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Archive for Thoughts

Why Does The Word Cunt Offend So Much?

Hmm, well it's a 4 letter word. Nope that's not it. It means vagina? Nope that can't be it either. Well not anymore. Maybe once upon a time the mere mention of a ladies sacred garden was disgusting. But in this world of graphic images and ruthless comedians it's not shocking any more. Surely the word cunt angers people for no reason? Usually if you ask someone why they don't like it, they will say 'it's crude' or they will be so offended they will storm off. Most people don't know why it offends them. Mainly because it's been conditioned into them that it's a swear word. And swear words are bad.

Have we ever stopped to ask why they are bad? Have we ever stopped to question anything for that matter?

Now let me add, in no way am I asking you to say cunt or swear. I'm merely using this potent word as an example of words only having the power we give them.

They really are meaningless, until we give them meaning. The media uses particular words to induce fear, where as the same words in a different country would merely tickle fear.

To really be free you need to create your own meaning. A good start is deciding what words mean to you or better yet understand that words are powerless. You give them power.

I wrote this for a couple reasons. The first being, there are far bigger issues in the world that need your attention; don't waste your energy on an 'offensive' word. Secondly, don't get *hurt when people use words to hurt you. If someone calls me a cunt I'm flattered, because cunts are useful. They are calling me useful they just don't know it.

To your success you silly cunt,
Stu

*Obviously nothing is black or white, sometimes you need to draw a line.

Should You Put Off Happiness For Your Goals?

I was sitting in a cafe (Pret A Manger). Decaf cappuccino in hand on London's bustling Regent street. Having a business meeting on behalf of my client. I know the two people I'm meeting well, we've done years of successful business together. It's nice to see them. As we catch up and discuss future opportunities something very saddening dawns on me. I've remained static for the last 2 years. Being a guy who prides himself on progress, this hurts.

As it sinks in, I become more aware of the full reality of that statement.

I have grown so much in many areas, however, in my career (or J.O.B) I have grown massively. But in the last 6 months I'd taken a step back, resulting in this sinking feeling of 'I've wasted 2 years of my life'. Upon inspection its not so bad. But it does raise an important question, was demoting myself the right thing to do? I did it to focus on my writing and personal brand, and yes my book has become a best seller in the UK. But 9-5 I'm not growing. I sacrificed 37 hours of my week to become stress free and increase my time to pursue my dreams. The good news is it's working.

Should we suffer to reach our goal? Or should we continually grow in everything.

I think I would have done it differently. Potentially moved elsewhere in my day job to continue my growth, or to a job that lifts my spirit (my current company is awesome FYI, I'm just hitting a ceiling). I let fear win.

My choice is paying off, thank fuck and I've got some valuable learnings here.

In the future I will work hard and sacrifice some things, but sacrificing 37hrs of your week is too much. Be happy, life is short, live in growth and peace.

Are you putting off happiness? If so, why not embrace it!

I hope this helps.

Love

Ralph

Why Does No One Understand Me? The French Edition

Further to my 'lost in Nimes' article, I wanted to continue sharing my learning's from my weekend there. I wouldn't usually have thought so much on holiday. However, seeing as my travel buddy was ill I was left with my thoughts for 72 hours (ish).

As mentioned before the wonderful people of Nîmes spoke very little English. I mean come on, it should be EU compulsory in every school (I jest).

So I was alone in France in a city where no one had a Scooby what I was saying.

On the first night I was a little bummed that my friend couldn't make it. He's a very funny guy, so I knew we would have had loads of fun. I was lonely because of this, but after I accepted that and accepted the now, it was better.

After the weekend was up, I hadn't had more than 60 seconds of dialogue with anyone. I'm no extravert. I like my own company. That being said, I love connecting with people.

I feel sorry for people who are isolated for whatever reason and don't get much communication or opportunity to connect with people. I also realised the importance of Hunan connection. We are born to share, collaborate and experience this earthly plane together.

Much of happiness comes from building and growing relationships. When two people connect, they create. Even if only for a few minutes in a lifetime. And that's a beautiful thing.

Looking back at my time in Nimes, some of my highlights were when I could connect for 60 seconds. Using a collaboration of broken French and English (or Fenglish as I like to call it).

