Shuffle Around Life: Chapter 13 (4, A, K): Patience Is A Virtue

 

What’s up TRP Shuffle Around Life Readers!

Today’s topic was inspired about the current life transition and my time waiting for my meal. You see, in life there are moments where you have to practice patience. You need to be patience waiting in line to be served, while you’re waiting for an Amazon Package, or even finding someone that means the world to you. Whatever it is you’re waiting for, the currency as expressed in the last article is time (which I would highly suggest you read). One thing I noticed is, there are people in my life who are very impatient. They want everything at a moment’s notice, because if you don’t get it done it’s all excuses from there. However I’ll argue that there are some things worth being very impatient for and other things are pointless and it makes me wonder like, “Why waste your energy and effort on it?”

via GIPHY

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not to say I don’t have my days (we’re all human) but there are certain things that you are forced to be patient with and cannot rush. For example…

  • Following the rules of the road when driving on the highway or streets (people in Asia or road racers may disagree with this one).
    • The ticket fines are high and it will raise a premium on your insurance the more tickets you acquire
  • Waiting for a cake to bake (we all know that one person, who wanted to eat the cake immediately).
    • With all things it must take time for the cake to rise, settle, and cool down.
  • Delivering a baby.
    • All the mothers who have listened (or have gone through delivering a baby) understands the time it takes cannot be rushed. If you ever rush a woman, well be forwarned it ain’t going to be pretty
  • And etc.

The problem lies, when people have varying attitudes on gray areas of things in life that no patience can surmount. Let’s start with the following:

  • Lingering Medical Conditions (sans Baby Delivery), at some point you need to see a doctor.
    • Some have more serious issues than others, but if your anxious you may demand to see a doctor immediately as opposed to waiting 3-4 weeks (like I am at the moment).
  • Some Restaurant Experiences
    • This is very subjective perspective, my lady won’t wait for an overhyped hipster restaurant but I might, because something piqued my curiosity and I want to see it through. This also goes with fine dining experiences or eating with those who treat everything like an Instagram/Food & Wine  Photoshoot at the dining table.
  • Career Advancement and Professional Development
    • Again another very subjective. Some may be ready to do management but your management may disagree with ‘roadblock’ your step up the ladder. Jobs that you apply will acknowledge your skill but aren’t willing to pay the price (or better yet, sneak in free consulting, to save time and money on a candidate). Whatever the case may be it can be very frustrating when you feel you’re on a timeline and tomorrow is not promised.

I bring up these points because I’d like to believe I’ve been very, VERY, patient with how life is going. Do I wish for certain things to be done faster? Absolutely. Is it going to take a lot of effort and time? Fuck yeah.

As an individual, there’s only so much waiting and sitting idle you can do until you need to make a move. I’ve been doing things in the background to prepare for this next step. It’s not easy but everything comes with a price just as Thanos knows and soon you’ll achieve progress (or in this case, deadly success).

via MEME

Enjoy the weekend folks!

-R of the TRP

Advertisements

Shuffle Around Life: Chapter 12 (A, K, Q): Learning to Say NO (a tight rope perspective) When Necessary

Hello TRP Shuffle Around Life Readers!

Here’s something that’s been on my mind for a while and needed to vent about this and it’s about the importance of Saying No, to things.

You see in recent years, even with my “transition” there are things I do outside of writing columns, conducting analysis, troubleshooting and more on the TRP like everyone else. One thing that’s made me very certain is an essential life skill is SAYING NO WHEN NECESSARY.

What do I mean for this?

Everyone is familiar with the concept of time and how it’s probably the single most valuable asset you have as a human being. Let’s break down how this looks….

The breakdown will be by day, year, and week (all adhering within a 24 hour period):

In a Single Day:

  • 86400 Seconds
  • 1440 Minutes
  • 24 Hours

In a Single Week (7x the values):

  • 604800 Seconds
  • 10080 Minutes
  • 168 Hours
  • 7 Days

In a Single Year: (52x previous values):

  • 31,449,600 Seconds
  • 524, 160 Minutes
  • 8,736 Hours
  • 365 Days* (366, give or take a day or two because of leap year and axial tilt/speed)
  • 52 Weeks
  • 12 Months
  • 1 Year

***

*(Reading this post will probably take 2-3 minutes at most and for that, I am truly grateful for you sharing your time with me)

All these increments should give you an idea of how much time is so valuable. And yet, with everything going on in your daily life you have to wonder, is there really time to do everything you ever wanted in your lifetime? The answer is no, NO, no, NO. You will be pulled in all kinds of directions and a lot of times, what you will fulfill for one party will not make the other happy.

Recently, I’ve been going through that, working on this podcast, working on another side project, handling property management, and then of course career hunting. All of these balls juggling in the air, the answer should be relatively simple, focus on the things that matter to you (and are a priority). Furthermore, the more pragmatic approach is, focus on things that have an ROI (personal, professional, emotional, or financial). The problem with this is what you may think is ROI , people will ALWAYS DISAGREE WITH YOUR PRIORITIES and you deem is ROI. They will make their case and claim why their priorities are much more important than your own. THEY WILL NOT CARE, REMAIN SELFISH, AND CAN ONLY LOOK AT THINGS OBJECTIVELY WHEN SHIT HITS THE FAN FOR THEM.

