Categories
Depression Get Your Mojo Back News Uncategorized

HOW TO DEAL WITH FAILURE.

"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it. This you have the power to revoke at any moment."
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations (28)

It Starts At Your Relationship With Failure

Fear is the only thing holding anyone back from achieving a more ideal life. Your relationship with failure will determine your outcome in life. I know some people who are so afraid to fail that they don't try anything at all. The craziest thing they'll try is a new restaurant once in a while. In order to live a life of fulfillment and achievement, change your relationship with failure. 

Accept that failure is just one of two outcomes in every opportunity to improve at something. It doesn't mean anything about you as a person. When you do anything, you can either have a positive or negative outcome depending on your expectations.

When you feel something the first thing you ask yourself is "what does this feeling mean{". When you fail at something, the first thing you do is try to find out what it means about yourself. 

Accept that failure is nothing but an opportunity to discover something new. If you try something new or practice what you want to achieve or improve and you fail, good. If you don't fail the first time, then how can you improve? If you achieve everything you want the first time, you probably don't need to read this.

Failure is always going to be unpleasant. 

But when you develop a healthy relationship with it, you won't attach your identity to it. 

I recently competed in a jiu-jitsu tournament. Hanging out after my match a black belt from another gym came by a group of my teammates. They started talking about his matches went and he ended with "Competition is awesome man. I love getting my ass kicked!" I know that this particular black belt competitor flies all around the world competing on a regular basis. That's the kind of relationship he has with failure - he loves when it happens @ OF course he loves winning, or he wouldn't do it. He win's often, but he isn't afraid to lose. And he doesn't allow it to negatively affect his identity. Whether you agree with his philosophy or not of being okay with losing my hat's a man with mojo and he is  loser. No one is perfect. Even athletes with perfect records in sports lose in practice. There's always something to realize within every failure.e Ask yourself "Why did this happen? What can I do better next time? " Instead of "What does this mean about me?"

ALLOW PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE TO FAIL

Have grace for the people in your life to fail. Help them see that failure is just a part of evolving as a human and as a spiritual being. That's how we heal our karmas - by trying and experiencing and failing and getting back up and conquering. 

Everyone will make mistakes in your life - your family, friends, coworkers, employees and loved ones. If you're going to live with mojo, take responsibility for your tribe. Give them space and time to rectify their mistakes. Forgive them, teach them. Life is long - keep grace in your life so that people are evolving with you instead of turning from you. 

 

SAYING I'M SORRY

"By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected. "
- Dale Carnegie, How To Win Friends And Influence People (29)

Don't be afraid to apologize, even if you're not wrong. People want to feel like they're in control of the situation, so give them that feeling early and often. It doesn't hurt your livelihood if you get him to see things your way or give you what you want. Seek to understand their point of view, and let them know when you do . Even if they're wrong, don't you understand them? Can't you let them know that you understand them and justify their feelings, subconsciously helping them work through it? 

Make friends with your adversaries before the fight starts. Have empathy, humility and openness. Let your love cut through even the toughest of hearts. Even if you can't convince them you're right, at least they won't see you as an enemy in their eyes. At the end of the day it always helps to disarm your enemies even if you go home empty-handed.

Your counterpart sees things from your perspective much more easily when you help them feel like you understand theirs and give them a sense of control over the conversation.

This is one of those things that requires repetition in practice. I recommend reading the book "Never Split The Difference" by Chris Vocss. That guy wrote one hell of a book on the use of empathy in negotiation and it''ll transform the way you approach your interactions with people.

"Psychotherapy research shows that when individuals feel listened to, they tend to listen to themselves more carefully and to openly evaluate and clarify their own thoughts and feelings."
- Chris Voss, Never Split The Difference" 

You can't be a driftwood in the stormy sea. You have to become the captain of your own ship. when the seas become stormy, turn to your own logbook.

Write down your goals. Journal your progress. Track the data and report on your hypotheses. You are the scientist of your life's great experiment.

