The Alpha Initiates Contact

Is that my buddy? It IS my buddy!

Is that my buddy? It IS my buddy!

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you recognize someone from across the room but for some reason you are hesitant to say hello? Perhaps they are just an acquaintance and you aren’t 100% certain of their name or maybe you just don’t feel like putting in the effort to walk across the room. There are a countless number of reasons why you may not want to be the one to initiate contact. The only thing you need to remember is the one reason you should want to be first to say hello: the alpha initiates contact.

What’s an alpha?

Remember being told as a child, “don’t speak unless spoken to”? This is a similar, albeit on an adult level. The alpha (often heard alpha male, though for our purposes gender certainly doesn’t matter) is one who confidently thinks of him or her self as a leader, as someone who is honest and direct, unafraid of embarrassment and not hesitant to take charge of a situation. In this case, the alpha is taking control of a simple, yet often botched situation where people who know each other from one place randomly see each other in another place.

I bet you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who has never found themselves in that awkward situation where you see a person you know from your downtown gym at a fancy restaurant in the suburbs. What should you do? Should you say hi? Are you sure of their name? Maybe they didn’t see you yet and you can just avoid them.

No!

This is a time to be the alpha. Walk up to the person, make eye contact, extend your hand and offer a polite hello. Boom. That’s all it takes yet so many people are genuinely terrified of making this simple gesture a reality. The vast majority of people simply avoid their acquaintance and likely find themselves in an even more awkward situation when one of two things happens: either the acquaintance takes the alpha away and comes to you, doing exactly what you should have done, or the acquaintance brings up the “near meeting” the next time they are back in the gym. “Hey Bill, I thought I saw you at Hyde Park last Saturday?”

Neither of these situations are ideal. If the acquaintance comes to you, he has made you to be the beta, or lesser of the two. Haven’t you ever found yourself thinking, “I wish I’d have just said hello” after someone says hi to you first?! Even if the two of you don’t connect at the restaurant, you’ll still be put in an awkward spot when your acquaintance mentions seeing you. “Didn’t I see you at Hyde Park last weekend?!” What are you doing to do…lie?! Hell no! As we have learned, there are no such things as small lies. That only leaves one alternative: tell the truth. “Oh yeah, sorry, Frank, I did see you but I was too scared/beta to come say hi.” [PRO TIP: When I’m not certain of someone’s name, I’ll quickly look them up on social media to just to get a confirmation. This also can help refresh me on their job, spouse, children, etc.]

Introducing yourself

Alphas also take charge by introducing themselves to strangers. Sure, every once in a while you may introduce yourself to someone you’ve already met, but that’s OK! Simply be genuine and honest and offer a polite “that’s right, we did meet!” and then do your best not to forget that person again!

I witnessed a fantastic example of this just a few weeks ago at a local charity golf outing. I was sitting with 6 or 7 guys eating lunch before the scramble when another man set down his plate to join us. He knew everyone at the table save one person, who he instantly looked at and said, “Hi, I’m Walter Morgan” while extending his hand and looking directly at the unknown person. “It’s nice to meet you” was his reply after this person introduced himself back. Boom. Pretty simple stuff. Take it one more level by making a mental note of a person’s name whenever you meet someone new. I find connecting them to someone I know with the exact same first name (it can be a friend, relative, celebrity, etc.) makes it exponentially easier to instantly recall their name later on.

I was recently in a situation where my family met another family. People were offering their hellos and introducing themselves accordingly. I didn’t get to meet everyone at first but 15 minutes later I was able to meet the last few people. Using my alpha mentality, I went up to a woman I did not know and said “We didn’t get to meet back there, I’m Nick.” Her reply? “Nice to meet you.” A few seconds went by before I had to ask, “Well what’s your name?!”

She forgot to give me her name!

