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The Obstacle Is The Way
See that wall?
Everything you want is on the other side.
Your freedom is on the other side.
Freedom from your past. Freedom from everything you never wanted to be. Freedom from everything you are not.
You know you have to get to the other side. Your life depends on it. Not that you will die if you don’t get to the other side, but you might as well be dead. If you stay, you lose, which makes you a loser. Do you want to stay a loser, or do you want to get to the other side? The choice is yours, the time is now.
Can you go over it? Under it? Around it? You can try, but you shouldn’t. Why? Because you know the only way is through. The obstacle is the way. In fact, the obstacle in the obstacle is the way. You will never get to the other side unless you smash that thing head on, as hard as you can. You will need: strength, power, momentum, and most importantly, a direct hit. You can’t half-ass this. There is no room for anything less than 110%. If you are not going for it, you might as well just lay down, right here, in the mud and shit you’ve been sitting in for years.
“Do or do not do, there is no try.” – Yoda
Do not fool yourself in to thinking there is an alternative. Every reason you are giving yourself to not hit that wall at 200mph is fear. It may be disguising itself as something else, but it’s fear. What are you afraid of? That it’s going to hurt? Hell yeah it’s going to hurt, but not half as bad is it did putting all those bricks up in the first place. You built this thing yourself, or don’t you realize that? Piece by piece you built this, all by yourself. You are a genius. You pretended it was something else. You thought you were fooling everyone around you, but all you did was fool yourself. Now you’re the fool. Now you are going to try and sit here and ignore it? Fuck you. If you walk away from this now you didn’t learn a damn thing. If you quit now you will never amount to anything. It is right there! It’s right in front of you! The obstacle is the way you motherfucker! Own it. It’s all yours.
What Do I Do Now?
Now that you know the task at hand, you need to prepare. What is the best way? How do you attack something like this? Chances are you don’t know anyone that needs to get through a wall like you built. If you do, you needed to have asked them 5 minutes ago, why are you reading this shit? Anyways, back to me. My strategy? It’s a book. Prison Diary(a). Not the most sophisticated title, but it’s unique and funny, just like me. (This is not a book commercial, so I’ll get back to the article.) Part of me getting to the “other side” is airing out all my dirty laundry. A lot of it is in the book, which gets very dark and very personal in between all the funny anecdotes. It will come out in blogs and vlogs and through questions that you all ask me. If I don’t put it all out in the open up front, I don’t feel we would be able to have a genuine dialogue. If it’s not going to be 100% real, it’s not going to be helpful, and the goal is to be helpful. Rebuilding is the goal here. Once you acknowledge the wall, and acknowledge you need to smash it, you need to do it. My perspectives can help, but only with honesty, so that’s where I am starting.
The question I get most frequently: Wasn’t there enough “honesty” with all the press/media coverage when you got arrested and through your trial? The answer is hell yes and hell no. The media wants the most sensationalized version. Truth isn’t really a prerequisite. On top of that, the DA doesn’t really want the truth either. They also want the most sensationalized version. When you mix the media with the DA and the prosecutions side feeding the media, things will inevitably get a little skewed. I don’t blame them, it’s their job. That doesn’t mean it was great being on the other end, but I get it. There are two sides to every story, and this is where I start mine. I am not here to defend myself, I am a total fucking idiot. Hands down. No questions asked. I am also not here to try and tell you my version of events. How you view the situation is how you view it. Nothing I say can change your mind, so I won’t bother. I have met a lot of people who see the situation one way, and we are cool, and I have heard about people taking the media/DAs perspective, and we are not cool. Nothing much else to say. I don’t really care which side of the fence you are on. It would be nice if there weren’t people who thought poorly of me, but you can’t make everyone like you. In fact, if everyone likes you, you are doing something wrong. There will always be haters, I just gave them a head start.
Fear of Failure – Getting Through The Wall
Are you afraid of failing? What does failure look like to you? What does it mean to be a failure?
A question I am getting a lot through the website is: aren’t you afraid of putting more crap out there? Aren’t the articles bad enough? The answer is yes and no. I don’t want to talk about this stuff anymore. I would love to bury it and never see it again, but because of the internet that is not an option. When you search my name, all you get is shit. A couple Starving Millionaires references, some Long Beach Records, maybe a couple of my social media sites, but 99% shit. That is NEVER going away. All I can do is do more stuff, better stuff, to filter out the garbage. Unless I do something and let everyone know about it my name will forever be “Google Goop”, “Bing Boo-Boo,” or “Yahoo Yuck.” The only way to change that is to go big. So that is what I am doing.
I am not worried about failure at all. I have already failed enough for 10 lifetimes.
