Shortly after I returned home from my wedding in Costa Rica, I felt motivated to do something with all of the footage I had collected for the year leading up to our beautiful wedding in Costa Rica and the entire week of fun that we had in Central America. I wanted to make something that Keeley and I would always be able to look back at to remember this time in our lives and show to our kids one day!
This entire movie was shot on cell phone cameras and Go Pros! Coupled with my limited video editing skills, I put together a 40 minute movie that tells the story of the entire year leading up to our marriage and I think it’s pretty epic.
In the movie, you will go on a journey with us and all of our friends to around the world, surfing, skydiving, dodging volcanoes and eventually see the moment that changed our lives forever.
I hope that you like it as much as I do! Now enjoy, and let me know what you think! Thank you in advance for watching and for everyone who was a part of this and helped make this happen!
Bali is one of my favorite places to travel to. The first time I went back in 2010 I fell in love and it stole my heart. Since then I have been back multiple times, and I currently in the process of looking for a villa to buy so I can live between there and San Diego a couple months out of the year. I have been there so any times now that I have become somewhat of an expert on making your way there and how to avoid some of the typical tourists traps. Reading this blog will save you a couple of hours sifting through trip advisor and lonely planet. Enjoy!!
You can find flights from the US ranging from about $650-$1400 round trip for a standard economy ticket.
Bringing surfboards boards can make or break your travel budget. YOU MUST CHECK TRAVEL AND BAGGAGE RESTRICTIONS on all airlines. For example. China Air charges $100 per board each way when EVA air will charge $100 for a board bag (up to 2 boards) each way. You can find a really cheap ticket and end up paying $400 to get your boards to and from, so make sure you check before you buy.
Also, I have simply bought a surfboard when I got to Bali and sold it when I left, you lose about $100-$150 on the resale of the board, but it usually ends up being a wash.
I have included a short list of all the popular places that people usually stay. If the name of the city is not on the list below, don’t stay there. For a group of 4+ people of mixed surfers and non-surfers, I suggest Canggu or Seminyak through Airbnb. Should be about $150-250 for a 3-5 bedroom place. Uluwatu is cool to stay at but there isn’t much to do on that side of the island exact go surfing.
Here is the break down:
One thing that you will need on your trip is access to $. I use a capital one account that charges no ATM or international fees and the best part about it is that if you use this link to sign up for the account, then you even get a $20 bonus just for opening it up.
The checking account has no FEES, No minimum balances, no gotchas or any other bullshit, it is my GO TO travel fund that I have used for years. So everyone reading this please follow this link, open an account with enough time before your trip to make sure you get your Debit/ATM card before you leave.
I’ve got it figured out to where you can pull money out of an ATM in Bali getting NO FEES ON EITHER SIDE!!!!
Here is what you can expect to be spending daily and what things cost.
I take out a travel insurance policy anytime I leave the country. I have ended up making a claim on it about 50% of the time. Travel insurance covers everything from Broken Boards, Smashed or Stolen Go-Pro to lost and delayed baggage and trip cancellation and or Medical expenses. Some people think their credit card covers this shit but it doesn’t. On average a travel insurance policy for a trip that we are taking is going to run you about $80-$120 and is worth EVERY FUCKING PENNY!
I usually go directly to my local AAA office and do it there, however if you are not a AAA member, here is the company I have used and they are solid and have paid out all the claims when I made them http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com/
For your convenience, I have included my packing list I use for Indo trips, this will cut down on you bringing a bunch of extras stuff and ensure that you have all of your really important items. (Click link to download the excel spreadsheet)
Cell Phones and Calling Home
You can get a cheapo phone in Bali to use to make calls locally or you can do what I do and get and “Unlocked” phone and buy a pre-paid sim card for it. Usually your best bet is to get an old iPhone, like a 5 or 5s (around $100) and just use it there. They are really convenient to have because you can get internet on them and use Google maps feature for turn by turn directions while you are navigating around on your scooter. Just makes sure that it is unlocked and you are good to go.
Otherwise you will be using Skype to make phone calls home, so if you don’t have an account, set one up and put $10 worth of credit on the account. Thats all you will need to call home, unless of course you have Mac or what to use FaceTime from your iPhone which is free with Wifi.
Here is a breakdown of the time changes so you can make calls.
Ok thats all you need to know. Your welcome as a bonus, I threw in the surf guide.
When I was 17, my mentor Mike Watson asked me to write a list of all the things I wanted in my life. Here is what I wrote
-Get my own place.
-Get a car.
-Get a girlfriend
-Get a job and be able to support myself with out the help of my family.
By the time I was 18 years old, I had gotten these things. I had a little apartment in South Los Angeles, bought a 95 Acura Integra for $5,000 and met a pretty girl that I was with. I was working at Guitar Center in Lawndale CA as sales rep which was a step up from my last job working the burrito line at Chipotle. I went back to my mentor and told him that I had gotten everything that I wrote down on my list. He told me to go make another list, but this time dream bigger.
My next list looked something like this.
-Go to Jr. College.
-Move in to a bigger place.
-Make enough money to where I have some left after bills at the end of the month.
-Get a truck!
-Start a business
When I turned 20, again I finished these things. I enrolled at El Camino Jr. College paid for by a scholarship I won in a persuasive speech contest. I found a nice little house in Lomita CA I moved in with a couple of friends and started my first business, a clothing company called All Else Failed Ind. He told me to keep going, that I can have whatever I wanted as long as I put it down on paper and was willing to work for it. (So I did, but I went big on this one)
-Make 100k or more per year
-Transfer into a UC/CSU school to finish my undergraduate degree.
-Write a book
-Make an album (Im a musician)
-Buy a house
-Buy a nice Car
By age 23, I published my first book “The Rich Kid Syndrome.” I moved from Los Angeles to San Diego to buy my first home in Oceanside CA, and then transferred to CSU San Marcos after spending the summer of 2007 Studying abroad in Spain, Italy and France. This was also my first $100,000 year and I earned quite a bit more the following year with my little brokerage firm that started in Carlsbad. I was doing so well, I decided to buy and new BMW, and I bought it with Cash 🙂 I also finally completed my first full-length solo album entitled “The Midnight Songbook.”
As my 24th birthday passed, it seemed as if I could do anything. It was like every single year, I would just write a new list of things down that I wanted, and then I would get them. I felt unstoppable, and invincible. Then the year 2008 came and everything changed.
It only took about 6 months after the economy crashed to lose just about everything that I had worked for. Aside from the fact that I had lost all steams of income, I ended up being 160K in debt to boot.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I broke up with the girlfriend of 2 years, my dad went to prison, my mentor Mike (pictured above) died from cancer, my best friend screwed me over and I was conned out of my last $10,000 by a person posing as a roommate of mine who stole my identity and flew the coop. That’s what I call a bad year. I was so beaten down by all the loss in and around my life that it was hard to get back up and keep going. In fact some days it was down right direly depressing and some very bad thoughts entered my mind.
