Monday, 2 January 2012

Revival of the sunshine of the spotless mind.

This has nothing to do with the movie. Almost nothing. But everything about me screams "grown up". Bespoke suits, accomplished wardrobe, a law degree so close I can smell it. But if i'm not careful it may soon be a case of burning up as i'm drawing near to that star i was dying to grab hold of in the first place.

A pack of cheap, half eaten foie gras sits on my windowsill.

That says a lot about the current situation. I'm not one who's fond of keeping overnight food, but who is it that I have to impress? Apparently, no one at the moment. I'm not even bothered to take down the headphones just in case anyone knocks on the door. Know why? It's this thing that's going round. It's a disease of the mind. The solitude is driving me insane. Nobody enjoys being alone. Even misery loves company. Never has locking my door seemed so second nature.

The only thing is, I am surrounded by people. If you can see through this whole facade, it all just seems so temporary. Because I know that when the mask comes off, it's just me and these four white walls that stare back. They stare with that look. Even the walls have each other. That's right. I can always find company when i need it. The only thing is.

They're not you.

Happy New Year. What's so happy about it? You make resolutions. You keep none. It's just another day in the calendar. Do you honestly believe flipping a page over and yelling "CLEAN SLATE" will make it all good as new? Get real.

where's that light at the end of the tunnel?
where's my happy place?
i can't seem to find it.
not anymore.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

absence makes the heart fonder.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Public Speaking.

Public speaking has a basic definition of speaking to a crowd or audience, for a specific purpose; be it to entertain, educate, or anything else that would influence a listener. The best public speakers could go on for hours and hours, have the opportunity to go to different places of different crowd sizes to deliver the same messages, generate the same energy and great feedback from huge multitudes of followers, and what more, get paid a lot of money to do it. However, in reality, one does not get to that particular standard in one night, or a few nights even. A good speaker needs to be able to move his listener and stir him up in the inside, not only to inform him. Should one hold these kinds of skills, one can move nations. That statement may have some truth in it, as the best politicians and leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mao Ze Dong are very talented public speakers.

Public speaking may be a walk in the park to some, but to others, a horrible nightmare. Why should anyone be afraid to speak in public? Glossophobia, or stage fright, is a very common fear shared by thousands in the world. Imagine the whole room has your attention, and is waiting for you to produce something brilliant. The average person would just be overcome with fear and give up, sweating profusely, knees shaking and stuttering, which will not help the situation at all. The idea of it would already cause one to panic. Even so, thruthfully, there really is no need to panic. In my opinion, why focus on the thought that “Everyone is waiting for me to break down”? Rather, try concentrate on the fact that you, as opposed to everyone else in the room, were given a golden opportunity to express yourself and that everyone else gets to hear your opinion about a subject matter. Should you get the mind on the correct path and look at things positively, then you can take the other necessary steps to become a good public speaker.

One must remember, a person is never born good at talking. Or at anything. It is simply not possible. Ability comes from constant and gruelling practise, and hard work. Sure, it may be possible for one to just keep on talking for hours and hours, but to keep the attention and interest of the listener will take more than just a chatterbox. One must hone his speaking abilities, put it to practise and develop it, so that the words that come out of one's mouth may influence, and not be translated as simply garbage. In my experience from being a youth in school up until college and university, experience and practise was essential in my never ending journey to develop my skills to speak publicly, of course when necessary. Honestly speaking, I was a person of very few words. Over the years, one of the many things that I have learnt is that being silent does not get one noticed. It does not get one many friends either. I had to think about where my problems lied. Being brought up with English as my first language, I had absolutely no problem conversing, and thus I could not understand what I was doing wrong. I realised an obvious fact; I was shy, and scared of how I looked in front of other people, afraid that they will judge me and judge the way I speak, that I might look like a complete idiot in front of them. Eventually, I came to terms with those thoughts and figured out that I had to change my ways. I decided to do the most common thing. Practise, and train. Whenever I wanted to say something, or speak of something, I say it and picture how the outcome would be in my mind a thousand times, and when necessary, also when alone, I say what I need to say out loud to get it correct. When I began to get used to talking, I needed other methods to enhance my speaking, to make a conversation, or topic more interesting. Voice control would prove as a very effective tool to get the message across. Different tones should be used for different topics, also to emphasise on certain parts. Aside from that, one must also realise that if one talks to fast, it will make it impossible for anyone to understand a word you are trying to say. Besides voice control, I found humor to be very useful. Sarcasm worked for me too, but good, clean humor makes for a good, clean conversation. Therefore, all in all, I can now say that I enjoy conversing with others, not only informally, but up on the main stage. I know how to keep an audience entertained and focussed. However, I cannot say that after all that, I have become an excellent public speaker, but I can say that I can only get better, given that more opportunities presents itself.

