EU referendum Brexit Great Britain British

The untold TRUTHS about the #Brexit Referendum

So, you might not have noticed there’s this whole EU Referendum thing going on!

Yeah, I know.  There’s been nothing in the newspapers about it.  Or in the News bulletins; like every bulletin, on every channel, every half hour…..

Just when you thought World Politics was all about Syria and the American Presidential race, somebody puts a coin in the Referendum machine and presses the big Media Frenzy button.  Suddenly every Politician feels compelled to push himself forward for interview.  And every bastion of our twenty-first century life, from Facebook to a quiet lunch-hour at the pub, is subject to strongly held (though usually ill-informed) opinions.

In contrast to this, it is the responsibility of every Third Millennium Man to keep himself well-informed when it comes to matters of this nature.  This is not like the British General Election – you know the deal, where the population think they are voting for a Prime Minister when they’re voting for a local MP, and it doesn’t matter in the slightest who is in charge as unelected bureaucrats decide everything anyway.  This Referendum is a big deal and will affect generations to come.  We the British public have got just one chance at this, so we’d better get it right.

So face front and pay attention.  We are going to filter out as much of the noise as we can, just for you, so you the Third Millennium Man can consciously make an informed choice.

UK EU referendum 2016

The lies – and the truth – about the EU Referendum.

Let’s look at some of the – ahem – facts and see if there’s any sense behind them at all.

We rely on Europe as our biggest trading partner.

There is a degree of truth to this.  First of all, Europe is BIG.  Europe is many countries, and we are one.  So it isn’t much of a stretch to suppose that the European market and European commerce is pretty important to us.  That Italian wine and Greek olives you enjoy, the German car you drive, and the French-owned electricity you’re burning while reading this, are evidence of the trade we have with Europe.  However, we buy a lot more from Europe than we sell.  And the European producers of goods which we can’t get enough of are still going to be pushing for trade deals, just like our Politicians and business leaders ought to be.  That new motor you promised yourself will still be available, and the cheese selection at the Deli Counter will be just the same after the Referendum.  Market forces, not policies, will be provide the way forward.

It should also be pointed out that the UK leads the way in specialisms such as Technology and Financial Services.  And other countries will continue to acquire these from the UK, simply because they aren’t available anywhere else, or are nowhere near as good.

EU referendum UK brexit

We rely on solidarity with Europe for our defence.

Actually, our defence abilities are more to do with NATO, the United Nations and working with the United States than with Europe.  Although the European Union has its roots in what you could loosely term ‘defence’ after World War II ended (the original brief was to prevent another war in Europe, following 1914-1918 and 1939-1945), it is more to do with laws, economics and centralisation than defence.

There was a time when it was suggested that the United Kingdom surrenders its seat at NATO in favour of Europe whenever it has a view to share.  We have been unable to ascertain if this is no longer the case, or if it’s just being kept quiet until after the Referendum.  There seems to be no convincing proof either way.

What we ought to be concerned with is the European Defence Agency.  Although it’s been running since 2004, the small print of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty suggests that the UK’s armed forces will come under European control in the near future.  Maybe that’s what the Better In campaign are inferring when they refer to better ‘defence solidarity’ in the future.

Europe is united in its ambitions; the UK will miss out if we leave.

Actually, Europe is split in several ways.

First, there is a North / South divide, where the Northern countries remain far more affluent than the South.  Think back over the last few years; much of the Mediterranean countries have required bailouts or have come close to that position.  Greece is of course the one we all think of, but Italy, Cyprus, Malta, Portugal and Spain have all had their share of similar headlines.  Indeed, Cyprus imposed capital controls (citizens were restricted to withdrawing a maximum of €100 per day of their own money from their bank accounts) and Spain and Italy have not done too well either.  Compare that to northern countries such as Germany, Sweden and Denmark which are affluent enough to attract vast hordes of freeloaders from beyond Europe, who weren’t interested in staying in the southern countries they passed through on their journey.

The international resentment between European nations that has existed for centuries is still prevalent.  World War II is still a living memory for some, the Basque and Catalan regions in Spain continue their struggles and the Balkans conflict in the former Yugoslavia remains an open wound for millions of people.

Secondly, there are four European countries who have announced plans for their own Exit Referendums, with whispers of more to come (sadly due to a UK press blackout we cannot tell you who they are.  The powers-that-be don’t want this kind of info becoming common knowledge).

Thirdly, there is a lot of inter-EU resentment between neighbouring countries over the Migrant Crisis.  Some countries feel that others are being less than helpful, and the burden ought to be distributed more fairly.  Some countries (the ones without excessive migrants, funnily enough) argue that the problem is a national one that need not concern the whole EU.  Some countries are witnessing an exponential rise in racism, sexually-motivated crimes, demonstrations, protests and riots.  Not exactly a unity of ambition.

Add all three together, and you’re left with a rising sense of Nationalism and a political move to the right, all across Europe.  And long term, we at Third Millennium Man think that European nations aren’t done with waging war on one another just yet…..

 

Great Britain referendum to leave or remain in the EU Referendum Brexit
That bit above the ‘E’ might need to be changed.

 

Europe is prosperous.  The UK needs to be a part of that prosperity.

Europe is expensive club to be in.  The UK is the third biggest donor to the EU, behind Germany and slightly less than France.  Those three contributions make up around 90% of the EU’s budget, so if the EU really is prosperous, it’s being prosperous with our money.

Yes the UK gets some of that money back in rebates.  The EU decides where the money goes though – the UK Government doesn’t get that much of a say, though it’s welcome to lobby the EU Parliament like any other organisation.

Away from the EU; is Europe ‘prosperous’?  Not really – perhaps ‘teetering on the brink of bankruptcy’ might be a more fitting description.  Many European Governments are crippled with rising debts (hence their reluctance to see the UK leave the EU), and the European Central Bank which bails them out is practically insolvent.  To this end, money deposited in the ECB currently attracts MINUS levels of interest.  For every €10,000 you have in that bank, YOU PAY THEM €40 just to have it there.

Yeah, we know what you’re thinking – Europeans would be better off withdrawing all their money and stuffing the whole lot under their mattresses!  Well, the European Authorities are already one step ahead on that one, and are taking measures to prevent such a run on the banks from happening.  If everyone was to withdraw all their money from their bank, the banks would collapse – they just don’t have the cash available.  It’s all been loaned out to other banks and insolvent governments.

(If you’re interested, here’s a Wikipedia article concerning the European debt crisis, including a list of countries which have received bailouts.)

Remember the financial crisis in Cyprus?  Capital controls were introduced so nobody could withdraw more than €100 of their own money per day (including businesses).  Meanwhile the €500 note is being withdrawn from circulation, which would make sleeping on your money-mattress a tad uncomfortable and the storage of cash inconvenient.  And in France, it is illegal to conduct a cash transaction over €1000 (in Italy the bar has been set at €1000 for around five years; Spain has a limit of €2500).  Remember that €1001 can be two notes and one coin.  If you want to buy that antique you saw in Paris – or your mate’s second-hand 2CV and you give them over €1000 in cash, you’ll be breaking the law.

All this is being done under the auspices of ‘security’ because terrorists and master criminals always carry bank notes in SWAG bags, presumable while wearing stripy jumpers and masks (they don’t – they use devices such as Bitcoin, or commodities such as weapons or drugs).

You, our reader, are certainly smart enough to decide for yourself if you think the UK can gain from being involved in this.  Or, if you think this is the kind of ‘prosperity’ we don’t need and we’d be far better off well away from it.

 

The UK's EU referendum is on its way

Leaving the EU will destroy the UK Economy for years, maybe even decades.

As an aside; when that is the headline, you just know that a Conservative Government is running both sides of the debate.  To them, everything is all about money.  But that’s a whole other topic.

The fact is, NOBODY can predict the future.  They don’t really know exactly what is going to happen when the UK leaves the EU, because nobody’s ever left the EU before.  All they have are estimates, guesses, wild guesses, and shot-in-the-dark headline-grabbers.

We at Third Millennium Man have an opinion on this matter.  These stories, statements, and propaganda are being spread by Politicians.  The same Politicians who will want us to re-elect them in 2020.  In the same way that the promises made to the Scots following their Independence Referendum seemed to evaporate within days, we strongly suspect that the visceral threats of imminent national bankruptcy, isolation, World War Three, increased terrorist attacks and horrible weather (probably) made by both sides will also be forgotten about some time around the 24th of June 2016.

