An Epic Manifestation of What Social Media Can Do

I’m about to leave for a camp trip and will be back in 5 days. No Internet connection, so you won’t hear from me for a while.

Before I go, I want to introduce you to a book that you can read while I’m away from this blog.

The book I want to introduce you to is Quakebook.

It’s a twitter sourced anthology of real stories about the big earthquake that hit Japan on 2:46 pm on 11 March, 2011. It all started from one tweet (see this video) and it was ready for publication within a week of that first tweet. It’s a true manifestation of what twitter can do – or to be precise what people can do with twitter.

100% of your money goes to the Japan Red Crosss Socieety. So, you buy this book, enjoy the stories (these stories make me almost cry, I must add), and help people in the north part of Japan recover from the damage of the earthquake and tsunami. That sounds like a good deal to me.

In addition to excellent personal stories written by Twitter users you may never heard of before, this book includes contributions from William Gibson, Barry Eisler and Jake Adelstein and Yoko Ono.

You can get a copy of the book from Amazon (US:
| UK: as a Kindle book – no worries, you can download a reader for PC/Mac/iPhone/iPad even if you don’t have a Kindle.

Here‘s the official website of Quakebook – you can read more about it there.

Enjoy the book, help Japan and have a lovely day.



Stop Looking For Happiness And Be Happier

Stop Looking For Happiness

Did I confuse you with the title of this post? Let me clarify.

What I’m suggesting in this post is to stop a certain pattern of thinking if you have it.

Here’s the pattern of thinking I’m concerned with. You want to be happy, but generally speaking, you are not quite happy about your life for some reason.

So, you work hard on achieving happiness, thinking , “If I do this and do that, I will be happy”. It might be reading the latest self-help book on how to be happy. It might be moving into a different place. It might be finding a new love. You are assured that if you do such things, you will be happy.

But in reality, reading that book makes you feel pumped up for a while, but you get back into your ordinary unhappy mode after a while; your new location seems absolutely fabulous at first, but you eventually decide that it’s just as hectic as your old place; your new love is fresh and exciting, but you soon realizes that you are going through the same process as you did in your last relationship.

I believe conditional thinking like this is what blocks you from achieving the happiness you want. When you think of happiness this way, you seem to assume that you are not happy now and that there is something that automatically gets you out of your unhappy state.

But, I believe being happy is a matter of attitude and I believe you can make a deliberate choice to be happy without relying on external sources that give you happiness. If what I believe is correct, then what you need to do is to choose to have this attitude about happiness, not to look for something or someone that gives you happiness.

In this framework, a major problem about looking for external sources that give you happiness is that there are no such external sources you are looking for. If that’s the case, your search is bound to fail and you are guaranteed to be disappointed: the more you look for happiness, the unhappier you get.

Even if it’s possible that the latest self-help book, moving into a new place, or finding a new love gives you some kind of happiness, waiting for such a thing to happen is like waiting for a good card to be dealt to you when there is that card right in front of you and you can grab it at your will. Why would you wait?

Be Happier

Here I say: stop looking for external sources that give you happiness and choose to have a better attitude about happiness. You can do these things right now and be happier than before.

The better attitude I’m speaking of is the attitude of finding or even creating happiness within yourself. This sounds a bit fluffy, but what I’m going to say is, in short: be proactive in your life.

Now, the question is: how do you become proactive in your life? Here’s my answer.

Chose your own path:
Remember, it’s your life and you have more choices than you think. Make sure to choose to make choices on your own rather than choosing not to make choices, which seems to be the default choice for many people. By realizing that you have choices, you will be able to get a better hold of your life, compared to when you think you have no choices.

Control what you can control:
While it’s silly to try to control or to be obsessed with what you cannot control, it’s equally silly not to control what you can control. For example, you can’t control the weather on the day you are running a marathon or how other competitors will do in the race, but you can control how you train for the marathon and how you run during the race. You can train yourself to notice beautiful things around you. You can train yourself physically so you will have a healthy lifestyle that keeps you in a good mood. What else can you control in your life? Think about it.

Be curious:
Instead of looking for things that give you happiness, try to look for things that make you curious. Curiosity is an excellent source for positive motivation. Think of what you are good at – you are curious about it and you are motivated to learn more about it. So, naturally, you get better at it while having fun. Why don’t you apply your curiosity for a specific area of your expertise to your life in general? If you had that kind of curiosity for your life, you would become so much better at living your life.


