Things are always uncomfortable before they are comfortable.

I’m not a whiz kid.  I was never at the top of my class, and I checked in for the team that was more interested in engaging in extreme acts of excitement and exploration rather than dedication to tradition.  I’ve done some terrible things that will sit heavy the rest of my life, and I’ve done some amazing things that drive me toward continued growth as a meaningful person, an understanding spirit, and an activist toward healing the depravity in humanity.  With the negatives, the experiences always sprout into change for the better. Self Evaluation.

When you wake up face down in an apartment that you’ve never been to – an apartment that is completely empty – without furniture – it doesn’t feel very satisfying.  The first thought is “Oh my god- I have AIDS now.”  Then – “Where the hell am I?” Then- “Wow, I’m lucky to be alive.  Anything could have happened.” Then- “Yea- I definitely have AIDS now.”

No offense to those that have AIDS, but this is a reality.

It’s enough to shift your train of thought and consider the consequences of being careless and abusive to your mind and body.  I used to think it was an accomplishment to be able to drink copious amounts of alcohol to the extent of disgusting the entire country of Ireland.  It’s entirely okay to be upset with the 70% of college students that blow thousands of dollars in student loan money each semester on Evan Williams, Bush Light, and Tylenol.  The home of the brave- America, fuck yea.

We learn from the experiences, and they are definitely powerful, but it’s crazy for me to think about those days and how much they handicapped and delayed what we all truly desire in life- meaning.  If I had spent those four years educating myself, reaching out to mentors, and creating to the extent that I have been the last six months- I’d be traveling the world right now- making a difference in every way possible. But I didn’t.

The time is now.

I’m not going to lie around and cry and poop my pants everyday because I’m upset with my past.  I can’t change it.  What I can change is my future, and that is the only thing that deserves my attention now.  It’s truly disturbing how, as average humans, we ponder on sorrow for ourselves and experiences from the past to the extent of letting it fill the rest of our lives with misery.  This type of mindset is proven to have a negative effect on others we spend our time around.  We shouldn’t be okay with letting this happen, we should naturally desire to selflessly and continuously add value to lives of others.  My past does not equal my future, and yours doesn’t either.

You have 2 options:

  1. You can live your life holding onto the past, making excuses, feeling sorry for yourself.
  2. You can accept that you can’t change the past, accept your current situation, and take action to slowly build the life you love.

Get off the tit and work! We are too old to be breast feeding.  Do something for yourself.

If you feel pity for yourself, or if you need some serious inspiration, I highly recommend checking out Episode 16 of the podcast with Hal Elrod.  He literally was hit head on by a drunk driver and literally declared dead for six minutes.  He then battled a diagnosis with paralysis and permanent brain damage- something that would send nearly 99.9% of people into severe depression forever.  What did he do? He accepted that he couldn’t change the situation, and he decided to be as positive as possible and embrace the life he still had in the best way possible. He chose the 2nd option.  Nine days later he took his first step, followed by an ultra marathon later in life.  Hal then wrote the book, The Miracle Morning, that sparked the fire inside me to recreate my life.

It doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s some of the hardest work in the world.  I’m not even close to being where I want to be, but I’m telling you that every day gets a little better, and my smile gets a little bigger.  I don’t have a perfect life, and I never asked for one, but I am fully aware that anything and everything I do in this moment is going to directly affect what happens in the next.  Because of this, I can shape my future in any way I please- and I am.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you choose to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Everything is difficult before it’s easy, and everything is uncomfortable before it’s comfortable.  All it takes is the commitment to action.” – Hal Elrod

By simply reaching out to others and asking for help, I have been able to re-evaluate my perception on this world and the meaning of life from an angle that most people will never understand; although I want everyone to understand.  It all started with stepping out of my comfort zone and gettin’ a little funky with life.  It only takes one person to set off an infectious reactor in your mind that will drive you to be the person you truly love.  Becoming that person is your purpose in life.

It all starts when you stop wishing.

