Friday, 22 September 2017

Get rid of these bad habits

We all have bad habits. I know I do. I used to pick my nose. (I still do on occasions although only if it is itchy.) I'm sure we can think of other bad habits that we do.

However, the following habits are probably holding you and me back. You and me both, need to get rid of them.

1. Don't worry about others

Do you know what? Sometimes the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence. You see these people on Instagram, Facebook or whatever and they seem to be having the perfect life. Remember those photos are just a split-second in time. They might hate each other and be smiling for the camera. You just don't know.

2. Listen

This is something that I struggle with. You need to actually listen to what the other person is saying. By listening one hundred percent, you are paying the other person the ultimate respect and that is going to be good for you because when they talk about you I can guarantee that they will compliment you to other people.

3. Stop it: The Gossip

Nobody really wants to know what the other person has done recently. It might be entertaining and you might feel better about yourself but if you talk about someone behind their back, what do you think the listener is thinking? I know what I would be thinking, if he or she is doing this now, do they talk about me when I'm not around? Ladies and gentlemen, that is not cool at all.

4. Go surfing in the sea on your day off but don't do it on the Internet

There are so many distractions in today's world. I can't count the times while I have written this post that I have checked a rugby score, or looked at my inbox or glanced up as someone walked past. Even now, I looked at my phone for no reason at all. When you are trying to get stuff done, try to minimise the distractions.

5. Get rid of the people who bring you down

There are some people in your life who are just down right negative. They are always complaining about all and sundry and if you ask them what the weather will be like tomorrow, they will invariably say that it will be rainy and cold. These people hardly ever smile and it is just miserable to be around them. So ask yourself a question, do you really want to be around them?

Look at these five habits. Are there any you can get rid of in the next five minutes? In the next five hours? In the next five days?

Good luck. Lets see if we can conquer these together.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Kevin Pietersen: A great English cricketer

Kevin Pietersen.

This name probably doesn't mean a lot to most of you. However to cricket fans around the world this name is known as one of the best players in the last 20 years.

Pietersen came to England from South Africa to play cricket. He played first-class cricket in South Africa but he saw a lack of opportunities for himself in the country because of the racial quota system. From memory, I think that for cricket in particular, each team has to have at least 5 players of colour in the starting 11. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)

Pietersen made a name for himself in the England cricket team. Scoring runs all over the world against all the different international teams and becoming one of the best players in the world.

Unfortunately this wasn't to last and he found himself increasingly offside with the England Cricket Board as well as his teams mates in the England team.

Because of Pietersen's apparent abrasive personality he became more and more isolated within the England dressing room, so much so that there were accusations of bullying and the like.

I'm not an expert in English culture but from what I can tell and what I have heard, the idea of speaking your mind and calling a spade a spade is not particularly English and I'm sure Kevin Pietersen through no fault of his own has probably rubbed a few people up the wrong way through just doing what he was brought up to do.

We were told that there were cliques in the English dressing room and this was probably because of culture, upbringing and dare I say it, personality.

Kevin Pietersen comes across as a very confident and outspoken character. I don't believe this to be true. I believe that it is part of his cricket playing persona when in fact his real personality is a lot quieter than what we see on television.

When people ask me how is this possible, I just say that it is very easy. It is easy to play a character to a crowd and because you do this people think that you are like this 100% of the time but this just is not true. In front of the cameras you can come across as confident and at times arrogant but in reality that is not the case and even people that you are close to can get the absolute wrong idea.

What I am trying to say is that even if the people that are around you may not do the same things that you do and they might (in your mind anyway) have some odd behaviour, that doesn't give you a licence to bully or mock them. Try to understand them. Try to figure where they are coming from. Be a caring person. They might not be as "cool" as you but who cares. You might learn something from them and that is a good thing, isn't it?

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

What about the quieter guy in the room?

In this post I talked about the movie, Shattered Glass. This movie was the true story of a journalist who wrote a whole bunch of stories and passed them off as fact. The magazine he was working for published these stories and everyone was entertained by them.

In the following video clip from the movie, we see the editor, Chuck Lane arguing with the character, Caitlin Avey who is loosely based on a real life person. Because Caitlin likes Stephen Glass he wants him not to be fired and challenges Lane's decision. He says the other staff don't want Glass fired because he is entertaining.

Here is another example of the 'entertaining' stories from Stephen Glass:

The first part of this video is a good example of someone who is a great talker and because people will listen to them they keep going and they love the attention.

What is the point of all this?

Try not to judge a book by it's cover. The person you are talking to may well be entertaining. They may well be a great communicator and have you in the palm of their hand but what are they actually saying?

Just because they are a 'nice guy.' Just because they can 'spin a yarn' with the best of them. Just because they can talk you ear off doesn't make them the authority on everything.

Here is another way to look at it. The following video applies to women but it is equally as a applicable in this post as well. In the video, the presenter says that women will only be approached by 'the loudest guy in the room.'

That is so true. He has the confidence and the balls to approach. 99 times out of 100 the guy  that is not loud doesn't have the confidence. He doesn't have the balls.

The same applies to the Shattered Glass example. He was comfortable to get up in front of his peers and basically talk shit. Because he was delivering it in such a cool fashion, the people around him liked it. We know from the film that he seemed to lack self-esteem but that is not the point.