I realized that even though I had some major setbacks, and life threw me a couple of shit sandwiches, I had 2 choices. 1)Quit and kill yourself 2) Eat the shit sandwiches and make a list of things you want (as it has always seem to work before). So after a long day of gathering my thoughts and some meditation at the beach, here is the list that I made.
-Publish my second book
-Find a new industry to work in
-Surround myself with better people.
-Climb out of the hole (meaning get out of debt)
So, I picked up the pieces of my life and got back to work. I was 24, in serious debt, couldn’t find a job that would pay me nearly anything I was making in the mortgage game and all my “friends” or at least the people who I thought were my friends seemed to disappear with the money, the girlfriend and the stuff. I literally just had to hit the reset button on my life and start over.
I got in to Multi-level marketing, first with a company called Mona-Vie and then eventually in a company called RevvNRG. I always thought MLM was a scam but saw a lot of people making money in it. I figured if some barley high-school educated bozo’s from the Utah could make a couple million bucks on the Network Marketing game, how hard could it be? So I jumped in with both feet.
It took me about 18 months before I saw my first $10,000 month. As it turns out, you really can make some money in MLM. The next 3 years of my life seemed as if I was getting back in to my groove. I was traveling around the country, building a huge organization, making great money again and speaking on stages around the world telling stories of success and rising back up once life had knocked me down. I graduated college, published my next book “The Young Entrepreneurs Guide to Life.”
I felt relieved in a lot of ways. I felt as if I had a handle on things, life threw me some curve balls but I learned how to bend and fold in the situations and survive. As I was nearing 28 Years old, I began to reach my peak again. Now that I had the money game on point it was time for me to start living again, for me, this meant lifestyle.
What do I mean by lifestyle? Well to me “life” encapsulates all the things a human being has to do to live. Meaning we need to eat sleep, make a living, have friends etc. “Style” is a manner of doing something, so when you put those two together what you have is how a human being goes about living. I’ve come to understand that living life can be done many ways. Some people live very safe, they like a 9-5 job with benefits and 2 weeks vacation. Some people don’t even get that choice, they feel stuck in their life due to circumstances. Example: The man who worked as a mechanic his whole life because that’s what his father did and grandfather father did before him or the idea that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Well, thats all bullshit at least to me it was.
So I picked up a few new hobbies, and got back in to someones that I had neglected due my crazy ass work schedule. Here is what it looked like.
So I finished, college, published my new book, completely changed the people I surrounded myself with and found myself 5 years in to a promising industry that was allowing my to travel the world, live my dreams and crawl out of the black hole that I had lived in. I wish i could end the story here, because then it would be a happy ending, but there was one more twist that was going to happen to me before I hit the age of 30. But I at least got my dream trip of traveling around South East Asia and Surfing in Bali twice before shit hit the fan again. (see below)
And then I got back to America. in fact it was Early May of 2013 when I arrived home from Bali for the second time that year to find out the master distributor of the Network Marketing company I was involved in was trying to do an end-run on the distributor base and secretly move them in to another company all together. When I caught him in the middle of it, I blew the whistle (get that full story here).
In a mad rush to try to save what was left of the company, I began negotiations to broker a buyout from another MLM company. In fact that is where I was last year on my 29th birthday. Even though we were able to get a deal done, it ultimately fell apart because as it turns out the owner of the company I was staying loyal to was scarred and greedy.
Fortunately, being down the “put all your eggs in to one basket” road before, I had some back up plans this time around. I had learned how to trade the FOREX market (read that story here) for some time and I had a little Tech-Start-up called Roommatefax.com that I had been working on for a little time. Although I though I would have at least another year of residual income to count on from my network marketing ventures, I didn’t so I had to execute that back-up plans a little faster and take some side consulting work to make ends meet till I got them off the ground.
That brings us to the present, and as I cross the threshold into my thirties, I took some time to reflect, and these are the questions that kept repeating to me in my head.
-Have I lived honestly and had the best intentions?
-Did I take all the risks necessary to pursue success no matter the cost and safety?
-Would those (dead or alive) who came before me and made sacrifices for me so I could get ahead in life be proud of the man I have become?
-Will I be able to look my child in the eyes one day and proudly tell him or her about the choices I have made?
-If I were to die tomorrow, did I accomplish everything I set out to do? and when some of those things failed, did I see them through till the end and learn something from the experience?
-Have I lived with Honor, Integrity and loyalty?
-Was I a good son, brother, friend and human being?
I can honestly and confidently answer yes to all these questions, and that makes me grateful. I always thought by 30 years old, I’d have a million dollars and today I’m 30 and I don’t have a million dollars, in fact, I’m far from it, but what I do have is something that money can’t buy. What I have is something a lot of rich men spent their entire life chasing but could never seem to find. It’s the thing that most people live their whole life trying to find but it eludes them. What is it? Love. I’m surrounded by it and all the things that happened to me in my life were for a reason, they were to keep me safe from people, places and things, and sometimes from myself. I had lots of guardian angels that came in the form of people and circumstances.
I did my best to put Love out in the world, to give it when I could and try to keep the faith that it was there even when I couldn’t see it. I found hope, even when good people died or went to jail. I make hard amends to people I disliked, and let go of hatred for those I could justifiably hold resentments against. I found out what kind of man I was when life got hard, and saw what I was capable of when surrounded by the right people and situations. I learned to have a thick skin, be fearless and most importantly, not take life to seriously.
So all that’s left to do is make a new list. The list will probably have some things like get married, have kids etc. For me, it’s an open book. A big blank canvas waiting to be filled with life, love and memories. Fortunately, I’ve got quite a bit of experience now and I believe my best years are ahead. My 20’s were the minor leagues, and now its time for the major’s and I can’t wait to start playing!
Thanks for all the love and support! See you at the top!
So as I am watching Super 48 come to a close I can’t help but think what a guy like Payton Manning does from the time after tonight to the pre-season months from now. Most athletes are kind of like Entrepreneurs: they never work in offices, they travel a lot, they are paid for performance not time spent on the job and sometimes things don’t always go down the way you have planned.
I think for a guy like Payton, even though he missed this attempt at another super bowl championship and there will be hours of ridiculous commentary on what he could have done differently for weeks on end, this isn’t his first rodeo. In fact, I think that it is any professional football players dream to play and win in the Superbowl just like every entrepreneur myself included wants to build a fortune 500 company take it public and get the BIG money.
Unfortunately that isn’t the reality for most, in fact most players don’t make it to a Super Bowl in their career, and if they do, it doesn’t mean they won. Further more, think how hard it is to actually get in to the NFL, and after that factor in your chances of doing all that more than once. Bottom line, is that Payton has a lot to be happy about even though he didn’t get this one, and much like Entrepreneurs you may only have one big hit in your business life. Most of the entrepreneurs you have heard about in your life time all sound like they just had an idea and hit a home run with it, but that’s about as ridiculous as saying Payton Manning woke up one day we he was 25, decided to play pro football and won multiple super bowls.
