Instant Gratification: The Silent Killer

Today, we live in a world where we can have many things instantly. When we need a ride, we call an Uber. When we want food, we can pop something in the microwave or use GrubHub. When we want to go shopping, we just order from Amazon and pay for 2-day shipping. Then, when it’s time to settle down, relax, and be entertained, we turn on Netflix to binge watch a whole TV series. No more commercials or waiting a whole week! Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, it can shape our expectations around things in life that actually require us to wait.

Hey, everyone! I’m back again with another philosophical rant! Today, I will be covering a topic that may be hard for some to hear, but it’s necessary that it gets brought to light. As technology advances and makes everything less time consuming and more convenient, humanity is becoming less and less patient. I’ve been becoming more and more aware of this lately after spending time building my business, doing my martial arts training, working the 12-step program, etc.

We need to understand the value of delayed gratification. It’s crucial that we remind ourselves that no matter how advanced technology gets, and no matter how fast the world moves, there are certain things that just need time to come to fruition. Here are a few of the important things in life that cannot be rushed, even with 21st-century innovations.

 

Recovery:

Whether we are recovering from injuries that are physical or mental, there’s a healing process that must take place until we can function normally again. There’s a reason why doctors tell people things like “no heavy lifting for 6 weeks” or “minimize physical activity for a while.” The same thing goes with recovering from mental illnesses; there’s a period of time that we need to go through a process of healing. When I was 20 years old, I was diagnosed with C-PTSD, and I recall the many times where people would tell me to “just let it go” if it were that easy. It may be easy for most people, but when someone suffers from a serious mental illness, not so much. It’d be like telling someone with a sprained ankle to “just walk it off.” Before they could effectively walk on that ankle again, it must go through a healing process which will take time, and the same goes for recovery from any mental illness or substance abuse disorder. Luckily, going through the healing process allowed me to finally let things go.

When it comes to time, throwing effort into the mix can ultimately shorten the time it takes, however, time is still something that is required. Nothing happens overnight. To put things in perspective from my experiences, I started seeing a therapist when I was 20 years old back in January of 2015, a year later, I was in and out of psychiatric hospitals for suicide attempts and got put on medication, a year after that, I quit drinking and joined alcoholics anonymous. Last year, I got off all medication, I began working the 12-step program, and got involved in martial arts. Now, I’m on Step 4 after a year of doing step work, and I’m moving up slowly in my martial arts training. When asked how long it takes to heal, I learned that it varies from person to person. To put it simply, it cannot be rushed, and it takes as long as it takes.

We live in a world today where psychiatrists push more pills on people who struggle with their issues. Not that medication is bad, in fact, it helps a lot of people, and it once helped me. However, there’s no denying that it becomes a quick solution, creates unhealthy dependency, and can have some health consequences in the long-term. My view on psychiatric medication, depending on the severity of the patient’s condition, is that it should be a last resort and a short-term solution. Think of it like when you get an infection, and you take an antibiotic for a period of time until the infection is cleared up. If you need it, definitely talk to your doctor about finding what’s right for you for a time to stabilize you as you work on yourself and getting your life back together. I was medicated for 2 years, but during those 2 years, I made major (but necessary) lifestyle changes and worked through the psychological issues I had. As I improved, I worked with my psychiatrist to come off the medication the proper way, which is another process that cannot be rushed! If you feel like you need to see a professional to work through your mental health issues, please refer to Psychology Today.

 

Fitness:

At almost 25 years old, I can honestly say that I’m in the best shape of my life! However, this wasn’t always the case. Growing up, I was always a scrawny kid, and I was very insecure about my body. Between the ages of 18 and 21, I spent a lot of time at the gym desperately trying to bulk up as fast as I possibly could. I would stay at the gym too long, exercise improperly, and even abused all kinds of GNC supplements that did nothing but make my urine the color of Mountain Dew and make me throw up a lot. I finally gained weight when I was on psychiatric medication, but it was not healthy weight. I was chubby for a while until I came off the medication. Now, I just stick to a healthy diet of mainly whole foods, and exercise through martial arts training 3 nights a week!

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with anything. Well, getting in good shape is another thing that cannot happen overnight. It takes time, and the time it takes depends on your condition starting out. I bring it up to help you avoid the mistakes I made in the past. We all get bombarded with marketing campaigns about fad diets, weight loss products, cosmetic surgeries, exercise programs, etc. However, the real truth is that they capitalize on our insecurities, they grab the attention of those looking for quick results, and the results people get rarely sustain in the long-term. Plus, results achieved are usually obtained in rather unhealthy ways. To better understand this phenomenon, I invite you to read this article from LiveStrong.com. To get healthy, long-lasting results, just be patient, be persistent, and accept that it may take a couple of months or even a couple of years.

 

Wealth:

Have you ever fallen for any of those “get rich quick” schemes out there? The kinds that promise you $10,000 in residual income after 3 months with little to no effort? I certainly have! Luckily, I didn’t lose much, but I was still pretty bummed out that I got scammed. That was about 2 years ago now. However, after watching a video of GaryVee talking about a young kid he met who told him he was scammed and lost $60,000, Gary said to him, “that’s what happens when you try to make a quick dollar!” He is so right about that because I remember when I got scammed, I was trying to make a quick dollar as well! I invite you to check out his video.

I share this with you to warn you and protect you from losing your money as well as your hopes. Nowadays, the internet is flooded with entrepreneurs flaunting their luxuries, telling you their success stories, and trying to get you to buy into their programs. I’m not saying they don’t work, I’m sure some really do, but many go into those with false expectations and end up disappointed when they don’t get results in a decent amount of time. The funny thing is that it was actually what inspired me to start my YouTube vlog!

After spending the last 14 months building my financial services business, in which the first 6-9 months I dedicated to learning the business and understanding how money works, I am absolutely positive that there is no way to get rich quick. Building wealth, whether you become an entrepreneur or an employee, takes time, discipline, hard work, consistency, and having a solid understanding of how money works. The more you understand and accept that, the less likely you will ever be scammed (again). I got into financial services shortly after I had the realization that financial issues can hold people back from healthy recovery from mental illness in both direct and indirect ways. If you live in North America, especially the Greater Boston Area where I live, and you’d like to learn the real way to build wealth, I’d be more than happy to help! You can connect with me personally through my webpage.

 

Relationships:

It may sound nice to remove the effort of going out to meet new people by just swiping left and right on Tinder or connecting with others on Facebook. Right? Unfortunately, the problem with social media is that it connects us online while isolating us offline. I like to say that no matter how advanced communication technology gets, nothing will ever fully replace genuine, face-to-face communication with another human being. We are social creatures, but we need to be careful not to let anything superficial pressure us to maintain relationships that look good on the outside but are unhealthy in reality.

Technology will never be able to change the fact that genuine, meaningful relationships, whether with romantic partners, friends, family, colleagues, clients, etc. cannot be rushed. In fact, trying to rush things will cause you to repel better quality people and attract lower quality people; another lesson I learned the hard way early in life. Think about it, when you meet someone new, do you completely trust them right away? I would hope not! Jay Shetty once said in a video on relationships that a tree doesn’t bear fruits and flowers overnight, and that no matter how much you water it or how much sunlight you give it, it still takes time to grow and develop. I highly encourage you to follow his content!

