Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Quality-Quantity Battle

I'm a bit of a blog reader myself.

Actually I read about three or four blogs regularly but have scoured and checked out hundreds of different blogs at various times. Somehow, only four made it into my regular rotation. Other than having extremely awesome content and great writing, there's a common thread that they all share: each blog's author posts rather infrequently. By that I mean there's only one to two new posts per week.

This is something I wrestle with all the time. I usually post only once or twice per week (and three if it's a REALLY good week). A lot of times I feel like I should post more because I know people look forward to new stuff, plus my blog would get more traffic. The problem is, this page would get totally watered down if I posted more.

There have been quite a few times when I've been about to post a story, rant, advice, or adventure but stopped myself because I didn't think it was good enough. The last thing I want is for this to turn into some sort of personal daily diary or journal. Those things are BORING!!! (and as we all know, I am the OPPOSITE of boring :)

In fact, this post itself is borderline.

BUT, I've thought long and hard and think it's better to only post awesome stuff. Afterall, my awesome readers should expect nothing less!

I actually once considered doing sponsored posting. Sponsored posts are basically short reviews on products that you get paid to write about and post on your blog. Would I make more money? DEFINITELY. Would Your Daily Remedy become less awesome? DEFINITELY.

Not an option.

Not to mention, when you get too much of anything, you become desensitized to it, even if it's great. For example, last weekend was the best weekend its been in a LONG time here in San Diego. Bryan and I decided to hop on beach cruisers and ride around Pacific Beach. God, I forgot how enjoyable that is!

Last summer, this was pretty much a twice weekly routine for us. In fact, even if the weather was sub-par, we still did it. Our quantity was going up but the quality of our rides was suffering. Now, after not having done it for so long, and with the AMAZING weather, the extreme relaxation and awesomeness of beach cruising was SOOO much better than I remembered!

In the Quality-Quantity Battle, Quality should win out most of the time. If it's not, then you're likely letting things get too boring and less awesome.

Theorum number 80 in "Arun's Guide to Lifetime Awesomeness": There exists an "event horizon" in the balance of quality and quantity. Continual accumulation of Quality is optimal so long as this event horizon is not passed. Once the quantity this particular quality essence has passed this line, quality itself begins to suffer and as Postulate 22 states: Awesomeness is directly proportional to quality.

That's your math lesson for the week. Enjoy!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Conflicting Desires

They sit there taunting me. Inside, I know they're laughing. They want to break down my will and make me succumb. I edge closer, and I can smell them. Each of them different, begging for attention.

NOOOOO! I've got to get rid of this damned box of gourmet chocolates!

Now lets make one thing clear. I LOVE chocolate (or anything sweet for that matter), but in the interest of eating healthy during the week, I'm going to make the office rounds and give them away. My friend at work dropped by my office and gave me a box of gourmet chocolates she gets free from a company she works for. This is downright low considering she sees me busting my ass at the gym all the time! SABOTAGE!!!!

It's interesting how frequently we encounter situations where we basically have two choices to make. If we choose the first option, we'll have a sense of instant satisfaction (BRING ON THE CHOCOLATE)! If we choose the later, there's usually some initial discomfort, but it's for the long term benefit. This is what I keep repeating to myself when I'm gasping for air with a god-awful stitch in my side, and I'm still three miles from home.

I try to make it habit to always lean towards the long term satisfaction.

On one hand, I like doughnuts and ice-cream, and if scientists discovered tomorrow that these things are actually good for you, I'd quickly become the healthiest person alive! At the same time, I'd be lying if I said I always enjoy busting my ass at the gym everyday.

So why do I make the choice to give away the chocolate AND bust my butt? I am much happier with the long term effects. Rather than being a candy-loving blob, I'm now a candy-loving, athletic NON-blob (ok, ok...not a word but I couldn't think of what the opposite of a blob is).

These conflicting desires are everywhere! How fun would it be to spend every dollar you earn?! Initially, it'd be awesome! But, down the road a little ways, when you realize you're actually quite broke, you'd probably have a lot of regrets.

A lot of people give in to the initial desire of immediate satisfaction before even considering they're long term contentment.

