How You Begin Your Day is a Great Predictor for the Rest of it

This is simply my belief: how you start your day determines the rest of it. Sure, you can overcome a shitty start to a day, but sometimes it puts you in an uphill battle in regards to a negative mindset that’s difficult to deface.

I’ve noticed this the last few days.

My girlfriend’s family came in on Friday night and left yesterday. Each day, we were up early (fine by me; I’m a morning person these days). Saturday, we went grocery shopping for a weekend featuring epic meals (oh, they were). Sunday, we got up early to start up some barbecue smokin’ on my Weber Smokey Mountain cooker. Yesterday, we spent time together at Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops before they headed home.

It was a fun weekend, and it was sad seeing them go. Anyway… I had some damn good days, and it goes back to what I said.

Oftentimes, I fall into a trap. I get up, and well, as a man I’ll often wake up with rock hard morning wood, aching to get rid of it by…. taking care of business, of course.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the biggest waste of time is going to Tumblr and searching the “my butt”, “my booty”, “my ass” tags or going on Reddit’s many NSFW gonewild-esque subreddits and jacking off. It’s a waste of my time, personally, because two or three hours will pass by quickly, and before I know it I will have been edging for too damn long, and I’ll feel terrible about wasting that portion of the day sitting on my ass and doing nothing.

My typical, best days are when I wake the hell up, ignore taking care of my morning wood (saving up for my girlfriend for later), drink my water from my 64oz Stanley stainless steel growler, consume my caffeine, piss/shit and get on with my daily farmer’s carry workout and more. In the summer, I love going outside with just my shorts on, soaking up the morning sun and relaxing. It’s perfect.

Just getting up and doing something marginally productive is a great start to the day.

My Girlfriend’s Mom is an Armchair Psychologist

I’m defensive.

I’ve only ever had one bad experience with a girlfriend’s mother. That was with my first love’s. Despite having good experiences before and since, that has stayed with me.

My current girlfriend’s mom, who I genuinely love and she’s treated me like a son she’s never had, told her that she thinks she (my girlfriend) is unhappy. This was because the conversation that preceded that one was about my girlfriend saying that there’s nothing to do around here, where we live. And that’s true. We live in a rural town — my hometown — with a lack of career/job options. I only plan on being here for another couple of years, so that I can complete college and go beyond.

Anyway, I get defensive easily. Sometimes I feel like her mom plays armchair psychologist or acts like a pot stirrer…

My boneheaded, “say what you mean; mean what you say” cracker ass expressed those feelings. Not a great idea.

We didn’t get into a full on fight or anything. Not even an argument. But there was a few, “What do you mean?!” questions from her. Understandably…

I just get annoyed…

Why the fuck would her mom think she’s unhappy?

Actually, my girlfriend says and appears to be happier than ever. Even though she doesn’t make much, she enjoys her job and the people she works with. She’s going out to the movies with them on Wednesday evening, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

If anything, my girlfriend was miserable from September through February, when she lost her old job and was unemployed for five, long, painstaking months that were insanely stressful as she couldn’t find a job anywhere despite applying literally e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e!

Her family is coming in this weekend to visit. I have some anxiety over it.. fuck.

I do wish her mom was a little more like mine… y’know… never gets involved in the relationship. I mean, her mom doesn’t get involved per se, but she just says these little comments that irks the shit out of me. My mother stays totally out of my relationship with my little lady, and that’s the way I love it; I’m sure my little lady appreciates it, too.

But goddamn.

I know that mothers will always be protective. My mom is.. I’m all she has, really, as an only child. And it’s especially so for my girlfriend’s mom since they are states away from one another.

But I never want to be in that position of my girlfriend’s mom feeling like I’m not good enough for her or something. I also expressed that opinion last night and my girlfriend flipped the fuck out, telling me that her mother doesn’t feel that way, yet she couldn’t answer me when I asked why the fuck her mom would question her happiness.

I put my girlfriend’s needs before mine as much as I possibly can. She might as well change her name to “Roll” because I can’t stop buttering her up. Then again, it’s the same in reverse sometimes as well for me.

I guess I just want to live to the tune of that song from Boston… “Peace of Mind”… I just want to live peacefully. Please.

You Have to Earn The Right To Feel Good About Yourself

I feel a lot of guilt, sadness, regret and anger. Much of it is related to the past. It’s not constant. It comes in waves, but it hits hard.

Once you learn to accept that the past is the past and that it can’t be changed, you set a precedent to move forward with your life.

