Back in the early stages of last year, I was already looking at making my way to Bangkok. I wanted to be around a community of great, entrepreneurial-minded people. I contacted this gym called The Lab BKK online and spoke with a man name Rich – who just so happens to be on my podcast today. I was very apprehensive with the entire ordeal, but I just decided to join the class shortly after the Spartan Competition back in September. After 30 minutes of this particular cardio class, I was completely dead. I bought a package, and 5 months later, I’ve never looked so sexy before in my life (HA!).
Moving onto the man of the hour – Rich Cohen – a fitness entrepreneur in Thailand and originally from England. The first time I met him, he beamed with this aura of optimism. I’m attracted (no pun intended – don’t get it twisted) to people who are just a bundle of great energy. I spoke with him the entire class about different things, but it wasn’t until two days ago when I asked myself, “just ask him about joining the podcast.” He agree – instantaneously – and here is some show notes, questions, answers and an intro from him.
“I was 21-years old, wheelchair-bound, sitting in my parent’s backyard smoking a joint, slowly en-route to recovery following a near fatal neck and back injury.”
Richard went on to say that he had that “jesus” moment. That moment that most of us (I hope) say “enough is enough.” He came to Thailand in 2004 in a remarkable prime. Since there were only 1-3 fitness guys around at the time, he built what’s turning into an empire. Full one-hour podcast down below!
Also, his personal thoughts on the Ketogenic Diet
“I used it for my competition and it worked well for me personally as a fat loss strategy, although I got very sick towards the end and it has taken me a few months to reset the way my body functions since introducing more carbs and protein.
I think it works well for certain people, for instance a friend of mine is type 1 diabetic and an endurance athlete (triathlon) he says going on that diet has been life changing for him as a blood glucose management tool.
Long term I’m not sure what the health implications are consuming that many fats.
Some diets suit different people, I always encourage people to experiment with different types and take bits from each that works well for them.”
I made a blog about a year ago on the ketogenic diet. I received some backlash and whatnot, but it was all based on opinion. I’m not someone who sticks to a strict diet. I love my pizza and my hamburgers, although not excessively.
Nonetheless, to see this many create a business which is booming in Bangkok and ultimately going from wheelchair to champion – is simply amazing. He did an ultra-marathon in the Atacama Desert in Chile. I’ve been contemplating about doing an ultra-beast, and now I think I’ve been inspired to achieve it because of this inspirational figure.
Not adapting to the market can leave your company in shambles. There’s a massive discrepancy between generations right now. I work with people over 50 who think conversation isn’t important in learning English; however, their ego is going to ultimately supplant the country, leaving it dry of work and resulting in closure.
In any working environment or business world, if you don’t push your ego aside, your company will never recover and those who do adapt – will win.
So, I had a thought. There have been a lot of things happening at work. After the change of management last March, there was a steady decline and then a plunge. The amount of work coming in now is close-to-none; and condensing classes makes it harder for teachers to get work, too. Not only that, but there was a curriculum that I developed (conversation) that amassed millions upon millions of baht. Because the Gen B thinks it’s not necessary to learn English, he’s now trying to make the staff sell the monotonously horrific 4 skill courses over conversation. That means he’s going from what is a full-circle, to 20%, resulting in whats going to be a demise within 18 months. Luckily I’m just a couple months away from never walking in that place again, but after watching and listening to so many Gary Vee videos online, I realize that I could become an opponent.
Not only that, but I just read an article online that the government is implementing Smart Visas – one being for “start ups” to try and drive more foreigners in here.
Do you understand what my next move is now? That’s right.
Operating At Peak Performance
So I was in something called a minivan riding from a place called Hua Hin to Bangkok when suddenly I was in a trance. A trance of high-peak performance. Some of you are asking yourself, “well, what does that mean?”
I’m not going to say it’s some kind of esoteric or metaphysical thing “out there,” but it certainly had me peaking at the right time. Because the Traffic Jams happen in Bangkok at 4pm, I knew I was in for a long-haul. I had a fully charged MacBook and a phone with some good battery life. I strapped myself on to some tunes — which rarely works while typing — and I banged out 5 blogs within 1.5 hours. Not only that, I wrote down my entire week’s schedule in my planner and it feels DAMN GOOD highlighting things that I’ve finished.
Three years ago on something like the same trip…I would be engaged in looking at rhetoric online. I didn’t have a purpose, but right now there are people waiting for my services all around the world – and that’s what makes life so exciting!
I needed to train my mind – my subconscious mind – to attain this. This is considered “downtime” to me, but I turned it into “performance time.”
