Quote of the Day, July 3, 2014: “The philosophy of the rich versus the poor is this: The rich invest their money and then spend what is left; The poor spend their money and then invest what is left.”

I’m going to avoid the obvious meaning of the saying, that is money, and I’m going to offer an alternative view, albeit a parallel one.

I play piano. Better than some, and worse than others. I’ll leave it at that. Without going into my long history with the instrument, which included lessons while I was a young boy that I loathed at times, I will say that I fell in love and got the bug during my time at university.

There I met many pianists, guitarists, bassoonists, and all types of musicians of varying skill levels. Some were professionals already hoping to hone their skills under the tutelage of those even more advanced than they. Some may as well have been beginners, seemingly having had decided to make music their major at the last minute while registering for classes. I would have fallen in the latter category, with the exception that music was not my major at all, just a newfound love.

Though I started out behind most pianists I met, my deep desire aroused in me a rare type of discipline. The kind one usually notices in a man trying to woo a woman. I had a goal and a drive to attain it that surpassed my desires for anything else at the time, women included. I found myself “borrowing” any sheet music I could get my hands on. I found myself ditching class in order to practice. I may have ‘allowed’ the secretary at the music department to believe I was a music major so as to have access to pianos to practice on. It was so bad that I even distinctly remember blowing of an incredibly attractive blonde cheerleader (whom I had a pretty sizable crush on at the time) for a party that she really wanted me to attend with her, so that I could solidify a piece of music that I had been working on all week. So instead of partying with her, which would have been the “logical” college thing to do at the time, I instead was running my fingers over the smooth ivory keys of a baby grand deep into the night on a sultry Friday evening.first steps pic

To put it short. What I wanted above all things at that time was proficiency at the piano. I asked questions about the piano. I dreamt about the piano. I played air piano on my binder in class. And most importantly I spend my time and energy on my goal, the piano. Looking back, until my father’s death, which deadened my drive for some time, I practiced piano for an average of 4 hours a day. When my fingers hurt, or when the practice rooms were closed for a holiday, and I had some free time, then I’d go to the party or hang out with the guys. They understood though. They had drives too.

There were those who didn’t understand though. They said they wanted to be good at the piano or perhaps another instrument, but every time there was a party you’d be sure to see them there. Any time there was a cute girl to be distracted by they were ready to give her their undivided attention. On the occasional Wednesday leading up to the Thanksgiving weekend you’d see them in the practice rooms, mostly because everyone else had gone home and they were getting some practicing in to stave off boredom.

Now years later, my close friends, the ones who understood when I wasn’t at the party every Friday night, mostly because they were also ditching the party, and in the practice room down the hall from me, gig all the time. Many have become professionals and live completely off their instrument, or the royalties from music they write or perform. They have become rich beyond their wildest dreams when it comes to opportunities to use the musical talents they have spent a lifetime developing. Our other friends look at us and say, “Well you’re just a lot more talented than I am. I wish I was born with as much rhythm as you,” always thinking that it was some sort of luck of the draw or a genetic disposition that created such a gap in the wealth of musical ability. At this point there is not much to say that they will believe or understand. After all, way back, when we only had two pennies of musical ability to rub together between the whole lot of us, they didn’t understand why we would spend so much time in the practice rooms, giving the piano the first and best hours of our day, and saving the left overs for the parties and the hanging out. They did exactly the opposite and gave the most to the women and the good times, and filled in the gaps with cultivating their skills.

But in the end both got what they desired. They truly wanted the women and the parties and they got them at that time, but now they do not have the musicality because they invested only the left-overs. We at the time, invested only our left overs in women and parties, and often felt left out when people forgot to invite us to get together, being accustomed to us not showing up in the first place. But we gave our best to the piano, and it is what has born fruit for us and continues to grow to this day, for after all, once you’re rich you tend to get richer.

So one gets a frat group of drinking buddies that extends deep into their 20s and perhaps 30s. The other gets a skill that if nurtured, keeps growing and satisfies both them and those around them. Each to his own philosophy, investing first one way, then spending the rest another, or visa versa. The thing is, by the time you’re this age, the musician is the party and always gets an invite, where the guy who’s got no skills but is merely a good time often gets forgotten. Oddly enough the old adage is true, that when it comes to the poor, no matter what type of commodity of currency you’re speaking of, it does seem that even what he has is taken from him. Invest wisely.

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Quote of the Day, June 13, 2014: “Wealth gained quickly will dwindle away, but the one who gathers little by little will become rich.”

