(Simple Title art)
Reader Note: If you are just catching on, each Thursday we’re are doing a chapter each week of a book I’m writing for Millennials – teaching the insights that will (hopefully!) allow them to live long and prosper – and be around to clean up after us Old People who made a mess of getting civilization this far.
There are three sections to each chapter. Something you can read to children, a general reader part, and the advanced/business section.
Here’s where the book has explored so far:
We established in the first chapter that there is RECIPE for everything we do.
Chapter 2 involved understanding (and owning) PROCESSES.
Chapter 3 discusses recipes and processes of INVENTION.
Chapter 4 looked at FLOW The reason we do management reports is so we can spot problems and head them off at the pass.
Chapter 5 considered “WORLDVIEW” and how that “place we stand in our minds” determines what happens in the strange land “outside our heads.”
Chapter 6 focused on “TRAVEL” and considers the importance of travel as a way to more deeply understand worldviews since people with similar problems will come up with surprisingly different answers to the problems of Life…
In Chapter 7 “Matrix 512” is discussed as a unique way of keeping your worldview consistent and how to use it as a tool for clarified thinking in an every increasingly complex world.
In Chapter 8 we discussed the keyword “MAKE” and how it is that what we produce really is a large measure of our value in the world. Being natural DIY’ers, humans love their tools and what they can “make” with them…
Chapter 9 discussed the the LIFESTYLE tradeoffs we make when a certain lifestyle is chosen for one’s time on Earth. What, after all, is “living well?”
Chapter 10 considered our PURPOSE in Life. And in the process, we found the recipe for plugging into unlimited energy for those lucky enough to have their attention totally arrested by a great purpose in Life.
Last week we began to wind up the series (and book) by looking into one of the most important aspects of all: EXECUTION (Doing).
Today we ‘finish ‘er off’ by considering [keyword: Mating]. Do we or don’t we?
For All Readers
Little John was becoming a bit concerned about Tom the Baker and Head of the Royal Kitchens.
He was working tremendously long hours and constantly coming up with new recipes and processes which kept the King happy, but occasionally he would become tired as all workaholics will. When this happened, Tom would sometimes snap at the staff.
He wasn’t abusive, but he was gruff and that set other people on edge.
When it was announced that the King would be going to a neighboring kingdom for a week of state visits, Little John came up with an idea.
“Say, Tom: With the King out of town for a while, Maid Marion and I were going to invite you over for some Sherwood Forest-style barbeque on Friday night. Some glasses of mead and darts, too, if you’d like. Doesn’t that sound like fun? ”
Tom the Baker was taken by surprise. He hadn’t expected to be invited over to Little John’s home and he wasn’t sure how to respond. Tom liked his surprises planned.
“OK, I’m usually so busy with the Kitchens that I feel like I’ve forgotten how to be social. But sure, I’ll come. What time?”
“Marion usually likes to eat around six, so five-thirty would be great. Are you bringing anyone?”
Oh-oh! Suddenly Tom felt perplexed. “No, you invited me…I don’t know anyone….”
“YOU WHAT???” Little John’s voice boomed and then he caught himself and toned it down a bit. “A King’s career Kitchen Boss like you? Why you must know that every woman in the Kingdom would love a man to cook once in a while. Especially a front-burner rock star!”
“Well, I know who they might be and all, but I’ve never asked anyone out before. And coming over to your place would be like asking someone…you know…on a date!”
“Well, duh, Tom. I don’t mean to get personal here, but do you think if you had a little more social life you’d be happier?”
“I hadn’t thought about it, Little John. Too busy. The King keeps me busy all the time and it just seems like a relationship would….oh, you know…get in the way of get in the way of my career.”
Little John’s look softened. He understood that Tom’s life had been terribly busy what with his traveling all over the world looking for new foods and ingredients, plus ways to cook them. It would be terrible to be in a relationship and not be able to spend lots of time together – because that’s what people in relationships do.
“I’ll tell you what, Maid Marion is really good at understanding these kinds of things…and she will be here in a while, bringing me some fresh coffee…”
“Why would she do that, Little John?” Tom was really confused by this. “We have the finest coffees from all over the world…and the King has made it clear that we are to help ourselves to coffees and teas any time we want. So why would she bring it? And even more, why would you let her?”
