Wheel of Life: May 2019 Edition – Weathering the STORM

Perhaps the storm of the century? After being stopped, for whatever reason it may have been (of course — it’s Thailand) at immigration, it threw my life into a whirlwind. I was scrambling to set up what should’ve been done last year. If it had fallen through, my time in Thailand would’ve been up. With determination and the willingness to get things done, I’m on the verge of finally solidifying myself on a visa needed to stay in the country and now I’m onto the next juncture in my life.

Nonetheless, this was the most emotionally exhausting few weeks since living here in Thailand (and certainly since 2014-2015). Take some steps back, reassess the situation, and execute if possible.

For those of you tuning in for the first time, the wheel of life cycle is a way of assessing my life over the last month in eight categories: personal development, physical environment, health, wealth, career, fun and hobbies, family and friends, and romantic relationships.

Wealth – 3

I’m going to cover just the ones that might be of importance for a lot of you. Some of you might be going through the same problems as me, yet you don’t know the solutions for getting over it. So, thi sone is especially for you all.

When everything began falling apart about a week ago, I had to take a step back and ask myself, “how can I make more money?” Robert Kiyosaki says if you say a statement, there’s nothing else you can do. It’s like quicksand that turn into cement.

Following that was a series of different occurrences. A lady, who I hadn’t spoken to in almost a year, called me out-of-the-blue. A few days later, I met with her an she offered me permanent, part-time work that enables me to get a decent, fall-back salary every month in case I don’t get work from my main job.

Ahhh, yes, the main job! On the verge of getting a visa and every salary this year has been head-scratching, to abhorrent. I cannot wait around and believe that people are going to fill my pockets. I had to go out and take, and that’s exactly what I did.

Family & Friends – 3

So, friends are gone. Yes, I met a friend while out there in Singapore, but after I came back, it’s been downhill. I must say that it’s quite funny when people try getting in touch with me again after x amount of weeks. A girl, who I had blocked because she was basically idolizing white men, sent me a message to my Facebook group. My content writer showed me the photo and I laughed. “Why come back now?” Unless it’s pure desperation, I won’t even think about messaging her back because there’s nothing to that friendship. It’s dead, history, archived.

Then, there was the weird situation where I met a samaritan from America at the base of my condo. After a few days, there was a message sent by him that was very…..peculiar. It was odd beyond belief. I didn’t quite understand it….to the point that I blocked him. That was so odd to the point that I was like, “whoa, how am I supposed to respond to a weird rant like that?”

Guys, dump those losers. Honestly, if they’re not feeding your roots or watering your plant, they’re looking for takeaway. When they get it, they’re going to leave anyway, so you might as well drop them from the beginning.

All in All

Let’s just say hypothetically speaking that everything goes the way it should. Now, living here in Thailand, nothing is perfect….but if all goes well today, and then all goes well next Thursday; 99% of my nervousness, anxiousness, and degree of worry will be expunged and done away with. When this happens, I’ll be able to refocus and reaffirm what’s really important in life.

Podcast

Wheel of Life with Celina Celeste: Christmas Edition – Full Year Review (2018)

Man! What a year this was! Looking back on all of my wheel of life’s throughout the year, I was a scared boy in the beginning.  I’m super surprised that I made it this far in Thailand, this year, without giving up.  Looking where I was at the beginning, trying to get away from one of the most toxic jobs I’ve ever been a part of (and for a wicked three years), and seeing where I am now?! Just how did it happen? Well, this podcast isn’t only about myself, but it’s about Celina, who joins me on this gorgeous Christmas morning to give grace to what was a life-changing year for her, too! Here are my scores, a rundown, and then the podcast. 

Personal Development – 10

Why am I starting off with one of the highest marks? Well, honestly….if it wasn’t for Napoleon Hill’s Mental Attitude, Gary Vee in my ear, communicating with entrepreneurs all around the globe…no way this could’ve been so high.  From meeting Luke Burrows in February, to Celina (you) in March, and interviewing an author named David Mauro in the early stages of the year — kicking off a spectacular run — no words can describe it.  