To win and succeed, it takes work, time, and practice but one thing it also takes is LOSING. I know what your thinking, how can you win if your losing, well you can’t, but you can’t actually win all the time either. If you did, people would just think you’re cheating. The resilience it takes to get your ass kicked and get back up to do it again is only known by few, athletes and hardcore entrepreneurs fit comfortably in that category.
For me personally, I haven’t had my home run yet, but I’m early on in my career, and to my credit, I have only had one major failure due to the market crash in 2008. One thing I have always devoutly believed in is averages. Remember, and incredible baseball player has an ERA of 300 or better. (a 500 ERA us unheard of) and what this mean is that the best in the league hit 3 out of 10 times and strike or fly out the rest.
Business is very much the same way, and all so many times I see young entrepreneurs get bounced out of the atmosphere on their first attempt at business and it makes me sad because they could be the next Bill Gates, but they are just to scared to look bad, you have to get a thick skin to survive. Much like the Athletes, Entrepreneurs go for broke all the time. The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. At the end of the day we go in to it knowing that we my fail every time and never get that 100 million dollar idea, and you know what, it’s no t so bad.
Think about guys like Dan Marino, Warren Moon, and Dan Fouts, these were some of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, who are in the hall of fame and know what they have in common, not one has a super bowl championship, and by no means does that mean they failed in life, the stars just simply didn’t align for them to get a super bowl championship under their belts.
I really believe in going the distance. Life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. I think most people can get lucky once or twice, but to have the type of repeat success that guys like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet have takes skill, wisdom, patience and the ability to take risks. After your 3rd million dollar company you launched, no one can claim the luck card, it’s habit.
But just like the Sammy Sosa’s, and Ken Griffy Jr’s of the MLB world, you don’t get to lead the league in the most home runs unless you get enough times at bat. So for us entrepreneurs, what we do, and most importantly what were a part of before we hit our “home-run” says a lot about what we are going to do once that train ends. Will our product become out dated, will we get bought out by a competitor, will the technology become out dated. Maybe the government will regulate something that will go against us. So how do we stay on top, stay innovative or on top of our game?
Well a mentor of mine Perry P would tell me the story of the big oak tree and the skinny palm tree. The oak tree would make fun of the skinny palm tree that even a little gust of wind would blow around until one day a monsoon came knocking the oak over and killing it completely. The moral of the story was that in order to survive, you need to learn how to bend and fold in all of life’s situations. Furthermore we need to be prepared for what ever life is going to throw at us.
So this is what I have always done. In my last book I wrote, “The Young Entrepreneurs Guide to Life” I write about 100 entrepreneurs who dropped out or never went to college. Some of the people on that list include folks like, Steve Jobs, David Geffin, Sir Richard Branson, Walt Disney to name a few, and I have read these guys biographies, in fact I recommend doing that to any aspiring entrepreneur if in the very least to protect them from throwing in the towel when their first deal doesn’t work out.
This picture resonated with me when I first saw it because I identified with it. When I got my ass handed to me a couple of times in business it was refreshing to meet very successful people who told me they to had bitten the dust a couple of time before they knocked it out of the park. They encouraged me to always continue on. At the end of the day, if my life is spent pursuing my dreams and trying to make the world a better place never wavering against what I believe my purpose is here on this planet than I successfully lived. Whether or not I have a bunch of money in the bank or cars and shit doesn’t matter to me, how I get there though means the world.
I’m a smart guy and I can sell. I could get a sales job that pays well, work my ass off all week and take home 120K per year. I could get a corporate job as well, do a 9-5 Mon-Fri Gig with benefits and 401K, and during some of my failures in my own entrepreneurial endeavors those jobs starting looking amazing, but when I played the tape out, I could just never bring myself to sitting in a 10X10 ft space 40 hours a week selling some shit I could care less about only having the weekends and small trips away from reality to look forward to. I would always take the path less traveled.
If your Dan Marino, or Steve Jobs, my decision makes perfect sense to you, if your everyone else, you just think we are crazy, and that’s ok, because if everyone thought like we did there would be no one to run our companies or play tight-end as well as all of the other positions that are crucial in winning games or in life for that matter.
The bottom line is to stay in the game as long as possible. The longer you stay in the game, the better the chance to have to win. So if your reading this and thinking of starting your own deal for the first time, good for you. Go out there and fail a couple of time, get it over with, get your ass kicked and back up again, it’s all a part of the process. If your down and out, don’t worry, you’ll get it as long as you stay in the game, just don’t give up, consult those mentors and elders, go in to accumulation mode, learn some new things, bend and fold and most importantly get back in to a positive mental state.
If your on the other end of this and you just won your “super-bowl,” congratulations, you worked hard and deserve it. So celebrate and soak up every awesome moment, but when it’s over, you had better get back to work because there is going to be 1000 more coming to take it from you next year!
Have a great week everyone!!!!
Now For a little Fun…. Enjoy
80% Mental, 40% Physical equals 120% Confusing right? Yes if you are used to giving only 100%, but it makes perfect sense if you play at 120%
I’m in the final week of my 30 day transformation and my brain is firing on all cylinders. I’m so pumped for 2014, and I have a lot running through my mind so I want to get it all out on this blog before I forget. I’ll post one more blog from the 30-Day transformation series at the end of the week re-capping the entire experience. In the mean time, enjoy this one!
Is this just mental masturbation or am I actually going somewhere with this? Well, let me explain. As I was driving out to Lancaster CA,( known for its gangs and the home-based Meth Lab Industry) I was listening to the audio version of “The Secret.” Weather or not you’re a fan of this type of spiritual quantum physics or even know of the book there is definitely something too it. Here is a brief synopsis
The Secret highlights gratitude and visualization as the two most powerful processes to help manifest one’s desires. It asserts that being grateful both lifts your frequency higher and affirms that you believe you will receive your desire. Visualization is said to help focus the mind to send out the clearest message to the universe. Several techniques are given for the visualization process, as well as examples of people claimed to have used it successfully to manifest their dreams..
Finally it introduces a 3-Step process on how to receive anything that you want in life, 1. Ask 2. Believe 3. Receive. Now before I go in to this I want everyone reading this to know that I started out not believing in personal development / self-help in general. I thought it was cult-like pseudo science and only really impressionable people got caught up in it.
The world of personal development was first introduced to me at 23 years old in my first network marketing company. At first, I thought it was all a bunch of bullS*&%. When I was first exposed to it, this scene best describes how corny it felt to me.
Then over time, I started to pick up a couple more books, audios and even attended my first Personal development seminar, it was a Millionaire mind intensive based off of the teachings in T-Harv Ecker’s book, “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.” The event was a sell-fest, and half way through it, I realized that this wasn’t the first P.D. seminar I had ever been to. Turns out that these concepts were first introduced to me at the ripe young age of 12 when my mom sent me to a Landmark Seminar for children. I though it was cult-like, and can’t remember all that much from the actual seminar but all the people seemed to be happy and really motivated. Maybe they programmed something deep in to my sub-conscious and are planning to activate me later like some kind of Manchurian candidate situation, but I doubt it because when you start to understand how personal development “gurus” use phycology, you can dive deep in to what makes them so successful at what they do, but before I get into that, lets back up a second to where it all began for me.
