I Got a Shitty Dragon Tattoo

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When I was 21, I started getting more tattoos. My best friend, Erik, was a tattoo artist.  I remember seeing a “tribally” looking dragon on a piece of flash.  At that moment I knew that bad ass dragon was going permanently on my right shoulder and trap.

Yep, I was certain this tattoo was for me.  Erik tried to talk me out of the tattoo.  But I was leaving for spring break in a month or so and I needed this tattoo.  (Yes the same spring break with the Mexican hooker).  So we sat down and he began to place this abomination on me.  Don’t get me wrong, from a technical standpoint it wasn’t a bad tattoo, he did a good job.

I sported this dragon proudly for a good year or so before I added more tattoos.  It was like a banner that told the world I was a douchebag and I know it.  I mean it wasn’t tribal band HOLY-FUCKING-SHIT douche level, but it set me apart from the pack of normal dudes.

I remember wearing tank tops to proudly display my dragon for everyone to admire. Fuck right doggy, that’s a fucking tribal dragon!  I’ve had several girls lay with me naked, looking at my tattoos, ask me why I have this stupid fucking dragon.

As I got more tattoos, filling out my sleeves and chest, this fucking dragon always got in the way.  It was like someone took a shit in the middle of painting and said “fuck it, lets just leave it there, I think it adds character.”

My whole right arm is done in black and grey with many great pieces which flow together very nicely.  Then its capped off at the shoulder by this fucking dragon.  I want to get it covered up, but I would have to put a big color piece over it.  That would kind of fuck up the scheme of my arm.  I could get it lasered off and start over, but I don’t want to endure the time and pain of that process.  So I’ll probably live out my days wearing my scarlet letter of douchery!

Come to think of it my chest piece is pretty shitty tattoo.  Megan Massacre from NY Ink did this tattoo before she was famous.  She used to work for my buddy.  I’m pretty sure she always hated me, so she tattooed a pile of shit on my chest.

At least I wasn’t as dumb as a lot of people and never got someone name or initials tattooed on me.  Love of Christ, what are those people thinking.  I have tried to talk so many people out of getting those tattoos when I used to be a partner in a tattoo shop.

Most people with tattoos have at least one really shitty one that they have no clue what they were thinking.  So yeah that was a post of just me bitching about my tattoo.  So whats your shittiest tattoo?  Share, we all know you have one

I Want To Be The Drunk Guy Dancing At The Bar

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I turned to my friends and said “look at those idiots, I’m so glad we don’t have to do that.”  I ridiculed the guys dancing at the bar, trying so desperately to meet girls.

In reality, most of the those people are out there living life and having fun.  They are the ones who have real courage.  They aren’t afraid to look foolish to people like me.  I sit back and judge, but often I don’t have the balls to be out there doing what they are.

Now I don’t necessarily want to be the drunk guy dancing like a maniac at the bar; even though I have.  However, in my mind, it’s a perfect analogy for people who do exactly what they feel like doing.  They don’t worry about other people’s judgments, they just go for it.  That’s the person I want to be in all aspects of my life.

For the last 10-15 years I was “too cool” to try new things.  I felt I didn’t need to do these activities because they were below someone like me.  It’s insane how I would spin this shit in my head.  The fact is I wasn’t confident in myself.  I feared how other people viewed me.  Deep down I looked up to those who conquered their fears and dance drunk at the bar.  They don’t seem to fear rejection.  They feel they have something to offer and aren’t afraid to prove it.

Years and years of getting what I wanted without having to try very hard put me at a disadvantage.  I missed out on an important skill set for a successful life.  The ability to deal with rejection and failure.

I listen to the voices in my head that tell me I can’t do things.  I’m not good enough or I don’t have the skills.  My mind will come up with any excuse why things won’t work out or why I didn’t really want something in the first place.  This is inner dialogue that wants to trap me and keep my life small.

Today I fear taking little risks like talking to strangers, starting new businesses, approaching a girl.  When I put that into perspective of how I have lived my life for the last 20 years it’s insane.  If I fail at talking to a girl, she tells me no and I feel a little embarrassed.  If I fail with a company, I may lose money and set myself back financially.  If I failed in my old lifestyle, I would have easily ended up doing 5-10 years in jail.  To a normal, well adjusted adult this equation doesn’t add up.

For the longest time I rarely second guessed what I was doing.  I knew the consequences of my actions, as well as the repercussions that came along with my choices.  But, it seemed worth it somehow.  Part of me felt I didn’t have anything to lose at the time.  I became a victim of my own circumstances.  I convinced myself this was how I wanted to live my life.  Don’t get me wrong, at times I was scared for my freedom and there were many sleepless night.

Normal, healthy risks in life scare the shit out of me.  I create irrational thought processes in my head based on fear.  Even when there is no evidence anything horrible will happen.  To quote Jamie Foxx, “on the other side of fear there is nothing.”  There is no definite outcomes in life, only what we can create.

Doing the same thing every day is my nightmare – A fate worse than death.  Turning today into an experiment makes life exciting.  What can accomplish and how can I make progress?  Answering those questions makes my life worth living.  If I’m lucky (I use that word in loosest sense) things may even go my way.  I will taste success that day.

When I try something new I build confidence in who I am and what I can endure.  I reinforce the lesson that pain and rejection won’t kill me.  I can’t dwell on the past or worry about the future because my mind is forced to be present and focused on what is occurring this very second.   That’s what being alive is about; living right now.  Nothing can every happen in the past or the future, because all there is is now.

