I almost never write posts about current events, but the reaction to the interview with Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries has me a bit fired up. If you’re not aware, he said some pretty wild things about his marketing approach that got a lot of people fired up as well – and for good reason. The backlash, however warranted it may be, has been filled with vile and hateful remarks which only contribute to the same problem.
This is what he said:
“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.”
Is this a warm fuzzy positive marketing approach? Hell no. Does it make sense from a business and marketing perspective? Yes, it’s brilliant marketing that made him rich. Could he go about it in a better way or choose a more meaningful niche? Definitely.
I think this hits a lot of nerves for a few reasons. First, nobody likes the idea of being excluded. A lot of people have felt the effects of A&F’s discrimination and this hits close to home. Next, this guy comes out and is honest about his marketing approach, which all of us know deep down is why we like a lot of brands, bands, and products in the first place – exclusivity. Cognitive dissonance up the wazoo. Lastly, we’re fed up with the superficial brainwashing of what “beauty” should be that’s dictated by advertising, where many of us don’t fit into. All of this – boom! Prime scapegoat.
Let’s get this straight – I don’t care for him or the clothes, nor the horribly obnoxious cologne the pumped through malls. I grew up during the prime of A&F’s popular kid factor and was faced with the discrimination and bullying the brand seems to endorse. Some kids that wore the clothes bullied me and left me out of the social events because I couldn’t afford the clothes. The preppy kids were simply not my friends because of the brands I didn’t ware, it’s as simple as that.
I was essentially the least popular kid in school, for many reasons I talk about here. If anybody understands the effects of bullying and social castration it’s me – I spent 12 years of my life living through it every day. I’m also going to assume a lot of people who are filled with hate towards this man also endured social pains growing up. I think we all have to varying degrees, one way or another, have felt what it’s like to be left out. You know the feeling, don’t you?
One of the greatest and seemingly paradoxical ideas that perplexes many of the logical, left-brained thinkers, is that of believing something before seeing the physical proof of it. The idea that believing is seeing, rather than seeing is believing. I’m not talking about blind faith perpetuated by dogma that doesn’t seem to makes sense to a person (like many religions perpetuate). I’m referring to a more personal idea that’s based on desire and faith in oneself and burning desires, not of a false prophet.
I’m talking about the idea of believing something is possible or will happen, before any tangible evidence is apparent to anybody else.
If you could accelerate the changes in your life – if you could live in a better world regardless of whatever other people were saying is possible for you – how would you live your life differently? If the way you believed something would be was an actual influence on how it turned out, how would that cause you to think differently?
Besides a few experiments such as the double-slit experiment and Schrödinger’s cat, most of western science relies on an objective reality that happens regardless of the observer. I personally think that all reality is subjective, with the objectiveness of reality stemming from the mutually perceived state of the universe through our collective consciousness in our current dimension. Whew.
In other words, the objective reality that we all share is contained within the subjective realities of each of us together.
An objective reality isn’t influenced by a person’s beliefs, whereas a subjective reality is. Since to me there’s both happening at the same time, it makes manifesting in “reality” or the “real world” a bit different than in the dream state.
We often believe in what we can see – the facts. The input from our physical senses. We see it, feel it, hear it so it’s true – is the proof that validates our thoughts. For example, if we watch the news everyday and all we see about the world is death and terror, it will (likely) keep validating a belief that the world is dangerous and we should live in fear. All these people are killing each other so that’s the proof needed to be afraid. But that’s not an objective fact, as one can not watch any news and live in a small town where everyone’s nice and friendly. This reenforces the belief that the world is a good and safe place. These conflicting realities are true for both people at the same time, as they can only know what’s real through their own perception – even through their perception of another’s perception.
Still with me here? Good.
I recently have had a little fun with Pitnerest, and assembled a cast of graphical fashion and style guides for us men that are simple, short, and stylish. Not your typical inspirational or deep post from me, however I’ve found these graphics great guides to understanding a very touchy and confusing world of fashion. This information is timeless, and is essential for any man who not only wants to feel and become great, but look great as well. Even if you never dress up, having the knowledge is going to set you apart and it’s always good to know.
- Learn how to fit the perfect suit
- Learn about color theory
- Learn what washing icons and instructions mean
- Learn to identify jack types
- Learn how to tie fancy shoe laces
- Know when to wear black or brown dress shoes
- All about pocket squares
- How to tie a tie
- Identify different hat styles
- Match the right sunglasses with your face shape
- Learn all about different kinds of men’s shoes
- Wear shorts the right way
- Wear the correct fit
Let me know if you found this post helpful!
