Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Is Freelancing the answer?

Have you chosen you job because of the people that you work with or the people that you don't work with?

I was talking to someone the other day. She works as a freelance graphic designer. She isn't the most outgoing person in the world but she is a nice woman.

It got me thinking about your career choices.

Just because society says you have to get up at 6am, fight traffic or stand on a crowded train for two hours and then slog your guts out for 8 to 12 hours for someone who doesn't appreciate half your work, it doesn't mean that you have to follow it.

If you feel more comfortable working by yourself or working at different hours to everyone else then you should strive to build a life that works for you not necessarily anyone else.

Of course you may do better work, working by yourself.

If you are able to work by yourself then freelancing and working from home maybe the answer to for you.

Just because society says one thing doesn't mean you have to follow it's advice. Follow your heart and follow your gut and you might stumble upon your dream job.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Socialising: The Introvert Way

I saw this on Instagram the other day. It sums up introversion perfectly.

For those of you who didn't click on the link, it is from the_introverted_chick account and it says:

"Many people believe that introversion is about being antisocial, and that's really a misconception. Because actually, it's just that introverts are differently social. So they would prefer to have a glass of wine with a close friend as opposed to going to a loud party full of strangers."

This is introversion to a tee.

On Saturday there was a party at my place. I wasn't organising it but I was invited which was very nice. I chose to go out with a friend instead. I just wasn't comfortable being in a room full of strangers on that particular night. It doesn't mean I'm always like that but that particular night I just wanted to have a couple of drinks with my friend. I'm sure that the extroverts out there can not understand that at all.

I believe you have to understand how other people click. The quicker you learn this information the easier that you will understand that person and the better relationship you will have with that particular person. You will know when to talk and when to hold back. You will know when to give unsolicited advice and when to shut up.

To introverted people, it is ok to forgo that party and to go and have a couple of beers with your friend. You are doing what comes naturally to you and you shouldn't feel antisocial at all.

To extroverted people, not everyone is like you. Not everyone is going to want to party to sunup. Just because you like to do that doesn't mean everyone does and when your introverted friend decides that he or she wants to go home, let them. Do not make them feel bad about wanting to reenergise back home because that is what they are doing. I'm sorry to say, your party isn't doing it for them.

Introverts are not antisocial they just socialise differently. The sooner that everyone, and I mean everyone realises that the better society we will live in.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Sometimes the most difficult problems have the simplest solutions

It's really interesting. The last few days I haven't been feeling my usual self. I haven't been sick or anything like that. I have just been feeling very lethargic. Then I realised what the problem is and it is very simple, I haven't been drinking enough water.

Isn't it amazing that sometimes what seems like a very serious problem is in fact a problem that has a very simple solution and that is, drink more water.

I wonder out there, what other problems in our society could have a very simple solution like drink more water.

I'm sure that there are many problems with a simple solution but because it is too simple we disregard it.

Have you ever had that experience?

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Are all university students, party animals?

Dunedin, New Zealand. For people from New Zealand, what image does Dunedin have in your mind?

If you said students, that would be the same image that I have.

This video probably shows accurately the image that you and I have about the university town in the south of New Zealand.

However is it all like this? Is this an accurate portrayal of MOST of the students in Dunedin?

 I'll give you an analogy. Is Islamic State an accurate portrayal of the roughly 1.6 billion Muslims in the world? I think you know the answer to that. No, of course not. 99.9999999% of Muslims are law abiding, respectful, nice people. Why? Because that is what the Koran has taught them. However we focus on the small number of people who paint Islam in a bad light.

So, how about Dunedin students? Are all of the students in this city the party loving, urinating in the streets, binge drinking party animals as portrayed in the above video? Sure some of them are, as we can see, but I'm willing to bet that it is a smaller percentage than you think. Why? Because the quieter majority are just that, they are quiet and they don't attract the spotlight as the people in this video do.

The reason I am writing about this today was that my mother said that my cousin was planning to go to Dunedin next year for university. I'm immediately thought of the kind of scene in the video and thought that she isn't one of those people at all. But then I realised that there are people who are in Dunedin primarily for study and there are going to be groups that like to participate in philosophical discussions over cups of tea and coffee instead of imbibing cans of beer in one gulp.

What I am trying to say is to be careful painting people with the same brush because of a small number of people.

Not all Muslims walk around cutting people's heads off.

Not all Chinese tourists are loud, pushy individuals.

Not all New Zealanders like rugby.

Not all Dunedin students are beer swilling, noise making party animals.

You can't judge everyone in these groups by the noise of a few people.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Do you like to go shopping in those crowded malls?

I've said for a long time on this blog that yes we do live in an extroverted world and yes you do have to stand out occasionally but when you think about it there are some advantages for the more introverted people in this world.

"What are those?" I hear you ask.

Well let me tell you. Shopping.

In 2016, we have huge malls that you can buy anything and find anything. However more importantly for introverts we have online shopping. Yes, thank you Jeff Bezos, Hiroshi Mikitani and Jack Ma.

Isn't it amazing that you can go online and basically buy anything online and have it delivered direct to your door? On Amazon you can find anything.

I was looking for L&P on Amazon one time and I found it. It cost about $30 a can but it was there.

L&P for the uninitiated is a New Zealand "fizzy drink" that is in my opinion, the nectar of the gods. if you haven't tried L&P, you have not lived.

My point is that online shopping is an introvert's paradise.

Why? Because they can go online and order something and the only talking they have to do is grunt at the delivery person and even then they don't have to say anything.

My personal favourite is ordering McDonalds. I don't eat it often but it is quite nice to have it from time to time, right. It's not good for you. We all know that but sometimes it quite nice to "cheat."

If you go to the actual restaurant you might feel embarrassed buying a whole bunch of food and scoffing it down at the table. However online is different. You can order 2 Big Macs, 3 Filet O Fishes, a 20 pack of Chicken McNuggets, 4 servings of large fries, 3 apple pies and a large Diet Coke without being judged. Isn't it great?

In all seriousness, the Internet has allowed introverts the chance to reenergise in the privacy of their own homes without having to go out. So if you choose to have a weekend in which you don't leave the house, the Internet has allowed us to do this because we can order groceries and fast food. We won't starve to death.

