Ronald Reagan and the Lost Art of Letter Writing

Ronald Reagan and the Lost Art of Letter Writing

Have you ever read a letter that tug at your heart strings? And move you to tears? A letter written by President Ronald Reagan to his wife on their first Christmas together in the White House have that effect . . .

 

Today, at the funeral service for former First Lady Nancy Reagan (Live on ABC: Celebrating Nancy Reagan), former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney read this letter. (The former premier was a close friend of Ronald Reagan and both served in office during the 1980s). Here are the contents of the letter written in December 25th 1981:

 

 

Ronald Reagan’s Letter to Nancy

Dear Mrs. R,

 

I still don’t feel right about you opening an envelope instead of a gift package.

 

There are several much beloved women in my life and on Christmas, I should be giving them gold, precious stones, perfume, furs and lace. I know that even the best of these would still fall far short of expressing how much these several women mean to me and how empty my life would be without them.

 

There is of course my “First Lady.” She brings so much grace and charm to whatever she does that even stuffy, formal functions sparkle and turn into fun times. Everything is done with class. All I have to do is wash up and show up.

 

There is another woman in my life who does things I don’t always get to see but I do hear about them and sometimes see photos of her doing them. She takes an abandoned child in her arms on a hospital visit. The look on her face only the Madonna could match. The look on the child’s face is one of adoration. I know because I adore her too.

 

She bends over a wheelchair or bed to touch an elderly invalid with tenderness and compassion just as she fills my life with warmth and love.

 

There is another gal I love who is a nest builder. If she were stuck three days in a hotel room she’d manage to make it home sweet home. She moves things around – looks at it straightens this and that — and you wonder why it wasn’t that way in the first place.

Ronald Reagan

I’m also crazy about the girl who goes to the ranch with me. If we’re tidying up the woods, she’s a peewee power house at pushing over dead trees. She’s a wonderful person to sit by the fire with, or to ride with or first to be with when the sun goes down or the stars come out. If she ever stopped going to the ranch I’d stop too because I’d see her in every beauty spot there is and I couldn’t stand that.

 

Then there is a sentimental lady I love whose eyes fill up so easily. On the other hand she loves to laugh and her laugh is like tinkling bells. I hear those bells and feel good all over even if I tell a joke she’s heard before.

 

Fortunately, all these women in my life are you – fortunately for me that is, for there could be no life for me without you. Browning asked; “How do I love thee – let me count the ways?” For me there is no way to count. I love the whole gang of you – Mommie, first lady, the sentimental you, the fun you, and the peewee power house you.

 

And oh yes, one other very special you – the little girl who takes a “nana” to bed in case she gets hungry in the night. I couldn’t and don’t sleep well if she isn’t there – so please always be there.

 

Merry Christmas you all – with all my love.

 

Lucky me.

 

Ronald Reagan was a prolific writer who was never short of humor or words that moved hearts.

 

Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan: A Love Story for the Ages

Nancy Reagan passed away on Sunday at age 94. First Lady Michelle Obama, former U.S. President George W. Bush, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Hillary Clinton were some of the dignitaries who attended her funeral on Friday. 

 

Mulroney finished the letter and said, “Theirs was a love story for the ages.” 

 

And there wasn’t a dry eye in the room . . .

 

 

The Lost Art of Letter Writing 

Writing letters is fast becoming a lost art. All the more so when using it to express love or to show someone how you feel. I hope you can find inspiration from the letter Ronald Reagan wrote to his wife Nancy . . .

 

 

[This marked my 40th article in the NeuroBlog, a number befitting a blogpost dedication to The 40th President of the United States and the First Lady.]

What Makes Men More Attractive to Women

What Makes Men More Attractive to Women

When you meet someone for the first time, your mind will pick up non-verbal signals almost immediately. The person you are meeting will do the same. Most of potential romantic partnerships are assessed in these “get-to-know-you” conversations.   Dispositional Mindfulness

 

The Trait Women Find Most Appealing

All men are drawn by a woman’s physical attractiveness. This is a common and inherent trait in all men. In fact, evolutionary science have taught us that a woman’s physical appeal is an indication of fertility. It equates to an ideal choice for procreation and the reproduction of healthy genes. 

 

Women’s selection criteria on male attractiveness, however, is less definitive. Researchers from two Australian universities discovered an attribute women look for in men. This attribute is powerfully seductive. Even more so than physical attractiveness.

 

45 male and female undergraduates participated in a 3-minute speed-dating styled conversation. From the experiment, researchers concluded that the trait women find most appealing in men is dispositional mindfulness”.

