Released at Last – Why Average People Remain Average

Do you know who the second best football player is? How about the second fastest runner in the world? Would you by chance know the second best secretary or librarian? Do you know who the second best at anything is? How about third or fourth best at anything? In fact; there’s no such place as the second best anything. You are either the best or you are not.

If you only do what you’re expected to do; then don’t expect an outstanding result. Study successful people and you’ll sure to discover one thing that many of them have in common; they live by the words of “always do more than what is expected.”

Others have called this more than expected attitude as ‘going for the extra mile’. Notice that they don’t say the extra 10 miles. So why, do you think, are average people not champions? Because the average person just doesn’t bother to do more than what is expected of them; yes it’s sad but that’s the truth.

To most people, “always do more than what is expected of you” are mere words; and they don’t put substance to it because people are lazy and they just want to do the bare minimum to get by. Just enough to make money, to finish the shift, to keep from getting fired, or whatever.

No matter what you do, always do or give more than what people expect. Then they will flock around you, they will line up to meet you and be happy to support you in whatever thing that you want to do next.

If you’re training to be a champion; don’t just do the minimum and train like an average player. Train more than you’re expected to train, play better than you are expected to play.
Whenever you are interacting with people or in a relationship, treat the other party extremely well. Whatever is expected of you in that relationship, be it with your girlfriend, boyfriend, business partner or client, your spouse or your friend, always do or give more than what is expected of you; for that is the secret of making it a success.

It is not that you have to do or give a whole lot more; you have to do just a little bit more than the rest. That’s it; for you to become outstanding in any undertaking. To do this, it’s not that difficult; but most people are just too darn lazy to put in the effort.

Always keep reminding yourself this; winner’s takes all. There is only one in the winners circle. The winner gets the prize and the glory, the others just go home. Wouldn’t you rather strive with the extra effort to be the best? Being the best is the goal; because the pay off is many times greater.

Did you know that saying “You reap what you sow” is backwards? It misses the point that you have to sow first; then reap. It should be written; “What you sow, you reap.”

If you want to gather riches you have to be as generous as you can. Touch people’s lives profoundly, in ways that they would never forget. So the next time you are with somebody, or in a business negotiation, or just interacting with another person, ask how can I help you; without expecting any return.

To be generous and to treat others extremely well, you must come from the perspective of abundance thinking. Then always doing more than what is expected of you will come easy and naturally.


She Should Be Grateful!

Here on the island of Phuket in Thailand there are many mixed Thai-western marriages. We hear many stories about the strange and unreasonable behaviour of Thai wives. What about the other side of the coin? Are western husbands always a fountain of reason and fairness to their Thai wives?

There is one thing I often notice from western husbands that I always think is unfair and will cause relationship problems. It is the belief that their Thai wife should be grateful.

It is far from all the western husbands that are guilty of this attitude. However, it is common enough that it is worth discussing. These men believe their wives should be grateful for the improved lifestyle they have given her. They believe this means they call the shots and if the wife doesn’t like it, she is being ungrateful.

Is this really a healthy basis for a relationship?

When these men are discussing their latest spat with their wife, you will often hear similar comments. “She forgets where she came from. When I found her she was living in a shack and sleeping on the floor.” Does this means she must be meek and subservient? Cannot have any control in the relationship? If you do not respect your wife’s opinions, how can you expect her to be happy just because she has a nicer bed?

Of course, gratitude is a factor in relationships. Many of the western husbands in Thailand have made great sacrifices for the benefit of their Thai wives. Their wives should be grateful for these sacrifices but not to the extent that it diminishes their role in the relationship. The Thai wife also contributes much to the relationship for which the husband should be grateful. In a healthy relationship, gratitude is a two-way thing.

Many men come to Thailand with the intention of finding a wife. I think a lot of them arrive with little knowledge of the local culture and naive ideas about what they will find. They think they are going to ‘save’ a Thai girl from her life of poverty and give her a better life. In return, the girl will be eternally grateful and will be a doting and attentive wife.

Well the bad news is most Thai women do not feel like they need ‘saving’. They love their country and their family. They usually have plenty of friends. They like their lives in Thailand. Yes, a lot of Thai women are poor but that does not mean they are unhappy. They don’t want to change their lives. They just want more money so they can make their current life better.

