On Leaving Smiles: Where I Will Be In June 2011

I’m about to leave Japan for the USA. I’ll be there for World Domination Summit, organized by Chris Guillebeau. I have been following Chris for almost three years, but this will be the first time I’ll meet him in person. If you’ve never heard of Chris and you are interested in living an unconventional life, you should check out his site The Art of Non-Conformity.

I’ll be traveling in the west coast of the USA for a month, and all I will bring with me is just two small bags. In a 25l backpack, I have a few sets of very basic clothing items, 2 pairs of grappling shorts, a rashguard, a hoodie, a pair of tango shoes, a sarong, and other small items. In the other bag, I have my netbook and its adapter, 2 notebooks, 2 books, an iPhone charger and, again, some small items.

You might be surprised that I don’t have much, but I think I have enough (in fact, I think I have too much).

If you know awesome people I should meet in Portland, San Francisco, or Los Angeles, please introduce them to me, because I’d love to meet them. Apart from a few plans like World Domination Summit and meeting up with friends in the USA, I have no plan. I’ll just be there, meet people, do writing, plan and act more for making the world more romantic. I wish I could do just these things, and, well, I’ll be doing them for June. And hopefully in the months and the years to come as well.

A lot of people I know, think that my smile looks like that of Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. I like that, indeed – I hope I left some Cheshire Cat smiles here and there in Japan. Now I’m going to leave some Cheshire Cat smiles in the west coast of the USA. Perhaps the way I dominate the world is to leave Cheshire Cat smiles here and there, in addition to making the world more romantic.

I have 2 questions for the readers of this site, by the way.

1) How much do you know about yourself?
2) How can I help you with creating and living a romantic life on your own terms?

When I Witnessed the Beauty in Her: A Personal Example of Beautiful Moments

If you are new to this site, you will enjoy this post better after reading my thoughts on creating and living a romantic life on your own terms. This post and this post will give your good starting points.

J told me a story that I will never forget. I met her in Sydney, Australia a few years ago.

I don’t remember if I called her or she called me, but when she called me, we hadn’t seen each other for a few months, and all we had was each other’s phone numbers. In fact, the time we spent together was less than 24 hours in total. I’ll tell you more about it later.

When J called me, she was in Brisbane, Australia. After a bit of chatting and catching up, she told me that she was with her female friends the other day and that her friends were talking about how men are sleazy for hiding their intention when all they want is to sleep with women for their own satisfaction. When that topic was brought up, J said to her friends, “No, not every man is like that. My friend Masa is different”.

When she told me this, I must have felt really, really warm inside, because I still feel that way when I think of this story.

When I first saw J, she was buying an ice cream from an ice cream stand at Circular Quay. I was about to meet up with my friends, and their ferry was delayed. So, I had some time to kill. I didn’t know what to do with the extra 20 minutes. There were a lot of street performers in this area, but what caught my attention was not any of those street performers. I noticed J – in my vision, she was the happiest looking person around me… and she was stunning too. I got curious about her and decided to talk with her.

I greeted with her and told her that I found her attractive. We chatted with each other while she was getting her ice cream. She was a backpacker from Scotland, travelling around Australia. She was half-Spanish and half-British. I talked a bit about myself. I don’t remember much about this initial interaction, but I invited her to go and get a 32cm soft serve ice cream from a Korean shop in town with me (you can get one for $3). I was to leave Sydney on Sunday, and this was Friday. We agreed to meet up on Saturday.

On Saturday, we were supposed to meet up at 6pm. She didn’t show up.

I thought I got flaked on, but it turned out that she was just running late.

Thus began our adventure.

We grabbed a legendary 32cm soft serve ice cream from the above mentioned Korean shop, and we walked to Darling Harbour. It was a warm night, and while we wanted our ice creams to last till we arrived at Darling Harbour, we had to use our soft serve ice cream eating skills to finish them quickly before they would completely melt. We were already talking about silly things and I liked that.

When we got to Darling Harbour, we sat down at the waterfront, and talked with one another for ages. I remember bits and pieces of our conversation, but I don’t remember how our conversation went.

I remember, though, this one particular moment very clearly.

That moment was totally unexpected.

She said, in her most spontaneous and authentic way, something like this – when she wakes up in the morning, she always feels fresh and hopeful for this beautiful day to begin. I’m not sure if it was what she said or the way she said it, but whatever that was, I witnessed the beauty of her in that moment.