I read a lot of entrepreneurial books. Authors like: Tim Ferriss (@TFerriss), James Altucher (@JAltucher), Jack Canfield (@JackCanfield), Ryan Holiday (@RyanHoliday), and Tony Robbins (@TonyRobbins). One of their first suggested steps is to figure out what you are afraid of. When you are starting at the bottom like me, the only place to go is up. It’s impossible to get any worse than: losing your job, having your mug shot on the front page of all Bay Area newspapers (where you live and grew up), lose 50% of your household income, lose your dignity, privacy, work relationships, and some friends (who were never real friends to begin with, you just didn’t realize that until now, Marco). What the hell is worse than that? Maybe if my head falls off. Then it would be a tie.
Actually Getting Through The Wall
How do you go through a wall? What is my strategy? Like the great James Altucher (@JAltucher) says, “I can only tell you what works for me.” To be honest, I can’t imagine my strategy not working. It’s been amazing for me. Taken about a year to get it locked in, and I’m always looking to fine tune it and make it even better, so I still consider it a work in progress, but it is fantastic. It all centers around one concept: STRUCTURE. To me, structure allows for maximized productivity and absolute freedom. As someone with ADHD, I would have laughed my ass off if you suggested structure as a way for personal freedom a few years ago………
Give me wild and free baby! No rules!
Just take life as it comes and ebb and flow along the way. I got this! Versatility is what I do.
If that’s what you do, you will never truly be free. You will be a prisoner of this world and everyone around you. You will constantly be moving and doing what the world tells you to, in control of nothing, like a dog on a leash. Here boy! You can either look at yourself honestly or not. I don’t care. If you want freedom, if you want success, and if you want to see what you are really made of, you need structure. You can thrive through discipline.
My structure is, well, structured, around five (5) things: 1. Sleep 2. Day/Work prep 3. Nutrition 4. Physical and 5. Neurological Functioning. They all work together, they all make each other stronger or weaker if they are not managed correctly, but they need to be treated individually.
- Sleep – Fricken sleep!!! 8 hours. 9 hours. Get real sleep. This is where your body recovers. Without recovery how are you going to attack tomorrow with the same intensity as you did today? You can try to power through, but you will never be at 100% without a good nights sleep. Don’t eat too late, don’t drink too much, don’t watch crazy shit on TV right before bed (your brain processes the last 45 minutes of the day 7x more than anything else during sleep. You really want to be thinking about Pablo Escobar blowing up planes all night? Hell no).
Me: I go to bed at 9pm, wake up at 5am. I prep my sleep by drinking Chamomile tea, reading some marketing or entrepreneurial book (so I can think about it while sleeping and wake up a genius), and wearing blue light blocking glasses, which stops cortisol production and helps produce melatonin (the chemical you need to sleep). This works so well that some mornings I feel like I took Codeine (sizurp for you rappers).
- Day/Work Prep – What do I do after getting all that good sleep? I prep the day! I’m up at 5am, which gives me about 75 minutes before my wife and daughter get up. I have a couple sips of coffee (which is on a timer so it’s ready when I get up), write my affirmations (listen to Tim Ferriss’s podcast with Dilbert creator Scott Adams. His affirmation story will have you writing affirmations tomorrow), meditate for 20 minutes, read for 45 minutes (marketing/entrepreneurial book of course, same as the night before), take a glorious poop (with a Squatty Potty), get my wife and daughter up and ready for work and school, then I am either off running (literally) or in my office working. Boom. Day set up beautifully. Running doubles as another meditation for me, so while I am on the road I am thinking about everything I am going to be working on that day. Once I sit down to work, I am cranking.
Environment – As important as the day prep is, if you then go to an environment that either sucks, or sucks for what you are trying to accomplish, changes need to be made ASAP. Everything around me is set up exactly how I need it to be in order to be as functional as possible. Stimulating pictures, phone off, non-distracting music going (usually Pandora’s Jazz Radio), clean, organized environment so I don’t think about having to straighten up to get to work, and I am ready to go. The car is on and engine running.
- Physical – I work out 6 days a week. 3-4 days running (6-10miles/per) and all 6 days lifting weights. I start the day with a run (7am). It is another part of my day prep. The days I don’t run are because I have a shorter work day (picking up daughter from school early, helping my grandma, etc.) and need to be productive for work more than I need 5 days of running a week. I always end my day lifting. The compression of lifting weights helps me decompress. It is rejuvenating. I listen to different business or lifestyle podcasts while I work out so I am still “working” my brain. On Thursdays I listen to The Herd (@TheHerd) on IHeartRadio because he interviews Greg Cosell (@GregCosell) during the football season, and you can’t beat that. After the lift, I hop in the shower, ice cold at the end for a total physical and mental reset.
Mondays I do an especially tough run in the morning, but the view at the top of the hill makes it all worth it. It is the perfect way to start a week off. Win the morning win the day. Win the Monday, win the week. It is something relatively new I started doing (the epic run). I am always looking for ways to tweak my schedule to make it even more beneficial and productive.