Right now, you may be having a hard time that I have never experienced and don’t quite understand. Even if that’s the case, I believe you can choose to choose your own path, control what you can control, and be guided by your own curiosity.

These things also apply to living a romantic life as well – if you want to live your life that way, you can start doing it right now by making a deliberate choice of living a romantic life on your own terms, controlling what you can control, and guiding your life with curiosity.

If you want to live a romantic life, I want you to make that choice now instead of postponing your happiness or living the life you want to live. Why? I can’t force you anything, but the fact that you’ve read up to here tells me that you are on to something and I appreciate that. No matter how strange or crazy it may sound, I choose to try my best to bring the best in you and others who want to live a happy, romantic life on their own terms. To be on your side is my choice.

What do you choose?

Forget About Being Yourself: Answer 12 Questions And Bring Out The Best In You

be yourselfBe Yourself? Really?

Have you ever felt like resisting the idea of changing yourself, because you will become someone else and that’s against the age-old advice — “be yourself”?

It goes like this: “Hey, I’m happy with who I am. I have no reason to change myself and to become someone that’s not me. In fact, that’s against the idea of being myself”. I am familiar with this way of thinking. I’ve been there.

Being yourself is easy in a sense, because you are already and always being yourself by definition. If you are always being yourself, why do people insist on being yourself?

The most likely answer is that you are either trying to be someone else that you are not or trying to suppress your attractive self – the mode of you in which you feel relaxed, content, joyful, delighted, comfortable, inspired, motivated, passionate, and so on.

Trying to be someone else shows that you are not confident about and don’t accept who you are. This isn’t attractive. In this case, “be yourself” means “don’t try to be someone else”.

In the other case, it means “be your attractive self” instead of playing down the way you are.

You can choose to be who you want to be.

If you are truly happy with your current self, that’s fine.

But it’s possible that there are things you want to achieve and they require you to have qualities that you don’t have at the moment. In order to have these qualities, you need to challenge and to change yourself by doing something out of your comfort zone.

If that’s the case for you, then you need to stop abusing the “being yourself” advice as an excuse to stay inside your comfort zone and you need to upgrade yourself.

I believe those of you who resonate with this site are rather keen on getting out of your comfort zone and creating a romantic life on your own terms. Being proactive is a secret to creating and living a romantic life – it works better than waiting for romances to happen. If you haven’t subscribed to this site yet, please do so after reading this article.

By the way, notice that you do have an attractive self already. It’s crucial for you to understand that.

I’m inclined to think personal development/self-help advice often implies that you have problems to fix and you are inadequate in one way or another. My worry is that such an implication might make you neglect your attractive self that you already have as well as make you focus on solving pseudo problems or adding more to yourself instead of learning how to show the world what you already have.

So, here’s my words. I say you are perfectly fine. No, I may not know you. But, I still say you are more than fine.

The following is how I see the situation and why I say you are fine.

Let’s say you start learning martial arts. You are a beginner and you wear a white belt. There are some black belts around you. If you compare yourself with them, your skills are far underdeveloped. But, it doesn’t mean you are inadequate or a failure as a martial artist. It just means you haven’t had enough training yet and you are on your way to becoming a black belt.

Stop comparing yourself with people who are ahead of you or even your ideal self as a means to bash yourself harshly.

I bet some people around you made you believe in the past that you are not worthy, but now is the time to realise that’s a bullshit.

Start peeling off those extra layers that hide your attractive self and show up as who you really are!

But how?

Know Thyself: 12 Questions

Here’s another piece of age-old advice: know thyself. Maybe it’s just me, but I have a feeling that I hear less of this advice than of the “being yourself” advice. But this one shouldn’t be overlooked, because knowing yourself gives you clues about how to be your most authentic, attractive and amazing self as well as how to upgrade your current self.

I came up with 12 questions that will help you with learning more about yourself. I bet you’ve heard many of the questions before, but it’s a good idea to take this opportunity to answer them again. We all change every day and it’s important to know who you are today and who you-as-of-today want to be.

In answering these questions, I want you to be curious about yourself and to be honest with yourself. Since you don’t need to share your answers with anyone, you can write whatever you want. Yes, instead of answering these questions in your head, I recommend you to write them down with your hand or on your computer. That way, you will be able to see your answers. There’s no need to hold yourself back – be playful and enjoy answering these questions!