It was in those moments that I got to joke and be playful. Making not only me smile but them. For a moment we weren't foriegners, we were humans. Speaking the language beyond borders.

Let me ask you this:

  • Are you connecting with enough people in life? 
  • Do you know anyone who doesn't get much chance to communicate? Why not send them a text/Skype/call or visit.

I look forward to connecting with you someday (as long as you're not crazy).

Love
Stu

Lost in Nîmes. How I Found The Universe Has Faith In You

I am so grateful to be sitting here writing this at Nîmes-Garon Airport in France. And this is why...

I planned this trip with my friend Ali. Unfortunately Ali got ill a couple days ago and couldn't make it. Trying to be more adventurous I decided to come alone. Nîmes is a beautiful and excessively cultural city. Like most of the western world it was invaded by the Romans. They seemed to love Nîmes because they invested a lot of time and resources into building a gladiator arena (awesome) and some other prominent buildings. Basically, if you get chance, check it out. Being the south of France it's hot even in October.

I've traveled around France before and the people here have a good grasp of the English language. Much better than the English do of the French language. Doesn't take much though. Nîmes however seems to have skipped English class. In a lot of 'discussions' I knew more French then they did English. This stroked my ego. But it also filled me with fear. I was alone, in a foreign country and no one fucking understood me. We got by, there was mutual comedic value in neither parties understanding each other. Friendly people the Nimiens (I made that name up).

Stuart Ralph In France

Me in the Arena of Nîmes (Badass)

The final night is where it all came unstuck. Realising I needed to book a taxi, and my phone not working abroad, I got filled with panic. I got back to the hotel only to find the reception was closed. Freaking out, I pulled out my tourist map (which is never detailed). The airport shuttle was labeled on there. I head out the hotel in search of this bus stop, after about 40mins I can't find it. Back at the hotel I get Google maps out. It appears I went the wrong fucking way. New potential bus stop in mind, I head out. 20 minutes of walking I find the stop. However it looks like a normal bus stop and there is no description of the 'navette' or shuttle in English. My thought is 'I'm not coming here tomorrow and risk it not fucking turning up'. I was getting stressed and panicky now. On route back to the hotel I have a, what I thought was a genius idea. At the hotel I buy skype credit so I can use my phone as a phone. As it will work through the internet and not a telecommunications network.

It's important to note that at this point I kept telling myself "Stuart don't worry you will find a way". I think in times where you can't seem to find a solution, it's important to tell yourself stuff like this. Because it stops your mind from giving in, it keeps it in the game long enough to find a solution.

This is where my genius plan falls short. This is how my conversations with the several taxi firms a rang (I rang more but they didn't pick up - useful).

Stuart "Bonjour. Parlez vous anglais?" (Hello, do you speak english?)

Taxi man (in a French accent) "No"

Balls.......

I even google translated my own speech about needing a taxi and the specific time. Great, they understand me. They respond, and I don't have a fucking clue what they just said. I apologise and hang up.

Refusing to give up hope, I sit their and think. Lightbulb. I'll run it. I had googled it earlier and seen it was 8.8km. I'm a somewhat fit guy. In fact the week before in Nottingham I had run a 12k race. The only difference is, it wasn't hot, I had running trainers on and I didn't have a 2kg back pack on.

Still determined to make that flight. I google map the route and took screen shots of it, so I could use the pictures of the route as my map on the run.

Still not liking this idea of running. I freak out a little. I see a French family outside. I put my faith in God/universe and ask "Bounjour, parlez vous anglais". French girl "yes a little".

BINGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

After the French family playfully took the piss out of me (Fair play, I would have done the same) she called a taxi company. After a little back and forth, and calling a second company she booked it for me. To that French girl and family, if you ever read this (and can read English) I'm so grateful for you helping me. Merci beaucoup.

The rest of the night resolved me worrying and getting a very interrupted sleep.

My mind was concerned that the taxi would not arrive and that I would have to run the distance to make my flight. My head then filled with ideas of being arrested for running on motorways, or getting lost in the country where they spoke even less English.

I put my faith in the universe, that she would pull through for me. I also mentally prepped myself for the grueling run.

