20 January 2008

The Time is Nigh for some Self Improvement

Another year under my belt. A little older, yes; but a little wiser?

My birthday being so close to New Year's, it's always been a good time to stop and look at the bigger picture. While I'm stopping and looking I figured it'd also be a good time to ask for some help in becoming a better person.

And what better path to personal growth than stealing ideas from other blogs? If you could take five minutes to leave an anonymous comment for me, I would be ever so terribly grateful.

Good thing, Bad thing

Knowing that you, my friends and family, all love and accept me 100% the way I am now, I'm asking you to leave a brief little comment with one good thing you really like about me and one bad thing you don't like. –"Don't like" is of course much too harsh, but "Good thing, Constructive criticism thing" isn't a very snappy name. No need to beat around the bush; my feelings won't be hurt.

I feel it's important see the difference in perception between how you see yourself and how others see you. The things I don't like about myself might be completely irrelevant to others. Other things I do like about myself might not even be on the radar. People may see merits where I saw faults. The point is I'll never know until I ask.

So fire away. Shoot from the hip. No holds barred. Etcetera and so forth.

Merci beaucoup!


Anonymous said...

"We can never see through another's eyes, though we may try to walk in his shoes".

Tokyo Tintin said...

Ah, too true Anonymous #1.

The only difference is in the mind. The world we percieve is but an illusion.

That said, any praise/criticism you might offer would be well recieved.

Anonymous said...

someone obviously hasn't read 'the secret'. let's stay positive, shall we? therefore, i'll post two positive things that spring to mind.
1) you have an amazing ability to unit people. you are the uniter.

2) you parallel great storytellers. you're good, real good. you have a gift my friend.

Anonymous said...

This is such a good idea....

1. You're incredibly witty, and hilariously funny. The things you say and the way you say them have left me laughing for years. You've got a sort of dry sense of humor that's perfect.

2. Some of your friends are jerks, and incredibly mean to other people and I cant quite grasp how you would choose to remain to be friends with them.

Tokyo Tintin said...

Thank you Anonymous #2.

But I have seen the The Secrect and I want the Universe to say something negative about me god damn it!

The constructive criticism part is just as important as the praise part of the exercise. The criticism I'm asking for isn't hurtful; it's helpful.

We all have room to grow, but of course my point of view on the situation is skewed. That's why I need an outside vantage point. And that's where you come in.

Don't feel bad saying something like "Your breath smells bad" or "I hate your chicken pot pie" or "You're a lying, two-faced pig-dog." If that's what you really want me to know, I'll be happy to hear it. I'll work towards fixing those things, and even find a new chicken pot pie recipe. The point is, I will never ever know these things unless someone tells me.

So please, feel free. Negativity ahoy!

Tokyo Tintin said...

Anonymous #3-

Thank you. To be truely honest, I had never really thought about it from that perspective.

A point for further consideration indeed.

Anonymous said...

+ you're like, um, way smart

- you need to talk more. ive see you at a party and literally not talk for 30 minutes. not that you were having a bad time, but just sitting and listening recording everything in your steel trap brain to use against us at a later date lol

love ya!

Anonymous said...

Not carrying around negative and wasteful thoughts keeps me free from both mental and physical tiredness. (Easier said than done I know!)

Tokyo Tintin said...

Anonymous #4-

Thank you. Not talking: this is something I definately recognise in myself, but let it be known that I am working on it. I used to be even more shy, if that's to be believed. You saw me not talk for 30 minutes? I used to be able to do that for hours! I guess it's the by-product of being an English teacher in Japan, where my job consisted of talking to people all day long!

Anonymous #5-

Good for you. Negative chi is bad for your feng shui.

That said, I'm not really looking for negativity, I'm looking for ways to improve. Anon#4's comment wasn't negative at all. It was constructive, which just what the doctor ordered.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'll chime in as Anonymous #6 - but three for the price of one:

1) a] You know things - about world events, about geography, about cultural artefacts, and about your friends. I guess this goes back to an innate curiosity and knowledge-acquisition skillz that is most impressive and most complementary.

1) b] Anonymous #2 couldn't have put it better - you are a uniter.

1) c] You're really quite stylish - and its the little things (shorty shorts, a fine tie, a cute little medallion) that make the man.


2) a] Building on the no-talking thing discussed: you are particularly quiet (which can come across as uninterested) when in a group of friends' friends. Our friends are your friends and they'll love ya, trust us.

2) b] You're a very sexual person, and have an air of freedom about it that is both refreshing and at times aggressive. Try to be more aware of other people's inter-relationships in this regard.

2) c] As a complement to 1c, I'd just like to say that your stylishness can get a tad... whimsical. Let's avoid the sleeveless green shirt and gino hair, hm? (Otherwise you are golden and consistently chic.)

p.s. we adore you

Tokyo Tintin said...

Anonymous #6-

Thank you
Thank you
Thank you.


2a - I'm working on it. (And do realise that my quietness often comes off as bitchy and aloof). I guess a point for further consideration is the why? of my quietness. It'd be easy to blame on being an only child, but I'm sure there's more to it than that.

2b - I guess I am kind of a, um, libertine. But I've never been concious that I was stepping on other peoples' toes about it. –Oooh, does that make me a hedonist? More points for consideration. Yeay!

2c - Oh I know! You should see some of the things I try on before I leave the house. Yikes. But honestly, if I don't push the envelope, who the hell else is going to?

p.s. I adore you, Anonymous 1 though 5, and all my friends!

Anonymous said...

+ ... You are very easy to be friends with, and you treat your friends like gold.

- ... The very existence of this blog post smacks of narcissism. Discuss.

Anonymous said...

