Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Monday, August 6, 2012

Why I Love Mondays

Welcome to class boys and girls.

If you're expecting a humorous story about the adventures and embarrassment of yours truly, well, its not going to happen today.  I'm stepping up on my soap-box to deliver a little lecture...
My office for today

I'm going to start today's class with a little math exercise.  It's a word problem so pay careful attention.

If the average person hates Mondays, and the average person works, say 50 years of their life, how many Mondays does that average person hate?

Answer?  2600 Mondays.

Yes, that's right.  The average person will spend slightly over SEVEN YEARS of their life being upset that it's Monday.  And that doesn't even count the Sunday night, pre-Monday grumpiness that sinks in for some people, or the absolute fury that results when you wake up thinking it's Friday but it's only like Tuesday.

Believe me, I know what it's like.

I worked as an Engineer at a whatever company for almost four years, and while didn't really "hate" Mondays, I really really disliked Mondays because it meant waking up earlier than I want, sitting in an office for 9 hours where the most exciting part of the day is discovering donuts in the break room, and missing out on the best part of the day.  

It meant dealing with rush hour traffic twice, running errands after work or on the weekends with every other Tom, Dick, and Harry, and finally settling in for the night knowing that I have to do this four more times before weekend freedom.

So how in the name of Moses is it that I LIKE Mondays?

Well, it's actually pretty simple.  I LIKE work.  In fact on the weekend, I frequently find myself looking FORWARD to Monday.

I know what you're thinking.  "Arun, you've finally gone off the deep end.  Despite your incredibly witty writing, and charming exterior, you've finally cracked.  But it's good to see that they are allowing you to blog from the loony-bin."

I appreciate your concern for my mental health, but I assure you, I'm not entirely crazy. 

Don't get me wrong, I love weekends.  All my friends are more available to hang out, everyone's in a great mood, and there's just more happening in general.  But, because of all this, I get very little work done between Friday afternoon and Sunday night.

There's something about knowing everyone is out and about having fun that makes it impossible to work on the weekend.  When I worked as an Engineer, I remember all of my friends having Martin Luther King Day off, and me having to work.  Just knowing that they were out and about while I was stuck at work made that day absolutely miserable.

Conversely, when I took like a Wednesday afternoon off to go to the dentist or something, it was an amazing feeling to be out and about doing things knowing that everyone else was stuck in the office.  Mooohahaha!

So these days come Monday, I'm excited to wake up and start working.  I have so many projects going on right now that there is never a shortage of things to for me to work on (one reason I post so infrequently here).  I'm so excited about all of these things that time flies and before I know it, its the weekend again (I'm sick, I know).

I know what you're thinking.  "Well gee Arun, that's real peachy that your Monday's are so great!  In fact, my Monday is already turning around knowing that you're so happy!  Hooray!"

Ok, I sense the sarcasm.  

But here's the deal.  I can't reveal some kind of secret that you don't know about that is causing you to not like Mondays.  It's all pretty obvious stuff.  I think most people would agree that their are two or three main things that need to happen to make everyone enjoy Monday's.  Sorry to disappoint.

What I can do is hopefully motivate you to do the right things to feel the joy of an upcoming Monday.  Maybe, if you're someone who hates Monday's, this will give you a kick in the ass to start making a change.  So here's the not-to-magic formula:

  1. Love what you do.  (Thank you captain obvious!!) - but seriously, most people do not love what they do, but settle for the job they are in without taking an active role in pursuing alternatives. If you are serious about loving Monday's then you need to spend time EVERYDAY doing something to make that happen.  Whether it's searching for a new job, making a little progress (however small) on your business idea, or taking college classes, you need to do something everyday, even if its something as small as applying to ONE job, or reading ONE chapter of a study guide, or sending ONE email to a potential business partner.  Keeping the momentum going will keep you moving towards loving what you do.  DON'T SETTLE FOR SIMPLE BEING 'OK' WITH WHAT YOU DO!

