Monday, 31 July 2017

FRIENDS: Its a small number, but you must cultivate it.

Here is an interesting article about friends.

It says what I have been saying that we only have a small number of close friends and if you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that I have been saying that for a long time.

We do really only have four or five close friends and I do believe that we overuse the word friend.

For me, a friend is someone who you can ask at 3am on Tuesday morning for help. They will get out of bed to help you as you would at the drop of a hat.

I don't understand how someone can say they are having a birthday party with 700 of their closest friends. I doubt whether they know everyone's names.

I find the word 'friend' on Facebook to be a bit of a misnomer. There are some who I have never met and probably will never meet in my lifetime anyway. Like the article says there are people I see semi-regularly and some who I see maybe once a year.

Are they friends? I don't think so. They are 'mates.' (That word is such a useful word.)

Generally, introverted people will have less friends but you find that they are all extremely loyal to each other.

Extroverts might use the word 'friend' quite liberally. I tend to take that with a grain of salt. It is like when someone said they met Johnny Depp or some other famous person when in fact they only saw them from a distance.

Those top five will do anything for you and if they won't, you should demote them. I'm not being stupid or mean when I say that.

Friends are people who will say good things behind your back and difficult things to your face. They will always have your back and they will always give you a big kick in the backside if you need it or deserve it.

Don't worry how many friends you have on Facebook. It's a nice number but you need to cultivate that small number as well.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Daily RBL Video Blog - Do you have to be an extrovert to be a hair stylist?

This is a video I shot when I was having my hair cut. Thank you to Ayumi Horiuchi for her cooperation.

It seems that this kind of job, hair stylist, you need to be quite extroverted to have the energy to survive the day. You are on your feet all day and you have to talk to different people. As an introvert that sounds quite exhausting.


Lets face it, us native English speakers are pretty lazy.


You don't agree with me? Why not? How many other languages can you speak? I know you are pretty fluent in your mother tongue (well you should be anyway). But what else can you speak? No, swearing is not another language and the last time I checked, gibberish isn't a language either.

Learning to speak a foreign language opens up a whole new world to you.

Imagine if you learned to speak Mandarin Chinese. You could open yourself up to potentially 1 billion other people that you could talk to. If you are an outgoing extrovert that sounds like heaven.

A lot of you are going to say:

"What's the point in studying another language? Most people speak English anyway. So why should I waste my time?"

What are some of the benefits of learning another language?

1. Apparently it helps your brain. Like going to a gym to build muscle. Learning a new language helps build your brain. I know in Japan, a number of older retired men and women study foreign languages for fun, for social reasons and for learning in general. You can't question that.

2. Your whole world opens up and it makes life easier. I know in Japan I don't rely on anyone to escort me to the bank or to go through various things at shops etc. I'm very independent and life runs smoothly because of it.

3. I think it earns you respect. I respect all people who have a thorough understanding of the English language and can communicate to a good level. It shows that they have applied themselves and they have got the results. All power to them, I say.

Finally if you are not convinced, have a look at some of these videos and maybe you might change your mind:




Not convinced?

This is for guys. What if the woman of your dreams casually pops into your life and she can only speak Spanish. What are you going to do?

Yes, I know she speaks English but I think you get my point.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Enjoying yourself is shown differently

Here's a question for today.

How do you know if someone is enjoying themselves?

Are they climbing the walls, shouting at the top of their voice, drawing attention to themselves and having hundreds of worshippers praising them at the club?


Is it the guy who quietly comes everyday and then goes home but he he is there everyday?


Is it that person who is taking a photo every five seconds while filming little videos for his or her Instagram feed?

We show our enjoyment in different ways. Just because the guy is not jumping up and down and shouting at the top his lungs that he loves everyone, it doesn't mean he is not enjoying his time.

Maybe he likes to sit casually in the corner. Talking to people who venture his way. Listening to the music as it is played. Hoping that his new favourite song is played. Observing the people in their natural habitat.

He is not yahooing. He is not telling everyone within earshot how good he is. He's just sitting there having a great time.

Let him be. He's fine. You don't have to ask him if he is fine or not. That is the way he enjoys himself and that is fine too. Just because he doesn't fit into what you think fun should be doesn't mean he is wrong. Far from it.

We enjoy in different ways. Deal with it.

Friday, 28 July 2017


I was reading this book the other day. The Way of the Superior Man is an interesting book written by David Deida.

I think if you read the title of the book you don't really need to think too much about what the book is about.

One of the chapters I read was about a man's purpose and his relationship with his family. The chapter got me thinking about men's lives all around the world and especially in this country, Japan.

Comedians in this country joke that the typical Japanese family hierarchy is the following:

We can take this for the joke that it is and it is quite funny because it always seems that poor old dad takes the brunt of everyone's frivolity but if we look into it a bit more thoroughly we tend to see that it is quite sad to say the least.

Why is this?

Well, it is because poor old dad has lost his sense of purpose. He goes to work in the morning to provide for his family. There is nothing wrong with that. It is very noble but Deida says that it doesn't set his soul on fire. He might be providing for his family and bringing home the bacon so to speak but he isn't doing anything for himself as a man. Because of this the children and his wife will sense this and they will sense the weakness and start attacking him verbally.