Be the alpha

Don’t half ass it. If someone beats you to an introduction or a hello, that’s ok, it’ll happen. But when it does, be sure to do as much as you can to take charge, give your name and remember theirs. While this way of seeking & approaching people may seem hard to do at first I promise it’s not. Each time you do it makes it easier on the next. Before you know it you’ll be inherently saying hello & introducing yourself to strangers without even thinking about it!

It's nice to meet you!

It’s nice to meet you!

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Vote With Your Wallet

This next year in America will surely be entertaining as elections are heating up. “Free” citizens will be encouraged to cast votes in line with how they believe society should be. This annoys me as most of the things people are allowed to vote on are things that take money out of my pocket and force it to be spent on things I may not want or need.

I’ve never understood how some kinds of people can be so adamant about spending other people’s money. You may not realize it but examples of this are all around you. When money is taken from us by means of taxation it is then given to other groups or projects. While there is no general consensus for what justifies taking this money, it’s hard to think things like public parks, fairs, festivals, rib burn offs, etc., are anywhere near the top of the list, yet municipalities everywhere spend our money on these items regardless if we agree with them.

If I wanted to attend a park, fair, festival or rib burn off, I would budget for it and I would pay to go. Or if I felt the need I would donate my time or resources to help put the event on. In this way, I can cast as many votes as I would like by spending my own money. I do not need to steal the money from other people via taxation in order to achieve my goal. I’m directly using my dollars to show how and where I want them to go. Yet this is exactly the opposite of what happens in America as money is taken from “free citizens” against our will and then egregiously spent (falsely) in the name of the greater good.

To put it a better way: there are men, women and children who will go to sleep hungry and homeless tonight in my city and yours, yet our cities have money to spend on fairs, parks, festivals, art shows, etc. Should not every single “free” human being first be given food, clothing & shelter if we are going to live in a society where money is forcefully stolen from us and given to others? What do you imagine homeless people are thinking when they don’t know where their next meal will come from but the city they reside in is subsidizing for-profit bike sharing companies?

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If you want to see things change, use your dollars to make change happen instead of voting to take money away from all.

As I mentioned in this à la cart society post, it is not fair to make me pay for things that I do not use. You should not be okay for paying for things that you do not use nor should you want to take my money to pay for things that you want. Do not vote on my behalf and do not try to steal my money and vote with it. Cast as many votes as you would like by spending your own dollars.

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Being Liked Helps

To be successful in life, business & relationships one can possess a number of varying qualities. A kindergartener could probably tell you that being smart is of paramount importance. I’d say that a nice balance of street smarts, book smarts and wisdom would probably make for a human who is primed to be successful.

However smarts can only take you so far. The men and women who rise to the top of their fields, make and keep the most friends and have the best relationships are those who are liked by most. Simply put, being liked helps.

I wish I could claim this simple but profound piece of advice as my own original thought, but it’s not. No matter, it cannot hurt to always remember this as you go about your day. Each person you come in contact with is someone you’ll leave a mark on and only you can determine if it’s a positive or negative mark.

I’ve recently re-dedicated myself to winning everyone I meet as a friend and Dale Carnegie has helped immeasurably! Whether you’ve read it once, a hundred times or never, “How to Win Friends & Influence People” never gets old. I cannot emphasize enough how much the material in this book can help us all to be better humans while making and keeping positive, meaningful relationships!

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Violence Is Not An Acceptable Rebuttal To Vocabulary

Since I’m not convinced that man has walked on the moon, any time news breaks regarding the manned moon landings I get plenty of feedback from my friends, family and the Internet. The most recent example was sent to me by numerous people as 72-year-old Buzz Aldrin punched Bart Sibrel and it’s all caught on video. Despite the fact that this happened over a dozen years ago it seems to make its way around the Internet every few years.

I’m not concerned with Buzz vs Bart. Despite agreeing with Bart that Buzz likely didn’t walk on the moon, I think Bart and his tactics are deplorable.

