Thursday, 19 October 2017

Another interesting quote - October 19th

Here is an interesting quote from Horacio Jones:

"I like being alone. I have control over my own shit. Therefore, in order to win me over, your presence has to feel better than my solitude. You're not competing with another person, you are competing with my comfort zones."

That's an excellent point. Some people are happy just being by themselves and even though what you have planned may, in your mind be lots of fun, other people might not see it that way. If they do decline your invitation, it is not an insult to you, it is just that the other person feels more comfortable in their own company than in yours.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017


I've noticed this year that I have let some things slip which is not good. So if you are in the same boat as me here are some things that both you and I can do that will make 2018 better and better.

1. Gratitude

We are so lucky to live in 2017. There are so many things now that we take for granted. If you have a question, you can reach into your pocket and press a few buttons and there you have on your phone screen, your answer. You can do anything from that thing in your pocket. Rather than be grumpy, think of all the good things that are in our universe.

2. Be fine with being alone

Sometimes you have to sit alone and think. You have to relax, yes even those extroverted people out there. I've said this a number of times, it is ok to sit at home on a Friday or Saturday night either by yourself or with a significant other.

3. Banish the trash

I remember a few years ago I noticed that a Facebook friend was doing a "restructuring" of her page. She was getting rid of the trash. (Her words, not mine.) I noticed that she was deleting a lot of her "friends" on Facebook. Anyway about five minutes later Iw as one friend less. I'm still not sure what I did or didn't do to get the boot but I suppose what she was doing was banishing the people who don't bring positive energy into her life. That's what you should do too. Say goodbye to the negative people. They will bring you down to their level and that is never good.

4. Turn off the telly

TV, telly, boob tube, whatever you call it, sometimes you need to turn it off and read a book or heaven forbid, maybe even go outside. It is not just the television either, sometimes you need to turn off the Internet (YouTube in particular) and do something else.

5. Cultivate a skill

Find something that you are interested in and give it a go. This might be to learn a language or to learn everything there is to know about a particular subject. I remember a friend of mine saying that if you spend 6 years reading about a particular topic every day for a minimum of seven pages, then you will be in the top 1% of authorities in that subject. Something to think about, don't you think?

6. Commit

This is something that I'm not very good at, committing at something. Choose what you want to focus on and give it 100%. I'm sure you have heard all of those cliches. You know what I am talking about, regret weighs more than failure and things like that.

7. Exercise

I went to the 7.30am class this morning. I do feel a bit tired now while I am writing this. Do I regret going? Not at all. This is another thing that personally I need to commit to. What is that I hear you ask? Consistent exercise and clean eating. I know in this society it is easy to just pop out for a kebab to something similar but it is much more satisfying to cook something yourself. It is generally healthier and probably more delicious.

8. Learn from your mistakes.

Do I have to say anymore?

Monday, 16 October 2017

Engage with the WALLFLOWER (You never know who you are going to meet)

When you are at a party or an event you are going to tun into people who may not want to be there. You will recognise them, they are standing by themselves, next to the wall, not talking to anyone.

They are called:


Say hi to them. Start up a conversation. They will be very happy that you took the effort to break the ice and even though they might not look like the life of the party (because they are not) you might find that they are super-intelligent and quite fun to be around.

Next time you are at a party engage with the wallflower. You will make their day and you will find a friend for life. I can almost guarantee it.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

What I learned (or should I say observed) at Crossfit class today


I'm sure that regular readers of this blog will know that I have attended a Crossfit gym for a number of years. I do enjoy it. I like the structured workouts and the sense of community and although I don't take it too seriously, I like the fact that I am learning to lift weights properly although I still can't do a pull-up. I struggle to do burpees well and doing a muscle-up is still but a dream.

Today's class was interesting for me. Normally I would go to a Saturday class at 8am. On Saturdays we have the choice of a 8am class or a 9.15am class, a 10.30am class or a 11.45am class.

Since I joined I think I have been to a 9.15am class once and I have never attended either a 10.30am or a 11.45am class. So today was the first time to attend a 11.45am class.

Got it? Are you following me?

Anyway, the 8am class, like the weekday early 6.15am class is usually quite quiet. There are pleasantries exchanged. A few nods and grunts, but we generally get on with it. Invariably there will be a few visitors from around the world.

The good thing about the 8am class is that you get it over with and you have the rest of the day to do whatever you have planned.

What I want to point out today is (and yes we are going to go back to the theme of this blog) do introverted people go to earlier classes and the more extroverted ones go to the later classes?

From what I observed, yes, that is probably the case.

Now, before you get your knickers in a twist and say:

"Hey Blair, I work hard all week and I need the sleep in on a Saturday morning."

