Confinement – Sentenced To Serve


Rules exist in our minds.  The rhetoric we have been taught for all of our lives has shaped who we’ve become.  Very few people ( including myself at times) know how to think and feel on their own.  We base our thoughts and feelings off of what society has shown us.  Unable to breakdown ideals to their most basic principles and evaluate them for what they are.  Never looking for a deeper understanding, because somewhere along the way we were taught to process events in our life as good or bad and we accepted that with certainty.

Humans have a nasty tendency to view circumstances in our world as personal.  Only taking into consideration how our live’s are effected at the present time.   However, there is a paradigm shift which starts with perspective.  We can look at occurrences as corrections or validations of our actions.  If something doesn’t work out it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad.  Instead, it could be viewed as a sign it wasn’t right for us at present or we need to change our approach.

For example, I’ve destroyed all of my intimate relationships in the past.  Yet I complain about not being able to find someone to share my life with.  I continue to look for girls in all the wrong places.  If nothing changes, nothing changes.  What didn’t work for me then, still isn’t going to work for me today.  My methods and reasoning are flawed.  It’s like trying to open your front door with the same wrong key, over and over again.  No one would ever try that, it would be insane.  It’s life’s way of telling me to try something new.

Building something new is hard.  I don’t know the outcome, so I’m apprehensive.  I’ve sought out routine and comfort, fearing the results of trying something new.  I’ve been afraid I knew better and shamed myself for trying something new only to fail.

I woke up and realized I had the “things” I wanted for so long; only to realize those “things” weren’t what gave my life meaning.  They validated my insecurities and padded my ego, but never gave me a sense of fulfillment or being whole – That can only be found by living a life you are proud of.  Filling life with as much of the content that truly feeds your soul.  Everything else will eventually lose it’s appeal.  Looks fade, cars get old and money can’t fill the voids inside. (more…)

Ugh, Not Another Post About Fear


Perhaps the biggest tragedy of our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old patterns…We may want to love other people without holding back, to feel authentic, to breathe in the beauty around us, to dance and sing. Yet each day we listen to inner voices that keep our life small.

I don’t believe there’s a way to write a post teaching someone how to stop being afraid.  It’s simply a decision you have to make in your own mind.  Every time you feel that nervous, uncomfortable feeling in your stomach – push forward and take a leap of faith.

If I look at my life, the things I feared becoming the most are what I have become.  Fear turned me into a person I hated.  Someone who regretted the past and wished they could have done things differently.  I allowed my fears to consume me, making my fears reality due to my behavior.  It’s as if I willed them into existence by focusing so much of my attention on those negative outcomes.

My biggest fear in life was turning out like my father.  An unhappy, angry, poorly adjusted man who was stuck in his past.  He didn’t know how to have deep, meaningful relationships, even with his own son.  His limited financial success only came through illegal means.

This is exactly who I became for many years.  I was so afraid of following in his footsteps that I became someone much like him.

I’ve destroyed my intimate relationships and pushed those who loved me away because I feared hurting them.  Ultimately, I ended up hurting them worse because I was afraid to hurt them.   I never allowed myself to be happy and comfortable in my relationships.  I felt nothing could possibly last.  I was certain I would ruin it at some point.

Once someone got too close I felt the need to sabotage the relationship.  Only to later realize what I did and try to reclaim what I destroyed to no avail.  The guilt and shame I felt kept me coming back repeatedly trying to fix the past.  Each attempt making the situation worse and more painful.

I squandered away more money than I care to think about waiting for financial opportunities to present themselves rather than seeking them out.  I feared losing the nest egg I accumulated by taking chances on businesses or venturing back into the job market.  I didn’t believe in myself or my skills when it came to making money in the legitimate world.  I was afraid of the time, money and hard work recreating my career would entail, which caused me to waste large amounts of time and money.

Whatever I feared losing became what I lost. (more…)

What Is Excellence?


What is excellence?  I see this question posed often.  Everyone has their own opinion of what excellence means and looks like.  As for me, I have no idea.  I don’t believe I’ve ever been excellent at anything.  Maybe there have been moments of excellence in my life.  I know I’ve been pretty good at times, but excellent might be pushing it.

I don’t believe most people who write about excellence and how to achieve it really understand it either.  Most of them probably have never attained excellence in their life.  Although, that could just be my opinion.  Excellence seems to be very subjective depending on who is discussing it.

I’m not sure if excellence is merely rhetoric that people discuss to sell their books and products or if it is something that is truly quantifiable.  I believe excellence exists in the minds of many, but in the lives of few.  Candidly, if I had to define it in words, I couldn’t.  I’m not sure if it’s something which is truly tangible and describable.  I see it in athletes, musicians, business people, but at its core I don’t know what it truly is.