For those who see it in this matter, I say a big FUCK YOU. I’ve always tried to understand it from the other side of the picture. In fact, if tomorrow weren’t guaranteed and any of my colleagues or friends (can’t move forward with me). I will not hold them to it walking away and diverting on what’s important to them, that’s just a fact of life.

Do you need money to support yourself but your passion project isn’t doing shit for you?

Take a step back and take the time needed to re-evaluate, before jumping back on the horse.

Are you slammed at work in that you don’t have time to do any creative stuff on the side?

Don’t trip, recharge and come back when you’re ready. The difference between working for a paycheck versus working for a passion, is the willingness to put in as much as you can even without stability.

However for those I didn’t mean to hurt (or de-prioritize) and had to say NO to, I am deeply Sorry. It was never an easy option and quite frankly if it were, then chances are I don’t care about you as much as you think I do.

Majority of the time, people would rather do passion work that provides a sense of security in their lifestyle (and perception(s)) in society. However majority of the world, doesn’t have that luxury to exercise such an approach. People take unstable jobs just to pay the bills. Whereas the wealthiest individuals own as much as half of the poorest of the entire world’s population.

Overall, people should be more understanding of each other’s time and priorities in one’s life. When you do realize this need for compassion, you’ll realize that even your impact in the world is but a millimeter of a Domino in the entire universe’s history of existence.

-RM

Shuffle Around Life: Chapter 11 (4, 10, 2) and Knowledge Part 4, Series Finale

What’s up Shuffle Around Life readers got a bit sick this weekend hence the delay of this article but let’s get into it!

 

Several things to reference before we get started:

For those who wanted to learn the origins of this series, I highly, HIGHLY suggest you start from the beginning when it was the TRP Single Life” with Part One listed here.

Second, if you enjoy the deviation of article series check out the Dating App Tip Series (DAT TRP) by starting here.

As mentioned in the previous article is the beginning of the Knowledge Series, we first start with the topic of “Knowing” and what it means to research and “Know” what to do next, if you want a recap, you can start here.

***

Think of every single thing in existence in this world, what do they all have in common? They all started from nothing and became something. Your favorite clothing brand, video game, food, and/or drink. Someone one day had the courage, audacity, and tenacity to build something from scratch. The world as they knew, was no longer acceptable and they wanted to make a difference. This isn’t anything new under the sun and if you’ve been keeping up with the world (and our podcasts episodes) we’re always one step closer to innovation. Working in technology and restaurants has always committed these types of values to me but there’s one element, that will always be a dream, that is mastery.

You see a lot of people have a strange relationship with mastery, in fact we prefaced this things in Season 2, Episode 35 we centered this discussion of perfection. It’s a balancing act for everyone involved and one notable figure Sushi Chef Jiro, embraces this constant struggle of perfection to achieve a new level in his art of sushi making. While it’s healthy to have ambitious goals, sometimes it can lead to unreasonable expectations.

“If you think about it, I don’t know anyone, (Absolutely anyone) who is perfect (and consistently perfect) every single day and in every single way. Do you?”

It’s insanity, to attempt to live that kind of lifestyle. And yet, lots of people it use it as a litmus to achieve what they want in their lifetimes. In the tech world, people use algorithms and data to figure out “proactively” what you want as an individual consumer (or technology buyer). But my argument is, if you didn’t have any data to begin with your vision of “proactive strategies” are futile. You need evidence of “reacting” to something before “proactively reacting” to something in the future. I speak on this diatribe because I hope more people who come from a similar background as I do, realize this in the long-run.

You see to me, the idea of mastery doesn’t fall in line with Jiro or the tech world’s unreasonable expectation (algorithmic 3.0 models defining human consumerism down to the a granular detail).

“Mastery is all about a reasonable pursuit of knowledge at a healthy pace.”

You can go on instagram and everyone who strives about business talks about “Hustle” and “Grind 5-10 years to enjoy the rest of your life.” Let’s be real here, not everyone will grind and everyone who’s been about the grind (has probably done more than 5-10 years to achieve financial freedom/success). The college admissions scandal by celebrities is a primary example, of why not everyone cannot achieve their lofty goals in the same amount of time…

via GIPHY

The same people who got into these skills had the resources they needed to succeed. Which also means those of us who didn’t have those resources applying to universities, had to work 2x, 3x, or even 10x harder. You see, it’s all unreasonable but this is the reality of life, it isn’t fair and a lot of times it can be frustrating. This is why I propose mastery as pursuing knowledge at a healthy pace, your pace isn’t the same as mine and it can burn someone out. There are things, I know and understand more than you do (and vice-versa). Even at a time, where one can easily attain knowledge through the means of a simple google query. A lot of times, this knowledge isn’t always applicable and only has little to no impact.