But, no matter what, I’ve learned from one of my role models — Andy Frisella — that you have to earn the right to feel good about yourself.


Some people might disagree with that and spew insipid platitudes like, “happiness is a choice regardless of your situation!” but the truth is, happiness is a choice… yes… but “regardless of your situation”? No. While I believe in making the best of every situation and using it as an opportunity, if you are poor, struggling to scrape by in life and hardly able to live paycheck to paycheck, you might be able to take solace in that you have your physical health and are still able to live your life, counting your true blessings, but I highly doubt you are happy, or at least as happy as you could be.

I don’t remember if I wrote it here or elsewhere, but I also believe that action cures fear.

In the way you earn the right to feel good about yourself, you do so by taking action and doing something that yields that result.

2010-2013 were blunders in my life. Those were four wasted years where I did not advance in my life. I did have some good moments in 2010 and on a lesser scale in 2011, but I accomplished nothing in regards to building a better and brighter future for myself. I spent much of my time bitching, moaning, groaning and crying (to myself only) about missing my ex, who was a crazy, dirty, lying, cheating, childish human being, and doing nothing about it.

I could have made myself busy. I could have strode to keep myself busy by working out more and reading, but no. I spent a lot of lonely nights jacking off to erotica on Lush Stories, intermittently playing video games, reading inane bullshit on the internet and doing nothing to ‘level up’ in life.

In 2014, I went back to college. It was at a community college, but still, it’s college. It was a huge milestone for me. Right off the bat, I took public speaking despite hardly being around a whole lot of people for a few years. I knew I had to make this choice in order to grow. It’s funny how one of the girls in that class remarked near the end of the semester that I was “so calm and collected” even though I was nervous as fuck. I always went first in class, because my theory always is, in public speaking, people are too busy  worrying about their upcoming speech to truly pay a whole lot of attention to yours, and besides, even if they do key in on you, they’ll forget about you soon enough!

I felt great. I was building confidence.

I continued another school year in 2015-2016. I took a shitty chemistry class, and I hated my lab teacher. I also made a great friend, at least for that time period, named Dillon. If that was the 2009-2013 version of me, I would have quit going to school just like I did when I first tried college in the fall of 2009.

This past year, I completed my final year at the community college. I think I would have finished up in 2015-2016 had I not been forced to take developmental math for a few semesters. I took a year of math this past school year and made an A last fall and a B this past spring semester. I’ve been accepted to a university this fall as a junior. I’m mostly taking online classes, but I will be taking a night class at the same community college for five weeks through the university.

I’ve built confidence and, in many ways, I feel great about myself.

But you can’t just do the right thing a few times and expect it to last… you have to keep the momentum going by continuously doing what you need to do. Don’t feel like working out? Do it, anyway. Don’t feel like studying? Do it, anyway. Don’t feel like writing that paper? Do it now! Do it, anyway!

Because when you are done, you will feel a whole lot better about yourself than you will if you procrastinate and watch shitty YouTube videos instead.

I heard somebody say, elsewhere, I think on Reddit, that you “should find enjoyment in everything, even if you dislike it”… BULLSHIT. That is nice, in theory, but truthfully, some things just suck! And no matter what, through whatever positive thinking channel your mind goes through, you will never enjoy it, and sometimes it’s best to put your head down and grind through it. Once you start something, sometimes you realize it’s not as bad as you conceive it to be.

If I work out every single day for 90 days, I will feel better about myself than what I would if I kept procrastinating.

By doing so, you earn the right to feel good about yourself.

I struggle almost daily to stay on track.

It’s fucking hard. But that’s OK. Because nothing worth doing or accomplishing in life comes easy!

Sometimes I procrastinate. Not as much as I used to, but I’m still working on it. It happens. No excuses. It’s easy to be suckered into doing things that are not apropos to what you should be doing.

But man, when you get into that flow of doing the thing you need to be doing, accomplishing tasks that need to be done, and you complete them, it feels good. It’s liberating.

You have to earn the right to feel good about yourself. I think that is an undisputed truth. I appreciate Andy Frisella for talking about this on one of his podcasts. If you don’t know who he is, Google him and thank me later.

I’m sure there are antagonists out there who exist that will be antagonists of this mentality, but that’s their thought process and not mine.

I didn’t start feeling better about myself until I started doing shit that made me feel uncomfortable, stepping out of my comfort zone and attempting to achieve a modicum of success.

If I kept sitting in my bedroom, on my computer, jerking off to sluts on Tumblr and not doing anything, no matter how badly I want to feel great about myself, I’d still — deep down — always feel depressed and awful about myself.