 

Dispositional Mindfulness

Dispositional mindfulness means having a nonjudgmental awareness and attention towards your thoughts and feelings in the present moment. In terms of interpersonal communication, it means you are able to:

  1. pay undivided attention,
  2. take a nonjudgmental view
  3. deal with emotions and stress.

 

For a woman, dispositional mindfulness means having a kind of attentiveness which can ease the burden of childbearing. In the perspective of evolutionary science, it also guarantees the survival of their offspring.

 

Harvard psychologists Leslie Burpee and Ellen Langer, in their study “Mindfulness and Marital Satisfaction,” found that dispositional mindfulness resulted in very satisfying romantic relationships. Dispositional mindfulness enhances relationships because or your ability to appreciate and embrace differences.

 

 

How to Attain Dispositional Mindfulness

Your dispositional mindfulness index will not be very high if you habitually evaluate the potential of a romantic partnership while engaging in a conversation. 

 

Fortunately, dispositional mindfulness are not cast in stone. All you need to cultivate dispositional mindfulness is a conscious effort and a deliberate shift in mindset. To get into a state of mindfulness, take up the practice of meditation. Meditation will help you to focus on the present, become an attentive listener and have a keen awareness of emotions.

 

Another way to tap into the power of dispositional mindfulness is getting into a state of flow. In a flow state, you alertness level spikes and you can effortlessly flow into the conversation. Precisely what women find most attractive in a man. 

 

And, in case you are curious as to what was the outcome of the research on men’s criteria for potential female partner, the result is a foregone conclusion. Men still ranked physical attractiveness as women’s most appealing quality.

8 Conversational Strategies to Create Intense Attraction with Women

8 Conversational Strategies to Create Intense Attraction with Women

You have mustered the courage to introduce yourself to an attractive woman or have successfully asked her out on a date.   Now, everything hinges on your conversational prowess. Here are 8 proven conversational strategies to help you to create intense attraction with women:

 

 

Preparation: Getting Ready for a Good Conversation

1.  Walk into any situation prepared and confident

This sounds easier said than done. Confidence is the knowingness of how good you are. What if you don’t think you are good enough?

Hone your confidence by doing a 10 point analysis of all your positive traits. It could be anything from physical attributes (“I have a good smile”) to a skill (I am a handy at bike repair).

Every day, before you step out of your home, tell yourself “today is the best day of my life”.  In your daily interactions with people – from the newsagent to the waitress at the diner to your local grocer – make small talk and try to make pleasant conversation whenever you can. Make them feel glad that they have interacted with you for the day.

The daily preparation will come in handy when you meet an attractive woman and engage her in a conversation.

 

2.   Create a mystical aura 

Being well read will broaden the scope of your conversational topics and makes you stand out from the crowd. Increase your knowledge beyond the realm of world affairs, politics, fashion and entertainment. Always be ready to delve into a variety of topics.

The deeper you can delve in a conversation with a woman, the further you will be able to progress in creating intense attraction. Not to mention creating a greater separation between you and your closest competitor. There’s nothing sweeter than crushing the competition and destroying their morale.  😆 

If you have the skills to read body language and subtle signs in people, it will give you an edge in scoring with a woman.  Create a mystical yet emotional aura about you and begin by structuring the conversation based on something you have observed about her.

 

 

Pacing: Control the Flow of the Conversation

3.   Intersperse your questioning with statements

If you are one of those nervous types who try to impress a girl by keeping the conversation going with a barrage of “getting acquainted” questions, you are running the risk of taking her to the kingdom of boredom. You will also risk sabotaging interrupting the flow of the conversation.

Intersperse your questioning in this format:

You question – she answers – you make a statement based on her answer – ask another question (and repeat the loop). This technique will demonstrate to her that you are a skilled conversationalist and able to shift the flow of the conversation to make it an interesting one.

Listen with intent and not be preoccupied with waiting for your turn to speak. Speak only when necessary and instead aim to be a good listener. Display finesse by withholding your thoughts and ideas out of the conversation and use them only when necessary. Instead, make use of statements to validate her thoughts and opinions.

 

4.  Choose your passion as a topic of conversation

With reference to #3 above, instead of making her feel bored with the run-of-the-mill “getting acquainted” questions, aim for a conversation that can keep her excited and engrossed. In your bid to create an interesting conversation, nothing beats talking about your passion. Women are attracted to men with passion as it symbolizes drive – the side of men that know what they want and go after it.

When you talk about your passion, you can be fully involved and energized about the topic. This is a time when you can engage her in a conversation where you can just speak from your heart and conjure up words that are multi-sensory.

Please do not brag. Unless you want to be branded as a jerk who is full of himself.