Many Thai women are amenable to approaches from Western men. Thailand has one of the most open and tolerant societies in Asia and they do not fear mixed-race relationships. One of the things Thai women like about western men is that they can provide greater financial security than most Thai men can. However, they are still looking for the other things women expect from a good relationship such as love and respect.

They don’t want a one-sided relationship where their husband constantly expects them to be grateful. Who would like such a relationship? To be endlessly treated as a second-class partner with no say in the decision making process because they do not provide the money. To be constantly reminded where they come from.

Marriage is about give and take. Both sides need to be able to compromise and respond to their partners needs. It is true that some Thai women are not the best at controlling the purse strings and if the western man is providing the money then it may be best for him to control the money. That does not mean the Thai wife should have no input on where the money goes. It does not mean she has to be subservient to her husband on all issues.

Here is the reason why Thai women are not as grateful as their western husbands sometimes think they should be. They are not afraid of their previous life. They are not afraid of sleeping on the floor in a shared room. They are not afraid of taking cold showers from a tub of well-water. If this is the life they knew, they are not scared to go back to it. They are not massively grateful for their new comforts because it is not the most important thing to them.

There are two things most Thai women will put before their own comfort. Firstly, most Thai women want to help support their family to some extent. Some are happy to make a small contribution while others can never give enough.

The second thing is obvious. It is what everybody wants from their relationship; to be loved and respected; to feel important. All the possessions in the world cannot make up for being treated like a doormat. It’s the same for them as it is for us. They want to feel like they matter.

A while ago, I found myself in the slightly embarrassing role of translator for a Swedish man who was proposing to a Thai girl. This Thai girl was a neighbour and friend of my wife. The Swedish guy did not speak any English so he had a Swedish friend translating for him. The Thai girl did not speak any English so I was translating to Thai for her.

This Swedish guy was on holiday for two weeks and looking for a Thai wife. He was very pleased with himself that he had not chosen a bar girl. He kept on repeating that he was too clever to marry a bar girl and that was why he had approached our friend – a nice Thai girl. He had seen her eating at a Thai restaurant and asked her out. They had gone out together several times but could barely communicate. She is a very beautiful young lady. Of course, he had no way of knowing she is also a lesbian.

So we all went to a restaurant. Finally, he had a translator and could get his message across to this young Thai woman.

“I will marry her.”

Our lesbian friend was a little surprised by this proposal. Apart from being a lesbian, she had only been out with him a few times. However, like most Thais, she kept her cards close to her chest and let the Swede continue.

“She will move to Sweden with me.”

This is one of the classic mistakes western men make. Many men are convinced they can offer the girl such a better life in their own country that the girl could not possibly turn down this generous offer. Well here is a general truism – Thais like living in Thailand. The reason many Thais do move abroad is to make money. They do not go for a better lifestyle. The lifestyle they like is in Thailand. They go abroad because they have the chance to make better money than they can at home, and often they plan to move back to Thailand as soon as they have enough money.

“She will learn to speak Swedish.”

Learn a new language – only a small request. Our friend humbly agreed this was a fair demand.

“She will live in my house.”

Very generous. Let the wife live in his house.

“She will cook, clean the house and do the laundry.”

Yep, this guy really knows what he wants. A beautiful Thai lover and maid. I wonder that he couldn’t find a Swedish woman to fill his requirements.

“If she wants to send money to her family she must get a job and earn it herself.”

He has obviously done some reading up on Thai wives. He knows they like to send money home to the family. Well only reasonable that he should lay down the law and make it plain he is not going to pay for this inconvenient tendency. After all, she will have plenty of free time between her household chores and nuptial responsibilities.

Notice the total lack of question marks in this dialogue. It really never occurred to this Swedish guy that a Thai woman might say ‘no’ to his proposal. Surely, she would be grateful!

Our lesbian friend gave due consideration to the proposal. What she was actually considering was whether she could get any more money or free meals from this guy before she let him off the hook. She decided against it. The Swedish guy’s chin hit the floor as she told him she did not want to move to Sweden. He could not believe this girl did not want to be ‘saved’. How could she be so stupid as to turn down such an opportunity? He gruffly said so and left.