This guy treks off to work on a crowded train everyday for one hour each way. He joins the line of people snaking their way to the office to sit in front of a computer all day, have endless meetings, deal with a boss who is so out of touch with the idiosyncrasies of life in 2017 and to also deal with customers who want a five minute soft boiled egg delivered in three minutes. No wonder he is miserable. Then he goes home to find that no one respects him. His wife checked out years ago and the children think he stinks.

Yet if poor old Dad was to find his purpose, to find what he was put on this earth to do, to find his calling, he would miraculously find himself much more happier. His wife would find a difference in the way he carries himself and the children would want to be around him more and more.

What does all of this mean?

If indeed your purpose is to start some kind of business then just quitting your job and diving into the business in the deep end is probably a fool's move but the fact that you are working on your purpose in your down time is enough to show the other people in your family, who is 'the man.'

I know that it is easier said than done, but to find that thing that you want to get out of bed in the morning for. That thing that sets your soul on fire. That thing that sees you sitting at your desk at 10pm on a Saturday night because you are so involved in it, you are so focused on it. If you can find that, man oh man, you can become unstoppable.

You go from this:

To this:

Unlike Superman, no kryptonite will stop you. You will be faster than a speeding bullet. You will be more powerful than a locomotive. You will be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Up, Up, and away

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Chuckie's wise words: Good Will Hunting

In this post I talked about three things to be more likeable.

In the post I also put in a scene from the movie Good Will Hunting.

It is this scene I want to talk about more today.

There is a quote I want to start with:

"True friends say good things behind your back and bad things to your face."

You get a great example of this from the video below:

In the movie, Ben Affleck's character and Matt Damon's character are best friends. They have basically grown up together and know each other as well as anyone in the world.

The words from Ben Affleck's character, Chuckie Sullivan when he tells his best friend, Matt Damon's character, Will Hunting have left me in tears on some occasions when I have watched it. It is what friendship is all about.


Because Chuckie only wanted the best for his friend and he wasn't frightened to tell it like it is. He told Will in no uncertain terms to pull his finger out, so to speak.

"No. No, no no no. Fuck you, you don't owe it to yourself man, you owe it to me. Cuz tomorrow I'm gonna wake up and I'll be 50, and I'll still be doin' this shit. And that's all right. That's fine. I mean, you're sittin' on a winnin' lottery ticket. And you're too much of a pussy to cash it in, and that's bullshit. 'Cause I'd do fuckin' anything to have what you got. So would any of these fuckin' guys. It'd be an insult to us if you're still here in 20 years. Hangin' around here is a fuckin' waste of your time."

In my opinion, everyone needs a friend like that. Someone who goes and has a few beers with you. Someone who shares your best moments and someone who shares your bad moments (and who doesn't run away). 

Everyone needs someone who will have your back in the trenches but at the same time, tell you if you have fucked up.

If you have someone like that, hold on to them because that kind of person is priceless. They don't grow on trees.

In the video Chuckie was so selfless. He wanted his best friend to be successful even if it meant that he would never see him again. Just the fact that Will was successful would have been enough for Chuckie and at the end of the day that is what friendship is about. 

Chuckie told the honest truth to Will and that is the pillar of any relationship. If you can't tell the other person the 100% truth then at best your are just acquaintances, not a true friend or a true partner. 

In the clip Will took it well, he wasn't angry that Chuckie tore into him because he realised that his friend had his back and in any relationship if you can handle the truth from your friend or partner then you have that relationship. If you or they can't handle it, then you better walk away. 

Don't take friendships for granted. Treasure them. Nurture them. Feed them and they will grow over time and you will know that you can't live without them. 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Online shopping: For introverts or extroverts?

More than 20 years ago I won a competition in the university newspaper. The prize was a free hour at the local Internet cafe.

At that time I didn't know what the Internet was. My friend and I went along and it was my first taste of the Internet. I remember chatting with somebody in North America and being blown away.

As we all know, the Internet and communication in general has come on in leaps and bounds. We can chat with anybody in the world by using a little device in our pockets called a smartphone

Isn't it amazing?

One thing that has come with the Internet in the last 20 years is the idea of online shopping. Just thinking now, I can think of three major companies, Amazon, Rakuten and Alibaba.

So, is online shopping an introvert's heaven?

Do introverts go to a website while extroverts love the shopping mall?

Is online shopping boring for an extroverted person or does the convenience of it all trump that?

These are interesting questions aren't they?

My uneducated guess is that extroverts do like the shopping mall. The idea of having hundreds of people walking around and being able to talk to the shop assistants and other people would really energise an extrovert while sitting behind a computer screen wouldn't do that as much. It could be considered boring, god forbid.

Online shopping is a godsend for introverted people. This, however, doesn't mean that you can sit at home all day and not venture out into the big, bad world.

No sir. Not all all. It is another option, but it shouldn't be your only option. You need that social time. You need that time to talk to other people. (Not just the pizza delivery guy.)

Don't hide yourself behind the computer screen.Venture out from time to time. You might be surprised what you find.

Follow me on social media:





Japanese language blog: (Admittedly I haven't updated it for a long time but it is a similar theme to this blog.)