How amazing would it be to find the perfect partner to spend your life with (or at least a long while), in absolute bliss? It’s no going to happen by some movie-moment magical events, so let me show you how you can take your love life into your own hands. This post is in response to Silvia and Nancy’s questions on how to find a great guy to have an authentic and fulfilling relationship with at any age. A bit ago, I offered to fulfill any request presented on Facebook to simply pay-it-forward, and this post is a combined response to 2 of those questions.
The formula for finding and attracting a partner is the same, regardless of gender, race, or age. It’s simple, yet not all aspects are easy. Some of it can take a few minutes a day, some you’re already doing, any some can take many years. If you have some major issues blocking your ability to successfully date, you’re going to have to face your demons.
So how do you find your “perfect partner”? How do you attract an amazing man or women into your life?
It’s a question for the ages, I tell you. It’s not a mysterious complex process… once you know it. The challenge is actually doing it. We expect fairytale experiences where the person just magically appears in our life, both of us perfect and ready to go. This doesn’t happen.
Let me rephrase that: it doesn’t happen until you’ve done all the work that’s required to happen.
It’s like the overnight success stories we hear. How all of sudden, somebody makes the pro team or sells their business for millions. Deep inside, we all know that it took years and hours of blood, sweat, and tears to prepare them for that “overnight” moment. If you want your “perfect 10″, if you want an amazing person, it’s going to take time and effort (whether it’s with volition or just part of your life experience by default).
If you know my work, you’re aware that my M.O. is all about self empowerment. So while the universe may have plans for you, or perhaps your god is setting in place miracles, it is entirely out of your hands. Instead of waiting around and hoping, there are things you can be doing that will maximize your chances and accelerate the processes. Just like business, dinner, or a fit body – your love life doesn’t just happen on its own.
Here’s the strategy in a nutshell:
- Define What You Want & Don’t Want
- Become Perfect Partner Material
- Focus, Imagine, And Appreciate What You Want
- Show Up & Play Fully
- Be Ready & Open
Sounds simple, right? Well it is, but don’t expect results overnight. We’re talking about your perfect partner, “the one”, etc. Not just some cool person to hookup with. Great results require great determination. This is how you get that high quality mate you’ve dreamed of.
There’s an amazingly simple law of power that states: “a group is easier controlled and suppressed when it is divided”. This is the more evolved take on the classic “divide & conquer” military strategy. Whether or not you realize it, or whether or not the people propagating it are doing it out of malice, the whole of society is divided. What’s worse, is that it goes far beyond just groups of people.
This “Great Schism” is also putting you at war – with yourself.
Let’s take a look at the big picture before I explain:
We’ve been taught various forms of wars have been waging on and on since the beginning of time. Religious wars, territorial wars, sexuality wars, civil wars… you name it, we’ve fought and died over it. It would appear fighting amongst ourselves is human nature – an inevitability.
Pacifists are slaughtered against ruthless marauders, and Gandhi’s results were unfortunately an exception, not norm. And as much as the hippies tried, they just couldn’t figure out why “we all just can’t get along, man” (the kin of which are often stigmatized and disparaged for such thinking).
The funny thing is, we’ve also been taught simple solutions to most of these problems as children: share, play nice, love thy neighbor, don’t steal, respect each other, and a host of other simplistically profound, few-word ways to interact with people. But we all know how that works out, don’t we? People become jealous, act from fear, become resentful, are taught bigotry and hate, and adopt the “isms” (racism, classism, etc.) of those they’re reared by.
Notice most of these are learned behaviors – nobody’s born racist, sexist, or hateful. They are influenced by those before them, and done so by beliefs and attitudes – not demon genetics. If you take away anything from this, it’s the realization that if a belief or attitude was created or installed, it must also be possible to destroy or remove it.
A Diabolical Reason
The development and continuation of these divisions between people have been propagated by the ruling classes, because as they (and now you) know – it’s easier to control a population that is divided, conflicted, or at war with itself. There are a few reasons why this works so effectively: Read More Now »
As I’ve been on the quest of writing my first book, I’ve been in search of ways to improve my writing. Generally speaking, most people have told me what and how I write is great; I’ve got years of reading, an English major for a father, and tad bit of training in clever linguistics to thank for that. However, me being me, I wanted to refine it further as I make more powerful prose and find my trademark voice as I become a “real” author.
One of the largest battles I’ve had as a man, has been length. Excessive length. Unfortunately, not that kind of long… but wordy long. It’s been… hard to get to the point. I just couldn’t… get it up to par with the precision of a well-delivered thought.
Okay, okay — enough penis jokes. But seriously.
