Saturday, August 22, 2009

Video Time: Paul Simon

Yeah I grew up when this tune was a hit..

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Click here to go there

Friday, August 21, 2009

10 Ways to Have More $$

There are two ways to have more money:

Increase Income

Decrease Outgo

From the DLM Blog, help with option 2:

Is Your Job Costing You A Fortune? Ten Great Ways to Save Money At Work

Posted: 17 Jul 2009 12:53 PM PDT

Are you trying to cut back on your spending, reduce your debts or increase your savings? A good place to start is by looking at your work-related spending, because:
  • You spend more of your waking life at work than anywhere else
  • Work is part of your routine (and routine, regular spending is one of the best targets for savings)
  • The “surroundings” of work: your commute, and socializing with colleagues, often tempt you to spend unnecessarily
Here are ten ways to cut back on your job-related spending. I’ve listed these in roughly the order that they apply to your working day:
  1. Eat Breakfast At Home
    Do you regularly stop at a cafe or coffee shop for breakfast? If so, you’re clocking up unnecessary spending (and quite possibly adding unnecessary fat and/or sugar to your diet). Set your alarm clock ten minutes earlier, and eat a bowl of cereal before leaving home.

  2. Leave Your Cash And Cards At Home
    If you often succumb to impulse buys on the way to or from work, leave your wallet at home. (If you genuinely need money during the work day, then take the exact amount you need in cash.) This is a simple and foolproof way to cut your spending!

  3. Carpool or Consider Public Transport
    If you drive to work, you’re wasting money each day on gas. Can you carpool with a colleague, or someone from your area heading in the same direction? Alternatively, consider whether public transportation would save you money (season tickets are more cost-effective than one-off journeys). If you live close enough, walk or cycle to work: it’s free and you’ll be getting in some exercise.

  4. Invest in Long-Lasting Clothes
    Depending on your job, you may need to dress up smartly for work. It’s often a false economy to buy the cheapest clothing brands available – you’ll just end up replacing that suit after six months. Invest in good quality clothing that will last. Don’t forget to wash and care for clothes properly, too: check the labels for instructions, and you won’t end up shrinking one of your best shirts in the drier.

  5. Brown-Bag Your Lunch
    It’s always going to be cheaper to prepare lunch at home than to buy it out, whether pre-packed fro a store, or at a restaurant. Sandwiches are an easy option, as are last night’s leftovers. Your office almost certainly has a fridge where you can safely store food during the morning – and many offices have microwaves, toasters, even ovens.

  6. Don’t Be A Sheep
    One of the dangers of the workplace is that you’re around people – colleagues – who don’t necessarily share your values or who may be in a very different financial situation, and this can tempt you to spend unnecessarily. If everyone else in the office has an iPhone, you don’t have to run out and get one too. Similarly, just because your colleagues talk about expensive weekends away, don’t feel pushed into living a similar lifestyle.

  7. Claim Valid Expenses
    How often have you lost a receipt or not bothered filing an expenses claim because it was only for a small amount? Those little expenses – perhaps travel or office supplies – do add up. Make sure you submit expense claims for everything you’ve spent that’s chargeable to work.

  8. Take Advantage of Job Benefits
    If you work for a large employer, there are almost certainly some benefits that you could take advantage of. Many companies provide discounted membership at a gym chain, for instance. You might be able to get free eye tests or other health checkups – don’t end up spending your own money on these. Some companies provide free snacks or meals. If you’re really lucky, you might find an employer like Google:

    We provide a standard package of fringe benefits, but on top of that are first-class dining facilities, gyms, laundry rooms, massage rooms, haircuts, carwashes, dry cleaning, commuting buses – just about anything a hardworking employee might want.
    (“Benefits”, Eric Schmidt, CEO Google)

  9. Go Straight Home After Work
    Do you get drawn into hanging around for “just one beer” after work? Do you find yourself heading home through the mall, where window-shopping turns into actual shopping? If you regularly end up spending money in the evening after work, get into the habit of going straight home.

  10. Enjoy Your Job
    Finally, one surprising tip to cutting your job-related spending is to enjoy your job. Studies have shown that you’re less likely to spend excessively if you have a high level of job satisfaction. (See Job Satisfaction Can Reduce Excessive Spending, Debt). This makes sense: if you’re feeling stressed out or miserable at work, you’re more likely to end up blowing money on “fun” ways to unwind in the evenings or at the weekends.
Is your job costing you a lot of money? How do you keep your work-related spending to a minimum?