Without all the ‘scaremongering’ there would be no debate.  Because nobody actually knows what’s going to happen, you have nothing to live up to if your side wins.  And if you make a load of headline-grabbing noise about what will happen if people vote in the Referendum for the other guy, it saves the politicians the irksome bother of making any promises which they might be pressed to keep.

(By the way, we absolutely loathe that word.  If we ever hear the word scaremongering again after the Referendum, it’ll be too soon.)

But what about the UK Economy?  Is the threat to our national finances – and by extension, the NHS, our schools, and all the rest of the stuff we pay for – a tangible one?

We have our doubts.  And as we said, nobody, not even the top analysts, know for certain.  But the idea that European countries will no longer want to trade with us if we’re not part of the EU Club doesn’t cut any ice in the Third Millennium Man office.  As we discussed earlier, Market forces will put paid to that myth; the Germans are still going to want to sell us cars, the Spanish will want to sell us perishable goods, the French will still own our electricity, and different parts of the whole continent will still welcome us for two smashing weeks in the month of August.

Are you IN?  Or OUT?

This is where it gets interesting.  To round off this piece, let’s look at the truth, and the perceived truth behind this powerful question.  Think about this – everybody is arguing, stating an opinion, or utterly flummoxed over a question which hasn’t actually been asked yet!

Nobody has defined the terms of this Referendum.  Just what exactly is IN?  And what does OUT mean?

Does ‘IN’ mean that we’d be voting for things to remain exactly as they are?  Or are we voting for a ‘closer integration’ (some might call it complete surrender) with Europe?  To what degree does ‘OUT’ mean leaving the EU?  Is it a process that will take weeks?  Decades?

We don’t know.  Third Millennium Man believes that we’re not going to be told.  And certainly not until the last minute.

In the course of researching this article, Third Millennium Man asked a handful of British MPs to define terms.

We’re still waiting for our first response.

 

EU referendum lies truth Great Britain British Brexit
Those flags are waving – are they waving Goodbye?

What AREN’T we being told?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course there’s a lot more happening than this, right across Europe.  It’s just disappointing that our national media is being manipulated in such a way that we don’t get to hear these things.  Just in case it influences our decisions – at a time when many British people who don’t know which way to vote are crying out for facts.

 

Our opinion….

Rather then make any attempt to persuade you to vote one way or the other, we at Third Millennium Man would just like to remind you how things are supposed to work.

The people get ready to elect a Government.  We elect a local representative who we think is the right choice for us and the needs of our local area.  This Public Servant, paid out of the public purse, is then supposed to act with the interests of the people, his constituents, at heart.  If he (or she) is any good, we re-elect them to represent us again next time.  If not, we elect somebody else.  A fair summary?

It stands to reason then that the elected Government should listen to what the people are saying.  If the people voting in the Referendum want to remain in Europe, then the Government have a responsibility to the people to do the very best that they can.  If the people decide to leave Europe however, the Government’s job is to facilitate that.  It is not the job of Government to tell the people what they want.  People are not idiots, they can decide for themselves based on the facts.  Therefore a Government that is selective with the facts, a Government who spends millions of pounds of Taxpayer money in an attempt to persuade by fair means and foul to comply, a Government whose priority is their own covert agenda which is at odds with the interests of the people, is skating on some pretty thin ice.

We have got ourselves into a situation where we complain about the things our Government makes us do (and the things which our Government will no longer allow us to do).  It is the sincerest wish of all at Third Millennium Man that this Referendum ushers in a new era of personal power; where we the people decide what we want and our Government obeys.  Once, the ‘Authorities’ were ‘Public Servants’; we hope this referendum reminds them of that.

UK's EU referendum membership #Brexit
Yes, it has been exhausting. Lie down and catch your breath…

 

We hope that this article has been informative and useful!  If you’ve got anything to add, please feel free to use the Comments Box below.  Spam messages will be deleted.  And please play nicely with each other…

 

 

 

your rights if you are arrested in the UK

YOU’VE BEEN ARRESTED! So what happens next? (UK law)

Whilst habitual criminality is strictly against the Third Millennium Man principles of becoming a better man, it is also true that the best weapon in a gentleman’s arsenal is simply to be prepared.  So this post is simply here to help you be prepared – by way of knowing your rights, knowing what to expect and knowing what to do – should you ever be arrested in the UK.

To arrest you the police need reasonable grounds to suspect you’re involved in a crime for which your arrest is necessary.

The police have powers to arrest you anywhere and at any time, including on the street, at home or at work.

The police arrest procedure

If you’re arrested the police must:

  • identify themselves as the police
  • tell you that you’re being arrested
  • tell you what crime they think you’ve committed
  • explain why it’s necessary to arrest you
  • explain to you that you’re not free to leave

If you’re under 17 the police should only arrest you at school if it’s unavoidable, and they must inform your headteacher.

The police must also contact your parents, guardian or carer as soon as possible after your arrival at the police station.

Police powers to use reasonable force

If you try to escape or become violent, the police can use ‘reasonable force’, eg holding you down so you can’t run off.

You can also be handcuffed.

The police have powers to search you when you’re arrested.

Okay, time to stop and think about this.  When the police tell you what is going on, and that you are being arrested, they will ask you if you have anything to say.  This is when you tell the officer that you DO have something to say, and that you would like him to write it down.

First, you confirm your name and address.  You say it clearly, slowly enough for the officer to write down, and spell out for him any awkward words.  You then say the following; “I am NOT resisting arrest.  I do, however, intend to sue for WRONGFUL ARREST, after I have been released.”

Why would you do this?  Because the police are adverse to legal action as much as anybody else.  You have stated your intention to sue them for Wrongful Arrest (a statement they will take very seriously); you have also made it clear who you actually are, effectively cancelling out their “mistaken identity” get-out excuse.  And by stating clearly and calmly that you are not resisting arrest, you remove the threat of any rough-handed treatment.

 

 

When you are Arrested.

1. When you’re arrested

If you’re arrested, you’ll usually be taken to a police station, held in custody in a cell and then questioned.

After you’ve been taken to a police station, you may be released or charged with a crime.

Your rights in custody

The custody officer at the police station must explain your rights. You have the right to:

  • get free legal advice
  • tell someone where you are
  • have medical help if you’re feeling ill
  • see the rules the police must follow (‘Codes of Practice’)
  • see a written notice telling you about your rights, eg regular breaks for food and to use the toilet (you can ask for a notice in your language) or an interpreter to explain the notice

You’ll be searched and your possessions will be kept by the police custody officer while you’re in the cell.

MAKE SURE that any searches, and anything you hand over, are recorded.  That way there is no question of you getting your stuff back.  And by making the process slightly longer, the more likely the officer is to treat you with a great deal more care.  YOU ARE WITHIN YOUR RIGHTS to get everything like this written down; there’s even a tiny chance that the officer may get fed up with the laborious paperwork burden and release you a little sooner….

Young people under 18 and vulnerable adults

The police must try to contact your parent, guardian or carer if you’re under 18 or a vulnerable adult.

They must also find an ‘appropriate adult’ to come to the station to help you and be present during questioning and searching. An appropriate adult can be:

  • your parent, guardian or carer
  • a social worker
  • another family member or friend aged 18 or over
  • a volunteer aged 18 or over

The National Appropriate Adult Network provides appropriate adult services in England and Wales.

Your rights when being questioned

The police may question you about the crime you’re suspected of – this will be recorded. You don’t have to answer the questions but there could be consequences if you don’t. The police must explain this to you by reading you the police caution:

“You do not have to say anything. But, it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”

2. How long you can be held in custody

The police can hold you for up to 24 hours before they have to charge you with a crime or release you.

They can apply to hold you for up to 36 or 96 hours if you’re suspected of a serious crime, eg murder.

You can be held without charge for up to 14 days If you’re arrested under the Terrorism Act.

When you can be released on bail

The police can release you on police bail if there’s not enough evidence to charge you. You don’t have to pay to be released on police bail, but you’ll have to return to the station for further questioning when asked.

You can be released on conditional bail if the police charge you and think that you may:

  • commit another offence
  • fail to turn up at court
  • intimidate other witnesses
  • obstruct the course of justice

This means your freedom will be restricted in some way, eg they can impose a curfew on you if your offence was committed at night.

3. Giving fingerprints, photographs and samples

The police have the right to take photographs of you. They can also take fingerprints and a DNA sample (eg from a mouth swab or head hair root) from you as well as swab the skin surface of your hands and arms. They don’t need your permission to do this.