"I could go to the gym, OR take a nap..nap time it is!"
"I have a TV, but I'm going to use my savings and upgrade to a 52" Hi-def!!!"
"It's not like I eat ice-cream everyday...three scoops please!"
"I'm not cut out for school"

People are so quick to take the easy way out! Sure, I like watching huge TVs in Hi-def, and I definitely have a desire to get one. But, I ALSO have the desire to be insanely wealthy, AND have unrivaled genius (I suppose the "unrivaled genius" part might already be done :) and know that a TV is a terrible investment in accomplishing this desire.

There's the short term satisfaction of having a kick-ass TV or there's the long term satisfaction of having more money (which has subsequently made even MORE money), and more knowledge (since TV is almost completely UN-enriching).

I know some people who are my age, still living at home, partying with friends, and half-assing there way through school. Sure, it probably feels good being lazy, but the long term benefits of actually putting yourself to work and becoming independent are SO much more rewarding!

Drug addicts all get started because they want a fix to their worries and problems. Drug affects make them feel euphoric and happy, but I doubt any drug addicts seriously consider the long term ramifications of their usage. They know what they're doing is unhealthy (just as we do when we eat a Double Whopper with Fries and a Frosty), but the pending desire of immediate satisfaction is too strong for most people to overcome.

So we have Conflicting desires:

Short-Term Desire: Incredibly Strong! (which is why most people give in to this desire) Immediate satisfaction. Usually zero or negative long-term benefits.

Long Term Desire: Very Weak. No tangible immediate benefits. In fact, there's usually heartache and labor initially involved to even gain the eventual benefit, BUT the rewards are almost always MUCH GREATER, and MUCH LONGER LASTING.

So these conflicting desires come up ALL THE TIME, and I try to pick the long term version, the majority of the time. How? I stop and really think. I mean really think. When there's free pizza at work, I stop and think: "Well it would taste really good, but the taste will be gone as soon as I'm done eating. On the other hand, my workout and goal of dropping a few pounds this month will be doubly effective, so the long term benefits of skipping the pizza today are far greater, and I'll be happier for the rest of the week!"

Obviously this is just a small example of a multitude of situations, but since I like food so much, I thought this would make for a good point.

It would be absurd for me to say that I always pick the long term solution though! Enjoying guilty pleasures from time to time is part of living life awesomely! A few weeks ago, it was my buddies birthday and there was some debauchery to be had. On one hand I could've gone out, ate a salad and lots of diet cokes.

No thanks.

I drank copious amounts of beer, had a giant fatty steak, and three different desserts! I CAVED! But, I consciously caved. It's the same reason that I think diets (or any TEMPORARY lifestyle changes for that matter) are stupid. It's healthy to give in to your immediate desires on occasion, but just not habitually.

So here's the choice I have right now...I can either go to the gym for a hard workout, or I can go out to lunch with a couple of friends and watch the college basketball tournament.

Oh so tempting...but....

GYM!!! After all, tonight is Friday night, and I've gotta earn my short-term-desire-relenting later, by choosing the long term benefit right now!

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Haircut

Yes it's true...after going the end of 2006, all of 2007, and the beginning of 2008, I finally caved...a few weeks ago...I got a haircut!!! Webster called and wants to use me for yet another definition. Some new word called "Sexgod" :) Before I dive into my rant however, allow me to provide visuals:

Clean Cut circa 2006: "GQ Arun"

Long Hair circa early 2008: "Rugged and Disheveled Arun"

Shaggy and Unkept: "Cave Man Arun"

Styled up circa 2 weeks ago: "Sex-Symbol Arun"

Will I go back to the long hair? Probably not. It's too much hassle to take care of. I wanted to grow it out though at least once. Almost every guy I know has wanted to grow their hair out, but no one, including me, is ever patient enough! I made two previous attempts at growing long hair, but I just couldn't make it through the "shaggy" stage.

Interestingly, I found out I have curly hair. All of my guy friends had been harassing me for MONTHS to cut it. Luckily, the only people who's opinion I truly valued in this mattered supported my hair growth...GIRLS! :) I'd say about 80% of the girls I asked said they liked the long hair, the most important of which was my Grammy who said I looked, "beautiful" (I LOVE my Grandma! :)

But alas, even I knew it was time to go with a new look after I saw the "Cave Man."

For weeks I couldn't work up the nerve to call and make an appointment. When you haven't cut your hair for a year and a half, you feel like you've invested a lot, and it's hard to let go! Finally, one day after shopping at Whole Foods, I sucked it up and went to the upscale hair salon next door to make an appointment(I decided after not cutting my hair for so long, I'd splurge on a designer hair stylist).