My first real exposure to any kind of personal development concepts was actually in Alcoholics Anonymous. I got sober when I was 16 years old and haven’t had a drink since. I am still an active member in AA and work with new members constantly. I didn’t realize how much personal development is embedded in the 12-steps until I was re-introduced to the P.D. world later in life at 23 years old. Now keep in mind, I had been sober going to AA for more than 7 years before I was re-introduced to the personal development world. When I saw the concepts that were being taught in the world of P.D. for the second time in my life, I was much more open to it because I was a product of what success can be had from a 12-step group oriented self-help organization which in many ways has similar results of any good P.D. system.
You see, there are a lot of critics out there. In fact you can find a whole world of people who will call anything that comes from the personal development world pseudo-science and throw out any value it creates because there is no scientific merit behind it and the curriculum is not being taught by people with a Ph.D behind their name. Instead, most of the big names from the P.D. world like Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Zig Zigglar, and Jim Rhone to name a few don’t even have a college degree let alone a high school diploma. Instead they speak and teach from personal experience and everything they have developed comes from interaction and experiences with real people. Much like AA, there are no doctors, no professors, or Ph.d’s, just a couple of normal everyday people who have had some pretty incredible experiences in life and then decided to share those experiences as a way to help others breakthrough problems and barriers that are in their life so they can go on to actually living again.
To me, none of the semantics matter. It either works or it doesn’t, and that is the only measuring stick that I need. AA was the last place that I ever thought I would end up at 16 years old. In fact my only knowledge of it was what I had heard here and there combined with the satirical portrayal seen in movies and on T.V. I though AA was for homeless people who lived in dumpsters and drank Mad Dog 20/20 out of a paper bag. When I got there, it was quite different from anything I could have anticipated. I was shocked to find out that the only requirement for membership was a desire to stop drinking, no dues or fees, and to my surprise were not affiliated in any way, shape or form with a religion, political, governmental, scientific or even non-profit organization. It was started by two guys, “Bill and Bob” who stumbled on to the idea of creating a support group to help other alcoholics through an experience they had together. What they found was a way to help themselves and others stop drinking and using drugs where science and religion had failed to do so. Moreover, they orchestrated a method or system of how to have a better life or in many cases, get any kind of life at all back.
Strangely enough, to this day, all the doctors, scientists and governments in the world have not been able to “Cure” alcoholism or addiction. Since AA was founded in 1935, millions of people have not only been able to quit drinking, but their lives changed dramatically for the better. I wrote a paper about AA back in college arguing that Alcoholics Anonymous is the most significant social movement of the 20th and 21st centuries, but because it’s anonymous no census or accounting has ever been done, and will never be done because it violates the traditions. There is an estimated 2 million+ members with over 160,000 meetings all over the world. The most significant part of all of this is that until 1935, the only option all of those people would have had was to spin dry in a sanitarium, go to jail, or just die. It starts to become exponentially significant when you begin to think of all the people, families, kids, employers etc. that have been positively effected by all of those generations of people who stopped being a down and out drug addict alcoholic and turned in to a positive productive member of society. Now multiply that number 6 times, and you will have you get 6.4e+37 aka a lot of f^%#$%^ people. That ripple effect equates to roughly the earths total population a couple of times over.
So what does all of this have to do with personal development. Simple, not everyone is meant to go to AA. You may not have a life ending alcohol or drug problem. You might just be a normal person looking to find deeper meaning to your own life. For me, I found that I needed AA but desired to have what the self-help personal development world taught as well. AA to help me recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body and then the philosophies from the personal development world to help me take that life I got back thanks to AA and turn it in to something incredible.
Most people think that sharing feelings and showing emotion makes you weak. Kind of like if you see a psychologist you don’t shout it from the roof tops, you keep it private. The P.D. world has a much different formula, usually group settings and as one on one time with a guru, well that can get expensive. I have seen a type of human interaction being done in large group seminars which is completely contrary to anything most psychologists would think is a good idea, but something happens there. You feel elated and empowered by the group and a feeling of community and togetherness knowing that you are not the only person in the world who experiences pain, suffering, loss and hardships. This feeling is usually experienced at a church of some kind which is why a lot of the religious world frowns upon personal development because they are stealing the churches age-old techniques and giving people something a little more tangible the a bible and a confession box. Not to say church or God are bad in any way, I’m very spiritual myself just not religious. You should see some of the people who have bridged that gap and have turned a religiously motivated personal development method in to a CASH COW like Joel Olsteen with an estimated net worth of $40-Million. I’d say having Jesus on your side doesn’t hurt 🙂
My belief is that if it works for you do it. There is no set way or one simple cookie-cutter method that is going to work for everyone. Personally it has taken me more than 10 years to find my spirituality, and I was actually searching for it the whole time. My journey will never be the same for any other person, similar perhaps, but never exactly the same. What worked for me, may not necessarily for you but what I can tell you is that I have learned some capital “T” truths through my years in the personal development world. I’ll take this time to share a couple of the profound nuggets of wisdom with you know.
– Faith without work = Jack Shit
– You can manifest positive things, but if another person is manifesting the same thing and willing to work 40 more hours a week for it, he or she is probably going to get it before you.
– Spending money on Personal development is great and I believe in it 100% do it, it’s worth every penny.
– If you start something, finish it! If you don’t plan to finish it, don’t even start it, just go back to sleep.
– Never stop learning!
– Always keep your belief system negotiable, be stubborn, stick to your morals, but if presented with a better way, be quick to adapt it and then slow to change it.
– Mentor’s aren’t just a good suggestion, they are imperative to your success in life in any and all situations.
– You are the company you keep, meaning the 5-closest people to you define exactly what your habits, morals, and what your net worth probably equates to, if you don’t believe me, write those names down and do the math.
– A mentor is not a friend, he or she is the person to kick you in the ass and give you life saving advice. So don’t get mad, upset or hurt when they tell you something you don’t want to hear, that’s the point.
– You don’t know what you don’t know, because if you knew you would have, and to know and not have is not knowing at all. 🙂 (Thanks Casey, I think I got that one right)
– People/Friends are assets or liabilities. Know what you can afford.
– If you can’t manage $10 you will never be able to manage $1,000,000
– Delayed gratification is the truest sign of maturity and wisdom.
– Keep it real, stop lying to yourself, and be great, don just think it, talk about it, or write about it, do it!
What I love about most personal development is that it is so simple, that it’s kind of hard to accept. I mean seriously, I’ve read some books that I thought were going to give the most profound pieces of paradigm shifting information, instead I got catch phrases like “keep it simple” and “mind your business.” What? Are you kidding, I paid 4 grand to go to a 4,ooo person Tony Robbins event, and he told me that “my past doesn’t define me?” Exactly, and that precisely why it works. The times where I thought “this shit is stupid, I could have come up with this!” But then the next questions I asked myself spelled out exactly why I needed it and why it was so valuable: It was because even though it was so simple, I didn’t come up with it, or simply overlooked it because I believed that nothing that profound could be so simple.