What interests me is how many seemingly reasonable people think that punching someone in the face (or anywhere for that matter) is an acceptable rebuttal to being called names. What ever happened to “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”?!?!

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Can you imagine if we taught our children this illogical way of thinking? “Now listen son, if someone makes fun of you on the playground you need to bash them in the skull. That will show them not to make fun of you!”

No reasonable person would ever teach their children to be violent in the face of name calling! Yet reason and logic seem to go out the window in the case of trolling an old man who may or may not have faked mankind’s greatest achievement?! This clearly isn’t right.

Violence is never an acceptable solution when faced with mere words of critique, shame or embarrassment. To put it as simple as possible: save facing a direct physical threat, preemptive violent action is never justified.

For example: If you and your wife are strolling about and someone calls your wife a dirty whore, you are not justified to bash them in the face. This is unequivocal. 

Now consider you and your wife are strolling about and someone says they plan to kill you then rape your wife. You’d be justified in any number of actions, not the least of which is to run for cover, seek help, scream for assistance, and take protective measures that include violent actions. This is quite the hyperbolic example and while it could happen, it’s much much more likely that you are faced with a situation like the former, not the latter.

We should all be going through life looking for reasons to avoid physical confrontations, not for reasons to get into them! If someone is using words to upset you, simply walk away. 99.999% of all of us will go through life without ever encountering a situation where we’d be justified to use preemptive violence yet we’ll all likely encounter an asshole that makes us want to bash in their skull. Be better than the asshole and resist the urge to bash knowing that you’ll be the one in lots of trouble as only bad things can come from striking another human.

 

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The Importance Of Balance

Being a well-rounded person is one of the most important keys to living a happy & satisfying life. I will write that again, but this time put it in bold and underline it so that anyone who reads this will have a chance for it to really sink in.

It is impossible to overstate how important it is to live a life of balance & to be a well-rounded human being.

Balance has been a buzz word in the poker community for quite some time now. “Play with balance, balance your range, balance your bankroll”, et cetera. Many elite poker players and poker authors talk about & write about how important the concept of balance is in poker. Clearly they are onto something. While many poker players have figured this out with regard to poker, some fail to realize that life itself is no different.

Balancing Your Daily Life

Spending too much time on one aspect of anything will surely lead to other aspects of that same thing suffering. An extreme example would be dedicating every minute of your day to one single thing. From the moment your feet hit your bedroom floor to the moment your head hits your pillow, if you are only working on one thing, for example your business, how do you think the other aspects of your life will react? If you spend every waking moment of your day working on your business, what will your significant other think of you? How about your children, your friends and your other family members? I cannot imagine that your home life (or health for that matter) would be optimal considering in this example you have literally given them zero of your time. You have failed to spend time with your family, you have failed to eat in a healthy manner, you have failed to exercise, you’ve even failed to relax and have some fun. These and any number of other items should be a part of your life. They will add the balance that will make you a happier and healthier human being.

Previously I have written about the potential monotony of working from home. By balancing our work day with other tasks in our life we have turned a boring day into one of satisfaction. On a larger scale we can use this way of thinking to balance each day, week, month, year and eventually our entire lives. It’s really quite simple once you come to the realization that a well-rounded & balanced life is a life of fulfillment. It’s not about focusing on any one thing but rather focusing on all things.

Take a sincere & honest look at your life and ask yourself if you are truly living as balanced a life as you can. Don’t worry if you find that you’re not living with balance – that’s ok! We all go through peaks & valleys where we fall into ruts or spend too much time on one thing to the detriment of others. The key is realizing that we are out of balance and then striving to do something to get back on track!

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Swearing. Bad Words. These Do Not Exist.

It’s 2015. Can we please get over the idea that “bad words” exist? Shit, it’s fucking ridiculously insane to believe that one is being harmed because they heard the word fuck, or any other word for that matter. If there has ever been a way it’s been that needs corrected, it’s words. The belief that words are good or bad is a major reason that censorship is still so prevalent. Think about that! Wouldn’t you prefer to decided what words you and your children listen to or choose not to listen to?