Don't take this article as permission to not leave the house however. That would be stupid. It is still good to go to malls and have a look around. That's fun, just you don't have to do it as often.

Remember, we don't want to shut ourselves off from society all together, we still need to get out and about. The Internet allows us to reenergise and be introverts so take advantage of it but not too much advantage.

Well, I'm off to do some shopping., here I come.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Type A? Type B? Which are you?

I must admit that I don't know much about Type A personalities and Type B personalities. What I guess is that Type A personalities are the ones that set goals and go hell for leather to try and accomplish these goals.

And in the other corner is everyone else. I suppose you could say that the Type A personality is the extrovert and Type B personality is the introvert. I doubt whether that is true or not. Lets see.

I came across this article the other day which tried to dispute the idea that because you are not Type A then you must be lazy and pretty much laid back. This as you would find in this article is pretty far from the truth.

Dr. Bradberry says that just because you are quiet and laid back does not make you any less focused and you are not trying any less hard to achieve your goals than the Type A person who is probably trying hard to make sure everyone knows about it.

Judging from this article Type B's can be under-appreciated and undervalued because they don't make a big song and dance about it.

Sounds familiar doesn't it?

In Susan Cain's book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a world that can't stop talking she talks about examples of children who aren't as outgoing as the more extroverted children been asked why they are so mellow or why are they not talking? I can imagine this happening to Type B people.

The recently elected President of the United States of America, Donald Trump had a reality show in which he invited budding entrepreneurs to New York for a chance to work for him. Most of the contestants would have been considered Type A and throughout the series both Donald Trump and his assistants would say that because that person didn't show the required level of energy then he or she couldn't really work for him.

I'm sure that Type B's or introverts are more than capable of doing the job but because they don't jump up and down and make a big song and dance about it, a few times in the series Donald Trump would dismiss them because of their "lack of energy."

Lack of a big mouth more like it.

For people who identify themselves as Type B, first of all, like introverts and extroverts you are probably going to be a mix. I doubt whether you can identify as one or the other and like the introvert and extrovert I can imagine that it is like a spectrum and people fall along that spectrum.

The second piece of advice I can give you is that in your quiet way you can still outwork and outsmart these Type A's and then when you are successful they will start listening to you, believe me. You will sound confident and people will stop cutting you off and stop talking over you.

The moral of the story is just because you identify yourself as one thing or the other doesn't mean you have to conform to that stereotype.

You can still be successful without all the hoopla.

If you are interested, here is a Youtube link to the first episode of Donald Trump's TV series. You judge for yourself.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Get out of the house

Sometimes, the best opportunities out there come by word of mouth. You go out and you talk to people and they find out what you are good at and you find out that they have to offer and then those opportunities present themselves.

That means for introverts that you need to get out of the house occasionally and talk to people. I know for some of you that sounds very scary but it is necessary and you might even learn something.

So, get out of the house and go and meet people, you never know what is going to happen.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Drawing that line in the sand again

I had an interesting thought today about drawing lines in the sand. I believe as you move through life you have to constantly draw lines in the sand. You get to a stage where you can't continue like you are going at the present moment so you change and you do things differently and then as you start doing things differently you change and you start seeing results. Trust me, it is a great feeling.

However, and this is a big however, you can get bogged down in these changes and you need to make more changes. For example you may have created some good habits going to the gym regularly but your routine might have become stale once you get there, so you have to draw another line in the sand and do things differently.

You need to apply this to every area in your life. You may have made changes and that is great. You may see the benefits and results of those changes and that is really great however at some stage you may find that you might be slipping back into those old habits that you had when you first made the initial changes.

What do you do when you see those things happening or feel them happening?

You need to take a step back, have a good think and really refocus on what you are doing and what you want to achieve. You need to think about some of the reasons why you want to get to where you want to be, prepare yourself and put the foot down and go again.

I tell you it will happen again and what you need to do is recognise it for what it is and slowly change it so you are getting yourself back on track.

What you have to realise is that you have lost your way a little bit and that is fine. What is good is that you recognised and that you are fixing the problem. Losing your way a little bit just proves to you and yourself that you are human and that is what human beings do.

So, sit back, acknowledge what is happening and go again. I assure you in a few weeks, you will be miles ahead of where you are now because of the little "holiday" you have just had and that is all it is, a little holiday towards bigger and better things.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The words of Arnold

The last couple of days we have been talking about The Rock. Today, lets talk about someone who would be classified in my mind anyway as The Rock's predecessor. The one and only Arnold (do I really need to write his family name?) Schwarzenegger.

In the speech below he talks about his six rules for success:

Lets have a look at his six rules:

1. Trust Yourself

This is most important. You need to to have that self-belief to accomplish the goals that you set yourself. You need to trust yourself that you make the right decisions. You need to trust yourself that you hang out with the right people. You need to trust yourself that once you have made those decisions that you can do the work necessary to accomplish what you want.

2. Break the Rules

We live in a society that expects us to do things at certain times in our lives. We are supposed to work 9 to 5 for a reputable company. We are supposed to get married at a certain age. We are supposed to have children and then buy a house and save for retirement blah, blah. blah. But why? Why do we have to do these things? Because society says? As Arnold says, don't break the law, but break the rules.

3. Don't be afraid to fail

This is really big. To be successful, you need to accept that you might fail and failing is OK. It is OK to fail because as they say, one failure is one step to towards success. Thomas Edison was said to have failed thousands of times before he discovered the lightbulb. Be persistent and the right thing will present itself.

4. Don't listen to the naysayers

There will always be people who will want to bring you down and the reason for that is that what you are trying to do is something they can't comprehend. It is out of their comfort zone so to make themselves feel better they will say that you can't do it. Don't listen to them. Listen to yourself. You know what the right decision is.

5. Work your butt off

Work hard. It is the most important one in this list. Work when others are playing. Work when others are sleeping. You will find the results that you are looking for. As Arnold says, when you are out playing someone else is out there working hard to beat you. You can't let them. You need to work hard to become the person you have always wanted to be.