Systematically achieve your goals by thinking through and documenting how to accomplish each task you have set before you.

It'll help solidify your vision. Each time you write it down, your mental groove becomes deeper and deeper. 

Set a specific time each day to reflect on your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, and long-term goals. I like to use the last hour before bed and occasionally early in the morning to journal about my progress and review my goals. You don't need to lose it, but the value of journaling and measuring your progress cannot be overstated. 

Continue to visualize your life and your ultimate character and you achieve your goals. There's a study that those who visualize more than they practice improve fate than those who spend all their time mechanically practicing without ever visualizing. 

That's how powerful and effective creative visualization can b e when shaping your nature your character, your identity, and self belief- In Lanny Bassham's highly influential book "With winning In Mind" he outlines how he used visualization to win an Olympic gold medal, winding more time visualizing than actual practicing. 

So visualize your desires, painting them out thoroughly in your mind. Wire them down and write down some actions you're going to take every day, weekly, monthly quarter, and year to make them a reality. Writing it down makes it real. 

Measure your KPIs I(key performance indicators( the things that are important to your goal. If your life a multimillion dollar business operation, what data would you measure? What goals would you be tracking How would you report that new data to your boss? Start taking your life seriously. Treat your life like it's a multimillion dollar movie production, business operation, or war campaign.

Categories
Depression Get Your Mojo Back Uncategorized

3 Ways To Increase Your Self-Confidence From the book “Get Your Mojo Back”

“Work on yourself: on your reactions to outer circumstances.
This is the essence of yoga: to neutralize the waves of reaction in the heart… Be ever happy inside.
You will never be able to change things outwardly in such a way as to make them ever pleasing to you… Change yourself.”
- Paramhansa Yogananda ”
The following is an excerpt from: Anthony Polanco, “GET YOUR MOJO BACK.”

3 WAYS OF INCREASING YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE

MOTOR CONFIDENCE (Physical Mojo Development)

I was maybe 7 years old. Following my older cousin up the ladder of the high dive at the community pool. We talked all the way up. When he got to the top and I saw his body leave the edge of the diving board I realized what a huge mistake I had made.

I’d never jumped off the high dive. It looked about 100 feet high to my estimation, and there I was, alone up there with a fleet of kids climbing up the ladder behind me.

I walked to the edge. It felt like complete doom in the pit of my stomach. Everyone from around the pool watched me and I began to completely shut down.

I remember the lifeguard coming up the ladder to get me down, so I must have been up there a while. As she approached me and beckoned me toward her, I looked at her, back at the edge, at her once more, and decided the eternal shame would be more painful than if I were to splat myself into the concrete by accident, so I pencil-jumped.

As you can imagine, it was the greatest thrill of my childhood life that far.

It was never hard to make that jump again. I felt great about making that jump each time after.

… It’s like learning to drive a car.

The first time you reach 25 miles per hour, it feels like you’re flying - on the edge of losing control. Now you’re texting, driving, and putting on your makeup or putting taco bell sauce on a burrito, all at the same time.

Practical mojo comes from doing. Repetition. You develop confidence in the thing you feel most comfortable doing. You feel comfortable because you’re good at it. You know you’re good at it because you’re most likely comparing yourself to others in your particular field of expertise and you know you’re better than at least half of them. That makes you feel confident when you’re in that element. Everyone feels like the rockstar somewhere. I’m sure you can think of a room where you feel like you are the rockstar.

I built my physical mojo recently by taking up Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. I have physical mojo because I have put myself in combat simulations nearly every day for the past four years.

Our minds are recording everything we do, and our consciousness translates it into meaning. That’s why, when you can, build your physical mojo in ways that make you feel empowered to accomplish your life’s greatest desires. The more you do something, the more confident you’re going to feel doing it and being around it. So pick something that’s good for you and get you where you want to go, and do it a lot.

