Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Finding the purpose

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

- Jeff Brown

Does this strike a chord with you?

Have you taken a long time to figure out your life purpose?

Were you worried that everyone around you knew what they wanted to do?

If it worries you, listen to the following song:



"Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most 40-year-olds I know still don't."

- Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen) by Baz Luhrmann


"You don't choose your life's purpose, you discover it. When you do, it opens up a whole new world to you."

- Sandy Gallagher 

Let me tell you something, when you discover your life purpose you wonder why you didn't discover it a long time ago.

Sandy Gallagher also says that your purpose should benefit people long after you have departed this earth.

I suppose the 'take home' from today is that you will find your purpose. It might not pop up straight away but if you keep on doing the right things, then one day your purpose will present itself. Run with it. You never know where it will take you.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Things I have done and may want to do

Here is an interesting article I found the other day from Men's Health magazine. It talks about 50 things to do before you are 50. Sounds interesting. Lets go through these.

Please note that some of these are British and European-centric so I have changed them to fit me and hopefully some of you.

1. Buy a house - not yet

2. Have children - Not that I know of.

3. Get married - Not yet

Those are all very traditional.

4. Fall in love - Yep

5. Eat fish and chips on the pier - Now you are talking my language.



6. Donate blood - I'm sorry for being selfish but this is something that I haven't done. It scares me a little bit. I don't know why.

7. Read 100 books - Seriously if you haven't read 100 books by the time you have left SCHOOL, there is something wrong.

8. See your favourite band live - Does Michael Jackson count? I think that is the last concert  I ever went to and it was awesome. The attention to detail was unbelievable. The only other thing that is comparable to a Michael Jackson concert is Disneyland with it's attention to detail.



9. Learn a language -
そう思います。もし外国語を勉強すれば、世界が広くなってるよ。
我在大学学习汉语了。汉语的翻译是很难。但是汉语语法和英语语法一样。

10. Attend a music festival - Yeah? I don't think so. This one is not very introverty.

11. Own a dog - Anyone who knows me well will know the answer to this one.

12. Learn to say no to your mother - Sorry Mother, "No."

13. Stay out all night partying - That is pretty easy to do in Tokyo

14. See the Northern Lights - Is there such a thing as the Southern Lights?

15. Visit Stonehenge - I must admit that this one thing that I would like to see although I have heard that you can't get close to the stones.

16. Remember where the gas cap is - If only I had a car.

17. Travel somewhere alone - My friend has done this and had a great time. Maybe with my introversion I find this quite scary because I can't start conversations with strangers easily.

18. Sleep underneath the stars - Yes, in Greece.

19. Watch a meteor shower - I remember seeing this kind of thing in Japan. They had been saying that it was going to be a Star Wars type shower and it turned into a bit of a damp squib.

20. Dance in the rain -


21. Become an expert at something - trying my best

22. Quit a job - Many times

23. See a volcano - when you grow up in New Zealand and live in Japan you have no option but to see volcanoes everywhere.


24. Visit all seven continents - 4/7

25. Throw a coin in the Trevi fountain - No

26. Take a helicopter ride - No. It doesn't look fun, I must say.

27. Have sex on a beach - A gentleman never kisses and tells.

28. Swim with dolphins - This is something that doesn't interest me at all.

29. Go skinny dipping - Does onsen (hot springs) count?

30. Ride a gondola in Venice



31. Make a snow angel - What is a snow angel?

32. Take part in a protest - Save the Makos.

33. Own your own business - Working on it.

34. Go in a hot air balloon - No

35. Ride an elephant - No

36. Climb Snowdonia - No but I have climbed Mount Fuji. Does that count? Of course it does.

37. Jump into a pool fully clothed - Do it when it is relatively warm and you have a change of clothes.

38. Backpack across Europe - No

39. Perfect a signature dish - Chicken curry!!!! Yummy.

40. Drink beer at Oktoberfest - Drink beer anywhere. What is the difference?

41. Run a marathon - I aways thought that this would be pretty cool until I learnt that I don't like running.

42. Get a tattoo - No thank you.

43. Ride a Vespa - Does a Honda Dio count?

44. Watch comedy at Edinburgh Fringe - My brother has done this

45. Write a novel - Done. It would definitely be controversial if it is to be published.

46. Write a journal - What do you think this blog is?

47. Spend a month technology free - Otherwise known as purgatory.

48. Try drugs - No comment. Isn't alcohol a drug?

49. Have a threesome - See number 27

50. Go to an airport and pick a random flight - That sounds interesting. It reminds me of the Jim Carrey movie in which they go to Lincoln, Nebraska in the US.

