Changes

I’ve been thinking about what to do with my website here. Should I keep it, get rid of it. I’ve written so many articles on it that it seems like it would be a shame to just get rid of it. On the other hand, there are some things that I don’t like about the website either and I don’t have a good answer for it.

My header image is outdated. This is not the website of a technology developer. It is much more about my life and thoughts than anything technology related. Yes, I work in tech and know how to write programming code, but the focus of my website has always been my learning and thoughts about life.

I’ve turned off comments on articles older than 90 days. It’s just becoming too much of a pain to moderate comments, especially on the articles where they are coming in constantly. Still, having comments on articles that are new for 90 days seems OK to me.

My back has been feeling OK recently. By OK, I mean I can walk and maybe even speed walk, light jog. But I can still feel my nerve go haywire if I do anything crazy. The vertebrae joint and disc are shot – they are degraded to the point that one day, the disc will be gone and it will just be bone on bone. I don’t want to have to wait for a visit to the ER and emergency surgery for a slipped vertebrae to crush a nerve…

I’ve been reading a lot about healing my back pain naturally. Definitely, my mind seems to play a major role in my pain and stress. I also believe that there is physics involved with my back, that eventual gravity and pressure are going to wear my vertebrae together and I’m not interested in that happening.

I’m scheduled for a spinal fusion on my L5S1 part of my spine July 22. I live alone, so I don’t have a solution yet for how I will be taken care of. In the mean time, I’ve been doing what I can to heal my back naturally. I’ve learned a lot about my mind and some of the issues I have in how I think about things.

I’m going to seek out a new header for my website here. I’m going to write more about things that the market wants. For whatever reasons, the market wants stuff about twin flames. Personally, I find the subject a bit taxing and like a horse that has been beaten to death. Yet, that’s what the people want, so should I write about that, or just the things I feel like writing about. Decisions, decisions.

That’s about it. I was seriously contemplating deleting my entire website and cancelling my hosting server contract. It’s been a few dark months laying in my bed and feeling my body waste away. The call to press on is strong though and I will do the best I can. My writing this article is pretty lackluster. The pacing and wording is sub-par. But, at least I wrote an article and made an attempt :)

Life

I Bring Life and Hope – Alexstrasza, the LifeBinder (a powerful dragon)

Yesterday, I spoke about death. Nothing is always one-sided in life. This morning, working with a physical therapist, I felt a bit of life return to me. Now, it could just be my Lumbar Epidural shot blocking nerve pain. I don’t quite know what it all looks like in my lower back even after MRI’s. I still feel tingling and nerve impairment in my lower back. I still have some soreness. But, what I’m realizing is that even if I’m feeling those effects in my body, that I can still move. I can still think. I can still charge forward as a leader. I’m very young still at 38 and feel I have so much more life to live.

I have 12 people I manage at work. My job is to lead them to complete important company projects on time and on budget. I don’t always succeed at this. Sometimes things take longer. What I am witnessing with my people made me cry while I was at home today laying in my bed. They are inspired that I am still coming in to work. They are self organizing together, setting up meetings with our product and marketing people, and pushing forward as I do the best to lead them as a wounded general.

I watched a video of NBA basketball finals moments today. I was touched in particular by Isiah Thomas, a point guard for the Detroit Pistons who played with them in the 1980’s and 1990’s. In the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics, Isiah threw a pass that was stolen by Larry Bird, who then passed to Dennis Johnson for a layup, beating the Pistons. I watched how devastated Isiah was. He spoke about how he was the leader of the team and he let everyone down.

The next year, in game 6 at the Los Angeles Lakers, his ankle was hurt. He sat out for a bit, but couldn’t stand to watch his team lose. He came back in for the 3rd quarter and scored 25 points on a hobbling ankle in that quarter alone. That’s an astonishing basketball feat. I remember watching him in an interview crying when he recalled that game. Though the Pistons lost, he felt he did all he could and the Pistons went on to win two NBA titles the following two years.

Life comes after death. The new comes after the old. I’m shedding a part of me again, with this intense lower back issue I am having. I am finding my voice. I am finding my emotions. I am finding all the things that I bottle up and seeing them come to the surface. I know that I have to face the demons that are my emotions and the things that make me angry. I’m terrified of getting angry. My father’s anger abused me as a child and I’ve been afraid of anger and confrontation ever since.

But I can no longer be afraid of anger, confrontation and facing it. My body cannot continue to absorb these emotions. My backbone is literally deteriorating as a result of me silencing myself. This is the major lesson I am learning through my back problems. That I cannot keep quiet and silent. I must fight for myself. I must fight for my team at work. I must voice what makes me upset and angry.

What’s interesting is I have friends now that want to hear me share these things. They don’t look at me as needy for being angry, sad, or frustrated. They are there for me and believe in helping each other. I’m learning that it is not needy to speak up what you are feeling. It is not needy to share what is on your mind and ask for answers. It is human to do so. We all want clarity and understanding. I’ve learned that it is selfish to turn people away in need – notwithstanding that each person should learn to be a self sufficient person in life – but human-kind should be there for each other to buoy each other up.

I’m learning some wonderful lessons lately and starting to undo some of the negative and damaging things that I thought were truth from my childhood and even from the last couple years.

Death

Every man dies. Not every man really lives. – William Wallace, Braveheart

I would be lying if I said I hadn’t thought heavily on death the last month and a half. When you are laying on your back and struggling to move, the mind has a funny way of making up stories about what might happen. Death is something you don’t think of when you are healthy and able to run around and function at a high level. When your body feels like it is constantly being tortured, you start to wonder what is going to happen to you – at least, that is what I’ve been thinking about.

I don’t know what is going to happen to me. By the end of work today, I was exhausted, having only slept for two hours the night before. I’m battling Insomnia, which is causing me issues in and of itself. I don’t say this to seek your pity either. I don’t want your pity – take it somewhere else. But I do say it so that someone else going through an experience where their back is jacked up can see that other people are going through it too.

I have a lot of pent up emotion – frustration, anger, sadness. I don’t express it because I seek to keep the peace with people. In my marriage, I sought to keep the peace and in the end, I lost my spine – figuratively and now literally it would seem. I gave away a fortune in my divorce and was still asked to give away more money even after that. That frustrates me.

Yet, I take solace in that I lived a pretty active life this last year and a half, almost two years now, on my own. I really put myself out there and had a lot of great experiences. I’m not sitting here in my bed wondering if I gave life a good shot. I certainly did. Do I have regrets? Sure. But I’ve found that you can always look at your life and see things that you might have done better or put more effort in. It is just the way of things.

I hope to live forever. However, my recent physical struggles have given me a healthy dose of reality. My life may not last as long as I would like it to. Mr. Grim Reaper may decide to claim me before my time. If that is to be the case, I take comfort in knowing that I made a choice to follow my heart and gut, even if in the end, it led me to an early death.

And what is death really? A release from the consciousness of the physical form we all take? Perhaps it is the traveling of our souls to another plane of existence. Or perhaps we just cease to exist. Whatever the fate of death is, I say come what may. I chose to make a brave decision and live my life to the fullest as best as I know how the last year and a half. And that to me is good enough.

My Strategy to Heal My Back

I’m very focused right now on my lower back and getting it healed. In order to have it heal, I am going to have to take action. Based on what I’ve been researching, there is no silver bullet to fix it. There are a variety of opinions, thought patterns, exercises, and surgeries that can make an attempt to fix it. Because I don’t see a sure fire way to fix it, I’ve got to try a number of things. To show my strategy for healing my back, I’m going to adopt a process my current day job is using: Objective and Key Results (OKR). I’m going to include a problem statement before I go over the objective. Here goes:

Problem

My lower back is severely limiting my ability to bend, run, sit, drive, play basketball, hike, go to the gym, and my sleep.

Objective

To have a healthy, functional lower back that allows me to live an active lifestyle and sleep normally – avoiding surgery if possible.

Deadline

Before December 31, 2016

Key Results

  • I can sleep 8 hours straight in a night.
  • I can bend down and put all my clothes on without pain and without help.
  • I can jog for a mile in 10 minutes without pain..
  • I am able to drive to work, work a full day, and drive home without pain.

Measurement of Key Results

The measurement of success for the key results is very easy. Each one will either be accomplished or not accomplished. I have until the end of the year to achieve this. Let’s go over what I can do to make this happen.

I can sleep 8 hours straight in a night

Action Items

  • Get my desk out of my bed room (Do this tomorrow, 6/5/2016).
  • Get a dark cover for my blinds (Order this on Amazon by 6/5/2016).
  • Play soft music before I go to bed each night (Do this every night).
  • Do not eat food after 7:00 PM (Do this every night).

These are very doable action items. They don’t have much to do with my back, but as I do the work to heal my back, this will help my room become a comfortable place to sleep.

Measurement of Success

Measuring success will be fairly easy. I will set an alarm for 7 AM and retire to bed at 10 PM. This gives me an hour to fall asleep. If I wake up at anytime before the alarm goes off, then I have failed for that night.

I can bend down and put all my clothes on without pain and without help

Action Items

  • Buy a grasping stick from Amazon to help me in the short term (already ordered).
  • Do light stretching of my body, back, and legs every morning for 10 minutes (daily).
  • Lay on my stomach for 5 minutes (daily).

These simple action items are meant to loosen up my body and to help my disk in my spine reverse what it is doing.

Measurement of Success

Success here is very simple. I am able to easily put on my socks, underwear, a pair of pants, and a shirt without any help, and without having to make any major modifications to how I am bending to get dressed. If I’m unable to do this, I have not met this key result.

I can jog a mile in 10 minutes without pain

Action Items

  • Begin walking around my neighborhood block every morning for 10 minutes (daily).
  • Reduce caloric intake and lose 20 pounds (deadline: July 31, 2016).
  • Start using an elliptical machine for 10 minutes, 3 times a week (Mon., Wed., Fri., starting July 1, 2016).
  • Begin physical therapy a couple times a week (start: June 8, 2016).

These are simple and measurable action items with assigned dates. This biggest part of this will be starting my morning off right by doing the walking as well as the stretching in the key result above it.

Measurement of Success

Before the year ends, I am able to jog for a mile in 10 minutes without pain. I should feel just as good as I did before the run as I do after it.

I am able to drive to work, work a full day, and drive home without pain

Action Items

  • Read the book, “Healing Back Pain” by John Samo (before June 30, 2016).
  • Incorporate releasing my feelings daily by writing them in my personal journal (every night before bed).
  • Whenever someone says or does something I don’t like, don’t hide it in my mind – acknowledge that I am upset (as it comes, write about it).
  • Positively reinforce myself through speech and thought for 5 minutes every morning and night (starting June 5, 2016).

These action items are quite doable. In order to achieve this result, I’m focusing on the mind-body connection that I’ve read about so far in the book mentioned here.

Measurement of Success

I drive to work, work a full day until 5 PM, and drive home and feel just as good as I did before work – assuming I felt good before work :)

Conclusion

To accomplish my objective of having a healthy lower back without surgery, I’ve outlined some things I believe I can do. Ultimately, I will be visiting with the surgeon’s assistant on June 13, 2016, to go over options there. Surgery may be a foregone conclusion. However, I believe I have a very healthy strategy here to conquer this back pain without needing surgery. It includes the following key actions:

  • Daily walking, stretching, and light exercise
  • Knowledge through reading
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Acknowledgement of all feelings – especially anger, sadness, etc…
  • Adjusting my diet and losing weight.

It is my hope that through this strategy and taking action that I will make a vast improvement in how my lower back feels and ultimately conquer it without surgery. If it doesn’t work, I will know I’ve done all I can and can go into a surgery with confidence.

The Heart of a Champion – Let the Pain Speak to You

I’m listening to the song, “Heart of a Champion” by Nelly right now and it resonates with me. Why? I am going to do whatever the fuck it takes to heal from this back ailment and come back stronger than ever. I will go through whatever pain and hell I need to. This back issue is fucking unacceptable and I will not allow myself to be a damn cripple. I am going to heal this fucking piece of shit back of mine.

This morning I had a Lumbar Epidural in my lower back, which was done directly in the nerve that is being irritated and impinged in my lower back. I didn’t know what to expect when I went in. i just knew it was recommended by a surgeon to try and relive the pain I am in.

I had to get on my stomach on an operating table. Just doing that brought me to tears, but I was able to make it happen. Once the doctor came in, he started to ask me questions. I knew he was trying to distract me while he stuck the needle in my lower back. After about 10 seconds, I felt an initial jolt of nerve pain and it hurt. A few seconds after that, everything changed for me in how I view pain and tolerance.

The needle shifted to the right side of my nerve, which is severely irritated right now. I can barely walk at the moment. When I felt the injection hit the nerve, it was a pain unlike anything else I’d ever experienced. I’ve had broken fingers, broken arms, a kidney stone, a prior lower back surgery, but the pain I experienced for about 15 seconds straight was at another level.

When it hit my nerve, it was like my nerve in my lower back and going down my right leg was in a fire and being expanded with a bellows all at the same time. It tensed up my entire body and all I could do was scream and cry – over and over. I cried like a little baby and I felt like I was right next to the nerve in my body. I could not hear the doctor’s words trying to comfort me. I was just wracked with pain that I didn’t know was possible. Within those 15 seconds, I flooded the bed I was on with tears and yelled as loud as I’d ever yelled before – a cry for help and relief from the pain.

The pain spoke to me. My body spoke to me through the pain. It told me i can endure. It told me that I am strong. It told me that I am one of the special souls in this world. It told me to never accept any kind of shit or mistreatment from anyone. It told me that I am going to do some great things that impact a large number of people. It told me to FUCK all those people who can’t see me for who I am. The pain spoke to me deeply.

It did eventually end. And god it hurt like fucking hell. And if I knew I had to do it again to be healed, I would gladly do it again… I will know in a couple days if this injection is going to help or not. I can go back if I need to. I’m going to be starting physical therapy as well. I AM GOING TO BEAT THIS SHIT! Either through mental force of will and modern medicine or through surgery. It’s going to happen.

Here’s the song that Nelly wrote. I imagine he wrote it while he was under intense pain or pressure. Either way, that is what the song means to me – I will rise above this challenge and conquer it through sheer force of will and utilizing all that is around me to do so. You hear this my lower back. Fuck you. You answer to me now.

Healing My Back

I’m visiting a place in West Jordan, Utah, today to look at getting an artificial disc in my lowest vertebrae for my spine. I’m also working to see a well renowned neurosurgeon, Howard Reichman in Provo, Utah. Beyond that, I am doing my best to rest my back and heal it naturally and reading a book a friend recommended about healing back pain. I remember 6 1/2 years ago nothing working for me except a surgery. We’ll see if this time holds true as well. In the end, my nerve is getting hit by my disc and until that pressure is relieved, I’m going to be somewhat crippled and on medication.