I’ll share my answers with you after the questions.

  1. What would you do if you could do anything?
  2. Why would you do these things – how would they make you feel?
  3. What are your strengths?
  4. What are your weaknesses?
  5. What are you afraid of?
  6. What kind of people do you want to connect with in your life?
  7. What kind of life do you want to create?
  8. What kind of person do you need to be in order to create your ideal life?
  9. How would you feel if you were that person today?
  10. How do you feel now?
  11. How would you feel if your ideal self were in your current situation?
  12. What do you need to do in order to have the mindset of your ideal self?

Once you know what your ideal self is like and how that version of you thinks, you can experiment with living like your ideal self for a day. Try that and tell me how you felt.

My Answers

Now, here’s my answers.

1. What would you do if you could do anything?
I would…

  • train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with world class players everyday
  • meet amazing people and connect with them
  • travel around the world
  • help as many people as possible with living a romantic life
  • and more…

2. Why would you do these things – how would they make you feel?
They would create meanings in my life as well as challenges. By tackling with these challenges, I can develop myself as a person and that would help me tackle with more difficult yet more exciting challenges. Also, they would make me feel alive. I want to feel alive.

3. What are your strengths?
I’m well balanced. At the same time, I can be extreme. I laugh a lot. I am determined. I am a man who can happily take what works and cuts out what doesn’t work. I’m fine with being eccentric. I am curious. I can think and write clearly. I can learn from everything and everyone. I am a good listener.

4. What are your weaknesses?
My biggest weakness always has been that I don’t show my weaknesses even when it’s appropriate to do so. I make this weakness of mine clear to people close to me, though. And now you know, too. Apart from this, I consider the following to be my weaknesses sometimes: I can be too analytical, I can be too indifferent, I put things forward rather than act quickly and I feel I could use my time more effectively.

5. What are you afraid of?
I’m afraid that my progress is rather slow with regard to this site. I’m afraid that I’m not producing high quality content that would promote itself. I feel I’ve been one of those people who just read about creating an online-based business and take no action. I’m afraid of the lack of stable income streams and of my general stance towards money. Having said these things, however, I’m afraid of being too successful too. That is, I’m afraid of commitment that comes with being successful in any area of life. These are my major fears.

6. What kind of people do you want to connect with in your life?
I want to be with people who are or strive to be honest, authentic, beautiful, passionate, motivated, content, helpful, creative, sensual, curious, open-minded, loving, caring, thoughtful, playful and delightful. What this implies is that I need to be this kind of person as well.

7. What kind of life do you want to create?
The kind of life I want to create is defined by what I would do in my ideal life. In my ideal life, I would…

  • guide myself with curiosity
  • stay young mentally and physically
  • keep refining what love means to me
  • fill my life with love
  • seek to experience beautiful moments
  • bring out the best in others
  • have freedom to do what I want to do
  • create something meaningful that impacts as many people as possible

8. What kind of person do you need to be in order to create your ideal life?
I need to be the kind of person who does what I mentioned in my answer to the previous question. In addition to that, I need to be authentic – I need to be fully present when I experience what’s happening in my life and I need to be such that I never back down and apologise for who I am. I need to have a clear vision and a sense of purpose. I need to take action that brings me forward. I need to create value and provide it to people. I need to spot amazing people among us. I need to have more fun!

9. How would you feel if you were that person today?
I would feel content by knowing that my existence is meaningful, because I have a clear vision and move towards it with a strong sense of purpose and curiosity for life.

10. How do you feel now?
I confess – when I wrote a draft answer for this question, I wrote that I wasn’t 100% committed to it and I wondered if anyone would find this post useful at all, because I had forgotten about my vision and purpose. But I decided to change the gear – I’ll do my best to provide great value to those of you who are reading this post. This one is for you.

11. How would you feel if your ideal self were in your current situation?
He would move towards his vision with a sense of purpose and he would feel fulfilled everyday for that. So, having a clear vision and a sense of purpose seem to be the key here. I don’t need to be a millionaire to have a clear vision and a sense of purpose. I can choose to live my day deliberately with a clear vision and a strong sense of purpose from today.

12. What do you need to do in order to have the mindset of your ideal self?
Clarify my vision as well as my purpose for living. Align my action and the way I am with my vision and purpose.

