2017 Manifesto: Domination.

My 6-speed transmission in life has been stuck in neutral for quite some time.  Sometimes, it felt like we hit reverse but oh well.  More importantly, How can you drop the hammer and hit the floor the accelerator unless you have an idea or clue where you’re going?  I propose you could in an aimless direction and ‘enjoy the journey.’

Well, ‘forget the journey.’  ‘Enjoying the journey’ is a one way destination towards mediocrity and average.  Two words which are my kryptonite.  If I’m average, it’s time to re-evaluate life.  Well, we’ve re-evaluated life and now I know where I am headed.

One word:  domination.  Total domination.  We’re talking levels of:

  • Germany dominating Poland in 1939,
  • The United States (and friends) dominating Iraq in the Persian Gulf War in 1991,
  • The 1927 New York Yankees,
  • The 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls,
  • Microsoft with the Windows operating system, and
  • Apple with the iPod.

Dominate [dom-uh-neyt] verb:  to rule over, govern, or control.

What is it that I intend on dominating?  The domains in which I chose to enter.  The arenas in which I step into and take battle.  We’re not talking Theodore Roosevelt’s cold and timid souls that know neither victory or defeat.  We’re talking stepping into the fucking arena like Gladiator, slaying the competition (eat a dick Commodus), and then triumphantly asking to a degenerate crowd, “Are you not entertained?”

This is what I will dominate:

When you think of the word ‘leadership’ your first thought will be:  Patrick Jones.

When you think of a ‘Naval Officer’ your first thought will be:  Patrick Jones.

When you think of ‘Information Warfare’ your first thought will be:  Patrick Jones.

When you think of ‘Information Professional’ your first thought will be:  Patrick Jones.

Not second.  Not third.  Not Top 10.  Your first fucking thought.

Now, you may find yourself asking, “Self, who is Patrick Jones to believe such thoughts?”

Well, I am glad you asked and here’s two answers:

1.)  Who am I NOT to think such thoughts?

2.) Who the fuck are you to tell me that I am not capable?

3.)  Why don’t you believe the same for yourself?

In my life I have been told I embody traits such as arrogance, cockiness, narcissism, and intense.

To everyone who has told me such things:

Thank you.  You are right.

In an effort to become more ‘humble,’ I have realized I wear it like a $5 cologne from the drug store.  Smells like shit.  Doesn’t work.  Pass me another fragrance of ‘arrogance’ and I’ll wear it like Acqua di Gio.  Hell, I even attempted to become more humble to ‘silence’ my ‘haters.’  What a fucking mistake.  Haters – I don’t know how many I had but damn I need more of them.  Hashtags of #patjones #patjonesing #coachpat exist so why attempt to stop and why not add more?

People who are ‘your friends’ are the absolute fucking worst and serve nothing more than to project their own insecurities onto you and to what you stand.  Haters only concern themselves with gossip and using their creative outlet to figure out what is going on in other’s lives.  There is about a group of 15-20 people TOTAL in my life (family and my band of brothers) who I genuinely care about what is going on in their lives.  Outside of that, I could care less.

Side note:  If you haven’t managed to piss someone off within the course of the day, then what did you stand for – the middle ground?  Being a ‘Yes’ man?  Cool story, bro.  You’ll always have a place in the work force because you comprise (at least) 80% of it.

Too often a humble brag is used in order to sheepishly convey accolades or accomplishment.  Team #blessed or ‘I’m so humbled to blah blah blah’  Fuck that.  Everything is earned.  Life certainly does have a way of humbling you with a swift kick to the dick and a serving of humble pie.  Only you can choose if you continue to feast on yesterday’s meal (the humble pie) or if you’re hungry for your next.  So do these things:

  1. Swallow the humble pie,
  2. Pay compliments to the chef, and
  3. Crush some steak at your next meal (if you’re vegan, crush some kale?  Gowen help me out here.)

You decide how long you savor the humble pie – no one else.

