue modified her behaviour to accommodate a very important visitor in her house. Of course after she had gotten over the shock.

To answer the question, yes it is OK to act differently around different people. It is called being a decent person and I am sure that if you are reading this blog then you are definitely a decent person as am I.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

A couple of bits of advice for shy guys

This post is going to be for guys and more specifically, single, shy guys. If you are not a single, shy guy then maybe you might not get much out of this post but then again you might learn something so who knows?

First of all, regular readers will know this already but for new readers to this blog I will go over the difference between introvert and shy. Some people think it is the same thing but that can't be further from the truth.


An introvert is someone who reenergises by being alone or maybe with a close friend or partner. They don't really like parties and social events as they find that their energy depletes quite rapidly.


This is basically the fear of being judged negatively in a social situation.

Shyness and introversion are not synonymous as there is such a thing as a shy extrovert. Someone who wants to go to the party but doesn't want to be the middle of attention.

Today I am going to talk to the guys who maybe want to go to the party or date women but you are too shy (scared) to do anything about it. Maybe you are like the guy below.

I will give you two ideas that you might want to use in the coming weeks.


Online dating doesn't have the same stigma that it had 20 years ago. Today, people are so busy that their love life is put on the back burner and they look to the internet to help them. There are many apps out there that can help you as well as well established websites that can help you.

 Go in with the attitude that you are using these sites to overcome your shyness. Don't feel bad about it and don't give up if you don't find the love of your life in the first two dates. Think about it as a social experiment for yourself and think about it as a self development exercise, then you won't feel too much pressure. Also realise that you are going to stuff up the first few dates and you are not going to be attracted to everyone and that goes for the women as well.

Not all women are going to be attracted to you. That is just life. They might be judging you which I know you fear but think about. You are probably never going to see them again and if you do you might not even recognise them. Give it a go. At worse you are going to overcome your shyness and at best you are going to find the love of your life. Not bad if I do say so myself.


Any many cities there are people organising parties. They might be using websites like Meetup.com and others. This might be more difficult than an online date because you are going to an event with a lot more people but remember that people there are not really judging you because they are there to meet people too so they should up to talking and being friendly because if they are not why are they there? It wouldn't make sense.

After going to these parties, who knows? You might get invites to other things from people at these parties and before you know it, your shyness has gone and your old friends and family won't recognise you.

You don't have to be shy all your life. You can get out and about if you really want to. As the quote says below, if you really want something, you will find a way and you will overcome the obstacles to get there and be successful.

"Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way." Les Brown.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Jump into it

This picture was something interesting I found on Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/BPWA4zgAuBZ/?taken-by=thinksmartgrowrich

When it feels scary to jump, that's exactly when you jump, otherwise you end up staying in the same place your whole life and that I can't do.
(J.C. Chandor)

When you are trying to be more social, when you are trying to get out of your comfort zone the above is perfect advice.

I know the advice that you should just do it or you should just go is pretty generic advice and doesn't really mean very much. It is like the advice just be confident which doesn't mean anything really, however, in this case, you do need to just jump.

You are not going to learn how to swim by standing by the swimming pool all day thinking about it, you need to jump in and (as long as you don't drown) try to swim.

You are not going to learn to ride a bicycle by standing next to it all day thinking about riding it down to the shops. You have to jump on and risk falling off.

Children don't learn to walk by sitting by their cot all day thinking about it. No siree, they stand up, they walk, they fall down, they stand up again, they go for a walk again. They literally jump in.

Sometimes when you want to be more social you have to stop thinking about it. Don't overthink it and just get out and mingle.

I've said a few times that you may not be the only one who feels uncomfortable. In fact I am pretty sure that you are not the only. So go to these events with a plan. Hey, even go to these events with a time limit. For example, if you say only two hours then go home after two hours. Just because the party is still going on and the extroverts are calling you names for going home early, don't listen to them. Know your limits and vacate the premises. But remember to jump. Jump in clothes and all, you might get results that you scarcely believe.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Being judged. How can you make this less painful?