21/50. Still a long way to go. But, I'm not sure I am going to do number 11.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Daily RBL Video Blog - Chiba and what are you going to be known for?

Today we travel to Chiba Prefecture, the prefecture to the east of Tokyo. Chiba is known for being the home of Tokyo Disneyland, great surf, the Chiba Lotte Marines baseball team and of course peanuts.

Chiba is known for peanuts, what are you going to be known for?


Tall Poppy Syndrome

Why do people feel the need to bring other people down?

I was watching a video on Youtube the other day from the hit British TV program, Britain's Got Talent.


This is one of the most amazing tricks I have ever seen in my life. It was very entertaining and kind of gross.

Have you ever eaten cold canned spaghetti? I think that is a trick in itself and all respect to him.

Anyway, after watching it I was kind of curious about how he did it so I googled it. What I found was a lot of negative stuff trying to down play his performance.

I wasn't trying to downplay his performance at I was just interested to see how he did it. To be honest, I'm none the wiser and I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

Why is there so much negativity around? Why do people try to discredit people?

Where I come from it is called Tall Poppy Syndrome and basically it is people who can't do it for themselves OR people who don't have the guts to get up on stage themselves will try and bring down the people who do have the guts to get up there. They can't stand that those people are doing what they want to do that they will have a go at them.

Why? Why do you want to bring down people for entertaining you? Seriously. Let them be. They are having fun and they are trying to make you laugh as well. That surely is a good thing, right?

I'm curious now. I wonder what this guy is going to pull out of his hat (mouth) next time.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Daily RBL Video Blog - Three rules for Introverts

This video complements the post I made on the 20th of May. https://dailyrbl.blogspot.jp/2017/05/three-things-all-introverts-should-do.html


Harnessing that competitive streak

Do you have a competitive streak?

Some people are more competitive than others. Some people are competitive all the time and other people are competitive when it matters to them to be competitive. Does that make sense? It's good to win trivial pursuits (that's showing my age) but it isn't the be all and end all.

This morning, I saw this on my computer screen during the 2017 Crossfit Games Pacific Regional competition.


It was good to see a couple of New Zealand teams at the top of the leaderboard. It is also nice doing it away from home in Australia. My competitive streak came out and it was a good chance to have a good-natured dig at the Australians. Australians and New Zealanders have been sport-related rivals for a long time and it seemed natural for me to say something about it. No malice in it, just good old-fashioned rivalry.

Sometimes, having a competitive streak can be seen as a bad thing because it can lead to arrogance and although self-confidence is a good thing, arrogance is not. Arrogant people are not fun to be around and I don't want you to become one of them. I won't allow you to read this blog if you become an arrogant so and so.

What can you do to harness your competitive streak?

I can think of four things that you can do:

1. WHY?

Why are you doing what you are doing? You need to come up with reasons and when you have those reasons then you will find the motivation to go about and do what you want to do. Make sure that the reason you are doing it are not bad ones. For example, "I want to rub his nose in it." OR "I want to smash everyone in my way." Come on, you are better than that. You are not some Darth Vader type character. Motivate yourself by the thought of reaching some kind of goal.


2. What is your purpose?

This carries on from the WHY? question above. Remember what brought to this decision and this point in time. Remember why you are doing what you are doing and what you want to achieve in the end.


3. Work hard

By working hard, I really mean working smart. It is all very well putting in the hours but could you have done in 8 hours what took you 15 hours? I get told a lot, "I work hard" and that automatically means that they spent a long time at the office but when we break their 16 hour work day down, it sounds as though they really only worked for 3 hours. Work hard by all means but work smart as well.


4. Learn from your mistakes

When you f**k up there are two things that can happen:

     A. It could really get the better of you and make your life hell

     B. You could learn from it and make you life spectacular.

If you make that mistake, that is OK. You are human. That is what human beings do. Just make you sure that you don't make that mistake again. Learn from it and forge ahead. I remember when I made a mistake at work one time and my boss laughed at me. (I was expecting a telling off) He said that he had made that mistake before too. It was like it was a right of passage.


Being competitive is a good thing. Use that streak to improve the world and more importantly, yourself.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Ask for what you want

This is going to be a short post today.

I've learnt in my life that if you don't ask for what you want then you are not going to get it.

This applies to everything, not just material things.

If you are in a hurry and someone is in your way, ask them nicely to get out of your way. If you don't, they are going to be none the wiser about your anxiety.

The lesson for the day is ...

ASK!!!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Being Real

Here is a good quote from Tupac Shakur:

"It's fu**** up how people get judged for being real, and how people get loved for being fake."