Written on 7/17/2009 by Ali Hale.Ali is a professional writer and blogger, and a part-time postgraduate student of creative writing. If you need a hand with any sort of written project, drop her a line ( or check out her website at Aliventures.Photo Credit: 신주리

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Click here to go there

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Play Nice

From the ArtofManliness Blog:

Be a Good Sport: A Guide to Sportmanship

Posted: 04 Aug 2009 08:25 PM PDT

tennisSource: Life

There’s a reason so many motivational speakers use sports as a metaphor for life. There are innumerable parallels between what it takes to be successful both in real life and on the playing field. The qualities of determination, skill, and hard work contribute to a man’s chance of winning in both arenas. There is a parallel between life and sports that doesn’t get enough attention, however, and that’s the connection between a man’s character off the field and his good sportsmanship on it.

Good sportsmanship encompasses many aspects of a man’s character, the most fundamental being respect. The good sportsman respects both his teammates and his opponents as equals. He plays with integrity. A win that does not come fairly holds no satisfaction for him. He is honest in his dealings with opponents, because he treats them the way he wants to be treated. He is unselfish in his desire to see all his teammates participate and enjoy the game. He is humble in his victories, and has the proper perspective on his losses. In short, the qualities that go in to making a good man are the same ones that contribute to being a great sportsman.

Unfortunately, as men’s character off the field has declined, so has their behavior on it. Men pout and even cry when they lose, they gloat when they win, and they take sports far too seriously. A man should understand that good sportsmanship truly enhances the experience of both playing and watching sports. Players feel encouraged by one another and take satisfaction in the fact that the game was played fairly. And fans can really enjoy themselves at the games.

As both a player and a fan, I’ve noticed that men could really use some brushing up on the rules of good sportsmanship. So here’s a primer.

Good Sportsmanship as a Player

Play fair. Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many men will cheat or play dirty to win. Remember, it’s just a game. There’s no need to stoop to dishonesty to win something as inconsequential as beer league softball game. If you cheat, you may get the victory in the short term, but it will forever ring hollow for you.

I think Teddy Roosevelt sums it up best: “Hit the line hard; don’t foul and don’t shirk, but hit the line hard!”

Be a team player. If you’re playing a team sport, do your best to get the whole team involved. Don’t try to be the star by hogging the ball. I know this can be hard when your talent surpasses that of your teammates, and you know you could win the game by carrying the whole thing on your shoulders. But selfish game play ruins the fun for everyone else and just makes you look like a jerk. What it comes down to is this: why are you playing this game? Is it for a win to help boost your sense of self-worth? Or is it for the pure love of playing itself? When it’s the latter, you naturally want to make sure your teammates have the same great time that you do.

So make a conscious effort to involve the beginner/poorly skilled players on your team as much as you can. Sure, they might flub the play, and they might even cost you the game. But in the long run it’s better for them and your team. The only way they’re going to get better is if they get plenty of playing time. By leaving them out, you’re denying them an opportunity to improve. And being a selfish player will breed resentment and divisiveness on your team. Have some patience and pass the ball to the rookie.

Stay positive. It’s easy to get negative when things aren’t going your way. A man knows how to stay positive when the chips are against him and his team. Even if a teammate royally screws up, keep positive. Berating him doesn’t accomplish anything besides making him feel worse than he already does. Instead, slap the guy on the back, tell him to shake it off, offer some advice, and let him know some of the things he’s doing right.

Oftentimes, the guy who moans and groans about other players’ mistakes is making plenty of blunders himself. Just remember: you’re not perfect either. Get over it.

Keep trash talk to a minimum. One thing I’ve noticed is that the player who continually runs his mouth with trash talk is usually the player that isn’t actually doing much physically to help his team win. I guess it’s their way of making up for their lack of skill. Instead of wasting your energy and focus on running your mouth, concentrate on actually outplaying your opponent. Let your performance speak for itself.

Also, throughout the game, make a conscious effort to give credit to an opposing player when they make a good play. A simple “nice job” or “good work” is all that is needed.