In my mind, everything froze. In that moment, everything was completely still. Nothing else mattered, because I was moved by her beauty.

When I realised what had happened, I told her, “You are fucking beautiful”.

I have no idea where J is. I don’t have her e-mail address or anything. She doesn’t have my contact details either. But you know what’s amazing (to me anyway)? I will remember her, her story and that moment I witnessed her beauty for the rest of my life and I believe she will remember me from time to time.

For me, this is a classic example of romantic moments and connections I want to create in my life.

What kind of romantic moments and connections do you want to experience in your life?

Photo by Chewy Chua

3 Clues I Wish I Knew and A Mission for An Extraordinary Lover of Women

3 Questions and 3 Clues

A few years ago when I decided to handle the dating and relationship side of my life, the following questions were some of my major questions in this area.

1. Where do I meet women I find attractive?

2. What do I say or talk about when I did manage to approach them?

3. How do I get a phone number from a woman?

I believe these questions are shared by a number of men who are rather clueless about dating, relationship and women.

What I want to do in this post is to answer these questions from my current perspective. It’s a message to my past self, but at the same time, if you happen to be in a position similar to where I once was, I hope you can use this post as a guide.

Also, if you are a woman (hello, my dear female reader!), I hope this post is still valuable in one way or another – entertaining at least. I’d appreciate it if you could add your thoughts and help male readers of this blog.

Q1. Where do I meet women I find attractive?

Let me explain my past context a little bit. When I made a decision to handle this area of my life, I was a university student in Australia, spending most of my time researching on philosophy and practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Both philosophy and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are male-dominated. That is, compared to other activities, it’s rare to meet women through these activities. So, I thought I would need to meet women outside of these contexts. That’s why I had this question.

Of course, not every man researches on philosophy at university or practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but you might have this question as well – perhaps you are in a situation such that you don’t women if you don’t do anything. Does this sound familiar to you?

Answer: If your problem is that you feel you don’t meet women through what you do, then your solution is to change what you do – change the way you think.

Unless you live in a desert island, I bet there are a lot of women around you and it’s just that you believe you can’t talk to those women. Change this belief of yours and realize that you can start a conversation with women you notice in your daily life.

Also, you can start doing something new and be more social. How about learning to dance? Or volunteering? Don’t do these activities only to meet women, but do what you find interesting. Make friends with women you meet. Expand your circle.

Once you’ve realized that you can meet women anywhere, all you need to do is to say hi and to start a conversation with them.

Q2. What do I say or talk about when I managed to approach them?

For a lot of men, even saying hi to a woman can be scary, but if you think about it, what you are really afraid of may not be the act of saying hi, but it may be because you don’t know how to keep a conversation going.

Answer: You really need to be confident here. What it means to be confident is not about being able to talk to a woman smoothly without feeling nervous, but to be able to believe in yourself completely, to be able to act despite your fear or nervousness and to be able to admit that you are feeling nervous to yourself and to her.

Here’s good news for you: It’s OK to feel nervous. You can tell a woman that you are feeling nervous, because you find her so attractive that you don’t know what to say. You can even joke about yourself for being nervous and being afraid of screwing things up. That’s a very confident thing to do. At the same time, it helps you get relaxed too.

What you should not do is to act as if you don’t feel nervous at all and you are a cool guy. Trust me, women can tell that you are pretending to be cool and it’s miserably uncool.

Also, you shouldn’t try to impress a woman by telling her about what you have or what you do. You can of course tell her about your book collection or your hobby if that’s what you are passionate about, but that’s because it’s something important about you that you can and want to share with her, not because you think she will like you if you tell her about it.

I’ll write about it more, but impressing a woman is not your mission; your mission is something else, especially when you want to be an extraordinary lover of women.

Your mission is to find connections between you and her and to bring out the beauty in her. To do that, you need to be genuinely curious about her. If you want to be an extraordinary lover of women, your mission is to do these things with every woman you interact with. You can always start from the assumption that women are beautiful and it’s up to you to find out why.

By the way, another great assumption to make is that every woman is taken in the sense that they have a boyfriend, husband, or someone they have a crush on. If you can take off that agenda of getting her (which you can’t complete anyway in my view) from your mind, it will be much easier to get on the right track too.

Q3. How do I get a phone number from a woman?

This is a very tricky question. If you have to ask this question, it tells me something about you – that is, you probably don’t know what a phone number does and why you need it.

Answer: I was there – there was a time when I thought getting a phone number from a woman was important. I’ll tell you –  Getting a phone number from a woman is not important at all.

