What Do Women Want?

"And verily, a woman need know but one man well, in order to understand all men; whereas a man may know all women and understand not one of them." ~ Helen Rowland.

First let's get the subject line out of the way - Any man who thinks he has the answer is an idiot. There are guys that think they know and maybe some women will agree with them but take it from a guy who has wandered, lived and loved from the farthest reaches of Asia, through the largest cities and smallest villages in Europe. From New York to California and the heartland of the bible belt in America

What Do Women Want? ~ Men Don't Know.

With that said an intelligent, strong and challenging partner can bring out the very best in us. Whether white, yellow, black or brown women bring out the best, and worst, in men. What do they want? - I don't know - but from this simple guys perspective it seems to come down to strength of character, a touch of understanding and a willingness to believe and pursue ideals and values bigger than self interest while pragmatically shouldering at least an equal share of the responsibilities. Stuff all men wish we had more of. Some want more... But most seem to want a dreamer that is also willing and able to do.
A Man Who Will Be And Do What Others Can't or Won't.

It's no different now than it's ever been.

We all want someone who brings out and shares the very best in us.

Be Original.

"Don't let the opinions of the average man sway you. Dream, and he thinks you're crazy. Succeed, and he thinks you're lucky. Acquire wealth, and he thinks you're greedy. Pay no attention. He simply doesn't understand." ~ Robert Allen.

Ever notice how the most interesting people are really extreme?
There are stories told about men and women who were extreme but not many are told about the average guy. There are emotions, opinions and actions taken both for and against the extreme but not for or against the average guy. The average guy is a statistic. A benchmark for others to fare better or worse against. The average is hardly original.

The average guy is the aggregate of all our fears. He does what he has always done and gets what he always got because he thinks what he always thought and associates with those who rarely challenge him.

He fades away and no-one notices. He leaves no mark, no impression and barely a footprint. We remember him vaguely, no more, no less. The original guy, the extreme guy, leaves a mark for better or worse. He is black and white. He isn't gray. The original guy, infuriates, irritates, inspires and initiates. He's original and extreme.

We all respond to the original and the extreme.

Simple Sales Rules.

"Sales are contingent on the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect." ~ W. Clement Stone.

Why do we complicate sales? The lessons from great sales and business people are timeless and very straightforward.

What are those lessons? There are 2 Rules, 2 Questions and 2 Laws.

2 Rules:
  • "When we think we know - We don't." (Get out of your own way - Listen & Learn)
  • "No Excuses" ~ Reasons are excuses - it's all up to you - Period.
2 Questions:
  • What Do They Want? (Emotionally, what does the prospect want?)
  • When Do They Want It?
2 Laws:
  • Sell the person not the product. Paint pictures ~ Tell stories ~ Ask Questions
  • We all buy emotionally. Then rationalize (not vice versa) 

They Watch You.

"We are apt to forget that children watch examples better than they listen to preaching" ~ Roy L. Smith.

I admire and respect good teachers, parents and coaches. There is a certain recognition when someone does something extremely well, a respect, an admiration. In any field they stand out but those that inspire us, teachers, parents and coaches connect with our future. It's a cliche, I know, but before children become knowing, jaded and cynical they are our future. The time when they mimic us, knows no boundaries. This is the time filled with possibilities and perils.

Before they become the worst of us we can influence them to become the best of us. I love good parents, teachers and coaches, they bring the best out of our children. So how do we teach them well?

By recognizing that children watch us always. ~ Please Watch:

Look for Passion.

"Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion." ~ Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

There was a time when you could size up the character of a man by just looking at the heels of his shoes, those days are long gone. There was a time when you could simply ask "Who do you admire and who do you respect" and the answer would fly off the tip of their tongue without a thought. Those days are long gone. So how do you quickly determine the fillies from the flakes today? ~ You look for passion.

"Tell me what you are passionate about". Tell me what you love - what you hate. Talk to me about the people that you love being around and the things you love doing." Tell me what inspires and motivates you.

Then listen very carefully. Can this person immediately dive into a passionate discourse or do they have to sit back, ponder and think?
If they have to sit back, ponder and think - If they don't immediately know what they love - If there is no passion ~ kick them the hell out.