Words are nothing other than a mathematical arrangement of consonants and vowels that convey meaning from one person to another. They do not do us physical harm. Words are not justification for violence or retaliation. (Re-read that last sentence. Let is sink in.)

A smart person pointed out that in the most extreme cases, we can justify preemptive actions to protect ourselves against some words. An example would be if a villain is holding a gun to you and says that he is going to kill you, you are justified to defend yourself based on his words. This is NOT the same as trying to justify punching someone in the face because they flipped you the bird or told you to go fuck yourself. Extreme means extreme. Chances are you will never find yourself in an extreme situation where preemptive violence is justified at any point in your entire adult life.

Get over the idea that some words are better or worse than others. Words are wind. Sticks and stones may break your bones but words? Words cannot harm you.

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The Curse Of Machinery

If you have read my posts you should be familiar with my style, which I like to think of as an appropriate blend of truth, sarcasm & cynicism, with a sprinkle of humor. It’s the folks who aren’t familiar with my style for which I write the following:

Let me be abundantly clear. There is no curse of machinery. There is no curse of technology. We are being cynical when we use those terms.

As Henry Hazlitt brilliantly explained, technological progress is a basic goal of society. A cursory understanding of real economic theory is all we need to understand that progress benefits all.

Yet as we sit in the year 2015, a full forty-six years after man was (supposedly) put on the moon, we still live in a society where human “engineers” are in control of trains?! What? For real?! How is that possible? We just saw a tragic accident where an Amtrak train derailed and killed multiple people. The “engineer” in charge of the train was going 2x the speed he should have been when he hit a turn that caused the train to derail.

Do you know how many times a computer makes that mistake? Zero. Literally zero times.

How can we still allow human error to be such a negative factor in our lives? Society seems to shun technological progress for fear that allowing computers to control trains would put train drivers out of work, hence the fear of “the curse of machinery”.

This is belief is a harmful fallacy that can be explained and dismissed in just 3 minutes . Do yourself a favor and watch the video. Be smarter than you were a few minutes ago.

 

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The Blatant Hypocrisy Of Ohio Politicians

As we know, true freedom does not yet exist. You and I are not even in control of our own bodies let alone free human beings. Yet we often hear politicians talk about freedom this and freedom that.

The hypocrites.

Often times their hypocrisy can be masked, cleverly talked over or avoided. However what is currently underway in Ohio cannot be avoided. The lame men & women who run Ohio are criticizing the plan of Responsible Ohio to legalize cannabis throughout the state. Not because they don’t want to give the inherent right to use cannabis back to their “free” constituents but rather because Responsible Ohio’s plan is a cleverly disguised legal monopoly.

Previously I had written in support of Responsible Ohio’s campaign to legalize cannabis in Ohio, but presently I’ve been educated about the details of their campaign. Clearly a legal monopoly is not the best result for everyone, just for the people behind the monopoly. And I’m not the only one who understands this. In addition, legislation that legalizes cannabis MUST reverse prior convictions and get people out of steel cages and the plan offered up by Responsible Ohio does not.

Thanks to OTEP (Ohioans To End Prohibition), I’m wiser today than I was yesterday. That’s always a good thing.

Back to the hypocrite Ohio politicians. From quotes found on Cleveland.com, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine called legalizing cannabis “a stupid idea.” Secretary of State Jon Husted voiced an opinion against the plan and Auditor Dave Yost stated that ballot initiatives shouldn’t create monopolies.

Yet Ohio politicians like these granted a monopoly to two companies to run the states four casinos in a completely anti-free market, anti-competition manner. If you or I opened up a casino we could end up being forcibly placed in a steel cage. Think about that.

Yet, we are “free” people.