We all want to get rich quick. That’s because we all either are in a bad financial situation, or simply lack the amount of resources to do what we truly want to do, and either way we want that problem alleviated now. Enter every get rich quick scheme imaginable to play on your emotional desire to have more resources, much more resources with the promise of delivering overnight. That kind of promise gets our emotions to flare and gets us to give in to whatever the scheme is in a frenzy, not because we actually think it’s a smart idea that will actually work, but more because we want it to work so bad we almost think we can will it into existence. We become the guy who spends his rent money on an exotic stock tip that’s supposed to beat the market, or the lady who loses all her friends pushing bath soaps for some MLM, or even the guy who buys a fixer upper and thinks by adding a coat of paint and some drapes he’ll turn around and sell it for $100k more than he bought it for. Or worse yet, the person who simply thinks that by hoping and praying and going along to get along that they will someday simply be given a promotion from their job, or get another job that pays an outlandish salary and then all their prayers will be answered. And of course the worst of all, the habitual lottery ticket purchaser.

Don’t get me wrong. All of these things have a place. Investing in the market is good if you actually have the money to spare and are realistic about the potential returns. This may be heresy to some but there are even a few multi-level marketing businesses that are worth their salt, provide value to their customers and put extra mailbox money in the middle man’s pocket. A couple adept at the ins and outs of real estate who aren’t afraid of a little hammering and sawdust can make millions flipping houses. People do get raises every day, and if they are smart about their extra money, an extra few dollars an hour could mean a complete change in lifestyle. And of course while most of us don’t know anyone personally, somebody out there does win the lottery every once in a while and aside from the taxes and the lottery curse, they could fill a pool with gold bars if they wanted to (although that would be a cool concept for a magazine photo shoot but dumb idea overall).

The point with all this is this. Wealth isn’t the word I want to choose because while it’s accurate, it doesn’t paint an accurate picture in the mind. Resources fits better. There are those of us who have a serious deficiency in resources. There are those of us who are fine but also lack the resources to do certain things that we dream about or want to do. But to suddenly get those resources overnight, while it would seem to be a God-send, and granted there are those of us out there who would do well, for the most part we wouldn’t really know what to do with them. When something grows over time we watch it. We learn its habits. We learn what slows its growth down and what seems to accelerate it. We learn just how much water and sunlight it needs so to speak. It’s almost a relationship, whether it be with a plant or with money and we watched the whole process. This way we know exactly where it came from and how to keep it going. When something springs up overnight we have a rough concept of where it may have come from, but we don’t have that deep understanding that comes with watching something with patience and discipline. I might by a stock today, and for some reason the market makes a jump and I sell it in a week and make thousands. In theory that can happen and that would be very fortunate, but it would be luck more than anything else. It kind of just happened and while I might say that I had a feeling or that company’s logo is my favorite color or whatever, the fact is I don’t really understand how and where that thousand bucks came from. I won’t be able to do it again. And even if I could the odds of keeping that up are astronomical.

Now if I took the time to study changes in the different markets. Look for indicators of booms and busts over several different industries over say, 80 years, then I might have a fighting chance at making some consistent money that doesn’t just grow and then drain out with every cycle. But that wasn’t quick. I had to take the time, a long time, to develop a relationship with the numbers and the financial climate and all of that to become proficient. I know where the money comes from and how it works. Now I can make it grow dependably.

It’s almost like coming into the age of science and leaving the age of magic in the past. When our ancestors relied heavily on the inconsistency of gods and goddesses that lurked within every rock or tree, all with conflicting agendas and different sets of powers to control the environment we lived in, the world was a much darker and seemingly confusing place. The concept of magic worked simply because it worked sometimes and it didn’t work other times. Life was, as they say brutish and short. Enter the age of science and reason, and yes while it has its own problems, for the sake of the illustration I’ll point out that people began to see that there was order to the universe. All things work together according to natural laws, not the arbitrary whims of a goddess over here battling against the desires of a god over there. There was a time when horseback was the fasted mode of travel, and while we saw birds covering great distances in short timespans, we could only fantasize about riding on the back of a Pegasus through the sky to our destination. We hadn’t put in the time yet to understand that those birds weren’t using magic, they were simply using laws built into the environment. The idea that perhaps with the right magic dust or the right incantation one could fly for a moment perhaps. Thousands of years later, after much trial and error, many crashes and many deaths even, we can fly anywhere we want in the world with such consistency that you are more likely to get bucked off a horse today than fall from the sky in a plane. This is because over time we’ve put in the effort and the discipline to have a consistent resource that only keeps getting better and better as the years go by because we have an intimate understanding of how and why it works.