Lose gracefully. In any sport, there will be winners and losers. And sometimes you’re going to be on the losing side of the equation. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be to handle a loss. When you lose, don’t sulk, throw a temper tantrum, or cry like a little boy. Be a man and give the other team a congratulatory handshake.

Also, don’t blame your other teammates or the officiating, either. Show some leadership after the game by rounding up your team and offering them a pep talk. Point out what people did well, but also what needs to be worked on. That’s much more constructive than telling your first baseman that he sucks balls.

Finally, remember to keep things in perspective. It’s just a stinkin’ game. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not going to make much of a difference in your life if you win or lose a pickup basketball game. The sun will still rise, your wife and dog will still love you, and you’ll still have to pay the bills. So why let a loss bring you down and put you in a funk for the rest of the day?

Win with class. If you find yourself in the winner’s circle, remember to show some class. Don’t gloat or put down the other team after your win. Let your performance speak for itself. After the game, make sure to tell the other team “good game.” Offer some compliments to the opposing players.

Respect the rulings of officials. If your game has referees, remember to respect their rulings, even if they make a bad call. They’re human beings and are bound to make mistakes. While it’s fine to contest a ruling, make your case calmly and rationally. If they decide to stand by their ruling, accept it, and move on. Remember, sometimes bad calls go your way, too.

And for your viewing pleasure, we dug up this old educational video from 1950 about good sportsmanship. Yeah, it’s a little hokey and it’s geared towards teenage boys, but I think it does a good job explaining the importance of developing good sportsmanship:

Good Sportsmanship as a Fan

A recent study by the NCAA showed that while sportsmanship among players has improved over the years, sportsmanship by the fans has gotten worse. It’s pretty sad when the people who have the least invested in a sport stoop to inappropriate behavior just for the sake of rooting their team on. Here’s a quick reminder of some things to keep in mind next time you’re at the big game.

Watch your alcohol intake. Most displays of bad sportsmanship from fans could be eliminated if fans would just drink responsibly. Know what you can handle before you start to lose your inhibitions and get unruly. Besides, it’s hard to really appreciate a game if you’re completely tanked.

Respect the opposing team. Use your lung strength to root for your team and not against the other. When the visiting team walks out on to the field, don’t be a cad and boo them. Instead, respectfully clap for them. Applause is also appropriate when an opposing player is taken out of the game due to an injury. Finally, while it’s tempting to taunt and heckle an opposing team, be the better man and avoid it. It just brings the game down.

Respect your fellow fans. Tickets to major league and college sports games cost big bucks. For many people, they are a splurge, something they buy in the hopes of having a great experience. Don’t ruin it for them by running your mouth the whole game. Nobody likes to sit next to the guy who loudly gives his armchair perspective about what went wrong with each play and how the coach is a moron. It grates on the nerves. Also, be respectful to fans who are rooting for the opposing team. Their allegiance to a set of guys wearing different uniforms and playing a game does not mark them as arch enemies or make them less human. Don’t give opposing fans dirty looks or hurl crass insults in their direction.

Watch your language. I’m always amazed at what comes out of the mouths of fans at sporting events. It would make the saltiest of sailors blush. While I can understand an exasperated “damnit” being uttered from time to time, there’s no excuse for a fan’s language to devolve into lurid and filthy talk. Remember, at most sporting events there are children, so adjust your language accordingly. And besides, if the rules demand that the athletes keep their language clean, we should expect that from the fans, too.

Respect the officials. Just as players should respect the officials, so should the fans. I’ve been to sporting events where the refs are booed as soon as they walk out on to the field-before they’ve even made a call! Give the officials the respect they deserve. If it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the game. Sure, they all make boneheaded decisions from time to time. But guess what? We do too. Imagine what it would feel like if every time you made a bad decision at work, some jerk was there telling you to go kill yourself or saying some ungodly thing about your family. Not very cool, huh?

When you’re feeling angry at the ref, take a minute to get some perspective on the situation. You may be able to see the whole field of action from your perch in the stands and see the replay in slow-mo on the jumbotron, but the ref is out there at eye level watching the action happen in the blink of an eye. It’s not an easy job, and they’re doing the best can.

Support your team, even when they lose. A true fan sticks with their team through good times and bad. It’s a sad sight to see the bleachers empty at a stadium 10 minutes before a game is over just because the home team is losing. Stick around until the end and root your team off the field.