You might have come to my work for a number of reasons. You might be a little shy and you want to make a bit more of an impact around people that you might encounter on a regular basis. Hey, you might be really shy and you just want to find ways to make it more comfortable to speak to strangers at events that you feel not very comfortable being at. You might just find the whole introvert/extrovert/ambivert concepts interesting.

Whatever reason you are here, we are all, me included, trying to improve ourselves and become the an outstanding person in this extroverted world that we live in.

Whether we like it or not, we are going to be judged on a few things and this could be among work colleagues, people in your social circle, sport team mates or even people that you have just started dating.

This is going to be from a male point of view but I'm sure that is relevant to females as well.

So lets have a look. What are you going to be judged on?:

1. How you treat people around you.

How do you treat people around you? Are you an arsehole to service people for example? Do you look down on people who are servers in a restaurant or do you engage with them? People are going to judge you on this, so be nice. People in restaurants/bars etc are people too. They are trying to get ahead in this life, like you are, so give them some respect.

2. What energy do you bring to the situation?

Are you someone who sucks the life out of every situation by being such a negative so and so? I made a New Years's resolution this year that I would cut down on complaining which I think is quite a good little goal or aim to have. It is good to be around people who are positive and optimistic just don't make your optimism misguided.

3. Are you put together? 

This doesn't mean that you have to be like the guy below and you don't have to have a zillion dollars in your bank account but what is means is whether you look after yourself or not. Basically, do you take pride in your appearance. You don't have to be wearing a $5000 suit but you take pride and you take time to think about what you wear. Unfortunately we live in a world where you are judged straight away on what you wear so you might as well take some time on it.

4. How do you walk around?

Someone who walks around at one hundred miles an hour, do they give out an vibe that they are friendly and maybe someone that you want to get to know? I'll answer that for you. NO! I believe that people who are bit more slower in their movements convey a sense of control and confidence, whereas faster walkers just look stressed.

5. Reliability

Are you someone that people can rely on or are you going to let people down by forgetting about your engagements and cancelling a couple of hours before you are supposed to meet? You might think that you are being cool by doing that showing that you a man or woman in demand and with a busy social life but all that you are going to do is piss people off and you are not going to get anywhere.

6. Chatting

I'm not talking about what you do online. Here, I am talking about what you do face to face with other people. Are you able to keep the conversation going with interesting topics? Are you able to keep the conversation going by being fun and interesting? If not, there are ways to practice this and become better. It is a skill after all and you can improve it with practice.

7. Are you interested in other people's hobbies and interests?

It's all very well rabbiting on about what you like and what you have been doing but if you do that you are not going to be in the conversation for very long. Remember that people's hobbies and interests are usually what define a person and what make them interesting to be around so ask them about what they like to do and you will win a new friend. But remember the most important thing, something that I am not very good at and I am trying to improve, LISTEN!

8. Your posse

You will be judged on who you spend time with. If you decide to spend time with drug addicts and no hopers you aren't going to be looked upon as being a very, lets say, engaging person. So surround yourself with people who will challenge you to be a better person.

9. Do you have goals?

If you don't have goals, what are you doing? Are you just going through the motions in this life? You are not going to be judged on what your goals are but you will be judged if you have any goals or not. I suggest that you start thinking of your goals and even more importantly, how are you going to accomplish them.

10. Confidence

All of this will bring confidence and if you have confidence you don't really care if you are judged or not. You are comfortable in your own skin and you won't really care about what other people who you don't really know think about you.

Whether we like it or not, we are going to judged by people around us and who we encounter on a daily basis. We might as well give them something to really judge. Become the best person of yourself and people are going to be very, very impressed.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Raising your middle finger to insecurities and fear

This blog isn't the first time I have tried to write something.

More than four years ago I was challenged by a friend to write 30 blog posts in 30 days. At that time I thought that it was an almost impossible task. Now I am on blog post 288 of this blog and I think back to those 30 in 30 days.

Anyway, I was reminded today from this video about my blog post from September 16th, 2012.

I would like to publish that blog post again today because surprisingly it is very relevant to what I have been writing about in the last 288 days.

Here it is below:

I was given a challenge by a friend to write 30 blog posts in 30 days. He challenged me to summarise an article and then incorporate inside the summary 10 ideas to solve the problem.