What you want to do in having a conversation and interacting with a woman you like is to find connections between you and her, and not collecting phone numbers. (You don’t go on a date with a phone number, do you?)

Getting a phone number is easy, especially when your aim is just to get a phone number. There are psychological tactics to get people give you their phone numbers, but that’s a manipulation and it doesn’t necessarily involve connection finding/building. If you have no connection with the owner of that phone number you get, that phone number doesn’t mean anything. If she can’t be bothered to see you again, there’s no reason for her to give you her phone number (or any other means of contacting her).

Why you want to get her phone number? Because you like her and you want to see her again.

How do you do it? Tell her that. Directly. No bullshit. Just ask.

Bringing Out The Beauty in Her

In my answer to Q2, I mentioned that your mission is to to find connections between you and her and to bring out the beauty in her. Let me say more on this.

Through my writing, I want to help you create and live a romantic life on your own terms. That is, it’s up to you to define what it means for you to be romantic. However, at the same time, I do want you to be an extraordinary lover… and in the context of this post, if you are a man who is interested in women, I want you to be an extraordinary lover of women.

I believe that being an extraordinary lover of women is a great way to make your life more romantic. In order to be such a lover, I believe you must learn how to bring out the beauty in women.

Unfortunately, I have no systematic, step-by-step method that I can teach you to bring out the beauty in women. In fact, the notion of beauty I have is pretty rough as well – that is, it’s very subjective.

For me, I feel that a woman is beautiful when she opens up her heart and tells me about her passion or a personal story that’s important to her. It’s not just women, but men as well – when people talk about what they love or what they are passionate about, they eyes start shining and I find it very, very beautiful and attractive (Benjamin Zander calls it “shiny eyes” in his TED talk on music and passion).

Quite conveniently, since I love my life, I can feel connected when others talk about their love for their life – so, by witnessing shiny eyes, I can find connections with them on my side.

That’s how it works for me, and it may be different for you – but whatever it is, your life will be more romantic when you focus on bringing out the beauty in others and witnessing more shiny eyes. If you resonate with what I write here, you can make it as one of your missions in your life too.

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19 Reasons Why You Are Already Attractive

You might be thinking that you need to be more attractive in order to create and to live a romantic life on your own terms.

No, you don’t need to be more attractive, at least in one sense. Becoming more attractive can mean adding more stuff to you as a person, and when I say you don’t need to be more attractive in one sense, I mean it in this sense. Adding more stuff (i.e. skills, knowledge, interests and so on) is a great intention and I fully support it – in a way, that’s one of the things I want to help you through this blog. At the same time, it’s crucial for you to realise that you are already attractive.

Being more attractive also means being aware of your existing attractive qualities and making sure that you present them to the world. By bringing out these attractive qualities of yours, you will be more attractive, but without adding anything new on top of yourself.

This post is a little reminder of why you are already attractive. If you find something that matches you, then that’s an attractive quality of yours and you can amplify it further! No matter what others say, you can be confident that you are attractive.

The list is, of course, not exhaustive – so, don’t worry IF you don’t find anything that matches you in the list. Having said that, however, I bet you will find at least one thing that you can relate yourself to.

If you have something to add to the list, please write it in the comment section. Also, share this post with your friends, because they should know they are already attractive too!

