Tag Archives: Life

Struggles and Stuff – Update – Sat Jun 29 2019

Well, another month has passed and I am not much closer to my goals from February, aside from my weight staying down. I know that sounds different because at 36 y/o we all know that weight is difficult to maintain, especially with erratic sleep and eating schedules. Bet hey, we take the wins where we can get them.

For those that follow me closely (Hi, Mom), I have been really struggling with my sleep and subsequently my mood. It’s funny that I am writing this at 0555 in the morning on a Saturday. I thank my daughter for strolling into my room at 0400 this morning. I just stayed up because I can’t continue to just lay around wishing for sleep, it’s driving me crazy.

So I came to the kitchen to perfect my espresso. 7 shots later (I only drank 3) I am still not perfect but I know a few things that I should not do…. like start the machine without a cup underneath the drip.

Cup of espresso sitting on my coffee counter in front of espresso machine and some grounds visible on the counter with a 1970’s backsplash in the background, and a shakeology cup :)

My seventh and final cup of espresso from this morning. Lightly tamped, full ground (9) blonde roast, approx. 2.6 oz.

It doesn’t look too bad. In hindsight, I should have practiced with my cheaper auto-drip coffee, but you know what they say about hindsight… it fills you with regret and despair! Seriously, it’s not that serious.

Health Status

Where to begin… I have no idea about my health. As I alluded to above, I am not sleeping well at all. At all. I had a sleep study done about six days ago on Monday night. I had seen a new sleep doctor the preceding Friday, Dr. Jane Doe. Actually, it isn’t ‘Jane,’ but for anonymity I will keep it like that. I don’t want to alienate my new Doctor, although she has a better chance of being discovered by kids in Guam with no internet than on my scarcely read blog pages.

My depression is but it isn’t. That’s about how much sense it makes to me. I try to justify my wild ups and downs (mostly the latter) by referring to my three close encounters with death (read about those in here). *(While linking that I just realized my blog is still an unorganized mess… and I’m very frustrated with WordPresses Interface)

I’m hiring a pro-bono website designer..

As Far as medication, I’m off of everything except vitamins and otc medications for my stomach/GI tract. But I don’t have to tale those much thanks to my Shakeology and Shakeology boosts. Check out my YouTube channel for a video or more about Shakeology (yes, I sell it, but more importantly I drink it…the proof is in my kitchen. Click on the picture for my YouTube Channel that needs more content)

Shakeology stash... vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, caffe latte, digestive health boost, power greens boost

My beloved Shakeology stash. This, my friends, is why I’m not 300 lbs right now. No joke.

So, I clearly have no clue about my health other than that I am alive and breathing, and today that’s good enough for me.

School

Well, graduate school is not hard, well, not in the sense that it takes maximum effort to produce quality work. The hard work comes in when trying to makes sense of the terrible ideologies of the professors and the education system in general. I believe I should finish my degree(s) before I elaborate on that.

I can write an A paper in no time; about 7.5 hours for a 7-8 page paper, APA formatted with 8-10 references… IF I know what I want to right about. Maybe double that when trying to narrow a topic. That may sound like boasting, and it is. I am quite proud of my strengths.

I have no idea where I am going n my educational journey, but I know I don’t really want to quit just yet. I have received a few job offers this summer. Well, we’ll say one actual job offer and opportunities. Connections are important folks. I’ve always been bad at that, but the connections that I have made are quality. Quality > Quantity as far as I’m concerned.

I’m going to add here that I don’t think that psychiatrists in general are very good people. I’ve never met one that wasn’t a complete fabrication of a counselor… a medical doctor (not even a knowledgeable one) that TALKS TO YOU, never listens, for about 10-15 minutes and pushes medications. They have no training, or act like they don’t, in counseling. I don;t know how that got so twisted on television. But then again, I’ve only ever seen government paid Psychiatrists.

I said that to say this: I explained my goals (and my apprehension in pursuing them because of my age and family status) to my psychiatrist and she acted very pleased and offered me her best wishes. When I read her note the next week I saw that she actually thought that I was psychotic and had ‘grandiose’ and unrealistic plans for my future. I have a gang of terrible words brewing about her right now so let me just say that I was not happy.

Goals and everything else…

Ok, so as I said in the opening to this very lengthy Seinfeld-esque post about my vanity, I have been slacking on my goals. In reality, I’ve been crushing out my college courses but that’s about it.

