Thursday, 27 April 2017

Don't judge a book by it's cover

Isn't it interesting that we make snap judgements based on superficial things?

Have a look at the following video:

For those of you who didn't click on the video, this young guy steps out on stage in the audition television program Britain's Got Talent. He is dressed in an orange hoodie and grey tracksuit pants. He's got a guitar in his hand and he says that he wants to sell out arenas. We all make a snap judgement by thinking that he is delusional and some what of an idiot. The judges think the same.

However, he sits down and belts out a song. He has a great voice and it is very easy to listen to and he blows every person in the auditorium away as well as many viewers.

The judges tell him that they didn't expect much out him. I wonder why. I can tell you why, because of what he was wearing.

If he had come out on stage and he was wearing a designer suit with customised shoes and a $20,000 watch they would think that he would be really good. We judged him before he opens his mouth just by what he is wearing.

The most famous 'don't judge a book by it's cover' moment in these kind of audition shows is without a doubt the following:

Yes, you guessed it Susan Boyle. She blew everyone away with the power of her voice once again proving that you shouldn't judge someone by the clothes he or she wears.

Closely following Susan Boyle is this guy:

Paul Potts. When he told everyone that he was going to sing opera, the audience and judges thought that he was crazy. Of course if someone was to sing opera he should look like this guy below:

Paul Pott's rendition of Nessun Dorma has become famous and he has even had a movie made about his life starring James Corden.

What am I saying today?

No I'm not saying that you have my permission to dress like a slob everyday. I'm not saying that you should walk around in ripped jeans (although they seem to be the fashion at the moment) and sweatshirts with grease on it.

I'm saying that you should at least make an effort but don't make a snap judgement on the fact that something might be a little bit off about another person at least give them a few seconds and if they are an idiot then politely rid yourself of their presence.

Don't make a snap judgement because they might be wearing navy blue socks instead of black. (some people think like that by the way.)

My favourite one is the following. What did you expect when the singer was on stage?

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Starbucks: An oasis for introverts?


Is this the most well known name in coffee? Probably. I must admit that I don't drink coffee and have probably had about five cups of coffee in my life but I realise how some people rely on it. They are addicted to it and it is almost a status symbol as people grab one on the way to work or school or wherever they are going.

Even though I don't drink coffee I still like to go to Starbucks and have a hot cocoa or water or one of their chocolate chunk scones. They are delicious.

The other day I was in a Starbucks at about 12.30pm. The middle of the lunchtime rush shall we say. Fortunately I was able to find a seat and sat down to enjoy my drink. What I noticed that there were a lot of people sitting by themselves.

It got me thinking. Is Starbucks the perfect place to be alone but with other people? Does that make sense? You are sitting by yourself but you don't feel isolated because there are many other people around you. You might not know them and they might not know you. It's like an ambivert oasis.

I do a lot of my writing in a private members only library. There are three main areas and I like the fact that I can sit there by myself and still feel like I'm in amongst people.

I was made to laugh the other day when one of the other members asked me why I sat where I usually do. He said I must be extroverted. I told him that had nothing to do with it and that the chairs were comfortable. Hey, if you are going to sit there for a few hours at a time you have make sure that your backside is enjoying the time as well.

Remember, you don't have to disappear totally. As someone on the introverted side of the spectrum, you can still get that alone time in a crowded place. You might just have to order a cup of coffee or two while you are doing it.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

ANZAC DAY 2017 - Lest we forget

Dear Grandad, Dear Poppa

I thought that I would use this day to say hi and I hope that you are both doing well wherever you are.

Grandad, I celebrated your birthday last year by walking around the central area of Tokyo. It was really fun and I got to see a lot of interesting things.

While walking around I remembered playing cricket with you in the backyard at Swansea Street. I don't think I could get you out. Your defence was quite solid. 

Poppa, I never did (and still don't) share your fondness of grapefruit and gin but I still like watching rugby.

I remember going with you to the Showgrounds on August 3rd, 1985 where Canterbury were very fortunate to draw with Manawatu 15-15. Even today, I'm so glad that I went with you to watch that game. I'll remember it for the rest of my life and not just because Manawatu drew with Canterbury.

Today I want to say thank you to both of you. You both left New Zealand shores when you were young. You both went to places that you had never been to before and probably never went to again. You went their for your country and for your family and because you believed in something. Because of you, both myself and your other grandchildren are able to live lives of freedom and opportunity. We take it for granted but we have both of you to thank for it.

Love Blair.

April 25th, 2017.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Why are we unsuccessful?

I was thinking the other day about reasons why we might not be as successful as we want to be. Now, success is a relative thing and what you might think is a success, other people might see it as a failure or not even close to success.

So, why are some of us not even close to being successful. Here are some of the reasons I came up with:

1. You are lazy

Do you have no more arse left? Have you worked you butt off? No? You are lazy, man. You can't tell me that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett work only a few hours a week. I'm sure they are working all of the time. They have a vision and they are carrying out that vision. I'm pretty sure Michael Jordan worked his tush off each and every day and he become one of the most influential sports people of all time.

