The Evolved Male

"Live as though the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be"

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(via leelersz)

achieve-excellence:

Start with an underlayer of humility. This is your base. It is critical.

Put each arm into the sleeves of confidence. Button to the top.

Lace up your dignity tight, double knot if possible. 

Make sure you find pride that is fitted to you, and you alone. 

Walk out your door with conviction. 

Take the world.

Let’s be kind to one another

Let’s be kind to one another

To love is to be vulnerable

.الجيات أحسن من الرايحات
What is coming is better than what is gone.
Arabic Proverb  (via khalishh)

(via leelersz)

Original Article is here:

http://www.primermagazine.com/2013/learn/primers-definitive-guide-to-proper-sleeve-length

The proper sleeve length for outerwear, jackets, sweaters, dress shirts, and short sleeves. 

When most men talk about the way their clothing fits, the emphasis tends to be on its circumference – that is, how tight or loose the fit is in comparison to the natural shape of the man’s body.

It’s obvious that this is a crucial aspect of proper fit and it rightfully deserves its position in the forefront of men’s minds. However, even if you dial in the fit in the chest, stomach, biceps, ankle, and any other circumference-based measurement on a man’s body, your clothing can still look sloppy if you don’t focus on proper lengths.

Today we’re going to be talking about sleeve lengths, and the ideal aesthetic and fit for each different type of sleeve you wear. For our purposes we’ll be focusing on five different areas – suits and sportcoats, overcoats, short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, and sweaters.

Suits and Sportcoats

Your suit jackets and sportcoats should have their sleeves fall between a quarter of an inch and three-quarters of an inch above your shirt sleeves.

Anything longer is going to make you look like your suit is a size (or two) too big. Anything shorter and you’ll look like you shop in the boy’s department. It’s more conservative to show less cuff and currently more fashion forward to show more.

proper suit sleeve length

You’ll also want to factor in the proportions of your arms to the rest of your body. If you have long gorilla arms (like I do) then showing less cuff will help visually balance them out with the rest of your body. The opposite is true if you have disproportionately short arms.

Provided that your jacket and coat sleeves do not have functioning buttonholes, it is relatively cheap and quick to have a tailor alter them. So if they’re just a bit too short or too long, it’s still worth making the purchase and having them altered.

Overcoats

For winter coats, trench coats, overcoats, etc. you want the sleeves to be long enough that they just start creeping onto the back of your hand. This will ensure that they cover shirt cuffs and jacket sleeves while also providing enough coverage with gloves. I hate having exposed wrists in the winter and it’s easy to alleviate this by ensuring your jacket sleeves are long enough.

Proper overcoat sleeve length

Just like your suits and sportcoats – the sleeve length of your overcoats should be easily alterable as long as the sleeves are non-functioning. As a result, this is one of the first things you should look into when debating the purchase of a new overcoat.

Short-Sleeved Shirts

We’ll start with short-sleeved shirts because they’re the easiest. Irrespective of what you’re wearing (T-shirt, polo, casual button-up) if your shirt has short sleeves, they should end at the middle of your bicep. Longer sleeves look sloppy and shorter alternatives end up appearing effeminate.

proper short sleeve shirt length

Don’t be worried about the sleeve falling at your mid bicep if you don’t have one. Even the noodle-armed amongst us will look larger and more masculine by having the sleeves accentuate the natural size and length of your arms. Trying to hide any supposed deficiencies actually makes you look scrawnier.

Long Sleeved Shirts

Whether you’re wearing a casual shirt like a rugby or something more formal like a button up, you want the sleeves of your long-sleeved shirts to fall right where your wrist meets your hand.

There are two key factors in getting this proper fit – the length of the sleeve arm and the circumference of the cuff.

long sleeve shirt length

One of the more common complaints I hear is that a sleeve which is the correct length when the arms are at rest at a man’s side are too short when he puts his hands up and in front of him. Consequently, he’ll buy longer sleeves but they’ll end up covering his hand.

If you want to have the best of both worlds, it’s imperative that the sleeve arm is long enough to reach beyond the wrist and that the cuff circumference is tight enough that it will prevent the sleeve from falling onto the hand.

long sleeve dress shirt sleeve length

When measuring for custom shirts I will measure about a third of the way onto the back of the hand to make sure I have enough length for when the man’s arms are up in front of him. When measuring the cuff, unlike any other circumference measurement, I take the wrist measurement exactly (without a finger in there for breathing room), although I will give extra allowance on the man’s preferred watch hand.

Obviously custom is ideal in this regard, but you can make do with off-the-rack shirts by moving the cuff button to a position that closes it tightly enough.

Sweaters

For the purposes of this article we’re going to look at sweaters in two different families – layering pieces and stand-alone items.

Layering sweaters are usually of a lighter weight and are made for – you guessed it – layering. For most men this means things like V-necks and cardigans. Because these are layering pieces, they will look sloppy if they fall lower than the shirt sleeve of a button-up. The worst offense is when a man will wear the proper sleeve length in a suit jacket and have his sweater sleeves fall onto his hand. It takes the carefully designed intentionality of showing a little cuff and turns it into a perfect example of sloppy proportions.

sweater length

The ideal length of a layering sweater is just a hair longer than your jacket sleeves and still shorter than your button-ups. If you can’t accomplish that kind of precision, it’s best to have your sweaters fall shorter than the sportcoat or suit jacket – meaning people who see your wrists will only see the two layers.

Stand-alone sweaters are things like chunky cardigans, crew necks, and other bulky options. These are heavier in weight and typically of a more casual appearance. They’re meant to be worn on their own and not under a jacket or sportcoat.

chunky sweater sleeve length

Because these are designed to be the final layer in-and-of themselves, and because of their more casual nature, these should fall right at the edge of your wrist – with no other layer peeking out beneath. You still want to avoid having them fall all the way onto or over your hand, but you shouldn’t see any cuff or wrist beneath them.