Little John smiled. “I think you are a hermit Tom and this may be hard for you to follow, but have you ever been in a really good relationship? People do nice things for one another because they like to. Marion knows I can get better coffee than hers, but she also knows that the “secret ingredient” to the Happy Little John recipe isn’t the coffee beans we use: It’s HER – MAID MARION man. Can’t you see how this works?”
Tom the Baker shook his head sadly. “No, I have never had any luck in relationships.”
“My Marion will fix you up straight-away, Tom,” Little John reassured him.
An hour, or so passed and Maid Marion, as promised appeared with a double-shot Americano tall with a shake for Little John. Even Tom the Baker was impressed with her presentation.
It wasn’t just the coffee, you see: It was Marion. She was totally attentive to Little John. Why from the moment she entered the Kitchen building, their eyes never left one-another. They were not so much smiling at one another so much as glowing toward one another.
Glow is a hard thing to explain, but once you feel it, you’ll never want to let it go.
After several rounds of hugging, a few kisses, and of course, drinking their coffees, Marion’s expression turned serious, Tom noticed. She nodded her head a few times and then looked in Tom’s direction.
Seeing Tom, she smiled and waved and without thinking, Tom smiled back and waved at her. Yes, Tom thought, she is a beautiful woman, indeed as he sat in his Kitchen Office watching the couple. A cheerful, to boot.
Presently, Marion stood up and came over to Tom’s office door and knocked.
“Do you have a moment, Tom?”
“Sure, come on in, Maid Marion. I wanted to compliment you on how happy you have made Little John. Since he met you, and you two married, he’s been the best person in the Kitchen. Why, some days he’s better than me. How are the kids?”
“Oh, they’re fine. Little John tells me you’re coming over Friday night but don’t have anyone to bring…is that right?”
“Well, as I told your husband, I’ve never been very good at relationships. Kitchen work just came easier, if you know what I mean?”
“We know lots of young eligible ladies, Tom, and perhaps one of them would be interested in coming over. Tell me…what sort of relationship are you interested in?”
“Gosh, Marion, I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it that way. You mean like what are the ingredients I’m looking for?”
“Yes, that’s it Tom. What ingredients would the perfect date recipe have for you?”
“Hmmm… well, I’d like a woman who is good looking, physically fit, intelligent, well-traveled, a college degree would be nice, uh..athletic, a good cook – that one goes without saying. And I’d like her to be totally loyal, play chess, and likes to detail cars and go fishing….”
“What about hobbies besides fishing?”
“Oh, I can do just about everything, so pretty open there. But I like good straight teeth and a ready smile. No shrew-like voice and a nice even temperament….”
“Let me give you some choices. One of the young ladies I was thinking of is named Prunella. She got her name because she used to steal from a plum tree owned by a wicked witch. One day she was caught and grew up as the witches captive. Finally, one day at the market, she met a social worker who started legal action against the witch for kidnapping and Prunella not only got a great settlement, but she also now owns the largest plum orchard in the region. How does she sound?”
“No. Too much Plum craziness for me. It doesn’t sound like someone I’d be interested in. I mean think about it Marion, she had started to steal at a very young age. Why should I believe she’s over that “bad behavior” part of life? Especially now that she has money and freedom. Might be too wild for me…”
“Little John didn’t think she’d be your type either, so he suggested this woman named Rapunzel he knows.”
“What’s her deal,” Tom asked.
“Her parents were a real pair. He dad was a thief who stole rapunzel plants – it’s a kind of weed – and the mom got hooked on it. Must have done something to the parents to name a child after the weed, but she is called Rapunzel, though. You’ve never seen anyone with so much hair. OMG it’s phenomenal hair. It must be 15-feet long if it’s an inch. The only downside I can see to her – she’s drop-dead gorgeous – is that she spends a couple of hours a day grooming her hair. A couple of times a week she has to wash it, too, and that’s an all-day deal. Needs a swimming pool, so she goes to the Y.”
Tom shook his head. “Marion, do you think she could cut off her hair?”
“No…that’s her schtick. Never…see? That’s what I told Little John. Besides, she used to date Robin Hood for a while, too…the creep.”
“I’m sure she’d be OK with the hair, but I run Kitchens and remember even Little John and I have to wear hair nets. King’s got a thing about hair in his food. So I think she’s off the list…got anyone else?”