Resources that come quickly and easily usually fade just as quickly and easily. That’s simply because we don’t really understand how we got it. Stocks feel like gambling. MLMs feel like money just grows out of feelings. Flipping seems kind of like playing Monopoly HGTV Edition. A raise or a promotion tends to feel arbitrary, and winning the lottery just means for whatever reason God likes you today. None of these things mean anything particularly useful to the recipient if they come easy or quickly. But if the skills and luck required for these and other forms of gaining resources are learned over time so that they actually stick in the mind and the mystery fades behind how they work over time, then even when things do happen quickly, the recipient has a firm understanding of the whys and hows and can use lucky breaks to continue to gain more resources is a much more controlled way.

Quote of the Day, March 9, 2014: “Don’t seek gain, seek growth.” (Extended Version)

This quote comes from my pastor, but it harkens back to a conversation I had two weeks ago with another gentleman about what the trouble is with our society and business, and in particular, with Christians and business. It all stemmed from him speaking about how when he first had kids he found an interest in finding out what the best way to educate them would be. He started out looking for a concise definition that he could accept for the word “eduction.” Education is something that we speak about all the time in our society. Our politicians talk about it and how they are going to fund this school and that set of teachers, and all in the sake of education, but they never really speak about what education is or what it’s for. Our parents want us to get a good education, and our teachers push us to get good grades and go higher and higher in our education but it’s still never quite defined for us. Is an education literally that piece of paper they give you at the end stating that now you have an education? Does it mean you can recite poetry and recall obscure battles and what dates the occurred. The definition that this man said he finally settled on after years of search was this: (Paraphrase) Education is preparing someone to respond to and engage with the world in an appropriate manner. I can guarantee that is a paraphrase although I’m doing my best to recall his exact words. I do believe the ones I’ve chosen speak to the heart of what he said though. He found that the idea behind education was teaching a young person that there is a big world out there with all kinds of ideas, and tools, and facts, and dangers and wonders and that person will need the intellectual and emotional tools to be able to interact with that world in a way that is #1 beneficial to them, and #2 should be beneficial to those they are interacting with.

Now in today’s day and age we usually harp on education for one thing and one thing only. Yes sure we pretend that you should get a good education so that you are a well-rounded person, or a productive member of society or something of that lofty and idealised nature, but the real reason people say get a good education because they believe that is the way to make money, and money is how you get what you want and need in this world. It is true that without some kind of education, you definitely will not have what you want, nor what you need in terms of money or much of any other type of success. But that education does not need to come from a class room. It can come from what has become far too much of a cliche for me to use without blushing; “the streets.” It can from from wisdom passed on from your parents. Or it can come from an institution set up for the purpose of educating young (or old) people. It can come from many types of places but the reality is that if you don’t learn how to engage with the world in a manner that correlates with what you want, which usually means giving someone what they want first, then you will not make it, nor will you make anything better.

How this carried over into business, and therefore connects with the quote is this. He said that whether all of us like it or not, and whether the other half of us believe it’s still the case or not, the fact remains that our society is heavily Christianized. This means that while there are plenty of us that do not subscribe to Christianity, or even subscribe to a deity at all for that matter, the culture we find ourselves in has been created and sustained by Christian peoples for the last several hundred years. Whether you think of it as lasting influence or baggage, the fact remains that the majority of our ideals are Christian ideals. This is on a subconscious level and wont’ easily be taken from us as a culture, though on the conscious level we may seek to attain these ideals in what appear to be radically secularised ways. For example, both our political parties seek to help the poor and the needy. One party simply thinks that the other is going about it the wrong way. One says the only way to help is to teach people to help themselves. The other says the only way to help people is to sort of do it for them in a way. Independent of which one is right and which one is wrong, both  take for granted that it is a good thing to help the needy and they get their reasoning in the first place from their shared Christian cultural ideals. If we didn’t have these ideals then we would be having debates on whether is was right or not to help the needy in the first place. Aside from being taken over by a culture that has radically different religious roots we will never see a debate on whether taking care of the poor and needy is a good thing or not in North America or Western Europe. We will however debate on how  to get this done, but never whether it should be done. Christianity teaches that those who are strong should take care of and make accommodations for those who are weak. Christianity teaches that those who have plenty should take care of those who are in need. Those are the givens in our society at a subconscious level, whether there are many other cultures who teach that those who are weak should show deference to those who are strong. This is why men hold doors for women, slavery of minority ethnic groups is outlawed, and children can’t work until they are 16. The confusion comes in when they play out on a day to day basis and we can see that we still have some maturing to do as a society. One place where we seem to have gotten confused, as a people, and as a still subconsciously Christian people is in business.