I’m sure you have already thought of several times in your life when you displayed that mojo where you felt like the boss doing something that you were really good at. Maybe you’re really good at computers and everyone in the office comes to you for help with their computer problems. Maybe you’re really good at basketball and every time you step on the court you know you’re the star.

Whether it is playing a sport or talking to someone about a tv show that you love, when you know your stuff from experience it gives you a special energy - a special power.

That’s your mojo, baby!

Whether you remember your best mojo experiences or not, all you have to do is develop a little courage to take a small, tiny action. A little baby risk in the direction of your dreams.

Face a little baby fear, a little micro challenge, and you’re going to overcome it. If you fail, it won’t hurt that much - you only took one step out your front door. You can take a deep breath and try again.

Each time you fail at something you take one step closer to succeed at it. You will realize once you have your first success that failure is not a permanent position. It’s not even a good resting place. Once you get your first small micro-win, you gain the mojo required to take the next-sized bite. And every subsequent failure becomes mojo-building by nature. Each one toughens your skin so that you don’t lose your mojo so quickly next time.

Take a second right now and think about all the things that did not work out in your life and try to feel a sense of gratitude for them. They got you to this point where you have thick enough skin to take on an entirely new challenge - the most important challenge anyone can take on in their life, which is the challenge of self-discovery and self-mastery. That’s a mojo-driven life.

Not only the things that are pleasurable and rewarding, but also the challenges and pain and struggles that allowed you to get here build your mojo and help defend you against your own mind breaking you down in the future.

Tapping into and cultivating your mojo will help you realize that you are not made of glass. Your mojo will get you to start saying things like What’s the worst that can happen? If it won't kill me I’m gonna try it.

Every time you take an action that is in alignment with your vision of your ultimate self you take a stance against your weak self. You discipline your inner child - you put the whip to your weak subconscious mind, and the difficult tasks become easy over time. It’s not easy to get started with that mental discipline, but it gets easier every time. It’s just a matter of practicing self-awareness.

Which leads us to our next type of mojo development...

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MENTAL CONFIDENCE (Mental Mojo Development)

“Mental or psychological mojo development, is about cultivating control over your own mind. Mind controlling yourself. Building the MASTER MIND.

About 18 months after I started depression recovery I tried public speaking for the first time. I knew all the self confidence techniques, I had all the Tony Robbins videos and motivational quotes programmed in my brain, and I was still sick to my stomach with nerves driving to the place I was speaking that morning.

When I got there I was desperate for something to get me in the right mind state. I had tried everything that morning and nothing helped. I went into one of the conference rooms and sat down on the floor and put some earphones in closed my eyes and started meditating. I started visualizing myself walking into the room, grabbing the microphone, and saying what I wanted to say.

I visualized the faces of the people blankly staring back at me, and I visualized the feeling I would get if things didn’t go over well, and I envisioned myself persevering in the face of a tough crowd. I started feeling more confident as my imagination took me through my speech.

“I wanted to stop half way through, I felt good, but I knew that if I stopped and it only went well up to that point in the speech I’d only have myself to blame, so I finished the entire 40 minute speech in my head before I walked out of the conference room and straight into the gymnasium where I was giving my speech.

I just needed to maintain my composure through the first punch - once I gave my opener and got past the potentially non participatory crowd reaction, I knew I would be fine.

Sometimes it takes a few tries, but over time you develop the will to persist. When you fail to control your mind, you are ruled by your emotions and your behaviors will be all over the place.
Visualization is a great technique for cultivating mental mojo, preparing your mind for the moment when to take action toward your goals.

Visualization was super effective in my first jiu-jitsu supermatch. I was super nervous my first time competing in a no gi cage match in front of 700 people.

“I visualized in thorough detail every aspect of the match, and even in the locker room up to the fight before my match I was meditating, visualizing myself making the walk-out, entering the cage, and executing techniques. When the moment itself came, it was like I had re-entered the Matrix. I was on fire and completely ready for anything.
Don’t just expect yourself to show up when it’s time to fight, prepare for it today. Be ready when the time comes. You’ll stop missing the boat when it comes by. The next time it comes by be ready to jump on.