Since then I’ve co-host a show with Luke Burrows called Motivational Mentors.  I’ve brought entrepreneurs from Malaysia on and even hired a content writer, Jiun Ting Yong, who’s been doing show notes and write-ups on TheArsenioBuckShow.com.  I got rid of a toxic graphic designer and hired another one from Myanmar who’s done very diligent work for me. I’m not speaking to coaches, mentors, entrepreneurs and others all around the globe, exchanging ideas on a daily basis.  This year, in terms of people individuals, has topped the previous 29 years of my life…and it’s not even close. 

Physical Environment – 9.5

At the beginning, I was shrugging off a toxic work environment, and that’s basically it.  After that, and towards the end of the year, perfect workplace with flexible hours, communicating with big companies all over Bangkok who are asking me for services, and living at a perfect condo. I can’t complain. 

Career – 10

This absolutely correlates with personal development. Yes, I could’ve launched some projects, but now on the dawn of the New Years, I have a course coming out on the Grow2Gether Academy.  I’ll be making a test with Celina, herself, for an English Test Preparation course, I’m launching The Arsenio Buck Foundation and my TOEIC grammar EBook in January.  That’s about 30% of what’s happening.  Honestly, since I dumped that job, my life has completely changed. COMPLETELY!

Wealth – 7

This category remains stagnant.  Grateful, but not much of a change from the beginning of the year.  Why? Literally freelancing and hustling and have been since the beginning.  From the beginning of my new life (after my old job) until now, I don’t have a “legit job,” therefore it’s pretty hard to know what’s coming and what’s not.  Plan for the New Years? Make multiple streams of income, and three of them will be launched at the beginning of the year.  No more working for money….let money work for me. 

Health – 9

Aside from some ailments that weren’t serious, I achieved one of the biggest goals of my life (the Spartan Trifecta). 

Fun & Hobbies – 10

7 countries.  Yes, i had to go based on being pressured by a Thai government, but being able to go to HK (somewhat of a forgettable trip), and my wondrous Singapore twice, was a blessing.  Yes, going back to Malaysia to meet my newly employed content writer in April, and having gone back to Malaysia in July AGAIN for some fun, was another blessing.  I began making my own schedule with my job, and having that type of control means all the difference in the world. 

Romantic Relationships

This was by far, the worst year.  Well, it’s a year that I stayed focused and didn’t want to get emotionally involved with ANYONE. It ended up playing dividends and helping me.  I didn’t let anyone (women — lol) inside my close circle.  I kept it tight with the most reliable people in my life, and I didn’t suffer any massive heartbreaks or fallouts. 

Family & Friends – 4

It’s not a bad 4.  I know, extremely low.  Family doesn’t exist and I didn’t add any friends, but it’s the smartest decision EVER.  I don’t want to add new friends, ANYMORE, to my closed circle.  They will forever being on the outside because I simply don’t trust “friends,” I only trust those that give me oxygen. 

 

Get in touch with Celina Celeste

Links:

Things we discussed:

Personal development and entrepreneurship.

How we connected with people who shared similar values on personal development.

Career and business opportunities together with goal-setting.

Entrepreneurial mindset.

Career pathways and its abstract manners.

Clarity and volunteering.

Relationships (of all sorts).

Inner and outer circle friends.

Vulnerability and outer-layer of support.

Friendships.

Hobbies and fun.

New hobbies and picking up skills to develop when you are facing unhappiness.

Commitments and new relationships.

Self-awareness.

Physical and mental health.

Finances.

Podcast

Listen to “Wheel of Life with Celina Celeste: Christmas Edition – Full Year Review (2018)” on Spreaker.

Thank you for listening!

