How to Always Know What to Say

Barney Stinson

If you have ever watched a comedy, an action movie or met a charismatic person you have most certainly also noticed that the main characters always know what to say independently of what the question is about.

This is not a gift they are born with, but rather something they have developed with one of these two methods.

  • Trial & Error
  • Preparation

Either they have answered the same question so many times they have eventually learned what a good thing to say is or they simply sat down with a piece of paper and thought about what to answer common questions. Your friend, the natural player, who managed to score with every girl probably used the trial & error method while every actor gets a ready to use script.

My preferred method

I did use the trial & error method for several years and eventually developed, in my opinion, great answers to several common questions but it takes unnecessary long time and sometimes you forget great answers.

For this reason I am now using the preparation method. If I get a difficult question on a party I simply save it on my mobile phone and then the next day try to figure out a great answer. The next time someone asks the same thing I suddenly know exactly how to answer and often also joke about it.

Learn main points, not sentences

Just remember to never learn your answers sentence by sentence since there is a chance it will sound rehearsed and eventually someone will probably point it out for you. Instead you should write down main points and try to build an answer on them on the spot.

Common questions

Here are a few common questions to get you started.

  • What’s your name?
  • How old are you?
  • You’re not my cup of tea.
  • What are you working with?
  • What do you do in your spare time?
  • Thank you.
  • Are you a man or a mouse?
  • I’m to old / to young for you.
  • Why doesn’t you drink tonight?

Remember that this method is not only for regular questions but also something to help you be prepared when someone turns you down, etc.

Group discussion

Your answers should always be personal built on your beliefs, but feel free to share common questions you get asked.

Also check out the rest of my posts on personal development.

Probability of Overweight in Social Networks

Probability of Overweight

What? A post about overweight in a MMO-blog? Well, just bare with me for a few minutes and I will explain how all of you can benefit from this info.

I recently read an interesting study (pdf), published in the New England Journal, explaining probability of overweight depending on different factors in life. Here is a small selection of what the study have arrived at.

Probability of overweight increased with:

  • 171% if you have a group of overweight friends.
  • 100% if you have a overweight best friend.
  • 44% if you have a overweight brother.
  • 37% if you have a overweight wife.
  • 27% if you have a overweight sister.

As you can see from the information above your friends and family will have a big influence on you and this is far from unique when it comes to weight.

How to benefit from this information

First and far most important is to surround yourself with people who are sharing the characteristics you value. If all of your friends are lazy and stingy there is a high probability that you will become lazy and stingy yourself.

On the other hand it can be extremely difficult to break a relationship with your childhood friends and therefore it might be a good idea to try and change them instead. Encourage them into changing themselves and there will be a high probability that you will change as well.

Photo by Pink Sherbet

Become a Yes Man and Say Yes to Every Opportunity

yes-man

2008 was a great year with movies such as The Dark Knight, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Seven Pounds and many more, but one of my top 5 movies from 2008 is without doubt Yes Man with Jim Carrey. As a comedy the movie is far from being something special but I truly love the message in it.

Life! We are all living it — or are we?

What is a Yes Man?

Forget everything you have previously learned about the traditional Yes Man who sits quietly and always agrees with his employer or superior. The 21 century Yes Man celebrates life and takes advantage of every opportunity by always saying yes when his  friends asks him to tag along.

You’re dead, Carl. You say “no” to life and therefore, you’re not living. You make up excuses to the people around you and to yourself. You’re stuck in the same dead end job you’ve had for years. You don’t have anything close to a girlfriend, and you lost the love of your life because she couldn’t be with someone who didn’t live theirs.

In the movie Jim Carrey manages to learn Korean, learn how to play guitar, learn how to fly and finds his true love by deciding to become a Yes Man.

The secret behind becoming a Yes Man is simply to stop hiding behind your excuses. Instead of saying “no”, just say “yes” and go out with your friends and have the time of your life. I promise when you grow old you will fret all the things you did not do and remember all the things you did.

Yes is the new no! Start learning to say yes to life today!

Two Week Challenge

Starting Monday next week I want you to become a Yes Man and say yes to everything in life for the next fourteen days. I promise you it will not only change your view on life but also bring you out on adventures you never thought would become true.

When you have completed your fourteen days challenge I want you to come back and share your experiences below by leaving a comment. What did you take part in? Tell me about your two weeks as a true Yes Man.