Then one day while I was getting interviewed on a nationally syndicated radio show, I was asked the questions “Steve, you do so much, your so successful at such a young age, how do you do it?” What came out of my mouth astonished me to, and I said: “lists, I make lists of things I need to do, and then I cross the items off one-by-one until they are all done.” The radio host looked puzzled, as if she was waiting to here the rest of the answer, but that was it, if I added anymore it would have just been me adding fillers to make it sound better.
In the theme of keeping it simple, here are some of my favorite clips from Will Smith being asked very similar questions and giving very simple answers. I guess I’m not the only successful dude who believes in keeping it simple and just sticking to answers that even 3rd graders can wrap their head around.
In conclusion, I will to circle back to where i started. 80% mental and 40% physical. A very wise man once told me that I could push myself 100 times harder than I even thought I could, and until he told me that, I never thought it was even possible. Much like if you asked 100 people in a room in the year 1901 if humans would ever fly, 98% of them would have thought you were crazy, and maybe 2% of them would be optimistic enough to think it’s possible, but if you asked that same question in 1903 after the Wright Brothers flew for the first tim, 100% would agree that it is was the capital “T” Truth type possible!
Quantum Physics, Metaphysics, and spirituality pick up where modern science and religion ends, and to me the study of the unknown or imagining what could be possible is the only way to move humanity forward. If fellas like Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein didn’t think like that, we might still be living in the dark and have never gone to space. Crazy right? Wrong, makes perfect sense actually. The line between genius and insanity is a fine line, and it takes a real confident (and a tad bit crazy) human being to continue to have faith and believe when 98% of the people in a room don’t think what you’re doing or saying is possible and that you are some kind of charlatan.
This is what the message of personal development always meant to me. It reinforced the fact that anything is possible if I set my mind to it. It gave me tools to deal with the people who would try to pull me down and shit on my dreams. It gave me a community of like-minded people who believe that we were put on this earth to do a little more than work a 9-5 job for 40 years and retire with a gold watch. P.D. helped shape and develop my entrepreneurial mind because god knows they don’t teach that shit in college, and finally and most importantly, It restored faith and gave me hope that as long as there are people on this earth pushing to move us forward then we may just pull this whole thing called life off with out killing each other and starting wars and conflict with our fellows.
I like to think how far we would have advanced as a human race if we spent all of the time, money and effort we have spent on fighting with each other and put all that to advancing the human race across the board in Science, phycology, renewable energy and educating the masses. Maybe we can start that type of campaign in 2014 🙂 Whoever that guys is, he’s got my vote!
To find out more about the books I have written and a more in-depth look in to what I have learned through my years of personal development, check out my book “The Young Entrepreneurs Guide to Life.” I hope this blog motivated you. Happy NEW YEAR, let’s make 2014 incredible.
I know everyone raves about cleanses, the longest I have gone is 3 days with no food. My good friend and mentor Casey Combden has been raving about this particular one for the past months. He lost like 20LBS from it and you could tell.
Because I come from a network marketing background I have seen just about every health and wellness product from magic wands to rubber band bracelets that regulate your electro-magnetic-spectrum. Needless to say, there is a lot of bullshit out there. So I thought I put this one to the test.
Knowing that I was doing a big month-long transformation coming in to the new year, I figured why not? However, I didn’t know that I was signing up for not eating the whole time and for an active guy like me, you can’t workout and train MMA on purely supplements and green juice so when I found out exactly what was expected, I knew this one was going to be difficult.
Of course, just like every other diet thing that’s being advertised, I did before and after photos and took serious measurements as to make sure of exactly what was going to take effect with my body. I went in to this being a non-believer making only the commitment that I would stick to the plan, track my results and give fair feedback.
So, here are my before’s and my day one specs.
Day 1 (12/9/13)
Day 10 (12/19/13)
My goals in doing this was simply to see how much I would benefit from it all around. I don’t really need to lose a lot of weight and I eat pretty clean as it is, so I wanted to see what a cleanse could do for a guy who is pretty fit and eats well. Next is my daily journals.
Day 1: Pigged-out yesterday eating candy and bad food because I know it’s all over today. Felt extremely hungry by thing end of the day following my 1.5 hours of MMA training at the club. Met all goals on meals and supplements. Don’t feel anything yet.
Day 2: Woke up with a massive headache 🙁 Felt dehydrated which was weird because I have been drinking water like CRAZY! Got really hungry today, and after I worked out for 1 hour in the gym doing light cardio and heavy-bag I got a migraine. This cleanse is killing me, I hope this is all part of the process.
Day 3: After consulting my Purium rep, I learned that I wasn’t supposed to be working out really at all. Probably should have put that together. If you are burning 4500 Calories in a day and taking in less than 1000, it’s not a fat burning mega session, it’s a body shock and you get sick, just like I did. So after this I ate some veggies and nuts on top of my allowed flex foods to balance me out. Felt better by the end of the day.
Day 4: Spent most of the day at home in front of the computer doing admin work for my new job project I took on, thus not much movement = no excess burning of calories and I didn’t feel hungry or sick. Good day.
Day 5: We had the 5th annual ugly sweater party at our house and I totally cheated and ate some real food that was definitely not on the plan 🙁 Today I get a C, and not an F only because I cheated at night and stuck to the plan the whole day.
Day 6: Feeling guilty about my slip I went to the gym and did a light workout, felt very weak and tired. The amount of Aminos I am taking should prevent any loss of muscle, but I’ll be the judge of that on day 11/12 when I eat a full meal, get a good nights sleep and go spar at the MMA gym. That’s the quickest way to find out how much stronger, or how much endurance was gained in any diet/exercise program to me.
Day 7: I really miss food. I’m used to not really eating by now. All food is to me is fuel. I’m not working out for the rest of the cleanse and am going to stick as close to the suggested regiment as possible to maximize the end result. I felt a little bit of my energy come back and I am literally pooping green! Yuck, but in this case, green means healthy.
Day 8: Felt good today, no hunger, no real loss of energy, I think my body has finally adjusted. I do however miss working out and being active. I would have been really upset if I missed the surf today because of this cleanse, but work kept me from doing that which was cool because I closed my first deal at the new job today and it was my first day 🙂 NICE. (That’s the pocketbook part of my transformation, Ill be blogging about that over the next week or so).
Day 9: God I want this to be over! Actually today wasn’t that bad. With my new job and in a stressful environment, it’s easy to forget to eat, this actually worked in my favor today and I closed another deal! MONEY$$$ So yea, It’s all down hill from here. I am already planning what kind of meal I am going to have the day after tomorrow and it will be glorious. I can’t wait, felling great today, high energy, high spirits.