My friend half jokingly suggested I might choose from cricket articles. I laughed at this and said that I would take this challenge seriously and not to do that. I had a few days until I published this first blog but I couldn't go past this article  from Cricinfo.

Cricinfo is one of the most popular websites in the world and you can find your daily cricket fix on it. But the aforementioned article really struck a chord with me. Why? Is it about my life? Quite possibly. The article was written from a cricket angle but could quite easily be applied to many walks of life and many if not all groups in our society.

Iain O'Brien, a former international cricketer for New Zealand says that a cricket player may look confident behind their sunglasses and that confident, almost arrogant strut but that could possibly be a facade because behind that could be insecurities and fears and all of those nasty things that prevent us from being all that we can be and entering as the aforementioned friend likes to say, the winners circle.

O'Brien says that behind his sunglasses he was always analysing people. Analysing their words, their body language just to find out where he stood in the grand scheme of things. So how does he get away from the uncomfortable part, he doesn't make eye contact and avoids conversation. Unfortunately, this makes you appear arrogant and of course it is the exact opposite of what you are really feeling.

This is a very interesting article and I suggest after you read this post to click on the link above and read O'Brien's article.

So, what's this got to with me, Blair Leighton? Everything!!!! Everything that he writes about I am guilty as charged. Not just in cricket but in life in general. Has it hold me back? You bet your life it has.  You ask people that know me, do I talk a lot. Not really and in 2012 that is not good. We do live in an extroverted society and we can't really afford to be introverted but that discussion is for another day. This is interesting that I wrote this in 2012. I must have known something about 2016 and 2017. 

Do I sit back and analyse people? Up until a few weeks ago I would have said no, I just try and figure out who I am talking to so I can communicate with people on their wavelength. But when I really think about it yes I do and have even been accused of it by a current work colleague. Of course I want to tell her that I am fundamentally shy and that unlike some of my more extroverted colleagues I can't talk bullshit all day long but I can't tell her that. Why? She isn't going to listen.

As I am writing this I am thinking why should I care? I shouldn't. However, it is a little bit more difficult than that. Telling a person to just not care is about as useful as telling someone to just be confident or JDGAS (Just Don't Give A Sh*t) it means nothing and isn't going to fix the problem.

What is the problem? The problem as I have said is all those insecurities and fears that are holding you back.

So, what's the solution? Wow, I ask myself the difficult questions. I suppose I am challenging myself with this blog and coming up with kind of a solution is all part of it, so here goes:

1. Admit to yourself that you are inside you head and that you are indeed playing a character and not being true to yourself. You are trying to "fake it to you make it" and making yourself look like a wanker or even a perceived wanker in your own mind in the process.

2. This is particularly difficult for me but believe that it is very important for me to do and that is to say hello to people as they walk past, whether they are people you see everyday or people you have never seen before in your life. You don't have to spend the rest of the day or night with them. Just say hello. What are they going to think? "What a bloody twat!!! How dare he say hello to me?"

3. Look people in the eye and LISTEN. (Difficult for me as I'm not generally listening and am waiting to say something anyway.)

4. Do something once a day that is slightly out of your comfort zone. For me, talking to a woman I find attractive walking down the street may be that particular one (not that I have venustraphobia. look it up if you don't know what it means. It was a question on the bottle top of the Tui beer I had yesterday.)

5. I have joined a Toastmasters group recently. This is helping me with confidence. It is a very supportive environment for improving your public speaking and your leadership abilities. You get to meet a great deal of people who I would have to say are in the same boat who are not comfortable in their own skin.

6. Find things that you are passionate and see where you can take them. If you are passionate about boxing for example where can you go with that?

7. You are half assed. I know you are, maybe not all of you but a lot of you. When you do something, give it 100%.

8. Do an inventory of your strengths. We tend to think about our negatives and dwell on them when we all have strengths. It is a waste of time trying to build up your weaknesses when you should be highlighting your strengths and working on them. I'll use a cricket analogy, do you think Sachin Tendulkar works on his hook shot as much as his cover drive? I don't think so. He will just duck under the short ball and cream the cover drives.

