Introversion improves Confidence

Do you ever find yourself saying what you think people want to hear?  Do you cringe at what you have said and wonder why you felt you had to say it?  Are you the hardest worked life and soul of the party you know? Do you regard yourself as over-reactive and try to compensate with over-generosity or putting even more work into making people like you?  Do you ever fall victim to ‘running your mouth?’  If you answer yes to any or all of these things you may be an extrovert introvert.

An extrovert-introvert is basically an introvert who chooses to appear as an extrovert.  This may be for a variety of reasons.  Work was mine.  Head chefs in particular, may think that they are necessarily loud, big personalities who dominate the space they are in because it is expedient for the purposes of getting the job done under pressure. eg. Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White etc.  Some of the best chefs I have met, however, were actually shy, quiet people who worked to greater technical specification and gained more respect from the art itself. eg. Anton Mossiman, Andrew Fairlie.

I remember when I was very young, saying that I could not cope with any more crowds as I was getting tired from having to be six or seven people.  Quite apart from the callow and impressionable youth, I was expressing my introversion. Living in a very large house, I had always had the luxury of several hours a day with no-one bothering me, which I would spend reading or making things, since music was frowned upon, but that is another story.

If you frequently find yourself beating yourself up over stuff you have said or done, it may be time to admit to yourself that you actually prefer your own company and spending some time ALONE.  It is almost certainly better for your health than constantly tripping over an overactive tongue, and may save you future problems with your existing relationships.  I certainly found that after I became a recluse, the people who wanted to see me badly enough to seek me out, were doing so to get some sort of guidance that I had no idea I was providing.  You are nearly always stronger/brighter/quicker than you think.

After ten years away from my old friends when travelling, I was astonished to find that the vast majority of them had done nothing apart from seek validation from each other since I had left.   This seemed to me to be very sad.  Now, as an unashamed introvert, having distanced myself even from them, I achieve a lot more and am better rested and considerably more confident than I ever was as a bad tempered, brusque chef who was always in charge.

It is wise to conduct a cost benefit analysis, and figure out if you can squeeze yourself some time alone.  Make it a priority and find out who you really are.  I can tell you that almost all of the time, you are better off without the advice of even the most well-meaning friend, and you are certainly better off without the warped role playing advice of your family.

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Empowerment and the Garden Economy

I may have to disappear for a week or two as I have a feeling Best Adventure Ever is about to burst forth.  It is a far more complex book than Best Scandal Ever or Best Romance Ever and deals with a lot of things at once.  A more advanced reader will notice that they pick new things up the more times they return to the stories, some of it is only really intended for Wolfe.  I basically write free books for an audience of one, with a giant side salad of entertainment for everyone else.  I hope he appreciates this, I wouldn’t do this if I did not believe him to have the capacity to find gemstones on a pebble beach.

I don’t suppose it really matters, the work gets done, and it’s his loss if he doesn’t.  In any case, all the Best Ever….Sam Redwood stories will always be free.  They are gifts, intended to spark interest from readers at some future point in their lives if not right now.

Today I have been considering the matter of empowerment.  Many motivational speakers like to talk about empowerment.  In the event that you are a bit tired and browbeaten, depressed, middle-aged and underachieving, lazy or perhaps a tad dim, empowerment is a subject that you will fully appreciate.  As something of an empowerment gourmet, very few of them think much about it beyond – the audience will like this, the audience will admire me for saying this, the audience will buy my empowerment course etc etc.  You know the scene – Tony Robbins has probably a hundred or more members of staff doing mini empowerment courses all over the USA, as do many others.

So here is my empowerment for the bombast-hating and probably more intelligent rest of the motivation market. You matter, you matter, you matter.  Stop assuming other people will do things for you, and that your participation doesn’t count.  You dug yourselves into a hole, now it is time to look in the mirror, tell yourself that you count, and dig yourselves back out of it again.  Nobody can do it for you!