I remember when I “wished” I could get up earlier in the morning and run, relieve my stress, plant a garden, make more money, travel the world, create stronger relationships with my family and friends, make mobile applications, make a podcast, rack cheddar cheese like Project Pat…then BOOOOOM.

I buried myself in so much shit that all the baby wipes in the world couldn’t get me out.  Oh- you thought you were the only one?

Take action and push yourself to become the person you “wish” you were.  The brain works in patterns and is comfortable with habits, but it’s capable of reformatting itself whenever YOU decide.  I’ve clearly decided to become a champion.

shorts

My Champion Outfit

One of the most grind-out eye-opening methods I’ve been practicing is slowly simplifying my life.  I am removing objects that I have some sort of “material attachment” with and replacing them with activities or actions to reach my goals or visions of my future, like reading, education, giving, meditating, exercising, and relationship building.  With this, I am eliminating worldly distractions which directly results in less decisions and more productivity.  You will be astonished when you discover how much you really don’t miss your television.

We live in a world flooded with so much junk and materialistic bullshit that we forget that there is still a reality.  We lose touch with our relationships, we trade our family and friends for iPhone screens and “reality” television, and we slowly commit suicide while living vicariously through celebrity relationship drama.

If you spend even a second admiring someone else’s life, you are inevitably spitting in your own face and delaying the life that you should be building.  Everything starts with accepting yourself and being thankful for what you have.  If you want to then take that situation and make it different, you have to be willing to do something different first.  Get back in touch with the world- build up some positive energy- and fill the story of your life with meaning.

“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are.  You trade in your reality for a role.  You trade in your sense for an act.  You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask.  There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.” – Jim Morrison

Sacrifices I have made since I started my personal revolution:

  • Eliminating household distractions that I used to “depend” on one by one, including television, excessive clothing, leisure items, furniture, electronics, appliances and more.  This has freed up about two hours in my day.
  • Sleep. Yea okay- I absolutely love sleep too- and I believe we all need a certain amount for our brains and bodies to function correctly- but it’s capped at 8 hours.  I went from waking up at 7 am to waking up at 4 am, and I now get more done before 7 am than I used to in an entire day.  This type of progress early in the morning sets the pace for the entire day, and I have now become three times more productive knowing all the mischievous things I was doing while you were sleeping. 
  • Bars.  I’m a normal fun dude who likes to party, but I used to take it to the extreme not even realizing how much it was affecting my life.  When I sat down and analyzed the money I was spending, it was easily 20% of my earnings on restaurants and bar tabs. This doesn’t mean I can’t have fun- it means I get to have MORE fun.  I realized by cutting back my bar and restaurant visits to 2-3% of my earnings, I could save a SHITLOAD of money.  I now take that money and plan trips on my bucket-list extensively.  This year alone, I have taken trips to San Diego, La Jolla, and New Orleans, and have planned and paid for Lake Tahoe, Beverly Hills/ LA, and Costa Rica for New Years, all with the money I once blew on booze and greasy food.  I have also attended excessive amounts of music and art festivals paid for with this same money.
  • Hobbies – Not all sacrifices are good, but I wanted to note this and be completely honest for a reason.  There are things that you might love that will slip under the carpet when making these transitions, but the mindset is that you will learn to organize and structure so well that these things will return in the future at a higher rate than before.  I have given up some amazing things and neglected time with my best friends and family, but I’ve learned how to optimize my time and eliminate painful tasks 10-fold along the way.  This has already spit bundles of free time back in my face while increasing my productivity drastically.  I can now start working my hobbies and relationships back into the mix and it feels so so so good.

