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.

 

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Busy? You’re Not Busy – You’re Lazy

“Hey – how are you doing today?”

“Busy.”

Holy.  Sh*t.  If the next person responds to the question, “How are you doing today?” with, “Busy” I will lose my mind.

Last week within just a few hours, nearly a dozen people mindlessly recited to me that they were busy.  The hell does this even mean anymore?

Everyone is ‘busy.’  Congratulations, you’re just like everyone else in the world.

Everyone has 34,003 things on their plate.  Some more ‘important’ than others.  However, when has this word becomes a badge of honor, who is really ‘busy’ and who is just really ‘lazy?’

We’re not busy.  We are distracted.  Distracted by the notifications, the bells, and the whistles of modern conveniences and autonomy.  Thanks group text message notification, you’re killing me.

Anyways, here are four tips to become less ‘busy:’

  1. Establish the day’s priority.

Competing priorities?  Once everything becomes the priority, nothing is the priority.  When something is essential, it is a thing (not several or multiple things) that is absolutely necessary.  You can rob Peter to pay Paul, or you can tell Paul to f*ck off until you are able to pay him in full.  Congratulations Peter, you have been spared on this day.

2. No one cares.

Spare another the tale your tale of woe with your ‘busy’ day.  No one cares about your ‘Lifetime Story’ where you are you nominated for Best Actor/Actress in the leading role of the victim.  When someone asks if you are busy – smile, and say your day is going well.  More importantly, ask how their day is going.  95% chance their day is ‘busy.’

3.  Own your ‘To-Do’ List

Yeah – your boss, your sister, your blah blah blah just dumped stuff on you.  Own it.  Figure out how to get the sh*t done and don’t place the onerous on another – place it on yourself.

4.  Get off social media, email, television, and turn off notifications.

Simply detox from these’outlets’ which do not serve your purpose of No. 1.  If you’re REALLY busy but you have plenty of time to tell someone about the latest viral video from YouTube or you take endless ‘Personality’ quizzes on Facebook – this just in you’re not f*cking busy.  Also, it is quite okay to cheat on your iPhone or Galaxy with a book.  Also, turn off ALL notifications on your phone.  No one, yourself included, needs to be tethered to your device every 73 seconds in which a ‘bing’ goes off.

If you’d like to turn in your badge of honor called ‘busy,’ the world will thank you for it.  At the least, the person who asks how your day is going will be grateful.

 

 

Stoic Sunday – All In

 

Every hour of the day give vigorous attention, as a Roman and as a man, to the performance of the task in hand with precise analysis with unaffected dignity, with human sympathy, with dispassionate justice — and to vacating your mind from all its other thoughts.  And you will achieve this vacation if you perform each action as if it were the last of your life:  free, that is, from all lack of aim, from all passion-led deviation from the ordinance of reason, from pretense, from love to self, from dissatisfaction with what fate has dealt you.

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book Two, Five

F*ck.  I love this passage – a favorite of mine.  This section in ‘Meditations’ is bracketed, underlined, and bracketed again.  Each segment and thought deserves a reciting with bold intensity and careful analysis.  F*ck it, here it is again (but, this time, allow the words and their meaning to marinate):

Every hour of the day give vigorous attention, as a Roman and as a man, to the performance of the task in hand with precise analysis with unaffected dignity, with human sympathy, with dispassionate justice — and to vacating your mind from all its other thoughts.  And you will achieve this vacation if you perform each action as if it were the last of your life:  free, that is, from all lack of aim, from all passion-led deviation from the ordinance of reason, from pretense, from love to self, from dissatisfaction with what fate has dealt you.

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book Two, Five

Every hour of the day…

All the f*cking time.  Not some of time time.  All of the time.  “Pat, I like to sleep 6-8 hours a day.”  Even when you sleep.

…give vigorous attention…

None of this weak a*s, kind of attention.  We’re talking ‘all in.’

…as a Roman and as a man…

I prefer ‘as a Warrior’ but the title is irrelevant.  Principled.  Convicted.  These values are indifferent to sex.

…to the performance of the task at hand…

From the Tennis Court to the Platform – A Pursuit of Strength

This is not my thing.

I only write in order to educate my clients and the public about a topic that I find to be imperatively important in the real estate world.  I do not enjoy talking about myself – especially a weak ass tennis player former self.  But alas, my good friend Pat asked me to contribute to his blog.  Pat is literally the type of guy to book a last minute flight from California to Atlanta to come see a friend in competition – this is the least I could do.

A little background:  I am 32 years old, a husband, and a father to 3 beautiful children.  I own a real estate brokerage and a real estate investment firm.  I grew up in an upper middle class household and had an awesome childhood.  My parents have always been supportive and I was never really in a position to ‘want’ for anything.  There is a recent conception that this style of ‘easy’ or ‘privileged’ upbringing creates weak humans.  The belief that we must go through a form of extreme hardship to really test yourself or that you need a heroic story of rising through adversity to become a strong and successful person.   In my case, a good family with good role models and decent education is what I received.  I think I turned out alright…always improving…but pretty good.