+) your sense of humour(both written and verbal), your unwavering loyalty and yes, your sartorial choices (i can't believe someone didn't appreciate the cut off green shirt! love it!) are quintessentially Dan.
-) i've gotta back up the occasional jerky friend thing. I've often scratched my head wondering why you give certain people the time of day. they don't reflect any facet of you that i know and they piss off those of us who love you and know you best.

and yes this exercise is a little narcissistic in theory but i think all of us are narcissists to some degree. also, knowing you i can see the reason for doing this and think it's a positive thing;)

Anonymous said...

1) you are generally wonderful and a delight to know

2) you live too far way dammnit, now if i could just remove my mask of secrecy you would know where you have to live to satisfy me!

in response to other points made, while you may be quiet ive never considered it aloof, although i could see how people might think that if they weren't given to silence themselves.

You may have the occasional attack of the jerk friend but i also think that you give people every opportunity to show their good sides before you formulate your opinions on their character so that in itself can also be a positive. I'm sure many people behave like a jerk for reasons unknown to others and would love someone (as lovely as you) to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Tokyo Tintin said...

Anonymous #7-

Thank you. My friends treat me like gold, so it's easy.

I would have just as happily called the exercise "Bad thing" and have people leave only criticism, but I think it would be even less palpable to most people. Is narcissism a factor in my life ex-blogosphere? -A point for further consideration indeed.

Anonymous #8-

Thank you. As I mentioned, I'd never thought about the friend thing from a different perspective. I was always seeing myself as the middle person on a line between the two others, rather than as one vertex in a triangle. The consideration is much in this arena.

Anonymous #9-

Thank you. I would just as happily be living somewhere not so far away at the moment if it meant no more dealing with French bureaucracy or French education systems! Paris is beautiful, but a point for further consideration; what am I bloody doing here?

Anonymous said...

for me, +/- is all a matter of perspective. i like your quiet moments and your whimsical fashions, dan. i love your laugh and your smile. please, more of all of the above.

i think the only things you need to change are the things that you yourself feel compelled to change. feel free to share with us your thoughts/feelings any time, any place.

Tokyo Tintin said...

Anonymous #10-

Thank you. An interesting take on this endeavour. That said, of course I should change the things I want to change. However, I can't always know that I want to change something unless I'm aware of it (hence this exercise).

It's not always easy to change something, even if you want to. For example; it's been a very long time I've been aware of my quiet/aloof thing (uh, like my whole life), but it took being an English monkey for four years to see any improvement in that area. Big groups still are a weak spot (i.e. above-mentioned party situation), but am working on it.

Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

I love that you're your own person.

I don't like that you might stop being that in the name of "self-improvement." I know that's not your intention in this but it's what I want to say anyway.

Tokyo Tintin said...

Anonymous #11-

Thank you.

I appreciate you concern. I don't feel that trying to be a better person will make me a different person. Or will it? If I talk more, will I be less me? A point for further consideration.

Anonymous said...

Jerk friends! Ha! How funny.

The best thing about Dan, aside from his fabulousness, is that he goes for it. He follows his dreams. If he has an idea, he makes it happen, he can develop and execute a plan. He's sees and does it all. He will see the world while the rest of us are clipping our toenails. He can tough out bad situations (including work situations) and not be deterred by bullshit. Most people cannot do this, which is why Dan is the envy of all his jerk friends. As I find this to be an extremely rare human quality, I highlight it here.

One area for improvement: Dan has been known to be a cranky bastard. Living in France will not assist you in this regard. Also, you need to develop a greater sense of silly. I feel like you were once sillier, and now have become more serious, which nobody likes. Well maybe serious people. More silliness please. Gags, antics, follies -- all in the name of self-improvement.

Tokyo Tintin said...

Anonymous #12-

Thank you. I've never thought about the ability to pick up and do something you want to do as any kind of special skill. Really this is something inside everyone. All it takes is wanting to make it happen (see, it really is all about The Secret!)

Cranky: you're right, being in France will not help in this regard. The people here are nothing if not cantankerous.

Not enought silly: you are entirely right and I never even realised. Immediate steps to rectify this are in order. In fact, I'm wearing a lampshade on my head right now.

Tokyo Tintin said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for everyone who commented. I'm very excited about some of the things that were said - a lot of which was completely unexpected, but entirely true. This is awesome since it is exactly what I was looking for!

Things to think on for TT version XXVIII:
₪ More silly (gags, antics, follies - maybe I should return porn to Blockbuster again, just to see what happens...)
₪ Less crankiness
₪ More talking; be more engaged/engaging
₪ Increased awareness of the interpersonal dynamics of others
₪ Move closer to Anonymous # 9 (difficult since I don't know where they happen to be, but am toying with the idea of going to Japan for the summer and/or going back to Toronto. We shall see...)

I need to give more consideration to my fashion wimsy and libertine morals before taking action on those.

Thanks again to all of my friends for being such amazing and wonderful people. I love all y'all!

Anonymous said...

I've been a little behind on my blog-reading lately. But I figure, better late than never, right? :)

1) You are the kind of person that people gravitate towards. As someone who lost touch with you years ago, I found I was always keeping my eyes open, for any chance that our paths might cross again. You have a charisma, a "Pierre Trudeau je-ne-sais-quoi" about you. It's magnetic.

2) In keeping with number 1, you are an easy person to lose touch with, as you seem to always be on the move. I have to agree with Anonymous #9. Now that we're both on FB, i'm going to try to do my best not to let past mistakes repeat themselves. Though, it would be easier if you were to live much closer! :)

Tokyo Tintin said...

Anonymous 13-

Thanks. Pierre-Trudeau-esque? He's a personal hero, so I'm way flattered.

As for the moving around, I do make a concerted effort to keep in touch with people, but it's hard when in three years you move to three different continents! But now with Facebook, we'll never loose touch with anyone ever again!

Yeay FB!