8 conversational

 5. Feed her words back to her . . . subtly

Another key to listening intently when she speaks is to be aware of her use of “value words”. These words are an embodiment of her core likes and dislikes.

Supposing she speaks admirably about an adventurous person who is caring and understanding, her value words are “adventure”, “care” and understand”. Throughout the course of the conversation, try to embed these words into the conversation and subtly associate them to you.

You can form a sentence like:

“I feel that life is like a big and exciting adventure” and sporadically throughout the course of your conversation, affirm her statements with the words “I understand”.

 

6.  Make your conversational tone emotion-based

Women are more emotionally inclined than men and therefore, any emotions that arise from her conversation may be linked to you. Thus, it would be a good strategy to evoke positive emotions in her as she will associate those feelings with her.

In your questions, aim for her to answer with specific feelings – preferably positive ones (eg. “How did you feel during the river cruise you took last summer?”). Then make remarks and statements (#3 above) in relation to those positive emotions.

Try to steer clear from fact-based questions or statements. Your objective is to associate ALL her positive emotions to you.

 

 

Performance: Conversing with Finesse 

7.  Use non-verbal cues to create instant rapport

The golden rule when demonstrating the skills of a good listener is to smile and have a pleasant eye contact.  Then, accentuate that smile with a slight tilt of your head as a display of trust and comfort.

According to the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, we are attracted to people who resemble our parents or ourselves. To gain rapport and trust, match your communication style with hers. Observe her sitting position and gestures, then try to mirror them. Do your mirroring subtly and be careful not to mirror like a chimp or you’ll be perceived as weird or psychotic.

 

8.  Have fun and let the good times roll

Focus on having a meaningful conversation instead of on the end result.

Lock in a mindset of having fun, being in the moment and enjoying the conversation. This will allow you to be in a state of flow and the conversation will take on a life of its own. It will even allay your fear of not knowing what to say or being too preoccupied with trying to create the perfect thing to say.

When you are having fun, you will come across as a fun person and the mirror effect will cause her to relax and have fun as well. Just imagine where this can all lead to.

10 Strategies for Men To Create a Lasting Relationship

10 Strategies for Men To Create a Lasting Relationship

You had gotten past the courtship stage of a relationship. However, relationships rarely work on cruise control. To achieve a lasting relationship, you must constantly work at it lest relationship atrophy sets in.

 

Creating a lasting relationship goes beyond chemistry and attraction. Moving to the next phase requires a different skill set. And some finesse. Here are 10 strategies you can employ to keep your relationship engine moving and keep up to speed.

 

1. Work on your passion

To make a woman see you as long term prospect, you need to exude an aura that you will always be there in the long haul.  

 

A man who knows what he wants for himself will be able to provide for the woman he is with. The personal fulfillment of something you are passionate about – a favorite hobby that could be turned into a dream job or a lifelong pursuit – is an indication to a woman that you can do the same for her.

 

2. Be authentic

Find your authentic self. Practice self-acceptance and feel happy being around yourself, then others will feel happy being around you. When you are comfortable with yourself, that is a form of self-love and it signifies your authenticity. It will also make you an interesting person that people would want to hang around with.

 

3. Keep doing the little things that matters

Perform random acts of thoughtfulness. You can’t go wrong with daily doses of thoughtful gestures for it will, over time, solidify your bond with her. Acts that seem trivial and insignificant after being in a relationship for a while – hugs, kisses, compliments – are actually bids for emotional connection. A concept formulated by Dr. John Gottman, bids for emotional connection are bids partners make to create, maintain and reestablish connection with one another.

 

4. Establishing and maintaining trust

Probably the most important word in the vocabulary of relationship is TRUST. Trust break down boundaries and establishes a clear line of communication.

 

Dr. Stephen R. Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People coined the term “emotional bank account” as a metaphor for trust in terms of emotional units. You make “deposits” in your relationship emotional bank account when your acts increases her trust, confidence and affection for you.

 

When you break promises, lie and cheat and create feelings of mistrust, anger and bitterness in a relationship – you may have overdrawn your emotional bank account. And headed for a very rocky ride . . .

 

5. Beware the pitfalls of being relationship-centered

You must have a multifaceted life where your daily activity is a balance of work, spirituality, physical activities, self-improvement and relationships (friend, colleagues, family, etc).

 

If you are just focused on your relationship with her it makes you a one dimensional person. And clingy.

 

Go back to #1 above and start over.

 

6. Keep the flame burning

You must be the excitement that keeps her coming back to you. Once you lose that, the relationship is gone. Never take her for granted and never stop courting.

