How to Be a Guru

This guy gets it!
This guy gets it!

First you’ll need to grow your hair out and get some glasses. The name Fred isn’t a great guru name, so you might consider changing it, or at least going by an alias. More Peacedom, or something like that.

Next you’ll want to make up an accent. You want this accent to sound mysterious, so don’t try to directly imitate any one country. Instead make a weird accent that sounds like it could be anything, but is impossible to pin down.

You’ll probably need some robes, too. Nice, dramatic flaring sort of robes. Oh, and don’t forget the pointy hat. Wait, you’re going for guru and not wizard you say? Okay, okay, no pointy hat. But don’t forget to make it dramatic. Your wardrobe makes an impression!

Make up some words. They have to sound fancy and wise. Look at business buzz words like ‘synergy’ and ‘connectitude’ to get an idea of how it’s done. ‘Peaceitude’ might be a good one. Talk about “20 amino acids” and throw out catch phrases like “gluten free”. Doesn’t matter if you understand what gluten is or not.

Don’t forget to hum. No one will believe you’re a guru if you don’t hum.

Okay, obviously this is all silly. You can’t become a guru by putting on some clothes and humming, and yet we live in the internet age where literally anyone can be a guru!

I’m not telling you this to remind you not to trust someone who claims to be a guru. I’m telling you this to remind you that you’re already a guru.

Sometimes we see people making grand claims and we forget that we can make them, too. Don’t discount yourself. You’ve lived through a unique set of experiences, and are therefore already an expert on one subject: you.

Unleash your inner guru. Set aside all the doubts holding you back and speak like an expert. Remember that you, too, are a guru. You probably have extensive knowledge on all sorts of subjects and you haven’t even realized how awesome that is because you don’t know that other people don’t have this knowledge.

Go out in the world and share your knowledge! Others will appreciate it and your self confidence will build as you find out just how much you know.

You are already a guru. All that you need is to unlock your inner guru and set aside the frightened part of yourself that refuses to embrace your own awesomeness.

What’s in a Dog Name?

Peeing Dog

When you adopt a dog, you’re bringing home a new best friend. Unlike human friends, though, you have to name your doggy ones.

There’s plenty of dog guides online that give lists of popular dog names. Other common naming strategies involve naming your dog after a favorite fictional character. I’ve done this before with a cat named Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

How to choose which name to go with is a harder problem. Remember that your dog is probably going to end up going by a nickname, so pick a name that can be easily abbreviated if you go with a long one. Ask friends and family for naming input. If the dog is going to be a family pet, you might have the entire family submit name ideas and choose the best ones.

A good way to pick names is to look at the meaning of names. You can pick a name based on an immediately noticeable trait the dog has. Trait names can be some of the funniest, especially if it’s a trait that others are likely to quickly notice as well.

While people usually require more reasonable names, you can feel free to get as crazy as you want with dog names. Just remember that you’re going to have to tell the name to your vet and try to pick something that won’t embarrass you too badly when you say it out loud.

Naming your dog can be one of the most fun early stages of adoption. Depending on where you are adopting the dog from, you might even name the dog before you even leave with it, or you might name the dog after when you’re home.

The one thing I will caution you about is making sure you name the dog quickly. If you have a dog too long without giving it a name, you’ll probably get so thoroughly in the habit of calling it ‘dog’ that you won’t be able to remember to say it’s new name. Besides, you want to make sure that the dog learns its own name so that it’ll pay attention when you say its name. Work on this positive association early on by saying the dog’s name then giving it a treat.

Another important naming tidbit is never to use a dog’s name in anger. You don’t want it to gain negative associations with its name. Pick something else you will say in anger, like “Bad dog!” instead of the name. Make these decisions early so you’re not trying to figure it out in the heat of the moment.

Great Name-spectations

Best Names Ever

Names. We all have them, whether we like them or not. Some are worse than others. I’d rather be named Mary Hill than Misty Dawn or Wonderful Ley. There are some names that baffle the mind at why parents would ever give them to their kids.

Then there are the common names. The names like Michael or Fred. This blog is about a Fred.

Fred is such an ordinary name that anyone can be named Fred. Fred might be your dentist or your next door neighbor. No one will ask you how to spell Fred or look at you funny for being named Fred.

Of course, no one really expects great things of a Fred either. There’s a certain expectation of boringness with a boring name. On the bright side, this’ll help you get jobs because your boss will assume you are not a trouble maker. Your name, after all, is the first thing prospective employers are going to see about you.

There’s a host of expectations that go along with names. Admittedly, these are generally highly personal based on the person’s past experience of other people with the same name. That seems like it would mean that unique names give you an advantage because there’s no expectation built in with that particular name, but that isn’t the case. A unique name will be clumped together with other unique names, and you’ll instead be judged by how the person has seen other people with odd names act.

Unique names also tend to carry the assumption that your parents were crazy in order to name you that, and therefore you were raised in a crazy household with crazy values.

Sometimes it seems like the entire course of your life can be determined by your name. Luckily, you are legally allowed to change your name and alter the course of your fate. Another move that could help would be meeting the person face to face instead of on paper. Your name carries more weight on paper than it does when you’re there in the flesh. When your behavior can be observed instead of assumed, you will be much more capable of overcoming a bad name (like the URL of this FaceBook fan page: That’s a bad name.)

Because of the ease with which you can alter it, a bad name should not hold you back in life. You can even be named Fred and become a super villain who takes over the world. Feel free to bust through name expectations instead of conforming to them. You are not your name. It is merely an aspect of yourself that you are free to shed like an old skin any time you please.