6. Give something back

Life has given you a lot so to give something back is a great way to complete these rules. What are some examples of this? Well, you could coach some children in a sport you love or you could volunteer by teaching some kind of class. There are many ideas out there. Find something that suits you.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is certainly my hero. He left his homeland to chase a dream and he has certainly made it. I wish that I could have a tiny fraction of his success.

Monday, 21 November 2016

More secrets from The Rock

Below is an interesting analysis of the charisma of The Rock Dwayne Johnson.

The main thing that comes out of this video is that The Rock has a commanding physical presence. Well that's obvious. He is 6 foot 5 (1.96m) and 260lbs (118kgs).

From the video we are shown that he uses he physical presence in not an intimidating way but in a very engaging way. He uses big hand gestures and he also had a booming laugh which although he is this giant he comes across as very approachable and someone that you can admire.

For those of you that don't know me I'm 6 foot 1 (187cm) and 210lbs (95kgs). So I'm no runt of the litter.

I've been told a few times in my life that I should use my size as an advantage. It is just in the last few months that I have finally realised what they mean by that. I was told at my gym that when I left I should really pull my shoulders back. I have integrated that in my lifting but I also have integrated it in my everyday life. So now I have pulled my shoulders back, sucked in my gut and I feel a million times better. I feel a lot more confident as I am not hunched over and I am looking ahead.

I believe for taller, bigger people that you should use your size, not for intimidation but that natural presence that will have people listening to you but do it in a friendly way like The Rock. This way you will win respect from the people around you and undoubtedly win a whole bunch of friends as well.

Below is another interesting video about The Rock Dwayne Johnson.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Finally .... The Rock has come back to ....

I read this article the other day. I think The Rock Dwayne Johnson is one of the coolest actors in Hollywood. When I first saw him on the WWE or the WWF as it was known then, his stage presence and his microphone skills were second to none. His lines, "it doesn't matter what your name is" and "I'm gonna to lay the smack down" have become legendary.

The best thing I like about The Rock is that in his interviews he comes across as being a very, very, very nice guy. I've never met the guy but I am willing to bet that he hasn't changed much since he started as a professional wrestler.

In interviews, he comes across as genuine, friendly and caring. You can't ask for much more than that from anyone.

From this article what has The Rock inspired us to do to become better people? Lets look at the three things.

1. Being able to laugh at yourself.

If you can't laugh at yourself, then you have no right to laugh at anyone else. Some people are so insecure that there is no way that they can even contemplate laughing at themselves. To me, that shows a complete lack of confidence and it is a little bit sad too.

A couple of years ago I bumped into one of my Crossfit coaches on the street. At that stage we didn't know each other well but we had a chat. He commented that he thought I had beautiful eyes. A lot of guys would not react too well to something like that. That would presume that the other guy was gay and they would get offended. To me that shows a lack of self esteem and self confidence. A confident guy would take it for what it is, a compliment.

The coach and I still laugh about it from time to time and to me it is a nice memory and that is because I don't take myself too seriously and I am able to laugh at myself, just like The Rock.

2. Picking yourself up when you fail.

We are all going to fail at something in our life. Some of us might fail again and again. If you don't fail, you are not going to learn anything and you will just be treading water for the rest of your life.

I know that the idea of failing can come across as scary as you don't want to look bad in front of your peers. You don't want to hear the ridicule that comes with failure. It can be very depressing. However, if you can overcome that failure and move onto something bigger and better then that is when confidence comes. You know that inside you, you can accomplish something and that gives you the confidence to go for other goals.

I see it on Instagram all the time, memes about people who don't fail don't try anything new. Which is so true. I've tried new things in my life. I'm not scared to stick my neck out and try things although in saying that I do procrastinate on some things which is not good.

Remember failure is good if you learn something from it. If you don't learn anything, that is bad and you need a good clip around the ears.

3. Share in other people's successes, not just your own.

I learnt this from a friend a few years ago and it is something that I have tried to implement in my life. Sometimes it can be hard to celebrate another person's success and I will hold my hand up and say that yes I have resented a friend or acquaintance's success on occasions. It is not good and I need a really good kick in the backside for my attitude. However if you can genuinely feel good about another person's success then it motivates you to try and accomplish what they have.

Celebrate with them, pat them on the back and tell them that you will be joining them in the winner's circle very soon.

I hope after you have read that, that you understand what The Rock is cooking. Remember if you can do these things then you might be able to influence "the millions and millions" of people out there and that is when the real success occurs.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Don't make me mad ...... You won't like me when I'm mad

In 1981, relations on the cricket field between New Zealand and Australia were at an all time low. Australia had, although not cheated, they had played to the rules of the day but not to the spirit of the game and had won a controversial game by doing something that is still talked about today. It's usually brought up by New Zealanders.

Regular readers may have noticed yesterday that there was no blog post. This is the first time in over six months that I haven't blogged on a particular day.

The reason that I didn't blog was that I was given advice about some law that the European Union have about cookies. Now those that know me well will realise that when I hear cookies I think of the chocolate chip variety. I'm not very IT inclined so I took the advice as gospel. It turned out it was a joke.

Lets say that I'm not very happy about it and a few expletives were thrown around and I will plan revenge at some stage.

What is that old saying? "Don't get mad, get even."

Introverts by their quiet nature might come across as not being very aggressive but you make them angry and I'm not going to be responsible for the result of what is going to happen.

That is the lesson from today, even though they might be quiet and not that outgoing, they still have that anger emotion and watch out because it won't be pretty.

Every cloud has a silver lining

When something bad happens to you, you have two choices:

1. You can wallow in self-pity and get more and more depressed and basically just lose it.


2. You can see it as an opportunity to reevaluate your life and find a way to make sure that that bad thing doesn't happen again. You can create something new.

Every cloud has a silver lining. Your job is to find that silver lining and make the most of it.

Are you up to the challenge?

Thursday, 17 November 2016

6 Ways to Higher Confidence Levels

How many of you would think that you are confident? C'mon, be honest. How many of you out there would genuinely believe that you are confident? I'm willing to bet that not many of you would. You might be confident in some things but in other things you might lack that all important confidence level.

