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You are relaxed and more likely to be yourself. If you really want something and it is your sole focus you tend to try hard and that can quite easily come across and needy and desperate. However if you are more casual and non-plussed in your approach you can actually come across more suitable and well rounded person.

Not trying your best is not something that I would advocate however I have had several successes when this is the case.

Everybody wants to be cat

Forgive me for drawing on my own experience however when applying for my placement year I put my absolute all in to somewhere between 50 and 100 job applications of those many became interview that involved early starts, overnight stays, days of prepping presentations and many hours spent on the train across the country.

Toward the end feeling disheartened  and running out of time not having found a job, I continued the hunt but realised that it should not be at the expense of completing that years course work. Application became haphazard and send off without extra proof reading. I almost declined interview and the preparation was not taken seriously. This is all leading up to my interview for my placement with Microsoft. Two days before was the university clubs and societies ball, The day before was a day hungover on the sofa researching Microsoft. The actual day was almost missing the train and then spending the time between assessment activities and interviews reading through my latest coursework draft.

All of these factors added up to me thinking that I should not be there and that I am in no way going to be offered a decent position this late in the game. Because of this during the interview with, who turned out to be my hiring manager, I sat back in my chair and was able to have a very casual, open and honest conversation covering the basic stuff whist enjoying discussing our common interests in technology.

This has happened several times since, rushed and non plussed application have landed me interviews and I have heard similar stories from friends.

I often hear on the news tennis players recounting how they tend to do well when they go out to just have fun and not focus on the winning, wild card players beat or come close to winning against high seeds and world champions.

To sign off I’m going to quote Val Wilder – “Don’t take life to seriously you will never get out alive.”

My sister was typing this as I dictated so any out of place sentences are accredited to her.

 

Relax and the answers will come. I remember reading this once. 

If you have an idea or though that escapes you and you try really hard that it does not come back. Try some arbitrary activity that can completely take your mind off it and you will be surprised how likely it is that it will come back to you.

Try reading, watching tv, a conversation with a friend on an unrelated topic.

If you also can’t remember something, try working your way through the alphabet, this is a technique particularly treated to name, people and places e.t.c.

 

Returning home I have a taste for new things.

Whilst I was away I, whenever I spoke to my mother I was always asked what my first meal would be when I got back. I think she missed looking after me. Anyway I was never sure because the food in China was so good. However after a while I began to miss the simple things, like beans on toast and cereal.

However on returning home I found I was not really interested in those things anymore. But I had acquired a taste for things I didn’t like anymore. White Wine, cider. This may be due to overdosing on rubbish chinese beer. I’m really into drinks with a sharper taste!

I also realised how rubbish english food is in particular fast food or food on the go. No more are the days of a quick healthy bowl of noodles with soup or a rice meal for about £1, but expensive sandwiches, salads with unhealthy dressings or expensive cafe/restaurants for lunch that you know you could do better yourself at home.

After having a diet almost void of wheat and dairy products, I find it hard to consume them in the quantity that I guess I used to. I try to keep fit so it is not completely a health issue but I don’t feel I should be eating them all day every day in one form or another. But looking at our food it it easy to see why it is hard to avoid. My solution cook at home and take food, not always convenient but for the odd time it is not you can make the exception.

 

These are my thoughts after spending a year in China do you have a similar experience to share?

 

 

 

 

 

“What do guys who have mid-life crises do? They buy a red Porsche and date a woman half their age. Well, we can’t afford a Porsche and dating a woman half our age would land us in jail. Solution? Date an older woman and borrow her Porsche (Kenneth Suna).”

This title first popped into my head when some friends of mine that are couple of years older then me arrived at 25/26 and decided to do something completely different with their lives, quitting their longterm job infavor of starting their own business utilising their skills and passions or uprooting for a fresh start in a new location. I coined this a quarter life crisis because I have decided that I and the people around my age are going to live to at least 100 without much extra effort. That said don’t always spread out what you want to do accordingly.

Now, because I forgot about this and did not have the motivation to write about this when I though of it I have come across an article on the same topic written by someone else. However I still feel I have something to add but will give credit where credit is due.http://www.primermagazine.com/2011/live/quarter-life-crisis-2

This is a motivator to get on and do something. As written in the article if you have have a good idea get on and do it. the example in Kenneth Suna’s article is the business idea you have now (when you were 25), instead of Procrastinating get on and do it so you don’t look back disappointed when you are 50.

Walk before you can run, things work out and can take time but make a start today. Sit back take stock, see what you want to achieve what needs to be done now and what can wait until later . If later things are not going to be so easy later on e.g. long term travel (not impossible) do that now and save the house and fucking big television until later.

