Saturday, 24 March 2018

Hikikomori - Is it the individual's problem?

The above is a very interesting article that I read in The Japan Times this week. It reminded me of a blog post that I wrote about 18 months ago.

In this post I talked about the hikikomori phenomenon in Japan. (Please click on the link to read the article.)

I'm sorry, my mind hasn't changed about what the problem is and it isn't the individual who has decided that they are going to spend their days locked away in their room. The problem is society and I'm not going to blame the individual at all.

We need to teach ourselves that it is OK to think differently to other people. We need to teach ourselves that it is OK to think outside of the box. We need to teach ourselves that those kind of people have minds that could quite well solve all of society's problems. Want a cure for cancer? It might well be in that mind that has locked themselves in the room because you decided that he should CONFORM?

What does conform mean anyway?

The dictionary on my computer says that Conform means to behave according to socially acceptable conventions or standards. Who decides what is socially acceptable? Who makes these rules and why can't we break them? Is it because it makes you feel uncomfortable? Does it make you feel inadequate? Stop beating the creativity out of people just because you can't understand it. Who gives you the right to do something like that?

Sure, hikikomori is a problem but how much is it costing the country? Probably a lot. A lot of moolah.

If you meet someone with far out ideas, embrace it. Ask questions. Query them. Praise them. Whatever you do, don't dismiss them because you could be dismissing them from society which is not great for anyone.

Thursday, 22 March 2018


I saw the following quote on Instagram recently:

If you're 17 with a huge YouTube channel, awesome.

If you're 25 and you're a new mom, fantastic.

If you're 36 and changing careers, great.

If you're 45 and starting a biz, super.

There is no age limit to being successful AND there is no single definition of success.

This quote is by Melanie Chisnall. You can see her Twitter handle below:

It sums it up doesn't it? Some people have like a shopping list of things that they want to have done.

  • Degree by 21
  • Married by 25
  • First child by 28
  • Managerial position by 30
  • First house by 33
  • Holiday home by 45
  • Boss of the company by 53
  • Retire at 65
I don't know about you but that looks absolutely boring and it might work for some people but are they happy? I mean really happy. 

They slowly tick off these things one by one but we all mature and come into our own at different times. I would have loved to have started a multi-million dollar business at the age of 21 but I didn't even know what business was then and my biggest decision was to decide what flavour popcorn to buy at the movie theatre on a Saturday night. 

Age is but a number. Please remember that. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2018


Here are a few quotes from author Jeff Brown:

"Sometimes the people with the greatest potential often take the longest to find their path because their sensitivity is a double edged sword - it lives at the heart of their brilliance, but it also makes them more susceptible to life's pains. Good thing we aren't penalised for handing in our purpose late. The soul doesn't know a thing about deadlines." - Jeff Brown.

This really strikes a chord with me. I'm 44 years old and I believe that I have just found what I am supposed to do and I am susceptible to life's pains. I take it a lot harder than most other people.

“Sometimes people walk away from love because it is so beautiful that it terrifies them. Sometimes they leave because the connection shines a bright light on their dark places and they are not ready to work them through. Sometimes they run away because they are not developmentally prepared to merge with another- they have more individuation work to do first. Sometimes they take off because love is not a priority in their lives- they have another path and purpose to walk first. Sometimes they end it because they prefer a relationship that is more practical than conscious, one that does not threaten the ways that they organize reality. Because so many of us carry shame, we have a tendency to personalize love's leavings, triggered by the rejection and feelings of abandonment. But this is not always true. Sometimes it has nothing to do with us. Sometimes the one who leaves is just not ready to hold it safe. Sometimes they know something we don't- they know their limits at that moment in time. Real love is no easy path- readiness is everything. May we grieve loss without personalizing it. May we learn to love ourselves in the absence of the lover.” - Jeff Brown

I'm not sure what I can add to this quote. I'm sure that a lot of you have had one or many of these situations in your life and so you can relate. I know I can.

Sunday, 18 March 2018


There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Lets have a look at the dictionary definition first.

Confidence: a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities.

Arrogance: having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities.

Confidence is a good thing. It means that you stand up for your beliefs and you 'comfortable in your own skin.' You don't need any validation from anyone and you are comfortable being you.

Arrogance is not so good. It means you are insecure and because you feel insecure you need to feel superior to other people so you put up these walls which makes other people feel uncomfrtbale around you

So which side of the fence are you on?

Are you a confident person or an arrogant person? One is good, the other one is not so great.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

How to NETWORK for Introverts.

I'm starting to realise that I need to schedule everything. When you schedule things it becomes real and it makes it more difficult to blow it off.

When I started at my CrossFit gym I developed the habit of planning my gym sessions the week before. I would book them and then go at the time I had decided.