Excellence is defined in the dictionary as “the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.”  I’m not sure who is measuring and how they keep score.  Is it the number in a bank account that defines excellence?  Possibly it’s measured by the amount of friends, number of degrees, high ranking positions, or social status we attain.

We all excel at certain parts of our lives.  Even if we are the only ones who think it’s true.  Maybe your social media stalking skill are excellent.  In some people’s minds this may be an irrelevant skill to excel in.  However, that skill could possibly lead to you creating a business one day as an internet-based private investigator. Anything is possible no matter how crazy it sounds.  The Pet Rock made it’s inventor a millionaire. (more…)

Episode 17: KRS Beats Cancer

The title says it all!  KRS discusses his most recent surgery and time spent in the hospital – including some interesting side effects and a lack of shame around the hospital staff.  The conversation considers if a brush with mortality is truly an agent of change.

In this weeks Shower Thoughts we discuss Facebook replacing the need for high school reunions, Apple’s insane terms and conditions and the most real calculation of flossing ever created.

We close with Meditations, using an monologue from an unusual source – Jim Shockey’s TV show Uncharted.  We look at what drives people to create their own adventures trying to meet personal challenges in uncharted territory.

Twitter: @WhyTheHellBlog


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Fuck You WordPress

Stress And Frustration

You cocksucking piece of shit platform.  I save a draft and you tell me “the action can’t be performed at this time.”  I lost everything I wrote over the last two hours.  Why do I constantly have to save my work in a word document to ensure I don’t lose everything I wrote when I click save? You’re a piece of shit Matt Mullwenberg, choke on a bullet.

I can hardly think straight while writing this post.  My anger and anxiety coupled with the fact I’m incredibly tired makes this all the more uncomfortable.  I want my post back.  I want to be able to re-read it, edit it and post it as I had originally intended.  I don’t want to write it all over again.

I feel like I will explode thinking about this.  The thought of trying to remember what I wrote in order to rewrite the post makes me uncomfortable to the point that I want to shout and cry.  I want to break my computer, tell everyone how unfair it is, disparage WordPress and go to sleep.  I feel drunk with rage.  FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!

I’ve been pissed about losing my work for hours now.  I’ve spent more time pining over losing the post and looking for ways to recover what I lost than I have trying to write a new post.  My post was well written and powerful; something people should read.  Possibly a literary masterpiece.  Well maybe not quite that good.

That’s the problem with life.  Its easier to brood and complain about what happened than it is to change it.  Taking action and making changes takes conscious effort.

My life parallels this episode.  I fight accepting what’s happened in my life.  I try to reclaim what I feel I lost:  Relationships, businesses, my identity, my size.  The list goes on ad nauseam.

I’m nostalgic.  I love going into my past.  I look for anyway possible to get back what I’ve lost instead of putting in the effort to start something new and moving forward.  Even when I know there is something better for me out there.  I’m like a child who needs to keep all of his toys, including the ones he no longer plays with.

I backtrack and try to reclaim old relationships.  I look for ways to rekindle a spark when we have proven we can’t coexist numerous times.  We can’t be happy because life throws a curve ball into our plans and we never quite recover.  We don’t put the time and effort necessary to be a happy, healthy couple.  We never work through our wreckage and heal the wounds of the past.  We only rush back into each others arms in order to quell the pain of loneliness and the of being alone.

I debate going back on steroids all the time.  I walked on the boardwalk today and looked around thinking about the looks I used to get when I was more muscular.  People would stare and make comments to me about how I looked.  Someone would always make the obnoxious comment, which they thought was hilarious, “You need to workout more pal.”  I used to complain how I hated the attention.  But obviously I didn’t hate it that much If I’m missing it today.  Regardless of the issues steroids have caused in my life I still want to use them again.

My past business venture was very lucrative.  It allowed to me have an inordinate amount of free time to spend however I chose .  I was able to travel, buy anything I wanted without thinking and I never had to work very hard.  I also had many sleepless nights, visits from various three-letter authorities and had to lie to most people about my career.  Still, I miss those days and often consider going back into that business.  I have to work hard now to make in a year what I used to make in 2-3 months.  But I no longer have to worry about going to jail.  So there are obvious trade-offs.

So why do I stray from my present and do whatever I can to get back what was lost?  Fear, comfort and laziness are the main reasons.  I’d rather deal with The evil I know versus the evil I don’t know.  It takes a lot of time and hard work to create something new.  I’m impatient and want my life to be how I remember it.  Quite often I don’t have an accurate recollection and romanticizing my past.

