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

 

Case Study #1: Attitude over Intelligence, Stanford University says

Hmmmm, for a historically-driven school like Stanford to admit the fact that intelligence doesn’t mean a GODDAMN thing is a technologically and skill-driven world, is amazing.

University, what’s now being called a scam, is realizing that attitude/personal development and courses on LinkedIn learning — are going to be the next big thing. If you see the society evolving the way it is with the Internet, Instagram, Facebook ads and scores of other technologies, it has probably left you, at some point, scratching your head wondering “wtf is university for?”

Lawyers, doctors, nurses and “professionals” will still need to attend universities, but all other degrees will be on a massive decline and personal development will go on a massive surplus.

Stanford Says

With a fixed mindset, you believe you are who you are and you cannot change. This creates problems when you’re challenged because anything that appears to be more than you can handle is bound to make you feel hopeless and overwhelmed.

People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.

Source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/08/heres-why-your-attitude-is-more-important-than-your-intelligence

Now, before I get into this any further, I’m going to first extend my apologies to friends who have graduated from the Stanfords and Harvards of the world.  I mean this in no disrespect, but this is purely predicated off…..hmm….facts.

Second, there’s no such thing as an IQ test.  Better yet, I believe it’s dealt the greatest disservice in all of humankind.  Could you imagine a child who scores a 90 and believes he’s a 90? He’s doomed FOREVER — ultimately falling into a fixed-mindset.

Never believe trash tests that are predicated off a couple of simple ass answers.

Now that I’ve went on my rant, this was written in books by people that are much more powerful than most university instructors in the world. While in college and all throughout high school, I was never taught self-confidence or anything I’ve been teaching the past 2.5 years, only informational regurgitation which has no effect on my life.  I’m taught things that have no extrinsic value for people who listen to me, nor things that will take me to the next level.

 

Now that schools are in the crosshairs of what’s going to be a massive overhaul, the enrollment of millennials will be zapped and universities will be in trouble.

Now this all brings awareness.  Obstacles and failures, which are temporary and fulfilling, are a part of life.  Failures are the best because you learn more in a failure than a success.  The problem is, those entitled boys in Bel Air, California whose mothers and fathers have been spoon feeding them their entire lives…never have the opportunity to fail.  Therefore, they never know what it feels like to embrace a challenge.  It’s not until when “college” comes when they find themselves trying to “fit in” and end up falling into depression.  Their first challenge  is often the most difficult, and that’s why suicides have been on the rise for so long in America because what?…the entitled children who have never been “through it” end up “falling in it” and never come out of “it.”

What can you learn from this? Just like what I’ve been telling you for so long.  By having a PMA and working on your mind, you’ll be tapping into a side of you that universities don’t touch.

 

 

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

Lewis Howes: Joker Mask – Part II

“Like many people, I want to avoid being the dark cloud in other people’s lives, so I pretend things are sunny, even when they are obviously not. So I keep things light, or at surface level. I want to talk about other people. I want to focus on other people’s challenges because focusing on my own feels more vulnerable.”

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

But when you’re able to spew your problems out and talk to people about them, like Dale Carnegie once said, you’re able to lift all of that off your chest.

If I can look back at the most “depressed” moments of my life, one coming for only 5-minutes back in 2014, it all had to do with my personal feelings and vendetta.  In 2014, I was denied jobs, face-to-face, because of being African American.  I was in the back of a taxi circling around an area of Bangkok (invasive technique taxi drivers do in Bangkok to rake up the meter), and at the given moment I felt like I was just a spec in the world.  I snapped out of it within minutes.

Also, being dismissed in a relationship in 2009 left me in absolute shambles.  It was the darkest cloud hanging over me, simply because it was my first love.  It took two-months to shake it off, but I did and later went to Australia for the first time in my life that summer.