I tell this story just to highlight the strange ass


MLM Compensation Plans – 12 Points You’d Better Know About an Aussie 2-Up

I was talking with a friend last night who has joined a company that has an Aussie 2-up compensation plan. I was in one myself several years ago, so I have a good understanding of how they work. Features:

1. Your first 2 recruits get passed up to your sponsor. Your sponsor earns 100% of the commission on those first 2 recruits, forever.

2. Everyone you sign up after that becomes yours, and you get the first 2 recruits from each of your personally-sponsored reps, beginning with rep #3.

3. In most Aussie 2-up deals, the product is information-based or some type of service, with a very high front-end load. $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 is not unusual. This particular one sells a $16,000 real estate information package.

4. Most Aussie 2-ups have no MLM residual income. To me, the value of MLM is in the residual. Why you would choose one without residual is beyond me.

5. Because of the high front-end load expense to the consumer, the only people who will be long-term successful in an Aussie 2-up are very hard-driving, hard-closing sales people. Why? Because the average MLM rep recruits 2.7 people to a business. If you’re sending 2 of them to your upline, then your future isn’t very good.

6. Lots of reps don’t really understand that their first 2 recruits go to the upline. And even the ones who do understand often feel ripped-off when they see all that commission going to their sponsor, not them. They recruited 2 people who spent ($16,000), and the rep got nothing out of it. Their sponsor profited from their work, and they got nothing. People complain to the state attorney general on a regular basis about Aussie 2-ups. This plan generates more complaints than any other comp plan.

7. You can’t build a downline in an Aussie 2-up. The only way you sell a $16,000 package is with hard-driving, hard-closing salespeople. One of these clowns once told me that of every 100 people he talks to, 98 of them are dead wood, and he just kicks them out of his way to work with the other 2 … who are no doubt the same type of “my way or the highway” hard-closing salesman that he is.

If that’s the kind of person you want to cast your future with, by all means, join an Aussie 2-up … because that is the only person who will be successful. Ninety per-cent of the population (you and me, otherwise known as “dead wood”) do not want to sell and do not want to be sold to. For us, network marketing is a relationship business, not a sales business.

8. The “dead wood” guy can certainly convince people to ante up the $16,000, thinking that they’ll be able to do this business. But the fact is, most people don’t have the heart to steal from their fellow man, when they realize that’s what the business amounts to. So they won’t get any sales, and that business will not build. Again, there is no residual. The only income will be from your own sales, if you can do that.

9. In this particular Aussie 2-up, what is being sold is a course on real estate investing. Let’s be generous here and say that the hard cost for printing these 12 or 15 books is $300. It’s probably less, but let’s be generous.

OK. Now, the consumer is being charged $16,000. Most Aussie 2-ups operate on a similar type of mark-up, but they pay more in commission. Many pay 75% or 80% commission … which they obviously can do, because the cost of fulfillment is so low. This operation pays only 50% commission. So the rep does the work and the company gets windfall profits.

They could easily afford to pay the rep 80% commission, and still make over $3,000 net profit on every sale. It’s a questionable product of questionable value, and is considered a rip-off by a number of consumers who have commented online. And to top it off, the commission paid to reps is also a rip-off, when you compare the percentage with other companies who sell printed products with very minimal hard cost.

10. Due to the numerous complaints, there is a lot of government investigation of Aussie 2-ups. Regulators look and often say that the product doesn’t hold anything close to the value that it’s being sold for. They tend to look at many Aussie 2-up plans as a scam being perpetrated on the public.

You can absolutely say that a company has the right to charge anything it wants for its products. However, when citizens complain, you will be harassed and investigated by the government, and maybe get a bunch of bad publicity. Life is too short to put yourself in position where that result is likely.

11. A lot of these companies reserve the right to shut down their MLM business at any time and sell by direct sales. You’ll find that right listed in their policies and procedures. So if the heat from the government gets strong enough, they can do that. It’s happened many times. And everything you’ve built is gone.

12. Many of this company’s reps use signs that say, “Real Estate Investor Seeks Apprentice. $15-20K Per Month. (Phone number)”. Totally misleading. When you call, you aren’t interviewed as a possible apprentice. You are treated as a prospect for a $16,000 set of books.


Romanticynicism: Love in the Irony Age

Some people don’t feel safe in love unless it’s complete, absolute, and unconditional. Others (me, for one) only feel safe in love when it isn’t. I feel safest when I, and those who love with me, know that love can never be complete, absolute, and unconditional, that unconditional love is only unconditional under certain conditions. If those certain conditions can be relied upon to last a long time, then love can feel unconditional, but it never really is.

