Personal Development

Self confidence – is it what women want?

Posted on July 26, 2011. Filed under: Gender Relations, Personal Development |

The question of what women want has been with us since God (if you’re religiously inclined) created women. I doubt even God could tell us what women want, and no I’m not being blasphemous. Don’t you think he would have revealed it to some ‘holy man’ by now? … Moving on

I’ve observed and interacted with thousands of women (I’m not boasting or exaggerating) over the years. These interactions have taken on various kinds, but I have always sought to learn something new about them every time. So below, I’ve just put forward something for us all to consider.

I don’t know if the question will be answered at the end, but I do hope to provoke thought and promote further discourse on the matter.

Self esteem/Self confidence and materialism
I live in an age and an era where the media bombards us with sexually charged images. Nude or semi-nude woman parade across our magazines, TV series, commercials, movies, mobile phones and oh yes, who can forget porn available everywhere.

So we’re now in an environment where as a man I’m sexually stimulated everyday, but the girls/women aren’t necessarily any easier to come by than say 10 years ago when I was just starting university.

The truth is though that the sexual messages in media tend to frustrate many men and may even lower their self esteem. Probably because the women seem ‘easy’ in the ads etc. but tend to be a little more difficult to break down in reality. The girls in the ads and movies are ‘hot and sexy’. The real-life hot and sexy girls don’t come so easily, so there’s all this temptation in the flesh, but they can’t get the flesh they want to come home with them. Many men either lower their standards and go for more “available flesh” or try using money or material things to lure the flesh home. *geez, don’t i sound callous*

The end result is often than many men just view women as sex objects and some even get hostile towards women when their sexual advances are declined.

Materialism and erosion of self esteem
These days we are ‘defined’ by what we buy or own. The food you eat or drinks you have are supposed to ‘express’ who you are as an individual. Think about it, who would you be more attracted to a sardine eater or a lobster eater? Would you go for someone taking a bus or someone who’s driven around in a luxury vehicle? *for the men, if you could have Beyonce, would you take Solange? If you don’t know who Solange is, do a google search*

Anyhow, studies consistently show that most women aren’t impressed by what men drink or drive. I wonder if women lie on these surveys, lol. The stats exist, so we just have to work with them

In this consumer/market driven global economy (capitalism) men who are self confident and don’t have to dance to the “beat of the drum of the world” are often not highlighted or should I say ‘popular’. You see, in this capitalist existence large companies want a society of wimps and ‘lackies’ who are easily swept by any wave which spews from their respective marketing/PR departments. These corporations profit off people’s (men’s) low self esteem.

I think the advertising strategies are aimed at increasing materialism and insecurity so that the audience (particularly men) will conform to whatever ‘values’ a company or campaign seek to instill. We’re told that we “deserve the best” (meaning whatever the company is selling). “The best” is often advertised to us as something which is accompanied by beautiful young women.

Let me just say that it’s natural for most of us guys to seek beautiful women, but if our self worth depends on how the wife/girlfriend looks then she’s gonna leave pretty fast.

No matter how beautiful/attractive a woman may think/know she is I personally believe that no woman wants to be valued solely for her ability to boost a mans ego or enhance his self esteem.

Sad truths
Self esteem or self confidence in men tends to decline as more and more women earn the same incomes as men do. I’ve heard it in barber shops and bars – I mean, where else to get the real pulse of my gender, right? lol

Another sad truth is that lotsa men assume that money is the key to attracting women and even get depressed because they are not rich/wealthy.

Learn this my brothers, and I am unapologetic about it, women who are ONLY attracted to men because of their wealth are whores. They don’t want a man or a relationship, they want the money. Basically they’re doing a job – the oldest profession in the world aka prostitution!

Research backed by statistics show that real women (meaning not whores) are engineered biologically to be attracted to men who have self confidence and not afraid to take risks. However, these biological inclinations sometimes become eroded by societal pressures influenced by capitalism (money and advertising).

I still believe that a real woman (the one who would make an excellent wife or girlfriend) wants a man who is self confident, purposeful, driven and adventurous.

As a man I implore you to seek for these women and leave the whores be.

Having money in your wallet or bank account isn’t what attracts the type of woman who will make a good wife/girlfriend. Those women know that fortunes are won and lost but men with self-confidence bounce back.