We Need 2 Razors.

"Given a choice between two theories, take the one which is funnier." ~ Blore's Razor.

One of the most unappreciated joys of a mans life is found in shaving. It's a daily ritual that soon becomes rote but when appreciated for its ability to cleanse and refresh is surely one of life's more simple pleasures. But what about mental shaving? The reduction of life's complexities into simple, understandable concepts. There are two "razors" that I find particularly interesting and use every day. Hanlon's razor and Occam's razor. Two razors that make life just a little simpler.

Hanlon's Razor is an adage which reads: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."

Occam's Razor states "When you have two competing theories, that make exactly the same predictions,the simpler one is the better."

Two razors that we can all use daily to make life just a little simpler.

Why We Fail.

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Everyone likes to talk about the secrets to success. Well... They are hardly secrets - but that's another blog post. But why do we fail at any goal, objective or task in life? Failure, as everyone knows, is a critical ingredient to success. We need to fail, fall short, and keep getting up again to achieve anything worthwhile ~ that's one of life's basic rules. But why do we fail at anything? ~ The real answers are... we were:

  • Too Lazy - we didn't work hard enough.
  • Too Stupid - we didn't learn from others who succeed.
  • Too Weak - we didn't have the drive to do what it takes.

So there it is - Every self improvement book on the planet condensed into three bullet points. What's the good news? We can do something about every single one of them - We Can Get Better as long as we accept the very basic premise. ~ It is and always was us.

Japanese Tea Ceremony.

"If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty." ~ Japanese Proverb.

The Japanese tea ceremony is a remnant of a quieter time.
The ceremony, or Cha-no-yu, meaning “hot water for tea”, is more than an elaborate ritual. It is an interlude in which one leads oneself for the moment to a spirit of beauty, quietude, and politeness toward others.

The ceremony may be practiced anywhere, at home or in a teahouse. Take it from a 'Gaijin', The Japanese tea ceremony is a ritual of quiet contemplation and appreciation - a serene thing of beauty.

There are 4 principles: harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility
(wa, kae, sae, jubuo)
  • Harmony: with other people and with nature.
  • Respect: a harmonious relationship with others.
  • Purity: cleansing oneself through the five senses - hearing with the sound of water, sight with the beauty of the flowers, touch with the utensils, smell as we smell the bouquet of the flowers and the aroma of the tea, and taste when drinking the tea.
  • Tranquility with ourselves, surroundings, people and nature

What is a Mentor?

"Mentor ~ Someone whose hindsight can become your foresight."

In Japan they call them Kohai. In England Apprentice and in America Protege. We are those who defer to and learn from mentors. What is a mentor and why do so few people really have them? A mentor is not a coach, a teacher or an adviser although they may perform each of those roles. A mentor challenges and takes you to places inside yourself that you wouldn't go on your own. A mentor is a contrary force. A mentor isn't a support system for what you believe or would do anyway. A mentor provides new and challenging stimuli, hurdles that you believe are too high. Ideas and concepts that you have difficulty with. You defer to a mentor - otherwise why would you need one? A mentor is rare - you don't choose them. They choose you.

Swimming with Sharks.

"Smile and say no until your tongue bleeds" ~ Harvey Mackay.

It's so easy to say yes. Yes to yet another feature, yes to a price concession, yes to a mediocre design, yes to lowering a personal standard, yes to anything - yes, yes, yes. We all want to be liked, loved, accommodating and nice. It helps you get more business right? No it doesn't. It establishes you as someone without standards, without qualifiers, someone who will say yes to anything and stands for nothing. Are you someone who is so afraid of losing the deal you will say yes to anything? What's the first rule of negotiation? You must be willing to walk away. Harvey Mackay said it best in his book "Swimming with Sharks" "Smile and say no until your tongue bleeds." Or say yes to everything and build your reputation as a yes man.

You're Smart.

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" ~ Michelangelo.

A long time ago I gave up on the idea of being smart. I'm not smart.
Simple seemed to make more sense. I noticed that smart people - the really smart people - helped me understand things without giving their opinion. By just telling stories. They painted pictures with words.

