Friday, April 03, 2009

Not a Shy Guy Anymore

I used to be a little shy when I was a kid. I had my circles of friends from the neighborhood, from school, from scouting, etc. But I wasn't the life of the party, even though I had a great sense of humor.

Later in life, I found myself on stage in front of about 1200 high school students representing the radio station I worked for and I had to talk. I was scared.

A few days later, same thing. Another school, hundreds of students and me on stage.

And then it hit me.

I had already done this. And I could do it again. And I lost my fear of public speaking at the age of 21.

Maybe it's not that you want to be a public speaker, but you just need to get out and meet people and have fun. As I was checking my email this afternoon before heading home, I saw this great article from the DLM blog that may change your life:

Dumb Little Man - tips for life

Link to Dumb Little Man - Tips for Life

How to Build Your Social Circle

Posted: 02 Apr 2009 06:26 AM PDT

They say it's not what you know but who you know, and when it comes to getting the most out of life and having fun, I think friends play a huge part in that. If I think back to some of the happiest and craziest moments in my life, there's no doubt that they involved some of my closest friends.

I've already written a guide on how to make friends and being a social person is obviously going to help with this aspect of your life. Additionally, these five points below should definitely help you in the process of growing your social circle.

Adopt an Abundance Mentality

One key reason people struggle to make great friends or build a social circle is because they are coming from a scarcity mindset. They don't realize that there are literally billions of potential friends out there and lots of people that you are going to meet on your journey through life.

Knowing that there are lots of opportunities to make friends, you should realize that you don't have to 'change' to get other people to like you. In other words, don't lie about your interests and don't agree with things you disagree with. Be yourself, be your best self.

Actively Pursue Your Passions
Think of some things that you really enjoy doing right now, off the top of your head. To help, some of mine include:
  • Public speaking
  • Going to nightclubs
  • Personal development
  • DJing / Making music
Once you know the things that you like to do, you should actively pursue those passions. If you like public speaking then join Toastmasters, if you like making music then sign-up to a college / university course or go online and find other people who like it as well.

The point here is that you will find people who like the same things as you, so you already have some common interest which tends to quickly build rapport. Meetup is a great site to find people getting together around topics that may interest you.

Organize Events
People like to keep in touch with the person who is always throwing cool events. Whether it is a trip to a nearby city, a house party or a day out go-karting, make some plans. You don't have to do all the work, but get people together and put new people in touch with each other.

When you do organise some events, it's likely that your friends will also bring their friends that you haven't met, which gives you a great chance to expand your 'network'.

Be a Genuinely Fun Person
There will be times when you are feeling low and you want to talk about this feeling to others and that's fine, that's normal. However, if that is your default state then it's going to feel draining to others who spend time with you, constantly feeling they are going to be brought down with you.

A genuinely fun person tends to keep a positive outlook, see problems as situations or opportunities, rather than problems. Look at ways you can help to make other people happy without relying on your own happiness to come from your environment.

This is a geniunely fun person and this is the type of person that people want to be around.

Be Open to Making New Friends
If I look at some of my best friends, I've met most of them through education (i.e. school, college, etc.) and through my job which seems to be a common thing. However, I've also met people that later became close friends at the likes of running clubs, speaking clubs and even standing in the line for a nightclub.

You don't 'just' have to make friends through your current friends and the people they know. You walk past amazing people every single day and you never know when you might come into conversation with someone. Don't assume that just because you're not talking to someone in normal context it doesn't mean you can't arrange to meet up with them at another time.

Building a social circle is definitely one of the best ways to get the most out of life in my opinion, and experience more of our time here. Hopefully these tips will help you expand yours.

Written on 4/02/2009 by Glen Allsop. Glen writes on the subject of Personal Development at PluginID. His sites main aim is to help people Plug into their Identity, be who they want to be, and live the life they want to live.Photo Credit:

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Video Time: 50 States in 2 Minutes

Nothing like a tune and a cartoon to help you learn:

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

I appreciate the visual arts. Not that I'm any good at it, but this lady is. Click here to go there.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Video Time: I See You

An appropriate video for April Fools Day:

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

I saved this one for April Fools Day. Click here to go there and explore.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Video Time: Burger Lisa

Maybe you'll skip the fast food after watching this?

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Click here to go there.

Monday, March 30, 2009

First Date?

