"We gather knowledge faster than we gather wisdom." - William Bell

29 Things I Learned Before Turning 29

Posted: August 13th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Life | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

1. I thought I would look cool with a mustache. I was wrong.
2. Need an easy appetizer to bring to someone’s party? Baked brie. Always a hit.
3. The best way to show that you love someone is by baking them a giant cookie.
4. You should not rely on wearing funny t-shirts to be funny.
5. Emotions are contagious. If you’re happy, everyone around you starts to feel it. If you’re bummed out, same thing.

6. The world is full of awesome strangers. Talk to them.
7. Drink Gatorade to cure a hangover. Actually, drink Gatorade before going to bed to prevent a hangover.
8. If everyone else is crying at a funeral, you probably shouldn’t. One person needs to be the rock for others to lean on.
9. Sometimes you can’t prevent people from making their own mistakes. But you can be there to pick them up when they do.
10. Listening allows for better conversations

11. Work hard to find a job that you love. Or one that’s going to get you the job that you love.
12. Being proactive at work allows you to create projects you want to work on.
13. The only person who gives a shit about your career is you. Not your boss. Not your company. Only you.
14. If you want something, ask for it. Not everyone is can read minds.
15. Groups naturally need a leader. Whether it’s your friends trying to pick a restaurant or your team on the field, man up and be the person to make decisions.

16. The rule for casual dating – an honest talk about what you’re looking for at the beginning will save you drama down the road.
17. Date when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely. (Something an older kid told me when I was 15)
18. Don’t try to fix the person you’re in love with.
19. Try to fall in love with people who already love themselves.
20. If you’re living with a partner, always close the bathroom door. That shit is nasty.

21. At 9 years old, poop jokes were hilarious. 20 years later? Same thing.
22. Parents may have the best intentions, but not the best perspective.
23. Ladies, if you want your man to change his wardrobe, just tell him he looks handsome when he wears what you like.
24. Your best friends are the ones that made it to your wedding.
25. Bow ties are awesome.

26. You can’t make friends with salad. (I tried)
27. All women love french fries. Make sure to share.
28. Anyone can be creative. It takes two things: the bravery to start and the willingness to keep going
29. Weird is just awesome that everyone else hasn’t figured out yet.

- Christian


Surprise!

Posted: March 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

An embarrassing picture from 10 years ago of me and Derek post water balloon fight.

When I was younger, my high school girlfriend threw me a surprise birthday party. Needless to say, it was awesome. It was well planned out beforehand. She asked my parents if it was cool to have it at our house. She arranged for all of my friends to show up and hide. She got a cake. There were even water balloons filled for my friends to “welcome” me to the party.

And then it went horribly awry. We were supposed to meet up with my friend Louis to get a ride back to the house. But his car was wrecked that morning, so he was running about two hours late. And I think we were wandering around East Hastings in Vancouver – not the safest neighbourhood. So, all of my friends were hanging out at the house getting bored and we had no way to get there. The success of the party was in jeopardy.

But I had no clue that any of this was happening. I was just wandering around downtown with my girlfriend. Nothing special. And then when we got dropped off at the house, I walked towards the back door with absolutely no clue that I was about to be pelted with about a dozen water balloons. Surprise!

And then I came to the realization (as I was dodging water balloons in my backyard) that all of my friends were there to surprise me and wish me a happy birthday. Best gift ever.

With surprises, there’s often a lot of preparation and little things that can go wrong. But in my case, the little details didn’t matter. The long wait in a sketchy neighbourhood downtown didn’t matter. It was the surprise that mattered. It was the surprise that was the gift and the thought that was the source of the happiness.

THE BENEFITS OF SURPRISE

The key to a great surprise is that it’s an unexpected piece of happiness. It’s an interruption of the typical pattern. Good surprises can delight people. They can interrupt your customer’s routine or interaction and radically shift their view of your brand.

And a surprise shows your customers that you care. It shows that you’ve been thinking of them. That you appreciate them enough to put in the extra effort. That makes people happy. And aren’t we all trying to foster a tribe of happy customers?

And surprises make for great conversation. They create stories. Stories that your customers can share. Tell their friends about. Stories that will build your reputation. Differentiate you from your competition. Demonstrate that you care about your customers. And provide justification for you to charge a premium for your services.

HOW TO DO IT RIGHT

1. Take time to plan the surprise. Base it on a simple thought or insight about your target. It doesn’t need to be expensive, but it should show that you’re thinking about them and that you care. KLM knew that waiting for planes was boring. So, they found a way of making it exciting for their customers.

2. Keep a lid on it. Whatever you do, do NOT spoil it. Don’t hint at the surprise. The main benefit of a surprise is the fact that it’s unexpected. By hinting that something is going down, you’re opening a window to expectations and imagination. And if you can’t meet those expectations, you won’t be able to deliver the same level of happiness.

3. Execute the surprise. Since it’s unexpected, you never know how people are going to react. They could be blissfully happy, indifferent, speechless and shocked or even angry. Be ready for a range of reactions and be prepared to roll with whichever one you’re faced with.

4. Document the surprise. Take pictures afterwards. Or a video. Make it easy for the person to structure it into a story if they want to tell other people about it. Or give them a memento so that they can remember the moment if they want to revisit it themselves.

Recently, when I was indulging my Lomography habit, I went to purchase some film online. I went through to the checkout. I didn’t use a discount code or membership offer or anything special. But then they gave me a free notebook and roll of film! For no reason! It wasn’t an offer that was plastered all over their website like “if you spend $40, you get a free roll of film.” It was just something nice that they decided to give away as a gift to surprise people when they’re checking out. It cost them almost nothing, but it was 100% unexpected. And I loved it.

- Christian


Introducing A New Holiday

Posted: August 18th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Idea Drunk's Ideas | Tags: , , | No Comments »

In July, Seth asked the age old questions - So, what should we do on your birthday? My answer is usually pretty simple – go for drinks. But his was a little different.

With all due respect to Hallmark, the idea of sending people cards and presents on their birthday seems both selfish and small-minded. It seems to me that we could think bigger.

On your birthday, what should your friends do? Let’s say you have a shoe buying fetish. Perhaps on your birthday, your friends could buy shoes–for themselves, not for you. Share the joy, right? Or perhaps buy shoes for their friends?

It’s my birthday. So, I am proclaiming today International Talk To A Stranger Day. What do you have to do? It’s pretty simple. Just go up and talk to a complete stranger and have a conversation. Ask them where they got their cool kicks. What they think about the weather. If they’re into Mad Men. Whatever. Just talk to someone that you haven’t met before.

Everyone out there possesses a new perspective on life. People have interesting stories that you wouldn’t have considered yourself. But it’s human nature for us to remain comfortable in our current social circle. To exchange opinions with people that have similar points of view as us. So go out and talk to someone new and get inspired.

On a side note, it was a neck-and-neck tie between Talk To A Stranger and Eat A Peanut Butter Cookie. So, if you don’t talk to a stranger for my birthday, the least you can do is eat a peanut butter cookie.

- Christian