Season 1: Episode 6 – Book Review – Alpha & Know-It-All Masks

These are the last two masks I’ll be talking about, and this is the last episode for Lewis Howes’ Masks of Masculinity book.  There were so many gems and so many things I connected in my past.  Even over the past couple of days, I still continue to see people who are suffering from these masks: both men and women.  So, let’s break down the Alpha and Know-It-All masks.

“When I shut up and let my podcast guests do the talking, only then are they able to share their wisdom and teach me things I didn’t know.”

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

This was a quote that changed the way I did podcasts.  For example, when I brought Soheir on my show, I sat back, let her speak, and employed close listening.  However, some people who are hosts for podcasts and hosts in general do all the talking.  That could be a problem.

Another instance was my most recent podcast interview with Tiffany Okafor.  I related, but I also asked her some good questions and didn’t want it to be a full-fledge interview.

“Have you ever noticed how people tend to fill the dead time in a conversation or a meeting by rambling on about some random topic? Have you ever watched someone you work with try to impress the people around them by going on a long rant about something you can’t even pronounce? Have you ever seen someone in an important setting suck the air out of the room by making it all about them? They always have a response, they can’t let anything go, and they have to show you how smart they are.”

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

Welcome to corporate America.  There’s always the manage/CEO that has to have his final say in everything.  There’s always that suit and tie guy that pushes the narrative that he’s better than everyone else because he knows bigger words.

I tried looking for the video, but there was an instance that two hollywood “white boys” (I’m emphasizing this for a reason) came to Gary Vee’s office, and instead of them shutting up and listening, they talked over Gary Vee the entire time, sending most commenters and subscribers into a frenzy of name-calling.  You have to be the student sometimes.  If I ever have the special privilege of bringing Michael Bernard Beckwith on my podcast, I would literally just ask some questions and sit back — just as I did when Sano came onto my podcast.

What’s available when you drop the mask…

People want to be around you
Freedom to not know
Ability to learn and grow
Wisdom from others
Deeper intimacy
Support from others

Podcast

Alpha Mask

 

This has already been handled about 10 days ago, so I’ll just post the podcast down below for you guys.

 

Final Review

Being able to finish these books, learn, grow, and teach what I’ve learned, is one of the greatest things I could’ve ever done.  Over the past couple of years, I’ve finished somewhere around a half-dozen books (compared to maybe 2 books the previous 28 years) and I’ve seen significant growth.

I want to thank everyone who’s been with me on this journey and we’re going to continue with Napoleon Hill’s PMA book in the next season!

Season 1: Lewis Howes’ Masks of Masculinity: Alpha Mask – Continued

This is the beginning of the season (but soon to be the end of this book).  Season 1 will be a quickie, since I’ve already finished 95% of this book.  However, expect this to happen from here on out.  Each season will be a new book and I will mark the episodes, too!

“I was nearly 30 years old when the fight happened, and I remember running back to my place after pummeling this guy’s face bloody, flopping onto my bed, and nearly hyperventilating as memories of an equally bloody fight from my childhood flooded my memory banks. At the time, the two fights felt related. It was as if they tapped into a deep pain and anger that I’d never processed. You could say I’d stuffed these unprocessed emotions down and hidden them behind my Stoic Mask and my Athlete Mask. Upon reflection, I think all of that is still true.”

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

When I heard about this from Lewis Howes, it reminded what I had done to my sister (in a much less violent way).

My younger sister, Rolonda, was the victim of bullying — by me.  I constantly bullied her since I was young because I was bullied by my older brother.  After doing something I knew was completely wrong, I remember walking into my room, falling on my knees, and covering my face with my hands.  At the time, I had the Alpha Mask on.  No way would I go down stairs to apologize to her, but I should have.  After I returned from Australia, I remember I was an entire different person and we had our first legitimate conversation EVER.  However, I returned back to my bullying because of course, my brother was the one with the power under my mom’s roof (yes, even more than my mother herself).

When you identify these things, you can always connect the dots and see where it all went wrong.

