I’ve forgotten all my lessons. When it comes to talking, and listening, you have to recognize what’s being said, what’s not being said, and what can’t be said.
Words are inherently loaded, and it’s up to unpack them. Likewise, load our own words with the right ammunition.
I spoke my mind and said some things at work today that left me second guessing myself, per usual.
And that’s a good thing. I’m trying to just speak what comes to mind. But that doesn’t mean what comes out of my mouth is always tact.
That’s the advice I was given: you have to be tact.
Saying whatever comes to mind is a good start, but it’s not the ultimate and final strategy.
So I have to learn to not only speak from my heart, what comes to mind, quick witted, effectively, confidently and with eloquence, but also with pragmatism.
That is, say shit fast and that is smart.
This is how the left and right brain work in tandem. One cannot win without the other. Why swim with one arm when you have two?
I pause and reflect to see what I am doing. While I am obsessed with speed, I must be even more obsessed with direction, else I’ll be going nowhere fast.
Currently, I see my time divided into 3 projects: bartending, marketing/startup, and interpersonal skills.
Bartending – Mastering this craft aligns with my several of my values – family, fitness, and freedom. The interpersonal skills development is essential. Call it exposure therapy each time I work a shift. I’m getting better, more fit. In turn, I can more effectively communicate with people, including friends, customers, and loved ones. Not to mention, potential significant others. Hence, my family values are fulfilled. Lastly. bartenders are in demand in all countries around the world. Wherever there is a bar and some level of tourism that is. It goes without saying that bartenders make a decent income for a living. Family, fitness and freedom.
Marketing/startup – Though I am steering away from tech and business, I can’t deny my core nature and roots. I am an entrepreneur. I am a marketer. I am a technology enthusiast. How can I turn my back on my core strengths and skills that drive earning potential? That would be stupid of me to forgo such opportunities. Thus, I will leverage my skills, networks, and experiences in marketing and entrepreneurship to achieve financial freedom. And with financial freedom, I can more effectively support friends, families, and passion projects.
Interpersonal skills – I suck at communicating. Not always, but it’s often a hit or miss. This area of my life needs to be pat down and locked down. That’s why I’ve signed up for improv classes and voice lessons. My bartending gig is accelerating my growth here as well.
When it comes to writing, I’ve forgotten my most cardinal and sacred motto: done is better than perfect.
Hell, even if it’s just one line a day that I write, regardless of how beat up and tired I am, I should fucking do it.
Well then. Today I went above and beyond with 3 lines.
Independence isn’t acquired by running away from your captors. You have to face them head on, fight, and earn your freedom.
No matter how far I travel, away from the woes and troubled relationships, I will always be a prisoner to if I do not ascertain my true independence from them.
A person can have control over your life if you allow it.
Up until now, I thought if I had a decent job, a mobile van, then I could achieve freedom. Yet, my life is still gripped and paralyzed by individuals in my life.
The best thing I can do for myself is to fight and win my freedom from the people who I have reluctantly relinquished my kingdom to.
My true peace cannot be attained if I continue to exercise creative avoidance from the trouble relationships.
But on the same token, will all relationships grip me with fear? I must not mind all people and their business or it’ll be the end of me.
My friend’s cousin passed away recently from leukemia. He had a will for his family members.
A few thousands when to this person. Another few thousands went to another.
There was a catch to the money given – a dying wish you may call it. The money is to be used for specific things.
“Bitches and beers.” (Fuck political correctness for a minute here.)
What character. His last dying wish is for his family to just fucking enjoy life.
The anecdote came when my friend noticed that I looked stressed and worried for far too long than I needed to. He was right.
I worry a lot – how to make more money, how to get more friends, how to impress more people, how to achieve financial freedom…
The list is endless. Wants, wants, and more wants.
Where was the gratitude? I had none. My life was a barren wasteland, devoid of the lush green trees of life called gratitude.
I had a reality check. Why am I so stressed?
I’m doing great work for my jobs. I’m at one of the most profitable restaurants in the greatest city in the world.
What is there to complain about?
Thank you my buddy’s cousin. Your death was not in vain.
To bitches and beers.
When a woman gives you the green light…
When a coworker says something that pisses you off…
When anyone does something that triggers your positive or negative emotion…
There’s a short time frame for you to respond and act.
