Step Into The Ring

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I really enjoy thinking of things in terms of metaphors. This outside the box thinking can be quite helpful. It often aids in helping me change my approach towards the many challenges in life.

One of my favorite metaphors I got from The Fighter’s Mind by Sam Sheridan (highly recommended by the way).

I will paraphrase in the way I tell myself:

Be confident as fuck in the ring. Be equally as humble outside of it.

I love this mentality.

This is how a Warriors thinks. I want to be a Warrior…

Think of the ring as whatever is in front of you – a big project, your at-bat , a speech, meeting an important deadline – any time when you are in the middle of achieving something. It is best you seek out these times instead of letting them come to you.

Let’s start with humbleness.

Out of The Ring

This period is just as crucial – if not more – than when you are in the heat of the battle. You’ve heard practice makes perfect. I believe in this 100%. The situations when I have been extremely nervous were often a result of a lack of preparation. I did not plan my attack correctly. I was overlooking some important information/data/sign/hint – whatever it may be. What I find fascinating is that not many people want to put in work in this part of the game because it includes more tedious work and many hours. In our ADD world, time and attention to details are precious. Many of us have become soft.

We all need reminders every once and a while. We need to put in the necessary work.

This is the time when you should be working your ass off.

You need to be hungry.

Learning.

Studying.

Practicing.

Reflecting.

Seeing things from an outside perspective.

Taking new angles.

Doubt will be in play when you’re out of the ring. You can use this as fuel.

In The Ring

There will be times when you find yourself in the ring when the event is planned. You obviously have the most control over these types of situations. You can plan your attack. You can scope out your competition. You can evaluate your environment. Hopefully you will increase your chance of success by your Out of The Ring preparation.

However, there are times when you will find yourself in the heat of the battle unexpectedly. These situations can be common – whether it be a random confrontation, a call into the bosses office, or an unanticipated attack by a stranger. Times like these are when your true training comes out. What have you been studying? Have you prepared for this situation? How developed are you? Many of these questions will likely be answered quickly.

This also brings up a good point – you need to be able to shift from Out of The Ring mode to In The Ring mode as effortlessly as possible. I think of this as being in the zone. This more effortless and timely this shift is will put you in a state that will increase your chance of success.

Lets get back to what needs to be done In The Ring:

This is when you should be out of your head.

This is when you should have total confidence in your training. There is no use for doubt now.

100% attention on what is in front of you.

You’re going to win – at least that’s what you need to tell yourself

I obviously apply this differently than how others would. There has never been a day where I physically stepped in a ring and was ready to throw down. This day may come sometime…

Despite not having the physical punches thrown at me, I – like everyone else – still have many everyday obstacles in my way. Even if you run from these, life will continue to throw more your way until you learn how to handle them. I find this mentality as a great way to overcome these difficulties.

The genius of the ring metaphor is there is a feedback loop. You start by preparation. You are gearing up for this big event. You work to overcome all the possible obstacles that may be thrown your way when the time comes. Then you find yourself in the moment. This is when you have to put your training aside and trust that it has prepared you for this moment. You then go all-in with supreme confidence.

You may win or you may lose, but if you treat it correctly you will always come out a winner.

If you win, you can move forward with similar practices and prepare for your next fight. But don’t become overconfident. You must treat your success as a one-time thing. These previous successes will not guarantee success in the future. Remember this.

If you lose, you must reflect and learn some lessons. There is a reason you lost. You may not have prepared enough. You may have miscalculated the opposition. Maybe you’re just not good enough right now. But you will be better next time. No matter how good you think you are, eventually someone will come along and knock you off your course. This is needed for your growth. Embrace it and invest in your failures.

Humbleness -> Confidence -> Humbleness

Preparation -> In the fight -> More Preparation

This is your feedback loop.

The more you test yourself early, the better – as long as you are learning lessons. Don’t fall for the same trick twice. Don’t let Einstein call you insane…

thrrt

So next time you step in the ring, go in with all you have. Make the adjustments in the ring and remember to learn those lessons afterwards.

Adapt to what is in front of you and stay humble. Learn from those better than you and apply it to your life. Experiment with new ideas. Test new approaches.

This mix of confidence and humbleness will eventually bring you the results you seek.

See Mike Tyson’s approach.

Understand life in general is your ring. You’re already all-in. Continue to discover your personal direction and show this world what’s up.

I wanted to wish you luck with your future battles, but you don’t need luck. You just need to step in the ring…

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Note to 20-Year-Old Self

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So things are going well, right. You’re in college. You’re meeting new lifelong friends. You don’t have many responsibilities. You’re free.

But with this freedom and free time comes a lot of decision-making.

You’re off to a good start in few areas. You began reading books, which will come in handy in many future situations, as well as put you on a good course to discover your creativity. But this is not the end-all be-all. It’s nice to have some confidence from reading a few psychology, success, and business books. But there are many people currently around you that instinctively have this knowledge without having to read this material. Continue reading books and articles that interest you. That challenges your existing opinions on issues. That leads to self-improvement. That opens your mind. By doing so, you will head in the right direction.

Your exercising habits are improving as well. It’s great you love to play basketball and hit the gym quite often. These will continue to put you on a course of discipline and being healthy. You’re still considered obese by health standards, but this will continue to improve if you keep this up and continue your education about healthy eating. Oh, quick tip. You have to really question modern advice. There is a lot of bad advice out there. Find trustworthy sources and test their ideas on yourself. Only then will you know what works for you personally.