Tuesday, 25 July 2017


Here is an interesting quote from Horacio Jones:

"Be with someone who wants to understand who you are and why, instead of someone who wants to change you into someone you are not, just so THEY can be happy."- Horacio Jones

I'm going to contradict myself today.

There is no doubt that we live in an extroverted world and there are certainly advantages to being outgoing and sociable. However, if this is not how you "roll", it an be quite difficult.

I suggest that in some situations it is preferable "to come out of your shell" in order to get things that you want.


Don't expect people to act like you want them to act. They are going to act congruent with who they are not who you want them to be.

If they do try to act in the way that you want them to be, neither of you are going to be satisfied. They are going to be dissatisfied because they are not being themselves and you are going to be dissatisfied as well because they are not being authentic and you probably can see that a mile away.

So, what is the advice today?

Be yourself 99% of the time except the time when you need to step out a bit, especially in your work and business.

Around people you know well, don't be someone that you are not. They are going to pick it up very quickly.

Don't try to change someone to make you happy.

If you feel like you are being changed, walk away. Walk as far away as possible. This will help your sanity as well as the other person's sanity.

Which photo is the true me?

You decide.

There is a correct answer.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Slaves to fashion?

The video above is a 60 Minutes interview with Vogue editor Anna Wintour. For the uninitiated, like me, Anna Wintour is one of the leading figures in the world of fashion, and she is one of the people who set the standards for fashion in the world.

What is fashion though?

Is it just a few people telling us that we should wear these kinds of clothes or shoes at this time of the year because if we don't then we will be looked down upon by society and even worse, we might be laughed at?

It seems to me now, and be warned, I'm not the most fashionable guy in the world, that it is "fashionable" to wear suit pants, dress shoes and no socks.

Whoever came up with this, needs to be shot. It does not look good at all.

Obviously, some person said, "we should put the sock companies out of business." He or she obviously knew that we (people) are like she and we want to follow the flock (herd) whether we like it or not. They must know that thousands of years ago, the idea that you might be shunned from the group would mean certain death.

Very much the same now, isn't it?

"What the f**k are you wearing?" is heard quite a bit isn't it? That particular person who turns up to the party not wearing what everyone else is. Fashion suicide. Social suicide too probably.

That reminds me of this scene from Mean Girls:

Lindsay Lohan obviously didn't get the memo about what is fashionable at the party and of course was ostracised from the start rather than be congratulated for her fashion flair and daring and playing along to the occasion as well.

All of this makes me wonder, would it be fair to say that introverts are a little less, lets say, fashion savvy when it comes to dressing, while extroverts like to dress up and impress. (What's that saying? Dress to impress?)

I can only go from my experience and the answer to that is yes.

My friend likes to dress to impress. His clothes are always of the highest fashion. His hair is always immaculate and he is certainly an extrovert. He loves going to parties and socialising with all and sundry.

Another close friend of mine is someone I would put on the introverted side of the spectrum and his fashion sense is shall we say, limited.

Maybe, and this is just me speculating, because extroverts like to get out and socialise, they care more about their fashion than introverts do. They realise that they want to stand out by not standing out, so they dress to the nines, while introverts don't go out so much so they don't make an effort. They dress for comfort as opposed to making an impression.

Who is right? Who is wrong?

Probably the fashion industry would say that the extroverts are correct as they are following trends but what did Robert Frost say?

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference."

Go about it your own way and take solace that the people who are making fun of you are just slaves. They are slaves to fashion. They are slaves to society and they can't even imagine going about it by themselves.

It takes courage to go at it alone but the rewards are there and it can even start you on a path to something special.

Who knows?

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Public Transport: An introvert's nightmare?

Hands up who rides public transport on a regular basis.


Hands up who avoids public transport like the plague and thinks whoever takes the bus is a loser.

Public transport, especially in a big city is an indispensable thing. It carries millions of people around the traps, getting to work, school and allowing them to do errands.

Public transport is very convenient, especially in Tokyo where the trains run like clockwork and you can get yourself around quite quickly whereas going by road may take a little longer.

What are the not so good things about public transport?

Well, first of all, if you are of the introverted nature, some of the crammed trains in the morning are not going to help your energy recharge in the morning. You might arrive at work wanting another sleep and that can't be good for productivity.

Imagine been stuck on that for five mornings a week. You are going to get up close and intimate with a few people in the course of a year or so.

Of course you have the sardine tin like trains and then being an introvert, I do find other things to be annoyed about.

Let me see:

When you are sitting down  and someone (usually a young man) will sit down at such a rate that he will rudely bump your shoulder or another part of your body. This is usually because he is so preoccupied with his smartphone that he doesn't even know that someone is sitting there. I have had a couple of young guys sit down and smack my shoulder. I told them about it too.

Another thing I find annoying about public transport is the sound of (usually a young man again) sniffing. Actually almost snorting. I know that blowing your nose in public is frowned upon in this country but surely, drawing a half a ton of snot back into your nasal passages is not good for you.

Let Shrek explain it to you:

Yep, better out than in.

Another "mode of transport" is the elevator (lift for my Commonwealth readers). I don't know about you but I get a nice sense of satisfaction by riding the elevator by myself.

For some reason, it is taboo to talk on elevators.

In fact, I was at a major Japanese company last year and they even had a sign in the elevator to basically shut up while the elevator was moving.

