Is self-preservation keeping you from living?

My father has always been a very wise man and if it wasn’t for him, I would not have the perspectives that I have about life. One thing he has ingrained into my head is that many times it takes a traumatic event for a lesson to be learned. If you think about it, a lot of our feelings such as jealousy, fear and insecurity was introduced to us at a young age by an event that hurt us.

Self-preservation is defined by Google as the protection of oneself from harm or death, especially regarded as a basic instinct in human beings. You wore an outfit and got laughed at. That created a feeling that you did not like. Played a sport and not being the best person on the team. That created a feeling that you did not like. Falling in love and getting heartbroken. That created a feeling you did not like. I can go all day with scenarios and situations that people have gotten a negative feeling from but you get the idea.

Those traumas have created a fear in us and to keep from that feeling coming back, we try to protect ourselves in any way possible. We attempt another sport but now we don’t have as much confidence or put in as much effort. All to keep from having a lot of attention on us so that if we mess up nobody notices. You get the courage to talk to another person but because of the previous relationships’ mess ups, you become controlling to keep you from feeling heartbreak again. You want to be comfortable but afraid to wear that outfit because of the backlash you got last time you wore it. So instead, you wear clothes that are socially acceptable and uncomfortable.

Trust me when I tell you that I know exactly what all of that feels like. I truly understand that many negative traits are are honestly due to previous pain. It took a very long time for me to understand this but I finally understand that trying to stay safe is actually what was hurting me.

I had plenty of painful relationships. The new woman I would allow into my life would say something or do something that reminded me of a trauma from my past relationship and I would allow my feelings of jealousy and distrust control my actions. Not realizing that the new woman’s action was possibly with a completely different intent. I would associate cues such as songs, hobbies and even desires with previous pain and immediately distance myself.

With a lot of pain and always complaining on missing out, I realized the reason why I was missing out was because I was constantly avoiding areas that, at one point, made me feel uncomfortable. When I moved to Hawaii I decided to start completely over. I attempted sports again. I started dating again and I started actually living again. I was not allowing fear to keep me from doing things that I loved. It was not easily at all. I had created a form of habit of self preservation that I had to break. It took self discipline and intention but once I faced it, the fear would slow disappear.

I have been living ever since. I have applied to the job that I was scared I wasn’t good enough for and I got hired. I attended the group engagements surrounded by strangers without fear of embarrassment. Eventually, I started adventures like skydiving and swimming with sharks and giant sea turtles. Hiking mountains and attacking my worst fear of rollercoasters. I have learned in all areas to reteach myself that the feelings of self preservation are not necessarily going to keep me alive. It just kept me from doing anything that made me feel alive.

So, if you are somebody that feels like you are missing out or feel that there is more that you can be doing but not doing it because of past traumas, do yourself a favor and try it again. This time do it with a mindset of a fresh start and create a new feeling. If you get into a relationship, don’t allow your past fears to keep you from enjoying the person for who they are. Take the risk. Apply for the job. Date the amazing guy/or girl. Go to the group engagements. Climb the mountain. Take the plain flight. Leave the country. Change your environment and live.

Bad can still be great

I learned one of the most moving lessons in my life while I was training to be a tactical explosive detection dog handler and it has pushed me into an amazing direction ever since. I was starting my second week of training at the Vohne Liche Kennels in Denver, Indiana. It was an extremely cold and rain morning and tempers were high.

I was one of the guys who was having a very hard time reading the body language and noticing the change of behavior from the dogs. Was the dog hunting? Was he playing? Was he just going through the motions? I had not the slightest idea. I caught myself making a lot of mistakes which of course led to failures that if made in the field would be a matter of life and death.

I beat myself up for missing one of the explosives and three ofmy instructors pulled me to the side and we had a long discussion on the matter and what I could have done to prevent it next time. Gary, Heath and Lucian said something to me that changed my entire life.

“A bad day at work is still a great day of training.”, and that was the moment my entire perspective of life changed. That simple but deep quote changed my entire life and I learned shortly after that I could use those words in every aspect of life. Ever since then I didn’t cringe when I had a bad day at work. Of course I still felt the frustrations and stresses of the bad day but now I was able to consciously learn why my day was going in the wrong direction so that I could avoid that feeling in the future.