I’ll use the cooking example again, for a lot of you cooking ravioli is pretty elementary. However for those who take it a step up a notch cooking pasta with an different identity (like a reverse ravioli; Liquid outside, solids inside) is an entirely abstract (or foreign) concept. At the moment, I do not work in the restaurant industry therefore having the knowledge of this recipe, is nice but unnecessary. It isn’t applicable to my current line of work (tech) and I’m not trying to make a new dish to get famous off of. For those that do work in the restaurant industry and are trying to make a name for themselves, this recipe (is one of many key) components as a new foundation of knowledge for modern gastronomy. This idea of mastery, can only be accomplished if you idea two key things:

  1. You know (deep down) what you’re truly good at and you want to strive at it
  2. You don’t mind dedicating a good amount of your time and energy, no matter what’s going on around you

When it comes to these two key traits, for myself that’s always been the struggle for me to discover for myself. I’m good at a lot of different things, but I’m not Michael Jordan status at one particular thing and I believe that’s what a lot of people find difficult in this journey of life. Some may find their “Natural strength” or ” God-gifted talent” easily, whereas others may take their whole lives. If you’re like me, just know you aren’t alone. Whatever the time you’ll take, just know that eventually you’ll understand what it is you’re meant to contribute to this world. Just like this woman who’s fully aware of her body….

via GIPHY

 

Thanks for reading and next week we’ll return to some other updates in the pipeline. Cheers!

 

Shuffle Around Life: Chapter 10 (8, A, Q): Clean Up and Knowledge Series Part 3

What’s up everyone reading the Shuffle Around Life!

Several things to reference before we get started:

For those who wanted to learn the origins of this series, I highly, HIGHLY suggest you start from the beginning when it was the TRP Single Life” with Part One listed here.

Second, if you enjoy the deviation of article series check out the Dating App Series by starting here.

As mentioned in the previous article is the beginning of the Knowledge Series, we first start with the topic of “Knowing” and what it means to research and “Know” what to do next, if you want a recap, you can start here.

And now, onto the topic on hand!

***

So we already covered the first two elements described so you’re probably wondering why separate refinement from execution and mastery? Well for starters, you have to go back to my previous example about cooking. You see majority of the people in the world, can follow the first two steps. However this 3rd step is probably more relevant to those who enjoy the hobby of cooking at home, outdoors, or professionally (fine dining, catering, etc.) The great thing about refinement is finding your personal groove (by that I mean tempo), nobody can replicate this groove for this task because some people do things differently compared to others. For instance, my writing style and how I space out writing this series would be different compared to John and Drey (my other co-hosts of the podcast).

Their personal tone (and storytelling ability) is vastly different you can see examples of this here (by John) and here (by Drey). You can ever go further with this and listen in on the storytelling set by one my favorite Marketers Seth Godin, who created the Akimbo podcast about the applications of business, the intricacies of creativity, and how it’s applied to the world at-large. You see, although we started doing storytelling here on the TRP for the past year, Mr. Godin has been doing it for several decades. His verbal acuity when describing social phenomenon is what sets him apart from many other marketers in the game. This isn’t something that can be built overnight, this can only be done through constant trial and error of execution.

However that’s not to take away from my colleagues and their personal skills of refinement. Drey comes from a similar background and every week when recording the podcast, he uses his audio palate to adjust and present our episodes from a clean canvas into a finished product. This spills over into his DJ’ing, Photography, and many more things that are set to his arsenal. John on the other hand, despite his out of pocket commentary, knows when to push people’s buttons (even when it gets too far). His trolling goes beyond the norm but it also reflects in his nature of refinement in creating the interactive videos, soundbits, and TRP memes you see on our Instagram account today.

Look around you in life, what are some of the things you (or your peers) are passionate about? Is it something a bit more artisanal, like woodwork? What about cosplays? Or even making the most *fire emoji* edits on a Youtube video? These are avenues in which we invest our time and energy, the constant iteration of anything we involve ourselves with. In corporations, when your company (and managers) set goals, there’s a quota set on your productivity and output but what mostly isn’t measured is effort. The blood, sweat, tears, and frustrations going into learning how to deliver (whatever it is that’s necessary).

“People in 2019, don’t care about effort enough “

Yet without this important element of the human condition, nothing would manifest or come to creation. Landmarks like the Sistine Chapel, Pyramid’s of Egypt, or something as epic as the Avengers Assembling…

via GIPHY

Wouldn’t be paramount to what we would consider as an epic blockbuster of a movie. Another way of looking at this is the ongoing work of a relationship. Is it enough to remember just your significant other’s birthday? Favorite Boba Drink? No, there will be times you will make hard calls (whether its for easy tasks or challenging ones) to create a more memorable experience for you (and your loved ones). We as a society have become more selfish in 2019, then ever before, don’t believe me? Look at your phone and all of the applications you downloaded. See the people who: follow you, retweet, share, comment, criticize, screenshot and etc. Your worth as a human being is only as good as the reputation that proceeds itself.

“Everything needs to have an ROI on the surface and yet the fundamental truth is human beings have conditions to crave unconditional desires.”

  • As an employer, I need loyal employees to succeed and build my business, otherwise I will fire them (unconditional loyalty)
  • As a co-worker, I need my colleagues to bust (or cover my ass) otherwise I would look down on them and gossip (unconditional support)
  • As a partner/S.O. in a relationship, I need them to pull their (financial and emotional) weight and make me happy otherwise I’ll threaten leave (unconditional love)

The idea of the ‘unconditional’ being possible is only through the low-risk efforts (and tasks) conducted by those willing; E.G. Giving someone anything because we have an abundance, pets comforting us in our time of need (when human interaction is empty), etc. We find ourselves yet again “refining” our definition(s) of core values, based on these “unconditional” scenarios and yet, we don’t invest much effort into this area of well-being. We’re all “too busy” making money, spending time with friends, traveling the world, to see what’s going on to the world at large.