So what can you do to lift your confidence levels? There are a few things you can do and lets go through some of them today.

1. Groom yourself

I must admit that I have let my hair grow a bit long recently. I have grey hair and although I used to dye it in my 20s and early 30s, I took a look at George Clooney and I thought he is doing quite well for himself without the hair dye so why not stop dyeing my hair? Also I saw this guy one day in a pub here in Tokyo and it was quite obvious that he dyed his hair. Basically his hair was orange. Yes, orange. The colour had obviously fallen out of his hair and it looked laughable to be honest.

Anyway, I think my hair looks better short so I have got an appointment tomorrow to get it cut and to have my beard trimmed. I must admit that after these appointments, I feel a million times better and I feel like I can take on the world.

Introverts are known for being a little sloppy when it comes to the personal grooming so don't be that person.

2. Dress nicely 

I used to dress like a slob. Rugby jerseys, tracksuit pants, running shoes. It wasn't pretty. However, I found that when I took a little amount of time just to think about what I was doing then I felt a hundred times better. You don't have to wear a $3000 suit everyday like Donald Trump, but just make sure your shirt is nicely pressed and your shoes are clean. You will feel like a million bucks.

3. Get to know yourself

One of the best things about this blog is that I have gotten to know myself. I have learned who I am and what I am about and it might have taken over 40 years but when you work this stuff out you feel very good about yourself and your place in this world. When you work yourself out you don't feel bad about missing out on things because in the end you are not missing out on anything because you are where you are because you want to be there and that gives you a lot of confidence.

4. Be prepared

I know that I am at my best when I have done a bit of preparation. When I am giving a presentation or a speech I know that I am going to do a good job if I have practiced it a few times and I know that content. Not necessarily by heart but I can memorise some passages.

For introverts who may not be at their best when they are in conversations, practice conversations in your head. Anticipate who you might be talking to and try to come up with topics that you might bring to the table. Visualise the conversation. They say all of the best people visualise. Why don't you do it?

5. Have good posture

My posture is very lousy, however, recently at my gym (I do Crossfit) a fellow gym member suggested that I really pull my shoulders back when I address the barbell. I really took her advice to heart and now when I walk around town (when you live in Tokyo, you do a lot of walking) I'm consciously pulling my shoulders back. I exaggerate it on occasions. It must look weird sometimes when I'm really pulling back. I also carry my bag around like I'm carrying a kettlebell. That also helps to pull my shoulders back. All of this has really helped my posture a lot.

6. Reading

Over the years I have read many books and this has undoubtedly helped my confidence levels. Little bits of information that I have picked up over the years are now well entrenched in my brain and I will bring them out at the appropriate time and I must admit that I do feel like the authority when I talk about it and you can see the people around you reevaluate their attitude to you. I know that in the past when I tried to talk about something that I wasn't 100% sure about, people will cut your off, talk over you because they don't want to listen to someone who is not sure about what they are saying. They care too much about listening to their own voice than your own stuttering.

Above all in trying to become more confident, it is about making the right choices. Peter Voogd in his best selling book 6 Months to 6 Figures talks about a confidence account. He says that when you have a decision to make, you have a choice, one choice can be to make a deposit in your confidence account (go to the gym) and one decision can be to make a withdrawal from your confidence account (stay on the sofa and watch television and eat bon bons like Peg Bundy).

Why don't you try these things? You will, I assure you, feel a lot better about yourself.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Why it is good to be alone.

Do you use Instagram?

One of my favourite contributors is called Introvert Doodles. Some of the pictures are very funny and very true, especially if you identify yourself as an introvert. One of my favourite Doodles is this one. Basically it is giving the reasons for wanting to stay at home and why you like to be alone. I'm sure many people who identify themselves as introverts can relate. So lets go through them.

1. I can dream impossible things without realists brining me down.

Oh yes. I'm sure a lot of you can relate to this. When you spend a lot of time alone and when you spend a lot of time inside you head, it is only natural that you come up with big ideas and some of them may even be outrageous. There is nothing worse than having your dreams shattered by someone saying that you have to be realistic. Sometimes that may be good advice but other times they are just projecting their reality on to you and your dreams and ambitions. This can be difficult but you have try to ignore them and come up with a realistic plan to achieve it and once you are on the way to achieving it then those people who are telling you to be realistic will be jumping on your bandwagon. If you don't believe me, try it.

2. I'm good company 

I've always said that if you can't enjoy your own company whose company can you enjoy? You should be able to enjoy a night alone, hanging out by yourself without going crazy and wanting 16 other people to hang out with you.

3. I can be the truest version of myself

Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!! When you are alone, you don't have to fake being someone else. You don't have to look like you are having a great time by doing things that make you very uncomfortable. When you are alone you can be and this is a cliche, you can just be yourself. You are not impressing anyone, you are just being yourself and that is all we want to be.

4. It's relaxing to be free of other's expectations

Sometimes when you are in a big group, they expect you to act in a certain way and when you don't act in that way, they will start asking you what is the problem and are you ok and they will feel uncomfortable and hence make you feel uncomfortable. When you are alone, you bypass all of that and it does feel really good that you don't have to worry about it, you can just be yourself and have a whale of a time.

5. No pants

Do I need to write anyone more? Although in saying that, no pants is also good when another special person is there with you.

6. Nobody is complaining about my weird but epic playlist

I don't know about you but this one really gets my goat. For whatever reason people like to make snide comments about other people's music taste. Hey, if I like to listen to Nickelback, then I am going to listen to Nickelback. (By the way, I don't know why people make snide comments about Nickelback. I suspect that half the time they are saying them because other people are saying them so they might as well jump on the bandwagon or they just want to make fun of you because they are snobby.) There are many genres of music and people have different tastes so let them be. They are all not going to like what you like and that is OK. There is nothing wrong with it.

As a thank you for reading this post, here is my favourite Nickelback song.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

How to go from an introvert to an ambivert.

One of my messages in this blog is that if you are introverted you should accept that it some instances you need to "come out of your shell" on occasions.

