My Story

So, because my blog, podcasts, Instagram and other means of social media is gaining a lot of momentum, I think it’s time to finally introduce myself on a scale no one ever has.

  • Mother/Father broke up in 97.
  • Two step mothers and three elementary schools in a one year period.
  • Father dropped my siblings and I off at a doorstep in 1999.
  • Moved in with my mother in June of 1999 — and the rest is history.

This was the shambolic childhood.  However, it sounds all bad, and I completely understand from your point of view, but this turned out to best the greatest blessing ever in my life.  Those Christmas morning of 93, 94, and 95 were some of the best of my life.  My grade school was amazing, wonderful friends, and I was introduced to one of the greatest eras of music in humankind (1990’s), along with Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo.  Let’s not forget that.

From 2000-2006, my mother did an amazing job.  We had our transgressions when power got cut off in late 2003, but my mom did everything in her power to restore it (just a day later). I’m super grateful for that.  After choosing to go to college, then demoting my “choice of major” even more (going from Orthodontics, to Dental Hygiene, to Dental Assisting), it was another great blessing.

The Change from a Promise

Satomi Nakagawa, who visited me in 2008, fell to her knees one evening and cried: “I’m never going to see you again.”

She was distressed because the potential of not seeing me again.  In that moment came a promise, “don’t worry, I’ll come to see you.”  I’m not exactly sure if I said next year, but it ended up happening next year when I had the idea of traveling abroad.  BOOM!

Two months after booking a trip, I saw Satomi again and Kingsford International Airport.  The importance of this trip, seeing Darling Harbour, Blue Mountains, and going to Bondi Beach…..was when a seed had blossomed within my mind.  When this happened, I was never the same again.  Living in America was no longer exciting to me (Las Vegas, but let’s be honest, it’s all boring — sorry).  I visited again in 2010 (Melbourne) and met some Mauritians and Indonesians.  One morning I walked along St. Kilda beach and then I decided “I’m moving here next year.”  I told my mother after coming back, and she got teary-eyed.  It was the sign of change, but at the same time, she knew i had to go after what was mine in the universe.  Sure enough, 2011 came rolling around and the last time I felt like I saw my mother was when she gave me a hug, cried, and drove off in a car.

Battles in Australia

Psychological battles galore. I questioned myself about having a personality that wasn’t suitable for Aussies.  I was too personable; too charismatic; too funny.  Just too out there in general.  I remember running down to a harbour area in Lane Cove (north of Sydney) and saying to myself, “they don’t like me here.  Why don’t I have a girlfriend?”

Fast-forwarding that particular situation to my present situation, I’m single — 7 years later.

Rewinding back to that moment….I told a Colombian friend and she said, “Arsenio, you have one of the most beautiful personalities.  Don’t worry about these people.”

Yes.

That was that moment.

I would need that 5 years later when I got into the biggest psychological battle of my life.

Thailand in the YouTube video (coming soon) & Podcast

 

Ramble of Positivity: 5th Anniversary In Thailand

It’s been an unbelievable 5 years.  Wow, how can I even put it into context. I will try highlighting this through pictures.

First Three Years

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You understand where my focus was, right? 2013-2015 were the rough years with lots of racial influences, advertisements, and me focusing on “what I didn’t want.” I had a woman from Thai Airways threaten my life, stating that she would get dangerous people to kick my face in.  I got the “ewww black man! Low-class! Pimp!” comments from lots of women.  I was denied jobs for being black.  My language center (New Education World if you must know the name) denied me dozens of jobs stating, “ohhh, they want a white teacher.”  All of these culminated for three years (and even well into this year after cutting off the unknowledgeable job)…..until the beginning of 2016.

Then this happened…..

Last Two Years

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And just like that, within two years time, I was able to overcome all of the ignorance — ignorance that I saturated myself in.  Let’s look back at the years that transformed me into the influential figure I am.  It’s time for the ramble!

My first photo, which was taken at a night safari deep in some forest in Bali, is possibly the best trip I’ve ever had in my life.  Bali, an alluring island that’s tucked away in the bottom of Indonesia, was one of those chips that changed me as a human being.  It should’ve been the trip that made me quit my current job, but it never crossed my mind.  This island is inhabited with white sandy beaches, quiet beachside fronts, jungles, monkeys, and a rich history.  The indigenous people there are full of smiles, big round eyes, and possess such a wonderful heart.

The second Spartan Race, which took place in Chon Buri, Thailand, was a memorable WALK.  I’m kidding.  However, I’m not kidding about it just being a long walk.  Regardless of laziness and the willingness to push yourself, this was one of my favorite runs because the amount of smiles and people pushing each other.

Maldives.  I’m laughing while writing this because this was a country that featured no currency.  That’s right.  I went there with Thai currency, only to be turned away and had no means of getting any currency while I was there.  Until I was met with the most incredible gesture anyone has ever given me.  This trip, which could’ve been a hell of a lot better, taught me a lot about myself in general.

Ho Chi Mihn City – the city of beautiful souls.  Well, not all.  I got cussed out roadside by a Vietnamese boy who was soliciting me for services *curling eyes*.  Going inside the remnants war museum and seeing the pure destruction the USA Army unleashed upon all Vietnamese crippled me inside.  Not only that, but it made me realize how strong-willed the Vietnamese are.

First Spartan Race in Malaysia (and the one just two weeks ago) were FUN! Wait, I’ll take that back. The first Spartan race SUCKED.  Ok, yes….it was near public transportation (versus the last one that was in the middle of a damn jungle), but there weren’t comedians or anyone cheering each other on – on the course.  Get what I’m saying? But a Sprint and Super have been achieved.  It’s time for the BEAST!

Moving into my new condo and leaving a place that was killing my insides…was a monumental feature.  I believe I brought all the pain from the beginning of the years to my last job and it held me down.  I took the leap of faith, left, and I could finally breathe again.

Anyways, enough of that.  How about checking some things off my list! Sheraton Hotel, which is a five-star hotel in KL, was put on my 101 goals list in 2015 — ACHIEVED! It wasn’t the only one to join the “checking” list with several others being highlighted.

And last but not least, the trip back to Arizona — a place I haven’t been in years.  I competed in a Tough Mudder after fighting off food poisoning (courtesy of Singapore Airlines – Thank You!).

All in all, when I was looking in my camera roll on my iPhone, I began to tear up.  How was I able to overcome all of it?

Personal development, of course.  5 years in Thailand and I still go through the craziness of it all.  So, I want to just say THANK YOU to no only my loyal followers and supporters, but the fact that I never gave up.

Questions & Answers: How Did I Develop My Strength/What Makes You Different From Your Brother?

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.

Podcast

Thailand: 5 Years & Counting – What Have I Learned?

When I first landed, I was astounded by the humidity.  Yes, I had come here once before, but the humidity wasn’t at this magnitude.  Being in Sukhumvit in May is like being in a damn oven – filled with stenches beyond this planet.

I recall meeting up with a teacher — at Platinum Mall in Ratchthewi — and I knew I was going to be in for a mess.  Her energy was some of the worst I have ever seen TO THIS DAY! What she said about Thai people (although she’s Thai), how she spoke to me, and how vindictively malicious she was….unlike anything I’ve ever seen.  I can go back to my first job in Melbourne, Australia — and first job in Sydney, Australia — both unbelievably bad.  Terrible bosses, relentless dentists, and drove me to insanity.

So, coming here I already had some experience.  Getting a stomach bug for the first 6 weeks before getting a shipment of Herbalife was a kilogram dropper.  That’s right.  I lost probably 5KG, eating what was a black egg (not smart at all…I know).

Anyways, I can go all the way to the south of Thailand and tell you about one of the worst experiences I had, and trek all the way up to a northern province called Ang Thong, a place I stayed for only 2 weeks because I knew the racial tensions were evident.

The biggest thing I’ve learned about this entire process has been….purpose.  Why did I come here to Thailand to begin with? Why did I continue to remain in a country that wasn’t and still isn’t particularly fond of colored people? Yes, the tides have completely changed and I see the love everywhere, but that wasn’t the case for almost 3 years.

How did I end up developing an inspirational podcast, website, YouTube videos, and so many other things that has brought me a lot of notoriety in the self-improvement and educational realm? Was this my intention to begin with? No.

Thailand, coming up on the 5th year, has taught me to never give up.  In the wake of so much racial discrimination, to having bosses (currently) who wants to see me fail.  I now know what my true self-worth is compared to years past.  When everything went down the way it did a month ago, I immediately told myself, “everything this man is saying right now is a thought form about his monolithic perception of African Americans.  None of it has to do with you, Arsenio.  However, you don’t deserve this….and my mental capacity doesn’t, either.  Could you please start applying for jobs elsewhere so you can discover more?”….

……that’s what I exactly did.

A new job, 6 projects, wonderful people, gorgeous new area of living, etc.

Don’t take the bull*hit from people.  When you’re being disrespected, become a lawyer.  List out everything that had happened up until that point and then make a decision.  Become a “crime solver” and have fun with it.  Don’t let the negative suggestions of others dictate your life.

Napoleon Hill’s Failure – Identifying Your Turning Points — Part 1 of 2

While I do not mean to convey the impression that I believe all of our acts to be controlled by causes beyond our power to direct, yet I strongly urge you to study and correctly interpret those causes which mark the most vital turning-points of your life; the points at which your efforts are diverted – from the old into new channels – in spite of all that you can do.  At least refrain from accepting any defeat as failure until you shall have had time to analyze the final result. – Napoleon Hill

This is one of the funnest things to do in analyzing where you were and where you want to go.  Remember Steve Jobs said, “you can never connect the dots looking forward, only backwards.”  This is imperative and here’s what I came about with my turning points…I’m going to separate this into two podcasts and two blogs so not saturate everyone with so much information.

First Turning-Point: Bad Money In Chanthaburi.

My first job I got only 600$ USD a month, which is about 18,000 baht.  This salary, for any native English speaker, is downright criminal.  I wasn’t at the top of my game, but I was fresh in the world of teaching.  After being ridiculously threatened, berated, constantly scrutinized and talk badly to, receiving despicable looks from the parents because I was color, piss-poor working conditions and a bunch of empty promises – I had to make a massive financial decision.  My savings was plummeting and I was going to go 60 days without pay from October-November.  What did I do? I had to do what was in the best interest of me versus what other people wanted.

Second Turning Point: 10$ To My Name – Made An Oath

After trekking down to the south of Thailand to continue my teaching, I was hit with a financial disaster.  Having agreed to a 1000$ USD amount per month (which puts me in the top 50% of Native-English teachers in Thailand) I didn’t get paid for the month of October.  In saying that, November was going to be a very difficult; if not, the most difficult financial month of my life.  After borrowing money from my department head to last me for the month, I made an oath to myself: “I will never be this broke again.”  Having only 10$ to my name was one of the scariest moments of my entire teaching career here in Thailand.  10$! I had to do two-week visa runs because I didn’t have a visa or work permit; no family willing to transfer me money; no friends around to help me out; NOTHING! After finally getting a lump sum of money, I rejoiced and I never looked back.

Third & Fourth Turning Points Are In The Podcast Down Below.

Ask yourself the question, “have I overcome financial hardships? And when I did, did I improve on my life?”

 

Life Begins At The End of Your Comfort Zone

Track & Field in high school

Those 200m, 300m, and 400m intervals that made me feel faint, dizzy, legs burning, and wanting to throw up after practice everyday were grueling.  As an athlete, these days, including heels and bleachers, are the days we dread.  The days I used to dread.  However, little did I know it was preparing me for getting out of my comfort zone.  This type of maniacal training after school on weekdays prepared us for the track meets, which we performed at such a high level.  If you look at any of the greatest athletes around the world, their working out regimen would make you hurt while watching it.  Usain Bolt’s regimen was unbelievable and often had him regurgitating practically everyday.  This is called “stepping out of that comfortability zone.”

Moved to Australia

I wish I can get back the lost time I had in Australia.  This was the most discomforting I’ve ever been because I was trying to be someone I wasn’t.  Because I have such a wonderful personality (haha), it was hard for me to acclimate in a society where not many people smile.  Is it because I was living in the CBD of Melbourne? Possibly, a blend of Chinese, Mauritian and French cultures is extremely difficult, which brings a mixture of personalities together that are completely different, but it also revolved around my physical environments.  My work places (dental offices) were tragically terrible (longest story ever) and my living situation was appalling to say the LEAST.  When I hauled over to Sydney for the remainder of the 9 months on my visa, it got probably a tad better, but I have to say I was uncomfortable the entire time.  On the other hand, this prepared me for Thailand.  Wonderful ol’ Thailand whereas if I didn’t live in a foreign country before Thailand, I would’ve given up quickly because of the animosity dished out towards me.  I’m glad Australia prepared me for the madness within these borders.

Thailand boosted my uncomfortability to unspeakable heights. 

If you want to become successful, you’re going to have to put yourself in a very uncomfortable situation.  Am I talking moving to Asia as an African American or moving to South America as a Caucasian? No.  Do the thing you’re afraid to do. Period.

Living here in Thailand is basically living in a ball of hate for me.  The ignorance I receive on a daily basis is jaw dropping and that’s me being honest.  The rewards on the other side, however, is blissful.  It’s freedom.  The story I’ve created being here has inspired the masses around the world.  I’m saying to you today that life doesn’t begin until you test yourself in deep waters.  It’s like jumping into the deep-end, which I did when I was young, and almost drowned.  Yes, my pseudo-cousin said I wouldn’t die, but I got really close to dying; thus why peer pressure was never a problem for me.  When you’re way in over your head, the light will be above you.  You may not notice it, but through all the thick-and-thin, problems, transgressions, and a variety of other things that will come forth….just know that those are questions that will be answered by you.  Only you can go through this.  No one else can.

I’m grateful for everything I’ve experienced in my life because it prepared me for where I am today.

Podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/11822230

Taking A Leap Can Transform Your Life

Chanthaburi, Thailand was a place that left me exasperated by the end of everyday because of the mistreatment not only at my school, but also around the entire town.  The grotesque stares from Thai people which was soul-crushing, the boss who threatened to fire me at any given time because she was power hungry, the colleague who made up stories of him being with university students to make me jealous (46 year old irishman with 3 teeth) among so many other things that culminated over the 5 month period.

There was a lady by the name of Tina in the deep south of Thailand who told me, “hey, I’ve been seeing your Facebook posts lately about not liking your job.  You should come down here! There are plenty of jobs!”  Thailand 4 years ago was just slightly acceptable to accepting African Americans as teachers versus the next-to-none nowadays.

So, one day I booked a minivan trip (3 hour ride with strangers) to Bangkok and took a flight from there to Nakhon Si Thammarat.  My friend, who I met for the first time, was at the airport to pick me up.  After getting settled in, we visited a man who apparently was the one with all the “power” in the province.  He greeted me with open arms and said, “So AJ (nickname), you need a job? Ok.”  He got on his phone and made a call to his wife who I later spoke to.

The conversation was put like this, “ok, when can you move here? October 10th? We will see you then.”

Accepted.

I had to tip-toe my way out of the school and Chanthaburi because the parents plead for me to stay there long term.

I wouldn’t have gotten paid for 60 days and my savings account was depleting.  I wanted to do traveling but I had only 1000$ USD left in my name, so I needed to hurry and get out of the school who paid me 66$ less because I was African American versus the two other caucasian teachers (from America and Ireland).

After experiencing the large increase in the new province in terms of salary, I was content, but then the racism began to burrow down on me like a 100 lb weight. When I was approaching the last months of Nakhon Si Thammarat, I hit rock bottom in courage, self-esteem, and self confidence.

I recall applying for 60 jobs one morning and got one reply from a gentleman who’s school was in a remote town near the historical Ayutthaya.  Well, I took another leap.

The school, being right in the middle of a marsh, had some of the worst energy I’ve ever experienced in my life.  By that time, I knew what was good and what wasn’t in this country; therefore, after 3 job interviews that plummeted viciously whereas I walked out of one because they didn’t call my name.  Conversely, whilst enduring all that pain, I continued to fight and ultimately got a job in Bangkok.

4 years on…my life has changed completely after the transgressions.  That leap of faith.  A lot of people would say on twitter, “why are you still here then?” Ignore senseless questions like that.  These people, just like some of the colleagues I’ve worked with in the present and past, will try demoralize you and make you believe that you’re just a speck in the world.

I’m not here for a wife, a girlfriend, or to retire….I’m here to become the best version of myself and changed the lives of thousands all over the world.

Look what has happened to me in spite of the rejections, the no’s, the people not talking to me, the racial comments, the job prospects asking if I’m black…..how was I able to change it around?

After taking all those leaps, I reached a plateau in which I was very content with my life, but still didn’t have a life purpose statement.  I was shooting blanks in life hoping to hit something, but wasn’t.

Then I picked up a book that changed my life.  I’m telling you to take that leap.  To do research.  Find out the life purpose and what you’re really after.  What legacy do you want to leave in life?

It all comes with taking the gigantic leap.