Everlasting Friendships

Some friendships are irreplaceable.

I was 24 years old, embarking on a second study abroad experience in Korea.  Stepping off of the plane was exciting, and the range of anticipated thoughts of how the semester was going to pan out enveloped my mind. It was going to be an outstanding semester.

Upon reaching the preplanned meeting place of all the exchange students, I was intrigued by the feeling of an individual who was intently gazing at me.  Turning to look at the person, I found the other gentleman was not offering a menacing, creepy stare, but instead a strangely welcoming stare that was both welcoming and amiable.  

Perplexing to me, he asked if I was a bboy (breakdancer), and I found it strange that he came to that correct assumption.  Maybe it was my outlandish disposition or my dissimilar style of dress, but that was the beginning of meeting one of the significant individuals that has shaped my life.

Lee Boli, a name that would become almost conjoined to my own, and we spent the rest of the semester embarking on adventures that I would never forget.

Friendships sometimes come from the most obscure interactions, but many become so pivotal to shaping our lives that they become invaluable to our personal being.

Therefore, it is important to know that some friendships that are irreplaceable, come from the most surprising interactions!

Dieting on Thanksgiving

Don’t ever do this!

First off this combination of terms makes no logical sense, and unless you are prepping for a body building contest or embarking on a career important game the next day, you should never diet on this day.  

If disallowing yourself the grandeurs of this holiday is so detrimental to your dieting, you may want to look at how effective your current routine is. A singular day does not impact that heavily unto your proposition for the other 365 days of the year, but I understand why people feel that they can not enjoy this day to the fullest.

Sometimes the fleeting feeling of abstaining from certain foods while everyone else is indulging may feel empowering.  Instead, though it shows the flaws in your current methodology and provides a framework for what you should be doing all year round; not just this one day.

Commitment to diet and exercise is an ongoing dedication that is not predicated on single daily choices.  Have you ever gone to the gym one day, and left the next day with 20 extra pounds of muscle? It never happens that way, and it is up to you to make diet and exercise a part of your daily life.

Be more concerned about your overall habits than focusing on singular instances.  Don’t diet on Thanksgiving!

Live and Die By Customer Service

Customer service is the difference between frequenting a location and abhorring another.

My favorite bit of advice from a customer service expert was “customers come to you because of your products and return because of the customer service.” This was a great lesson, but no truth holds more adamant than the significance of excellent customer service.

Eating at a Dim Sum restaurant in town, I was not expecting exceptional service (due to the speed and efficiency they exhibit). Enjoying our meal, we found a small eyelash had made it’s way to the plate of one of our sticky rice dishes, and we brought it to the attention to the wait staff.

Incredibly apologetic at the minor inconvenience, the waiter returned with a brand new sticky rice dish while taking the original one off of our bill. Simple and effective customer service at it’s finest.

That’s not where the story ends though. 

The extraordinary service was furthered by the manager coming to our table apologizing and mentioning that he had taken another item off of the bill because of the inconvenience.  Amazed at their commitment to service, we were more than pleased at the experience.

Did I tell you about the dessert?

To top things off, the manager returned with two mango puddings to show his sincerest apologies. I have rarely encountered service at this level, and I was thoroughly impressed by the experience.  

The guest recovery process that this restaurant endeavored in may have cost them maybe $5 -$10, but they now have a lifelong customer who has returned at every opportune. 

Businesses live and die by customer service!

REGRET SUCKS!!!

After dropping off my Audi A4 to the body and fender shop for a quick repair job, I wasn’t in the greatest of moods; feeling victimized by the minor scratches and dents caused by an elderly gentleman backing up into my brand new car.  Alas, I had a facile experience dropping off my car, and was on my way to the Enterprise rent-a-car to find my temporary vehicle.

Upon entering the courtesy shuttle, I met a wonderfully affable gentleman by the name of Patrick who was intrigued by the zany, eccentric individual that was wearing a suit and tie in the smoldering heat (me).  Conversing with Patrick altered my mood significantly, and I was truly thankful I had such a jovial individual next to me.  His car was newly purchased as well but suffered significant damage that would take weeks (this put some perspective on my small situation). 

When talking about careers, that was when the mood changed.  Patrick was appreciative of his pension and insurance coverage that provided him a modest lifestyle, but his words echo in my mind to this day:

“You know I didn’t make that much money working when I was younger, but at least I don’t have to worry about my health bills because of the company’s insurance.”