Now lets use that same quote in a relationship. You are currently with your significant other and you two are going through a rough time. Of course the feelings are there but why? What happened for those feelings to be so intense? Now instead of complaining about your day and your spouse, understand what happened so that you can fix it and have a great rest of the day and know what to or not to do in the next time.

Horrible boss? GREAT. This is actually my favorite. Horrible bosses is what got me wanting to write this post because I have had some terrible bosses in my day. At first I just complained about them but I realized that, just like great leaders, horrible leaders can teach you what not to be. I feel that horrible bosses is why I have been told that I was a great manager because from my experiences with the horrible boss, I knew how to react to certain scenarios. I was able to be empathetic to my employees wants and needs. I knew how to lead by example rather than do like my horrible bosses and mush me like a sled dog. I was able to train and teach people in multiple ways than just one. They felt comfortable to talk to me about problems and I always knew that if they were not happy, they would not make me happy.

So here is some homework. The next time you are having a bad day at work, a bad day with your spouse, car problems, stuck in line or just not feeling up to anything. Instead of just having a bad day, turn it into something productive. Turn that bad day into something great. Write it down. Talk it out. Understand what is going on what how you can fix it for the better and do it. If this has helped you, feel free to like and share this with friends and family and I would love to hear how these three men’s words of wisdom have changed your aspect on life as it has done mine.

I dedicate this post directly to Gary, Lucian and Heath because without their knowledge and training, I can honestly say that I would not be the man that I am today. That simple quote “A bad day at work is a great day of training.” has done more for me in my adult life than most of the other advice that I have ever gotten. Countless times I have voiced that quote to people I have had the pleasure of being around in their great days of training and it has been on my heart strings to tell them world. So remember, unless it involves a near death experience, a bad day at work is ALWAYS a great day of training.

Don’t limit yourself from receiving advice

There are many times when advice is given and people will create excuses as to why not to listen. Be careful. Do not limit yourself or make excuses to not listen and here is why.

A man went onto social media to vent on his current relationship status. He was complaining how the woman he was talking to left him and has been ignoring all of his attempts to contact her. This lasted a week and soon after that he became extremely bitter towards women and started the name bashing and placing judgement out of his misery.

Naturally people would respond. They would either agree with the man which is understandable because misery loves company or they would get defensive and try to belittle him. Finally an older woman came onto the thread and attempted to give him advice on the scenario and tried to explain that she understood his pain but he was going about it the wrong way.

She told him how she felt for him and then attempted to give him advice on what she felt he could possibly do. Asked him questions on the type of woman that he wanted and even tried to give him some constructive criticism on things that he may or may not have been doing to help with his relationships.

Because the lack of wanting to hear about his possible flaws and take responsibility for some of the things that he may or may not be doing, he tried to spread his hurt and pain by saying that she doesn’t know anything and why would he take advice from somebody who also had plenty of failed relationships in the past and is currently single?

She ended the conversation hurt and possibly even questioning things about herself. I will agree that it made plenty of since. Why would somebody take advice from somebody who doesn’t have what they are giving advice on? Then it clicked.

Who is to say that she wasn’t giving amazing advice and her failed relationships were due to her her mistakes and allowing people to take advantage of her? Who is to say that she isn’t single because she knows what she wants and what she is willing to accept and not settling for the bare minimum.

Now think about that. What if people are giving advice to things that that they don’t currently have to keep you from doing the same mistake that they may have went through?

In another perspective, who is to say that the advice that somebody is giving may actually work but may be harder for the person who is telling it because of their current circumstances. For example, I am on a beautiful journey to be financially well off. Like any journey, there are obstacles and struggle. Through my struggle I have learned a bunch of ways to get to where I need to be for myself but I am not there yet.

Many people will not give my words the time of day because I am not there YET, not realizing that me not being their currently does not mean that what I am saying won’t help you as well. What advice is given could actually be taken and the person taking it could add more to what was said and create a better fundamental that works better.

So before you start judging people who give you advice, understand that advice is just that. Advice. It is not to be forced onto you like a demand. Advice is a tool and if it is offered, put it into your toolbox because you may need it later on but don’t limit yourself from receiving these words because of others circumstances and/or their current place because it may be exactly what you need to hear from people who genuinely know what they are talking about.

