Category Archives: Manage Yourself

Rethinking Life

without struggle success has no value

~

Here in England normal life has been on hold for 438 days.  With varying degrees of severity we have been prohibited from doing most things that make life worth living; from meeting family and friends, to going to any and all places of business, entertainment, and worship, and even following our chosen trade or profession.  Face it ~ most of us have been locked down at home, suffering that most terrible of punishments; imprisonment and solitary confinement.

And personally, not much good has come from that.  On the upside I haven’t been sick with the coronavirus.  On the downside the list of bad and really bad things is long, pathetic, disturbing, injurious to my health, and life-threatening.  All in all, I would say that the policy of shutting down the entire country for over a year is the worst thing supposedly civilised and ‘liberal’ governments have done since 1914.

The worst of it is that I haven’t lifted myself above the morass, the slough of despond, and done something useful with my time.  I haven’t had a robust programme to improve my physical, mental, and spiritual health and fitness.  I haven’t written a book, taken up a new course of study, or routinely practiced something like meditation, tai chi, yoga, or even moon-walking.  Basically I’ve felt sorry for myself, put on weight, got myself a prison pallor, and spent lots of time aimlessly staring at the TV.  Some of the time I drank too much.  I was utterly unmotivated.

BUT, now that there is a light at the end of the Stygian lockdown tunnel, I feel the need to get a hold of my life and make it better than it was before all this fucking coronavirus crap began.  So what to do?  Big, meaningful changes take a hell of a lot of effort.

Step One.  Cut out all the bad things I’ve been doing just to fill in the empty hours.

Step Two.  Get out of the garret into the fresh air and sunshine, lose the prison pallor, get some exercise.  Yesterday I walked 8 miles, and meditative walking is really good for the body and soul.

Step Three.  Make a plan, some lists, some aims, goals, targets, dreams and desires.  Use all the skills and techniques I’ve learned about project planning and start a project to make myself and my life better than ever it was before.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

travel and adventure are on the agenda

Inalienable Rights

life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

~

To any right-thinking man it is self-evident that governments are created to protect our unalienable rights ~ freedoms endowed upon us by our creator, and which supersede any man-made laws.  These natural rights include; the right to think for oneself, the right to life, the right to self-defence, and these rights remain throughout one’s lifetime.

From the beginnings of common law these were rights which could not be surrendered to the sovereign or government, and were independent of any and all laws.  In fact any contract or law that tries to alienate such rights would be inherently invalid.  There is no act of submission by which man can give up the state of a free agent and enslave himself, for by doing so he would lose his humanity.  He would cease to be a man.

This was the entire point of American Independence, the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, the abolition of slavery, and in the case of we English the regicide of Charles I in 1649.  Go further back and read the second and most important book of the Torah and the Old Testament, and you will see that the Exodus is also about these same inalienable rights.

And yet, the governments of the supposedly free western world have been using the peoples’ dumb acquiescence to take away these God given rights, on the grounds that it’s for our own good.

Let us leave aside the really big events, things which drove a coach and horses through all of our freedoms, things such as; the Prohibition of Alcohol, Income Tax, the Draft during the Vietnam War, and England joining the European Union.  Instead let us consider the petty restrictions that officialdom has imposed upon us because of the non-existent threats of the COVID-19 virus;

  • house arrest for months
  • a prohibition on meeting other people
  • compulsory wearing of useless face masks
  • compulsory frequent testing for the coronavirus
  • compulsory vaccination by threats and intimidation
  • the closure of bars, pubs, restaurants, theaters, and churches
  • a total prohibition on travel, which is only now being slowly lifted

Actually it’s worse than all that, there has also been a vast propaganda campaign to convince us that the coronavirus is a threat to civilisation as great as the Black Death, and an insidious creeping censorship of the news media.

Once given these controls over the general public, governments and their lackeys will not easily surrender them.  Not any government, not ever.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the County of Oxfordshire is about to ban smoking outdoors

you couldn’t make it up

A Graduate Workforce

travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead

Here in England a most senior police officer has slammed the policy of only recruiting graduates into the police force, saying that; ‘they lack life experience’, and ‘they won’t commit to working unsocial hours’.  He goes on to paint a picture of a graduate recruit as someone who believes they are invincible, know better than officers who have been on the force for years, and believes that policing is just an extension of university life.

