Tag Archives: Mirror

Escape From The Steep Gravity Well Of The Mediocre

This is one of those strange sorts of days here at Casa de Dude. By strange, I mean we’re having someone other than Barry or me step in and talk for a bit.

In this case, please welcome Shawn Anderson, author and speaker. Miss-ter Ann-der-son (heh heh heh) sent out an e-mail I quite enjoyed. Instead of adapting it for you dudes, I thought I’d just let the man himself do the talking since I liked what he had to say.

So, take it away, Shawn Anderson.

Wake-up alarm sounds. Hit snooze button. Steal ten minutes more sleep. Groan. Get coffee. Wake kids. Take shower. Get dressed. Yell at kids. Drive to work. Slump into chair. Check email. Check Facebook. Meet deadlines. Waste time chatting. Watch clock. Check Facebook again. Sneak out early. Wait in traffic. Get groceries. Chaperone kids. Shout about homework. Make dinner. Watch TV. Go to bed. Repeat.

Of course, there is no way this sounds familiar. Right? Maybe to our friends, but never to us. Not to worry…this is for them. (The friends.)

To help those “friends” who are stuck in a life rut, motivational guru Shawn Anderson shares three quick rut-escaping tips you can provide to those who need emergency advice and are living the same day over…and over…and over:

TIP #1: Quit living in Mediocreland.

Stuck on mediocrity? Well, look in the mirror at the person responsible. It’s you. You created your average-ness…and you can un-create it, too. Want out of the rut? Quit making excuses, quit pointing fingers, and quit waiting for a miracle to fly you out of Mediocreland. If you’re ever going to leave the world of average, you need to start creating the changes you seek. Cast a vision. Create a plan. Take massive action. Passive residents are not allowed to fly.

TIP #2: Don’t expect an overnight miracle.

It’s impossible to go from “ice cold” (in the rut) to “red hot” (out of the rut) overnight. Massive change just doesn’t happen that way. Don’t expect it. Do expect, though, that you can grow to “red hot” if you hold yourself accountable to take one step a day towards the changes you want in your life. Single steps daily add up to big changes eventually.


TIP #3: Don’t wait for perfect.

Waiting for the perfect scenario to unfold before making changes? Your reasons to wait before taking action might sound good in your head now. The problem is that five years down the road those same reasons will probably still exist…and you’ll probably still be in a rut.

Life is too short to wait for the stars to fall into perfect alignment before we take life action. Live and live now. Otherwise, waiting too long for the right risk-taking moment eventually leads to paralyzing fear…which leads to complacency…which leads to “I don’t care” acceptance.

The author of six motivational books, including A Better Life: An Inspiring Story About Starting Over and Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and Purpose, Shawn Anderson lives and breathes all things related to “going the extra mile” in order to live a life we love. Last year, Anderson’s Extra Mile America organization led 444 cities to declare 11/1/13 as “Extra Mile Day”… a day recognizing the capacity we each have to create positive change for ourselves, families, organizations and communities when we go the extra mile.

“My feeling is ‘we get one life’ so why ever choose to live it with anything less than our deepest passion and most ardent dedication? We create the life we live…one way or another,” Anderson says.

Shawn Anderson is a six-time author, keynote speaker and motivational success coach. His book titles include A Better Life: An Inspiring Story About Starting Over and Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and Purpose. For more information, visit www.ShawnAnderson.com.

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Is There Such A Thing As A Good Selfie?

Short answer: no.

Okay, you dudes can go now.

Or not. Depends on what you want to hear.

The long answer? All right, then.

Since the Oxford Dictionary announced the selfie as word of the year for 2013, there’s been renewed interest in something that we had all but extinguished. Sadly, this comeback has not made them better. However, there are steps you can take to make your appalling selfie into one that doesn’t make old men retch and young girls run screaming into their rooms to cry softly into their pillows and stuffed bears.

Taken from the readwrite.com site, here are some basic steps for taking a selfie that doesn’t flat-out suck.