 

Links:

  1. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thearseniobuckshow/
  2. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thearseniobuckshow/?hl=en
  3. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIzp4EdbJVMhhSnq_0u4ntA
  4. Podcasts: https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow, https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-arsenio-buck-show/id1181794790?mt=2, https://open.spotify.com/show/0x39CEN5tHvfRtfZaAMTgQ?si=8cpdu1rTTjKHogufXh91Cw
  5. Website: https://thearseniobuckshow.com/
  6. Twitter: https://twitter.com/arseniobuckshow?lang=en

Family & Friends: Goals for 2019!

Some things can’t be changed.  I completely understand.  Last year I saw three significant departures, and going back to my blog, I’m now looking back on my previous self — terrified.

I literally have my best friend in New York and a good friend in Australia.  The others come and go as they will…more labeled as acquaintances.  2017 was a rough year.  There were days of emotional turmoil and even a three-day-period when I fell under a trance of melancholy.  Not good.  I pushed for dead-end relationships and that’s what needs to be cleaned up going into the latter stages of the year.  Sure, I met two friends (before one vanished) and I still have one that’s up and running.  In terms of meeting people around Bangkok, I think it will happen in due time, but I’m preparing for that massive change now.
Family
Yikes! What a disaster of a category this is.  Haha! A brother who has always hated me (thank you), two sisters who don’t speak to me (typical), a mother who has never tried calling me in the last five years of living here in Thailand (why so serious?), and an entire family that’s completely jealous of what I’m doing with my life.  However, they can do the same thing.

January 6th, 2018

As you can see in the link, WOW! That’s some pretty scary language coming from a now mentor/coach.  Just amazing how I was able to turn it around entirely.

What did I do? Well, from my friend Waii (who left in May, came back and left again for a long time), to another girl named Zern (was a relationship then dropped it), and lastly — my friend Alissa (who completely disappeared to the middle of this year).  Looking at what had happened before, I absolutely didn’t want to make the same mistake again this year. So, did I try adding in any friends? NOPE! Only close circle people.

In April, I lost a friend named Nazira, who lives in Bishkek.  I lost another one from Indonesia and one late last year.  I took out everything, and in my mind, I pretty much accepted that friends will absolutely come and go.  I’m my biggest and bestest friend, and that’s the only person I can rely on.

However, who I have around me NOW is utterly amazing.  Great people from head-to-toe.  Life coaches, relationship coaches, mentors, graphic designers, new content writer……this year I did repeat the bullshit I had done in the past (which is just letting people into my close circle).  People who are outside my circle will stay outside my circle.  The great people who are in my circle will never depart because they’ve become my oxygen and they’re not selfish.  The people who I had let inside my circle (closed circle) last year were incredibly selfish.  They didn’t care about the relationship….only their person needs.

One more example would be a friend from Japan.  Yeah, she came into my life as a language exchange buddy who I developed a REMARKABLE companionship with.  After that, she had become distance, which is what women normally do, and then that last message came: “Arsenio, I can’t message you anymore. I’m going to America tomorrow to meet my boyfriend.

“You can’t talk to me anymore but you still have a husband and you’re going to meet a boyfriend in another country?

Arsenio

Yeah, ridiculous. She left March this year, and this happens a lot with my Japanese friends (not holding an entire country accountable for some individual actions, but it’s the last time I’ll ever let someone in my closed circle).

Over to you.

  1. Who do you have in your circle who’s taking, rather than giving?
  2. What new companions and professionals can you add to your closed circle and drop into the outer circle?
  3. Are you able to recognize those who will invest in you?
  4. Is your family too toxic to overcome that you want to distance yourself? If so, how can you start trimming the time that you’re with them?
  5. Are you investing too much into your family that’s not being reinvested in you?
  6. Make a list of the people who are giving and a list of people who are taking.

Listen to “Family & Friends: Goals for 2019!” on Spreaker.

Wheel of Life: November 2018 Edition – Closing Out The Year STRONG!

What a year! I mean, I’m so excited to just dive right into the December version, but I’ll be doing a wide range of those coming up with other people in a “coaching style” consultation (TBD).  I’m super excited about going over another edition, a long standing tradition of evaluating my life on a month-to-month basis.  Here are the categories.

Since I don’t technically have friends, I’ve switched my category from the “friends” category to the “circle of friends” category.  

 

Personal Development – 10

Scribd, which is a site I’m not getting paid from, offers a 3 month free trial of listening, downloading and reading online books and magazines. Brilliant idea that I wish I had come up with in the past.  Ha! Nonetheless, this has enabled me to listen to three chapters of a book which features Napoleon Hill interviewing Andrew Carnegie.  Chapter 3, the chapter I’m on right now, has been life-changing! Guys, check it out and see if it helps you. No more listening to music (unless you’re working out or in the mood) and start listening to books that will enable you to take your life to the next level!

Physical Environment – 9

Because where I live has always been great, the workplace can go up and down.  However, after getting an additional project in the heart of the CBD, two of my week nights are pure glory.

Romantic Relationships – ??

I’m not going to jinx anything right now; therefore, I will not spill any beans.

Health – 9 

The Spartan Beast was a test of will. This was a race that scared the living hell out of me on mile mark 16km, and luckily I was able to finish the race.  The most difficult race, by far, since 2015 and I was able to overcome such a gauntlet.  I’m super proud.  I’ve stopped staring myself down in mirrors and now I’m focused for next February’s monster in Melbourne.

Wealth – 8 

It could be better. Still grateful and consistently consistent, but nothing fantabulous. However, I’m sitting myself up for the greatest 2019.

Career – 10

I’ve connected with just about everyone.  I have people from Jersey, Ireland, and Romania who are coaches and so many other things.  With all the webinars that are being created, Academy that’s being developed and getting ready to launch in early January, and a handful of other things just makes it perfect.  Super grateful for the amount of great characters that have come into my life and partnerships that are developing at a rate that will up-level me and help me achieve my highest of goals!

Fun & Hobbies – 8

This is probably the highest I’ve ever had it.  I’m starting to enjoy my life more, and it’s because I’m working some days in the CBD rather than on the outskirts and until 9pm.  If I can finish work at 9pm, which I normally do a couple days a week, that gives me time to meet people, especially if I’m just outside reliable transportation. However, if I’m working in the depths of hell, which I normally do three nights a week, that cancels out any opportunity of meeting people.  Well, after a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and two friends coming in from Chiang Mai and Mongolia, December could be the first possible 10, starting off with a trip to Vientiane, Laos!

Circle of Friends – 8

Now, for many of you, this is the family and friends category.  However, for me, you already know this story.  I’m my own family and my best friend. There isn’t a soul that could save me if things fail. My circle of friends, on the other hand, have done some great things for me and have improved my mindset considerably.

Listen to “Wheel of Life: November 2018 Edition: Closing Out The Year STRONG!” on Spreaker.

 

The Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 1 -Low/High Trust Relationships

So, before we get into the basis of it all, let’s first try outline some of the frustrations we have on a daily basis.

  • I can’t stand the politics at work.  I feel sabotaged by my peers.  It seems like everyone is out for himself and will do anything to get ahead. 

  • I’ve really been burned in the past.  How can I ever trust anyone enough to have a real relationship?

  • I work in an organization that’s bogged down with bureaucracy.  It takes forever to get anything done.  I have to get authorization to buy a pencil!

  • The older my children get, the less they listen to me.  What can I do?

  • I feel like my contributions at work are hardly ever recognized or valued.  

  • I foolishly violated the trust of someone who was supremely important to me.  If I could hit “rewind” and make the decision differently, I would do it in a heartbeat. But I can’t.  Will I ever be able to rebuild the relationship?

  • I have to walk on eggshells at work.  If I say what I really think, I’ll get fired…or at least made irrelevant. 

  • My boss micromanages me and everyone else at work.  He treats us all like we can’t be trusted. 

  • With all the scandals, corruption, and ethical violations in our society today, I feel like someone has pulled the rug out from under me.  I don’t know what — or who — to trust anymore.  