I had to smile when I read this, as it agrees exactly with my experience of dealing with young graduate entrants into the far less stressful and much less dangerous business of banking.  For a young person, banking involves a hell of a lot of routine drudgery, doing things the way they’ve always been done, and not going home until all the books are balanced at the end of the day.  There’s also the whole drag of getting into the bank before 09:00, going to lunch when you are told you can, and not staying out at lunch for longer than an hour.

Some graduates of my experience also had problems with the dress code, which was a business suit for men, and smart sober attire for women.  FFS, some male graduates didn’t even know how to tie a necktie, and had to have it done for them by a kindly person when they got into the office.

In my experience, new graduates tend to be idealists.

The world is more malleable than you think, and it’s waiting for you to hammer it into shape.  ~  BONO

Actually, no it isn’t.  The snag is; when you are working for someone else, you have to be prepared to put the ideals of the business ahead of your own.  The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

Many graduates also believe that they’re done with formal education when they leave university ~ and that’s another no.  There is the tiresome business of obtaining a qualification from the people who run the profession a graduate has chosen.  And I kid you not, the studies and exams set by people such as The Law Society are a bit more difficult than the average degree.  It would take most graduates 4 to 6 years to qualify as a ‘lawyer’, and cost at least £4,500.  (Other professional qualifications are similar.)  However really bright graduates may find that the firm / business helps out with costs and gives them a little time off work to study.

Being a graduate is not a passport to riches and fame, rather it’s just another step on the hard road of life.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Oxford University graduates

short-lived euphoria

Living Normally

All I want is to live a normal life

the beach at Cancun

As we gradually come out of lockdown, some normal things I haven’t been able to do for months have become possible ~ like getting my hair cut, or even booking a vacation.

One of the good things about having been in self-isolation for over a year is that I haven’t spent much money, so now I am almost out of lockdown I can afford to take my friend to anywhere we would like to go.

Should be fun.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

this might be the route to normality

How To Do Anything

first of all stop being a willing victim

if that’s you then perhaps you need to change

The first step in my total makeover plan New Age ~ New Me is giving up alcohol; or to say it a better way Living a Sober Life.  If you misuse and abuse any substance; alcohol, drugs, prescription medication, over the counter medication, sugar, tobacco….. then your life revolves around that and it’s almost impossible to do anything else that matters a damn.  And trust me, if you drink, smoke, or take drugs ~ then whatever you think or believe you are an addict.  The same goes if you gamble, are promiscuous, steal, cheat, lie…..  you are an addict and a victim of your own need for instant gratification.

If you ever want to be better, to become self-aware, self-controlled, self-disciplined, empowered, and truly happy, then first of all you have to give up your addictions.  No that’s not true, first of all you truly have to admit to yourself that you have a problem.  Only when you really believe that you need to give up hanging around in bars, or drinking a bottle of wine at home every night, or smoking a pack of cigarettes a day can you begin to become a better version of yourself.

And giving up isn’t easy.  For years I was a binge-drinker ~ every time I got upset, unhappy, or dissatisfied I would retreat into a bottle of booze to make myself feel better.  It never worked.  And yet I haven’t touched a drop since Christmas last year.

Here’s how did I did that;

  1. I came to believe that booze was ruining my life.
  2. I made a decision to stop drinking alcohol.
  3. I stopped buying and drinking booze.

It was an instant decision followed by instant action; and I believe that it has to be that way.  There has been no help, no 12 step group, no counselors, no complicated programs, no tricks, no searching the internet to find an easy way to be sober, no anything ~ just me and some self-discipline.  It’s easy; decide to stop whatever destructive behaviour gives you instant gratification, and then stop.

Except we know that it isn’t easy at all ~ it’s fucking hard.

But what would I rather become?  A drooling incontinent who lives just for the next drink?  Or a self-aware Renaissance Man who lives a very full and rewarding life?

So, every hour of every day I stay away from that first drink.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the things you think you like the most

are the things that will ruin your life

and then kill you

New Age ~ New Me

you get nothing without hard work

hanging out in bars is self-destructive

It was my birthday a couple of days ago ~ another year older and deeper into lockdown.  Given the premise that this is a new age for me I’ve decided to give myself a complete makeover.  And I mean doing it all for myself because there’s nobody to do it for me ~ and anything someone else does for you never lasts.  Any real and beneficial change I want to make has to come from within.

This makeover will be directed at significant improvements of my body, mind, emotions, and spirit.  It’s also going to include looking better and having a much nicer, kinder, more effective, and more likable persona.