I'm going to say that I realise that for some of you that is the case. No doubt about it. However I reckon that introverted people go early while extroverted people go later. GENERALLY! Not in all cases.

Why is this?

1. Introverted people know that there might not be that many people at the early time so they can relax and enjoy it without having to deal with the crowds.

2. It's Friday night. What is an introvert doing? Yes, they are at home recharging from the week. What are extroverts doing? They are out partying up a storm. They need energy for the weekend so bars and nightclubs and parties it is. By the way, 8am class?!?!?!? F**k that.

There is a myth out there that Crossfit is this big party with people yelling at you to do one more push up or one more burpee or the like. I must admit that I thought that when I joined but that is not necessarily the case.

If you do join a Crossfit "box." Make sure you pick the time you go carefully. Obviously with some people it might not be that easy but if you do like it a bit quieter then you may want to push yourself to get up at 'sparrow's fart.'

Experiment. Go at different times and then find the best time for you. You will find that most people go at the same time so you will start to see familiar faces and that will make it easier.

Good luck. Have a great weekend.

P.S. I have already booked the 8am class for next week.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Don't let the opinion of one person get you off-track

I saw a very interesting quote the other day. Let me write it out for you:

"There are more than 6,055,134,204 people in this world. Don't let the opinion of 1 stop you from chasing your dreams."

This is so true. We have an idea. We are all gung-ho about it but then somebody says something that makes you think that what you are trying to do is stupid.

"Why are they saying that?" we think to ourselves. We try and second guess it and suddenly all of our enthusiasm is gone because we listened to one person who is probably a real grump and/or having a really bad day.

One opinion is nothing. Maybe 100 opinions of the negative variety you might want to think again.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The pride and passion of international sport: i.e. Football (soccer)

International sport. Is there anything that brings out the passion and national pride more than sports? I very much doubt it.

Today I was following the South American football World Cup qualifying games. Normally I couldn't give two hoots about a few football games on the South American continent but this time the fifth place team in the Conmebol confederation is due to play New Zealand (All Whites) in a home and away playoff for the right to attend the Fifa World Cup in Russia in 2018.

Going into the final rounds of games, there seemed to be about five teams all with a shot of either qualifying for the World Cup directly or through the playoff.

As a All White supporter I was hoping we would avoid, Argentina Colombia, Chile and Paraguay. Why? Because we know about them and we probably wouldn't survive. However we got Peru which on paper sounds less difficult but they are fifth in South America for a reason so it is going to be very, very hard.

I'm not a great football fan but even I was interested in who we will play and I was following the action with great interest.

A few minutes ago I was chatting with a football fan from the United States of America. He was very disappointed that his country couldn't make it to Russia. He is usually a pretty easy going guy but you could tell that he was disappointed, angry even that his team couldn't make it. The passion that comes out in international sport, you can't beat it.

Last night I was following a live stream of Australia vs Syria. Football isn't the most popular sport in Australia but the passion and commitment from both teams was something to be admired.

Anyway, whatever happens I hope see more of the below video:

And this one:

Tuesday, 10 October 2017


I was asked the other day why I like Tokyo.

Like most big cities, there is usually lots to do. There are many interesting areas. It is a very convenient city in that it is easy to get around. The trains run on time and there are safe if some what congested roads where you can drive quite easily and find your way around.

Another thing about big cities is that it is easy to become just another anonymous face in the crowd. This of course can bring with it challenges like loneliness and the sense of isolation.

It's ironic, isn't it, that even though you have 20 million people around you, you still feel lonely.

Although, maybe you enjoy that? Do you? Do you like the fact that you have your small group of friends and acquaintances and that you don't have to say hello to every second person that pass by?

At the end of the day, a big city is what you make of it. You can take the opportunities that it has or you can let it beat you.  I have seen the faces of many people that it has beaten and it is not a pretty sight, believe me.

If you want to say here, don't let it beat you. Carve out your own niche.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

16 Questions with Blair

I read this article in The Japan Times the other day.

It was an article asking some person in Tokyo a number of questions. 20 to be precise. (I have answered 16 of them.)

I thought that I would answer these questions for this blog.

Name: Blair Leighton
Age: 44
Nationality: New Zealand
Occupation: Blogger extraordinaire
Likes: Sports - Rugby, Cricket, Crossfit, Reading, Blogging
Dislikes: Rude people, zombie people, my culinary indiscipline.

1. What do the kanji that compose your first name mean? Would you say they match your personality? My name in kanji is 武礼亜. 武 means weapon. 礼 means polite and I have no idea what 亜 means. Am I a polite weapon? I don't know.

2. What do you love about living in Japan? I like Tokyo. I like the big city and although it can get annoying at times, I like the hustle and the bustle.