That's an interesting quote and why is that? Why is it that people who just say what they feel get ostracised and people who are playing a performance get loved? Why is that?

I guess that the fake people say things that other people want to hear while the real people say what is on their mind and it may not be what the other fake people want to hear. When the real person says something 'controversial' it may ruin the fantasy world that the fake person has built for him or herself.

For some reason when I write this, I think of Sheldon Cooper from the sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon seems to say things without regard to people's feelings and thoughts. Of course people do have problems with that and I'm not saying that you should just blurt out whatever is on your mind.

"You look fat."

OR

"You are a fu***n idiot."

is not going to go down well with anyone, at anytime.

However, sometimes you need to say what is on your mind and if people get offended by it, that is their choice, not your choice.

For example, if you want to say that the president of your country is doing a good job then go ahead and say it. Depending on what country you are in the people you say it to may have a very different opinion but that is their choice and you are just being real. You are not offending them personally and if they do get offended then there is something wrong with them not you.

Go ahead. There is nothing wrong with being real. Being fake on the other hand ...

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Dear Introverts ...

Dear Introverts,

Listen to yourself. Don't force yourself to do something that you don't want to do.

If the option is to go home, by all means go home.

At the end of the day, if you can't look after number one, who can you look after?

Yours sincerely,

Blair.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

3am on a Tuesday morning: "Who you gonna call?"

You might have people in your life that seem to be drinking and socialising with someone different every day of the week.

You might have people in your life who hold birthday parties for 700 of their 'closest friends.'

You might have people in your life whose idea of a 'quiet night in' is to have 30 people come over for a BBQ.

Remember, however:

"It's the friends you can call at 3am that count."



Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Characteristics of an Introvert

Here is a list of the characteristics of an introvert from an article written by Jill D. Burruss and Lisa Kaenzig called Introversion: The Often Forgotten Factor Impacting the Gifted.

You can see the article here. http://education.wm.edu/centers/cfge/_documents/resources/articles/introversion.pdf

Introverts:

1. Are territorial - desire private space and time. - Yes I can understand that. Remember that it isn't just been alone but with someone that they love or respect is OK too. Introverts do need time alone, that is the most important.

2. Are happy to be alone - they can be lonely in a crowd. - I can understand this one. Sometimes I am in a room with a lot of people who are all talking about boring things and I am not interested in the slightest. It can be quite tiring to fake enthusiasm for a topic that just doesn't seem to be very important.

3. Become drained around large groups of people; dislike attending parties - Need time alone to recharge. - YEP

Look at this blog post and look at this blog post. I know that I have chickened out of going to a party from time to time. In fact a couple of weeks ago I thought to myself that I would go to a party and actually walked to the venue and then decided to go home. Not good.

4. Prefer to work on own rather than do group work - This reminds me of a scene from the hit comedy series of the 1980's and 1990's, Seinfeld. George Costanza is trying to come up with a comeback line and as with anything, most of the people have an idea and he doesn't want to hear them. He is a one man band, George Costanza.


5. Act cautiously in meeting people. - I remember I can telling me that he could sense that I was been cautious when I first met him. He is a very outgoing and sociable person so he couldn't understand why I wasn't too. This is a problem with extroverts, they generally can't understand why everyone is not like them. They expect everyone to be sociable and ready to party 24/7.

6. Do not enjoy being the centre of attention - I'm not sure about that. I have no problem getting up and talking in front of people. I even have a YouTube channel. I have no problem being the centre of attention. Maybe it is the introvert anomaly.

7. Form a few deep attachments - Yes! The operative word is FEW. An introvert is not going to have a million friends and have birthday parties with 700 of his or her 'closest friends.' That is not going to happen whether you want it to happen or not.

8. Think carefully before speaking (practice in my head before I speak) - YES. I have had so many conversations in my head that you wouldn't believe. Most of the conversations in your head don't come to fruition so you wonder why you bother.

9. Communicate best one-on-one - This is very important. It is difficult to talk (read small talk) with a small group of four or five people. With 50 people it is much easier. Strange, right?

10. Get agitated and irritated without enough time alone or undisturbed. - Yes, I can relate to this. I sometimes I have a friend call me and he wants to talk and I'm sorry (you know who I am talking to) sometimes I just don't want to talk. I have been talking to people all day and I just can't handle another five minutes. (You realise that though)


There you have it. Introverts are difficult beasts but the more you understand them, the easier that you will find dealing with them.

Everyone is not a party animal. Don't expect them to be.

Monday, 22 May 2017

HE IS DOING SOMETHING

Some people have asked me how I can have a 'do nothing' day on a Sunday when it is probably the best day of the year and there are so many different things to do in this huge city that I live in.



