Temperance 2.0

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Yesterday I wrote a post about temperance, which was a little rushed, and unfortunately today my post is a little but rushed too. The morning streams are becoming such a fun adventure for me that it is hard to stop them such that I have time to appropriately blog, so here I am at the Starbucks patio around the corner from my work typing furiously to get something written for you all to read before I go back to my desk job.

Yesterday I briefly touched on the subject of infidelity in my post about temperance. This is a big issue as today so many people are cheating on their partners. Now this post is written with regards to people that are in relationships. If you are out there and just single and mingling that’s one thing, and this post is not about this. This post is about cheating, and cheating only happens when partners are trusting each other to be true. If there is no agreement to be true, then that is another story. Now constant fooling around can be another article as well, because the lines can surely be blurred as to what you are in the scope of a relationship and people also often don’t communicate, but I will save that for another post.

Back to the post, I want to start it off with a message that a follower said last night in my stream. Czech_Meowt in my chat said,

“It’s the break down of society.”

I could not agree with her more. It truly is so terrible. Once someone cheats there is no way to trust that person anymore. That bond that you two shared has now been broken. I know what this is like as I have been cheated on in the past. It’s a shitty feeling knowing that the person you are with isn’t loyal to you, and worse that they hid it from you.

How can you go back to them?

If you have kids, or shared interests and possessions then things can be much more complicated as you cannot easily walk away. But restoring the relationship is not without incredible difficulty. Making it work out is extremely challenging because if the person that was cheated on wants to take revenge they can any moment.

Let’s say the one who cheated doesn’t text back soon enough, then the other partner can easily say,

“Oh where were you? Were you cheating?”

I know a person who went through this. It’s terrible. It was a mistake long ago, but forgiveness was never granted. Instead a vicious cycle of revenge was created as the one who was cheated on chose to punish the cheater who had since repented. But then the cheater felt terrible and was angry at the cheatee as that person would not let them be forgiven.

This is what happens when cheating is involved.

The stakes are never higher. And honestly its why I think that if cheating happens and it is possible to separate from the relationship more easily (e.g. no kids, etc.) then I recommend it. Because so much damage has been done and can be done, don’t put yourself through that. Just move on and try to rebuild, and if you were the one who cheated, learn your lesson so as not to do it again. And if you can rebuild, then that can be good, but in my opinion it is highly unlikely and it is more likely best to move on.

But also forgive yourself.

People all make mistakes, and by mistakes I mean serious mistakes: cheating included. It’s certainly not okay, but at some point you need to move on with your life and get back to living it. Don’t let a mistake ruin everything else. Now, moving on with your life is likely going to be with a new person, and that will definitely hurt, but that is consequence of what has been done.

And you have to deal with that.

Hopefully this teaches the importance of temperance. The need for self-control, to be able to choose and say no to alternatives. This is so immensely important in the case of relationships. I will tell you all this. Everytime I have been dating someone, no matter how smart she was, no matter how pretty she was, no matter how successful she was, I met other woman that I was attracted to and impressed with.

But did I act on my desires and cheat? No.

I won’t sit here and type this blog and lie and say I’m only attracted to the girl I am dating. That is a bunch of bullshit in my opinion. There are so many great, attractive, datable people in this world, and I am attracted to lots of them. And this is also how I expect the women I date to feel as well. If they told me they weren’t attracted to any other men and just me, I would accept it as flattery, but also as a lie.

Look, I’m cute, but there’s a lot of cute guys out there. I’m not that arrogant or stupid lol.

But back to my main point. It’s just that you need to choose. And both people need to choose this. One person who they want to be with. And that means that when others show up you don’t go with them. It doesn’t mean that you don’t be attracted to them, that is something that is out of your control. We don’t really create our desires, they just happen. But we are in control of our choices.

And that is what attracts me the most.

When a woman consciously chooses me over others. That’s what I really want. Not to have a companion that only thinks I am attractive and no one else is, but rather one that chooses me above others. That is truly special.

