My Story

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

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

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

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

The Change from a Promise

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

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

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

Battles in Australia

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

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

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

Yes.

That was that moment.

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

Thailand in the YouTube video (coming soon) & Podcast

 

Ramble of Positivity: 5th Anniversary In Thailand

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

First Three Years

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

Then this happened…..

Last Two Years

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Travel Blog: Part I – Back To The Roots

I’ve decided that I’m going to start an entry in terms of my travels, just so those of you who are searching for travels, insights and other information, you can click on the travel blogs on my website (a bing revamping will happen soon).  Today’s blog is about going back to the roots.

The Roots.

The Roots in terms of having those butterflies in your stomach when you first touch down in unchartered territory.

This feeling, right now, I’ve missed so much because sometimes, as human beings, we get all caught up in other people’s narratives, historical problems, or just having a shroud of hell hanging right over our heads.

I can recall the first time going to the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat.  This province had the most openly friendly people you can ever imagine.  After a couple of situations unfolded in terms of mistreatment, I built the fortified wall, never escaping it until today.

Today.

It’s just one of those days when I go to the outskirts of Bangkok and it feels like a completely different country.

I took a sontaew, which is a funny mode of transportation here in Thailand (open-air/pick-up truck), and I asked a student for some assistance.  In the past four years, I’ve never been helped the way he helped me, even retorting in English.  When I got out this particular mode of transportation, people were looking at me in awe.  Not the eerie awe I’m so accustomed to seeing, but the awe of “wow, it’s a foreigner!” It’s almost like being in a country that had never seen anyone from the outside.

I stepped on a dilapidated sidewalk, splashing myself with run-off water that was sitting underneath it from days ago; and then a woman came over, offering me a tissue to clean myself up.  CHECK!

I walked into a 7-11 and the cashier, when I was checking out, asked me, “are you a foreigner?” I smiled and of course said ‘yes.’  Everyone in the 7-11 smiled until a I walked out.

Then the search began for a particular place to meet 8-10 people.  I walked around the neighborhood incredulously, searching for this place that I didn’t even know existed.  I took out a sheet of paper with some Thai writing on it, approached the lady, and she kindly offered me a drink, a seat, and a fan.

Then, a lot of students were looking out the window as if a spectacle was occurring.  They left and one-by-one saying bye and wanting to talk to me.

This is the exact feeling i had such a long time ago in the south of Thailand – back in 2013.  For some reason, this feeling ended up subsiding because I was so angry about what was happening to me in my first several months in the country.  I still remember the individuals I met within the first couple of months – all of them being remarkably intelligent and wonderful beings.  However, when I got caught off guard with the discrimination, I had grown into a bitter, ignorant fool.

If you can take a look around you and see what’s available, everything is.  That’s the bottom line. There isn’t a “maybe I should go to another country,” because then you’ll go to every country in the world and still be unhappy.  You have to be present, in the moment, always have a clear consciousness.

I went back to my roots today.  Roots that haven’t watered in a long time….and it feels damn good to be back.

Dealing With Potential Jobs & Saving Yourself Time

I’ve been on such a tear in terms of trying to find a part-time/full-time job in Thailand.  Over the past few months, I’ve come across the most ridiculous potential employers, as we’ve all had in our lifetime.  How can you save yourself a peace of mind during the process? Let’s go over the past potentials — turned laughing stocks.

The One That I Thought Was Cemented

Ahhh, this was was a gut-check.  This was the one that made me throw my hands in the air incredulously and say, “how did that happen?! It was a perfect interview!”

Rule Number 1: If they want you, they’ll call you within 24 hours. 

If you have the interview and they tell you to have a good weekend, chances are they’re not going to call you back EVER AGAIN.  I thought I landed what could’ve been a dream job, but for whatever reason, it vanished.  The worst part about it is I gave myself false hope.  I had the interview on December the 18th and I was still telling myself, “he will call me” around the 27th.  Into New Years, I was still clinging onto hope, thinking I would get an email for an orientation of some sort.

My student gave me the wake-up call and said, “you already know what happened.  You’re wasting time thinking about them.”