It wasn’t the words he said that reverberated in my being… it was the regretful tone I heard when he reminisced of his youth.  A fine gentleman whom I would be enthralled to share a meal with, but it pained me to no end hearing that sentence he solemnly uttered.  To this day, whenever I feel unmotivated or lethargic, I remind myself on a daily basis:

REGRET SUCKS!

140 Pairs of Shoes and Nothing to Wear

Thought of the day: We can only wear two shoes at once… why do we need so many pairs?

One of the more stressful times of my life was owning a multitude of sneakers and living the life of a “sneaker head.”  The diversification of shoes that I owned in my closet was immense, and I had utterly committed myself to “win” the collecting aspect of sneaker culture.  As you have already surmised, there is no conclusion to the accumulation of commodities, as shoes are constantly being released on a daily basis.  Sneaker head culture glorifies the idea of hoarding, and boasting the “freshest” kicks.

Stress was a daily part of my life which stemmed from the constant need to triumph in owning the most profound collection and the unceasing maintenance needed to keep 140 pairs of shoes impeccable.  Although I met some astounding individuals during the course of my collecting phase, it was not for me.

The best part about owning so many colorful and rare sneakers was that I rarely had a sneaker that would match my outfit.  By choosing only the ostentatious pieces that would stand out or were immensely valued, I found that I did not have a casual pair of sneakers.

Oh the irony… 140 pairs of sneakers, and nothing to wear.

Kenko-Ya

Exemplary Eateries

An original series that anatomizes opulent eateries of first-class magnificence

There are some restaurants that resonate so strongly with our sense of tranquility that it allows us to savor and appreciate momentous scenes of jollity.  Allowing an individual to be insouciant in their temperaments, the grandeurs of delectable food aid in de-stressing someone and enveloping them in the warmth of comfort.  Located in the beautifully lush Kaneohe, Kenko-ya provides an atmosphere of exceptional peace with excellently crafted Japanese cuisine that has delighted many.  In the confines of a congenial atmosphere, Kenko-ya allows visitors a delightful area to have carefully crafted meals that are brilliantly presented in pleasantly adorned, traditional Japanese bento boxes.

IMG_2222.jpg

As soon as you enter the quaint, picturesque restaurant of cultivated Japanese culture, you are greeted with a feeling of familiarity that sets the tone of a homely atmosphere.  A petite area houses a tightly set seating area that encapsulates the feeling of snug comfort rather than spacious dissonance.  Calming music like the assonance of smooth jazz and the atmospheric, ambient Bossa nova fill the room in fluid, pianissimo ambiance that allows one to relax and relish in the calmness this place exudes.  The attention to detail is prominent as the titivated decorum on the walls enhance the ambiance of a fine, exquisite setting which provides the collective introduction to the food that will be partaken of.

IMG_9174.JPG

Virtuosos of Japanese cuisine, Kenko-ya provides affectionately composed, box-lunch stylized meals that reminded us of youthful comfort food.  Do not commit to the faux pas in the impropriety of misunderstanding, this is not casually constructed food and the caliber of their work is extraordinaire.  Taken to a vast menu, we were hard-pressed to pick a delectable combination from the riveting selection that included traditional favorites such as soft-shell crab, unagi (freshwater eel), chicken katsu, and sashimi (raw fish).  Upon ordering from the extensive menu, a balmy green tea with a side of marinated bean sprouts and soybeans were delivered; enough to satisfy our initial food cravings. We were pleasantly surprised at the methodically organized box that contained each item ordered in a sophisticatedly systemized manner. Edgy flavorful saba, complimented by crunchy impactful mochiko chicken, and estranged next to sharp spicy ahi provided gleeful sustenance in the form of breathtaking flavors of varying disposition.  To many, the conflicting flavors would seem disharmonious, but the simultaneous savory hints were complimented in a melodious fashion that was congruous to our palate.  With such luscious food in front of us we had to constantly battle the desire to devour more food with the fullness of our stomachs.

IMG_9177.JPG

Kenko-ya allows for individuals to enjoy a Japanese meal of exceptional quality with riveting ambiance.  A small eatery with huge character, this restaurant is pivotal if you are a true connoisseur of Japanese cuisine and culture.  There are few places that provide a sorrowful feeling upon completion of a meal which attests to the level of tranquility this restaurant provides in the atmosphere they exude and the magnificent food they create.  Therefore, the Minimalistic Gent recognizes Kenko-ya as an exemplary eatery, and we can not wait to hear of your wonderful experiences at this impeccable restaurant.