Last Words

Knowing yourself is, in a way, a life long process and you could constantly discover and rediscover who you are. You could keep clarifying your answers too.

I hope you have taken an initiative to answer these questions and got to have a better understanding of who you are so you can bring out your best self to the world.

Stop being your mediocre self and be the best you and a great human being.

How To Attract Men/Women – Wait, What Does That Mean?

Let’s say you want to attract men/women you like. You want to meet men/women you like and cultivate a fruitful and romantic relationship with them.

If you ask me how to do it, the first thing you are likely to hear from me is a question instead of an answer. I can give you an answer to this question about how to attract men/women, but I’m inclined to think there are at least two ways of interpreting “attracting men/women”. My answer depends on which interpretation you have in mind. So, here’s my question.

What do you mean by “attracting men/women”?

One way of interpreting it is to understand it as “making men/women like you”. So, on this interpretation, what you want to know is how to make men/women like you.

My answer is simple. You can’t make people like you. When you present your most authentic self to those you find attractive and they are not interested in the kind of relationship you want to have with them, there is nothing you can do about it. All you can do is to show up as who you are and to let people make their own choices as to whether to go with you or not.

Having said that, there are ways to manipulate people into liking who they think you are; I have a feeling that many of resources on dating and relationship teach such manipulative ways (intentionally or unintentionally) or at least mislead people into thinking that it’s possible to attract men/women in the sense of making them like you. These resources give you a false safety net – you want people to like you, not your false persona you pretend to be.

The other interpretation is more about making yourself visible to men/women who would like you if they knew you.

If this is what you want to know, here’s what I know about how to make yourself visible to such men/women: the best way to do so is to show your most authentic self to people when you interact with them. You don’t need to be cool or strong or physically attractive or whatever, but you need to be you.

Delightful Lessons Around You

It’s been a month since I got my right eye injured from an accident that happened during Brazilian Jiu Jitsu sparring. My training partner happened to kick the right side of my face and I got the right orbit fractured.

For the first few days, due to inflammation caused by fracture of the orbit, it was hard for me to open my right eye. I could open it, but it was painful when I moved my right eye. I’m not sure if it was brain concussion or this damaged eye, but something made me dizzy and nauseous, too. I took some medicines to get rid of inflammation for 2 weeks.

For these 2 weeks, I couldn’t move around much. My body was completely fine and I could move my body as usual in theory, but whenever I had to move my head, I got dizzy. That was a bit frustrating.

It was an interesting experience, to say the least. I learnt it is inconvenient to live with only one eye open. I learnt my right eye tracks moving objects a lot even though I didn’t think about it at all before I got this injury. I learnt I can stay calm and be positive in this kind of situation.

Probably the reason why I could stay calm is because I knew it could have been worse. I’m glad I didn’t go blind. I’m glad it wasn’t both eyes. I’m glad I didn’t break my teeth (I thought my front teeth were broken when I got kicked in the face). I’m glad I didn’t die. I’m glad I learnt some new things from this experience. I could blame the person who happened to cause this injury or the situation, but that wouldn’t do me any good. Instead, I chose to focus on other, more important things like these delightful lessons.

A while ago, I decided to learn from everything and everyone. It’s not that I consciously ask myself about what I learnt from everything that happened and everyone I met on a daily basis (mental note: why not?), but living with this attitude helped me a lot, I believe. When you choose to learn from everything and everyone, whatever happens to you become a source of growth.

Can you think of any experience that you consider as bad? Is there any way to turn it around – is there any thing you can learn from that experience?

If there is, congratulations. That’ your delightful lesson.

Now. Let me go back to the beginning. It’s been a month since I got this injury. I went back to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training for the first time, and I’m glad I can still play this martial arts. I had to go really slow and be careful, but at least I can move.

In fact, going slow is a great way to improve your skills in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. You’ll have time to reflect on what’s happening and that’s necessary in a learning process. Sadly, a lot of beginners don’t seem to see the benefits of going slow and tend to be tense, even when I tell them to relax and to go slow.

But I can understand this, because I do that in Argentine Tango. I know I should relax, but I don’t know how, especially given that I need to lead my dance partners. While I want to do something about it, I don’t beat myself up, because I don’t need to do that in order to do something about it. No blaming is necessary.