I’ve done my best to be grateful for my health. I love running, hiking, and especially playing basketball. I enjoy yoga and going to the gym tp lift weights. All of that came to a halt over a month ago when I woke up one morning and knew in an instant that my nerve was being hit again – and an MRI told the story. My disc is herniating again. Here’s the MRI:

april_2016_mri

That’s my spine in my lower back. You can see that the disc at the bottom is thinning (from my previous surgery removing part of it), and it is again sticking out and hitting my nerves. It’s debilitating. I’m unable to run or do the things I love to stay physically active.

I want to heal this naturally, but I’m also a student of reality. I know that as long as my nerves are being hit, my body will continue to be in pain and I will feel the pain going down my left leg. A couple other discs seems to be slightly bulging out as well, but nothing nearly as bad as the bottom disc.

The saying is true – if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. I’m taking prescription medication right now to help me sleep and deal with the anxiety that comes with this. I don’t like having to do it. Being doped up on medication impairs my ability to think clearly and I don’t want to become dependent on it. Still, without it, I don’t know what I’d be doing. This past weekend I was awake for two days straight before driving myself to the ER and getting the prescription.

I’m spending many days in my bed right now, resting my back and contemplating my options here. Life is definitely a little uncertain for me right now, but I’ve got to keep moving forward. I have two wonderful daughters who I love and who need their dad. I’m going to get some help from a friend of mine this weekend. She’s going to stay with me for a week to make sure I am taken care of and help me with scheduling my appointments. I don’t like to ask for help, but in this case, I need help. I can’t fight this on my own very well.

When I was in my early 20’s, I had no concept of what my spine was or the discs in it. I didn’t need to. It’s only when something goes wrong or doesn’t work out that you begin to get the education in that area. I find that fascinating that me (and humans in general), learn the most when something goes wrong, not when things are going right :)

If you’re having any sort of back pain, learn the anatomy of your body. Seek out as many perspectives as you can. I’m reading a book recommended by my friend Sam, Healing Back Pain (by John Sarno), and will see what insights I can learn there. In the end, I may still need to have surgery, but having more knowledge is never a bad thing.

So for you, who may be having difficulties with your body. I’m there right now. It’s tough. And only those who have gone through what you are going through really understand. Hang in there, and we’ll get through this.

30 Percent Comes From This One Page

I was looking at my site traffic statistics today. I’ve written nearly 700 articles now. 30 percent of my daily traffic goes to one page. One page of nearly 700. That is .15 percent generating 30 percent of my traffic and value on my website. To put this in a different perspective, I could have spent the few hours writing that one page to generate that amount of traffic and simply not written any other articles. I’m marveled by this ratio – like the Pareto Principle, and it seems to be unavoidable. That whatever you do, there is only going to be a very small percent of that work that sticks and resonates with others.

So why this one page? Well, I wrote it with emotion and feeling. It also resonated with others who are going through a similar experience. This satisfies the market demand. People are thirsting for information and answers regarding these highly emotional situations and connections.

I’m a bit torn with this actually. If you go to the page, the power of the twin flame, and read the comments, there’s some pretty far out there comments and people whose minds are playing some tricks on them. People who are in a desperate place. However, I was once there. I once believed as they did that there was something otherworldly and mystical about it. Our emotional state is like a magnifying lens and it creates reality for us. Human emotion along with our senses creates reality. Now that it has been some time and I’ve been able to detach from the experience and see it from neutral eyes, I can think more logically and from a position where I’m not compromised.

I can say that the experience just seems to be there – constantly – in my mind. Sort of like a cat that has decided to rub up against you and you come to terms that the cat isn’t going anywhere. With the experience that happened to me, there was definitely a highly emotional situation – and with any highly emotional situation, that will create a lasting imprint on your brain. Think back to any highly emotional situation, such as where you were on September 11, 2001. I bet you can recall where you were and what you were doing when you heard, read about, or saw the terrorist attacks on TV.

And so, I live with the experience in my mind. I’ve accepted that it is part of me and that there is no way to do a permanent delete from my brain of it. I tried :) So I accept it and move forward with my life. I find great comfort and strength in myself that I can have such a highly emotional situation happen to me, yet still live according to my own standards in how I believe I should be treated. It has helped me “grow some balls” if you will to put my own standards for myself above anything else. Hurray for personal growth :)

So think about all that you are doing and creating. And know, that there’s a chance that one thing will stand out above all others in your life. And for whatever mystery, that one thing is what other people will be most interested in – whether you like it or not.

The Challenge of Trying to Get Scheduled for Surgery on My Back

I’m laying down in my bed right now and the past week has been incredibly frustrating for me. You see, I’m trying to get an appointment scheduled with a neuro-surgeon, Dr. Reichman, a nationally renowned neurology surgeon so that he can take a look at me and get me officially scheduled for a surgery.

My current doctor’s office in Provo, Utah, is doing a terrible job of making this happen – or, I’m doing something wrong. I’ve called dozens of times to get the information I need sent over to Dr. Reichman’s office, but either my doctor’s office medical assistants don’t do it, send over incomplete information, or send the information to the wrong place.

Here I sit today, getting ready to call both places – my doctor’s office and Dr. Reichman’s office, to see if the right things have been sent. Each day that this is delayed is another day for my spinal nerves to have pressure put on them by my disc. It’s a little discouraging, I have to admit.

What makes it so hard to send information from one place to the next? I left a very clear message to my doctor’s office to send my referral, MRI results, and demographics to Dr. Reichman’s office at Utah Neurological Clinic. Apparently, this task is not so easy, or I am failing in how I am communicating this…

I like being positive – seeing the good in life. In this case, I look at myself introspectively. I ask questions. Does the universe just not want me to have surgery? Am I just not assertive enough to make things happen?

I think about my lack of assertiveness. One of my weaknesses is lack of aggression and assertiveness. I fear causing too much trouble for people so I will often take a step back and sacrifice my own well being for it. I did it when I got divorced, giving much more away to my ex-wife than I had to legally. Many have told me that I shouldn’t have done that, yet there is a part of me that believes in being a peace maker, generous, and a kind and good person. Even if that means I am taken advantage of by others.

Some part of me asks myself in this situation – should I put up a stink and let the people at the doctor’s office have it for being slow and inaccurate? Or should I hold off and choose the path of peace and kindness? My life and ability to function are on the line, yet even with that, I find myself choosing to have empathy, kindness, and love as opposed to getting angry at the situation and people involved.

I also pay attention to my tone of voice and word choice. I always look to see if I am being too negative in a situation. I think a negative attitude can drain you and those around you. I think you can actually have a good attitude even in the face of very difficult things. The good attitude says this is how reality is and how can I make it better?

Here’s to hoping I get my surgery worked out soon. My leg is slowly getting more numb and weak and I don’t like the thought of having nerve damage in it. Have a good day to you who may have read all of this! :)

A True Team Mate and My Path of Self Discovery

I had a fantastic weekend and took a couple days off of work. I had a friend come over and help take care of me. I got a new vacuum, cleaned up my apartment, and relaxed, focusing on me – I needed it. I’m very grateful to her for coming to see me and am glad I know her – she’s awesome.

I’ve thought a lot about what I want for myself. I’m on a path of self discovery. This path is the most important thing to me right now. I need the freedom to explore whatever that path means to me. If that means experimenting with marijuana edibles, so be it. If it means exploring a threesome with two girls or having many girlfriends, then so be it. If it means I need to barricade myself and do research for hours on end, that is what it is. Whatever this path I am on is the absolute most important thing to me because I know that for me to become who I am meant to be, I’ve got to go through the experiences and experimentation to do so.

I’ve thought about what a true team mate is – I see that happening some time in my future (I don’t know when), where me and a woman form a dynamic duo team. A team mate who fully supports me and my journey. A team mate who would fully support me and my back situation right now with full care and love. A true team mate who doesn’t disconnect from me because she doesn’t know how to communicate. For those disconnectors, slow faders, or shitty communicators, I’m flat out disgusted with those women. Every single one of them. Why would I want to spend an ounce of energy on someone who doesn’t see me as I am and wants to be a loyal team mate?

This realization is a very important part of my journey – a piece of the puzzle. And that realization is that anyone who doesn’t treat me with respect, kindness, love, admiration, and a strong desire to support me on my journey can go suck an egg or take a hike ;) I’m sure there are other pieces of the puzzle to my journey to come. In particular, the issue I am having with my back continues to test and teach me. I’m sure I will learn even more after I have surgery.

That’s what I’m thinking about – what do I want in a team mate and what am I going to learn on this path I am on. It is the most important thing to me right now.

So, I Was Thinking

So, I was thinking today about my back and my surgery that I’ll need to have. And let’s say I go to the hospital and I get poked and have the IV in me and then have the mask put on me and get put to sleep, and then I get rolled over onto the operating table to get knifed… or lazered… I’m not sure which it will be. But because it’s 2016, I’m going to include getting lazered as an option because you just don’t know what hospitals might have in them these days.

And I was thinking that while I’m getting lazered – yes, let’s use that term because a lazer sounds more fun than getting cut with a knife. Speaking of the knife – if a knife is getting used to cut open my back for a spinal fusion, I’m wondering what kind of knife it is and how the knife remains clean. Is it a Henckels or CutCo knife? Or some other brand? I think a CutCo knife would actually do pretty good – those things start off REALLY sharp. I know, I sold them when I was in college gobs of years ago. I’d say use the butcher knife that CutCo offers. Its name and its clean edge would work, I think.

Anyhow, while I’m getting opened up and my muscles taken off my spine and my spinal nerves moved out of the way so I can be drilled and put together with titanium and screws – wait, I wonder if there is a carbon polymer or carbon nanotube possibility for fusing my spine. That’d be really cool. I want the strongest material so I don’t have to go back in 10 years and play round 2 of fix my spine. So yes, while I’m getting fused, I was thinking about some things that could happen while this is occurring.

First, what if the doctor is bitten by a bug while he’s cutting me. It’d be like a barber cutting my hair and having his hand slip, except in this case, it’s my spine we’re dealing with. Or what if while he’s cutting me open, there’s that virus everyone is talking about that turns everyone into the walking dead. And the outbreak happens and I’m in the hospital with my back cut open and people are starting to turn into zombies around me. That would be really bad timing if that happened.

There’s also the possibility of an earthquake while I’m having my surgery. It could rumble the hospital room and instruments and things could fall on the floor, distracting the doctor for a moment. Or that earthquake could spill the surgeon’s coffee, and the coffee might get in my back. I wonder what that would do to my spine? And does a surgeon bring coffee into the operating room? I don’t know, they are very secretive about what they have in there I think.

I also wonder what it would be like if the surgeon saw a 100 dollar bill on the ground while doing my surgery. Would he take a few seconds to distract himself from my surgery to go pick it up? And then if he did, how would I feel about that? I’d be knocked out, but I’d hope a security camera would pick up the footage so I could call him out on that. He shouldn’t be looting money while cutting me open and fusing my spine. But, I have to admit, 100 dollars is a lot of money and I wouldn’t blame him for going for it.

Or what if he has to pee really bad because he drank a couple Red Bull’s. And he had a bunch of surgeries to do and I got wheeled in, and he got talking to his colleagues about the latest material used in spinal fusions, and because he was so excited, he couldn’t contain himself, so I get wheeled in the operating room and he starts cutting me, but this is one of those pee’s where it really hits you hard and fast, and because my surgery is a couple hours, while he’s in the middle of brushing my spinal nerves aside, his bladder feels like it’s going to burst like a child’s water balloon being filled up – would he just tell one of his assistants to get a bowl and pee in it right then and there because it’s crunch time and he can’t afford to dilly dally?

I think about a lot of things that could happen when I have my surgery. Mostly, I’m just wanting it to be over with so I can get through the recovery of having been sliced open like I’m William Wallace from Braveheart at the ending of the movie :) :).

Stubborn Adults

I heard about Burning Man from a friend of mine and as I’ve researched it, one sculpture there spoke to me. As adults, we can get so stuck in our heads. We can become so prideful, resentful, and stubborn with each other. I know when I get like that, I feel sick to my stomach. I’ve always believed that children hold the key to our true nature and that we let ourselves get brainwashed and fucked over as adults.

I’m guilty of all of this. I very much so take my experiences and project that story onto future events and other people. It’s not right or fair. I want to go back to the child Jeremy who freely shared and explored and wasn’t worried about what other people might say or do. The Jeremy who played the Bard’s Tale 2 at 5 AM before Middle School because he was so enthralled with the world he was exploring… It’s so damn easy to see something and know that it is right, but much harder to take the action that it represents.

Burning Man is an event at the end of August. I’m going to do whatever I can to attend it this year – a feat that will require a miracle…

burning_man_pictures

Masculine Power

Masculine power is the energy of going for it, full steam ahead, without reservation and without apology. Masculine energy encompasses drive, purpose, vision, determination, persistence, pushing through barriers, achieving goals, and accomplishment.

This way of being was awakened in me some years ago. And through the recent trial I am experiencing and a little experimentation with a substance, and a wise and powerful mentor, I am feeling it come back. Even in my wounded state, I can feel it coming back. It goes for what it wants and is not ashamed.

It was always there, and I think part of my journey alone was to learn to harness it consciously instead of having it awakened by accident or unconsciously as was done in the past. Whatever happens to me – if I am to die because of what has happened to me, or live in an altered state, or weakened, I am now beginning to feel and understand what masculine power is like, again, and why women are drawn to it and cannot help it.

Here’s a picture that best represents it – Aragorn, the Ranger from the Lord of the Rings, who gets that masculine power when he finally takes the sword of kings. You know you are in masculine energy when you are making decisions decisively and without hesitation. I’m getting there, a work in progress :)

aragorn

Doing What I Can, Doing the Best I Can

I’m doing what I can and the best I can for what’s happening to me right now. It certainly doesn’t feel like much is being accomplished by me at the moment. My best right now feels like a slow lumbering walk and sometimes crawl. It’s fighting to stay strong, fighting the pain in my body, knowing what is wrong and waiting until a surgeon can fix it.

I’m trying to keep moving forward. That’s about the best I can do right now and it will have to do until I can get my body healed up again some day. Sometimes in life, you have to simply fight to stay strong and ride out the storm. Just like this wizard here. Shield up. Bring on the storm.

The Wizard In The Storm

Becoming What You Fear -VS- What You Love

I’ve been thinking about my mindset the last week and a half. I have a really hurt back – lower back. It’s on fire and my legs are numb and weak. I don’t have the fluid motion that I usually do, being able to zip from place to place quickly. More than likely, I will have to have surgery and be laid out to recover.