And you know,  sure this is sexist I guess because I am stereotyping cheating as happening more on the fault of men than women, but seriously guys,

KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS.

If you have someone in your life that is precious to you, and is amazing, and worth keeping. Show that. Don’t betray that trust. Learn how to be temperate, to control your desires and in doing so be able to foster a great relationship instead of compromising it just to have another fling.

Remember, life is about choices. And if you want life to be good, and not full of stress, you will need to make some. And I understand that those can at times be very difficult and also often paired with sadness. You can’t date everyone, and that is sad because as I said there are lots of amazing people to date, but if you want to make a serious relationship with one, you will necessarily have to decline others.

But that is the way that you will be able to have a truly great one, and in the end that will be worth it.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

The Simplest thing.

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Ever since I could remember my Father always encouraged me to greet people whenever I ran into them.

To anyone and everyone. To that person I crossed path with down the street. To the person that was standing next to me in line. To my friends at school, to my teachers, to my neighbors, to everyone that I could.

He told me that it was such a simple thing, that could make all the difference in the world.

And he was completely right.

One day many decades ago my Dad was going to get his box of donuts. He was an independent wholesaler and his signature calling card was a pink box of donuts. He would always bring it to his favorite customers and of course, close the deal. He routinely had a box ready for him at a local bakery in San Pedro and he would stop by in the mornings and pick it up.

But this day was different.

As my Dad was walking into the store he crossed paths with a huge, scary-looking, black man.

Now reader, I avoid talking about race unless it is absolutely necessary, lest I want to stir up controversy, but trust.

My Father looked like your average white male. Not too muscular or anything, just looked like he worked a regular job and had a regular life. (Though my Dad was, and is, far from that lol) Anyways, this man that he crossed paths with was huge. Big, tough, and as may dad described, a just real mean-looking guy. The kind of person that you just don’t want to run into. The type who could just break you into two pieces without breaking a sweat.

You know what my Dad did when he saw him?

He greeted him with a great big smile, said “Good Morning!” and opened the door to the donut shop for him. 

My Father told me the man looked at him with an expression that he would describe as a look of half scowl, but also of half surprise. The man went inside the bakery without saying a word to my father. My dad then followed inside into the packed bakery.

Now my Dad always had his box of donuts at the end of the counter waiting for him, as it was prepared ahead of time since he had a business account with the bakery, so unlike the Man with whom he had just spoken to, he skipped the line and went to pick them up.

Then this happened.

The Man seeing that my Dad was just in and out picking up his donuts and that he was about to leave the place in a just a minute said this across the room, to which everyone in the entire place could hear.

“Hey! I really appreciate you greeting me this morning.”

My Dad could tell that the Man had been incredibly moved by him. He replied,

“Wouldn’t it be nice if everybody did that?”

The Man replied back with a statement that sounded full of disbelief, in that he had never thought about a world where something like this was the case. He said,

“Yeah, it sure would.”

My dad then picked up his trusty box of donuts, and left the bakery. But not before he looked at the Man again and said his signature line,

“Keep Smiling!”

My Father always told me that the Man, the same scary looking monster of a human being, took on the biggest smile he had ever seen and laughed.

 

My Father has never forgotten that moment, nor have I. The story struck such a cord with me that when I recount it, it is as if I was there in the bakery. And I remember it so vividly because of how important the story is, and what it means.

I really hate race. I really do. It’s such a shame. I just wish it wasn’t so. I hate how people think because of my background (being a white kid) that I think this and that I think that about other races. And that other people think this and think that because of their race or about other races. They don’t know me. I don’t know them either. Why can’t we just wait to judge until we get to know people?

I hate it.

I grew up in an area where I was truly fortunate. There were lots of people from different backgrounds and us as kids never ever even thought about race. To this day two of my best friends from First Grade are Chinese and Indian. I currently live with my Chinese friend and his family as I write this post.

I can truly say that growing up I was color-blind.