While this may seem overly detailed or like I’m nitpicking, it’s an important element in getting the correct fit. The benefit of being aware of these details is that they really only come into play when purchasing a shirt, coat, jacket, or sweater. Once you know you’ve purchased the correct fit, you can throw any item on with anything else and not have to worry about how they correlate with each other.

confidence by the other Martin Taylor via Compfight

Original Article is here:

http://www.businessinsider.com/qualities-of-truly-confident-people-2013-10

First things first: Confidence is not bravado, or swagger, or an overt pretence of bravery. Confidence is not some bold or brash air of self-belief directed at others.

Confidence is quiet: It’s a natural expression of ability, expertise, and self-regard.

1. They take a stand not because they think they are always right… but because they are not afraid to be wrong.

Cocky and conceited people tend to take a position and then proclaim, bluster, and totally disregard differing opinions or points of view. They know they’re right — and they want (actually they need) you to know it too.

Their behavior isn’t a sign of confidence, though; it’s the hallmark of an intellectual bully.

Truly confident people don’t mind being proven wrong. They feel finding out what is right is a lot more important than being right. And when they’re wrong, they’re secure enough to back down graciously.

Truly confident people often admit they’re wrong or don’t have all the answers; intellectual bullies never do.

2. They listen 10 times more than they speak.

Bragging is a mask for insecurity. Truly confident people are quiet and unassuming. They already know what they think; they want to know what you think.

So they ask open-ended questions that give other people the freedom to be thoughtful and introspective: They ask what you do, how you do it, what you like about it, what you learned from it… and what they should do if they find themselves in a similar situation.

Truly confident people realize they know a lot, but they wish they knew more… and they know the only way to learn more is to listen more.

3. They duck the spotlight so it shines on others.

Perhaps it’s true they did the bulk of the work. Perhaps they really did overcome the major obstacles. Perhaps it’s true they turned a collection of disparate individuals into an incredibly high performance team.

Truly confident people don’t care – at least they don’t show it. (Inside they’re proud, as well they should be.) Truly confident people don’t need the glory; they know what they’ve achieved.

They don’t need the validation of others, because true validation comes from within.

So they stand back and celebrate their accomplishments through others. They stand back and let others shine – a confidence boost that helps those people become truly confident, too.

4. They freely ask for help.

Many people feel asking for help is a sign of weakness; implicit in the request is a lack of knowledge, skill, or experience.

Confident people are secure enough to admit a weakness. So they often ask others for help, not only because they are secure enough to admit they need help but also because they know that when they seek help they pay the person they ask a huge compliment.

Saying, “Can you help me?” shows tremendous respect for that individual’s expertise and judgment. Otherwise you wouldn’t ask.

5. They think, “Why not me?”

Many people feel they have to wait: To be promoted, to be hired, to be selected, to be chosen… like the old Hollywood cliché, to somehow be discovered.

Truly confident people know that access is almost universal. They can connect with almost anyone through social media. (Everyone you know knows someone you should know.) They know they can attract their own funding, create their own products, build their own relationships and networks, choose their own path — they can choose to follow whatever course they wish.

And very quietly, without calling attention to themselves, they go out and do it.

6. They don’t put down other people.

Generally speaking, the people who like to gossip, who like to speak badly of others, do so because they hope by comparison to make themselves look better.

The only comparison a truly confident person makes is to the person she was yesterday — and to the person she hopes to someday become.

7. They aren’t afraid to look silly…

Running around in your underwear is certainly taking it to extremes… but when you’re truly confident, you don’t mind occasionally being in a situation where you aren’t at your best.

(And oddly enough, people tend to respect you more when you do — not less.)

8. … And they own their mistakes.

Insecurity tends to breed artificiality; confidence breeds sincerity and honesty.

That’s why truly confident people admit their mistakes. They dine out on their screw-ups. They don’t mind serving as a cautionary tale. They don’t mind being a source of laughter — for others and for themselves.

When you’re truly confident, you don’t mind occasionally “looking bad.” You realize that that when you’re genuine and unpretentious, people don’t laugh at you.

They laugh with you.

9. They only seek approval from the people who really matter.

You say you have 10,000 Twitter followers? Swell. 20,000 Facebook friends? Cool. A professional and social network of hundreds or even thousands? That’s great.

But that also pales in comparison to earning the trust and respect of the few people in your life that truly matter.

When we earn their trust and respect, no matter where we go or what we try, we do it with true confidence — because we know the people who truly matter the most are truly behind us.

"No, I regret nothing"

I certainly don’t.

(via leelersz)

The Rules for Being Human (Handed down from Ancient Sanskirt)

Reference: http://makesmethink.com/

Always remember that life is awesome and it’s on you, and you alone, to make a beautiful thing of it. Know that challenges help you grow as a person; hardships hardens you into a stronger being. The people around you will test you as well, but in all of the chaos and discord in your life - there is still a simple beauty that you can capture.

MMT is a wonderfully simple website that allows people to post their short stories of happiness and sadness. Here are 60 short stories that are sure to warm your heart and make your day a little better. 

Today, my 75-year-old grandpa who has been blind from cataracts for almost 15 years said to me, “Your grandma is just the most beautiful thing, isn’t she?” I paused for a second and said, “Yes she is. I bet you miss seeing that beauty on a daily basis.” “Sweety,” my grandpa said, “I still see her beauty every day. In fact, I see it more now than I used to when we were young.” MMT

Today, I walked my daughter down the aisle. Ten years ago I pulled a 14 year old boy out of his mom’s fire-engulfed SUV after a serious accident. Doctors initially said he would never walk again. My daughter came with me several times to visit him at the hospital. Then she started going on her own. Today, seeing him defy the odds and smile widely, standing on his own two feet at the altar as he placed a ring on my daughter’s finger MMT.