Does this relaxed approach work in your area of speciality? If it does, how? If not, why not?

Writing this personal story and update made me wonder. I know about myself and you probably know a bit about myself if you’ve been reading this blog (by the way, I updated the about page recently). But chances are, I don’t know much about you.

So, in the comment section below, tell me about yourself so I can know who’s reading this blog and connect with you! What are you curious about in your life? What do you love doing? What questions do you have about living a romantic life?

One Simple Reason Why You Can’t Get That Girl, Keep That Guy, or Get Your Ex Back

Possessive thinkingYou can’t possess anyone.

You have a girl you like and you want to get that girl. Well, no, you can’t get that girl. You can’t get what you can’t have. You have a boyfriend. But it doesn’t mean you own him. So, if you want to keep him… no, you can’t do that. You want to get your ex back? No, you can’t get back what you didn’t own.

Does this sound familiar to you? It does to me. I’ve been there.

I’m not saying that you can’t have a relationship with that girl you like or your boyfriend or your ex. I believe you can, and I believe there’s a better way of thinking than possessive thinking.

If you are possessive, you don’t allow your partner to do certain things, because those things upset you and in reality you only care about yourself (and the attention you get from your partner). You focus on just you rather than focusing on a person you want to build a relationship with, your partner, or both you and your partner. When it’s only about you and there is no focus on your partner, there’s something wrong with that relationship. A relationship between you and your partner should be about both of you. Not just you or the other person.

I’ve been thinking about love these days. It might take my entire life to get crystal clear understanding of what it means to love, but what I believe is that loving is not about binding others, but being curious about them, accepting who they are and trying your best to bring out the best in them. So, in my understanding, possessive thinking doesn’t go along with loving.

I bet we all have this “look at me” attitude to some extent and I think it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But if you don’t know how to take care of yourself and you need to constantly seek approval, acceptance and/or attention from your partner, then you need to learn how to love yourself before demanding attention from your partner. If you don’t know how to love yourself, you don’t know how to love others either.

Now, it seems possible that there are people who don’t know how to love themselves while being curious about others, accepting who they are and trying their best to bring out the best in them. But the thing is, if they don’t know how to love themselves and, in fact, don’t love themselves, I believe it’s more likely that they can’t accept a certain aspect of people who love them – that is, the fact that these people love them. To put what I said in a single sentence from their point of view, it looks like this: “I accept who you are and what you do, except that you love me – I disagree with you and don’t accept that one, because I don’t love myself”. So, who’s afraid of loving and being loved?

Non-possessive Alternative

When I think of a non-possessive relationship, what comes to my mind is a connection between two people. Here’s an alternative to the possessive kind of relationship with which people try to own their partner. In this alternative, you don’t own him and he doesn’t own you, but you guys are in a relationship and it means that there is a connection between both of you. Instead of trying to own others, why don’t we create a connection with them?

When you focus on cultivating a relationship by creating and deepening a connection, I believe that such a relationship will become much stronger and more fulfilling and even rewarding. The reason why I believe this is because such a process requires two of you to cooperate with one another in cultivating a relationship. That kind of cooperation will provide better experiences for both of you and help both of you grow together.

I believe sharing similarities is how we get closer and create a connection between us. Likewise, sharing the same values, sharing curiosity towards one another, and sharing the same journey of growing up together are great ways to create and to deepen a connection too.

When you think about relationships in terms of connection building rather than possession, I believe your interaction with others will change.

Let’s go back to the three situations we looked at in the very beginning of this post and see them from the connection building perspective.

Instead of getting that girl, you interact with her so you can build a connection with her. Now it’s not about taking something from her, but it’s about sharing experiences together.

Instead of keeping your boyfriend, your interaction with him is about deepening a connection with him. It’s not about putting him into a cage and worrying about when you might lose him. Now it’s about going on an adventure together as two free wanderers.

Instead of trying to get your ex back, you understand that it’s up to your ex to choose whether to leave you or not. I know it’s hard, but letting your partner go can be an act of love. Now it’s not about regretting what you should have done and what you shouldn’t have done, but it’s about celebrating what you and your ex did and the journey you guys shared together.

The bonus for looking at things this way is that what you learnt and experienced through building connections with people you love can stay with you even when these people leave you for whatever reason. You enrich your life and create your life as your art this way.

The take away message of this post? Stop possessive thinking and start loving better.