Quieting the noise that goes on in our mind’s establishes mental freedom.  Tune those voices out and see how much better your life becomes.  Go out, get hammered and dance your ass off to whatever song you choose.

 

 

3 Day Split – “Complex” Workout

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I created this program in June 2014.  I used myself several times personally and with people I’ve trained.  It can be rather taxing on your body.  You really need to make sure your nutrition is on point, especially your peri-workout nutrition.  I take in the 65-75% of my daily carbs around the time I train.  Starting 45 minute pre-workout, intra-workout, and final carbs within 30 minutes of completing this workout.

I have trained several people with this routine and nutrition protocol.  The ones who stuck with it gained appreciable muscle mass while staying lean or even losing fat.  I lean up rather well using this routine without having to add any additional cardio work.  I PROMISE YOU, the results are rather dramatic.

Complexes are not a new style of training, nor something I came up with. This is just my spin on using complexes, as they are not complexes in the traditional sense.  This is going to be a 3 day split based on Push/Pull/Leg.  It’s mainly comprised of complexes – a series of exercises performed one after the other with 10-30 seconds taken in between each exercise in order to set up the next exercise.

I refer to one completed round of the complex as a “wave.”  I use pretty straight forward compound movements for the most part.  You will take about 45-90 seconds rest between each “wave”.  If you need more time take it, this is not set in stone.  I have added Youtube clips of exercises in case you do not know what they are.  If you need any other info just ask.  We will do this for the first 4 weeks and see how you are progressing and then make changes from there as needed.

VERY IMPORTANT: FOR ALL EXERCISES make sure you pick weights that are challenging so that you do not easily hit the rep schemes and then move to the next exercise as that will not lead to the best possible conditioning

Day 1 Push

Chest Complex – Start out with 3-4 waves of this and work your way up to 5-6 waves as you can.  Do not try to progress to fast and risk injury or discouragement

  1. Heavy DB press – pick a weight that is taxing that you can do for a rep range of 4-7 reps before failing (don’t go completely to failure here)
  2. Banded DB Press ( or Incline DB Flyes if you don’t have resistance bands)– pick a weight that is taxing that you can do for a rep range of 8-10 reps before failing (don’t go completely to failure here)
  3. Plyo Push ups – you want to be able to get anywhere from 3-10 reps on these before getting to failure. I want you to really focus on exploding off the bench with no pause  at the bottom when your chest is about to touch the bench.  This will allow you to learn how to better use your stretch reflex.  This should be performed with fast and explosive movement   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tF6Fd-vdB-8
  4. Speed DB press – I want you to perform regular flat DB press but in a fast and explosive manner.   Use a weight that is about 50% of your 1 rep max. Do as many reps as you can in a 15-20 second time period.  Really focus on accelerating the weight as fast as you can

Shoulder Complex – Do 3 waves of this

3 sets 8-12 reps per movement (I use 25-30 lb. dumbbell’s for this complex for reference)                         Do these seated: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJ3T5V_Etnc

  1. DB Front delt raise
  2. Side DB lateral raises
  3. DB Shrug, clean, press

Triceps Monster Set – 3 to 6 waves of this, start with 3 –

  1. Triceps V bar pushdown – 12-15 reps
  2. Triceps kickbacks – 8-10 reps
  3. 1 arm overhead DB extension – 6-8 reps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znaQrmMYEYw

Day 2 Push

Back Complex  – 4 to 6 waves of this, start with 4 .  If you want more volume later we can add some pull-down work

  1. Rack pulls – (start bar at knee height and really use your hips to drive the weight up ) 3-7 reps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCG8NfBcnys
  2. Deadlifts from the Floor – 3-5 reps
  3. bent over rows – 5-7 reps
  4. Hang cleans – 4-7 reps
  5. Jump deadlifts – 8-10 reps. This video shows you how these works but you really only need to bring the bar down to your knee. Start light with these like 20% of your max deadlift http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_imsU6O4CAA
  6. Speed inverted rows – do as many of these as possible and as fast as possible during a 15-20 second timeframe http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=t97EjUsCFNw

 

Biceps Monster set –3 to 6 waves of this, start with 2

  1. Supinating DB Curls – 8-10 reps
  2. Incline DB curl – 8-10 reps
  3. Hammer curls – 5-8 reps

Day 3 Legs

  1. Leg curls – 2-3 of 15 just to warm legs up

Leg Complex- 4-6 waves of this, start with 3- 4

  1. Squats – 4-6 reps
  2. DB Jump Squats – 8-10 reps. Use 10-20% of your max squat so maybe start with a 10-15 lb. DB in each hand to get movement down.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Cynl9l0eB4  This example in the video is ok but don’t pause at the bottom like she does, just land, squat and fire right back up into the jump.
  3. DB Step Ups– 4-6 reps. Really do these once again in an explosive manner on the (concentric) stepping up movement.  Try to press yourself up onto the stand as quickly as possible. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfMlQDGydnk
  4. Body weight lunges – 8-10 reps on each leg. Do these lunges very deep and long to active the glutes, hamstrings and VMO (Tear drop muscle around knee).  Do these in a very slow controlled manner, focusing on feeling the movement.