Just because the person is out there and is entertaining doesn't mean you should listen to them (or go out with them). Give the quiet person a chance from time to time. They might surprise you with their intellect and wit.

You don't have to follow the loudest guy in the room. The quieter one might be better.

What is the famous quote from Robert Frost?

"Two roads (Two people) diverged in a wood (walked into a room) and I took the one less traveled by (and I met the quieter one), And that has made all the difference (And that was a great choice) ."

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Have a great day

My regular readers would have noticed recently that I have not been, shall we say, regular with my postings. For about 500 days I was able to post on a daily basis.

Unfortunately for the last week or so I have been quite sick and have just not had the energy to do anything quite frankly. I must admit that sitting in a marginally comfortable bed for three days is not the best way to spend your time but as long as you drinking plenty of water then you can get better quite quickly.

Anyway, today is my birthday.

I know as you get older and older, those birthdays become less and less significant and some people forget how old they are.

I believe every birthday is more significant than the last and you should cherish each one. I know exactly how old I am and I am proud of that.

Last year I walked around the Yamanote Line and it was a good way to remember my birthday in 2016. You should think of doing something memorable for your next birthday.

Have a great day and I hope that the rest of your year goes well.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Vasili Arkhipov: A great (unknown) leader

I learnt a new name in history the other day. Until a couple of days ago I had never heard of him.

Vasili Arkhipov was a Soviet Navy officer and to put it simply he said no to a nuclear strike on the United States of America and effectively saved the world. I don't know why I have never heard of him.

The most interesting part about my discovery of this man is the character of the man. Apparently he was a shy and humble man. His wife said that he was intelligent, polite and a calm man.

Isn't that interesting?

In 2017 we see these arsehole men (and it is usually men right?) who want to run their mouths at each other and declare the enemy has been the worst just to justify them dropping a bomb which will kill millions of innocent people.

Where are the people like Vasili Arkhipov in this world?

Where are the voices of reasons?

Why do we continue to be seduced by the people who bullshit the best?

Why can't we be led by people who are quieter?

Why do we need to have someone who is a showman to lead us?

Introverts make the best leaders. They just don't tell you every five minutes.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?

Do you know the expression, 'Has the cat got your tongue?'

This is said when someone is expected to say something and doesn't.

My question is, why so they have to say something if they don't want to? If they have nothing to say why do they have to pollute the air with banal chatter?

So, the next time someone says to you. "what's the matter? Has the cat got your tongue?" Say yes it has and watch the person who says that squirm. They won't know what to say and where to look and you can carry on with your silence.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The Sex and the City Post

In this post I introduced the DISC profile test. Basically it is made up of four profiles and by undersating them you can understand  how most people operate and why they act like they do.

Another four profiles needs no introduction. I'll let you watch the video. I'm sure most of you are at least familiar with these people:

Yep. It's the smash hit comedy series of the late 90's and early 2000's, Sex and the City.

The main characters in my opinion represent quite well, each of the DISC profiles.

Carrie Bradshaw, Miranda Hobbes, Samantha Jones and Charlotte York are the main characters and if you are a guy, you would do a lot worse than listening to these characters talking about their lives as 30-something women, talking about men, sex and everything else.

Carrie Bradshaw 

Carrie would be the I in the group. She is also the main character. She is a columnist for a newspaper and the themes for her columns are the main story in the series. Carrie likes to be out and about at the latest hot restaurant or club. She is the glue that binds the group together and in the show she runs through a plethora of boyfriends before getting married to "Mr. Big." I'm not sure why he is called "Big." I'll leave that up to your imagination. I would also call Carrie an extrovert. She seems to want to be seen at the different parties and events that are undoubtedly held in New York City every week. Like any extrovert, she seems to be energised by these parties.

Miranda Hobbes

I got the idea for this post by watching the movie, 'Sex and the City 2.' In the movie, the four ladies are shouted on an all-expense paid trip to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Miranda is constantly referring to her UAE guidebook and telling the other ladies about various trivial facts about the city. She is also seen to be learning Arabic and is the unofficial "interpreter" of the group. This is classic C behaviour. C's really want all the information and Miranda's attitude in Abu Dhabi. Dealing with C people can cause all kind of conflict because I people are not the most conscientious, while C's are very conscientious and can't understand why other people don't care about the details.

Samantha Jones

Samantha is the D of the group. She is most sexually aggressive and is like most D's the one who gets straight to the point. If she sees someone that she is interested in she will pursue him until the job is done.

In the video below, we can see that Samantha is a typical D and she has no problem beating the opposition to oblivion.

Charlotte York

Charlotte is the S of the group. She would be considered the antithesis of Samantha. She has a 'fairy tale' look at life and considers that she only be dating one guy. Unlike Samantha she avoids confrontation which is a typical S. An S likes harmony and will do anything to keep that harmony. She is however a bit of a dark horse surprising her friends on occasions with her sudden changes of personality.

There you have it. Another way to look at people. Remember that extrovert doesn't always mean I and introvert doesn't always mean S so the whole introvert/extrovert continuum may not necessarily be related to DISC but if you understand both things then you will be able to understand the other person and you'll we able to understand how the other person ticks and avoid all those horrible confrontations. There you go I said it. I showed my Sness through and through. I wonder if that is why my favourite character was Charlotte when I first started watching this show.