Very technical, isn’t it? Yes, your last hundred dollars/pounds/million yen matter.  Open your ethical or SRI bank or building society account now, so that when it is operational, you can transfer your wages or income into it.  Prepare for changing your broadband/tv/telephone account by collecting the relevant information and STOP GOING TO THE SUPERMARKET ALREADY! If you are desperate for the latest Prada, look for it on Ebay instead.  Consider if you will still want it next season.  If the answer is no, then you don’t need it and would be better off spending your time finding a chic new designer item nobody else knows about.

I updated the information on Better Person Project for the UK last night, and will take another look at the slightly more complicated USA this evening.  I am ashamed to say that had not looked at it in quite a long time as I had been fighting off my Wolfitis over the winter and spending too much time with the worst-eater-in-the-world Twisty.  This stops now.  I will just have to drown myself in work instead. All because somebody somewhere decided that I did not matter – you see how this works?  Telling people that they do not matter disempowers them, and then they do nothing and try to compensate in other ways.

So, repeat after me, I matter, and I am now going to make a difference. Enjoy whatever beverage comes to hand, and start making plans to redirect your money away from the conventional routes.  It’s not only important for you, it’s important for your future, and your potential children’s future. There is no future economic plan that justifies the world’s wealth going into so few hands.

Feed the saplings, cut down the old trees.  The economy works much the same way as a garden.  If you persist in feeding only the established forest, the old trees will still fall down but nothing will grow.  DO IT NOW!

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Economic Raw Food for the Brain

About a fortnight ago, a tearful young lady had put a message up on facebook complaining that she was tired of being disposable, that nobody had any feelings anymore and she did not feel that she could live like that.

I very quickly replied that her generation had been brought up for a transient existence because transience is good for the economy, and that if she expected to change anything, she was just going to have to rebel.  She did not reply. A good example of this symptom of the Western economic disease is one of IKEA’s campaigns, which entreated the viewer to get divorced and buy some furniture. This is a fairly advanced gag for the European market, but an important one.

I am sure this phenomenon, of personal disposability and the need to continuously upgrade yourself, started during my generation or even earlier in the USA, but in the UK even people two years younger than me show a marked difference to people of my own age. The sublimation of cultural influence is so finely tuned now, that even 20 odd months make a difference. Where I got much the same post war creative children’s programming as my older peers, I noted as far back as the 1980s that colours in newer TV shows were more akin to sales signs and children were being discouraged from actually making anything in favour of showing off another purchase. I was met with dismay in the 1990s when I made a serious complaint to the BBC about it.

It is very sad, and very bad for fulfilling personal development that we are now training people to despise menial jobs and assume that the answer to all ills is to purchase happiness.  It is equally sad to destroy the sense of commitment that, despite sacrificing a sense of day to day contentment, provided people with the stability required to move beyond Candy Crush Saga, to discuss more important things and perhaps volunteer to do something about them instead of assuming powerlessness.  Being serious is now considered to be something undesirable and unattractive. People like this poor girl feel that their emotions are somehow unacceptable, and that feeling anything renders them worthless.  Compare this with even fifty years ago, and you will see exactly how much you have been manipulated.

Post 90s babies may not even have access to people who remember when it was OK to have feelings and make lousy Valentine’s cards (or whatever else) for each other as it now seems to be desirable to throw the elderly into a care home.  Boys are now deprived of the company of their fathers, fixing broken items or inventing new ones, because the traditional skill level has been depleted for the benefit of the Political Economic Paradise we are so fortunate to live in. Now they are supposed to jump into the second car and buy something new to keep somebody somewhere (else) in work. All so that your government can show you another couple of percent growth and keep you voting for them.  You can also count yourself responsible for perpetual war and student loans, since these are also part of the economic machine that is running out of steam.