“Here’s the truth: We misunderstand the whole alpha/beta definition. We tend to think of it as strong versus weak, active versus passive, hard versus soft, effective versus ineffective. All of that is nonsense. In most situations, we confuse strength with brutishness. We confuse being active with being directionless. And we confuse being hard with being insecure.”

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

The last two sentences really stuck with me.  Directionless and insecure…it’s what I see everyday in society, and especially on videos in YouTube (which I try to stay away from).

Most alpha males, in general, are big football/rugby players.  If you look at every American sports player, they all have big houses and big cars — this is a sign of the material mask because their financial blue print stemmed around “not having enough,” so they want to have the feeling of “having enough” to prove other people wrong, moreover, themselves.

With the Alpha Mask, most men want to show not only physical dominance, but emotional dominance over another.  This is why I mention my brother a lot because he’s the one you could never calm down once he reached a certain threshold of anger.

“So in a locker room for a guy to step out and say, “Hey, listen, that’s not right,” or “Hey, I love you, man,” or whatever it is that steps away from the masculine ideal, he’s going against that strong negativity bias which just says, “I’m in danger if I step out of that norm.” And that’s a really powerful thing. And it takes an environment that’s really supportive to that person to be able to do that.
Any guy reading this book has felt that pressure. Someone makes an off-color joke, and you stay quiet. You see someone getting picked on, and you look the other way. Someone is going through a tough time, and rather than offering him words of comfort, you change the subject or tell him to “be a man.” There is that toxic phrase again. In other words, you act like an alpha because, well, that’s what you’re “supposed” to do with guys, right?”

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

Lewis Howes: The Know-It-All Mask – Introduction

“Have you ever noticed how people tend to fill the dead time in a conversation or a meeting by rambling on about some random topic? Have you ever watched someone you work with try to impress the people around them by going on a long rant about something you can’t even pronounce? Have you ever seen someone in an important setting suck the air out of the room by making it all about them? They always have a response, they can’t let anything go, and they have to show you how smart they are.”

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

Welcome to the Know-It-All Mask!

Not off the top of my head, but I’ve worked with quiet a few people in the past and present who can just ra-ra-ra the world with their impeccability of BS – LOL. It took me a while to think about it, but there were times I would be around individuals and they can talk about just a bunch of bs that would go on and on when I was in the midst of doing something.  Luckily towards the end of my tenures, I stopped talking to these particular beings, resulting in a lot of free-time.

One of my students, who was a brilliant speaker, said to me, “ummm teacher _________ knows a lot.  He knows everything.” Yeah, he knows everything so much that he doesn’t allow you to speak, huh?

Sometimes you do have to just take the seat in the back, as a teacher, and shut the heck up.

Now, I won’t put his name out there, but obviously there are a lot of entrepreneurs who just don’t shut up and listen, even when interviewing men who have amassed over 50 billion USD over their lifetime.  From philanthropists — to Hedgefund leaders — it just always seems that they need to be the center of attention.  We love talking, especially people who know a lot about everything, but there comes a time when you just have to be a listener.

I’ve done 8 podcast interviews, starting from last year, and I really just allow my guests to speak.  That’s the sole purpose of doing the interview…..you asking the questions and getting the best out of them, such as what Larry King does.  Larry King is a superb interviewer because all of his questions are so centered/focused on the person sitting across from him.

One of the funniest instances I had was four years ago.  I had to go to a meeting at a language center where the staff looked at me in more bad ways than one, and the owner of the language center looked down upon me for even more obvious reasons.  Anywho, I sat in a room with three teachers throwing ideas out there for an English camp, and when I came around to give my two cents (after asking to do so), a teacher by the name of Nicole ran all over me and shot me down.  She wanted to do ALL THE TALKING and then later told me that I tried talking too much during the meeting, although I counted 1-2 sentences in the 30-minute session.  She was absolutely one of those people who would run over me from left to right.  From the first day I met her at one of the worst English camps, to this particular one where the commute was much longer.