Day 10: So stoked that this is almost over, don’t even know what I am going to eat, I’ve been thinking about it all day. I’m in the clear feeling great, energy and high on life from the accomplishment.
Overall I thought the cleanse was good, however I will suggest that if you are very active and in descent shape already, this might be more than you need. If you do want to go the 10 days, I would suggest supplementing more food in there so you can continue your workouts.
If you just want to lose weight, this cleanse is Ideal, I lost about 1 lb per day which is pretty amazing! So if you are a person that needs to cut 20+ LBS, this deal is the ticket for you.
I went to the gym tonight and did my normal work out which is a mix between plyometrics, cross-fit and heavy bay training with boxing gloves (KRAV MAGA Style). I felt weaker in my punching and kicking and more easily fatigued than normal. I think I can be back to normal in a week. The good news is that my body and digestive system is SUPER clean, and my metabolism is running fast. All I have to do now is stick to a clean meal plan (with one cheat day a week of course), some light lifting and endurance training and Ill have 6 pack in 30 days!!!!
All in all, I’m a believer. I will say this last thing though. My mom is a registered dietitian in practice for almost 40 years. She puts it very simply. “If you want to lose weight, take in fewer calories than you’re using on a daily basis.” I always loved that because in essence you could eat cake every day and as long as your willing to bust your ass in the gym for 2 hours after, eat all the cake you want 😉 , everything in moderation right. It’s all about balance, find something that works well for you, stick to it, and track results to see if what you are doing is actually working.
For information on this cleanse and how you can get it for yourself, please email me directly @ email@example.com and I’ll hook you up!!!!
So about money. One thing has been said about money that has always stuck with me is: “Money is only emotional if you don’t have enough of it,” and this is so true. Most of us have had a struggle or two at some point in our lives in this area. For me, making money has never really been the problem, it’s the “keeping it part that has always hoodwinked me.
I have adopted a new saying over the years, and it goes like this. “In business, when you go up against a person with education and experience they will leave with your money and all you will be left with the experience and boy is it true. This happened to me in 2008, I had a good amount of money in real estate, stocks, and annuities. I was making a killing in the mortgage business, and I felt invincible. I went from owning a clothing company to running a brokerage firm pulling down 15-20K a month with my eyes closed by the age of 21 years old. For a 21-year-old, that’s more money than most know what to do with. Off my brothers advice I started investing but didn’t pay attention. What I mean by that is I was unwilling to learn about investing. I trusted a financial advisor to do good things with my money, and I followed the methods of millionaires when it came to real estate investing. End result, when the market turned I lost everything and went in to debt. About $160,000 of debt. At age 23, I closed the brokerage, took my lickings and left that industry.
I had no income coming in, and couldn’t get unemployment because I have always owned my own business or been 1099’d and was staring at a pile of debt that no 23-year-old should ever have to deal with, although I do believe 20 something’s are becoming more accustom to swallowing that reality these days which makes me very sad that we ever got to a place in this country where being 22 and 80K in debt was ever ok. Either way, I was in trouble and needed to do something. I chose joining a network marketing company (aka a pyramid) and everyone thought I was crazy. I was ok with that because I have never chosen a traditional career, job or project in my entire personal and professional life.
After struggling to wrap my head around the new industry, I got successful quickly and was back on my feet paying off that mound of debt which by the way I never claimed a bankruptcy on. I’m not a deadbeat, I ran up the debts by not managing my risk properly, therefore, I am responsible for fixing it.
Speaking of Risks, here is a quick little history of my untraditional professional life.
18-21 : Started a clothing company in LA and sold clothes internationally, traveled, made money and had fun. Most thought it was a bad idea/investment including my partner I bought out in the first year. End result, I had a crash-course in running your own business, saw the world and gained some priceless real life entrepreneurial experience while turning a profit and doing something I loved and believed in.
20-23 : Started working as a Jr Loan officer at a small brokerage in Los Angeles and made my first 6-Figure income at the age of 20. Later went on to opening my shop and tripled my income before 22. At the 21 I bought my first house,bought my first car cash (2003 BMW 330ci), and took a 3 month vacation to Europe where I studied Spanish in Spain. I also decided to go back to school to complete my degree as I had dropped out years earlier to pursue the clothing company
23-28 : When the financial industry went down I joined some Multi-Level Marketing companies. I have been in a total of 3 thus far. Mona-Vie (23-24) where personally recruited 30 people and hit a 6 figure rank in 10 months, that’s the fastest I have ever done this in any business. 24-28 With RevvNRG as a founding distributor where I built an organization of 7,000 people in 5 countries while traveling around the world enjoying the freedom that I had from this line of work. Then when RevvNRG fell apart, I joined ARIIX where I currently am now.
Presently: Although I am still a part of ARIIX, I started my company Roommatefax.com 6 months back. I did this for a couple of reasons. 1. I was sick of not being able to heavily influence the end result of what the company I work with produces. 2. I missed being an entrepreneur and making something appear out of nothing that people love. 3. Have you seen the job market lately?
After having lost my residual income from RevvNRG, I had been looking for some additional work to bring in more income to subsidize the loss of income and boy, I thank God for the fact that I have a background in sales because I attended a couple job fairs and all I saw was a million “fresh-out-of-college” kids desperately looking for jobs competing against people who have 30+ years experience on them with a mile long resume. Bottom line, that shit’s burnt, and all the future young americans have to look forward to is service jobs unless they become willing to work harder, eat some shit, and pay some dues.
I wrote a blog post about paying dues and eating shit sandwiches, if you didn’t read, go check it out, it’s a good one http://stevenewolf.com/eating-a-shit-sandwich/. Either way, at this time in my life I had to take some of my own advice. So I sacked it up, got humble and took a sales job that seemed legit and had a great training system. I would rather be doing something that generates income while looking for better opportunities rather than sitting around in my house watching movies, getting fat and feeling sorry for myself. Jobs, are only temporary and they serve a purpose, therefore I am grateful for this short term sales job I landed. From a salesmen’s perspective there are a couple of things I know to look for in a sales jobs. Here is the quick list.
I have always prided myself on being a smart and wise entrepreneur, but even the best of the best can fall from grace at times. I think most people elect taking jobs where you work for a big company and you have a dedicated salary because it removes the fear of not having something you can count on. This is a prison to guys like me. Keep your 50k a year and give me the opportunity to make what ever I want to based on how hard I am willing to work and how resourceful I can be. That’s the American Dream I was brought up on. My Mom and dad owned their own practices, my grandpa owned his own company and my brother and his wife is a real estate agents (1099 all commission based). I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and trust me when I say that none of us are cut out for a corporate environment, we would fail at it, die of boredom, or just quit and go start our own deal because at the end of the day, when we look in the mirror, we are the masters of our own destiny and the only way to true wealth is from starting your own company or being a part of some line of work that allows you to at least own your time. You know “time, your most valuable asset. There are a couple of exceptions, but I don’t know anyone that has been in a corporate job that has made enough to retire by the age of 40.