Business has become a dangerous word because it’s a slippery slope toward the word Big business which is certainly a curse word. And if big business is a curse word then ‘profits’ must be one of the most vulgar of all. In short this is because our subconscious religious heritage teaches us that there is more to life than what can be seen or touched. That is to say that there is not only more to our existence than material world but that there are things that actually supersede the material world. And all that money can buy are material things. It also teaches us that those who place too much importance on the material, at the expense of putting importance on the immaterial are fools and can lead to wickedness. And to top it all off, we have a directive to take care of the needy, and we almost always think of the needy in terms of material resources. There are plenty out there who ignore this religious and cultural directive to the point of doing the exact opposite and actually oppressing the needy. Because our culture is rather duplicitous at the moment, being intent on freeing our conscious behavior from the tyrannical shackles of Christianity and religion, but being forever subconsciously tied to it, we start to lose track of why  we believe some things are right and somethings are wrong, but still have an innate drive to carry out those rights and avoid those wrongs. When this confusion sets in, as it has for some time our society grows more and more politically chaotic and culturally schizophrenic. Instead of the potential oppressor being kept in check so as to never fall into the temptation of using his strength for ill, he becomes the very oppressed himself, in an effort to combat the ill dreamed up in a nightmare of one of the potentially oppressed, to give the oppressor a taste of his own medicine, a medicine that he hasn’t even necessarily concocted yet. Like a doctor sues book where fictional creatures are getting stars tattooed and then removed on them so fast that nobody can quite tell who the original perpetrator was, or if there ever was one, we take what is good, but has potential for evil, and then do that evil to them in the name of what is good, convoluting both entirely. Over time this develops not only a natural hatred for those with strength, any kind of strength really, which allows for many different kinds of people to fall into the category of being loathed by a confused society that is grappling with an innate sense of right, without acknowledging its source: corporations, men, whites, the rich, the religious majority, the educated, those with white collar jobs, the banking industry, the oil industry, attractive people, tall people, popular kids in school, whoever. If they have power, even if they aren’t wielding it, even if it’s only perceived power, because we’ve kept our ideals but thrown out the ‘manual’ so to speak, they are suspect and probably got that power from doing something bad.

Business and profits are no exception. The idea behind profits though, is that in the truest sense of the word, it does not mean gain, which is n excess of wealth, of fat really. And admittedly so, it has become that to many of us. When profit becomes gain, the acquisition of more and more, the consumption of more than is sufficient, then they are tainted and not only seen as greedy or distasteful by our fellow man (usually because of his own greed and jealousy) but it also goes against how God wants us to profit. That is because it is hard to gain in the sense of acquisition without taking form others. The true sense of the word profit is to grow. When we succeed in business or in any other part of life, we often retain excess with which we use to grow the good we are already doing. Success in business finds the growth of not only the business but the customer and the laborers as well. That is why the demonization of business and profit is understandable, seeing as we are culturally too confused to recognize good strength being used well versus ill-gotten strength being used poorly, and the fact that there are plenty out there who would prove this demonization to be justified with the way they conduct themselves. But this demonization is ultimately incorrect because it cannot recognize the need for and the command to grow as being contrasted against, but equally important to our command to take care of the needy. Growth strengthens those involved, while gain decays.

In business it is always better to focus on growth rather than gain. A child that ‘gains’ retains fat that is of little use to him and often slows him down. Aside from genetic reasons this often happens because of a sort of gluttony or a greed with food or the wrong types of food which ultimately makes the child weaker and weaker. A child who grows is eating the right kinds and the right amounts of food allowing him to get stronger and grow and do even more things as he approaches adulthood.

A business have profit, presumably because they are providing a service or a product that others need. They are not only providing this to people but doing it in an organized fashion that is dependable for their customers. This is a good thing and this good earns them profits. Some heads of companies take more and more of these profits and squander them on frivolities or keeping up with the business owner down the street. This luxury will eventually turn into fat because it is neither a wise nor helpful way to use those profits. But a company may also use those profits to do the good they are already doing, but more of it, or better. This is growth which in turn helps even more people on the outside but strengthens the company on the inside. Growth and change for the better is always a good thing. Acquiring for the sake of having more and more is not and usually leaves us with less or in a weakened state in the end. That’s simple enough.