Whenever you go out and do something that you feel needs to be done in regards to accomplishing your tasks and goals, you feel good. I believe that’s an undisputed truth as well. But you have to do it day in and day out and build that perpetual momentum to consistently feel good about yourself.

No, not every day will you feel like a million bucks. This is life and we are all human beings, prone to difficult days, but you can’t have sunshine without a little rain.

Keep grinding, keep hustling, do what you need to do. Embrace the suck. Consume some caffeine (or not) and bulldoze ahead. I believe in you. If I can go through hell, you can, too.

Is the Xbox One X Worth it For People Like Me?

I love video games. I really do. But I haven’t played a single game since January. I let my Xbox Live expire.

At first, it was because I didn’t have time. But now, for the last month, I’ve had the time, but no motivation to play.

My motivation to game comes in spades. I played the shit out of Forza Horizon 3 in November and December. I even dabbled in a little bit of GTA V online (even though its online is hot garbage due to the exhausting load times).

I’m excited about the future, definitely. Red Dead Redemption 2? Come to me, baby. I remember getting Red Dead Revolver when I was 13 in 2004; I played through it three or four times! Red Dead Redemption — a totally different game but in the same vein — came out in 2010 and it is in my top 5 games of all-time. 2010 was a pretty damn good year for gaming; two of my all-time favorite games came out. Not only RDR, but Halo: Reach. Y’know, Reach is the most maligned Halo game ever released, but it’s my all-time favorite having played every single Halo game in the series. You know why? Memories. 2010 was a rough year for me; my relationship with my first love slowly deteriorated. I was depressed. But every weekend, my best friends in real life, our friends online and random strangers would start up party chats and play from dusk to past dawn in SWAT and Team Sniper on Reach. I will always appreciate those memories. That lasted from October through December 2010. Amazing times.

The other day, Microsoft announced the Xbox One X. It is priced at $500. In a nutshell, without any fancy pants talk, it runs better graphics — but apparently only if you have a 4K TV can you tell an absolute difference — and apparently features a faster processor, I assume.

It’s $500. I have no problem with the price, because, well, I’m likely not getting it anytime soon.

My TV is a 32″ Westinghouse LCD TV that I got for my 15th birthday in 2006. It’s been an excellent TV. But it’s not 4K. Hell, it’s old technology even though games look terrific on it. I love it, though. But, with that TV, it doesn’t warrant the Xbox One X. I’m going to avoid keeping up with gaming news for a while to avoid the hype. There’s no need for me to pump that kind of money into a console given my current specs and given that my motivation to play video games is streaky and inconsistent.

Besides, I just spent $420.15 (tax included) on a 22″ Weber Smokey Mountain cooker. ‘Cause I’m a pitmaster… a wannabe pitmaster.

I wonder who else is in my shoes regarding having old tech (TV) and not having a reason to invest in the XBX. Speak now!

Fear is a Double Edged Sword: Drive or Die

I was with my ex-girlfriend Bekki in the fall of 2009 when I was a student at a local community college. I was 18-years-old, didn’t manage my priorities correctly and ultimately finished the semester with a 1.9 GPA, only completing one of my five classes (while not properly dropping the other four and receiving F’s). The one class I completed was an 8am Tuesday/Thursday English class, the only time of the day I felt like I could relax, because my relationship with Bekki was a colossal shitbag disaster. Yeah, that one class I completed, I only made a C in there when I should have made an A, but my dumb ass didn’t turn in the final term paper and I half-assed the final exam.

After a five year hiatus away from college, I returned to that same local community college in 2014. Now, in 2017, I’ve managed to take that 1.9 GPA and raise it to a 3.3/borderline 3.4. Redemption has been mine, but damn, it was a long, painful journey!

In a nutshell, I’ll tell you what happened in the fall of 2009: I was an in-love 18-year-old dating an immature girl that was still in high school. I prioritized that relationship over my personal goals and mental health. I got myself so wrapped up in making sure she was happy, I lost sight of what was going on in my life. I didn’t consider the consequences of my choices at that community college at the time.

You can read about my experience with Bekki in another post. I linked to it in the first line of this post.

2010-2013 were the biggest wastes of time in my life. Especially 2012 and 2013. I did not accomplish a single thing in those years.

