We’re going DEEP today…
If you want more success in life—whatever that may mean to you—but you just feel like the chips are stacked against you right now, then you’re definitely gonna wanna read this…
…Especially if you’re not one of “them”—the ones who seem to get everything right.
They make it all look so damn easy, don’t they?
It’s like somehow they’ve got it all figured out.
And more often than not, it seems like you don’t even have a clue. Well maybe you do, and if so, would you please let me know?—cuz I sure don’t.
They’re like super-humans or something. At least they appear to be.
They say just the right things at just the right times.
They solve problems with certainty, grace, and style.
They’re good at, like…well, fucking just about everything.
They’re in amazing shape, make great money, and hop out of bed each morning at 4:15am sharp with stunning hair, a winning smile, and that “can-do” swagger. By 4:20am they’re ready to take on the world with an undying confidence that shines through in everything they do.
You probably see their posts on Facebook…traveling the world, hanging with the “in-crowd,” shirtless on the beach. Damn, they look good.
Or maybe you see their ads in your newsfeed about how they can make you rich working just 4 hours a week, get you ripped by training just 3 minutes a day, and give you a life beyond your wildest dreams—just like the one they have.
They are fabulous.
Some are known as life coaches, success coaches, business gurus, fitness gurus, self-help gurus, or any other of about a dozen names. (A few years back I even tried to be one of these guys myself. It was pretty hilarious.)
They don’t have to be gurus, though…
They might even be that guy at the office who gets all the chicks….or that neighbor of yours with the perfect lawn, shiny new car, and beautiful family that hits church every Sunday at 9am…or they might be that business guy in line behind you at Starbucks that you can just tell turns everything he touches into gold. He sure sounds important on that call he’s on—VERY important. He takes no prisoners—nada one.
It sure would be nice to have what they have—whatever that is.
They’re living the dream. (Or so it seems.)
I am not one of these people.
If you aren’t either, don’t worry about it. The life of perfection is a boring one and only comes in vanilla.
Now sure, sometimes I feel like I’m living the dream life. But I gotta be honest with ya…there are times when it feels more like a nightmare…or at least one big pain in the ass.
I think that by writing these blog posts I’m unintentionally creating the illusion that I’m on top of my game, have my act together, and know some serious shit about life.
I’m no “life coach,” guru, or leader. I don’t have my finances together, my looks together, or my shit together. And I am truly amazed at just how little I know about life sometimes (well, all the time, actually).
I’m really just a 6’6″ 340lb. obsessive-compulsive socially awkward introvert who likes to write about the things I’m going through, lessons I’m learning (or re-learning), habits I want to make stronger in my life, and areas I want to work on.
Writing is how I process things. It’s how I remind myself to live a certain way to the best of my ability. It’s how I let the poison out and keep it from spreading to my heart.
It’s my salvation. Putting it all out there for the world to see feels like an act of coming clean…a ritualistic washing of my sins…a chance to stand naked in front of the universe and look myself in the eye. And this is the best place to do it since I’m not very well hung for being such a big guy.
Now, if somehow my writing helps people process their own stuff, helps them remember what’s important in life, keeps ‘em a little more honest, or even just puts a smile on their face, all the better.
They say we teach that which we most need to learn. I have personally found this to be true—at least in my case.
Sure, sometimes I straight-up live the stuff that I talk about on this blog.
And fortunately, my obsessive-compulsive nature allows me to excel in certain areas. Mostly whatever it is that I’m obsessed with. Over the years this has been everything from lifting weights, building businesses, personal development, internet marketing, blogging, and even trying to take in a 5000 calorie-a-day diet of nothing but Vicodin—I used to take over 100 of those adorable little things a day. That’s one diet I was able to stick with for years. (Sorry, liver!)
But while in some areas of my life I’ve been able to dial in like a pro, there are other areas that I’ve let go to shit.
And even though sometimes I live the stuff I write about, there are other times I’m so far from living it it’s ridiculous.
I do things I’m not proud of.
I’m selfish—have been my whole life.
I remember in the 6th grade my football team won first place and we went to Round Table Pizza to celebrate. Everyone on the team got two slices of pizza. However, I noticed that there was one slice left in the pan, so I gulfed down my two pieces like a stray dog—not enjoying even one single bite—just so I could claim rights to that final piece and get 3 pieces of pizza instead of just two like everybody else.