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My Family (Sara, Me, Magnus & Donovan, Palmer) – August 2016

This brings me to the topic Pat asked me to focus on in this blog:  power lifting.  In general, as a kid, I was always pretty small.  I was a wrestler up until 10th grade and at 16 years old I only weighed 135lbs.  I was never the strongest kid on the mat and I never took the weight room seriously.  I was a technique wrestler who had decent hips and body control. At some point in my adolescence I stumbled onto a tennis court. I wasn’t great, but I think the little bit of athletic ability I had lent itself to being better than most kids in the area. It doesn’t hurt our high school was literally called “Cornfield High” and 95% of the kids wouldn’t be caught dead on the tennis court unless it was to chug a Budweiser before the football game.  Needless to say, I was decent at tennis.  I also didn’t take tennis that seriously.  To me, high school was all about parties and girls.

After high school, I pretty much thought my “athletic career” was over. The closest thing to a sport was golf and I played golf as an excuse to drink beer. I was totally OK with that. College at this point had me focused on the next step in my life; making money. I worked full time and went to school full time. I was mediocre at both. I carried a B average through college, had a good time and was ready to start “real life.” I tried my hand at a few corporate jobs in sales, HR and customer service. I was utterly uninspired. Shortly thereafter I got into real estate. I found a couple great young mentors to take me under their wing and I was off and running. I started reading, like legitimately reading books that no one told me I had to read. It was crazy. I started thinking bigger and started to look at aspects of my life that I was neglecting and suddenly I realized that at 21 years old I had a “dad bod” before that was even a thing. My wife (yes I was married at 21) was going to a local gym and seemed to love it.  I was skeptical, so I asked my gigantic friend Randy what I should do at the gym.  He pretty much said use some machines and do some cardio.  So that’s what I did, I went in, jogged (it might be a soft J, not sure) and then I’d do some convoluted circuit on the machines, do some pull ups, dips and some “ab work.” Then suddenly I noticed my arms getting all swole, I could do 30 pull ups and weighted dips were a breeze. So, I started getting more confident. I noticed 3 dudes who were ALWAYS there when I was there and they worked out together.  They were not the strongest gym bros who came in with their Timberlands and tank tops, but they were clearly bigger and stronger than I was but still approachable.  So I used my ridiculously charismatic charm to get permission to lift with them. The one dude, Jason, could hack squat every single plate in the gym. I got stronger just loading the damn machine for him. We did squats, leg extensions, leg curls, hammer curls, seated curls, standing curls, curls on the floor, curls in the squat rack…oh…and calf raises. Typical bro workout and I loved it. I started seeing more weights on the bar and I started noticing a difference in my body. I was hooked.

Then I moved.

I moved back to rural Carroll County and didn’t have my gym bros anymore. I went through a couple years of P90x and a few other home workouts.  Oh, and Pat Jones said “I bet you can’t run a half marathon.”  So, I fucking did it.  That was stupid.

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Pat & I after the Baltimore Half – October 2010

Then finally one of my real estate mentors, Nick told me about CrossFit and that he wanted to try it. We did some research and there was NO way we were in shape enough to go to a scary Crossfit gym where these jacked dudes did muscle ups and chicks wore sports bras to jump rope really fast. So we did the next best thing, we did the CrossFit workouts in a Golds Gym. The people there thought we were on drugs. We had stations set up and would do the sprints on the treadmill. Looking back, it was really fucking stupid. But we finally felt like we were ready to go to a real CrossFit Gym. At this time, I was probably around 220lbs and squatting maybe high 200s, benching mid 200s, deadlifting mid 3s and surprisingly overhead pressing 185lbs.  So, I wasn’t weak, but I clearly wasn’t that impressively strong either.

I remember being so freaking nervous before our first day at Crossfit Retribution.  The owner, Beau Bryant was cool, supportive and an effective coach.  I was always really good at WODs (Workout of the Days) that involved row sprints and anything heavy.  It also became apparent that I was adding strength quickly on Beau’s plan.  I was quickly pulling mid 4s, benching close to 300, pressing 200, and cleaning 300lbs.  But, I still looked like a ogre when asked to run 300 meters.  After about a year of CrossFit, sometime in 2013, Beau politely told me to go to the back room (Westminster Strength & Conditioning.)  And this was the just the beginning.

Shortly after transitioning to purely strength training, our gym organized a small local powerlifting meet in October 2013.  It was my first taste of competition. I weighed in around 255lbs and performed well.  The competition was a “Starting Strength” competition including the squat, strict press, and deadlift.  I totaled 1290 lbs. and took first place in the heavyweights.  I have always been very aware that I was a big fish in a little pond.  Our gym has some strong ass people, but there are freaks in this world and I wasn’t delusional about my numbers.