In 2003, I was surely depressed in the latter portion of the year, but this revolved around my mother not having a job, no food in the house, and two girls not wanting anything to do with me.  This developed anger, which I talked about in an earlier podcast/blog, but I ended up getting over it by joining Track & Field – the best sport to join because you can only place blame on yourself.

I really need to tell this story that I read in Dale Carnegie’s ‘How To Stop Worrying And Start Living.’

Mrs. Moon’s Story

In December, a number of years ago, I was engulfed in a feeling of sorrow and self-pity.  After several years of happy married life, I had lost my husband.  As the Christmas holidays approached, my sadness deepened. I had never spent a Christmas alone in all my life; and I dreaded to see this Christmas come.  Friends had invited me to spend Christmas with them.  But I did not feel up to any gaiety.  I knew I would be a wet blanket at any party.  So, I refused their kind invitations.  As Christmas eve approached, I was more and more overwhelmed with self-pity.  True, I should have been thankful for many things, as all of us have many things for which to be thankful.  The day before christmas, I left my office at 3pm in the afternoon and started walking aimlessly on a street, hoping that I might banish my self-pity and melancholy the avenue was jammed with happy crowds — scenes that brought back memories of happy years that were gone.  I just couldn’t bear the thought of going home to a lonely and empty apartment.  I was bewildered.  I didn’t know what to do.  I couldn’t keep the tears back.  After walking aimlessly for an hour or so, I found myself in front of a bus terminal.  I remember that my husband and I had often boarded an unknown bus for adventure, so I boarded the first bus I found at the station.  After cross the Hudson River and riding for some time, I heard the bus conductor say, ‘Last stop, lady.’  I got off.  I didn’t even know the name of the town.  It was a quiet and peaceful little place.  While waiting for the next bus home, I started walking up a residential street.  As I passed a church, I heard the beautiful strains of “Silent Night.” I went in.  The church was empty except for the organist.  I sat down unnoticed in one of the pews.  The lights from the gaily decorated Christmas tree made the decorations seem like myriads of stars dancing in the moonbeams.  The long-drawn cadences of the music — and the fact that I had forget to eat since morning — made me drowsy.  I went to sleep.

When I awoke, there were two small children who had apparently come in to see the Christmas tree.  One said, “I wonder if Santa Claus brought her.”

The children were terrified when I woke up, but I told them I wouldn’t hurt them.  They were poorly dressed.  I asked them where their mother and daddy were.  “We ain’t got no mother and daddy,” they said. They were orphans.  They made me feel ashamed of my sorrow and self-pity.  I went on to buy them food and refreshments, and I banished my depression instantaneously.

See, in the book they would call this “masking a problem,” but I would disagree completely.  This is basically realizing that you have it well.  There has to be a deeper story to why people, of all statuses, commit suicide.  Robin Williams had all the money, a wife, oscars, and everything – but he ultimately killed himself.  So I will ask again: “what is depression?”

“Beneath the jokes is often a sadness or some problem. Behind the mask—no matter how funny or entertaining—is a real person. Psychologist Edward Dreyfus puts it even more directly: “Perhaps we should listen more attentively to those who hide behind the mask of humor. Perhaps we should be asking them to whom do they turn to make them laugh? Perhaps we should spend a little more effort in seeing the person behind the mask.” If we had listened to what Robin Williams was saying behind his mask, I wonder what we would have heard.”

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

Maybe people, who are comedians, just love making people laugh for the sake of bringing joy to the world?

“So many comedians/funny people will tell you they grew up feeling hopelessly inadequate, hideously ugly, impossibly fat, meekly small, and direly insignificant. These deep-rooted insecurities are what provided them with a die-hard desire and unrelenting ambition to be seen, respected, and accepted by their peers. Society will accept you for your flaws, so long as you’re funny. Taking on the role as the class clown at school is the ultimate way for the incessantly bullied kid to gain popularity. – Author Zara

Humor becomes the ultimate mask—one that gets you what you’ve always wanted (acceptance) for being the opposite of who you’ve always been (different). Not surprisingly, this detachment from the emotions and the identity hidden behind the mask can have profound effects on relationships, on professional life, and on overall happiness.” – Lewis Howes

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

I read this and I just couldn’t relate.  This part of the book is focusing on how bad “comedy” may be.  So someone, like myself, who loves to make someone laugh, is hiding something? Is that it? Absolutely not.  I know that the more we laugh and have those feelings of joy, the more we attract to us more of those feelings that will keep pushing us to a spiritual and joy “high.”