Yes Man Trailer

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PSdSQYVV9k

Why You Don’t Want to Lose Weight

lose-weight

Yesterday I wrote a post sharing my tips on what you should do to keep your new year’s resolutions. Besides smoking, losing weight has become one of the most popular resolutions for several years now and even though one of my goals are similar (exercise more), I do not like the term “losing weight”.

If you take a closer look at the image above you will notice that both of them have a weight of 250 pounds and a BMI of 33.9. Now ask yourself, are they equally healthy? Probably not.

By eating to little and trying to starve yourself you will set your body in starvation-mode which will result in your body burning lean tissue and use muscles as a fuel source. You will actually lose weight in the beginning but it is only because your body will reduce your muscular mass.

Women like Jessica Biel (photo) do not get beautiful bodies by starving themselves. Instead they eat healthy (not little) and exercise.

So please, stop using the term “lose weight” today!

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

resolution

A few days ago we celebrated the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 and I am one of those who believes this is a perfect time to begin a new era of your life. Unfortunately a majority of all new year’s resolution will be broken and therefore I will share some of my tips to make sure you will keep yours.

1) There are still time

Even though it’s a few days ago the new year began you can still decide for new year’s resolutions. You should actually try to create a new habit every other month but this is a perfect time for you to come up with the big ones.

2) Be realistic

Some of your friends might say this is to aim low but it is a much better idea to go from zero to two exercises a week instead of going from zero to five and then break your new habit after only a week.

With that said you should always aim high since this is how we continue to develop. Just remember to choose a habit which you can accomplish.

3) Give way for monogamy

Just as you should be realistic and choose a habit you can accomplish you should also stick to one or a few at the same time. Even though you might want to quit smoking, loose weight (more on this in another post) and begin exercising you will probably not be able to handle all of it at the same time.

Instead you should decide for one of them, continue with that for two months and then head over to your next challenge while you continue to succeed with your previous habits.

4) Keep it to yourself

Most people spread the word about their new year’s resolution as soon as possible but personally I have mixed feelings about this. I think it is a great idea to find a special person to compete with and help each other.

To mention a specific example I and a friend will run a competition on who covers the the biggest distance during the month of January. This is nothing we will share with our friends (oh!) but since it is a competition it will most certainly encourage us to exercise more. To measure the distance I will be using a Garmin Forerunner 405 which I ordered earlier today. I will receive it later this week and post a review here as soon as possible.

Another reason to keep your resolution to yourself is because some of your friends has probably already failed with it earlier and will remind you. Some people have a tendency to drag others down by being negative.

5) Reward yourself

In this case I went the other way around a bought a gadget first but this is only because I have been lurking at one since my surgery a few moths ago. Instead you should set a goal and when you reach it you can reward yourself with a gadget, journey, bicycle, etc. All depending on your resolution. By doing so you will not buy things that you are never going to use again.

6) Share your resolutions

Even though I told you to keep your resolutions to yourself I feel that all of my readers are positive and therefore there’s no risk with sharing your resolutions below. Here are my resolutions for 2010:

  • Run or walk (exercise) for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week.
  • Continue to stay away from unhealthy food with my calendar method.
  • Publish 365 posts on this blog.

Don’t forget to read my best post from 2009 and subscribe.

Stop Trying to Save Time

Save Time

For some reason it has become extremely important to save time and always be occupied with something work related. Somehow it reminds me of an old method to look important at the office. Basically you grab a piece of paper and run around the office. Your boss will see that you are constantly in movement and will think you are doing something important.

Unfortunately 99% of us, the human kind, can only be efficient for a few minutes. Often less than one hour at a time. Because of this it does not matter if you learn how to tie your shoes 3 seconds faster.

I am not able to find a source on this one, so feel free to quote me:

A task will always take as much time as you have available.

Sure it is a good idea to save a few seconds but instead of spending time trying to figure out how to save time I recommend you to find your distractions and simply remove them.

By eliminating Twitter, instant messaging, Facebook, forums and similar distractions you will find yourself being more efficient and therefore getting more things done within the same amount of time.

Thanks to this method you can get all your work done during the day and still get time to play with your kids and be together with your family.

The Simple Secret Behind Courage

soldier

I have been struggling with Windows Movie Maker for a while, but now it seems I have finally managed to subdue it. I also registered an account at Youtube (DucedoTV) so feel free to subscribe for my future videos.