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Click here to go there

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wedding Bells or Wedding Blues?

Actually, it's not just the wedding, but what happens for the rest of your lives. I should know. First time I got married, we knew each other less than 6 months and although it lasted 13 years, produced 3 great kids, I know we both made mistakes that could have been prevented.

Now I've been married the second time for 8 1/2 years and we are more in tune with ourselves and each other.

Here's some wise advice from the DLM Blog:

Things to Consider Before Getting Married

Posted: 18 Jul 2009 07:05 AM PDT

After 7 years of marriage I can honestly say that I would do it again without changing much. Well, maybe we would have spent our money a little more conservatively but as far as the the decision on marriage - it was a perfect one.

Unfortunately, as I consider our acquaintances and their marriages, it's clear that all marriages are not created equal. Cheating and chronic fighting surrounds us and often times we are stuck in the middle as these people come to us for advice.

Here are a handful of things that have become common themes. My assumption is that you've already talked about religion, having kids, sex, etc. If not, you really need to open up the communication.

So before you say "I Do", make sure you have at least considered these:
  • Ability to Compromise
    There are subtle changes that most people can make in their lives in order to make their spouse happy. This is part of the never ending compromise phase that is critical.

    When single, I'd watch football games at bars every Saturday and Sunday (and sometimes Thursday). Once married, I toned it down to one day. This is a manageable change that I was willing to make. However, had my wife insisted that I give up all sports entirely, I would have resisted and eventually resented her. That resent would have spread and ultimately influenced my overall attitude towards her.

    The same is true for just about everything. The willingness of the other person to compromise today (of the lack thereof) and your reaction to it will prove to be a precedent setting event. If someone is absolutely unwilling to compromise on minor issues, you should expect the same for larger issues. Don't be shocked and appalled by it when it happens three years from now- you knew this going in and you accepted it!

  • Money
    Yes, we all want it but once we have it who controls it. My wife started direct depositing her paychecks into my account after 3 months of dating. I actually don't recommend that so soon but she was bad with money and she admitted it. For us, it was a matter of getting our credit into shape (we had 640 credit and back then, now its 800+) and we needed a strategy to pay off her college and my personal debt.

    Once that debt was paid off and we moved into our house, I turned the finances back over to her after a crash course in on time payments and credit. I never looked back. I enjoyed the strategy part of it but not the day-to-day grind of bill paying. She actually enjoyed it because as a stay at home Mom, it gave her the insight she needed to plan for grocery purchases, clothes for the kids, etc.

    So before you get hitched, what is your plan today and 5 years from now? Who is handling what?

  • Who cleans the toilets?
    Toilets and the remainder of the housework is a constant issue. It all needs to get done and it's not the most fun. Setup a plan for this in the beginning. My suggestion is a weekly rotation - perhaps you'll come up with something different. The point of this is to set the expectation on both sides so that someone doesn't feel like a housekeeper. Chores need to be shared regardless of the work and income situation. Being a woman doesn't mean the wife has to handle at all.

  • The plan
    In talking to people, it became pretty apparent that their initial goals were in line but after the kids are born and careers take off, there is a fork in the road. I agree that all plans change and there is no way to write a script for your marriage but a lot of the confusion can be removed by having a 1, 3, 6 and 9 year plan. You should have this conversation now and then revisit it all the time. This does not mean you only review goals at these intervals. These are simply due dates.

    I am often questioned as to why 1,3,6,9.
    • 1 Year Plan: This one is obvious. After the wedding, where will you live, where will you eventually live. Who handles what, what is the combined income, what can we afford etc.
    • At 3 years: You are no longer newlyweds and you are perhaps considering kids. Heck, you may already have a kid at this point. You need a plan for that, a plan for who works, who stays home, what type of daycare, etc. This is also around the time that your first condo or "couple's house" loses it appeal. What kind of house do we want? Where? Can we afford that? How are the schools? What is Plan B if someone gets fired? Do we know what utilities cost?
    • 6 years: We have all heard of the 7 year itch. Therefore, it stands to reason that you have a plan set with a deadline of 6 years. Where do you want the marriage to be in 6 years? Communication habits, sex life, careers...everything. Talk about it now and periodically consider making adjustments based on the the success of your approach. Plans are meant to be changed.
    • 9 years: Again, where do you want to the marriage to be in 9 years? Why? What will life be like? How many kids will we have by then? Are we sending them to public school? What if someone's parent dies? What is one of us becomes seriously ill?
  • Holidays
    Just discuss how and where you will celebrate holidays. This is a battle for nearly everyone I know.