3. Where do you go to escape Japan? Why would you want to escape? It makes it seem like a prison sentence. It's my choice to live here, why escape?

4. Whom in Japan do you most admire? I think it is changed over the last few years but very few sports people have ever decided to try their luck overseas. However in the last 20 years more and more sports people have moved overseas and that is good to see. I do respect the people who go for example, to Moldova to play soccer or they go to Australia to play baseball. I think that is great for their sport careers as well as their lives in general and all power to them.

5. What's the strangest question you have been asked in your job? "Do you have traffic lights in New Zealand?" I couldn't think of a smart-ass answer to that one so I just said yes.

6. What is your Japanese comfort food? Curry rice, closely followed by karaage. In fact, karaage on curry rice is heavenly.

7. If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be and what would you eat? Cleopatra. We would eat grapes and she can feed them to me.

8. What would you like to be doing in 10 years time? I'll keep that one to myself for the time being.

9. What song best describes your work ethic? The Feeler's "Stand up." It is very special for me for reasons I would rather not go into.

10. What's the biggest joy in your job? When people come up to me and say they read such and such post.

11. How do you relax when you aren't working? wrote a post about the England rugby player, James Haskell. In the video attached to the post he says that he likes to sit down, play some music and write. He finds that really relaxing. I agree with him. I like to do that too. As I am writing this, I am in a comfortable chair and got music playing in my ear and I feel very relaxed.

12. What would you take to a deserted island? I was actually asked this yesterday at my gym. I am a great fan of the Tom Hanks' movie Cast Away. In the movie Hanks' character is stuck on the island for four years. I was reminded of the parody of the movie. (See below)

So, what would I take? Well, same as what was in the package, satellite phone, fishing rod, water purifier and an inflatable raft.

13. What's the most exciting/outrageous thing you have ever done? I came to Japan when I was 18. For a boy from Palmerston North, New Zealand, that was pretty scary.

14. What's been the most embarrassing moment in your life? I don't know. That's a good question. I remember at high school playing volleyball at lunchtime and making a mistake and the whole gym cracking up at my mistake. That wasn't very pleasant. In fact I don't have a very good association with volleyball. It isn't my favourite ball sport.

15. What do you want to be if you are reborn? I have heard this a few times, "an expat wife." So I'll go for that.

16. If you won $1 million in the lottery, what would you do with the money? I would think of ways to make it $2 million. Also look for ways to make a 5% income from that money. $50,000 is not that much in today's climate but it would be a good start. Boring I know.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Getting ahead at the bar

Today's post is for men. Women, you don't have to read this if you don't want to although you might learn something as we go along. I'm not sure. Don't say that you haven't been warned.

I worked for about 18 months as a  bartender. It was one of the most interesting and dare I say it, fun jobs that I have ever had. No two nights seemed to be the same and I will remember it for a long time.

Of course I met a whole bunch of people and saw a lot of things.

                               (This is not me)

One of the most interesting things that I witnessed was guys trying the whole pick up thing. I believe that there are easier places to try to pick up women, especially when you are like me who can hardly hear the other person when they are talking, but it seems to be go to for most men when they are on the prowl so to speak.

Anyway, without further ado, here what I learned from my year and a half standing behind the bar.

1. Say something original

It seems that from what I saw, "hello" was definitely an original and unique line. Most men tried to say something smart and it was a big turn off for a lot of women.

Another thing you could do is talk about or ask a question about something the woman is wearing or carrying. This is something personal to them and it might set off a spark.

2. Don't use swear words

I sometimes catch myself using the f*** on occasions. It is OK when you are talking to someone who is close to you but when you start using it when you ahem just met someone, you can get yourself in a lot of trouble. So hold back on those four letter words until you know that person just that little bit better.

3. Bring cash PLEASE!!!

Do you what is the most annoying thing is especially in a New Zealand bar? EFTPOS. It sucks and everyone uses it. I know that it is useful for everything but for a $7.50 purchase it is a waste of time and it sucks when the connection is out because no one carries cash anymore.

Bring cash. You (and she) will get your drink faster. I'm sure that she is thirsting for your conversation.

4. We can be your best friend (and ally)

Don't think we are some uneducated pleb. As you know, we have seen it all, so talk to us like we are human. We do have a sense of humour and most of us are well educated and we know what is going on around the world. This will allow her to relax and boom, you are in with a chance.

5. You are there with your mates

When you go out with your mate to mates, remember that you are there with your mates and the object of the night out is to have a good time with your mates. You are there to talk and have a laugh. Do you know what happens when you are having  good time and concentrating on what your mates are saying? Well people start to congregate in your area to see what all the fun is and that is when you start to talk to the women.