9. Get rid of any negative influences in your life. I have done in the past and it does work.

10. Look after yourself, try to increase your knowledge. Look after your health (I'm terrible at this). You will start to feel better, have more energy and that confidence will return.

Confidence is the goal and working on it everyday will bring results. Just don't think of a quick fix. Work on it over a long period of time and you and I will see each other in that winners circle and maybe even in the future we will see each other in The Hall of Fame.

There you go. I did know about this stuff a few years ago. Isn't it amazing that you have it in you but you don't know at the time.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

I'm shy! I have to go to a party?

I was telling a story the other day about how I was invited to a party and that I was to meet my friend at the station at 6pm. I was told, "DON"T be late."

I arrived at the station at about 5.55pm and I get a text saying, "I'm running late. I won't be there until 7.30pm. Please go to the party ahead of me."

This was something I did not want to do because:

1. I didn't know the person who was having the party. I had never met him.

2. I wasn't exactly sure where his apartment was even though I was given the address.

3. He didn't know I was coming and I didn't want to just turn up and say hi.

I was telling this story to another guy who said that he wouldn't have gone at all. He would have stayed home and not even left the house.

When I asked him why he replied that he is shy and he wouldn't feel comfortable at the party. I had to empathise with him because in the end I didn't go either as I didn't want to barge in on a stranger's house and party. I just didn't feel very comfortable about it at all.

But what happens when you are invited to a party what can you do to make it less of a hassle for you and the other people around you?

1. Look at it as an opportunity. Look at it as something fun to do and realise (because shyness is the fear of being publicly judged) that the other people there are not judging you at all. In fact they probably don't even know that you have arrived, unless you come in wearing a clown's hat and doing cartwheels which I know you won't be.

2. Look for other people who might be alone or not as comfortable. Together you can make a stand and hopefully have a good time together. As a pair you can introduce yourself to the other people in the pack so to speak.

3. Arrive early. I know for some of you extroverted people the notion of arriving early makes it seem like you are not cool but the introverted people it is a good strategy as you mark your territory before anyone else gets there and you feel a lot better and you have marked out your fort before anyone else arrives.

4. If all else fails drink a lot of alcohol. You won't remember what happened the next day but everyone else will remember and this will get you another invite to the next party where you can go through the whole process all again.

Good luck!

Friday, 13 January 2017

Quit drinking!

I read this interesting article this morning. It was written by a guy who quit drinking alcohol and with that his sales career went into another stratosphere.

I learned two things from this article:

1. You can decide to change something in your life at anytime.

2. Cutting alcohol out of your life can bring many benefits.

At anytime in your life you can decide to make changes. You don't have to wait until the calendar says 1/1 or my personal favourite, Monday morning. You can change something now. All it takes it about one second to make that decision to change something in your life.

This guy decided that alcohol had to go from his daily life and he has reaped the rewards.

I have always said that if the government of Japan decided tomorrow that Japan will go dry, it wouldn't be a big problem for me.

I like the odd tipple from time to time just like a lot of people out there I suspect but it doesn't define me and I can have a perfectly good time without it.

Lets have a look at the benefits that the author found:

1. He found time. He didn't waste his time drinking. He found that he time to do other things that he liked and even get some sleep. Wow! That sounds awesome.

2. He found his passion. This would tie in with having more time. You are not drinking, you are studying something else. I'll give you an example. I am writing this on a Friday night. Why? Shouldn't I be out drinking and socialising. Well, no. I'm engaged in this and I have found something that I care about.

3. He found money. I'll tell you something, blogging on a Friday night is a lot cheaper than drinking beer and vodka. (Wouldn't mind a Moscow Mule now though.)

4. He found his waistline. Yep, without all this added calories you are going to feel better and heavens forbid might even lose some weight.

5. With all of this added time you are going to have more time to focus on your job and you might get more and more clients which means more and more cheques. That sounds pretty good to me.

6. He felt better and healthier. This has to be the most important. Who doesn't want to become more energetic and healthier? I know I do.

There you, he got all of this from making just one decision. Imagine what you can achieve if you make one important decision tonight.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

The Library? A Social Venue?