The reason I bring this up is because of the effect it has had on my mind. I’ve let myself become diminished and degraded. The last few days, I’ve just laid in bed when I’m not at work, just staring and feeling the pain and agony. I don’t like being that way. I think life can be much more than that. But it’s important to feel as well and I really let myself feel the shit for a few days. It flowed through me like a river full of shit :)

This brings me to something I heard someone talk about today. And it’s who we are becoming – the person we fear or the person we love? This last week, I have become the person I fear. Here is what that person is like:

  • Is afraid of growth and new experiences
  • Is afraid of getting out there and meeting people
  • Is afraid of rejection
  • Is afraid of pain and failure
  • Is afraid of having nothing
  • Is afraid of losing my health

The person I love and believe I am capable of becoming is different than this. I know because I have been that person at different times in my life. I have been in the zone. The person I love looks like this:

  • Loves growth and new experiences
  • Loves meeting new people
  • Loves to put himself out there and face the result
  • Loves to learn about himself through difficult and hard times
  • Loves who he is and what he has
  • Loves his DNA and potential for health and performance

The language of who I love is so much different than the language of who I fear. I’ve focused on who I fear over the last week and that focus has created more of who that person is. Well, even though I am grossly affected by my back issues at the moment, I can still do what I can inspite of that challenge. I can still exercise for what I can do, write about what I’m learning, meet new people online, and create new experiences through work and whatever else I have going on.

It was sort of like pulling out of a tail spin on an airplane. I let myself get on a crash course trajectory, but was able to pull out. I recognize this weakness in myself. I’m much more emotional right now than in my strength. I don’t judge myself for this either, but just accept it for what it is. And then, I am working to become more in my strength. Life is the journey to do what you can and the best you can.

A Golden Opportunity Presents Itself

When I was in New York, I had the opportunity to meet with a CEO of a startup company of 18 employees. How I got connected with him is a tale for another time, but what was great about meeting with him and his business partner is the energy he had. He’s running a website business he’s extremely passionate about and he’s already gotten millions of dollars of funding for his company. There’s a lot of growth potential for the company.

He’s offered me a job with a decent amount of equity. That equity has the potential to turn into millions of dollars over the next 5 to 7 years. The job I have been offered: CTO. It’s an interesting thing to me, to be thinking about what I would do if I were a CTO – see my LinkedIn post here, the people’s CTO – and then having an offer made to me that has the potential to be very lucrative. I could potentially retire by the time I’m 45 if all goes well.

I like my job right now where I work. I make decent money with good benefits and a small, small amount of equity in the company. It’s a pretty laid back company where I work, even though I feel great responsibility there. To accept this job is to become a CTO in a very high stress environment in the hustle and bustle of New York City. I would need to move to New York – in the middle of Manhattan, the very city I visited a couple weeks ago. I would be a CTO and lead the charge to help scale the people and technology of the business I’m being offered a job to.

I have two precious daughters here in Utah. Were I to take this opportunity, I would leave them behind here in Utah. I would likely only see them a few times a year – by flying out to Utah, or having them fly to me. I would Skype with them to talk to them. I’d still be responsible for child support, which would be even more difficult to pay in the very expensive New York City.

I honestly don’t know what to do here. I’m taking the weekend and am going to think very hard on it. By Sunday night, I will give the CEO of this company my answer. In the mean time, I’m laid out in my apartment with a bad back :) It will be interesting to see what unfolds with this, either way.

“Back” to the Beginning

I’m laying in bed right now, typing on my laptop, which is on my blanket on my bed. My blanket is folded up so that my laptop is high enough that I can look at it without bending my neck forward. I’m here in my Orem, UT apartment, the same apartment I’ve been in since October of 2014. I’m laid out in bed at the moment, my lower back in major pain. Today at work, I had to stand the whole time. Something I did Monday night while asleep majorly affected my lower back.

When I first started this website of mine, over 6 years ago now, I was laying in bed in my then American Fork, UT home. I had just had back surgery to repair a ruptured disc in my spine and I was married at the time. I have a definite feeling of a return back to to the beginning for me right now, except this time, I’m alone in an apartment, but feel intense pain in my back.

This is one of those moments where I feel a lot of thoughts coming to my mind. At work today, I felt the stress of some deadlines looming for some important projects. I process stress internally now. My team members and those attending my meetings may not realize it, but I feel tremendous pressure to do a good job as a manager and leader for them. Outwardly, I keep a sense of calm and balance, but inside, today, my body felt wracked. I wore a back brace the entire day and will likely keep this up until either my back heals, or I have to have surgery again to deal with whatever has been injured.

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine at work today while out getting coffee. We were talking about reality and the many different views people have from god to no god to in-between to being in a simulation. I told him I am content with whatever reality is – even if there is nothing at all and life is meaningless, I am ok with that. And part of me wonders if that is the best way to think – to just be ok with things as they are. Why not form a belief about something and go hard with it?

I’ve adapted through what I believe to be evolution to life as it is right now. I have had to gravitate toward more of a Buddhist philosophy of detachment in order to survive. This philosophy of detachment saved my life when I as going through several difficult things in 2014. I can recall a few times in 2014 where I was contemplating ending my life. I don’t like to admit that publicly, but I was incredibly depressed for most of that year. I felt everything that I had put my whole life and soul into was ripped away from me and it was very disruptive to my entire being to feel that.

And that’s an interesting concept to me – putting my whole heart and soul in to something. I’m having to learn how to do that again. When you put your whole heart into something and it doesn’t work out, it’s a tough pill to swallow – that your very best for who you are wasn’t enough. But I like to look at that as simply a life lesson – a powerful one, how to keep going when you gave everything you had and it didn’t work out. How did I keep going when I found myself alone after being married 14 years? Just the will to do so and forging through some tough days.

I like being positive and optimistic about life. I think there’s so many cool things happening in the world from advances in medicine, space travel, technology power, and DNA, it’s all very exciting. I love to see what the potential in life is. But I’ve found a very healthy balance between that and looking reality dead in the eye. I’ve become a student of reality, being able to bypass my emotions as I emote to myself reality as it is. This is incredibly powerful and freeing. I’ve learned to see reality as it is without delusion AND be at peace with it.

What does that mean really? To be at peace with reality as it is? It means I know who I am and what I am capable of. It means with all the dates I’ve gone on, I know when there is interest and when there is not, regardless of what I might feel or want from someone. It means right now, I know my back is pretty fucked up. I accept that it is and I’m not fighting it. I accept reality whole-heartedly as it is right now, not wishing it to be any different than it is. I may have to have back surgery again. I’ve been there and done that and I’ll get through it just like I got through the last one over 6 years ago now.

That’s a fascinating thing to me – knowing I may have to have surgery on my back again and being ok with that. I feel something amiss with my back. It hurts like hell, even after taking Ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory medicine. Perhaps I’ll wake up tomorrow and it will all be fine. That’d be great. But I’ve learned not to be delusional about reality :).

I breached the 100 date mark recently. I realize that I’m a bit crazy for doing that – dating over 100 unique women now. It’s completely insane the more I think about it. One date takes a lot of time, but 100? And a portion of those multiple times? I can’t believe I’ve done that, but it has taught me so many valuable lessons about myself, women, and life. I’m very grateful I’ve had the opportunity to do it.

I remember back in January, 2010, talking with Sam from FinancialSamurai.com and volunteering to help him with a website feature he was trying to create. I believe it was that selfless act that got me connected with him as a friend and I am so grateful I got to visit him last year in San Francisco. He’s one of the class acts of life that I see – someone adding high value to other people’s lives. I’m thankful to call him friend.

I’m thinking more about my own ability to really give my all to a situation without fear – to give everything I have without holding back. I’ve certainly held back since I’ve been on my own and this is an area for me to work on. Gosh, I have a lot of things I need to work on at age 38 here. I can’t believe I am 38 actually. I’ll be 39 in December. Soon, I’ll be 40. Wow. I’m happy to be in relatively good health even so.

Life is good. Life is hard. Life is unpredictable. Life is what you make it.

The Fantasy of the Past

Think about a moment from your past. Perhaps it was a moment with your dog that is no longer alive, with a brother or sister who has passed on, or with that special man or woman that is no longer your spouse. Whatever it is, think about the past. I’ve noticed this pattern in myself and others that the things in the past that are no longer a part of the present become more valuable. They become much more than they are, almost like a fantasy. Past situations with people and things breed nostalgia and an emotional response because of a wondering and attachment to that thing that is no longer there. It becomes valuable because it no longer exists.

This is a fascinating phenomenon to me. My childhood videos of my basketball games are continuing to become more valuable to me because they are more rare to me – more in the distant past and represent part of my life as a youngster – a part of my life I can never get back. I can see videos with me and my two daughters becoming more valuable over time as well, even though at the time of creation, they aren’t really that valuable – because the situation just happened, it’s fresh. For those things in the past that create attachment (ex’s, things you used to own, etc…), the challenge is realizing why that thing is no longer in your life and being able to see past the fantasy that is that person or thing. It’s not easy – it requires feeling and allowing your emotions for that person or thing to flow through you and pass and to come to terms that that door closed for a reason.

In the Harry Potter movies, there is a powerful scene with Dumbledore (a powerful wizard) and Harry (the lightning bolt scar kid wizard) where Dumbledore finds Harry sitting in front of the Mirror of Erised that shows his parents. This mirror shows a person what he most wants to see. Harry’s parents are dead and the mirror represents a chance for him to see his parents (even if it isn’t them), and it draws him in for many hours at a time as he lives nostalgically in the past. Dumbledore cautions Harry that the mirror gives a person neither knowledge or truth and many have wasted many moments in front of it – and have forgotten to live.

This lesson hits home for me – in many ways. I lived in a really nice house for many years with a family, seeing my kids every day, and living the American dream. In high school, I played basketball in front of thousands of people. I’ve met some people where there are good memories, but those people are removed from my life. The desire for nostalgia and living in the past is very real and strong. I don’t know the mystery of this. I do know that I’ve made a very strong effort to live in the present moment and to be free from outcomes. It’s a lifelong pursuit.

Today, I feel the challenge of letting go of the past and those memories that prevent me from living in the present moment. Indeed, as Harry did in the movie, it’s very easy to think about and focus on the past that is no longer in the present and wish for it to be so again. But this is folly and prevents new and better experiences from happening now.

Speaking Your Truth – Boldly

I had an opportunity tonight, to speak my truth with a couple people. I’ve thought about this a lot actually – the situations where I feel subdued, diminished, or less of a man. Some people create that within me and especially, the women that do it, it makes me wonder why. When I feel that way, I feel knotted in my stomach and my speech is turned off. I lose my strength as a man. I don’t like the feeling…

I had a little switch go off in my head tonight regarding it. Certainly, I believe in only having people in my life that are enthusiastic to be in it. That’s important to me. But I also believe that another part of this is me communicating clearly with someone. I shouldn’t just immediately flee the scene if someone starts to treat me in a way that I know is less than what I deserve. My challenge in the past has been pushing back against this. In the past, I’d just delete that person’s phone number and move on.

But I believe there’s a higher response to this. And that is to communicate clearly what I want. Life is partly a negotiation. We only get what we speak and fight for. And tonight, I spoke clearly about what I want and expect with a couple people. I did it from a place of strength – not saying anything rude, but speaking plainly what I see and what I believe I deserve. No matter who is in contact with me, I will speak plainly if I feel I’m not getting what I deserve.

This is a different approach than I’ve taken in the past. In the past, I’ve prided myself on being able to instantly delete someone from my life and move on. But doing that ignores that I may still have interest in that person and simply just deleting them from my phone is akin to ghosting and running away. I’m also very observant of myself in being too needy with a woman, but I realize the basis for that is me acting in a way that is based on someone else and not my own strength or truth. I won’t ever be needy, but I’m going to speak up if needed.

I’ve made a rule tonight that I will communicate clearly when someone isn’t treating me the way I deserve – in person or over the phone, and I will do it in a loving, but firm way. And if they then continue their bad behavior, I will exit myself from their life until they change their treatment of me.

I think the world would be a better place if all of us communicated clearly with each other instead of running away in fear like cowards. Goodness knows, I’ve been like the cowardly lion many times, running away from a woman the instant I feel like her attraction has dropped. Or I’ve allowed a woman to treat me in a way that is less than I deserve without standing up for myself. I made a decision tonight to not do that anymore. I will not allow myself to feel diminished and I will stand up to anyone who is making me feel that way and tell them it’s not OK.

It’s a delicate balance… On the one hand, I don’t like to induce drama into any situation. On the other hand, I will not be a door mat either. As with all things, use your best judgment and follow your gut instinct. I think speaking your truth is saying exactly what it is that you want and accepting nothing less. It’s something I’m not used to doing, but believe will help me take the next leap in my life.

Here’s a little audio podcast I made with me verbalizing this. It felt good to speak it.

:) That feels good.

What Happens In New York…

I’m back from my trip to New York. It was… good! :) I got some of the items I wanted to do done and some new ones happened that I hadn’t planned on. What’s interesting is that the original reason for me going to New York fell through a couple weeks ago. I had booked the trip several months ago. I decided I would still go and explore the area anyway. Highlights:

  • I almost pulled a muscle in my right leg trying to hop over a wall in Central Park the first night. Luck was on my side
  • There’s tall buildings… Everywhere
  • People are… Everywhere and it’s densely packed with exceptional people
  • The World Trade Center Memorial and building was powerful – I cried when I saw the guy on the horse and read about it
  • They have Big Gulps there!
  • The United Nations is there
  • Broadway is there
  • Times Square is a hoot (especially the Dave & Busters)
  • I loved Battery Park and Wall Street – especially the Bull
  • I got to go on a secret mission to meet with a CEO who knows Magic Johnson!

I added some more pictures to my photos page for this New York trip. Each has special meaning to me for the situation it represents.

I’m glad I went to New York and am thankful I have the freedom to do so.

New York Bound

New York City, here I come. For 5 days. Let these quests begin:

Hotel:
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Metropolitan – New York City, 569 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022

Quests:

Thursday (Arrival)
Get to my hotel and get settled
Meet anyone for a drink the same night I arrive, using cold approach

Friday
Run and J-Walk through the streets of New York
Make a rucus at a cathedral or two… I mean, find a cathedral and meditate
Eat at “The Heath” restaurant

Saturday
Visit the Empire State Building
Visit the Statue of Liberty
Visit Wall Street and take a picture by the bull
Explore Battery Park
Visit Brooklyn Bridge

Sunday
Visit Central Park and meet and take pictures with 5 random strangers
Visit Metropolitan Museum of Art
See a Broadway Play, the Book of Mormon (2pm: EUGENE O’NEILL THEATRE 230 W 49TH ST. NEW YORK, NY 10019)
Go to a Knicks basketball game

Monday (Departure)
Museum of Modern Art
Make it back to the airport and fly home

Facing the Kolrami

Steve Pavlina wrote an article about defeating Kolrami. Steve’s description is great and I’m posting it here for your convenience:

In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Peak Performance,” the master strategist Kolrami competes with the android character Data in a game of Strategema. The crew expects Data to win, just as you’d expect a modern chess-playing computer to kick your ass at chess. They confidently advise Data to take the shortest path to victory in order to put a dent in Kolrami’s smugness. However, Kolrami soundly defeats Data without breaking a sweat. Data is stunned by the loss and assumes he must have some kind of programming defect, going so far as to remove himself from active duty until he can figure out what’s wrong with him.