This kind of romantic pragmatism can apply not only to loving relationships but to all the things we love. The question we all face is how to love in a world where everything changes; how to embrace life even though you don’t get to keep it. For me the answer lies in “romanticynicism.”

Romanticynicism is a commitment to both the romantic’s yearning for happily ever after and the cynic’s detachment and indifference. (Not haughty indifference. That’s a recent addition to what started out as a respected school of Greek philosophy that cultivated neutrality.) It’s not a hybrid or blending of the two. It’s an extended stretch into both the warm fuzzies of the heart and the cool rationality of the head.

Either romanticism or cynicism alone is dangerous. Romantics are easily hurt. Cynics are readily hurtful. Averaged they’re bland. People who are mildly romantic and mildly cynical are mild. But if you can yoga-stretch yourself into a deep commitment to the romantic and a firm commitment to the cynical, even though the tension imposes some pain and un-resolvability upon yourself, the resulting state is bittersweet, vivid, and true.

The Quakers say, “Build to last a hundred years; be ready to leave tomorrow.”

The Buddhists say, “Though my heart is on fire, my eyes are cold as ashes.”

A New York Times editor said, “Keep an open mind but don’t let your brains spill out.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to act.”

Shakespeare ends a dying man’s love sonnet to his young lover, “This thou perceivest, that makes thy love more strong, to love that well that thou must leave ere long.” Stronger love, not weaker. To burn with love while knowing that it too shall pass.

To me, romanticynicism seems the only way to love safely, sanely, and generously. Generously because sometimes the most loving thing to do is to leave someone alone. True love requires a broad repertoire and the pragmatic flexibility to adapt to what’s needed. True love can’t be achieved with adoration alone–at least not these days.

These days humanity knows more about itself, more about the long view than ever before. Culturally, we’ve been around the block a few times. We’ve seen all kinds of things. Our explanations are becoming more reliable and accurate. And because things are changing faster than ever, there’s more evidence that what you love won’t hold still for long. It’s harder to be a pure romantic these days, believing we can cling to anyone or anything as if it will last forever. Even our sincerest beliefs won’t hold still. Our loss of naïveté makes us conviction-impaired. We’re naturally surrendering into the cynical, detached from what will soon disappear anyway.

Yet there’s also more reason to be romantic. At least in rich countries, we’re accustomed to things going well. Our advanced market economy encourages romance, a belief that products, services, and people can make us happy ever after. We’ve enjoyed reliable technological progress for long enough that we assume the ideal is forthcoming–what isn’t perfect now will soon be.

More reasons to hope; more reasons to be suspicious of hope. Our technological success has ingrained in us faith and confidence in the potential for happy endings, while our experience gives us more reasons to doubt that the endings we see will be happy.

Being torn between romance and cynicism is bound to feel unstable, but it’s also an admirably accurate way to interpret what life has to offer. It’s like irony, the cultural movement whose motto is, “No seriously, I’m just kidding.” Like irony, romanticynicism can be turned into glib escapism, as though a baldly stated paradox turns every utterance into nonsense. Stretching to put a foot in both camps can be a recipe for ungroundedness. But firm footing in both makes for an honest, profound way of life.

I’d recommend romanticynicism to anyone, but I suspect that it comes naturally to some of us and not at all to others. Some people simply seem born to either believe or disbelieve. And certainly some circumstances make it harder to be romanticynical than others. I suspect my temperament and circumstances conspire to make romanticynicism the obvious solution.

I know people who also think it is the obvious solution, but don’t pursue it because their temperaments won’t comply–people who by mid-life recognize the flaws in a purely romantic view of love but just can’t help falling and then getting burnt and then falling and getting burnt again. They get sadder but not wiser–and they know it but can’t figure out what to do about it.

The jury’s out on whether we can adapt to the ironic age we’ve created. Romanticynicism seems the adaptive frame of mind for it, but one that some of us just can’t get to from here.

Here’s the full Shakespeare sonnet:

Sonnet 73

That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou see’st the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west, Which by and by black night doth take away, Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.

In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire, That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the death-bed whereon it must expire, Consumed with that which it was nourish’d by. This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long.