Where are we going with all of this as I crush some decaffeinated coffee at Starbucks on a Friday night?  A few highlights:

  • That life, as we know, is not about following passion.
    • If you choose to ‘follow your passion’ then Godspeed.  You’re better served locating the north star and heading in that direction in order to locate Santa Claus, his reindeer, and his slave workforce (aka his elves).
    • Kudos to you and your nobility of finding your passion.
    • Get really fucking good at something.  Become successful with it.  Then become passionate about that success.  And repeat.
  • Be You.
    • Ruffle feathers.
    • Piss someone off.
    • Love everyone.
    • Stand for something.
  • Stop posting about politics on Facebook.
    • No one cares.
    • There’s enough of that shit.
    • Endlessly sharing unoriginal content says more about you than it does the shared post.
  • Ponzi schemes are everywhere.
    • I will not join your fasting-cleanse diet.
    • I will not join your 10 member workout group to get sweaty.
    • #fitfam is the fucking worst family since The Waltons.
  • Detox from social media.
    • The NewsFeed will aimlessly consume you.
    • Most people are not that interesting (see endless shares).
    • Read a book.  Seriously, titans of industry – do you think they aimlessly consume shitty information that is DIRECTLY targeted for your consumption?  Facebook spends millions to engineer your addiction – congrats.
    • ‘Staying in contact’ is a bullshit excuse to not call someone.
  • And finally, I will dominate 2017.  Stay tuned.

Props to Grant Cardone’s ‘The 10x Rule’ for fueling this manifesto on a Friday evening – after back squatting, eating 2 pop-tarts, and benching – this came out.

Goodnight.

Love,

Patrick

 

 

 

 

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Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone

Plebe boxing, I remember it like yesterday.

The boxing instructor was also my football coach.  A Spartan-like Marine Corps Major whose only rule (and grading criteria) was if you backed-up, you failed.  The only profound statement former unified heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson ever made was,

“everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” 

In a way, Coach was making it easy – he expected his fighters to meet their adversary and never back down.  Forward – always.  Or as the 5th Marine Regiment moniker proudly proclaims, “Retreat, Hell!”  From fear and challenge I discovered an invaluable life lesson.

When was the last time you really felt scared?  Chances are it was the last time you broke free from your comfort zone.  That safe and overly repetitive process we call our daily routine is in-fact our comfort zone.  Taking a chance, risking embarrassment, or potential failure takes a great act of courage.  Although, not unlike stepping into the boxing ring, these challenges are worth taking if you desire to stretch your potential to the max.

What do you really have to lose?  Well that’s a loaded question.  Your comfort zone is likely tied intimately to the people, places, objects, and habits that are familiar to you.  For some, this can be a good thing.  If your surroundings are helping you achieve your goals, you might have a valid support structure.  However, too often, it is the very comfort zone we have established that has failed to serve our most primal needs.

Bad habits and bad associations can be broken.  True change begins when one’s behavior and thoughts are aligned.  The first challenge is to get into the ring, facing down your enemy.

The best advice I can give you to prepare for this battle: backwards plan.  Here are four easy steps:

  1. Establish your end state goal.
  2. Determine the logical steps one must take to achieve this end.
  3. Lay out reasonable benchmarks for reaching each of these essential progressions.
  4. Finally, stick to it.

Do no back-up.  Consistency is key.  Find ways to reinforce these new positive behaviors and be accountable to the support structure you have in place.

This is not easy stuff.  Much like the boxing ring, you can get knocked down. And getting knocked down hurts.  Sometimes it even leaves scars.  As retired Army General Stanley McCrystal challenged, if you consider yourself a leader, the people you have counted on will you help you out.  Most importantly. if you’re a leader, the people that count on you, need you on your feet.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. [Bruce Lee]

Vulnerability – An Antidote to Addiction

“I’m truly proud of you Matt – you have a captivating personality and charisma that inspires and touches many, a natural gift and ability, which dependent upon how you choose, you have a nature to lead and inspire others.  Keep it up amigo and continue inspiring others – including myself”

Naval Academy Grad, Naval Officer and friend, Pat Jones

Words like these were so foreign to me.  I had been living for years in the darkness of my own pain and addiction in which compliments did not come often or, if I’m being honest, ever.

I did not understand how someone with such great accomplishments could possibly look up to me for inspiration.

However, this is how my story:

What it was, what happened, and what that narrative is like now.  Take the time to get a little perspective in to my journey, or not, whatever works for you is cool with me.