 

Take a lesson from an old school romantic and my favorite icon, President Ronald Reagan. His devotion to his wife Nancy is legendary. Reagan had written countless letters to his wife throughout their time together. In a letter to Nancy on their 31st wedding anniversary he wrote, “I more than love you, I’m not whole without you. You are life itself to me. When you are gone I’m waiting for you to return so I can start living again.”

 

7. Get her involved in common pursuits

If you are really serious about creating a relationship that last, then be serious about creating some enjoyable “together” time. Plan trips, sign up for a Pilates class together or find interesting places to hike every fortnight. Having common interests or hobbies means you can spend more quality time together and have more constructive conversations.

 

8. Quell her insecurities

The battle is half won if you have established trust (see #4 above) early in the relationship. Most insecurities faced by women are triggered by doubts, miscommunication or lies.

 

Most women are insecure because society has made them believe that all men are lying, cheating bastards. So most men enter into a relationship “guilty until proven innocent”. It’s a harsh fact. The onus is on you to prove that you are fine loyal man of integrity.

 

Of course, there are more to a woman’s insecurities than meets the eye but that would probably be a topic for another day and time.

 

9. Put an end to your insecurities

Your insecurities (or most men for that matter) is always due to a low self-esteem or lack thereof.

 

If you do not work on your insecurities BEFORE you begin a relationship, it may creep up during your relationship like a bloody nightmare. Male insecurities are very often the reason a man get dumped by a woman. While showing your vulnerable side may be an attractive thing, there is no bigger turn-off to women than a wimp-ish insecure man.

 

So, take your insecurities to Dr. Phil if necessary. In short, please deal with it before it ruins your relationship.

 

10. Give her space

While being devoted and spending time together enhances your relationship with her, it is also essential to give her some “alone” time. Relationship is a two-way street where couples share a lot of activities together as well as experience things separately.

 

Giving space is healthy. It enhances trust and understanding and keeps the relationship fresh and exciting. The space allow her room for personal growth, quiet contemplation and an opportunity for her to maintain her social circle. It also reflect upon you as a cool and confident guy and not an insecure wimp-ish man.

Is He Thinking Long Term Commitment?

Is He Thinking Long Term Commitment?

Many women still face the conundrum of trying to figure out what a man wants from a relationship. Even though most would agree that a man’s mind is not as perplexing as a woman when it pertains to relationship matters.  long term commitment

 

Here are three seemingly insurmountable relationship challenges that most women face.

 

 

Men’s Fear of Long Term Commitment

In a survey of 12000 men and women between the age of 15-44, 66% of the men opted for marriage versus staying single. Only 51% of women chose marriage as an option.

 

The underlying reason for men’s fear of commitment is the fear of losing their freedom, of losing sexual excitement and their prerogative to pursue their dreams. If you can allay these fears, it would encourage the man to look into the option of a long term commitment. If you show any signs of desperation or ‘clingy-ness’, it will trigger his “fight or flight” response. In most cases, it would be flight.

 

Convince him that you are multi-faceted woman and have a balanced social, work and lifestyle. That is the key to getting a long term commitment from a man. This will assure him that you WANT to be with him and not NEED to be with him.  

 

If a man is in the process of getting his act together it may also keep his focus away from being committed. When striving to establish certain social or financial status, his mind will be geared towards self-development or building a career instead of sustaining a relationship.

 

Men Are Emotionally Suppressed long term commitment

Most men suppress their feelings for lack of a socially acceptable emotional outlet. This may prove to be a challenge especially for women in a relationship where men is perceived as insensitive, unemotional, and oblivious to feelings. Evolutionary demands have not been kind to men in terms of being emotionally expressive. For as long as we can remember, the “strong silent” type is the ultimate role model.

 

Women’s readiness to confide on relationship issues with their friends make them more able to resolve emotional challenges. For men, it’s a societal norm to bottle up failed relationships and turn them into rage.

 

Men may be more emotional than women. It’s just that they have been conditioned to keep it hidden and under control. Thus, the display of emotions is considered by men as weakness and vulnerability. And risk being ridiculed in the presence of other men.

 

Be encouraging and patient if the man you are in a relationship is in one of those “emotional funnels”. Your constant encouragement will slowly increase his comfort level to openly express his emotions. Give him time and space to process his emotions. Do your best to avoid all forms of criticisms or ridicule as he may channel his emotions into anger and frustrations and become confrontational.

 

Offer compassion and support and give assurance that you will be there for him when he needs you. However, do not “talk about it” unless you sensed that he’s ready. If he’s ever ready.

 

 

Men Are Ego Driven

The male ego.

 

Where do I begin?