As you can see, refinement isn’t just the application of constant effort and time invested. Refinement is, finding purpose in ourselves and expressing that purpose through the various tools and mediums we use in everyday life. Refinement should also be about consciousness of the world around us and tailoring ourselves to become better to one another (and our resources). Lastly, refinement is a constant variable (like time) because you’ll never know when one day, you can become: a work of art, a glorified war hero, or to be remembered for something greater…

via GIPHY

To Be Continued….

Shuffle Around Life: Chapter 9 (9, K, 2): Wedding Season and Knowledge Series Part 2

What’s up TRP Shuffle Around Gang!

 

A couple of things to reference before we get started:

For those who wanted to learn the origins of this series, I highly, HIGHLY suggest you start from the beginning when it was the TRP Single Life” with Part One listed here.

As mentioned in the previous article is the beginning of the Knowledge Series, we first start with the topic of “Knowing” and what it means to research and “Know” what to do next, if you want a recap, you can start here.

Alright, let’s talk about the part that means the most to people, the doing (or execution piece) of Knowledge. This is probably the second hardest thing, out of all the four components of acquiring knowledge. Why do I say the second hardest? Well, anyone, can “do” something about anything. For instance, I didn’t know how to cook, so what did I do to make it happen? Before working in restaurant I followed some recipes to a tee. Afterwards I was taught proper knife and resource management skills in the restaurant industry, finally I understood the difference between home cooking vs. restaurant quality food. As described there’s two ways of acquiring the baseline foundation “To-Do” something.

Let’s start with imitating those who are knowledgeable:

Everyone knows, Gordon Ramsay Right? (Masterchef, Michelin Star Renowned, Hardass of the 21st century).

via GIPHY

One of the key things people say, when they look at a dish Gordon Ramsay prepares is, “I want to make that at home.” So they type on their browser, “Gordon Ramsay Recipes at home.” Review what’s available, pick what’s most appealing (and easy to prepare) and Voila, you learned your first Gordon Ramsay dish! Well the challenging piece with the imitation methodology is, cooking is a very universal skill (but approachable craft), you can make the argument to say it isn’t easy being a consistent “high-class chef” (trust me, I’ve been there personally, I understand the unhealthy and obsessive mentality of getting things right).

Whereas for something a little bit more technical like making a million dollars in a more unorthodox means (remember Flappy Bird?). You can try to imitate the people who set the tone for the type of product (or service) they provided to the world but chances are, you already missed the boat (or you’re one notch short of being another knockoff). In the world of Instagram, as a media/content creator, we often find ourselves imitating the same stuff other successful brands do:

via GIPHY

  • Add 10-20 different high volume hashtags
    • #socialmedia #thisneedsmoreviews #bloggersaresemidead #imasocialmediainfluencer #ineedmorebitcoin #needsmoresex #lotsofviolence #memes #follow4follow #arewedoneyet
  • Bold keyworded text in quotes on a semi-transparent inspiration
  • Add “Explicit Language/Commentary/Clickbait” for them views.

Yet, it doesn’t sound right and our audiences aren’t always keen in what type of content we have to provide. This is where the journey (or at least IMHO) the best way of acquiring experience learning from trial and error. 

You see many people will make the argument that it’s costly to learn from trial and error but the problem with that mindset is, if you don’t give yourself room to make mistakes how do you learn and grow from it? In Silicon Valley, people talk on and on about ‘disruption,’ ‘innovation,’ and etc. The only way those particular technologies can thrive and exist is because the architects of that technology allow machines the capability to recognize patterns and, “LEARN FROM THEM.” I know it seems obvious right, and yet we as human beings aren’t given a fraction of a capacity to learn from our mistakes. We’re criticized, vilified, and ridiculed into oblivion when our intellectual prowess doesn’t extend to our physical projection of the world because apparently we’re supposed to be flawless human beings. Now that I’m older, I do my best not to give unsolicited advice but if it’s one gem of wisdom I can share with this new generation of “millennials, meme lords, and internet misfits” is to cut yourself some slack and realize this is the only way to grow.

When you continue to fail, even if it costs you your job, career, or even reputation amongst your peers, the period of self reflection allows you to look back on it all and ask yourself, “Was it really worth it?” I try my best to not only be honest with my flaws but my lack of execution there are times, I feel it will never be enough for some people. And that’s fine because the people that are here now, are the ones that I will remember when I am  at the top of my game.

Everyone may have standards but guess what, you need to have your own. So long as you did your best and didn’t hurt anyone else in the process. If it isn’t “top notch” or “well received” fuck em, because at the end you need to also learn from the process and give yourself some self love once in a while. If you don’t learn to love yourself then how can you learn to love others. While attending numerous weddings this year it’s always important to understand that at the end of the day, only when you realize you find love and solitude in your heart, can you find passion and conviction to move forward in your life (in all aspects).

To Be Continued…

 

Shuffle Around Life: Chapter 8 (9, K, 5), Juggling Interviews and Introducing the Knowledge Series Part 1

Hey there TRP Shuffle Around Life Readers!

So essentially I’m in that grind time mode of life. You know for those of you keeping track, once you start leveling up, you need to cover the essentials. Work, get paid, pay bills, and thrive off of the usual vacation. On top of all of this, sometimes you need to transition into interview grind (because you don’t want to make the same pay forever). If this is a topic you’re interested in, let me know and we can either make it an episode topic or a series here on the Shuffle Around Life. Anyway, job interviews are interesting for a number of reasons with the main one of course uncovering, “What’s really important to your potential new company?”