But as you get older, you see race. And you see the stereotypes and how people judge others. And you cannot get away from it. It’s everywhere you look. It’s on the streets, it’s on the news, it’s in how people speak, how they look, and even how they move.

And this was what probably happened every day to this Man. He looked like the hulk, he was already scary because of his sheer size, and then you add on that he was black and people likely were judging him every day thinking he was a bad dude, and in a gang, or some other kind of bullshit because of his race. He probably would walk down the street and routinely have people, likely whites, just bow their heads in fear, or worse walk to the other side of the street.

Can you imagine how that would feel?

I bet it was beyond terrible. And then after that happened a few times, he probably got angrier and angrier because likely the guy was super nice inside! But everyone judged him by what he looked like and what they thus associated with him based on his appearance, and he probably hit a point where he thought,

“well if they think I’m a monster maybe I will just be one.”

From that point on he probably carried that scowl with him everywhere he went.

Until he met my Dad.

I cannot say this for certain, but based on the reaction that this Man gave my Father and from the account I have been told, there is a high degree of probability that the Man was thinking or feeling something along these lines. He probably saw my Dad walking to the bakery door, as was he, and thought to himself,

“Another white guy who thinks I’m just a mean, up to no good, black guy.”

It is so sad, but it is so deeply understandable. How could I even begin to argue with the sentiment? I know how people act. They act in that way. They reinforce these terrible stereotypes through their mannerisms every day, through things like ducking their heads and looking down at the side-walk when they would walk past him. And you know what? I understand why, they are scared because of the stereotype. But they should replace their fear with courage. Stand up straight, and instead of looking at the ground, look them in the eye and do what my Father did.

Do what this Man thought was unimaginable. Something that nobody ever did to him. Something so easy that anyone could have done it, but no one ever did. He just simply greeted him with a smile and said,

“Good Morning!”

And that struck deeply. My Dad always told me he knew that that was a moment for that man. After all, he shouted to thank my Father all the way across the packed bakery. It’s those kind of remarks where someone says something across a room, with no regard to what’s happening around them, when you know it meant something. They have something to say, and it is so important they say it, no matter what others think.

And what this man had to say was simply,

“Thank you.”

 

All people want to be acknowledged. We humans are social beings. We live amongst each other, and thus we should communicate with each other. When we don’t that is a terrible thing. Sometimes being ignored is the worst feeling in the world. There are times where I know for a fact that I would rather be hated than ignored. At least someone would be paying attention right? That’s why my Father said hello to everyone throughout his life and why he encouraged me to do the same.

Everyone is important.

And you can easily let them know that, just by saying hello. Your comment just might make their day. Or maybe their week. Or maybe their month. Or maybe even their entire life. And you just might be able to tell when it does.

My Dad knows for a fact that that Man never forgot that moment. And my Father never did either. Both of them carried that with them for the rest of their lives. And in that moment I know my Dad made a difference.

Imagine if everyone did that.

And is it really so hard? There are many projects out there where people say “imagine if we all pitched in!” But honestly, those projects often require a tremendous amount of effort, and it is just impractical to assume that everyone would pitch in and help make it a reality.

But here? This is easy.

Every one of you reading this has the power to acknowledge someone. There is no monetary deposit required. You don’t need to sacrifice anything. Just the next time you see someone, wherever you are, say hello to someone.

It is so simple.

And for those of you that are scared of talking to other people, I understand. I have been there before. But you know what? The more you talk to to people, the easier it gets, and soon it will come naturally. And further, you will make so many friends! People will be awestruck by you. You will be the light in their day, especially if you live in a small community where you start to see someone of these people regularly. You might even get to see the snowball effect that happens when you radiate kindness.

I tell you, kindness is infectious.

Other people will take notice. The fact that you extend yourself to them and acknowledge them will strike a chord. So many people have no one in their lives. They go to work and go home and anyone outside of those circles never says a word to them.

Until you.

Just trust me on this. Put yourself out there and say hello to people. You will be surprised with what happens.

And you just might be able to change the world one “good morning” and one “keep smiling” at a time.

 

Go out and acknowledge others, and Keep Smiling,

Nolan

What a Coincidence

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Today is Sunday, and it was a sleepy one. I have still been fighting off this cold I caught after the end of the Holiday Season, so I was just sleeping in as much as I could this morning. I see my phone vibrate. I don’t really want to check it, even though its 11:30 in the morning. (I told you I was sleeping in)

I look anyways and it’s my buddy Daniel. He works at my local Best Buy and he says that he has one pair of Apple AirPods in stock and that he has it hidden away just for me. I really wanted to buy a pair of these as a few friends of mine have purchased them and they have been raving to me about them. I tell Daniel that I’m on my way and I will see him at the store soon.

As I am putting on my shoes just about to get in my car, I get another phone call. This time it’s from my brother Tony. I pick up the call and say good morning. He asks me what I’m up to and I tell him that I am just heading out to go to Best Buy to get some Apple AirPods. Tony then says to me that this is in fact actually what he was calling me about.

 

Me: “AirPods? Really?”

Tony: “Yeah, I want to get them for you for Christmas, I knew you wanted a pair.”

 

Well, I surely couldn’t argue with that! I told him I would meet him at the store. Fifteen minutes later I arrived and saw him waiting for me out front. The two of us go inside and boom! just like that Daniel shows me where he tucked the AirPods away and Tony blessed me with a fantastic Christmas Present.

Now, I have only had these wireless earbuds for about three hours so far, but I can already tell you that I absolutely love them. The double tap function that works with Siri is particularly amazing. I never used Siri prior to this. Now I have already used her more in the past three hours than I have in my entire life. (And yes, Siri is a HER)

I really am digging these things. I even used the double tap to call Tony to thank him especially.

 

But you know what I like the most about this gift. It’s that Tony wanted to get me something he knew that I wanted. This gift was not cheap. It ran him about 175$. And I would know, I was right there when he purchased it.

Ir really means a lot that he did this for me. Tony decided that he wanted to get me something that he knew I would enjoy for Christmas. (These things were totally sold out prior to and currently still are in a lot of areas by the way.  I tried to purchase a pair a few days ago but none were to be found anywhere. The way that I got my hands on one today was because someone came in and returned a pair. The packaging was never even opened though, the product was never used. Shoutout to Daniel AKA GojiraTV) And I really am enjoying them, Tony chose well.

Honestly getting a gift for me can be tough, I think. Its actually because of my nature. I am viciously determined. (Watch my stream this year chat, I’m up next. Every night from 7:30 PM – 11:30 PM Pacific at www.twitch.tv/nolantv btw) When I want something I get it so quickly other people don’t have the time to react to get it for me as a gift. Consequently, there isn’t much out there that people can give me that I really want. And that is totally my fault! But Tony, took action and made it happen! This should teach me to be more patient lol. This definitely was one of the best Christmas presents I have received, and it’s because I know the mindset behind the gift.

On Christmas Day I gave Tony a watch that I knew he would like and indeed he did. But on that day, he didn’t have a gift for me. And this didn’t upset me, some times people aren’t in a place to give gifts. Things are going on so they don’t get around to it, or they just don’t have the funds. You can never really know what’s going on in other people’s lives, especially around the Holidays. (It’s the best or worst time of the year for people) But I could tell that day that Tony really wanted to get me something nice in return. He saw the gifts I gave him and his family and how I had found particular gifts that were oriented towards each person based on it being something that I thought they wanted. I got Dan a book, which was the cheapest of all of my gifts, but it was political in nature so I knew that he would appreciate it. I got Tony a nice watch, which was much more expensive than Dan’s book, but I knew it was something that he would like and appreciate. I could tell that Tony saw this and that he wanted to do the same for me: get me a gift that was something that I would particularly enjoy, and not just something that could be given to anyone. And so he committed. He remembered that I had talked to him about Apple AirPods one day and that I was interested in them. In fact, I had completely forgotten that I talked to him about it. When he told me that he wanted to get them for me I said,

 

Nolan: “how did you know I wanted them?”

