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.
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!
Over the past couple of months I have been flung into a lot of change. Change in my career, changes in my personal life and even some loss due to the transitional period.
It seems that every couple of years, this happens to me. At first, I am usually stunned, shocked and then on the defense. Obviously those are natural reactions to finding out you lost some money, a job, or some people you trusted let you down. After the initial feelings pass, my cycle usually includes a kind of mild-depression. Not the type of severe depression where I want to kill myself or anything like that but a mild depression knowing that what I had been working for didn’t quite pan out and that I had been let down by a couple people I liked and respected in business. More importantly Im dealing with the reality that, like that like it or not, change is definitely coming and the depression comes from knowing the type of undertaking that will ensue to get things back on track again. I have always like this model as I think it describes what I go through quite well.
All to many times I have fallen in to the trap of this mild depression when things aren’t going the way that I want them to go. It’s sneaky, one day your on top of the world and then boom you get knocked on your ass, and then while you are in the process of getting back up to finish the fight, you get the floor pulled out from below only to find yourself surrounded by shit! At this point getting up seems harder, but in actuality the act of “getting up” or fighting through adversity is a learned behavior, and when it’s dark, and there are no visible friends to help you back up, it is that 2nd nature resilience that will save your life, and get you through the hard times quicker.
Let me give you an example.
Most of the people who know me or I have been friends with over the years never saw me or experienced me before I got sober from drugs and alcohol at the age of 16. Before that point in my life I was a bad dude. I lied, cheated, stole and manipulated my way through life. Some people laugh at this comparing themselves at 16 years old to the story I begin to tell them thinking to themselves, “how bad could you really have been?” Well, the specifics themselves are a whole different story for another blog post and if your really interested, pick up my first book The Rich Kid Syndrome. The point is that you don’t get sober at the age of 16 years old because your mom caught you smoking pot one or two times. I got sober because I had severely screwed up my life and was taking everyone down with me to the tune of 5 felonies, 3 misdemeanors, 3 high-schools, 3 rehabs and 2 drug over-doses and all before the ripe young age of 17.
When people experience me now, envisioning a person with a wrap-sheet like I just described is not something that comes to their mind, and for that I am grateful because that it exactly what I am going for. In fact nothing makes me happier than when I have to convince someone that I was actually that bad because that person’s experience with me is so contrary to how I used to live. It is simply a tribute to how much I have really changed, and God knows I have come a long way.
At that time in my life I was plagued with demons and such a warped view of the world. I was very nihilistic and had no spiritual sense so things like Karma or good will never registered as being a way to live ones life. I liked the idea of Anarchy and just living in the moment. I believed that when you died your body just stops and life as you know it stops the way a TV shuts off when power it down.
When you look at the world through this kind of terministic lens, there is no point to do anything but have fun and just try to feel good as much as possible, and that was exactly what I did and I did it at the expense of everyone who came in to contact with me.
This all changed when I was 16, after barley missing death for a second time, I had a spiritual experience and for the first time in my life had the realization that I may have been wrong about how I viewed the world. Yes I was broken, and yes at that time I was deeply depressed, but for the first time I actually felt hope that maybe, just maybe I was put on this earth to do more than just get high and feel good all of the time.
The next feeling I experienced was fear because a want to do something different is nothing with out some kind of game plan or strategy, and I knew that if I stayed around my old town I would be sucked back in to vortex of my addictions and bad influences. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was going through the process for the first time that would forever re-enforce my ability to bounce back after sustaining sever loss and change in my life.
The following two years I lived in a “all-boys” recovery house. This was a crash course for me in the areas tolerance, patience, conflict resolution, resourcefulness and survival. Most of the guys who went through this place didn’t make it. In fact the program was so intense that guys would literally break down and cry. It wasn’t physically hard like a boot-camp per say, but it was psychologically terrorizing to the people who would not go along with the program. The deal was that we followed a set list of rules, or we could leave. No grey area, black and white. During my tenure in the recovery house, and I was introduced to a 12-step program and met my first mentor, my character was built, and from those experiences I learned how to bend and fold with what ever life through at me, but I still struggled with me depression.
Thinking that there was something really wrong with me I went back and fourth with the idea of seeking professional help. In the end I found that when I was doing something I loved that was positive and up-lifting I felt great and the depression never seem to come back, but when things fell apart, I would fall back in to it. I needed a better way to deal with it than just allowing it weeks to take it’s course. Basically like medicine for the common cold, although a cold is incurable, their are remedies that help make you more comfortable while your body naturally fights it off. I believe that depression is the same way, and even though that may not be the case for everyone, I think most people are mis-diagnosed and put on medications way before they have exercised every natural option at their disposal. The bottom line is that we can’t be happy all of the time, and life will knock you the F$%^#-out sometimes, but being happy as much as possible and limiting the times I am unhappy to the shortest amount of time possible has been the key to my success. The depression has to run it’s course through you, after a couple days, week or two at the most, you should be naturally feeling a little better, if not, much like the cold, you should go seek some professional help maybe.
As I wrote in the beginning of this blog, I am struggling with some things myself so I though why not share my process and my experience with the world so I can help out some people who may be going through the same thing. So for the next 30 days I will be blogging about my transformation. (it’s 30 days because of the length of the program)
So if your going through some hard stuff yourself, you may want to grab a pen and start righting this down because you can do this to jump-start your life and try to snap yourself out of that funk. My process may not cure your completely, but I promise you that if you follow it everyday to the dot, you will feel 1000% better from where you are right now starting off.
Step 1. – Acceptance – Accept what is happening to you, stop fighting it, you lost this one, it didn’t work out, boo-hoo, it’s in the past.
Step 2. – Ask For Help – If your a prideful person like me, you will struggle with this but I always go through this process because people who really care about you want to help you, and if you don’t ask them, they can’t help. No one is invincible, your not fooling anyone, if they are close enough to you they know you are going through some stuff. One more point here, make sure to only ask people you really look up to and respect for help.
Step 3 – Take the Advice – Once you have been given the help and new opportunities present them self, TAKE THE HELP.
Step 4 – Get Humble – Maybe it’s not the glorious job you thought it would be, maybe it just sucks, well it’s only temporary, and I would rather have income and a shit job in between the times Im looking for a better job.
Step 5 – Get out there – Anything is better than you sitting in your house starring at the wall sending 1000 resumes out to online job posts. Even if your just doing your hobbies, go meet people and talk to people about what your going through especially if your in a career transition, this will help you get hired and keep your head out of your ass.
Step 6 – Game Plan – For me it consists of what I am doing daily to better my Mind, Body, Soul, and Pocketbook. Also What I am committing to giving up in my life that is not serving me (including people) and what I am committing to do everyday to better my situation.
****Here is the worksheet that I made that I use.
Step 7 – Honor those Around You – During this time, the ones who are still around you even though things are falling apart are probably your best friends and family. Let them know that you appreciate everything they do for you, the support and for being there for you in your time of need.
Step 8 – When it gets better, pay it forward – Remember that what ever you are going through will pass. It will stop hurting and things will eventually get better. So when the do and someone comes to you in a time of need, remember what the people close to you did to help you, kind of like what I am doing right now sharing this process with you, they listened, advised, and counseled, so now it’s your turn to go do the same.
Here is a fun quote
“Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes its built on catastrophe.”
Here is an awesome clip to help give you some motivation and feel good.
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 ☺