I know that the message out there is that you should be happy with who you are and accept that that is who you are. I think that is fine to a degree however there are going to be times when you need to show some extrovert characteristics. 

Examples of times when you may need to display extrovert characteristics are:

  • Making a presentation
  • Teaching a class
  • Making a speech at a wedding
  • Selling something
  • At a friend's party
  • When you are leading a project
  • Cold calling
For an introvert, these kind of occasions could be seen as scary or a hassle and there maybe occasions where you might not want to do them but life isn't like that and the successful people are the ones who do those kind of things whether they want to do them or not.

So, what kind of things can you do to help you go from an introvert to being like the guy in the right of the photo below. He is an introvert, by the way. 

1. You have to try and do one thing that is out of your comfort zone each and other day. This doesn't necessarily mean jumping out of a plane or jumping off a bridge with a rubber band attached to your ankles. No, it might mean starting up a conversation with the person next to you on the train or asking for a refill when you know that there is no refill available. Whatever you would feel uncomfortable doing, you should try.

2. I know that this might sound like hell to some of you but you need to get out and talk, talk and talk some more. Extroverts love a party and they love talking so you need to get into the habit of talking. By starting a conversation your mindset should be that you are making their day better by entering their life and saying hi.

3. Find you strengths. A lot of us don't really take the time to sit down and really discover our strengths. Also try to discover what you are really interested in and put your heart into learning those things. This will enable you to connect with other people who enjoy those same things and if you really know the subject then people are going to listen to you because you are going to sound knowledgable and confident. 

I know before and even now when I don't know the subject too well, people can sense it and quickly take over the conversation if they think that they know more than you do but if they sense that you know what you are talking about then they will shut up and listen and this will really help your confidence.

We live in an extroverted world and we need to "come out of our shells" on a regular basis so it would be better to practice it on a regular basis. 

Don't be scared get yourself out of your comfort zone from time to time and watch how your confidence grows and grows until you are comfortable in most situations in your life.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Kia Kaha Aotearoa

Today is Monday, November 14th. In the very early hours of this morning, New Zealand had a very strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8. This is quite large and it has from all accounts caused a lot of damage along with a few people passing away.

This morning I was watching the news and the New Zealand prime minister appeared a couple of times obviously talking about the nation's response to this natural disaster and hopefully to calm down people who would understandably be quite stressed.

I was thinking as I watched the news this morning about what happens behind the scenes in these press conferences. Politicians are notorious for not answering the question. They come with their agenda and they are going to present it come hell or high water.

Most politicians seem to be very articulate and have an engaging personality. Former President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton immediately comes to mind.

However, what of the people behind the scenes? The aides, the bureaucrats, the secretaries, the advisers. They seem to be the ones pulling the strings. Are they as articulate, engaging and charming as the people out front of the cameras?

My answer to that without an inside knowledge of what goes on is that it is probably a yes and no.

Some people are happy to work in the background. They like to shun the spotlight and they feel more comfortable there. Others love that spotlight. They love being there, in and amongst the action.

Is this an introvert/extrovert thing? I don't believe so. There are some people who are introverts, who are really good speakers. They are outgoing, they are articulate, they are excellent public speakers. I know that I am a better public speaker than most and I find that I get charged by speaking in front of people and they give me a positive response.

I originally thought that most politicians are extroverts and to a certain extent they probably are but there are going to be a small minority who may appear extroverted and charismatic but they recharge quietly. You can never know for certain.

Stay strong New Zealand and don't let this latest disaster beat you.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Choose your holiday spots wisely and you will feel the difference

When you go on holiday (vacation), what do you want? 

Do you want a little cottage in the middle of the mountains or a little hut next to the beach with the next hut 100 metres away?

Or do you want to be at a resort with 500 other people?

Maybe it's a cruise ship where it is for people roughly around your age and one week of debauchery.

Or it could be at a music festival in the hills somewhere, where you stay in tents and have 20,000 neighbours.

Whatever it is, make sure that you don't need another holiday (vacation) after you come home from the current one.

I'm willing to bet that the kind of holiday that these people chose was not congruent with what they classify as their personality type.

For example someone who identifies as a introvert may have gone on a cruise ship with 1000 other ravers. He or she is not going to get much recharging there.

Someone who likes the company of others may think that staying by him or herself on the beach miles away from civilisation may on paper sound like a hell of a way to spend the holidays but may drive him or herself crazy with the lack of human contact.

When you choose your holiday (vacation) make sure you are doing things that are going to recharge you because that is what the holiday is for to recharge. The last thing you want is to get home and not want to get back to real life the next day. What you want is to feel recharged to get back into your life full throttle. You don't want to be going to work the next morning with a frown on your face and an attitude that you think that have just entered hell.

When you start to understand yourself then your whole life will start to change and you will find that you have a lot more energy and you will start doing things that are better for you and not for the people around you.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

How do you know you are an ambivert? Part two.

Introverts, when they are in an over-stimulating environment can get their energy drained very quickly. They might think that it was a good idea to go the party but they find the large number of people and maybe the loud music and in their mind the inane chatter is just too much and they will feel drained.

Extroverts will feel drained when they are alone. They will tell everyone that wants to listen that yes they like kicking back on the couch and doing nothing but after five minutes they want to get out, meet people and dance the night away. The couch is just too draining.

However, when you identify yourself as an ambivert you might not feel drained in either situation. You will feel at home lying down on the couch watching Netflix or you will feel equally at home at the bar or nightclub with a bunch of friends.

You know that you are an ambivert when you feel comfortable in any situation and it doesn't drain you too much although on the other hand both the couch and the bar may drain you equally. Whatever way that is how you know you are an ambivert.

Take being an ambivert as a good thing. You get the best of both worlds.

My own personal opinion is to get out there and have fun. You will instinctively know your limit and that is when you say your goodbyes. Don't let your extroverted friends try to convince you to stay. (and they will) No your limits and go home to fight another day.

Just remember, Ambiverts are cool.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Have you ever wanted to build your OWN lifestyle?

I was on the train the other day. It was just after 7.30 in the morning and surprisingly for a Tokyo train it wasn't particularly crowded.