Well, let me explain my Monday to you and then you will get an idea why I might want to RECHARGE at home on a beautiful Sunday.

I wake up at 5.30am. Today I don't have time to go to the gym so I did some exercise at home. One of the good ideas if you are looking for something quick to do is Tabata. Tabata is basically a four minute workout where you work for twenty seconds and rest for ten seconds. You do eight rounds which equates to four minutes. You can see an example in a video below:



After doing a couple of those Tabatas I showered up and left the house at about 7.15am for my first appointment between 8am and 9.30am. Then I had to rush to the train station and get to my next destination at 10am. This appointment finished at 12.15pm. Next, I got on the train and went to my next appointment which was all afternoon between 1.30pm and 5pm. By the way, I didn't have time for a proper lunch. After that finished, I was back on the train again and my last appointment for the day started at 6.30pm and finished at 9pm.

For someone who is introverted, 10 hours in front of people is believe me, very, very, very tiring. In fact, I think that is is very tiring for most people, introverts and extroverts alike. That was my schedule last week and it will be my schedule again this week and next. I have to wake up early to get a workout in and then run around Tokyo for 13 hours. I challenge anybody to tag along with me and then have the energy to rage on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. I bet you can't.

When I say that an introvert needs to know when to recharge, believe that I know what I am talking about. Sometimes you, as my gym coach says, "you have to listen to your body." You have to do what it tells you. I don't care who you are, you are not going to be on song the whole time. You need to recharge sometimes and introverts do it by doing nothing. Remember that the next time you question someone who seems to be doing nothing. They are probably doing a big something.


Sunday, 21 May 2017

How to have an Introvert Day 101

I'm sure most of you don't need to read this because you will know this anyway but what do you need for a traditional introvert's day?

So, without further ado, here is what you need for the perfect introvert's day:

1. Comfortable bed. (Nothing like a long sleep in, especially on a Sunday.)

2. Computer and other assorted devices

3. Internet connection (the above devices need to be usable)

4. Television

5. Netflix subscription

6. Food in the fridge and freezer

7. Fast food delivery menus

8. Spare cash for the above fast food

9. Books and magazine

If you have some or all of these, you are going to have a great day.

I know I did.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Three things all introverts should do

I've said this time and time and time again. Whether we like it or not, we do live in an extroverted society.

For some reason or another, I don't know why, recently I have been watching a lot of Shark Tank on YouTube. I find it fascinating some of the products and services the entrepreneurs have come up with and what the 'Sharks' actually think of what they have to sell.

However the one thing that I do find fascinating is the way that the entrepreneurs actually sell their idea in the first place. It is obviously well rehearsed, almost like a bad amateur production and they try and make it as exciting as possible. No stuffy monotone professors here. They have to make it as exciting as possible.

It reminds me of the 'Got Talent' franchise programs in which people audition in front of judges and get critiqued, sometimes very harshly.

I watched one audition recently in which a Scotsman came onto stage in kilt and everything and then proceeded to play the bagpipes. The bagpipes can be quite cool (See the first link below). They can also be a little boring to people who don't know them so well. (Like in the second video below). But they surprised the audience and judges by having cool music and having a dance. The fact was that someone playing the bagpipes reasonably well in this day in age is not going to be exciting for anyone. The same goes for a piano player. (See the third video below) The guy comes out on stage and starts playing the piano. he can obviously play the piano but people are not excited by it and the crowd and judges are wondering when it is going to end but then in their eyes it becomes cool and exciting.









Anyway, lets get back to the topic at hand and that is the three things all introverts should do:


1. Join a gym

This morning, I got up at 6.30am (Saturday morning) and headed off to the gym. Most of the regular readers will know that I do Crossfit. I find that it works for me and although it was tough workout (WOD) this morning, it was enjoyable. It took us 29 minutes to finish. Lots of perspiration, I tell you.

The point is, at least once a day I get out and force myself to socialise with people. It might be in the gym and a lot of sweat flying around but it works for me and you should try it. If you lock yourself at home which I'm sure some of you do you might start to put on weight and then your motivation for meeting more people is going to go way down

Get out and do some exercise. At the very least you are going to come out fitter than you were before.



2. Meet for a beer

I used to go out quite a bit with a great mate of mine. We would go to a popular bar and basically have a good chinwag about all and sundry. Since he has got married that number has decreased to about once a month but it is still good to get out and meet him and have that beer (or four).

The point in this one is that you are out. You are in an environment which is quite stimulating. You are with a good mate so you don't have to talk to anyone if you don't want to so your energy reserves will not deplete so quickly but if you want to talk to another person, then you have the option.