She was right about one thing.  I wasn’t changing my mindset about Thai women — and was losing fast.  That’s about it.  Having a strong personality like that around is unbelievably draining.

I need to get much better at listening, too.  I get easily distracted, but now I go back to the previous conversation and ask deeper questions.

“It’s like the line in Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho: “That’s what the world is like: People talk as if they know everything, but if you dare to ask a question, they don’t know anything.”
Here’s the thing: If we’re being honest with ourselves, then we’d admit that none of us know anything. I think Coelho would even agree that nobody really knows what the hell they are doing. We’re all just making it up as we go along. ”

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

Podcast

Lewis Howes: Invincible Mask – What Can You Do Right Now?

A lot of people do big things or risky things to get the attention of others.  Remember at the beginning I talked about one of my students’ brother who slammed into a pillar at high speeds, intoxicated and ultimately killing himself.  He was unrecognizable after it happened.  Before he got on his bike, he told everyone that he was safe to drive, although he was completely inebriated.  He was going welllll over the speed limit and resulted in him no longer being able to live.

A many of these “van” boys drive at top speeds with spoilers off, trying to get the attention of women on the streets.  This gives them that since of invincibility and that’s why Thailand, by percentage, has the highest traffic fatality in the WORLD.  These adrenaline junkies are always looking for the next thrill.

So what can you do? What if you stole, or do things that could question the law just to get the attention of women? More importantly, what’s available if you take off the mask?

A fulfilled and healthy life span
Deeper relationships
Self-esteem
True courage
The permission to just be and not constantly do
A sense of belonging

Ask yourself these questions

What is valuable to me?

Friendships.  That invincible mask that Billy had on — I had on, too.  I would treat my best friend Andre like crap over the years, and after my run yesterday, he spilled the beans on how I treated them from a “funny” aspect.  However, I didn’t look at it as funny.  I was embodying anger from when Billy use to treat me like crap, so I wanted to dish out those feelings, too.

Andre is everything to me.  The most valuable friendship I have today.  When he speaks, I absolutely listen and take thought to it.

What do I value about my life?

I honestly need to stop playing the “black” card, as the Irish teacher told me.  I love that he’s in my face about it, because he shows me how much of a magnificent being I can truly become.  This is why I love the fact that I am “different.”  Just last night I was thinking to myself, “oh man! Look at all of these anglo men in the picture of this company that sent me those jobs three days ago.  No wonder I can’t get the job!”  Self-doubt.  I still have that lingering deep within my bloodlines, and it’s something I need to address immediately.

What am I looking for in these activities?

Can I see the true value in friendships and myself?

Can I get those things elsewhere in my life?

Absolutely NOT.  Once I’m gone, I’m gone forever.

Additional Questions In The Podcast

 

Lewis Howes: Invincible Mask – Part IV

I have a very interesting story to speak about in regards  to my childhood best friend Billy.  Despite Billy calling me poor for a year or two, I was still his friend.

Billy lived in the “corner house” of my block.  Red hair, freckles, beautiful sister, young brother who would scream, fantastic mother and a questionable father.  Yes, questionable.  I won’t say it like that, but as a child I noticed things.  I noticed anger inside of him.  He didn’t speak much to the family.  His mother would always say, “your father is coming home so I need to cook and we need to have this house in perfect shape.”

I still remember the night between 1999-2000 when I heard a slam in their kitchen.  Bill had slammed the oven door and started to scream at Jo in regards to the food and she instantly started crying.  I ran home as quick as I can because….well my mother was already getting in full-fledge knife wars with my father.  I didn’t want to see that there and go home and see the same thing.

Later Bill apologized.  Nonetheless, this man was stacked with money.  Not sure what his job was, but Billy would have presents on top of presents on top of presents during the holidays, reducing me to tears of jealousy in the process.

Billy went on a hiatus in 2004 before showing up against in 2010.  His sister had become just a gorgeous 18-19-year-old, Billy was massive and his mother was still the most loving woman she’s always been.