Reflecting on the workshop, it answered a lot of fundamental questions that one would need to be good at speaking publicly. It is true that one must decide on specific matters to include in a speech, and not ramblings of irrelevant items, matters that relate to the topic discussed, and relating to the audience even, as to be more intimate with the people you are making a connection with. That, along with good material and preparation, ensures for an outstanding presentation. The workshop presented ideas of what Aristotle thought to be the most effective methods of a good presentation. Such ideas seem logical and very helpful. That included the principles of a persuasive presentation, that is the powerful rhetoric of ethos, pathos, and logos. What caught my attention was how simple words used or words left out of a speech can influence listeners so much. “i will show”, rather than “i will attempt to show” makes so much difference. It gives the speaker so much more credibility. What more, as the speaker, such things also gives the speaker a much needed confidence boost to take control of the audience and hold their interest.

As it shows, in order to captivate and have a long lasting impact on your audience, simple words at times will simply just not suffice. This is why a good vocabulary would help in strengthening an argument. Not only that, but it also gives more credibility to the speaker as a good vocabulary will be interpreted as a person with intellect, and an in depth knowledge of what he is trying to express. In other words, a good vocabulary will help a speaker in many senses, such as expression and communication. Take for example the word speaking. There are plenty of words that may be well connected to speaking, such as articulating your thoughts, or conveying a message, asserting your authority, enunciate words, as well as conversing and communicating. They all mean the same thing, but using different words for different situations may help others to see things in a different perspective, or in a lighter or stronger viewpoint. Moving on, one of the most common problems that a speaker may face when delivering his speech is his nervousness. A person does a lot of things when nervous. The worst thing about it is that it becomes many times magnified when on stage and in front of an audience. As I said earlier, many things may happen when a person is nervous, such as stuttering, the shaking of the knees, hands fidgeting, and the need to mess around with paper and all sorts of objects within arms reach, among other things. That, at first diagnosis, is the main 'symptom' for a sickness called 'lack of practise'. With more practise, of course, that should not happen. Of course, if that does not work, and stage fright never leaves, then there are a few methods one can do to solve that problem, or have it seem not as obvious, as the speaker has to always remember that the audience wants a person who is confident at what he is trying to say. Without confidence, there is no point in listening to what he has to say. To solve such things, simple tips may help in a big way. These include having little notes by your side to ensure flow in your speech, and continuity, and no doubt helping you remember your lines. If you need to find something to do with your hands, then hold on to your notes in a relaxed manner. Once you feel comfortable with it, you may not need it anymore, and then hand gestures will keep your hands occupied. This will assist in sending a message to the audience as it helps in emphasising points that need to be made. The audience, even though unrelated at all to the speaker, will somehow be able to understand, as humans send and interpret such body signals subconsciously.

To conclude, it is of most satisfaction for a speaker to be able to convey and influence, leaving a mark on his audience. With the right tools, any person may be able to impact people by speaking, as public speaking, arguably, may just be the most importantly valued skill that any individual can possess.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Dealing with stress.

What is stress? Researchers define stress as a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. This is, of course, very irritating, as it causes one to have to adjust and cope with something that you are not used to. In other words, should anything be comfortable, then surely there will be no need to stress about it. Life as a whole, would be difficult to imagine without the existance of stress. It is just not possible for one to go on living a day without any kind of complications that would fit into the definition of a state of “ physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension”. Even the thought of picking out a movie to rent at the store would cause somewhat of a dilemma.

In any case, there are two kinds of stress that one can relate to. There is the all irritating bad stress, and then there is the mirror image of it, the good stress. In my opinion, there is no doubt that the presence of a little good stress would prove beneficial to me, or anyone in particular, as it causes me to not be as lazy. Or in better words, it helps me to think and better myself as a student and as a person. Take for example my studies. Without stress I would just be lazing about all day, because, obviously, I am, stress free, and nothing would bother me. However, in reality, you have got to wake up and smell the thorns. This is because my parents did not send me flying off to a foreign country a thousand miles away just to take a three year vacation. That would be just wrong, and not to mention a real waste of hard earned money. Therefore, one would apply stress, as it also naturally comes along with the workload that is becoming a law student. In applying this stress, I become a better student. How do I do that? I strive in competitiveness, and the stress drives me to work hard to achieve a better result than my peer. Of course, competing with peers would not be the best idea, as the one person you want to better in your entire life would be none other than the one who stares right back at you in the mirror.

In any case, stress changes a person. I find myself to be a very laid back person, if possible to exaggerate, one without a care in the world. Which is of course untrue in many levels, and therefore I may be living in denial. The issue is that, as a kid, I was never one to be spoilt by my parents. As being laid back and having fun is my entire personality, I do find it difficult at times to just get into the mood of having to do work, without some sort of incentive to it. This is where my parents come in. Informally speaking, they practise tough love. And a lot of discipline comes with the whole set. My parents would force me to do my work, and the incentive would be to not get punished for not doing it. Simple physics. Since it is not in my nature to be a hardworking person, and one to be consigned to manual labor, I find my self having to adjust to this new tension, which drives me out of my comfort zone, and is of course, extremely irritating. A good ending comes from it, as I find myself having to cope with this new constant stress by looking at it in a different perspective. At the end of the day, why do I do the work that I do, I question myself constantly. I clean the house because it is the place where I rest my head at night, and I would definitely not want to be living in a pig sty. Why do I do my homework and assignments? My work and my course, I do not do it because my parents made me, but because I want to be a 'somebody' in society when I leave the university life, that I can make full use of the life that has been given to me.