I am doing my best to get into my fitness regimen (not regiment folks… a routine isn’t a military unit) again, but as you read, maybe, I have not been sleeping well. My energy is down. And to be honest, if you have every had MDD (major depressive disorder) you would know how terrible that is. Depression is one thing, everyone gets it at some point. It sucks. MDD is different. Listen to Dr. Jordan Peterson’s description here. That’s about as accurate as I can tell. It may even be worse. It’s not good. And the worst part of it, I KNOW THAT I AM BLESSED AND I HAVE SO MUCH TO BE HAPPY ABOUT. That’s why it’s so complex and difficult to treat.

So I am going to jump back on the horse and get back into working out. I need some workout buddies. My fitness clients don’t live anywhere close so I simply post about my workouts (or lack thereof) and coach them. You don’t technically have to be fit to help others get fit, but it is useful to be a product of your knowledge. And I am going to make sure I get there.

In my opinion, if you can walk without support you can be fit. NO EXCUSES. I will standby for proof to the contrary.

As for my fitness coaching, blogging, vlogging, and other endeavors… I am pushing forward. People need encouragement and I need to help people. Without that, I don’t know what I would do.

I think I’ll stop here and pick this up next time.

Thanks to those that took the time to read this. If you made it all the way through, leave a thumbs up or something in the comment section.

Have a great day!

Andrew

Simon Sinek on Millenials in the Workplace (~15 minutes; less time than it takes to scroll your feed(s)).

This brief video is better described as:

“Digital Dilemma,” “Digital Dementia,” or “Piss Poor Parenting/Preparation.”

As parents we need to be more engaged with our kids as they navigate through early life, adolescence, and young adulthood.

I see too many 12 year olds, 10 year olds (mine previously included), even as young as 6 years old having cell phones or iPads. Listen to this video, and identify yourself, your friends and family, and your kids in his talk.

How many of you are guilty of being on your phone when your kid is trying to get your attention, then getting angry because they are interrupting your game, or post, or mindless scrolling?

Me. I’m guilty. As a matter of fact, I’m guilty of everything that I wrote in this…advice piece…rant….whatever. I’ll call it an enlightening article.

We have to pull these phones back. They have watches that allow kids to call a set amount of pre-programmed numbers, and you can track your kids via GOS on them. No messages. No social media. No addictive dopamine kicks throughout the day, which then cause terrible crashed, withdrawal, and depression later.

I propose that kids have no digital device (social media, texts) until they are at least 16 years old, and even that may be too early.

And stop giving your kids everything they ask for. If they didn’t earn it, then they don’t give it.

And seriously, what kid needs a smartphone? It’s barely necessary for most adults to own.

Watch the video… on your device…then put your devices up because your kids probably want your TIME.

www.youtube.com/watch

Simon

Example from video’s implications of negative effects:

A ‘friend’s’ kid went to the doctor recently and was prescribed an antidepressant. From a 30 minute office visit, from a physician…and no diagnosis. I advised the ‘friend’ to disregard this hack’s prescription, find a new doctor, and maybe try to spend less time on their own devices and more time with the kid. Like Simon says in the video, when our phone is siting in close proximity when someone (in this case our kid) is trying to interact, we are sending a signal that they aren’t important, or at least as important as the strangers on our social media pages.

Feeling Stuck, Unhappy, or Unsatisfied? Unfulfilled?

You don’t have to stay there. There’s hope…if you seek it.

Most people are afraid of change, yet everything (including YOU…AND ME) is in a constant state of flux (change).

People are afraid to take risks or ‘take a leap of faith,’ because people fear uncertainty…and more often than not fear of rejection is a contributing factor. What will my friends think? What would my Dad say? What are people going to say about these extravagant dreams/goals?

SIMPLE ANSWER: Who cares what other people think…

When you start chasing those seemingly outlandish life-long dreams, people will come out of the woodwork to try to convince you how crazy that is or why it’s a bad idea. SHUT THAT SHIT OUT. Go with your passion, visualize the end goal, and work your ass off everyday to get there. Never stop, never quit, and never take NO for an answer. If you fail, change your strategy and do it again. And again. And again.

Shut those toxic naysayers out of your life. Friends? Bye. Spouse? Sorry, Bye. Family….yep…Bye.

You’ll quickly find out who has your best interests in mind. And that process won’t be pretty, but in the end it will have been worth it.