Today, I walked up to the door of my office (I’m a florist) at 7AM to find a uniformed Army soldier standing out front waiting. He was on his way to the airport to go to Afghanistan for a year. He said, “I usually bring home a bouquet of flowers for my wife every Friday and I don’t want to let her down when I’m away.” He then placed an order for 52 Friday afternoon deliveries of flowers to his wife’s office and asked me to schedule one for each week until he returns. I gave him a 50% discount because it made my day to see something so sweet. MMT

Today, I told my 18 year old grandson that nobody asked me to prom when I was in high school, so I didn’t attend. He showed up at my house this evening dressed in a tuxedo and took me as his date to his prom. MMT

Today, when she woke up from an eleven month coma, she kissed me andsaid, “Thank you for being here, and telling me those beautiful stories, and never giving up on me… And yes, I will marry you.” MMT

Today, I was sitting on a park bench eating a sandwich for lunch when an elderly couple pulled their car up under a nearby oak tree. They rolled down the windows and turned up some jazz music on the radio. Then the man got out of the car, walked around to the passenger side, opened the door for the woman, took her hand and helped her out of her seat, guided her about ten feet away from the car, and they slow danced for the next half hour under the oak tree. MMT

Today, I operated on a little girl. She needed O- blood. We didn’t have any, but her twin brother has O- blood. I explained to him that it was a matter of life and death. He sat quietly for a moment, and then said goodbye to his parents. I didn’t think anything of it until after we took his blood and he asked, “So when will I die?” He thought he was giving his life for hers. Thankfully, they’ll both be fine. MMT

Today, my dad is the best dad I could ask for. He’s a loving husband to my mom (always making her laugh), he’s been to every one of my soccer games since I was 5 (I’m 17 now), and he provides for our family as a construction foreman. This morning when I was searching through my dad’s toolbox for a pliers, I found a dirty folded up paper at the bottom. It was an old journal entry in my dad’s handwriting dated exactly one month before the day I was born. It reads, “I am eighteen years old, an alcoholic who is failing out of college, a past cutter, and a child abuse victim with a criminal record of auto theft. And next month, ‘teen father’ will be added to the list. But I swear I will make things right for my little girl. I will be the dad I never had.” And I don’t know how he did it, but he did it. MMT

Today, my 8-year-old son hugged me and said, “You are the best mom in the whole entire world!” I smiled and sarcastically replied, “How do you know that? You haven’t met every mom in the whole entire world.” My son squeezed me tighter and said, “Yes I have. You are my world.” MMT

Today, I have an elderly patient who is suffering from a severe case of Alzheimer’s. He can rarely remember his own name, and he often forgets where he is and what he said just a few minutes beforehand. But by the stretch of some miracle (perhaps the miracle of love), he remembers who is wife is every morning when she shows up to spend a few hours with him. He usually greets her by saying, “Hello my beautiful Kate.” MMT

Today, my 21 year old Labrador can barely stand up, can’t see, can’t hear, and doesn’t have enough strength to bark. But it doesn’t stop her from wagging her tail a mile a minute every single time I walk into the room. MMT

Today is our 10th anniversary, but since my husband and I are both recently unemployed we agreed not to get each other any gifts. When I woke up this morning, my husband was already up. I walked downstairs to find beautiful wild flowers brilliantly arranged all over the house. There must be 400 flowers total and he didn’t spend a dime. MMT

Today, my high school boyfriend, who I thought I’d never see again, showed me the pictures of the two of us he kept in his Army helmet while he was overseas for the last 8 years. MMT

Today, my 88-year-old grandmother and her 17 year old cat are both blind. My grandmother’s guide dog leads my grandmother around the house, which is normal. But lately, he’s been guiding her cat around the house too. When her cat meows, he walks up and rubs against her, and then she follows directly behind him to her food, to the litter box, to the other end of the house for a nap, etc. MMT

Today, I watched in horror through the kitchen window as my 2-year-old slipped and fell head first into the pool. But before I could get to her, our Labrador Retriever, Rex, jumped in after her, grabbed her by her shirt collar and pulled her to the shallow steps where she could stand. MMT

Today, my older brother has donated bone marrow 16 times to help treat my cancer. He communicates directly with my doctor and does it without me even asking or knowing when he has an appointment. And today my doctor informed me that the treatment appears to be working. “Cancer cells have been drastically reduced in the last few months.” MMT

Today, I was driving home with my grandfather when he suddenly made a u-turn and said, “I forgot to get your grandmother a bouquet of flowers. I’ll pick up one from the florist at the corner down here. It’ll only take a second.” “What’s so special about today that you have to buy her flowers?” I asked. “There’s nothing specifically special about today,” my grandfather said. “Every day is special. Your grandmother loves flowers. They put a smile on her face.” MMT

Today, I re-read the suicide letter I wrote on the afternoon of September 2nd 1996 about two minutes before my girlfriend showed up at my door and told me, “I’m pregnant.” Suddenly I felt I had a reason to live. Today she’s my wife. We’ve been happily married for 14 years. And my daughter, who is almost 15 now, has two younger brothers. I re-read my suicide letter from time to time as a reminder to be thankful – I am thankful I got a second chance at life and love. MMT

Today, and every day for the last two months since I returned to school with burn scars on my face after being hospitalized for nearly a month for injuries I sustained in a house fire, a red rose was taped to my locker when I got to school in the morning. I have no clue who is getting to school early and leaving me these roses. I’ve even arrived early myself a few times to try to figure it out, but each time the rose was already there. MMT

Today was the 10 year anniversary of my dad’s passing. When I was a kid he used to hum a short melody to me as I was going to sleep. When I was 18, as he rested in his hospital bed fighting cancer, the roles were reversed and I hummed the melody to him. I haven’t heard that melody since, until last night. My fiancé and I were turned on our sides looking at each other in bed when he started humming it to me. His mom used to hum it to him when he was a kid. MMT

Today, a woman who must have her voicebox removed due to cancer is enrolled in my sign language class. Her husband, four children, two sisters, brother, mother, father, and twelve close friends are also enrolled in the same class so they can communicate with her after she loses her ability to speak aloud. MMT

Today, my 11-year-old son speaks fluent sign language because his best friend, Josh, who he grew up with from the time he was an infant, is deaf. Seeing their genuine friendship evolve and grow over the years MMT.