I’m glad you’re having a good time with your friends. Some of these relationships you started will last for years, if not the rest of your life. Don’t take this time for granted. I would also say to be careful who you choose to spend your time with. Remember: You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

I have to warn you about something though. You need a little help in this area. You’ve been taking the safe route a little too often. I notice you wait around for things to come to you. It’s almost as if think the universe owes you something. Now don’t get me wrong, you are a nice kid and you’ve starting improving yourself in some aspects of your life, but the world demands more than that. If there is one thing the universe requires in order for it to give something back, that would be you putting positive energy into the world. Focus on overcoming the habit you have developed of being passive in situations when you know you should take action. Do whatever it takes to pound this into your head. This is crucial.

In a similar topic, let’s talk about fear. I know you have found yourself in many situations that make you nervous. But you have to realize…this is normal. It’s better to attack this by paying attention to what type of situations cause this response, along with how you usually handle yourself. Energy can be transformed. Work on transforming your fear and inexperience into a positive by creating challenges for yourself and taking things less seriously. You have a long way to go. Take more calculated risks than what makes you feel comfortable.

You still have a lot to learn, Greg. Your path will not be how you anticipate it now. But that’s okay. Enjoy the highs and lows. There will be a lot of them. But don’t get too high or too low, as the opposite will find its way into your life quicker than you expect. Life is a journey that no one will be able to truly explain to you, even though many will say they have found the answer. Decide to learn on your own through your experiences. So make sure to have fun, spend a lot of time discovering yourself, and spread positivity around as much as possible.

In closing, all I have to say is:

Enjoy the ride my friend

Work Less, Play More

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You know when you look at a little kid without a care in the world? I want that.

You know why?

Because I had it. All of us did.

Growing up is a tricky thing. We graduate grade school, which is the end of the period where we had really no responsibility. Sure we had to do an hour or two of homework a week to pass our classes. But we chose the additional activities in our lives, whether it be sports, music, or dance. We then moved onto high school. Things got a little more serious. We had to pay a little more attention to our grades because they will affect which college we would get into. The sports and extracurricular activities became a little more important to us. We possibly had to get a side job to make a little extra money, since we were now driving and spending a little more. Once high school ended and college began, we noticed things became even more complicated.  We didn’t necessarily treat it this way, as this was probably one of the best periods of our lives. We met a ton of friends. We partied. We slept in till 12. But still, those grades mattered at the time. Our work on the side became more important to get by. We had more responsibility.

Now, being in the “real world”, things continue to move in that direction. More responsibility. Less social life.  More work.

I’ve noticed in myself that I have a very addictive personality. I tend to really fixate on different aspects of my life, which often consumes my attention much more than I would like it to. Many of these issues are not important in grand scheme of things. But still, they may affect my mood – sometimes for the whole day – without me understanding what’s going on. This fixation on things has led me to take things more seriously and try to fix them in a systematic way. I became more serious and calculated. I focused on these problems with more intensity than ever. My schooling conditioned me to do this. My personal life soon became a job in itself, beyond 9-5.

I’ve recently discovered that the more you focus on something, the more power that specific problem/issue has over you. It’s a very odd dynamic. I was noticing that many of the problems I was trying to overcome couldn’t be solved the way I was attacking it. The solution wasn’t more focus and problem solving. Instead, it was changing my attitude. 

As I mentioned, I find myself thinking too much about certain problems – and this has haunted me in the past. I don’t know if I will ever be able to simplify my wandering mind. But one thing I can change is how I approach the problem. My goal going forward is to treat the experience in front of me less like a job and more like an adventure. I can begin to treat going to the gym as a personal challenge instead of something I have to do to stay healthy. I can be compassionate and even laugh at my failures. Instead of attacking my fears and worries with more thinking (which compounds the effect), I can face them head on with a positive energy and loose, playful attitude. This will have no effect on the pride of my work or my work ethic. This is only a shift in attitude.

This will be a challenge it itself for me. But there’s no going back…I just made my decision.

Time to play.

1/20 Good Reads

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Here’s MLK preaching some truth! Now, some other quality and inspirational reading for the day.

What is a Warrior?

Here is a short, inspiration video from the powerful Aubrey Marcus, the WarriorPoet.

Because he believes in miracles, miracles begin to happen. Because he is sure his thoughts can change his life, his life begins to change. Because he is certain he will find love, love appears. – Paulo Coelho

How to Get an MBA from Eminem

One of the better reads on sales in a long time. This is a creative breakdown (wouldn’t expect anything less from James Altucher) of Eminem’s rap battle in 8 Mile describing how he used many common psychological biases to defeat his opponent. Very practical.  –  Also includes an addition from Tucker Max at the end

Portugal Decriminalized All Drugs Eleven Years Ago and the Results are Staggering

It’s always interesting to see different experiments going on across the world. One is Portugal decriminalizing all drugs (not legalizing). Huge reduction in addictions. Drug usage rates are down. Drug related diseases and overdoses have fallen. This is some useful data for the US. One thing is obvious, the “War on Drugs” in America is a failure and change is definitely needed.

Your Movie Screen

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Here is an excerpt from one of the crazier – and more entertaining – books I’ve ever picked up, Pimp – The Story of My Life by Iceberg Slim. Below is from a conversation between Iceberg Slim and a mentor he met in jail, who Iceberg Slim claims to be the driving force to becoming the most successful pimp of his time. If it makes you more comfortable, replace “pimp” with “entrepreneur”. Anyway, this powerful quote has stuck with me.

He would say, “Always remember whether you be a sucker or hustler in the world out there, you’ve got that vital edge if you iron-clad your feelings. I picture the human mind as a movie screen. If you’re a dopey sucker, you’ll just sit and watch all kinds of mind-wrecking, damn fool movies on that screen.”

He said, “Son, there is no reason except a stupid one for anybody to project on that screen anything that will worry him or dull that vital edge. After all, we are the absolute bosses of that whole theatre and show in our minds. We even write the script. So always write positive, dynamic scripts and show only the best movies for you on that screen whether you are a pimp or priest.”