Accomplishments since recreating my inner champion:

  • Increased my sales and revenue from my day job (working 8-10 hours a day)
  • Started two side companies (Lexington Web Solutions & Greenstring Inc)
  • Launched a new website (Artsynow.com)
  • Launched a podcast interviewing inspiring creatives all over the world
  • Discovered the stress relieving and life changing power of meditation
  • Joined an App Mastermind group with a hugely successful mentor in London
  • Initiated the Artsy Now Foundation to help inspire children to follow their dreams and discover the amazing possibilities of life
  • Ran 122 miles in 2 months and planning on 350 by the end of the year (pushed up my previous goal of 200 for this year)
  • Traveled more than I ever have
  • Planned out several cross world trips for next year
  • Completely eliminated fast food from my life

No it wasn’t easy. I have worked my pale white ass off from 4:00 in the morning to 11:00 at night every night.  If we only do things we feel like doing, we will never do things we dream of.

Most important things I’ve learned so far:

Good things happen to those that give.

I love helping people more than anything in the world and it really does come back in ways you could never imagine.  Give. Give. Give. Give. Give. Party with your pants down.

Going to college for money rather than passion is a HUGE mistake.

Take initiative to do what you love early and the money will build around it.  Then, you can use that money for awesome things instead of buying copious amounts of alcohol to numb your hatred for life.

Scheduling is the most powerful tool ever when implemented correctly.

Plan each day by selecting the two main goals you want to accomplish for the day and designate blocks of time to complete those tasks. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a giant to-do list- They only cause procrastination and hemorrhoids.

Focus on the right things.

Eliminate the filler tasks that aren’t leading toward your goal.  Being insanely efficient at useless tasks really isn’t that cool.

Attitude is everything.

When I’m pissed or upset, I accomplish nothing and cause stress to those around me.  When I’m positive and accepting, I beast mode productivity like a champion and make people smile.

Taking breaks and clearing the mind is crucial.

I recommend the Pomodoro Technique which implements 25 minute blocks of pure concentration followed by a 5 minute break- over and over.  This was recommended to me by Josh Earl, a huge inspiration to me.

Meditation is sacred and more powerful than you think.

Decisions can paralyze you.

The easiest option is to flip a coin because as soon as it’s in the air- guess what? – You immediately know what you REALLY want regardless of the outcome.  Choose yourself.

Be Yourself

Don’t filter, hold back, or change the way you relate to the world because of external influences.  You are you for a reason, and it’s the person everyone loves.  If you want to pogo stick across the United States with only your tube socks on- much respect. Be all the David Bowie you can be.

Money doesn’t grow on trees, and the process is much longer and harder than you think.

Quit being a baby and get off that tit.  Put in the effort and the cheddar cheese will come.  You can be a baller after-all. #OG

Education is your savior.

There is no excuse for this one.  You have the internet…..

Never wait for the perfect tool.

Making an excuse because you lack a tool is bullshit.  Suck it up, find the dedication, and then put in the time.  If you don’t have the dedication in the first place, the tool won’t even matter.  After you realize this, you’ll be able to work towards purchasing those tools.

Write down your ideas.

They can be distracting, but taking a break and writing them down will flush them out of your head and allow you to focus on your main tasks for the day.  You can return to the ideas later.

Failing is better than quitting.

You should always try and finish your projects, even if it requires writing them off as failures.  Those failures will be the foundation of your success.

Find humor in EVERYTHING.

No matter what situation arises, try looking at it and laughing.  It will blow your mind how much this method can change your life.

I will be covering each of these topics in depth in the future- keeping you updated on exactly what I am doing and why.  I promise to make you smile too.

For now, ponder on those thoughts and start thinking about the changes you can make in your life.  I want to help open your eyes to what is possible, but I also want you to see that nothing just happens overnight.  An overnight success takes 10 years in the making, and I’m just in the beginning.

It’s time to get out there and take some action!  Do a little boogie woogie!  Do a little nudie pogo-stick dance!  High-five the neighbors that hate you!  Return some emails from five years ago and attach this picture of Borat in your signature.

borat

Order the biggest, blackest coffee with a long pause between “blackest” and “coffee.”  Get funky & creative with life. You only have one shot.

Plus, if you don’t work- Project Pat will take extreme offense and hunt you down.  Choose Wisely.

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