Well it all started off when I was a baby in 1980 something… Haaa, yeah right, if I started off there we would be reading my autobiography not a blog post.  I’ll spare you the monotonous detail.  It does make sense to mention a few points however, in hopes to add some perspective.  Middle class family, straight A’s, lived for sports, Varsity football as a sophomore,  college scouts, Dad says “no more football son”,  Son says “Well screw you then”, and enter resentment numero uno.

Now, don’t get me wrong there are so many things that added or directed my path but in the mind of a 15 year old my world had most certainly come to an end.  I did everything I could to get out of school early.  A’s meant nothing to me anymore.  I just wanted out.  The direction was gone.

Ah don’t let me forget to mention that during my football days I sustained a pretty substantial injury to my left shoulder.  This one earned me a ride in the ambulance and rushed in to surgery no more than two hours after the incident.  I have to bring this up because this was my intro to the wonderful world of prescription narcotics.

I went on to graduate from high school (barely) leaving all hopes of college in the dust.  Car sales were the life for me.  And, wouldn’t you know it, I was pretty good.  Making far more many than any 19 year old with no financial or budgeting ability ever should.  Guess what I did with all that money?  You’re damn right – I spent it.  BMW, GSXR600, 60 inch flat screen, and the best bro pad one could every wish for. And by bro pad what I really mean is party facility.

Now comes the part that used to be so hard to talk about – my addiction.

I wanted you all to know that (I got this, I’m ok, It’s not that bad, I’m only drinking, It’s just pain pills) I’m normal.  In all reality I was killing myself on a daily basis.  My disease (and yes folks it is a disease, just ask the doc, Okay) took me to a place that I wish upon no one.  Don’t get me twisted, I had some good times in the beginning.  Riding around in the GTI jamming to Sublime with the roof open at a buck twenty, but being progressive; that is my disease of  course.

12 years later, I became a homeless heroin addict living out of my car in Baltimore City.

Enter spiritual dude, I have no idea what his name was, where I met him, how long ago it really was, but I do remember what he said to me:

“Why is it so hard to surrender when you have nothing left to defend?”  

BANGER!  Finally, something that made sense to me.  I guess I was just done.  At that point I completely understood that there was no beating this thing.  I am NOT normal.  I do have a problem.  I need help.  I cannot do this alone.  Most importantly, I’m ok with it. For years I tried to fit in, tried to show “you” that I was ok, or put on a front that a pill junky isn’t as bad as a heroin addict (same damn thing BTW).  Finally, after years, I was ok with being vulnerable.  If your childhood was anything like mine then you’ll know that just wasn’t allowed in the house growing up.

So that’s what it was like.

What happened next?  Wait for it……. Wait for it…….

Surrender.  That’s what happened.  I finally got honest with myself and everyone around me.  I looked to the people that have come before me for advices and guidance.  Finally realizing that my strength comes from being vulnerable.  I could go in to more specifics for you, but really, that’s a whole other post.

Part of that surrender was to go into a long term, 1 year, treatment facility (Helping Up Mission).  Something that I was never willing to do in the past because remember, I got this.  Without a doubt that place saved my life.  They taught me how to live without the use of drugs and alcohol.  They taught me the value of surrounding myself with likeminded people. They gave me the foundation to be a successful, productive member of society.

What it’s like now?

Life is good.  By good I mean blessed.

I am truly grateful for what I have. “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”. Oprah.  Honestly I feel like I have more than I deserve.  I still struggle with the “less than” attitude, but hey I’m working on it.  At the end of my ripping and running I found that I had $40k in medical bills, no license (they take that if you run from the police btw), no car, no job, prohibited from leaving Maryland, and no one that wanted to be around me or in my life.

Today – it is not like that.

Medical bills have been paid, the State of Maryland decided to give me my license back (questionable) and they even let me leave the state, now having two stamps on my passport.  With the license came the car. Love my job, and wouldn’t you know it I even got someone to say “I do”.  That my friends would mean that she’s bat shit crazy but that’s just what I need.  Seriously though her strength and support for my recovery is a huge part of what makes me who I am today.  This time last year we bought our first home together.  As my friend Rick would say “I’m finally adulting”.