I, perversely, count myself lucky to be in a position to show you exactly how much you have been conned. Time is money – no, money is time, and time is worth a lot more than cash to you if you know how to use it effectively and have sufficient motivation to do something with it.  Nobody is powerless, and nobody is worth more than you just because they are good at extracting cash from their employer or anybody else they do business with. Don’t ever let anybody tell you otherwise, stop comparing yourself to them and stop worrying about what people might say if you actually care about something.  You may well surprise yourself.

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You created the one percent

As promised, here is your checklist for redirecting finance in a more positive direction. It is important for you to circulate it to as many people as possible to encourage them to do the same. You can do as little or as much as you choose, but the more people redirecting their lives away from feeding what is now a seriously malfunctioning machine the better. The 1 percent that everyone complains about only became the 1 percent because the 99 percent put them there.

My suggestion is that you do one thing at a time, so that you do not become bogged down with the details.

If you are in Europe, sign this https://stop-ttip.org/

And this https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/eu-ttip-petition#petition

And this https://www.change.org/p/to-the-eu-and-uk-governments-do-not-sign-up-to-ttip

Open an account with an ethical bank, again I have posted links to some of the banks which market themselves as ethical investors on the Better Person Project  You will find them under the appropriate drop down menu.  The reason I suggest this before doing anything else is because changing all your monthly payments over to a new account is a pain in the neck, and considering the other slightly more time consuming things I will be adding to this list, it is important that you start with this.

This means that you will be encouraging positive rather than negative investments from the banks that you choose to deal with.  If we can encourage a swing towards ethical investment, it will influence the more mainstream banks to do the same.  One person matters. One thousand people matter.  One million people and we have actually achieved something. You matter.  Open the account.  If your country is not represented, find the bank in your country that invests ethically and add it to the website, please.

In the event that you hold savings, consider investing a little in a ‘lend with care’ or social capital project as you will achieve two things – first, the person you are lending to will not have to go to a bank and give them more business, and second, you will get a much better interest rate than the banks have been offering. Again, I have added links on the Better person project site, and if you find more, or better ones, you are free to add them without fear of my scraping your data, or whatever.

Stop shopping with large retailers such as supermarkets, ‘iconic’ brands etc.  The big global fashion labels in particular, are owned by about 6 investment companies.  Not that they are particularly evil investment companies, but if you wish to achieve an impact in terms of diversifying the market, you want to feed the smaller companies until they are in a position to compete.

Supermarkets are a menace, because you are lulled into giving them a proportion of your income every week, so one company benefits disproportionately by cutting costs or advertising more widely.  This is easy for a raw foodist, because chances are if you are shopping in a supermarket, you are paying too much already.  Non raw foodies will find it more difficult.

I completely understand as I sometimes do the shopping at 3am and Asda (Walmart) is the only one open, but if we are to start making a dent in this, it starts at home. Reducing your spend to the minimum and using your spending power to encourage competitors is key.

As a side effect, smaller retailers are frequently located in places where it is more practical to walk, and you may be able to use your car less.

Communications companies are just as outgrown.  Investigate smaller companies who offer the same services that you currently enjoy.  It is worth considering spending slightly more in order to grow a competing company, rather than get additional TV channels that you do not even watch thrown in as part of a deal to maintain the economic status quo with a company like Sky, Virgin or the equivalent.

It is a question of habit, and being aware that the price of convenience is the difference between being forced into a minimum wage job by a giant retailer, or opening a store yourself, if that is what makes you happy. Just as thinking before you eat makes a difference, so does thinking before you let a penny out of your wallet.

Bear in mind, if you choose to do this, that it was not entirely your fault that you were sucked into a situation where your government became powerless against the businesses that supported them.  The original book goes into quite a lot of detail as to how it was done, and how people were weakened in the face of ultra convenience.  I shall take a look at publishing the finished material, but for now – I think this is enough for us to be getting on with.  If we can get around the time consuming problems associated with rechannelling our own money, it will make it much easier for the next wave of people that get on board.

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