What Robin Williams had was something much more deep-rooted in his childhood.  Kevin Hart, who’s a comedian, had very little when he was growing up.  He used all of the transgressions in the past as comedy today.  He’s not hiding a thing….or so I believe.

Podcast

The Sexual Mask: Part II

Chris Lee, a brilliant transformational coach, said this in Lewis Howes podcast: “Every boy in America learns by the time they’re in junior high school to associate masculinity with issues of sexual conquest. What’s it mean to be a man? It means you can bring some young girl alongside of yourself and then use her. Use her to either gratify some kind of physical need, or use her to validate some kind of masculine insecurity. That certainly does not make you a man—it makes you a user of other human beings.”

I won’t point at any cultures and not make this religious, but there are certain religions that women are treated as just objects.  They can’t do half the things men can do.  Boys rights, at the ages of 13-15, are much higher than those of women.  That’s the terrifying aspect of I guess “sexism,” but at the same time, Chris Lee is basically saying that when it comes to adolescence, everything begins to change.

I even recall this kid named Jonathan talking about the female reproductive organ in a song he was rapping — in the sixth grade! He was talking about how much he loved it.  He was 12! I didn’t even know what it was, to be honest!

Lewis Howes, hilariously, talked about in his book that he had an uncontrollable erection.  My sweet craving days have been with me for a long time, but like sweets, Lewis Howes had erections.  He would have to walk around the school with his shirt untucked because he was afraid of people seeing it.  I thought it was hilarious, but at the same time, we’ve all been through that stage.  Were there times in high school that I had a staring problem — followed by an arousal problem? Of course!

However, I didn’t have a father figure in my life after 1999.  In the dawn of the millennium, I remember seeing my brother watch a movie that had a sex scene in it.  Because I was so naive, I asked myself “what is he doing to her?”  LOL!

I remember seeing magazines scattered in the park, opening them, and seeing the female reproductive organ before saying to myself, “that’s interesting!” Another “LOL!”

The first time I ever made out was sophomore year of high school.  I had no idea what was happening, but it went on for a long time.  That escalated over a month and it came to me and the same girl being in the middle of the school, at night, and her saying, “LET ME SEE IT!”  I was embarrassed.  NO WAY!

My mom, like most mothers, never sat me down and said, “ok, Arsenio.  This is this…if you do this without this, you’re in trouble.” Hahaha. It just never happened.

This is the same story that revolves around Neil Strauss.

“So what happens is you go through puberty at age 13, and then for the next 8 years in my case, there’s this thing that can make you a man, but you don’t own it or possess it. Someone else either has to give it to you or share it with you, and the longer you don’t get it, the less of a man you feel like. I remember my friend, who was like my only friend in school, we called ourselves the “v-club” because we were both virgins. The whole experience created this incredible gulf between me and women, and me and manhood, and it built up this huge desire.”

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

Psychologist from two prominent universities in America published an article 10 years ago….

“In the article, the authors recognized that college-age men, especially in fraternities, who failed to meet the stereotypical definitions of masculinity (men kind of like Neil) were more likely to turn to more negative forms of male socialization in order to play catch-up in the male world. That meant binge drinking, fighting, and casual sex with lots of partners.
The problem with this—besides the obvious risk of disease or enraged exes—is if you don’t get past this phase, you end up just feeling empty. Or worse, you get stuck in the cycle.”