The truth is that I started this big self-improvement programme just after Christmas when I gave up alcohol.  If you drink, smoke, take drugs, gamble, or suffer from any of the other life-destroying addictions, then the first step on any self-improvement / self-development / makeover is to quit your addiction(s).  And trust me, if you do drink, smoke, take drugs, (including stuff like Xanax), or gamble ~ then you are addicted.  (The list of life-destroying things people can become addicted to is long and inclusive.)

My plan for becoming the very best version of Jack Collier that I can possibly be is very simple;

  1. stay away from alcohol
  2. have a good daily exercise routine
  3. eat and drink healthily, (mine is a Paleo / Mediterranean diet)
  4. get enough good sleep, retire and rise at the same time every day
  5. cut out a lot of mindless, time-wasting stuff; TV, internet, social media
  6. look as good as I can all the time; bathed, shaved, hair, decent clean clothes
  7. study and learn interesting challenging stuff, from proper books by real writers

It should be easy, given some self-discipline and determination.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

none of this crap

who could like that guy?

Managing Myself

first of all stop dicking around

Not so long ago I was miserable, irritable, and utterly ineffective.  I didn’t ever leave the garret, except to buy booze, I never spoke to anyone, and I didn’t do anything interesting.  Every day was the same as the day before.  I was sick in body, mind, and spirit.  From time to time I had dark suicidal thoughts.  Even though my life was a mess, it was a mess with an efficient daily routine behind it.  I was very good at doing nothing except wasting the time I had on this earth.

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.  ~  Peter Drucker

There are lots of ways and a myriad of techniques that I could have used to turn my life around, but before everything else I had to have the strong and unshakable desire to change myself and make my life better.  No Fairy Godmother was going to appear and make everything all right.  I wasn’t suddenly going to find an attractive woman who would give me the magical motivation to improve myself and my life.  Nothing good happens in life unless we make it so.

You can start to read lots of books, sign up for lots of expensive courses, and find tons of stuff on the internet that will say; ‘change your life around by following this advice’ ~ and they are all utterly useless unless first you have the willingness and determination to change.  Changing your life for the better takes every hour of every day of the rest of your life.  Being a better person needs willpower, and if you don’t have any willpower then create an unbreakable routine towards becoming the very best version of yourself you can possibly be.  If you can’t do that, then fake it to make it.

First of all I had to decide what I didn’t want.  What were the very worst things in my life.  What was I doing that was negative and self-destructive?  Think about it ~ what are the very worst things in your life?  What do you want the least?  What is killing you?  For me that began with agoraphobia and booze.  I had to stop drinking, and I had to get out of the garret, physically, mentally, and emotionally I had to get out of this place.

None of this was easy, but this blog is some small evidence of how far I’ve come since those dark days.

If I can become a better person, then you can too.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

you don’t need a gym to exercise effectively

Men Don’t Do Relationships

women need and desire to be cherished, understood, loved
men want sex

Men evolved as solitary hunters, and their main contribution to the human race was the ability to hit a moving target so that everybody could eat.  Sometimes several men from the same tribe gathered together as a cooperative team so they could kill something bigger so that more people could eat.

Any woman reading that will immediately see where the male fascination with sports comes from.  Sports are all about the ability of one man to hit a moving target, often with the help of the other players on his team.  Cricket, baseball, football, basketball ~ lady, you name it and it’s the same thing ~ personal responsibility, hand-eye coordination, spacial awareness, calmness under pressure, hitting a moving target, instant gratification, win / lose.  And it comes from tens of thousands of years of evolution.

This is one reason why men like to wear uniforms, hats, colours, insignia that indicates their personal competence and membership of a successful team.  Teams are not discussion groups, a sports team is really a hunting and killing machine.  Every man feels that he is perfectly capable of solving his own problems and does not see any reason to talk about them with anybody else; up to and including you.  This is the reason a man will never ask for directions ~ real men do not use in-car satellite navigation because the damn woman keeps on offering advice.

Nowhere in there does it say anything about feelings, discussion, emotion, nurturing, understanding, socialising, and asking for help.  Men are not wired to discuss, listen, feel, accept, empathise, or talk just for the sake of talking.  Most of the time when a woman really wants her guy to show some empathy and understanding what he will do is offer her a solution.  He thinks he is being caring and loving by solving her problems, and she knows he is being uncaring and indifferent, trivialising her feelings by not listening to her.

Actually most good men try to listen to their lady, but what he hears is the blah blah blah of moaning, nagging, complaining, and talking just for the sake of talking.

When men do talk it’s usually in a language women do not easily understand; either because it’s technical or it sounds like monosyllabic grunting.