 

Picture a Mimosa Pudica, the perennial herb known as “touch-me-not”. You can liken a man’s ego to this little plant with compound leaves that retracts when touched. In short, if you hurt a man’s ego, he withdraws and you lose his trust or you may lose him completely. You must understand that man will let his ego control his emotions than allow his heart to control it.

 

If you can “manage” a man’s ego, you will enjoy a fulfilling relationship for the longest time. All men have egos. His ego is the brick wall between his mind and his emotions. You can’t bring it down by force. You need to soften it reach his emotions.

 

To keep your relationship fresh and healthy, bolster his self-esteem with a dose of appreciation. Let him know how you feel about his intelligence, physical appearance, sexual performance and things that matters to him. Tip: Do it in a positive tone. Because it works all the time.

 

Praise, acknowledge and make him feel adequate. It is a good start towards a long lasting relationship. Or else, some other woman may just come along make him feel that way.

10 Essential Tips On Women That Every Man Should Know

10 Essential Tips On Women That Every Man Should Know

Countless men have been driven crazy trying to figure out women. Often looked upon as some kind of enigma, these are the 10 essential tips on women that every man should know about.  I for one love the subject of women and neuroscience and for the men out there who, like me, wants to get scientific end of things, try Louann Brizendine’s The Female Brain.

 

 

An Instant Guide to a Woman’s Mindset essential tips

1.  When communicating with women, the keyword to use is “feel”. Women’s language go beyond words. They are more in touch with their feelings compared to men as women tend to have a larger deep limbic system – the area in the brain responsible for expressing emotions.Be a good listener and always encourage her to feelings, thoughts and emotions with you. Make it safe and comfortable for her to let you lead the relationship. Your ability to do this will be the key to a happy and fulfilling relationship. essential tips

 

2.  In relations to #1 above, it’s a safer bet to judge them by their actions and facial expression rather than words. If you are dating her for the first time and you suggested Italian for dinner look for telltale signs of social compliance in her facial expression. She might not really like Italian food but agreeing to it just going along with you.

 

3.  Most women like (pleasant) surprises. Sometimes providing surprises sporadically keeps the relationship exciting and also puts you on top of the food chain and an edge against your competitors. They like a man who is creative enough to be full of (pleasant) surprises. Please pay special attention to the word “pleasant”.

 essential tips

4.  Be impeccable and meticulous especially when it comes to details. While men usually focus on the big picture, most women are into details due to the different way that orbitofrontal cortex gets activated. This is the region of the brain involved in decision making. essential tips  


Going beyond the way our brains are wired, women’s knack for details are a display of concern for a person or situation. Women judge men by looking at their shoes and nails. Some men don’t bother to trim their nails neatly.


Unless you need those nails to practice some Shaolin Eagle Claw Fist or paint them black to be in a rock band, get them trimmed to look decent. For the clueless, random little gestures like opening doors and helping to hang her jacket goes a longer way than an expensive car or a massive bank account. Unless you plan to date gold diggers.

 

5.  Women can be very critical about themselves especially on the minor physical flaws or imperfections. These are moment where they need positive validations. Learn how to lavish them with praises and compliments. Do not overdo it otherwise it might lose its appeal.

 

6.  Women seek real men. The kind that can be decisive and to make decisions. You need to take the lead and make decisions when you are with her. Being sure of yourself is a trait women look for in a man. Regardless of the consequences of the decisions you make when you are with her, be confident. If you are confident, you can get away with almost anything. ‘nuff said. essential tips

 essential tips

7.  In line with #6 above, two things to avoid at all costs is to put her down or to put her on a pedestal. Having confidence doesn’t mean you have to see her as inferior to you. Nor must you treat a very attractive girl as if she is some goddess sent from heaven. Women expect you to be a bit above them and to be able to lead her in the right direction.

 

8.  Show appreciation. Women like to be appreciated and to know that what they have done for you mattered. So, hugs and kisses and words of appreciation means a lot to a women. Get into the habit of using them.

 

9.  This is a BIG essential tip for you. Women wants to be heard. She’s had a hard day at work and she telling you all about it. NEVER, EVER give her advice unless she ask for it. She just want acknowledgement, affirmation, response and validation. Full stop. It may be hard for some guys to fathom because it’s hardwired into the male brain as problem solvers. Just LISTEN. Give eye contact. Nod. Shut up. Repeat the 4-step process.

 

10.  Communication is a two way street. Speak from your heart. Show warmth and emotions. Learn emotional flexibility. Leave the deadpanned Bill Murray face at the office or when jesting with your friends. Women appreciates a man who can show his sensitive side and able to laugh and cry with her.

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