In all of these situations, you CAN do something.  Look, you’ve heard the storm on a number of occasions in terms of what happened between my family and I.  I was the bigger man and decided to message my mother a couple years later.  Did she show any signs of gratitude when she got a message from me? No.  Furthermore, I messaged the siblings, whose relationships are beyond dilapidation, and there was no remorse.  There’s no way they can instill trust in me again and they would much rather have a bulk of anger.  That’s a decision that they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.  I TRIED doing something, but it takes two to tango at times.

SImply put, trust means confidence.  The opposite of trust is distrust and suspicious.

I want you to think right now of someone who you have a high-trust relationship with — perhaps a boss, coworker, parent, sibling, best friend.  What’s it like? How does it feel? How well do you communicate with them? How quickly can you get things done? How much do you enjoy this relationship?

Now

Think of a person with whom you have a low-trust relationship.  Again, it could be any of the nouns above.  How does it feel? How is the communication? Does it flow quickly and freely? Or do you feel like you’re constantly walking on landmines and being misunderstood? Do you enjoy this relationship? Or do you find it draining?

Podcast

 

Coaching Session #001: Figuring Out Where Your Depression is Coming From

It was a coaching session like no other; in fact it was with a significant language barrier in between the both of us.

I first received a message from one of the girls that works at a place I’m part-timing at. She said she wanted to talk to me about something serious, so I immediately thought  something went bad — AGAIN — at work in regards to a student.

However, that wasn’t the case.  Previously i had coached one of my colleagues to snap out of her depression, and it worked.  So, the second staff member approached me and it was time to be the coach.

I made her do the “Wheel of Life” podcast and she became aware of what was going on in her life.  On a scale 1-10, and rating 8 categories, her highest mark was seven, which didn’t make any sense.  So her outer feelings and what is going on in her life is very apparent.  Here’s what she had.

Health – 5 – low blood pressure, dizzy, tired quickly

Wealth – 3 – no car, home, business, can’t take care of mother,

Career – 1 – absent-minded, indecision

Personal Development – 0 – cannot create happiness

Physical Environment – 3 – high competition, selfishness

Fun & Hobbies – 0 – no time or money

Family & Friends 7 – friends are there but not all

Physical Environment – 4

Romantic Relationships – 4 – lots of negative feelings towards love (6 entries)

So, here is what she wrote down (via google translate), and as you scan see, it focuses primarily on what she doesn’t have.  There’s conditioning happening here, which is not unusual, but she’s holding onto a lot of past things that aren’t suitable anymore.

Health revolves around her personal development.  Tired quickly, gets dizzy, etc….there could be a massive deficiency on so many levels in terms of vitamins, nutrients, minerals — but remember — it’s not what you see on the surface.  It’s much deeper than that.

Wealth is a fixed mindset.  She focuses on things she doesn’t have that I don’t have.  I don’t have a car or own a home, either.  It all depends on preferences, and because she believes success relates to materialistic things, she thinks she’s a failure for not having these things.

Physical Environment, in a place where competition is very high and ignorance amongst her colleagues, of course she’s going to hate it.  Little money? Of course! But why do you continue doing something that gives you no ROI? Is she happy doing the job? No way.

What to do?

What are her beliefs? What negative beliefs does she have on the subjects above? She needs to write them down and then write down something outrageously opposite from her belief.  This is when it begins to change.  You have to get rid of all the “have nots and don’t haves” and turn them into positive, reassuring statements because the subconscious doesn’t know what’s right from wrong.  It just takes in everything you feel, and in her case, she feels like complete s***.

Put one good food into her diet a day. There are plenty of mood-boosting foods out there in the world.

Career is a toss-up.  I can’t ask her what she does, but she definitely needs to do the “how to find your life purpose” questionnaire to get somewhat guidance.