Those women won’t leave you when the economy crashes or if you lose your job. That’s why it’s self-confidence and not financial assets is what real women want.

Think on these things.

*I’m sure the list of things women seek in a mate goes further than self confidence, but with that quality so many other things can develop*

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The Joy of the Barber Shop

Posted on January 9, 2011. Filed under: Personal Development |

So I recently posted “the curse of the hairdresser” and some friends challenged me to write about the barber shop.

Once up on a time I never had control over how my hair was groomed. This was the period between 1980 and 1994 when my grooming was fully financed by my mother with her iron fist. At 14 she ‘allowed’ me to instruct the barber on how to cut my hair. I recall the regret and embarrassment I felt on going home with a “fade” only having to return to the barber for him to adjust it based on my mom’s specifications 😦

The years passed and I moved out and weaned myself off mom’s coffers. The barber shop experience for me is alot different from childhood and teen years. I enjoy my barber shop experience because it’s almost like a bar. It’s a great place to relax, take a load off, make new acquaintances, have spirited intelligent discussions, conduct business, expand network and so much more. All of this in a relatively short time. For us, the barber shop represents a place where you can get away without having to drink, especially during the middle of the hectic work day.

Just like women, men are loyal to their barbers. I’ve had only 3 barbers in 30 years. 1 in Westmoreland and the other 2 were recommended by very close friends upon my migration to Kingston. Would I use any others while in Kingston? Only if my current barbers die *knocking on wood*. Men don’t have to worry about the barber spoiling their hair as there’s usually a constant review of the progress from start to finish. I can hardly recall hearing a man say “u know say do barber spoil mi head today”

Rarely does a man have to spend more than an hour in a barber shop – that includes wait time and the actual grooming. Men (clients) and barbers seem to have a great respect for time. If make an appointment with my barber and arrive punctually, he won’t have anyone in the chair – rare exceptions exist. If I call on short notice he’ll advise me about the best time to come based on who’s now in the chair, who’s waiting and who he’s expecting. I plan my business to factor in a trip to the barber knowing it won’t be to the detriment of any other activity scheduled after the grooming session.

Men know we can take the wife/girlfriend or child to the barber shop and not inconvenience them or worry about what will be said there. For fathers and sons, the barber shop can be a real bonding experience.

As for the conversations in the barber shop the topics don’t vary much; sports, sex, relationships, the economy, world affairs and politics. There’s some amount of gossip, but it’s usually gossip everyone sees in media; rarely is it the personal type of “he said she said” bullshit.

In closing though, the real joy of the barber shop comes in that feeling of restored confidence that a fresh grooming brings. Men walk out of a barber shop feeling like a million bucks even if a mirror would point out their ogreish appearance. In a man’s mind after leaving the barber is the feeling that “I got my swag back”. He now walks with his head high, shoulders square, back straight and a pep in his step.

ahhh, the joy of the barber shop.

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the curse of the hairdresser

Posted on January 4, 2011. Filed under: Personal Development |

Ever since I was a wee little lad my mom had me on her arm like Gucci bag. I was her shadow. I’ll never forget how many of my Saturday afternoons were shattered to bits because I had to sit down in Andrea’s Hair Parlour and wait for hours until mom got her swag back. With the endless chatting, bickering and gossiping, who needed the STAR or ENQUIRER? as client after client reported to her like journalists feeding an editor.

Apparently the hairdresser is very important in a woman’s life. More important than a man, orgasms, clothes, accessories and maybe even money. While a woman will have multiple lovers or move from partner to partner they will not just change hairdressers. A woman will remain faithful to her hairdresser. A hairdresser gives women “beauty insurance” that no other person(or object) can offer.

Nothing changes a woman more than a great hairdo or a bad one. The hairdresser therefore becomes a sort of magician to her. A day at the spa for a beauty treatment has less of an effect on a woman than a session at the hairdresser’s. I’ve discovered that the best advice you can give to a woman who’s feeling down is to get her hair done.

Queens, princesses and film stars travel with their personal hairdressers, who thus acquire a status equivalent to that of a secretary or advisor. Hairdressers have become important businessmen, they do more than curl hair, they have boutiques for selling wigs and all sorts of frivolous accessories capable of tempting a woman who is in a good mood because she is feeling beautiful. Hairdressers know all the advantages to be found in exploiting feminine laziness and vanity.