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SELF-CONFIDENCE (Spiritual Mojo Development)

“Self-confidence is the deepest level of Mojo. It is the true definition of Mojo. Self-confidence is understanding the “I AM” - Your relationship with God is in harmony when you are in harmony with yourself.

Mojo isn’t machismo. Mojo isn’t being an overly aggressive wannabe alpha male. So many people with huge hulk bodies, former military, and ex-convicts don’t have self-confidence. They’re too scared to start a conversation with a stranger on the street for fear of what they might think of them, for fear they will look or sound stupid. They might look scary, but ironically the scariest looking people tend to be masking great fear. That’s having low inner-mojo.

Understand that mojo in this day and age is not about who can beat up who, who can swing a wooden club harder. We live in a time where psychological identity can kill you or someone you know before a sword or a bullet.
Do you spend any time thinking “What if they hate me? What if they ignore me? What if they are talking negatively about me right now?”

This type of self talk weakens any person to the point of complete self doubt and paralysis by fear.
Bruce Lee was the manifestation of true self-confidence.
He said “Action is a high road to self-confidence and esteem. Where it is open all energies move toward it and its rewards are tangible.”

When you start to live a life of meaning and purpose, you’re too busy living to be swayed by other peoples’ projections of who you are. Your identity is steadfast, unshakeable and generated from within instead of by the validation you get from other people. It doesn’t matter if you’re a tiny girl or a giant hulking man. Or a giant hulking girl or an infantile-bodied man, for that matter.

Having self-confidence - the ultimate level of Mojo - gives you a steadfast control over your identity. You must never let others or external forces shape your identity and purpose. You have the power and the will to uphold your internal code. That direction is for only you and God.

“Developing your mojo turns your self-consciousness into self-confidence. Practice small acts of expressing yourself, every day, with the intention of increasing your self confidence by overcoming your self consciousness. Take responsibility for your own happiness and well-being. Try your best to achieve small things in a great way. Don’t do what is easy and fast; rather, do the right thing even when it is more difficult.

Remember these words by the great Bruce Lee: “It’s not a shame to be knocked down by other people. The important thing is to ask when being knocked down, why am I being knocked down? If a person can reflect in this way, then there is hope for this person.”
“Remember my friend, it’s not what happens that counts but how you react to it. Your mental attitude depends on whether you make it a stepping stone or a stumbling block.”

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

If you want to master your life, you must realize you can control your emotions. For what is life, but what it makes you feel?
Any time you want to snap yourself into a completely different state, spend three minutes taking long, deep, powerful breaths in through your nose, exhaling through your mouth.
Feel refilled with energy. You’ve hyperoxygenated your body, sending fresh blood cells all throughout your body at once.
Any time you’re feeling angry, afraid, alone, ashamed, guilty, or sad, simply practice this exercise for three minutes. It will help you gain an initial amount of mojo at any time: The initial amount of mojo required to get up and take any first step.

Breathwork practice video: anthonypolanco.com/mojo-book

 

Click Here To "Get Your Mojo Back" Now! Only $7.97 For A Limited Time

Categories
Depression

My Depression Recovery Story So Far: An Excerpt From The Book

 How I did it

I told you I would share candidly exactly what I did to recover from depression. This is the section of the book where instead of giving you principled parables and stories, I tell you exactly what happened in the first 18 months of my depression recovery, which I did mostly alone. There were, of course, a few key figures in aiding my recovery, whether they knew it at the time or not. My therapist Evan Maw, now retired, was instrumental in helping me establish a positive mental framework by helping me remove some limiting beliefs and mental habits. One of my best friends since we’re 15, Justin was always there for me. When I was at my lowest I was basically a lifeless sad guy, a 24-year-old bummer, and Justin was still dragging me along wherever he could. I think him kinda forcing me to hang out when I was down really kept me from losing my mind. I’d be remiss not to include my mom and my dad, who didn’t really know how to help but gave me attention whenever I needed it and checked in on me. My mom is the one who set me up with a therapist in the first place. I told her that I needed help, and the next day she called someone she knew from work, I was in his office Monday morning. Saved my life. There are a few other key figures who’ve helped me tremendously in the early goings: Tony Robbins, who’s taught me so much about self awareness, business, money, and purpose and continues to enlighten me, Tai Lopez, who taught me the benefits of reading, marketing myself online, and networking, the philosophers and authors of so many great self help books, and surely others who, whether knowingly or unknowingly, helped me along as I escaped my mental hell. 