People commute to and from work everyday. These are the moments that are pivotal because if you’re able to listen to inspirational audios and prepare for the next day/week, you win! Yeah, I can be at home making videos for YouTube, FB, and a potential new job, but right now I’m creating everything for tomorrow.
How can you do this.
I’ve been preaching a lot on my podcast and blog about Darren Hardy’s book and installing new habits. When I wake up tomorrow, I have to take my pre-workout, get in a 20 minute workout, go home, cook eggs and bacon, do my podcast, create a thumbnail and head to work before 8am. What time will I wake up? 5:30am to do my meditation.
A lot of you think that al of this might just come naturally, but your brain is just designed for survival. You’re the one the implements the either good, or head trash on a unconscious level and a routine basis.
Start doing the things — the ugly things — in the early morning. This will get the Big Mo going. The mundane tasks are the first thing you need to take out, as I’ve stated in my Napoleon Hill blog. Also, a good night of sleep will go a long way, too.
Become more effective during the downtime hours and prepare for core days.
I worked for a dental office on a temp contract 6 years ago in Coburn (town north of North Sydney, if I’m not mistaken), and this man (the dentist) would look at me crazy and say, “did you drink your water? Arsenio, you must drink your water. The average being needs to consume X AMOUNT everyday. If you don’t, your body can’t function.”
You get in life what you create. – Darren Hardy
Whatever you’re allowing yourself to hear and see is what you’re creating. For the people out there who are literal thinkers, they’ll continue recreating the same life every day, week, month, year, and life. The best part of this is once you realize that you are the creator – it’s life transforming.
Look at your life like a glass. Your glass if filled with whatever you put it in. For instance, I had a very uneventful weekend featuring disorganization and people who wanted to see me fail – but I didn’t fail. Am I going to go home knocking what happened? Absolutely not. Everything that happened – happened the exact way it was suppose to.
From the tabloids screaming at you in the stores, to CNN being on in the airport and even at the gyms – there’s no running from it. However, you can cancel the subscriptions and stay away from the news all together.
Just this morning I was running on the treadmill and there were the older folks, walking and staring at the T.V. – all while watching a building burn. Shortly after that segment, there was a homicide (of some sort) showing the dead body. I didn’t necessarily see anything, but it didn’t phase me whatsoever because I had a motivational talk in my ear and cardio to do.
What is it with people who just find the need to slow down in traffic, too. I’m talking about those who slow down to look at the carnage on the road. Here in Thailand….they take photos. That’s right. The literally take photos of all the body parts – which ended up being splattered all over the place so they can gain social media likes.
This is why I go on a Newsfeed purge. My friend, who I had dinner with last night, was completely against my purge. She said, “how do you know how your friends are doing?” I retorted, “they can tell me if it’s great news!” I stopped following virtually all my Asian friends, especially after seeing one of my Vietnamese friends sharing a video involving a deceased young boy in an ice-chest.
The empathy; the heart; the sympathy and compassion of people, especially in Asia, has gone out the window. Am I saying everyone? No….but my goal is to see inspirational messages and people doing great things. My goal is to comment on photos that draw a lot of good attention.
There needs to be a “positive news” channel. A news channel that just shows how you can overcome the senseless bigotry that’s peddled all over the news. I can preach right now that there’s so much more good happening in the world than bad. It’s just an issue because the news outlets broadcast things that can sell. Good news doesn’t sell. People don’t want to be happy. People want to bitch. You know this – and I know this.
Create A Personal Junk Filter
The majority of news doesn’t have a bearing on your goals, dreams or aspirations anyway. Can you stop what’s happening in Myanmar? In the Middle East? I remember Joe Vitale saying on ‘the secret’: “maybe you have to be informed, but you don’t have to be inundated.”
Bottomline, things are happening all around the world that we have no control over. Just like Tim Ferris’ Low Information Diet, Darren Hardy has the same thing, too.
I don’t want to pour mud into a clean glass of water.
Enroll In Drive-Time U
In the morning when I get out of bed, I have a podcast app on my phone ready to go. Gary Vee locked in. Also, Hodgetwins….the meaning to laugh, regardless of how ridiculous it is, is essential. So, I’m standing on the platform in tears of laughter before heading into the train. When I get inside, that’s when I get to work for the next 35 minutes. I’m posting things on Instagram, Weibo, Twitter, FB, sharing things, writing things on my notepad.
Some people are probably driving. Ok, if you drive to work, set yourself up a nice audio the night before. I would seriously recommend Lisa Nichols, Gary Vee, Les Brown, Tony Robbins, Impact Theory (I love Wyclef Jean’s Story), and so many other videos. Seriously…drill your mind relentlessly and you’ll be amazed how fast your paradigm shifts.