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Me and my beautiful wife Misha

During my process of recovery I found that I still have a drive for athletics and in fact my life wasn’t over.  I picked up running.  Odd because I really just liked picking things up and putting them down but I found that it was a new kind of challenge.  For some reason I thought it was a good idea to sign up for a marathon just 8 months after my running journey began, and yes, I finished it.  Since then I have completed 3 marathons, 12 half marathons, 3 Ragnar’s (if you don’t know what that is Google it) and a few Mudder/Spartan races.  The running stories, yeah a whole other post. Oh and I say none of this to brag, but only to show that if I can do it, than anyone can.  Sometimes we just need to get vulnerable and ask for help.

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RAGNAR, DC 2015 – post race/200 miles, 36 hour relay

That job I spoke of that I love so much is with the Helping Up Mission as their Education and Workforce Development Manager.  This wasn’t my first job after graduating from the program however. I started out with MRIGlobalSearch an executive search firm.  Head hunter basically.  My group had a specialization in Engineering for Plastics Manufacturing.  Working with companies to help fill roles in engineering from hands on engineers to the heads of the department or division.  This opportunity taught me all about business, talent management, organization structure and so much more, giving me the skills needed to return to the mission and help them build and develop a program internally to help our clients obtain gainful employment. Talk about going full circle.

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First day back at Helping Up Mission

 

In September of 2016 I was humbled in my celebration of 4 years of continued sobriety.

That’s right folks, even a junky like me can learn to stay clean and find a new way to live.  Who knows what the future will bring, but I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to it.  If I keep my recovery first, continue doing the things that helped me get to where I am today, then all will be well.

Rogue One: An (Average) Star Wars Story

Sans a droid and the closing moments, ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ is an average movie.

Entertaining?  Absolutely.

Worth the price of the admission?  Yes.

Best Star Wars movie ever – f*ck no.

Force choke yourself if you exited the movie believing this idea.  Simply not having (mild spoiler alert) Jar-Jar Binks (I know Jar-Jar’s 12 fans are disappointed by his absence – again) ensures that Rogue One is better than Episode I & II.  Better than III, IV, V, VI, or VII?!  No.

Rogue One’s (R1’s) short comings come in the form of a rushed plot, simple script and dialogue, and bland presentation.  The only instances in which I sensed any emotional investment or gravitational pull towards a character was with thd entertaining drone (his witty one liners become stale by movie’s end) and nostalgic characters from other episodes.  Simply plugging an average script into the Star Wars universe does not make for a compelling movie.

You’re left wanting more.  Rogue One feels like Disney knew they needed to deliver ice cream but they gave us vanilla.  I like ice cream, however, it’s really hard to f*ck up ice cream.

Rogue One will satisfy your Star Wars appetite until Episode VIII – but, nothing more.

Fatty to Fifty: The Path to 50 Miles

This is a brief tale of why the hell I decided to run 50 miles.  Yeah, in one day.  With my feet.

Running 50 miles for me was/is a journey and to understand how/why I decided to do something so irrational, we need to rewind a bit.

FAT SHAMING

By early 2010 I had lived in Baltimore City for nearly 3 years and had never had the need to see a personal physician.  However, a bad cold forced me to google ‘family doctor: Baltimore, MD’ and I found Vincenzo Grippo, MD.  During my first physical with my new eastern European Doctor, I had a very simple interaction – he diagnosed my illness and prescribed meducation.  He then glanced at my charts and asked me a series of questions:
‘Mr. Gowen do you smoke?’
Occasionally.
‘Mr. Gowen do you drink?’
Yes, socially (that’s an aggressive socially between you and me).
‘Mr. Gowen do you exercise?’
When I can (never)
‘Mr. Gowen how old are you?’
25
‘Mr. Gowen you are kind of fat.  A young guy like you should be more healthy.  You need to exercise, ok?’

And there it was – my new eastern European  Doctor, who I had just met, told me I was fat.  It wasn’t great to hear, but the reality was accurate – I was fat.  I had seen pictures of myself over the last year and thought ‘man, those cameras make me look puffy.’  Turns out it wasn’t the camera but the amount of things I was shoving into my face while doing little to no exercise.  I mean, I was working for a food distributor and part of the job is tasting the food, and tasting the food, and tasting the food (French fries are so damn delicious but do we need to try all 30 kinds Jon?).  As I left the exam room that day I caught a glimpse of myself in the full length mirror and immediately made a decision to change my lifestyle forever.