Billy and I talked about those years in the backyard of his house for hours and he broke words about his fathers true intentions.  Although I won’t reveal what they were, let’s just say it was a humanity – type of company he was peddling in the foothills of Pahrump – the place he would go 95% of the month.  Now I understand where the money had come from.

I don’t know exactly what that mask was, but Billy wore it.  Billy war the “I have more money than you mask” in the year 2000.  He would call me poor constantly because his mother donated some 2nd-hand furniture to my mother so we can have a furnished downstairs.  I know, “that’s totally not a friend.”  He was maybe 9-years-old, so I won’t put it up against him completely.  However, after his father lost everything (blessing in disguise), Billy ended up being on my level.  He didn’t have food in the house.  He didn’t have those great holidays.  He didn’t have ANYTHING.  I never went back to rub it in his face, but he got a hard dose of reality, which he was actually dishing out to other people, including me.

He was no longer invincible.

I have and had gone through emotional health problems as a child.  I went through emotional withdrawals with my mother, my brother, and even my sisters.  I wasn’t taking care of myself for those early 2000’s, and then it finally caught up to me in 2003….the year I developed a lot of anger problems.

Lots of stories in the podcast down below.

Podcast

Lewis Howes: Invincible Mask – Continued

Lewis Howes mentioned in his book the moment he had the invincibility mask on at a farmers house with his friend.  His father and the insurance agent, who was the farmer, was looking over some papers.  So, like a good thief, Lewis and his friend went down to the basement, started looking through drawers and WA-LA! – $25 dollars in a sealed envelope.  His friend took the $20 and Lewis took the five.

Around 4am, his father confronted him in a pitch black room asking about the situation and if he had taken the money.  Lewis, like anyone else, lied to his father.

His father later found out that Lewis was lying and BOOM! Not only did Lewis get his emotional bank account overdrawn almost immediately, but terminated a friendship between his father and an insurance agent – not to mention stealing money from a man who needed to feed his family.

“After that day, I never stole anything again. Something had switched on inside me: I saw that this wasn’t the path I wanted to go down. The Stoic Mask I had been wearing since my brother went to jail was holding back a tidal wave of emotions I didn’t understand and couldn’t control, but this cheating and stealing was the first time I felt like I was actually in control of anything. The more I did it without getting caught, the more in control of my life I felt until, inevitably, I started to feel invincible. It was an incredible high, just not a positive one. And I wanted to change directions now.”

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

Same thing happened here.  Between 1999-2000, I committed several acts of foolishness.  Can I blame it just on my father? Well, when I was living with him in Sunrise Apartments on what was the “outskirts of Vegas,” I never saw him around.  He never taught me from right from wrong.  I learned virtually everything out on the streets, and given the fact that it was such a mucky ass neighborhood, I saw gang fights – literally.  I saw a kid come up with blood all over his face after having his face smashed in by some bad ass kids at Woodbury Middle School.  There was Bret – the best fighter in our elementary school – who would constantly impose his will on just about everyone.  My brother hung out around a guy name Ozzy, who’s more than likely dead by now (given the fact he was the worst student at Woodbury).  I mean all these things put together ultimately creates a disgusting blueprint that’s unshakable.

I stole.  That’s right….I stole some candy from the store.  I got caught red-handed once and the man came in, took the candy and shoved me out of the store before I ran home and cried.  My brother asked me why I was crying and I told him.  He then ratted me out to my father, and then I was grounded for probably 4-6 weeks.  My father, however, never sat me down and told me just how dangerous it is to steal.

So, one year later and while living with my mother, I was caught in another predicament.  Disgusting neighborhood, house got ransacked by my brothers thug ass friends (as it got robbed because of his friends, too), and again, poor decision after poor decision.  As guilty as I still feel today, I stole $1 dollar from my mother underneath the bed.  I told her years later and gave her the money back, but the feeling of shame cannot become undone.  That’s the worst part about it.

I remember the last times I stopped being bad was a comment from my English teacher – Mrs. Baise – who said “looks like you’re doing bad in all of your classes.”  That moment….was the Rite of Passage.