I haven't been on a "first date" in 9 years, but I know plenty of folks who are still. Follow these tips from the DLM Blog:

Dumb Little Man - tips for life

Link to Dumb Little Man - Tips for Life

10 First Date Tips for the Modern Gentleman

Posted: 25 Mar 2009 09:07 AM PDT

Courting a lady isn't as straight forward as it used to be. Back in the day, dating etiquette was well-established and everybody played by the same rules. Men would open doors for women, help them with their coats, and have them home by nine. Couples would go to the soda shop for the first date, to the drive in for the second, up to "old make out point" for the third, and would most likely be getting married on the fourth.

The rules of the road have changed. Somewhere between Say Anything, and MTV's Next bus, we throw out the rulebook completely and just started winging it. Our individual quests for love and sex have become as varied and strange as life itself. This was a good and necessary change, but it has made dating... well, terrifying. Without any concrete guidelines, how is the novice romantic supposed to navigate those first few dates?

It's not so hard, really. As far as dating goes, the one thing that hasn't changed over the years is the simple fact that guys should be gentlemen. What follows are some suggested guidelines to help you be a true gentleman despite the weird modern reality in which we find ourselves.
  1. Don't take her out to dinner on the first date
    These days, the most popular first date is the weeknight 'getting-a-couple-drinks' date. And, for good reason. It's non-committal, relatively brief by necessity, and the drinks help to calm everybody's nerves. So, don't try to impress with a 4-star restaurant when you barely know the person. This way, you'll keep your wallet intact and she won't feel beholden. Plus, if the sparks don't fly, it's easy to retire the evening early.

  2. Hug her at the beginning of the date
    Breaking down the physical barrier at the beginning of the date makes the rest of the date so much easier. At the beginning of the date, give her a hug, and tell her how delightful she looks. Also, by showing your attraction to her early on, you free her to reciprocate gestures of attraction throughout the date, making it easier for you to judge how well the date is going.

  3. Look your best
    Well, duh. But, a lot of the times when guys try to dress up for a date, they end up wearing something they aren't truly comfortable in. You should dress up a little, sure, but, try to wear something that makes you feel like a million bucks. If you don't have any clothes that make you feel like George Clooney in Ocean's 11, go out and find some.

  4. Be a class act
    Chivalry may be dead, but she'll like you more if you try to revive it just a little. Open the door for her, pull out her chair, support her on icy sidewalks, etc... Despite the obvious self sufficiency of the modern woman, courtesy is still courtesy. A dash of chivalry shows your attraction and ability to protect and nurture. But, it's important not to take this too far. You don't want to seem old fashion, or as though you're trying real hard to impress. Just be be a good, considerate guy who knows the pleasure of treating a lady as such.

  5. Compliment her and others
    When you're on a date it's good to toss out a few genuine compliments. But, unless you're Dennis Leary, you probably already knew that... So, let me say that it's a good idea, not only to compliment your date, but to also talk nicely about people that you both know, or people that you've met throughout the night. By projecting kindness towards people that aren't around, you'll show that you tend to see the positive side of things, which is a very attractive characteristic.

  6. Embrace your inner weird
    A lot of people tend to go all glossy on dates. Sort of like a job interview, you really just want to seem appealing. This is a mistake. First, you actually become less attractive by paving over what sets you apart... But, more importantly, if you highlight your idiosyncrasies, you've got a better shot of finding a girl that compliments you, and tolerates your obsession with minimalist free jazz .

  7. Change your sheets
    Be prepared... The Boy Scouts know what they're talking about. When you go out on a date with someone, there is always the possibility that you'll end up back at your place. So, change the sheets, and get rid of any debris that is usually strewn about. If, in the end, the date was totally awkward, at least you've got a clean place to come home to.

  8. Pay for the date
    That's right... Beyond it being a kind gesture, offering to pay is a good way to get information on how the date is going. When the check comes, beware if she really does seem to want to pay her share. If she wants to pay, it's because she really doesn't want to feel obligated to you in any way shape or form. But, the single fake-wallet-grab is a good sign. Don't worry, she's gonna let you pay this time... She knows you're going to be eating all the ice cream out of her fridge in about two weeks :)

  9. Kiss Her
    If the first date has gone reasonably well, go for the kiss at some point towards the end. A so-so date that ends with a great kiss can = an awesome date. Sometimes you just gotta get the kiss out of the way before you can really feel comfortable with someone. So, man up and kiss her. Just do it. She'll be glad you did. Hopefully.