Something else I keep coming across in motivational articles is trying to be too perfect by doing so there is a chance you will never get started. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take and your worst attempt is better than no attempt at all (Wayne Gretzky I believe and taken from a MARC CHERNOFF POST RESPECTIVELY). I remember a university letcturer repeating the line. Let’s shoot for the stars but if we only get to the moon that is ok.

The point I want to make is that changing is ok and by taking the leap and being out of your comfort zone you may find what you have been looking for, or the courage to get what you really want.

 

 

 

 

This is a mountain near the the Chinese city of Xi’an. An unplanned impromptu trip lead to a great cultural experience, some new friends and very achy legs! Photos are on Flickr

After a thrilling two days exploring 西安, visiting the Muslim quarter, the Terracotta Army and cycling around the city walls, I decided to head for 华山 as recommended by a friend of mine.

Monday afternoon I depart Xi’an train station for the famous, Hua Shan with some new Chinese friends!

 

We entered the mountain gates around 19.30 on Monday evening and began the long walk to the top, up very steep steps with treacherous falls on each side, surrounded by thousands of other people eager to see the sunrise (only in China). Very slowly we shuffled our way to the top, one step at a time.

We arrived at the East Peak summit and 3am, a gruelling 7 hours later. This left us enough time to curl up on the freezing cold ground for a couple of hours much needed rest.

We were able to celebrate China’s National Day by watching the sunrise from the east peak around 6am. I felt really privileged to experience this moment and very important part of Chinese culture.

The following morning, we took a few groups photos and I parted ways with my new friends as they had an earlier train to catch.

This morning, I was greeted with clear skies. Once the crowds had parted I headed off to explore the South and West peaks by myself. I got talking to many other people as I wondered around, many of them amazed to so see a lone foreigner exploring and eager to know how I discovered this place. I caught sight of one other European face during the day and on my decent made friends with a couple of Americans on a day trip.

 

Around 2pm I received a message from my friends saying that it took them 6 hours to get off the mountain. At this point I had been sat still for an hour in a long que. It was another hour before we started moving. All in all it also took me 6 hours to get off the mountain. Everyone that went up had to come down a day later, exhausted and sleep deprived.

 

Although I got to see all sides of the mountain, when I got to the bottom I discovered I had descended to the other side of the North peak I started from, and had to do the 7km walk out of the park because the buses had all broken down.

 

By the time I exited the park it was 8pm, a full 24 hours later. This was an exhausting expedition and my legs took almost a week to recover from all the steps, but it was well worth it, to see the ‘nature documentary’ sunrise with thousands of Chinese people all celebrating National Day, a once in a lifetime experience.

I blogged the start of my adventure to China last year (2012). This, was promptly halted buy lack of access to WordPress inside the great fire wall of China. Back in the UK with some time to catch up I will endeavour to start posting some of the ideas and thoughts from the last year.

 

He suggested writing a blog, and I apologies this post has been a long time coming, but I have finally found the time. In summary – It turned out you were correct.

Mike Molesworth was my Interactive media strategies (IMS) lecturer at Bournemouth University. However his real interests were in consumer and more specifically cultural anthropology. All about understanding how your consumer behaves. This is also the angle that I came into marketing.

1. Cultural Anthropology

Mike used to bang on about how cultural anthropologists need to be involved in the design process of products and services to help the designs understand how a product will be perceived and used. This residual knowledge has risen to the surface and become useful after a year or so in industry!

Learning – see things from you consumers point of view, put yourself in their shoes.

Example: LG / Samsung. LG sponsor the time on F1 currently, not to sell watches but because they understand there consumer. because they are advertising there it means there competitors can’t. This raises brand awareness despite the fact that their competitors have a superior product. People think that is good and will buy it. Understanding human behaviour and playing in to their hands.

2. Academic underpinning. I see the value of this now. Sorry to pick as an example as he is good at what he does, but Seth Godin and the such were always referred to Airport books. This is; an interesting read that might have 1 or 2 key take aways and actionable points, but lack any solid research or academic underpinning to back up the value of the claims and ideas, making them very subjective and open to interpretation i.e. they may or may not work for you!

They are generally filled with truisms such as the old Madison Avenue saying "I know half may advertising is wasted, I just don’t know which half." All be it true hence the name, it is anecdotal and lacks any underpinning or research backing it up. It could also be raised that if you were good at your job none would be waisted and to toady digital economy targeting and tracking options are becoming more and more available, however that is a different topic.

Learning – Actionable points are required based on research and wider understanding. understand your subject area, industry, product and consumer group better than the competition.

3. Writing blogs!

Writing blogs is actually really good for formulating ideas forming arguments and provides a platform for collating your thoughts. This kind of links to my residual knowledge idea in that the point of creating a blog only became something that I saw value in about a a year after I started having been forced and motivated for the wrong reasons. I did it because someone told me it was a good idea not because I thought it was. However it turns out they were right.

Oh and it got me a job! Can’t argue with that.