Everyone has a story of how they interviewed for their first job, momumental job/career role, and of course how they adjust themselves in the ebb and flow. One thing that’s for certain is it can get tiring (depending on the projects or tasks assigned to you at very short notice). That said, while all of that is going on, one thing I’ve always been passionate about is to share knowledge and the hierarchy for which is attained. This hierarchy in my prospective is broken down into four (and sometimes arguably six parts):

  1. Knowing/Researching
  2. Doing/Execution
  3. Refinement
  4. Mastery

We’re going to start with part 1 and begin extrapolating other parts piece by piece, so let’s get started!

***

This all started, when I began doing a deep dive on a lot of tools and pieces of technology I wasn’t familiar with. In vacuum, I wanted to simplify in bite size pieces how one would go about attaining a new skill set. When you first become familiar with a product or tool, you need to research and by research I mean read a ton (a shit ton). Going down the rabbit hole of discovery, you get a sense of what’s important, can you loop (or intertwine) said concepts and create what’s necessary at the present time? To use a personal example, one time I wanted to learn about paid social and this meant creating ads in various social media apps (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more). I began reading about all the pros and cons of each specific app and their “Best practices,” however one thing led to another and I understood the concepts, but realistically, that’s all I knew. Yeah, “knowing” doesn’t mean you actually can implement, execute, and measure a successful “XYZ” from end to end.

via GIPHY

So this is where the old adage of having a ‘Thirst for Knowledge’ or ‘The best knowledge is experience.’ Most people have to reinforce the idea of a Fake It Till You Make it (FITYMI) but that can only get you so far in more technical roles and responsibilities later on down the road. It’s been a journey but I’ve been seeking a lot of mentors to help guide these next steps and a very motivating email from a very notable person in the field, encouraged me to keep going. So as the GI JOE would say…

 

Gif provided by Tenor

Shuffle Around Life: Chapter 7 (2, 6, 2); From Italy to Home to Mid-Life equals More Transitions

 

Hello Everyone,

I know it’s been a while since my last entry of the TRP Shuffle Around life, but if you’ve been keeping up with me via Social Media you know I’ve been off the map and enjoying the good life. Europe was amazing but traveling from within pre-Brexit was not entirely easy. I look forward to returning to some spots hopefully in the distant future.

What you don’t see however is the behind the scenes work that not only goes into my daily routines but some of the side projects I’ve been building since I’ve last shared about my life.

To begin, one of the critical decisions I made in my life is to leave a job of stability. Although I learned and established myself at a place, I knew there was more to the world that I wanted to grasp. I made the conscious decision to leave for reasons that I’d like to keep to myself. I learned a lot (both personally and professionally) but I knew it was my time to go. In a previous podcast episode we discussed life transitions (for you 20-30 year olds, you might want to take a listen).  There are several transitional periods for me that are occurring at the moment:

  • Transition of Work
  • Transition of Household Role
  • Transition of Purpose

Let’s start with work…

It was a difficult decision but leaving work was the best thing that ever happened to me. I came from the school of thought that you shouldn’t quit no matter what. However to have the opportunity to finally quit without any strings attached seemed too good to be true (initially). In the days leading up to my departure, I made peace with everything that was bottled up inside. For anyone going through this currently, you will feel a piece of ownership lost. Fear not, because that sense of renewal is right around the corner and sometimes in places you least expect.

During my time away from the office, I wanted to re-align with what mattered most to me and that was my health (and loved ones). There are two forks in the road that will determine the next 10-20 years of my life. I’ve come to the conclusion that once these decisions are solidified, it is the point of no return.

Which leads to a significant piece of the puzzle I’ve left out, the support pillars in one’s life. I don’t care if you have a vast network or nobody to rely on. At some point, we’ll all need help and one of the biggest blessings is to have someone to support you at critical moments like these. Without my current girlfriend, a few friends and some living family left, I don’t know what would happen next.

When you’re so used to your daily routines to point of ad nauseam, you can’t really fathom what an alternative reality would actually look like. I have to count my blessings and even there was a certain point where I wanted to give up a key part of who I was, even those you least expect would give you a sign to press forward:

inspiration by an influencer
For those not familiar, this is a very special person who heavily inspired my work in this craft since day one…

Household Role

When you grow up, you will have many changes of this role. One of them at some point will be head of household. You will realize how much of a burden it is to become an adult, a working one, occasionally short changed, and probably overworked. In some cases this role change is applied to your family dynamics. For my own, it shifted drastically in a matter of months. It took getting used to but I feel at peace with where I’m currently at. I’m taking a day at a time, to do my part and work towards contributing to the overall mission of the household.