Today, due to Alzheimer’s and dementia, my grandfather usually can’t remember who my grandmother is when he wakes up in the morning. It bothered my grandmother a year ago when it first happened, but now she’s fully supportive of his condition. In fact, she plays a game every day in which she tries to get my grandfather to ask her to re-marry him before dinnertime. She hasn’t failed yet. MMT

Today, my dad passed away from natural causes at the age of 92. I found his body resting peacefully in the recliner in his bedroom. In his lap, facing upright, were three framed 8×10 photographs of my mom who passed away about 10 years ago. She was the love of his life, and apparently the last thing he wanted to see before he passed. MMT

Today, I am the proud mom of a blind 17-year-old boy. Although my son was born without his sense of sight, it hasn’t stopped him from being a straight A student, a guitarist (whose band just surpassed 25,000 downloads of their first album), and a loving boyfriend to his long-term girlfriend, Valerie. Just today, his younger sister asked him what he likes about Valerie, and he said, “Everything. She’s beautiful.” MMT

Today, I waited on an elderly couple. The way they looked at each other… you could see they were in love. When the husband mentioned that they were celebrating their anniversary, I smiled and said, “Let me guess. You two have been together forever.” They laughed and the wife said, “Actually, no, today is our 5 year anniversary. We both outlived our spouses and then life blessed us with one more shot at love.” MMT

Today, my father found my little sister alive, chained up in a barn. She was abducted near Mexico City almost 5 months ago. Authorities stopped actively searching for her a few weeks later. My mom and I laid her soul to rest. We had a funeral for her last month. All of our family and friends attended the ceremony except my father. Instead he kept looking for her. He said he “loved her too much to give up.” And she’s back home now because he never did. MMT

Today, there are two senior boys at my school who have an openly gay relationship. They have experienced verbal humiliation on a daily basis for the last two years, yet they continue to hold each other’s hand in the hallways. Despite threats and vandalized lockers, they showed up to prom this evening wearing matching tuxedos. Seeing them on the dance floor, smiling from ear to ear in spite of all the haters MMT.

Today, my sister and I were in a bad car accident. My sister is Mrs. Popular at school – she knows everyone. I’m a bit of an introvert – I hang-out with the same 2 girls all the time. My sister immediately posted a comment on Facebook about our accident. And while all her friends were commenting, my 2 friends showed up independently at the scene of the accident before the paramedics arrived. MMT

Today, my fiancé returned home from his last tour of duty overseas. Yesterday he was just my boyfriend, or so I thought. Almost a year ago, he mailed me a package. He told me I wasn’t allowed to open it until he got home in two weeks. But then his tour got extended for another 11 months. Today, when he got home, he told me to open the package, and just as I pulled the ring out of the box, he got down on one knee. MMT

Today, my 12-year-old son, Sean, and I stopped by the nursing home together for the first time in several months. Usually I come alone see my mother who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s. When we walked into the lobby, the nurse said, “Hi, Sean!” and then buzzed us in. “How does she know your name?” I asked. “Oh, I swing by here on my walk home from school all the time to say hi to Grandma,” Sean said. I had no idea. MMT

Today, I found an old hand written note my mom wrote when she was a senior in high school. On it is a list of qualities she hoped she would someday find in a boyfriend. The list is basically an exact description of my dad, who she didn’t meet until she was 27. MMT

Today, I’ve been chemistry lab partners with one of the most beautiful (and popular) girls at our school since the beginning of the school year. And although I never would have had the courage to talk to her otherwise, she’s totally down to earth and sweet. We spend our time in the lab chatting, laughing, and getting A’s (she’s smart too), and just recently we started talking a little bit outside of class too. Last week when I heard that she didn’t have a date to our homecoming dance, I desperately wanted to ask her, but chickened out every time I was about to. Then this afternoon, at lunchtime, she ran up to me and formally asked me to ask her to the dance. So I did, and she kissed me on the cheek and said, “Yes!” MMT

Today, on our 10th anniversary, she handed me a suicide note she wrote when she was 22, on the exact day we met. And she said, “For all these years I didn’t want you to know how foolish and unstable I was back when we met. But even though you didn’t know, you saved me. Thank you.” MMT

Today, my grandpa keeps an old, candid photo on his nightstand of my grandma and him laughing together at some party in the 1960’s. My grandma passed away from cancer in 1999 when I was 7. This evening when I was at his house, my grandpa caught me staring at the photo. He walked up, hugged me from behind and said, “Remember, just because something doesn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.” MMT

Today, I sat down with my two daughters, ages 4 and 6, to explain to them that we have to move out of our 4 bedroom house and into a 2 bedroom apartment for awhile until I can find another job that pays well. My daughters looked at each other for a moment and then my youngest daughter turned to me and asked, “Are we all moving into the apartment together?” “Yes,” I replied. “Oh, so no big deal then,” she said. MMT