Here are my rules for riding the elevator:

1. If you can't see anybody coming, close the door quickly.

2. If you do see someone coming, sorry, you are out of luck and don't even think about closing it. That is not cool and makes you look like a bit of dickhead.

3. Stand as faraway from the door as possible. Preferably in the corner.

4. Always let the person go out in front of you. Insist if you have to. (Be a gentleman)

5. If you get on an elevator by yourself, treasure it. Enjoy the solitude. Make the most if it.

What does all of this crowded elevator and crowded train talk suggest to me?

Work your ass off both literally and figuratively so that maybe taxis are an option, or your own car (parking could be a hassle) or the creme de la creme of it all, a chauffeured driven car so that you don't have to worry about the sweat walking around on a summer's day. You will be cool and ready to go for every meeting in your schedule.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

3 Ways to be more liked

We all like to be liked, right?

Some of us find it very uncomfortable to walk around knowing that someone in our midst does not like us or is trying to avoid us. Of course, there are some people who are oblivious to that kind of thing and sometimes I wish that I was that kind of person. But I digress.

How can you become more likeable? How can you get people talking about you (behind your back) in a positive light?

("True friends say good things behind your back and bad things to your face.")

I can think of three ways:

1. Say my name

I'll let Beyonce Knowles, LeToya Luckett, LaTavia Roberson and Kelly Rowland kick this one off:

What is the most important thing to you? I would say that you are probably the most important thing to you. You might say your wife or husband is, or even your baby daughter is and that's great but at the end of the day, I would say, that yourself is the most important thing.

This goes for almost everyone in the world so if you remember the other person's name and actually use their name, they are going to think that you are great.

I'll give you an example. When I played cricket at high school, we would have our games on Saturday afternoons in the summer. Because we were all high school students playing against adult men it was quite challenging but we held our own. Of course we all got a lot of support from our parents and other family members which was nice.

My mother would often say that she liked one of my team mate's fathers. Why? Because he would say "Hello Jane" (that's my mother's name). That's all. Hello and my mother's name. She loved it. Why? Because the name Jane is important to her.

I must admit that I'm not the best at this. I either forget names very quickly or I'm not sure how to pronounce them. One guy I see frequently, always says "Hello Blair" which is really nice. I must admit that I don't know how to say his name so on occasions I will just say hello or mumble his name hoping he doesn't hear it. This is despicable behaviour by me. I should just say his name the way I know it and if I mispronounce it, I should be confident that he would correct me and I shouldn't be embarrassed about it.

So, say people's names, it will make you stand out.

(I must admit that even though I live in Japan and I have for a long time, I do find the culture of using titles for some people as being not good. Bosses and teachers and other professions are called by their title and to me this is a bit insulting. My parents didn't call me 'section chief' or 'teacher' or 'president' so why should other people call me that. That's an interesting one. I might have to dig into that a bit more.)

Another story is something I heard from my father about one of his co-workers who would never say his name, Stuart. The co-worker would say "excuse me." My father got mightily annoyed at this as his parents (my grandparents) did not christen him "excuse me."

2. Smile

If you walk around with a big frown on your face, how are you going to feel? You probably are going to feel miserable.

Do me a favour as you read this. Smile! How do you feel? I just did it and I immediately felt better.

Do you know what, smiles are contagious. You don't believe me, smile at someone and unless they are a complete idiot they would probably smile back and they will immediately feel better and you will too.

Basically when you smile, you are exuding energy. You are exuding positive energy. People will enjoy talking with you more. You will probably enjoy talking to them and you will have a great little energy pot to work from.

Try it. See what happens.

3. Walk tall, walk straight and look the world right in the eye

This song basically sums it all up. I'm sure your mother told you on numerous occasions not to slouch. I know mine did.

It is all about body language and that body language exudes confidence and people can spot it a mile away.

I have been working on this recently by not putting the strap on my business bag and really concentrating on pulling my shoulders back when I walking around with my bag. I don't know if it is noticeable but I feel better about it all so it might be working.

Throw your shoulders back, look up and walk straight. Sounds like a plan to me. Also, resist the urge to walk looking down at your smartphone. First of all, you are an idiot, plan and stupid. Secondly, you might crash into a lamp post which proves my first point.

There you have it. The three things to do to be liked:

1. Say their name

2. Smile

3. Have correct posture.

I'm sure you will notice a difference, very, very quickly.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Is he an A-hole or is he shy? You decide. (Not the Pope)

A friend of mine was talking the other day about a mutual acquaintance. In fact they are a couple. He wasn't very complimentary about them. Well the husband in particular.

"Have you ever talked to him?"
"I've said one or two things to him. We usually exchange a greeting or two."
"His wife is nice but he is an arsehole."
" What do you mean?"
" He never says anything. He is so stuck up himself."

At that time I had my mind on other more pressing issues so I didn't really think about what he was saying but a couple of days later when I started thinking about our conversation, I believed that my friend got it all wrong.

First of all the wife is extremely chatty. She always has a smile on her face and we will chat about some interesting topics. I even sent her a message on Facebook talking about a video we were talking about. She seemed to be interested in it and so it turned out to be so.