Lucky enough, my hairstylist ended up being a young, trendy, good-looking girl. This was important because I had no plan going in, and was in need of advice. When she asked me what I wanted, I simply looked at her and said, "I have no clue. Make me look amazing! I'll be the clay and you can be Michelangelo." I figured if SHE thinks my new doo is hot, then OTHER young, trendy, and good-looking girls will think the same...brilliant plan, I know :)

Thus was born the new, suave, Superstar-Arun pictured above! I've come out of my cave, and am coming to a coupon clipper magazine near you!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Being Approachable

I love checking website stats for this blog. It makes me feel good when I see spikes in visitors and new subscribers!

One of the interesting statistics I take note of, is the search phrases people use when they stumble upon my blog. The most popular article found via search engine queries is THIS POST about the benefits and life enrichment of being more social. Pretty much everyday, that article is found with queries such as "How to be social," "Being Social," "Learning to be sociable" etc.

It made me realize how many people really want to break out of the comfort of the shyness shell and become comfortable as a more sociable person. Well, one really great step towards increasing your social skills and actually BEING more social, is to increase your approachability. What better way to start getting social than have OTHER people come and talk to you!

So how do we go about becoming approachable?

The first thing to do is SMILE! I honestly can't emphasize how important this is! By smiling a lot, you simply radiate positive energy that people around you want to feed off of. Think about how much more comfortable YOU feel around people who smile. Before people even know you, they'll go in having a great impression of you!

It's the equivalent of going into a class with an A+ and only having to keep that grade rather than going in with a blank slate and having to work you way up to it.

Pretty much anytime I walk passed someone (work, gym, grocery store etc.) I always look at their eyes, and if they make eye contact, give a great big smile. They always smile back, and many times ask me how my day is going! I've gone from a random stranger to someone they felt compelled to invest a little emotional energy into.

So once we have the smile down, we need to make sure everything behind it is genuine! This means when someone responds to you and approaches, you need to embody the energy that you're projecting! Many people have a tendency to come off a little abrasive in initial conversation with strangers. Despite maybe not actually being so, people may not stick around long enough to get to know your actual warmness. I've known many people like this.

Heck, even my Dad, who has a tendency to work is way into the role of "life of the party," comes off as abrasive at first until you get to know him. In fact, I wouldn't consider him very approachable. He's great, super funny, and smart once you start talking to him, but he definitely doesn't walk around with a smile and can seem a little intimidating at first. I remember as a kid, other kids who didn't know my Dad were a little scared of him...hilarious!

I've been told I'm a pretty approachable person, which is why I feel decently qualified to write this post. In fact, when I used to be a supervisor at Tennis Warehouse, I was generally bombarded with questions from employees far more than any other supervisor. Why? Well, for one, I am always pretty jolly. I smiled a lot, and am pretty optimistic by nature. They knew that I wasn't going to get hostile if they asked me a stupid question (and between you and I, there were definitely some stupid questions :)

Think about the teachers you've had over the years. On one end, I've had teachers that I'd have fun and joke around with, without any hesitation! On the other, I've had profs where I didn't feel too comfortable simply raising my hand for a question!

Lastly, and if you want to have a little fun, try looking different. Keep in mind, this is for entertainment purposes only, but it actually works! For example, this weekend, I went on an 80's pub crawl. I brought back my Michael Jackson outfit from Halloween and was rocking it all day! Even when I wasn't with the group, people were coming up to me and starting conversations just because I looked so different and crazy, and my outfit gave them an excuse to come talk to me.

Now you don't have to go out dressing like Michael Jackson to be approachable. Here's a better example.

My old friend Jeff, formerly the second best model in San Diego bought these stylish thick framed glasses that he wears everywhere. Since he got those things, I swear people are always coming up to him. It's seriously ridiculous!

There we are, in mid-conversation, and some girl would come up out of nowhere: "Hey! I really like your glasses!" Jeff would turn to me, give the same goddamn rye smile everytime, and then turn back and start talking to her. Five minutes later, I'd look back, and SHE's wearing his glasses!

I need those damn glasses...

So just, be positive/warm/nice, and find either a great Michael Jackson outfit, or some kickass glasses!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Flip Cup Fiasco

Look up the word "Fiasco" in the dictionary.

My guess is the the 2009 edition of Webster's dictionary will define it as "The March 2008 celebration of Arun's friend Danny's Birthday. See also debauchery."