As I have just discussed, some amounts of stress is always good for you. Yet, when the stress becomes a constant thing and a long term issue, it will become detrimental to your being and your body will start to wear itself out. I guess before the stresses in your life start to become too much and affects your overall well-being, you have to do something about it, which is why the workshop regarding managing stress is extremely important, and I cannot stress myself enough. I do apologize for the pun.

The workshop laid out for us the various methods that I can use to deal with stress, but I will focus on a few that I find to be just the right method for me, and I shall comment on the other few. For instance, the six step approach. This is a method I find to be rather similar to the third person technique and the coping imagery, which I find to be quite useful. I do imagine when things get complicated, I should take a step back, and re-evaluate the current situation I am in. and then I find myself asking myself the questions I have been asking all my life. Why am I doing this? Am I a little marrionette, just following orders by the strings behind my back? No. Therefore I take charge of the situation at hand and think of it in a different point of view. Should it be this bad? As they always say, 'Look at the brighter side of things', and somehow, it just works. You begin to tell yourself, 'it is not so bad' and then I can tackle the problem at hand, and face the problem with a better solution and a better purpose.

For some reason, I do not find the time projection imagery to the all that helpful, honestly. In my opinion, whatever problems that I have now should not and must not be forecasted into the future, and should indefinitely be resolved at the moment. On the other hand, anyone should find the complimentary approaches to be more than helpful. This relates to taking breaks and exercise, just calm yourself down and take the heat off the moment. It is always better to direct your stress elsewhere than in a negative thing. If you are angry, why not direct your anger at an inanimate object, such as a punching bag? Or play squash, and visualize the problem you have as that tiny ball. I find that to be very helpful.

Realistic thinking would be the ultimate stress buster in my opinion. As I said earlier on, you step back and re-evaluate the whole dilemma you are in, and think of it in a better light. If you are pictured as a negative object, think of all the positive things you have done, and in no time you will feel ridiculous for having bad thoughts about yourself. I shall end by reflecting on a movie I have watched. A person tells his friend who is having a hard time that he should never forget who he is and how he had got there in the first place. He emphasised on calling on his confidence and inner being to be his first name, followed by a 'ness' at the back. So my name is Douglas. Therefore, no one will be able to take away my Douglas-ness.

Amen to that.

this is, the comeback.

Friday, 20 November 2009

the ratio.

got this from
this site is practically overflowing with awesomeness.

"The Legend:

"Dude, I can totally tell he's gay! Look at his fingers!"

This sounds like one of those playground urban myths that adolescent males use as an excuse to punch each other. Supposedly, comparing the size of your index and ring fingers can tell whether a guy is destined to one day make out with Sulu and Andy Dick in a poorly lit alley in Hollywood.

Yeah, right. Enough of your ignorant homophobia!

The Truth:

Incredibly, this is a real thing. It's called digit ratio theory and multiple studies have confirmed it.

Apparently if you have a longer ring finger, it means you got more testosterone as a fetus and are more likely to be hyperactive, aggressive and disgusted by anything featuring Hugh Grant.

A longer index finger, on the other hand, means more estrogen, making you more neurotic and sensitive. So if your index finger is way longer than your ring finger, you're like the gayest dude ever, right?

Actually, no. Studies found that it was when the two fingers were nearly the same length that the subjects were more likely to be gay (men and women both). Why? You'll have to ask the scientists, it's technical. What we do know is a study from Rutgers looking at finger lengths in lesbians even found a noticeable difference between the "butch" ladies who drive trucks and wear flannel and the more feminine lesbians who tend to populate your fantasies.

So... how far into this entry did you get before you stopped to look at your fingers?"

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

the kick.

there's something about high expectations that complicate things.
who am i trying to convince?

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

the councel.

"Young, beautiful, fresh. I just, I, I look at you and I think GOD. Just, find good dudes! Find good guys. Don't find guys who have a stack of mags on top of their toilet, and watch Spike TV....If your boyfriend watches more than, like, 20 minutes of cop car chases, cut it out. And let me tell you, tell you one other secret, ladies. My new, my new class. If he is wearing a hat, like, a baseball cap, that baseball cap must be perfectly straight on his head. If that hat is even just one degree off this way or that way, it's actually relative to how much of a dick he is. So if he's totally that way, that's how much of a dick he is. And if his hat is all the way sideways, ruuuuuun! Stay in line with the hat. And if it's on backwards, he may want to arm wrestle. That's my over-the-top reference.."

- John Mayer