Someone said (Jim Carrey?) that “you can easily fail at what you don’t want in life, so why not go after what you do want?” Failure is part of the process. Don’t be afraid of failure, that’s how we learn and grow.

And for crying out loud, stop comparing yourself to other people, and start comparing yourself to an earlier version of yourself. (Jordan Peterson, Rule #4 in his book “12 rules for life: An anecdote for chaos). All rules listed below.

WATCH THIS ~5 MIN VIDEO BY JOE ROGAN

www.youtube.com/watch

LINK TO Dr. Peterson’s BOOK HERE

12 RULES FROM BOOK:

Peterson’s 12 rules

Rule 1 Stand up straight with your shoulders back

Rule 2 Treat yourself like you would someone you are responsible for helping

Rule 3 Make friends with people who want the best for you

Rule 4 Compare yourself with who you were yesterday, not with who someone else is today

Rule 5 Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them

Rule 6 Set your house in perfect order before you criticise the world

Rule 7 Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)

Rule 8 Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie

Rule 9 Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t

Rule 10 Be precise in your speech

Rule 11 Do not bother children when they are skate-boarding

Rule 12 Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street

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THANKS FOR READING!!

Until next time.

Andrew

Take Responsibility Even When it Isn’t Your Fault

I believe that we, as a modern and debatably weak(er) minded construct, have become accustomed to blaming anything and everything for the way we live our lives, the way our lives turned out, or the things that have happened to us or are happening to us right now. Maybe it is someone else’s FAULT that you are missing a limb. It is most definitely someone else’s fault if you have fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). It’s not your fault if you parents liked to drink or drank so much that they can be considered ‘problem drinkers’ or alcoholics.

But with all these faults that are ours, yours, mine, theirs… we have to take responsibility NOW for what we are going to do next. “I was born in a barn.” Okay, so what are you going to do? Stay in that barn? (metaphorically) Or are you going to leave the barn and begin to live, burn that barn down and start fresh, walk away from that barn and never look back??

Playing the victim seems to be the popular game these days, especially for ‘groups’ of people that claim they are marginalized and labeled, when they themselves are the ones that are marginalizing and labeling, or even worse, accepting those labels and crying out for people to give them something foe their suffering. Money, power, attention…but most importantly they want to be respected. We all do. But you don’t gain much respect by playing the ‘victim’ and blaming other people for you inability to overcome adversity.

Les Brown stated that “nobody is going to want to help you if you are always complaining.” Isn’t that true? Think about some examples of that in your own life. Have you experienced this or seen someone else experience this? Who gets more money… the guy on the street looking angry holding a sign that says “homeless and hungry,” or the guy playing the violin with a sign that says “will play for food?”

I’m not inferring that homeless people need a talent to be fed. I was demonstrating the importance of positivity, responsibility, and motivation to get what you NEED.

Now, with all the adversity that EVERYONE contends with every single day, why is it that groups of people are labeled as being worse off than others? Whole groups of people, and there are hundreds, maybe thousands of groups depending on how the ‘victim’ chooses to describe his/herself, are at a disadvantage because of something that happened hundreds or thousands of years ago?

I think it’s time we will take responsibility for our own lives and those of our children and start making tracks every day to improve our existence. I’m not going to sit down on my couch with my hand out waiting for someone to pay me for a wrong that happened to me 10 years ago, or for something that happened to an ancestor that I’ve never met (Scotland would probably owe my family of that were thee case).

It is my duty, my responsibility, and my moral obligation to say “I’m moving in that direction, straight ahead (straight up is also acceptable) because there is nothing back there that is going to change a thing. I can blame everyone for everything, but in the end that blaming will get me NOTHING but pain and suffering, which I don’t want any of, not anymore.

Now I’m going to get really specific because this has been eating at me. You can love it or hate it, but life is too short to sugar coat this mess.

I am not sorry that I’m not a person of color. I’m not privileged because of the color of my skin. Some people may have been mocked or mistreated because of the color of their skin, and I have too. But I’m not complaining about it. The thoughts, opinions, and words that other people have towards me are irrelevant to the goals that I am chasing. If you choose to dwell on who has more and “why me?” crap, then you will just get more of what you’ve been getting, and you can only blame yourself for being who you are today.

Get off the “poor me because I’m…gay, black, Hispanic, female, male, Asian, muslim, disabled, etc… The question remains… “what are you going to do about it?” What, within your locust of control, can you do to improve your suffering and live a life of fulfillment and meaning?