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Big Mike Jenkins at my first power lifting meet – October 2013

I continued to train and compete. I entered another local meet in a different federation that was a typical squat, bench, deadlift comp.  I totaled around 1400 lbs.  Then I wanted to test myself in a bigger, sanctioned competition.  So, in 2015, I entered the USAPL Equinox Open in the 120kg class. I had some bad ass competition including a dude who was going to pull in the mid 600’s which was still otherworldly to me. I ended up missing my 3rd attempt on bench and had to bump my 3rd attempt DL to hit my goal of 1500 and also to be able to snag 2nd place. I found a place in my mind I had never been before. A place of determination that I didn’t even know existed. I pulled 567 and took silver with a 1504 total. Now I was hooked on competition. In the fall of 2015, we had a few of our strong ladies from W&SC training for USAPL Nationals. Comparatively to these girls, I was inconsistent at best. I had excuses for everything. I was fat because that made me strong, I was inconsistent because I had a young child and 2 businesses. I had many conversations with people about how our National level lifters had more time than me etc. I just wasn’t mentally able to commit to taking it to the next level.

Then October came. I made the drive up to Scranton to watch our girls lift at Nationals. The moment I walked into the warm up room the air was thick with chalk and testosterone. The strongest people in the country all in this one hotel conference room. The staging area was littered with Instagram lifting celebrities like Chad Wesley Smith, Jesse Norris, Kim Walford, Layne Norton, LS MClain, Bryce Lewis, Jordan Feigenbaum…all the lifters I followed and tried to emulate.  Our girls did amazing and I had an amazing experience.

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Kim Walford and I at some shitty pub in Scranton

Shortly after that, I had a conversation with Beau about how I don’t have the ability to be at the same level and that training and commitment that going to nationals requires. Oddly enough, he agreed with me. He pretty much said, “Yeah, you’re a busy guy.” I’m still not sure if he was serious or if he knew subconsciously it would eat me up. Then I realized that one of my strongest abilities in business is to set and achieve goals through leverage and time blocking. If I wanted to go to Nationals…I could do it. I would just have to plan and set my goals accordingly. To go to nationals, I had to qualify and the new qualifying totals were just announced. For me to qualify in the 120 class, I’d need almost a 1600lb total. OR I could lose 30lbs of fat and qualify with a 1444 total. I chose to get skinny. So the first step was to get my food in control. I hired a girl to prep my food in accordance to Beau’s macro suggestions. I shed my weight right on pace. It was awesome. I felt better, looked better and was getting strong AF. A few weeks before my qualifying meet, The Equinox Open, my training went to shit. No idea why. All my lifts lost 30-60lbs and instead of shooting for mid 1500’s I was beginning to question if I could even hit the 1444 required to qualify for nationals.

Long story short, we made a plan on what numbers added up to exactly 1444 and we executed perfectly. I took 3rd place at Equinox and was headed to Atlanta for Nationals.

I trained my damn ass off and ate prepared meals 5 times a day for an entire year with this crazy goal. I woke up at 4:30, 3 days a week and lifted for 2-3 hours per session. Over the course of the training year, I missed only 3 training sessions. I skipped happy hours, skipped cookies and cupcakes, and even resisted pizza (most of the time).  The weeks leading up to USAPL Nationals were full of anticipation, excitement, and anxiety.  I just wanted to get to the big show.  Thankfully, I had the pleasure of watching all my fellow team mates crush it before I hit the platform.  When my time came, the copious amounts of pre-workout and anxiety caused me to lose focus on nearly everything.  My first squat attempt was a blur, the 2nd ended with me accidentally dumping the weight – potentially merit for disqualification.  Thankfully, USAPL was forgiving and allowed me to continue.  I amazingly recovered and hit my 3rd attempt.  I finished going 6/9 on the day and a 1500lb total.

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3rd Squat Attempt 540lbs – October 2016

I learned a lot in Atlanta.

I learned that I’m not invincible in competition and not impervious to nerves.  Overall, Atlanta was amazing. I lifted on the same platform as my lifting idols and can now say that I’m in the top 10% of USAPL lifters in my weight class.   I will be back and I’m after a 1600lb total.

A good friend once told me, “happiness = progression.”  Powerlifting is one of the purest and simplest ways to see progression.  You can see progression over years, months and even days, and it’s an easy formula:

Get your ass in the gym.  Put more weight on the bar.  Don’t be a pussy.

fPat & I after all my lifts were done

9 Books of 2016 Every Leader Must Read

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

-Harry S. Truman

I firmly believe in this quote by HST.

As a leader, ‘self-development’ is not intended for you.  Self development is for the people who look to you for guidance.  Those of whom you lead, deserve your absolute best in every capacity – morally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

This not only refines your ability to lead, but, most importantly, your ability to serve those whom you lead.

These 9 books, all released in 2016, will make you, not only a better leader, but a better person.  Accompanying each recommendation is a video (a little ‘hack’ to save you the time) which highlights the main takeaway of each work.

Each work will challenge you.  They will challenge your perspective.  They will challenge your past.

They will force you to reflect.  Reflect on your experiences.  Your successes.  Your failures.  Your shortcomings.  Your victories.  These books will make your 2017 better than your 2016.

Let me know your thoughts, and any recommendations you have in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Ego is the Enemy

Tribe

When Breath Becomes Air

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Deep Work

Originals

Peak

Grit

Code of the Extraordinary Mind