Of course, with this one you have to judge your energy reserves at the beginning of the night too. As it could become quite tiring. However, 99 times out of 100 you are going to be with a good mate so that shouldn't really come into it.


3. Get outside your comfort zone

Before writing this one, I must disclose something. This piece of advice can be applicable to anyone. Also, I find this very difficult as I'm not sure what I should do on a daily basis. I can think of one idea but it might get boring.

Anyway, I would suggest to at least try this one and doesn't have to be something planned and grandiose. Something, spur of the moment would work because the more that you think about it the less that you might want to do it.

There you have it. Three things that although not earth shattering, may change your life for the good. Give it a try. I know I will, especially number 3.



Friday, 19 May 2017

Maid Cafe - An Introvert's Hangout?


メイドカフェ

In Tokyo, there is subculture called Otaku. Otaku are people who have an obsession about something in particular, usually anime or manga. Two kinds of Japanese cartoons or comics.

The Otaku subculture has also brought about another Tokyo phenomenon, the Maid Cafe.

The Maid Cafe, as the name suggests is a cafe that serves normal cafe type food but you are served by young women in French maid-like costumes. It is quite a surreal experience and if you are ever in Tokyo I suggest to at least go once.

There are things around the world that you should at least go to once. When you are in Amsterdam, you should go to the 'coffee shop' once. When you are in Bangkok you should go to a 'bar.' When you are in Palmerston North, you should go to .... ummm, Awapuni?

And, when you are in Tokyo, this is one place to check out.

A few years ago, my cousin came to visit me in Tokyo and we did a bit of sightseeing. I remember we went to Shinjuku, we went to Tsukiji and went to Disneyland. (We saw Reuben Thorne there too. New Zealanders will know who I am talking about.)

The highlight for me anyway was going to Akihabara and going to a maid cafe.

I had heard of them and I was keen to check them out and my cousin being in Tokyo proved the perfect excuse.

We got off the train at Akihabara Station and I must admit I didn't know where to start but fortunately there was a little stall where they had information about the various cafes in the area and we were directed to one of the best ones and more importantly they could communicate in English.

The first thing we noticed was that we weren't the only foreigners in the place. We also noticed that even though it was a Wednesday afternoon it was quite busy.

Anyway we were greeted with the phrase, "Welcome Home Master." This is basically a translation of "Okareinasemase Goshujinsama."

We were offered something to drink. I chose ginger ale and my cousin selected coca cola. (Yes I know, we aren't that adventurous.)

When we had our drink delivered we were told to make the drink taste better we should say "Moe Moe Kyuu." Even today, I still don't know what that means. I do know that my ginger ale that day tasted really great. The best ginger ale I had ever tasted. I'm not kidding.

It was obvious when we were there that there were may people like us who were there just for the experience and there were people who were obviously regulars. They knew all the moves to the games that they played and were very "polished" in the art of the game.

Now, years later I think to myself is the Maid Cafe an introvert's home away from home? Is the Maid Cafe a place where an introvert can get away from it all and be him or herself while having some human contact?

It's an interesting question, isn't it?

Thursday, 18 May 2017

THE SILENT TREATMENT

Most native English speakers would have heard the expression 'The Silent Treatment.'

What is The Silent Treatment?

The Silent Treatment is a stubborn refusal to talk to someone after a fight or argument. The Silent Treatment is very much a passive-agressive situation where the person can't express what is 'bugging' them so they don't say anything at all.

The silence still expresses a message and it can be quite controlling.

Of course, The Silent Treatment is sometimes just used to convey a message and when that message is learned The Silent Treatment will be stopped and everything will be back to normal.


The people who use The Silent Treatment, have you ever thought that for someone who is introverted that you might be doing them a favour? Have you ever thought that they might think finally, I can get some peace and quiet?

Before you start giving The Silent Treatment punishment, think that you might be giving them something great and your punishment strategy might backfire and that is not going to be good for anyone, especially you.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

LOYALTY

Today's quote doesn't really have anything to do with the relationship between introverts and extroverts but it is very interesting nonetheless.

"A woman's loyalty is tested when her man has nothing...
A man's loyalty is tested when he has everything."



Is this quote true?

What do you think?

How much do woman look at social status? Will a woman stick around if her man fails in business? That's an interesting question, isn't it?

And we can think of some good examples of men who had everything, getting themselves into trouble because they literally had everything. The names Bill Clinton and Tiger Woods come to mind.

This quote does seem a bit dated however. In days gone by, the woman may have relied on the man for protection and for the man to bring home the bacon, so to speak. That's not the case anymore but I still think women are attracted to men with high social value. So, the first part may be a little dated.