Hard dose of reality.  If a potential employer wants you, they’ll ask you to start almost immediately.  Back in America, I had my first ever interview at a newly opened dental practice and he called me the next day around mid-morning saying, “we decided to hire you.”  It was the most glorious moment of my life.

Don’t get bent out of shape and jump to conclusions.  Whatever the reason may have been, which might include an extensive list, they don’t want you.  Move on, like I did.

The We Will E-Mail You Once We Find Out

HA! These are the deceptive ones that make you wait.  I had a great email response to an individual who said, “thank you so much for your extensive and impressive resume.  We’ll find out soon about times and let you know.”  This was in regards to a corporate employer.

Was it true? No.  I told him that I’d be waiting and then he sent me an email back saying, “we also have jobs in China.”

So, I think his intent was to find someone here in Thailand and ship him/her off to China.

REDUNCULOUS

Rule Number 2: You can’t bullshit a bullshitter.

That “we’re waiting on a response” is horseshit.  But thanks!

Please make sure you tell them that.

The Apply For Jobs But Never Get A Response

Now let me tell you this.  This probably doesn’t relate to people outside of Thailand, but I want to give you some stories to some notorious teaching agencies.

There was a girl I met who was running an agency online.  She said she had quite a few corporate clients and wanted me to teach one in particular out in the boondocks.  She then gave me another one, reconfirmed for a particular morning during the weekend, and then she went silent.  About three days later (and just before I blocked her through messaging), I asked her “so, what happened with that particular company?”

She retorted, “oh, they chose another teacher.”

As a man of color, these agencies are not only impossible to work with, but it’ll drive you insane, destroy your confidence, and make you want to leave the country.  So basically if a Thai company is going to choose between 5 white men and 1 black men….who the hell do you think they’re going to choose?

It wasn’t just one company, it was five other potential suitors.  They would say, “ok, we will send you profile to the student and it’s up to them to contact you.”

They would never contact me.

Rule Number 3: When dealing with a company of this nature, STAY THE F*** AWAY! If not, your confidence and self-esteem will be battered. 

The Respond 6 Weeks Later & No Human Follow-up

Oh, we have all had that job that responded way too f***ing late, right? LOL! I think my record was about 3 months.  This one that happened recently caught me off guard.  I jumped up in JOY because it wasn’t just one job offer, it was 6 in total with different timings and all in the same area.

I said, “OMG! This is perfect! I knew I would attract this to me!”  I sent somewhere between 4-6 emails back in terms of choosing jobs.

However, this is there little memo they had at the bottom….

Please note, this is not a job offer, this is a job listing that is distributed to our mailing list of teacher candidates. Please read the information above carefully and respond to the listing if you are available to teach the contract, we will then get back to you if you are short-listed and arrange an interview / orientation.

We apologise in advance but due to high numbers of applications we will only respond to short-listed candidates. However, you are on this mailing list because we have already reviewed your resume and consider you a viable candidate to work with. If this opportunity does not work out please continue to let us know if you are interested and available for future openings.

If you would like us to remove you from this mailing list, please let us know and we will do so immediately.

Wow….so teaching candidates — of what could be more than fifty teachers; let alone fifty white teachers.   Not only that, only short-listed ones will have an interview arranged.

They went on to say, “due to high numbers of applications, we will only respond to the short-listed ones.  You are on this mailing list because WE CONSIDER YOU A VIABLE CANDIDATE. If it doesn’t work, please continue to let us know about future openings.

If you would like to be removed from the mailing list, please let us know.”

OH-MY-GOD.

You’ve got to be shitting me.

Not only did they it might not work, but they said if I want to remove myself off the list, please ask them?

WHO THE HELL SAYS THAT?!

That’s like me saying, “Margaret, you probably won’t get the job, but please inform us if you want one in the future and we’ll continue to beat around the bush and waste your time.  If not, we’ll block your email.”

I mean, that’s got to be the most outlandish s*** I’ve ever seen in my life.

And out of all six of those jobs that were sent to me by email a week ago, I never got a human response from them.  I never got a follow-up to why they didn’t work.