Glutes

  1. Weighted Hip thrusters – 5 sets of 8-12 reps. Start out with little to no weight.  Eventually through the weeks/months, work your way up to using more than your body weight.  You start with your weight on your heels.  When you get to the top of the movement really squeeze the glutes and feel them doing the majority of the work.  Here are two videos of different ways to add weight, you could also use a DB.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUG0JfITlFI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_ru8S6FETg Don’t go as fast as this quick, slower and more controlled

 After 4 weeks I do a deloading week.  I will drop the volume and weights about 30-40%, but stick with the same workout.  Some athletes do not need this type of deloading, but for me its a must.  My body starts to slow down progress and I tend to flare up old injuries if I don’t take a break.  This is me personally, it is important to understand and listen to your body as your progress with your training.

Freebasing with the Squirrel Master

Like Rick James said “cocaine is a hell of a drug.” The craziest thing about my coke use is that I cant recall a single time I actually enjoyed doing it. Yet I did a shit ton of it for 15 years. Coke made me twitchier , I walked around with a “cold” all the time and it guaranteed my dick wouldn’t work.

From my experience coke brings out all the shittiest people to hang out with.  People who hate each other will stay up all night ripping lines talking about saving the world. The only reason any of them are there is because one of them has coke.

The yacked up conversations are by far one of the worst parts about doing coke. It usually ends up a bunch of random assholes in a room or a kitchen all fucked up, talking about shit they most likely will never do. Just thinking about it while writing makes me feel a little sick. But Ill get off my soapbox and tell my story.

One of my college roommates was a skinny, angry redneck that chain smoked Newports. He had short little T Rex arms and kind of looked like he may have had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  He was loud and offensive.   However, part of me found him hilarious. He always spit when he spoke and his breath reeked of smoke. We called him the Squirrel Master. The name stemmed from squirrels invading the walls of his room and his stories of making squirrel potpie when he was younger.

We used to compete in really stupid and dangerous contests. Like who could do the most coke in a given amount of time or who could do the biggest line. One night we finished an 8 ball in less than 25 minutes. I ended up laying in my bed praying not to have a heart attack. He went out partying all night. Advantage….Squirrel Master!

Sometimes sniffing coke just wasn’t enough. We would step up our game and get creative. So we would break out the tinfoil, a splash of water, a lighter and an emptied out pen. If you use all the ingredients correctly, ta-da, you can smoke freebase.

Freebasing seemed to be more of a Sunday afternoon type thing for the Squirrel Master and I. I’m not quite sure why, but its just how it went down. One Sunday afternoon we ventured upstairs to his room in the attic and got everything prepped. Tossed the water on the coke and melted it down on the tinfoil. It was time to get down! We started taking a couple pulls of the shitty metallic tasting smoke through the pen .

The Squirrel Master was really fucked up and just had that twinkle in his eye that said “Im going for it.” He lit up the lighter, hit the tinfoil and pulled a giant cloud of smoke in through the pen. He held it in for as long as he could and then it happened. His eyes rolled back in his head and he unleashed the most vicious hacking cough I have ever heard. He fell out of his chair and hit the floor. He continued coughing violently and tears started rolling down his face.

When I saw him on the floor I ran downstairs as fast as I could. Now I’d like to tell you I went to go get him some help. But, Nope! I went and grabbed the rest of my roommates to come see what had happened. My friend could have been having stroke for all we knew. But, we were too busy doubled over, half in tears pointing and laughing at him to care.

The Squirrel Master came out of his coughing fit just fine. Well as fine as you can be when your whacked out on Freebase. He joined in on the fun and started smiling and laughing as usual. The first thing he did when he got his composure was go right back to that tinfoil, take a hit and then light up a Newport.

Clearly we were shitty fucking friends.

I May Not be as Batshit Crazy as I thought – Dealing With my OCD Thoughts

Up until recently (Im 35 now) I never understood the thoughts that I obsess about on a daily basis. The things that just pop up into my head and I play out in my mind OVER AND OVER again. Sometimes I even have conversations out loud with the person or thing I am obsessing over.  I just figured this was either all natural and normal or I was just a deeply disturbed person.  Either way my thoughts tortured me continuously.  From the moment I woke up until I Xanax’d myself to sleep I would just obsess over these horrible thoughts.

Some of the times I did not mind some of these obsessions.  For instance, I would have thoughts of running into people who wronged me as a child and exacting my revenge on them.  However, many of my obsessions would come on so strong they would literally make my head tingle with anxiety and feel of nauseous  deep in the pit of my stomach.  The unwanted thoughts were derived from fears and insecurity. Things like what my girlfriend or ex-girlfriend would be doing with another man.  Thoughts of gloom and doom, like how my life was a complete failure.  I would have unwanted thoughts about someone randomly hitting my dog with their car and killing her.  I would then allow the thought to continue on as far as to how I would kill the person after they killed Maddie.

I continually had obsessions of myself failing at all my business ventures and as a person. I would picture myself losing everything I had.  My life as I know it, my money, the people I love and it would end with me committing suicide.  These obsessions occurred so often that I started accepting them as a likely outcome for my future.  My unwanted thoughts had just become to much for me to handle and I doubted everything and anything positive in my life.

One day I was driving and I was listening to Howard Stern and he was talking about his OCD. He and his guest were talking about the obsessive thoughts and something just resonated with me. It was like listening to a part of my story.  Once I heard this and thought about it an odd sense of calm came over me.  It was like finding a small clue to solve a huge mystery.  For a brief period of time my obsessions just stopped.