The second part of the quote is very true though. I can't make anymore comment than that. A man with everything is going to be tempted whether he likes or not. Whether he can fight that temptation is something that is going to be a big test for him.

In my book loyalty is everything and if loyalty can beat the bad things in life then you are on a great wicket to use a cricket reference.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Accept your uniqueness

Here is a great quote from someone named Alfa (Alfawrites).

"You're going to meet people who are intimidated by you. You're different. People don't know how to react or how to accept someone who doesn't follow the crowd... They are not used to someone who doesn't try to fit in - So instead of bolstering your uniqueness, they'll try and make you feel like you're weird or damaged. I'm here to offer some well earned advice; - Sure them."

Alfa (Alfawrites)

That is exactly right and I can't really elaborate on it too much.

Hey, you are a little bit different. (Different to what? I don't know.) People just can't handle it and as long as you can handle it, that is all that matters at the end of the day.

They are going to try and bring you down because they are uncomfortable.

By the way, their lack of comfort has nothing to do with you.

Walk away.

Do what you have to do to be true to yourself.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Shibuya - 渋谷 Extrovert? Introvert?

Tokyo has many interesting areas. Each neighbourhood has a story of its own. In this previous blog post I talked about particular countries being introverted or extroverted.

The other day I was in Shibuya. If you have never been to Tokyo, you might be familiar with some photos from that area.


This is the main intersection outside Shibuya Station and believe it or not, this isn't that busy.

Maybe you can get a better indication of the crowds from this photo:


Anyway, the point of my post today is to consider the fact that do all the extroverts of a large city reenergise in these big cities? Are people who live in the countryside all introverts who want to get away from it all?

Those are interesting question, aren't they?

For those of you who live in the sticks or the wop wops (by the way, that isn't a racist term. That is what New Zealanders call the boondocks) a big city like Tokyo could seem overwhelming or just down right dangerous, but believe me when I say that a big city can be very lonely.

I have never lived in a community of only a few hundred people but I can imagine that it would never be lonely because everyone knows everyone (and their business) so there isn't a shortage of people to say hello to. While in a big city, there is just an endless line of emotionless faces (especially on a Monday morning) going to and from here and there.

So it begs the question, does that mean to get away from it all it is better to move to a country area or a city area?

Well, I suppose if you want to get away from people per se, the best thing is to move to a country area but as I said in the country area you are quickly going to become part of the community (whether you like it or not) and that privacy might be difficult to acquire unless you live in a very remote community.

In a large city you are going to be faced with a large number of people around you, but because they don't know your name you can walk around in relative anonymity.

So to go back to the original question, do introverts reside in the country and extroverts reside in the city?

That is a very difficult question to answer and it would take a substantial study and that might be out the bounds of possibility for this blog.

What you can ask yourself though is, why are you where you are now? Is it because you are looking for anonymity or is it some completely different reason?

Saturday, 13 May 2017

The Secret of Life?

What's the meaning of life?

That is the $64 trillion question, isn't it?

You can make life hard for yourself or you can make it slightly easier. "How do you do that?" I hear you ask.

This might sound like old advice and it is but as we all know, receiving the advice is the easy part while actually implementing the advice (if you think it is worthwhile) is the difficult part.

The secret is (drumroll please), each day do something that makes you a better person. It might be doing a couple of extra reps at the gym. (They will add up over the year, believe me)

It could be doing 10 minutes of extra reading. You never know what those 10 minutes might discover.  It might change your life. Who knows?

Just do that little extra and see what happens.

By having that challenge and trying to be better than the previous day or week, yes you will slowly  become the man or woman that you always wanted to be.

Do you know what the result is?

In the past, if you are anything like me you would have been chasing money, you would have been chasing love and you would have been chasing success.

By becoming better and better each day, suddenly you will be attracting money, you will be attracting love and you will be attracting success.

The question you and I have to answer today is, what are you and I going to do to be better than yesterday and what are you and I going to do tomorrow to be a better person than today?

Interesting question, right?

Only you know the answer.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Surviving the holiday


休みモード

A few years ago I learnt a Japanese phrase, 休みモード (yasumi mode). This literally means 'holiday mode.'

Last week was the Golden Week vacation in Japan. There are four public holidays in the space of one week and many people take the whole week off so four public holidays turn into a 10 day vacation which, believe me, in Japan for many people is like Christmas, birthdays, Easter and Thanksgiving all rolled into one.

It's Thursday today and I'm still feeling bad about being back working (even though I worked most mornings of Golden Week).