I went on google to google the company and realized that it was the most PRO-WHITE company I’ve ever seen.  Every single teacher there was over 50 and beyond white.

Rule Number 4: Are you looking in the wrong place?

Yeah, I should definitely be my own boss now after these happenings, but I’m contemplating staying here any further in this country.  The ignorance and racism continues to get worse and worse.

However, to everyone who is reading this, when you’re looking continuously in the wrong place, you’re going to continue to find the same problems.

Time to open up some new doors.

Don’t give up!

Napoleon Hill: Lesson Fourteen – Tolerance/Intolerance — The Desperation of Help Needed In Thailand

First: Intolerance is a form of ignorance which must be mastered before any form of enduring success may be attained.  It is the chief cause of all wars.  It makes enemies in business and in the professions.  It disintegrates the organized forces of society in a thousand forms and stands, like a might giant, as a barrier to the abolition of war.

Second: Intolerance is the chief disintegrating force in the organized religions of the world, where it plays havoc with the greatest power for good there is on this earth; by breaking up that power into small sects and denominations which spend as much effort opposing each other as they do in destroying the evils of the world.

Now, let’s see how it affects you, the individual.

In my story, I think the lack of patience and not being able to tolerate even the meaningless situations has plagued me.  For instance, living here in Thailand and seeing how customer service is, I give a particular second/minute threshold in getting service.  If I don’t get the right service, or any in general, I will blow up.

In the workplace, we’ve all had that coworker that is “short-tempered” and get’s tense quite easily.  This is because of their tolerance level.

I remember back in 2007 I took the bus twice within the same week and got the same bus driver.  The first time I saw him, he said good morning.  The second time he was extremely agitated; and at one point, I heard him yelling at a passenger.  I heard passengers screaming, “f*** you bus driver!”  People saying, “oh, I think he’s from New York.” LOL!  These were good times, but it goes to show how the tolerance level on particular individuals is not good at all.

Here’s a story from Napoleon Hill’s book….

One day I was introduced to a young man of unusually fine appearance.  His clear eye, his warm hand-clasp, the tone of his voice and the splendid taste with which he was groomed marked him as a young man of the highest intellectual type.  He was of the typical young American college student type, and as I ran my eyes over him, hurriedly studying his personality, as one will naturally do under such circumstances, I observed a Knight of Columbus pin on his vest.

Instantly, I released his hand as if it were a piece of ice!

This was done so quickly that it surprised both him and me.  As I excused myself and started to talk away, I glanced down at the Masonic pin that I wore on my own vest, then took another look at his Knight of Columbus pin, and wondered why a couple of trinkets such as these could dig such a deep chasm between men who knew nothing about each other.

All the remainder of that day I kept thinking of the incident, because it bothered me.  I had always taken considerable pride in the thought that I was tolerance with all men; but here was a spontaneous outburst of intolerance which proved that down in my sub-conscious mind existed a complex that was influencing me toward narrow-mindedness.

This discovery so shocked me that I began a systematic process of psycho-analysis through which I searched into the very depths of my soul for the cause of my rudeness.

“Why did I abruptly release that young man’s hand and turn away from him, when you knew nothing about him?”

This is especially for every Thai in Thailand.  Just yesterday that was a situation where this lady saw me, gave me a dirty look, and walked almost in the opposite direction, twisting her head over her left shoulder to avoid looking at me at all costs.

The same schools in Thailand that get my resume, look at the outstanding experience I have before turning to my photo — seeing that I’m “color” — and plunge my resume into the trash.

Yes, I’m calling out each and every last one of you.  It’s like what’s happening on the roads here in Thailand.  A country that has the highest fatality rate by percentage in the world because Thais now tolerate the stupendously fast-and-furious type driving without any reconciliation.  It’s time to dive in!

Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

……that’s what I exactly did.

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

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

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

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

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

First Turning-Point: Bad Money In Chanthaburi.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Life Begins At The End of Your Comfort Zone

Track & Field in high school

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

Moved to Australia

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

Thailand boosted my uncomfortability to unspeakable heights. 

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

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

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

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

Taking A Leap Can Transform Your Life

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

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

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

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

Accepted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It all comes with taking the gigantic leap.