That time frame is called the window of escalation.
It doesn’t work for you to come back 5 minutes later after you thought of your response. No. There’s no time. This is where you’re forced to think on your feet and make decisions quickly.
It’s something I’m desperately working on — to recognize those windows of escalation and executing on moving the ball forward and asserting my boundaries.
Example: this lady on my uber ride said it was her birthday, and implied that anything she wants was the way to go. I reluctantly signed that contract. And I’m so upset at myself for doing so. I brooded for quite awhile. What is life without brooding? A life full of expression, and not repressed emotions. Hence, no depression.
Capture the moment and keep your eyes open for the window of escalation. Once it passes, you lose that chance.
It’s important to have people in your life that call you out on your bullshit. That’s where mentors come in.
I’ve got plenty in my life. And when they speak, I listen.
At least, that’s what I’ve always done. In the face of authoritative figures, I take in their nuggets of wisdom with gratitude.
I’m reconsidering my approach. Just because they have more experience in a particular area than me doesn’t mean I can’t discern what advice is right or wrong for me.
They are not omnipotent and know what’s best for my life.
My mentor told me that today, there were moments where I was lackluster in energy. I took it too easy on my job and let down my intensity.
Instinctively, I wanted to say, “Me? You sure you got the right guy here?” Instead, I listened without rebuttal.
I regret not saying what I felt. My belly lit up because I truly believe that I did not let up that intensity.
And if I feel compelled to push back, then I have to go with that instinct.
I feel like my life is heading in the right direction. And it feels fucking good.
Work is good. Family is great. Growth is happening. My core values are making progress: family, fitness, freedom, and fervor.
Except the last one. I’ve been slacking on the whole “save the world, planet, and all of humanity” element of my life.
Shit, I’ve been at it for nearly 25 years on that. Can a brotha get some slack here?
But I wonder now. Why have I not been feeling such contentment before?
The answer is now clear. I lived on expectation instead of appreciation. I lived in the future and the past, but not in the present.
My life was hellbent on achievement, on trying to be someone. And that someone was someone other than myself.
Now, I’m unlearning all that self-judgment., self-hatred, and self-rejection. And in turn, I’m practicing self-love.
My life ain’t perfect, but I like where it’s going.
I arrive back to San Francisco feeling rejuvenated.
Being home with family and friends really does wonders. I’m reminded not of how much farther I must go, but how far I’ve come.
San Francisco represents a state of mind. It’s a grind – to live life, grow, connect, love, and fucking hustle.
The dosage is in the poison. And perhaps I’ve overdosed on that hustle. It’s been battering to the soul.
After being in darkness for so long, you forget what light looks like, feels like.
Family and friends back at home are my baseline. When I stood side by side against them, I felt strong.
This whole time up here in the bay area was not in vain. I’ve grown.
My communication was more sturdy. Mindfulness was at the right level. And I could hold my ground against people who I used to get nervous around.
It’s important to surround yourself not just with people at higher levels than you, but also on your equals and lower rungs. These people all give perspective.
I was always around people much more leveled up than me. But maybe too much of that made me discouraged. I couldn’t help but compare my point A with their point Z.
I’ll make an effort to revisit home more often. It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you came from
I’m accustomed to being a “yes” man to extreme lengths. There’s nothing I wouldn’t try. And most things, I’m confident I can do given enough time and practice.
Based on my core values and global beliefs, I’m inclined to always say “yes” to anything.
This has served me well. I’m blessed to have seized opportunities that have positioned me in remarkable places during my lifetime and created unforgettable memories.
But alas, I’m seeing that this strategy is faulty on a lot of levels.
How you do anything is how you do everything.
The habit of saying “yes” has become deeply ingrained. It’s become my default mindset, an “on” switch I cannot turn off easily.
As a default state of mind, I find I have to muster an egregious amount of mindfulness and courage to push back on people’s demands, deal with making asks, confrontation, and challenging others. I’m overly agreeable most of the time.
I wonder. What would it be like if I ran an experiment of being a “no” man. That is, I will be a person who says “no” to everything by default.
The risk of this extreme approach is just that — it’s extreme. But then again, the upside to this would be the extreme approach would balance out my nature.
Guess I’ve not learned my lesson of living through the middle way.
Nonetheless, let’s give it a shot.