Then there’s the Ohio Automotive Dealers Association, a legal monopoly that politicians like DeWine, Husted & Yost allow to operate and to thrive in an anti-free market environment that they enjoy so much, they sued to keep Tesla out of Ohio. The hypocritical politicians who say they believe in freedom have made it so that Elon Musk, one of the world’s foremost innovators, isn’t allowed to sell you or I a vehicle without going through a dealership. If a dealer has to get paid, the dealer’s cut must come from somewhere…either at Tesla’s expense or the customer’s expense. Regardless it’s bad for you and I as customers as we end up paying more either way.

But, freedom?!

While Responsible Ohio may not be the answer to legal cannabis in Ohio, the hypocritical people who run Ohio are not the answer to anything. They have shown time and time again that they either do not understand true freedom or they do not care. Regardless, they need voted out and replaced with free market men & women who will reverse the culture of oppression that today’s leaders have created.

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Pelotonia 2015: One Goal = END CANCER!

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As you may know, I’m a big fan of Columbus’ grass roots bicycle riding campaign to end cancer, Pelotonia.

2015 will be the fourth consecutive year of what I hope are many more years to come that I am able to ride in & support the cause.

In the previous three years, your generosity has helped us raise thousands of dollars towards the millions that have cumulatively been donated.

Thank you very much!!

If you can, please consider donating to this years campaign. I’ve committed to raising at least $1,250, but I’d like to crush that goal and set a new personal record!

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Our magic # is $1,636 – can YOU step up and help? Every bit helps. Whether you donate or not, please pass this link along to as many of your friends and family as you can. If everyone donates $25 and gets two others to do the same, we’ll raise thousands in no time! Click here to donate to my campaign or copy this link: [https://www.mypelotonia.org/riders_profile.jsp?MemberID=183315] to send to your friends and family! Thank you so much!!

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First Trip To The Masters At Augusta National Golf Club

The 2015 Masters tournament was my first of hopefully many visits to Augusta National Golf Club. Continuing to run well in random lotteries and jackpots, I was fortunate to win four tickets to the Monday practice round of April 6, 2015. Along with my sister & parents, I enjoyed a day that is hard to put in to words. So hard, in fact, that I’m not even going to try to do so other than to say that walking in, I was not in tears but I was overwhelmed to the point that for just a second, I thought I may have an anxiety attack. The feeling soon turned to one of awe, reverence & excitement as we spent the next 10 hours traversing every square inch of Augusta National Golf Club.

For any golf fan, let alone a fan as big as myself, the Masters at Augusta National is quite literally the #1 experience in all of golf. With this expectation in mind, I was still blown away. My expectations were exceeded in every way, shape and form. Suggestions for first time visitors to the Masters would be to get there early, bring a smile and bring your pocketbook. While the tales of food & beverage being as cheap as can be are certainly true (see pics), the golf shop can entice even the most prudent of shoppers to spend hundreds of dollars or more. After all, the golf shop at the Masters is the only place to buy first hand, brand-new items that bear the iconic Masters logo.

Below are just a sampling of the 600+ photos I took on April 6, 2015 at Augusta National. While we were not lucky enough to see Sir Nick Faldo, we did see Tiger Woods! I hope that you get to enjoy the course in person as I have – it’s truly a unique & uplifting experience that is not paralleled anywhere on Earth.

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Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Just a small sampling of hats

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The Golf Shop @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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As happy as I can be!

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A delicious ice cream sandwich, Georgia Peach, the Masters

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The food menu @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Pimento cheese?! Yes, please! #Masters

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With my family @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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#Masters #selfie, Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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#16 @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Tiger Woods @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Tiger Woods @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Tiger Woods @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Pine needles, Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Founders Circle @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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With my family at Founders Circle, Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015

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Just a small sampling of items I bought at the golf shop @ the Masters!

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Of course my #Masters hat got its own bin at airport security

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Tiger Woods @ Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters, April 6, 2015, photo by C. Ryan Fightmaster

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