Today, I met the prettiest woman on a plane. Assuming I wouldn’t see her again after we made our connections, I told her how pretty I thought she was. She gave me the most sincere smile and said, “Nobody has said that to me in 10 years.” It turns out we’re both in our mid-30’s, never married, no kids, and we live about 5 miles away from each other. We have a date set for next Saturday after we return home. MMT

Today, I’m a mother of 2 and a grandmother of 4. At 17 I got pregnant with twins. When my boyfriend and friends found out I wasn’t going to abort them, they turned a cold shoulder to me. But I pressed forward, worked full-time while attending school, graduated high school and college, and met a guy in one of my classes who has loved my children like his own for the last 50 years. MMT

Today, on my 29th birthday, I returned home from my 4th and final tour of duty overseas. The little girl who lives next door to my parents (who isn’t so little any more - she’s 22 now) met me at the airport with a long stemmed rose, a bottle of my favorite vodka, and then asked me out on a date. MMT

Today, my daughter accepted her boyfriend’s marriage proposal. He is 3 years older than her. They started dating when she was 14 and he was 17. I never liked the age difference when they were kids. When he turned 18 a week before she turned 15, my husband insisted they break-up. They maintained a friendship, but went on to date other people. Now at the ages of 24 and 27, I’ve never seen two people more in love. MMT

Today, after I heard that my mom stayed home from work with the flu, I stopped by Wal-Mart on my way home from school to pick her up some canned soup. I ran into my dad who was already in the check-out line. He had 5 cans of soup, NyQuil, tissues, tampons, 4 romantic comedy DVDs and a bouquet of flowers. My dad makes me smile and MMT.

Today, I was sitting on a hotel balcony watching 2 lovers in the distance walk along the beach. From their body language, I could tell they were laughing and enjoying each other’s company. As they got closer, I realized they were my parents. My parents almost got divorced 8 years ago. MMT

Today, I’m only 17, but I’ve been with my boyfriend, Jake, for 3 years, and last night was the first time we spent the night together. We’ve never ‘done it,’ and we didn’t last night either. Instead, we baked cookies, watched two comedies, laughed, played Xbox and fell asleep in each other’s arms. Despite the warnings from my parents, he’s been nothing but a gentleman and a best friend. MMT

Today, when I tapped the side of my wheelchair and told my husband, “You’re the only reason I want to be free from this contraption,” he kissed me on my forehead and said, “Honey, I don’t even see that thing.” MMT

Today, my grandmother and grandfather, who were both in their early 90’s and married for 72 years, both died of natural causes approximately one hour apart from each other. MMT

Today, my dad came to see me for the first time in 6 months since I told him I’m gay. When I opened the door he had tears in his eyes and he immediately gave me a huge hug and said, “I’m sorry, Jason. I love you.” MMT

Today, my autistic little sister spoke her first word at the age of 6 – my name. MMT

Today, at the age of 72, nearly 15 years after my grandfather passed away, my grandmother remarried. And since I’m only 17, I’ve never seen her so happy in all my life. It’s inspiring to see two people so in love at their age. MMT it’s never too late.

Today, at a jazz club in San Francisco I saw a man and woman enjoying a drink together.  The woman was a dwarf and the man must have been 6 feet tall.  Later in the evening they went out onto the dance floor.  The man got down on his knees so they could slow dance together.  They danced the rest of the night. MMT

Today, as I was sleeping, I woke up to my daughter calling my name. I was sleeping in a sofa chair in her hospital room. I opened my eyes to her beautiful smile. My daughter has been in a coma for 98 days. MMT

Today, exactly 10 years ago almost to the minute, I stopped at an intersection and a car rear ended me. The driver was a student at UF, just like me. He was cordial and apologetic. As we waited for the cops and the tow truck we chatted and started laughing together about all sorts of stuff. We exchanged numbers and the rest is history. We just celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. MMT

Today, I was working in a coffee shop when 2 gay men walked in holding hands.  As you might expect, heads started turning.  Then a young girl at the table next to me asked her mom why 2 men were holding hands.  Her mom replied, “Because they love each other.” MMT

Today, after 2 years of separation, my ex-wife and I resolved our differences and met for dinner.  We laughed and chatted for almost 4 hours.  Then just before she left, she handed me a large envelope.  In it were 20 love letters she wrote me over the last 2 years.  There was a post-it note on the envelope that said, “Letters I was too stubborn to send.” MMT

Today, I was in an accident that left me with a gash on my forehead.  The doctors wrapped a bandage around my head and said I have to keep it on all week.  I hate wearing it.  Two minutes ago my little brother walked into my room wearing a bandage on his head.  My mom said he insisted that he didn’t want me to feel alone. MMT

Today, my mother passed away after a long battle with cancer.  My best friend lives 2000 miles away and called to comfort me.  While on the phone, he asked, “What would you do if I showed up at your house and gave you the biggest hug in the world?”  “I would surely smile,” I replied.  And then he rang my doorbell. MMT

Today, as my 91-year-old grandfather (a military doctor, war hero, and successful business owner) rested in his hospital bed, I asked him what his greatest life accomplishment was.  He turned around, grabbed my grandmother’s hand, looked her in the eyes, and said, “Growing old with you.” MMT

Today, as I watched my 75-year-old grandmother and grandfather being silly with each other and laughing in the kitchen, I felt like I got a short glimpse of what true love feels like.  I hope I find it someday. MMT

Today, exactly twenty years ago to the hour, I risked my life to save a woman who was drowning in the rapids of the Colorado River.  And that’s how I met my wife - the love of my life.  MMT

Today, on our 50th wedding anniversary, she smiled at me and said, “I only wish I had met you sooner.” MMT

Today, my blind friend explained to me in vivid detail how beautiful his new girlfriend is. MMT

Original article is here: http://www.selfstairway.com/how-to-be-a-good-friend/

You might be a terrible friend and not even realize it. That should scare you. Really, it should.

You know what? Right now you should be sweating profusely, pacing the floor, and asking yourself whether or not you know how to be a good friend.

Sometimes our actions and the words that escape our mouths stop going through a filter. Then eventually we’re not even conscious of how horrible we are as a person/friend/lover/whatever.

We get so used to our friends that we become insensitive to the things we say and do. Sure, that level of comfort can be a good thing, but at the same time a lot of ugliness can start leaking out. It could be a reflection of the person you really are, but I’m not going to get into all of that.

Check out some of the signs below and see how many of these apply to you. Note that these don’t automatically make you a bad friend, but they’re still things you should be conscious of. Don’t worry, I cover how to be a good friend directly under this one (it’s also more comprehensive.)

Signs You Might Be a Bad Friend

1.     You project your own negative qualities onto them.

After a while you start assuming that because you think a certain way, your friends and others do too. For example, if you’re prone to talking about others behind their back then you’d assume everyone else does the same. Eventually, you begin to blame others and talk about how they went and did something even though they never did. This gets annoying and yes, your friends do notice this.

2.     You start criticizing or blaming them for everything.

You feel like nothing is your fault and you’re always right. Everything wrong is because of them. Then you start letting them know, even non-verbally, how you feel about the situation. This is how you lose friends.

3.     You only spend time with them when you need something.

When you reach for the phone it’s never to see how they’re doing or to get together and have fun. There is always a reasonto call or text. It becomes so habitual that every time you call or text, their response is “What do you need?” If that’s a common response you get from multiple people then you’ve got a clear warning sign.

4.     You evade all responsibility, leaving them to handle it all.

When there’s work to be done or responsibilities that should be divided you just sort of sit in the back and relax. Teamwork goes out the door because you’d rather be doing something else (or nothing) than to help out. What’s worse is when you walk away when the going gets tough. Soon enough, you’ll be the one your friends will be evading.

5.     You never think about how they may feel.

Your words hurt like knives and you might not even know it (or care,) because you have a disregard for how they may feel. You don’t stop to wonder how your decisions, actions, and words may affect what your friends think. Sometimes it’s the lackof action that hurts them most. So many things to be mindful of! Are you losing track?

6.     You have the need to “one-up” them.

Although this doesn’t always mean you’re a bad friend, it shows some flaws in character on your part. You could begin to wear down the friendship if the other person feels like you constantly show off or downplay their accomplishments. People have enough insecurities and self-esteem issues as is. Don’t make them feel the same way around their own friends.

7.     You don’t listen to what they have to say.

Their opinions mean nothing to you and it’s usually drowned out by your own stories. You fight for time to speak and when they are talking you’re usually tapping your feet impatiently for your turn to talk. Oh and they know when you’re pretending to listen. Tossing in a question to make it seem like you care is insincere. What’s worse is when you ask them something only to interrupt them mid-answer so you can start talking.

8.     You never stick to your word.

Come on. If you say you’ll do something, don’t go back on your word. Punctuality goes into this too. Don’t be the person who is consistently an hour later than promised.

How to Be a Good Friend

1.     Make sure they’re okay the moment you sense something wrong.

It’s easy to go overboard, but when tactful it can mean the world to them when you show you’re concerned. Send them a text, a phone call (even better,) or surprise them by showing up at their front door. Make an excuse to spend time with them. This doesn’t mean you have to shove advice down their throat. It just means showing you want them to be okay.

Unfortunately, there’s no universal method to being caring without being too pushy. Instead, you’ve got to figure out what works best and adjust as needed.

Some people are very good at hiding their negative emotions. Hopefully you’ve learned when they’re wearing a mask. Masks get heavy when you wear them for so long and sometimes you forget how to take it off. I used to put on a brave face when I was going through rough times. It sucked but having good friends around who knew when I wasn’t really okay helped a lot.

2.     Know when to be serious and when to be goofy.

When it’s time to be serious, you get down to business. No goofing off. No cheap attempt at being funny to avoid the real issues. You may argue from time to time and that’s alright. It’s natural. Be mature and aim at finding common ground instead of trying to divert the attention elsewhere.

There are times to be messing around, but it gets tiring for others if you don’t know how or when to turn it off. If you can’t then how can others trust you enough to share important things with you?

3.     Go the extra mile when they ask for help.

When they ask for your opinion or help on something that means something. It means they value what you think. If someone hands you an essay asking for you to help proofread or revise it then go the extra mile. Bust out a red pen and start marking it up like crazy. Show them you’re as invested as they are.

This means never half-ass things when it comes to your friends. These are your friends we’re talking about here. It’s a committed relationship and it sucks when the other person doesn’t put in effort to help when needed.

4.     Don’t give up on them during their darkest hours.

Going hand in hand with the first point, you don’t give up. If they’re going through really difficult times then they may begin to close themselves off from you and your other friends. They’d say no to going out and hide from the world. This annoys some people and eventually they give up, but good friends keep trying.

Sure, it sucks to be the one trying to pull a friend out of rough times and it does get difficult to not throw my hands up in the air with frustration, but damn it, I know they’re not going to be able to get out on their own.

5.     Make them feel wanted.

This means you listen to everything they say intently. You show you like being around them. Hell, sometimes even say it outright. “You’re an awesome friend,” “It’s not as fun when you’re not there,” or “I like hanging out with you, you know?” You should be comfortable enough together to be blunt about it without feeling weird.

Insecurity kicks in even when it shouldn’t. It doesn’t take a lot to show you care and re-assure them from time to time.

6.     Tell them, “I’ve always got your back,” at least once (and mean it.)

Remind them that you’re friends for life by making sure they know you’ll always be there. This means keeping in touch or being there to cheer them up when they’ve got it rough.