I remember I was at a bar with my mate a few years ago and we were in such a deep animated conversation that we attracted the attention of women around us without doing anything. You could tell that they were bored with their group and wanted to be entertained by us because we must have been talking about something interesting, well in their mind anyway. (I think we were probably talking about sport or something.)

6. Isolation is not good

A lot of those PUAs (Pick Up Artists) out there say that you must isolate the object of your affection. Get her away from her group. From what I saw, it would be better to keep her in her group. She will feel safer. Of course interact with her friends but also talk to her the most.

7. Have a sense of humour

If you can make a woman laugh, you are half way there. What happens when you laugh? You feel more relaxed, right? You feel more relaxed and so does she and she is concentrating on your jokes and not on trying to come up with things why she shouldn't go home with you.

8. Put that f****n phone away

I know that I am guilty of this from time to time, looking at my phone when someone else is talking. It is totally disrespectful and what does it say to you when you are in the middle of an epics try and the other person is checking your their watch, looking around the room (for something or someone better) or checking their phone?

9. Just be nice

No one, no matter what anyone says likes an asshole. I know that we are told that we should act like an asshole to get the girl but do you think any woman wakes up and thinks to themselves, "I wish that I could meet an asshole today. I hope that he treats me like shit and makes me feel like I'm worthless."

There you have it. Have a great weekend and at the end of the day, just be yourself. You are a unique being and it is difficult to play a character no matter how much practice you have. Good luck and tell me how it goes.

                                (That is not me either.)

Wednesday, 4 October 2017


When you have had a day like I have in which you have been talking to people for more than 8 hours, you really need to get home and recharge.

It's OK to decline that after work beer. There will be other times.

You need to look after yourself and you need to know yourself.

It is OK to say no. You are being true to yourself.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017


Person A: What are you doing tonight?

Person B: Nothing.

Person A: Oh? You want to do something?

Person B: I just told you what I am doing.

Have you ever had this conversation?

Have you ever gone out with a friend, acquaintance or work colleague when you didn't want to?

This is where you have to be strong. You have to say no, or if you can't say no then emphasise that doing nothing is doing something for you.

That's the secret, doing nothing is doing something and the fact that you want to do it alone should be your choice, not someone else's who can't stand to spend five minutes alone.

Be strong, say no and you will feel happier and more energised which is what it is all about at the end of the day.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

What is Shyness? What is Introversion? What is Schizoid?

What is Shyness?

Shyness is when the person feels awkward or tense or worried in social situations. Maybe they get tongue tied when they want to talk and they can't get it out what they want to say.

People who are really shy may blush, they might find their heart pounding or they might start sweating profusely.

Shy people desperately want to connect with people but they don't know how to and they don't want to feel the anxiety that is associated with meeting and interacting with people that they don't know well.

What is Introversion?

Introversion is about how a person reenergises. An introvert is more interested n being alone or with some close friend.

Introverts get really drained by social events and if they had a choice they would prefer to stay in, at home netflixing and chilling and by that I mean that they actually watch the movie not have sex.

Introversion and extroversion is about how you recharge yourself.

What is Schizoid?

Schizoid is a personality disorder. These kind of people don't really want to have social relationships.

These people tend to be cold to other people. They might appear to be aloof and also indifferent to other people.

Lets look at these in more depth in later posts.

Friday, 29 September 2017


I was in a convenience store this morning and was a little annoyed with the service I received at the particular shop.

I would like to admit firstly, that I do find the service in Japan at some times to be quite robotic. I believe in the type of service, if you can make the service experience unique for every customer then you are doing something right. I know if you are serving hundreds of people a night, you can find it to be a little difficult but we can only hope.

This morning however I received no greeting and I wasn't even told the price of my purchase (¥173).

There was another customer behind me in line. I stuck around for a few seconds to listen and he was given a greeting and was told what the price was.

Why wasn't I given the same courtesy?

I think that all comes down to not judging a book by it's cover.

Just because the person in front of you is black, white, brown, red, pink or purple, it doesn't mean that they won't understand your culture or language.

Treat everyone the same. I think that is great advice.

I was watching a video recently. It was made for men when communicating with women. Some men will talk to a woman they perceive to be 'out of their league' in a different way to someone that they are not attracted to. In reality you should talk to everyone the same. It doesn't matter how high on the 'hotness' scale you think they are.

The same applies to people. Just because you don't think he or she can speak your language, just talk to them like you would talk to anyone. If they don't understand you, then they will tell you (or show you).

Treat everybody the same. That's it. Simple.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Each person is different

I don't have any children but I was asked the other day if I did have children, would I expect them to play rugby or cricket or something similar.

My answer to that was of course, "No." 