“We do have this one friend – really cute – who works for a podiatrist. Wears glass slippers – you gotta know he’s weird, right? Anyway her name is Cindy Rella and she’s cute, has the college degree but you don’t want to mess with his sisters – terrible women.”
“Say, she sounds pretty good…” Just as Tom spoke, Maid Marion held up her hand.
“Wait, I just remembered. How do you feel about mice and pumpkins?”
“Hate mice…pumpkins are good though.”
“Yeah, well Cindy thinks the mice are horses and she’s said some weird stuff about pumpkins making a fine carriage last time she was over for drinks….so maybe she’s not a good candidate, either, Tom.”
“Maybe I need to come up with a more detailed recipe to find someone to bring,” Tom suggested.
“Maybe,” admitted Marion. “But L.J. and I know lots of people…give me a minute to think about it.”
Tom quietly nodded to her, encouraging her to go on. He had heard that the best source of introductions are friends.
“L.J. mentioned three other women you might be interested in. One’s named Goldilocks. Seemed nice enough and gave us a bear skin rug for Christmas last year.”
Tom frowned. “I don’t think humans should be killing animals for rugs,” he said. “Doesn’t sound quite right…bear meat is awful, too.”
“I’ve got it!!!” Maid Marion stood up. “Her name is Thumbelina and she’s from Denmark. Only thing is she’s really short.”
Tom the Baker was only 5-foot 6-inches so he naturally asked “How short is short?”
“Let’s just say she’s under five, but she used to be even shorter,” Maid Marion reassured him. “Besides, she has a wonderful accent and she loves to bake desserts.”
Tom could hardly wait until Friday.
But alas, when the big day came, Thumbelina had come down with the flu.
As he sat drinking mead with Little John and Marion after dinner, he announced he had devised a sure-fire way to find the perfect relationship.
“My newest Recipe! I based it on what the worm salesman told me about selling lots of worms,” he began.
“First you make a list of everyone in the Kingdom. Then you see who you might be interested in. Gardeners and Fishermen for him. Single ladies for me. After that, you contact every one of them and find out if they might be interested in you. If that part goes well, then you go out on a date. Then you get to the tricky part.”
“Tricky part?” asked Maid Marion.
“Oh yes. On the first date people must always agree to eat the very same food. That way if they have matching food, they will have matching breath. When I was researching my biggest discovery of all was that people who were happy all tended to eat the same foods as their partner.”
Maid Marion and Little John looked at each other then leaned forward and breathed on one another. Sure enough, it was just as Tom the Baker had suggested: Neither of them seemed to have bad breath.
Little John took another sip and then exclaimed “Tom, you have rocked it, dude. You have explained at last why some people seem to have very bad breath while others don’t. How much of a relationship do you think this accounts for?”
“I don’t know, Little John. I haven’t been in a relationship so how would I know. But people are animals and animals are all about smells and I think between brushing, flossing, mouth wash and eating the same food a lot more relationships would work out… Ever smell the breath up in the King’s chambers after we serve him roasted garlic and some of my bread? Yikes!”
Eventually, Tom found a mate…a dental hygienist and the ate happily the same thing, ever after.
For General Readers
I have been asked many times by others how to “Successfully Mate.”
It took me more than half a century to get it right.
The process – as in many management projects – begins with a Needs Analysis. This is followed by an implementation plan, and then a conventional “sales closing process.”
The biggest downfalls to mating tend – in my experience – to be honesty and communication.
The Needs Analysis
What are you looking for in a relationship? Everyone will have a different answer to this one. Some want someone to be “bling on the arm” while others are looking for a partner for a lifestyle (rural living and personal growth) while still others look for someone to travel with, attend school with, advance professionally…the list goes on and on.
I’ve been in a number of relationships prior to finding Mrs. Right (Elaine). Several of my friends asked me “How did you find her?”
The answer is two-fold.
I became very focused on what I wanted. I had a fairly decent income and I was willing to toss all that into the hopper and in return I wanted a wife who would participate in the crazy life I had in mind.
I remember on our second or third date saying “I am looking for an ideal mate who will be a part-time personal assistant. I can take care of the money end of things, but I need someone who can do all the things I can’t without cutting into business output.”