To start with, get rid of the fat arms.selfie-ad-2

If you’re a frequent selfie photographer, the right apps and accessories can make the task easier, while also banishing extended “fat arm” syndrome. Plenty of camera apps feature self-timers (like this and this), and accessory makers offer wireless shutters that let you shoot remotely away from your device

Now, admittedly, the makers of this photograph won a CLIO, an advertising award for it, but it is the exception that proves the rule. Having huge, extended, fat arms like that rarely works to showcase how desirable you are, only that you have deformed arms.

Make sure that you showcase your jawline in a good way, not let it disappear into a second chin that isn’t actually there.

When people hold their cameras up for a selfie, some unconsciously cast their heads back. But by doing that, the chin and jawline practically disappears—in some cases, it can even create or emphasize a double chin. 

The best thing you can do is to stretch your head forward toward the camera to create a more flattering angle. Not too much, because then your neck gets a bit strange looking, but enough to stretch out the skin under your jaw. Heck, this is a good idea for any photograph in which you’re going to show up.

Remember Miley Cyrus at the Video Music Awards? How she stuck her tongue out almost every chance she got? Remember? Good. Now forget her. That pose just doesn’t work. It didn’t work for Miley and she, for some reason, is a famous person who has had experience in posing in front of the camera.

So what hope is there for the rest of us? The short answer: There isn’t any. (Really, the only one who can pull this off is Kiss’ Gene Simmons, who has been doing it since before Billy Ray’s daughter was born.)

Finally, consider the background in your photo as well as the lighting in which you’ll be taking the selfie. If the light is behind you, then your lovely face is going to appear in all shadows, hiding you from the viewer. And, isn’t the point of a selfie to show off your face?

I know it’s not something most people consider, but background can make or break a photo. Even the best photo of you standing in your bathroom facing the mirror still is only a photo of you standing in your bathroom. Another bit that just isn’t going to work for you.

No one wants to see your bathroom. Even you don’t want to see your bathroom.

Try finding a better place. Maybe one with good lighting.

There are more suggestions at the article site, including a plea to banish “duckface.” You can head on over and take a look. Maybe, if you can’t help yourself and you do take a selfie, you could send one along and I’ll run the best one we get.

Sound good to you dudes?

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Reflection? In A Mirror, Maybe

Welcome, dudes, welcome one and all to the new year!

Welcome to 2013!

Provided you use the Gregorian calendar, and date from the same year zero as do the majority of the people in this country. And provided you don’t use the Chinese calendar, or the Jewish calendar. Or. . .

You know what? I’m just going to stick with the Gregorian. Your actual year might vary.

Still, with the turn of the year, the minds of many a dude and dudette turn to reflecting on the year that’s past and looking forward to the new year that’s just arrived. This is what leads to the abomination known as New Year’s Resolutions.

I’ve never liked New Year’s Resolutions, as I’m sure I’ve said many times before.

Instead, I like to be a little contrary (imagine that) and simply focus on what will make this day, right here, better than was the day before. Sure it seems like splitting hairs, but with my head of no-hair, that’s not something I do lightly.

Self improvement isn’t something that needs to be done only on one day. My oldest young dude, Sarcasmo, away in Idaho learning to be a better human being, is getting a wonderful chance to see into the depths of his being. He gets a chance to really look into what makes him, well, him, and to see if there’s anything he can to do make himself better.

Frankly, I think that’s something we could all stand to do a bit more often.

It’s been brought to my attention that I might, possibly, sort of, maybe kind of interrupt people when they’re talking. I don’t mean to be rude, but I can pretty much figure out where they’re going with their sentences and I want them to hurry up and get there. People (and, yes, dear, I am talking about you) have told me again and again that it’s a big pain in the butt.

Yeah. Sorry. That is the thing I’ve been working on for the last little while. Not because of the new year, but because I really am trying to be a better dude and part of that is trying to be less annoying to those around me.

If you’re still the type to make New Year’s Resolutions, why not make one to reevaluate yourself every couple of months, instead of only at the end of the year?

It couldn’t hurt.

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