Quote of the Day, December 19, 2013: “Why does a woman choose a man for his passions and strengths, and then one by one take them away from him?”

This quote of the day instantly struck a chord with many people. One thing that I find interesting is that I do not get many likes or comments on many of the Quotes of the Day but I get absolutely tons and tons of feedback in my private inbox.

I’m actually surprised at the number of women that are surprised by this quote. Just to be clear, this is not some secret message to my wife or to a past girlfriend or anything. To be honest my wife heard it on TV on a show but I could instantly relate, and I know many many men who can as well.

Basically what this quote is saying, something that I go into much more depth in in my book, that there are two competing desires and drives in a woman that influence her mating behavior. Women are attracted to the same things that they fear. They desire to be close to and connect themselves to the same things that also make them uneasy and insecure.

By this I mean, that women like men who are dedicated to something, disciplined, have a deep passion for and chase after goals. They like men who have honed skills that can entertain, or evoke admiration, or that can take care of them, or that can do any number of things for them. The problem arises when women fail to realize that all these things come from a passion and devotion and lots of risk taking that is focused toward those things, and not the woman directly.

And did I mention that many of them involve risk taking. Many women are all to eager to enjoy the spoils of a man’s war, but would never be involved in the struggle itself, and really would rather he didn’t bother with it either. The trouble is you cannot have one without the other. You cannot be a rock star without first having bloody fingers from hours and hours of practicing. You can’t sign an NBA shoe deal without first, and continuing to do thousands and thousands of suicides up and down the floor.

There are many women who get this, for they themselves have their own calloused fingers, and have to ice their knees after every game, but there are many women out there who will hunt down the pianist at the concert because his skills can fill them with desire, and yet lament the day they ever met a musician when he wont’ stop practicing so that they can go out to a party.  Both become unsatisfied and confused as the woman realizes that she turned down all the party guys for the disciplined guy who wasn’t so interested in how low cut her shirt was to begin with, but now that he’s exactly the same as he always was, she finds herself thinking about going to a party with a guy who just wants to drink and have a good time.

Those kinds of women, and there are lots of them, see all that horsepower pulling in a certain direction and find it irresistible, but don’t realize that they really have hopes that they can somehow redirect that horsepower toward them. And to be sure a good man will redirect a great deal of it toward the woman of his choice, but that kind of man is already on a journey. The woman herself isn’t a journey. She can come along if she likes and enjoy the fruit of his efforts. But she doesn’t want that. She wants to be his efforts. And so without even knowing it, she slowly wittles away at the very things she once desired him for, all the while thinking she is completely justified in rerouting this obviously neglectful or irresponsible man. Because in her mind, the definition of irresponsible, is anything that diverts his attention from her and what she wants to do. The sad part is these men are more responsible than they ought to be, and will often allow themselves to slow down in an effort to better tend to their woman’s wants. The couple grows old together, and the women looks at this now aging man, splendor and vigor all but taken from him, who once showed so much promise and potential, and she’s all but bored and disgusted. He never became what he could have become. She’s not now reaping the benefits of a full and adventurous life, that she seems some of her friends enjoying. She confused on how he could have let her down so. Yet she cannot complain, for she has her reward. She lived it the last 20 years or so. Now it is over. Her other friends are just beginning their 20 years of reward. Yet still she feels cheated. And so does he.

It’s quite a complex concept to explain. I’ve not done well at all at it here, but I challenge you to find that uberly talented guy in your life (everybody knows one) and ask him about it. You’ll be surprised how familiar he will be with the concept.

With Nothing Less Than What You Started: Chapter 6, Excerpt 5

…………………….Why Humor? Humor is for the childish, and the immature. That’s why comedic movies are called lowbrow, while melodramas are considered to be for the thinking and sophisticated audience, right?

 

This touches back on to why I do not use the word confident, even though most people reading this book would probably understand my meaning better, instead of getting hung up on the word cockiness. I choose cockiness because while the foundation of any healthily cocky person is going to be 90% confidence, or an assurance in who they are and what they are capable of, cockiness is that 10% on top that adds a bit of humor to the game. Humor is often a necessity when it comes to creating attraction in a woman.

 

Humor is one of those phenomenon that shows up all around us, but is really overlooked as far as how much power and influence it has in our lives. Yet we all have a slightly different take on what is humorous. While you don’t have to look farther than a 5th grade classroom to find those who consider jokes about flatulence humorous, there are those of us that would scowl at such a base notion as laughing at bodily functions. But perhaps what they find comedic is awkward or situational humor. That’s what much of our modern ‘sitcoms’ (situational comedies) are based on today. Still others don’t find the light-hearted humorous and they gravitate toward what some call ‘dark humor’ which is often characterized by the irony of a tragedy or the disgusting.