If you’ve never told your closest friends this then make sure you do next time your friends tell you about a problem they’re hung up on.

7.     Understand and respect boundaries.

Know that you don’t have to be together 24/7. I need my space to recharge and I don’t always feel like hanging out with others. That doesn’t mean I don’t like them. Good friends aren’t pushy and don’t get upset because of an occasional “no.” In fact, good friends know how to pick up right where they left off no matter how long it’s been since they last saw each other.

8.     Be honest and constructive when needed.

There’s a difference between being conscious of their feelings and letting them ruin themselves in the long-run. If they’ve developed a bad habit then kindly point it out and show you’re concerned. They’re picking up smoking? You care about their lungs. Drinking too much? Let them know you’ve noticed.

For less serious examples, imagine their breath smells and they’re going on a date. Do you want them to crash and burn later or would you rather let them suffer an ego hit, fix their act, and get out there in full confidence? If you feel like criticisms are harsh, offer them tips on how to improve.

9.     Introduce them to others.

Your social circle might be tightly knit, but there’s always room for expansion. Introduce them to people they don’t know just to show you’re not afraid of being seen with them. Remember, you want to be proud of being in public with them.

It’s up to them to decide if they want to start hanging out with these new people in the long-run. In fact, it doesn’t even matter if they do. Fun is what you’re aiming for here.

10.   Jump to the rescue when asked.

We all get in unexpected trouble and it’s good to know people who would jump to your rescue. My car’s battery died in a parking lot at 3 in the morning last month. I called people I knew would come to my aid because they were the type to help. Guess who I didn’t bother calling? Those who I knew would have an excuse.

11.   Don’t bring up uncomfortable subjects they dislike.

This doesn’t mean avoiding subjects that are important and possibly life-changing. I’m talking about bringing up things that serve no constructive purpose but to annoy them or to just fill the silence. Which brings me to my next point…

12.   Be okay with gaps in conversation.

Silent gaps will naturally occur in a conversation. Be comfortable with them. Don’t feel like you absolutely have to fill every single second with a sentence. It’s okay to be comfortable and just enjoy each other’s company.

Especially as an introvert, I need time to recharge after spending time with a lot of people. I really enjoy my time, but I need to recharge my batteries on occasion. With that in mind, learn the real differences between introverts and extroverts. You may have the wrong idea.

13.   Be dependable (punctuality and keeping promises.)

When you say you’ll do something, be a person that sticks to your word. That means being punctual, not going back on your promises, and ensuring that you’re viewed as a reliable friend.

Being unreliable will make your friends think twice before asking you for something.

14.   Learn how to apologize.

It takes a lot to admit you did something wrong. Don’t be afraid of admitting to your friends that you messed up. It happens to the best of us. Someone who can swallow his or her pride and admit they’re in the wrong is a great friend.

Don’t know how to apologize? Check out this article, courtesy of The Art of Manliness.

15.   Know how to show you’re happy for them.

We all get too caught up in our own lives and forget how to show appreciation. Sure, we know we care, but it’s difficult for the other person to know you do if you don’t show it.

It’s easy to tell when someone is dishonest. “Wow, I’m so happy for you,” with an non-eager face isn’t very convincing. Be invested in their successes and show in your facial expressions that you really are happy.

16.   Show small gestures on occasion.

It can be as simple as buying them something you thought they might like. I’d be thrilled if a friend of mine bought me a Sonic Screwdriver from Doctor Who. That would tell me a lot of things. First, I know they remember what I enjoy. Second, they were thinking of me. Third, they spent their hard-earned cash to let me know they like me. Awesome feeling.

17.   Start saying yes more often to your friends and make time for them.

It’s not a good feeling to be turned down by your friends. Sometimes life gets in the way and that’s okay. After all, remember the point about boundaries. However, I know how easy it is to say no. It becomes habitual. It’s just so easy when you’re “not feeling it.” Make it a point to say yes more often to your friends when you can.

You’re not that busy. Unless you’re absolutely certain there is no possibility of making room for your friends, you have no reason to have no time for your friends. It’s easy to convince yourself you’re too busy. Don’t buy into your own stories. Always make time for them because it’s easy to drift apart.

18.   Keep in touch and make sure you don’t drift apart.

Life goes on and everyone has their own thing to do. Sure, picking up where you left off may be easy for you, but it’s just as easy to completely lose contact. It takes effort, especially when there’s a lot of physical distance, to maintain a good friendship. It’s a relationship that takes both sides to work.

Share this article with your friends and let them know you think they’re a good friend.

Or… Passive aggressively pass this onto someone you’re mad at.

attraction:

It’s an adjustment living with someone. But it’s worse when it’s your significant other and they have the worst habits ever.

AFTER EATING A MEAL I PREPARED AND COOKED FOR YOU, PUT YOUR UNEATEN FOOD IN THE TRASH AND NOT ROTTING IN THE SINK ON THE PLATE. AND RINSE YOUR DISHES, OR BETTER YET, WASH THEM. LIKE AN ADULT MALE.

I am not your mother.

Sound advice

Original article is here:

http://www.primermagazine.com/2013/love/suffering-in-the-single-life

If you’ve been single for a while, it’s pretty natural to want to change that, to find someone to share a relationship with. What might seem less natural, however, is that really wanting to be in a relationship might just be the one thing that stops you from ever finding one. Let’s take a second to think about that properly. I’m talking about when you reach the state when you feel like you need to be in a relationship, or that being in a relationship will fix a lot of other problems in your life. Maybe you’ve been single for months, or years, or maybe the opposite – you start new relationships as soon as old ones end, never letting yourself stay single for long. Either way, you might be suffering from the same problem: you’re not happy being single.