  • Discipline
    Are we spanking the kids, are we talking and coaching or are we doing both? No matter how happy you are now, if you're against physical discipline and your spouse is not, you will slowly learn to resent and dislike him/her each time a spanking is doled out. Discuss it NOW and avoid a surprise.

  • Ok, religion
    How important is it and how will we teach the kids?

  • Communications, cheating
    I don't care how many conversations you have, no one will ever openly state that they "may cheat". A key here is to be undoubtedly sure that the precedent is set for open communication. If a wife is not happy, the FIRST action on her part should be to talk to the husband (and vice versa). The only way to do this consistently is to talk; not yell, not argue, but talk like civilized people. If you become enraged every time your spouse tries to talk to you, you are pushing away an opportunity to fix a problem. Take time out and actually LISTEN. Marriage is not an argument or a punishment unless you make it one.
There are clearly a lot of other things to consider. Bad choices are going to made regardless of how thorough you plan; that's life. You wouldn't go on a 1,500 mile road trip without putting some thought into it and your marriage should be thought of in the same way. By planning and talking, the aim is to minimize the possible obstacles by first identifying them and getting them out in the open before they reach a critical, war-type, level.

What do you wish you discussed or planned before tying the knot? Feel free to leave an anonymous comment - perhaps it will help others.


Written on 10/2/2007 by me, Jay White, the founder of Dumb Little Man and an all around average guy. Republished on 7/18/09.Photo Credit: SimonShaw

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Click here to go there

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just Get It Done

There is a debate on whether we are more productive today compared to 25 years ago and as I look around my work environment and compare it to what it was like in the 1980's, there is a big difference.

In 1986 I went to work for a Detroit radio station. During the eight years that I was there, we had limited use of computers.

The "Program Logs" which told the disc jockey's what commercials to play were a form that was typed on a typewriter. It was a major advance when we recieved word processors that allowed us to type our words and have them appear on a screen, make corrections and then save them to a floppy disk or print them!

Cellphones were Carphones that plugged into the cigarette lighter and only a couple of people at the station had them. The rest of us carried quarters or dimes for the pay phones to check in while we were on the road.

Today, I have a laptop that contains everything that I need to do my work where ever I have an internet connection, which is wireless. Job functions have changed and the radio stations I work for now can be completely automated, except we choose to be live most of the time.

Take a look at this from the DLM blog:

Multi-Tasking vs Mono-Tasking

Posted: 12 Aug 2009 04:55 AM PDT

A few years ago, “multi-tasking” was the buzz word of the day. If you couldn’t juggle emails, phone calls, write that big report, tidy your desk and eat a sandwich all at the same time ... you just weren’t working effectively.

There’s a growing focus now on what I think of as “mono-tasking”: deliberately concentrating on one thing at a time in order to avoid procrastination, maintain focus, and achieve a state of flow in your work.

So how do you know when you should “multi-task” and when you should “mono-task”? And how do you manage to do the latter?

Multi-Tasking vs Mono-Tasking

Some things lend themselves brilliantly to multi-tasking. These tend to be activities which are purely physical, or which by their nature take a set amount of time to complete – however well you focus. A few examples are:
  • Childcare. You need to be present for a set amount of time – interacting intensely with the kids won’t make that necessary time any shorter!

  • Household chores. These mainly require physical action, not mental activity.

  • Commuting to work. If you take public transport, you can read. Drivers can listen to audio material. Even better, combine commuting with exercising and ride to work!
One great way to make the most of these activities is to add in something extra. Audio tapes or podcasts work especially well: you can listen to these in the car, in the gym or while doing tasks around the house, and they can be a great way to fit in some learning that you otherwise wouldn’t have time for.

Other tasks such as childcare or reception work (or working in a quiet shop) leave you free to make notes, read, knit, or do something else creative or mentally active.