He husband on the other hand is not so chatty. He looks to me anyway, to be extremely focused and he certainly has his s**t together  and he has in my opinion anyway, a purpose to his life.

A chatty woman and a super-focused man. Hmmmm, I wonder why they are married. (That's sarcasm, by the way) In my experience, it is true that opposites do attract. Why? Because they complement each other. He organises everything and she does the socialising. Maybe, she is the good cop and he is the bad cop when dealing with naughty children.

The point today is that you can't judge a book by a cover. Just because you were taught in your life by your parents and grandparents to say hello to everyone and to stand up when an adult enters the room it doesn't mean everyone was and in your eyes they may be being rude but they might well be shy and can't say hello or they might even find you intimidating.

Introverted and shy people can come across as being aloof and rude especially if you are extroverted and were taught to say hello. That doesn't make the introverted and shy people a bad person, all it means is that they struggle in a social situation that is just an everyday occurrence for you.

If you do come across someone who struggles to say hello. Don't worry. You just do what you have been trained to do over the years. You say hello to them without the expectation of getting a response from them. If they say hello back then great. If they don't say anything but acknowledge you in some way then great. If they completely ignore you and walk past you like you are not there, then great. Not your problem. You did everything that you could do. Give yourself a pat on the back.

You don't have to say hello to everyone like The Pope below but if you practice your greetings without expectation of a response then you will feel at peace with yourself. And that is an awesome feeling.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Daily RBL Extra: Quote from Bob Marley

Here is a quote from Bob Marley I saw earlier today. It is an interesting one.

" You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She's not perfect - you aren't either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, causes you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break - her heart. So don't hurt her, don't change her, don't analyse and don't expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she's not there." 

                                                 Bob Marley

Some misconceptions about introverts

There are many misconceptions about introverts. I am here with the help of this from Pinterest to set you straight.

Number 1 misconception: Introverts don't like to chat.

This is definitely not true. Introverts won't talk unless they really want to say something. Introverts find small talk and the like quite boring and would rather talk about more substantial topics than the weather and how hot it is or what is happening on Keeping up with the Kardashians.

Number 2 misconception: Introverts are shy.

Introversion and shyness are completely different. Shyness is the fear of social judgement whereas being an introvert is about how you energise yourself and how you talk to others. Introverts won't do the old fake air kiss routine and say "oh darling you look wonderful" when they don't.

Number 3 misconception: Introverts hate people

Introverts do not have hundreds of close friends. They have a small band loyal friends who for the most part drop everything to help out their friend. My standard for a friend is that if you need their help at 3am on a cold Wednesday morning, who are you going to call? I would suggest that an introvert would have more people to call at that time than someone who has hundreds of superficial friendships.

Number 4 misconception: Introverts are rude

I'm sorry if our abrupt nature hurts your sensibilities but I am here to talk about what we came to talk about not something about your life that everyone doesn't really want to hear about but they are being "polite." So get on with it.

Is that rude? Some people probably think so. They can go and get stuffed.

Number 5 misconception: Introverted people always want to be by themselves

No, of course not. Introverts do like social interaction but usually only with ONE person at a time. This way they can be authentic. They  can be themselves and they don't have to conform to any society pressures or rules that they don't like anyway.

Number 6 misconception: Introverts are strange

Of course when you take yourself away from the herd, people are going to think you are strange. Because your way of thinking is not what everyone thinks, they are going to try to bring you down to their level which is the worst way to go about it. Introverts don't make decisions that are based on what is trendy or what is "super-cool" now. They will make their decisions based on what they think in their heart.

Number 7 misconception: Introverts don't know how to have fun.

Oh yes! The classic extrovert way of thinking. Just because the introvert won't go out and have a few beers on a Friday night or go raging on a Saturday night at the "Super -cool" (can you see a pattern?) new hot spot club in town, in the eyes of an extrovert, it means that he or she doesn't know how to enjoy him or herself.

Well, just because he or she is not out and about, it doesn't mean that he or she is not having fun. Staying at home, sitting on the couch with that special someone, watching a movie, is the introverts ultimate way to have fun. They can sit there and recharge and get ready for another week.

There you have it. Some basic misconceptions about introverts. So before you start to label people, weird or aloof or rude. Think about it from their side, maybe they are saying that for a reason.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

If Obama and Bolt can do it, so can you

There is a famous photo that I have seen regularly over the last year or so where the former president of the United States, Barack Obama is shown greeting a janitor or maintenance guy.

You can see a copy of the photo here.

This was something that President Obama probably does hundreds of times a week but for the other guy in the photo it obviously made his day and probably his week as well.

Something as simple as a high five or hand shake is all that is required.

It reminds me of the following video from the 2012 Olympics:

The other day I moved out of the apartment that I had called home for one year. I wanted to leave the place all spick and span so spent quite a long time tidying and cleaning the place so that when the landlord came for the inspection there would be minimal things to talk about it and that turned out to be true.

Earlier in the day the staff at the building I was living in were more than eager to help me with my rubbish problems as I had a couple of things that I needed to dispose of. They couldn't have been more helpful.

Why is that?

Well, maybe it is because they are nice people and that is their job. Maybe they were bored and had nothing else to do or maybe it was because I had done something simple like say hello to them whenever I saw them or just engaged them in simple conversation from time to time.