Luckily my despicable friend by the name of Sergio had moved somewhere else and I never saw him again.  Everyone else ended up dispersing, and now my best friends were my childhood friend Billy, Filipino from Hawaii by the name of Mark (very conservative and strict family), and my best friend Andres (who’s managing a warehouse in New York today).  Your environment, family, and friends become you.  I had that invincibility mask which could’ve quickly taken me to juvenile hall (jail for minors).  I snapped out of it.

“So I turned all this energy toward sports instead of stealing. It was unquestionably a better direction, though the idea that a change of direction alone would solve the problems was a total illusion. I was still hiding behind my masks. If we’re honest with ourselves, those of us who want to achieve tend to believe we can do anything when we recognize mistakes and change direction (in business, we call that a “pivot”). In a way, that belief drives us to take risks and do bold things—but I think it’s worth pausing to appreciate how much damage it can do if you ignore the underlying problems. You can’t just ignore the things you’re doing to yourself, to your loved ones, to your body, to your mind, to your reputation, and to your sanity . . . because they will catch up with you.” – Lewis Howes

Podcast

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/lewis-howes-invincible-mask-continued

 

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

Lewis Howes Joker Mask: Part I

So, Lewis Howes opened up this chapter talking about Robin Williams.  Now, a lot of Americans hail him as one of the great comics on the big screen of all-time.  Fair enough.  Opinions are just those – opinions.  However, he went into a serious part of it.  Robin Williams took his life back in 2014, which was also the same year that another man took the life of Paul Walker by careless driving (just referencing).

This is called the Joker Mask.

All those laughs, winning the “prestigious” film awards that so many people are after, is just a cover-up, isn’t it?  It’s kind of like when I talked about the YouTuber Christian Guzman.  This man flaunts his cars, businesses, etc….but I can feel pain within him.  I watched him maybe two-years ago, and his vibe was completely off – in addition to the others in the videos with him.

Nonetheless, people have a variety of masks that they put on.

A lot of people took their lives during my lifetime.  I had a friend by the name of Chester who took his life because his girlfriend dumped him.  Shortly after, one of the most charismatic and wonderful personalities named London (also a cousin to him) took his life.

I never understand how someone could take their life because of another person.  When someone wants to walk out of my life, I seriously just shrug my shoulders.  A lot of people would say “that’s cold-hearted,” but that’s five-years of harsh reality in a country called Thailand and what it’s taught me in the long-run.  Other people don’t know how to channel their “depression.”  I believe depression can be dropped, just as a masked can be removed.  Anti-depressants and “drugs” are an easy way to pump money into one of the most corrupted organizations on the planet – The FDA.

It’s all based around thought.  It’s like what I talked about in my recent interview with The Lab’s CEO and how people use affirmations that are negative everyday.

Depression is a choice.  People would say, “no way.”  But I can tell you right now…I can fall into a state of depression right this moment just by saying to myself, “wow, look what Thai women have said to me.  Look…I can’t get a job in Thailand.  I haven’t heard from the job in Chile. What am I going to do? No parents.  No family.  No best friends.  My life is over.”

If I thought that and put all the feelings in the world into those statements….I would be in big trouble.

Robin Williams, just like the wonderful lady from Mind Valley, guy from Lincoln Park, and others who ultimately take their lives on a routine basis – it’s because they have that overwhelming feeling of just not being enough.

“The effects of making another person laugh are reminiscent of a fast-acting drug; you feel instantly better—and the results are addictive. Sad people make careers out of making us laugh.” – Zara Barrie

Lewis Howes talked about Robin Williams having been addicted to cocaine and alcohol in his movie career.  After reading this segment, I had no idea that he was battling addictions.  A lot of people, including the media, never talked about his addictions.

Robin Williams, a man who was able to make people who were paralyze laugh, was vulnerable.

“Men who wear this mask deflect this pain with humor so they never have to feel it. The opposite of pain is pleasure, or joy, and that’s the thing they want to focus on the most—the thing they don’t have.”