You can start by getting rid of those thoughts that someone owes you or that you’ve been wronged. Take responsibility for your trajectory, take charge of your thinking, take actions daily to improve your life, and when you finally get it…you will be obligated to share it and help ease the suffering of others.

And if you are thinking that this post is racist, or sexist, or anything ‘ist,’ that just goes to show you that this post is indeed about you. And you need to change the way you are looking at things. Racism is real. Sexism is real. Bigotry is real. But that’s not coming from the majority of the populace… it is a very small minority of people.

Don’t believe the lies you have been told about history, about the world, and especially the ones about yourself. “Self-fulfilling prophecies.” I’ll let you look that one up.

Have a great day and please Like, Subscribe, Share, Comment, Complain, Follow, etc…

Additionally, if you have an opinion piece that would like featured on this page, send me a message and I’d be happy to consider it.

 

-Andrew

Either you control your day, or your day controls you…

What’s it going to be?

www.youtube.com/watch

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Goals

Well, after reviewing my self-proclaimed ‘epic’ advice blog post about goal setting…I realize there is very little actual information about how to actually set the goals rather than just the importance of having them.

I will write a shorter, more digestible blogpost later today with some practical steps/advice on how to set goals that will be productive rather than destructive. I’ll also explain the importance and difference between 1st level, 2nd level, and 3rd level goals (short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals, respectively).

Prioritizing within these levels is also important, and developing and implementing an action plan is just as important as setting the goal(s). You can’t have one without the other. Well you can…but you won’t end up where you want to be.

More on this later….get your workout in!

As soon as I’m healed, I’ll be joining you. I had my workers (family/friends/spouse/kids) finish my workout space/office…and I can’t wait to use it.

And here it is!

Patiently (impatiently) waiting for my body to heal…meanwhile…Shakeology!!

Goals and the Illusion of Happiness- 3/22/19 @ 2218 hrs

Pleaser Consider a Donation for My Cause

Helping people realize and actualize their potential and their goals. We all get stuck in life, some worse than others. But there is always a way to make the suffering less impactful and to live a better life. I share my story and experiences because I believe that gives people hope and understanding of the diversity and similarity of different people's lives.

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Goal Setting and Why This is Important

Chances are, at some point in your life, you have heard of the importance of setting goals and keeping them forefront in your mind. And there is also a great chance that if you have, you have fallen short, outright failed, quit, gave up, or set easier goals because LIFE IS HARD.

Setting goals is perhaps one of the most important habits that we do as humans. That’s one of the things that separate us from primates and other animals. We have the ability to think about our future, make goals, formulate a plan, and forego instant gratification for the long-term gains/pay-off.

The problem is, especially in today’s society with all of the electronic devices and excessive consumerism lifestyles most of us live, we aren’t generally comfortable waiting for that pay-off. We want it now. And it’s easier to make decisions that benefit us now even when thinking it through would reveal that these decisions are detrimental in the long-term. But our brains tend to shut down as soon as we make a decision that RIGHT NOW matters more than tomorrow. And it is tough to think about how much work is required to achieve the kind of success that most people want. We all want to be successful, but very few people are willing to put in the TIME, EFFORT, and HARD WORK that it takes to get there.

Successful people didn’t just wake up one day and become successful (you can define success any way you want to).

Young people (and sadly, many adult children) have a distorted perception of life. I know, I was one of them. It took me my whole life (slightly ambiguous) to get to the point where I finally understand the concept. Sure I’ve worked hard and accomplished much…but I was never happy when I got ‘this,’ or achieved ‘that.’ Happiness was always on the other side of the next accomplishment, the next thing. But it never came. And chasing ‘happiness’ only resulted in being increasingly unhappy. Well, this made no sense.

When I discovered that there is actually no realistic end goal where happiness awaits, a place one can reach in their life where there is nothing but elation and good feelings (aside from clinical delusions), I came to understand that happiness is a futile pursuit. Happiness comes and goes, sometimes by the minute. Sadness comes and goes just as quickly. Life is tough. Life is hard. But the most important thing that I came to understand is that life is AMAZING…

Being alive today is nothing short of a miracle. If you think of the evolutionary processes and the acts of God throughout history, natural selection, the rarity of sperm penetrating an egg during conception, the fact that our parents met, and so on…. and here we are. HERE WE ARE.