 

For as many types of humor as there is, there seems to be just as many definitions, but all humor seems to have a certain common thread: irony. Irony, and Juxtaposition are the backbone of pretty much anything that is funny. Keep this in mind because it is key for producing appropriate humor with all others and especially women. Nobody quite knows why, and forgive me for using such a cliché but they often help when conveying a point, but seeing a man in a suit walking down the street and safely arriving to his destination is not funny. Seeing an elderly man who has trouble walking and is wearing shabby clothing walking down the street and safely making it to his destination is also not funny. Seeing that same elderly man who already has trouble walking, step on a banana peel and fall is again, not funny. But seeing the well dressed man in the suit, step on a banana peel and slip and fall suddenly is funny (told you it would be so cliché it would be painful). Why is this? Irony. Let’s look at each scenario.

 

  1. In the first scenario we see a well-dressed man, presumably fit, and sturdy, walking down the street with purpose, confidence and a suit. In our culture suits, (when worn well) imply success, power, purpose, and confidence. That’s why women love to see men in suits and men who understand that love to wear them. Now it would be completely normal, and predictable for a man conveying all these qualities, to walk purposefully down the street and arrive safely at his destination. That whole scenario fits into the narrative of his life and situation that we as humans instantly build upon seeing him. When things fit and are normal. It’s not funny. Not that there’s anything wrong with normal. It’s just that we’d be laughing all day long at everything if what was considered expected and normal was funny.
  2. An elderly man who has trouble walking and is dressed shabbily. The narrative we build in our minds about this person tells us he’s had a hard life, or perhaps he’s so old his body is giving out. Maybe he had an accident, and doesn’t have much money to get help or to dress better. He walks slowly but he makes it to his destination. This isn’t funny either because we expect to see an elderly man walk slowly, which he does. And even though he walks slowly, we still expect and even hope for him that he reaches his destination. If this scene conjures anything at all it is not comedy, but a slight pity, and a desire to help.
  3. The elderly man who, on top of not being able to get around easily, now steps on a banana peel of a piece of trash, and falls down. This is certainly not funny for many reasons. The man is elderly and is presumably achy and perhaps in pain already. His clothes tell us he’s not in a great situation in life already, and slipping and falling is like the universe kicking a guy when he’s down. This situation also fits in our narrative because at seeing an older person who has trouble getting around, we are already on our guard and fear the fact that they may fall at any moment. They obviously can’t move the way a younger or more agile person can move and a small bump or obstacle could have dire consequences. This only evokes a higher sense of pity, empathy, and even fear. Not humor.
  4. Back to the well dressed, perhaps businessman, walking confidently down the street. In our minds he is sure of himself and sure of his steps. He has power, money, and perhaps great influence. Maybe not, but either way he’s doing well for himself. He steps on a banana peel and falls down. He doesn’t hurt himself too bad, but goes down nonetheless. Now this is funny. It is funny because it is ironic and does not fit the story in our heads. Confidence and strength and power is the opposite of falling. So when you see this pillar of strength, do something that doesn’t fit with the idea of strength, that dissonance often is interpreted as funny.

 

Now that is very very basic, but if you can understand that and keep that in mind, you can see the humor in many different situations and learn to create it when necessary.

 

But unless my goal is to win a woman’s heart through becoming the class clown, why would I want to create humor? That’s simple, because what most of us don’t realize, as we go about our days laughing at some things and being offended by others, is that there is actually a strong correlation between a persons ability to create humor, especially rhetorical humor, and their ability to make personal connections and lead. And whether you are attempting to woo a self-proclaimed neo-feminist, or an old school southern belle, one thing all women are looking for at some level is a man who can connect to them on a personal level and one who can lead them. Just like a fancy car implies money, humor implies leadership……………………

…………………………..

Being able to make a person laugh, especially a stranger, implies that you know how to hit the sweet spot of interpersonal relations to where you understand where the other person is coming from, and can create a psychological and rhetorical connection with them to the point that you know what they will find offensive and have avoided it, but that you know what they will find ironic and funny. And because funny can mean different things to different people, being able to be funny to any particular person, implies a certain type of intimacy with the way their mind works, as opposed to attempting to being funny to all people, which is nearly impossible to do and usually fails. After all it takes a least some level of social skill to know the difference between whether a fart joke will illicit a laugh or whether you should go with the tried and true ‘spelling “hello” upside down on your calculator.” Depending on your audience, both will get you either crickets or applause, or if you’re really lucky, boos.