Fraternities, with all respect, are the worst.  Sorry.  I’ve seen it first hand (not being in one, but being at parties where they hosted), and it’s all about who can have sex.  I mean let’s even look at it from a clubbing aspect.  Why do women and men go to the club? Honestly, I really want you to think about it.  To drink copious amounts of alcohol while enduring in blaring music? Come on.

I had one friend say a while back, “I go there to dance with my friends.”  Ummm….you would go to a club late at night to dance with friends instead of sleeping?

Possible — if insanity is involved.

Every woman Neil saw he fantasized of jumping in bed with them; if it was in an airplane, or even at the park.  It controlled him so much that he had to check-in to  a rehab center for sexual habits.  The sexual mask had completely taken over his life.

“What I thought was freedom really wasn’t freedom. The freedom was in the commitments. But if you think about it, “Okay I’m gonna be single or unattached, or I’m just gonna be able to do whatever I want,” it’s like a bird that’s not able to land; it gets exhausting. And going through the processes, by which I was actually able to kind of get rid of my baggage and be intimate in a relationship and not feel trapped, just opened up everything.”

Podcast

 

 

Napoleon Hill – Failure – Introduction of My Physical Failure

Let me paint this picture of this life-turning night at Palo Verde High School back in May of 2005.

I was a 300m intermediate-hurdler who was favored to at least make it to the Sunrise Regional Championships.  I remember I failed miserably at the 110HH – not intentionally, but because I was more focused on the ‘endurance’ run that was approaching the next day.  So, here I am sitting on what feels like a frosty field for 10-20 minutes.  Before the race began, I did a fair amount of stretching to keep loose.  However, all athletes were forced to keep seated in the inside of the field until the 800m race had finished – which seemed like for AGES.

Boom, here we go.  Approached the blocks, glanced at the heavy crowd on-hand and I recall glancing at just two random Filipinos, making eye-contact with them.  It just seemed like at the moment, it was time to do WORK!

“Runners on your block!”

I did my usual jump-crunch and backed into my blocks, waiting calmly for the gun to go off and unleash hell.

“SET”

…………

“SHOT FIRED”

I’m flying out the blocks in tenacity so I can get ahead quickly and pace myself.  This track’s 300m race starts in the first curve rather than the back straightaway, which was very odd.  It didn’t throw me off, but I just remember getting to the first and last curve before I felt my legs tighten up on me.  Not to the point that I pulled my hamstrings, but it felt like I had 2-20KG cinder blogs on both shoulders.  The other athletes zoomed by me and I saw my hopes of making finals dwindle before my very eyes.

I finished, fell to the ground, and wept like a baby.  I staggered walking across the field in utter devastation and seeing some of my teammates looking at me with no reaction.  The hardest part was going to my coach and apologizing to him.  Other athletes from my team who were heavily favored to reach the Class 4A State Championship Race also didn’t qualify.  It was a night of misery.

Or was it?

Podcast 

Stephen Covey’s Begin With The End In Mind

Today is a special feature for my most played podcast on spreaker.com – Stephen Covey’s Begin With The End In Mind.

Not sure about the analytics behind this, but there have been almost a half-a-grand plays on this particular podcast, so I will write a short blog and post the podcast down below if you guys want to listen in!

To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination.  I was just recently teaching how to write business plans for some of my students, and I realized that some articles we came across didn’t coincide with what we were doing.  In fact, people who actually do write business plans don’t abide by them.  It requires flexibility, but you need to know the forecast of the business and what direction it’s going in.

Before you begin anything in life, always have a clear goal at the very end and trust the process.

If you’re a basketball player, what’s the ultimate goal? Do you just want to play your way through high school to keep in shape? What about university? Would you like to play in the NBA? Blue-collar player? Starter? All-star?

How about Track & Field? I wish I had asked myself this question years ago.  I didn’t have an end goal.  I had no idea what I wanted to become in terms of a star.  What times did I want, to how much strength I needed to run the 110 meter high hurdles.

