Monthly Archives: April 2012

Reverse Peer Pressure ( Or Why I Drank Last Weekend )

Ladies and gentlemen, I have an annoucement to make: I broke my no year without drinking this weekend just gone and to be quite honest, I’m not all too bothered that I did.

‘ But Adrian! How could you!? You were determined to go through with this!? What happened!? You’re such a cop – out! Traitor! ‘ OK, calm down. This post is to explain my reason why I decided to break it. It ends up being a bit more complex than me just deciding to ‘ screw it, let’s get drunk! ‘

Anyway, as you know, I am fighting game player. This weekend just gone ( 13th – 15th April ) I was in Dublin to partipate in the biggest fighting game tournament of the year in Ireland. Now, I had actually said that I intended not to drink while I was up there and was determined to stick to my guns. However, something can up that took my surprise and caused me to changed to my mind.

I was in the Irish Fighting Game Community chat room a last week and the topic about the weekend came up. I mentioned that I was intending to stay off the booze and when asked why, I explained that it was a personal goal and that I had an audience that I didn’t want to let down if I did drink.

However, what took me by surprise is the fact that while it’s not clear what exactly was said but what was spoken of got me seriously thinking about it to the point I had to braindstorm and do some journalling about it. The conclusion I came to was that it was in fact, a form of peer pressure I was under.

This isn’t the classic direct peer pressure. It was more subtle than that. I felt that if I broke this challenge, I would have let my audience down. HOWEVER, at the same time, I also felt if I stuck to my guns too rigidly, than I might not enjoy the night out and that I would end up feeling sorry for myself. You see, I’ve had problems with being too stubborn in the past and when I was journalling all this, some words of wisdom that a friend from secondary school echoed through my head in regards to my stubborn, rigid nature: ‘ Adrian, there is no point is staying at home all the time, feeling sorry for yourself. ‘

Another fact is that I probably won’t be up in Dublin again before I go to Oz so that could be the last time I see many of those guys before I leave – which also added the idea in that what would be point in being a party popper just for the sake of a goal that in reality, not many people know about? Why should I feel like I am making myself suffer for the sake of what is really a personal goal?

Also an aspect worth noting is that from my journalling, my fear of letting down the audience also led me to rather alarming conclusion: I didn’t want to let anyone down because I was afriad of offending someone! That is what it boiled down to! I was scared someone would take offence! This floored me and helped me realize that I wasn’t making my own decisions, I was letting others ( however indirectly ) make my decisions for me and I was to be frank… rather angry with myself at that.

In fact, my fear of offending others effects other areas of my life. Be it that I don’t want to chat up those girls, I might end up offending them with my advances, I can’t say no to something otherwise I’ll offend the person / people who asked me. Basically, I was a doormat and a yes man and that wasn’t pretty at all, to say the least.

Now granted, I did not make this decision lightly or spontaneously. I thought this over and decided to make an exception for the weekend just gone. I plan on being dry for the rest of the year now. It’s good to know that something good came from all this from me personally. I know myself better and am now becoming more unoffendable and that, if you ask me, is a good thing.

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Toastmasters – My Prospective

I have used some of the text that was Toastmaster speeches in some posts on this blog but some of you may be wondering ‘ What the hell is Toastmasters!? Is it something where people make toasts!? ‘ That is what I thought myself when I first heard about it when I was 20! More seriously, though. Toastmasters is according to the official website;

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations.

So the general gist is that Toastmasters is about making people better public speakers and leaders. What motivated me to join? Well, the big reason for me was to help me come out of my shell as I believed that by doing this would have a knock on effect in other areas of my life. That and given the current economic climate, I needed something to keep me sane while I save my for upcoming travel adventures!

I have being in Toastmasters for just under a year now, having officially joined last May ( 2011. ) I gave my first speech in June just before the summer break. I then gave my second speech the first meeting back in August and since then, have being doing one speech a month at least since then as a goal I set for myself was to complete the Competent Communicator ( CC ) manual by the end of the current season. I will be doing stage 8 out of 10 this week. I guess I started a momentum and just didn’t stop.

As for my experience so far. It’s being of great benefit to me. Even between speeches, I have made a lot of progress – from bumbling and apologizing to being able to quite confidently speak in front of an audience and I’m not even done the CC manual yet. I have also met some great people, all of whom are there to help me and guide me along the way, a favour I hope I am returning to people who have joined the club since I did.

I’ve also noticed it having some knock on effects in other areas of my life. I feel like I want to be more honest, more expressive about things. Before, I was more reserved. Now, not so much. I also feel I that I’ve have some talent for theatrics that I haven’t tapped because frankly, they were ignored because I simply never got the chance to really shine with them. Maybe acting is something I should look into?

So, should you join Toastmasters? Well, if you are looking for something that will help boost you’re confidence and open you’re mind, then it is definitely something you should look into. I don’t regret joining so what is stopping you? Just look for Toastmasters meetings in your area and just go ( I went to first meeting literally within an hour of looking the details about my local club online. ) You won’t regret it, promise. 🙂

I’m Clueless

To be brutally honest, I can be clueless at the best of times. You can say that life is like an improvisation. You make up as you go along, hoping for the best. The reality is we generally have no idea what we are doing.

Is this a bad thing? Not really. Being clueless means we have to seek solutions to our problems so that we’ll be less clueless next time. I know I’m less clueless on many things than what I was even last year. I’m still clueless in many things and will just improvise my way through things to make myself less clueless.

That is life, so they say. Be clueless, it’s more adventourous.