I thought that I was going to be excited about getting back to work after Golden Week but the whole week I have felt really 'blah.'

I honestly, didn't think that this would affect me so much. And the whole idea of Gogatsubyo or May Sickness has become real for me this week.

Or so I thought ....

I'm not a big drinker however during Golden Week I managed to drink everyday. I had beer and vodka (not at the same time).

While I was doing that I had the odd plate of junk food. Pizza, hamburger, chocolate and my personal favourite, fish and chips were all consumed so that by the time the end of the holiday rolled around I was not feeling the best.

My question today is:

Do we dread going back to work or is other things that make it seem like a real drag?

Was it the fact that I had had a a half a year fill of alcohol inside a week that made me not want to go to work or workout at the gym for that matter?

I understand people who have bosses may not want to go back to their work after a vacation because he or she is grumpy and then suddenly five minutes after you get in the door they are on your back almost like punishment for being away.

However is the feeling exaggerated by consumption of all the alcohol and junk food?

Quite possibly.

What is the solution?

Well, that is easier said than done but remember that your goals and objectives are not just a five day a week thing or a 48 week a year system. These things are 7 days a week and 52 days a year.

By all means have a beer but only if you really want one. Eat that plate of fish and chips but don't make it a daily habit. Remember that your goals are a continuous thing and they don't stop for holidays.


Thursday, 11 May 2017

Don't overextend yourself as an introvert

There are some times when you are writing a blog like this when you have absolutely no idea what you are going to write about. It is difficult to come up with things to write about very single day and today is a great example of that.

I have been on the go since 7am this morning and I have just got home and it is after 10pm. I haven't had a chance to sit down to write. These days are difficult.

As an introvert, you know that you need to recharge alone. You need to get home and relax by yourself or with your significant other. It's times like this that you need to listen to your body, you need to listen to your mind and relax.

In this situation, an extrovert might call up the closest person nearest to him or her. He or she has also had a long 15 hour day and they need some energy and as we all know the way the extrovert reenergises is to socialise. So even though they have had a 15 hour day they need to get out and have a few drinks to reenergise themselves.

If you are an introvert and you have had that long day resist the urge to go out. You will resent the situation. you will resent the other person and most importantly, you will resent yourself.

Listen to yourself, go home and recharge.

This advice is non-negotiable for an introvert.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

James Haskell: A rugby playing introvert?

Tomorrow, the draw for the 2019 Rugby World Cup will be held in Kyoto, Japan. With the Olympics being held in Tokyo the year after, the Rugby World Cup might be lost in the build up to the sporting extravaganza in 2020 but it is still a big event in it's own right and New Zealand should win for the third straight time.

One of the interesting characters of world rugby is the Englishman, James Haskell. I've seen him interviewed a number of times and he comes across very well in my opinion. He obviously loves to talk and he seems to speak very fast but he talks a lot of sense.


In this section of his interview he describes himself as a loner. He likes to do things on his own. He likes to drive on his own, sit on his own. He says that he is not loud and he reckons that he is a terrible room mate because he is always on his computer, or reading or doing things like that. (I don't know why he says that, that makes him a terrible room mate. Surely a room mate is someone who is quiet, keeps to themselves, pays the rent on time and goes about their daily business or is that just an introvert's wet dream?)

The one thing I got out of watching this section of his interview is that appearances can be deceiving.

James Haskell may come across as a talkative rugby playing (as is said in the interview) 'meathead,' but that doesn't appear to be true. He likes to have time to himself. He likes to do things by himself. Maybe this talkative even likeable character only comes out on certain occasions. He might just be the archetypical 'Situational Extrovert' that we have discussed, a number of times on this blog.

Don't judge a book by it's cover, I know is a bit of a cliche but in this circumstance, it is particularly apt.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Just Don't Give a S**t!!!!!

Here is a great quote from Sir Richard Branson:

"You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over."

Unfortunately, a lot of us introverts don't like to put ourselves 'out there.' It is scary because we don't know what other people think of us. We don't want to be thought of us an idiot and usually after we try to put ourselves out there, nobody cares anyway and it goes back to being normal and you wonder why you made that effort to almost make a fool of yourself.

What can you do?

As Sir Richard said, you learn by doing and too many of us think too much about doing and not enough time actually doing.

We get too worried about what others would think about us.

My friend and I (he will probably not be happy about me giving away our secret code in such a public environment) have a saying and it goes like this, JDGAS. Just Don't Give A S**t.

It's all very well to give advice using the word "just". We hear that advice all the time, don't we?

"Just be confident."

"Just do it."

"Just get started."

Unfortunately when you are trying to do something then you have to get started somewhere and you might have to make that jump into a cold swimming pool. It isn't very pleasant, believe me.