I decided to do the reading section of TOEIC because I simply haven’t done a video or blog on it yet. I’m excited about doing this because Native English Speakers can use these techniques for SAT (maybe). TOEFL is a difficult test, but it’s also something you can use with it. Stay tuned for that, but I haven’t had any students approach me in regards to TOEFL yet.
So, let’s dive into it.
Different Types of Questions
Specific Information questions are the easiest and quickest to find. I love to tell my students to look at the questions that have numbers. These are the easiest. Questions that say “what is the purpose of this memo” (ex. number 3 – main idea and inference questions) should always come last.
If you look at number two, which is vocabulary questions, you can see that this is probably the second easiest.
The toss up for last will be between question types 3 and 4.
A) Alberto Romero
B) Benjamin Weintraub
C) John Teirney
D) Alex Andreas?
2. What kind of job does the applicant want?
A) Human resources
3. Where did Mr. Romero Want To Work?
A) In Britain
B) In North America
C) In Eastern Europe
D) In Asia
1711 Taylor Avenue
North Las Vegas
Dear. Mr. Romero,
This letter is to thank you for your application to join out international sales team. Unfortunately, we must inform you that due to the large number of highly-qualified applicants that applied for the position of Eastern European sales representative, we have already filled all the positions that were advertised in the May issue of the Human Resources Bulletin
As you know, administrative and marketing positions in our European and Asia-Pacific offices regularly become available during the year and we would welcome your application for future international postings.
A series of these blogs could potentially coming out over the next several months until I agree upon my next destination.
The term “rise above it” came from a comical character I used to work with. This was a 70-year-old Anglo man in one of the most anglo countries on planet Earth (Thailand). I would tell him about my situations, and even what had happened last year and he shrugged it off like it was nothing.
How come is it that men, of all colors, just cannot show empathy and sympathy for their fellow men, regardless of creed, color, ethnicity, and cultural backgrounds? On the other hand, if this many would’ve stood up for me when the going got going, the outcome could’ve potentially been much different.
It’s like the story I told sometime last year about the African American woman and Anglo woman in the store. The Anglo woman had been going to this particular store for two weeks. The African American had been going there for more than two years. When both women approached the counter, the clerk greeted the Anglo woman with a big smile: and that same smile was changed right upside down when the African American woman approached the camera. Yes, the African American woman greeted her with a big smile, just as the Anglo woman did.
This clerk went on to give the African American woman a very hard time, checking the check to see if it was real. Thankfully, the Anglo woman spoke up and said, “ummm, excuse me. Why are you doing this to this woman?”
The clerk responded, “because I don’t know her…and I know you?”
“You’ve only known me for two weeks. This lady has been coming here for over two years.”
That little difference means everything in the world. If people can just speak up in the wake of a racially influenced situation, the world can rise above the world.
That particular gentleman, who I still have to see everyday of my life, just needed to hear my story and show empathy. Instead, he deflected, like one of the world leaders, and told me to simply “rise above it.”
Easy for you to say.
But I will rise above it. I have risen above it. Looking back on the last five years of my life in Thailand, I’ve risen against pure insanity. The comments I’ve gotten from everyone — to the failed job interviews because of the color of my skin — I am enough.
So many people around the world, including a singer by the name of Lil Kim, chose and still chooses to bleach their skin to make themselves more “fair.” And because of the events where sympathy and empathy lacked, these individuals ultimately altered their skin tone because they were tired of being made fun of.
I’m challenging everyone to stand up for your fellow samaritan by your side in situations such as this.
There are three influences: input (what you feed your mind), associations (the people you spend time with), and your environment.
If you’re one of those Facebook scrollers, you’re feeding your mind with a good amount of head-trash. This means that you’re going to end up reading, posting, or sharing something which you have no control over. Look at the President of the United States, for instance. How many people post and rant their heads off at them? What do you accomplish by doing it? You really have to take a step back and look at it from that perspective.
I had a wonderful student a year or two ago. She was a marvelous dental student, but she was quieter than ever. Sure, “that fits the profile and persona of a dentist,” but she asked me “how can I bring out my personality?”
I asked, “are your friends quiet?”
Of course they are. I can bet you right now if she had funny friends around her for a month, her personality would change.
A funny story about this would be Thai women try looking “black.”
That’s right. They get hair extensions and tan their skin as much as possible to come off as an “African American.” When you speak to them, they have a good amount of slang. Guess who their friends are? You guessed it! Wait, no you didn’t. Their friends are all from Africa.
I thought it was a funny story to tell. HA!