But there are plenty of times when mono-tasking is the most effective method: usually for tasks which require concentrated focus, and where the completion time is dependent on you. This might be:
  • Writing an essay or term paper for school

  • Reading a book (you can play audio at double speed, but it’s much easier to speed-read a book)

  • Carrying out research online

  • Writing a report or other large document
In each of these cases, attempting to multi-task only delay completion of the task (and lose focus, potentially forgetting important aspects or not doing such a good job). If you need to use the internet as part of the task, it’s incredibly easy to get distracted by emails, Twitter, web surfing...

Focusing On Mono-Tasks
Most of my “big” tasks involve writing (I’m a freelance writer and I’m also taking an MA in creative writing). My favorite way to focus and mono-task is to use a full-screen word processing program (I like Dark Room for the PC). This means I’m not distracted by toolbars, formatting options, or anything except the text in front of me.

Other things that work well are:
  • Setting a time limit for working intensely. Try writing or working for 30 minutes then take a break. This seriously helps with the urge to check email or procrastinate!

  • Recognizing when you’re losing focus. If you think “I should check my email” or “I need to do the dishes”, remind yourself (silently) “No, I’m writing my report at the moment”.

  • Minimizing interruptions. You might be able to conquer your own impulses, but what about interruptions from outside? Turning off the phone or closing the office door can help here.

  • Writing down distractions. If you think of something that you need to remember (“I must buy milk”), then jot it down on a bit of paper. This stops it clogging up mental space.
Mono-tasking is most effective when you’re working in a deliberate way towards planned goals. This micro-focus goes hand -in-hand with a wider focus on what you want from life.

It’s not easy to stay focused, especially in the information age – there are so many distractions and often a lot of mental clutter going on. But the more you practice mono-tasking, the easier it will be. If you’ve got any tips for maintaining focus on a single task, let us know in the comments!

Written on 8/12/2009 by Ali Hale. Ali is a professional writer and blogger, and a part-time postgraduate student of creative writing. If you need a hand with any sort of written project, drop her a line ( or check out her website at Aliventures.Photo Credit: Whatsername?

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Close enough. Click here to go there.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Video Time: 90 seconds

I am posting this video not just for you, but for me too.

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Click here to go there

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Become "The MAN"

from the ArtOfManliness Blog:

Command a Room Like a Man

Posted: 27 Jul 2009 10:14 PM PDT

commandSource: Life

We’ve probably all seen those men who can enter any room and instantly command it. I’m not talking about the loud and boisterous dolt who makes a scene with obnoxious alpha-male jackassery. I’m talking about the man who exudes a silent magnetic charisma that electrifies the entire room just by his presence. People feel better when this type of man is around and they want to be near him.

The benefits of being able to walk into any social situation and completely own it are innumerable. The man who can command a room is more persuasive in his business presentations, easily meets and makes friends, and attracts more women. While many men are born with the ability to charismatically command a room, it can also be learned. Below we’ve provided a few tips to get you started on being El Capitan of any social or professional situation.

Walk in boldly. Many men walk into a room timidly because they don’t want to appear presumptions or self-important. While you shouldn’t barge into people’s home, once you’re invited in, walk in with a bit of pep in your step. You’re supposed to be there, so act like it.

Theodore Roosevelt was a master at walking into a room boldly. In 1881, Roosevelt was elected to the New York Assembly at the age of 23. Accounts from fellow assemblymen on Roosevelt’s first day in office all describe the impressive entrance of the young man. They recall him bursting through the doors and pausing just for a moment so people could soak him in. According to historian Edmund Morris, this became a lifelong habit of Roosevelt’s; he would literally bound from room to room in the White House. Take a lesson from TR: save the walking softly business for your rhetoric.

Hold your breath when you walk in. Win the Crowd author and Magician to the Millionaires Steve Cohen has a trick that he does before we walks onto a stage or into room to perform. Before he makes his appearance, he takes a deep breath, filling all of his lungs. He then holds his breath and walks into the room. As he talks, the air is naturally exhaled. This simple action increases blood to your face and makes you look “more radiant and lively,” and consequently more confident. In addition, taking a deep breath and holding it also makes you taller, which brings us to our next point….