They didn't really care which path my mind took or which decision I made. They just composed a tune and I started to get the beat. There's lots of smart people and lots of artists out there but not a lot of smart artists who can weave stories, paint pictures and conduct symphonies into compelling caricatures so simple folks like me can understand.

If you really want to be smart - paint people a picture with a story.

The human brain and heart work in concert like a computer program, artists canvas, classic novel, movie screen and musical symphony.

Smart people know this.

Most Beautiful Places.

"Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection."
~ Lawrence Durrell.

What are the three most beautiful places on earth? Where are the places that a simple guy would recommend everyone fly off to and spend some time to drink in the sights, sounds & pure majesty of the very best our planet has to offer. I'm sure there's many but here's mine.

Ko Phi Phi ~ Thailand.

Engleberg ~ Switzerland.

Alaska ~ USA.

Waiting For...

"Why people have to complicate a thing so simple I can't make out." ~ Samuel Beckett

The great author commented on the many interpretations of his play Waiting for Godot. Recognized as one of the finest pieces of literature ever written Waiting for Godot prompts heated discussion and controversy as to it's meaning. It reinforces one of the absolute truisms of life, art and humanity. 'Less' forces us to look for 'More'. But as Vladimir so poignantly observes "There's man all over for you, blaming on his boots the faults of his feet". We each make our own life - We find our own meaning. Whether life is absurd, meaningless or a series of repetitive routines is irrelevant. Life is Simple if we choose it to be. What does it mean? Does it matter? What Are You Waiting For?

Being a Father.

"You will find that if you really try to be a father, your child will meet you halfway." ~Robert Brault.

I got very lucky raising my daughter. She makes me proud. So when a friend, expecting his first born, asked for advice I paused to reflect. There are lots of books and millions of psychological insights on how to raise the perfect child. But my view? I tried to keep it simple. What's my advice? Strive to Be a Better Man. Children watch and children choose. Children choose their influences. They watch and choose.

They either choose your character, your habits and your values or those of others. Sometimes they will make the easiest and not the best choices. Hopefully they will learn. Ultimately their choices become character. We influence our children - they either choose our character traits or those of others. So what have I learned about what it takes to be a father? Strive To Be A Better Man.

Strive To Be Their Best Choice.

Measure Success.

"Measure What You Manage" ~ Lord Kelvin.

It wasn't Peter Drucker who said "Measure What You Manage."
It was the scientist Lord Kelvin who originally stated " When you can measure what you are speaking about and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts the advanced stages of science".

This became abbreviated, revised and attributed to many management gurus. Success Can Be Measured Daily. Pick a personal data point - Dollars, Calls, Contacts, Hits, Followers, or whatever and establish your daily average performance. Then strive to exceed it.


"Real knowledge is to know the extent of ones ignorance"
~ Confucius.

A Simple Guy has found that the most difficult insights to accept and embrace are often the most powerful. We all find support, intellectual comfort and confidence from the advice, opinions and beliefs we agree with. They make us feel good. But we learn the most from the stimuli and contrarians that challenge us. There is no comfort in cognitive dissonance but there is opportunity. How we respond to adversaries teaches us about ourselves. When We Think We Know - We Don't.

Never Miss It.

"The sun has not caught me in bed in fifty years." ~Thomas Jefferson.

I'm up at 4am every day. Why? Lots of little reasons & one big one.
The little reasons include: The people I meet that are up that early.
The guy at the coffee shop who comes in from Mexico every day to serve, clean the shop and provide for his family. He smiles, works hard and makes me smile. The roads are clear and the people out are driven to get started before others - there's a shared connection - a shared understanding. There is an opportunity to get more done before others get started and add at least four hours to my day, four focused hours.

But more than all those little things there's one very big thing.
I've never been late for anything - living by a slogan that says "If I'm not on time it means I'm not coming" and there is one thing I never want to miss. Watching the Sun Rise - she is never late. I have seen every sunrise in my life. Watched every time she has majestically climbed and filled the sky with a new day - a new opportunity - a new chance to do something better. I never want to miss a sunrise. That's why I get up at 4am. ~ She fills me with awe, humility and appreciation.