So what was I going to do to get in shape? Well anyone that knows my family knows that running is a way of life.  Both of my parents are accomplished ultrarunners and distance-running evets have been part of my life since I was a kid in the mid-90’s.  So, diet and running, the answers to my problems.

RUNNING
Lets be honest, running isn’t that much fun especially at the beginning.  Starting out I could only make it to Henderson’s Wharf (about .5 miles) from my house in Fells Point before I had to stop and rest.  Along my waterfront runs I would pick a lamppost just a little farther away each day to run to started setting daily and weekly mileage goal.  Pretty soon I was skipping happy hour to get my runs in (ok, just going to the bar a little later) and was knocking out 5-6 miles pretty easily.

DIET
The act of alone running didn’t get me to my goals –  it was a combo of diet and exercise (imagine that!).  Around this same point in time I came across an article on Deadspin.com written by Drew Magary about his recent battle with weight gain.

If anyone needs motivation to make a diet change in your life, give that a read.  The style of humor and personal humiliation resonated with me and maybe it will with you too. Really its just basic stuff.  Instead of chips –  yogurt.  Instead of french fries – grapes.  Instead of a sandwich – salad.  It wasn’t hard and by October 2010 I ran my first half marathon and my second came soon thereafter.

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Blog proof that Pat Jones ran a half marathon more than once.  Richmond, 2010

50 MILES?

Fast forward to 2014.

My running had progressed. I was coming off a good year in 2013, running my first marathon in October in a respectable 3:20. I began to realize something about running: it made me feel good. The physical act of running certainly didn’t, but the sense of accomplishment that came with achieving goals gave me an undeniable rush. I had completed my goal of running a marathon, so that was next?

SIDEBAR: In November of 1996 my dad competed in a little race called the John F. Kennedy Memorial 50 Mile Race, or JFK. Turns out JFK this is America’s oldest and largest ultramarathon, dating back to 1963. Since then he has finished JFK 16 times and my mom has 7 finishes under her belt.  JFK is held annually the Saturday before Thanksgiving and has been a large part of my family’s fall tradition for two decades now.  It’s a pretty great event.

JFK 50 finish with my Dad, November 2014
At this point I had found myself spending the past few years of JFK Saturdays ‘pacing’ my dad along the 26 mile section of race still with no desire to complete the race on my own (‘pacing’ is just running along with a competing runner to help them stay motivated and on pace to the finish). However, 2014 was going to be my father’s 15th JFK which would put him in the 750 mile club (50 miles x 15 years, you can do the math) which is a hell of an achievement.

For my old man, his running had recently been plagued by personal health issues and I knew that if I ever wanted to run JFK and finish alongside my father, this would be the year to do it.

SOOO, fast forward to November 22, 2014 at 7:00am in Boonsboro, MD yours truly crosses the start line in the cold (I mean really fucking cold) with my mom, sister, and pregnant wife cheering me on. The race climbs quickly to the Appalachian trail and 14 miles later descends to the C&O Canal where you get the pleasure of running 26.4 miles along the flat and seemingly endless towpath. About 8 miles before the finish the race moves to the road, winding past farms and fields until eventually ending in Williamsport, MD. I won’t bore you with the details of the day, but I will say two things: 1) It was not easy. It was actually really, really hard and I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to quit at times. It’s a long, agonizing struggle to get your body to keep moving for 50 miles and the pain starts to take a toll. 2) I will never forget it.

I shared a ‘passing of the JFK torch’ moment with my dad on the towpath section (he started the race at 5am instead of 7 so he was ahead from the beginning). I had the Gowen-family cheering section at the aid stations motivating me to the finish. And I spent hours alone on the trail wondering why I had decided to attempt this shit.

Seriously, somewhere past 35 miles going to the DMV sounds enticing.  However, NOTHING in the world has given me the feeling of accomplishment like cresting the hill on Clifton Drive in Williamsport and seeing that finish line.

I had really fucking done it – I ran 50 miles.