When I was in the taxi earlier, I thanked the universe. I was hit with one realisation. Was I wrong to have a back up plan I.e. The run. I'm forever being told, put your faith in the universe. Don't have a plan b because you are doubting the universe.

I'm still unsure. But the universe will help, however as much as you need faith in the universe, the universe has faith in you. Faith that you will think about all outcomes, faith that you will find a way. I had faith in the universe. If the taxi didn't come, I knew the universe had faith in me to run the distance. We aren't separate to the universe, we are it and it is us.

Plan for the worst, but put your faith in the best.

Hope that helps.

Love,

Stu

 

The Number 1 Life Lesson We Can Learn From Neil From ‘The Inbetweeners’

Neil is the 'dumb' one from the British TV show 'The Inbetweeners'. Neil is often made to look like a fool, and arguably he is at first glance. However, after watching each episode about 10 times over the last 5 years, it dawned on me that he may actually have a lot to offer us.

Neil is the only character that is blissfully happy about 97% of the time. The other 3 characters Will, Simon and Jay all suffer a similar reality to a lot of people. To put it simply, they are stuck in their minds. Trapped in the future and the past.

Jai is very much trapped not only in the past, but a fake past. Bullshitting his way through life. Making up lies. Just so he can feel special (and loved). Simon continuously places his happiness in the future. On the loose hopes that he will romance his high school sweetheart. And Will, he's also placing his hopes into the future, but the more immediate future. All his actions are based on being accepted among his peers. We've all been there! Unlike the other two, Will also anchors some of his time to the past. He constantly judges his present, to his 'wealthier' past. This is only grounds for unhappiness.

Neil on the other hand, is in the here and now. Judging each moment as it is, not getting annoyed at the little things.

In the first Inbetweeners movie, there is a great scene where Will and Neil are poolside. Will is sad, because he messed up his chances with a girl he really liked. Neil starts giving Will advice like, "I stopped believing in GOD when I realised it's just dog backwards. G O D, D O G". I don't agree with that advice, but you have to appreciate his twisted logic.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/t-q2qdTdaWU[/youtube]

The good advice Neil gives is that he thinks you only get one go at life, so why not have fun. I couldn't agree more. What Neil is not suggesting is to be reckless. What he is suggesting however (or at least how I’ve read it) is to not care what people think, don't get stressed over petty shit and just enjoy the moment.

Is there an area of your life where you can apply some Neil wisdom? My advice to you is stop caring so much about what people think, and just enjoy the moment. That's freedom.

To your success,

Stu

Why I Don’t Cringe Anymore At ‘Peace be with you’?!

I used to cringe when I heard people say 'peace be with you', whether to me or overhearing it in my vicinity. It always sounded fake to me. As if the person saying it was saying it for the sake of it, they surely didn't mean peace be with you, did they?!

The saying comes from the Bible. Jesus used to say it when he greeted his disciples. In society the people using this term, are usually Christians. In no way is this a theological article. Nope. However I do want to look at this saying, and try to establish the truth in it.

The more I read and research about the mind, the more I started to understand its' beauty; I also understand its' sheer power to torment itself. Everything we see in the world is a product of the mind (except nature). The mind especially the neocortex, keeps us trapped in the past and the future. I often find myself stuck in the perpetual loop of dialogue, which consists of:

"What is X thinking about me?"

"I can't believe I did that thing"

"What if it doesn't work"

Can you relate?

This is no place to be. Thinking is a beautiful evolutionary benefit, as it allows us to be creative. However, if we don't master our minds, our minds master us. I once *read "we are not our minds, we are here". The present, or now is the only truth. This moment right now, as you read this, is living. Everything else is well, a product of your mind. The beautiful thing about the present moment is that it brings peace, as you are here, and not in a make believe land of what was and what could be. Now = Peace.

Your body is the only thing that will ever be **present 100% of the time, why not join it more often. Start meditating, practising mindfulness and simply take part in activities that put you in a state of flow.

Jesus was a man who lived in the moment, helping others, spreading a message he believed in. He knew people's pain, I reckon he understood their mental pain also, so when he said "Peace be with you" I believe he meant it.

Don't let your mind run your life, instead focus on the here and now.

Peace be with you,

Stu

 

* From the book 'The Happiness Trap' by Russ Harris

** Thanks Eliot

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