Later in that episode, Captain Picard informs Data that it’s possible to make no mistakes and still lose. This leads Data to challenge his assumptions about the game. He accepts Kolrami’s offer of a rematch, and this time he plays Kolrami to an endless stalemate, leading Kolrami to eventually surrender in disgust. The crew celebrates Data’s victory and asks how he did it.

Data confesses that he couldn’t defeat Kolrami by playing to win because that’s what Kolrami expected him to do. Every advantage-maximizing move that Data attempted was blocked by a superior counter-move from Kolrami. So in the rematch, Data used a different strategy. He bypassed obvious avenues of advancement and played for a draw instead of trying to win. This visibly frustrated Kolrami and allowed Data to theoretically play the game indefinitely, rendering defeat impossible.

I haven’t written on my website here in almost a month. Why? I can’t say for sure, except that I haven’t felt the inspiration to write. Each time I sat down to write my next article, it felt like an utter piece of shit and I deleted it. I don’t like writing articles just for the sake of writing and I deleted a number of new article ideas over the past month. I even paused my work on the series, 30 ways to be a real man and meet a great woman.

What do you do when you’re experiencing a drought through writing or other things in life? What do you do when you really want things, but aren’t getting them? I want to write articles that thousands of people read every day. I want to attract a powerful sorceress woman in my life with ambition, beauty, and a strong desire to see and witness me who wants to know everything about me and work together with me on my flaws, shortcomings, and the adventure of life. So why hasn’t any of this happened yet?

First, I think it’s incredibly challenging with so many blogs and websites to find an audience and grow it. Why? Because I’ve been trying it since 2010 – over 6 years now, and barely get over 100 visitors a day on average, most of which are coming to me for my article on twin flames. And many of those people are just plain bat shit crazy in their situations as they seek guidance. I’m not sure that’s who I want to attract, but for whatever reason, I have… I should mention that there are some very awesome and thoughtful people too that I’ve read comments from and talked to.

Back to the Kolrami

What does the Kolrami from Star Trek have to do with anything here? Well, I am approaching date # 100. Let that sink in for a moment. Almost 100 dates, each with different women. I’ve met some incredible women in those dates, had many flake out, disappear (ghost), or I lose interest. Why after that many dates have I not found that one woman – is it even possible at this point?

Data beat the Kolrami by simply playing to draw and not to win. I’ve tried both playing to draw and playing to win.

The first case is when I play to draw, I back off in my interest toward a woman and only respond when she texts. Those women get pissed off at me for not communicating and eventually disappear.

The second case is when I play to win, I pursue a woman, showing interest and regular communication. That woman invariably stops responding as much until she goes completely silent.

The third case is where a woman pursues me, but I lose interest in her and the spark and energy is gone from the interaction. Most women I talk to fall into this camp – I’d say about 75%. The rest in the first two. There’s a pile of women that would see me in a heart beat, but they aren’t the powerful sorceress/high level woman I’m looking for… Or, I have a flawed mind that rules out women who pursue me.

This paradox I’ve experienced perplexes me a great deal. On the one hand, it’s evidence to me that attraction has an expiration date with a woman. Either I or she will lose interest eventually and I suppose I should be at peace with that. Sometimes it’s a few seconds, minutes, days, weeks, or months. On the other hand, it’s simply a reality of life to me, that dating and relationships where there is great connection don’t come easy at all.

When it comes to women at this point in my life, I feel like part of me is more clueless after 95 dates than it was before date # 1. However, the smarter part of me knows that I have gained an immense amount of knowledge and experience about myself and women. I’ve learned to be at peace with all the ways things can occur and have built up a sixth sense for when I know something is coming to an end – and can safely shut off my feelings and move on. Is this good or bad? I don’t know. But it is how I’ve evolved to this point in my life.

Needless to say, I’m still learning a lot about myself and women, even after 95 dates. Will I need to go on 1,000 dates to really figure this shit out? :) Who is to say. All I know is that I am compelled to keep doing it, testing myself, and learning and growing. Perhaps, one day, I will beat the Kolrami and find that powerful sorceress woman, that one woman who is a cut above the rest and fully wants to adventure with me.

After Date # 50

After date # 50, the quality of women I started meeting started to go up and become more common. If you read my book, 50 dates to be great, you’ll see that on average, I dated women with a score in the ESIP connection of around a 6 or 7 on average – emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical.

Since date # 50, the average score has been closer to an 8 or 9, with a few 10’s (physically) entering the mix. Those women help me see where the chinks in my armor are. I remember one in particular, date # 80, who was a very successful business woman, incredibly fit and beautiful, intelligent, and could pitch and catch with me. She is one who I dated a couple times, but then she slowly faded and stopped responding to me. She ghosted me.

She taught me a lot about myself. I don’t agree with how she treated me – the ghosting, but I’ve learned the lessons I needed to and haven’t reached out to her asking for an explanation, but just allowed the situation to dissipate and be at peace with it. I’ve called out women in the past on their ghosting, but it never has ended well, they either say sorry and still never respond again, or get pissy about it.

There’s a multitude of websites offering guidance on women, dating, relationships, and pickup. The common theme among them all that I’ve taken away is to have a strong inner confidence and sense of self. Be accepting of who I am and all my flaws. Don’t over-pursue and try to bring as much value to the interaction as I can. Be playful, fun, charming, and take the lead. These are things I continually try to work on as I learn and grow through dating.

Work

Another avenue is work. The company I work for is doing very well. There’s some people at the very top becoming extraordinarily wealthy (10 to 100’s of millions of dollars wealthy) due to the company’s success. When I look at that, I feel like a piece of shit in what I earn. But then, I realize, that I still earn likely in the top 10 to 15% of earner’s in the United States, which is doing really well. It’s best to look at the glass half full here, but I can’t deny that it feels so unbalanced seeing those at the top making so much money. I don’t have an answer for it at this time.

I’m working on a project with my twin brother, a space game. I spent 3 hours on it last night, working on the options screen and learning more about Unity, a game development engine. It felt good to do that work. Part of what is missing from me right now is my ambitious pursuits, to work hard on projects. I’m focusing way too much on dating and women (which is a money and time sink), and less on ambitious projects. That’s going to change. I feel all this talent and potential within me and at least giving it a go gives me a sense of worth and value.

I continue to progress at my day job. I’m helping key projects get done and progress. That’s a good feeling. I feel that in another year or two, I will be a Director. That’s one more level up the corporate ladder to CTO. Will I become CTO some day? It’s possible. I have to stay alive, keep building rapport with people, have a little luck in my projects succeeding in that people don’t quit, get sick, mutiny against me, etc… and continue to learn and grow so I can become the kind of person that can help drive success. We’ll see what the future holds here.

Perhaps the path to CTO is exactly like defeating the Kolrami. It could be to not try and do it, but to just continue to offer value and go above and beyond my duties at work all the time without expectation. To go above and beyond because I can and I know my gifts that I have to offer. Something to think about.

Grateful

I’ll end this article with thanks. Thanks for the 95 dates I’ve had. Wow – Wow! What a ride. I’ve met some of the most incredible women through that experience and don’t doubt more will continue to come to test me, the adventurer seeking the powerful sorceress. I say to that, let them come and smite me with whatever magic they think they have. I’m pretty fucking resilient at this point :). I have much to learn in Facing Kolrami and not trying so hard to win, but to simply and effortlessly flow through life.

Your quest: Get out there and write, experience life, and share your journey. Perhaps it will touch a soul or two.

4. Begin the Process of Dating

Want To Become a Man Fast? Get Out There and Approach and Date As Many Women As Possible

When I moved out on my own in October of 2014, I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I decided to amicably divorce my then wife Heidi of 14 years. Divorce is difficult, even if you agree that it is the best course of action. You build up an identity with a person and in my case, we had two daughters and a family. When I was sitting on my own in my apartment, I decided I would get out there and date as many women as possible. It started one of the greatest personal development quests I’ve ever experienced.

What is the Process of Dating?

Dating is meeting and getting to know women and potentially getting physical with them. That’s it. The process of dating is very simple for me. As a single man, I decided I would go approach women in person and sign-up for a variety of online dating websites and be open to whatever came my way through that. I didn’t know it at the time why I should do this. I just felt it intuitively. Looking back on everything that has happened, I’m blown away by the experiences I’ve had and how much I’ve learned about myself – largely by the few failings I had with women that I fell for.

You might find it overwhelming – the process of dating. You might feel you need to be this amazingly tall and good looking man who is super fit. Certainly those things can help you, but the primary thing for you is that regardless of your physical appearance, you have the ability to go out there and start striking up conversations with women. If you’re out to eat, practice on the waitress. If you’re at the bank, practice on the teller, if you’re at the grocery store, ask a woman her advice on the perfect foods to eat. Start by striking up conversations with women. You’ll get more comfortable around them and realize they aren’t that scary. In fact, most single women crave a real man who will take charge and lead them to amazing places.

Get Some Professional Pictures

For online dating, I suggest you hire a photographer and take some pictures that show you at your very best. When browsing an online dating website like Match.com or Tinder, men and women make decisions very quickly based on the physical appearance. Women will be looking at you to see if they can see you clearly and look good. Here’s a couple of my pictures – nothing fancy, just me being happy and at peace with myself. I had a photographer take these pictures after experiencing a rebirth in myself and you can see how relaxed and peaceful I am. I suggest you take your pictures when you are feeling really good about yourself.

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Start To Work On Yourself

It might sound silly to “work on yourself” as you begin the process of dating, but hear this out. To attract the kind of woman you want, you’ve got to become the kind of person that can date her. There’s three simple things to do as you begin the process of dating:

Clean Up

Get yourself cleaned up. If you’re wearing dirty and raggedy clothes, this is no good. Wear something that fits you and looks good. In my pictures, I don’t have anything fancy on. I have jeans, a t-shirt, and a button up shirt. One hundred dollars for all of it. This makes you look presentable and more attractive.

Shape Up

Get yourself to a gym – either at your place or a membership. Either way, start to get accustomed to pushing weights several times a week. Having a strong and fit body will make you feel good and what woman doesn’t like a man with strength and a toned body? The primary exercises that I do that keep my body in shape are:

  • Push-Ups (easy, and floor surface will do)
  • Pull-Ups (find a bar to lift yourself up with)
  • Triceps Dips (use your body weight, or over the back of your head with 20-30 lbs.)
  • Arm Bicep Curls (use medium weight, 20-40 lbs.)
  • Straight Arm Shoulder Flys – forward and to my sides (use light weight, 10 lbs.)
  • Ab crunches
  • Laying down on your back, leg raises
  • Left and right oblique leg raises
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Calf raises
  • Yoga and stretching

That’s it. I learned all of these from the P90X workout program and I continue to utilize them today. These exercises will give you all the strength and flexibility you need. I also spend time running on the treadmill and swimming, as well as playing basketball to keep myself in good cardio shape. Having a strong and capable physical body is very important to me.

Level Up

To level up is like your favorite role playing computer game where you play a hero and he gains experience and power. This means taking on new hobbies, reading, writing, speaking, going to new places, learning a new skill like computer programming, and in general, getting very curious and interested in life. Learn to be a person who smiles and talks to people and is engaged each day in the amazing things life has to offer. This is how you level yourself up. Each day of adventure, learning, and growth builds upon itself and after a year, you’ll be amazed at how far you go.

What To Look For

When looking at an online dating website and pictures of women, there’s a few simple rules to follow. They are:

  • Make sure there are several pictures and that the entire woman’s body is visible in at least one. This will help you avoid getting phished by someone who doesn’t look like their pictures.
  • When you send a message to the woman, she responds and is enthusiastic about talking to you. This means she shares more than one word answers. Pay attention to word choice and volume. Go for the women who have more to say toward you.
  • Go for it – when you find a woman whose pictures seem real and she looks like what you want and she’s being enthusiastic toward you, ask her for her number and then CALL her immediately after she gives it. Calling is a lost art and it sets you apart.

You won’t always get a phone number. You won’t always get a response to your message. Even if you do get a response, you won’t always get a number. It’s the same in person. Most of the time, you won’t get to a date with a woman. But that’s OK. The point is the person you are becoming as you make each attempt. Each time you are “rejected”, you will gain in strength and power if you will use it as fuel for personal growth.

Where I’m at now, I don’t look at something not working out as rejection. I look at it as the next learning opportunity. Of course, I don’t like rejection – who does? But my recovery time from such things is very quick. I bounce back quickly and have learned to follow the flow of life wherever it takes me. Remember, accept reality as it is.

Be Yourself

It’s simple advice, to be yourself, but incredibly difficult to master. Why? Because when you first start dating, you’ll likely realize women that take you off your center and you are not yourself. They will be extremely beautiful or successful and you won’t want to mess it up. Doing this, however, will cause her to doubt you and you’ll quickly find yourself hearing crickets when you try to contact her. I find being yourself something that is incredibly important and here’s a few tips to do it:

  • Recognize when you aren’t being yourself – just accept that is how you are being. Don’t judge yourself, just accept it.
  • Spend time being yourself. Do this as you talk to people throughout the day. Make it a natural part of who you are.
  • The next time you date that beautiful woman, remember how you normally act and do it around her. Be playful, fun, silly – whatever it is that is you and do it without apology.

Whether you are sitting in a room by yourself or with that one woman who knocks your socks off, you should act the same. Do not change your behavior to accommodate a woman. Why? Because I have, and it always ends up the same – I feel off and she disappears.

Think of it like this. Imagine there is a woman that likes you. She acts very odd and strange around you and then you see her being differently with other people. What does it feel like? It feels fake, like she’s trying to impress you. It doesn’t feel real. This is similar to what that woman is feeling when you’re being a weirdo. Be yourself and be unafraid of the consequences of who you are.

This lesson is about beginning the process of dating. Integrate into your life dating as many women as possible and allowing each situation to be what it is. Through it all – the failings, learning, and growth, you just might meet that one woman – that one who changes everything for you. And all of your failing and growth will be what allowed you to attract her into your life. Watch this video from my mentor, Elliot Hulse, talk about how heart break is good for you – each failing will build itself on you and make you stronger.