Being unhappy to be single might seem natural and sensible enough to some, but I’m going to try to explain why that’s mistaken. I’ll also explain how this affects more than just your happiness while you’re on your own – it can have a serious detrimental effect on your ability to start relationships, and your ability to make them last once they’ve started. Long story short: if you hate being single, or think a relationship would be some magical cure-all, then you’re just likely to stay single even longer, and will struggle to form meaningful, long-lasting relationships.

So what’s wrong with wanting a relationship anyway?

There’s nothing in itself wrong with wanting a relationship, especially these days, when the drive to find a partner has been the basis of a major plot point in most films and TV shows over the years. Pop culture constantly sends us the message that it’s better to be in a couple than not, that you’ll be happier in a couple, and even that you’re somehow a failure if you’re single. Finding a girlfriend has become a sign of success as a man, another accomplishment along the lines of a well-paid job or a decent apartment. And this is where the problem starts: getting a girlfriend stops being a personal choice, something that might suit different people at different times, or even not at all for some. Instead, those who are single are deficient, they’ve failed at some task that others have succeeded at.

If you find yourself getting frustrated at yourself for being single, or see yourself as a failure, you might be suffering from this. You might have started to think that beginning a relationship will fix some of the other perceived faults in your life, as the failures in your love life start to seem a lot bigger than they really are. In hunting for an explanation for your continued single status, you might latch onto all sorts of aspects of your personality and lifestyle that you can blame for your failures, leading to pointless and unhelpful self-criticism. Basically, you let the simple fact that you’re single be enough to drive you to misery.

Why this is keeping you single

To make things worse, this problem is utterly self-perpetuating, because it obstructs your attempts to find a girlfriend, keeping you single, and thus extending the unhappiness and overly critical mindset. To understand why, think of one simple word: ‘desperation’. When you think finding a girlfriend is one of the most important things in your life, people can tell, because you seem desperate. Suddenly you’re that guy who keeps ‘jokingly’ asking how many girls there will be at a party. You’re the guy who just keeps talking a little too intensely to girls you’ve just met, or even makes a point of talking to just about every single girl you can find. You might keep making self-deprecating jokes about how single you are, or maybe you avoid the topic of relationships altogether. You might latch onto any friendliness from a girl as a sign of romantic interest and hover around her all night. You might not even be aware you’re doing all of this, or if you are aware, you don’t think other people have noticed. I’m afraid I have some bad news for you: they have. Worst of all, the very girls you’re trying to flirt with have noticed more than anyone else, and they aren’t impressed. There aren’t many traits less attractive than desperation, and it’s almost guaranteed to put girls off.

What about within my relationship?

So maybe you got lucky, or maybe you’re a bit better at hiding your desperation than most. Maybe you’re just such a great guy that someone was willing to look past your desperation to see the charming heart throb within. But you’re not in the clear yet. You’ve got to keep this relationship going, and that might not be as simple as you think. The main reason for this is that your desperation and your attitudes have made you selfish. You entered the relationship not out of a joy in spending time with your partner, but because you wanted something. And that’s going to continue. For you, the relationship is all about what you can get out of it. Your girlfriend will have to be there for you, but you won’t always think about being there for her. After all – in your fantasy of a relationship, you probably weren’t thinking about all the things you’d have to do for her, all the things you might give up. So you aren’t ready for them, but of course you expect them from her.

As you can imagine, there’s only so long a relationship can last with this sort of inequality. You can’t go into one thinking about yourself, you’ve got to think about what you can share with your partner, what you can do for each other. If you just want a woman to fit into your life as it currently is, you might have a nasty surprise when it turns out that she has her own life, and she isn’t likely to drop everything for you.

So what’s the secret?

Unfortunately, the only real solution is to be single, and to stop caring. That isn’t to say that you give up on ever having a relationship. Rather, you learn to enjoy being on your own, to enjoy being single. No one needs a relationship, and if you think that you do, then you’re not ready for one. The best relationships come from two people who are happy in their own lives, but want to share them with someone else. You should want to be together, not need to.

Now, being happy with yourself doesn’t mean you have to love every bit of yourself. Recognising legitimate flaws is an important part of this process, and working to improve them can give you the self-confidence that you need. What matters is that you don’t decide to work out to get a girl, but rather you decide to do it because you’d rather be a bit slimmer, or more muscular. Improve yourself for your own sake, not because you think it’ll get you a girl. Your poorly defined abs aren’t what is keeping you single, most women honestly won’t care that much. But if working on them will give you more confidence in yourself, then go for it – just don’t hang your relationship prospects on a few gym sessions.

Take the time to build your interests and discover new hobbies. Socialize with your friends, without the pressure to hook up with anyone. You might find that you have more fun, and they have more fun with you, when you’re just out to enjoy yourself. And guess what? If you find yourself talking to a cute girl and you’re just enjoying talking to her, with no ulterior motive, she’s that much more likely to enjoy talking to you too.

It might sound a bit paradoxical: to find a girlfriend, stop caring about finding one. But it really isn’t. I’m not saying you have to want to be single, just that you have to be happy being single, to stop thinking that you need a girlfriend. And then you just might find one. So stop worrying about finding the perfect girl, and just think about making yourself a better guy – and try to enjoy doing it.

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To not see a movie because a friend or a movie critic said it sucks is such a silly notion. Be it a good one or a bad one, you’re depriving yourself of an experience at someone’s subjective opinion. It’s true that movie might suck and they might be right; on the other hand, you might actually have an enjoyable experience, despite the opinions of others.

Don’t be ‘Sheeple’ - get out there and do what you feel like doing. Let someone else make the decisions for the indecisive people out there - you’re not indecisive, nor are you a ‘sheeple’ - make your decisions, go with it, and live with it.