Going to the hairdresser’s thus represents for most women relaxation, luxury and pleasure. She arrives in a pleasant environment where an entire organization is waiting for her in order to make her more beautiful. Now the woman can talk about herself and not to be interrupted.

Here’s what women talk about: EVERYTHING, EVERY DAMN THING -health, travels, parties, sex, relationship problems, the economy, relationship problems, gossip, and finally relationship problems.

It’s easy to see why the hairdressers and even the manicurists who have to listen to all these issues ten hours a day become a little jaded. If women only knew what the hairdresser generally thinks of them, they’d probably chat less in the chair and seek to get out of the salon in a rush.

Ladies try to remember that hairdressers too perhaps have a few personal problems. Take an interest in them, or at least refrain from weighing them down with yours as well. Let me also add that there needs to be a great respect for your time, the hairdresser’s time, the other clients’ time and last but not least, THE MEN WHO HAVE TO WAIT ON YOUR ASS TO GET STYLED!

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Mortality – just deal with it

Posted on December 1, 2010. Filed under: Personal Development |

The past 2 years of my life have seen numerous changes. Chief among them are the birth of my daughter and the deteriorating health of my mother. these two occurrences have left me torn. I’ve been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster, for in the midst of the joy of watching the little one grow, there’s the sorrow of watching mommy go.

These two completely opposite experiences have put so many things into perspective for me. Never before have I thought of death and my own mortality in such a serious way. There are times while playing with my daughter that I recall my days as a child playing mom.  Now, I can’t play with mom anymore; her body just can’t handle it. One day I’ll get to that point as an adult.

As my daughter ages, so will I and I must confess, it’s a scary thought. Deep down, while I’m not worried about what will happen when I die, the truth is that I don’t want to die. There’s a quote which states “everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die”; it’s so true.

I’m overwhelmed with emotion as I type this. It’s 6:37am and the little one is running around and disturbing the peace. A mere 28 years ago that was me. In another 28 years, she’ll assume my role as a parent and I’ll be headed in a similar direction as my mom. The cycle of life, sigh.

I brought up this whole mortality conversation with a friend recently, his response was that the main thing involved with not being able to cope with mortality is fear. Fear is caused by the understanding that there is no control over this fact of life. I suppose we all must accept it as the one of life’s truths. Once the fear is gone, I guess it is not an issue.

The value of life lies in the journey, and not the destination. Make your life be of value to yourself and as many as you can reach. Don’t worry about becoming “big and important”. Some of the most influential individuals that have ever lived are persons are people we’ve never heard of. Their influence was felt by their families and those in their communities. No matter how ‘unimportant’ you feel you are to the rest of the world, be happy you had the opportunity to influence others.

That realisation has made me more comfortable with accepting that I’m only going to be here for a time and one day I have to go. I’ve recognised that change is a neccessity, and so the only plausible possibility is acceptance.

 

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Marriage – good stuff

Posted on November 22, 2010. Filed under: Personal Development |

Recently I wrote about not rushing to end single life. Shortly after posting, some of my married friends contacted me speaking about their “wedded bliss”, others complained about life with their spouse. Since I’m all about being balanced, I thought it would only be fair to “big up” marriage.

Statistics locally and globally show a decline in number of marriages annually. There are numerous reasons for this but that’s not what this blog is about. A single female friend commented to me the other day that married men might be a dying breed and ‘marryable’ men might need a lifeline soon too.

Marriage for many men is a scary prospect. We love change and marriage doesn’t seem to offer many options or freedoms. I’m however minded by the fact that every woman/wife is different, so a man must make an extremely careful choice when considering a mate to be with permanently.

Many men think marriage is for suckers/whimps. Some view it as the final nail in their coffin, but still hope to get married someday. Truth be told, I think being married is ultimately way better than being single. Marriage is a lofty ambition that I will attain long before

Various studies have indicated that HAPPILY married men tend to outlive single men. A 2006 study performed by University of California researchers contended that single people are five times more likely to die of infectious disease, nearly 40% more likely to die of heart disease and twice as likely to die accidentally. Other studies suggest that the rate of mortality is a whopping 250% higher among single men than it is among married men.