My articles evoke glossy-eyes due to the volume of text from those unfamiliar. The reason for such length articles has been for a number of reasons:
- Worrying about having all my “bases” covered
- Trying to communicate too many ideas at once
- Not wanting people to “take it the wrong way”
- Fear of losing the sex appeal or poetic details
- Wanting people to get the concept thoroughly
This has lead to some great articles and an evolution in my style, but it has also lead to fewer articles and few readers given the time investment… on both ends. I feel my own limiting beliefs, fears, eccentricisms (and some made up words along the way), have diluted my message from the clutter and over-explainings. And as I refine my writing and discover more powerful ways of communicating my message, my hope is that all those fears prove unfounded.
We all have fears and limiting beliefs that cause our communication to become cluttered. Fumbling over our words whilst nervously conversing with a crush, or even getting emotional over a miscommunication that escalates into an argument. Our words become jaded by the filters of our experiences, and provide a colorful expression of our uniqueness to both a possible charm or hindrance on our ability to influence and inspire others.
It’s our job — not our listener’s or reader’s — to become clear on our message to the world, and to jubilantly share in a digestible way that’s effortless for our audience. We are 100% responsible for the response we get.
Moving forward, we’ll see just how much fat I can trim out and still keep the ideas feeling like me. Maybe I’ll write less to begin with and then add details. Or maybe I’ll write in the flow and go back to trim it down like a machete on a short date with the jungle. Either way, I think it comes down to being able to articulate what I want in a way that’s Goldilocks-worthy – not much, not too little… but juuuust right.
What areas in your life can you cut out the fat in order to show up more powerfully? Can you cut the small talk and get to know somebody at a deeper lever faster? Or perhaps you can cut back on TV and mindless entertainment to give your life a bit more depth. Decide where in your life you can trim and tidy up, and let me know about it in the comments below!
PS. Looking for more tips on improving your own writing? Try these resources out:
Over the past 7 years, I’ve been on an adventure of online dating with both little and great successes, and along with others, had no idea why I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. As I’ve grown, I’ve discovered why most of us don’t find the kind of incredible dates they want online and in the real world: it’s because we’re not a match to what we want. If we want an amazing, hot, fun, sexy, intelligent mate — we have to be what those types of people are looking for themselves.
Everyone has their own standards, but I’ve recently found so many people messing up the basics with dating that I was compelled to write such a drastic post. A little less ‘zen’ then most of my writing, but somebody has to say something — a wakeup call I wish I had for myself many years ago.
These incredible 9’s and 10’s (of our own accord — not just looks, but the whole shebang) inevitably have higher standards which most online-daters hardly ever meet. I know I sure didn’t at first — not by a long shot. Despite that, in recent years the table has turned and I’m left looking for women who can even remotely meet some of my most basic standards (being fun, healthy, engaging, etc). They were actually my standards all along, but I was just way too desperate to enforce them and couldn’t justify them with my own personality back then.
What changed? Me.
As you may know from reading this site or learning about me, I’ve done a lot of work on myself to become a better man, and inherently a better quality mate. I’ve…
- Became super healthy and fit; drastically improving my appearance.
- Resolved many of my emotional issues and traumas.
- Started new businesses.
- Learned countless social and dating skills.
- Found purpose and a mission in life.
- Focused on defining my own spirituality and becoming at peace.
- Stopped a lot of annoying, weird, and off-putting habits.
- Travelled and done amazing things I can now talk about.
- Voyaged through dark low periods that made me more compassionate.
- …and countless other improvements that I made for myself to enjoy life.
I am by no means finished growing, and am hardly the best, the most attractive, the most successful man, or even the greatest lover in the world. However after many years, I now consider myself a high quality man whom many woman enjoy to be with — especially compared to the “previous me”. I realized that “just being myself” was harmful, because that “self” had a lot of problems and was actually a less authentic version of myself. If I can transform myself and resolve my issues, so can anyone else. Anybody can reach their potential and become more desirable, it just takes work.
Let me first define what I think a High Quality Mate is, and then we’ll get to it.
When we typically think about “being excited”, it’s a good thing right? If somebody where to tell you that getting excited wasn’t particularly the best way to go about anticipating something, you’d likely think they were a grumpy sourpuss that was here to devour your happiness. And your soul. If myself, Mr. Focus-On-What-You-Want-Positive-Pants, told you that “getting excited” wasn’t the best idea, you might think the Mayans were late on their prediction.
Well actually, no the world is not ending, and no I don’t want your soul… unless it’s delicious.
The truth is, I’ve been learning some far-out ideas about what excitement really means, and what’s usually behind it. I’m talking deep — like a dream inside of a dream’s dream deep. You see, when people say “I’m excited” or “this is exciting”, they often have some sort of story around it. There’s often an additional meaning or attachment to the circumstance (either conscious or unconscious), that is used to amplify the event. It’s building an expectation around it, which simultaneously creates a setup for disappointment.