When it comes to relationships, I recommend starting off by getting to know yourself, engage in some social detoxing if needed, and try to seek out healthy individuals to be around who resonate with you. Take time to get to know these people and build some genuine friendships. You know, the kind where you can unplug and get together to do fun things instead of just texting each other from across the room. In addition, when it comes to romantic relationships, take time to get to know someone before sleeping with them and planning a life together. Otherwise, it will lead to a lot of heartaches, meaningless sex, resentments, confusion, and the risk of spending your life with the wrong person.

 

What Now?

There are many more examples out there, but I just wanted to share some basic ones that resonate with me the most. It’s convenient in today’s world to be able to have certain things right away, and technology will definitely change and evolve over time. New products and marketing campaigns will come out to try and sell us something that will get us quick results in certain categories stated above, but let’s make sure we keep things in perspective and never lose sight of the fact that those things take time, effort, consistency, persistence, etc. The time will pass, either way, so we might as well put it to good use. After all, those are the things in life that are worth the wait.

I’m a Recovering Narcissist…

“I know the title is a bit alarming, but it is a realization I became aware of recently. Although terrified to admit it, I respect you all enough to be open and honest so I can become a better person.”

Hey, everyone! I’m back again with yet another philosophical rant! It may be a sensitive topic, but an issue that must be brought to light. I recently took a break from social media for a month after being overwhelmed with personal and business issues. I’m going to be turning 25 in about a month, so maybe it was my quarter life crisis.

My entrepreneurial journey, as well as my recovery journey, have been amazing, but no journey is perfect. There are always ups and downs. I guess I just needed some time and breathing room to really think. I began questioning myself, my actions, my motives, everything. I was even beginning to wonder whether or not I was even a good person. After working through those issues with my therapist and my AA sponsor, I learned a little more about myself. It led me to the conclusion that I am in fact a narcissist in recovery.

It makes sense because I was raised by a narcissist, and I grew up around a lot of them. I suffered from narcissistic abuse for many years as well. Early in my recovery, I resented people who were narcissists under the assumption that they were just evil. It wasn’t until I became more self-aware of my own behavior that gave me the idea that there was more to it than that. I picked up their habits and behaviors unconsciously early in life, but now that I’m aware of it and away from it, I can make a new choice. I’ve spent the majority of this year working on my business, building a client base, meeting new people, doing 12-step work, practicing martial arts, and doing other things related to personal development. I’ve been learning a lot each day.

The issue with narcissism is the disproportional misunderstanding that these people are bad people when in reality, they’re sick people. Not that their selfish or abusive behavior is okay, but that it comes from a place of hurt. The dictionary defines the word narcissist as “a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish.” However, that is only a mere symptom of the real problem. After doing my research, and really pondering it for a while, I came up with my own definition of the word narcissist: “a person who simply never grew up.”

 

What Do I Mean By This?

It might be a bit confusing at first glance but hear me out. Now, I’m gonna throw some personal philosophy at you!

Think about this: What happens when narcissists don’t get their own way? They often become hostile, aggressive, resentful, manipulative, cold, and avoidant. Right?

Now, what happens when normal, healthy children don’t get their own way? They often become hostile, aggressive, resentful, manipulative, cold, and avoidant. Right?

I’ve noticed these similarities by observing the behavior of both narcissistic adults, and normal, healthy children, and it led me to believe that narcissism is a result of stunted emotional maturity. This is still only a theory of mine, but the research I’ve done is quite supportive of it. Like many disorders, narcissism is a spectrum, and it originates from both genetic and environmental factors. To learn more about the psychology of narcissism, I invite you to check out this short and simple TED-Ed video.

 

What Does This Have To Do With Children?

Well, just like that video states, children have a natural tendency to be self-centered and emotionally unstable, but that is a completely normal part of development. The reasoning behind that is the fact that we are living organisms who are hardwired for survival. Children are in their dependent stage of development, which means that they have to depend on other people for survival, usually their parents. Due to this, they need to be selfish to some degree in order to survive, which is why it is the parents’ responsibility to provide for them and properly discipline them. Proper nurturing is needed to develop into a healthy, independent adult. In our first 18 years, “the critical years”, it is our parents’ responsibility to tend to both our physiological and psychological needs.

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, our physiological needs include the basics (food, water, air, shelter, sleep, etc.), safety, and security; our psychological needs include feelings of love and belonging as well as esteem from ourselves and others. Physiological needs sustain life itself, and psychological needs sustain a good quality of life. In an ideal situation, we would get both our physiological and psychological needs taken care of by our parents so that we can develop into healthy, independent, and emotionally mature adults who can give that love to others. However, not everyone has those needs met early in life, and that was not their choice. Remember that people cannot give something that they themselves have never had.

The real issue here is that in addition to people not having those needs met early in life, they often find themselves trying to fulfill those needs in other ways that are usually unhealthy and even self-destructive. On top of that, the modern-day pressures, stressors, and burdens of adulthood are bestowed upon them before they are prepared and able to handle them! Could you imagine a typical 8-year-old child being kicked out of their parents’ house and forced to be on their own with the responsibilities of working a job, dealing with a boss, paying bills, paying rent, raising kids, maintaining a mature romantic relationship, etc? That’s often what it’s like for narcissistic adults.

As children grow up and survive that dependent stage of development, they need that unconditional love from their parents at a time when they’re vulnerable and cannot survive alone. It’s that loving relationship with our parents early in life, that’s often one-sided, that gives us what we need to develop a sense of self-worth and fill us up with love to give to ourselves and others. People who don’t receive that are often stuck being self-involved as a survival response. What we perceive as evil is actually unresolved emotional pain.

Before we can effectively tend to the needs of others, we must tend to our own needs first. Therefore, people are only selfish when they cannot tend to their own needs. How could they help others if they cannot help themselves? These issues have their ways of manifesting into selfish behaviors. For example, greed compensates for lack and scarcity, while pride and boastfulness compensate for feelings of neglect, inadequacy, and invisibility. To overcome this, we must learn to fulfill those needs without taking from others what is lacking in ourselves.

 

Can It Be Fixed?

The answer is yes! A narcissist does, in fact, have the power to change for the better! The issue is in the nature of the disorder; narcissistic individuals don’t see that there is anything wrong with them, and it’s very painful for them to look at themselves from an unpleasant yet frankly honest point-of-view. For this reason, they often choose not to better themselves. Although change is painful, the pain is a necessary catalyst for growth. Although we couldn’t choose when we were kids, we can choose when we’re adults. We don’t have to take the path that was laid out for us early on. After all, we are personally responsible for our own lives as adults.

I was not aware of the fact that I was a narcissist until about a year ago, but I didn’t really start analyzing my own behaviors, habits, and past mistakes that matched characteristics of a narcissist until a few months ago. I’ve been working on myself ever since to correct the errors of the past. I’ve been using myself as a guinea pig for many years now, so I will continue to explore what works and what doesn’t. My plan is to do what I need to do to fulfill my psychological needs that weren’t fulfilled in childhood in healthy ways that do not harm or take away from others. The goal is to develop genuine humility and reach full emotional maturity. I guess all I need to do is grow up. Psychotherapy and the 12-step program have been very beneficial to understanding myself more and more each day. In addition, martial arts has helped me in developing my mind and body as well as learning valuable principles. Nothing keeps you more humble than a room full of people who could kick your ass! Lol!