Another married friend of mine pointed out that being married means sharing expenses. He (and his wife) can afford things they would have a real challenge acquiring individually. I love being a father and it’s one experience almost every man wants, but don’t have a  hav to be married to start a family. However, marriage is the most stable and secure environment in which to start a family. Plus when you’re married and raising children you avoid the clumsy ways of describing the “other” parent. You know, like “Baby mama/daddy” or any other such description. Marriage, another friend says is an investment in the future. He’s 53 and says he doesn’t regret giving up the wild orgies of his single 20’s. “Garth, mi nuh sexy like one time. Dem young gal yah wouldn’t want me now, is me money dem woulda want. Mi wife love me and she want me so dat we can gwaan grow old together.” I agree with him, neither of them will have to ‘age alone’.

Years ago I tried an experiment. For 6months I wore a wedding band just to see how my exploits with women would change. Women love a taken man. The ring made very little difference to most of the women with whom I flirted. They all found it amusing after I revealed that the ring was nothing more than an experiment. So I guess a married man’s ego can be stroked should by women who are “attracted to the ring”. Hopefully he’s a faithful husband who won’t allow any woman but his wife to stroke anything else of his.

Business favours married couples. Insurance, taxes, home loans, car loans you name it, it’s all easier to access if you’re married. Is anyone gonna lobby against that?

Married couples know each other; they have a feel for each others’ bodies and are aware of their partner’s fantasies. As a result, married sex is better than single sex. A long, stable relationship lends itself to sexual experimentation. Admit it; there are things you’d love to try in bed that you’ve never told anyone because you were afraid of being judged. But in a long-term relationship founded on trust, you can give voice to your innermost desires.

I read online that married people are happier than single people. I have trouble believing that because most of the miserable people I know are married, lol. Anyhow, a recent study at an Australian university shows that married men are happier than single men. In fact, married men are 135% more likely to report a happiness score than single men. The U.W.I. should carry out a similar research in the Caribbean.

I’m sure there are lots more great things to highlight about marriage, but until I take that step I doubt I’ll know what those things are.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not married! All I did was have a conversation with a few of my married friends and did some research online.

 

 

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Loving yourself

Posted on November 10, 2010. Filed under: Personal Development |

For most of you who know me personally, when you read the title of the note you thought I was going to launch off into the “Wild World of Whacking Off”, lol. I’ll save that topic for another time.

Do you want someone to love you unconditionally? Well, do you give yourself 100 percent unconditional love? If we really expect others to love us unconditionally, then we have to love ourselves first.

It is easy to point the finger at our significant other and say all of the things that are wrong with them. It is harder to point our fingers at ourselves and ask, “Why is this my experience?” It’s hard to look at our past and present to see why we are experiencing a lack of self-love.

Unfortunately our society and our educational system don’t give us the knowledge we need to build this sense of love for ourselves. There is no “how-to” manual. Our family is the only structure that offers us a hint of this 100 percent unconditional love, and if we were raised in a semi-dysfunctional (or extremely dysfunctional) family, then the odds of finding it are against us.

At some point in our lives, we have to come to the decision to love ourselves, for our personal benefit and for the benefit of those who love us. A lack of self-love will ultimately turn an optimistic relationship into an unhappy one because neither person will be able to express unconditional love.

Learning to embrace yourself and love yourself unconditionally isn’t easy. What do we need to do?

Acknowledge that you have to love yourself unconditionally before you can love anyone else.

Accept that your self-love can only come from you.

Start with yourself, you have to stop looking to others for love.

Nurture yourself like you were a baby. Treat yourself to a solo dinner, go to a spa by yourself, tell yourself that you are beautiful.

Discover all the things there are to love about yourself. You can ask friends to tell you what they like about you as well as thinking about the things you love about yourself.

See what your strengths are, and build your life around them.

In the end I hope you will finally attract the love in your life that you were missing before.

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Happiness – you can help yourself get it

Posted on October 26, 2010. Filed under: Personal Development |

Happiness is a subjective matter. What makes me happy may not be enough to make some one else feel the same. I believe though that there are common principles and practices among people who consider themselves happy. Thankfully, you don’t have to be rich to be happy; being rich helps for sure, but on its own, riches won’t make you happy. Too often we measure happiness by financial standing and that will will distact you from the bigger picture of happinesss

I can’t think of 1 bit of scientific evidence that can help us absolutely determine happiness, probably God alone could do that and then not everybody believes in the existence of a supreme creator – God.