The trick I learned is a little something called Mini-Retirements from my main man Tim Ferris author of the book “The One-Hour Work Week.” This is the concept explaining the idea of choosing a business or line of work that affords us the ability to do things like month-long travel adventures, and the ability to take as much time off as possible before your real retirement age of 65 when you are too old to do fun things like you would have done in your 20’s and 30’s. This business of working till you’re 65, getting a gold watch and a pension is for the birds. To me, your best years are pretty much over by 65 and even if we have some incredible medical breakthroughs that allow us to live longer, I’m not going to get caught up in the mouse-on-the-ferris-wheel mentality of working for no more of a reason then to survive. F^&%* all that noise.
To be continued on part 2 of 2 – (Sign up for my blog and get notified when I post) If you like this blog, please re-post and send your friends here!!! Also If you haven’t read or heard about my book “The Young Entrepreneurs Guide to Life” go to the “books” section on my site and pick up a copy or a download the audio book.
And Finally, I’ll leave you with this. Jay-Z and Warren Buffet with Steve Forbes. Watch the interview and see the contrast. It doesn’t matter where you come from or your circumstances. If you want it bad enough the world will provide.
They say it takes 30 days to start or break a habit, and I say screw all that psycho-babble. It takes one day to break a habit, the day you stop doing it. However to form a habit, that’s going to take some time, 30 days – a lifetime sounds about right.
I gotta say I bit off a little more than I could chew this week. Like usual I’m trying to take on the world. Once I sit down and start writing I lose track of time and after 3 revisions and 2 hours, I have a blog post. So tonight we’re going to keep it short and sweet. I committed to blogging everyday but due to my new job (AWESOME!) and my Forex Trading school that I just signed up for along with the 10 Day cleanse I’ve been on for 4 days, I’m a little overworked, underfed and cranky, but, that’s the point: I’m in the process of forming some really great new habits and getting rid of some old bad ones.
So lets talk about habits. We all have them, some are good, some are bad. We have all heard “everything in moderation, but smoking crack in moderation or at all is really bad and there is no way to justify that one. How about things like, food, sex, or working out. Ever know a person who works out too much? Like the dudes I’ve seen who go to the gym 9 times a week and have an 8-Pack but are driving around a 94 Toyota Tercel (Not that it’s a bad car) but you know what I mean, something is not adding up.
All this represents is a life out of balance, and it can be fixed and moderated fairly easily if you systematize how you behave and how far you are willing to go to discipline yourself. However if you are a really closed-minded person and you love to do things your own way despite what experience, education or others tell you, well then just stop reading this now, because you’re probably going to throw it out and say it’s bullshit like all the other great ideas everyone has been trying to tell you.
Either way, I am always trying to form and KEEP positive habits, and break bad ones. Usually I break this down in to how I can improve on
these fronts: (By the way, if your interested, I included a work-sheet for this in my last blog post you can download and use yourself.)
These are what I consider to be all of the elements that make up a balance. If I don’t have all 4 working harmoniously, then my life is out of balance. I have created a “habit” of spotting when this happens so I can quickly analyze, spot, and correct whats out of balance as quickly as possible before a bad habit is formed. Basically, things in motion tend to stay in motion, so if my habits are bad they are usually getting worse and vice versa. The key is to do a little of something in each area every day and strive for that balance knowing full-well that keeping a perfect balance is damn near impossible to do. Remember, progress not perfection.
So to give an example, I’ll show you what a day in the life for me looks like when trying to keep this balance and form great habits.
Mind – Knowledge is power. If you want to be successful in life, you will have to be smart. Anyone can get luck once and sometimes twice, but in order to keep that success long-term you will always need to be educating yourself about new things and filling your mind with incredible content. So I have recently signed up for a program to teach me Forex Trading. For those of you who don’t know what that is, Forex is an abbreviation for Foreign Exchange Currency Trading. This is something I always wanted to learn because it is a way you can make money from a laptop anywhere in the world. (You can also lose your ass if you don’t know what you’re doing.) So I am attending an institute from 5AM – 9AM Monday through friday (because that’s when U.S. Markets open and Europe’s are closing) and reading the book Forex Mindset by Jared F. Martinez. Along with my daily audios of personal development speakers, my mind is getting filled with knowledge on a daily basis, and because I have to go to bed super early in order to be there at 5AM in the morning. Nothing really productive gets done between the hours of 10PM-1Am except movie watching, bad food in-take and bars. This is a great habit to form, early to rise, early to bed. The early bird gets the worm 🙂
Body – Right now I’m on the 4th day of a 10-Day cleanse consisting of 3 Green Shakes, 15 Aminos, 1/2 Avocado, 1 Apple, a gallon of water, and a shot of Apothe Cherry extract. I know what your thinking WTF? Me too, well it’s working, I’ve lost a couple of pounds, and my body is being cleansed. The point here is that I am using a technique called “total-immersion” to jump-start the process, and immediately break any and all bad addictions and associations I have to any kind of junk food that I like. This means that if I’m really serious, I will cut ALL bad food so I can cleanse and then work my way back to a healthy and necessary diet. Along with this I train MMA 3-4 times a week, surf when there is waves and hit the gym once or twice. Diet = 80% and Fitness = 20% of any functional nutrition plan, and for me going to the gym SUCKS! Why, because I am paying money to run on hamster wheels and lift pieces of metal so the only time I’m there is when there is not MMA training, no waves, it’s to cloudy to skydive and its dark, will I go there. Being outside is SOOO much better.
Soul – Pray, meditate, do some yoga, walk on the beach what ever, but DO NOT neglect your soul. This is your spiritual well-being at stake. This is the people with lots of money who find themselves unhappy and unfulfilled. Well-Duh, if you have all of the material stuff you could ever want and you’re still not happy, obviously there is something a little deeper going on. For me, I neglect this one the most and it takes the most work for me to find a balance in this department. What I do is spiritual group meeting 3 times a week with some light 15-30 minute meditations in between. Sometimes I find myself dreading it but I always feel better when it’s over, kind of like an intense work out. If you have no spirituality or lack there of, I recommend the book “The Art of Happiness” by his holiness the Dalai Lama, and Howard C. Cutler. I’m reading it right now and it’s simple, pro-found and just awesome.
Pocketbook – Money is only emotional when you don’t have enough of it. It is a tool, and when used wrong it will hurt you. Understanding wealth was never learning simply how to make money, but instead learning the practices of how successful people generated and retained “wealth.” So what do I mean by that? A rich person has a lot of money but to be wealthy are two very different things. Rich people make lots of money, wealthy people make lots of money work for them while keeping a balanced life. That’s what I’m going for. Who cares if you’re a millionaire if your to old, to fat, to much of an asshole or don’t have anyone to share it with. This is why the money game needs to be a simple habit of taking the correct indicated actions while managing risk and maintaining a balance.