Purpose: It isn’t always obvious, you will weave in and out of whatever you deem as “purposeful” in your life. Sometimes your guiding north can be deceiving, in that what once provided you purpose slowly created burden (or depression). Similarly to the work stuff, purpose was slowly being removed from my life in an interesting manner. You feel less human or rather less of a cog, but then you also don’t feel fulfilled even when you hav no more levers to push. We all feel a certain way, when purpose evolves or strays away from our core identity. For myself, I will hold onto this creative side of purpose. l know this part of my writing, may seem cryptic, weird, and probably unorthodox. However that’s what this article theme is served up for, a shuffle, into hopefully something greater…

 

 

Shuffle Around Life: Chapter 6 (Q, 7, 7), The Real TRP Single Life Ending and Transitional Period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello TRP crew, it’s been a hot minute. Since the past couple of podcast episodes, I’ve been alluding to this idea of being happy with someone new. In the original series, I thought the person I met earlier, would be the one I would build a relationship with. Sadly, it was a false positive and like most video games they usually have a bad ending and a “true ending.” I’m now presenting you the events leading to the true ending of the Single Life (and I guess the revised expanded version of the Shuffle Around Life)…

*September 2018*

I wrote what would’ve been the final chapter of the TRP Single Life. Started dating someone, I thought I could build a relationship with. We did the usual stuff like any couple, discuss work, had dinner dates, and contemplated about the future. There were moments where all this stuff, felt very comfortable. On autumn afternoon after a particular festival we parted ways. I felt a bit weird about this recent meetup, maybe it was the “dating spider sense” people usually have before the inevitable break up occurs.

One day of not talking turned into two, then a week, and eventually almost two months. I was ghosted on, confused, and literally didn’t know what to say or feel. I shouldn’t be surprised, many of the previous dates left with a similar impression. The outcome of the relationship and the impact it had on my thinking lingered for a bit. I thought to myself. “How was this any different?” It gave me a lot to think about and my professional life also started competing in my daily priorities….

*October 2018/November 2018*

Between Halloween to the First of November was a strange time. I knew I was back in the market (single once more) we had done a few more episodes, one on Indecisiveness and the other on the 5 Love Languages. While finishing production on these episodes, it got me thinking of the elements in this last one that was full of nonsense. Out of nowhere a phone call rung frantically one evening, I didn’t recognize the number and let it go to voicemail. It was her “The Fake Ending aka The Ghoster” she nonchalantly reintroduced herself and began going on a diatribe about how she thought about this and that, because of some “false positive” test results she got due to her work environment issues and more. I refused to entertain it, I merely responded, “You didn’t give me the time of day and I’m over it.” I blocked her number, deleted all of the pictures and moved on with my life.

For the first time, in a while I was ready to give up the search completely. I looked over contingency plans, in the event certain milestone events didn’t happen in my life. It was time to go to Plan C and so it began, in the meantime during my professional life, everything was busier than ever…

*November 2018-December 2018*

My birthday occurred, had a nice little getaway to the East Coast, hung out with friends and worked through the holidays. It was at this moment, I began to let go of any expectation settling down. There were more important things to worry about and the next several months were a good indicator of that. After Christmas and well into the New Year one of the things, I began to think more about was my immediate future. Whether or not living in my current place was the way to go or I needed to move elsewhere. Either way these weren’t easy decisions and the next chapter of my life proved to be the most difficult (and ambiguous one) to live up after just yet…

*January 2019*

Literally four months after, I decided to slowly ease my way back into the dating world once more, going through the motions. At this point when you reach your 30s, dating priorities shift for many people. You’re over the whole idea of chasing the ideal mate, you have a bit more practicality. As a guy, you’re literally at in the range of folks who are starting to realize who they are personally and professionally. Mid 20s-Mid 30s, people are also looking to settle down and not try to bog down with the whole mentality of “playing games.” Everyone is a bit more aggressive in their dating search (especially those who desire kids), this isn’t something to be taken lightly because of the biological factors that come into play. More people also start giving less fucks, because you’re too tired to please everyone and you want to be content for yourself (and those supportive around you). I was content and I had a somewhat steady life, that is until one fateful night. It started out like any other night, got home from work, was watching Youtube and then a possibility to meet someone new. Sure enough, one hour got into two and the rest of the evening flew by….

When date #2 came around, things were a bit more different. The stakes felt higher and the emotions ran deep (no this isn’t a euphemism for sex John in case you’re reading) and slowly I realize this is what it feels like to truly find someone you’re compatible with. At the moment, I didn’t know what else to expect but to go with the flow in the chain of events and afterwards…

*Fast Forward to Present Day*

We’re both pretty happy with one another, we’ve discussed a lot in the short amount of time and have taken strides to getting to know each other on a deeper and more emotional level as each day passes. It still feels pretty surreal looking back after everything. This is only the beginning and within the past four months so much has shifted. She’s been quite the supportive lady and has helped me built a new definition of what an adult foundation would look like. We have many more days/weeks/years, to learn about one another but if there’s one thing I’m grateful for, it’s this second opportunity to make things work. Thank you sweetie for everything that you do and I looking forward to learning and growing with you, each and every step of the way.

-R.M.

 

Shuffle Around Life: Chapter 5 (9, 4, J), 2019 opener and Results of IG Story Poll

What’s up everyone! So now that we covered two of the three Dating Apps (OkCupid and Hinge), you’re probably wondering, what’s the third? Well, if you subscribe to us by providing your email here (on the mid-flap of our homepage):

 

You’ll get some bonus DATs, Q&As, and additional content that’s not usually posted on our website. Anyway to go back on topic, the start of 2019 has been quite the challenge for me. Achieving work-life balance is much tougher now than it was in previous years. Otherwise, I don’t know what will be the outcome but I’ll stay positive and take it a day at a time.