I don’t know though if scientists will get to a point where they can give you a formula for happiness, but here are some of the things I do which have made me a “happy man”.

Being fair

It’s no secret that I know and interact with lotsa people. It’s always a great feeling when I can participate in activities where everyone is treated fairly and they can accept the results without feeling cheated or shortchanged. Sometimes it comes at some personal cost, but my reward is the smiles of satisfaction and the good referrals.

No bad vibes and “carrying feelings”

Take my word, holding grudges robs you of your joy. I hate when I go out and see someone who pissed me off and I haven’t gotten over it. Instead of focusing on the current environment I’m giving them my energy and then I lose out on having a good time. Lotsa times they don’t even know I’m around nor do they care if I’m mad or not. The ability to forgive and forget, to go with the flow, or just move on from a bad situation is what keeps me going. If you wrong me, I’m confident that the BITCH called KARMA is gonna get you, so I’m over you as quickly as possible.

Having lots of friendships

Extroverts are happier than introverts and they live longer lives, in part because they can spend time in the company offriends and family or they can spend time alone, according to happiness researcher Ed Diener. Being extroverted and having a wide social circle is a major factor in why I consider myself happy. It’s just a joy to reach out and impact on people’s lives in a positive way.At any rate, it’s a reason to justify spending time on social networking sites.

Being spiritual (not necessarily Christian)

I’m in Jamaica and as a result I”m christian. If Saudi Arabia were my native land then I would have been a Muslim and not any less happy because of my religion. I can’t explain happy Atheists though. Anyhow, research has shown a clear correlation between a person’s “strength of religious affiliation and their self-reported levels of happiness and satisfaction with their lives. My religious affiliations and practices have lead me to a greater network of support and also a feeling of hope that God will work out every situation even in the darkest hour

Planning ahead

There’s method to my apparent madness. I usually calculate my moves and plan my activities. There are aspects of my future that I can control significantly. This gives me virtual certainty that things will go the way I want them to and when I get my way it makes me happy 🙂

Dare to dream

I don’t wait for night time or when I’m “under the influence” to dream. I sit and think and envision all the things I’d like to achieve. In my mind, I’m the happiest man alive.

Doing “it”

I’m not talking about sex, you perverts, even though sex makes me very happy. I’ve got 1 life to live and I’m not going to be the man who looks back and has a long list of things he wished he did. I make a concerted effort to do it all. Every fantasy, every hope, every dream, I go for it. I’m not content just watching it on TV or seeing it online. I’m happiest when I’m doing “it”, whatever “it” is. My field of experiences gives me alot to reflect on and usually with a big smile on my face.

Controlling my life

I do me! It’s as simple as that. Leaving my life up to “destiny” or “fate” or “God’s divine plan” is something I just don’t do. The bible says “God helps those who help themselves” so I figure if I’m helping myself achieve goals, then God will help me to do the ones He’s cool with. I’m not short on confidence or low on morale because I have the biggest say in where I am and what I get done. Sure, I make mistakes, some of them are outright fun. I learn from the errors and aim never to repeat them. Speaking of controlling my life, I go out of my way to make sure I don’t run amok of the law so I don’t end up behind bars, ’cause that would mean I’d lose control and that’s gonna decrease my happiness.

Laughing alot

I look for the lighter side of most situations without losing sight of the gravity of different situations. I’m never afraid to laugh and enjoy a moment. When the situation is grave then I do the responsible thing, which is to be respectful and sober. I’m always hopeful though to get a smile and to look for the proverbial “silver lining”

AND FINALLY…

Liking myself

I don’t need anyone else to like me but me. If all the world loved and adored me but I didn’t like myself then I’d still be unhappy.I think I’m a great guy and I make good company. My self-esteem is high, after-all, I think highly of my own intelligence. Sounds like I’m borderline narcissistic, lol. I’m sure you get what I’m saying.

I hope this has been helpful, that would make me happier. Lemme know what you think and be sure to share with a friend.

My reading lead me to a place called  the ‘World Database of Happiness’ in Rotterdam, that is self-described as a “continuous register of scientific research on subjective appreciation of life.” Additionally, there’s an 800 page book called Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification which outlines all the characteristics, behaviors and conditions that lead to happiness. But who’s gonna read that?

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