 

I’ll say that even 4-5 years later, I still feel the sting of old wounds once in a while. I don’t think that ‘overcoming depression’ is about ridding yourself of it forever. It’s about developing control over it. And it’s a practice – like anything difficult, it requires practice. 

 

The first 12 months

From when I began my depression recovery that Monday morning in Evan Maw’s office mid-2014, I noticed significant improvements in 6-month increments. 

 

The same week I went to my first therapy appointment, I ordered a book on Amazon called “The Greatest Salesman In The World” by Og Mandino. I was watching a Lakers practice interview on Youtube when Kobe Bryant, still an active player on the Lakers at the time, mentioned Og Mandino during this interview and I noticed and looked him up and ordered his book. I started reading that book like it held the antidote. I finished it in a day just to keep myself alive another day, and proceeded to read it every day for 10 months. I told myself in 10 months I’d be a free man. I quit my job working as a night janitor for a small janitorial business. I was helping a friend with marketing his bar online and I started traveling and busking (playing guitar and singing for money) on the weekends because playing music is something I’ve always done and I figured that would give me peace. It definitely did help. It was all I had. It gave me hope and time alone with my thoughts to reconstruct my framework. I had nothing going on at home. I was 24 living alone in an empty 3-bedroom house on the outskirts of town surrounded by trees. I had just broken up with my girlfriend of four years, I had two friends, I had zero girls coming over. I did have a cat. Parker was a tremendous blessing at that time. The cat was saving my life most of the time.

 

Finding Kundalini Yoga

While I was out playing one weekend in Monterey, California I got to talking to a lady who told me she was a yoga teacher for people struggling with MS. I was new to yoga at the time but really into it and she told me to check out this type called Kundalini yoga. 

I found a few videos online and got super into it. I attribute much of my fortunate development to Kundalini yoga and I thank God for that divine encounter all the time. 

 

Kundalini yoga incorporates not only yoga postures but also chanting, meditation, and breathwork. The reason Kundalini yoga is so helpful for people with depression is because it forces you to reconnect with your systems: Your physical system, your emotional system, your mental system, and your spiritual system. The practice of breathwork hyper-oxygenates your cardiovascular system, which boosts mood and energy tremendously, in fact even just 60-180 seconds of hyper-oxygenation creates an intensely euphoric feeling similar to being high on cannabis. I trip out on my own hyper-oxygenated blood every night before bed! 

 

The meditative aspect of Kundalini yoga helps you process your emotions as they come up and either you can pinpoint their origin, meaning trace them back to the more significant occurrence in your memory and the feeling that was associated with that moment, or you can observe the emotion and decide what to do with it. It also trains your mind to come to peace with itself. This combined with the breathwork makes your meditation practice the ultimate training center for your psychosocial strength. The chanting is good too. I don’t know the explained science behind it but it’s something like the body is made up of 32 trillion cells that are essentially energy units vibrating at a frequency, and certain sounds tune your frequency, so when chanting these mantras you begin to lose track of your conscious effort to produce the sound and you essentially drift away from space-time awareness. The more seriously you take the aspects of Kundalini yoga the better this part of the experience tends to be.