Next week I know that 12.30pm Monday, 7.30am Tuesday, 1.00pm Wednesday, 6am Thursday,  and 8am Saturday are the gym times. My Friday hasn't been decided yet because of a prior commitment that I don't know how long will take but I'm sure that I will get there at some stage.

I know unless I am really sleepy in the morning that I will make these classes because I have scheduled them.

Now I have to schedule social and networking events.

For us introverts, those social and networking events can seem like a real hassle. The whole idea of going along to these things can be a little scary. It can be a little intimidating going along to a place where you don't know anyone but the thing is, is that it is only scary for the first five minutes or so and then after you say hello to a couple of people and have a beer, you forget about the initial awkwardness.

For introverts, plan those networking and social occasions and go along but remember your limit. Make some kind of goal. For example, I will talk to 10 people and then go home. Or you can make it a time goal. For example, I will leave at 9pm. Just make sure you stick to it because if you go overboard, you might not get back to going there again because you associate it with pain. It is like playing 36 holes of golf when 9 would have been sufficient.

Schedule those networking events and do them. You will get greta benefit from them both socially and maybe financially.

Friday, 16 March 2018

What are Extroverts?

Extroverts draw their energy from those around them. They have many friends both socially and professional.

Basically, if you use Facebook or Instagram often and you see your friends at a party and there are many photos of your friends all with huge smiles on their faces and they look like they are high on something, that is a sign that they are extroverts. (By the way, they are high on life, not any illegal substances.)

Extroverts are:
  • Talkative
  • Sociable
  • Friendly
  • Outgoing
  • Passionate
In saying that, like most things, there are negative things as well.

Extroverts tend want to hog the limelight. They are attention seekers.

Extroverts are also easily distracted. For example, my friend will be talking about something. He will be talking passionately about it and then suddenly he will go silent. Why? He has seen something that has distracted his attention.

Extroverts also find it difficult to spend time by themselves. They need to have social interaction.

What else do we know about extroverts?

1. They have a wide range of interests. - They usually can't concentrate on one thing for too long. They have to branch out and do something else.

2. They love conversations. - My friend loves to chat while he is driving. He will call me so he can chat. It is always nice to hear from him.

3. They like being the centre of attention. - I like that. Although I wouldn't consider myself an extrovert. Far from it.

4. Extroverts tend to act first and think later. This can get them into trouble but no one can accuse them of not taking action.

5. Extroverts love working in groups. - They get energised by be around all of these people.

There you have it. Your 101 on extroverts.

Tomorrow, we will look at the introvert. That should be interesting.

Thursday, 15 March 2018


I have launched my new website, The Situational Extrovert.

This is the first step in my dream to create something that I will never have to retire from. Where I wake up and actually look forward to going to work rather than force yourself out of bed after ten alarms and numerous naps.

Of course with this new "challenge" of mine I am going to get objections from the people around me. They might be well meaning but it can bring you down.

What is it that you hear? You probably hear all or some of the following:

1. You have to be realistic. Get a job now and follow that dream some other time.

Excuse me, when is some other time? Is it when you are about to enter the retirement home? Is it tomorrow? Why not now? Another question is what does realistic mean? I think that word means different things to different people. Your realistic is going to be different to other people's realistic.

2. Things will be bad if you fail

Not at all. You might fail, that is life. What is the worst thing that will happen? Probably you can go back to what you were doing before embarking on this project. There is nothing wrong with that. They say that regret weighs heaps. If you don't do it now, you will regret it and that can be a burden that is difficult to rid of.

3. You will be more content at your current job

Sure, you might be content, but are you happy? There is a huge difference right there. You might be content and you might have your 'safe' life but is this what you really want? I doubt it. I know for one that I can't go to the same office everyday where I'm told what to do and when I can eat (why do people all eat at 12pm) and when I can piss. That is not me and I am willing to sacrifice the initial comfort for a few years to get what I want.

4. Only a few people do it

Why not you? Sure, only a few people develop a billion dollar app but if you never get off your ass and attempt to do something then you may never know if you have that billion dollar app idea or not. Only a few people do it and there is no reason that you can't do it either.

5. Failing is the end

I say bullshit to that. I've heard that in some countries (I'm not going to name any names but one is famous for sushi and the other is famous for bratwurst) failure is just so bad that you don't want to ever walk the streets again for fear of been embarrassed. Whether this is true or not is up for debate but what I do know is that most successful people have failed at some stage and made it back. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is the end only if you make it the end.

6. You don't have enough money

So? This is where you get creative and really try to make something happen. Money is important by all means but if you have the right mentality and creative ideas then the money should start flowing in soon.

7. That sounds like too much work why don't you keep your current job and then you can have weekends off

Fuck that! Should I repeat that. I mean why does the weekend have to mean certain activities? Why can't I work on my passion and dreams on a Saturday night? Do I have to go to the bar and watch the football game?

Good luck with whatever you have in mind. I'm sure that if you put in the effort then things are going to happen for you and happen in a big way.