Doesn’t matter what it is, I always seem to want more.
Not only am I selfish, but I eat too much—and trust me, 3 pieces no longer cuts it. Thankfully I also lift a ton of weights, which helps, but I still pack it on.
I was actually tested for worms as a teen because I ate more than the rest of the family all put together but was super skinny. The test came back negative and the weight finally caught up with me.
I have strange insecurities…
I don’t like to take my shirt off in public, like at pool parties and stuff, even when I’m ripped. I could have a 6-pack, but unless we’re having sex, the shirt stays on.
I always like to be the biggest guy in the room. In fact, I don’t like to be around anyone who’s bigger and taller than I am unless it’s one of my buddies—like Big Mike, Big Scott, Big Larry, or Big Will.
Fortunately it’s pretty damn rare—there’s just not that many 7 foot tall 400lb guys running around out there.
I love to brag. I want people to know how awesome I think I am. I just don’t like to come across like I’m bragging, so I’ll sandwich my boasting and self-aggrandizement between self-deprecating humor so I seem more humble than I actually am.
And I do like to think that I’m humble. In fact, I like to think I’m the most humble person in the entire world—because when it comes to humility I’m just on a whole ‘nother level with that shit.
In my twenties I had real bad ingrown toe nails on both my big toes. Since I couldn’t afford to go to the doctor, I just pulled out the entire nails with a pair of needle-nose pliers.
But one of them never grew back right.
So now the big toe on my left foot is so jacked up and fugly-looking I use it to scare kids on Halloween—even the big kids. It looks like Shrek’s big toe or something—if Shrek had an evil twin brother whose foot got run over by an angry lawnmower.
Also, I drink WAY too much caffeine—even though it makes me super tense, I just keep on drinking more. (Right now sounds like a great time for another cup, actually.)
I actually drink so much that my eyes start to flick around. It’s a little freaky looking.
I’m plagued with thoughts and feelings of not being good enough. And the rest of the time, I’m high on massive doses of false superiority. If I don’t feel that I’m better than you, I feel that I’m much worse than you. I know we’re all equal here, I just want you to know that I’m better than you. This is very important to me.
I’m hard on myself…always thinking I should be “this,” should be “that,” and that I should somehow, in some way, be something more than I am.
Maybe one day if I “should” on myself enough I can be like one of them—the ones with the 8% body fat, millions in the bank, and life by the balls…the ones who know what the fuck they’re doing and always look good doing it.
One of my life-long hobbies has been collecting shortcomings, bad habits, and even worse decisions.
And while it can be fun, it’s cost me a lot—mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially.
But it’s also made me a better human being. This part usually comes after kicking my own ass about 739 times.
At the moment I’m in a gnarly, excruciatingly painful custody battle that drains my time, money, and energy. It can be tough to practice love, patience, and tolerance when you’re fighting for that which you hold most dear.
If you’ve ever been in a custody battle, you know how deep the wounds can go. But if your heart’s in the right place, as the wounds heal, you become stronger, wiser, and more understanding.
I have issues with the IRS.
Relationship-wise I’ve burned more bridges than I have scraggly little hairs in my goatee.
I like to blame other people when things go wrong, but when I take a long hard honest look at each situation, I can see that I was almost always the arsonist, and that a huge portion of the problems I’ve had with other people were actually problems I had with myself—it’s just easier to point the finger at them. And it’s more fun—at least for a while.
It sure does suck when others get hurt by your actions.
Especially when you know there’s a good chance you’ll never be able to fix things. You do what you can, but sometimes it’s not enough, and somethings you can never fully amend no matter how hard you try.
I have a big mouth. I just don’t seem to have come equipped with one of those filter thingys most people have. It gets me in trouble—A LOT.
People tell me I wear my heart on my sleeve.
I have a strange sense of humor that only a handful of people get—but for some reason I feel inclined to bust it out on everyone, everywhere I go.