    Although I love Mondays, I also want more.  For example, I want to make a lot more money.  So I work EVERYDAY at becoming a better affiliate marketer.  I work EVERYDAY at the business idea I've been developing.  I also want to do a PhD so I've been working EVERYDAY to become a better PhD candidate

    When I realized I didn't want to be an engineer anymore, I worked everyday after work on my ebook, The Social Charmer.
  2. Find job independence.  Entrepreneurs work their asses off, frequently putting in tons of hours everyday - but it's all on their own terms.  You can work for your dream company doing exactly what you love, but still be miserable if you have someone breathing down your throat all the time or frequently cracking the whip.  BUT, when you have a high degree of control over your job and can avoid micromanagement, you become so much happier.

    Maybe you had a long week and want to take a half day Friday?  Maybe you stayed up too late on Sunday and want to sleep in on Monday before working.  You should have control over that.  Some people simply work better at night.

    I for example never set my alarm to wake up.  I happen to be a morning person so I wake up right around 7:30am everyday anyways, but its such a good feeling to not have an alarm blaring in your ear every morning, but rather comfortably waking up nice and rested and ready to be productive.  Similarly, I don't watch the clock when I go to lunch.  I go, I eat, and when I'm sufficiently satisfied, I get back to work.  I also sometimes will work at 8 or 9 at night if I feel like I have a lot of things to get done.  The bottom line is, because it's all on my terms, it doesn't really feel like work.

    Luckily, a lot of progressive companies like the Googles and Qualcomms of the world have adopted this structure of employee autonomy which actually makes it easier for more people to love Mondays.
  3. Accomplishment needs reward.  People need to feel a sense of reward, either intrinsic or extrinsic, in order to feel satisfied with work. In my case, the rewards are monetary rewards (basically how I survive), progress towards creating something big (like a new company in my case), and improvement at things I'm working on (online affiliate marketing and studying for PhD entrance exam).

    You could be at your dream company but if they never give you a raise or recognize your achievements, you'll quickly fall out of love with your work.  Alternatively, you could be building a company, but if in a year you've made no tangible progress, you're motivation for work will die.  Reward is necessary.
That's it!  I work everyday towards gaining more of these things. I'm fortunate to have accomplished SOME of these things which is why I love Mondays, but the pursuit of MORE is equally exciting.  A lot of people have grandiose visions of starting a company, changing careers, or finding a job, but never actually start actively pursuing those dreams.  They put them off until a year, two, or five have passed and they're in the same place.

I don't want to be that person which is why I try do make progress every single day.  

That concludes today's lecture.  I think you know what your homework is.  Class dismissed.  Feel free to bring me an apple to next class. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Three Date First Date

And as promised, today we get to the entertaining and unconventional story of a first date I went on with a girl I was dating earlier this year.  As you'll find out, her nickname, "Giggles" is very "a propos."

But lets be honest...this is me.  Did you expect anything less than entertaining and unconventional??

Now most guys might give you the "Joe Cool" version of how things went down where they are a totally confident charmer who plays everything perfectly and the girl falls totally all over him.

But that's not entertaining in the least.  OBVIOUSLY I'm confident and smooth, but anyone would be lying if they didn't tell you they have insecure and dorky concerns running through there head on a daily basis. I prefer to reveal all of the hidden dorkiness in its full hilarity.

So we agreed to meet at a "trendy" bar/restaurant in La Jolla.  Now normally, I prefer to do "first dates" in areas I'm more familiar with (ie closer to my house), because then we can "discover" some charming hidden spot and I appear like a cultured hero.

Since I've lived in La Jolla though, its changed so damn much that I only know a couple of neat places.  I had heard this place called Barfly was pretty hip, so I thought I'd try my luck with Giggles.

As I'm driving over, Giggles informs me she's going to be a little late at which point I walk down from my parking spot and take the picture you see above...I live in a terrible city, I know.

I walk over to the restaurant to see what this hip & trendy spot will have in store for us, and am a little shocked as I walk in...

Completely. Empty.

And when I say "completely empty," I mean that there's not a damn person in the place and a waitress across the way is hanging out in the kitchen and chatting with the cook because she obviously has nothing else to do.

Arun - Strike 1.

I walk back out in mini-panic.  I chose the place. Now I look like a schmuck who doesn't know how to pick decent, let alone trendy places.  I run through the options in my mind and I see Giggles coming around the corner.

More Panic.