F.O.M.O: Fear Of Missing Out

For the ones who has no idea what F.OM.O is, you aren’t the only one. I just recently heard of this term from my pastor Mike Todd a few months ago. He had a whole series about it and the acronym means “Fear of Missing Out.” At first I thought that I knew what depth Pastor Michael was speaking but it wasn’t until I turned the screens off and looked at the world around me before I opened my eyes to it.

What I saw hurt me. I saw a lot of fake. Not meaning this in a disrespectful way but in a completely real way. I saw people doing things that was just not them or who they represent. People saying things that they know should never come out of their mouths to impress the people around them and participating in activities way before it is time for them to experience them.

I questioned so many different things that I saw, just trying to understand why. Is it because of past traumas? Is it genuinely who that person is? Do they really think doing what they were doing was both beneficial and productive to their future? No matter what question I asked myself, it still didn’t hit as hard as the idea that they are just afraid. Afraid of missing out.

Recently I’ve come to know a young girl. From the outside looking in you saw beauty, strength, compassion and intelligence. For a while I started noticing very small cues that didn’t really fit who she is. One day she was involved in a very bad incident and who she was behind closed doors opened and all of her demons came rushing out full force. The person that I saw was not that loving, beautiful, intelligent little girl but actually quite the opposite.

It made me mad. No not mad. INFURIATED is the word. I was utterly disgusted at what I saw and I was broken to see such horror coming from somebody who I thought was so pure at heart. For a while, I was angry. I couldn’t go a moment without her being on my mind and me wondering if there was something that I could have done to help. From anger came the sadness. Complete dark sadness filled me up and it got me working overtime on trying to figure out “Why?!”

After the sadness came the feeling of terror and that’s when it hit me. Yes, all of the reasons that I mentioned in the past may have been a factor whether it was a traumatic event or something that she was introduced too but it all pushed me to the word “FEAR” and I felt it heavily. Maybe her actions weren’t due to selfishness or the lack of knowing who she was but maybe she, like me, was afraid.

What was she afraid of? How could fear put her in the situations that she openly and voluntarily put herself into? How could fear make her say the things that she said? Do the things that she did and overall, be somebody that she isn’t? (Lightbulb) FEAR OF MISSING OUT. Fear of not being accepted. Fear of not having a certain person or group of people like her. Fear of not being good enough. Fear that the person that she wanted to be would not be cool or beautiful in today’s society.

Due to the nature of the incident, I will not get into the details but I would like to say something for everybody who has similar fears of missing out. It is ok to miss out. Missing out can actually be a joyful feeling. One thing that life has taught me is that there is ALWAYS another door to walk through. What this young girl and many other people fail to realize is that when you act on fear you tend to get exactly what you fear would happen. Fear of being late to work will lead you to speed and get pulled over by the cops which in term will make you extremely late. Fear of a spouse leaving you will lead you to eventually pushing that person farther away and possibly leaving because of the accusations and control. The list goes on.

Funny thing is fear of missing out will actually have you missing out. To the younger crowd, this portion is for you. I get it. I truly do. At one point I was a teenager. I wanted the attention. I wanted to be liked. I wanted to be the cool kid. Luckily I had a very strict mother who did not allow me to make most of my decisions until I was ready and I thank her for that. Back then was a different era though. Now we have cell phones that allow you to take videos and post pictures. We have the internet where you can be anybody that you want to be and put up fronts to make people believe that you are something that you aren’t. Because of the fear of missing out, many of the younger kids are getting in trouble for doing things that they know they are not suppose to be doing.

Well let me explain something. You craving to be fast and grown is only going to slow down your progress and growth. You acting now because you are afraid of missing out is going to lead you to missing out. Prime example. You want to hang out with your friends. Your parents say that you are too young to hang out without adult supervision, so you decide to sneak out. Guess what? Now, because you were afraid of missing out, instead of getting that car when you are 16, you have to wait till you can buy your own car. You want a job but now you can’t get one because you do not have reliable transportation to get you to and from work. With no job, how are you to earn enough to get a car? Or gas? Or shopping sprees with your friends? I can go for days on end about this subject but I am sure that you are getting the point.

Acting on F.O.M.O. is actually going to create you to miss out on so much of life. A life that you have no idea how big and vast it actually is. Missing out on opportunities that could slingshot you into success without having to be a victim in a survival story. Your actions today can and will pull you from that great job a few years from now. Your actions today can actually pull you away from that person who will actually be there to push you forward and help you grow. Your actions today can push you out of the group of people that can help you up when you fall. So listen to me when I tell you that I completely understand your fears. I am 32 years old and I get those fears as well.