Having said that, the important thing to realize is that what works for me may be different than what works for you. When it comes to recovery, find what works for you and practice diversity; don’t put all your eggs in one basket. By that, I mean you don’t need to count on just one source of treatment and/or support. Have an open mind, and see what works and what doesn’t. If you’re considering psychotherapy, you can locate a therapist through Psychology Today.

Also, if you find yourself in any kind of toxic or dangerous situation, please contact emergency services and/or the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you’re in a personal crisis situation, please contact emergency services or the National Suicide Prevention LifeLine. For other various mental health services, I invite you to check out NAMI.

“If you’re a narcissist, you’re not alone, and you’re not a bad person. If you took the time to read this article to the end, I commend you for being self-aware and searching for ways to improve yourself. You have good in you, and all you need to do is heal and love yourself, so that one day, you can give that love to others.”

 

The Little Tree That Couldn’t Grow

This post is going to start off with a fictional children’s story I have written. A story that has major significance in not only my life but in the lives of many. Read to find out why!

There once was a little tree, and this tree lived deep in a beautiful forest. The little tree had hopes and dreams of prospering in life and growing very, very tall. So tall, in fact, that others would see it from far away and admire its beauty. Sadly, the little tree had a lot of trouble growing at all. The reason for that is because it was living in the shadows of much bigger trees.

You see, in order for trees to grow, they need sunlight and water. The bigger trees that surrounded the little tree blocked out much of the sunlight and got to drink most of the water; leaving very little left over for the little tree.

Although the bigger trees may not have meant to take away from the little tree, the little tree felt oppressed by them for most of its early life. Many times it felt so small, inferior, and very frightened. It was too small for anyone to notice its cries for help. In fact, the bigger trees around it never allowed it to get what it needed to grow.

However, over time, things began to change. Many of the bigger trees began to either die out or get cut down by lumberjacks. Some stayed around, but they stretched different ways to get as much sunlight as possible.

As the bigger trees were slowly disappearing, something amazing happened to the little tree. The little tree finally began to grow! Since it was able to get more of the sunlight and water it needed, it grew and it grew.

One day, the little was no longer a little tree. It was now a big tree, and as it once dreamed in its early years, it was finally very tall and beautiful. People who came walking through the forest admired its beauty as it provided shade and a place to sit and rest. The once little tree was now a happy and prosperous big tree. 🙂    The End.

 

What Was The Point of This Story?

You’re probably wondering why I decided to write a short children’s story for my blog. It’s a first, but hear me out. This story was actually inspired by my own personal experiences with mental illness and recovery.

The little tree was a personification of not just me personally, but of any person who grew up feeling oppressed by others. The big trees were a metaphor for these “oppressors” and other negative influences in life that hurt us or hold us back from a better quality of life. Whether they were school bullies, authority figures, parents, or society in general, these people felt small and unheard early in life. Although many of their oppressors may not have meant to oppress them or even had any awareness of what they were feeling, there are those who suffered all kinds of physical and psychological abuse.

Growing up, I felt oppressed by everyone, and although the majority of those people had no idea what I was feeling because I never talked about it, and many others either genuinely cared from a distance or just didn’t know me well enough personally, there were still those who intentionally inflicted harm on me. I lived my early years being frightened and intimidated by everyone. I hated myself and I resented others for many years until I began to heal and develop a higher understanding, which allowed me to let go and forgive.

The story of the little tree is not one of pity, but rather of personal growth. When the big trees, or the negative influences, were no longer around, the little tree had room to grow because it got what it needed. In other words, when we remove certain negative influences from our lives and give ourselves what we need, whether it’s water and sunlight or wisdom, support, understanding, and other psychological needs, we then have the chance to experience tremendous personal growth beyond what we could ever imagine. I like to say that our problems are like our clothes; as we grow, we outgrow them, and they can no longer contain us.

I think of all the things in life that used to absolutely devastate me and destroy me inside that now barely even phase me. Although I went through a lot of emotional pain in my early years, it was that pain that allowed me to grow so much and become wise and well-rounded at 24 years old. I used to be ashamed of who I was, but now, I take a lot of pride in where I’ve been because it allows me to truly empathize and understand people on a whole different level.

If you relate to this story, please share it with those in need. I want people to know that if they feel small, oppressed, or unheard, that it is possible for them to come out of those shadows, and grow into tall, beautiful, and prosperous trees. 🙂 

 

 

 

The Problem With Unconditional Love

Although this title looks controversial, it comes from a good place. A good place that many may look at as an unfortunate truth. Of course, we do not think highly of those who only love others conditionally when it benefits them whether it’s people who only love their romantic partners when they do certain things in the bedroom, people who only accept friends who can do favors for them or even parents who expect too much from their children and withdraw their love if their children can’t meet their unreasonable expectations. These are all examples of toxic situations that anyone would agree with, but what about the other extreme? What about the loving parents who give their kids everything they want? How about the people who are loyal to their friends or romantic partners no matter what? In this post, I will be discussing what I call, “the unintended consequences of good intentions.”

Hey, everyone! I’m very sorry that I have not made a blog post in a while. I needed to take some time for myself to re-evaluate things, catch up financially, and, of course, finish college! However, I am back now with my philosophical rants! I will be discussing things that I’ve learned through both personal experiences and objective research in regards to some of these issues in the contexts of different situations.

 

Parents & Their Children

I figured this is a good place to start because it is the most important relationship that can impact the rest of a person’s life. After all, the first 18 years are critical. Many assume that people with certain mental health challenges were brought up in abusive households, and although that is true in many cases, we often do not realize that mental illness can result from the other extreme; over-nurturing or pampering.

Don’t get me wrong, parents who pamper their children and give them lots of love and affection come from a good place. They mean well, and they want their kids to be happy and know they are loved. Although certain things may make their kids happy in the short-term, consequences usually don’t manifest until later in life. Too much love and affection not only promotes weakness and unhealthy dependency, but it can also foster a sense of entitlement and even grandiose narcissism as they grow up. To better understand this psychological phenomenon, I invite you to read this article on Pampered Child Syndrome.

To all the pampering parents out there reading this, I do not mean to offend you or make you feel guilty. Instead, I wish to make you aware of these issues so that you and your children can have a better future and avoid issues later on. It may be tough to see your kids struggle at times, but it’s a catalyst for growth. Of course, your children will need your help and support in their early years, but as time goes on, we want them to grow up to be confident and independent adults who can survive on their own, not burden you when they become adults, and, of course, be in a position to take care of you one day if needed.

I struggled a lot early in life, and I had a rough upbringing, but I see now how it shaped me into the man I am today. The most important lesson we need to teach our kids is that we will always love and support them with what they need, but the only way they can truly have everything they want is through hard work, dedication, commitment, and personal growth! For a better understanding and more strategies, I highly recommend checking out this video by family psychologist Dr. John Rosemond, who explains why saying “no” is critical to your child’s character development.

 

Friends

Friends are a blessing, and they definitely make life a lot more enjoyable. However, it is important not to get too caught up in our personal feelings and the concept of loyalty. Of course, loyalty is important in all personal relationships, but it can be misused. Being loyal to the right people will create healthy, mutualistic long-term bonds, but being loyal to the wrong people will create toxic, one-sided, and energy draining relationships that make you question who you are. In life, we must understand the difference between loyalty and integrity.