 

The chanting can feel a bit culty if you’re not into religion or spirituality at all. But who cares? Why is it bad to do something culty? Who let the squares write the rules? When it comes to spiritual practices, I tend to be open minded because I want to know if something I haven’t tried yet will work for me. And if it helps me liberate myself from negative thought patterns and mental habits and empowers and makes me feel like a mystical ninja while I do it, then you can bet I am going to do it. I’m into it, the people who do it are liberated, spiritual, vibrant folk from all walks of life. 

 

I practiced Kundalini yoga for the first year without ever going to a single class. Just Youtube. It was helping me so much and it was nowhere to be found around me, it wasn’t until I moved down to Southern California that I was able to find it. And then I got really into it, once I connected with the community and the culture.  That was in 2016. Even when I moved away from Southern California, I remained connected to the Kundalini yoga community and still to this day because of my attendance and involvement with Sat Nam Fest, which is a Kundalini yoga music festival. I’ve attended every year since 2016, I’ve blogged about it, and volunteered last year. I intend to continue attending every year if at all possible. It’s my favorite vacation of the year. It’s super weird and I love it. 

 

Kundalini yoga is a safe place for you if you need something like this. I don’t care if you do or not, but you should definitely at least invest in a breathwork practice. There are plenty of approaches to this. Holotropic breathwork, Wim Hof method, or just practice breathing in and out your nose full deep breaths nonstop for a minute, 3 minutes, 7 minutes. Just practice it and see how good it feels. That alone will change your life. And you’ll feel like a bruce lee type wizard character while you do it. It’ll give you this secret superpower of intense energy, emotional spike, improved focus, anytime you want it. 

 

There’s an easy to read book I recommend if you’re interested in breathwork, and it’s called The Hindu-Yogi Science of Breath by William Walker Atkinson. You can get it on Amazon Prime for like 5 bucks. You can probably find it on your iBooks for 1.99. 

 

18 Months

By 18 months I thought I was cured. I was living a fulfilling lifestyle, and starting to thrive socially. But my lows were still too low. I hated feeling like I was at the will of my depression, and when it decided to take over I was back to hopelessness and despair and ruining all my progress. It wouldn’t last long, but it would completely paralyze me, disable me, despite all my hard work to reframe my mind and practice positive thinking and productive habits. I’d get behind, lose money, lose deals, and have to play catch-up. 

 

Like I said, every six months I noticed improvement. That never really changed, my life was improving and my level of inner peace and self awareness was improving, but my ability to hedge myself against the downside still needed work. Maybe that’s because it’s naturally a later step in the process. But that’s been my most recent undertaking, not just emotionally but also in business and in life – catching a downtrend at the start instead of at the bottom and correcting course beforehand. 

 

That’s what I do with my mental game now too. At first sign of a downturn, I get on the floor and start meditating to pinpoint the emotion, track it back to its origin, forgive myself for it, and move on. 

 

In 2017 I had one of the best years of my life socially, spiritually, and financially. I had an amazing social circle, lots of cashflow, had a great thing growing with a prolific woman I really liked, and I was even crushing it with self development content online – really living my best life. 

 

I was training Brazilian jiu-jitsu about 5 days per week – I started in September 2016 and became obsessed immediately. There were some really tough times in the winter of 2016 and I attribute a lot of my emotional fortification to learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I’m still an avid practitioner and highly recommend it if you want to feel like you can defend yourself or if you want a challenging new sport to try that is super fun. 

 

Brazilian jiu-jitsu for depression

Brazilian jiu-jitsu for depression has been very instrumental for me. Jiu-jitsu is a system of systems designed to dominantly control and manipulate the limbs and head of an attacking human, or willing opponent. As such it teaches concepts of redirection, deflection, defense, and strangulation. These concepts can be used just as well in application against the many varying attacks of depression. (IF you catch my drift.)

Brazilian jiu-jitsu, yoga, and meditation. Why? Because each is a way to find yourself. Each gives you an opportunity to see who you truly are. That who you are when you’re on the brink of death. Each literally trains you to die over and over again and get better at overcoming your fears and traumas. And each is helpful to do when you’re down and out. You always feel better afterwards. It never fails. I’ve dragged myself into class and left happy every time. It is mood boosting. The cardio, the camaraderie, the aggression, and even the live-or-death aspect of the game.