Should I take that job? Should I buy that drink? Should I respond to that message? We all go through it but don’t taint who you are because of a fear. Like they say, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” So continue building yourself in the direction that you know you are suppose to go and stop being afraid of missing out.

Missing out can actually be joyful. Missing out on that decision that could have left you hurt. Missing out on that lecture that you hate from your parents. Missing out on that bad decision that seemed fun at the time but wasn’t worth it in the long run.

I have a teenage girl and a son who is almost to his double digits. Each day I make sure to tell them that I love them and when they leave my presence to be smart about their decisions. I tell them regularly to look out for each other and to no put themselves into a situation that is going to require healing in the future and I will say the same thing to you. Don’t allow the fear of missing out to put you into a situation that will need healing and involve you to miss out in the long run.

If this has helped you, feel free to like and comment your thoughts and please share because maybe it could help somebody in your circle as well.


Confidence and How I Got It

I questioned this post long before I began to write it. I had this little whisper in my ear telling me not to because it was going to make me come off as conceited and full of myself. I didn’t know the words to say to not offend anybody and also not have people think about me in a negative kind of way. Well just a few days ago I started to hear another voice. A voice that started to get louder and louder. Eventually louder than the other whispers. A voice saying “You earned it!”. I did. So here it goes.

I am going to be completely transparent with you. It was hard to open up like this but I cant tell you the story of how I got confidence without telling you who I was before.

I grew up in a single parent home with my mother and my twin brother Austin. Austin and I were always around our many aunts and few uncles. You can see that we were raised by only woman for the most part. I tend to pick up habits from my environment just like when you start hanging around somebody new and you then start to mimic some of the things they say on accident. Well I was around females most of my life and tended to have feminine qualities. Sometimes it was my posture. Sometimes it was the way I thought and the things that I said.

So coming from a child who was in the stage of self identity, it was extremely hard for me when people would laugh and say that I was a girl. I would get picked on regularly and called names that I didn’t even know what they were until I got older. I got picked on and I didn’t understand why.

During middle school I started liking girls and girls started liking me but it was still a constant battle because at that age I realized how horrible bullying could be. The girls that I liked would like me when I was alone with them but treat me horrible when their was an audience because they didnt want to be made fun of for liking the “gay boy” in school. That was the first time I contemplated suicide but that will be another story. It built one of the worst insecurities I have ever had in my life.

Once I reached high-school I thought that things would be easier. I had my first girlfriend during my freshman year. Due to my morals, I refused to be intimate with her and after a year I found out that the whole time I was a side piece when her “girlfriend” wasn’t around. Yeah that destroyed me considering that once the school found out, the bullying was 10x’s harder. Sophomore year I dated another girl and she was honestly my first love. I never felt a love like this and I knew for a fact that she would be the one.

Well right before summer break she wanted to take a “break” and see other people until school started. Yet again, I was crushed. I went through an extreme depression where I fought for her to open up and tell me why. I later found out that she also left me to be with a girl that she lied and said her name was Nate just so that I wouldn’t find out. Well many people new before me and the bullying intensified to the point that I didn’t have confidence in anything. I didn’t think that I was ever going to be man enough to be with a woman. I never thought that I would be strong enough to be good at any sports. I never thought that I would be smart enough to ever become anything and I was drowning in pain.

Drowning so deep in pain that I began cutting myself and other forms of self harm. I figured that if I was going to feel pain, I might as well be in control of some of it. Questioning myself “Why are you like this Adam? Why do you only hang out with only women? Why can’t you get along with many guys? Why are you so weak? Why can’t you be like everybody else?”

Well one day about a year after I graduated high-school, my twin brother and I were invited to go to the club with six of our female friends. They liked to bring us to occasions like that to keep the guys from harassing them. After a few hours of dancing and underage drinking, we decided to start heading to the car where our sober friends were waiting for us. Told you I was going to be transparent.

On the way to the car we passed a group of guys posted up on the wall. One of the guys laughed and said “Look at these fags!” while pointing at my brother and I. With a little bit of liquid courage in my system I turned and asked if he was talking to me. He replied “Yes” while snickering with his boys. “Yall have to be gay hanging around only girls.”