Obviously I didn't say hello because I wanted them to help me, it is just the normal thing to do. Right?

Be nice to people and they will be nice to you. Simple!

*Just as I was about to publish this blog post, I saw something on Instagram which really sums up what I wanted to say today.

You can see the Instagram post here.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

6 pieces of good advice from Instagram

I would like to share some interesting things that I have seen on Instagram in the last year or so. These are not so much photos of celebrities in foreign locations but of some interesting quotes and pieces of advice that you can use in your life.

I have linked the quotes to the original posts on Instagram so that you know where they came from.

1. When people ask "what do you do?" Tell them "whatever it takes."

I agree with this one to a point. Whatever it takes under the law. You don't want to to go shooting someone to prove a point or get what you want because you are going to open another can of worms.

2. My goal is to build a life and career where I'm not constantly waiting for the weekend. I don't want to live that way, where I hate five days of the week because I hate my life and job so much that the only relief I get is Saturday and Sunday. I want to enjoy my life and not wish it away every week. I want each day to matter to me, in some way, even some small way. I want to live my life, all of it, not just my life on the weekend.

Why suffer five days for two days of freedom? It just doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense at all. When I tell people that I spent my Sunday working on my blog or other things, that don't really understand. They think that I should be out and about, playing in the sun (which I do) or watching or playing sport (which I do) or drinking heavily with mates (which I do). I like all of those things but in moderation, there are other things in my life which are more important and I like to use that time to improve myself.

3. If everyone likes you, you have a serious problem.

Even writing this I feel really bad thinking about it. However, as they say, you cant please everyone and somebody is going to take issue with you. You cant let it get to you and you should move on. I have noticed recently that someone I see on a semi-regular basis is being a bit standoffish with me. I don't know what I said but I suppose at the end of the day that is his problem and his business, not mine.

4. Don't chase people, be an example. Attract them. Work hard and be yourself. The People who belong in your life will come find you and say. Just do your thing.

All I can say about this one is "Yep." Do your thing, don't worry about other people. They have problems, you have problems, you need to look after yourself.

5. It's better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.

This is one of the most difficult things to do in the human race. At the beginning of time if you weren't in a group you might get eaten be a sabertooth tiger.

Fortunately in 2017, those predators are not wandering around our cities or though you could argue that there are some people who are like that. Going off on your own really does attract people who will try to bring you into their group. They will criticise you, they will make fun of you, they may even be kind of nasty, but if you have a vision, go for it. Don't worry what they say.

6. I just want to work hard, make money, eat with good people and love the same woman over and over again.

I can't argue with that one or add anything else to it. It sums it all up.

Monday, 17 July 2017


If you classify yourself as an introvert then you may struggle with change. You may not like to adjust to new things.

Introverts, generally, like routine, they like sameness and they find it (change) very, very difficult to deal with.

I know from personal experience that change can be very stressful for me and I have had times in my life where I have not exactly covered myself in glory by accepting the change.

So, what can you and I do to accept change and see it as the good thing that it is?

1. Find the good thing in the change and really concentrate on the positives. When we concentrate on the positives we look forward into the future and rather than moping around feeling sorry for ourselves we are looking at the positives and thinking about all the good, no I mean great things that are going to come with this change.

2. Set goals. So, something has changed, that's too bad, but if you sit down and have a think about it, you might be able to get something good out of it, so see what this change is going to do for your future.

One mistake I made in one of my goals was that I didn't set a date for when I want these goals to materialise. Always set a date and work your tail off to try and accomplish it.

I have had one big change in my life recently, something that I didn't really want to happen because things were going along quite well. I made a decision however, that I will use this change to go on to bigger and better things and I have set a date for it.

3. Realise that you have to face change at many times in your life and you just have to accept it and just like a swimming pool if you slowly get into the pool then it is not going to be very comfortable but if you just jump in and make a big splash then you find that it isn't that bad and you get used to the change (and the temperature of the pool) quicker.

Change is all around us. Change is inevitable. We don't want to do it but we are going to have to at some stage so you might as well make the most of it.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Today's video: An interesting watch

A like the guy in this video. The devotion he shows, the love he shows and definitely for him it is:

"Until death do us part."

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Don't share everything.

I posted a couple of photos on Facebook today as well as Instagram. I don't go overboard, but if I see something interesting, I will take a photo and share it if I deem it worthy.

Many people do go overboard with their sharing, Sharing something every half hour or so. So much so that it becomes noise and people delete it or stop following it.

I think social media is a good place for shy and introverted people to come out of their shells and share what they think of the world. That's excellent.

Often they are able to express themselves better through the written word as opposed to talking.

However, I have also been reading that the closest couples are the ones that keep their relationships off social media. That makes sense as you do want to keep some things private and the law of averages suggest that one day you are going to share something that your partner will not approve of and bang you are in a big pile of you know what.

Be selective in what you share. Show some things but not everything. Keep some things secret and you should have a happy and fulfilling time with your significant other.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Stay away from the flock

This is a flock of sheep. Some of you may well be familiar with this especially if you grew up in the southern hemisphere.

What are sheep known for?

Delicious meat?

Also they tend to follow each other. If one sheep goes the rest follow and that is why we get the expression 'sheeple.'