 

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is about moving your body in a way to solve a series of problems. Yoga is about moving your body in a way to solve a series of problems. Each is a total stress test practice.

 

In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you are facing a problem that is dynamically changing its presentation based on its expectation of your next behavior. 

 

This is a perfect stress simulation for you, because in order to succeed you need to become comfortable under pressure and comfortable operating within a margin of risk.

 

In yoga, you are moving your body to overcome the obstacles in your own mind to restore it to union with your body and your spirit. To become one with your self is to win. In yoga, you are your own opponent. But the goal is the same: Pinpoint the problem, overcome it with either skill or will, and integrate what you have learned so that problem is never again a problem for you. 

 

What else do I have to say about Brazilian Jiu-jitsu’s impact on my life in regards to my depression? It’s given me some of the best friends I’ve ever had. It’s given me tremendous self confidence, which has been tremendously beneficial in many applications. It keeps me in shape. It adds a certain distinguishing element to my character. I’ve also begun to rather enjoy the “don’t fuck with that guy, he does jiu-jitsu” comments. 

 

It’s a blast, man. Even if you’re really big or really small, you’d be surprised at who is in the gym training right now. People from all walks of life. 

 

So yeah, I guess I do recommend it if you’re looking for something to do. Maybe you’ll love it. Everyone does it. If you want to know what’s a good gym to go to in your area, get ahold of me online and I’ll Google it and tell you which one I’d go to if I were you.

 

2018

I had a pretty large ecommerce venture go awry at the end of 2018, which, (regardless of its actual size) ended up costing me everything I made up to that point. It was my own shortcoming, so that hurt quite a bit. But up until that point I was so gung-ho about business that I didn’t care about taking on risk. I had gotten used to the pain and just wanted so badly to hit something big. It looked good until it wasn’t – I took it on the chin, and it pretty much knocked me out. 

Do I regret it? I regret making the mistake, but not taking the risk. All the money and time I have invested in my learning and on creating and marketing different products and services has been well-spent, even when it was a mistake. And even though it would probably seem like a lot of money to most people, it’s still nothing compared to how much the most successful people in the world invest in themselves. I’m trying to fix my life by creating things that can grow beyond me. I don’t mind failing 10 times to get one thing to pop. 

 

This past year and beyond

In 2019 I cleaned house, trimmed off all the fat, started with a clean slate. Decided to build wide this time. I picked up a few digital marketing clients, moved into a small apartment, started playing music again, doing jiu-jitsu, grooming new social circles, dating one person, working on creative projects with more people. I’m calling it ‘enjoying life for a second without all the social pining and signaling.’

 

My point isn’t that I did better and better every year: My point is each year it was easier and easier to deal with the hard times. 

 

The roller coaster becomes less and less volatile every time. I did a submission-only grappling cage match in front of 700 people a few months ago on September 28, 2019. It was my first time. I was cool as a cucumber for the most part. You think me 5 years ago would be doing that? No way. There’s no way I could’ve handled that amount of pressure emotionally. I would’ve cracked way early. But I’m so conditioned to listen to my emotions and process them and redirect their meaning that I’m handling stressful situations like they’re a piece of cake that would’ve dwarfed me on my best day 5 years ago. 

 

I’m not saying I don’t wrestle with challenging emotions, but it’s not so much over the big things  anymore – it’s with the less noticeable things now – more sophisticated and complex aspects of my cognitive behavior than before. I’m turning over the smaller rocks now to see what other critters and creepy crawlies are still living in my psyche. 

 

Now I’m consciously seeking out new challenges to help me grow. Expanding my social circle, including new business partners in my work, collaborating with as many creators as possible, deepening my relationships, accepting new challenges, and competing in as many new environments as possible. Controlled risk exposure.