My mom is one of my biggest targets. Usually when I call her, I use a fake voice and try to fool her into believing I’m a debt collector from something she forgot to pay 20 years ago, a neighbor concerned about seeing a UFO hovering over her house the previous night, or possibly even the long-lost brother she never knew she had.
Because I’ve been doing this to her for nearly a quarter century, she’s on to me by now. But when I am able to fool her, the victory is sweet. Maybe one day she’ll get a cell phone and have caller ID. I pray that day never comes.
At least my mom is used to it by now, unlike some innocent dude at the drug store who just wants to pick up his condoms for an evening of fun and doesn’t wanna some stranger behind him in line to tell him to “put ‘em to good use, buddy!”
…or that “STDs are just a myth made up by the condom manufacturers so they can get your hard-earned dollars.”
…or that “I heard they just recalled that particular brand because they found tiny holes in them at the tip…you haven’t been using that brand lately…have you?”
Or whatever dumb shit pops into my head at the moment that is super funny to me, but oftentimes isn’t funny to those around me. I get a lot of blank stares.
In a way I’m a loner. I’m just a loner who knows a lot of people.
With the exception of my girl, my children, and a few close friends, I don’t like to be around people that much. Sometimes I do…short periods here and there, maybe an hour a day tops, but that’s about it. After that I need at least 23 hours to recuperate.
I tell myself it’s because I’m introverted. Which is true. But I also know it’s a control thing.
I’m the guy at the party who has no idea what to say to anyone.
And as for living in the moment, I suck at it. I’ve read the books, listened to the audios, I meditate, I do little things to remind myself to stay present, but after all this practice, I can confidently say I suck at it.
I just do my best to keep coming back to it.
It’s like I’m always in a hurry or something. A caffeine-fueled race to get to the next thing, to do something other than what I’m doing right now, to knock shit off my to-do list. I love knocking shit off my to-do list.
It’s like my operating mode is to get THIS thing done, so I can go do THAT thing. But when I get to THAT thing, it always turns into THIS thing.
And the truth is I’m not sure if I’ll ever actually find THAT.
Writing is the closest thing I have found besides sex. But how much sex can you have before you end up in serious trouble—injured, emaciated, and severely dehydrated? (I could use the weight loss though.)
Writing is the thing that sets me free. It’s one of the few times I feel at absolute peace with myself and the world.
It’s my portal into the moment.
But not just writing anything…
It’s when I write the raw shit—the stuff that hurts as much as it helps…the stuff that burns my heart from the inside and just needs to get out—or else.
The other stuff I write—like the marketing stuff I do for my business—sure, I enjoy it and it’s probably my favorite way to make money that I’ve found to date…
… Unless CNBC is ever going to put out another season of “To Catch a Predator” and are looking for a replacement for Chris Hansen. THAT would probably be the coolest way to make money in the world—going around busting kiddie rapists. I could do that shit all day and I’m pretty sure I’d be great at that. I love when Chris comes walking in the room: “How ya doing?”
But I bet I could it better.
Damn I wanna do that.
But for now, writing the marketing stuff will do. While it doesn’t release me from the unrelenting pain of life like the stuff you’re reading right now does—the stuff I’m almost sure no one should ever see, but I just can’t seem to help myself from publishing—it does pay the bills.
Without writing I’d be probably be a homeless guy with crazy hair, purple pants, and a tin foil hat yelling at people on a street corner. (That life actually does carry a strange appeal for me, though. Must be the hat.)
Combined with training, writing delivers the ultimate one-two punch for dealing with all the shit life throws at me, and that I throw at myself. Mostly the shit I throw at myself.
It brings me into the ever-elusive present moment.
We all need something to help exorcise the demons.
And we all have our demons.
If your life feels hard…if it’s painful, exhausting, and more challenging than you want it to be…just know that you’re not alone. We’re all in this thing together.
We’re all going through our own stuff, and no matter how big or small whatever we’re going through is, it can seem like a big deal to us. Especially when we’re knee-deep in it.
But when we return to the moment, we realize that very little of it is a big deal at all.
Almost all of our struggles contain important lessons for us to learn. And until we learn our lessons, we’ll continue to face the same struggles over and over, like the abused woman who keeps getting involved with men who hit her.
And if you suck at staying in moment, don’t worry; like I said, I do too. Just keep coming back to it, though, cuz it’s always here.