Hate your job? Time to change it.  Hate something else? Drop it.  I’m a super advocate for taking out negativity.  My workplace has become an unbearable environment to be in over the last couple of weeks because of petty stuff.  What have I done? Start looking for new work.  That’s the basis.  Is it long-term where you’re working? Ok, you need to pay the bills….keep doing that, but never take ignorant bosses berating you over your sanity.  If that happens, goodbye.  Trust me, you will find something when you stop a herd of negativity from coming into your life.

Listen to “Coaching Session 001: Figuring Out Where Your Depression is Coming From” on Spreaker.

 

 

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

 

Interviewee #20 – Perry Power – The Art of Storytelling

With a history of sexual abuse and losing his father just over a year ago, Perry has managed to use these dark times and turn it into lightness in order to inspire others to do the same. Believing that our ‘mess is our message’, Perry walks us through how we each have a unique story and hidden power, which we need to find in order to become the best version of ourselves.

Get in touch with Perry Power of the UK

– About the art of storytelling.

 

Links:

 

Things we discussed:

  • Introduction by Perry Power.
  • How Perry started it all?
  • Sharing about Perry’s childhood.
  • Deciding to talk about sexual abuse.
  • Sharing about dark times in an individual’s life.
  • Talking about a man’s ego.
  • Sharing your grief.
  • Talking about struggles in life.
  • The power of being vulnerable.
  • Talking about anger.
  • Sharing about how to shift a mindset about being yourself.
  • Talked about his first FB video.
  • The power of sharing.
  • The power of storytelling.
  • How you tell your story.
  • How old were you when you first started personal development?
  • What did personal development teach you?
  • Hate and forgiveness.
  • Talking about your history of sexual abuse.
  • You need some chapters to your storytelling.
  • The defining moment in your life and in your storytelling.
  • Perfecting your storytelling.
  • You need a flow like a slide in your storytelling.
  • What do you want to accomplish and what are you building?

 

 

Thank you for listening!

 

Thank you so much for joining me for this podcast. Please do write down some feedbacks and comments. Please do share this podcast on your social media.

 

Links:

 

Season 1: Episode 5 – Book Review – Aggressive & Invincible Mask

“Imagine the moments just before a cage fight. The cheering crowd. The threatening opponent in the corner, flexing, shadow-boxing, bouncing rhythmically on the balls of his feet, ready for someone to ring the bell so he can pounce. The highlight reel of his past victories plays on the jumbo-tron—man after man hitting the canvas or tapping desperately as the air gets choked out of them. Think about all the money on the line. The bragging rights. The years of training that led up to this moment.
And now think, how would you feel if you were the fighter about to enter the cage to face your opponent? Afraid? Anxious? Angry? Numb? Worried? You’d be a perfectly normal human being to feel those things.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

Some of you may or may not know my story about being a child, but back in 2003, I went through a phase where I saw a lot of aggression.  On the first day of school. my mother was laid off work.  We went from having a lot of food, to having very little food in the house.  My mom did everything she could to keep peace and calm in the house, but when the lights got cut off, it persisted.  There was a time my brother confronted me at band practice and we got in a fight.  His punk ass (and I mean that out of total disrespect — lol) ran home to tell my mom first.  When I got home, my mom was screaming at me, and so was my brother, which lead to me running away from home for the first night in my life.  For a mother to take someone’s side, as angry an individual one will ever meet (my brother) without hearing me first, was heartbreaking.

These things continued festering when my long-time crush, Adriana, ended up dumping me.  Following that, a manipulative girl by the name of Maria came into my life and left without a trace, too.

Going into December, I had an insane amount of anger.  There was a jazz band playing in the band room one afternoon — one of the most depressing songs ever that had stuck with me, and still does, to this day. I told my brother what was happening and he could relate.  Remember, if you’re depressed, the goal is to not be around depressed people. My mom, out of desperation, sold a truck to my uncle’s girlfriend (and the truck she got from her father).  She got a much needed $2500 USD from her, not to mention that a long time family friend had came over the previous three weeks with a full Thanksgiving dinner for us — seeing my mom reduce to tears.