On one side of me was a guy who sat down and pulled out of his bag a piece of grey paper. Actually it was quite a few pieces of grey paper with words written all over it. There was a photo of a man who looked like he wore a toupee and was wearing suit.

I asked what this grey thing was and he said that it was something called a newspaper. I hadn't seen one for a long time. I had forgotten what it was.

Anyway, jokes aside, I want today to talk about the guy who was sitting on the other side of me. Almost as I sat down the guy's head started to droop and he let his head rest on my shoulder.

Now, I'm a guy and unless the person sitting next to me is a good looking woman I'm not allowing anyone to use my shoulder as a pillow.

While this was happening, I was imagining why this guy had decided to use my shoulder as a pillow. I have a vivid imagination and this is what I came up with and I want to bet that I am pretty close to the truth:

The guy had been drinking and socialising until about 12.30am. He was probably with people he didn't like and didn't really care for but had to "fake it." He probably got the last train home arriving at his door at about 1.30am. He probably watched some television and maybe had a bath and got into bed after 2am.

However since he had an important presentation on that day he decided to go to the office early, so he was up at 5am and was on the train early but by that time he couldn't keep his eyes open and he was shot. He was done.

What I want to know is, was the drinking until the early hours of the morning worth it? Did it make him less miserable, because he looked pretty bloody miserable. I was thinking does he want to design his own lifestyle? Does he want to run his life according to his own desires and wants as opposed to his someone else's?

I'm willing to bet that the answer to these questions are yes, yes and yes.

Why be someone's lackey? Why celebrate the fact that it is Friday? Why can't everyday be Friday or Monday or Wednesday? Who cares?

We all have a chance to build our own lifestyles. We all have a chance to live our lives on our own terms. Very few people take this chance.

I for one am trying to build my lifestyle so I live on my own terms. I know that there are some things I have to do which I'm not comfortable about but I have to do and that is the difference between people who succeed and people who fail. The successful people do things that other people don't want to do now so that they can do what they want to do later.

I will use sleepy Joe on my shoulder as a motivation to build my body, build my mind, build my ambivertism, build my business and build my relationships.

I know that I have to watch what I eat, train most days, read, practice being more outgoing, work harder and smarter and take the opportunity to talk to as many people as possible.

These things are on occasions not particularly pleasant but they need to be done to get to where you want to be with things you want, with people you want to be in your life and the mindset to make it.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

How do you know you are an ambivert? Part One.

How do you know that you are an ambivert?

Well, there are a few ways and over a few posts I will attempt to answer that question.

So, what is the first answer?

Do your friends or acquaintances have a difficult time classifying you as an introvert or an extrovert? That is because you are an ambivert.

You are equally comfortable staying at home on a Friday night or a Saturday night as you are going out to a party or a bar or a club. You just feel that whatever is appropriate for you on that night, you will go and do.

I know some people that I know find it difficult to place me. They think that I am a stay-out-all-night party animal, womaniser. Some times I wish that was the truth. They are surprised when I say that I am quite introverted.

There you have it. The first indication that you may be an ambivert.

Are you like this?

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Take every opportunity to start a conversation

One of the most important concepts when you are trying to go from an introvert to an ambivert is the idea that you need to start conversations. You need to break the ice.

Introverts are usually so much in their head that they overthink things and then when the opportunity presents itself to break that ice they can't do it because they are worried that they will say something wrong or offend the other person. Rather than take the risk and start a conversation they won't do anything and the opportunity is gone.

Extroverts on the hand will start a conversation and because it is second nature to them they don't really care if the other person doesn't really take to them because they know that someone else will if they open a conversation with enough people.

How do you start a conversation with a stranger?

Well the secret is in the power of observation. I'll give you an example.

I was near a major university in Tokyo the other day walking towards the train station. In front of me I noticed a woman carrying a bag. The design on the bag was one I was very familiar with. So I broke the ice,

"Hello. Do you play cricket?" (The woman was carrying a cricket bat.)

Initially she was taken aback for a couple of seconds but then she told me that yes she did play cricket and although our conversation was less than a minute it was obvious that she was very enthusiastic about the sport and even though she had only played for less than 18 months she seemed to know all the jargon and things associated with the sport.

How did I get into this conversation?

I noticed something about her that I was familiar with and I commented on it. Basic, right? People will talk about something that is relevant to them.

In New Zealand, especially in supermarkets, cashiers will ask you generic questions about your day but if they were taught to use their observation skills then the customer would have a better experience.

I used to work as a bartender and some of the better interactions I had with customers was when I would comment on something that they were wearing or carrying or even something they just said.

If you want to start a conversation, look for something and comment on it. You might not be successful every time but you will build your conversation starter "muscle" and be well on the way to becoming an ambivert.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Have you ever been called antisocial?

I was at the gym this morning. We did dead lifts (as seen in the photo below) and a running workout with some kettlebell swings.

Anyway, that is besides the point. During the warm up the coach noticed that one of the members in the class today was "hiding" around the corner. He was out of the coach's eyesight doing the same thing as us.

The coach is gregarious, outgoing, likes to chat, likes to joke. He is always positive and he is good to be around. I would say that he is an extrovert.

The guy that was warming up alone is very fit, very fast, very strong and very quiet. He does talk but he is very "economical" with his words. I could see that he found the small nature of the gym and because it was a full class he just wanted to get away from the crowd for a few minutes. I understood perfectly.

I don't think the coach understood though .

"He always likes to go by himself."

I didn't say anything but introverts need to if even for a few minutes, they need to just go off and spend a little bit of time by themselves.

Crossfit is an individual sport but there is the team element with group workouts and sometime pair or three people workouts. For me it can be a bit too much and I'm always happy when I am given a spot by myself to do lifts so I don't have to worry about people around me.

I think we all need to learn about how other 'tick.' If we understood that some people have to go off by themselves then we wouldn't hear things like:

"He's antisocial."


"He's weird."


"I can't believe you, it's Friday night, you should be partying wooooooooo."

If we all understood where most people were coming from, both our social lives and professional lives would be a lot easier and we all would be smiling like the guy below. And that is a good thing, isn't it?