 

Now while a presidential candidate or a rehearsed speech may seem to be miles away from the idea of speaking with a woman, it’s actually not too dissimilar. Interjecting humor in an appropriate manner with a woman can show her the same things that a presidential candidate is trying to convey in his speech: that you care about her enough to try to understand where she is coming from, that you’ve actually succeeded in seeing where she’s coming from enough to know what would be ironic to her but not in an offensive manner, that if you are perceptive enough to understand her then you may be perceptive enough to understand other aspects of life that she would count on you to know how to navigate. Humor also shows that you have the gal to take a calculated risk, and that you have the creativity to make something new and fresh, that works out of observations taken from your environment. And a shared laugh can create a sense of oneness, even if just for a moment……………………

With Nothing Less Than What You Started: Chapter 7, Excerpt 4

……………….We’ve already explored in depth the tendency that women have to respond positively toward behavior that to us seems like it would turn anyone off. I mean think about it, when looking for a mate, and in this case a man to spend time with and perhaps become romantically involved with, doesn’t it make sense that the guy who is nice, flattering, and gentle would be totally attractive to a woman. I mean in the game of odds, I’d certainly put my money the guy who’s initially nice, always offers to pay, and always groveling at my feet to keep treating me well in the years to come, before I put it on a pompous jerk who treats me as if I was somehow the lucky one to be with him instead of the other way around. In the normal world people want to be around other people that treat them well and make them feel special, but as we’ve discussed, this isn’t true in the dating world, and certainly isn’t true in the female dating world. But the question remains as to why. Why do women, the delicate and beautiful creatures that they are, find men who treat them as if they couldn’t care any less about them irresistible? One word: Pride.

You see, it’s not that women are particularly prideful in comparison to men, it’s just that because we are different sexes, with different biological tendencies and different social pressures and expectations shoved upon us, pride tends to manifest itself in different ways………….

………………I know what you’re saying to yourself. “Sin? Who said anything about sin? I thought we were talking about why women respond to men in certain ways. I mean sure you can call it illogical, irrational, heck even down right crazy, but surely he can’t be calling women sinful for something that seems to be so natural to them that it works even against their own will?” Well first of all, think about Paul in “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. “ (Romans 7:15) He’s talking about that nature that we all have inherited that creates that paradox within our minds and hearts. It’s something so counterintuitive, and yet it’s also so much a part of the human condition that we cannot even imagine, save for Spock fans, what human life would look like without it. It’s that feeling you get when you’re driving or walking close to the edge of a cliff. The last thing on earth you want is to slip off the edge to your doom, and yet for some reason there’s this seemingly imaginary but incredibly strong force that beckons you off the edge, both delightfully hypnotizing and terrifying at the same time. Although not completely analogous, that to me, is a good way to describe the feeling that we all get when we come across this age-old sparker of the Doctrine of Human Depravity. If honest with ourselves, each and every one of us can think of countless instances in our lives in which we knew for a fact that a particular decision or action or inaction would inevitably turn out bad for us. And I’m not talking unfavorably or inconveniently but more like career ending, marriage destroying, or financially ruining. That kind of bad. And with that unavoidable and certainly undesirable end in mind, we went ahead and did whatever it is we knew would cause that ‘bad’ to happen. Sometimes, if we are conscious enough of it at the time, we can catch ourselves having that somewhat schizophrenic dialog in our mind, arguing and rationalizing to ourselves why we should or should not make this or that decision, while we are in the very process of making it. The part of our mind arguing for the ‘bad’ comes up with reason and excuse upon reason and excuse about why the inevitable tragedy either won’t happen to us or is somehow worth it. In our better judgment we know these excuses are ludicrous but for whatever reason, we buy into them. We want to buy into them. But as soon as the fleeting delight is over, whether it be from the rush of gossiping about an enemy or the elation of a sexual encounter, it’s as if that voice of excuses is immediately silenced and all we are left with is the one screaming to us of how terrible an idea it was in the first place. Then we are suddenly fully aware. “Why did I do that? I don’t want to have done that! I didn’t want to do that! But I did it anyway.” This self-chastisement is almost invariably followed up by some kind of intensely determined vow like, “This was the last time,” or, “ Never again…” We are ashamed of our action but we are also so proud of ourselves for finding the discipline and strength, after the fact, to promise to never let that action happen again. We’ve grown, we’ve learned, the hard way perhaps but we’ve learned nonetheless. And then the next time we find ourselves in the same situation all that strength seems to have atrophied while patting ourselves on the back for the whole week and the same dialog and hence the same action repeats itself all over again. In other words sin.