You are already attractive, because…

  1. You are full of potential. Trust me, you can do a lot more than you think. You need to realise that you are full of potential and start discovering possibilities within yourself. You may not have what it takes to get the most out of your potential, but you already have enough resources to get started with rolling the little snowball you have.
  2. You are interested in creating and living a romantic life on your own terms. The fact that you are active about and keen on living your life in this way tells me that you are attractive.
  3. You are passionate about something. Perhaps you can name it immediately. If not, do you have something you would love to spend your time doing if you didn’t have to worry about anything? It’s fair to say you are passionate about it. Your passion is one of your most attractive qualities.
  4. You have a dream. Do you have a dream of opening a cafe? Do you have a dream of travelling around the world? Or do you have a dream of baking the most delicious cake in history? Whatever your dream is, it’s great that you have one! (If you don’t… what was your childhood dream?) If you are working on making your dream come true, that makes you extra attractive. If not, believe in your potential and start working on it! If you need some inspiration regarding achieving your dreams, watch this talk by Randy Pausch.
  5. You smile. A genuine smile that comes from within your delighted self makes your beautiful face even more beautiful. It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old. Your smile alone is attractive, but what’s great about smiling is that your smile is likely to make other people smile too. That’s really attractive.
  6. You choose to be authentic. Being authentic is about being honest to yourself, your thoughts, your desires, and your feelings. If you know how to be authentic, that’s great. If not, you can learn how to be authentic and you can choose to learn it right now. Making this choice and committing yourself to learning how to be authentic make you attractive. As a starting point, I recommend you to read this post and this post by Julien Smith.
  7. You have unique experiences. Note that there is only one you in the world and everything you experience is unique by definition, although others may go through similar experiences and you can connect with them via such experiences. You can share with others the joy you had through your good experiences and that’s attractive. You can learn from your bad experiences and teach others how to cope with such experiences. If you can laugh at your bad experiences, you are really attractive.
  8. You play. When you play and have fun, you are being playful, delighted, relaxed, adventurous, creative, curious and open etc. Remember the times you play and and have fun – that’s when you are attractive. The world needs more of your playful attitude.
  9. You help people. Whatever you do, it’s very likely that you are helping others in one way or another. This fact alone makes you attractive, but it will be much, much better if you are aware of the fact that you can use your strength to help others and choose to help more people.
  10. You are creative. I believe that everyone is creative and that you can develop your creativity muscles. Creativity is not necessarily about discovering something ground breaking or creating a world class master piece of art; it’s more about your attitude – you are happy to play, to experiment, to try something new, to be curious about what you do and to enjoy uncertainty. No matter how developed your creativity muscles are, embrace your creativity and work on developing them. Your creativity is attractive.
  11. You create something. This one sounds appropriate to mention after talking about creativity. Whatever you create – a meal, a map, a dance, a song, a poem, an essay, a fun conversation, a joke, a new way of doing something or a romantic life – creating something is attractive. Actually, what’s attractive is you who engage in and have fun with the process of creating something.
  12. You have curiosity. I highly value curiosity, because curiosity seems to me to be one of the most important qualities to have for people who want to live a fulfilling life. When you let your curiosity guide yourself instead of your fear, you can start enjoying uncertainty. Good news is that most of us already have curiosity and it’s up to us whether to choose our curiosity or not. So you are attractive for having curiosity and if you choose to exercise your curiosity fully, you can be more attractive in the sense of amplifying what you already have. Extra tip: being genuinely curious about others can be attractive.
  13. You are open to learning something new. Being open to learning something new is one example of exercising your curiosity. What you want to learn can be anything, but but your curiosity and desire to learn something new show your attractive side. And if you are the kind of person who enjoys reading a blog like mine, I bet you are motivated to learn something new – I know you are attractive in this sense.
  14. You subscribe to my blog. Speaking of reading my blog, if you are a subscriber of my blog and enjoy reading my articles, thank you very much. I really think you are attractive, because you make me wonder who you are. Having a quality of making others wonder who you are is very attractive. If you haven’t subscribed to this blog, you can do it at the end of this post.
  15. You survived through mistakes you made. Mistakes you made in the past may have knocked you out for a while, but you eventually stood up again and moved on. Some people may never make mistakes, but for most of us who do make mistakes, what’s important is to stand up again after making a mistake instead of trying to make no mistakes. And you’ve done that before and you are attractive for that.
  16. You can think. If you can read this blog, I know you can think. Being able to think for yourself is an attractive quality, especially when you are open to expanding boundaries of your thoughts by being aware of your assumptions and clarifying your understanding.
  17. You are free. Of course, there are boundaries that constrain what you do – the law of nature restricts what you do, your financial situation may limit what you want to do, or you may live in a country where your freedom of speech is violated. However, unless you are completely brainwashed and/or unable to make choices somehow, you are free to make your own choices within the range of options you have. You are attractive for being able to make your own choices.
  18. You love yourself. When you know how to genuinely love yourself, how to trust and how to be confident about yourself, that’s attractive. Loving yourself is something you need to keep practising and to get better at, but I bet most of us are already OK at it. Stop doubting yourself and believing in your potential – that way, you can upgrade your existing skills of loving yourself and be more attractive.
  19. You are you. What else can be more attractive about you, the fact that you have your unique experiences, history, memories, thoughts, feelings, desires, choices, dreams, favourite things and everything else that makes you the person that you are?

Do you know what your attractive qualities are? If so, what are they? Are there attractive qualities that many people have, but they often don’t realise that they do?

Also, what can you do to amplify your attractive qualities that you already have?