Environment has to be the biggest. Honestly, biggest slum in Bangkok by the name of Khlong Toei is infested with poor people.
Rose Garden Townhomes, a place that my mother has been living for almost two decades, is full of a bunch of generational welfare pumping hood rats (hey, just calling it how I see you).
Are rich people hanging out with poor people? Is someone from Beverly Hills going to a gym in Watts? Do the people in Manhattan live in the Bronx?
I. Input: Garbage in, garbage out.
“If you want your body to run at peak performance, you’ve got to be vigilant about consuming the highest-quality nutrients and avoiding tempting junk food. If you want your brain to perform at its peak, you’ve got to be even more vigilant about what you feed it. Are you feeding it news summaries or mind-numbing sitcoms? Are you reading the tabloids, or SUCCESS? Controlling the input has a direct and measurable impact on your productivity and outcomes.”
Excerpt From: Darren Hardy. “The Compound Effect.” iBooks.
This tackles it from two different angles.
On the super-busy days at my job, if I don’t eat protein and a handful of vegetables, I suffer from a mid-afternoon crash. I can give you straightforward why I do, too – RICE!
Doesn’t make sense to eat rice when your body is not burning anything, right? However, I do!
Now is rice junk food? Absolutely not. Brown rice is amazing. But if I eat it at wrong times of the day, my body falls apart.
From an intake of information standpoint, people watch the news, sitcoms, reality TV (A.K.A – sitcoms!) and a handful of other things that serve them no purpose. Controlling what our brains consume is very difficult. Also, our brain is not designed to make us happy. It’s got one agenda: survival.
Robberies, fires, terrorist attacks, economy, Trump, internet trolls, nagging co-workers, angry individuals on public transportation – AVOID! If not, your brain is going to dissect the information and spend hours chewing on the fearful information, which will then bring more fear, which could lead to a heart attack. I mean, pretty excessive, but it most certainly happens when people are driving to work in America every Monday morning.
Man, oh man! It’s been a long time since I’ve done a ramble of positivity, and I’m super grateful to be back! Two weeks into the New Years….it’s definitely at a surplus in terms of projects, teaching and learning. However, there is a little bit of an issue.
Now, I told myself I needed to live in these day-tight compartments because I have no idea what’s going on in the future. Honestly, within the next three months, there’s a massive chance that I might experience a major transition (leaving from Thailand).
At the beginning of the New Year, I thought I was destined to land a job with a 65-year-old language school in Bangkok. The interview process was superb and everything went well. However, after a follow-up email and a week later, I got scared. I felt that something was happening, but wasn’t sure what. That feeling lead to me not getting the job for VERY OBVIOUS THAI REASONS and then there was the question: “should I keep doing this?”
I’ve preached so much about going after your purpose. I’m getting ideas now about developing a curriculum online that students can easily access and learn English all over the world – a system that can trump language centers in a heartbeat. This is going to take some massive pondering and setting up, but I’m pretty excited about it.
There comes a time in life, however, when you just get sick and tired of nonsense. I’ve dealt with racial degradation for five years already. In the beginning, it was new. I needed to go through the amount of hell for me to become the influential person I am today. On the other hand, the things that I continue going through today is just — boring. I already got the point. Yes, I’m a brown guy living in one of the most anti-brown guy countries on the face of planet Earth….which brings me to the questions….
Am I still learning?
Am I still growing?
Are there still opportunities?
Do I still want to live here?
Is this a place to live for the next ten years?
What’s the end goal?
I’m so happy and grateful for being able to teach wonderful students a language and an idea with that language over the last three days.
I’m truly grateful for the present I got from a Deputy Prime Minister last night – and also knowledge along with that.
With all my heart, Im thankful for all areas of my life. I’m extremely thankful for the wonderful people I’ve met the past few days and the dozens of new friends I’ve made. I’m grateful for the posters on my FB pages who want more. I’m thankful for my friends who tune into my blog, along with other bloggers; and I’m also super happy about my podcast and everyone viewing my videos on YouTube.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
Now, I just added in the emergence….and you will be amazed who this person is. 17 years…..and he decided to add me on FB. Oh, what a story this is going to be! Only in the podcast!
Wonderful question came in today from a friend in Japan asking something very deep – something I somewhat covered in my last podcast. So, here are the questions.
Where do you get your strength from?
I lived in Australia for one year. I thought I was ostricized by society. There were days I thought I was depressed and told my housemate, “no one likes me here.”
