Massive Action: A Guide to how to bounce back from Catastrophe

Massive Action: A Guide to how to bounce back from Catastrophe

Don't Panic

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. The-Change-Curve

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 SyndromeThe 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 Ifunny-pictures-auto-demotivation-goat-476651 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.”

       -Sumner Redstone 

Here is an awesome clip to help give you some motivation and feel good.


Finding My Paradise, My Path to Spiritual Enlightenment

Finding My Paradise, My Path to Spiritual Enlightenment

Sipping Coconuts under Palm Trees

Sipping Coconuts under Palm Trees in Thailand

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 ☺


Me at Angkor Wat in Cambodia

Me at Angkor Wat in Cambodia

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