That was it. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was never a fighter but I was always good at hurting with my words and dammit I was fed up. So I flamboyantly did 2 snaps and said “Im going home with six beautiful woman while you are going home with a group of guys. That actually seems a little more suspect than me and my brother right now, and to answer your questoin. No we are not gay, not that it matters anyways. We were actually invited here specifically to keep guys like you from stealing away these beautiful women’s joy. And now that I’ve looked at yall, a few of your friends were actually hitting on some of my friends earlier tonight. So although I have nothing against gay people, you clearly do, so let me get something straight. Me hanging out going home with woman will always be more masculine than another man like yourself trying to show off how tough and hard you are to make your homeboys, other men, feel that you are more of a man. So I am going to finish my night on good terms and you can continue trying to impress your guy friends.”.

I just knew that we were going to get jumped that night but what actually happened is the dudes only said a few more jabs trying to piss us off. Nothing they said could change the facts that I just threw into their faces and myself and my lovely friends walked back to the car and had a great rest of the night. That night taught me that at the end of the day, I can only be who I am and I can only impress the ones that truly care for me. That night I overcame the insecurity of people thinking that i was gay and I actually used that same response many times after. The more I responded that way, the easier it was for me. That’s when a lightbulb clicked on.

If my worst insecurity could be destroyed just by putting myself into the situation to beat it, then what happens if i put myself into other uncomfortable situations. I remember sitting down and thinking about all of the events that, at one point, hurt my feelings or had me thinking that I wasnt good enough. I wrote them down and figured out what I could possibly do to fix it. Before I knew it, my insecurity of being weak was killed simply by going to the gym and pushing myself. My insecurity of my weight and how skinny I was was simply erased by leaving the house in tight fitting clothes or even all spandex.

In doing so, I have made it a goal to face my fears and insecurities to the point that i joined the military, jumped out of planes, swam with sharks, nude modeled in front of strangers in art classes, had some of the best times of my life in some of the roughest parts of town and even faced my fears of wasp and heights as a tower climber. So if you made it this far understand that this is why I said that I earned the right sound conceited or full of myself by explaining how i got confidence. It was a hard journey that I had to fight everyday, completely alone. Now that I was able to find the secret, I am now sharing it with you.

If you dont have confidence in yourself, simply sit down, evaluate what you are insecure about and why. Once you find your “why”, jump into the fire. If you are scared to talk to a man or woman, take a breath and say hello. If you are insecure about your looks, step outside without makeup. If you are scared of being on stage, sing karaoke with a group of friends. Who knows? I felt like insecure to write this but this isn’t me bragging. This is me celebrating my success at overcoming the hardest obstacle I have ever had to face. Finding my confidence. Never be afraid to celebrate things that you have overcome. Finding out who you are and building confidence will bring peace and happiness in your life.

If you have a story like this that you would love to share, feel free to write me or send me an email. I would really love to read it.

If you woke up looking for a $1,000,000 and you found it, would you be mad? Part 1

I wasn’t always a tower technician. I wasn’t always a private investigator. I wasn’t always a busboy at a restaurant or a mental health tech at a hospital. Before it all, I was an armed security officer and boy was I good at it. Almost daily I would have altercations or situation that could have ended way worse than it did. One of these altercations allowed me to come up with this quote and I have learned that I can use it in any situation.

Long story short, I was in a very bad part of town in Tampa, Fl. I was working at an after hours night club and boy I tell ya, it was an animated crowd. You name it, it was there. From out of place tourist to dope boys “reppin” their part of town with a flag hanging out their back jean pockets. From old guys getting their late night fix for the night to young girls building up a name for themselves in the worst of ways.

Every crowd would show up and everybody was welcome. Well, as long as you didn’t start anything with anybody. This night in particular was one of the off nights. A man was kicked out from the bouncers and was handed to me. While I assessed the situation, he started belligerently taking his frustration out on me. Coming from a former Army veteran who was present in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I could see that this man was only acting on his pride and how it was hurt.

I calmly asked him why he was so angry. Basically, he saw a woman in the club that he liked and tried to get her attention. The woman’s current boyfriend intervened and introduced himself and it led to them getting into a small fight. Luckily the bouncers were able to get them situated.