I grew up having a handful of toxic friends over the years who would do things that I didn’t agree with, but I passively accepted because I was weak, submissive, and did not think highly of myself at the time. I would often feel guilty and apologize for things they did! I hung around with those crowds for so long that I questioned myself, and it was all I really knew. Later on, I realized that I was an enabler, which made me a part of the problem. Luckily, I learned my lesson, and I no longer associate with people like that.

On the other hand, I did have a handful of good friends who came and went. Many who naturally just went a different path in life, and many who cut me out of their lives because I was a toxic friend. I wasn’t aware of that at the time because I was in so much emotional pain and wanted people to comfort me, yet I was not willing to get the real help that I needed. It wasn’t until I lost about 99% of all my friends that I did what I had to do.

The lesson here is not to ditch all your friends but to take an honest look at not only them but yourself as well. Never hang around with people who you do not want to be like. Also, don’t feel pressured to be loyal to people who aren’t healthy for you to be around. Remember that social detoxing is the best form of detoxing for your mental health. Having been on both ends of these situations, I can honestly say that I felt guilty about hurting people’s feelings when I cut them off, even though it was best for me. In addition, when I had good friends cut me off, it hurt like Hell, but I see now how it benefited me. If they stayed in my life, they would’ve been enablers, and I never would’ve had the chance to learn that valuable life lesson and grow. We must prioritize ourselves, and the right people and circumstances will come into our lives.

 

Romantic Relationships

Again, we come across the conflict between loyalty and integrity. These relationships are obviously more intimate than friendships, so we need to be aware of the impact we have on the other person. Passively accepting a person’s negative behavior not only harms you, but it also harms them. Unless a person has a strong enough reason or desire to change, they will not change. In the past, I have made this mistake in every relationship I had. I had relationships where the women I was with were toxic, and a few where I was the toxic one. Just like the friendships I had, I also experienced both ends in these scenarios.

Of course, when people we love have issues, we want to help them and take away their pain. However, healthy changes are entirely dependent upon the person’s willingness to make those changes. When someone’s problems become your problems, and the situation harms you more than it helps them, it’s okay to walk away. In fact, that’s what you should do because it will benefit you both. Your intentions may be good, but remember that being an enabler is just as harmful. It only took me 23 years to finally figure that out!

Here’s a little story about me: when I was 16 years old, I dated this girl, and things were great in the beginning. I had a lot of personal issues because I was neglected as a child, and I was addicted to the unconditional love she gave me. Unfortunately, I was way too clingy and needy, and I was not aware that it was an issue. She eventually confronted me about it, and I tried to stop being that way, but I didn’t try hard enough. Long story short, she did break up with me, and I was devastated. However, I realized later on that she taught me a very valuable lesson. My behavior was toxic, and if she never broke up with me, I’d still be that needy, clingy guy who never would’ve learned the lesson that led to my personal growth, and she would’ve been unfortunate to experience the emotional wear and tear of dealing with the guy I used to be. I used to be ashamed of who I was, but now, I take a lot of pride in where I’ve been because I see how I can help others by providing unique insight.

Later on, I ended up in relationships where I experienced the other end of that toxic dynamic where they were the needy ones and I was the enabler. I did genuinely care for them and want to help them, but it took a toll on my health every time. I have no regrets because it taught me some valuable lessons about how I was back when I was 16, and how to better handle certain situations.

The lesson here is to find healthy love. “For better or for worse” only really works when both people are committed and willing to work through things together. Don’t feel obligated to bear the weight of burdens you cannot handle. For more information on signs of a toxic relationship, I recommend this video by Psych2Go.

 

What Should I Do Now?

The most important thing you can do is know yourself well enough. Everything starts with self. Know who you want to be, and get a solid understanding of your core values to see if they match up to those you associate with the most. If you find your kindness being taken advantage of, it would be beneficial to get an understanding of the underlying reasons why. You want to do so to benefit not only yourself but others as well. One of best ways to understand yourself objectively is through the help of psychotherapy, you can find a local therapist on Psychology Today.

 

The First 18 Years Of Life: The “Critical Years.”

Do you ever see people behave a certain way and you wonder why? Many of us might look at a typical criminal, delinquent, drug addict, or underprivileged person as someone who “chose the wrong path” in life. After all, the law of attraction states that we have absolute control over our lives and can make anything happen. Often times, we blame and shame people for not choosing a better path in life, but we neglect to understand that all of our initial paths are chosen for us. 

 

What do I mean by this? Well, let’s see why the first 18 years of a typical person’s life are what I consider “the critical years.”

 

What Are “The Critical Years?”

Simply put, our childhoods can have the greatest impact on the rest of our lives, although they are the shortest years. Aside from receiving a formal education in grade school to allow us to be high functioning members of society, the first 18 years are critical in many other ways on all levels; physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and even financial.

Have you ever read the poem, “Children Learn What They Live” by Dorothy Law Nolte? Well, there’s a lot of truth to it because children learn by modeling the behaviors of others around them; their parents, siblings, relatives, teachers, friends, friends’ parents, idols, TV characters, etc. They simply don’t know better, and they learn to survive in their immediate environments. This is why parents need to be very careful about what their children are being exposed to, whether or not it’s intentional.

As I mentioned earlier, initially, our paths in life are chosen for us. We have no say over the families we are born into, the cultural norms we’re introduced to, our physical appearances, or even the names we are given! Those are all chosen for us by our parents. Then, over the course of the next 18 years, our parents have legal custodial rights over us, so they tell us what to do, they raise us the way they want to raise us, we practice the religions and traditions they practice, they dress us how they want, feed us what they want, and we live where ever they live. In addition, we go to the school in the city/town we live in, we’re forced to learn things we don’t particularly want to learn at the time (although it helps us later in life), and we are limited to the people in our community to build friendships with.

So essentially, we spend the first 18 years of our lives being told what to do and controlled by the adult authority figures in our lives, and they condition us to be a certain way. Now, this can either be a good or a bad thing, but in the beginning, it is not up to us at all.

We often shame and blame people for ending up a certain way, when in reality, it was not 100% up to them in the first place, and their first belief systems were conditioned in them early on by their families, teachers, and other role models. Also, they may not have the outside guidance or support to get out of their own minds. In fact, in the book “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health” by L. Ron Hubbard, he states that our brains are like very powerful computers, but any computer is only as good as the data put into it. In other words, we only know what we are exposed to.

 

Will This Affect The Rest Of My Life?!

Here’s the thing; it CAN affect the rest of your life, but whether or not it WILL is entirely up to you. The first issue is a lack of awareness. We cannot change or solve a problem without being aware of it first. If we’re limited by all we currently know, we may perceive what we do as totally normal. Feel free to check out this video by The School of Life which explains how a messed up childhood can affect adulthood.

I’m a firm believer in the law of attraction. In fact, I’ve watched “The Secret” multiple times! You don’t have to let your early life experiences dictate your adulthood! However, in order to be able to develop a higher conscious awareness and bypass your initial conditioning, things need to start changing on a deeper, psychological level. We must take the time and make the effort to go through a process of learning and relearning, and we need to step out of our comfort zones in order to break out of the subconscious paradigms that dictate our thoughts, behaviors, and lives. You may check out this video by Bob Proctor where he explains it in further detail.