3. Take an Interest in What is Going on Around You

There’s a Lot Going On In Life – You Should Always Be Up To Something

One of my favorite movies is “Unbreakable” with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. There’s a scene from the movie where David Duhn, the Protagonist of the movie, is revealed to have never been sick or injured before. He talks to Elijah Price, who helped him see his super capabilities, for advice. Elijah tells him, “Go where people are.” David goes to a subway station with a bunch of people and begins to use an ability of his to read people and see what they are up to in his mind. Here’s the video link to “go where people are” – it’s a good one.

What I like about this scene in the movie is it shows what taking an interest in what is going on around you is like. Yes, it’s portrayed using a superhero from a movie and David sees some dark things, but the action David takes here and what he sees is what you will want to takeaway here. You want to be a superhero of sorts who, when you go out and about each day, is paying VERY close attention to all that is going on around you. Why? Because you will gain clarity on the nature of reality and people and better be equipped to handle the situations life and people present you with each and every day.

How do you take an interest in the world around you? You must become a curious person. If life and everything in it are boring to you, you’re going to have a difficult time taking an interest in the world around you. You’re going to have to reprogram yourself to be curious. The best way to do this is to modify your self talk. Speak these statements to you many times a day, even if you don’t believe them:

  • I am curious what life is like.
  • People are fascinating to me.
  • I love a good challenge.
  • Life is fun and interesting.
  • I love problem solving and figuring things out.

These simple statements, spoken regularly each day will reprogram your mind about how interesting life is to you. I know it sounds simple and mundane, but trust me, self talk is one of the most powerful things you can incorporate into your daily life. It will change you as a person :).

Once you become a curious person, there’s more to do. The curious person who takes no action is simply a dreamer. Here’s some of the things you can do to get involved:

Talk to People at Your Place of Employment

I remember working at Burger King when I was in high school, way back in 1995. My routine was pretty simple. I’d come in to work and try to get out of doing work while I was there. I was lazy. It did not occur to me that there was another way I could have approached my employment. Here’s what I could have done:

I could have gotten to know my co-workers. I could have spent time talking to the manager there to understand what she did. I could have paid attention to how things were being done to see if there was some way to improve it. I could have asked questions about how that Burger King was run – did someone run it as a franchise, or how did any of that work? I could have asked to study data about what people were ordering and when to see what the most popular items were.

Questions are the golden keys that open doors for you in your life. You may not always be able to open a door with a question, but the act of asking questions and talking to people will expand your knowledge and capability as a person. Why? Because you’ll get perspectives and life experience beyond your own. This is like adding new software modules to your brain, which helps you in future decisions. In addition to that, you’ll form friendships with other people and increase your life options by the people you know.

Start Talking to Strangers

In a future lesson, I will talk about cold approach pickup. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and I’m still learning it today. I would consider myself relatively new with it still. The great thing about it is that talking to strangers – and especially women – will force you to examine yourself and pay attention to what someone else is doing and feeling. You’ll learn to quickly see cues about how happy someone is, how comfortable they feel, how excited they are to talk to you, etc…

I suggest starting by smiling at people you don’t know or waving. This is incredibly easy. You might be scared to smile and wave at someone, but after you do it a few times, you realize it’s simple. Walk around in the mall, and as you walk by people, smile and wave at them. Don’t do it with expectation that the other people are going to stop and talk to you, but just smile and wave and walk past them. Many will wave and smile back.

Once you realize how simple that is, saying hi to someone isn’t that much of a leap. I was in the airport coming home from Las Vegas about a month ago after writing this. I noticed a young woman sitting down with her headphones on. I walked over to her, stood by her and said, “Hi, how are you? Would you like to get to know a new person while we both wait for our flights?”

Of course she could have told me to fuck off. And even if she did do that, that’s OK. Because who would have the guts to do something like I did and approach a stranger. Go to a mall, an airport and see that most people are just sitting or walking around. It’s rare for someone to strike up a conversation with someone else. In my case, this woman was receptive to getting to know me and we talked for about an hour. She’s from Colombia, South America and has traveled to many places. We’re now friends on Facebook.

You’ll build a courage muscle over time by talking to strangers and cold approaching women. As you do this more and more, you’ll step more into a masculine role where instead of being afraid to do it, you will do it with the intent to share and provide a fun and valuable experience to the other person and you become the gift – your time is a gift because of the work you’ve done on yourself. It’s an incredible place to get to.

Read Multiple Perspectives

When I was around age 29, I began to awaken and question everything around me. This included my religion, my marriage, my belief about reality, what I wanted to do with my life, who I was, and what I wanted. That quest continues today.

The way I handled this was to go out and read many different perspectives. A good example of this is my question about the Mormon (LDS) religion. I’d been told that reading anything not church approved was considered evil or “anti” toward the religion. As I sought out different perspectives, I realized that there are some very thoughtful people out there not trying to tear down anything, but just share what they’ve seen and realized.

One website I found to be very enlightening was Mormon Think. It gave me perspectives and questions from both believers and critics of the Mormon religion to look at and weigh in my own mind. My ultimate conclusion from reading that website and doing my own research was that the Mormon church is just like any other religious institution. Created from the perspectives and ideas of someone based on existing material. I also firmly made the decision that paying 10% of my income to tithing was absolutely ridiculous and that I am a far better steward of my money and where it should go.

This is just one example. When it comes to health, science, whatever it may be, it pays to get as many perspectives as you can. You do this because of the breadth of information there is. You can then take your own intuition and life experience and decide what makes sense to you. You’ll also be very understanding of a variety of types of people because you are so used to hearing different kinds of people’s perspectives. This makes you an attractive person because of how good you will become with people.

Find Out What Decisions Are Being Made

Knowing what decisions are being made is important. I live in the United States, in the state of Utah. It’s nice to know what is happening in my country and what I can expect from that. It’s nice to know what is happening in my state so I can know what to expect from that. Why? So you can be prepared for whatever is coming. Knowing the rules, laws, regulations, etc… will help you if you prepare for what is coming.

A good way to look at this is at your place of employment. Chances are, decisions are being made all the time by managers, directors, leaders that run the operation. It’s valuable to speak to these people to understand what is going on there. What’s great about this is that by talking to strangers and cold approaching women, you’ll become fearless in your dialog with people at your place of employment. You’ll see everyone on equal footing and be fearless. This will build your network and give you insight into exactly what is happening.

When you know what is happening, you know what the company values. This is useful to keep your job, but also helps you see for yourself if the decisions are good. They may not be. You may see decisions being made and see a better way. You can then present this better way to others and share why it’s better than what is presently going on. This makes you a very attractive and valuable person because now you are inserting your ideas and philosophy into the situation. You are becoming a cause and not at the effect. This is incredibly powerful.

Discover Reality For Yourself

Reality is a most interesting thing. We’re on this giant spinning rock in space, surrounded by other humans and animals. Our brains are fascinating learning machines. Each experience we have shapes us again and again. One of the great quests I’m on is discovering reality for myself and what it means. So far, here’s what I’ve found:

  • Reality is like a fantasy role playing game. I am the creator and leader.
  • My presence and time is a gift to whoever I am around.
  • I seek a worthy opponent – a woman who can challenge me.
    • I view those who can challenge me as powerful sorceresses and am incredibly drawn to them.

That’s my truth – my reality. Yours may be different. You come to it by asking yourself what you want and examining your past behavior. What don’t you like about what you are doing? This is a clue to what you want. What are the experiences you’ve really enjoyed and liked? This is another clue to what you want. It takes an incredible amount of self reflection and work to discover your reality. I’m still working on it.

Knowing your reality is how you get on the path to becoming a creator and at the cause of your life, rather than someone who is controlled and affected by events. You’ll start to become a strong positive force when you have clarity around what reality is for you. But you must do the work to contemplate it again and again until it comes to you. It may take years…

This is lesson number 3 in this series. It’s all about taking an interest in what is going on around you and finding your own truth about reality. Soak this in. Be the curious cat, and continuously learn, grow, and evolve. Much success to you, seeker.

2. Be Willing to Put in the Work Even When you Don’t Feel Like It

There Is No Substitute For Hard Work

When I was a young boy, my father would tell me to go outside in the backyard and pick up sticks off the ground. It was the worst of tasks and each time he told me to do it, I felt like I wanted to vomit. I absolutely abhorred going outside and picking up those damn sticks :).

That’s how I felt as a child about it. The real answer here is that I was just a lazy child. I didn’t like putting in work. My father has an excellent work ethic and he provided well for us as children and for the family. I’ll always appreciate that about him. It’s only as I’ve gotten older that I see the value in the work-ethic lessons he was trying to teach me. Could he have taught it in a better way? Sure – but the lesson was learned and I can thank him for my work ethic that I have today.

Putting in work when you don’t feel like it is a large part of life. It’s one of the main reasons that will stunt your growth as a man into creating your grandest dreams and visions. Without consistent, hard work, you’ll forever wonder if you can create your vision. It’s an agonizing place to be. Instead, take consistent action toward what you want.

I remember sitting in college labs many many years ago spending hours learning how to program a computer. I had to learn a software application called Visual Studio and how it worked to make software for the web. I spent so many hours trying to figure that out, often failing to find solutions. Eventually, however, I figured it out and have made a career in my day job in software engineering where I am now a senior manager over many people. It all started with countless hours in the school labs learning :).

There’s no silver bullet for this one. You have to put in the time and effort in those things you wish to excel at. You’ve gotta be willing to fail often and have days where you don’t see any progress at all. I spent many hours during college in the school lab toiling away with technology. It’s paying off big time now. For you, whatever craft you are in – whatever it is that you are interested in – you must put in the time and work to become an expert at it so the marketplace of life will reward you.

What are some things you can do to ensure that you put in the work even when you don’t feel like it? Here’s some tips that I use that will help:

Schedule the time in your calendar (I use Google Calendar)

Let’s admit it. Most of us are joined at the hip with our smart phone. Get a calendar program, like Google Calendar, and get in the habit of scheduling time for you to work. Set a two hour block where you will do nothing but work on whatever it is you are trying to accomplish in your life. It might be a new game idea, book, or just going out and talking to strangers. Whatever it is, schedule it and make it happen.

Set weekly goals for yourself

When you first have an idea for something, you’ll want to set some simple goals for yourself each week. It might be as simple as leave the house and walk for 10 minutes at least one day this week. That’s doable. Then gradually increase it next week. Overtime, you’ll become a machine and master at what you are trying to accomplish. Goals are great because they help show progress. Progress is a great indicator of happiness.

Turn off your phone

Your smart phone is a powerful device giving you answers, GPS, video, pictures, and texting at your fingertips. However, they are a big distraction when you’re trying to make a push and get work done. Each time you check your phone, you lose valuable time getting focused and in your creative zone. Your creative zone is the flow you get into when you are working without interruption.

Make small steps to show progress

When you are taking action toward a goal, any progress is important. The progress might be to do one push-up. You do that and if that is more than what you did yesterday, that is success. This morning, I did a light workout for 10 minutes because I’d been sick for a week. It wasn’t much, but it was something and I’ll do more tomorrow and the next day. Any progress is better than no progress.

Tell people about what you are doing

Don’t be afraid to vocalize what you are doing. Find others who are on the same path as you and speak to them about it. A strong support structure goes a long way toward taking action. And, when you meet that amazing woman, her desire and love for you will give you untapped fuel to take it to an even higher level.

These are just some practical tips about what you can do to put in the work when you don’t feel like it. The key thing is to build a habit of action each and every day. It’s not so much about what result you get at first. Just become a man of action who is doing things with his life – going places. Then, as you get better in your craft, whatever that is, you will have built the habit of taking action and the creation process will be easy.

How will this help you meet a great woman? Let me let you in on a little secret. A woman craves a man on a mission. A man who is working his ass off toward creating something amazing in his life is like a drug to a woman. Your hard work and action taking will be noticed by women.

A wise man, Gary Vaynerchuk once said and I paraphrase. Even if you have a day job, the hours from 8pm to 2 am are plenty of time to do damage. Go out there and kick some ass!

1. Inner Peace Comes From An Acceptance of Reality, Regardless of How You Want It To Be

One of the most profound statements came to me in 2015. And it is this:

Inner Peace Comes From An Acceptance of Reality, Regardless of How You Want It To Be

This single quote changed my life. For you, wanting to become a real man and meet a great woman, the study and application of this statement are paramount. Because there are things about life that just are – they are truths and ways reality is that presently, you don’t have any control over. Think about some of these things for a moment:

  • You’re a human being. You don’t have wings and can’t just take off and fly easily. Not without assistance, training, or a jet pack.
  • We’re all on this giant spinning rock in space.
  • Each person is a unique individual and will make decisions in accordance with their belief system.
  • Understand what is in your control (exercise, study, attitude, actions).
  • In life, events outside your control will affect your life.

Let’s go over each of these a moment and how you’ll be able to apply each in your own life. Why? Because when it comes to life and reality, a large part of it is looking at the way things are and learning to be at peace with the present situation. Then, you can take the things within your control and take action toward them.

You’re a human being. You don’t have wings and can’t just take off and fly easily. Not without assistance, training, or a jet pack.

I remember as a young boy, growing up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I would play with my friends outside. One evening, we raked up a huge pile of leaves. We would take turns trying to jump over the leaves. I would raise my arms to my side and wish that I had wings and could just leap over the leaves with ease. Instead, I would jump and my legs would crash into many of the leaves :).

Think about walking around outside right now. How much is within your capability? Can you just take off and fly? How high can you jump? What are the limits of how loud your voice can go? How easy is it to move objects?

When you really think about it, as an individual, each of us is pretty limited. We’re physically limited to our speed, strength, and endurance. You can increase these through exercise, but in large part, learning to be at peace with what you are capable of is an important step to becoming a real man. Why? Because the one who becomes at peace with who they are and what they are capable of will learn to be a calming and centering influence in situations. He won’t be delusional about what he is capable of.

This isn’t to say that great things aren’t possible. When many are aligned to a single purpose, there’s tremendous creation potential. But in this case, for the individual, learning to be at peace with you and your own mortality and limitation is an incredibly important step to becoming a real man.

We’re all on this giant spinning rock in space.

It’s an obvious statement, but we’re all on a giant spinning rock in outer space. Most of the time, you may not think about this. Our perception of reality is “clouded” (pun intended) by the atmosphere. It’s only when an astronaut or person breaks free of the atmosphere that you really get to see beyond what is going on the earth.

So why spend any time focusing on this statement? How is this going to help you be a real man? Well, in tandem with the first statement, you’ll want to start focusing on being a student of reality as it is. It’s incredibly easy to become delusional about reality – seeing it as way better than it is or much worse than it is. Being able to see things exactly as they are is a crucial step to being a real man. Why? Because you’ll learn to read situations and people exactly as they are and you’ll become efficient at drawing yourself toward those situations and people that are in alignment with the reality you are seeking instead of “spinning your wheels” with people and situations that are not.

