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6 Shaving Tips That Changed My Life Forever

6 Shaving Tips That Changed My Life Forever

“Winning is like shaving—you do it every day or you wind up looking like a bum.” – Jack Kemp

It’s hard for me to imagine a life-changing event more random than shaving. I shaved with an electric razor for 30-plus years and never much thought about it. Buzz, buzz, zip, zip, done in two minutes. Yeah, I had a five o’clock shadow at two, but I thought that was “normal.”  Now, I spend a luxurious 10–15 minutes with warm, fragrant lather and shave with a single blade razor that works just as well (in some ways better) as a multi-blade cartridge razor. And my blades cost me under 25 cents, versus almost $4 for a modern cartridge refill. It’s almost meditative in nature. Let me explain.

Shaving A Life

In the mid ’90s I began a serious relationship with a special young lady. One thing she absolutely adored was the feeling of my face just after it was freshly shaven. Unfortunately, she could only enjoy caressing my face for a few hours before it would get a bit “sandpapery” again.

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A couple of years after my wonderful young lady and I were married, we decided to go to Las Vegas for our wedding anniversary. One morning while we were there, she came to me with a gleam in her eye and said, “Don’t shave today, I have a special anniversary present for you.” That afternoon she took me to The Art of Shaving (in Mandalay Place) and had them give me a barber shave as an anniversary gift. It was a little freaky at first—I mean, here’s this stranger hovering over me with a straight-razor—but after a while it became strangely relaxing and I enjoyed it. The barber finished and pulled off the smock with a flourish. I felt my face…

Whoa!

My face was insanely soft and smooth. I’d never felt anything like it before. My wife had a sparkle in her eye and a huge smile on her face as she ran a finger along my jawline, “Ohhh, Mama likes!” I didn’t need to shave again for two days, and I was almost continuously touching my face in amazement: I was sold on this way of shaving.

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Shaving Essentials

Would you like to change shaving from an annoying (even painful) chore to a pleasant diversion? There’s a bit of a learning curve—after all, you’re learning a new skill, like riding a bicycle or playing a musical instrument—but it is not particularly difficult:

  1. Prepare the area before you shave with lots of warm water and a gentle facial soap. No deodorant or body bars! Doctors tell me it can take up to three minutes to fully hydrate the skin for shaving: take the time and leave the skin wet.

  2. No canned shaving cream! The propellants actually dry out the skin and then artificial lubricants have to be added to try to compensate. Use a cream or gel out of a squeeze tube. Or better yet, a lather soap or cream that you apply with a shaving brush: they come in many scents that can really enhance the shave experience!

  3. Yes, use a shaving brush. They may seem old fashioned or foppish, but they are excellent for both gently exfoliating the skin—cleaning out the tiny bits of debris from around each stubble of hair—and spreading the shave lather evenly and thoroughly. It’s better than massaging the lather in with the fingers, believe me!

  4. Use a razor with as few blades as necessary to get the job done. A single blade can actually work better than a multi-blade cartridge for a lot of people—any more and you are just inviting razor burn or irritation.

  5. Initially shave in the direction that the hair grows. It’s worth a careful look before you start: the hair “grain” can change directions. Not close enough? Re-lather and shave across the grain (90 degrees from the grain). Still not close enough? Re-lather and shave across the grain from the opposite direction. Want to try for “smooth as a baby’s butt?” Re-lather and shave against the grain (caution: some people just can’t do this). The idea here is to reduce the stubble in stages or passes instead trying to get rid of it all at once. Believe it or not shaving this way is actually less prone to irritation. Be sure to use the least possible pressure on the razor—don’t press down!

  6. After you’re finished shaving rinse thoroughly with warm water. This will remove any lather residue that could cause plugged up pores (little white pimple-looking things) and ingrown hairs. Then, rinse with cool water and apply an aftershave (one that does not have alcohol as a primary ingredient) to calm and protect the skin.

I challenge you to give these techniques a try and comment below. You may be surprised at the results!

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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