Make Up Your Mind

Here is an edited version of an article of mine that first appeared on jamesbondlifestyle.com

THE BOND BRAIN—THUNDERBALL

 I have selected perhaps the only passage in the novel THUNDERBALL wherein we get a glimpse of the Bond Brain.

Here’s the quote from a conversation Bond has with Domino, (the sister of the pilot killed by Largo’s men) during dinner:

“I make up my own mind about men and women. What’s the good of other people’s opinions?”

Each one of us has unique experiences . Each one of us has a different degree of intelligence, tolerance, intolerance, passion, or sangfroid.  Given the uniqueness of our makeup, Bond’s advice makes a great deal of sense. Make up your own mind, and don’t be overly influenced by the opinions of others.

Perhaps you are in sales.  Other salespeople have opined that Company X is a bad prospect, or a tough sale, or some other negative thing.  Yet, the unique you may feel differently, and obtain a different result than that predicted by your peers.

With respect to a bachelor’s potential romantic partners, same thing.  One man’s beauty is another man’s stimulus to a lifetime of celibacy.  One man may like the adventurous type, and another the homebody. Neither are wrong. Neither are right.  It is an individual taste matter, and as long as you are acting in accordance with your own unique set of parameters, you are doing fine.

There are of course times when other people’s opinions do count.  Politics for example.  Here we can count on them usually being wrong.  Consumer marketing is another arena where the opinions of others are paramount.  What does that lead to?  Budweiser beer and McDonalds.

So whether it’s business, booze or your choice of bordello, keep your own counsel, and remember the above words of  Bond.

You will be a better bachelor for it.

 

The Bond Brain-From Russia With Love

Here’s a post that I first wrote for jamesbondlifestyle.com which is a site I recommend you visit,(after you visit this one of course).  It deals with some lifestyle advice that is tailor made for the bachelor.  It was part of a series called THE BOND BRAIN, which looked at several of the novels, and extracted words to live by. Enjoy!

THE BOND BRAIN—FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

amazon affiliate, you don’t pay more, I get a small commission when you read this Ian Fleming classic. Cover will be different.

We continue with the Bond Brain as evidenced by quotes from the Fleming novels. In this installment, we not only quote 007, but the late and lamented Darko Kerim, the Brit’s man in Istanbul in From Russia With Love.

Let’s start with an enlightening quote from Darko.  In speaking with Bond, Darko confesses “I am greedy for life.  I do too much of everything all the time.” 

Words to live by if you are not too old, but if you live by them for too long, you will never get to be too old. Don’t worry, most of you reading this have plenty of too much time left.

Sooner or later one realizes that the only thing we have at the end of life’s journey, besides a terminal condition that will kill us, is our memory of life.  What we did, what we didn’t, what we are grateful for, what we regret.

You want to max out on what you did and what you are grateful for.  You want to minimize the regrets of what you never did.

In order to do that, you have to follow Kerim’s sage advice. Know what it is like to over drink, over smoke, over…well you can figure that one out.  Don’t do it all the time of course, but don’t always limit your excess to moderation.

While you’re drooling on your shoes in the nursing home, you want to be able to wax nostalgic about the time you had the fifteen hookers and a kilogram of marmalade at that seedy Copenhagen railroad hotel.  You want a smile on your face as you reminisce about the two quarts of Japanese Whiskey you drank while pissing in the streets of the Ginza.

As a sage once said, nothing succeeds like excess.

Speaking of regrets, let’s quote Bond here. “Never job backwards.  What might have been was a waste of time.”

Words also to live by.  So you never wrote the great Armenian novel, you never climbed the big rock candy mountain.  So what?  Focus on what you have done, your triumphs, your more interesting tragedies.  Follow Kerim’s advice, and you won’t have much need to listen to Bond’s above thought.

Here’s another one from James.  “Now from months of idleness and disuse the sword was rusty in the scabbard and Bond’s mental guard was down.”

Now, the obvious symbolism of the above we will leave to those whose sex life is intimately connected with audio visual equipment.  But the old saw about how a rut is just a shallow grave is true.  Routines and routine thinking can leave you rusty, and if we listen to Kerim, we know it’s better to burn out than rust.

Examine what you have been doing, thinking. Is it just the same old same old, or is there a bit of innovation of improvement each day of your life?  There should be if you are living the James Bond Lifestyle, (which is the ultimate bachelor lifestyle).

Follow the above advice, and nobody will be asking you “What lunatic asylum did they let you out of?” (As Bond said to Grant in the movie).

Pick Your Friends

The following article appeared first on jamesbondlifestyle.com where I used to be a regular contributor.  It deals with James Bond and his friends.

     One of the things about James Bond is he is careful. Careful about what he eats, drinks, smokes, and also about the people he befriends.  So should you be.     There’s more to a Bond Lifestyle than dressing the part and collecting action figures.

There is the actual life in the lifestyle, and a big part of one’s life are those with whom one associates. Allies. pals, buddies.  Both male and female created he them.

So take a look at your list of “friends.”  Do they measure up to Bond requirements?  Creative, resourceful, with leadership ability, useful and entertaining?  If not, here is a simple suggestion. Dump them as politely and as quickly as possible.

Now that might sound exploitative, cruel, nasty, self-serving. Okay, and your point?  We are talking about James Bond, not Barney the purple dinosaur.  Selectivity in friends is even more important than selectivity in wines.  Your time is valuable, you only get twenty three hours and fifty six minutes in a day.  Why spend that time with the useless and unworthy?

In You Only Live Twice (book) Bond buddies up with Dikko Henderson, who not only is a great drinking buddy, but knows the ins and outs of the Japanese scene in which Bond finds himself. You want friends like Dikko. Fun and with inside knowledge of the situations in which you may find yourself.

Bond then befriends Tiger Tanaka, shrewd, head of Japanese Intelligence, and again an entertaining cultured man.  So make sure you put a Tiger Tanaka type in your friendship tank.

Now sometimes, interesting friends can put you in interesting situations.  In OHMSS, Bond is befriended by Marc Ange Draco.  Cultured, and the head of the Union Corse.  Your author has a friend that was once head of the New York equivalent, and besides a lot of interesting adventures, I had the pleasure of being under FBI surveillance for a time.  So sometimes, having Bond type friends can have its more challenging side. (Come to think of it, Bond was quite often under surveillance too).

Have the right friends in your career also.  You want a Felix Leiter, not a Felix the Cat. The right friends in your line can be of significant use if you are looking for a new job, or a better one.

So, it’s time to be more selective about your associates.  Keep those that measure up, and say sayonara to those who don’t only really live once.