Take a moment and soak in these first two statements. Think of a few more that are true. You might say. I have two arms and two legs. The grass is green and soft. That car is noisy. That person seems tired. As you go about your daily life, start to examine reality and make unbiased statements about it. As you continue to do this, you’ll start to become a wizard in reality as it is and this is crucial to your development as a real man.

Each person is a unique individual and will make decisions in accordance with their belief system.

We’ve covered your own personal limitations in reality, now, let’s talk about other people. With many billions of people on the planet, a large part of your life is going to be interacting with all of them. How does a real man interact with people?

To answer this, think about what you want. You’re reading this course because you have some kind of desire. Perhaps you want to be more of an influencer. Maybe you’re interested in being a manager or leader. Maybe you’re just trying to attract a great woman into your life. Whatever your interest is, people are going to likely be a part of it. Therefore, you’re going to have to be a student of people and their actions toward you.

Think carefully for a moment on this. You’re talking to a woman that you’re interested in. You’re sharing something special to you and she is checking her phone and looking around. Every time you talk to her, she’s engaged in other activities besides listening to you. Are these the actions of someone interested in you as a person? If you really like this woman, you may dilute reality and see past these actions, thinking that because she’s near you, she likes you. But you must learn to be a stronger version of yourself and higher student of reality than that. Always pay attention to the actions people are taking toward you, not what you think about the situation. When you base your reality on other people’s actions and interest toward you, you save yourself time and trouble with those who just aren’t that interested in you.

This skill is a tough one to master. Because when you have a high interest in someone, you tend to conjure up situations in your mind about that person and situation with them, when in reality, that person may not be that interested in you. You have to have the strength to see reality as it is and walk away from that closed door to others where you get reciprocated interest. Task yourself with paying attention to how people are receiving you in your day-to-day interactions. Make note of those who reciprocate interest to you. They will listen, speak with you, smile, and in general, you will know they are interested.

Understand what is in your control (exercise, study, attitude, actions).

What is in your control in life? Can you make someone fall in love with you? You might be able to put on a show to create temporary emotion, but making anyone do anything is largely out of your control. However, there’s many things that can benefit you that are most definitely within your control.

Exercise

You probably have the capability right now to get up and take a walk. Maybe even go for a run. You might be able to do push-ups, arm curls, and squats for your legs. This is all motion of your body that you have the ability to make happen. You don’t need to persuade anybody but yourself to do this. Exercise is one way you can make yourself a more attractive individual. In addition to looking good, your energy and confidence will rise as your body becomes an improved vehicle for you in this life. And you can start doing it right now.

Back in 2008, I did the P90X workout program. By doing that, I learned about upper body training, lower body training, core training, yoga, stretching, plyometrics, and how to work my body. This has proved valuable for the future as I exercise. I look at exercise as sculpting my body to become the best physical specimen I can be and to have the most energy I am capable of having. A real man seeks to unlock his full potential in all areas and the physical body is one such area.

Study

A real man studies and seeks understanding in all things. He seeks to become a well-spring of knowledge. Why? Because this allows him to be a problem solver and a “MacGyver” in situations. This gives him confidence and certainty where otherwise it would not.

There’s many ways to study. Google and YouTube are my top two ways to study. I am constantly seeking out information from those two channels. And when you find something, read or listen to it and then come to your own conclusion. Because not everything you hear and read is accurate. You’ve got to be able to do your own due diligence and think for yourself. Always be studying.

Attitude

Your attitude is your compass in life. When you seek the positive in situations, you will move toward that. When all you see is the negative, you will move toward that. The real man guards his attitude like a vault of gold and knows that even the slightest negative attitude will steer him off course to achieving his goals and desires.

Surround yourself with those who have a happy and positive attitude about life. Have the strength to let go of those people who have a poor attitude.

If you find yourself having difficulty in this area, start with your own self talk. Say this statement throughout each and every day:

I am happy and optimistic. I know life has its challenges, but I am moving toward greatness.

Actions

You have total control over your actions. Sometimes, your body will be impaired – you will be sick or having a down day, but you still have the ability to go outside for a walk. You still have the ability to play uplifting music. You still have the ability to read and write. It’s when you are feeling your worst that it is most important to take action. By taking action, you condition your body that action taking is important.

I can’t stress this enough. Taking action consistently will create a habit of action. Not taking action consistently will create a habit of inaction.

In life, events outside your control will affect your life.

Toward the end of the year 2009, I had two difficult events occur. One was a Kidney Stone. If you’ve ever had one, it’s akin to giving birth. That lasted for a few days before an infection started and I underwent surgery to remove what could have been something fatal. The other was rupturing a disc in my spine and impinging the nerves in my lower back going down my left leg. I had to have surgery for that too.

Through your own ignorance, or just lack of knowledge, life will hit you with challenges. It’s up to you to use these are learning experiences and guidance moving forward. I now carefully manage my back and drink a lot of fluids to avoid getting a Kidney Stone again. Use your past challenges as fuel for future progress and success.

This concludes lesson 1. Be a student of reality as it is and move toward people and situations that reciprocate interest and are in alignment with what you want. Have the strength and courage to walk away from those people and situations that become a closed door.

30 Ways To Be a Real Man and Meet a Great Woman

I felt inspired to create this 30 ways to be a real man video course from someone who I would consider an inspiration and mentor to me. It’s going to be a work in progress, but I plan on selling it online :)

Over the last couple years, I have learned a great deal through experiences, study, and failing. This guide is going to have a video and article for all 30 ways to be a real man and meet a great woman. Each day, you will incorporate a new philosophy, which you will practice for the rest of your life.

Why did I create this name for the course? Well, I think most men want to be great and meet a great woman, but may not have clarity in how to do it. Through my experience, this is how it is done.

  1. Inner peace comes from an acceptance of reality regardless of how you want it to be
  2. Be willing to put in the work even when you don’t feel like it
  3. Take an interest in what is going on around you
  4. Begin the process of dating
  5. Begin the process of sculpting your body
  6. Find a clothing style that represents you
  7. Start an online blog and personal website
  8. Meditate often
  9. Cold approach people – often
  10. Supercharge your ambitions and career
  11. Create, create, create
  12. Be considerate, but go after what you want without apology
  13. Be willing to lose it all
  14. Find the music that moves you
  15. Learn from those who are where you want to be – the life wizards
  16. Be a renaissance man
  17. Tap into your masculine core and know what you want
  18. Learn to be playful, banter, and like James Bond
  19. Be a rock solid mountain
  20. Be a dominant man
  21. Begin the process of journaling
  22. Have a high standard for what you want
  23. Walk the path to the strongest version of yourself
  24. Embrace the pain to temper you like steel
  25. See the opportunity in every situation
  26. Be fully content with being with just yourself
  27. Feel and process every emotion
  28. Be enthusiastically interested in others
  29. Be detached to be at peace
  30. Each day is your last – do all that you feel

I’ll be working on each of these and as they become available, I’ll create a link to click to the article. When the course is done, there should be some solid content for any looking to make a major life change. I’ve been there. These things have worked wonders for me and I know they’ll do the same for any man looking to own his masculine core and attract a great woman :).

The Vulnerability of My Writing

I’ve been battling a nasty flu for the last several days, up late at night, coughing, and feeling restless. This has been a good time for me to reflect again, which I love doing. I feel at peace with this sickness, allowing myself to feel it, while trying to do what I can to have it get healed. Back in December of 2014, I wrote about a major battle with influenza I had then. This battle is very similar, forcing me to face myself :).

Here’s a video of me that I just took while I am sick. It’s a chance for you to see me not feeling well and to be vulnerable in front of you.

I was recently talking about my writings with someone who wants to read and understand what I’ve been writing about, particularly in the last couple years. One post I wrote, about three months ago, was some very deep self reflection. I just reread that article and it’s so interesting to see how I was feeling at that time just three short months ago. It was very raw, real, and how I felt at that time.

Each one of my articles is like a little stepping stone. The one from three months ago where I did some deep reflection is one of those stones. These days, I don’t think like I did in that past article. I’m very forgiving of myself now. I’m my own personal cheerleader. I value my worth and experience. I know I have a grand tale to tell and a gift for others. I’m much less hard on myself, more giving, and more relaxed and free from outcomes.

Some of my past articles might be a little cringe-worthy, but I accept them as they are for the path I’ve been on. Could they be considered a little embarrassing? Yep, but I bare it all because I want to authentically show my journey here without any filter. The pain and growth of tears was one such article, written a year and a half ago. I took a picture of myself just after crying my eyes out.

Recently, I wrote about a rebirth I went through. It was the culmination of many years of work on myself. Each experience you have in your life can be a blessing if you will use it as a means to become a better version of yourself. When this process goes on for years, the results are what I experienced – a rebirth.

I remember it all starting, back in March of 2014, howling in my car. I didn’t know how I was going to pull out of that, but somehow through sheer force of will, I did :). That caused me to face an experience very personal to me regarding what some would call a twin flame when I wrote, the power of the twin flame. I gained the peace I was looking for from that experience about a month ago and am so grateful for all I’ve learned through it. I wouldn’t trade the lessons and blessings for anything. I truly am very lucky.

It takes courage to write vulnerably and publicly about your life and what is going on. I do it for all to see and you may judge or not judge me as you see fit. Namaste, seeker.

Somebody Pinch Me

Somebody pinch me. For I feel like I am living in a dream world and I am becoming both the character and creator of my reality. All that I am desiring and wishing is coming to fruition. I attribute this to the hard work I’ve put in over the last couple years to become a stronger version of myself. That work is akin to going to hell alone and fighting demons and devils without any assistance. I feel like I’ve come back from hell and have both a story to tell and a gift to give others.

I love – absolutely love giving of my new-found strength to others. I realize that what I’ve done over the last couple years is incredibly rare – that most men aren’t willing to face their shadow self and do the slow-going self work to evolve and become a real man. I love observing reality and seeing where I can help others and be a rock for them. There are special people in my life, each in a unique way that I feel so grateful to have in my life and that I can provide what I can for them.

I want to share a screenshot from “The Witcher 3” a computer game I am playing right now. In it, Geralt is an adventurer. He slays monsters, saves maidens, gains in power, and forms a deep bond and connection with powerful sorceresses. It’s scary how close this is to what I think reality is like for me. I feel like the adventurer, Geralt, and I have a gift to share. And those I share it with are getting a rare gift and it is my pleasure to share it with them.

geralt_and_triss

This image is of Geralt of Rivia and Triss Merigold, a powerful sorceress. The Witcher story is as close to what I view myself as in reality. Geralt is a “Witcher”, an augmented being with super speed and strength, magic capability, who slays monsters, goes on quests, and in the series connects with a few special people, one of which, is the powerful sorceress, Triss Merigold. I love the story from these games and am enjoying part 3.

Life is very good. Of course there are challenges still, but living authentically with what I feel my life should be like is causing a happiness and abundance in me that is really starting to make life feel like it is make-believe for me.

What the Next Level Brings

Life is an interesting thing. When you gain a level, you increase in your capacity as a person. I’m noticing a funny phenomenon that comes along with this. You start to increase in your opportunities and challenges you face as well. You truly never arrive at a level without a new set of opportunities and challenges.

How do I know this? Since I experienced my rebirth, I’ve met some incredible people. These people operate at a higher frequency than I am accustomed to. They stretch me and cause me to examine, once again, where the weak areas are in myself so that I can shore them up and work on becoming the next strongest version of myself.

I remember when I first moved out on my own in October, 2014. I started to put myself out there and date. The quality of the first few women I dated -vs- who I’ve attracted into my life now is a world of difference. With the higher quality women, I find myself looking inwardly to see where the cracks are in my armor – where am I weak or where could I falter. Indeed, I am not perfectly formed yet at this time.

The cool thing about this is I can point to weaknesses in myself and I’m not consumed by them. At the level of thinking I’m at now, I’m much more conscious about myself and feelings. I don’t just dismiss a feeling of anxiety, fear, or insecurity as something bad. I actually allow myself to feel that emotion and give myself the time and space to think about why I am feeling that. I’m a much more supportive and forgiving person of myself.

I think about going to the gym and that pertains to this as well. At the gym, you progressively get stronger and lift more and more weight. In all good things in life – career, body, friends, relationships, etc… the higher you go up, the more weight there is to push and the more you need to be the type of person that can hold space for whatever it is you have attracted.

This next level I’m at now is a bit overwhelming, I have to be honest. There is a part of me that pinches myself wondering if this is real or not. I’ve met some incredibly amazing people – people who are enthusiastically interested in what is going on in my life and there is an effortless interaction with them. I feel like I am living in a story book, it’s that surreal.

I’ll end by giving thanks for the journey I’m on and how much I’ve grown by doing self work, cold approaching people, and getting out there and dating a ton of people. It is that work, in all those areas, that continues to mold me into a better and better person. I have many flaws still, but I couldn’t be happier with my progress and where my life is at right now!

Awakening

It’s very hard to describe what is happening right now, but it feels really good. I feel like my eyes have been opened and I am experiencing the result of where my amazing journey has taken me to this place. I feel good. Happy, and I’m excited to see where this goes :)

Continuous Meditation

meditating

That’s me, meditating at an Oxygen bar in Las Vegas, February, 2016!

I’ve recently discovered a sound track of meditation that I constantly listen to now. I’ve embedded the YouTube for you here to listen. You may think I’m a complete nutso, but this music speaks to me. I took the entire 4 hours and put it on my phone and I listen to it all the time now.

Yes, whenever I get a chance, I put the music on and listen to it. I do it in the morning, during my morning work time, at lunch time, in the afternoon, when I get home, while I’m working at home, while I’m driving and while I’m out and about walking around.

This is continuous meditation – the act of putting yourself into a present state where you feel what is going on in your body – good or bad – and allow yourself to feel it at all times. You focus on accepting yourself as you are and that you are enough. You breathe and ask your brain what you will think of next. This tricks the brain into not thinking of anything and helps you be more present.

Wherever I go, I have my earphones with me and my phone, ready to put this music on and focus. Doing this constantly helps ground and center me from the challenges of life. You may be reading this article, but you don’t see the challenges I face each day as I go out and about. I face difficulties just like anyone else and this continuous meditation helps me recover incredibly fast from setbacks.

Your quest: Get a phone with head phones and get the MP3’s for all these sound tracks from the YouTube video (they are listed in the description of the YouTube video) and listen to them regularly while focusing on deep breaths and that you are an amazing person who is capable of so many great things. You are learning and growing each day. Peace to you, seeker, as you meditate, ground your energy, and become a better version of yourself.

Rebirth

This last week was a rebirth for me. I just felt like I had broken out of a cocoon and morphed into this new being. It’s hard to describe, except I’ll say that the change involves me being more present to the moment, less judgmental of myself, more forgiving of others, and excited about life and what is going on for me.