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

Podcast

Aggressive Mask: Part II

“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.” – Lewis Howes

Blueprints, right? I mean anger is taught.  No way in hell it’s genetics…thats just the genetic make-up of a human being.  Men develop an insurmountable amount of anger over years – I’m one of them.  I’m not sure when it started developing, but late 2003 – 2004, I was enraged.  When I played video games, I would cry when I lost because I thought the game was “cheating.”  My mom would scream at me and tell me to stop playing the game.  Of course this is a story I told in my podcast before, but this is the aggression and crazy amount of anger that I suffered from during my sophomore year of high school.

It wasn’t until I joined Track and Field when it changed.  Again, if I had joined football, I would’ve been talked about in this part of Lewis Howes book.

Ashley Burch, who’s a writer said “when an emotion sneaks in for a male character [in video games], by and large, it is anger. And any sort of grief is very, very underplayed and never actually discussed or processed. Kids end up really looking up to this character. And what they end up idolizing is someone who cannot express themselves emotionally, cannot be honest or open with anyone around them.”

I’ve had the privilege of not having such a tumultuous childhood involving physical abuse both inside and outside the home.  However, I must tell a story that no one actually knows about.

Back in 1997, my father took full custody from my mother and we hopped from one side of Las Vegas to another.  During that time, his second girlfriend, named Kim, had a song and daughter named Brandon and Emily.  This was a family of three from Missouri (a small town in the middle of nowhere).  I didn’t make anything of the pair initially, but then things started happening.  I can’t remember exactly where, but let’s just say it was in the second apartment we lived in.  Brandon would shout, “n*****” at me.  When this happened, I would beat the bricks out of him (lol – but it’s funny – a little).  He would come up with blood coming from his nose and his mom would scream, “what happened to you?!”

“Arsenio punched me.”

I then said, “you called me a N*****!”

……crickets…..

The mother couldn’t defend her son for using such a degrading word.

These were the times when my brother wasn’t around because of his constant anger issues, which he probably got from my mother at the time because of all household issues.  So, I would have to fight my way.  I was bullied a couple days until I retaliated the 3rd day.  This was the day, and only day when I hit another human bring outside of sibling rivalries.  The bully, by the name of Richard, was shoving me forward and backward — and out of impulse — I swung my arm right across the top of his nose, breaking it.

That was 1998.  Fast-forward it to 2001, my friend Billy, who’s still my best friend today, came to a huge disagreement while playing basketball.  In the moment, he began flailing his arms at my face.  I stepped back a few times and grabbed his shirt, swinging him all over the floor before his mother came out and yelled, “I’m gonna kick yal’s asses!”

How did I remain composed? Billy, who would constantly call me poor over the course of a year, deserved a pair of hands to be laid upon his face.  I never had the courage to do it.  Maybe because when I was younger, I saw my mother and father put knives in each other’s faces.  I was never a violent individual – even going back to the Brandon days.

On the other hand and with great respect, I feel my brother wasn’t the lucky one.  I truly believe that my brother ended up getting a piece of the “90’s” mother and father in him.  I recently talked to my sister and she says they never speak to him because he’s always angry.  He’s demanding.  Everything is always right to him….and this is why the relationship between him and I sailed a long time ago.  That anger has lead to destructive habits which he engages in everyday.  The fact that I believe he’s a compulsive gambler, betting on superficial sports games to make ends meet, is a very valid point.  When “little brother” tries inviting him into another world, he becomes angry, gets defensive, combative, and belligerent.

I played sports (Track & Field); but my brother, on the other hand, never played sports.  Could this be the reason why there’s a lot of animosity?

Podcast

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/aggressive-mask-part-ii-stories-from-chi

Lewis Howes: Aggressive Mask – Introduction

Imagine the moments before a fight.  One of the biggest fights that I’ve ever watched had to be Tito Trinidad vs. Ricardo Mayorga.  This was big on so many levels because it was the Puerto Ricans versus the Nicaraguans.  At one point in one of the rounds, Ricardo Mayorga began taunting Trinidad and there was an uproar in the house, people literally screaming at the television.  At the specific moment I couldn’t hear a word that was being said by my friend and he was standing six inches from me.