Stand up straight! Numerous studies have proven that people are attracted to taller men. Taller men get paid more and they get more women. Unfortunately, not all of us were born with Shaq-like height. Don’t sweat it. Just work with what you got. Work on improving your posture. When you enter a room, don’t walk in with shoulders slouched and your head facing down like a whipped puppy. Show your confidence by walking in with your back straight and your chin up. Try not to stick your chest out too much or else it will look like you’re posturing like a silverback gorilla. Just maintain your natural and correct posture. By doing this, you’ll add inches to your frame and increase your presence in the room.

Take control of your surroundings. We feel most self-assured and at ease when we’re familiar with our surroundings. Familiarity gives us a sense of control, which makes us feel confident. How can you be familiar with a room if it’s your first time entering it? Steve Cohen suggests doing small things to instantly take control of your surroundings. For example, when you sit down at a table in a restaurant, rearrange things on the table. Move a saltshaker or your water glass. It sounds silly, but by doing this you tell your subconscious that you have control (even if it’s nominal) of your surroundings, which in turns makes you more confident and magnetic. Look for small but polite ways in which you can take control of your surroundings in your everyday activities. You might be amazed by the results.

Make eye contact. Every book on self-confidence or assertiveness will tell you that a simple way to increase your presence in a room and your connection with other people is to look them in the eye. The reason it’s repeated ad nauseam is because it works. Eye contact is key to creating a connection with people. History’s most magnetic men all had the ability of making a person feel like they were the only person there. Bill Clinton is a perfect example of this. Adroit use of eye contact is an essential part of this ability.

Eye contact should be engaging, but not overbearing. Don’t stare a person down non-stop. You’ll just creep them out. Look into their eyes, while occasionally flitting yours to the sides of their head and then back. If you have trouble looking people in the eye, try this tip. Take notice of what color eyes the person you’re talking with has. Are they green? Blue? Brown? Or do they have a unique mix? Not only does this help maintain eye contact with people, it’s also a great way to remember people’s names. After taking note of a person’s eye color, start associating that color with their name. You’ll gain bonus charisma points for being able to recall their name during the conversation.

Eliminate filler words. A nervous tick that plagues many men is filling the space between their words with needless “ummms,” “yeah’s” and “like’s.” Using filler words is not only distracting, it shows that you’re not confident in what you’re saying. If you’re going to say something, say it with ganas, hombre! Don’t muddle up the conversation with needless filler.

But what should you do in those moments when you’re still collecting your thoughts as you speak? Our natural tendency is to fill the air with an “uuumm” or a quick blast of several “likes.” But fight the urge to do this. Instead embrace the silence. As you come to moments in the conversation where you have to collect your thoughts, just keep your mouth shut. This does two things. First, you eliminate the distraction of the annoying filler words. Second, and more importantly, you draw people in closer to you by creating anticipation in what you’re about to say. By remaining silent, you pique the curiosity of your listener and subtly take control of the situation. Of course, avoid too many long pauses; that will only make you seem awkward.

Focus on other people. If there’s anything you take away from this article, let it be this. If you really want to be the man in the room that people are drawn to, focus your interest on them. Many men have the false idea that if you want to command the room, you have to make everything about you. These misguided souls wear flashy jewelry or skin tight clothing that shows off their well-chiseled body. Their conversation focuses on them- their cars, their bench press, their sexual exploits, etc. While a few pinheads will be impressed with this sort of thing, the vast majority of the population will think it’s a bunch crap.

The reality is that the magnetic gentleman-the man who can walk into any room and own it- is others focused. People want to feel loved, appreciated, and important. Sadly, many people these days aren’t feeling much of that. Perhaps their boss never compliments them or their wife never voices any appreciation for all that they do. If you can fill that void in people’s lives by focusing on them and acknowledging their importance, you’ll instantly bring them under your magnetic influence.

Think back to a time when someone genuinely complimented you. How did you feel? Pretty damn good, probably. How did you feel about the person giving the compliment? Admit it. You most likely thought, “Wow, I really like this guy!” It’s only human nature. We’re drawn to people who show an interest in us. People are like mirrors. When we shine a light on a person, they reflect that light back on us. If we shine a light on every person in the room, we end up being the brightest man there.

So, next time you enter a room, forget being charming. Hell, forget about commanding the room. Just focus on how you can make others feel important. The charm and the room will follow naturally.

Have any other ideas on commanding a room like a man? Drop a line in the comment box.

Fort Wayne Site-of-the-Day

Click here to go there