If I did have a child who wanted to play cricket or rugby then of course that would be great but they might not want to play team sports. They might want to play an individual sport. They might want to do the shot put or play badminton. They might not even want to play sport, they might want to do some kind of music or dance or something like that.

Why should you push them into playing a team sport? Why should you push them into joining an orchestra?

Just because that's what you did growing up, doesn't mean that they will want to do it.

Remember they might be more comfortable doing something by themselves.

They might prefer this:

To this:

Tuesday, 26 September 2017


"By visualising your goal already completed, you flip your mind onto the frequency that contains the way that it will be attracted to you." - Bob Proctor

Visualisation is the secret. You need to see it in your mind first. As the patron saint of the self development movement, Napoleon Hill said:

"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve." - Napoleon Hill

That's it, isn't it? You have to see it first in your mind and then go from there.

I wonder what Walt Disney saw in his mind when he conceived Disneyland.

We do live in an extroverted society and sometimes you need to "come out of your shell."

What is the first step? Well, you visualise yourself in different situations. You play over in your mind what you want to say or are going to say. Think about your surroundings and how you feel about the moment.

That's a great first step. Now visualise it many times and it will happen, I assure you.

To end this post, lets hear from Bob Proctor again:

"See yourself where you want to be and then be there. Don't be in the past. Be there! Act like the person you want to become." - Art of Living pg. 87 Bob Proctor

Monday, 25 September 2017

Introvert v Extrovert: What are the differences?

Regular readers of this blog will know what the difference is between introverts and extroverts. If you are not a regular reader here is the basic difference:

INTROVERT: recharge by themselves or with a small group

EXTROVERT: Love to socialise and grow more energised with every beer or cocktail at a party.

Here are some more differences:


  • Thoughtful
  • Learn through observation
  • Good listener
  • Reserved
  • Self aware
  • Love time alone


  • Outgoing
  • Good speaker
  • Comfortable in large groups of people
  • Lots of friends
  • Energised by large groups of people
  • Like getting into new activities

Lets have a look at some of these. 

Introverts are indeed thoughtful. I wish I got paid for all the thinking I do. I would retire pretty quickly. 

Introverts are certainly reserved. You won't see many jumping up and down and dancing in their seats at an Ellen show. (Well you might but they won't be enjoying it much.)

Introverts do indeed love time alone or with a significant other. They feel really energised with this interaction. They also like it because they can give the other person there full attention. They don't have to share their attention around which can be very difficult. 

Extroverts are outgoing, there is no doubt about that. They will be the ones that break the ice at a party and there is nothing wrong with that. 

They love being the centre of attention. One of the most extroverted people I have ever met, I remember seeing her in the middle of the dance floor at a club a few years ago. She was just loving the atmosphere and it was like she was being filled with petrol every minute she was there. 

Extroverts have a lot of friends. No little intimate dinner parties for them. "Table for four?" No way. They want to have a party with one hundred of their "closest" friends. They love it and the party will go on all night. 

They one item in the above lists that I'm not so sure about is the 'Good Speaker' point. Sure, extroverts made good speakers in an informal group at a party. They can hold fort with the best of them but when it comes to speaking formally in front of a large group of people it doesn't matter. I know that in the past I was more comfortable speaking in front of  large group of people than one on one. 

There you have it some of the differences between introverts and extroverts. Which one do you see yourself as? 

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Do I (and you) really need to know this stuff?

I saw this article the other day. 37 Rules all Men Must Know. I read this with interest. I wondered what these rules were and I wondered if I follow them or not.

Anyway, here is the list with my thoughts on some of them.

What do you think?

1. Know what you want. Don’t go around asking for approval. -  I agree with this one, 100%. I read a quote recently and I think that it really applies here - "It is easier to ask for forgiveness then to ask for permission." This is so true.

2. Always love and respect your parents. - I love ya' Mum and Dad. See you at Christmas time.

3. Never cheat on your girlfriend/wife. - Yep. When I hear stories of both men and women cheating on their significant others, especially married couples it makes me think that they shouldn't have got married in the first place

4. On the bus always give up your seat to the elderly, pregnant women, and mothers with their kids. - I live in Tokyo, Japan and as you can probably imagine a lot of time is taken travelling in the train. There are, like I suspect in many big cities, priority seats on the train for the elderly etc. I try not to sit in these seats and obey the rules around them. i.e. cell phones near these seats.

5. Don’t lend money to your family. Give it.

6. Don’t put others down. - I agree with this one. Why do it? I have no problem joking with someone as long as you are close to them and they know what the joke is and you are sure that they won't take it to heart. 

7.Don’t participate in gossip. - Yep. Why do it?

8. Exercise. - I went to Crossfit this morning. This might not be everyone's cup of tea so pick something that you enjoy and you get it going. This one is non-negotiable.