You can’t always recover what you’ve lost.  Sometimes you need to make a decision whether to dwell over what no longer exists or make something new.  Life is constantly changing and having to rebuild and recreate is a big part of it.   Starting from scratch is overwhelming and seems impossible at times.  However, it’s a necessity in life.  Take what you have learned, let go of the past, move on and start new.

If You Fell Down Yesterday


Falling down is a part of life I know all too well.  At times I feel like I may never get back up. When I’m down I take comfort in vices that numb my senses and stunt my ability to make progress.  It makes no difference if it’s drugs, money, sex or violence; they are all the same type of distraction.  They temporarily fill the void I feel and keep me stuck.

When I’m struggling it can I feel like I will never make it past whatever I’m feeling.  I once heard someone make the analogy of hard times in our lives being like the seasons.  He likened depressions and funks to a brutal, cold winter.  The fact of the matter is it will take time, but eventually the seasons will change.  Winter will turn into spring.  The snow will melt, the flowers will bloom and you will feel the warmth of the sun again.  The same thing can be true for difficult times in our lives.

People become accustomed to living at a level much less than what they are capable of.  I know I certainly have lived this way.  It’s not that I didn’t care, it was more so I was unsure of how to change and what my first step should be.  What people don’t often recognize is it doesn’t matter so much what your first step is; what matters is that you make an effort and take action towards lifting yourself up.

There are few circumstances too difficult that the resilient human mind can’t endure.  There are stories of those abused and forced to live in the worst conditions imaginable who have created amazing lives for themselves through hard work and dedication.  Take for instance the story of  Viktor Frankl.  He was a holocaust survivor, the horrors he endured most of us couldn’t fathom.  He used his experiences in the concentration camps as the basis for writing books and making strides in the fields of therapy and psychology.  The basis for one of his most famous books, Man’s Search for Meaning, was how he discovered the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence and a reason to continue living; even when faced with the cruel reality of life in a concentration camp. (more…)

What Cancer Has Taught Me


I was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks ago.  During this short period of time, events unfolded which taught me a great deal about myself and life (or reminded me of things I may have forgotten).

Since my first surgery six weeks ago, I’ve had more down time to sit and think than I have in years.   Due to the invasive nature of the surgery and the lengthy recovery period, I have a limited ability to perform what I’ve been accustomed to viewing as basic life tasks.  This isn’t necessarily a good thing for me, “idle hands are the devils workshop.”

So many thoughts have been plaguing my mind and making me insane.  I needed to get it all out of my head and into words to try to make sense of it.  This is what I came up with.

1.  People will walk out on you when you feel you need them the most.  They will do things you can’t imagine doing to another human (even if you have done something similar to someone else, as I have).  It will be incredibly painful.  Be thankful they showed you how toxic they are and how you no longer need to be a part of their life.  It’s impossibly hard to think this way at times, but it’s for the best, this I’m certain.  On the opposite end of that spectrum, some people will surprise you when they come out of the woodwork to show you they care.

2.  People won’t know what to say to you when you’re going through difficult times.  Some people may avoid speaking to you because of this fact. Others will try to find the right words when there isn’t much to say.  Be kind to them for trying and tell them how they could best support you in your time of need.  You can’t expect them to be mind readers.

3.  I’ve learned to hate the question, “How are you feeling?”  I want people to talk to me the way they used to.   I don’t want an illness to define me.

4.  Even when the sky is falling, the sky isn’t falling.  No matter what happens the world keeps on going with or without you.  It’s the way life works

5.  Learn to be your own advocate for your health.  Read, research and reach out to people who have been in your shoes.  I haven’t done much of this, but I hear it helps.  Ask your doctors questions. Push back if something doesn’t seem right and get a second opinion if you feel the need.

6.  Don’t ask yourself the question, “why me?”  It’s a stupid question which serves no purpose.  The reality is it IS happening to you and that’s what matters.  Wondering “why me” led me to pity parties and feeling helpless.  It’s nonsense.

7.  I’m a junkie and if given the opportunity I will eventually abuse pain pills; even when I need them for pain.  I can’t trust myself with pills . Doctors may push them on you to make sure you aren’t in pain.  Some will even tell pain meds are necessary and not taking them will impede your healing.

8.  Going through withdrawal sucks.  I will do almost anything to avoid it.  Including staying on pills when I don’t need them.   It’s a reminder that pills ruin my life and make my ADD and OCD completely unmanageable.

