I’m on my way to get a haircut this morning. Driving in Los Angeles, as all of you know, is such a pleasure. It seems like when you’re running a few minutes late that people want to make you even later. Now, I’m not Speedy Gonzales, but c’mon . . . at least drive the speed limit!

Los Angeles is not laid back anymore. Too many people live here. It’s overpopulated. It’s just not laid back anymore.

When you’re late, though, you seem to get absolutely everybody on the road. So as I’m writing this blog while I’m driving through traffic (because that is one of the skills I’ve mastered), I have a question for all of you.

If you’re driving in the left lane going 20 mph and in your rear view mirror you see 40 cars piled up behind you, do you you know that the courteous thing to do is move over into the right lane and let those 40 cars get to their appointments? If you’re on the phone leaning your head on the car window as you’re driving, do you realize that the car is not your living room?

The rear view mirror was invented so that you can see all the angry people behind you. The blinker was invented so people know you’re going to turn and can slow down or change lanes. The horn was invented to wake the idiot up in front of you who is writing a blog and refuses to go at a green light.

Not to mention, in California the lights aren’t timed so you have the pleasure of sitting at lights all the time. Oh, and if you’re going to give someone a dirty look then at least be man (or woman) enough to take off your sunglasses so I can see your eyes when you give it.

Aren’t you glad you were with my on my ride to the haircut? Let’s move on too today’s lovely topic of manipulation.

There is no way to manipulate your way into a relationship. It’s funny. Almost anytime someone comes to see me for advice, they will say something like “I want to get advice from the master” and expect to get some super-complicated, almost magical technique for how to do things. What I inevitably give them is something simple and easy.

You’ve been vibing with someone and having great chemistry with them. You want to keep that going. Men and women always think, however, that there’s some special Houdini-like trick they have to know how to do to make that happen.

They will ask me, “How do I get her to like me? What should I say at that moment?” They ask these questions even though at the moment they are having amazing chemistry with, and getting along perfectly with, someone.

They do that because their past has conditioned them to do it. They remember things not working out in their past and, based upon that, they do everything they can not to repeat it.

So they start to think about how they don’t want to make any of those past mistakes with this person, and they believe that there must be some Houdini-like magic trick they can do to make things with this person perfect. In reality, though, the only magic trick I can give anyone is to remain 100% present.

The only reason why a relationship works out is because you have two people who refuse to go backwards. They just remain present in the present moment.

They’re not future thinking, and they’re not past thinking. They are just enjoying and embracing the moment, and when they are done connecting in that moment they take that warm feeling and they go create another moment.

Thinking about the phone call or text that may or may not come the next day. Thinking about phone calls or texts that didn’t come from someone in your past.

The minute you allow yourself to go to “pastland” or “futureland” is the minute you will start to think there must be some type of magic Houdini trick to make your current relationship work. This kind of thinking is all fueled by your past programming.

Here’s the true magic: Future thinkers never succeed, and past thinkers always fail because they stumble over the same issues over and over again. If you watched last season’s episodes of the show Lost, you would see that traveling to the past never makes things better. Every time you go back into the past, you’re not in the present and you will never make the present work.