My eyes dart around for immediate options in view:

Candy Store - too casual.
Massage Place - too weird.
Smash Burger - Too gassy.

The options had dried up and Giggles had arrived! So I said the first thing that came to mind:

"Your in luck...I decided to rent the place out for just us!"

Luckily, I'm quick with the jokes.

So we sit down and the waitress comes over to take our drink orders:

Me: "I'll take a Mojito!"
Giggles: "I'll have a Ginger Ale...I don't really drink"

For those of you who are quick - YES, I planned a date, at a bar, with a girl who (it turns out) doesn't drink.

Strike 2.

In another bout of amazing preparation, I had been drinking a lot of water and coffee that day which resulted in the explosive urge to urinate literally every 30 minutes throughout the evening.

We stay for maybe an hour (during which I make two trips to the restroom) and actually have a really good time at which point we both start getting hungry. In my amazing planning, I neglected to look at the quality of the menu which as it turns out, is astonishingly mediocre.

Strike 3.

I suggest a Thai restaurant I know and we walk over - date #2.  On the walk over, we pass a cute old couple undoubtedly wrapping up their own date night (it was like 7 o'clock which is well-passed old-person bed time).

This is perfect.  Old people and I have a mutual adoration from each other.  I always get along with them and engage them, and they always tell me how great I'd be for their grand daughters.  We chatted for a bit as we walked, by the end of which the Grandma had said I was a "VERY nice boy," the two of us were a "very nice looking couple," and "don't stay out too late!".

Apparently, Grandma was my wingman for the night.

We get to the restaurant and after another trip to the restroom, we mull over menu options.  If there's any menu I know, it's Thai food.  So, I suggest two awesome dishes - one rice dish, and another noodle dish.

Giggles: "Actually, I don't really eat rice and noodles"

Strike 4 Arun.

We end up ordering two amazing non-rice, non-noodle dishes.  Now anyone who knows me, knows I absolutely LOVE dessert.  So I start chatting about the most amazing carrot cake I've ever had.  Surprisingly, Giggles is adamant that we have it TONIGHT, so after another trip for bladder relief, we drive over to the carrot cake restaurant - date #3.

This restaurant is actually a really nice place.  It's late at this point, with not many people left.  We sit by the bar as a piano player performs jazzy tunes and order the carrot cake...along with two cocktails.

Yes...Giggles is now having a drink for the second time ever in her life.  Either she's having a good time, or she's drowning the pain of an evening with "4-strikes, No-Bladder, Arun".

We enjoy our dessert and cocktails...but there's a slight problem.  The drink she ordered is not good, and nearly undrinkable.  We power through half of it, but neither of us are the type to send something back.  The waitress however was super attentive, noticed we were struggling, and insisted on remaking the drink.

Giggles started drinking the new drink, but the waitress sensed it was still unsatisfactory.  We insisted on keeping the drink, but she would not relent and made yet another completely different drink.

Giggles found this delicious.

We finished our drinks, and by now we're the only people left.  I visit my favorite room one more time for lower abdominal relief, and Giggles and I walk outside.

Now if you've ever wondered what happens to someone who doesn't drink when she drinks two fairly potent on.

Now normally I'm pretty funny, but all of sudden as we're walking outside, Giggles is laughing at everything I say.  When I nicknamed her "Giggles," she was double over in stitches. At first I figured that I was just on an incredible roll of hilarity, but when I noticed her balance a little off, I realized what had happened.

Yes, Giggles was drunk.

Arun - Strike 5 (or possibly Giggles - strike 1?)

I'll spare you from any mushy end-of-date details, but I took her home, reassured her that she did nothing foolish (preserving others egos are situations where I feel its ok to lie a bit), and date #4 was scheduled for the next day.

Somehow, 5 strikes and a bladder with the control of a 97 year old woman did not dissuade her from me.

Apparently, she's more into bowlers than baseball players.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The First Date Setup

I promised in the last post that I would share the story of meeting and subsequently dating a girl I was seeing earlier this year because its kind of an interesting story.  It's also very typically "me" in the way things panned out.

This story has two parts:  The first date setup, and the actual date which are each funny in their own right.  Today is all about the meeting and setup.