Now of course I could go on and on delving into the nature of sin, our relationship with it, and the different methods God has used and continues to use to point out to us that it’s nearly involuntary and that we can’t even hope to beat it without him, but even a mild examination of that would create a need for a whole other book series. I’m also not criticizing women for this observation I’ve made about their behavior and its relationship to sin because the Lord knows men, and all humans for that matter have an intense and complex history of weakness to all sorts of sin. Let’s get that out of the way right now. What I am about to explain, however, is that our natural tendency to sin, which in turn leads us toward a natural inclination toward pride and a need to fill ourselves up instead of letting ourselves be filled by what we were created to be filled by, which is the creator Himself, can be seen as a huge factor in why the said approaches seem to work so well………………..

With Nothing Less Than What You Started: Chapter 5, Excerpt 3

………..Now I mention the words arrogance and cockiness a lot in this book, and I would assume that those would raise red flags in the minds of many men, especially Christians. As Christians, it is fundamental to our faith to be aware of the perils of pride as it is quite possibly at the root of nearly every visible sin. Lucifer himself was not a sex pervert or some kind of ax murderer as far as we know, but when “iniquity was found in thee” it was his pride that got him thrown out of heaven. And through his pride and then downfall came all the rest of the depravity that he has become known for. With that in the back of the Christian mind, and the mind of the general American consciousness, a guy would be wise to question this whole cocky approach. After all, are not cockiness and pride interchangeable? Perhaps in the everyday sense of the words, but I’m here to tell you that when it comes to attracting a woman, there is a huge difference that must be observed in order to succeed in establishing attraction and a slight social dominance.

Cockiness is something that you want to have in your interaction with women. Combined with humor, it can serve as a secret weapon when looks or status just won’t do it. Pride is completely the opposite. It can poison the most promising relationship before it ever has a chance to become one. I will explain in detail. First the poison: many don’t realize it, but for many of us, that feeling of paralyzing fear we have in the pit of our stomach at the thought of approaching an attractive woman, is actually our pride. We don’t often think of it that way. We like to think of it as a justifiable fear of rejection, or wanting to protect ourselves from being hurt by a woman, but what is it that would be hurt? It’s our pride. It’s our exaggerated and unrealistic view of ourselves. You see, a view I’ve always had about pride, that you may at first argue is extra biblical, but I challenge you to study the Word and see if this idea doesn’t line up: that God hates and is disgusted by pride, because he is in love with, and cannot tolerate anything but truth. Do you ever feel funny after reading a passage like Exodus 34:14 that talks about God being jealous, or him doing or making things simply to glorify Himself? It sounds just a tad bit off to us because we have been taught our whole lives to not think too highly of ourselves and that traits like jealousy and self-glorification are not desirable in the least. When we see God outwardly admitting that he does everything for himself we get squeamish because we have a tendency of viewing Him in an anthropomorphic light. That is to say, we make God human in our minds. Now I believe that Jesus was God and human just as much as the next guy but that is not what I’m talking about. Pride isn’t really about things like jealousy and selfishness. It is simply about the truth, nothing more, and nothing less. When God talks about how great and wonderful he is, his statements and thoughts about himself are in perfect alignment with the truth. However, if a man were to think of himself as this wonderful, the way Lucifer did, then his mind has deviated far from the truth. His thoughts have become prideful just in the fact that they are elevated higher than the thoughts that “reality” has about him. This is why God, first of all, cannot be prideful even if he were to try. God could never have a thought so high of himself that it wasn’t also true. Perhaps the closest he could get to pride would be to think too low of himself, but then I’m not quite sure what that would be considered. On the flip side, man cannot think very highly of himself at all without getting off the path of truth. Being the sinful and death-deserving creatures that we are that are hardly even capable of recognizing the wrongs we do on a daily basis, let alone having the ability to correct them ourselves, it is easy to see that any kind of lofty thoughts about ourselves really do cross over the line into the realm of fantasy. This is why God loves humility in a man. Humility, unlike the weakness that our culture likes to pin on it, is actually a great strength. There is no strength in thinking something about yourself which is not true. That is why pride is the true weakness. Humility on the other hand is simply a mindset that is rooted in reality, and nothing more. The humble man knows exactly how high to hold his chin in the air. He holds it no higher and no lower. Now how does all this have anything to do with approaching a woman at the bar?…everything…………