If you spend all your time making money than that is all you will have, money. I you spend your time making money, taking care of your soul, filling your mind with new and positive things and making sure your body is healthy… Who wouldn’t want to hang out with you!! So, I’m back to it, I shall return in couple days to update you all on the progress and don’t worry, before and after pictures for the 10-Day Transformational Cleanse are coming!!!!
Have a great evening, incredible rest of the week and a fabulous LIFE!
Here is some funny stuff!
After a little over a month in Bali, I am returning home. The beautiful sunsets, amazing surf, and sipping coconuts under palm trees while meditating about life are going to come to end.
A part of me is toying with the idea of just staying out here. I love it so much and there is everything I need out here to be happy. I know that I will return again and I have been looking in to just buying a place out here so I can just live out here a couple of months out of the year.
The only draw back is that out here is life is so slow and easy-going that I would imagine it would be hard for me to get things done. It is such a quality problem. When you live in paradise and you have everything you need, there is not a lot of motivation to work and strive for new things. It’s like a never-ending vacation for those who live here, and that’s the seduction of this place. Bali has a way of taking you out of your environment, and then slowing you down to the pace and way of life here. It is the only place on the planet that has been able to do that to me. I am an A-Type personality full of passion, motivation and an undying sense of urgency to get things done. After about a week out here, all I am motivated to do is Surf, read, write and meditate. With the occasional outings with friends and hitting a club here and there; a good time to me is sleeping in, surfing, reflecting, and then just enjoying a good conversation with some interesting people, and this place has no shortage of them.
People usually ask me what I miss about my country when I travel, I always have to stop and think about it because I have conditioned myself to live in the moment for so long I usually don’t find myself ever missing a place, instead, I always end missing the people who I have met over the years throughout my adventures. California is my home though. I was born and raised there and it is a part of me. It’s not a bad place to end up and compared to a lot of the places I’ve been to in the world, and I am extremely grateful to come home to San Diego where I reside currently.
The world is getting smaller. Technology allows me to stay connected with all of the people I have met all over the world and when you break it down, I can get anywhere I want to on this planet in about 2 days (unless your going to the middle of Siberia). Everything is a plane flight away. This makes me extremely grateful, because the ability for common people to travel to far corners of the earth has only been around for about 70 years. 100 years ago, if you wanted to go to Europe from America, you were going to have to take a carriage or car to a boat and then embark on a 1-2 month voyage just to get to some place. Only people who were rich were able to afford such a voyage. To be able to scale that amount of time down to just a couple of days and couple thousand bucks to leave for months at a time is fucking amazing to me. I mean I hop on a plane in LA, and 6 movies and 10 cranberry juices later, I am half way around the world immersed in a foreign land where everything is different, and to me that experience alone is one of the most exhilarating and fulfilling things I have ever experienced in this life. If you are a traveler, you know exactly what I am talking about, and if not, maybe it’s high time you spin a globe, pick a destination and get out of your comfort zone.
Paradise is defined as “a place or state of bliss, felicity or delight.” It is not necessarily attached to a location and although it can be, I believe that Paradise is found within ones soul. Buddhists call it Nirvana, Christians call it heaven, Jews call it Shamayim, but to me, it all means the same thing. Like I had mentioned before about living in the moment, I am not terribly concerned with what will happen to me in the after-life or even the future really. I have subscribed to the concept of living as if I were going to die tomorrow and planning as if I am going to live forever. Spending a massive amount of time pontificating about the unknown afterlife and future can be fun an enlightening at times, but the idea of dedicating a continual amount of time to this is both boring and unfulfilling to me.
The truth is that I am alive now. Time is made up, safety is an illusion, and although some humans claim it, I have never been 100% convinced that were going anywhere but 6-Feet under when we die, and we will die, the day will absolutely come so no need to fear that either. The hypothetical clock is ticking and has been for a long time. So, instead of worrying about all that noise, I just live every single day to the fullest seeking to find truth and experiencing every single person, place, thing or idea I can immerse myself in while my soul occupies this body.
My beliefs and principles are negotiable, and as a result of that I have been able to experience and do things that I don’t think most people get to in their lifetime. I studied world religions for years, went to Israel, read the Koran, hung with Pastors and Spiritual Guru’s, traveled throughout South East Asia and was open to the idea of adopting any belief system that got me closer to my understanding of God. The funny thing is that after all that, my underlying spiritual belief remained the same. It was the simple belief in a Higher Power of my own understanding, a principal introduced to me at the age of 16 years old through a 12-Step program I came in to while getting sober from Alcohol and Drugs.
My path to spirituality has been long, vast and downright tedious at times, but I have approached it with the same enthusiasm and tenacity that I have with everything else in my life never getting to caught up on any one thing and being open to it all believing that all religions and people for that matter are basically good and mean well. To deny or discount anyone’s beliefs would make me just like the people who are shut off, or unwilling to be open to a new understanding, and ultimately will not allow their belief system to be questioned or negotiated no matter how much sense logic makes in spite of what they believe. To me, those are some of the scariest people on Earth; they are the type of people who start wars over that kind of shit.
What this all means is that Paradise, to me at least; is being completely ok with everything exactly that way it is in this very moment. The more I realize that I cannot change anyone and the only real control I have over anything is how I react, and the example I set as a human being, the more easier my life gets. I do want to effect change and help those who want it to reach this kind of spiritual enlightenment, but you cannot force those who don’t want it and to judge those people for not wanting it would be hypocritical, because I spent a large part of my life in that same place.
What ever you believe is totally cool. You don’t have to conform to anyone or any religion’s or societies’ belief system if you don’t want to. You are free to do what you want; after all it is your life. If you are an atheist, agnostic, spiritually conflicted Catholic, or you simply don’t know where you stand, I would urge to seek truth in places you never thought to look before. That’s where I found my faith, and my faith is in no way shape or form affiliated to any one religion, if anything I have taken the teachings and traditions from many religions and use what I like leaving the rest behind. This is how I have found my paradise, my state of Nirvana. I don’t need to be in Bali, or some incredibly beautiful place to reach it either, it is in my soul. Besides, it has been my experience that in the darkest of times when I really needed to tap in to this place and ask my higher power for direction, I’m usually not on vacation or in a place like Bali, I’m in life, dealing with real shit, real problems that need solution. That’s when my faith has counted the most.
One final note, when I do die, which could be tomorrow or in 100 years, I have no fear going to where it is I will go next. To me, that is the ultimate adventure, the one true great unknown besides space. I have lived each and every day to the fullest, I have no beef with my fellow-men, there is no wreckage from my past that has not been cleaned up, there is nothing that I haven’t done that I have wanted to do to this point. Everything I dream up I attempt it no matter how crazy it sounds, I never live with regret or say some bullshit like: “someday I will” or “Ill try,” I only dream and them get to turning that shit in to a reality for me as quickly as possible. This has allowed me to see and experience things I never could have imagined to be possible, and for that I am extremely grateful.
Never let fear dictate your life, if you can dream it, than it’s possible, so never give up hope and continue seeking truth.
See you back on the other side of the World ☺