Monday, 7 November 2016

Are the old ways a no way?

I saw this meme on Instagram the other day. It says "I like old school things. Picnics, phone calls, dates, flowers, letters, late night drives for nothing... Things people call "corny" nowadays."

It is well known that introverts find it difficult to change. It takes them (us) quite some time to adjust and accept to the changes that society throws at us.

Lets look at the things that the above quote talks about it:

  • Picnics
  • Phone calls
  • Dates
  • Flowers
  • Letters
  • Late night drives for nothing 

Lets have a look at all of these individually.


I didn't realise that picnics were not the thing to do anymore. Actually no one told me about that. The only thing I can think of is that people don't want to do the work because it takes a lot of preparation. People just prefer to go to a restaurant. No preparation, just pay the bill.

Phone calls

We seem to rely on texting these days. The good old fashioned phone call seems to be a relic. Of course the written word is good but especially on your phone, words can be taken the wrong way. You might make a joke which is misconstrued, misunderstood and then your friendship could become really rocky. However with people with cell phones and smart phones these days invariably you will miss a call and people rely on email and texting because it is less confrontational but trying to organise anything on email or text takes forever.


A date is a date. People don't want to call it a date because it might imply something. Hey, a date is just two people going out together to have fun, do something enjoyable and maybe even getting to know each other that little bit more. But in 2016 you can't call it that. You call it hanging out. You can't call it have fun either because that implies sex. What? Having fun is having fun. I use Tinder, I do admit but it has a lot to answer for.


Yes, you can't send flowers because that will show that you are interested and for some reason you can't show anymore interest than the other person because that will mean they will lose interest. (Yeah, I can't follow it myself.) If you want to send flowers, send them. If the woman likes you, she will appreciate it, if not, you send some flowers what is wrong with that? You took a shot and lost. It's not the end of the world.


In this day in age, there is nothing better than receiving a hand-written letter. It shows that person on the other end has sat down, taken the time to write something that he or she wants you to read. (I must admit though that I don't write much these days that my handwriting looks like a doctors script on a prescription form.) Why don't you write a letter to someone that you appreciate? They might like it.

Late night drives for nothing

I don't actually understand this one probably because I don't own a car. I'm sure if you enjoy being with each other then you just turning up one night to say hi would be greatly appreciated, or is that showing too much interest?

As an introvert you need to embrace change. I know that it is quite difficult but you need to but there are some things that you don't need to change. Stick to your guns here. You might receive a lot of criticism for not changing but some things are timeless.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Sunday fun day Sunday!!!

It's Sunday and if you are anything like me you like to have the odd Sunday when you do absolutely nothing.

As an introvert don't think that you have to organise something because you don't. Don't feel pressure to make something up on Monday morning about how your weekend was. If you didn't do anything say it with pride because you know yourself and you know for you to get the most out of your week, you need your rest and solitude.

If you need the weekend or even just the Sunday to recharge then do it and don't feel guilty about it.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Here is something that changed my life

Have you heard of the DISC profile test?

It was brought to my attention a few years ago by a friend of mine. This DISC concept has helped me find out about the introvert/extrovert concept as well as allowed this blog to blossom.

Let me tell you what I know about DISC.

Basically it is made up of four parts. Maybe you have guessed already, D, I, S and C.

D stands for dominance. They are the ones that about accomplishing results. They get straight to the point and can at times be blunt.

I stands for influence. These people are really enthusiastic. They are rally optimistic and they like creating new relationships.

S stands for steadiness. I'm an S. We like cooperation and we tend to shy away from confrontation. We tend to not like to be rushed and we are usually quite calm about things.

C stands for conscientiousness. These people want the details and more details and even more details. They don't like to be wrong and the value accuracy.

Once you understand all of this you understand why people are the way they are and you can adjust your attitude around them.

Of course we are all not 100% of one letter. We are a combination of the all four but one of them is the majority.

It changed my life when this was introduced to me. It might change your life too.

Friday, 4 November 2016

How has the internet changed your life?

The Internet. How would you cope without it today? Do you think that you can go back to the old ways of doing things? Reading the newspaper everyday. Actually talking to people face-to-face. Seeing actual photos developed at a one hour photo store. Calling people on the phone, god forbid.

I must admit though that the Internet has made our life a lot easier.

The Internet seemed to have been invented with the introvert in mind. In fact, Al Gore who has been mentioned in this blog a few times even said that "I invented the Internet." I'm not sure about that but if he is an introvert then he developed something that has helped him in his life.

The Internet is definitely an introvert's dream come true. Where else can you order a pizza without talking to someone? Where else can you get groceries delivered to your door without talking to anyone? The most important thing about the Internet for introverts is that you can use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc ad nauseam and everyone will think you are social. Thank you Mr. Zuckerberg.

It is very easy to sit behind your computer screen or stare at your phone all day and admittedly we have probably all done that but you have to get out and about and meet people. You need to meet people of different backgrounds and cultures because that is how you are going to grow as a person.

Don't be like the guy below and stay seated the whole day. Get out of your chair. Go and say hi to people. At the very least you might get some exercise which is good I'm told. You might even find some Pokemons here and there.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

The differences between extroverts and introverts

I saw this article in The Huffington Post the other day. It is an excellent article and shows the difference between introverts and extroverts.

Lets go through each of them and I will give you my take on them.

1. Extroverts recharge by being social/Introverts recharge by being alone

Yes, this is pretty much Introvert/Extrovert 101. I have said it here ad nauseam, Extroverts need a crowd and introverts need to be alone. When you are an ambivert it depends on how you are feeling at the time and you need to listen to yourself so as not to overdo it and then you may need to go back into your cocoon for a few days.

You could be like this (I have no idea who these people are):

Or you could be like this:

Doesn't he look relaxed and recharged?

2. Extroverts enjoy group conversations/Introverts enjoy one-on-one conversations

Extroverts like to be the centre of attention. They like a crowd that they can perform to. Introverts like the one-on-one situation where they can express themselves freely with someone that they trust and that they can talk about more in-depth topics than the usual.