The word sheeple may be a new word for some of you. Basically, it is when you compare people to sheep in that they are docile, foolish and easily led.

That is why it takes courage to stand by yourself. It is easy to go with the crowd. It is easy to go with what a large percentage of the population is doing.

To stand by yourself, you risk ridicule. You risk being ostracised from your group. You risk been seen as a failure.

To get anywhere though, you need to at times stand by yourself. You need to turn your hearing off to the naysayers and you need to jump in with both feet.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

You've got to ..... accentuate the positive


There are many greetings in the world and depending on who you are saying it to, there many levels of formality.

This is no exception in Japan. There are of course the very formal greetings to superiors and older people, right down to the greetings of male work colleagues in the morning which at best sounds like a slightly aggressive snake. (I'm sorry guys, that's what it sounds like.)

In the summer, the common greeting changes from the usual, konnichi wa or ohayoo gozaimasu to the more season specific, ”暑いですねー” (Atsui desu ne) This literally means "it's hot."

OK, fair enough, it is 35 degrees celsius and 80% humidity, so yes it is hot. However in my opinion, if you say this, you are focusing on the heat and because of that you will feel hotter than if you were thinking about icebergs. (By the way, just by typing the word iceberg I felt cooler.)

I'm not just picking on Japanese speakers here. In English, we would say the same. We would probably use a couple of expletives here or there, for example, "F**k, it's hot." Of course we would feel hotter. Not a good thing.

Rather than focusing on the negative, i.e. the heat, why don't we focus on something like the weather. In other words, "It's a great day today, isn't it?"

Yep, it might be 35 degrees and 80% humidity but it is still sunny and nice, right? At least it isn't like the Arctic with snowy summers and polar bears wandering around town causing mischief.

So we should focus on the positive or not even talk about the negative. Why focus on it when you can put your mind to better things?

(This reminds me of the following song. Apparently my grandmother was determined that I would like this music and she would play it for me when I was in the cot. It must of worked because some go the songs in this movie are pretty cool.)

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Quote of the Day

Please don't judge people.

You don't know what it took someone to get out of bed, look and feel as presentable as possible and face the day. You never truly know the daily struggles of others. - Karen Salmansohn.

We tend to judge people a lot. We see someone and they have a whole in their shirt and we make up a story in our head that they must be some kind of a loser when all we know, they could have been in some kind of fight in the morning. How do we know?

Tuesday, 11 July 2017


It's 10.30pm. I've just got home and the last thing that I want to do is write this but about 460 days ago I made a promise to myself that  would continue to at least 500.

At the end of the day, it is all about perseverance and not giving up and if you can do this it will pay off in the long run.

So, what is the message today?

It's very simple:


Also, to use Will Smith's line in the Pursuit of Happyness, "If you have a dream you got to protect it."

Also, "If you want something, you go get it."

If that doesn't motivate you and me, I don't know what will.

Monday, 10 July 2017

The Daily RBL Video Blog - An afternoon watching rugby

Sometimes you have to get out from behind the computer screen and relax for the afternoon and is there any better way than to watch sport? I'm sure there is but it is quite fun when your national team that you have supported since you were a boy is playing. National pride is awesome.

Eye contact is so important

Eye contact is one of those things that we all need to improve from time to time.

Eye contact is a very individual thing. For some people, if you look too long then it can come across as being too intense while if your eye contact is weak then you can come across as being a bit dodgy.

I remember when I was in intermediate school and I was in I think it was cooking class and I was in one of my daydreams but happened to be looking at the cutest girl in class. I wasn't looking at her per se but thinking about something totally unrelated to cooking class and the girl. To her however, I was staring at her and she was not comfortable and I got the "if looks could kill" look  and she said to me "Yes?" I had to come out of my trance. I didn't know what to say. I think I muttered sorry and looked the other way and concentrated on my (Spanish) omelette.

Sometimes intense eye contact can make you feel good because it means the other person is really listening to what you are saying. There are a couple of people I think of when I write that. I know they are listening because you can tell that they are consciously doing what they are doing. They have practiced it over many years.

Eye contact is important, there is no doubt about that but everyone has their own threshold and you have to be weary of that.

The problem is if you don't have a sufficient amount of eye contact, there is a possibility that you can lose out on some opportunities. For example your eye contact might be poor during a job interview and bang, that job has fallen by the wayside.

How can we improve our eye contact.

The cheat's way could be to focus on something other than the eyes. This would give the illusion of eye contact but you are felling more comfortable.

Remember though, you need to break it on occasions because just staring, is just plain rude.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Crying a river of tears

Real men don't cry.

I'm sorry, I don't agree with this at all. Why is it that we have taught our men in our society that to be a true man we can't show our emotions? Why do men have to walk around town looking like a a robot been sent back in time to kill John Connor?

I saw this quote:

"Please teach your sons it's ok to cry. Crying releases negative energies from the body. This allows boys/men to not walk around mad and bitter." - Lalah Delia

I agree with this 100%.

You often see men walking around with what looks like a big chip on their shoulder. They look miserable and if you just happen to look at them the wrong way, they are going to kick your behind to Timbuktu.

Why is this?

Because we as a society have this idea that strong equals not crying and we have to suppress our emotions.