The dude cursed me out for about 20 minutes saying everything that he could to try and get me angry. Threatened on killing me. Said I was nothing without my gun. Made fun of the hourly wage that he thought I had. The whole nine yards. I eventually told him that the club would be closing in a half hour and that would have more than enough time to stop at the gas station across the street and buy some beer before they stopped selling for the night. He didn’t care. He wanted me to get angry. So he decided to do exactly what I hoped he wouldn’t do. Threaten the patrons safety by claiming he would leave and come back full of his boys and shoot up the club as everybody was clearing into the parking lot.

And that’s when it hit me. “Sir. If you were to wake up craving to have a $1,000,000 and decided to go out and search for it, how would you feel if you found it?” He said more slick remarks saying that he would pay some of my bills because he knew that I couldn’t afford it blah, blah, blah. I then asked if he would be mad if he found it. Of course he said “No.”. So I hit him with the “Well this morning you woke up craving for attention and you are doing the most in trying to find it. I’m telling you that you are about to receive the attention that you are clearly looking for but know that once you get it, you cant get mad!”. Lets just say that he didn’t like that response and definitely didn’t like the attention that he ended up receiving.

I quit that job that night. I realized that what I was searching for in life I would not be able to find working in the security industry but I learned a huge lesson that day. I learned that we tend to be looking for things in our lives on a daily basis, not really evaluating what all it entails and many times we get what we are looking for, but we get it in a way that we didn’t expect nor want. Even though I quit that job, I was able to walk away with understanding. Understanding that this young gentleman had to find out the hard. Be cautious on what you are looking for because you may just get it in the end.

Understand your feelings

Greetings! How are you doing today? While reading through this post ask yourself, “How am I feeling?” Throughout the day we feel many feelings such as fear, anger, joy, acceptance, disgust, sadness, surprise, anticipation and the list goes on. As we all know, we go through many different feelings throughout the day. From the moment our alarm goes off in the morning to the time we lay our head in the bed, our days are consumed in an abundance of feelings and emotions and can tend to give direction to our day unless we grow to understand why we feel what we are currently feeling.

Without properly allowing ourselves to understand our feelings can be very dangerous. Like putting ourselves on autopilot and just going where the road takes us.

How many times have you woken up, made your coffee and had goals set to crush early in the morning and the moment you open up your news feed on social media, got that email or text, or just simply hit traffic in the morning and it disrupted the way that you felt. Did you retaliate? Did you respond or cut somebody off because of the feeling at that moment? Acting on negative emotions out of impulse rather than understanding how and why you feel that way will tend to put you into a deeper negative situation.

Try this exercise. Next time you feel a negative feeling and you are actually aware of the feeling, purposely stop moving. Ask yourself what you are feeling and then ask yourself why you feel that way. Was it the way that somebody said something or a look that they gave you or could it possibly be just how you read the text. Maybe it wasn’t directed the way that you read it. Once you figured out what actually gave you the negative feeling, then you can think of all of the way to react to it to deescalate the situation or even feel the need to react at all.

Four years ago I had a traumatic even that I put myself in all because I failed to understand exactly how I felt and I reacted in a way that put me into a situation that almost killed me. Ever since then I have made it a purpose to constantly ask myself “How am I feeling and why do I feel this way?” and so far it has worked very well for me. There were times since then that I was able to get out of fist fights, I was able to calm somebody down with an unnecessary argument and I have been able to help educate the people around me to do the same. Now I do it out of a force of habit.

At first it may seem very alien like and uncomfortable to do but you will notice that it will also change the way that people look at you. Instead of being that hot head that nobody wants to be around out of fear of you lashing out, they may now feel comfortable inviting you places. Instead of somebody who turns a simple situation into an all out war, now people will feel comfortable to open up and hold a conversation with you and it gets even deeper. You will feel better towards yourself and be able to have better relationships with the people around you. You will feel more comfortable taking the wheel of your life and going the direction that you choose instead of having the situations of life push you where it wants you to go.

Don’t let music ruin your life

Today while I was at work I heard somebody joking around about me saying that I “make love to the tower” when I’m working. Of course I heard many laughs. When one of my coworkers asked him what that means, they responded saying that I serenade the tower and sing love songs from the time I climb up to the time I climb down and sure as s#%@ I heard some more laughing. Behind the laughter I heard requests to change the genre to rap, rock, club and many others because they didn’t want to listen to what I wanted to listen to.