Now I only really thought of OCD as people who was their hands 100 times in a row or touch light switches 26 times before they could leave the house.  I later found those were examples of the compulsions.  The obsessions or unwanted thoughts are what drove those compulsions.  To oversimplify this all, this condition stems from “faulty wiring” in certain parts of the brain.  I talked to my therapist about my thoughts on OCD and he recommended I read a book called “Brain Lock.”  I related to so much in this book.  The more I read the better I felt.  There were so many examples of people in the book with the same exact obsessions and odd thought I experience.  For example, many people besides myself have irrational fears and thoughts when they are holding a knife or dangerous object that they may use it on someone they care about.  I used to have these unwanted thoughts often and they really made me feel like I was an evil, demented person.  In reality they were just unwanted, irrational thoughts that I would never act upon.  All these insane thoughts I had could finally be explained and there was hope to have a life without them.

Brain Lock lays out a 4 step plan to deal with these obsessions.

  • Step 1: Relabel
  • Step 2: Reattribute
  • Step 3: Refocus
  • Step 4: Revalue

Essentially, what I do with these principles is tell myself its just an unwanted thought and I do not need to pay attention to it.  Then I direct my attention to something else that is constructive. For example when a thought about my demise may come up, I will stop the obsession in its tracks and turn my thoughts to my work.  I an write, read something uplifting or exercise.  The book coined the slogan “its not me its my OCD.”  This may sound really fucking cheesy, but I can repeat this simple statement daily and it truly helps me deal with the obsessions.

Don’t get me wrong these unwanted thoughts continually pop up in my mind and haunt me still to this day more often than I would like.  Sometimes they kick my ass pretty bad.  However I now understand the skill set to handle these obsessions.  Some times they still get the better of me and they take me to a dark place that’s very bad for me.  I still have a lot of work to do, but I can see the progress I have made in 3 short months.  The feeling of freedom from unwanted thoughts that sabotage the good in my life.  These results make me very hopeful for the future.

The Squirrel Master and the Pee Snowball

Back in college I was your friendly neighborhood dopeman (This becomes important later in the story).  I was always resourceful when it came to making money the wrong ways.

The college was in a shitty little town in PA.  The majority of off campus students lived a few blocks behind the school.  Kids were always walking up and down the street and hanging out drinking on each others porches.  It was a small school so pretty much everyone knew each other.

Snow days were always the most fun in college.  Snow = no class = total fucking shit show.  When we would hear about snow coming we would stockpile booze and drugs for the next day.  It was like Christmas.  Sort of.  We would start drinking when we got up. Then we would head to the main bar, which was a block from my house, for shitty food and more booze.

Students ran the bar, so on snow days it would open early.  Everyone would flock there by 12-1 in the afternoon. The funniest thing is everyone bitched about the bar, saying how much they hated going there.  But every weekend it would be packed with all those same people.  There really wasn’t anywhere else to go honestly.

This snow day in particular ended up being little more special than usual.  My roommates and I got up, ate and started to drink.  I made sure to eat right away.  As soon as that meal was done I was doing my first ripper.  Eating after that became much more difficult.

The Squirrel Master and my other roommate hit me up for a bag early.  Within 45 minutes they had ripped right through it.  I knew with how hard everyone was drinking and partying they would want more really soon.

About 30 minutes after they finished their first bag the Squirrel Master came looking for another half gram. The only issue is he had no money.  Now, I was huge asshole in college.  I liked making people do shit for my entertainment.  I had the two key ingredients to make that dream a reality in college. Coke and money.

The Squirrel Master really wanted a bag.  I knew he wanted it bad enough to do something really fucked up for my enjoyment.  I told him I would figure out a way for us to barter.  Ideas went back and forth in my head, but nothing seemed worthwhile.  Then I walked outside and saw a guy walking his dog and it hit me.  I ran back inside and told him I would gladly give him the bag if he ate a pee snowball.  Without blinking he agreed.  I decided this was going to be so much fun that I went and invited the neighbors to come watch.

I walked outside and packed a cup full of snow.  I pulled out my dick and pissed on the snow just like you would if you were pouring syrup over a snow cone.  Everyone was outside waiting with anticipation to see if he would go through with this.  I walked over to him and poured the yellow snowball into his tiny little cupped hands.

Without hesitations he took the first big bite.  Everyone watching was gagging, laughing and running around.  As soon as he swallowed the first bite he gagged and spit it up everywhere.  That didn’t stop him though.  He was determined to chow down and get his prize.  People were begging him not to finish.  They were offering to give him the money for the bag if he to stopped.  Every bite he chomped down he gagged and spit right back up until he was finished.

By the time he was done most people had stopped watching.  I guess it was just too much for most people to handle.  He came up to me with biggest grin on his face and put his hand out in front of me.  It was his way of saying “fuck you pay me.”  He stepped up and met the challenge.  I don’t really remember too much else about that day.  But, the Squirrel Masters feat of strength showed his will.  College was the fucking best.

A Letter to Travis – Things I Wish I Was Taught About Becoming a Man

My ex girlfriend and I split up a couple months ago  She has a 4 year old son who I bonded very closely with.  He’s a special little guy whose laugh could make the most miserable person smile.  Leaving him was very difficult.  Before I left, I decided I wanted to write him a letter on things he should know as he became a man.  As I was growing up I never had a positive male role model to bestow much wisdom on me about becoming a good man.  Candidly, I haven’t been the best man, partially due to that fact.  I worried he may face some of the same challenges.  I wrote this and gave it to his mother in hopes it that when he got old enough he would read it and it may help him.