***

The more, I think about it, the more I’m curious to learn about those who came before me (John get your mind out of the gutter), in the sense of how much one’s life was determined by hardwork/grit vs. a lucky break which steered the course of their personal lives. This is a key question that Guy Raz poses to so many successful entrepreneurs from all walks of life, in the NPR series of How I Built This.

Anyway, non-professional development areas aside. Dating has also become so strange (or peculiar) in 2019. Compared to the last three years, there hasn’t been as many prospects right from the jump. This has led me to believe because I am approaching the age where many people are beginning to settle down (with an ideal mate or the possibility of having kids and more). This has also transpired in one of my would-be dating prospects, meet Lana (named change for anonymity sake). Lana and I, like many others on a dating app have chatted back and forth intermittently for a few weeks. However at a certain point Lana decides to put some stakes in the ground to show her stance as well as her intent of our first encounter… (this transcription is from my actual correspondence)

Me: So when are you free?
Her: *provides time/date*
Me: Great! Any spots in mind?
Her: How about *yelps here*?
Me: This works for me.
Her: I’m trying to get this dating thing going and take out the fluff chat stuff…
Me: Hm ok dating automation…. with a rigid set of filter questions too?
Her: Probably! But let’s go with the flow it could be practice for potential other matches!
Me: So Later in the evening….
… (more chat and then)
Her: I’m also planning to meet as casual as possible.

(let’s pause right here).

Let’s make it clear, that I’m all for a chill date, in fact I welcome it. However prior to this specific moment of correspondence, the feeling I got of interest (and willingness to meet) in having a nice first date spiraled into nothingness. For context, when we “chatted” on the app and exchange pleasantries, everything was peachy. But as soon as I got her number, things started becoming cut and dry (like the Sahara desert) and her initial efforts of wanting to get to know me more, was practically non-existent. As she pulled a 180, on her gauge of interests which also led me to believe three possibilities:

  1. She was probably disappointed something didn’t work out with a different user on the app, prior to meeting me, which changed the mood and expectations of meeting m.
  2. She met someone whom she had more interests in, after chatting with me and now decided the “Go with the flow” approach because it wouldn’t hurt to meet another new person.
  3. She set those expectations from the jump because historically the “dating fluff” she experienced didn’t give her the results she wanted.

This is a very common dynamic because relationships on Dating Apps are not only superfluous (or in John’s mind, super fluid), but also fleeting with a timed encounter.

Now, you’re also probably thinking to yourself… Are you serious? You’re thinking way too hard on this. Well, I had a similar gut reaction in this article of The Single Life and I ignored my gut reaction (and felt jipped) on my experience this with the last minute plans with Date #9.

Gut reactions are a clear sign that you may need to hold off interest (or the possibility of entertaining) someone in your life. These red flags can help you avoid certain toxic situations, incompatible people, and overall general bad vibes. So, before I jumped the gun, I did decide to post on IG (I had an inkling, as to who was the first responded, *cough*John50) but over time other people weighed in and here are the results:

So, what was the decision on my part? I decided to cancel the date, I know big surprised. Usually I would go for it but I wanted to cut my losses and not waste my time. It’s selfish but it’s 2019, new year… New Me.

Shuffle Around Life: Chapter 4 (2, Q, 4), Dating App Tips Series: Hinge and the Holiday Season

What’s up everyone and welcome to Part 2 of our DAT TRP Series. We already covered OkCupid so if you’re curious about the issue you can click here or work your way from the Beginning of the Shuffle Around Life series.

Hinge is an app that was popularized in New York, gained traction in LA and slowly crept and crawled throughout the country. One of the key differences with this app compared to OkCupid is it’s minimalist settings. Originally you had to sync your Facebook account in order to “acquire the friends of friends network aka your prospective dating pool” to see what you’re working with. As of the writing of this article, you can now sign up with just an email. You can do either way, however for me I started with Sync’ing my own FB account and went from there.

When you first start you need to set your Preferences, who are you interested in (are you interested in the same sex, opposite sex, or you like to grab from both genders). Unfortunately for certain LGBT individuals this may be off putting. Afterwards you need to turn on Location Settings because you need to “Claim your hood.” Then you have to set all the other demographic data: Age Range, Maximum Distance and more. One of the key features that stand out as a filter is the “Is this a Dealbreaker?”

If you’re one of those people that likes to sample the entire world’s buffet, then never turn on that option. However if Religion, Maximum Distance (which only covers 100 miles, talk about limited parameters) and more are truly important for you, then by all means switch on and indicate “It is a Dealbreaker?” It will be marked with ‘Dealbreaker’ in the preference setting, so you can set it and forget it. Now me personally, unlike OkCupid you cannot filter by fitness preferences (seems superficial and probably better for overall user experience) but for those of us who want someone a bit more active, than average (and that’s not asking much) this is one of my few qualms about it. One other thing to note is, while OkCupid still has a slant (no pun intended) to favor Caucasian Males and Asian Females. This app caters to a similar audience (it’s not to throw shade it’s the facts), so if you love Basic Becky/Techies (70%) then you’re probably in Nirvana. There are a portion of Minority Females but the breakdown before I placed my filters were (20% Asian and 5-10% Latino/Hispanic or African American given your geographic location). You don’t have to fill out everything but you should definitely address everything, if you want to take this thing seriously. Your mileage may vary and as an Asian-American male my experience is much more unique than let’s say someone who is Caucasian or African-American. When thinking about how you want to convey yourself to your dating prospects be mindful to:

It’s very important to setup your profile sections, you need to optimize: six pictures, three answer prompts, seven virtues, eight vitals, four vices, and the option of syncing your Instagram (sounds like the 12 days of Christmas song, doesn’t it?). I’ll break it down by each section mentioned:

Six Pictures

You have six pictures to make an ideal impression on your would-be prospect. I’ve seen both my friend’s profiles and some acquaintances. If you don’t like taking pictures either befriend (or pay) for professional photography headshots. If you’re crafty (or gutsy like I was), you can have someone take them for you and take a chance. For my recommendations you should have a split, three photos of you: One clear headshot, one full body shot, and one action shot (pick your ideal activity: climbing, racing, dancing, etc.) The other three, should showcase your personality/interests: Do you like dogs, have a specific passion, have an “urge” to travel (which is very common in dating apps)?

Once you pick those photos you can put it in order, now there’s another three ways you can break this out:

  1. Treat your dating profile like a page from your life story, infographic style and easy to follow, top to bottom
  2. While creating PR highlights about yourself in between the snippet

Three Answer Prompts

English majors, Hinge will make you shine so hard, it’s not even funny (maybe even OkCupid), very few know how to entertain those with a tap of the keyboard. In any event, if you’re a man of few words, use your concise language effectively. My recommendations are: Two Truths/One Lie (if you live an interesting life, are a good liar, entertaining storyteller, or all of the above), I’m looking for (you can be as blunt or witty, e.g. I like tongue and cheeks…. tongue twisters and baby cheeks to pinch, you pervert), & Ideal first date (to set the tone of the first encounter).

Seven Virtues

This is your personal/impersonal background. You don’t have to give out your life story like a business card, of the seven, I would say: Work, Job Title, and Education Level are the most important. A tie for forth is Religious Beliefs/Politics, if that truly matters to you.

Eight Vitals

These are your sports stats, get ready to flex (or not flex) your biological prowess. As for the important ones in this list: Gender, Age, Height, Ethnicity, Family Plans and Location. If you’re concerned about stalking safety (yes ladies, it happens to guys as well), then change your Location setting to what’s reasonable and within the area you’d like to be. Just note, if you place yourself into some “perceived rich metropolitan area” you could be cat fishing those along, who might be looking for a lifestyle that doesn’t equate to your standards. 

My Four Vice

This particular section is all about which vices resonate or deal break the entire experience. Do you sip, get lit, hit the bong, or go off the grid?

Instagram feed Syncing is optional. If you decide to sync it, think of it like your first pictures but people will be able to “Hinge comment or  heart like” (I’ll explain this in a bit). your photos via IG (up to the most recent 27 entries). Again, think of these recent entries as part of “What’s going on in my Social Media life recently?”

***

Now that your profile is set you’re ready to engage. When you encounter a profile, you’ll see their name in the top left corner. And you’ll begin to notice the choices people make on their photos, prompts, and etc. The heart icons enable you to “like” a specific part of that profile (why I encouraged optimizing your profile from the beginning). While scrolling top-bottom you’ll see a pink-red ‘X’ notating you can outright reject the current profile (a swipe left in Tinder/OkCupid land) and movie onto the next. If you did your due diligence, once you like this person and they review your awesome profile, they’ll like you back and “maybe comment'” about whatever picture or content you wrote about.

Like most dating websites, there are stereotypes both regionally/nationally/globally about genders. For instance,  women on dating apps “love to travel” (I get it, you have not only disposable income but you’d also like to explore a buffet of men and destinations before settling down, men feel the same way). Whereas guys love to “Rock Climb, go Camping, Racing, or “Raving.” etc. Pick your poison and if you want to make it a drinking game, play dating app bingo and see how many stereotypes you come across. Also note, didn’t realize women we’re already ahead of the curve, case in point (however the insecurities of putting dating effort into the app, definitely hit her hard) as well as a few others who came into this realization.

Overall, you get what you put into any experience and dating apps are no exception to this rule. Sure, there are some things you might want to hold back on your first few dates. However over time people will eventually see if you’re worthwhile or not, which I stumbled upon content creator George Bruno and his timely video here, said this in his script “Women marry a lifestyle, a man marries a body.” 

This really hit close to home because as I get older, I do fear in some respects that could be a possibility. And with the advent of Social Media, more and more people are “conforming/settling” for a specific lifestyle, I wonder why that may be the case? Side note aside, Hinge as a dating app (like everything else in the market) gives you an opportunity to meet new people. Some of you are expecting 100% effectiveness with these tips, unfortunately it may not work for some of you at all. I’m merely sharing my experience because I had to learn the hard way, there were no resources for Asian-American males and the things that were taught to me, didn’t apply (or I didn’t have the “model look” to pull it off like some of my peers LOL).  

All I do hope is whether it’s this holiday season, you’re trying to get an extra ‘snack’ to stay warm with or are truly looking for something meaningful. I hope these few tidbits can help you one step closer in your journey to happiness. Merry Christmahanukwanzaa to all and The Relationship Podcast will be ready to ring in 2019 with a brand new season! Thank you for the support as always and take care, the only single guy on the panel signing off!

-R.M. 2018 DAT TRP