I decided to put on my headphones instead and told them that they are welcome to listen to whatever they wanted on the speaker. When asked why I listen to what I listen to I gladly reminded them that they are everything that they surround themselves and a lot of our moves come from ideas that we listen to.

I tend to listen to JP Cooper and Allen Stone radio on Pandora because of the feeling that I get from that type of music. Jason Mraz “I’m Yours” is my all time favorite song. I listen to music that I can relate to. Music that gives me a better perspective and makes me feel good. Don’t get me wrong. I listen to all types of music but I prefer music that is productive and the reasoning why is because I don’t want to want the negative to become the norm in my mind.

While I was listening to some of the lyrics that they were jamming on, i noticed some familiarities from what the guys were happily singing. Familiar to the stories that they tell throughout the day. Woman, sex, drugs, violence and drama. They were literally rapping about things that they currently do not realizing that when the music is off, that same lifestyle is what they constantly complain about and it hit me yet again. WE ARE WHAT WE EAT!!!

We all have heard the phrase “You are what you eat.” I have made a post about this a while ago but for the people who haven’t read it let me know what that means to you? Take a few moments out of your day and ask yourself “What does the phrase “You are what you eat” mean to me” Dissect it fully and understand that you are EVERYTHING that you ingest.

The definition of INGEST is to take in · be absorbed in · be immersed in · be rapt in · be lost in · be fascinated by.

So you are what you ingest. You are what you surround yourself with. You are the people you hang around. You become what you see on television and social media. Many times, we fail to realize what our surroundings are and what is actually influencing our thoughts. A large amount of our alone time is immersed in music. When you are working, you have music on. When you are at the grocery store you are listening to music. When you are in the car on the way to your destination, you are listening to music. So we are surrounded by many voices not realizing the affect it can have on us in the long run.

If, since birth, you listened to music that falsely told you how life is suppose to be, would you grow up being as productive as you could have with positive influences? Well todays “entertainment” is ruining peoples lives.

From songs of woman telling you to leave your girl because she’s bored, or telling you that “its not cheating, its just a whatchamacallit”. Lyrics telling you to spend all of your hard earned money in the clubs and get a girl who has a girlfriend so that you can add more bodies to your list.

Understand that music is a form of entertainment but also understand that the majority of the artists don’t live the lifestyle that they are glamorizing themselves. Today’s younger generations are being brainwashed to believe that is cute for a woman to be crazy and its cool to be intimidating. Thinking that its fun to ride dirty and do drugs. Thinking that being smart is actually a negative.

Well I will tell you that a DUI isn’t fun. Broken bones from doing something stupid under the influence is not fun. Walking into a room that most of the people in there have seen you naked and them judging you is not fun. Having 10, 20, 50, 100 soul ties and then not being able to have a serious relationship is not fun. Not being able to find a job because of things that you posted on your social media or posts that you permanently put onto your body is not fun.

So I want you to understand that its ok to listen to whatever music you want. I know I do, but don’t let it ruin your life by constantly brainwashing yourself to believe that not cooking and not cleaning will still get you that ring. It’s just entertainment.

Understanding your mind allows you a chance to change it

A lot of my posts are derived from things that I have witnessed or conversations that I’ve had with people but this post was inspired by a conversation that I had with my son. The other night he was having fun on his tablet playing with his Osmo little genius starter kit. If you haven’t heard of it, I recommend it for all of your little geniuses. Well the kit comes with a bunch of moving pieces that interact with a mirror that senses movement as well as shapes. While he was learning, I noticed him gradually getting more and more upset. When asked what was wrong he responded that his activity kept messing up and he didn’t understand why.

After a brief look I realized that even though he was working on a flat surface like he was suppose to be, the mirror was picking up the patterns on the table. Rather than fixing it, I wanted to test his problem solving skills. I told him to tell me how the game works and he figured out that by putting a blank white piece of paper on top of the surface, it won’t register the patterns on the paper and the activity worked perfectly for the duration of the day. Ever since, by understanding how it worked, he never had that issue again.