I was handicapped by fear. I knew I had to return to college and make things right. But how? But when? I’d say “now“, every time, but I was so scared. I remember, back in April or May 2013, it was a late night, and I had my TV set to TNT. I was watching the NBA playoffs featuring the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies. I loaded up my local community college’s website. I was so nervous… I had to go use the bathroom, so I did, and when I came back I closed the page, closed my laptop and ate six Snickers ice cream bars instead. Complete and total avoidance.

On June 1, 2013 I walked to the top of a pretty big mountain at a park here, alone, and I talked to myself out loud. “I will give my self one year. One year. One year to get my shit together and go back to [my local community college]. It’s now or never.”

I’m not so sure I got my shit together in 2014, but I signed up for classes about two weeks before they began in August 2014, and here I am.

Fear is a bitch. Fear is a friend. Fear is a two-faced motherfucker. I mean what I wrote in the title of this post. It is absolutely a double edged sword that can either drive you to do great things or paralyze you with complete and utter inactivity. I’ve been on both sides.

I knew I had to return to college in 2014. I had to make things right. I wanted to, deep down, but I was so goddamn against wanting to be around new people. Specifically, younger students. Nowadays, I don’t care about that, but back then, I didn’t want to be judged for being an older guy, even though I was only 23 in 2014. It’s funny, thinking back, about how silly that insecurity was.

I used Nike’s “Just do it” slogan to fuel me, I reckon. Also a dash of, “What’s the worst that can happen?” in my mindset. “You fail? Fuck it; everybody fails”. Everybody makes fools of themselves. Everybody is a error-makin’, failure-havin’ human being.

When I signed up for classes, I decided to go ahead and do public speaking. Get it out of the way. I’ve always had a narcissistic enjoyment for my voice. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a sportswriter and a sports broadcaster. In 11th grade, my sports marketing teacher — she was a babe — told me I had a hypnotizing sportscaster voice. That got to my head. I knew that deciding to get public speaking out of the way would push me out of my comfort zone. I was hardly around unfamiliar people in 2010-2013, so putting myself out there and doing public speaking after barely being around anybody was a fucking huge, but fucking awesome, challenge.

The best part about it, and I’ll never forget this because it makes me smirk, is that the two girls I sat next to — Alexis and Whitley — told me that I was just so calm and that envied that about me, when it came to speeches in class. I always volunteered to go first whenever we had our speaking days. Because, my theory was always, if you go first, nobody is really going to pay attention to what you are saying, because they are going to be too worried and anxiety-riddled about their own speeches. I never understood the people who tried to stave off doing it! You have to do it, anyway, so why not get it over with so you can relax!? I’ll never forget — right before Thanksgiving break in 2014, we had a speaking day, and a few people didn’t want to get their speech over with, so our instructor said they’d have to do it after our holiday break was over with. Are you fucking kidding me? You’d rather stew over it during your entire break rather than get it out of the way?!

Most of the students in there were second year students that were just about ready to graduate; they had put that class off until the last minute.

Anyway, the “calm” comments they made about me? Yeah, inside, my heart was pounding, but despite my heart pounding with anxiety, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I could do it. I guess that’s why I appeared calm. It was nerve racking, but I knew had the ability to stand in front of a group and talk.

Fear paralyzed me in 2010-2013 when I’d spend all day crying/stewing over Bekki or otherwise wasting my time in other useless endeavors.

Fear drove me to return to my local community college in 2014.

I have a lot to do and a lot to work on. But when you are faced with fear, you have a choice to either do nothing or to take action. If you take action, typically you’ll face your fear and figure out if it’s just a phony — and 99.9% of the time it is. When you doing, you never find out and you only stay in one place, never moving or growing or evolving.

Life without pain is a life without challenge and a life without challenge is a life without growth.

Never Marry Somebody You’ve Never Argued or Gone Through Tough Times With

26 ounces of delicious, freshly brewed Food Lion chocolate raspberry coffee.
26 ounces of delicious, freshly brewed Food Lion chocolate raspberry coffee.

Early Sunday morning thoughts while I chug my delicious coffee.

Never marry someone you’ve never argued with or have never gone through difficult times together.

Honeymoon stages of relationships vary in time. A time when everything is all good and there’s no hardships.

But what about when money isn’t there, disposable income sounds like a myth, you disagree on things? Can you effectively communicate with one another and remain level headed? Or are you at each other’s throats, yelling and incapable of rational, mature discussion?

I emitted the same phrase in an online relationships forum and one person told me that my statement was silly. He said that he and his wife had been married for five years and they’ve never had a real argument or spat. My take? Just like I told him in my retort, the exception is not the rule. Besides, I have no idea how this person’s life is. He may be wealthy; they may naturally get along so perfectly there’s no bumps in the road. But that’s rare. Life happens. Life doesn’t plan anything. Life is spontaneous.

