The Night I don’t want this night to end Floating in oblivion I want night to last forever Why must we wake up? It’s as if the night is there just to tease us Only a short reprieve from torturous day Dreams blind us from what awaits when we wake I want this night to stay and comfort me in its eternal blackness The sun’s beams like a monster peeking from behind the closet door Spend day waiting for night’s warm embrace Bringing comfort and protection from all that exists Anonymity at last But don’t let it fool you Night is day disguised Unveiling its true identity come dusk Falling asleep into an inviting void A dimension beyond our four Together we go interstellar The night doesn’t care about your successes or failures Good night Sleep tight
How To Meet People
written by Cameron Brtnik
T0P 5: How To Meet People
Let’s see, what to do today… Go to work? Check. Pick up groceries on the way home? Check. Make dinner and put the kids to bed? Check. Read at least one page of that book I’ve had on the go for six months now… Sleep. Where in this whirlwind schedule of yours did you make time to meet people?
It seems the “art of meeting people” is lost on us. We’re too busy staring at our glowing, soothing screens (I know I know cliche, but also true). Too busy planning our artful escape off the elevator full of sweaty people we spent the entire ride trying not to make eye contact with. Too busy worrying about our home lives: I gotta talk to the husband, I can see Sophie’s going through some issues, when’s the last time I saw the dentist? Internal monologue that really wears us down mentally and physically. “Outside people” are seen as a threat to our own existence: “Don’t talk to me bub or you’ll screw up my mental grocery list.” But you know what’s fun? Getting outside your thoughts, and striking an “uncomfortable” conversation with your worried-looking neighbour in the elevator. Also chatting with that person behind you in the line at the grocery store as you’re paying for your Coffee Crisp. I guarantee at least one of you will leave the conversation feeling better about the world.
Without further ado, here’s my Top 5 Techniques on “How To Meet People and Break The Ice!” (or HTMPABTI)
Bonus: How to Remember a Name
- Repeat their name at least four times throughout the conversation.
- Think of a person you know with the same name who has a similar personality or hobby.
- Rhyme their name with something you’ll remember ie. Mike likes to hike, Suzy likes to drink boozy…
My Reading List:
- The Game by Neil Strauss (Don’t knock it till you read it! Useful for men and women)
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Cameron is a freelance writer based in Toronto and a passionate advocate of meeting strangers cbrtnik.com
1 – The Two Minute Rule – Whatever can be done in two minutes, do it right away! This has helped me Get Shit Done more than any other technique on this list, so if you take anything away, it’s this. I get the thing done right away and feel good about my “mini achievement.” And most importantly, have not added to the pile of “things to do” like a perpetual game of Jenga.
2 – Hold Yourself Accountable – Find an Accountability Buddy – someone who will hold you accountable if you don’t finish the task on time. This “motivational coach” basically acts as a boss who expects the job done by an agreed upon deadline. They may even help you complete your task, which is okay – there’s no rulebook to completing something, only that you get it done!
3 – FOLD (Fear Of Letting someone Down) – Similar to having an Accountability Buddy, if you committed to completing a project for someone, especially a friend or colleague, FOLD or “the Fear Of Letting Someone Down” forces you to complete that task. But don’t take on more than you know you can handle as that can have counterproductive effects.
4 – Under Pressure: Positive Procrastination – The old “leave it to the last day” pressure tactic has worked miracles for me. Back in high school, I often left assignments till the morning of. But come the “day of reckoning,” I forced myself to get up early, crack down, and whip out some of my best work. *Note: I don’t recommend using this one too much as it can physically and mentally burn you out.
5 – Double-Down – Are you willing to put money on that? If there is a sum of money riding on the outcome, this is often a strong motivator in completing a task by the due date. Think about a game of Poker: how motivated are you when you’re not playing for money? Do you care if you win or lose? Now put five bucks on the game and see if you don’t care. Now raise a hundred.
6 – Check Please – Write the tasks on your To-do Lists next to a checkbox (I recommend using the Evernote app as it has great features and your notes save in the cloud…whatever that is). As you go through your list and check that shit off, it feels good. And at the end of the day, you can lay back and stare at all those checked boxes and bask in the glory of success.
7 – Copy & Paste – When you’re cringing at the thought of checking your email, here’s a psychological rouse I created that’s helped me: Copy and paste messages into another app like Word or Evernote, read and write your reply in the app, then copy and paste it back into your email. This seemingly pointless work-around has helped me get over what I call WAS or “Work Avoidance Syndrome.” Psychologically, like doing work at a cafe, it can make menial tasks easier to complete. Try it and see if it works for you!* (*or your money back guaranteed! Now please send me money.)
8 – Set A Schedule – Set up a recurrent schedule to force you to Get Shit Done! For example, if you want to send out an email every month, make a phone call once a week or a text once a day, setting up an “auto-schedule” gets rid of the all the stress. Think of your favourite Youtuber or podcaster. They post content monthly, weekly or even daily or risk losing their fanbase (not to mention their sponsors). I find it inspiring to listen to a comedian like Bill Burr who posts his podcast not once, but twice a week! And he’s a self-proclaimed lazy buffoon. Now do you feel lazy?
9 – Chill Out – Listen to a “chillout playlist” on your headphones or in the background while working. This will calm and relax you, and put you in the right headspace to focus on your work. I recommend throwing on some Lofi Chill or any “study playlist” on Spotify.
10 – Celebrate the Good Times – The relief you feel when you finally finish that long-lingering project will be like getting a monkey off your back. You’ll feel free from the self-imposed oppression and guilt of not getting shit done, which means it’s time to celebrate with a (insert favourite drink here), lay back and marvel at how smart you are. Now go out there and Get Shit Done!
Morning Commute Tin snake, barely awake, twisted tunnels, pushed and funnelled, crammed in, tuna can, sea of frowns, furrowed brows, claustrophobic, body frozen, anxiety, stranger eyeing me, death stare, vacant glare, guy's sweaty, eyes heavy, morning breath, feel like death, faces glued to hand devices deathly afraid to look up for they may accidentally make eye contact: phone screens, Kindle screens, sudoku screens, newspaper screens, delay announcement, PA shouting, confused expressions, rising tension, gonna be late shit, won't make it, gonna be fired, brain is tired, missing my test, gonna get an F, Finch Station, arrived at my destination... A sigh of relief, now do it again five days a week
How To Throw a Good Party This Summer
written by Cameron Brtnik
“Make it a Potluck”
Cameron is a freelance writer based in Toronto and part-time party planner cbrtnik.com
Starbucks I don’t even recognize this world around me. How am I supposed to be productive? Maneuvering on an unstable rock, an unknown planet, through an ever-evolving galaxy… Staring at the unfamiliar person across from me at a Starbucks, one of many, not special, drinking brown water, trying to find the inspiration at the bottom of the cup… Multiple unimportant conversations fill the space around me, fleeting moments in a day that blends into the next, any other day really, not special, they’ve all been repeated before... People pretending to be busy, all the while thinking the same thoughts as me, feeling the same feelings, experiencing the same sense of dread… Some people staring off into the distance, waiting for a reply on their phone, waiting for their partner to join them, waiting for an email, for a response, any response, waiting, always waiting… We are our gadgets and our gadgets are us. Coffee, Cappuccino, Americano, Chai Latte, Cold Brew, Iced Tea, Frappuccino, down the hatch, feeling wired, feeling tired, feeling happy, feeling sad, feeling hope, feeling hopeless... Just another day at Starbucks.