Recently I have been struggling with life.  A LOT!  I came across this and read it to myself.  I realize these principles have a lot of value to me at my age and in my situation.  This certainly isn’t an all encompassing list, but it has helped me with some perspective on my life.

Things you should know as you become a man

  1. Always love and respect your mother. You may not agree with some of the things she does and some of her rules, but she has your best interest at heart and she loves you more than the life itself.
  2. You are perfect just as you are. Respect, care for and love yourself always.
  3. Have confidence in yourself and trust in your abilities. Learn the difference between confidence and cockiness (which is false confidence). Everyone looks up to and respects confidence.
  4. There are very few short cuts in life. To create something great it takes time, dedication and hard work. I have tried almost all of the short cuts in many aspects of life.  I can tell you first hand they all come with a very high price. They tend to take you to a place you don’t want to go or they end up costing you more than you realize in one way or another.
  5. Hold yourself to a higher standard. Always strive to do your best. You will be amazed what you can achieve when you work hard.
  6. Be kind to everyone you meet. You never know who that person may be or what they are going through. Being kind is a sign of strength, not weakness. It’s important to know that the people you meet on the way up in life you may meet again on the way down.
  7. If you have questions about anything always ask.
  8. Learn to ask for help. This is one of the hardest things to do for some reason but if you truly are struggling and need help, ask for it. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of intelligence, humbleness and strength. Remember the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
  9. Always make time to play, exercise and have fun. Treat you mind, body and soul as a temple. You need to eat right, stay active and take care of your emotional health too.
  10. Try working out and lifting weights. It is very good for your body as well as your self-esteem and confidence. Just don’t let it run your life and don’t let it be your only focus in life. Do it as a hobby that will pay off benefits for years to come
  11. Play sports or get involved with activities. You will be surprised how much you will learn and how much you may enjoy the team atmosphere and camaraderie. These types of things will teach you skills like hard work and disciple that will get you far in life.
  12. Do things you love and enjoy today. Don’t wait to do them later because later may never come.
  13. Read as much as you can. This is something I wish I would have done. Some of the most successful people I know are the ones that read the most and apply what they have learned from what they read.
  14. Learn to work hard and smart. Nothing in this world is free and intelligence and work ethic are valued at a premium in this world
  15. Don’t ever be afraid to take chances. Put yourself out there and try new things.  You will regret the things you didn’t try much more so than the things you did that didn’t quite work out the way you hoped.
  16. Never get into fights if you can avoid it. Defend yourself and stick up for yourself, never let anyone bully you, but only fight if you absolutely have to and there is an immediate threat.
  17. Learn to listen. I mean really listen! Don’t just sit there waiting for people to stop so you can reply. Sometimes people just need to talk to get things off their chest and being there for someone may mean the world to them.
  18. Treat women with respect. Don’t ever make them objects. Learn to be a gentleman. It’s something not many do. Open car doors for them; walk on the street side of the sidewalk when holding hands, when you take them out always pay for their dinner and make sure they get home safely.
  19. Always respect and be kind to animals. You can tell a lot about a man’s soul by how he treats a defenseless animal.
  20. Get a tailored suit. Everyone looks amazing in a great suit.
  21. If for some reason you ever get in a situation and the police are involved always wait until you have a lawyer present to speak to police under any circumstances!  Simply politely tell then “you have been advised not to say anything without a lawyer present”. I truly hope you never are in a situation where you need that tidbit of advice.
  22. Learn the difference between selfishness and selflessness. There have been many times in my life where I thought I was being selfless and I was actually being very selfish.
  23. Always take care of yourself and never let people take advantage of you. However, at the same time learn to be generous and giving with your time, intelligence and your love
  24. There are many people out there in the world that want to take advantage of you; there are also many that want to help. Learning to distinguish between the two is very difficult at times and it may take you a life time to figure out.
  25. Learn to forgive yourself and others. Let go of all the anger and hatred you may have for others or yourself, it is pure poison and will only bring you down.
  26. Never sink to someone else’s level.
  27. Peace of mind is worth a lot.
  28. When you apologize make sure you mean it! If you are going to say sorry, make sure the person you are apologizing to knows you’re sorry by not doing what hurt them again.
  29. Always remember your manners. Say please, thank you, excuse me, sorry, and god bless you. Hold doors for women and elderly people. It’s something that’s lost nowadays and I can tell you it’s always appreciated and it’s a little thing that can earn you respect and get you far in life.
  30. Forgive yourself and leave the past in the past.
  31. Learn to let go of things that aren’t for you gracefully. Holding onto things that aren’t meant for you just means you are spending less time with what IS TRULY meant for you
  32. Be very careful with drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. They can pollute your mind body and soul so quickly that you won’t even realized what happened until it’s too late. Please Trust me I know this one all too well.
  33. Don’t fear failure. Failure is ok as long as you are accountable for it and you learn from your mistake and do it better next time.
  34. Truly value the people who love you, like friends and family. They won’t be around or in your life forever so respect them and cherish every moment you have with them.
  35. Life is scary and that’s ok, just taking things as they come, one day at a time and don’t fear the future or dwell on the past. Live for today because it is all that is promised to you.