IMG_9181.JPG

The Importance of Thoughtful Purchases

We often squander money on low-quality bargains that seem like scholarly decisions at first but are regretted upon later. If you are ready to learn the potent decision-making tool, you’ll need the Minimalistic Gent’s guide to exemplary purchases.

How many instances can you recall of making a purchasing decision that you regret at a later date?  When given the option, did you choose the item that lacked minor traits but you bought it because it was a wiser economic deal? Alas, this scenario is all too uncommon, and usually, individuals end up purchasing the more expensive option because of the inadequacies of the first decision.  In order to avoid this deplorable ordeal, we recommend investing into the item you indubitably want from the onset to discourage wasteful usage of your time and resources.

ORG_DSC08742.JPG

Procuring the quintessential item that you have contemplated long hours on will inevitably allow you to conserve funds.  Often times, short-sided actions of purchasing a secondary, non-ideal item will  perpetuate you to buy another item because of its inadequacies. The constant musing on your original plan of action causes you to reminisce on the loss of quality that you held dear in your selection. Forcing you to double the original investment on the product of your choice, this type of behavior forces you to spend extraneously.  Keeping your purchases limited in number is an important aspect of being a Minimalistic Gent, and only by making an informed and effectual purchase will you exude that persona.

IMG_8695.JPG

Taking a precise approach to your purchases enables you to be much more informed on the item you are buying.   Although arduous, finding the item you really want requires you to truly understand what you necessitate and require for fulfillment.  Apprehending the implications of your desire allows for heavy comprehension and intense contemplation on the value it provides to your life.  By taking the approach of an enlightened erudite on the item of question, you will make a sophisticated yet practical decision.

IMG_8605.JPG

Purchasing the object of lesser value and quality means settling for an inferior, subordinate item that causes you to reminisce about the decision you made.  If you truly desire a specific item of opulence, it is pivotal that you make it a point to achieve that goal.  Compromising on a goal of yours is runner-up mentality, and you need to be the maximized gentleman you were destined to be.  In order to keep yourself from constantly recalling about the resolution you agreed upon, be patient in your endeavor and purchase the item you truly want.  Exceptional work ethic and supreme patience are two principal aspects of prestigious gentleman and knowledge of the key lesson of unprecedented eminence.

IMG_7865.JPG

As a prolific gentleman of style, you know the importance of being unconventional yet extraordinary. Although many would argue that accepting the item of lesser prominence is acceptable behavior, you are not a man of the status-quo.  Instead, you know the psychological implications of settling and the wasteful nature of unfavorable spending in the case of repurchasing.  Show the bravado and patience of a true gentleman and allow yourself to relish in the true item of opulence that you have sought out.  Only then can you be a true practitioner of the Minimalistic Gent lifestyle and maximize your essential-filled behaviors.

 

Life of a Gent: The Evocative Erudite

Meet the dapper gentleman with a humble disposition and inspirational presence.

LIFE OF A GENT

An original series exploring distinct gentleman in contemporary society.

The glint of a glorious stainless steel Engineer’s ring reflects off the finger of an affable individual who exudes an enigmatic, congenial character. A man of action greeting others with a sincere smile, he speaks with a warm tonality that is gentle and tranquil tone yet indicative of an intellectual with a deep background in education. A striking bon vivant with an extraordinary sense of fashion, Jake Shirokane is a man of distinct character who is well-versed in eclectic dress and impeccable manners.  A humble individual with a plethora of skills, Jake is always seen with a radiant disposition and speaks with an elegant avidity indicative of an erudite of interpersonal communication.  Indomitable in achieving his goals, Jake exudes a gentleman character that provides a deep respect from his peers and a curiosity as to the identity of the man of mystery.

IMG_8315.JPG

A diffident youth, Jake faced challenges stemmed from his introverted nature coupled with insecurities about his own personal self-confidence.  Jake reminisces about life as an adolescent; lacking a passion and a point of direction which left him astray in a rut of mediocrity.  A far-cry from the gentleman we see today, Jake remembers not being especially happy during those times and found a loneliness from a lack of companionship. Facing the divorce of his parents at the age of 10 was an unfathomable situation requiring the recalibration of his lifestyle.  The recalcitrant attitudes he had were only fueled by the separation of his parents, and although his family understood the arduous stress that the situation caused, he found himself hard to adjust to the multitudinous difficulties.  At such a young age, Jake showed the fervor of a true gentleman of tenacity.  While adjusting to the biweekly schedule of seeing his parents, Jake found an assortment of hobbies such as building RC cars.  Working on this pastime took his mind off his anxiety which is a testament to his resourcefulness as a person, but it was also the support of familial figures such as his grandpa that aided him. Now, known as a genial man of confidence, Jake has a wonderful relationship with his parents and is able to inspire others through his systematic methodologies on pursuing his passion.