  10. Don't try to sleep with her
    Despite the advice from 20 seconds ago (you should still tidy up your place, it's starting to smell a little), having sex on a first date is not a good idea if you think you might want a relationship with the person. Studies have shown that people who have sex on a first date have a lot more trouble developing a good date into a relationship than those who are content delaying gratification. So, even if the date is going really, really well, don't push for the sleep over. After all, it's always nice to have something to look forward to, and, when all is said and done, she'll fancy you a gentleman.

Written on 3/25/2009 by Michael Brandon. Michael is an editor and contributor at Creative Dating Ideas.Photo Credit: dutchtl

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Remembering Paul

As a guy who has worked in the radio business since he was 16, you might think that Paul Harvey may have been one of my heros.

But you would be wrong. It's not because he was in the radio business, I just liked his view on life.

Last night as I was cleaning out 300+ emails, I found this piece by Harvey Mackay:

The staying power of Paul Harvey

And now we know the rest of the story. We said a final "good day" to beloved radio commentator Paul Harvey Feb. 28. Among the many lessons we learned from him, I think one of the most important is staying power.

Paul Harvey was one of my heroes. In fact, I was scheduled to interview him this month so I could write a column about his phenomenal career. Instead, I'm writing a posthumous tribute.

Paul Harvey worked for ABC Radio Networks for more than 50 years. At his peak, he was heard on 1,200 stations and reached more than 24 million listeners. He also wrote a syndicated newspaper column carried by 300 papers. Staying power.

I loved listening to the anecdotes he shared in "The Rest of the Story," where Paul described some element of famous people's lives. He said the stories were intended to capture "the heartbeat behind the headlines." With his son Paul Jr., who helped research and write the pieces, he shared moving descriptions and little-known details that explained, inspired and entertained us for more than 30 years.

The rest of his story is fascinating. Paul was born in Tulsa, Okla. His father, a police officer, was killed when Paul was a toddler. A high school teacher directed him toward a radio career because of his melodious voice. He started his career at a Tulsa radio station in 1933. And we all know the rest of that story.

He progressed from those humble beginnings to become one of the most trusted men on radio. In a tribute, ABC Radio Networks President Jim Robinson said, "Paul Harvey was one of the most gifted and beloved broadcasters in our nation's history."

Retirement was not on his radar. In fact, he once said, "I'd hate to get up every morning and have to play golf." Far from that, in 2000 he signed a 10-year, $100 million contract with ABC Radio, which would have taken him past his 92nd birthday!

Staying power was evident in his family life as well. He met his future wife, Lynne (who he called Angel), while working at a St. Louis radio station. They married in 1940. She was his longtime producer, and he credited his success to her influence. She died last May. Paul Harvey Jr. said of his parents: "My father and mother created from thin air what one day became radio and television news. So in the past year, an industry has lost its godparents and today, millions have lost a friend."

No matter how many tributes pour in, I think his own words illustrate why he has staying power. Among my favorite Paul Harvey quotes:

  • "I've never seen a monument erected to a pessimist." Looking for the positive and inspirational was one of the biggest reasons his listeners tuned in every day.
  • "If there is a 50-50 chance that something can go wrong, nine times out of 10 it will." A little humor went a long way in keeping his audience engaged.
  • "In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these." Truer words were never spoken—and how apropos to today's times!

I think his apology to business owners illustrates perfectly Paul Harvey's profound understanding of American life and business that made it possible for him to relate to us. And that's why we could relate to him.

"You put up the money to start the business that creates jobs for the rest of us. You gather the raw materials, importing some of them, devise salable products, advertise them and sell them. You pay all the operating expenses. You pay your employees 90 percent of the dollars that are left. You assume all the risk and invest most of your profit in additional equipment, additional facilities and new research.

"You pay out in taxes three times what you pay yourself. You businessmen and businesswomen create work, goods and services. You give more generously than anybody to churches, schools, foundations and charities of all sizes.

"By any reasonable rationale, you should be the focus of a grateful nation's primary appreciation. As a public servant and provider, you should be on the cover of Time or Newsweek. You should be heralded on CBS, NBC and ABC. You should be esteemed by your government, by the media and by your fellow man.

"You seldom are. For my part in a nonproducing profession that ridicules or ignores you, I apologize. I wish I could promise it's going to be different, I can't."

Mackay's Moral: You'll always be among friends, Paul. Because you still have staying power.

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