Sure, as a man, you probably don't want to walk around crying at the drop of a hat but sometimes you may need to let it go on occasions. Sure, you don't have to draw attention to yourself but if you just do it the privacy of your own room, you might find that you feel better.

There are a lot of rules in society that just don't make sense from my point of view. A man not crying is definitely one of them.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

How to love an introvert

This was an interesting post on Instagram. It comes from this website which looks very interesting.

I would like to go through the 7 ways you can love an introvert and give you my take on them.

1. Realise that introversion is not just a personality trait.

You can't just (contrary to what it seems on this blog and others) lump everyone into two groups, introvert and extrovert. There is, very much like the political spectrum, a line where on the left are the people who don't want to leave the house. (You can read more about that phenomenon in Japan, here.) While on the right side of the spectrum are the people who cant stand to be alone for only a short time.

Introversion is about how you reenergise. You could be outgoing. You could be confident. You could be a great public speaker but when you need to reenergise yourself you do it, either by yourself or with someone else who is special to you.

2. Introverts in you life will know you more deeply than anyone else.

Introverts do not have many superficial friendships. By this, I mean that some people have "friends" who they only see once every six months. They air kiss each other, say how they are looking good and "have you lost weight?" and then proceed onto the next person.

Remember introverts energise with one or two other people so they will know those people very well. They might even know stuff that you don't know that they know. Or, they might remember things that you told them but you actually forgot that you told them.

You will find that introverts don't have many friends but the ones that they do have they will do anything for and vice versa.

Never, ever, ever think that a lack of friends is a weakness or some kind of sign of social ineptness. This is certainly a case of quality is much better than quantity.

3. Introverts will want one-on-one on time with you

They will go to the party with you because they love you but they would much rather spend the night, alone with you, talking, cuddling, watching a movie or maybe even reading or studying together. They just want to be with you and feel your presence.

4. Introvert also want time alone. Let them without making them feel guilty. 

If you understand this, you understand an introvert and they will love you more and more for it.

5. Sometimes the phone isn't the best option.

I think this is a bit of an old-fashioned one. (Sorry) It seems to me these days that if you don't text you are some unsociable pleb. They say that texting is best because it allows the other person to respond when they want to but sometimes that can mean the conversation can go on for days and all you wanted to know was if the other person wanted to have a drink with you on Thursday  night.

6. When introverts are stressed and tired they need support and rest.

I suppose that goes for anyone but you will find that introverted people are quite sensitive to things and they can stress easily, especially when it requires change. When an introverted person is stressed, they need your support more than anything else.

I know from personal experience that I need that from time to time.

7. Be kind: Introverts are already hard on themselves (even when you'd never guess it)

You should know by now that introverts are very much in their heads and from experience they are probably scolded themselves on even the most trivial things. Also they know when they f**k*d up. They don't need you reminding them every 20 seconds about what you did, it will just cause them to turn off and walk away. Only their best, best friends can get away with that. Even then they might turn off and turn silent which is not good for everyone.

If you can show these seven things then you will really get on their good side and you will have a friend and maybe more for life.

That's not a bad deal if I do say so myself.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Introverts can be social too - Believe it or not

Believe it or not, introverted people can be social too.

Yeah! It's just that it has to be on our terms, not yours. Because of this situation, an introvert could come across as been an arsehole because they won't go along with your plans.

I remember when I would say no or try to change the plans with this sociable (ex) friend of mine, he would get very annoyed, very quickly and try to change it back to whatever he wanted to do. Of course at the time I just went along with it but it was never very comfortable for me and now I know why.

Also, if an introverted person organises something, go along with it. You don't know how difficult it was for them to put themselves out there like that. So, unless you have something on that you just can't get out of, meet up with them. You will probably have a good time.

Lets finish today's post with a quote:

"Sometimes we have to stop being scared and just go for it. Either it'll work or it won't. That is life." -Alex Elle

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Japanese language blog: (Admittedly I haven't updated it for a long time but it is a similar theme to this blog.)

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Is it okay?

I saw this interesting post on Instagram the other day.

Let me write it out for you:

Look around you. How many people do you think are settling? Probably a hell of a lot. People settle into okay relationships, okay jobs, okay friends, and an okay life. Why? Because okay is comfortable. Okay pays the bills, and provides a warm bed at night. Some people are fine with okay and guess what? That's okay. But okay is not thrilling, it isn't passion, it's not life-changing or unforgettable. Okay is not the reason you risk absolutely everything you've got for the smallest chance that something absolutely amazing could happen.

That's all.

Do you want to settle for something that is just okay?

Although to get what is not just okay you may have to do what comedian Bill Burr says in this Instagram post. Not the best but it has to be done.

Realise that sleeping on a futon when you're 30 is not the worst thing. You know what's worse, sleeping in a king bed next to a wife you're not really in love with but for some reason you married, and you got a couple of kids, and you got a job you hate. You'll be laying there fantasising about sleeping on a futon. There's no risk when you go after a dream. There's a tremendous amount to risk to playing it safe. - Bill Burr. 


I suppose today's message is that you don't have to be conventional. Just because society says that you have to do this or you have to do that, it doesn't mean you have to do it.

Stop settling, stop looking for things that are just okay. Go for what you want. What's the worst thing that can happen?