9. At the gym wear nice clothes. You will interact with a lot of different kinds of professionals there and first impressions are everything. - What's the point of this one? I don't get it. Surely the first impression is probably how much you bench as opposed to what t-shirt you are wearing. 

10. Don’t ever take selfies. - Take them. Who cares? If you want to take a selfie, take a bloody selfie.

11. In emails and texts don’t use short form. -Yep, I agree with this one. This applies to women as well as men. What is so uncool about proper grammar?

12.No matter how mad you may be at your family, keep it in the family.

13. Don’t brag.

14. Listen. Girls like to talk about themselves. All I can say about this is YES!!!!

15. Never use the term: “Shit happens.” Put in more efforts into comforting that person.

16. If talking to someone you don’t want to, make a polite excuse and leave. - There is nothing wrong with this. Why waste your time with someone that doesn't add value to your life at all?

17. Never talk religion with anyone. Keep it to yourself. - No comment.

18. Don’t follow others. - I agree with this one big time. This one is really difficult to follow if you know what I mean. When you don't follow the herd you put yourself out there for ridicule but you need to, to get where you want. 

19. Don’t waste your life away being on your phone and computer all the time. - I am guilty of this. So why don't you and I take one day off from your phone and computer a week? How would that work? Maybe you could choose a Sunday and throw away the phone. 

20. When making plans, call. Don’t text. - Texting can be a big pain in the ass. As it seems to take forever to organise anything, so just make the call and get it over with. If the other person doesn't like it. Tell them to go and get stuffed.

21. Know how to fix things around the house. 

22. Don’t be intimidated by anyone.

23. Know how to fight. - By fight, do you mean with your mouth? You mean have good debating skills? I hope this one has nothing to do with your fists.

24. Have hobbies. - If you don't have hobbies, what do you do with your time? By the way, sleeping is not a hobby. That's like saying that your hobby is going to the toilet. I can accept that eating is a hobby as people like to go to different types of restaurants.

25. Don’t be afraid to go and watch a movie alone. - It is OK to do things alone. You don't need to be in a group of people all the time. You need that time alone and you need that solitude and if you don't, don't give people who need to be alone grief for not wanting to join your social activities.

26. Learn to be patient and relaxed.

27. Never stop learning new skills. - Learn a language. Learn how to code. Any other ideas?

28. Read books and keep the mind fresh.

29. Read the newspaper. - Does anyone read newspapers these days? I know I get all my news from the Internet. I suppose the newspaper does have everything in one place.

30. You don’t need a reason to buy your mom flowers. - Happy Birthday Mum.

31. Never split the check. Always pay it. - If she offers, I'd take it. What's wrong with that? I think it is nice.

32. Play chess at least twice a week. Keeps the mind super fresh. - I can't remember the last time I played chess. 

33. Buy your mom flowers for no reason.

34. Own a pair of expensive sunglasses, gloves and nice scarf. -How does your sunglasses brand mean anything about what kind of man you are? I don't get it. "I have a pair of Oakleys." "Oh wow! What a man you are."

35. Own at least two nice watches.

36. Use a money clip. Not a wallet. - What's wrong with a wallet? Where do you put your driver's licence? Where do you put your ID card? I don't get this one at all.

37. Don’t buy things you can’t afford.

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.

Saturday, 9 September 2017


What can an introvert do to recharge?

Well I can think of ten things.

1. Exercise

2. Eat healthily

3. Go outside

4. Build something

5. Read something

6. Go for a walk

7. Go to the movies or Netflix

8. Have a drink

9. Listen to music

10. Nap

Friday, 8 September 2017


Charisma. It's one of those words that we all know. We have all heard it hundreds and hundreds of times but how do you actually become more charismatic?

1. Listen, listen, listen

It's all about listening. You ask questions. You maintain great eye contact. You use facial expressions and you really listen not like me who sometimes fakes listening. (That's not cool by the way.) By really listening, you are shown the other person that they mean something to you.

Also remember to listen to everyone. It doesn't matter what percentage of the population they belong to. The 1% or the remaining 99%. It doesn't matter where they went to school and what kind of accent they have, they all deserve you utmost attention. So give it to them.

2. Phones off

This is another one that I am pretty useless at. Put your phone away. Close the lid on that laptop. This way you are showing once again that utmost respect for the people you are talking to. By turning off your phone, people will want to be around you and that isn't a bad thing at the end of the day, is it?

3. Words are important

Words are important and how you use them are very important as well. I remember I was taught that "You are not running late. You are behind schedule." What is the difference here? Well, when you are running late, you are showing the people around you that you are lazy and unorganised and just not up to the business that you are involved in. But when you say that you are behind schedule, it shows that you are a busy person. That you a lot of things to do and that many people trust you because they want to see you for a meeting.

