Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

There is an old idiom that you should ‘Never look a gift horse in the mouth’. I say that in life you should always look at a ‘gift’ to see if it is a true gift or a liability. You should be conscious of what you are getting yourself into. Many people who own a horse can tell you that the wrong type of horse can be much more a liability then it can be an asset. As you know, you can discover a lot about a horse’s condition by looking at its teeth. The health of a horse is also a big factor to discovering how much a liability it could for you, there are vet bills to pay… a liability.

This concept applies to other ‘gifts’ in your life. The idea that you are being disrespectful if you are investigating what you are getting into is crap.

People are often very lazy or ignorant to what a liability a ‘gift’ can create in someone else’s life. It is not that people are doing it intentionally to be malicious, they are just not aware of what they are doing.

For example, for my Birthday this year I received a heartfelt gift of a coffee machine. I like coffee, why not. Well it was one of those propriety coffee pod machines which means that in order to use the machine I had to change my purchasing habits for a more expensive  coffee option that can only be purchased from a store that is out of my way, it also consumed more energy in it’s idol state then my current boil to size kettle that I use currently to brew my coffee.

So it created a liability for my money (extra expense and electricity) and for my time (extra time to get the proprietary coffee pods). Now don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful gift, just not for me and my situation.

Free always comes with a price and we also need to consider when we give gifts.

I have some rules that I keep to when giving gifts to others that requires a bit more thinking, but in my mind is about being a respectful gift giver.

In no particular order.

  • Will it bring a holistic benefit to their life. For example will it save them time, money and hassle both in the short term and long run.
  • Give quality not quantity. Something small of good quality is 100 times better then a lot crap that will break.
  • If you don’t know them well enough don’t be afraid to ask someone who does, even if that person is the recipient of the gift.
  • Try with all your might not to give ‘Stuff’ to horders. People who do that are just cruel and inconsiderate. Give an experience instead. It will add joy to their life without the pain of extra stuff contributing to their problem.
  • Experiences will always mean much more to people. Stuff can break.
  • Giving your time is one of the best gifts you can give in this time short world.
  • Avoid waste in your gifts. Don’t buy new wrapping paper, recycle something or try using a reusable box with a ribbon or packing twine around it.
  • Always have a part of a gift that makes them feel special in someway. Something pampering.

What rules do you use when giving gifts both in professional and personal life?

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Status: What I Ate for Breakfast

Being the weekend, my post today is going to be bit more of a ‘filo-esophagus’ (sic) look at the trend of posting food pictures and other ‘I’m doing XYZ’ menial tasks on Facebook, twitter and the hipsters favourite Instagram. I often hear from people who don’t really get social media a rant of resentment about users publishing updates about what seems to be menial and mundan. With regular rants about them not wanting hear about what people are having for breakfast or similar things.

When it comes to social media, if you are not using it be social, you are not using it correctly.

Being social is about shared experiences, whether those experiences are in the physical moment of  now or the shared experiences of the types of things we do. These are the things that make us realise that we are not alone, that we are a part of a much larger tribe.

But there is another aspect to this that I want to talk about and that is how we celebrate and show gratitude for all that we have.

Celebrating what we have can be in the way in which we experience and savour what we are doing. The time and effort we put into preparing a meal as well at the people that we are sharing it with. The way in which we enjoy and  engage in the flavours as it swirls around our mouth. Taking a picture and posting online is like celebrating your meal and inviting others to share in the experience. It shows gratitude for what we have.

Complaining about a meal is a first world problem and not something many people in the third world have the luxuary to experience.

If you are not able to show gratitude for the small things, what makes you think you deserve the big things in life.

For me I find joy in knowing that others are showing the gratitude for the things they have and not what they don’t have. Maybe you can to.

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The Hustle

It’s true, I got hustled last Friday night. I swore to myself that I would never be one of those people who got played, for time and money, but it happened and I was dam angry about it. I was angry not just for myself but for the person who hustled. I was angry that they would be silly enough to do it to themselves.

Last Friday was an opening night targeted for the corporate crowd for a client’s new venue. Many of our own clients, suppliers and friends had been invited to partake in the festivities, they where provided with free entry and a drinks bar tab.

The staff of a Brisbane firm that is making real ground in the digital marketing market share was invited, while technically not a client or a supplier, they where professional colleagues. Many of the staff were nice and great to talk to, one girl was particularly very pleasant to talk to, that should have been warning enough to me.

This particular girl was meant to be a promising, up and coming marketing communications professional. She ply’d layers of confidence boasting complements, agreeability to all that I said and outward passion in what she said. Being a fan of the BBC series Hustle I should have seen the grifting ways but we are all genius in hindsight.

She was hot and cold all night depending on who was around. Some people are I guess.

So the question is why would you risk future gains for the short term benefits of alcohol and attention. On analysis the reasoning is simple, the person is seeking Love and belonging, the third level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs an outward confidence can be faked but if first three levels are not yet satisfied the issues poke through. Maslow discribes people with problems in achieving satisfaction in third level Love and belonging can have root causes of long-term hospitalisation, neglect, shunning, and ostracism.

Because she is living at this level, she is going to be an extreme people pleaser. While there is nothing wrong with being a people pleaser not being about to be mindful of it puts her at risk of enduring abusive relationships from family members, partners, bosses and controlling friends.

Or maybe I am just jaded about being taken for a ride.

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