Tony: “Because you told me.”

 

Thanks for listening Tony. You can’t put a price tag on friends who do this.

But seriously, this gift was about twice what I got him. He stepped it up. My only worry is that he felt guilty about that he didn’t have something for me on Christmas, such that he felt the need to go big or go home. Tony if you are reading this, I absolutely love this gift. But know this, all I ever want from you are gifts that you know I would enjoy and are particular to me. The book you gave me a few years ago, The 4 Hour Work Week, and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck are still one of the best gifts I have ever received. So, don’t ever feel locked into getting me expensive gifts. Though I will tell you, I really appreciate that you weren’t stopped by the price tag for this gift. You really went in to getting this gift with the sole intention of getting me what I wanted, and you didn’t let other factors stop you. I appreciate that tremendously.

But this gift is so legit, just take it easy on my birthday. (Since it’s coming up soon) You can just get me a Starbucks gift card or something. And not with 100$ on it, more like 25$. Just take it easy! Love you dude.

 

To conclude this post, as I am currently writing it in a Starbucks (feel free to send me gift cards everyone, they will be used and appreciated) while listening to Breakbeat Trance on Spotify through my new Apple AirPods, Christmas really is a magical time of year. And it really is about giving, not receiving. I am much happier with all the gifts that I gave this season, much more so than with what I received. And not because I received poor gifts. Quite the contrary! It’s just as I wrote in my earlier post about how I entered adulthood. The spirit of giving, and showing your friends that you care about them such that you want them to have something they will enjoy and appreciate, feels a thousand times better than receiving something.

And that’s why I am so excited about this gift from Tony. He got into the Christmas spirit of giving such that he came through for me to get me something that I really wanted, despite a seriously hefty price tag. That really showed his friendship to me and that means much more to me than these little things in my ears ever could.

 

So cheers to close friends, and all those that are there for you. Don’t forget to tell them that you care about them, and if they got you something for Christmas make sure you write them a thank you note.

Seriously people, do not forget to write thank you notes. Especially for gifts given in the Holiday Season. That’s the biggest fuck you in the world. Don’t be that guy lol.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

Just Remember

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(Time is Running Out. Christmas is tomorrow)

Starting last year I became an adult. How so you might ask? Well, I made the transition from receiving Christmas gifts to giving them.

Thats right, Nolan has entered adulthood.

But let’s get one thing straight. The Holiday Season is not really about getting or granting gifts. It is about being around loved ones, more poignantly being remembered.

It is that time of year to let people know that you do think of them. This year I have done a very good job at getting the people close to me a gift. Not necessarily expensive (although a few were), but more importantly something that is related to them. Don’t just go get gifts that anyone give (this is okay if it is for someone not that close or you just simply do not know what to get), but for people that are special to you, they should deserve a special gift.

Put some time into it.

And also don’t think about the price. Everything in life comes with a price. Except friendship, its priceless. Think about it. It’s not that friendship costs nothing; in fact its quite the contrary. Friendship is so valuable you cannot put a price tag on it.

So do not be afraid or unwilling to spend some money on your friends. If you aren’t willing to do that, some friend you are.

Now I understand that some people don’t have money for gifts. Sometimes times are tough. But every year? If you reading this are someone who doesn’t have money for gifts for those close to you this year I want you to resolve to budget some money throughout this year so that during the next Holiday Season you have some to spend on gifts.

And when you get gifts that move your friends. The return is priceless. Giving a gift to a close friend is not a sunk cost. It is an investment. It pays dividends.

Friendships must be maintained, otherwise they die. Don’t let them die. Work at it, get something for your friends. It could be anything. It could be expensive, it could also be on the cheaper side.

But most importantly it should be important. Something to let those people know that you think of them, you know them, and that you remember them.

 

Keep Remembering,

Nolan