I went and took some pictures with an amazing photographer recently (thanks Tracy!). They capture what I already feel – how happy and joyful I feel about life right now and the progress I’ve made. Life is what you make it and it is very good. Here’s a picture that describes the rebirth for me. I feel relaxed, comfortable, and I internalize my approval and validation. Mmmmmm, yeah :).

jer13

Intensity

Intensity

I’m at work and taking a short break to write this article. It’s 11:47 PM. That makes for a long work day of 16 hours! :) I write this article because I’m working on an extremely important project that is a huge deal for the business in terms of $. The piece of this project I am working on is due tomorrow and therefore, I’m up right now as a steward, helping resolve any last minute issues there might be.

Today was intense. It was a constant go-go-go of making sure a hundred and one things were working. It made me sweat. I liked it. Even now, I feel the intensity of this project needing to be delivered tomorrow and that there is no delaying it. It must be ready tomorrow no matter what.

With the intensity and responsibility I feel pressure. But I don’t feel stressed. Not really. I’m not afraid of what could happen. The lessons in detachment that I’ve learned since on my own are proving to be very powerful here. I can think and speak clearly and calmly about what the issues are and am able to look through them now without feeling rushed. I may not sleep at all tonight and am OK with that fact.

I feel what is like the force of this hurricane hitting me, but I feel strong and steadfast in the winds and focusing clearly on a successful result regardless of the challenge. I believe challenges cause people to rise to their full potential. It’s why life is a struggle – to help us all rise to the occasion to become more than we are. The struggle is real and it is a gift.

It’s funny, all these dates I’ve gone on and the multitude of “rejections” I’ve had are proving valuable at my place of work and in all areas of my life. I’m not afraid of what could happen if I don’t deliver tomorrow. Yet, I will give all I possibly have to achieve delivery. But I’m not afraid of being fired. I’m not afraid of being homeless. I cannot be swayed by outcomes anymore. What a blessing the dating journey is proving to be for me in my life right now.

You may have moments of intensity in your life. Moments where it is the 4th quarter with 1 minute to go and the game is tied and you must perform and seal the deal. I feel like that right now. Tired, exhausted, battered by the storm, but resilient and focused to make the right outcome. Rwar! Let’s do this!

A Leader of Men

King Leonidas

This past week was a good one. I faced a multitude of challenges at work that I knew were coming the weekend before. I remember having a tight feeling in my gut wondering how I would measure up to the challenges. I meditated and focused on positive self talk and having a clear vision of success for the week. I played trance music and allowed myself time and space to focus on what the best version of myself looks like.

When I got into work Monday, that energy carried over to how I acted. I faced many unknowns, but the good thing was that I was optimistic and moved forward with a solution oriented mindset and inspiration that my group has the skill and talent to solve the problems ahead and that we would be “victorious”. This wasn’t said with delusion but with conviction as I see the talent and skill of the people in my group and I have full faith and trust in their ability.

By the end of Friday I looked back on the week and realized that I had grown tremendously in just this week. It’s not to say that I’m this perfect being who can will into existence whatever I wish, but I must admit, that I felt a power this week to “bend reality to my will” through my own conviction and utilizing the skill of those around me.

This leads me to the point of this article and that is looking at the best version of myself. The best version of myself is a leader of men (and women). He knows where he is going in his life and he courageously and without apology leads and moves forward toward overcoming any obstacles. He inspires and motivates those around him. Motivation is a currency. It is what stirs others to action. A leader of men is both skilled at his craft and is a strong motivator.

That guy up there – that’s King Leonidas from the movie, “300”. In that movie, King Leonidas is faced with the daunting fact that he, 300 of his finest warriors, and a band of militia are all that stand in the way of the limitless hordes of Xerxes, the “god king” of Persia. The concept of those odds is so overwhelming, yet King Leonidas sees a solution and places his soldiers at just the right location so that the Persian hordes must come through a narrow passage in order to get to Greece. He and his soldiers beat off wave after wave of enemy attacks until the king and his men are betrayed and ultimately slaughtered.

That’s the epitome of a leader of men. He motivated an entire army against impossible odds because he believed in what he was doing. He had vision of how inspiring the act of he and his men would be and it led to a final victory for Dilios and a large army of Spartans and Greeks against the final hordes of Persia.

I memorized the final speech of the movie 300 because I found it so inspiring. Here it is, Dilios speaking to a council of Spartans and then panning to him speaking to his army in the final battle against Persia at Platea:

He did not wish tribute. Nor song. Nor monuments. No poems of war and valor. His wish was simple: Remember us, he said to me. That was his hope. Should any free soul come across that place, in all the countless centuries yet to be. May all our voices whisper to you from the ageless stones:

Go tell the Spartans, passer by, that here by Spartan law we lie.

And so, my king died. And my brothers died. Barely a year ago. Long I pondered my king’s cryptic talk of victory. Time has proven him wise. For from free Greek to free Greek, the word was spread that bold Leonidas and his 300, so far from home, laid down their lives – not just for Sparta, but for all Greece and the promise this country holds.

Now, here on this ragged patch of earth called Platea, Xerxes hordes face obliteration! Haua!

Just there, the barbarians huddle. Sheer terror gripping tight. Their hearts, with icy fingers, knowing full well what merciless horrors they suffered at the swords and spears of 300.

Yet they stare now, across the plains, at 10,000 Spartans commanding 30,000 free Greeks. Haua, Haua, Haua!

The enemy outnumber us a paltry 3 to 1. Good odds for any Greek. This day, we rescue a world from mysticism and tyranny, and usher in a future brighter than anything we can imagine. Give thanks men, to Leonidas and the brave 300, to victory!

I love speaking my view points and philosophy to any and all who will listen. That philosophy is this:

Life is what you make it. Life is an adventure. Your philosophy and outlook on life determine your energy, attitude, and direction. I’ve had both a poor and a powerful philosophy at times and I can see the difference in each. Be a sponge in life, continuously soaking up whatever information you can and then go out and take action and see for yourself how things work. It is the combination of learning and taking in information and then going out and taking action that creates a valuable person who can contribute to society in a positive way.

I suppose this is why I am reading all the time. It’s why I go out to the mall, restaurants, bars, parks, streets, and strike up conversations with strangers. It’s why I do cold approach pickup with women – one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I learn so much by going out and stretching myself, not doing it to get anything, but to challenge myself and grow in my ability to be social, meet people, build rapport, and ultimately become one of influence and a leader. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but nothing worth it is ever easy.

A leader of men has a strong masculine core. He knows where he is going and welcomes those who wish to join him along for the ride. He maintains a consistent demeanor regardless of what challenges and tests come his way. I feel great progress in the last year and I believe this year will bring even greater progress. I’m happy, content, and excited about what lies ahead. For the first time in my life, I believe I am understanding what true masculine energy is like – moving forward with purpose, vision, and unwavering.

Pecking Order

In life, there seems to be an order to things and what you are able to get. Call it evolution… call it hard work. But to get and become more you have to put in work and go through the pain of growth. This is true as you workout in the gym, run to increase your stamina, learn a new skill like programming, or are trying to just become a better person.

The last year has been full of a ton of growth for me. That growth continues today. Every time I think I’ve “arrived”, life decides to knock me silly and humble me. I appreciate being humbled. Each time it happens, I recover quickly and take new-found lessons with me moving forward.

The pecking order I speak of for this article is that life and people very much seem to be segmented into ranks. You could describe the ranks like this:

  • Peasant
  • Serf
  • Jester
  • Squire
  • Knight
  • King

The Peasant

When you’re just starting in life, you’re a peasant. You depend on everybody else for you to live and you cry your head off until you get it. You have no capacity to feed or care for yourself and thus you are a leech to everyone around you. However, you can do pretty cute things at this age like laugh, giggle, and make silly facial expressions that make up for being such a leech.

The Serf

Eventually you become less of a leech. You’re able to hold your bottle, get bigger, and hold a spoon with which to eat your oatmeal with so someone else doesn’t have to have their arm fall asleep holding a bottle for you to feed from. The serf has begun the process of learning about life and caring for them self.

One can stay a serf well in to old age. Anyone who isn’t able to hold a job or contribute to society in a meaningful way stays stuck at a serf – able to do a few things for them self, but still leeching off others for most of their needs.

The Jester

The Jester is the next breakthrough one can make. It’s the next step in the pecking order. To become a Jester, you must learn to contribute some value to society with some consistency. You have learned to crack a joke or two and to not get fired from your employment for the most part. You play your part, but aren’t doing anything too spectacular except working, coming home, and having the occasional moment of connection with someone.

The Squire

The squire is the next level of the pecking order. To become a squire is to begin to learn that you can actually improve your living situation with your body, your work, and the people you interact with. But it’s only a spark at this point. It’s the realization that all of this is possible and that you can take steps to do it, such as going to the gym, being proactive at your job, and taking courageous action to meet new people who are beyond your level in the pecking order.

The squire still screws up in his learning with his work and others and has yet created the stability to become a knight.

The Knight

The knight is a highly valued member of society. They are the one’s who lead and direct others. They contribute regularly to those they know with their thoughts and ideas. They are value creators – constantly thinking of how they can better society and others. They fearlessly slay the obstacles in their way rather than looking at them as impossible to overcome.

Knights in society are rare. Look around for them. They are the leaders who courageously try to help others.

The King

The king (and queen) are the highest members of society. They create vision and direction that most are envious of. They create value and wealth through thought and idea and have the charisma, expertise, and intelligence to lead and direct others toward that vision. King’s are valued for their ability to take situations and turn them “to gold”.

Where Are you?

Where are you on the pecking order? I’m somewhere around a squire right now. I have not learned the lessons I need to, to become a knight or king. But I’m trying and working on it. It’s the journey and the small steps of progress that matter and learning from your setbacks while smiling.

Don’t fight the pecking order. You likely aren’t as high up as you think on it. And that’s OK. Accept this reality and that hard work, dedication, and a renewed focus when you fail are what are required to advance.

Year In Review, 2015

My friend Sam just wrote up on his 2015 goals and his 2016 predictions and this will now be the third year I’m doing this. Sam is someone I admire. He is a positive influence to me and has been since early 2010 when I first met him.

And wow… Another year is about to come to a close. Where does all the time go? I turned 38 this year and the big FOUR OH lingers its head to me and challenges me to stay young and energetic. I love doing these year end reviews and predictions for next year because it gives me a chance to test my ability to reflect, predict, and provide some sort of guidance for myself and where my life is headed.

2015 saw quite a bit of things happen for me in my life. It’s not a stretch to say that I experienced more this year than I did the previous 10 years. What’s funny is that I said the same thing about 2014 when I did my year end review for it!

Let’s look at what happened in 2015, what my predictions for 2016 are, and what some of my personal goals are for the next year.

What happened in 2015?

2015 was my first year being out on my own. This little apartment of mine is starting to grow on me. There’s a part of me that still finds it strange living on my own after I had been married for 14 years. But I’m starting to get used to it – comfortable with it. At the end of today, I’ll have spent my first full year on my own.

Trips to California

2015 saw THREE trips to California. It was such an amazing experience to go there on my own. I really felt like a kid in a candy store there and I feel California continue to beckon to me – particularly San Francisco, the Bay Area. There is such a free spirited feel to that area and an energy and enthusiasm that is contagious. I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up there before the end of 2016 – but more on that later.

I visited San Francisco, Santa Clara, and spent time going to Apple, Google, and speaking at a Technology Conference. This was all very fun! I love public speaking and any time I have a chance to do it, I go for it. You can read more about these trips from these articles:

Many more dates

I went on date # 50 (and then some) this year. To me, that is a mind blowing feat, especially with most of those dates being in Utah where there is a predominant Mormon culture and I am not an active follower of that religion. To go on the 50+ dates I’ve been on, I’ve had to go through many rejections and “ghosts”. At this point in time, I don’t view things as rejections anymore. I look at finding those who want to be in my life and seeking them out and those that don’t want to be in my life should be free to exit my life and be in other people’s lives that they want to be in. This is a shift in mind set about what rejection ultimately means. I view it as freedom now – freedom for others to be happy out of my life and that makes me happy :).

I learn so much each time I go out on a date with a new person. I believe that I need to go out and meet many more people to grown and learn. This process may never end. I feel called to do it – to date as much as I can and to learn and grow from that experience. In fact, I finished a book about that that I self published today.

Finishing another book

I wrote my second book and published it today. It’s called, “50 Dates To Be Great.” Here is the book cover:

50_dates_be_great_book_cover

You can get the book on Amazon now and learn all about my dating adventures, perspectives, success, and failure. See what dating is like for a newly single dad at age 36.

I really like writing. It helps me convey thoughts and ideas while not being put on the spot by someone in a conversation. This book was a labor of love because I’m taking all the knowledge and experience from these 50 dates and injecting it into this book for others to learn from. Some chapters are short because the date was uneventful. Some chapters, like chapter 22, are many pages long and taught me about my flaws and imperfections. I made some mistakes in these 50 dates!

The main thing this book taught me is that I am a worthwhile person who also has work to do on himself. I’m sure I will come up with another idea come 2016, but more on that below.

Managing multiple teams and more people

At my day job, I was given more responsibility. This happened a few months ago and I’m starting to get the hang of it. It’s a challenge – to manage projects and be successful with them while keeping my people happy. But, I feel I am qualified to do this because of the kind of person I have become through life’s challenges.

Battling myself

I wrestled with myself and my own emotions in 2015. I had some really dark and depressing days that I won’t go into detail here – that’s more for my journal to tell. But I’ve realized that depression is a real thing that hits me and many others and feel much more empathy for those who struggle with it.

What do I predict will happen in 2016?

What will happen in 2016?

Hillary Clinton will be the next president. Barack Obama has done a good job in my view at being president. I know that many would crucify me for saying this, but I honestly think that many just hate whoever the president is regardless because there are so many different view points about the way things should be. Is Barack Obama perfect? No. Any president will have faults. At a high level, this is my best view. Others who like to scour details and facts can give you a better perspective on this, but realize that we as humans will often create bias to support our own view of the world and so there is difficulty in trusting any written source. This applies even to me as I try to write objectively.

Why will Hillary be the next president? Because she resonates with more people and liberalism is winning the day in society.

Stocks will be flat. I don’t see the stock market surging up this year like it has been. I see it staying about the same. Why? Gut feel, I suppose, but it’s more the saying, “no king rules forever.” It’s this universal truth that tells me stocks are about to go flat and maybe even go down.

Society becoming more liberal. With gay marriage becoming legal in the United States, I see society continuing to become more liberal and free thinking. This won’t sit well with religion – those who are strict to religion anyway. Believers of organized religion will hold stronger to it as they look to see the challenges of society as evidence that the world is crumbling and that a “second coming” will take place. I believe the opposite. The world is getting better and events that are happening are the simple disruption for a more free spirited and liberal world that is continuing to be more deeply connected through technology.