I remember when I was at university and when I had to get work done or study for exams, I would go to the library. I'm sure a lot of you can relate to that.

From memory, the library at Massey University was open from 8.30am to 11pm and shorter hours on weekends.

Anyway, during the year, of course there were people using it but towards the end of the year, i.e. end of October and beginning of November, the library, especially in the evening was packed. Sometimes it was very difficult to find a seat and my favourite desk which I basically had a mortgage on during the year was frequently taken. (It annoyed me no end.)

One of the things I noticed about the library at the end of the academic year was actually how little study seemed to be done by the people taking over my seat on the top floor of the library in the far corner.

What were they doing? Why were they there? Why didn't they just go home?

Well, it was certainly a social thing for these people. Every five minutes groups seemed to be getting up from their seats and going outside and doing something. I don't know exactly what they were doing, probably going for a coffee or something. Although some people seemed to drink a lot of the stuff.

(Also, one guy from Malaysia told that he was going to pray. I thought he was joking because we had a difficult exam the next day but then I realised that he was actually telling the truth. He was going to some room, facing Mecca and he was praying.)

The point is, although throughout the year, the library was a "Mecca" for people like myself who would try and get away from people and sit in the corner and do my work. It was introvert paradise should we say.

At the end of the year it turned into "party central" and for people like myself it wasn't the comfortable place that we had created throughout the year.

I find it interesting how places that are there for the whole year and people ignore can suddenly become very popular. An example in my hometown is the horse racetrack. There are race meetings throughout the year which only a few people attend while the December 26th meeting every year is one of the social highlights of the year.

The library was certainly a focal point for the social activity of students at the end of the academic year. The good thing was that it wasn't like this at all although I might be mistaken. There might have been a corner that I didn't know about...

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Getting out and about

It's time.

It's time to get away from the security of your mobile phone.

It's time to get away from "letting your fingers do the walking."

It's time to get out of your shell and stop using "I'm an introvert" as an excuse.

It's time to be that social person that is in everyone out there.

We all make excuses about why we shouldn't go somewhere. Especially at this time of the year where it is cold outside and in certain parts of the world there might be even be several feet of snow on the ground. There is no better time than the present to start your new life.

I'm not saying that you become a party animal, what I am saying is that on occasions you make the decision to go out and interact with people that you might not deal with on a daily basis.

What I am saying is that in society today you need to socialise occasionally so why not practice occasionally.

Last year I went out to a few bars and clubs by myself. It was way out of of my comfort zone and it was difficult but what it did was it forced me to speak to people who I might not have done in the past. Some people were willing to talk and others, smiled (grimaced) and said hello and went on their way. Hey! You can't win them all.

It's time to get out there and just make your way along that personality spectrum a little bit. You don't have to become like the people in the photo below but becoming just that little bit more social could make all the difference.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

How to stay motivated

It is the beginning of 2017 and I am really finding it difficult to motivate myself. I thought that I would come back from holiday all guns blazing but that isn't the case and it is really frustrating.

So, how can I stay motivated and get to where I want to go this year?

1. Take one day at a time

This is one thing I tell myself consistently. It is all about consistency. Doing the same thing everyday to get to where you want to be. Sometimes I can get overwhelmed with everything I have to do but if I break it down into daily things then it isn't that much and it is more manageable.

2. Surround yourself with positivity

I made a New Year's Resolution that I wasn't going to complain and I broke that complaining about the weather and my travel plans. Basically I was complaining about something that I couldn't control and and I was complaining about something that was totally my fault. I mustn't have been very nice to be around and it was a big wakeup to me. People want to be around positive people, not whingers and you should want to be like that too.

3. Create goals

Know that when you wake up in the morning you are working for something. You have a purpose. If you don't have anything to wake up to, why get out of bed? I know in the winter that sounds like an excellent idea but believe me if you don't get up you are not going to accomplish anything and you will wind up in a big pile of s**t.

4. Believe in yourself

If you can't believe in yourself, who will? You have to know that you can do it. It is as simple as that. Believe, believe, believe.