The police need both your permission and the authority of a senior police officer to take samples like blood or urine, or to take dental impressions.

This doesn’t apply when they take a blood or urine sample in connection with drink or drug driving.

Information from fingerprints and samples is stored in a police database.

You can find out if your information is stored on the police database by getting a copy of your police records from your local police station.

You have to write to your local police (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or local police (Scotland) to have your personal information removed from the police database.

They’ll only do this if an offence no longer exists or if anything in the police process (eg how you were arrested or detained) was unlawful.

4. Legal advice at the police station

Your right to free legal advice

 

Note to Third Millennium Men – ALWAYS have legal representation.  If you don’t have a solicitor, then take the offer of free advice.  We don’t care how often you’ve watched Luther, the Duty Solicitor knows far more about the Law as it affects your case than you do.

 

You have the right to free legal advice (legal aid) if you’re questioned at a police station. You can change your mind later if you turn it down.

How you can get free legal advice

You must be told about your right to free legal advice after you’re arrested and before you’re questioned at a police station. You can:

  • ask for the police station’s ‘duty solicitor’ – they’re available 24 hours a day and independent of the police
  • tell the police you would like legal advice – the police will contact the Defence Solicitor Call Centre (DSCC)
  • ask the police to contact a solicitor, eg your own one

You may be offered legal advice over the phone instead of a duty solicitor if you’re suspected of having committed a less serious offence, eg being disorderly. The advice is free and independent of the police.

Being questioned without legal advice

Once you’ve asked for legal advice, the police can’t question you until you’ve got it – with some exceptions.

The police can make you wait for legal advice in serious cases, but only if a senior officer agrees.

The longest you can be made to wait before getting legal advice is 36 hours after arriving at the police station (or 48 hours for suspected terrorism).

You have the right to free legal advice if you are questioned by the police.

5. Complaining about your treatment by the police

Contact the police force you want to complain about if you’re unhappy about how the police have treated you.

Police forces must refer certain types of complaints to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC.)

 

What to say and what to do if you are ever arrested in the United Kingdom
Hopefully, you’re now informed enough to stay out of HERE.

As usual, if you have any comments you’d like to add, please use the box below.  Positive criticism is appreciated; and please, NO SPAM!

24 things you can do to make your life INSTANTLY better

The Internet seems to be packed with plenty of advice on how to invest your hard-earned money, so you can make your life easier.  But what about investing in you?  Isn’t that a more direct way to make your life better?

The whole idea behind Third Millennium Man is to help you find ways in which you can make that happen, as well as looking after your money (and everything else).  It’s our intention to bring you the stuff right away that might take you years to figure out on your own (if you figure it out at all).  So that, in a nutshell, is what this article is about.

Here are twenty-four pieces of advice that can instantly make your life better, from your friends at Third Millennium Man.

 

Make your life better by no longer smoking
Ugh.

1. Don’t smoke.  If you do smoke, stop immediately.

Gone are the days when smoking made you look cool.  Think about how you feel about guys who smoke pipes.  How nerdy and goofy do they look?  Well that’s how you look, smoking a cigarette.

Much as we like the idea / image of smoking a Cohiba Behike cigar in celebration of something or other, that’s over £500 a pop we could always find another use for.  One cigar, or a luxury weekend break for two?  Tough call.

Smoking is expensive.  It stinks, and makes your clothes, hair, car, and house stink.  It turns your fingers and your teeth yellow.  Worst of all, smoking is 100% guaranteed to cause health problems.

Don’t look upon it as “giving up”.  Those words have negative connotations.  Do something a bit more positive, and STOP.

2. Always wear a moisturiser; preferably one with a SPF15 sunscreen.

Do you want wrinkles?  What about paper-thin skin from sun damage, or bruises from just lightly brushing against furniture?  Think your skin just peeling away is a good look?  Carry on without a sunscreen then.

Your skin is the biggest single organ your body has.  Skin cancer isn’t just a matter of cutting out the nasty pieces, it’s a potentially fatal condition that can lead to other cancers.

We all know those handsome celebrity-types that seem to have been around forever, yet seem to be aging well, hanging onto their looks?  They use a moisturiser.  It’s a first step towards keeping your great-looking skin great-looking for years to come.

New to skin care?  Swallow your pride, dress up really nice and visit a High Street Chemist (there are some gorgeous women who work there!) and ask their advice.  These ladies are trained to help you ferret out the right product for your skin type.  Make sure your everyday moisturiser contains SPF15; various brands might also contain a coloured tint, pentapeptides, witch hazel, or might be oil-free.

Look after your skin; we’ll be looking at a skin care regime for men in a lot more detail, another time.

money business idea million pounds third millennium man

3. Start saving money regularly (even if it’s just a tiny bit).

Yeah, I know.  Boring, right?  Life’s too short, party hard, YOLO, and all those other ‘live-for-the-moment’ slogans.  Spend it while you’ve got it.

The trouble is, life often has a way of messing that one up for you.  You end up still living with Mum & Dad in your 30’s.  Your circle of close drinking buddies grows ever smaller as they gradually pair off and grow families, until there’s only you left.  What have you got to show for it?

The thing is, until the wife / family / mortgage comes along, you are very unlikely to ever have this much money to yourself ever again.  That money – your disposable income – isn’t just for drinking and having a good time.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but that isn’t all that your money’s for.

That said, there’s no need to live like a Monk.  Life goes on.  You are allowed out now and again.  Just start a regular savings habit, with an amount you can easily afford (though the more the better), and set the ball rolling.  Arrange for it to automatically leave of your bank by direct debit on the day you get paid, and you won’t even notice it’s gone.

One day further down life’s rich road, you might be glad of it.  Make sure you shop around for good deals first – Money Saving Expert is a good place to get unbiased advice.  Be sure to check out Friendly Society policies, ISAs, Trusts; and always factor tax payable, plus any fees, into your calculations so you know what return you can realistically expect.

4. Maintain (or repair) relationships with your close family.

By which, we mean Mum, Dad, brothers and sisters.  Even if you’ve had very complicated relationships with them in the past, you still need to get on with them – for your sake, their sake, and your children’s sake.

It goes way beyond knowing there’s a spare kidney out there with your name on it.  Family ties are extremely important. Soon or later as you become a Third Millennium Man, the revelation that your family is the most valuable thing you’ll ever have, will dawn on you.  Those are some wonderful people out there – in fact, why not text or call them today…..

5. Take up a sport.

Get into an active lifestyle right now, and you’ll be a lot healthier by the time you’re 50.  Don’t just “join a gym” – gyms are boring places. Gyms work best, in our experience, as a means to an end.  Find a sport, and use the gym (if you have to) in order to get fit for that sport.

Think about what would be fun to do, and then discover it.  Ever tried skiing?  Marathon running?  Bike racing? (hint: criteriums are the biggest adrenaline rush it’s socially acceptable to have while dressed in Lycra….)  Climbing?  Hiking?  Salsa-dancing?

Discover a new hobby – competitive sport.  Don’t put on weight, get regular exercise, get plenty of fresh air, and have some fun!

6. Collect memories rather than things.

There used to be a mobile phone Ad with the hook “You are every one-to-one you’ve ever had” (or something like that).  You are the sum of your experiences.

Don’t wake up one day, sixty years old, in the realisation that you’ve wasted life gathering possessions. Yes things are nice, but they aren’t everything.  Some of the most enjoyable things in life cannot be held in your hand.

Memories take up zero space.  They don’t gather dust, don’t depreciate in value, and won’t ever get destroyed by a house fire.

7. Give something back.

Giving beats receiving.  So give to others, with a happy heart, so you feel the goodness that service brings.

A Third Millennium Man will be known for his generosity.  He’s certainly not an easy touch for wise-guys and rip-off artists, but he’ll be the first to sponsor schoolkids, to give to charity, or to donate to causes generously.

Always carry pound coins in your pocket, and never be afraid to cheerfully give one to each homeless guy you see sleeping in a doorway.  It’s not enough to buy drugs or booze, but it will pay for something warm in his stomach (yes, you can argue that they “should go out and get jobs” – but first, he’s got to survive tonight.  That’s where you come in).  The point is that you are in a position to help.  Life has given you so much (the means to read this, for example).  Put something back.  Whether you believe in karma or not.