I remember I asked a pseudo-mentor at a track and field meet, “could you please give me some motivation before running?”  What I would’ve told myself was, “Arsenio, who do yo want to become? What do you want? What’s your end goal? Specific times?”  Instead, what I got was, “run fast!”  Yeah…..thank you.

The process will have a lot more “downs” than “ups,” but it’s all part…of the process.  Going through not only those years of track and field in high school, to unwittingly quitting at college because I hated the hate going around the team was all downs….but there was a lot of character building in it.

Work

A lot of people right now are engaged in survival “busy-ness” that isn’t getting them anywhere in life.  They discover towards the end that the “success” ladder was leaning up against the wrong wall for the last 10 years.  It is possible to be busy – very busy – without being very effective.  You can be the ultimate “hustler” but I see people hustling at companies making minimum wage; picking up large containers of cement.  I used to be that person in 11th grade before I quit.

People, from all walks of life including doctors, actors, business professionals, athletes – often struggle to achieve a higher income.  Why? That drive to achieve that particular goal blinded them to the things that really mattered most and now are gone.

All Things Are Created Twice

All things are created twice.  That’s the principle of “beginning with the end in mind.”

You need to first have a mental creation before having a physical creating.  Can you imagine construction workers building a house without a blueprint of it? Where would they start? How does the owner want it to look? It would be impossible to get the “perfect” house because you have to first vision that perfect house.  Having a clear image is vital and the first step.  The carpenter’s rule is “measure twice, cut once.”  You have to make sure that the blue print, which is the first creation, is what you really want, that you’ve thought everything through.

Look at a business.  if you want to have a success enterprise, you clearly define what you’re trying to accomplish.

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

What Makes 2 Kids From The Same Neighborhood Different

After a very interesting conversation with some of my students, we talked about the best and worst secondary (high schools in America) schools in Thailand.  I wanted to deep dive into the idea of what made them so different.  Was it the environment? The parents? What are the influences?

How come I’m different? Being born and raised in Las Vegas in a neighborhood I heard gunshots ringing every night and gang activity being at its highest around 2001.  My home being robbed twice; myself being robbed broad daylight in 2003 included.  However, I was able to still not be part of all that nonsense.

African Americans who live in the impoverished neighbourhoods around America just cannot escape the idea that they CAN LEAVE.  But what stops them?

Back in sixth grade, my school had a fair amount of whites, blacks, and Mexicans.  When 2007 came around, the numbers of the white community started dwindling and the Mexican gangsters started coming in herds.  By the time 8th grade arrived, some of my friends got held back (didn’t pass to 9th grade), and the school was rampant with gang activity.

Going into high school had to be the difference maker in my life, just because when I was in marching band, I got exposed to different cultures on the outer skirts of Las Vegas.  Caucasian and Asian kids living in gorgeous houses and had something called “ambition” compared to the zoned students who were fighting to stay alive another day.

Can I give all the credit to my mom? My mom did a wonderful job at providing, but when it came to guidance, I had to trust my intuition because that was the job of my father, who ran off years prior.  I literally had to learn what was right from wrong, and being introduced to a vast array of new cultures and identities, students wearing medical scrubs or aviation khakis steered me in the ‘I can be much bigger than I am’ direction.

What’s different from an African American/Mexican/Caucasian living in a wealthy neighborhood versus another family who lives in a lower-class neighborhood? What makes a high-society wannabe in Bangkok different from the slum dogs just 10km westward from their location in Khlong Toei?  What has to happen in the mind for someone to accept their life as it is and there’s no way they can change it?

This comes back to my family.  Meeting a female name Satomi Nakagawa of Kyoto, Japan who visited me in 2008 before I visited in 2009 was the difference maker.  She planted an idea within my mind saying “there’s much more to life than to being in one place.”  To this day, I haven’t heard the voices of any of my family members for over four years because I chose to get rid of the poverty consciousness (as Henry Ford did) and do something bigger.

The psych behind decision making is so hard to understand.

Podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/11735293