3. Extroverts have more friends but the bonds are less strong/Introverts have closer relationships with a few friends

I always find it interesting when I'm talking with an extrovert and they will use the word "friend" quite liberally. "My friend does this." "My friend did that." Personally, I don't like the overuse of the word friend. A friend is someone special. A friend is someone who will help you out when it is 3am on a Tuesday morning in the middle of a snowstorm. A friend is not someone you met at a party for five minutes while you were half cut.

While on that note, please don't use this sentence "He's (She's) just a friend." By saying this, you are trivialising the word friend. "He's (She's) JUST a friend." What do you mean, JUST? Friends and friendship are some of the most important concepts in our lives. Don't trivialise it by saying JUST. By saying that word you are saying that he or she is not important in your life. But he or she is your friend, you said it.

4. Extroverts speak more/Introverts listen more

Apparently this is true. I've been told that I am a terrible listener which is kind of true. I hear what the other person is saying but I don't listen. I'm either thinking about what I'm going to say (waiting to talk) or I'm thinking about something completely different and have no idea what they have said. Not good. What do people say? We were given two ears and only one mouth for a reason.

5. Extroverts easily accept change/Introverts struggle with change

This is one that I'm not really sure about because I'm sure that I am resistant to change but I can't think of any concrete examples. I am reminded of this cartoon though. We all want change, but we are reluctant to change ourselves because that will take us out of our comfort zones and that is not the way we want to live our lives. We want to go through our lives with the least possible hassle.

6. Extroverts get distracted easily/Introverts can focus for a long time

This one proves that we are all not one or the other. This one proves that we all have introverted characteristics and we all have extroverted characteristics. In us all, one side is more than the other. I easily get distracted. I'm writing this blog post in a library and for whatever reason I am totally distracted. Every person who walks past I have to stop what I am doing and look and see who they are.

7. Extroverts are more open/Introverts are more reserved

This is very true. An extrovert will gladly go up and talk to someone with out worrying too much about whether or not they will strike out or not. They think that they are making the other person's day by saying hi and if they get told to go away they will look for someone else to say hi to. Introverts don't do this as much. In fact they will not say much at all which leads to the misunderstanding that introverts are shy which is very far from the truth. Go to this post to find out the difference.

8. Extroverts open up to anyone/Introverts open up to a few people

I remember a few years ago a guy said to me that he thought that I was a bit strange when he first met me. He said that I appeared a bit standoffish at first. I said that that was perfectly normal for me because I did not know him and that I didn't know how much I should tell him about myself and how much I could trust him. I had to be a little bit careful and then when I felt comfortable I was able to open up.

9. Extroverts make decisions quickly/Introverts reflect before making decisions. 

I am one person who tends to take too long over my decisions and when I have decided the opportunity is lost. There needs to be a middle ground between the two. Extroverts need to take just a little bit longer with their decisions while introverts need to make the leap just a fraction earlier than they naturally want to.

10. Extroverts love getting attention/Introverts are not interested in getting attention

I tell you something, this introvert loves getting attention. This introvert loves getting on stage and thriving off the energy of people listening and watching. Of course, if this introvert doesn't get any reaction from the audience then it can go downhill very quickly indeed.

11. Extroverts are fine working in open spaces/ Introverts like working in quiet spaces

As I write this, I am writing this at a library. Not a public library mind you but a space where people can go to do work. It is relatively quiet but there are still a good number of people sitting around. I do however have earphones on listening to music and even though I am in a public space I'm still in my own little world.

12. Extroverts speak up in meetings/Introverts share ideas when prompted

This one is very true in my opinion. Extroverts like the attention and even if their ideas are not the best they will still tell everyone within earshot their ideas and be very disappointed if they are not taken up upon. An introvert can have very good ideas but occasionally they are not able to articulate those ideas very well and because of this their ideas may not be adopted because of the presentation of the idea instead of the idea itself.

Al Gore wasn't listened to in Congress because he didn't present his idea very well to a bunch of extroverted congresspeople. This is why he had to make the movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Extroverted people will sit up and listen to a movie but they won't listen to someone who may be quietly spoken and not very exciting.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Attack that opportunity

If you see an opportunity you need to take it. You need to to grab it with both hands even if it means working out how to do it or pay for it later. You don't want to think "what if?" What if I had done that? What if I had taken that opportunity?

Days, weeks, months, years later you don't want to thinking that dreaded question, "what if."

Why don't you join me as we try to take every opportunity that is available to us?

 However, don't do as I have done throughout my life, attack it half assed. Give it your all and if it doesn't work out then at least you can look at yourself in the mirror in the morning and say that you gave it your best shot.

I believe that to make the move from introvert to ambivert you need to show your hand with these opportunities. You have to stop being passive which I believe you are now. You need to be a tad more aggressive. You don't need to be a lion attacking prey aggressive but do you need to go for it.

If you see an opportunity go for it. Even if you don't know if it will work out, keep persisting and it may become the best decision you have even made.

Good luck, tell me how it goes.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Are you shy or are you introverted? There is a difference.

What is the difference between introversion and shyness?

These two characteristics seem to get lumped together like they are one in the same.

Well, I have news for you, they are not.

Here's why.

An introvert is someone who recharges by being by himself or herself or with a small group of friends (maybe one or two people). An introvert is happy in these circumstances because he or she knows themselves well and they know what works to recharge them.

An introvert feels fine staying at home on a Friday night.

Shyness however is about how they deal with other people and unfamiliar situations. Shy people are usually uncomfortable in unfamiliar situations and they find it very difficult talking and meeting new people.

Another aspect of a shy person's personality is that they feel that they should go out on a Friday night but they don't want to do the work. They want to have a big group of friends but to organise that can be out of the reach of the shy person.

This is interesting because since I have "discovered" the fact that I am introverted, the idea that I should go out on a Friday night has basically disappeared from my life. I would much rather spend it with a mate drinking beer or a beautiful woman eating dinner and having a fantastic conversation.

I was shy, that I know, but I have gotten over that and I know who I am and that makes a big difference in my life and with my peace of mind.

I assure you, when you figure out who you are, your life becomes a lot more simple.