- Nutrition – Shit in, shit out. You want to be at the top of your game? It all starts with diet. Your workouts will be more effective, your body more effective, your mind more effective. You don’t put cheap ass oil in your car do you? If you do, skip the rest of this cause you’re an idiot. If you want your $120,000 Porsche to run properly, you better put that good stuff in it. What are you worth? Hopefully you say priceless! Then why do you put garbage in your system? Shit in, shit out. You want to think more clearly? Eat better. You want to feel better in the morning? Eat better. You want a 6-pack? Eat better. You want to stop being a fat ass? Eat better. That sugar in your coffee in the morning is making you fat and inflamed. So is the pastry you ate mid-morning. Pasta for lunch? Blah. Fast food for dinner? Your heart and your belly hate you. Don’t even get me started if you smoke. Drink every night? “Come on man” – Chris Carter (@ChrisCarter80), ESPN. Clean up the diet and everything changes.
Me – AM: coffee with coconut oil (no sugar) and a smoothie: greens, beets, ginger, turmeric, parsley, cilantro, mint, avocado, apple cider vinegar, salt (if I’m running that morning), pepper, and water. It tastes like ass, but it is sooooooooo good for you.
BREAKFAST: 4 eggs and either 3 cups of raw, diced veggies in olive oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne or a cup of lentils and spinach.
LUNCH: Skip most days. If I do eat, it is the raw, diced veggies (Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers) and black beans. If I had a particularly tough run I may eat an apple or banana, handful of almonds to get me to my workout.
AFTER WORKOUT: cup of plain Greek yogurt, pepper, cinnamon, chia seeds, raw honey, and creatine.
DINNER: Chicken, fish, turkey or roasted veggies. If we eat out, it is usually sushi, if not, I find something on the menu that isn’t too crazy (most of the time, I do love me some In ‘N Out ….. but no fries).
DESSERT: Chamomile tea and some dried plums (for the doo doo in the morning).
** I give myself a cheat day once a week (and half of December) but don’t go overboard people.
- Neurological Functioning – EVERYTHING that came before this helps this. Your brain doesn’t work right if your body is a mess, if your belly is processing McDonald’s and Mega Mocha Chai Tea Double Pump Triple Teamed Lattes. It just doesn’t. It doesn’t work for your big ‘ol butt, and it doesn’t work for your brain. The sooner you see that the better. The better your take care of your body, the more you work out, sleep well, and eat well, the better your brain will function. The better your brain functions, the more successful you will be. If you are like me and need to get through a wall, you need everything you can to be the best you can possibly be. There are no shortcuts through that wall.
READ READ READ!!! Turn off the TV at night and read. Prep your sleep, expand your mind, learn new things to implement at work or life in general. The mindless shows are doing just that, making you mindless. Who gives a shit what the Real Housewives are doing? They wanted cameras following them around watching them get drunk and act like idiots, that’s who you are watching!! And stop watching the news. It is so depressing, and you don’t really need to know any of it. If it is a big enough story you will hear about it at work. They sensationalize everything and focus on things that scare you or worry you. Who needs that? You are putting sugar in the gas tank! I know you think you deserve some relaxing time, you worked so hard today, but if there is still a wall up, there is no time to relax. It is go time all the time.
Health is so important. How many super successful fat asses do you know of? Exactly. Zero. (I understand there may be a whole lot of other things unhealthy about them, but I am trying to make a point here, focus). I’m happy you are comfortable in your body, that’s great, but what are you leaving on the table? As great as you think you are, what are you not doing because you are putting shit in the machine? Whatever you are, a big winner or a big loser, what could you be if you treated your mind and body better? If you don’t change you will never know.
We are all creatures of habit, good ones and bad ones. To even start being successful you better have more good habits than bad (or at least itty bitty bad habits). Structure your day, your life, like a machine. The best cars are the reliable ones. What would you do if your car sort of worked one day, didn’t work at all the next, and worked at 40% the day after? You would light that thing on fire on the side of the road! That’s you. That’s what happens without consistency. You have a Jaguar that runs like a rickshaw. You need to look at yourself in the mirror. Rev your engine baby! It’s begging to be unleashed on the open road. Get out of your own way.
My structure works amazingly for me. I need it to because the task at hand is so daunting. I know these changes I implemented would work for you. Give them a try. “We are always stronger than we know” - Arnold Schwarzenegger (@Schwarzenegger).
Go Crush That Wall
It’s right there. It’s staring at you. The obstacle is the way. Go smash that motherfucker.
Some suggested reading to get you started on your wall smashing journey:
The Obstacle Is The Way, by Ryan Holiday
Unlimited Power, by Tony Robbins
Choose Yourself, by James Altucher
Mindset, by Carol Dweck