Valentine’s Gifts for Him: Presents for Every Stage of a Relationship

February 14th is a difficult occasion when it comes to picking Valentines gifts for men. What you buy your man reflects how you see him and the relationship, so you want to opt for something imaginative, original, thoughtful and appropriate for the amount of time you’ve been together.

In all honesty, guys are less fussed about Valentine’s Day gift-giving and receiving etiquette than their female counterparts. This doesn’t mean the Valentines presents for men protocol is completely out of the question, though. After all, they’ve been great all year at keeping you happy and content, so why not treat them to something nice to show you reckon they’re ace?

Here are some Valentines gift ideas for him, fitting for whatever stage your relationship’s at…

The Growing Romance

By all means, it’s okay to take the uber proverbial route with a guy you’re just getting to know. A bottle of wine or box of choccies make great Valentines Day gifts for men(if he’s the sweet-loving type) – a timeless way to let a man know you’re into him.

Alternatively, you could treat your gorgeous guy to a dinner date. Just let him choose the restaurant. Obviously, most folks go out for dinner on February 14th, but a romantic meal out is a sure-fire way to kick off conversation and enable you to get to know more about the said man.

How about creating some homemade treats? You don’t have to know him deeply to whip up some biscuits or cakes. Moreover, you’re guaranteed to earn a few brownie points for giving him such a thoughtful, personal pressie.

Going Steady

So, you’re at the next level of your relationship. Now you want to find Valentines gifts for him that show your hubby or boyfriend how well you know them – using all that stored data from those initial dinner dates. Smiley face. Go for a book by his favourite author, a CD from a band he loves or if he’s the sporty type, get him tickets to see his favourite team play.

Know some of his close friends? Ask them for hints and suggestions. As long as they like you, they’re guaranteed to help you find some lasting Valentines Day gifts for him that makes you golden in your hubby or boyfriend’s eyes.

Together for donkey’s years

Consider a romantic getaway. Spend the night in the capital or arrange for a sensual night at a swanky hotel. If you can swing it, organise a weekend retreat.

The long and short of it is that by now, both of you know each other well enough to tone the emotion down. By this stage of the relationship, the message should be one of unconditional, lasting love.

Change Your Story, Change Your Life, and Maybe Even Get Present in the Moment

Do you want to change your life for the better? Do you want to achieve real and lasting growth, move to a new level, and maybe even be happier? You can, and it’s easier than you think, but it does require consciousness and awareness. Bust out some pen and paper, and get ready to change your world!

To change your life, change your story. What is your story as of right now? Hint: your story is the stuff you tell yourself that is not necessarily true but has a serious effect on what your life looks like. Examples of a story are, “I’m not pretty, thin, or funny enough”, “I will never have enough money”, or “nobody likes me”. You get the picture, so insert your own story here. It’s usually something that is repeated endlessly to anyone who is willing to listen. Now, realize that this is all made up! None of it is true, unless you make it true.

You create your own reality. You are in charge of your story, so why not tell a story that makes you feel good instead of one that makes you feel bad? Why are you choosing to feel bad? (Don’t worry, you probably just did not know any better, no big deal!) Are you willing to let your old story go? If not, why? What are you afraid of? Trust yourself- there is nothing to fear, and you would not be reading this if you weren’t ready to let it go.

Starting today, begin telling a new, happy, successful and uplifting story! On your paper, write down your new, fabulous story. Whatever you want out of life should be in this new version. Now tell this story to people. Don’t ever tell that old story again! That old story is keeping you stuck and re-creating old drama over and over- you won’t change your life if you are attached to your old story. Begin discussing your successes instead of your failures, your health instead of your pains, and your abundance instead of your bills.

Where attention goes, energy flows and results show. What are you focusing on in your story? Is it what you want? I truly hope so, because what you focus on is what you get! Repeat the process of writing out and focusing on your new story as often as needed. (I do it several times a week- it feels great and keeps me focused on what I intend to create.)

Watch out for little stories in your day to day life. In addition to your big life story, there are little stories that pop up all day long. Pay attention to how you react to your life and you will see what I mean. An example: Someone doesn’t smile back at you, so you think “they don’t like me”. This is a total story- stop torturing yourself! You have no idea why that person did not smile at you. Maybe they did not see you, or they have a toothache, or they did not get much sleep. Maybe they were born without smiling muscles. Who knows? Why make yourself feel bad over it? Pay attention- respond with awareness instead of reacting.

Stay present in the moment to avoid the “story”. This takes awareness. If someone cuts you off on the road, don’t assume they are a jerk. That’s a story. There are any number of reasons why that happened, and let’s be honest, who hasn’t cut someone off at some point or another? If you can be conscious of your thoughts and stay present you can catch yourself in a story and let it go.

If you are having trouble staying present, focus on how you feel. We don’t feel enough in this world. Let’s practice getting out of our heads and into our bodies a little more. Our stories can make us feel really bad, but usually we are so far into our thoughts that we can’t realize this. If you get back into the body and focus on how you are feeling you can free yourself from the mind’s chatter. Take a few deep breaths and feel your emotions. If you are reacting in anger to someone, fine! Feel it, and let it go. Don’t use the story as an excuse to feel the same emotion over and over and over. That’s wasted energy- that’s where the story gets you stuck. Search for the truth- when you feel an emotion fully in your body and not in your mind, the truth will come to you more easily.