9.  I’ve felt weak and helpless and wanted others to feel the same way.  I’ve taken my anger out on people who don’t deserve it.  Then I feel shame and guilt for acting like an asshole.  Be nice, it’s easier

10.  Be a good friend to others.  Talk to them about what’s going on in their lives.  I want them to feel comfortable talking about their issues and not feel bad because I’m sick.  It’s free therapy to listen to someone else.  Offer advice only if they ask for it.  It’s the best way I know to get out of my own head and stop worrying about my issues.

Assessing Appropriate Value

The word 'Worth' highlighted in green, under the heading 'Value'

Gauging by many of the investments in my portfolio, Assessing value isn’t my strong point.  The same holds true for the emphasis I place on my relationships.   The most important non-renewable resource I know of is time .  I understand it’s limited and finite, yet I squander it frequently.

I don’t “charge” people enough for my time.  When I say charge I’m not only talking about money; I also mean the currency of loyalty, reciprocity, respect and dependability.  I don’t value my own time enough so how can I expect others to value it in a manner I see fit.

The sad fact is there are several people who try hard to be involved with my life.  They communicate with me and try unrelentingly to be close with me.  Many of those same people receive the least of my time and effort.  Especially when it comes to women.  I love chasing after women and fighting for their attention and affection.  Tupac may have been onto something when he said “Hate to sound sleazy, but tease me, I don‘t want it if it’s that easy.”

In my professional life I’m learning to discern between the activities that are worthy of my time vs. wastes of my time.  In the past, I would kill myself, without hesitation, to perform menial tasks without taking into account the limited return on time invested.  I felt it needed to be done right away and if I didn’t do it no one would.  This isn’t the case.  I can’t be lazy and put things off for no good reason, but not everything requires my attention at that moment.

In partnership and salary negotiations I came in meek and got taken.  I was a partner in a night club several years back.  I was 26 when I first invested.  I didn’t understand the way these negotiations worked.

I allowed the partners who were raising capital to value my points without contest.  They told me what they wanted to charge and I wasn’t comfortable enough in valuing my resources that I agreed.  I never went back with a counter offer. Hell, I almost allowed them to raise the original valuation and charge me more for no other reason than they hadn’t budgeted the build out costs correctly. (more…)

The ‘How-to” Guide For Disrupting Positive Flow

Lately I have completely lost my state of flow.  My schedule is a mess  and my productivity level is at nightmare status.  Not only has this been chaotic for my work life, but it has also taken a toll on my health and my body.  I fully believe that when someone is struggling mentally,  physical issues will manifest shortly there after. I’m having digestive issues, my body fat has increased while muscle mass decreased, I’m physically weak and have almost unbearable back pain.

I’ve seen countless articles on how to enter the flow state.  This post is the complete opposite.  I think it’s a helpful prophylactic to reverse engineer the process in order to see what behaviors caused the problem.  Especially when so many seem rather trivial.  But it’s a snowball effect that escalates quickly.  The list of actions below is  how I created the predicament I find myself in. (more…)

Grant Me The Serenity

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”

I’ve said the serenity prayer thousands of times in my life.  It was one of the first prayers I ever learned.   My Pop-Pop had it sitting in a frame on his desk when I was a child.  He was a recovering alcoholic and that was their mantra.

I’m a control freak.  I want everyone to act according to my plans and beliefs.  This never happens and only sets me up for disappointment and frustration.

Recently I have come to understand what the serenity to accept the things cannot change means.  Serenity comes from letting go of expectations and allowing people and things to be whatever they are going to be.  Being in control of myself and not letting other’s actions affect my life and happiness.

When certain people enter my life I feel my anxiety build.  I lose focus and have difficulty sleeping at night.  I want so much better for them than they want for themselves.  I have codependency issues.  I feel the need to save them.

I’ve struggled to accept others for who they are.  I want to change them and mold them into someone I feel is better.  In the end the person usually resents me for my actions.

Serenity does not come easy for  me.  It is incredibly difficult for me to accept the world will act as it chooses and not allow that to impact my happiness.  Especially when it involves the behavior of someone I love and care for.

Things I cannot change have taken up too much real estate in my mind.  Learning to cope with anxiety and let go of these thoughts has been crucial.  I’ve distanced myself from people and learned to love them from a far.  I’ve come to terms with the fact I can only influence others to make changes if they are ready and willing.

I’ve wasted years worrying about how others choose to live their lives.  Looking down upon their choices and placing my expectations upon them.  I’ve been condescending when I should have been focusing more energy on how I  live my life.  Trusting that no matter what someone else does, I have enough confidence in the life I have built for myself that my world will not collapse.

Serenity is knowing I cannot change anyone.  People are going to be who they are going to be and will live the way they way want to live .  Not everyone will be willing to put in the hard work and effort its takes to be the best they can be.  The sooner I accept that fact the sooner I can have my serenity back.