She retorter, “you have a beautiful personality! Don’t worry about others!” Of course all I did at the time was watch the secret. There was no Les Brown, Lisa Nichols, MindValley, Tom Bilyeu, or any of these other entrepreneurs, speakers and massive business titans. I didn’t know the process in terms of bio-hacking the mind. So throughout my stint in Australia, I had to learn the hard way. I had a fair-weather friend named Thayanna who ended up disappearing mid-way through the way. There was no “best friend” from Arizona, just like there wasn’t in October of 2014 (later story) and last year. I then realized throughout everything I experienced in Australia…my mother, with a simple comment, pretty much told me that there was no quitting.
“So you’re complaining about life there? If you come back….then what? I don’t have a place for you to stay. Tina is living here. You don’t know what to do.”
Basically I can go on and on about that text message but she pretty much gave me a big “f*** you” and “there’s no room for you at the house anymore.” It was like the disownment I needed. The “build your courage now or you’re homeless” type of motivation. And from then on….I never gave up — and a seed was born within me.
“In the middle of my conversation with Ray Lewis, I asked him about his definition of a man and whether it had evolved as he got older, had kids, became successful, and ultimately retired. By way of answering my question, he told me a story about when he came to a deeper understanding of the challenges the men in his family have faced.
He was 33 years old. He’d reengaged with his long-absent father, and his father wanted him to meet a man named Shady Ray Whitehead who lived in some little trailer 6 hours outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. He had no idea where they were going or who this man was they were visiting, but when they arrived, he and his father walked in and his father said, “Meet your grandfather.”
Ray sat on the floor while his dad sat on the couch, and they talked. One of the first things out of his father’s mouth was a question to his grandfather that had also run through Ray’s head nearly every day of the first 17 years of his life: “Dad, why’d you leave me?” To say this blindsided Ray would be an understatement.
“Ray sat with this information for a while, listening to his father and grandfather, and started to think about the men in his family who struggled in their relationships. Ray’s realization is something out of a novel, or a sermon:
This is a generational curse, man. My son is 21, I’m 41, my father is 61, my grandfather’s 81. His father is 101. Five generations. Twenty years apart. What are we doing? I rode back home with my father for 6 hours while he kept talking, and I never said a word. When I got done listening to him, I said to him: “You know what a man is? A man accepts all of the wrongs, never complains, forgives, and then moves on.” That’s what a man does, because you can never replace him not being at a football game. Never replace him not being to a wrestling match, or a track meet. Beat up by a group of kids? You can never replace him not being there. You can never replace that. So what you can replace is you can replace it with moving on.”
“This is our work to do. The rewards are, indeed, waiting for us, but they will not make themselves known until we begin the process of dropping our Aggressive Mask.”
Replace it with moving on. It’s time to top off the chapter with my own story.
My father, in 1999, dropped my brother, my sisters, and I off at a doorstep of a house before driving away. He said, “knock on the door and ask for your mother.” We did, and he sped off, not seeing him again for the ensuing months. It was odd, me being only 11 years old and living in more than 5 different households over a year span.
In 2000, I saw someone walking down the street and said, “that looks like my dad!” Minutes later, I went back home and I was right. It was my father….and him being in the same household as my mother, went nuts. Not necessarily on his end, but my mother bursts into anger anytime she hears the name “Willie.” He wanted “in” our lives, and so my mother granted that if we wanted it.
I remember he was on the phone and I was suppose to go to him that weekend. I said, “dad, do you have the video games?” What sounded like video games weren’t, but my father was a master at lying. After naming three videos games, the third one being my favorite, I bursted into tears of joy before going upstairs to tell my mom. My mother eavesdropped on the conversation because you could do that by picking up the other line 18 years ago. I told her what my father got and she said, “he didn’t get you those games. He’s lying.”
I said, “you never did anything for us.”
I felt absolutely wretched….even more wretched because she was telling the truth. My dad was a liar from day 1 and I never knew it until of course that day. I remember seeing him maybe late 2000 after he came over. After that, I never saw him again, only hearing his voice on a bus in 2007 and looking square into his eyes in another incident (on the bus) one year later.
I’m blaming him for being the amazing man I am today.
“A man who struggles with aggression needs, first and foremost, to channel his energy and anger in a constructive direction. There are a number of ways to do this at a practical level:
▸Create a wrecking room in your house where you can get it out safely. Fill it with things to smash, push, hit, and pummel. If you can’t get a room, get a pillow. Beat the hell out of it. And repeat.
▸Do cathartic shouting exercises once a week. Scream it out!
▸Take a boxing class, work out, swim, or run.
▸Create an affirmation (e.g., “I’m a peaceful, joyful, loving man”) that you say when you want to break something or get aggressive. – Lewis Howes