Feel emotions in your body, instead of thinking about them over and over. (I repeated what I just said in the above paragraph because it is really, really important!) When you feel your emotions fully in your body, they usually disappear very quickly. Accept how you feel instead of rejecting it. The story actually helps you reject your emotions. “I’m angry because that person is a jerk. How dare that person treat me that way?” In this story, your mind is saying, “I am feeling angry and I don’t like it- this person acted in a way that is making me feel emotions I don’t like.” Instead, get over the story and feel the anger! Then let it go. You can really change your life by learning to release emotions when they come up. Stuck emotions create stuck lives.

We are all creators. We are creating our lives in every moment. Tell a story that serves you instead of hinders you. Tell a story that creates a future that you can smile about. Live in a way that creates peace, joy and abundance. You are in charge of your story, and the story you tell will show up in your future. What’s your new story? Change your story and change your life!

Be relentless in your pursuit for the truth – the truth as your Higher Self sees it. Release your negative stories and live in your heart. You will be free- free to be abundant, free to be peaceful, and free to expand into higher levels of consciousness and joy.

We Are All TV Presenters

At a recent TV Presenting Course that we ran in Dublin, Ireland, it became very clear to me why most ‘presentation skills’ type courses fall short of achieving the results they should be getting – those results being a more confident, persuasive and eloquent speaker. In fact most of them miss the point completely! They fail to acknowledge the most important area of presenting – the voice.

A Speaker needs a voice! The spoken words must be the result of the 3 ‘P’s – Planning, Preparation & Performing (or Putting into Practise, if the word ‘performing’ frightens you!) Each have equal importance, and with a bit of persistence you will be amazed at how little time is required when you give each section it’s own value.

You see, an audience is not concerned with the Planning and Preparation, they only see and hear the Performance. The small window of opportunity that exists for you to speak, is what will motivate, inspire or persuade the listener to trust and believe in you. In a television programme the Presenter is the link between the ‘energy’ of the programme and the audience. Our screens are littered with examples of nonsense television with good Presenters and great subject matter with poor Presenters. Rarely do we see the best of content combined with the best Presenter performance, and when we do we over-ride all logic, cynicism and doubt and allow ourselves to be wholeheartedly taken into the speaker’s (or programme’s) world.

I have seen large, medium and small corporations spend fortunes on brochures, board rooms, PR – in fact all the things that make up the ‘corporate image’, and then fall flat on their faces when the ‘corporate voice’ – the voice that the customer hears – does not deliver the professionalism of the product, ethos or track record of the organisation. It amazes me how little vocal training many sales teams are given to help them maximise the small window of opportunity they have when in front of customers. The way I see it is: no sales = no business. Why take the risk of not ensuring your sales teams’ voices are the very best they can be?

So when I read or hear about courses that do not include at least a third of voice work delivered by voice specialists in their ‘presentation skills’ training, I realise that these people have no idea about courses they run, and have no idea how much value customers, clients and colleagues give to the vocal sound when making decisions. Call these courses ‘effective use of PowerPoint’, ‘content structures that help people understand’, ‘relax and de-stress’ or ‘how to sharpen your pencil’ – whatever – but do not call them ‘Presentation Skills’ if no serious time is given to the mechanics, physiology, psychology and delivery practises of the voice and vocal impact. This is like calling a course ‘Formula 1 Motor Racing Skills’, showing people maps of some race tracks, explaining the importance of driver focus, demonstrating how to change the engine oil and then, bizarrely, not giving them a F1 car with a skilled Instructor to guide them through their newly acquired skills!

(By the way Videoing participants and gratuitously pointing out the blatantly obvious doesn’t count! We are more interested in the cause, not the symptoms and we purposely ban video cameras from the first few days of our trainings. This ensures we guarantee long lasting change where the person no longer displays vocal and physical ‘oddities’. When our participants understand and are comfortable with their natural delivery styles and they can successfully combine this with their expert information, only then do we bring out the cameras as a means to achieve maximum effectiveness of the desired message.)

We all know the philosophical question – “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around tohear it, does it make a sound?” It demonstrates the dictum of ‘Esse est percipi – ‘ Tobe is to be perceived. This can be very easily  transferred to a sales, motivation, education or coaching environment. How often has a presentation ‘fallen in the forest’, and no one has heard it, acts on it, or even cares about it?!

In our ‘Secrets of Confident & Effective Speakers’ courses we continuously make the point that a listener doesn’t really care about the Presenters ‘stuff’ (their slides, sore throats, traffic jams, faulty projector, deadlines). An audience cares about what the Presenter says, how they say it, and most importantly how this makes the audience feel. This is what convinces them to believe, to follow, to buy!

So the next time you watch a TV programme, and you see a TV Presenter, realise that this 30 / 60 minute slot is the section on which you will judge the show, and not on the unseen weeks planning and preparation that has preceded the performance. To be at your best you must give equal time to rehearsing (or putting into practise) the skills of delivery. Only this gives you the best possible chance to do maximum justice to your integrity, ethos or product. This brings you and your message into the listeners present, and activates their response receptors. Planning, Preparation AND Performing. Does Your Performing do justice to your Planning and Preparation? Whether we like it or not, we are all TV Presenters!