The greater truth about life is that, no matter what anyone tells you, you can be, do, and have anything you want no matter how big it is. The key is to be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it and to be able to accept the reality for what it is. If you can do those two things, you’re golden. I myself have not achieved success yet, but I’ve learned from many who have.

 

Great! What Should I Do In The Meantime?

Well, the best place to start is to look deep down within yourself and figure out what you truly want. Not what your parents want for you, not what your friends want for you, and not even what society expects from you. What do you really want? What are you passionate about? What makes you excited? If you need help putting ideas onto paper, I recommend creating a 10-10 list like the one from “Micro-Entrepreneurship For Dummies” by Paul Mladjenovic. Whether or not you wish to be an entrepreneur, the list may help bring you clarity.

No matter what you choose to do in life, the good people in your life will support and respect you no matter what. They will also be happy for you whether or not you stay in close contact. Anyone who criticizes or hates on you is not worth keeping around. Remember that environment is stronger than willpower, so surround yourself with those who will lift you up!

If you feel the need for counseling services to help you work through struggles and learn more about yourself, you may do a search on Psychology Today. If by any chance you are in an unhealthy or dangerous living situation, please refer to The National Domestic Violence Hotline or call emergency services immediately.

If you are still a minor, and your parents abuse you in any way, understand that it’s not your fault and you don’t deserve it. Also, please refer to www.childhelp.org or talk to a trusted adult at school or any safe place. Worst case scenario, don’t be afraid to contact emergency services.

Otherwise, if all else is well, don’t be afraid to work towards the life you truly want deep down and express yourself to the fullest! Work hard to convert dreams into goals, goals into plans, and plans into actions! You only get one life, so make the best of it!

 

Even Our Heroes Need Heroes: How We Can Save Those Brave Warriors Who’ve Saved Us.

In the United States, many of us take pride in our country with enthusiastic patriotism. We especially feel grateful (and even emotional) for all of the brave men and women who risk their lives and make great sacrifices to fight for our country and protect us from harm’s way. We love our heroes, which is why we have two major holidays for them each year, Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

However, did you know that in 2014, 7,388 veterans committed suicide? That’s a 38.4% suicide rate which averages out to about 20 suicides a day. 🙁

It’s incredibly heartbreaking and disgraceful to know that these brave men and women sacrificed so much and lost everything later on. Many may wonder why this happens. According to onceasoldier.org, the two main contributing factors are PTSD and poor VA assistance. In fact, about 70% of them didn’t receive any VA assistance at all!

In honor of Memorial Day, I wish to honor these brave souls who lost their battles and to encourage others to do what they can to help those still alive and in need.

 

Why Do They End Their Lives?

As a mental health advocate, and a long-term sufferer of PTSD, I can provide some insight. Just know that what I experienced does not even compare to what many of these brave souls have experienced. PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a serious anxiety disorder and a result of experiencing any type of traumatic event and feeling the psychological aftermath long afterward. It is usually diagnosed when symptoms continue to persist a month after the traumatic event. I like to think of it as the battle one continues to fight inside their head. For more information on PTSD, please check out this video that explained it to me shortly before I was officially diagnosed with it 3 years ago. You can watch it here.

To sum it up, PTSD is a devastating illness that can affect all aspects of one’s life. Just keep in mind that it’s not only caused by war but also car accidents, various forms of assault and abuse, bullying, loss of a loved one, etc. Therefore, we must not minimize anyone’s situation if it’s considered “not as bad.”

Although it can be scary and detrimental, there is hope and it can be worked through. Various forms of therapy have helped me learn to manage my symptoms and live a happy and healthy life. However, what worked for me may not work exactly for everyone else. If you or someone you love is suffering from PTSD, and you need to find a therapist, you can visit Psychology Today. If you are a veteran yourself or know any veterans in need, you may also refer to the VA’s National Center for PTSD.

 

Why Doesn’t Everyone Reach Out For Help?

This can be a tricky topic. The sad truth in any situation is that as much as we would love to help everyone, each individual has some level of personal responsibility for his or her own well-being. It’s like the old saying, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

However, when it comes to strong, brave, noble heroes such as soldiers and even firefighters and law enforcement, there’s more to it. You see, society praises them, respects them, and even looks up to them. Although society, in general, has the best intentions at heart, they are unaware of the fact that many of these heroes feel pressured to maintain that strong public image to make others feel safe and secure. Little do they realize the consequences it has on themselves. This depends entirely on the individuals and their past experiences, but I’ve seen these behaviors in a lot of the veterans in my own family and friends over the years.

In other words, most of us look up to our heroes and see them as strong, fearless, and even invincible. We turn to them so much in our darkest times when we’re afraid, we fail to think about their vulnerabilities that they keep hidden from us. It’s not that we’re mean or selfish, but more so that we’re simply misinformed because we only see what’s immediately being presented to us. They aid our survival, so we adhere to them as allies who have our backs and can protect us no matter what. Luckily, with a greater awareness of some of the deeper issues and hidden scars, there are things we can do for the veterans we know and love.

 

How Can We Help Our Beloved Veterans?

Before we talk about things we can do as family and friends of veterans, just keep in mind that anyone battling serious mental disorders and/or addictions will require professional treatments, monitoring, and support to get positive results. Again, more information on treatment options for veterans is available at the VA’s National Center for PTSD.

As family and friends, we can offer our love and support to our beloved heroes by simply talking to them and allowing them to openly express their vulnerabilities in a safe, welcoming manner. Isolation and loneliness can be one of the worst things for a person suffering from PTSD and other disorders. Remember that maintaining a strong public image is easier on them if they have good people in their lives who can witness and accept their weak moments in the comfort of their homes with open arms.

Also, encourage them to avoid toxic relationships and situations with others, as those can trigger them, reopen wounds, and slow down the recovery process. A good support network with a healthy variety can help keep them in the right direction. Learn more about ideal support networks here. Just remember, it’s okay for anyone to be “strong enough to be weak” when necessary.

If you are a veteran currently suffering from PTSD from the war or other issues, please visit www.va.gov for helpful resources. If you’re in a crisis, you can visit www.veteranscrisisline.net. You’ve saved many of our lives, and now it’s our turn to save yours.

Lastly, anyone who wishes to help families of soldier suicide recover from financial crises, you may visit www.onceasoldier.org to make donations or even buy merch! This Memorial Day, we can honor those who are no longer with us by helping their families and spreading the word to save at-risk veterans.

 

To all the veterans who are reading this blog post, I cannot thank you enough for the incredible sacrifices you’ve made to protect our country. Nothing would make me happier than to help lead you to the lives of freedom and happiness you very much deserve! You are loved. <3

The Most Important Person To Take Care Of: Yourself!

Hey everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t made a blog post in awhile, life got a little crazy for awhile. However, what I dealt with in the last month and a half inspired me to write this post.

 

What Have I Been Up To?

For those of you who’ve been following my content, you know that aside from being a mental health advocate/social media influencer, I am also a full-time college student and an Uber driver. School work and driving have taken up a lot of time, which also included an entrepreneurship competition I participated in through school. I began to feel a little overwhelmed because I lost a lot in the last 2 years; I had the majority of my friends and family turn their backs on me along my journey through recovery and success. I also had a failed engagement earlier this year, but I choose to move forward and wish those who come and go in my life nothing but the best. In addition, I did not make it to the final round in that entrepreneurship competition.