How The Undefeated Can Feel Depleted

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Being an entrepreneur almost ensures my life is a roller-coaster ride.   If I look at how chaotic my life’s been for years, this like seems the only route for me.  I have to learn the hardest ways possible.  Extraordinary amounts of pain accompany my process. A part of me feeds off the adrenaline rush this lifestyle can produce. The highs are high and the lows are very low.   I’m an addict in many facets in my life.  Chaos, turbulence and adrenaline have been my drugs of choice for as long as I can remember.

I have a nasty habit of comparing myself to others.  This is a quick and surefire way for me to feel less than and defeated.  I see what others have and covet their success.  I make assumptions about their success without knowing the whole story.  They may not be happy, healthy or have the material wealth that I may think.

Sometimes I can’t see past the dismal future I create in my head.  I look at myself as a failure for not being in the position in life I feel I  should be at my age. I get so far bogged down in my own bullshit, negativity and self pity I cant see that whatever is bothering me is temporary.  If I take action and I’m not afraid to fail and learn from my mistakes I can create success again.  When things get so bad in my life I feel I can’t continue on.  I want to pack up and run away.  I use techniques I’ve outlined below to get back on track

    1. First, try to only look at today.  As hard as it is, let go of what was and try not to stress over what is to come.  Just worry about this moment, of this day, right now.  When I am really down trying to handle anything more than that is just way to much for me.  Its like they say in AA, “Just for today.”  I used to hear guys tell people in programs “you can get high tomorrow, just stay clean today.”  They would repeat that to them every single morning until the urges started to cease.  Staying focused on the present is incredibly difficult, but when I can do it my life certainly gets better.
    2. Create a structured routine.  Make lists of what I WANT to do with my day.  I put them in chronological order if possible.  I make a decision about what are the most important 1-2 items that if I do today will allow me get to all the other less important items done as well.  Set a time frame to get those 1-2 things done for the day.  If I find I’m spinning my wheels, I take a break for a couple of minutes and come back to the the task at hand.  The mornings are especially important for setting the stage for a productive day.  I like to get up have my shake, do some reading, look over my to do list and set a positive tone for my day.  Then the first thing I like to get out of the way is going to the gym.  Having a good workout helps me focus throughout the day.  If I don’t go early it is on my mind the rest of the day.
    3. Spend time with positive people.  Stay as far away as possible from the pessimists and Debbie-Downers.  Surround  yourself with happy people who make you laugh and smile.  That type of behavior can be infectious and hopefully it’s a bug you will catch.
    4. Exercise – Whatever your personal thing is DO IT.  It could be weight lifting, crossfit, running, sports, yoga, rowing, dancing etc.  Maybe this would be a good time to try out a new form of exercise to see how it makes you feel.
    5. Talk with people you view as successful and share what you are going through.  Ask for their feedback and ALWAYS offer something in return for their time.  Don’t expect people to take time out of their day to help you out (Even though many successful people will because realize the importance of giving back).  Always make sure you can reciprocate the favor somehow.
    6. Give back to others.  Talk to others about what is going on in their lives.  You may not have the answers,  but you can listen intently.  Sometimes that’s all someone needs is someone to vent to.  The quickest way to get out of  your own head is to listen to others and give back.  Do something nice for those you love.  It doesn’t have to fancy or even something you do for a significant other or family member.  It could be for your pet or a friend.  Some days I find real clarity and peace spending extra time with my dog. We go for a longer walks or I let her play for an extra 30-45 minutes at the dog park.  Seeing how happy and carefree she is running around chasing a ball reminds me of the simple things in life that can bring about so much happiness
    7. Play!  That’s right play.  Go do something you find fun to do.  It could be something you have not done in a long time or something you have never done.  Just go out and do something different and find some joy in your life
    8. Get out of your comfort zone.  This may seem like something that could make you feel more defeated if you fail.  But for me, no matter what the outcome, I am always happy I did it.  For instance, I am newly single and I am a little rusty when it comes to talking to women again.  I was out on a date and I wasn’t interested in her.  An amazingly beautiful girl came into the restaurant we were at and sat down at the table across from us.  When my date got up to go to the bathroom I quickly snuck over to the other table and started chatting up this beautiful girl and her friend.  I was a bumbling fool, all pent up with nerves and anxiety.  The whole thing kind of turned into a debacle when my date came back and saw me talking to the girls at their table. BUT, I was happy I had the balls to take the risk and chat up this girl. Normally I wouldn’t have had the courage to do it and made an excuse.  Its like building a physique or your strength, it takes a lot of reps to reach your goals
    9. Rest – Some days I’m not feeling it.  I feel burnt out, I have no energy, no drive. Everything I do is done half-assed and needs to be redone tomorrow.  Allowing myself to rest is difficult for me these days because I feel I need to work harder than anyone out there in order to achieve financial success again.  However, many times I am working hard on working hard.  There are times where I am creating bullshit busy work for myself to feel a sense of accomplishment. I feel my stress and anxiety build, creating psychosomatic health issues.  At this point I need a mental health day and to catch up on rest. I like to unplug from the world and read, write or any other activity that is not taxing on my mind or body
    10. Get help.  I see a therapist every week.  It’s hard work to make change in your life.  But the hard work seems to be worth it.  I’m not where I need to be yet. But, with the help of my therapist I am much more mentally successful and healthier than I was even a month ago.
    11. Get some sunshine!  This can be hard to do if you live in certain parts of the country during the late fall and winter.  For me a couple hours out in the sunshine always does me a whole lot of good
    12. Stay away from social media.  It tends to be negative and mind-numbing nonsense.  My feed tends to be depressing news stoiries, people bitching about life and random stupid shit I could live without seeing.  Don’t get me wrong there is a time and a place for all of this, but when I’m down it’s not what I need.  Plus I have a tendency to check on people from my past and cause myself a great deal of pain for no reason.
    13. Make your bed.  It’s something I learned in AA (In my opinion 12 step programs have the best sayings and practices that make such a difference. And no, I am not a member anymore).  It may sound odd, but It’s on of those little things that has a large psychological impact. Controlling something as minute as whether or not my bed is made has been a springboard in controlling much larger aspects of my life.  Even if my life and world is chaotic, when I walk into my bedroom and my bed is made, a little piece of my world is in order.   I can lay down at night in a clean, nicely made bed and go to sleep. Its a small way of taking care of myself.
    14. Gratitude!!!!  I FUCKING HATE THIS ONE!  I will not lie, this is something I struggle with.  However, gratitude is the skeleton key to a better perspective on my life.  I Make a list of the things I am truly grateful for.  I reflect on how these things and people have enhanced my life and how good I really have it.