I really had no idea what to expect. Danny's parents were throwing a party for him and inviting the old (now Danny), the young, the cousins, the friends, and the beautiful (obviously where I fit in :) The last time I had been over there, I was expecting just a nice quite dinner gathering, but ended up having a little waxing adventure.

Anything was possible.

It started out innocently enough. A Gourmet dinner cooked by Danny's Mom accompanied with a seemingly endless supply of beer (foreshadowing), and three types of dessert. Me, not wanting to be rude and reject such hospitality, helped myself to ample portions of all three desserts.

We all went out back to the bar-Hacienda and hung out while drinking beers and cocktails. A beer less than half full is unacceptable in the eyes of Danny's Father, and no one's hands were ever empty. Soon, he filled up his little tequila spout, and went around pouring tequila down everyone's gullet a la Tijuana, Mexico. Half the family is Mexican, so apparently, this is a routine.

I graciously accept.

People drank. People played black jack. People drank. People socialized. Oh, and people drank. All was relatively tame...until Bruno suggested a game of flip cup (also known as "Boat Races" for some ridiculous reason).

Now this was no ordinary game of flip was massive. Eight or nine people per team. Everyone was well liqueured as the games begun (Big surprise, I know). We, of course were dominating the other team. Me, being one who enjoys instigating, and stirring the pot began the usual trash talk during the game. At one point I was focusing my verbal barrage of wit at the girl who was the anchor of the other team as she was frantically trying to flip her cup against our anchor player.

Me: "You are garbage! You're not worthy of the game! You're not worthy at LIFE! This isn't the cup Olympics! We're not going for 'most cup flips!' It's not 'who's cup can go the highest!'"

She couldn't handle it. We won! She grabbed my collar, got right in my face, and made an attempt to rebuttal with her own trash talk (obviously futile). Actually, I think she wanted to kiss me to shut me up (can I blame her?) but that was impossible as her boyfriend was not far away. I proceeded to recommend she read my Trash Talking Tutorial, and practice up. This fired her up even more (I love it!). Just as she really got going though, I feel Bruno wrap his arm around me.

Uh...Ok. I pay no attention, until I feel a cool dampness on my head...and by "cool dampness" I mean the free flow of fizzy beer flowing down my locks, courtesy of Bruno.

This is where "mob theory" kicks in. Emotions are contagious, and when one person starts doing something crazy (ie. the instigator in a riot or mob), other people get compelled to join in.

So, as I twist away from Bruno to get away from the beer stream, I'm half bent over. Bruno's arm is still around me and as I look up, I see the beginning of my demise in slow motion. A cup-full of beer on the table....a mysterious hand grips it firmly...the arm cocks back...there's no time for dodging...if I'm quick I might be able to close my life flashes before my eyes...

Boom! Face full of beer. Next thing I know, I'm running around, getting hit from all angles! The assault finally halts as I'm standing there drenched. Everyone looks around. We all know what's coming and he who acts last will take the most punishment! In a split second, chaos breaks loose and everyone is gunning for the closest beer or coke. The beverage fridge flies open and Danny is issuing cokes and beer out like rifles to soldiers!

I duck under the table with cokes in hand. Bruno is being stalked and there's no way I'm giving him the warning after the little rinse he gave me. He senses it and turns.

Bruno: "AHHH! My eyes!"

The stalker has shaken up the coke for maximum volatility and nailed him squarely in the face with a stream of freshly opened Coca Cola. Adam and Nikki were meanwhile hiding behind the flamingo statue lobbing cup-full napalms of beverage at whoever they could.


No one was safe! Poor Darren was hiding in the corner trying to avoid the chaos. Big mistake. He who takes no action, takes punishment!

Sarah was prepared with a water bottle but was quickly scolded by Danny. "What the hell are you doing!!!" He slapped the water out of her hands and replaced it with a fresh Coke...real ammo.

An unsuspecting Darren was owned.

On the drive home, I couldn't stop laughing as he complained. "Dude, everytime I blink my eyes, my eyelids stick together!"

I then see Danny lead a small army of soldiers around the corner to get Brent. Suddenly I hear yelling and laughter, and the attackers booking it back around the corner, with Danny trailing and a beverage covered Brent retaliating with the garden hose firing away!

I've gotta get my hands on the plethora of pictures that were taken. Webster called and they want a picture to go along with the new definition.