It wasn’t one-sided at all: In return there was a car, healthcare, money, time for personal pursuits, and a gym membership and…well, it was a good list.
Must be open to moving so I can advance my career was one of the “deal points” as well. Good thing I was up front about it: We’ve lived in Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Boca Raton, Burbank, rural East Texas, and well, maybe Arizona will come along. We’ll see.
We’d both been through enough crappy relationships that we both valued (top of the list) loyalty, honest, and being emotionally available.
You list may be different.
Because we’d been “tempered” by what didn’t work, we were blissfully able to articulate who we were as persons and what we wanted to accomplish in life and retirement.
It’s more complicated, of course, when two people have 60-hour a week professions. My personal experience is that with one 60-hour per week and one in the dilettante mode, it works out really well – or has for us.
Back to the Big Recipe? Sure. You need to literally meet everyone you can.
Elaine and I met at the Seattle Single Sailing Club in January of 2000. She wasn’t particularly interested in sailing (in the winter on Puget Sound, especially). But – and this was a HUGE plus – she was game for it if I was. Attitude and willingness are harder than you might think to track down.
It’s funny, too, it really was one of those things that I knew “OK, this is the one!” the minute she walked in the door with her friend Cindy. To this day I couldn’t remember what Cindy looked like… pleasant, blonde, but my attention was Arrested.
The “arrest of attention” is something I’m very big on being partly ADHD myself. My sense is that a lot of people who are in relationships and then begin to feel like running around, go down that path because they are just looking for a “new thrill.” Unable to articulate that to their partner, they go looking around for someone else on the theory that somehow the sex or companionship will be better. And it might be, but only for a few minutes.
Mostly, the really useful advice I learned from a wonderful woman some years back (even more of a workaholic than me) was “You can never get happiness out of Life unless you ask the people who can give it to you.”
Write that down on a card and keep it where you can see it. Whether it is renegotiating a grade in Accounting 605, or whether it’s popping through six-figures per year, you’ve got to ask the people who can give it to you.
When I was single (the second time) I observed a terribly interesting phenomena at the Top of the Hilton – which used to be the “bring your toothbrush singles hang out” in the 1970’s in Seattle.
A beautiful woman would come in, usually with a couple of friends (not as good looking) and they would sit down.
No one would get up and go over to talk to them.
Beautiful women scare the hell out of men, I noticed and so – being a problem solver – I decided NOT to be one of them.
After dating a fair number of (admittedly some gorgeous) women, I decided based on personal experience that what is on the inside is more important than what is on the outside. Some models are so full of themselves there is literally no room for anyone else in their life – so I leave the Ken and Barby stuff for you to sort out.
Point is, never be afraid to ask ANYONE to take part in exploratory conversation or to dance. The only way (as any gambler will confess) to Win Big is to Wager Big.
This is a very useful point in sales, too, which is to this day the easiest profession in life and it pays the most. Know why? Because most people can’t stand rejection. Amazing, isn’t it?
Moderately average old George got dates with gorgeous women because why? I DON’T FEAR REJECTION.
Look: Rejection doesn’t weigh anything if you don’t allow it too. Yet people hate sales – even when a good telesalesperson can pull down $50,000 and up in almost any economy – why? Fear of rejection.
Scripting is important, too.
I have a relative (who also had no fear of asking anyone out) whose opening line I saw him use once floored me. “Hi. Want to go for a mustache ride?”
He told me a couple of times he got a drink tossed in his face, but the vast majority of the time…well, let’s say risk-reward is real.
I was much more subtle. I’d use an opening line like “Hi, care to engage in trite and meaningless conversation with a stranger?” Backed by a warm smile, over half the time the answer was yes, and the rest “No, I’m waiting for my (fill in the blank) husband/ lover/ boyfriend/ girlfriend/ boss/ coworkers/ a birthday party. No drinks in the face. And you can do better, I’m sure.
It didn’t hurt that I’d been trained by some of the best sales professionals in the world, either.
“The script is good,” they would assure a roomful of telesales people. “Just stick to the script and you will close 23% of calls…”
They were right, too.
You can see where this is going, I’m sure. The main steps of Mating are the SALES steps. The rest is flossing and food matching.