I ended up finishing 155 place out of 906 starters in 8 hours and 45 minutes. Now if you’re still reading I need to wrap this up somehow so…… what did I learn from all this? Well, as cliché as this is (and its really cliché but that’s why I’m a sales rep not a writer) running 50 miles taught me that through setting goals, anything is possible (if you read Greg’s post last week about powerlifting you’d see a very similar theme. Wonder why we are friends?). When people hear I ran 50 miles (maybe even you right now), they most often react with ‘you’re crazy, I could never do that’. Well, the crazy part may be partially true but the reality is that most of you/them could, it’s just about motivation and what goals you set out to achieve. Running taught me that goals are a huge driver for my personality and in turn goal setting has helped me succeed in my work and personal life as well.

So here I am in December of 2016 as the proud expectant dad of a second child and reveling in the glory of my 3rd JFK 50 finish 3 weeks ago. Do I love running now? Short answer: no. But it changed my life and there’s nothing else in the world I’d rather be doing on the Saturday before Thanksgiving than slogging through the woods of Washington county chasing another JFK finish line.

The image of the blog is the 2016 JFK finish.  It was sleeting with temperatures in the 30s.  I’m just that tough.

Living Single Part 2: Seeking Solace in Solitude

Living Single is a 4-part series outlining my encounters and revelations as a newly-single, aspiring Renaissance Nerd.  If you missed the first post, check it out by clicking here.

Single Living is a dark, scary place.

For extroverts, solitude can be terrifying.  We are a needy bunch, often relying on the company and approval of others for personal fulfillment (ask me how I know).  Alternatively, introverts may savor alone-time, but fail to utilize the opportunity for reflection and self-improvement, often finding themselves squandering months or years of their lives in a lateral pattern.

A common intersection between both personality types is our collective struggle to take advantage of isolation as an opportunity for reflection and enhancement. The path to loving oneself requires utilization of this valuable time to identify personal flaws, set life goals, and address general areas of personal development that are essential to being comfortable in your own skin.  Six months ago:

I hated being alone.  

I hated being newly single in my early 30’s.

Most of my closest friends were chugging along on Breeder Boulevard (Breeder: my pejorative term for those choosing to live the “normal” life and settling down, getting married, and procreating), and I no longer had the luxury of leaning on others to fill every free moment of my time. I had reached a fork in my road, and was faced with the decision to simply skim along life’s waters, or to carve an entirely new path, exploiting my free time to focus on cultivating my inner Renaissance Nerd.  

Below are five essential principles that I have discovered during my “alone-time”:

  1. Work Your Ass Off

My apologies Tim Ferriss, but the 4-Hour Workweek just isn’t for me (quite yet…).  Working your ass off provides a plethora of benefits to goal-oriented singles. Focusing on your work not only fills time in your day, but has the added benefit of career enhancement, sense of accomplishment, and MAKING MONEY, which is an essential factor to a successful life.  The key to managing this goal is that you work hard while maintaining a healthy work/life balance during your journey.  Additionally, making money is KEY, but keep it in perspective and don’t let the Green own you…. Remember that whole thing about stuffing a camel through the eye of a needle? (that was a Bible reference heathens…)

  1. Stop Being a Fatso
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Typical Wal~Mart

Holy f*ck.  Body Shaming Alert. Someone call the PC Police.

Listen – I’m a big dude.  

I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life.  If you are able to live a happy life with a spare tire around your midsection, more power to you.  However, if most of us are honest with ourselves, losing weight must be among our highest priorities in seeking positive physical and mental health.  We are a culture of fatsos, sheltered by social media warriors and political correctness.  Hit the brakes, remove the Twinkie from your gullet, and start working on a plan to address the elephant in the room. Being in shape feels good, looks good, and is more attractive to the opposite sex.  Oh, and as a bonus, you will actually live longer!

  1. Dump The Drinks

Here’s a factoid:  alcohol (in volume) is a DEPRESSANT… as in, it DEPRESSES you.  

Sure, it feels good to drink away your sorrows, opens up your vibrant personality, etc… But overall, it is unhealthy and contains all kinds of calories that you do not need right now while focusing on your physical and mental health.  

Looking for a compromise?  

Contain your drinking to once per week, typically Friday or Saturday night.  Try it out.  You can do it.  I’m willing to bet that after a few months, you will thank me for the pointer.  Freeing yourself from booze is rewarding, and will help you to focus on accomplishing your goals on a much more rapid trajectory.  I promise.