2. You are a scaredy cat

We are afraid, aren't we? We don't like what our friends might say. We don't want to hear what our family might say, so rather than going for it, we do nothing. We don't want to look stupid so we do nothing and I don't think that I have to remind you that do be successful you might have to do something.

3. Paralysis by analysis

We think way too much don't we? We think way too much about the things that we should do that we don't do anything and then the time slips away and we are neck dip in quicksand and things are only going to get worse from then on. It is like a slow moving car crash.

4. If you don't know where you are going, how do you know if you have reached it or not

You have got to have some kind of goal man. You need to have something that you are aiming for because if you don't there is basically nothing to wake up for in the morning. You are not focusing on anything and it just goes from bad to worse and you shouldn't get out of bed. Getting out of bed is just a waste of your time.

5. Believe it man

Success isn't just for someone else, it is for everyone and you have to believe it. If you don't believe it, nobody else will.

6. Stop doing busy work

Is it really urgent and absolutely essential that you answer that email now? Do you think that your client will drop you because you didn't reply to his or her mail in 5.3 seconds? You are kidding yourself with all of that busy work.

7. Social media is wasting your time.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram. These are good things and you should use them but you need to do the other stuff first and also schedule it into your routine. It might be fun to see what someone who you have met twice has eaten for dinner the last three nights in a row but it is not going to get you anywhere fast.

8. Do you want it?

Of course you do. Go and get it. Stop making excuses and go and get it. If you don't go and get it you will regret it and that will hurt more than if you go after it and it doesn't eventuate. That pain is only temporary, not going after it regret, lasts a lifetime.

The Daily RBL Video Blog - Laziness and Monday mornings

Today we talk about laziness and the fact that most of us (me included) don't use enough of our spare time to create things and create things that people want to watch/read/share etc. So why don't you make an effort to do something that you are proud of outside of your work. You might surprise yourself. I know I have.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

How to fake confidence

There is an old expression, fake it until you make it. This can be easier said than done but there are some things that you can do to appear more confident on the outside than you might feel on the inside.

1. Eye Contact

This is something that I admittedly struggle with on occasions and I'm sure that you probably do too. But if you make good eye contact you can appear trustworthy and decisive.

I have talked to people about shy people and what they might do and have shown them an example and their first reaction was that it is almost scary and creepy.

2. Do the Superman pose

What you are basically doing with this is that you are conning your brain into thinking that you are stronger and more confident that what you really are.

3. Dress well

Guys, I'm talking to you. How do you feel when you walk around in a cool suit with well polished shoes and tie or no tie? (I think ties are a waste of material but that is just my opinion and might get deported from this country if I say that any louder) I'm willing to bet that you feel more confident when you 'dress up.'

4. Speak slowly

In Toastmasters we are "told off" for using umms and has in our speeches. When you use this utterances in your sales presentations there are a couple of things that might happen. The listener might wonder if you know what you are talking about or secondly they might wonder if you are trustworthy or not. So slow down, think about what you saying and don't be afraid to pause if you can't think of the correct word. That small period of silence can be powerful.

5. Use hand gestures.

Have a look at the following video about The Rock Dwayne Johnson. In the video we see how The Rock uses his hands to come across as very charismatic.

Just watch the video. I can't explain it any better.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Procrastination: Why do we do it?

I sat down to write this post and have managed to waste about one hour. I've had a long week and all I want to do is go home and relax and I could be doing that now but I made the decision to procrastinate and it's not good.

They say better late than never but I wish it was one hour ago.

Why do we procrastinate?

There are several reasons:

1. We lack focus

Some people lack focus at all times. They have no purpose in their life and they are just going through the motions. They will wake up grumpy, go to work, do something that they are not passionate about or even worse, hate and then go home where they look at the TV or the four walls and then go to bed and then wake up 8 hours later and do it all over again. Doesn't sound too appealing does it. Although in saying that, the 8 hours sleep sounds great right at this moment although I've got to get this post done.

2. Bad planning

What is that old saying? I think self-help author, Brian Tracy said:

"Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution."

I know that I can be haphazard in planning as I just sit down and get started which is good but there can be a real lack of direction and then you get bogged down and you get distracted and that momentum is lost.

Not good.

3. Technology distractions

Isn't the smartphone great? You have a text machine, calendar, photo album, camera, weather forecaster, map, video maker, networker, date maker, music player and encyclopaedia all in one.

It can also be the biggest distraction ever. You check your social media feeds, you check your email. You have a look at the rugby score (well, I do anyway).

The technology we have access to us now should be a great assistant to us as opposed to something that just a big, fat, time waster.

4. We bite off more than we can chew

When we bite off more than we can chew it can lead to being overwhelmed. We say that we will do this and this and this and this. When we think about it we realise that we probably can't do all of that and then we don't know where to start most of us decide to not start at all and the suddenly the house is cleaner than it has ever been before and the fridge is getting a real thorough airing.

5. Lack of organisation

This is similar to bad planning in that you don't know what you are going to do and you don't have the necessary tools to do it even if you do have it. It is just bad. It is as simple as that.

Before you sit down at least have some sort of idea about what you are going to do and discipline yourself to sit there until it is done with minimal distractions.

Easier said than done I know but if you are going to get to where you want to get then you have to do it whether you like it or not and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the key.