Why not give that most precious commodity in life – your time?  Some of my happiest memories are when I helped out at a Homeless Shelter (the stories those guys can tell…..and the filthy jokes!), serving Christmas dinner (soup & rolls) to a grateful crowd.  I gave up my all-night volunteer work with the homeless when I got married and became a father; nowadays I’m a volunteer at my kid’s school instead.

8. Learn to be content with what you have.

Stop surfing the Internet, drooling over expensive consumer goods that are beyond your grasp for one minute.  You won’t die if you don’t have the latest, massive TV or the newest console.  You can manage without that mansion or that yacht.  Do you know how much it costs to maintain a mansion anyway?  Trust me, you’re better off avoiding them (and hiring your yacht instead…)

Being happy and content is what matters in life.  Far more than the goods you own.  Far more than worldly success.

If you are content with what you’ve got, then yes, you may be a bit less likely to end up a millionaire.  You won’t have that hunger or ambition; but you won’t have that ulcer or stress-related early death either.  Instead, you’ll have a happier life.  And if you do become a wealthy person (it might happen) you’ll be a more happy, fulfilled and productive wealthy person.  A Third Millennium Man indeed.

That does not mean to say you shouldn’t ever aim for anything in life.  In fact…

9. Don’t delay pursuing your ambitions.

Want to buy your first property?  Raise a family?  Sail a yacht?  Emigrate?  Write your first book?  Go back into education and get a degree?  Change careers?  Perform some stand-up comedy?  Learn to play the piano?  Learn to cook a great steak? Learn to dance properly?  Run for election?

Then start today.  Stop dreaming, start driving. Welcome to Third Millennium Man territory.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to put things off. “I’ll get around to it eventually.” But with every passing year, your ambitions get slightly farther out of reach.  Time starts to accelerate, and keeps accelerating, and suddenly the chance to live your dreams will have gone.  The time that you’ll get around to those dreams should be NOW.

You are writing your own life story.  Here’s your chance to add a little action and excitement to the plot!

internet computing computer third millennium man

10. Start a business.

True enough, we’ve all heard the success stories of people who have started successful businesses later in life.  But why leave it until then?

NOW is the time to put wheels in motion.  Do it while you can give it your full attention.  Do it before your new wife appears in your life story and suddenly you have kids to think about.  Right now you can be selfish.  You can give your business you all.

Don’t put this one off!   That dream lifestyle can be yours, if you put the legwork in now.  In fact, your smashing friends at Third Millennium Man have even simplified the initial process for you, so you can create and test your next million-pound business idea in one single afternoon.  Aww, you’re welcome…

Do the legwork now, while you’re still young (remember, you’re younger now than you will ever be at any time in the future) and you have the enthusiasm and the energy.  You have the rest of your life to enjoy the spoils!

11. Get some sleep.

Stop burning the candle at both ends.  Stop staying up half the night.  You are not nocturnal, you are just in bad habits.  Grow up a bit, and get into the habit of establishing a proper bedtime.  To help you to do just that, I have a suggestion.

Sleep deprivation leads to some horrible symptoms, that you won’t even notice even though they will eat away at you.  You have no energy.  Your thinking is blurred.  You feel, and look, terrible.  Everything is too much effort.  And you’re so irritable!  Oh yes you are….

Sometimes we have every intention of going to bed at a proper time; “but I’ll just do this first.”  Suddenly, you’re looking at yet another late night.  How do you break the cycle?

First, I decide what time I want to wake up.  Yes, most folks set an alarm to wake themselves up – but me, I set my alarm for bedtime, plus one hour.  I set an alarm for nine hours before I want to wake up – when the alarm goes off, it’s my cue to get everything (all my “I’ll just do this” jobs) done and out of the way.  One hour later, I’m in bed.  I awaken refreshed, around the same time each morning, after eight good hours of sleep.

Spend some cash on better bed linen; look for 100% cotton, with as high a thread count as you can find.  Buy more than one set, so you can keep them laundered and fresh.  If your quilt & pillows are over two years old, treat yourself to some lovely new ones (look for hypoallergenic, machine-washable ones, to keep ’em nicer for longer).  And while we’re on the subject, how old is your mattress?  Think of what you’d find in a luxury hotel, and aim for that standard.  We spend (apparently) one-third of our lives in bed, so don’t skimp.  Make it a quality experience, and you’ll find you just can’t wait to go to bed!

Invest in some proper blackout blinds for those nights where it doesn’t get fully dark until 11pm and the sun starts to rise around three.  They’re handy for blocking out streetlamps too.

Keep away from bright screens immediately before sleep (try reading instead).  And make this into a habit; give your body a chance to get used to proper sleep cycles.  You’ll soon start to feel tired at bedtime, and wake up naturally before your alarm goes off.  Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it – it’s a heck of a way to start the day!

life, happiness, dentist
No, we’re not big fans of these things either.

12. Take care of your teeth.

Oh, I know.  Your teeth feel fine, don’t they.  So there’s no need to visit a dentist.  Dentists make up half the problems anyway – if he says you need a filling, you just let him do it (without question or getting a second opinion) and pay the bill.  And you never see a skint Dentist.

That is crazy talk.  Teeth don’t heal up the way that other body parts do, and your Dentist is limited in what he can do once the problems arise.  Dentists are not magicians, but they can do a lot to head off problems if they catch them in the early stages.

Go and get registered with a proper Dentist.  Go visit once every six months. Dental problems just get worse, and crowns, bridges, implants and so on are expensive, bothersome and uncomfortable.  You’ll also look terrible; those new clothes and haircut won’t do anything to make up for that hideous Ogre impression every time you smile.

I hate going to the Dentist.  It’s inconvenient.  And all he does is poke them a bit, tell me they’re fine but to brush them a bit better, and give me a bill.  So what do I do to justify the inconvenience?  I book a double appointment, and go see the Dental Hygienist immediately afterwards for a beautiful clean & polish that I can actually feel with my tongue.  That, my friends, is well worth the money.

And if you fancy it, ask your Dentist about teeth whitening.  You’d be amazed at how inexpensive yet effective it can be, done properly by a qualified and trained Dentist.  It’ll do more for your appearance than anything else.  That new suit or leather jacket (for about the same price) can wait.

13. Stop eating junk.

Okay, so you’re not a kid any more.  It’s time to grow out of eating burgers and fries with your bare hands, and graduate to using cutlery.  If your idea of fine dining is a stuffed-crust pizza and a two-litre bottle of Strongbow, then it’s time to re calibrate and redefine your standards.

Why?

Firstly, there’s your health.  Come on, you know that fast food contains way too much salt, fat and horrible chemicals.  You don’t put cheap nasty fuel in your posh new car, so why do the same thing with your own body?  For the sake of your health, start making changes.

Learn to cook quality dishes yourself.  Eat at least one ‘raw’ meal a day (meaning fruit or salads).  Watch your salt intake, and drink plenty of water with a drop or two of lemon juice if you don’t care for the taste.

(The best diet advice for a Third Millennium Man?  Avoid any food that is (or could be) WHITE.  That cuts out sugar, salt, flour, dairy, rice, pasta, potatoes and solid fats like lard.  Try it for a month and watch the weight drop off!)

Secondly, there is this whole thing about junk food that’s at odds with being a Third Millennium Man.  You only have the one life, and it’s down to you to make the most of your time here that you possibly can.  Which to most of us means fewer trips to the chippy and more sophisticated fine dining.  You never see James Bond tucking into a deep-fried Mars Bar, do you?  And your date will react differently to a flame-grilled burger than she would to a sophisticated restaurant with a resident pianist and a wine waiter (and not only because of what she’ll be wearing).

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Obviously we’re not recommending that you dine out all the time – it’s bad for your wallet as well as your waistline – but this post is all about living a better life.  Try some magnificence on a plate (and a glass) once in a while and taste just how wonderful life can be.

14. Go on an adventure.

Get off your computer, leave your house and plan an adventure right now.

Make it as big as you dare.  Take lots of pictures, take a little risk, take a step into the unknown, and take a companion.  Some guys take a train up to Scotland with just a loaded rucksack; some guys rent a car and drive around Europe; some ride Route 66 on a Harley.  Some go on train-rides across Asia or earn passage across oceans on board cargo ships.  Think big, and make it happen.

For the record, adventures are measured in days, not hours.  Think BIG and enjoy every moment.  You’ll be entertaining your grandchildren with stories about it one day.

ten amazing books every man needs to read, by Third Millennium Man

15. Read a book a month.

This comes with the caveat, not the same book every month.  It has to be something that holds your interest and challenges you.  We’re giving you a head start by recommending ten absolutely fantastic books that we believe EVERY man ought to read; these have the potential to change your life forever.

Novels are fine, but a Third Millennium Man needs to read a lot of self-improvement material too.  As well as our shortlist, we recommend looking at Speedreading, Memory Improvement; Meditation, Mindfulness; Salesmanship, Communication Skills; Business, Investment, Money Management; History, Travel or Philosophy as interesting topics to take a look at.

If you can, build it up to one book a week.  Allowing for Christmas, holidays, things like that, we believe that puts you on for over 40 books a year.

That, gentlemen, is more than you’d read for a PhD.  Just think; a PhD in improving YOU.

Start getting into the regular reading habit today.  Our advice would be to invest in physical books rather than eBooks if you can; books can be referred back to and passed on.  eBook readers are beneficial only from a portability point of view.

Your brain never stops growing, so exercise it, train it, and squeeze the most you possibly can out of it.

16. Learn to meditate.

The benefits that come from meditation are incredible.  Just taking some time out of your day – ten minutes or so – to centre yourself is all it takes.  The benefits to your health, your state of mind, and so much else makes it so worthwhile.

Don’t just take our word for it.  There’s plenty of scientific study that backs our assertion up.

Nobody’s talking about wearing Kaftans or burning Josticks.  You haven’t accidentally drifted onto the Third Millennium Hippy website. It’s just a simple way to centre yourself, and bring body, mind and spirit together.  Stop running around like a headless chicken and try this…..

Just find a quiet place where you can sit quietly, undisturbed and free from distractions; set your alarm for 10-15 minutes; close your eyes and consciously relax every muscle, mentally counting down as you relax and sink deeper into a relaxed but alert state; keep your mind empty and clear, without stressing over things that pop into your head; when your alarm goes, bring yourself back to the surface, happy and refreshed.  It can be as simple as that.

There’s a wealth of resources out there to help you too; we strongly recommend the excellent website Calm as a free starting point.

17. Travel. As much as possible, whenever you can.

Didn’t we do all this in number 14 (Go on an adventure)?  Well no, not really.  Here, we are talking about just travel.  Which can mean something as simple as varying your commute a bit, to going on holiday, to having the odd weekend citybreak.

Why not get off the bus home a stop or two early, and walk the rest of the way?  Vary the travel routine a bit, and you’ll see all the joys that you’d ordinarily miss.  Think of a European city – fancy going there this weekend?  You’d be amazed how cheap last-minute deals like that can be – and the difference they make to your health and state of mind.

“Travel broadens the mind” is one of those well-worn cliches that just happens to be completely true.  Travel changes you like precious little else can.  It will position you in places and situations that will encourage you to consider issues that are far bigger than you.  It’s about experiencing true risk and adventure so you don’t have to live in fear for the rest of your life.  Welcome to life beyond the comfort zone!

18. Stop comparing yourself with anyone else.

This court finds Facebook guilty of aiding and abetting this crime.  When your peers constantly post “Flying First Class, lol” selfies, and holiday snaps in places you’d love to go to one day, and pictures of their new car / motorcycle / jetski / partner / second home, then it’s hard to not get caught up in it all.

Yes I know, it’s human nature.  The truth is, you can NEVER be these people.  And it’s a waste of your own life to even try.

What about being YOU?  Nobody does the things you do.  For all you know, these ‘friends’ of yours buy all this junk to compensate themselves for not being you!  I’ve been successfully telling myself that one for years now….

There comes a point in life where you no longer care what people do.  A Third Millennium Man does care in a way – I wouldn’t want any harm to befall anyone I know – but so what if they’ve got a new car?

If you want a new car, then just go out and buy one!  But buy the one YOU want, not the one you think will impress those people on Facebook.

Find your own path.  Live life on your own terms.  Be strong.

19. Keep a diary.

​If you’ve read The Business Idea Factory: A World-Class System for Creating Successful Business Ideas then the chances are that you’re already keeping a journal and writing down all those wonderful, brilliant ideas that just seem to flow into your consciousness.  Excellent stuff.

If not, then do. You will definitely forget far more of your amazing ideas and precious memories than you’ll remember.  Your written records will entertain you in your future, and help you keep track of how your life story has unfolded.

Your phone / tablet / computer ought to make such archiving a doddle to implement and retain/recall.  Put text files into appropriately-named folders on a dedicated external hard drive, along with photos, scanned documents, Google Earth locations, and so on.

Your kids, or perhaps your surviving spouse, may someday love you even more for it.

20. Cherish your friends.

Family?  They are already close.  You’re joined by blood.

But as well as these people, make it your life’s work to bond with individuals who make you feel like you already are your best self.  Folks who challenge you by their example, and whose company you truly, genuinely enjoy.

Nurture these relationships.  Laugh with them.  Go places with them.  Spend quality time with them.  Be yourself with them.  And be silly too.

Contribute to their lives (this isn’t a one-way arrangement – it wouldn’t be as fulfilling if it was) and to their enjoyment of life.

Take the time every week to be in touch.  It’s what pubs were made for.

21. Buy your own house.

A Third Millennium Man is a man of means.  Not only in terms of cash-flow, but by way of investments.  And the single biggest and most worthwhile investment a man can make is in a property of his own.

There was a time in my life when I was against the idea of awning property.  The idea of being tens of thousands of pounds in debt at a young age didn’t sit well with me.  I didn’t like the lack of mobility that came with property ownership; if the job-of-a-lifetime came up in the opposite corner of the UK, I’d be out of the running.  And it seemed to me that as soon as you own your own property, you’re surrounded by people trying to take it off you again; ex-wives, relatives, the local authority who want to put you in a Nursing Home, or maybe the police who have you confused with a drug dealer.  You never know – it might happen.

But look at the facts.  Property has, over any five-year period since World War II, appreciated in value.  It has left any bank account interest in its wake.  I once sold a house I’d lived in for five years, and looked at what I’d bought it for against the selling price.  Over 60 months, the house had earned more money each month that I did.

Anybody, anywhere, that has ever made a lot of money, has held investment property as a cornerstone of their money management strategy, regardless of the original business they’re in.  Why?  Money in the bank earns interest, but the capital remains the same; money invested in income property earns interest (in the form of rent paid) AND the capital increases, as the value of the properties they own goes up.

Owning a property means that you’re a better credit risk than if you didn’t own one.  Lenders will fall over themselves to offer you money, which you can then invest in your new business, income property, or whatever you fancy (note: try to avoid spending borrowed money on depreciating assets such as holidays or vehicles).

There’s so much to buying property – and even more to making some SERIOUS money in property – that we won’t be able to cover here.  Instead, we’ll make a full-length post all about it at some point in the future.  Stay tuned.

But forget about the financial benefits for a second.  It’s also about having a place that you can call home.  A place you can welcome friends, family, and beautiful dates back to.  A place that’s yours.  A place you can relax in, keep your stuff in, decorate and furnish the way you like, and make an extension of you.

Make a start on this as early as you can.  Done the right way, you’ll be out of your mortgage while you’re still reasonably young and fit, with extra money to enjoy (that you used to pay in mortgage payments), as well as owning one heck of an asset that your descendants will remember you for.

22. Stop worrying about things in life you have no control over.

It’s pointless.  Utterly, utterly pointless.

Why put so much effort into upsetting yourself when there’s only so much you can do about things?  Why make yourself ill with so much stress, so much anger.

There will always be inequality in life.  There will always be something, somewhere that’s unfair.  By all means, do your part to bring about change, but recognise that you can only do so much.  And you certainly can’t do anything at all if you’ve been driven to suicide, or if you have high blood pressure or an ulcer.

Chill out.  Relax.  And look at number 23 as an antidote to all that stress.

 nature, life, happiness, joy, man

23. Spend some time in nature.

Get yourself out of that concrete jungle.  Arrange to spend some time out of the office.  Do something.

You don’t have to go far.  We’re all pretty much within range of some green space or another.  Even the Parks in Central London will do, if you only have your lunch hour.

Ever fancied taking up gardening?  Here’s a good reason to do so.  And if that isn’t your bag, get the holiday brochures in for a weekend away.  If you’re reading this in a city, you are surrounded by beautiful countryside.  Go take a look at it.

Go to the beach.  Go for a walk in the park.  The mountains.  Get a dog.  Find a way that enables you to forget the daily grind of our manufactured, unnatural existence, and surround yourself with the majesty of the natural world.