Golden State wins the NBA championship. This prediction isn’t really that hard. Golden State (with Stephen Curry) is far and away the best team in the NBA. If he is able to play and stay healthy, they win the championship with ease.

What do I hope to accomplish in 2016?

Limited Facebook for the entire year, until Dec. 31. Use Instagram to post what’s going on in my life. Cease senseless checking of websites and social media. Check Facebook once a month to post a picture or see if someone is trying to get a hold of me. This one is a biggie for me. I feel I’m in an unconscious loop where I check things online. There’s no need to do this. Instagram provides a better way to share what’s going on through pictures and video and isn’t as easily accessible to me. I feel this will greatly help me focus on other projects.

Decide on going to California. I will decide to go to California or not this year. The Bay Area beckons to me and I will either heed that call or not. This is a big one for me as my kids live here in Utah. California will open up so much to me – I can feel it, but there will be challenges there, the first being the cost of living.

Write another book. I’m having so much fun writing that I’m going to do another book. I have no idea what it will be about, but I will start that process as I brainstorm ideas. I want to write dozens of books about my life, learning, and the adventures I’m having.

Make $7,000 passive income from Peer to Peer Lending and invest $6,000 more into it. Prosper has been an amazing vehicle for earning passive income. I’m still making over 10% from it. It’s been the first successful venture of mine to make money outside of my day job! I’m still going to work on side hustle projects, but I can’t say enough good about Peer to Peer Lending so far.

Get my body in incredible shape through CrossFit or the gym. I’ve sort of let my body go these last few months of the year and that’s unacceptable. My goal is 210 pounds and 14% body fat. I can measure these easily. I’m going to a CrossFit studio today to check it out and see what it is like.

Spend at least one day a week for 30 minutes going out and meeting people. One thing I always feel good doing is going out and meeting new people. It stretches me and cold approach is easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done. That’s why I know I need to do it more and keep at it.

Get some new clothes and professional photos done. Part of coming across as someone of value is creating that perception. Whether I like it or not, perception of other people matters… I must look the part. I’m going to go clothes shopping and get some professional photos done for this.

Wrap up

2015 was a good and challenging year. I have a feeling that 2016, if I stay the course, will be even better, full of many more new experiences, challenges, and growth. Have a happy new year everyone!

Early Release of 50 Dates to Be Great

I’ve got my book out on Amazon right now. It was much easier to release the book than last time. I just uploaded my Word document, filled out some web forms, and bam, I’ve got my second book published. There’s still some work to do over the next couple weeks, namely:

  • Get a real book cover with my picture on it
  • Continue to do edits
  • Make a clickable table of contents
  • Assign an ISBN (in case I want to go paperback)

I’m very happy with how it’s turning out. There’s some personal, raw, and mistake-making in it as well as some successes and friendships that I have to this day. I cannot say enough good about dating and the growth it causes if you’ll use it as a learning experience to grow stronger and more centered as a person.

Here’s a screenshot of it on Amazon (LINK):

book_release

 

Shadow Work

I have learned recently about “Shadow Work.” This seems to be the facing of the part of yourself that you suppress or are ashamed of (or have been made to feel ashamed of). A term for this part of you is the shadow. I suppose it makes sense because the shadow is the part of you that is dark.

I’m starting a personal journey of my work to understand myself more – my childhood trauma, my early shyness, my frustrations, failings, and all the things that I don’t like about myself. This is the shadow part of me.

What I’m learning is that rejecting this part of myself – trying to pretend it isn’t there is denying myself of who I fully am. I do have fears, pain, and doubts. I’m learning to allow myself to feel exactly what I feel at any given moment without judging myself. Instead I just feel it.

Earlier in the week, I had a nasty diarrhea stomach bug. That kind of thing triggers my emetophobia – my fear of vomiting. I can recall very vividly sitting here at my computer, my heart rate increasing, my breath becoming rapid and shallow, and going into a state of panic. What I would normally do in this case is go outside, walk around, and try to ignore the feeling I had to avoid throwing up.

Instead, I allowed myself to feel shitty. I paid attention to my shallow breathing and rapid heart rate. I told myself it was OK and that there was nothing wrong with me because this was happening. I accepted that whatever happens is what happens and if puking is what it comes to, then so be it.

Fortunately, I did not vomit, and the panic attack I was having went away after another minute. I also have a challenge when I go to public speak – or speak or read in front of a group. I get really nervous, my heart rate increases, and I get sweaty. I allow myself to feel that way. While sitting in front of 50 people, I allow myself to feel nervous and afraid. I tell myself it is OK and if it doesn’t go away, I will do the best I can with the nervousness. I then go and speak any way.

When I was a youngster in 7th grade, I had my first panic attack reading out loud in front of a classroom because I was called on to read – but I wasn’t paying attention and I told the teacher I was sick and needed to throw up and I just got up and walked out of the class. This was an out of character thing for me to do. What’s funny about this is that I could do it any time I wanted – even on purpose and not many people would have cared. It goes to show that you can do some pretty bizarre and outrageous things and people don’t care as much as you think they do.

There’s other areas of my “shadow” such as feeling inferior, useless, rejected, and an outcast. I’m learning to accept all these things and not fight them anymore. I’m also working on accepting my thoughts and desires as natural and acting in a way that a person of the caliber I am trying to become would. That is definitely some of the hardest work I’ve had to do.

For instance, I’ve put on about 20 pounds in the last year. I have used food as a crutch to deal with stress. Rather than using food as a crutch, a better approach is to acknowledge my stress and why I feel stressed. It’s because I live alone, work a high throttle job with big responsibilities, and have two children to continue to support. I and I alone am responsible for a shit ton of stuff. It all feels like a house of cards sometimes – I could just become homeless any moment and it could all come crashing down.

These are the kinds of things I think about doing this shadow work on myself. As I see it, I must become at peace with all aspects of myself, unafraid of going for what I want, and never giving my power or energy away to another person or situation, no matter what is before me.

I’ll write more about this as I think and make progress. For the first time in my life, I am doing battle with myself and understanding how to fight that battle. Hugs to you…

What Does It Mean to be Emotionally Unavailable?

I had a conversation with a friend of mine recently who when I first met her, she could tell immediately that I was emotionally unavailable. I asked her how she knew this (because she was right), and she said she could just feel it from me – her intuition. I asked her if there was anything verbal or non-verbal she could pick up and she just said it was her intuition. I don’t know the mystery of intuition, but I know I feel certain things and am right and therefore have to conclude others feel things too and can deduce reality through their own gifts.

It made me think about what being emotionally unavailable means. I think in my case it means I can’t commit myself to one person at this time in my life and I can’t give one person my 100% undivided attention. But I don’t think this necessarily means I’m emotionally unavailable, because I appreciate the people who are close to me in my life and I most definitely give my time and attention. But I agree with this woman in that I don’t give it fully and at a 100% level.

Someone who is emotionally available will give their full attention to another person. They will think of them often and look at how they are feeling. They will regularly communicate through phone calls or text. This is something I’m terrible at right now. I have a good reason for being terrible at it. I was once the opposite of a terrible texter. I would communicate through text in the past, but get pushed away, and therefore, my brain has evolved that too much texting is going to simply push people away so I don’t do it.

Emotionally unavailable means that someone won’t give as much as they receive. I don’t like the feeling that I am this way, but in all honesty, I am right now. It’s a humbling thing to admit. I’d rather admit it to myself than try to hide it though. I’m still just over a year freshly single and am still figuring myself out and all my past wounds. I have many wounds even from childhood that I’m working through. This self work is very tiring and difficult. Much of it is done by myself through thought, meditation, and pondering.

Being this way gives me greater empathy for those who haven’t been emotionally available in the past year that I’ve encountered. Everyone has a reason for the way they are. For all of you reading this, have a little compassion and kindness for those men and women you know who are emotionally unavailable. There’s likely a good reason for it.

Your quest: Seek to understand those you know who are emotionally unavailable and why that might be. Having empathy for them might cause surprising and positive results.

Chasing 38

I’ve got my girls this weekend (woo hoo). And they are asleep and now I’m on my computer reflecting and thinking. I’m going to be 38 years of age in just over a week. It’s another year written to the book of my life. When the end of the year hits, I’ll do a year end review, but there’s some thoughts swirling around that I think are worth sharing now.

The older I get, the more I see life as a play and all of us humans as participants in this play, largely being who we are without much say in how the play unfolds unless we do significant work and develop self awareness. I’ve seen this over and over with myself, how my habits largely dictate the course of my life.

Tonight, my girls and I ordered a pizza. It’s a habit that we’ve built up that the Friday they stay over, we order one pizza from Domino’s. When they come over, they like to go on their computers. Sienna likes to play Animal Jam and Ellie likes to watch YouTube videos. I can see my girls liking this routine to do that when they come over and it bringing them a sense of comfort and certainty.

For myself, I see what my habits are at this time. When I go shopping, I buy avocados, watermelon, pineapple, salad, salad toppings & dressing, almond milk, cashew milk, and almond chocolate milk. I’ll also buy a can of salt and vinegar Pringles because those are really good!

When my kids are here, I take them shopping on Saturday and I push them around Walmart in the cart really fast. It’s a lot of fun and I do it to show people that it’s OK to be silly and do things out of what is normal. Occasionally someone might look at us and smile, but overall, most people are just paying attention to themselves and their own life and you can do some pretty ridiculous things, but people generally won’t take note. Here’s a short video of that adventure.

Try it sometime. I’m getting older, yet I find myself still acting like a kid. I’m just waiting to see another dad in Wal Mart running around with his kids in the cart, but usually, if there are parents with their kids, they are telling their kids to be quiet. I don’t quite get it… Have fun with your kids and show them that life is fun. Run around the store with them and have a good time.

Anyhow, at work, I’m being stretched, but I like it. I got offered a new position a couple months ago with more responsibility because apparently, I must be doing something right. I now have 11 people reporting to me across a multitude of projects. I feel like I’m just treading water and running around with my head cut off, but this is good and helps me know that I am on a growth path at work right now. I don’t feel very in control of anything and that is good. It’s how you know you’re doing something worthwhile.

I’ve thought about my death bed tonight. What do I want to feel if and when I should be close to my death. I don’t want to feel like I didn’t go after the things I wanted. I don’t want to feel like I was too afraid to go for it. I feel like I am living my life in this way in some small part. But I am restless. I feel there is so much more for me to experience and do. But, life is good and I’m very fortunate to be where I’m at and to be me.

Your quest: Do something a little fun and crazy like running around WalMart. Live without regrets.

Express Yourself

No matter how you are feeling in your life, express it. Feeling like shit? Own it. Just own it. Say to yourself very clearly and directly, “You know what, I feel like shit right now.” Be very clear and direct with your expression of how you feel to yourself.

Feeling hyper? Own it. Go to the mall and skip and bounce around. Give people high five’s. Own that shit too.

Allow your body to feel and express. Take it all in. Whether you are pissed off, happy, sad, or somewhere in between, give yourself the permission to express that feeling and emotion. Why? That feeling is energy inside you. It’s in your body, waiting to be released. Cry, laugh, scream, yell, giggle, and let it out.

Especially if there is nervous or tightness in your body, give yourself permission to release this energy.

I can’t stand someone who, when I ask them how they are doing, says they are doing fine or good like a robot. You are most certainly not just doing good or fine all the time. Sometimes you’re doing shitty. Sometimes you’re doing great. And sometimes you are just doing fine or good. Own it and speak how you are feeling.

You’ll feel better if you allow yourself to express your feelings and thoughts. This website of mine is a nice place for me to write exactly what is on my mind. If I feel great or feel like shit, you are doing to be able to read about it. Own every emotion of yours and express it. It’s the only way to get that energy out of your body.

I felt like shit yesterday. I feel good today. Really good. So good that I feel like James Bond. Just be.

My Cat Dido Has Returned Home

Last night, I got a phone call while I was working on my computer. I was planning on going to the gym, but I found myself delaying that because I was so interested in what I was working on. I didn’t recognize the number, but I answered it anyway.

The call was from someone saying they think they saw my missing cat, Dido. It turns out, this woman lived across the street and down one apartment. She said they saw Dido sitting on their porch. So I immediately threw on my sweatshirt and went out into the cold to meet this woman.

It turns out, Dido had scattered off, but was likely in the area. So I went back inside to put on some warmer clothes, get some soft cat food, which I know Dido likes, and my phone for a flashlight. After a few minutes looking around, the woman said she saw Dido underneath some stairs going up. I shined my phone light and there she was. I knew it was her because of her collar.

This woman’s boyfriend was also helping us and I gave him the soft cat food while I shined the flashlight. I called Dido and she immediately started meowing over and over. She came to the soft cat food, and then to me. Once she was by me, I started petting her and then grabbed her. I told the two helping me find Dido that I would be right back – I had Dido and wanted to get her inside my apartment.

I recall Dido letting me carry her. She didn’t fight being held like she usually does. She meowed so much more than I’ve ever heard her do. Her fur is also in a bunch of knots and very coarse. Usually she has very smooth fur. She has some indentations in her fur and I can tell she’d been in a couple scuffles.

Once I got Dido inside, Ator and Sneaker (my two other cats), immediately hissed, not recognizing that it was Dido at first. Still, I left her inside and went back to the woman and her boyfriend who first spotted Dido. I told them I wanted to give them their reward (it was $200 from my flyer), and I went to the WinCo nearby and got the cash for them.

I gave them the cash and they told me thank you and to go spend time with my kitty. I did so and felt gratitude for them for spotting Dido and calling me. I gave them their $200 reward and wished them well. I’m sure I’ll talk to them again, they live really close.

I went back inside and immediately started petting Dido and she meowed over and over. She’s still meowing all the time when I’m here and she’s even going up to me, wanting to be petted. This behavior is so different than before she had been on her own outside in the cold. Dido would always run away from me and it was difficult to pet her. The change is that she purrs up to me, meows, and wants me to pet her.

Dido changed when she was out on her own. I have no doubt that her being out in the cold for a month changed her perception about how good she had it while she was in my apartment. In my apartment, I pay the gas, electricity, refill the water and food, and pet her. It’s a REALLY GOOD life. When she was out on her own in the cold, I believe she started to gain an appreciation for the life she had before.

I think this lesson applies to us as humans. I’m still in the process of healing and becoming whole and I remember how shitty I felt last year for about 7 months. When you’ve hit rock bottom, you start to appreciate the good times. You realize that good memories are important and not to take things for granted. I know my life can change in an instant and everything I have could be taken away.

I’m grateful Dido, my cat, is back home. I can see a change in her demeanor. She is showing affection now instead of running away from me. I had made peace with never seeing her again. I cried briefly when I found her, but mostly, I felt gratitude and thanks that she was safe. It was a happy reunion.

Here’s a video of her in my apartment, shortly after she had been found. What a good kitty.