  1. Stop Giving a Shit What People Think

This concept is more challenging for some than others.  For me, this step (more like “leap”) was huge factor in my personal growth.  Just. Be. You.  

To aid with this exercise, pick up a copy of “Code of the Extraordinary Mind” by Vishen Lakhiani.  In this New York Times Bestseller, the author discusses “Brules” (Bullshit Rules) of life, and how to free oneself from falling into a pattern of complacency and conforming to the norm.  

There is only one “you”, and nobody knows “you” better than YOU.  Stop being a vanilla pile of mush.

Just. Be. You. 

  1. Stop Playing in the Dark

6 months in to this exercise and I have learned to love and cherish “alone-time”.

There will be lows.  There will be highs.

But… Stay the course, you’ve got this!

Work on a strategy that utilizes your moments of solitude for reflection and personal advancement, and implement the strategy to improve your life.  You do not (I repeat DO NOT) need anyone else in your life to “complete you”.  Only when you are capable of total fulfillment on your own should you consider bringing someone else into your crazy life. Chill out on dating and focus on you.

fun

F*ck.  Yes.

Our time here is short.  Stop playing (with yourself) in the dark.  There is a giant world around you waiting to be conquered.  Soak up some books.  Listen to music which inspires you.  Step out of your comfort zone and try new and exciting things. Live out the life of a “Renaissance” man/woman.  

Continuously set new goals and chase them CONSTANTLY.

Once you find the light, others will find you…

When you think all is forsaken
Listen to me now (all is not forsaken)
You need never feel broken again
Sometimes darkness can show you the light

Next in our 4 part series of Living Single – Getting Your Shit Straight.  

Stay tuned!

 

Cheers,

Rick

5 Ways to Dump a Friend: WWE Style

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

-Jim Rohn

This quote, or some variant of, makes its way around social media – ALL THE F*CKING TIME.  Yeah, me and my friends are the coolest.  Blah.  Blah.  Blah.  Well, but that one guy though…

Now, what do you do about that one guy who is no longer up to par?

Do you have a friend who needs to get lost?

Thankfully, WWE has given us timeless examples of how to dump that friend of yours who is (only) a B+ (at best) player.  You’re moving up.  You’re moving on.

Here are 5 Ways to Dump a Friend:  WWE Style.

1. Put them through a barbershop window

Everyone has a friend like Marty Jannety.  He’s just, well, boring. You pity him (especially if he has a sweet mullet, too).  His vanilla does not mix with your rocky road.

Well, you and your friend just may find yourselves in a barbershop and when you do, it is time to cut bait, and ditch your friend.  “Sorry, bro – it’s not me.  It’s you”  (He’ll leave in such shame and disgrace, that he’ll find his way out through the window.  Sidenote:  never get your hair cut from a barber if he looks like this or this.  Run.).

2.  A chair to the back of the spine

You’re the chosen one.  You’re the rightful heir to the future and present.  You find yourself in the predicament that you need to eliminate two friends at the same time.  The weaponry simply acts to neutralize the numbers advantage.

3.  Your Title/Trophy to their Face

Is your friend jealous and envious of you and your standing with your significant other?

Is your friend jealous of well – you.

Don’t take their two-face, prayer saying, vitamin eating, hard training  ways.  They’ll attempt to move-in and steal your thunder (and your girl).  Thankfully, your (Madness) ways will take matters into your own hands and your championship will find a new home -their face.

4.  Tear apart their belongings

Is your friend avoiding you at all costs?  Do they like to ghost your invitations?  “Hey man, I want a shot at the title.”  Friend:  (silence).  Bring in a new friend (his replacement) to serve as a manager and talking piece.  When you’re the 8th Wonder of the World, you do not need to talk any more than you are required.  After your new friend says what he needs, just rip off their shirt.  Your sheer intensity will cause their respective religious medallion to rip off in the process, too.  Sorry man – you should have just texted me back.

5.  Put Their Face on TV

Does your friend blatantly lie?  Do not tolerate their poor morals and character.  You can do better.  Once their head goes through a television, your message will come across loud and clear:  you are moving on.