- 4.Overcome Objections
- 5.And Close the deal
Not very romantic? What did Tina Turner teach us? (“What’s love got to do with it?”)
Mating is a sales program just like the little reptile selling car insurance. Just most people don’t know that.
You need lots of prospects. Since you only have one of you to sell, you get to be extremely picky. Here are the numbers: A man has 3.5 billion prospects. A woman has that many, too. Gay, straight, makes no difference. This is all a numbers racket and anyone who says otherwise is a fast-talking fool.
Numbers, numbers, numbers. (*Oh, don’t forget to share financial statements!)
Tinder? Craigslist? Little Nickel? Personals in the dating rags? Hell yes.
This is an ad campaign. Lead flow, lead flow, lead flow. Take you – the Product – to market in a Big Way.
If you only have one lead, the odds are 3.5 billion to 1 you will end up miserable. If you could sort through all 3.5 billion? You would be the happiest person on Earth because you have considered ALL the options and have picked the one that’s best for you.
Lead flow is not how we talk about dating usually. Often I hear people go “Well, I want a good Catholic girl,” or “I want a good Mormon husband…”
Fine. Process doesn’t respect lines, it still works. BUT it will take more effort. It might involve more travel, going to new groups, different cities, hell, even different states or countries. But the leads are there waiting to be worked.
Once I beat it into your head that Mating is like Shopping (only vastly more expensive to screw up) most of the usual sales process things fall into place.
Prospecting we covered.
Demonstrating is anything from dinners and snuggling to living together and overcoming objections – well, that falls out of living together.
The close is where you need to pay 100% attention.
Try to make a list of everything you want in your life on into your 90’s. Then have your intended do the same list.
Share the lists – what you agree on is how your life will roll.
Then do a prenup. These are important for young and old alike. Preferably (if you can handle the stress) even work out whether you’re going to have a family together because – if you do that – you will need to have that stuff off the table, too.
Then set a date and stick to it.
Other ground rules: In a marriage both partners have all the passwords. If not, there are secrets presumed. If secrets presumed, then distrust follows. If distrust then misbehavior and then…. Well, just keep it an “open books marriage” and no problems.
If you want to have a secret porn account? What the hell did you get married for? You partner IS your fantasy, dammit. If not, you weren’t honest with them or yourself.
I could go on about this, but I doubt you would believe me (or you’d tear your hair out going “TMI!”). But a well-chosen partner should be able to deliver on the fantasy as well as Reality side and if you didn’t work this into your “sales process” for mating, your bad. Change it.
This process seems to work for either/both/whatever sexes, too. Don’t be afraid to improvise and improve and revise it, though. Make it work with the person you want to be.
Each of us has an Observer state in our heads.
When you wake up in the morning and you don’t feel well, who is the little voice saying “George you don’t feel good today, do you?” Well THAT is your Observer.
You need to kick your Observer’s ass on a regular basis. Ask tough questions like “Hey Observer, why don’t I have a better Life?” “What don’t I have a happy relationship?” And ask some tough ones “What is my purpose in Life?”
Brutal honesty – inside your head – is where it all begins. Shameless honesty with yourself and all others is the spring from which a happy life can spring.
Or, if you lie to yourself or a potential mate, you will be opening the personal gates of hell.
Having seen “them gates” and resolved that for myself, The Who song here means a lot to an honest person on a quest for personal excellence. Play it often while sorting through leads. Full volume is fine.
For Business Readers
Sure you want to get mated?
We have friends who decided to remain childless and they are now just as happy as us (they mated very well) but they are half a million per child ahead of us financially.
The old Texas oil money advice comes around again but it’s especially true if you’re on the money wheel more than 60-hours per week and your mate is, too.
With that many hours and that much headspace you’re statistically likely to be a crappy parent and there’s a reason why couples in the $100-$250K household income range are happiest. They still have time for lives with each other and the kids.
Time, like money, is something you can only spend once.
Don’t take this wrong but… If it flies, floats, or fornicates?
Consider leasing it. You don’t have time for a proper search. This one can’t be delegated.
How you work out the depreciation at the other end of Life? Just another accounting problem, I would imagine and workaholics seem to like those or they wouldn’t be working all those hours, would they?
Leave the “go forth an multiply” to the people with time to do long division properly.
Write when you get rich,