Why arrange to meet that cute girl you know for a coffee, when you can invite her to join you for a walk?  It’s romantic, it’s original, it’s informal, you’ll be on neutral territory, it will lower her guard (as she will have no idea how to react or behave), you’ll find plenty to talk about, you’ll both get air and exercise – and it’s free.  You could even pull an ace and bring along a picnic.  Just make sure you check the weather forecast first!

Don't ask her out for a coffee, invite her to join you on a walk instead. life.
Yeah, you know how to do it.

If you are the Boss, why not arrange for a little nature for your team?  It doesn’t have to be much – a weekend’s team-building exercise, or even Paintballing, is all it takes to recharge your key personnel’s batteries.  And they will be talking about how wonderful it was – and how effective you are, as a leader, as a Boss – for ages.

Make a regular habit of it, and receive the benefits over and over again.

24. Go on a Social Media diet.

We’re big fans of correct etiquette here at Third Millennium Man.  Have you ever been to one of those dinner parties, where folks seem more interested in their phones than the other guests?  I’m not the only one that thinks that’s unspeakably rude, am I?  They aren’t likely to be invited again….

You do not need to be on Social Media the entire time.  You do not need to have your phone glued to your hand.  Look up once in a while, and you’ll see there’s a whole world out here waiting for you to interface with it.

Social media addiction is a problem.  Yes it’s good in small doses.  It’s informative (it might even have brought you HERE to our smashing website) but like any other drug, it can take over your life.

Looking at pictures of cats doing stuff can be funny.  Looking at pretty girls is also, erm, quite agreeable to us all.  But if you are constantly checking your Facebook feed while you’re supposed to be sleeping / eating / driving / working / spending quality time with those closest to you, then it’s time to come off there for a few hours.  Nobody’s going to die because you didn’t ‘like’ their photos.

Does most of your social interaction occur through your games console?  Listen, it’s not healthy to spend 14 hours or so playing a game.  Now and then, OK.  Anything that takes over your life like that, is robbing you of your life’s essence.  Recognise that as fact, and deal with it.  You, sir, are missing out.

And while we’re on the subject, how often do you check your emails?  Make a habit of only checking your emails twice during the working day, and you’ll find your time is a lot more productive.  Why not set up an Autoresponse to internal email, along the lines of “Thank you for your email.  I check my emails twice daily at 11am and 4pm, and will respond (if required) after that time.  If you require a response faster than that, please feel free to call me on…..” giving your telephone extension number.

Put your phone down.  It will instantly make your life much better, when you see all the real stuff you’ve been missing!

life
That includes THESE things too.

 

Thanks ever so much for reading this post; FEEL FREE to use the SHARE buttons if you think there’s something here you’d like to pass on!

 

If there’s anything you’d like to add to our list of 24 things you can do to instantly make your life better, you’re welcome to add a comment below.  Please keep it positive, and any spam will be deleted.

Thanks again!

inspiration coolest guy inspired third millennium man men greatness

The SIX COOLEST GUYS we are proud to know personally.

Okay gentlemen, we’re all friends here.  So I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce a few people.  We at Third Millennium Man know these people personally, and we find them to be quite interesting role models.  In fact, we’d go as far as to suggest that these guys are some of the coolest guys we know.

 

Not that kind of 'coolest guy'.
Not that kind of ‘coolest guy’.

 

How do you define ‘coolest guys’?

An interesting question.  For the purposes of this article, we like to think of these men as genuine role-models.  We find them to be really inspiring people. They are all great guys, but they all have a particular story to tell.

When Roger Bannister ran a mile in under four minutes, it took the world by storm. Since then, many athletes have run a mile in under four minutes. Breaking new ground is always hard; once something has been done, it is far easier to replicate. Following in somebody’s footsteps is a great way to start any journey, even if you decide to change course at some point.

This brings us, in a roundabout way, to the point of this article.

We at Third Millennium Man are not suggesting for one minute that you become a carbon-copy of any of our ‘coolest guys’. The whole idea is to show you a few illustrations of what can be done. Greatness can be achieved. Quality of life is within your grasp.

That’s the whole concept of Third Millennium Man by the way. We want to bring you the tools, the info, that you need to make that difference.

So what better way, than to give you a few high-quality examples of what can be done? What real people, just like you and I, are doing right now (with one tragic exception).

Just to make things absolutely clear, these are real people. This is not a fictional article. None of our ‘coolest guys’ actually know that Third Millennium Man is writing this piece, and so we will not be mentioning any names. In fact, some of the details have been, erm, seasonally adjusted to protect their identities. The names are NOT important, in any case; what is important to take away from this post is that excellence, success, happiness and quality can be achieved. It is within your grasp.

So please make yourselves comfortable, whilst we introduce you to a few of our friends…

 

barber barbershop lifestyle third millennium man

The coolest lifestyle.

The first of our six coolest guys used to work in retail. Trust me, he hated it. He worked in a Building Society branch, which was more or less just selling Savings Accounts, Insurance Policies and such. He used to work in an electrical retail outlet, and didn’t much like that either.

It was the pressure that he didn’t like. He wasn’t a natural salesman. He could quite happily talk to people, he could chat with them comfortably on pretty much any subject – including the product they had come in to look at. It was just the ‘arm-twisting’ as he calls it, that he was uncomfortable with. He didn’t like doing it. If someone clearly didn’t want to buy something, he wouldn’t – indeed, couldn’t – bring himself to try and persuade them otherwise.

Our opinion? He’s just too nice a guy to make it as a cutthroat Salesman.

So what happened to this mediocre salesman? Why is he included as one of our Coolest Guys?

Our friend decided that he wasn’t happy following this particular trade, so he learned another. He went to Evening Classes (that would be ‘nightschool’ to our readers outside the United Kingdom) and learned to cut hair. He trained to be a Barber.

To cut a long story short (and we’re sure there’s a barber’s joke in there somewhere) our friend now owns his own Barbershop. In grey old England? No, he’s on the Mediterranean Coast of Spain. Apparently, Spanish hair needs cutting too.

Down on the Costa Brava are many areas where, except for the highly agreeable weather, you’d think you were in the United Kingdom. Walking around, you hear more English accents than Spanish, and see many high-street names that you are actually surprised to see in another country. These places aren’t actually ‘Spanish’ but boast the highest British expat communities in the world.

This is where he lives. This is where he cuts hair. He owns the barbershop outright. It’s air conditioned, and is just the way you’d imagine a traditional barbershop to look. From the chrome and leather chairs that pump up and down with your foot, to the mirrors, to the sports memorabilia decorating the walls and the bottles and jars of manly stuff that he sells, you’d think you were in London. Until somebody walks in and lets the heat in, anyway. There’s even the customary red-and-white pole outside. Come in and take a seat; help yourself to a coffee from the machine, and grab one of the newspapers he has delivered daily, and take a seat while you wait. No appointment necessary.

Why is this so good? Because our friend does all of this entirely on his own terms.

He generally opens up the shop before it gets hot. That means around seven o’clock in the morning sometimes, and there are usually a small handful of people waiting for him when he arrives. With a steady flow of regular customers, he’s able to pace himself and offer dry cuts, wet cuts, and shaves at reasonable prices. Later in the morning he stops letting people join the queue. Why?

Because he closes a little after midday. “Mornings are for working” he told us, last time we were there for a shave, trim and a facial, “afternoons are for the beach. Maybe the bar.” Heck, why not? If you earn enough money in the morning, why not spend the afternoon in the sun? Checking out the hot girls in bikinis, with a drink in your hand…

He’s earned enough to own the shop outright. And to own his own impressive villa, with a pool, a citrus orchard and an olive grove; with views of the sea, and the mountains in the distance. He’s invested in some local businesses, with an interest in several bars and restaurants. He rides to work on a scooter, saving the car for the odd occasion. His social circle includes a local fisherman who is happy to swap a fresh (meaning, still wet from the sea) tuna for some tomatoes or a bottle of olive oil. We love being invited to one of his barbeques…

Our friend believes his good fortune should be passed on, which he does by offering positions to young trainees and helping them become established. Partly down to his altruism, though we secretly suspect he’s well aware of the marketing potential of employing beautiful señoritas to cut men’s hair.

So next time you’re slogging away at your desk, or rueing your 48-hour week, just remember; there IS another way, maybe a better way, to earn a living. Our advice is to keep looking.

 

 builder tools resourceful inspiration coolest guys third millennium man men modern

The coolest Mr Resourceful.

