Thursday, 24 September 2015

Dating and NLP

Having just completed a terrific NLP course this week - So yes I'm a certified NLP Practitioner! I decided to join a dating website and ensure I use my newly found skills to separate the men from the boys. I will keep on adding the most interesting quotes as I find them.


'I'm not looking for hookups but not looking for a relationship either, companionship would be the closest thing I guess'
Translation: I'm confused about life in general, perhaps questioning the rules about relationships I grew up with.I may be gay/bissexual
PF's interpretation:I do want hookups but think women don't so I'll say I want a kind of relationship when really I just want a bit of slap and tickle. And by slap I mean sex. And by tickle I mean sex. And by and I mean sex. So, basically, sex.

'I try to stay away from drama'
Translation: I look for/provoke drama in the first place. Why would I even mention the word 'drama' in a dating profile?

'I don't take myself too seriously'
Translation: You never asked if I did but thought I'd casually mention it! Obviously I do take myself seriously (='we didn't burn him!' from the League of Gentlemen)

'My friends describe me as a kind hearted man, fun to hang out with and intelligent'
Translation: I say 'my friends' but really I mean me. I love myself but don't want you to realise it until it's much too late

(on answering the '6 things I can't live without') 'oxygen'
Translation: I copied it from other profiles because like to conform, I'm an approval seeker

Sentences ending in 'lol'
Translation: I have no sense of humour

Private Messages I Have Received

'So how does a man like me attract the attention of a beautiful Goddess like you? xxxx'
= I'm paying you a fucking compliment so you'd better reply biatch! Probably the angry type.

On reading his profile -
Header: You should message me if
Reply: 'you can be bothered. Most people can't and have no manners these days'
--> Rigid rules. Use of universal quantifier. I'm guessing grew up with strict rules about what is rude. Definitely angry

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Les jours passent et se ressemblent

Or so it feels. I came across 2 very interesting pieces on the subject in the past 12 hours - The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz and why millennials are unhappy on The Hustle. Could it really be that extra freedom and choice that we are allowed today are indeed making us unhappy? It's undeniable that people today are no happier than they were say 100 years ago despite all the technical advances we're enjoying today. There's never been more depression and suicides now than in the past generations. Schwartz argues that this is the result of a disconnect between expectations versus reality. Keep your expectations low he says and you're much more likely to be pleasantly surprised on the rare occasion your expectations are surpassed. I can't help but think that the guy makes a damn good point.

I'm from that generation that grew up as an only child ('because we wanted to give you the best chances'). What I was taught as I grew up is that I could do so much better than my parents, and I could choose to be who I wanted - so long as it was approved by my mother. This reminds me of a scene from Roseanne I watched years ago where her daughter Darlene tries to convince her to let her go to college in another city. The dialogue goes something like this;

Darlene: 'But mom don't you want me to do better than you in life?'
Roseanne: 'Of course we do darling, why do you think we've been keeping such low standards all our lives?'

This succinctly nails it - Roseanne's generation, with her background simply left school early, got a job/got knocked up and were generally preoccupied with where the next meal would come from. Her children though had much higher expectations and dared to dream.

So why is it that for many of us days pass and resemble one another? Where is our big break in life, the money, the perfect partner and the (dare I say it...) perfect job? If someone had looked into their crystal ball when I was a teenager and told me I would be where I am today aged 38, I would have definitely jumped off the Eiffel Tower. And I can't help but think this is because my expectations haven't been met and that it's my own fault. It's true in many ways, I still believe that I am the master of my own destiny, and wherever I take my destiny is my responsibility - not my burden.

Now is as perfect a time as ever to take my destiny in my own hands so whilst the freedom and choice are still an option, I'm taking steps in that direction. And perhaps review my expectations to 'que sera sera'.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley - Invictus

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Letter to Wayne

Dear Wayne,

Yesterday morning I woke up and did what I do practically every morning; I picked up my phone and checked the news, Facebook and whatever would keep me in bed an extra few minutes. This keeps me entertained in a somewhat empty life as I lie in my empty bed (save for me and the cat when he feels like it). But I yesterday morning I didn't feel entertained when I read your family's status on your Facebook page announcing your peaceful soul had left your body. My internal dialogue went something like this: 'it's not fair! He wasn't old enough to die! He could have lived another 10 years! He was useful to so many people out there!' and then I re-focussed on your Facebook status again and realised that my kicking and screaming was simply selfish and misguided. Of course you haven't really 'left us' and your enormous legacy is here to stay. And how could I forget that from the moment we are born 'we are spiritual beings having a human experience' - never the other way around.

I never met you Wayne and will never get the chance to but I still felt like I knew you somehow through your insightful books, especially your recent biography only released last year - perhaps you knew that the end of the carnal road was nearing? If there was only one thing I would retain from your teachings it would be that there are 2 human emotions that are completely useless in life: worry and guilt. Because they keep you immobile. This one piece of wisdom resonated with me so much, the eternal worrier. I also admired how you surpassed all the feelings of negativity and the self-pity trap you could have so easily fallen into given your far-from-perfect beginnings in life .

Some say you were not the perfect human being you were made out to be and that we shouldn't put you on a pedestal; these people are undeniably right, nobody is flawless (not even Cindy Crawford and Oh My God she looks amazing at 49 years-old!). It's very much possible that you hurt some of you fellow humans at some point but I choose to believe that when you did you didn't mean to and that they let go of their grudge eventually. I also choose to believe that in your human experience you brought relief to many more people than you hurt.

So just for a little while rest on your laurels dear Wayne, you have deserved it. Until your next adventure, wherever it may take you.

Much love,


Thursday, 13 August 2015

Dear diary

So that's it. I've taken the jump and typing my first blog post. Well, that's not really a blog per se, but an online diary, somewhere I can dump the many racing thoughts in my head. Why now? Why not! Now seems to be as good a time as ever - 5 weeks ago I decided to dump my unappealing job as project manager at a gambling company to take another unappealing job as a project manager (not at a gambling company). Except that this time I'm my own boss. Yep that's right, I'm now officially a contractor.

If I'm honest my first contract is pretty good, I work for and with good folks, I get to meet a lot of new people and I get to not know where the hell I will be in 3 months time. What's not to love about it? Then again, I've been fortunate enough to have my contract extended so I have more time to think where I want the wind to take me next. That's the upside of my situation, I can move on when I want and go pretty much where I want to, once the cat and house are taken care of, of course.

Which leads me to the other big change in my life - I want to explore more of the world. Now, how cliché does this sound? I made a decision a couple of weeks ago to take a contract abroad next. I've been craving sunshine for a long time and the (lack of) summer this year has pushed me over the edge. I mean, 12C?? In the summer? This is borderline taking the piss, even for the UK. It's the first time ever that I've really wanted to be back home, for the heatwave that my compatriots have been enjoying for weeks.

So that's it then. I've made some decisions, so what next? Well, err... back to work tomorrow I guess and enjoy my time at my foster company. Oh and network, network, network! Extend my circle of acquaintances, make everyday a great day, be grateful for I've been blessed with so far and learn the lessons from times when I wasn't so blessed. Peace and love.

Quote of the day:

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.” - Paolo Coelho
(if you haven't read The Alchemist, you must!)