5. Acknowledge your positive things

My friend and I did an exercise in which we wrote down what we thought were our own and each other's positive attributes. Here are mine:

  • Good sense of humour
  • Good public speaker
  • Creative
  • Punctual
  • Tolerant
  • Knowledgeable
  • Intelligent 
  • Loyal
  • Unconventional
  • Friendly 
OK. There are my positive attributes. What are you ones?

6. Recognise your progress

Yes. I have made progress in the last eight months and I know that but there is also a need to get to the next step and level. So celebrate your successes and then move on to the next step.

7. Visualise accomplishing your goals

In this blog post I talked about making the most of your mornings and in it, it talks about visualisation and if you can really, really visualise it then you can accomplish whatever you want. You see it in your mind and then you go and do it. It sounds simple, doesn't it? It's not but you have to get started and who knows?

8. Don't compare yourself to others

This is difficult bit you have to realise that you are doing it for yourself. You have your own goals. I find in the Crossfit gym that it can get a little bit demoralising sometimes when the other guys are lift in more than me but you have to forget about them and concentrate on your work and not be put off by people around you.

There you go. Keep on fighting. Never give up and you will start to attract things into your life that you are wanting. 

Monday, 9 January 2017

Anthony Hopkins and the World's Fastest Indian

Burt Munro.

Do you know this name?

I didn't until this movie came out in 2005. The World's Fastest Indian is about Burt Munro, a speed bike racer from Invercargill at the bottom of the South Island in New Zealand.

The movie is based on Burt Munro's attempt to beat a land speed record on his modified Indian motorcycle.

I have watched this movie several times and I also recently watched the 1972 documentary that a lot of the movie is based on and in both the documentary and the movie Burt Munro is portrayed as an outgoing, gregarious old man. Even in the documentary the word extrovert was mentioned.

With these biopics you need to take things with a pinch of salt as you know that some of it is based on fact and other parts of it are not so much.

For example, in the movie we see Burt Munro would every morning urinate next to the lemon tree on his property. We know now that Burt Munro actually didn't do that and it was actually the director's father who did that.

What we could see as plain as day in the movie was Burt Munro's outgoing nature. He was able to make friends very easily and they seemed to want to help him.

This got me thinking. Would someone, who has a quieter nature, who isn't as outgoing, been able to get people to help him or her as easily as Burt Munro could?

I don't know. My gut feeling is that probably not. I can't imagine a quieter guy getting the type of assistance that Burt Munro was able to get in the movie. Obviously, as I said before, it is a movie so get out the salt shaker but in my experience outgoing guys do tend to get help from people. Outgoing guys and beautiful women. Everyone seems to want to help these people.

Is this sour grapes? Not at all. What I am saying is that someone who identifies as an introvert may have to come out of his or her shell on occasions to get what they want.

If you are not able to speak out in a friendly and eloquent way then people may ignore you.

I know from experience that just being that little bit more outgoing will get you what you want.

Standing out to get ahead?

Regular readers will know that I grew up playing the sport of cricket and I still take an interest in it today.

The other day, Australia completed a 3-0 clean sweep of their test match series against Pakistan in Sydney. On the last day of the five day match Australia had a couple of injuries so as is customary in cricket they recruited a local player to field for them. The guy they recruited as you can see in this video has become a bit of a cult hero.

Why has he become a cult hero?

Is it because he took a sensational catch?

Did he make some good stops in the field? Yes but no.

Here is the reason, he is 2 metres tall and he has long blond curly hair. In other words he didn't look like a typical cricketer. He was a bit different so the crowd took a bit of a shining to him. He looks like he should be out on his surfboard on Sydney's northern beaches somewhere. It reminded me of this"incident" from a few years ago.

All of this suggests to me is if you do something a little bit different, you will get noticed and good things may happen. In this case Mickey Edwards was able to make an impression on the field for the Australian cricket team.

You don't have to look like this. (Although in fairness this guy is very successful and that different clothing and nail polish allows him to stand out a lot.)

Maybe you can wear a bow tie or wear different colour shoes or even you could start to grow a beard. I mean which person stands out below, the bearded one or the non-bearded one?

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Nothing means something


"When you ask me what I am doing today, and I say "nothing" 
It does not mean I am free. It means I am doing nothing."