Fast-forwarding to a fight when Miguel Cotto got pummelled by Antonio Margarito.  I remember seeing the state of Miguel’s face and wondered, “how does he look that bad?”  Later, Margarito’s trainer was seen by Shane Mosley’s camp — putting plaster into the gloves of Antonio.  If you guys don’t know the horrific story of Billy Collins, this is exactly what probably took place during the Miguel Cotto fight.  Plaster, after being consumed and inundated with sweat, begins to harden.  Miguel said during the fight, “he got stronger as the rounds went on.”  There’s no real evidence, but we all know the truth.

That was from 2004, to 2008, and then after seeing interviews by boxing greats such as Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe, Thomas Hearns….I couldn’t understand a word that was being said from their mouths.  Why? They lost more than 50% of their speaking capabilities because the constant blows to the head.

So after seeing everything take place the way it did over decades of being a boxing fan, I no longer supported the sport.  Human beings literally raging in the stands, shouting, cheering on an assault between two men or two women.

Welcome to the aggressive mask.

Andy Cona, who’s a British cage fighter, said this…

“The first fight I ever had was like a release. Like, “I’m allowed to hit this lad, and it’s making me feel better.” See, I don’t have a family. Me and my brother were put into [foster] homes. He was everything—he was my mom, my dad, my brother, and my sister. He was everyone, and then he killed himself. I’ve never, ever told anyone that. I don’t like to show people weakness. I’m broken inside, I know I am.”

Lewis Howes went on to say, “but still, there’s something scary about taking years of childhood issues and pain and channeling them outward at a total stranger for money and fame. As Andy’s story reveals, for the most part, the pain you inflict on others never reduces the pain you are trying to escape from within yourself.”

If you look at the majority of athletes, especially in America, they’re all inner-city kids.  Mike Tyson had a horrendous childhood and be brought along a lot of those problems outside the ring, becoming a very polarizing character in the 1990’s.

Thai prison systems, which are very controversial, has inmates practice Muay Thai and fight – fighters outside the prison yard.

What is it with aggressiveness and pouring on all your childhood pain, mistakes, and suffering onto another individual rather than honing into 100%?  Sure, no one asked to be molested.  I didn’t deserve to be dropped at a doorstep myself in 1999…however, it happened.  Did I make that my story to why I’m such a “f*** up?” No.

Ray Lewis, who had upbringings beyond comprehension, is the greatest linebacker to ever play the position in the NFL.  Fierce, ferocious, tenacity, inspirational, hungry, and just a demon on the field……he was able to unleash his childhood tribulations into wrestling first (in high school), then onto the football field.  His mother was abused for a long time by her bf….and Ray Lewis asked, “mom, you have two black eyes! Let’s go!”

She said, “no.  He’s our only means of financial stability. We can’t leave.”

Ray Lewis used a deck of cards to relieve himself of so much pain by doing pushups.  1-10; jacks, queens and kings are ten; ace 11; and jokers were I think 11-21.  I’m not sure what the exact number is, but I’m sure he did over 300 pushups.

At 41, he said this in Lewis Howes podcast interview.

“There are certain moments in a child’s life that a father should never miss because when you replace [that influence], most of the time you replace it with things that get you in trouble. I replaced it with dominance over another individual. I had hate for my father, and that hate turned into fuel. I don’t encourage anybody to live the way I lived.” – Ray Lewis

It’s like young men don’t have an outlet to their anxiety, anger or other things.  I saw the students, when I was a student, sit in class and stay quiet while they were getting bullied by other aggressive kids.  Then the shooting massacre in Colorado happened in 1999.  I was listening to Gary Vee yesterday and he was saying that poor parenting results in bullies and children being bullied.  Why do children have this aggressiveness that generates into an Alpha Mask.  Stories of Ariece, P’Allen, and Marcos (childhood classmates) will be in my podcast down below! Time to welcome in this introduction!

Podcast