The second of our six coolest guys is a retired builder. That isn’t to say that he’s of retirement age; it just means that he doesn’t need to work anymore.

Our friend used to do bits and pieces for people. You know the kind of thing; the typical mix of bathrooms, kitchens, extensions and garages that provide standard fare for the building trade. He also used to buy patches of land at auction – back before everybody watching Daytime TV caught on to doing it – and build homes on them. Some he would sell; others he would let out to tenants. The biggest plot of land he bought, he built his own house on; a grand six-bedroomed property surrounded by enough land to guarantee privacy. Over the course of a couple of decades, he accumulated a small fortune.

Impressive enough. But that alone isn’t the reason why he’s one of our six coolest guys.

Our builder was taking a break from work, visiting his daughter in Australia. Taking a few months out of the loop, to meet his new grandson. Whilst he was out there, he suffered a heart attack. Which kind of spoiled things a bit.

Upon his return, he decided he’d had enough of working. Building things is pretty hard work when it comes down to it, and he decided, on the advice of his doctor, to take things easy from now on.

The first thing he did was to bisect his garden. Nobody needs a lawn the size of a soccer pitch (well, maybe soccer players might do) but he put a high wooden fence across it, still keeping a generous portion of ground for himself but cutting off several acres of excess.

He sold that excess portion of his garden to another builder. Yes there are people the other side of that fence now, but you’d never know it. Especially with all the tall conifers that have been planted to hide the fence. He never told us, but we suspect he received a generous six, possibly seven, figure sum for that land.

Still nothing remarkable about that. We can probably name another dozen or so guys who have done exactly the same. What gets our ex-builder friend his ‘coolest guy’ status is how he busies himself nowadays.

Still having the creative spirit of a builder, he decided that he needed somewhere to work. So he built what he calls ‘the Shed’. Only it’s not a shed. It’s a huge, two-story double garage, quite near his house. It’s big enough to keep all his vehicles in; he also does all his woodwork upstairs, using a winch to transport bits up and down through a trap door, and he uses the downstairs to do all his metalwork – welding and so on – and to maintain his vehicles over the service pit.

Several months passed between the last time I saw him and the next time. In that period, somebody had given him a car; an elderly MOT failure that wasn’t allowed on the road any more. Only he didn’t need a car. He needed a tractor. So he made a tractor, out of the car.

The conifers along the eastern side of his garden were getting tall. So tall that he could no longer get the morning light in his kitchen. So he made an attachment for his tractor, which held the trunk of a conifer in place while he cut it at ground level with a chainsaw. (After the first tree he noticed that the tractor was in danger of tipping over. So he took the tractor back into the shed, where it emerged a few days later with the engine lump at the rear, not at the front). Before long he had chopped down the entire line of tall conifers – and made a wooden fence, entirely from the trees he had just felled. It looked a professional job, and indeed it was. I nearly drove past the place, I didn’t recognise it.

By now, you’re getting an idea of how resourceful our friend is. We’re talking about somebody who had a tenant leave one of his properties, leaving behind a set of bunk beds which they couldn’t take with them. Our friend took them into the shed, and made them into new bespoke kitchen units. Somebody gave him some wardrobes and a bed, he turned them down on his lathe and made a new galleried landing and bannister for his house.

He’s got a load of new planters around his garden. They used to be hot water tanks. He bought a load of old uPVC double-glazed units from a bankrupt company, and made some of the biggest and best quality greenhouses I’ve ever seen.

We are not talking about stuff that’s hammered together. He seems to have a magic touch, so that his handiwork always looks like he’s hired skilled professionals. His imagination, the way in which he can see something new in what he’s been given, are a true inspiration.

I saw him again recently. He proudly showed me his latest little project.

Having acquired some more uPVC units, he has now built himself a little conservatory. I say little conservatory, it actually runs along two sides of his house, and almost reaches the huge conservatory he already built just a few years ago. It looks the business, with polished granite tiles which he cut to the exact size and pattern he required. The only clue that he had done it himself? There were two doors in the conservatory leading to the outside, plus a new uPVC door he’d fitted between his kitchen and the conservatory. All three doors had letterboxes. I jokingly said that he must get a lot of post. I went back a week later, and all the letterboxes had been replaced with some smooth uPVC he’d had in the shed. You’d never know; it was the kind of quality workmanship people are prepared to pay a fortune for.

And our resourceful, creative, imaginative ex-builder friend just does stuff like this to fill his day. It’s effortless to him. Which is why he is one of the six coolest guys we know.

 

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The coolest Creator.

The third of our coolest guys that we know is just an amazing guy.

What do you do for a living? What does it say on your business card? On friend number three’s, it says ‘Inventor’.

I knew this guy’s son first. He was a bit of a strange character – into loud heavy music, weed, and borderline anorexic girls – but we got along OK. I had a nice company car, and I’d always pick him up and drive him around if I saw him hitchhiking.

One day I had a callout to repair some equipment for a small business nearby. Whilst I was there, it transpired that I was actually talking to my friend’s dad. It turned out that the apple hadn’t fallen that far from the tree, and his dad was actually a really decent guy too. We got talking about, you know, business and things, and that’s when I found out he was an Inventor. An Inventor with a tale to tell.

He had already invented a few bits and pieces. The widget inside canned beer, the grass-compacting lawnmower, and one or two other mechanical items. One day he was flying back from the USA after selling another successful invention. He was sitting next to another gentleman, and they got talking.

It turns out that the gentleman in the next seat was a European. A chap quite high up in some kind of a pharmaceutical and chemicals company. He was quite interested in our friend, and asked for his business card.

A few days later, there was a fax and a phone call from the gentleman. Would he be able to come over to Germany and discuss a particular problem they were having?

Being self-employed and always on the lookout for new business, he naturally said yes. There was palpable relief from the caller, who said that a taxi would pick him up early tomorrow morning to take him to a chartered jet which would be waiting for him. Not your typical day then.

One taxi ride, plane journey, slap-up breakfast and limousine ride later, he was in the vast office of the man he had met on the transatlantic flight. It turns out, he had a bit of a problem.

One of the spheres of interest for this company is that of livestock vaccines. The trouble is, some animals have such thick skin, that a standard hypodermic syringe tends to break in the animal, who isn’t really that keen on being injected anyway. By the time you have injected your entire herd, drove or flock, you’ve broken a boxful of syringes, injured a bunch of animals, and coated yourself in vaccine. Far from ideal. So, mister Inventor – can you help us?

Immediately, he said yes. The gentleman shook our friend’s hand, and gave him an advance cheque of £25,000.

Our friend designed the device, on a napkin, on the flight home. He spent the next few months perfecting the device and making prototypes. He bought a load of leather-soled shoes. If the device can work through the sole of a shoe, it can work through animal skin.

What the device is, what it does, I am not going to tell you. We’ve got little things like an infringement of copyright to worry about, especially if I tell you that the project was a success and they ended up paying my friend SEVENTEEN MILLION POUNDS for the rights.

He’s one of our coolest guys alright. As well as one of the richest self-made men we know. Whenever I see him (I still keep in touch with his son) I hear about what he’s working on next. It always leaves me wondering, “What can I invent? Come on brain, think of something!” He is a definition of the word ‘inspirational’.

The last time we met, he had bought some of the rights to his invention back again and had set up a new company employing fifty or so people. In this era of cross-contamination in hospitals from used syringes, he can see an opening for something new. He might well be a multi-millionaire now, but he keeps on going. He does it because he loves it.

Even now, as I’m writing this – sitting here at my computer – at the back of my mind I’m thinking, “Surely there’s something I can invent!” I find this cool guy so inspirational, maybe you’re thinking the same thing too.

 

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The coolest Artiste.

Now, this guy. This guy really IS cool. I said at the beginning that we are not about to reveal anybody’s name. But the chances are that, if you listen to pop or rock music, you’ll have heard this guy. But, you may not have heard of him.

This fine chap didn’t really excel himself at school. He was way too busy with his musical instrument. And you know what? He actually got to be really good at it.

How good? Well, he was playing in pub bands as soon as he was legally old enough to be allowed onto the premises. He didn’t study for a ‘proper’ job at college, but went to Music College and did well there. He earned enough playing pub gigs to support himself during this time, and ended up playing his instrument for a living.