IMG_8244.JPG

Eventually finding his passion in dance, none would guess from first glance that Jake is a purveyor of the b-boy (breakdancing) dance style.  Not one to boast of his accomplishments, Jake has won numerous tournaments due to the exceptional work ethic he commits to.  While in college, Jake did lose the fervor he once had for his craft, and took a year from the implementation of his dreams in a misguided mindset on the path of maturity.  Settling for the preplanned path of the status quo left Jake with a feeling of something absent in his life, and he eventually found his way back to the zealous commitment he once had for the dance. With new found vehemence, Jake fortified his ambitions to find a way to make his dreams a reality and has excelled at finding clarity in his life since that pivotal decision.  Jake continues to strive towards mastery of his craft, and is well prepped on paving his path to success.

IMG_8239.JPG

Speaking with an avidity only a true practitioner can offer, Jake discusses the important traits of a modern gentleman. “Gentlemen definitely have class.  They are respectful and considerate, and their sense of style can be definitely seen by others.  A gentleman is not boastful and loud; he is subtle and still able to stand out,” Jake emphatically explains. As can be seen by the way Jake carries himself, he understands the need for an understated approach to your persona.  A gentleman inspires others in a way that is understated and sometimes inscrutable, but he is able to galvanize the amelioration in others to be outstanding.  A worldly, suave man of elegance, Jake unquestionably exhibits his definition of a gentleman on his daily interactions with others.

IMG_8304.JPG

Always humble and never without a jubilant smile, Jake is an undeniable virtuoso of the radiant personality needed to be an inspirational figure.  The Minimalistic Gent recognizes Jake Shirokane as a true purveyor of the gentleman lifestyle, and we are most excited to see his future successes in all of his endeavors.  There are individuals around us that provide a beacon of positivity and an air of sophistication that inspire us to be better, and Jake’s approach to subtle gentleman class is a verifiable example of the modern chivalries of an impassioned individual well-versed in the tutelage of life experiences.

The Road to Exemplary Morning Routines

An efficient and efficient gentleman knows the importance of a smooth morning routine.  To have a framework for the smooth and facile process of starting your day, you’ll need the Minimalistic Gent’s guide to morning routines!

The monotonous echoes of an earsplitting sound that resonates through your bones, incites a feeling of distress and sorrow through the reverberation you feel from its unceasing sound.  Sound waves of this magnitude signal the significant choice one must make on the outcome of the day. It’s the crossroads of the choice to wake up expediently, and a true gentleman awakens with purpose and clarity on how the day will progress.

IMG_7882.JPG

The importance of a morning routines stems from a perpetuation of productivity.  Implore yourself to be exceedingly stringent on the timeframe that you wake up to ensure your schedule is flawless from the inception of your awakening.  The snooze button located adjacent to your bed may stir feelings of consternation, but this is an opportunity to be a conquerer in the face of adversity.  Hitting the snooze button is the ultimate sign of defeat and will lead to an unsatisfied compromise that will force you to rectify the lost time in some avenue of your busy day.

IMG_8128.JPG

By having a set schedule and clear understanding of what needs to be done in the morning, one can start their day in a mindset filled with magnificent clarity and richness.  Making your first step in the peregrination of constructing your perfect morning routine begins in the ability to be disciplined and committed to your ambitions. To elucidate one’s goals clearly is to put it on a pedestal of necessity.  Knowing that substantial aspirations require insurmountable work ethic allows for one to recognize the importance of daily timetables that will calendarize your finite time budget.

IMG_8012-2.JPG

The accomplishment of the meager and seemingly unimportant tasks that are a part of your daily routine enable your credence in yourself to accomplish greater tasks throughout the day.  Starting with positive conviction is important, but also reveling in the little triumphs of the day will produce an indomitable feeling that will enable you to conquer.  Small achievements such as finishing a workout in the morning or succeeding at sticking to your schedule are all important aspects to celebrate in the enrichment of your life.

IMG_7880.JPG

Finding one’s perfect morning routine is an ongoing task that may take an extended period of time to master.  Knowing the importance of waking up with conviction towards one’s goals and celebrating the minor victories of adhering to your schedule enable you to perpetuate the feeling of a true virtuoso of the idiosyncrasies of one’s time.  Invoke a personal commitment to your morning routine and you will become an efficient gentleman that is authoritative on the consummation of his goals.