What do I mean by story? Story is basically imagined or synthesized additional details surrounding a particular event/idea/etc. that gives an additional meaning behind something that doesn’t inherently have it. Simply put: a story is the fantasy we tell ourselves to give meaning to something beyond its inherent meaning (which is nothing). How you got to your current career is a story. Why you eat what you eat is a story. The reason why you’re not happy in your relationship is a story. Greek mythology is a story. Toy Story is… you get the idea.
A story is way for us to explain why something is what it is, or what we want it to be.
Stories are inherent to who we are and a part of everything we do in life. This isn’t a bad thing in itself… the problem starts coming in when the stories are fantasies that we use to justify things that aren’t there in order to feel something that wasn’t there.
Let’s jump back to excitement.
Have you ever met somebody who loved arguing or debating with you, if even simply for the joy of it? Somebody that will purposely go out of their way to prove a point or defend their position to extremes, or even impose their views as law? Or somebody that feels it’s their duty to go around “exposing the charlatans” and saving others from being ripped off?
Or perhaps this person is actually you, a bonafide zealot of defending “the truth”. If that’s the case, what I’m about to share will most definitely set you ablaze, and trigger an emotional reaction — even if your response is filled with well-articulated fact.
I’m not talking about an ocassional passionate exchange — we all have that. I’m referring to the kind of person who’s a missionary, a self-proclaimed skeptic, or an antagonistically brilliant provoker of fact. One who’s known for some or all of these behaviors.
Here’s the truth, cowboy:
The compulsive need to prove, debunk, and debate excessively is nothing but the narcissistic response of the ego.
When the ideas, values, and beliefs of the ego are challenged, its job is to defend them. That’s what its purpose is. When an experience arises where the identity of the person is threatened, the ego faces a sort of… death, and violently opposes all events, ideas, and people that imperil its existence. Sometimes, a new model of reality has such an impact, it takes the ego beyond the brink of resistance, and a paradigm shift in the person occurs.
Unfortunately, for the type of person I’m discussing, their ego is heavily fortified. Throughout their life, in order to cope and deal with traumas (both major and minor), survival strategies form in order to protect the body, mind, and spirit. If somebody gets repeatedly ripped-off, the ego logically develops skepticism in order to judge what is safe or harmful to the person (or belief system). When something new is invented, it’s put through the ego’s paces of convincers that determine if this fits into what the person’s model of the world accepts or could allow. If the slightest alarm bells ring, a noble quest to debunk the invention is embarked upon to protect other’s from harm — and by others, I mean it’s actually the ego.
Let’s take another example:
Growing up there are constantly new experiences where we realize — or rather, decide — where we stand in relationship to them. We go to school for the first time and we’re either outgoing or shy. We go to ask out parents for a new toy and they either say yes or no (we are, or are not, worthy) — or perhaps they say “we can’t afford that” (we’re abundant or poor). We interact with the opposite sex and discover if we’re confident in approaching, flirting, or bedding — or not. We have such an adventure of experience throughout life, that over time we start to understand where we stand when these events take place again.
Eventually, we all realize there are areas in life where we triumph and excel… or well, get so emotionally worked up we start shaking violently, teeth chatter, and our heart races out of fear.
It’s from this that we realize how little our success has to do with the luck of the gods, and more so from the confidence we carry. Every single area in life can be improved by developing greater confidence in that area. We know that both men and women rate confidence as a sexy trait in the opposite sex. We know that job applicants who are more confident get better results from interviews. We know that generally speaking, the more confident we can become, the better results in getting what we want in life we’ll have.
Naturally, people that care the least bit about their lives, look for ways to build their confidence!
I work with many people to naturally build their confidence as a coach, and have many accelerated ways to do this on a permanent level. Learning from them, and in my own journey to develop confidence in many areas of life, I’ve noticed that there’s two “places” — or frames of reference — where one can build confidence from:
- Competence (knowing)
- Compensation (lack)
As somebody becomes more confident, one way they can develop it is from learning, growing, improving, experiencing, and knowing more about a particular topic — thus their confidence around it improves naturally. The more skills you enjoy investing the time and energy into mastering, the more competence-based confidence you will create. If you want more of this confidence, learn to invest in yourself now.
While self-steem and other factors can take somebody who’s ridiculously competent at playing the guitar to somebody who doesn’t think he’s good enough to play in front of his friends, usually developing confidence comes along with developing a skill (and I would even go to say he’s confident in playing the guitar, just not confident playing guitar in front of an audience).
The other way somebody builds or shows confidence, is because they are trying to compensate for something. They either don’t have the skills, the experience, the insights, the permission, or the esteem, etc., and are building confidence in order to succeed regardless. This isn’t a bad thing — being able to be confident even if you’re afraid, unprepared, or outmatched is very advantageous. Sometimes being confident even though you have no earthly idea what you’re doing is enough to succeed right then and there.