For the sake of keeping *some* discretion for others, I'll just use one of her favorite nicknames to refer to her in this post - "Giggles" (ok, maybe not really...she said it sounds silly, hence I will continue calling her that in this blog, and everywhere else).  This nickname will make sense by the end of the second part.

It all started one warm, sunny San Diego morning in January (I love the weather here).  As a designated "ambassador" for my business school, I was supposed to go to this "mixer" where prospective students would be asking questions and mingling with current students.

Naturally, I forgot.

I did eventually arrive (an hour late...oops) and b-lined it straight for the food table (surprise of the century, I know).

Me being me, I started joking around with and generally harassing the fellow ambassadors around me.  I turn towards the window and see this really cute prospective student (and YES, she was a girl) leaning back with six current (male) students surrounding her itching to impress.

Yes, it was a shark tank and there was a nice juicy (and I do mean JUICY) piece of Palestinian meat that the sharks were circling.

Ahh the power of an attractive woman.

Now the average Joe might walk away and wait for the men to disperse or for her to have a free moment.  But this is me.  I am neither average nor rational.  Reckless abandon with no regard for personal ego is more my style.

Then, I see her and another current student looking deeply into each others eyes. Again, the average Joe may sulk away in defeat here...but this was too good for me to pass up. Plus I've seen this move before.

"Oh. My. God!...either you've already fallen in love, or he's showing you his 'Look I have different colored eyes' thing"

Giggles: "haha, he DOES have different colored eyes!...Look!"

Ok, her defense, the different colored eyes thing is quite a trip, and I have previously spent a good 30 seconds gazing deeply into his delicate yet supple eyes, but I digress.

I pirouetted my way into the group and she and I talked for a few minutes (about what, I don't remember, but she was laughing a lot so I imagine I was obviously quite charming ) but she soon left to go sit in on some classes.

I honestly thought I'd probably never see her again, but I told the admissions ladies that I we should really heavily recruit her since she's a stellar candidate and if need be, I will take her out...only for recruitment purposes of course (common people I'm a professional!).

For some reason, they rolled their eyes and shook their heads...apparently this isn't their typical recruitment strategy.

Later that afternoon, I was in the study lounge working away when a friend mentioned to me that there was a really cute girl sitting at the restaurant right around the corner.

Could this be the same girl?  Either way, cute girls are good and I was due for a little break anyways so I left to find out...but I never made it.

As I was walking over to the restaurant, I spot Giggles in the distance on her phone. By a stroke of amazing luck, two of my school friends happened to be chatting about 20 feet in front of where Giggles was, so I stopped to chat hoping I could buy enough time until she's off the phone.

Had my friends not been their, I have no idea what I would've done while she was on the phone...

Stop and tie and re-tie my shoe 17 times while waiting for her to get off the phone?

Hide around the corner of the building waiting like a lion to pounce as soon as the conversation is finished?

Do a solo Mexican Cha-Cha followed by the Tush-Push to get her so confused that she wraps up her call just to watch the spectacle?

Luckily, I didn't have to execute any of my well-thought-out back-up plans.

Giggles wrapped up and coincidentally, I abruptly ended the conversation with my friends just after she got off the phone.

We started chatting again and I knew it was "on" when she followed me to the little corner store so I could buy a snack before class.

In my mind I fist pumped and did one of those jumping heel click things.  On the surface I was as smooth and cool as always (which is obviously SUPER smooth, and SUPER cool).

You can see from the picture on the left that my double heel click form is immaculate.

As a "business school ambassador" I offered to exchange numbers with her to *cough* answer any questions *cough* and possibly hang out since she's relatively new to San Diego.

Yes, I know, I am an amazing Ambassador who goes beyond the call of duty just to service my community...and I'm devilishly handsome to boot!

I was out of town the following weekend, but I when I got back, I texted her to meet up for a happy hour.

She replied:

"My cousin is in town for the weekend...can we all do something together?"