Take a look at this list, experiment with these techniques and see if they work for you.  They are not set out as a rigid guideline of what works.  These are merely a few actions I have found helpful for me.

 

The Instant I Knew It Was Me, Not Them

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In my 20’s and early 30’s I ran around like a maniac.  Fueled by booze, drugs and pussy.  I basically lived off cocaine, steroids, pills and alcohol.  Sleeping with any woman that presented herself as available for me. I racked up a ton of notches on my belt.  I thought I was the fucking man!  However, there was a part of me that always wondered why I couldn’t find a “good girl” to settle down with.  I would bitch about the chicks I met.  Constantly classifying them all as “whores” and “bitches.”  Never once looking at my own behavior or realizing that we attract what we put out into the world.

That thinking literally all changed in one instant when I was 27.  For the next 6-7 years after I still attracted fucked up women with issues like my own.  I just had become cognizant of it.  It was like an alarm went off inside of me.  More like I was hit square in the head with a 2×4.

I was in Australia, visiting some friends.  I met these Aussies a few months prior on a trip to Europe.  After spending some time with them I ventured off on my own up to Queensland. I hung out in Surfers Paradise for a couple days.  While taking some surfing lessons one day I met a few Canadians.  They mentioned a bar crawl that was going on that night in the area.  So I put on my tightest shirt and went out looking to find some pussy down under. I was by myself on this guided bar crawl.  Everyone was drinking heavily.  We all made small talk and got to know each other.  I remember these two goofy, little Australian guys who kept talking to me about gangs because I was an American.  They repeatedly mentioned the “heaps of Crips” they had down under.  Although, not pertinent to the story but Crips in Australia????  Anyway, I ended up breaking away from the bar crawl and went straight to my bread and butter; the strip clubs.

Once inside the strip club I continued drinking.  I went about my usual ways chatting up the girls who were working.  One brunette in particular took a liking to me. She got a kick out of my accent and my “American ways.”  I was a loud, brash, cocky bastard and she was into that.  As the night was wrapping up I invited her back to my hotel room.  She told me she couldn’t leave with me becasuse That was considered solicitation.  If someone saw us we could get fined.  She told me to meet her at Macca’s (its what the Australians call McDonald’s) in 45 minutes.  Then we could go back to my hotel room.

I wasn’t sure she would actually show up, but I had nothing better to do at 4:30 in the morning, so fuck it, I went.  Sure enough she was there.  She grabbed a burger and we went back to my place.  When we got back to the hotel we headed right to the bedroom to have sex.  I don’t recall it being very good.  Looking back I knew jackshit about sex at the time.  Of course I thought differently.

After we finished we were laying in bed talking.  She told me she had to leave to get back to her “partner.”  I was a little confused by the term and why she chose that word over and over again.  I asked if she had a girlfriend.  She then proceeded to tell me “Not exactly; my partner is a tranny and we have 2 kids together.”  You may think that was the moment the alarm in my head went off.  WRONG!

I started to ask questions about her partner and her life.  She told me she was from New Zealand and she had been around transexuals all her life.  Her father apparently pimped them.  She also casually mentioned that her and her sister had done a porno together.  When I say together, I mean together; as in incest!

Out of some sick sense of curiosity I asked if she still had sex with her partner.  She told me her partner was beautiful and they still slept together occasionally.  The stories just continued to go down hill from there.  She said her partner was taking hormones and no longer had testicles.  I asked if he had surgery to remove them.  Without hesitation she blurted out, “Well he came home one night after a long meth bender and he finally got the courage to ask me to cut them off.”  My face dropped.  I thought she was kidding.  But, with a completely straight face she told me cut off his balls with a box-cutter.  Apparently he had to go to the hospital because he almost bled to death!

That’s when it happened. At that very moment I wasn’t even that shocked by the story to be honest.  I was more taken back by the realization I came to about myself.  It was literally the defining moment in my life when I realized I that I was the problem.  All of my crazy relationship issues had one common denominator.  ME!  it wasn’t the girls, its was me.  I brought all of this about because I was fucked up.  Its the law of the universe.  We attract what we put out there.

The next day I woke up a little hungover.  It was a beautiful day so I headed to the beach.  My phone went off as I was getting a bite to eat.  It was the her.  I suppose you can already guess the worst part about this story.  Even after what I had learned the night before I still invited her over and fucked her again.  Pussy is a powerful drug.  Yep; its me not them.

 

That Feeling In Your Gut When You Just Know

There are very few things quite as powerful as your gut instinct.  It’s amazing how intuitive we really are as humans. How much our body gives us so many signs and clues as to what we should and shouldn’t be doing if we truly pay attention.

The obvious things that hold us back from truly following our gut are fear and doubt.  Those two things are a son-of-a-bitch.  They can wreak havoc on your outlook and life.  We all can very easily persuade ourselves to think that gut feeling is just a pipe dream.  Perhaps we started to late for it to work, or its too difficult a task for us.  Those things may all very well be true.  However, no one ever truly knows unless they try.

Wayne Gretzky said “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I am a firm believer in this affirmation. There are so many points in my life that I look back on with regret saying “fuck I should have done this back then.”  The reality is that some of these things I still want to do and can do with my time.

I REALLY like the excuse of “Im too old” or “I missed the wave.”  Those two thoughts allow me to be a giant pussy from time to time.  Never attacking the passions and goals I have.  I hate the thought of starting over. Not making money and having to worry about finances makes me cringe.  The sad reality is that I AM starting over now at 35 anyway.  I quit my previous career over a year ago.  I’ll get into that whole bag of shit at another time.  Time is passing anyway so I should just start over doing something I love and have a passion to do.

An hour ago a friend texted me asking me about working out.  She was talking about how she wanted to tone up and and she needed help.  She lives near me so I just offered to train her a couple times a week.  I got so excited when she said yes.  I love training people.  In general, I have a passion to help anyone reach any goal they may have.  It’s a fucking amazing feeling.  Plus, I figured it will force me to go a couple more times a week.  It will be great way to get in summer shape for me as well.

All of the sudden I got that feeling of fire in my gut.  That feeling of excitement to use my gifts and knowledge to help someone else.  By helping others I get back such an amazing amount of fulfillment internally.  This was gods way of giving me another kick in the ass saying “hey dumby this is what you should be doing with your time”

I started making some goals in my head.  Get my training certifications.  Write more.  Start helping people reach their goals mentally and physically.  Train people. Start a meal prep company like a friend of mine has in Baltimore (If you are down in the Baltimore area check him out https://www.facebook.com/fitfoods2you).  Then the reasons started pouring in of why I cant do this.

  • I already committed to business last year and spent a lot of time and effort working on it
  • I have to get my training certificate and that’s hard and time consuming
  • I should have done this 10 years ago when I first had the idea
  • Im not good enough
  • And most of all IM JUST PLAIN, OLD AFRAID TO LOOK STUPID AND FAIL

All those excuses for the most part are just bullshit.  Yes, there is some truth and failing is a possibility.  But I can fail doing shit I hate doing.  Which has happened to me on several occasions.  The reality is its easy too dream and hard to create.  It takes a huge leap of faith into the unknown.  It takes facing the fears of what could be the treacherous reality in the future.  It takes courage, confidence and hard work ethic.  I have lacked these three things in many aspects of my life over the years.

I fear putting myself out there and how others will receive me. I fear taking risks because I could fail and look less than to others and myself.  I fear that I don’t have the capacity to handle the turmoil and hurt of failure. The funniest thing about this ridiculous fear is that for the vast majority of my life I took huge risks with my freedom to make a living.  Its strange how that fear never stopped me even though it was always on my mind.

I keep reminding myself that all the things that made me safe and successful on the other side of the law can be applicable on the legit side.  I need to develop the work ethic and courage to fall on my face a couple times and keep picking myself up.  I need to be firm, but fair with myself and my abilities.

I have been out of the legitimate business world for such a long time.  Many of the skills that made me successful 8-10 years ago in corporate America have rust on them.  It will take time to polish them up and get them up to a speed that I feel is acceptable and truly produce results.  Until that time I need to keep making mistakes and learning from them.  Once my skills are at that level I will need to strive to keep getting better.  Progressing by pumping out more and more reps and continuing to learn. Complacency is one of the most evil and dangerous character defects out there.

I see SO MANY people out there that have started out with much less of a cushion financially than I have and done SO MUCH more.  Many of these same people also lacked many of the skills and abilities I have.  They know much less about how a business is run and the inner workings of day to day operations.  Very few have tasted the type of financial success I have and don’t fear living with less the way I do.

WHAT THESE PEOPLE DO NOT LACK IS CONFIDENCE, DRIVE, AND THE UNCANNY ABILITY TO CHASE THEIR DREAMS AND MAKE THEM A REALITY.  They do not fear what others think.  In their minds they are already successful.  These types of attributes can’t be bought or faked.  However, they can be learned. Every time you face your fears and take it head on, no matter what the outcome is you learn invaluable lessons about yourself and life.  Those lessons are the building blocks to a happy, successful and fulfilling life.  Just like reps in the gym.  You build the muscles to change your life.  You wont always come out on top but if you can keep pushing forward you will grow an amazing confidence in your abilities.  You will be able to create the world around you that you always dreamed of.  I have seen this happen to others around me in many different aspects of their lives, not just financially.  It is something to truly revel