Lets think of an example. Maybe you want to get over your fear of public speaking. I know many people find extremely difficult to get up in front of three people and speak. For some people, it is almost as terrifying as death itself.

That's what you can do though. Speak in front of three people, preferably strangers. I believe that is a great first step.

If the idea of speaking in front of three strangers may cause you to do unspeakable things to yourself, why don't you get your family involved? They should be supportive and it might be a comfortable way to improve your speaking ability.

For the more advanced people out there, you might want to try Toastmasters. Toastmasters is an organisation that promotes people becoming better at things like public speaking and leadership.

Of course public speaking is just an example of what you can do. There are many things that you can try to 'put yourself out there.'

Remember, you are going to come up against roadblocks. You are going to come against people who don't understand what you are trying to do and because it makes them feel uncomfortable they will try to bring you down. You are going to have people who just don't want to understand and will think that you are off your rocker. This where your JDGAS attitude is crucial.

It is a difficult process but it will be worth it at the end.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Is this the best beer in the world?

Look what I found the other day. Is this the best beer in the world?

Unfortunately they didn't have any stock on hand, just the poster. I might have to see where I can find it and tell you about it another day.



Saturday, 6 May 2017

Introvert Problems 101

How many of you introverts out there have been told that you should talk more?

Let me see there are a few hands going up and even more hands going up and yes, you all have. Well that's a surprise. (That's sarcasm by the way.)

Let me now ask the extroverts out there, why is that when you do tell us to talk more (because our silence is making you feel uncomfortable - boo hoo. Talk about first world problems.) that you do a whole bunch of things to us. Let me go through them now.

When an introvert tries to talk one or all of five things happen:

1. The introvert gets ignored


2. The introvert gets interrupted


3. The introvert gets talked over


4. The introvert is paid no attention whatsoever


5. No one cares what the introvert says


Seriously, why do you tell us to speak up when this is what happens? I don't get it.

Just because an introvert's tongue might not be as slick as yours or just because the introvert might not be describing the situation in an exciting way with interesting and fascinating words doesn't mean that what they are saying is going to be any less interesting. Or does it? Do you need a multimedia extravaganza to listen to? Do you need flashing lights and a fast mouth and a few well chosen expletives? Really?

You asked us to talk more so do the decent thing and shut up and listen. That wasn't so hard was it?

I'm sure if you let the introvert have a bit of time to formulate the thoughts in his or her mind then they will come up with some kind of brilliant ideas and theories but you will never hear them if you keep cutting us off.

I know that sometimes personally that it does take awhile to think about what I am going to say and to get the thoughts from my brain to my mouth and no I won't fill the silence with frivolous words and expletives, well maybe the odd one or two f****n or S**t.

If you do, as an extrovert find yourself being uncomfortable around a quiet introvert, encourage them to speak up. In my mind there is nothing wrong with that because they do have interesting insights and opinions but let them be. In other words shut up and listen. You might just learn something about them, yourself and the world in general.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

CLOSED MOUTHS DON'T GET FED! Really?

I saw this meme on Instagram the other day. The caption read:

CLOSED MOUTHS DON'T GET FED!

It got me thinking, is this true?

Is it true that if you don't open your mouth a lot then you are not going to get the rewards that you deserve?

It's an interesting question, isn't it?

Do you have to be a raving extrovert to get what you want? Is this what it is saying?

I don't think so. In this case, I don't think personality has anything to do with it. It doesn't mean that if you are quiet then you are going to starve. No, not at all.

What does it mean?

It means, in my opinion that if you don't ask, you will not receive. If you don't ask for what you truly want then it will never be presented to you.

If you don't ask the prospective client or customer the buying question then they may not buy.

If you don't ask for a discount then you may have to always pay full price. They may even be ripping you off.

If you don't ask that woman out on a date then you will never know.

Of course asking comes with the possibility of rejection and that can turn people off sometimes. Knowing that there is the possibility of a "no" makes people run away and hide and then they don't get what they want.

If a child wants a biscuit (cookie) then they are going to ask their mothers or fathers. The answer might be no but the child isn't going to die wondering.

I asked a woman out for lunch recently. She didn't say no, but her body language, facial expression and eye contact screamed "NO, THANK YOU." Oh well, move on. It's not the end of the world and now I know. If I hadn't said anything I would have died wondering and that is never good.

Remember if you wait around waiting for somebody to ask, you might be waiting for a lifetime and what is that saying?

"We will regret more the things that we didn't do (or ask) than the things we did do (or asked for)"

I think the quote goes something like that, but you get the point, right?