Archive for the ‘singles’ Category

Clutter is one of my pet hates. Fortunately, my wife hates it too therefor most of the time the house tends to remain fairly tidy. However, if either you or your partner has a tendency to horde things then your clutter can soon get out of control.

“Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.” – Wendell Berry

It’s a good idea to adopt the habit of never leaving a room without removing something from it that shouldn’t be in there. This makes tidying up much easier.

If you don’t collect it in the first place then you will never have to dispose of it. Think long and hard before making purchases for the home, if it’s not essential then leave it for another day, if you really want or need it you will buy it eventually.

Photographs: We all know what each other looks like so it is totally unnecessary to keep loads of family photographs out on display. Okay, the odd important one is fine but there’s nothing more offputting when visiting someone’s home than being confronted by hundreds of pictures of them and their relatives.

Be brutal: When you are decluttering it’s important that you are ruthless. If you’ve not used or worn something in over a year then bin it. If you really can’t bear to part with it then store it out of the way in the loft.

“The more you have, the more you are occupied. The less you have, the more free you are.” – Mother Teresa

I’m a big believer in breaking problems down into small chunks, so if your clutter is out of control attack it bit by bit, one room at a time, one part of a room at a time even.

Benifits of decluttering:

As well as the obvious benefits of improving your house’s appearance and if it’s up for sale, making it more appealing to potential buyers, there are other hidden benefits of decluttering.

Clutter has a tendency to keep us living in the past. Therefor by spring cleaning from time to time we keep ourselves in a better emotional state.

Good memories are fine but we don’t need constant reminders of them. In order to keep living in the present and for the future it is important to surround ourselves with new things.

“Less is more.” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com

 

Come on admit it, we all love supermarkets?!? Struggling to find a parking space, all the people, negotiating our trolleys up and down the aisles, trainee checkout staff. It’s blissfull.

We’ve not tried doing the food shop on line yet but I don’t like waiting in for people and I’ve never really fancied the idea of someone else deciding on ‘suitable alternatives’ for me. But they say don’t knock something ’till you’ve tried it, so maybe sometime soon we’ll give it a whirl.

Anyway, my wife and I LIKE the struggle and the challenge of doing the foodshop ourselves, it’s extremely satisfying, really, and I want to carry my own shopping over the threshold thank you very much, even if it is persisting it down.

So every weekend, we tootle off down to Tesco’s – the people who insist that they are “helping us save money, every single day”.

Hardly bloody likely, we must put the best part of ten grand into their coffers “every single year” but unfortunately we live in a time when convenience is king. When I think about it though, it would be cheaper to give up work and start growing the stuff ourselves. Now there’s an idea.

So, we arrive at the carpark. In fairness to Tesco’s, it’s large enough, but if you are able-bodied, not a mother with child, toddler, guinea-pig or whatever other restrictions they feel fit to impose on parking then it’s a bit of a struggle.

We’re still calm though, even though we’ve been circling the carpark trying to find a parking space for the last ten minutes. Finally, we catch someone vacating a space, well for the time it takes them, maybe emigrating’s a more appropriate word – Patience is a virtue.

The trolley we choose seems decent enough. Although, after taking on the minutest of payloads ie. one newspaper and a tin of beans it somehow develops a mind of it’s own, and moving it let alone steering it becomes virtually impossible.
 
Why do some people insist on clogging up the aisles?

They bring the whole family, including great aunts and uncles with them, the more the merrier I say. Then they bump into the family from down the road and voila, you’re faced with twenty odd geriatrics, toddlers, pregnant wives and their househusbands blocking of the aisles – joy.

Why do old people insist on doing their weekly shop at the weekend?

They can shop any day of the week, they can shop when it takes half the time to shop, they can divide their shop into five and do it Monday to Friday if they like, but oh no, they wait until the weekend and then descend on the supermarkets in their droves, you can’t move for old dears at the weekend, bless ’em.