Today I will start with a short video from the popular movie Three Kings where George Clooney explains how to gain true courage.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH4pV67yjFQ

Get Motivated With a Book of Dreams

dreambook

When it comes to our nightly dreams I truly believe every one of us can get inspired by them, but today I will talk about dreams in the sense of goals.

Last month I wrote a post on how you can motivate yourself with music. Even though it is a great method by itself, you can develop it by creating a motivational book which I call a book of dreams.

What is a book of dreams?

First I should mention that it is the tenth album by American rock band The Steve Miller Band, which I had no idea about before I wrote this post.

You can think of it as a regular notebook which you should use to write your goals and add images to inspire yourself. If you want to lose weight, write a page about why you want to lose weight and add a few photos of a slim person. If you want to start with bodybuilding you can write a page on why and add photos of bodybuilders or hot women. For some reason beautiful women seems to inspire a lot of people from both genders.

A book of dreams is also a great method to figure out what you really want to do since you force yourself to put your goals and dreams into writing so anyone could understand it.

Make it a morning ritual

For some reason a lot of people get inspired to do things when they are lying in bed waiting to get asleep. This could be because they just read an interesting book or blog, got inspired by some music or simply took the time to begin thinking about what they really want to do.

The problem about this is that your inspiration and motivation will be gone when you wake up the next day. Because of this I highly recommend you to get up 15 minutes earlier and do a morning ritual where you read your book of dreams and spend a few minutes thinking about what you want to do.

It may sound trivial or even boring, but just a few minutes in the morning looking at photos will most certainly inspire you for the whole day.

Todoist Saves My Day

todoist

When it comes to succeeding with your goals I truly believe it is important to break them down into smaller tasks and make them more practicable. According to me, goals without a plan, is the single most important reason to why you can’t reach your goals.

Thanks to the free service of Todoist I have finally been able to manage my tasks simply from all over the world while I at the same time get a good overview of them.

What makes Todoist so great?

As you can see from the headline, this post is not as much a review as it is a great tip for you and also a way to show my appreciation to the creator.

I have tried a lot of different methods to keep track of my daily tasks during the years and I often ended up with a paper full of clutter. This is why I love computers, because you can always redo and erase things without leaving a permanent mark. Therefore it was a no brainer for me to create a task list on my computer, but which software or service should I use?

I tried a few software’s that either was complicated, locked to one computer, slow or bloated. When I gave Todoist a try it was love at first sight. It’s minimalistic, easy to overview, possible to create up to four sub-projects, possible to add recurring tasks and overall easy to manage.

Interface

As you can see from the image above, each task is added to the appropriate list with just a title and a date. There are numerous of different ways you can add dates when creating a new task. “Friday” would be as useful as “16 oct 2009”, “+11” translates to due in 11 days. Personally I also tend to use “ev 20 days” for some of my small niche sites so I know when to add new content.

One of the features I really like is that you can transform a task into a headline or a note by simply putting an asterisk (*) in front of the title. If it is a sub-task it becomes a note, otherwise it transforms into a headline.

The interface is minimalistic and Ajax inspired. If you want to move a task you simple drag and drop it. There are also no loading time when you are logged in which generates a feeling of speed. The downside of this is that you can’t use it if you have an old browser which can’t handle Javascript.

API

When it come to software developed by third parties Todoist offers a comprehensive API which offers access to all basic functions. Mac OSx users can take advantage of their widgets for Quicksilver and Dashboard. There are also support for iGoogle and a great Firefox extension.

If you have problem remembering to do things you can easily be notified automatically via Instant Messages, mail and Twitter.

Conclusion

Today Todoist takes care of all my needs from creating new content to making sure I remember to cross of my daily food calendar. Overall it creates a much better life for me and my closest since I don’t forget important things I promise. I give Todoist highest possible grade.

The Zen of Todoist

One of the thing I truly love about Todoist, and this is kind of why I liked Google, is that they have their own Zen of Todoist at their about-page.

Now is better than later.
Later is better than never.
Organized is better than messy.
Big things are composed by smaller things.
Smaller things are done by action.
Think like a person of action.
Act like a person of thought.
The beginning is half of every action.
The longest journey starts with the first step.
Everything should be made as simple as possible.
But not simpler.
Celebrate any progress.
Don’t wait to get perfect.
Deadlines and stress are a part of life.

This is a great list to think about if you consider creating a task list.

Group Discussion

Do you use a task list? If yes, which one and how do you structure it? If you do not use one I would love to hear why and what method you use instead.