Find things that help to open up the pressure valves—whether it’s praying, writing, meditating, training, passion projects, helping people, talking with a supportive friend or group of friends…whatever it is that brings you into the moment and takes away the need to control.
When we do this, we can walk through the fire without letting it burn the living shit out of our feet.
I probably should take the torch to that big toe of mine though.
The key is to find something that sucks you in so deep that your problems no longer exist—at least not for the moment. Just make sure it’s not heroin.
And if your life is a mess right now, don’t sweat it. Seriously, all of our lives are a mess. Things will get better, and then worse, and then better, and then worse. It’s just how it goes.
And what about the wealthy, the gurus, the success coaches, the beautiful ones, and the ones who make it all look so easy?
Oh, their lives are a mess too.
I know my fair share of gurus, millionaires, and success coaches—and, truth be told, they’re some of the most fucked-up people you’ll ever meet in your life.
Seriously, I used to train Courtney Love when she was kicking a serious dope habit and she wasn’t half as screwed up as some of the so-called “gurus” I know.
Everyone’s life is absolute chaos.
And the more interesting your life is, the more chaotic things are gonna get.
But no matter how screwed up your life may be, chances are you have food in the fridge, a roof over your head, and there isn’t an army of badass motherfuckers on horses coming over the hill right now to kill all the men, rape all the women, and burn down the entire village. Not tonight at least.
Which means you’ve got it pretty good.
Even when life gets rough, there’s always a ton of stuff to be happy about. Plus, this whole life deal is gonna end at some point anyway, so might as well enjoy the ride while you’re on it. It’s ALL temporary.
And if you’re reading this blog, you get big kudos in my book. It means you’re probably interested in evolving as a person.
The shit you’re going through is making you stronger and wiser. There is good to be found in it. And you always can use what you’re going through to help others.
Plus, you can completely turn around whatever it is you’re going through …IF you’re willing to do what needs to be done. And if you can’t turn the situation around, you can at least turn yourself around and look at it from a different angle.
One of my best friends, Big Larry Clay, is always saying “All works for good.”
It’s like the dude’s answer to fucking everything. Your house just burned down? All works for good.
Someone conned you outta all your money? All works for good.
Wife left ya? All works for good.
Larry had a youth that would have caused most people to either off themselves, become a lifelong victim, or turn into a lifelong perpetrator of the same kinda bad shit he went through.
As a young boy, Larry experienced extreme sexual abuse, torture, starvation, and homelessness. He also witnessed the suicide of a family member. And you know what? Larry is one of the most awesome guys you could meet and he wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything. It made him who he is today.
By all rights Larry should be a fucking serial killer.
But trolling the country looking for prostitutes to toss in his trunk isn’t the path Larry chose.
Instead, Larry took all that bad stuff that happened to him and turned it into something good.
Today, 6’8″ 330lb. Larry holds black belts in 8 kinds of martial arts.
He’s a high level Krav Maga expert and instructor who not only helps people get into shape with his gym and teaching them how to defend themselves, but he also does a ton of ministry work and gives one of the most motivational stories from the stage I’ve ever heard.
Like Larry, I wouldn’t trade all the pain and loss I’ve experienced for anything.
I wouldn’t trade it because of all I learned, how much it made me grow, and how it molded me into the person I am today…allowing me to share my experience, as well as what works for me and what doesn’t, with others right here on this very blog.
But I had to go through the most miserable, painful, and depressing places of my life to have the things I do today.
And I’m still going through stuff.
I just don’t let it get the best of me.
In my experience, the most interesting people, the ones who do the most incredible things, help the most people, have the most impact, and are the happiest…are the way they are because of the hell they once endured.
What we go through can kill us, or it can be our greatest gift. It can forge us into the person we want to become. The choice is ours.
Every day is a battle. It’s a battle with ourselves—our egos, selfishness, negative thoughts, and inner pussies.
We can either lay down and die or charge forward like a soldier.
And the charge begins now. It ALWAYS begins now.
Embrace the mystery of life, give up the illusion of control, accept yourself, be cool to your fellow man, love with everything in you—even when it hurts—and move forward.
Keep. Moving. Forward.
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