I had a friend who would ask me this a lot. It was really frustrating because I wanted to do nothing but he took it as meaning that I was free to go and have a beer with him and when I declined he would make me feel guilty about it.

If you ask someone what they are doing and they say nothing. Respect that. They are wanting to be with themselves. It has nothing to do with you they just want to hang out with themselves.

Let them be.

Friday, 6 January 2017

How to be happy

What do you have to give up if you want to be happy?

There are a few things you need to do to become happy:

The need for other's approval
If you want to do something and you have a good reason and it is part of your purpose then go ahead and do it. Just because someone someone doesn't approve of it doesn't mean you should stop. They probably don't approve because they can't understand it themselves so they think you are doing it wrong. Go ahead and do it. You will probably get what you want.

The need to impress others
The only person you need to impress is yourself. If you can impress yourself then it is odds on that you will impress other people but if you can't impress yourself you won't impress others.

The need to always be right
You don't have to be right all the time. Sometimes it is best to walk away from an argument, Some people won't let up and you are not going to win anyway. Walk away.

Dwelling on the past
This is one thing that do a bit too much. Instead of meeting my mind on what is going on at the moment and what I want to achieve in the future, I focus on something in the past, usually something bad or something embarrassing. It doesn't help me at all and it won't help you at all either.

Blaming others
There is only one person responsible for you and that is you. It is no one's fault. You are to blame. No one else.

Recently I found myself complaining about something that was totally my fault and when I look back on it, it must have been annoying for the people around me. I was blaming other people for my lack of due diligence and I must have sounded rather lame.

There you go. Cut those things out of your life and you are well on your way to getting things done.  and becoming a lot happier.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Quote of the Day

Here is a good quote from Laurie Helgoe:

"Lets clear one thing up: Introverts do not hate small talk because we dislike people. We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people."

Yes, I couldn't agree more with that.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

The learning never ends

I got a huge lesson about the life the other day.

Here it is:

The learning never ends

Learning does not finish when you leave high school or graduate from university. Learning never ends.

Do you know who taught me this?

It was a 90 year old woman.

She listens to talkback radio everyday. Now I know what you are thinking, there are some "interesting" people who call these talkback shows but there are also some highly intelligent people as well and she told me that she learns a lot everyday. She also said that she forgets a lot as well but I'm sure that we are all in that boat.

"It goes in one ear and out the other."


I'd say that is pretty good advice. Don't you think?

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Keep some time open for "unexpected" occurrences

I saw this video the other day and I immediately thought that this is what an extroverted woman would be like.

This video really hit a chord with me. They give the example of the number one mistake that women make. They like to make plans for the next six weeks (which is a good thing by the way) but when they have the opportunity to meet a guy or go out on a date with a guy they are busy. They don't make enough alone time for themselves as they are always busy meeting friends that men just don't get a look in.

Admittedly in saying that if the woman really likes the guy they will make time to meet them but if they are early into their "relationship" or are from an app or online then the guy will get some kind of excuse and that is that. As a friend of mine likes to say, "it's all over."

This is what I think, it is OK to be have some alone time. It is OK to not have anything planned for a particular night. I'm sure that the whole world is not going to end and the whole world is not going to think that you are some kind of loser.

Just because you are an extrovert and you energise by being social with many people around you, you should create some space and time because you never know who is going to walk into your life. Keep some time open. If you don't keep it open, I won't allow you to say that there are not any good men (or women) out there.

This video by the same guy hits the nail on the head as well.

It is so true that we judge by the texts we send each other. Women judge by the man's grammar and spelling so if they spell wrong and if "there" grammar (I know I made a grammar/spelling mistake) is not 100% perfect then the man is dismissed. Goodbye, "I'm busy."

In saying that, men are not perfect either. We just judge by how hot the woman is, how big their breasts are, how high their skirt is.

What is the point of today's post?

Make some time for people that you might not know very well, because, hey, they might be interesting and god forbid, you might want to spend some more time with them and who knows what is going to happen after that.

You don't need to be around 100 people all the time. You might find that having a quiet drink with a new person might be just the tonic.

Try it. You might surprise yourself.