Having that experience with him allowed me to question if that concept will work with everything including your mind. Coming into this New Years I have heard a lot of resolutions and many people have already gone back to their previous lifestyle and this is why. They have not gained an understanding of what they want to change and without knowing what’s wrong, they didn’t know how to fix it. Let’s take a smoker for instance. Many smokers think that they are addicted to the nicotine so they try the gums, the pens and the patches, which work for a little while but eventually pulls them back to smoking.

Once you understand what you are addicted to them you can fix it in a productive way. Many people are literally just addicted to the motion of putting something to their mouth and taking it away. If that’s the case, try going to the grocery store and buying a case of toothpicks to keep with you put them in your car and in your bag. Put the toothpick in your mouth when you start your craving and see if it helps. Wooden ones eventually dissolve and break up so that will symbolize when it’s time to put the “cigarette” down.

What about somebody who tends to eat way more than they want to but don’t have the self discipline to not fill up the entire plate every time they eat. A way to change that is by getting a smaller plate. The mind will see that your plate is full while still eating less and once the food is gone, it can possible signal to your brain that you are full. That same concept could be used with somebody who feels that they drink too much.

I was in this category. When I was in the military I created a drinking problem for myself. I would drink on average 18-24 beers every night. I knew that I had a problem but I was in denial so I never asked for help even though I truly needed to slow down. If I wasn’t going to get help, then I would have to figure out what was wrong. So I incorporated the big plate small plate rule but instead of getting smaller drinks I did the exact opposite. I realized that I drank so much because it was easy to just get another beer every few gulps. So instead of buying a 32 pack I got a 4 pack of tall boys a.k.a 24 oz.

What I learned is that by the time I made it halfway, my drink would start getting warm and to be frank, I would be bored to the point that I would have to force myself to drink the others so try it out and see if it could work for you. I can go all day by understanding how the mind works. Whether it is with bad habits to also great ones that you can incorporate into your regular life to push you into a better position.

In the end, always remember that if there is something that you want to change, fix, or make better in you life understand first how it all works and only then can you make changes. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I can give you a different perspective on what you or somebody you know may be going through.

Think Positive On Purpose

Ask 100 people if they want to go skydiving and look at their faces as a response. Of course, many will jump on board and love the idea but what about the people who don’t? When asked “Why?” you will get a lot of excuses like “I’m not jumping out of a perfectly fine airplane!” and the infamous, “What if the chute doesn’t open?” At first, I was one of those people and I completely understood where they were coming from but it took for me to change my perspective in life and on a whim I decided to jump out of an airplane and I loved it. What I learned is that everything that I feared about jumping out of a plane never even happened and that’s when I started questioning everything. Questioning my fears. Questioning my negative thoughts and that’s when this lightbulb turned on. WHY ARE THESE THOUGHTS EVEN HERE?.

What I’ve come to the conclusion is that our thoughts are the way they are because of traumas and insecurities introduced to us from our past. Why does somebody have trust issues? Most likely because an event in the past that hurt them either physically or mentally and now that person refuses to trust in order to keep from feeling that pain again. Like a self defense mechanism. Many of those thoughts weren’t even experienced in person but rather seen on a screen or heard of, like why is the average human being so afraid of killer whales even though there has never been any known attacks in the wild? While dissecting these thoughts and reasons behind these thoughts I have realized that almost everything that we have become has been built off fear and getting hurt. Once you understand that is the only time that you can change the way that you think and how do you fix that? By thinking positively on purpose.

Let me show you what I mean. Next time you are aware of having a negative thought, purposely change that thought into a positive. It sounds really hard but try it and I promise you that any scenario will have a positive perspective or point of view. The moment that you change that thought into a positive, evaluate how it makes you feel or see if it will push you into a productive direction. I can almost guarantee you that it will.

I will be 100% honest and transparent with you. I am not a therapist. I do not have any degrees or any training behind any of my ideas and theories. I will say though that I have become extremely observant through the years and tend to see things in ways that most people don’t. Continue to be aware of your thoughts and purposely change the perspective into a positive and before you know it, it will become second nature.

You will eventually not have to intentionally think positive. It will become a part of who you are. Somebody who once had road rage will eventually thank somebody who cut them off because of the positive belief that “they cut me off to save me from an accident that I may have been a part of a mile down the road.” Instead of having a breakdown when somebody lost their job they would instead think that “Now I have enough time to work on myself and now have an opening for a better job”. Think positive on purpose and become the positivity that you want to see in the world.