 

My Mistakes.

I was not taking good enough care of myself. Although I continually put in the work with my entrepreneurial venture along with school and making money driving and doing other things, I wasn’t giving myself the chance to really feel the feelings of grief after my failed relationship, losing a lot of friends and family members, coming off of all medication, etc. In other words, I was being a workaholic by overworking myself, isolating from others, and focusing on everyone else’s needs and not my own. I was afraid to express my own vulnerabilities because I was always forced to be the strong one. One valuable life lesson I’ve had to learn many times is that helping others when you’re not in a good position to help yourself is like plugging up holes in your raft while others continue to create new ones.

“Helping others when you’re not in a good position to help yourself is like plugging up holes in your raft while others continue to create new ones.”

 

How I Solved The Issues.

I did what I had to do to take care of myself. Just to clarify, I don’t mean that people should be selfish and deceitful, I mean that we need to have healthy levels of respect for ourselves, give to ourselves when necessary, fill ourselves up before we overflow to give to others, and accept what we can’t control along with not being taken advantage of. You may check out one of my previous blog posts titled “The Downfall Of The Empath” to learn more about the imbalance between caring too much about others and not enough about yourself. As much as I love helping people, I’m only one person. Luckily, I’ve started coming up with new ways to help more people indirectly. Tony Robbins once said that he doesn’t look to create dependency, but rather to work with people and teach them strategies to get themselves in a better place. Just like the old saying, “give a man a fish, and feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life.”

Aside from taking on more than I could handle, my vision for the future was too broad and lacked clarity. One thing that helped me feel better and reassess was the mindfulness group I joined. I began practicing mindfulness on and off about two years ago but joining a group really taught me better skills along with the power of a group. I love having opportunities to do group work because of the energy in the room we can share and exchange with one another.

Aside from my personal life, my business venture is undergoing improvements. I learned from mentors to be coachable and learn to accept criticism (whether or not it’s constructive). Although I lost the competition at school, I had the privilege of obtaining the judges’ comments to see what areas I need to improve on. This, along with working with my personal business counselors and mentors, helped me clarify my vision and make a concrete (but dynamic) plan to get to where I want to be. Having struggled with mental health issues and low self-esteem early in life, I used to be sensitive to criticism. In fact, it hurt my feelings. However, once I decided what I truly wanted in life, I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. Once I learned how to handle constructive criticism, I saw how it benefited me and improved my skills. My experiences helped build me into the man I am today, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

 

My Advice To You & What I Will Do Going Forward.

Most importantly, never neglect your own needs whether they’re physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, financial, etc. It’s okay to take a break, or to cry, or to be angry at times. The key is to not be DE-structive but rather be CON-structive. Allow yourself to feel and express emotions in a healthy way that won’t harm yourself or others. The key is to have the right support network and not have people who will make you feel worse or cause you harm. To learn more about what I call “social detoxing”, feel free to check out this article I published on wellness.com here.

In addition, with anything you do, whether it’s recovery, entrepreneurship, or any form of achievement in life, always be willing to reach out for help and accept that you don’t know everything. In other words, always be willing to learn and grow. I used to fall victim to my ego, and I do still slip up once in awhile to be honest, but I learned that egocentric bias can stunt one’s personal, intellectual, and spiritual growth.

 

“Egocentric bias can stunt one’s personal, intellectual, and spiritual growth.”

 

I will continue to learn and grow. I will help myself when necessary to stay in a position where I can overflow and help others. Helping others is what I love to do and that’s how it’s always been. My weakness was always failing to take care of myself, so I will continue to achieve and maintain a healthy balance. I will also continue to provide you valuable content!

Before I go, I wanted to let you guys know that I started doing vlogs on YouTube! I decided to document my overall journey to happiness and success to show people what the entrepreneur’s journey to success before it happens is really like. I figured that the internet is flooded with entrepreneurs who tell their before stories and then show off their mansions and 7 Lamborghinis. Not that I want all those material items, but I wish to show rather than just tell my before story.

I don’t get to post vlogs on YouTube as often as I’d like. However, I do post on this new app called Huddle every day! If you wish to see more of me and my journey on a regular basis, please check out Huddle!

You may follow the link to see my first vlog post!

Thank you for being a part of my journey, it truly means the world to me. I hope I can help you achieve optimal happiness in life. 🙂

 

 

There Is Such A Thing As “Love At First Sight”, It’s Called Lust…

Have you ever found “love at first sight”? I certainly have, and it FAILED MISERABLY!!

You see, I’ve realized through not only my experiences but also the experiences of others, that many people fantasize about finding love at first sight much like Romeo and Juliet did. However, is love at first sight actually realistic? You’re about to find out!

Hey everyone! Sorry for being inactive lately. I have been very busy with school as well as finding ways to improve your experiences with my website. For now, I bring you another philosophical rant of mine!

Please keep in mind that this post is not meant to offend any person or couple. It is strictly informative.

 

What’s The Difference Between Lust And Love?

After having many failed relationships in the past, I turned to science to find out more about what love actually is having never experienced it in a healthy way. The truth about love is that it’s very complex, and it’s about more than just the physical attraction to another person, or in other words, lust. Lust is known as one of the 7 deadly sins, and it’s defined as an intense sexual desire or appetite. However, it’s perfectly natural (as explained by our parents when we started puberty!). Lol. Luckily, science does confirm that! Let’s take a look at my diagram below, which is directly from Chapter 15 of my book.

 

Basically, lust, or “physical attraction”, is the initial part of finding love. Let’s face it, we don’t go after people we are not particularly attracted to. This is because, on a basic animalistic level, we want to find the best mates to reproduce with and ensure we pass on our genes with a partner who also has good genes to ensure the survival of our offspring and our species as a whole. This is why when we see an attractive person across the bar, the first thought that comes to mind is probably, “I’d tap that!” Unfortunately, the human world is far more complex than the animal kingdom, so we have to take other factors into consideration before it can be what I consider “love beyond lust.”

When I first did scientific research on the topic of love, I learned from Laci Green (from D News) that love comes in 3 stages: lust, attraction, and attachment. Lust, like I already mentioned, is the intense physical attraction at the beginning, Attraction is when those intense feelings linger as two people get to know each other better, and Attachment is when intensity tends to diminish, and a couple can actually build a healthy life together and rely on one another. To learn more about this, please check out Laci Green’s video here.

 

Beyond Just Physical Attraction!

Referring back to my diagram above, once physical attraction is established, a couple must establish mutual trust, mutual respect, and mutual loyalty. In order for a relationship to be healthy, it is essential that both people treat each other properly and respect one another. Otherwise, it’s a toxic relationship that is very likely to either fail or result in long-term resentment, misery, and physical ailments. Let’s face it, if someone mistreats you, no matter how physically attractive they are, you will not be happy and they will drive you crazy. Remember, a hot body doesn’t make up for a hot head.

 

 

So I Can Just Be Happy With Someone Who’s Nice And Attractive?

Whoa, slow down there! Nice and attractive is essential, but aside from those, there are other key components to a healthy and successful relationship. It’s not enough to find each other attractive and be nice to one another; couples need to have common grounds and complementary attributes in order to last long-term and be happy. Common grounds, as depicted in the diagram, are things such as common interests, common goals, common values, common beliefs. Without these common grounds, couples could be holding each other back from expressing themselves to the fullest. In addition to common grounds, complementary attributes are different attributes, usually opposite of one another, that allow couples to sort of balance each other out. A good generic example would be if one was good at cooking and cleaning, and the other was good at regular house maintenance, they could team up and do that for one another.