He first came onto the Third Millennium Man radar when his band was playing at a pub near us, a good twenty years or so ago. We are all musicians, and we wondered if this guy was the editor of the Techniques magazine we picked up every month, or just had the same name. Thirty seconds into the show, we knew; this man has an absolutely blistering technique with his instrument, and blows you away. Good, loud, million-notes-a-second rock and roll. And as we found out over the intervening years, a really decent, down-to-earth guy too. Top chap.

During this time, he’s backed up his magazine work with a few books and self-produced CDs which he’s recorded at his own studio. We’re not talking a home studio based on a cheap cassette tape by the way; we’re talking, state-of-the-art, digital multitrack. We’re talking about household names in music, dropping in for a visit. We’re talking about charting albums being recorded here. We’re talking about a professional studio, in his home.

He’s been involved in the design of musical instruments and their associated products. He’s got endorsement deals. He’s recently come back from the USA where a high-end instrument manufacturer made him a free one, and gave it to him. For the second time.

We went to see a well-known show in London’s west end. He was playing in, and controlling, the orchestra pit. When the show ended, they took it on the road, all over the world. He was playing, centre-stage, to packed stadiums.

All this, while remaining a thoroughly decent man, who always remembers your birthday and ‘likes’ pictures of your kids on Facebook. He’s a fellow Curry fanatic, which might be another reason we get along so well.

Why isn’t this guy famous, we often wonder. He is, without any shadow of doubt, possibly the best player of his chosen instrument in the UK right now. Maybe even the whole world.

Maybe it’s because he’s happy doing what he’s doing? Maybe it’s because he’s recently married a sweetheart of a young lady and doesn’t want celebrity status fouling things up.

In any event, this guy is a diamond. If you’ve worked out who this is, please keep it to yourself; he won’t be very happy about it, and you’d be missing the point of this entire article. The whole point of this is to show you some of the guys we know who have risen to the top of what they do. They love doing what they do. They have found their niche. And you know what? You can too. Use these guys as an inspiration, and go for it yourself.

 

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The coolest Adventurer.

Can I just take this opportunity to remind you, we are talking about real people here, right? These guys actually do exist. I’m just saying this because the next man in our list of coolest guys we know might stretch your belief a bit. You’ve been warned.

We know this next man through his Dad and his Uncle, two very fine and upstanding gentlemen indeed. I met this young man, the next candidate on our coolest guys list, at a family barbeque to which I was also invited.

So here’s his story in a nutshell. As a young man he did the usual boyhood thing of going to Scouts, before enrolling in a Diploma in Public Services at his local Sixth-Form Centre. This to those of you who don’t know, is probably the coolest college course there is. A student gets his three ‘A’ level equivalents to access University (which are three pretty heavyweight subjects such as Law, English Language, History) as well as the ECDL qualification (a piece of paper that says you can use Microsoft Office to a high standard). Fairly run off the mill; but as it’s the ‘public services’ our Adventurer also got to go on exercise with the Army, on board a real Aircraft Carrier, offshore with the RNLI lifeboats, plus a load of other fun things like abseiling, rock climbing, canoeing and basic wilderness survival. Yeah, it beats a two-year diploma in a sterile old classroom, doesn’t it…

After that it got even better. He joined Sandhurst Academy to become an Officer in the British Army. That was the plan, anyway. Because it was while he was being assessed at Sandhurst that they noticed for the first time his great propensity for languages.

Skip forward a few years, and we have a young man with a chestful of medals from the Afghanistan conflict. He’s one of the team that snuck way behind enemy lines to converse in secret with Tribal elders, with only a crack team of SAS elite guys to protect him.

He showed me and his father and uncle some of the footage from his Helmet Camera on his laptop. Not that much to see (it was under the cover of night) except for the odd massive bang and flash here and there, with the sound of machine gun fire and desperate voices coming from all sides. Not your average ‘what I did on my holidays’ video. The bit that sticks in my mind was the SAS Commander shouting “Just checking for survivors, Sir!” to him; then sporadic gunfire; then “No survivors. Sir! Move on!” Rather them than me. God bless our soldiers, is all I can say.

He gets sent all over the place. He’s parachuted in to Africa and the Middle East to consult with inaccessible leaders. When he’s not doing stuff like that, he gets to go sailing with his SAS mates, or skiing across Antarctica with the Coldstream Guards, or fencing or shooting or playing polo with royalty. He’s got the best photo album I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen quite a few. The jungle, the desert, the packed cities of the Far East; he goes all over the place. What a life….

Last time we met, he was a little perplexed though. He earns really good money as an Army Captain (somewhere around £40,000 – £60,000 we’d guess) which is a lot as a 25 year-old. The thing is, he’s been invited to work for Government Intelligence (think along the lines of James Bond) for a heck of a lot more money. He’d retire before middle age as an extremely wealthy man. It would mean an end to all the Army high-jinks though; nowhere near as much adventure. If it was you, what would you choose?

I have no idea how the story ended. I heard that he still hadn’t made his mind up, but that was some months ago. But what a heck of a choice – all the money you’d ever need, or all the adventure you’d ever need.  What an excellent dilemma!

I have my suspicions that he’s going to stay in the Army, but get promoted yet again. He’s too good for them to lose, I suppose. All I know is that he’s at home right now. And home happens to be in South America with his gorgeous girlfriend and their two kids.

By the way, his age isn’t a misprint. He is twenty-five years old. And deserves to be one of our six coolest guys. Don’t you think?

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The coolest Explorer.

The last in our list of six coolest guys is a gentleman who happens to be no longer with us. His story as it relates to this piece remains a good one though, and he died while doing something that he loved doing. If that isn’t cool in the extreme, I don’t know what is.

Our Explorer had what we at Third Millennium Man universally agree is one of the best jobs we’ve heard about. Allow me to describe to you a typical day.

Our late friend used to write Travel Guides. The cheap paperback ‘Lonely Planet’ or ‘Rough Guide’ type of things. He’d be sitting at home, maybe in his Study, when an email would arrive from his Editor. “The guide to Malta is out of date” would say the email. “Go and revise it. Your deadline is in three months.”

So he’d pack a bag, book a ticket, and go there. And once he’s there, it’s his job to try every restaurant, visit every beach, stay in nice hotels and try every Theme Park. As it’s a business trip of course, everything is a legitimate business expense. So he gets to do all this stuff for free – while being paid, and while getting a sun tan. He’d take a nice Canon DSLR and pocket a photographer’s fee as well. Not having kids to worry about, his wife would often accompany him depending upon her own work commitments. At the end of it all he’d write it all up on his Macbook, send it all in, and be rewarded handsomely.

What would he do while in between assignments? Oh, just publish a few really good books here and there. And write a regular restaurant review column in a national broadsheet newspaper.

Did I mention his Study? It must be nice to sit at a huge antique leather-topped Partners Desk in your Study, surrounded by loads of gold discs from when you were in a band many moons ago. We at Third Millennium Man wouldn’t know what that feels like. He also used to make the best coffee ever, from this strange-looking machine that made one cup at a time, made a little bit of a mess and needed to be cleaned thoroughly after each individual brew. Labour intensive, but seriously, seriously good coffee.

Our friend’s passing is something that we are still coming to terms with at Third Millennium Man. His advice on writing, while I was learning my craft, still touches what I do, even while writing this. He was never too busy to help others. Never too important to speak with the little people. He is deservedly on our list of coolest guys. On behalf of us all at Third Millennium Man, old friend, THANK YOU.

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Conclusion.

Yes, it was a long post, wasn’t it. There’s a lot to pack in there. These six guys are like superstars to us at Third Millennium Man. Not that we are teenage girls or anything. We haven’t got posters adorning walls of these gentlemen. They have a higher purpose than that.

We believe that every man aspires, or ought to aspire, to do well. For himself. For his family. For those folks who are important to him. What do we mean by ‘do well’? That’s down to the individual. It’s down to him and whatever principles he holds dear. And we see it as our role at Third Millennium Man to assist you gentlemen as well as we can to help you along on your journey to greatness.

These six men, the six coolest guys we know, are there as a reminder. They are there as a kind of a signpost. Not so that you can follow directly in their footsteps, but to encourage you the reader to read their stories and feel inspired.

So go on – be inspired. Go on to do great, wonderful things. Brilliance awaits.

We would absolutely love to hear from anyone that’s been prodded into action by this piece of writing. Why not leave a few words in the Comments box below? Or even better, drop us a line with the Contact Us page? That would absolutely make our day – to rewrite this article, because someone that’s read this has gone on to do great, wondrous things. Suddenly we’ve got more than just six coolest guys to write about!