So…the idea is that happiness is a ridiculous goal, right? I mean, it’s all great when we’re feeling happy and we should embrace that and remember it. But it isn’t a sustainable state of being. “Life is suffering” (Jordan Peterson). We must work each and every day, every moment to work to better our lives and the lives of those around us.

So I learned to enjoy the little things, the moments throughout each day. Good, bad, terrible, amazing… it can be a roller coaster most of the time. But that is life, and I’m grateful for being here to feel those things. So, the ultimate daily and life-long goal, at least for me, is to remain grateful and joyful. It is joy that we should be after. And money won’t do that for you. Neither will sex, drugs, food, or even exercise. Sure, these things may provide some semblance of joy or short-term happiness….but joy must come from within. It has to be a part of who we are, who I am.

So…we were talking about goals right? I get going sometimes…

So, to achieve something meaningful in life, at least something meaningful to ourselves, we must identify what it is that would provide meaning. Some people call it our WHY, or dream, or ultimate goal. The underlying question is “where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years? 50 years? And ultimately, what is it you want to have accomplished when you are on your ‘death bed?”

These are tough questions, because it is difficult to visualize. It is especially hard when you’ve never been asked about it or have never put much thought into it. Our school system doesn’t do much to help either. The goals are middle school, then high school, then college, then….???? That’s kind of where many people get stuck.

When I chose my current educational/degree path, I had put months of thought into what it is that would make me proud and provide fulfillment for me. It was no easy task after ~10 years in the military. They don’t prepare us much for the real world, similar to how grade school and college kind of shove you out into the world when they’ve taken your money, your heart, and most of your soul.

This is a critical point in life when we must decide what gifts we have that we can use to give to others, to humanity. Sure, some people want money, cars, and big houses. And there’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s your thing. But the process is still the same whether you want to be an astronaut, an engineer, or the Governor of California (shout-out to Arnold!).

Make the decision…(i.e., “I want to own a 5 star restaurant in a big city.”), WRITE IT DOWN. Write down the plan, the steps and the process that you will have to go through, the effort that you’ll have to put forth, the TIME that you’ll have to GIVE to get to this goal. Be realistic, and be intentional and unwavering in your pursuit. And every single day, you revisit that goal sheet and action plan, reflect on what you did yesterday that either moved you forward or set you back, and adjust accordingly. You will have to remain willing to adapt to changes in the plan because, well, plans are well and good but the Universe (God for me) has His own plans.

The idea is, if you want it bad enough and you visualize your goal(s) as if you are already there, you will subconsciously make decisions in your life that draw people and opportunities into your path and that draw you towards your goal. Some people call it the law of attraction, others call it God’s will, and still others call it sheer will power. Call it what you will, it works. But the goal has to be concrete, you must believe in yourself, ignore the naysayers and haters (they will be everywhere, even your closest friends and family), and do what is best for you.

Go to bed at a decent hour, wake up at the same time every single day, no matter what. I get up at 4AM. It isn’t my alarm that gets me up anymore…my goals wake me up. I usually get out of bed between 0315 and 0345…depending on when my sleep cycle actually ends. Yes, it’s a thing. But if you are drinking and drugging, you can forget about getting your circadian rhythm to work for you.

Do whatever it takes, don’t be afraid to fail (because you will fail, over and over and over and over), never quit, stay the course, never quit, never quit, never ever ever quit.

And never settle for anything less than what you want in life. You can’t wish yourself into riches and fame…but you can think and work yourself into them. But don’t take my word for it…go ahead and look up your favorite sports stars, movie stars, etc… They all have different versions of the same principle. PUT IN THE WORK.

And lastly…. you’re not a victim, you’re not a slave, and you’re not oppressed by anyone unless you are doing it to yourself with your own thoughts. Those kinds of mindsets are guaranteed to keep you from going anywhere in life. Stop putting your hand out, because nobody is coming to save you or pull you up. You have to do that by yourself. Sorry, but that’s the reality of it.

Well, I covered what I wanted and a lot more. As you can see, I get moving in all sorts of directions. But my information is good and I have faith that you can do whatever you want to. But that doesn’t mean anything unless you believe in yourself. Feel free to contact me if you want some free advice or if you think something I said was wrong.

Please like, follow, subscribe, share, and comment your thoughts below. Thanks for reading!!