I've noticed that I have used the words "I hate" a lot recently. This is very negative and I should really get it out of my vocabulary quick smart.

4. We don't care about who you know or what kind of shit you have

You know the King of some far away country? Well, whoop-de-do. You have got the latest cell phone? I couldn't care less. You live in an apartment with a dishwasher? Well, fuck me. You are awesome. (Notice the sarcastic tone.) I tell you something, we don't care. It gets tiresome listening to all the stories about those possessions. (They are just possessions by the way.) Stop it with the stories. It is showing off after all and nobody likes a show-off.

5. Dalai Lama's wisdom

"When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new." - Dalai Lama.

Yep, very wise words indeed.

6. Don't gossip

Whatever you do, don't and I mean don't gossip. You might think you are being really cool laughing at someone and the other people might be laughing with you but at the end of the day no-one really likes someone who gossips. It's not cool at all and guess what, even though everyone is laughing (or fake laughing) no one respects you.

7. Laugh at yourself

Hey, you fucked up. Laugh about it. Learn from it. If you have learned from it, people will really respect you for it.

At the end of the day, if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at, right?

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Today's Quote of the Day

I haven't had a great day today but I have to realise that tomorrow is another day and you can afford to have days like this as long as you give it your all the following day.

"It's never too late to start over. If you weren't happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don't stay stuck, do better."

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The Difference between Arrogance and Confidence

What is the difference between confidence and arrogance?

Lets have a look at the respective definitions on my computer's dictionary:


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


Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities.

OK. I see. So, lets see if I can summarise that lot.

A confident person doesn't have to tell everyone that they are good. They just know.

An arrogant person has to tell everyone.

Is that clear?

Of course there are other ways to tell the difference between the arrogant and confident people.

1. An arrogant person will have an obvious superiority or inferiority complex over people. The arrogance is usually a facade. They do feel inferior to other people and so they will act or arrogant to cover this inferiority.

A confident person however, doesn't feel the need to show that he is superior to anyone else. He or she knows that they are a great catch and he doesn't have to announce it to everyone. He or she would no doubt dominate the room with their presence but wouldn't rub it in other people's faces.

2. Another difference is how arrogant and confident people treat other people. An arrogant person thinks they are better than anyone else and they will only talk to people they perceive to be on the same level as them and anyone below that level with be kicked to the sidewalk because the arrogant person doesn't have time to listen to anyone else.

 A confident person will listen to anybody and will encourage them to speak up and may even give them advice if they feel that the occasion requires it.

3. Self-confident people are aware of their shortcomings and weaknesses and are trying to improve them each and every day.

An arrogant person will not admit that he or she has any weaknesses and tries to keep that perfect image for all to see. Unfortunately he or she is not fooling anyone.  most people can see that arrogant person has weaknesses and his or her denial is making them look even more foolish in the eyes of the people around them.

4. A conversation with an arrogant person can be very tedious. They are always trying to get one over you and won't like your thoughts and ideas one iota.

A confident person won't try to force their ideas and opinions on the listener unless they are asked and then if they are asked they won't ram it down the other person's throat. They will speak their peace and carry on.

5. Have you ever been at a bar or an event and you were talking to someone who didn't seem to care what you were talking about and was constantly scanning the room looking for someone else to talk to? Infuriating, right? That is a great sign of arrogance.

The best people in the room are the ones who are you think that you are the only ones in the world. Apparently, Bill Clinton is great at that. It is all about eye contact.

6. An arrogant person is trying to be some that they are not. They are probably uncomfortable around the people nearby so they are trying to win over the crowd with bravado and it doesn't work. They are trying to avoid criticism and that is not good.

A confident guy or woman is positive, optimistic and they are tackling the difficulties of life head on.

At the end of the day, you are a confident person. That is great but you don't need to rub other people's noses into it. That makes you an arrogant person and no one likes them, maybe except the arrogant person him or herself.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Bill Gates' Think Weeks

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft used to take two weeks off a year and go to a retreat in the middle of nowhere and think. He would do that twice a year, one week at a time.

It sounds like an introvert's delight, right? What would you do with one week to yourself?

I don't think I would survive.  I need my special someone there with me to experience the week so big ups to Bill Gates' for doing that which is probably the reason he is worth $70 billion and I am not.

Lets say that you don't have the means to get away from it all for one week to just think. What other options do you have?

1. You could visit a new area in your city that you are living and hang out there. A change is as good as a holiday they say. So going to that new area could get your creative juices flowing.

2. You could find a quiet spot in the local park and hang out there. If it is a nice sunny day then you can get a nice tan along with some creative thoughts. Sounds like a good deal to me.