A woman may dream of and desire a perfect man, but smart women know that ‘perfect man’ is an oxymoron.  In many ways her perfect man would be gay, or at least metrosexual ~ and what real woman would want that?

Real men just don’t do non-sexual relationships ~ unless they are prepared to try, try, and try again.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Marmaduke is a male bear

he likes sitting all by himself

thinking about nothing much

Chaos Theory Sucks

it’s disorder, not a decision

this rather chaotic artwork is in the Getty Villa

Here in England we are being governed by Chaos Theory, The Butterfly Effect, and the Chicken Little Syndrome.  Princess Nut Nut, (aka Carrie Symonds), has an unwarranted influence on the Prime Minister, and Michael Gove has lost his marbles.  On leaving the European Union we will have an energy policy completely based on offshore wind farms, and an agriculture policy written by green activists who have never even got their hands dirty.  The official response to the supposed coronavirus pandemic ranges from hysteria to blatant propaganda, all based on whatever the ‘scientists’ say today.

It’s all a bit Kafkaesque, George Orwell, and the Book of Revelations.  It could be worse; I could live in the Police State of Wales, where pubs are not allowed to serve alcohol.

Amazingly, I am now handling all of this insanity surprisingly well.  The social distancing, limited support bubble, no hugging, no sex rules don’t affect me much.  I live alone in my seaside garret, I recently broke up with my long-term long-distance ‘friend’, and my only family is somewhat estranged.  However, I do feel for those trying to live a more ‘normal’ life.  There is frustration and tragedy out there ~ I can imagine how I would have felt if I was prohibited from visiting my dying father in his care home, and I can imagine how I would feel if I was prohibited from meeting my girl-friend.  There was a ’70’s movie called No Sex Please We’re British it’s not so funny anymore.

Back in the day my life was utter chaos, governed by the butterfly effect, all overlaid with a semblance of order.  I had a mantra; I am an utterly cool guy, living a really great life…..  And if you know anything at all you know that any man who has a mantra like that is drowning in a sea of troubles and confusion.  Up until last week I was beset by doubts, fears, frustrations, jealousies, and resentments ~ and that was just the chaos and turmoil running around in my mind like a frantic hamster-wheel.  Up until last week I was mired in a slough of despond.

The really smart people eventually realise that their life is fucking shit, and sooner or later do something about it.  The snag is that whatever you do is going to involve some pain and loss.  Completely breaking with chaos hurts.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

tunnel vision is not a solution to anything

A Choice of Catastrophes

always choose the lesser of two evils

cure global warming by setting fire to the sky

The world is going to hell in a handcart, mostly because governments and their unelected officials have responded in a very male, linear-thinking manner to the supposed coronavirus pandemic.  They have seen a problem and tackled it with gusto, without any thought whatsoever for the wider consequences.  It’s like the man who has an ant infestation in his home and sorts it out by burning down the building.  Perfectly logical if your logic is based on Boolean Algebra and the only possible answers are yes and no.  That is brutal male thinking taken to extremes.  I’m certain that to cure supposed global warming some male scientists would be happy to set fire to the sky.

This highlights the biggest problem that besets most relationships; men think in straight lines and women think in patterns.  This is why most men don’t talk much and most women like to talk.  It’s also why if there’s a problem in a relationship a man will want to find an immediate solution and most women will want to talk about it.  If you don’t understand that then you can’t have a real relationship with the opposite sex ~ all you can have is a deal, a contract, a set of compromises neither of you actually understand.  What you have is called a Transactional Relationship.

If you have a transactional relationship it’s most likely suffering right now.  Being thrown closely together because of lockdown, or because there is just nowhere to go, means that established positions get blurred and it’s difficult for both of you to fulfill your allotted role.  What you might realise is that both of you aren’t actually very happy being together.  Or that if you are going to stay together things will have to change.

And, this is where it falls apart.  Suppose one of you is now drinking too much.  Most people will fall right back into that transactional model; ‘if you stop drinking so much, I will…..’  or the more likely; ‘if you don’t stop drinking so much I’m walking out…..’

You have a Choice of Catastrophes.  We can all stay with the shit we have now, or we can set off into the unknown.  We can stay with our partner and regret it.  We can leave and regret it.  We can believe all this COVID-19 crap and have our civil liberties taken away, or we can ignore all the facile advice and instructions thrown at us by governments and health officials and maybe die of the fucking coronavirus.

It’s up to each of us to choose the lesser of two evils ~ but choose wisely.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

when in doubt, trust your gut

%d bloggers like this: