Category Archives: Random

#5 Nice Guys Finish Last…

It’s quite a neat, simple, catch-all statement isn’t it? But I must admit that I probably don’t take this quote in the way in which GreenDay meant it.

I’d like to class my self as a ‘Nice Guy’. I see this as a positive.

By Nice Guy, I don’t mean a wimp, wuss or pushover. I mean someone who is nice to others. Someone who is pleasant. Who may very well put the needs of others first, but because it’s the right thing to do in that situation, not because he’s a doormat.

If life is a competition, then I’m happy to finish last. I wouldn’t want to finish first while behaving like a twat. As I always say, the journey is more important than the destination anyway.

Nice guys may finish last. But they do finish. And they’ve probably helped someone out along the way, making their achievement all the greater in my eyes.

#4 Calon lân

My all-time favourite hymn, in any language is Calon lân. I’d like to think that my attitude to life is summed up quite nicely in the first verse:

Nid wy’n gofyn bywyd moethus,
Aur y byd na’i berlau mân:
Gofyn wyf am galon hapus,
Calon onest, calon lân.

Here’s a literal translation into English:

I don’t ask for a luxurious life,
the world’s gold or its fine pearls,
I ask for a happy heart,
an honest heart, a pure heart.

Or, as I’ve only just found, a nice rhyming English version:

I’d not ask a life that’s easy,
Gold and pearls so little mean,
Rather seek a heart that’s joyful,
Heart that’s honest, heart that’s clean.

Which is also quite lovely.

To aim for material goals, money or fame your whole life seems to be missing the point of life itself somewhat. To aim to develop a pure, honest, happy heart and soul is a much worthier target. The closer you get, the more things you find beautiful anyway. It’s perfectly unattainable, of course, but that’s the key. You always get to aim higher than where you are now.

I think that’s my Magnum Opus (which is Latin for ‘Big Ice Cream’, presumably) – to make myself the best Me I can be.

Stay Beautiful,

Al

#1 You Know My Name

I was thinking of writing some sort of ‘Letter to my Son’, being as I had one 11 weeks ago. Then I started jotting ideas down and realised that pretty much all of the memorable advice I’ve had has been lines in films, books and songs. Basically, due to my complete lack of original ideas, I scrapped it and decided to write posts based on these quotes instead. Maybe he’ll read this blog in the future anyway.

Not sure yet how many there’ll be. I might find enough for a year’s worth of weekly posts or, knowing me, I’ll start thinking that this is all a bit crap after the first three.

So, first up:

If you think you’ve won you never saw me change
The game that we have been playing
‘ You Know My Name, Chris Cornell.

(There was always going to be some James Bond reference wasn’t there? I can’t guarantee that this will be the last)

You can only lose a game if you’re playing the same rules as everyone else. ‘Success’ to one man is a fancy suit, an even fancier car, and a big job making tons of money. Whilst to another it may be having no need for lots of money, but being able to grow his own vegetables and becoming as self-sufficient as he can.

How can you judge their relevant successes against one another?

You can’t be beaten by anyone if you’re not playing their game. Everyone’s game is different, let them play theirs, you play your own. It’s the only way to win.

Short, pleasing, Lion disappointment.

Short week in work this week. I think 3 day working weeks should become the norm.

If ‘Being Yourself’ inherently involves trying to please others, and yet trying to please others is not seen as the way to ‘Be Yourself’, should you?

My British Lions team, from the squad chosen this week, would be:

Halfpenny
Bowe
O’Driscoll
Roberts
North
Sexton
Phillips
Healy
Hibbard
A Jones
AW Jones
Gray
Warburton
Tipuric
Faletau

So there.

Deep(ish) thought of the week: Expectation is the mother of Disappointment. Disappointment only occurs when you expect a certain outcome which doesn’t occur. Difficult to eradicate expectation though. And would you, if you could?

Enjoy the weekend, all.

Al

Random Happy Rugby Superhero Thoughts

This week I’ve been thinking and have come to the conclusion that you have to be happy with yourself before you change. You can’t change yourself (be it health, fitness, body image, etc) in order to be happy. That’s deferring happiness and, if that’s your mindset, you will never be truly happy. ‘I will be happy if…’ is a dangerous way to think.

I’ve also been wondering about superheroes. Who has the coolest ‘human’ alter ego (e.g. Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Tony Stark, etc)?

And that I think either Sam Warburton, Alun Wyn Jones or Brian O’Driscoll should be the Lions Captain when the squad is announced on Tuesday. Ryan Jones would be my choice, but I don’t think he’ll be guaranteed a starting XV place as he’ll be seen as too valuable on the bench.

Random thoughts for the week. Have a nice weekend, everyone.

Al

Remember, remember…

…Why we did Movember.

Well done everyone. For growing those magnificent lip-warmers, the undernose caterpillars, the crumb-stashers and the upper merkins.

To those sporting a variety of styles: The Mexican Bandit, The twenties Gent, The Sex Offender and, to a lesser extent, The Hitler.

Many men grew moustaches this month. A hearty congratulations if you did. Even bigger accolades must go to your long-suffering partners who braved your face to kiss you goodnight during your quest. And a big thank you to all who donated to the worthy cause.

The good thing about Movember is that it brings to the forefront of our mind those things that are all to often overlooked for too long. Men, at least stereotypically, are less likely to see a doctor when something ‘may’ be wrong. It is somehow not seen as a manly thing to do. But what could be more manly than, having identified a problem, taking appropriate action to rectify it?

There is some information on prostate & testicular cancer here, but a quick Google search would provide the same, if not better results. Albeit with rather scary pictures no doubt. Basically, get to know your balls and check that they haven’t changed shape or grown lumps every now & again. And if you’re getting up more often to go to the toilet in the middle of the night, check it out with the doctor.

The success rate for treatment for both of these illnesses is high if caught early enough.

In the meantime, here’s my MoBro donation page, should you feel the need.

And here’s another pic of my attempt as a lasting image for you:

30 Things I’ve learnt – Part XXX

I’ve only gone and done it! A blog a day for thirty days in a row! I rule! (Humorous aside – the WordPress app on my phone doesn’t recognise the word ‘blog’! Ha!)

So, in keeping with the time-honoured tradition of ‘saving the best until last’, that is what I’ve tried to do. Today’s is a motto, if you like. One by which I try to live my life. It’s simple, straightforward, and easy to remember:

Enjoy the journey

When all else fails, remember that you should be having fun.

As nice as having goals is, if you’re only ever happy when you achieve a goal, you’re never going to be truly happy. There will always be bigger goals, more ambitious dreams.

Konstantinos Kavafis wrote a poem (which, to be fair, probably sounds better in its native Greek as it’s not the most catchy in English) about Ulysses’ return to Ithaca, his Odyssey. Telling him to remember his goal, but to realise that the journey he takes to reach it will teach him so much, and could perhaps even reward him more than the final destination will.

Here are a couple of examples:

Don’t lose sight of Ithaca,
for that’s your destination.
But take your time;
better that the journey lasts many a year
and that your boat only drops anchor on the island
when you have grown rich
with what you learned on the way.

If in the end you think that Ithaca is poor,
don’t think that she has cheated you.
Because you have grown wise and lived an intense life,
and that’s the meaning of Ithaca.

This is true for actual journeys as well as the metaphorical journey of life. If you achieve your life’s ambition at the age of 50, but have not enjoyed the journey you have taken to get there, was it truly worth it? Or, to look at it another way, should you never attain your life’s goal, but have enjoyed every minute of trying to achieve it, does that make the time spent a failure?

As for turning thirty? Well, tonight it will be like getting off the train at Cardiff Central with a free ticket to anywhere I like. I can choose in which direction I go, but I can’t guarantee how the journey will pan out. All I can do, is ensure I enjoy it.

And boy, do I intend to.