No problem though, the aisles are clearing a little, actually, we’re doing quite well for time but hold on a minute, they’ve moved the bread, AND the milk, we don’t mind though, we love a game of hide and seek. When we finally find the new, improved locations (eye-level is buy-level) you’ve guessed it, there out of stock.

The check out experience is just that, an experience. My favourite part is when having just watched you load 115 items onto the conveyor belt the assistant asks “Do you need any bags for those?” I always feel like saying “No thanks, we’re going to carry each item out to the car individually.”

But we always smile and say “Yes please” mainly out of politeness but partly because I honestly believe that if we said we didn’t they would take us at our word.

Supermarkets don’t like us using their bags anymore, it’s another cost saving exercise that they can wave the green banner at but they still feel grudgingly obliged to offer us them, so subsequently they have reduced the quality of the bags to such an extent that they tear if you put anything heavier than a newspaper in one of them.

The assistant looks at you in shock-horror if you ask for a wine carrier, so if you’ve purchased more than one bottle of wine (heaven forbid) then load them into one of their plastic bags at your peril.

Having taken out a remortgage to pay the bill, even though we had 53 BOGOFS, (Buy One Get One Free) 27 discounts and God knows how many special purchases we struggle past all the people who insist on checking their bills right in front of the exits and out to the car.

Finally, ten broken plastic bags later, everythings stowed in the car and we tootle off home again. Having put everything away in it’s rightful place we come to the best part of the day, a well earned drink down the pub, but that’s another story.

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” –  Adelle Davis (1904 – 1974)

Even though we all need food to survive our relationship with food goes much deeper than that, we have developed this amazing love affair with it. All animals need to eat but we have turned eating and drinking into an art form.

# The senses: Eating and drinking is one of the few things that involves using all of our senses, we can see, hear, smell, touch and taste it. A good meal is indeed a truly absorbing experience.

# Provision: Our ancestors prided themselves in hunting down their food. Feasting on the catch was considered a great celebration, a time to be happy and grateful.

# Preparation: Many people love the act of preparing food, and making a delicious meal can be extremely rewarding.

# Dining/eating out: This is a very sociable thing to do, wether it’s in a posh restaurant or at a roadside cafe. Sharing food and conversation is a very important part of our society.

‘If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.’ – J R R Tolkien (1892 – 1973)

# Diet: Obviously a balanced diet is vital for us to lead a happy life. Modern-day life has made the availability of food plentiful for many of us. The down side to this is that we tend to over eat and under exercise.

However, too much is made of dieting, the more we think about something the more we want to do it.

Food is part of our lifestyle, and as such if we want to lose weight we need to change that lifestyle. Starving the body is no good for anyone.

Small portins eaten often is the key to a healthy diet.

Modern-day lifestyles do not lend themselves to ‘not eating between meals’. Once we accept this we will also accept that we can and will eat many times a day. Thus the smaller the portions the better.

The three square meals philosophy believed in by our parents and grand parents no longer holds true.

Let’s hope we can maintain our centuries-old love affair with food because at the end of the day we should eat to live not live to eat.

‘Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.’ – Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggegts4u.com

I’ve written numerous articles on this subject in the past many of which I’ve posted on various forums and blogs across the internet and they have always created a lot of interest and reaction, not all of it positive I might add!

There is a lot of moral high ground concerning the subject of looks and ageing but all I can say to the people who congregate up there is that people spends billions of pounds every year on anti-ageing products and procedures so lets stop being so hypocritical about it.

The fact of the matter is that the majority of people want to look better, this may or may not include wanting to look younger. Personally, up until the age of about 23 I hated looking young, I felt that it held me back, it’s only in the last 10 to 15 years that I have actually started to apreciate the fact that I look younger than I actually am.

‘To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early or be respectable.’ (Oscar Wilde)

Regardless of wether you want to look, feel or act younger than you actually are there are certain simple things you can do in order to look and feel healthier.

1. FACE

# Facial hair: Always keep your eyebrows neatly trimmed, bushy/long eyebrows add years to a person and the ‘uni-brow’ is not a desirable look. Definitely no nose or ear hair this is the height of unsightliness.

Some men can look attractive with beards or stubble but they do add between 5-10 years to a man’s perceived age.

# Moisturising: Come on, we are living in the 21st century there’s nothing unmanly about a man who moisturises. Good hair and facial care is bound to pay dividends.

# Sun: Use good sun creams and no sun beds.

2. BODY

The body is most definitely our temple and if we put crap into it we can’t complain if it malfunctions.

# Quit Smoking: The biggest single thing you can do for your body is to free it from the torture of cigarette smoke, trust me it will thank you incessantly.

# Food and water: Eat fruit as soon as you get up, it creates a good chemical reaction in the body, conversely, never eat fruit on a full stomach, ie as a dessert because it creates the opposite effect. Buy fresh fruit and veg and stick it in the fridge so that you see it every time you go for something to nibble on. Drink lots of water.

# Exercise: Do a little every day, some is most definitely better than none, plus try and get more fresh air, again 5 minutes is better than nothing.

# Posture: Stand straight(er) and walk faster. If you saw a person hunched over and shuffling along would you think they were important or even worthy of respect? Good posture makes you look taller and feel better.

# Clothes: Wear smart clothes, they do not have to be expensive, if you are used to or like ‘comfy’ clothes start wearing ‘smarter’ clothes indoors and they will soon start to feel more comfortable.

‘Youth has no age.’ (Pablo Picasso)

3. MIND

# Psychology: People tend to be as old as they want to be, you can be old at 20 and young at 90. I am not suggesting that a person should suddenly start acting as young as their kids, they’d just look stupid but I am a big believer that people of all ages should strive to get along with one another.

We are all living our lives on this planet at the same time. The universe has been around for billions of years so why should age gaps prevent us from communicating effectively and sincerely with one another.

# Meditation: Meditation is as important for the mind and soul as food and water is for the body.

# Laughter: Smile and laugh as much as possible, there is no better medicine or anti-aging product available to mankind than the positive effects on the body of smiling and laughing.

‘Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.’ (Sir Arthur Pinero)

Andy.

www.wealthnuggets4u.com

Clothes shopping is definitely a passtime that divides the sexes. Most women love it and most men hate it. Personally, I can just about tolerate it, I like OWNING new clothes but going shopping for them is a different matter.

I always try-on new clothes before buying them because they can look totally different on than they do hung up in the shop. I always tend to be with my wife when I shop for clothes. The reason for this is probably a combination of her motivating me to buy them and me trusting her taste, if she doesn’t like it I wont buy it.

Her judgement I can handle but most of the male changing rooms in the Uk have a waiting area where all the repective wives and girlfriends congregate. The upshot is that you end up modelling the clothes not just for your own partner but for a host of other women you have never met before as well.

By the end of a clothes buying session I feel that I know these women personally, afterall, most of them will have commented, to my wife more than me, on how I look in numerous different shirts and pairs of trousers. ‘Shucks, the mere thought of it is making me feel all embarassed.’

How come there’s no waiting area for the men in the female changing rooms? They probably use the space to stow all the ‘unsuitable’ shoes and handbags.

What is it with women and handbags? (closely followed by shoes)

Why do women have to posess upwards of thirty handbags? I just dont get it. Yeah, okay they need somewhere to put all their girlie-stuff and I understand the need to match the handbag to the outfit but 30, 40 or even 50 of the damn things, it’s just absurd.

I think a more realistic luggage allowance would be 20kg for men and 100kg for women, ‘That’s including shoes girls put those back in the wardrobe NOW.’ On our last trip abroad I was only allowed 2 pairs of shoes, whilst my wife somehow scraped by with 7.

Why have women never got anything to wear?

This is another fashion mystery, how can it be physically possible to have nothing to wear when you spend half your waking life shopping for clothes?
 
Most items women buy go straight in the wardrobe and next see the light of day when they decide to have the ‘old season clearout’. Why buy something if you are never going to wear it, guys will wear things until they are worn out and THEN utilise them for wearing whilst doing the gardening or DIY.

I once left my wife alone for 10 minutes in our local village center and when I met up with her again she’d bought a new dress! I vaguely remember her saying something about how it was an absolute bargain and it would’ve been foolish of her NOT to buy it…hmm. Foolish of me more like.

There is no doubt about it women love clothes and a word to the wise for the boys, women ALSO like men who wear nice clothes, I’ve even heard women describe men by what they were wearing and not by what they looked like.

‘Scary, consign that old wardrobe to the gardening shed guys and go out and buy yourselves a new one. That’s if you can you can get past all the women blocking the entrance to the male changing rooms of course.’

Andy.

Wether we like it or not competition is all around us. It’s in the classroom, the play ground, the work place, it’s on the sports field, it’s on the high street. We are never going to get away from it so how we deal with it is obviously critical to our own personal success.

Just because competition is ubiquitous it does not naturally follow that it is good for us. Food is critical to sustaining life but if we eat too much of it we become overweight and lethargic.

Competition has many benefits though. It brings progress, improved choice, we all want to purchase better products for less money. We all want a better lifestyle for ourselves and our families.

Children learn about competition from an early age. In fact as soon as they start to interact with their peers they instinctively start to compete with them. It is therefor important that parents and teachers give support and guidance to the child on how to deal with competition and all the positive and negative emotions that surround it.

I’ve said many times previously that a parent should praise their children’s EFFORT not their ABILITY. The reason for this is psychological. Praising someone’s effort encourages them to try even harder whereas praising their ability nurtures within them a ‘fear of failure’.

Children are often branded as failures way too early in life and this can inflict massive psychological damage upon them. We cannot all be good at everything but most of us are good at something. Children should be encouraged to focus on their strong points. These are what will bring them success and enable them to offer the best level of contribution to society.

If we harness competition and control it, it can do wonderful things for us. The enjoyment that the human race has derived from sport down the years is immense. The rivalry between teams of all denominations has given us all untold pleasure.

Competition is good as long as we control it and harness it. However, we need to keep success and winning in perspective. Everything has a price and once we start ‘overpaying’ in order to succeed then we start to loose out in other areas.

I’ve always believed that the main aim of a person’s life is to be happy. Happiness is the best feeling in the world and if being successful at something makes us happy then we should strive to acheive it.

Find out what really makes you happy, decide what you are prepared to give or give up in order to acheive it and go for it.

I believe that competition in moderation is good for us.

Andy.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to get stuck in a rut, we’ve all done it. Practicing bad habits over a period of weeks, months and even years, then we wake up one day and think how did this happen to me? how did my life become like this? it’s not how I intended it to be, it’s not how I intended to be at all.

We all had fantastic dreams when we were kids, we wanted to be all manner of things; astronauts, football players, models, actors.

Then we hit adolescenece and we started to think differently, by this time we’d been sufficiently conditioned by society to think small, to be sensible and to accept our lot.

Why should we limit ourselves?

Why shouldn’t we think big and if we’ve done things we regret or not been a very nice person we CAN change it, we can set the record straight not just for other people but for ourselves.

Jim Rohn, the legendary personal development specialist once said “Work hard at your job and you will make a living, work hard on yourself and you will make a fortune”.

How true this is, even a little time spent working on ourselves will yield rewards, just admitting that we should strive to improve ourselves is a major acheivement.

I’ve always said that a total life transformation takes about five years but as soon as a person begins working on themselves they will see changes immediately and not just small ones either. But habits both good and bad are hard-wired into our brains so if we want to change them we have to be prepared to be persistent.

When we are looking for a starting point for how we can improve our lives the best place is with the concepts of COMPROMISE and EMPATHY.

If we can make ourselves just 10% easier to deal with both in our business and personal lives then our world’s will take on a much happier complexion. Once people realise that we are making more of an effort with them they will reciprocate it, often to a much greater degree.

We are by nature very impressionable so the company we keep is vital, we should strive to get good people around us – our own personal support group and avoid NEGATIVE people at all costs. Negative people are like parasites they feed off and sap other people’s energy.

Many famous people have turned their lives around so I recommend delving into biography.com occasionally to see how the did it.

There is good and bad in everyone, thus it is vital that we are not too harsh on ourselves and we make our personal development goals small and achievable.

We are our own masters, we are free thinkers, we can be whatever we want to be.

Andy.

we’ve all had that feeling, a person we like or who we are attracted to walks into the room and suddenly our heart rate picks up, we become all fidgety and lead-footed and inexplicably we seem to loose the power of speach, well coherent speach anyway.

” Ah fah cowa da me Andy, you…” – You get my drift.

It’s human nature, we’ve all felt that way at some time or other. However, every time we speak to a person we learn more about human interaction.

If only we could speak to an ‘attractive’ member of the opposite sex with the same composure that we display when speaking to ‘old aunty Ethel’ say, ‘she’ thinks we are witty, charming AND good looking…hmm, how do we transfer this self assurity to people we are attracted to then?

The glib answer would be to treat them exactly the same,  the same as ‘old aunty Ethel’ but think about this for a minute, if we were actually capable of doing this would it get us results?

YES, OF COURSE IT WOULD. We would come across as calm, friendly and genuine, everything a good friend should be and the best relationships are always born out of good friendships.

So to qualify as a good friend we have to be ‘calm, friendly and genuine’ NOT good looking, NOT a brilliant speaker, NOT popular, NOT sporty and NOT intellegent…Hmm, I can manage that.

The true art of speaking to members of the opposite sex is to treat them EXACTLY the same as you would your buddies, that’s it in a nutshell, no one-liners, no showing off, just you being you.

IF YOU GRASP OR BUY INTO THIS CONCEPT THEN YOU CAN START WORKING ON IT AND IT WILL TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE

If you don’t then that’s up to you but people are becomming more and more sophisticated these days and most of us are capable of spotting a phoney a mile off.

People will be pleasantly surpised by your genuineness, your ‘normallness’, these character traits create interest and more importantly they create TRUST.

Put romance on the back burner and simply concentrate on making friends. Really listen to people, find out what they are good at and what you have in common with them, then TELL them you have these things in common.

People like people who are like they are, they don’t like people who disagree with them.

Do not obsess about one individual, there really are ‘plenty more fish in the sea’ we cannot force anyone to like us and if someone doesn’t like us they will not be right for us, do not be second best or settle for second best, those kind of relationships are built on sand.

A few tips to grease the wheels of friendship AND romance:

# Smile slowly, it comes across as far more genuine and specially reserved for the recipient.

# Women are attracted to the colour blue (reliable, assertive, kind), men are attracted to the colour pink (friendly and approachable)

# Dress smartly, dress is very important, if you dont feel comfortable in smart clothes practice wearing them in private. Wear them primarily for you to make yourself feel good.

# Smell nice, people place far too much emphasis on looks, smell is probably more important and it takes zero effort.

# Be in the know, gen up on titbits, interesting news items, sport, finance. You don’t have to be an expert just read the headlines.

Practice makes perfect and the content of the opening line is UNIMPORTANT, it’s the icebreaker and people will love you for offering them a few friendly words, and if they don’t they are either having a bad day, are preoccupied with something or they are ignorant.

Whatever it is don’t let it spoil your day.

Andy.

A few years back now I split up from my long-term partner, the details are not really that important but for the record neither of us were unfaithful, in hindsight I suppose the relationship just ground to a halt, however, she left me and at the time it was very upsetting and I’m not ashamed to admit that in the early days I was a little frightened.

Life is strange though and a few weeks into the seperation I began to find my feet, I felt like I had been released and in fairness my ex-partner probably felt the same way. The most important thing I learned from this experience was this:

If you are not happy with someone then split up from them.

Whatever you do do not keep making excuses, the kids will automatically be happier if you are, you will sort the finances out, your friends will either be loyal or they wont, who cares?

Do not get trapped in a poor relationship, it may be a cliche but life really is way to short to waste it being unhappy.

So anyway you’ve got the background, I was in my early thirties with a longstanding relationship well and truly behind me, I was coping really well, the household chores were a breeze, but they are when you have only yourself to look after but things were so much better than I’d imagined they would be.

The only thing was, being on your own every night, you soon get bored. All the ex-joint-friends scene did not work for me, of course I tried it for a while but it was at best awkward and at the worst downright annoying, they all favoured my ex and besides that there was just too much history. So one night I made a decision and it was not an easy one.

I went out with my so-called friends and told them exactly what I thought about them, I was quite nervous about doing it but in hindsight it was the best thing that I have ever done. Do not feel too obliged to your joint friends, they are just peripheral and rarely have your best intentions at heart, put yourself first, selfishness in this respect is not as bad as people make out.

NIGHT ONE:- WITHOUT PAINFUL JOINT-FRIENDS.

This was hard and wether a girl could dp it without at least one friend I’m unsure. I went into a strange pub, well away from where anyone would know me and stood at the bar. I am quite a chatty person but there is a bit of a stigma about going out on your own, you must ignore this and just do it.

After about three weekends I started to fit into this new community. I forgot to say, I declined the opportunity to move back ‘home’ after the split and back to all my old mates, I did not want to go back for many reasons, not least was that I had bettered myself and I did not want to give this new lifestyle up.

Maybe I will share more of this story with you at a later date but for now I want to concentrate on the theme of this article:

How a person can find a partner.

This experience and what I learned in my earlier years are absolutely foolproof to finding a partner, one that is attractive and funny, wether they are right for you is a totally different topic and one that I will not discuss here because I do not want to complicate things, I know millions of people, many of them attractive, struggle to find a partner so tonight I am going to concentrate on just that.

I appologise if the following format seems a bit regimented but If you were going shopping or attending an interview then you would probably make a list. If you are serious about finding a partner then you will do it if not then don’t overdo that meal for one in the microwave again tonight.

1. Frequent the same or similar places every week, this will give potential suitors a chance to get to know your movements, do not let the creeps that may tag along put you off, be strong and don’t let them sidetrack you from your ‘goal’ The right person or people, you will get a choice, will start to turn up.

2. When someone you fancy comes into view smile and gesticulate a lot, even if it makes little sense to your friends, by doing this you are sending out massive approachable signals. Also hair preening gives out positive approach me kind of vibes.

3. Do not be afraid to make the first move and if you do just say the first thing that comes into your mind, nothing too heavy, just conversational and see what happens.

4. If I had to give just one piece of dating advice it would be this: Treat all members of the opposite sex as you would your mates. This sounds so simple but it is extremely effective. Obviously I am male but it works just the same for females. If you treat every woman as your buddy they are intrigued, they are so used to men feeding them a line or hitting on them that something happens and they become interested in you.

It happens time and time again and this is why it happens. First and foremost we want our partner to be our best fiend, the sex comes second, it’s not rocket science. We as humans just like to complicate things instead of trusting in core values.

5. Gen up on topical events, listen to the news headlines before you go on a night out, it doesn’t need to be anything too heavy but everyone likes a person that is up to date with what is going on in the world, especially the funny stuff.

6. If the right person does not come along then STAY ON YOUR OWN. The one thing that is worse than not finding the right partner is finding the wrong one.

I think the final point may be too negative to finish on but it is still valid. If you keep repeating your habits and exercise patience Mr/Mrs Right will sail right in and you will have the wherewithall to pull them.

I’m interested , what are your tips on finding a partner, what would you tell the millions of people who are seeking  love?

Good luck,

Andy ONeill.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com