 

What If I Can’t Make My Partner Happy?

The other thing we must consider is that each person is only responsible for his or her own happiness. In other words, if you cannot make someone happy, you are not the problem, the problem is with the other person. A prerequisite to finding love is finding one’s self. It’s imperative to know who you are, what you truly want in life, and to have a healthy level of respect for yourself. Remember, you don’t want to build on a weak foundation.

 

What If I Don’t Love Myself Like I Should?

In addition to that, I also did research on some non-drug related addictions relative to this topic such as sex addiction, love addiction, and codependency. Sadly, especially with sex addicts, there is a negative connotation in our society that all male sex addicts are perverts, pigs, fuck boys, porn freaks, and sometimes even pedophiles. Males aren’t the only victims, in fact, many female sex addicts are looked at as sluts, whores, hoes, skanks, etc. What I learned in my research is that the root cause of these kinds of addictions (sex, love, and codependency) stem from feelings of inadequacy, unworthiness, loneliness, and fear early in life. Many of these people feel isolated from family, friends, and even themselves.

Their biggest problem is that they do not know how to love properly; that’s a major common factor in sex addicts, love addicts, and the codependent. Since there are such imbalances and a lack of psychological needs early on, they often want more than what one person can give. This is why many of their relationships fail and the vicious circle continues. So, next time you think of calling that man a disgusting pervert or that woman a trashy slut, don’t do it because if you do, you will be hurting a helpless victim who was most likely abused or neglected as a child. If you find yourself struggling with any of these issues, you can go to these resources for sex addiction, love addiction, and/or codependency.

 

Next time you think of calling that man a disgusting pervert or calling that woman a trashy slut, don’t do it because if you do, you will be hurting a helpless victim who was most likely abused or neglected as a child.

 

What Should I Do Now?

Before I go, I just wanted to inform people that love is supposed to be a wonderful experience. If it’s not, that person is not right for you. However, this does not mean that broken things can’t always be fixed, it just takes both people to fix it because each person in the relationship only has 50% control. If both people in that relationship are willing to put 100% into each of their 50%’s, the relationship can be repaired. If not, worst case scenario, it may be time to let go. To learn more about the best ways to end a relationship, please check out my other blog post.

 

 

Don’t Ever Let ANYONE Tell You That You Can’t Do Something!

Does my featured photo piss you off? Well, it should!!

Please know that it’s not meant to insult you, rather it’s just meant to get your attention.

Hi everyone, I’m back! Sorry that I haven’t posted in awhile, life has been quite busy lately. What inspired me to do this post today, aside from my personal experiences with haters and people close to me discouraging me, was watching the movie, The Pursuit of Happiness, over the weekend where Will Smith plays Chris Gardner, a highly successful stockbroker, and businessman, who struggled with homelessness in the early 1980s while being a single father to his toddler son. What’s inspirational about it is that the movie is based on a true story. In fact, Chris Gardner, in real life, is now a very successful entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker, and philanthropist!

The movie itself was inspiring, but there was one particular scene in that movie that stuck with me. Chris (played by Will Smith) and his son, Chris Jr., were playing basketball together. Chris Jr. said he wanted to grow up to be a pro basketball player, and his father told him he would never be successful at that. Poor little Chris Jr. was pissed off (rightfully so), and he was very discouraged. However, Chris turned around and said to his son, “Don’t ever let somebody tell you that you can’t do something. Not even me.” 

To me, hearing a parent humbly say that to their child is very inspiring because I didn’t have that growing up. Bypassing that kind of egocentric bias takes a lot of courage, and it’s sometimes very hard to do. Like I mentioned before about parents who discourage their children from thinking big; it’s not because they’re mean, it’s because they want what’s best for their kids. If they don’t know or truly understand what it takes to succeed at something bigger than what they can fathom, they’re afraid to have their kids take major risks that can make them or break them. They simply want to know that their kids will be financially stable and secure in the future, and they may not even realize that they are hurting them by feeding them with words of discouragement. Luckily, those kids have the choice to let what their parents tell them to make them or break them.

The way I see it, there are two main motivators in life; the good feelings we wish to have more of, and the bad feelings we wish to have less of. Good feelings are the feelings we get when we get a bonus paycheck, graduate high school, graduate college, get a promotion, have someone tell us we did a great job, accomplish any big goal we set for ourselves, or even a nice, relaxing vacation to Cancun where we enjoy the beach, the palm trees, and have a fun time! It’s those good feelings that derive from good experiences to tell us, “Damn, I’d love to have these experiences more often!” On the flip side, there are also the bad feelings such as haters telling us we suck, failing at things, being in debt, people who doubted us saying, “I told you so”, having a less than ideal living situation, having an asshole boss, a messy breakup, or just being discouraged by the people closest to us. Those are the feelings we want to have less of. We may say, “This sucks, I don’t ever want to go through this again.”

The way I see it, there are two main motivators in life; the good feelings we wish to have more of, and the bad feelings we wish to have less of.

The question is, “How do we have more good experiences and less bad ones?” Well, the key here is that we must learn to be grateful for what we have in life, and look at everything as if the glass is half full rather than half empty. Remember that every failure is simply just a learning opportunity and a new discovery of something that doesn’t work. Every bad experience we have in life adds new, interesting chapters to our success stories. What makes you cry today may make you laugh tomorrow. It comes to a point where we must refuse to be a victim anymore, and keep moving forward no matter what.

Every bad experience we have in life adds new, interesting chapters to our success stories.

Whether you wish to succeed at starting your own business, landing the job you want, becoming the best at your current job, or even achieving optimal health and happiness despite your past struggles, YOU CAN DO IT! It may be difficult, but difficult does not mean impossible. If other people have done it, that’s proof right there that it’s not impossible! If the people you surround yourself with discourage you, just take what they say with a grain of salt, and find clever ways to surround yourself with people who encourage you, support you, and even help you to achieve your goals.

Difficult does not mean impossible. If other people have done it, that’s proof right there that it’s not impossible!

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve had words of discouragement most of my life from family, friends, former employers, colleagues, haters, etc. I’ve had failures where those same people said, “I told you so.”, to me. That made me feel like shit!! Every time I got knocked down, even after being in and out of mental hospitals for multiple suicide attempts, I kept getting back up. My rock bottom moments made me discover how strong I truly am, and that I’m way tougher than any of the people that picked on me growing up.

I always had this feeling inside me that I’d be successful someday, and I would inspire others. When I was 17, I was working at a grocery store bagging groceries, collecting carts in the parking lot, and mopping floors when it needed to be done. That year, I had a manager tell me, “you’re a worthless piece of shit, Jack, and you’re going nowhere in life!” That really hurt me at the time. I was stuck at that job until I was 21, but by the time I was 18-19, I started taking it more seriously. Managers came and went, so I got fresh starts, and the newer managers liked me. I was a hard worker once I stopped fooling around, and one of the managers said to me, “If I had 6 more Jacks working here, I’d have fewer grey hairs on my head.” Therefore, it’s never too late to make changes. Sometimes, you just need to ask yourself, “Do I really want people who discourage me to say, ‘I told you so’, over and over again?” If not, you know what needs to be done. Keep moving forward, keep doing the next right thing, and listen to the credible opinions that will get you to where you need to be.