3. You could find a place in a shared work space like where I am now. Put some thinking music on your computer and really think about it.

4. Go for a long walk in the countryside. Out in the nature you will find all sorts of stimuli that will help you come up those big ideas.

The whole point of this is that you need the time, space and solitude to think and when you really think that is when those big ideas appear and then the next step is to take action on them.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Go by yourself

A lot of people fear going some place alone. They find the idea of turning up somewhere, like at a party or an event by themselves as been very intimidating.

I'm here today to say that, yes, maybe that is true but only for the first five minutes or so. That's all. Five minutes. That's it.

Many people will ask around their group of friends for somebody to accompany them but when they get a few no's they will give up and not bother with the party/event at all.

The advice is simple today that if you want to go somewhere and no one wants to go with you, pluck up the courage and go by yourself.

If you are genuinely interested in the theme of the event then you will meet people there who are there for the same reasons. They will have similar interests and you will have lots of things in common and the conversation should flow smoothly. It's just those first five minutes which is nothing.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

How to get yourself out of an uncomfortable conversation

Have you seen the move The 40-Year-Old Virgin? It is a 2005 comedy movie in which Steve Carrell gets his big break in movies.

There is one scene in particular that I find quite interesting. The one below:

Admittedly it is a movie so we should take it with a grain of salt but I'm sure that every introvert has been involved in this kind of conversation. Steve Carrell's character (Andy) is a virgin so he is naturally uncomfortable with the conversation but he is also uncomfortable because it is basically locker room talk and Andy as an introvert is more comfortable with conversations that with a bit more intelligence and depth to them. Not how many women you have shagged or what a woman's breast feels like.

What can you do if you find yourself in this situation?

In one word, NOTHING. Shut your mouth, say nothing and if you are asked a question change the subject or ignore it.

Of course that is easier said than done. So lets see what we can do.

"Andy do me a favour, would you help him redeem himself by telling him a real sex story. Nastiest s**t you've ever done? I'm talking about nasty."

OK, so how do we change the subject here? Good question, isn't it?

Andy decided to lie about his sexual experience and that didn't end well for Andy.

Maybe Andy could have said:

"Whatever nasty stuff I have done, I'm sure that it isn't even as close to what you have done Jay. So did you see the game last night? The Rams should have won easily but they don't have a running game and that is costing them."

There you go. You should know if your friends and acquaintances are interested in sport or not and if they are they are going to want to speak about football and if they insist then do the time-old toilet run. It never fails.

Friday, 1 September 2017


Dear extroverts out there,

There are reasons why your introverted friend doesn't want to join you at the club on Friday night and it isn't because they are unsociable or a loser. (Why would you call them that?) They are probably thinking:

"They say, I never see you at the club. I say, I never see you at the bank."

Here are some reasons why, besides the above, your introverted friend will not go to the club with you.

1. One of my pet hates is people criticising your taste in music. Why do people think it is necessary to  complain about other people's music? Why can't I listen to Spice Girls if I want to without judgement?

Wooooo Hoooooo. I feel all motivated for the day after that.

2. One thing you will find with a lot of introverts is that instead of talking they are doing a lot of thinking and daydreaming and sometimes (and to introverts out there be careful who you confide in) they will share those thoughts with you and if they want to build a swimming pool on the moon, they want someone who will listen and even encourage them not someone who will say those two dangerous words "Be realistic." To be honest, introverts don't need that kind of negative talk.

3. Going out on the town requires some planning clothing-wise. Obviously this is more of a problem for the fairer sex, what with the right outfit and how much makeup to apply but for guys it can be a hassle as well. Trying to get the right look where you are trying to show that you haven't made much effort but you have. I think guys will understand what I am talking about. So why don't you stay at home by yourself or with your significant other? You don't have to dress up and you can (well in my case anyway) wear your tracksuit pants and rugby jersey.

4. Sometimes when you go to a club or a bar there are certain expectations of what you should do and how you should act. As an introvert I would question these "social conventions." Why do I have to buy you a drink? Why don't you buy me a drink? For some introverts, these expectations can be very tiring to keep up with so it is just as easy to not go to the club.

5. Finally, if you can't entertain yourself, who can you entertain? Introverts don't need a big posse to feel energised. They just need themselves or themselves and a significant other. That's all. The club on a Friday night is just to stimulating and it can be very, very draining. An introvert will go but just don't expect them to go every week.

No everyone wants to go to the club or bar on a Friday night and that is ok. That doesn't make them strange, it just makes them who they are. Remember that and everything will be fine.

In closing, I would just like to say that I love this song and I am not ashamed to say that. So stop judging:

This one too:

I'm ready for the weekend now.