Shit happens. There are always bumps in the road. And by the way, when I reference money, I’m not claiming that a large bank account with inordinate disposable income is the be all, end all, because in reality, money isn’t everything, but when you do have money, not having to worry about a healthy meal being on the table every night or worrying about not having life’s essential items is a big plus. You see, while money isn’t everything, when you don’t have it then money is the only thing.

If you’ve never argued or have never gotten into some kind of spat, big or little, with your significant other, you are either delusional or you’ve never faced difficult times.

I say that you go through hell with one another before saying, “I do”. Most of the happiest, longest landing relationships I know, when I’ve asked about their time together, they mention their endurance and perseverance through the most difficult times being the biggest factor in making the relationship work. A relationship shouldn’t be built solely on the good times; the backbone of a relationship should be how mentally and emotionally strong the two of you are and how well you handle adversity as a team. A marriage is a lot like a business. You must sustain it and take care of one another.

Agree? Disagree? Blast me away in the comments.

StepBet Tips and Tricks: How to Walk and Win

stepbet3

I’m only on day four of my first ever StepBet game, but it’s been smooth sailing (or, er, stepping) so far. Originally, 1,285 people entered the game, and just four days in 13 people have dropped out. If nobody else drops out, I’ll only win $2 bucks from the total pot ($51,400). At this rate, there will be over a 100 people that will drop out by the end of the game. I’m not gonna sugarcoat my hopes: while I wish everyone genuine success, I won’t complain if a lot of people drop out of the game. And if you are playing with me, neither should you!

I do most of my walking either at my community college campus or here at home. Sometimes I listen to music, but lately I’ve been catching up on episodes from my favorite podcast, The Fighter and the Kid. I have a fairly big basement that features a treadmill, but most of my walking comes from leisurely walking around my house or in the basement. I’ll get on the treadmill if I want to get my heartrate up from running or faster walking.

Here are my tips and tricks in order to conquer your StepBet game, win back the money you originally placed to enter the game and win a share of the total pot.

1.) Just walk. Move. No excuses. You can do this. Even if you live in a tiny, single-wide trailer. Walk throughout the house. Even if you only have a tiny bedroom to walk in. Walk in place. Do what you can to move. You don’t have to be outside or on a treadmill or going on an actual walk to get your steps in. You can walk in place. Just move. Again, no excuses.

2.) Listen to music, your favorite podcast or watch a show on your tablet (the last one: if you are on a treadmill and you have decent balance). It makes the time go by, and before you know it you’ll have your active and stretch days met in no time.

3.) Don’t ‘plan’ your rest day. You get one day off during the week in a StepBet game. This is my most important tidbit of advice. Why would you plan your rest day? I’ve noticed so many people in the Super Steppers game I’m in doing this. Life features so many unexpected moments. You might say, “I’ll have my rest day on Tuesday” and then have something unexpected happen on Wednesday. You might get sick or something else might call for your attention. And then you are screwed! Life is not linear. Sometimes plans don’t go the way we want it. Develop a #NoDaysOff mentality. Besides, walking isn’t hard. It’s the easiest way to be moderately active. As human beings, we were never meant to be sedentary, so get off your ass and move.

4.) Along the same theme as the last tip, try to get your stretch days in as early in the week as possible. As you can see in the screenshot, I got mine out of the way on Monday and Tuesday. I recommend you do the same. By getting them out of the way quickly, it makes the rest of your week easier when you only have to meet your active day goals. You get a sense of relief and there’s no panic when it comes to getting only your active day steps the rest of the week.

5.) Your schedule pending/permitting, get some steps in when you wake up. If you can only be more active in the evenings, so be it, but getting your active/stretch steps out of the way earlier in the day allows you to rest up a little bit before the next day’s challenge.

6.) Park far away, take the steps, find excuses to walk. When you go to the grocery store or any miscellaneous store, park far away. If you are somewhere in a building where you must travel a few floors up to get where you need to be, take the stairs instead of the elevator. This simple tip will add so many steps. You might be surprised.

7.) Don’t give up. Even if you don’t feel like getting your steps in, just do it. You don’t want to lose all the money you put down on yourself to meet your goals. If we only ever did what we felt like in life and shunned the necessary things we didn’t feel like doing, we’d be in terrible shape in every facet of our personal lives.