Why having a smartphone is a good idea when travelling

FreeImages.com/Keith Syvinski.

FreeImages.com/Keith Syvinski.

I don’t have a smartphone. I never had one and never thought that I would need one. I have a regular mobile phone that does have some limited internet capabilities, but they are a joke, so I never use them. I liked the fact that I was disconnected from the internet when I was away from my computer. I have a slight addiction to internet, so not having a smartphone seemed like a good idea.

Recently, I was travelling in England for a couple of weeks and I discovered that the world has changed. Most hostels don’t even bother to have a computer available for their guests anymore. They just offer free Wi-Fi and that’s it. Only one hostel had a computer available, but you couldn’t even connect to the internet there, because the connection didn’t work. Actually, the computer itself looked like it will crash if you press any key.

Internet cafés became a rare thing, too. I only found one, and they charged £3 per hour. Worse yet, they kicked me out after 40 minutes, because it was 8.30pm and they were closing. I still had to pay full price. Compare that to the free Wi-Fi in the hostel, which is available 24/7.

Some libraries offer free computer access to anyone. I went to one of them, but they only allow one 30 minute session (per day, I assume). So, the bottom line is that it is a hassle to connect to the internet, if you don’t have a smartphone or a tablet. Of course you could carry a laptop with you, but that is burdensome in it’s own way. My backpack was already too heavy, even though I packed a lot less things than I normally would.

Not being able to connect to the internet can be costly. The train ticket from Salisbury to London costs £38.30, if you buy it at the train station. The same journey can be made for £14–20 (depending on the hour of the day of your train), if you buy the ticket online.

I definitely will get myself a smartphone the next time I go travelling somewhere for an extended period of time. Maybe I will use it only for travelling, and I’ll still use regular mobile phone in everyday life. Who knows. But, the one thing I do know is that technology is changing fast and that old-fashioned infrastructure is no more. Evolve or suffer consequences, your choice.


Guerrilla marketing example

I’ve never been working in advertising, but I’ve always found the concept of guerrilla marketing fascinating. Promoting your products in an unconventional way with limited budgets available requires a lot of imagination and creativity, and that is why I’m drawn to it. It’s not boring.

I don’t claim that I’m very good at it, but occasionally I’ve had an idea or two. Not much has been realized though (as I said, this is not my profession). One marketing idea that has been put into practice and that I’m proud of, is this one:

The product here is Overcome Anxiety Course, that I’ve written review of in my last post. This marketing idea utilizes a domain hack tr.im (reading it as “trim”), a URL shortening service, in order to convey a message: trim anxiety (by trimming the poster, going to the web address that is written on the trimmed part, and signing up for the course).

We will see if there will be any signups. I like my idea, I think it’s clever, but whether it will be effective is another question.

Do you know any good examples of guerrilla marketing? Leave links in the comment section, and I’ll be happy to check them.

P.S.: If you want to sign up for the Overcome Anxiety Course, you better do it as soon as possible. This is not a marketing trick. The author of the course (Mark Manson) decided to pull the courses off the market soon (in a couple of months) as it’s too much work with it and he wants to dedicate his full time to his writing career instead. The courses will continue to work, but no new members will be admitted.

Overcome Anxiety Course (review)

FreeImages.com/Márcia Rodrigues.

FreeImages.com/Márcia Rodrigues.

I’ve recently completed an online course on how to overcome anxiety. The author of the course is Mark Manson, and since I’m a fan of his work – as was obvious from one of my previous posts – I decided to write a review of this course as well.

The course consists of 8 video lessons. Each video is accompanied with a short written summary of the things explained in the video, and an interactive exercise underneath. The exercises require you to write something about yourself, or incite you to plan your future actions. You cannot progress to the next lesson until you do the exercise. An exercise can also require you to comment on what other people have written in the same lesson. Most videos are around 10 minutes long, the longest is a little less than 20 minutes.

The focus of this course is self-explanatory. It uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) methods to help you overcome your anxieties.

The central point of the course is that anxieties arise because you don’t feel competent of meeting the expectations of whatever you are facing. So, the solution is to either increase your skills and/or change your expectations. One lesson is dedicated to exploring your defense mechanisms that we do in order to avoid things that we are anxious about. The final stages of the course instruct you on how you can structure your life, so that success becomes inevitable and streamlined. When you finish the course you hopefully have a plan of committing to baby steps that will lead you to success.

When you get the course, you also gain access to a private forum, many additional bonus videos from Mark, and some downloadable bonus materials (PDFs, audio files). The community on the forums is very kind and helpful. Being a private forum behind a paywall practically ensures that only highly motivated people will flock there. Members are of both sexes, though I don’t know what the ratio is.

The price for the course is $67, which is a little costly. I think this price is intentionally inflated, because Mark also offers two other courses: Connection Course and Dating and Relationships Course, and naturally he would want you to sell you all of them. You can get all three courses for $117, which is a much better deal.

I’m currently in the middle of doing the Connection Course. I haven’t finished it yet, but from what I’ve seen so far, I’m satisfied with the course. This course teaches how to improve your conversation skills, in order to be able to better connect with people, which is very useful if you suffer from social anxiety. In that sense, both courses neatly work together.

All courses can be repeated as many times as you want – you don’t lose access once you’ve finished a course. Mark also offers 100% money-back guarantee on all sign-ups for up to 60 days. If you are not happy with the course, just demand a refund.

So, if you would like to get Overcome Anxiety Course, here is my affiliate link:


If you want to get all three courses, then just select option “ALL THREE COURSES” when placing an order.

Islam and the Future of Tolerance

One of the more important books that came out last year was a book collaboration between Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz, titled “Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue.”

Sam Harris, a famous atheist, and Maajid Nawaz, a former radical Islamist, joined forces in order to have a conversation about Islam without “devolving into bigotry or caricature.”

The video below presents a few clips from a Harvard forum, a panel discussion with the authors.

Models – Attract Women Through Honesty (book review)


FreeImages.com/Lukáš Patkaň.

In my last post I shared Mark Manson’s blog post about the four stages of life, so it makes sense to review now his book “Models – Attract Women Through Honesty”, which I have read some time ago.

The book comes in the form of an e-book and an audio book, which is read by the author himself. I have read quite a few books on dating and I can say that Mark’s book is one of the very best.

Contrary to some other products on dating/seduction, his book focuses on the core issues of building attraction and does not build its case on tricks and techniques. As the title of the book suggests, his dating model consists of being honest with women, even if that means inviting rejection from them. In fact, rejection is vitally important in his method. In his own words:

Most pick up advice obsesses over the avoidance of rejection. Rejection plays an integral part in my strategy. It’s unavoidable, so I figure we may as well develop a strategy that uses it to help us. Rejection exists for a reason.

According to Mark, rejection is a good thing, because it’s a means to keep people who are not good for each other apart. If you are honest with women with whom you interact with, then they will reject you or fall in love with you based on your true self – which is a win-win situation: either you end up with a woman who is genuinely interested in the real you, or you spare yourself a lot of headache later.

The process of revealing to a woman “who you are, how you feel, and what you think” is what Mark calls “polarization”.

Polarization is what occurs when you express your truth and make yourself vulnerable [to rejection].

Polarization is the opposite of playing it safe and making small talk. It is the opposite of trying to avoid confrontation and controversy. Polarization separates unreceptive women from receptive ones, as well as pushes neutral women to decide one way or the other. As Mark says it in one of the most remarkable passages in the book:

You can’t have it both ways. The two go together. You cannot be an attractive and life-changing presence to some women without being a joke or an embarrassment to others. You simply can’t. You have to be controversial. You have to polarize. It’s the name of the game. And getting good at the game is learning to open yourself up enough emotionally, learning to express your honest self enough and be comfortable enough with your vulnerability to take those embarrassing moments with the moments of passion. A willingness to polarize is not easy. But it’s necessary.

* * *

In the first two parts of the book Mark lays a foundation of his method and explains his understanding of attraction between men and women. In the remaining parts he discusses specifics. He sorts the content into three groups which he calls the Three Fundamentals:

1. Creating an attractive and enriching lifestyle
2. Overcoming fears and anxiety around women
3. Mastering the expression of emotions and communicating fluidly

He refers to the Three Fundamentals also as: Honest Living (Lifestyle), Honest Action (Courage), and Honest Communication.

* * *

I truly think that this book is probably the only book on dating and attraction that you may ever need (though it’s probably good to read a few others for comparison), and I would also recommend it to women, because it goes beyond just advice for men – the issues that this book addresses are relevant to everyone (e.g., rationalizations that you invent to maintain the status quo and protect your ego).

Some parts of the book contain sexually explicit language, and the author is not committed to political correctness, so I’m sure not everybody will like it, though. Luckily, the book has a 60-day money back guarantee.

If you would like to know more, here is a link to the first three chapters of the book (and a table of contents), which you can get for free: http://bit.ly/1HPZCpP

Direct link to the sales page for the entire book is here:


(affiliate link)