Shortly after the New Years, my mother got a new job and that dark cloud that was hanging over our family for the third quarter of 2003 had gone away.  However, something was still inside me.

I would scream and slam controllers on my upstairs bedroom floor when I lost in Blitz 2003.  My mom would yell at the top of her lungs, screaming violently at me “IT’S JUST A F***ING GAME!”

That last time i overreacted was a basketball game: UNC vs. Duke.  UNC lost by a nailbiter and my reaction was so terrifying that my mother glanced at her friend, who was sitting right next to her, and asked him “is something wrong with my son?”

Days later, a kid name Manny approached me and asked about joining the high school Track & Field team.  That weekend I tried out and made the team.  Yes, there was just a small snippet of aggression and uncontrollable rage remaining in me at the time (my brother swayed my mother into not buying some shoes for me and I ended up crying really bad in the back seat of my mother’s vehicle).  After that, that was the last time I could remember being so emotionally distraught.

Aggression builds up.  There are so many areas, in my life, where I could’ve pinpointed what actually happened.  You can only connect the dots looking back.

“That said, the real problem for the development of young men is when aggression is the primary outlet for their pain, their sadness, their anxiety, and their anger.
Unaddressed anger is the glue that keeps the Aggressive Mask stuck in place, starting very early and lasting, in many cases, for decades. There is research on this, and it testifies to how much young boys, in particular, are soaked in anger. For many of them, anger is the only emotion that is “acceptable” to express.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

Invincible Mask Podcast

Today’s Podcast

Masks of Masculinity: Season 1: Episode 2 – What Can You Do Right Now To Remove The Alpha Mask

“The first step to shedding this mask is, in a way, just embracing that fact. Just give yourself enough gut-check moments about the kind of behavior you see around you. It isn’t enough to see it; you’ve got to see it and then have a reaction that’s more critical than complimentary.” – Lewis Howes

Honestly, your true friends don’t give a damn about how “alpha” you are.  All it takes is for a male to say that “one time” and I’ll switch him off and can him in no-time.  Alpha Males honestly pile a lot of pure pressure on their peers.  I saw my brother succumb to pure pressure back in 2000 when his friend, Brandon, told him to spoke a cigarette.  When I saw him smoking a cigarette, I was amazed.  What is this 14-year-old kid doing smoking a cigarette; let alone he’s my brother.

Now that I think of it, all of these alpha males my brother is or was friends with ultimately took him down a path he never wanted to go down.  There was a Puerto Rican, ego-maniacal friend my brother had by the name of Raf who would constantly demean me because I was the “younger” one.  The other friends my brother had at the beginning of his young adulthood had already committed crimes, or they were into drugs, smoking weed and playing videos games all day.  What my brother thought was “cool” was a disease he was slowly drowning himself in.

Now that you know the situations, now it’s time to breakdown what you can actually be free of if you remove this mask.

Win-win scenarios
Being the hero who lifts others up
The joy of being in service
Empowering others around you
Letting go of being in control
Freedom
Deeper sense of love

“Work for win-win scenarios in every possible circumstance. Use your energy to win and empower others to win. Instead of looking for things that separate us, look for things that unite us. Instead of looking for evidence that your way is the only way, try other people’s ways. Listen, connect, and hear other people’s ideas. A true leader doesn’t need to be right in order to feel worthy; he is able to see the best idea from anyone and bring it to light.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

What does winning mean to you? What does losing mean to you? If you look at all the NFL players, they’re obsessed with winning and hate losing.  Losing is the greatest part of life…and this is how a lot of them are sucked into wearing the Alpha Mask.

I lose everyday in Thailand.  I lose at getting the typical passerby’s respect.  That’s my loss, and I love it.  I’m a man who’s not afraid of showing his emotion.  When I cross the line at the Spartan Beast later on this year, I will cry.  I’ll go on Instagram stories and show my emotions to the world, too.  That doesn’t make me any less of a man than Ray Lewis. Your self-worth shouldn’t be wrapped up in winning.