Sometimes, you just need to ask yourself, “Do I really want people who discourage me to say, ‘I told you so’, over and over again?” 

Before I go, I just want to encourage you to always do what’s best for you and to remind you that no matter how bad your current reality is, it can always improve drastically if you work it. You are unlimited, and nothing will stop you if you go for what you want!

I will now leave you with an image I created and uploaded to Instagram to give you a motivational boost (and a laugh, lol). Feel free to follow me!

Parenting Advice From A Millennial (Who Has No Children Of His Own).

Hey everyone! Sorry for being inactive the past few weeks. Things have been quite hectic, but I’m back with more of my philosophical rants! The title might have people bit confused. After all, how can a young guy with no kids give anyone parenting advice? Well, to answer your question, I may not be a parent, but being the oldest of my siblings, I’ve had parental responsibilities put on me since I was about 15-16 years old. My parents got divorced when I was 11 years old, so when things got tough, and they both had to work, I had to step in and help out the younger ones when necessary. It wasn’t easy, but it taught me a lot. Aside from that, I’ve also had younger cousins, friends with kids, and witnessed a lot of different family dynamics. I’ve given solid parenting advice to parents whether they were my age or my parents’ age, and I was able to help them understand things that they didn’t understand previously.

 

The reason why I’m publishing this blog post is that in my work, I’ve seen a lot of people’s mental health disorders root back to their upbringings and how their parents treated them growing up. Being a victim of abuse myself, I resonate with it very well. I’m not here to bad mouth any parents out there. In fact, I strongly believe that all parents do the absolute best they can with what they’ve been given in life and what they knew at the time. One thing I often tell parents who struggle is that in order to be the best parent you can be, you need to be the best YOU you can be. Here are some helpful ways to achieve both.

In order to be the best parent you can be, you need to be the best YOU you can be.

One of the best things parents can do is learn from the mistakes of their parents. I’ve witnessed many people repeat their parents’ mistakes, while others learn from them and do better. The problem is that we’re all limited to our own knowledge and experiences, and many are often unaware that they are doing what their parents did to them. Awareness is the first step to making a positive change. Once a person is aware of an issue, he/she will then know about it and can make a change. Many people, in general, may struggle with having an ego, and I believe that having a big ego can stunt mental, intellectual, and spiritual growth. When it comes to the people we love, especially our children, it’s time to be humble and accept that we don’t know everything. Once we can do that, we can develop the willingness to ask questions and learn from others with expertise.

In addition to that, parents must understand that there is indeed a fine line between discipline and abuse. The purpose of disciplining a child is ultimately to help them, not to hurt them. We discipline our children when they do wrong to properly condition them so they can live a happy, successful, and stable life. It’s all part of growth and development; children must have a solid understanding of right and wrong, and parents teach them that by rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior. The problem here is that most everyone has a sense of right and wrong, but not everyone has the same sense of right and wrong. It’s solely based on the knowledge and experiences of the individuals. When parents cross that line, beyond discipline, where they abuse their children, whether or not they realize what they’re doing, it does the children more harm than good which can escalate later in life. This is why it’s crucial to differentiate between the two.

Sometimes when children misbehave, it can be the parents’ fault, or they might be crying out for help. Children may act out or misbehave due to lack of healthy social bonding between parents and family members, which is why it’s good for parents to be involved in their kids’ lives as much as possible. Children only want their parents’ acceptance. Also, if a child is acting crazy or unstable, they don’t need to be punished, they need to be treated. In other words, they most likely need some kind of professional help for whatever is troubling them. I didn’t start seeking professional help for my mental illnesses until I was 20 years old. Before that, when I was a teenager, my mother would always punish me and make me feel worthless when I acted out as a result of my mental instability. It taught me a valuable lesson though, that parents need to have an open door policy with their children in which children can be open and honest about their struggles. That way, the parents can get them help as soon as possible. If children are afraid of their parents, they’re gonna keep things hidden from them, which can have serious long-term consequences.

In addition to the open door policy, the same thing applies to a child’s education as well. We all know that education is very important, but too many parents put too much pressure on their children when it comes to their grades. Many parents will yell at their children or punish them if they do poorly in school, but little do they realize that this makes things worse. After incidents like that, children are often afraid to speak up about their academic struggles, and they hide things from their parents. My advice to parents is that if your children are doing poorly in school, don’t yell at them or punish them for it. Instead, offer your support and ask them what you can do to help them improve their academic performance. Of course, if they’re slacking off intentionally, there will need to be some disciplinary action, but if they’re really trying but just struggling, please offer to help them however you can. They will do much better in the long-run.

If your children are doing poorly in school, don’t yell at them or punish them for it. Instead, offer your support and ask them what you can do to help them improve their academic performance.

Much like education, parents must be as supportive as possible when it comes to their childrens’ goals, passions, dreams, aspirations, etc. Many parents may not be totally supportive of their childrens’ passions in life, and that can be detrimental not only to their childrens’ mental health and sense of self-worth, but also to their relationships with their parents. This refers back to egocentric bias; many parents want their children to conform to their beliefs because they may believe there is no other way of life. When, in fact, there are infinite ways of life, and everyone has the right to choose the path that’s best suited for them. As a parent, the best thing you can do, even if you disagree with what your children want to do in life, is be as morally supportive as possible, encourage them to succeed in what they love, and accept the fact that you may not know what it actually takes for them to be successful in their niche. After all, you wouldn’t want your kids to lose that drive after being discouraged and live under your roof well into their 40s…

Lastly, I want to remind everyone that it does take two to tango. Like I mentioned earlier, “in order to be the best parent you can be, you need to be the best YOU you can be.” Well, remember that parenting is a team effort, so not only do you need to be the best parent you can be, but you also need to make sure the other parent, or your partner, is also fit to be a parent. The best way to avoid this mistake, if you haven’t already had children, is to make sure to do enough work on yourself, and find yourself before you find love. Also, to make wise decisions (in choosing a partner) based on love and logic rather than lust and emotion. However, if you already have children, and your in a toxic relationship with the other parent, don’t think you need to stay with that person for any reason. Ending that kind of relationship will benefit you and the children in the long-run. All you can do is work on yourself enough so that you can be the best parent you can be, and be part of your childrens’ lives no matter what. They say that when you get divorced or separated, and you have children together, make sure to love your children more than you dislike each other. Remember, everything affects the kids, so please make wise decisions, and don’t get the children too involved with these adult issues.


In closing, I just want to remind everyone that I do not mean any disrespect whatsoever to anyone’s family, country, culture, religion, belief system, etc. My goal is to help parents help their children as much as possible to not only help them succeed in life, but also to strengthen those parent-child relationships. No matter what, parents, always ask yourself these questions. “Do I love my children?”, “Do I want what’s best for my children?”, and , “Would I do anything for my children?” If the answers to those questions are yes, yes, and YES!, you know what to do. Be humble, accept that you don’t know everything, be willing to educate yourself as much as possible, and be as loving and supportive to your children as possible. If you can do that, your children will be happy, successful, and grateful. More importantly, they will thank you and love you forever. Let’s work on improving these next generations for years to come!

Let’s work on improving these next generations for years to come!