Now I don't know about you, but these are not exactly the magic words I want to here when I want to go out with a cute I have to charm not only her but her cousin too?!?  This was not ideal, but luckily I read this book once called The Social Charmer that explains everything about being charming ;)

A day or so passes and the night before our little group meetup, I get this text from Giggles: "This just in: my cousin went back to LA tonight"

You know those times when you're really excited but you have to stifle it in order to look cool?  Well this was one of those times.  I'm smiling and fist pumping at the fact that now we can go out, just the two of us while at the same time texting:

"Ah too bad, it would've been nice to meet him"

No I'm not above stiffling my inner dork on occasion to look cool...even I have moments of weakness.

The day arrived of our little date and....well you'll just have to wait for the next post to hear about it.

Stay tuned.

And for those of you who happened to find this page looking for advice on setting up the first date, please don't follow anything that I've done...well, except for the Mexican Cha Cha and Tush Push - that move never fails to get the ladies.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Friends in Unusual Places

One of the running themes of this blog is that great things happen when you strive to be as social as you possibly can.

One such example of this is if you happen to look at some of my close friends.

A good chunk of them are people I met the way most people meet people...through other friends, through school, through work etc. Nothing too exciting there.

BUT, a lot of people that are a major part of my life are people I've met very serendipitously.

For example, the girl I'm dating, I literally just happened to bump into on campus. This is actually such an entertaining story that I'm going to save it for a blog post on its own soon.

But lets look at some other examples: Take Josie & Laura - two close friends of mine.

I've only known them for about a year, but it feels like forever.

About a year ago, me and my newish friend Mikey happened to stop by a place near my house called Wine Steals to grab a glass of wine. Two attractive ladies were sitting at the table next to us and as I recall, we struck up a conversation about the proximity of the heat lamp (not interesting on the surface, but if you throw a little goofiness in, and a little "Arun Factor" any conversation is interesting ;).

It was about 8:00 when we started talking to them - fast forward to 5am and we're leaving Josie's house having drank more than one glass of wine, break danced at the club next door, sang "Under the Boardwalk" on the street with two homeless guys Vince & Darryl, went for late night pizza, and played charades at Josie's.

Fast forward a year, and they are two of my best friends...all because Mikey and I happened to stop in at Wine Steals and happened to strike up a conversation.


Ok, to be honest, I'm not really sure if I believe in Serendipity because we can only look at the people we've met and have no knowledge of the people we haven't met.

But this is the exact reason I think it's so important to strive to meet people and get to know never know what impact they can have on your life.

This is one of the reason's I'm such a "yes man".  I'm always scared that I'm going to miss out on some opportunity to do something awesome, have an adventure, or meet someone amazing by succumbing to the laziness of simply staying at home.

Now I understand not everyone feeds off of social energy the way I do, and most people probably need more alone time than me, but I would argue that in general, the more people there are in the word that care about you, the better off, and the happier you are.

Afterall, we are designed to be social beings (and some of us are designed to be amazingly handsome, charming, witty social beings :)

Aaand look at that...two posts in a row!  I told you I'm back!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Resurrection of Your Daily Remedy!

Good Lord it's been a long time since I've posted!

Yes, I know I have a knack for stating the obvious.

So where the hell have I been?

Well, this year has been a whirlwind of school, internet marketing, scheming for world domination, girls, teaching, and my usual antics and adventures have moved to the forefront.

The lack of recent blogging has been partially due to lack of time, but if I'm being honest, more lack of motivation.

Don't get me wrong....I LOVE writing...especially writing about ME! But, I also like writing good quality posts that, while involving me heavily, also give you value either through something I've learned, something super interesting, or shear humor and laughter.

One of the things that's kind of upsetting is how my lack of posting has buried this in the heeps of websites on the internets.

THIS POST used to rank number 1 in Google for the search term "being social" it's no where to be found.

Since I wrote that post five years ago as well as my ebook, I actually have sooooo much more to share on the subject of being socially savvy and socially aware.

Anyways, the point of today's post is to simply say: I'm still alive (you can all come out of depression now), AND I'm really going to make a concerted effort to start posting again (let the masses rejoice!).

The nice thing about not posting for so long is that I have a nice build up of funny stories.

The picture in the post is actually from Easter Sunday last week...that's a story in itself which I will be sure to post soon.

In the mean time, hide ya kids, hide ya wife, and hide ya husband, because I'M BACK!