“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.Advertising
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…
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.Advertising
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:
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!Advertising
Last Updated on September 20, 2018
How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful
Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…
If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:
The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:
- Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
- Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
- Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.
Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.
2. Loosen up
After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?
Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.
3. Chew slowly
Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).
Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.
Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.
4. Let go
Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.
The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?
It’s not. Promise.
Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.
Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:
5. Enjoy the journey
Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.
Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.
6. Look at the big picture
The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:
Will this matter to me…
- Next week?
- Next month?
- Next year?
- In 10 years?
Hint: No, it won’t.
I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.
Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.
7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself
You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.
Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.
8. Practice patience every day
Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:
- The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
- Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
- Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.
Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.
Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.
Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com