Who Am I?
I think, like most people, when answering the question—what am I?—it’s not apparent in our minds as to who we are at our core. We often wrestle with multiple sides of ourselves.
We agonize over our mistakes and who we were. In the moment, we often try and be something we’re not (especially in the presence of the apple of our eye). We craft an idea of who we want to be in the future. And then, there is who we are to each and every person we encounter—a different person in each mind’s eye.
Our identities are so complex and dependent upon so many factors. Would I still be me this me if I had stayed and worked at Facebook or would I be a completely different version of Jay?
Nature vs nurture, environmental, geographical, the people you’re around, the job you land, your willingness or unwillingness to settle; these, and many other factors determine who we are as people.
People come in and out of our lives making various levels of impact and as time wears on we become a sort of chameleon with those people. I know I’m completely different with my friends from the ‘hip hop days’ than I am with my current group.
Ultimately, we all have some sort of regret. We look back on a past situation and think, “Was I high? Was I gaslit? Was I just that stupid?” We also look back at our past behaviours and beat ourselves up for how we handled a situation that we thought we were handling well at the time.
Then we mature—at least we hope we do—and we realize that past reflection is the key to future improvement.
Sure, we may not have been that good person we thought we were and maybe we justified our actions through thinly veiled reasons or excuses, but beating ourselves up for these past indiscretions should, at some point, take a back seat to the lessons they teach us.
That’s where I’ll start my story.
As a kid I led an extremely unremarkable life. We didn’t have a lot of money. We didn’t have a lot of things. We didn’t have a lot of resources.
My parents worked a lot. They tried to take care of me as best they could. They did at best a job they knew how to do. I wasn’t a product of abuse or neglect.
There is no manual for parenting, after all, and every good parent tries. I look back to realize that is ultimately the difference between a good and bad parent; effort.
My parents were hardworking and our home was usually party central, but in a mostly healthy way that was fun to watch. The parties actually moulded a bit of who I am today. I saw everyone drinking and noticed most of the guys had beer bellies and they looked uncomfortable so I decided not to drink. Today … no beer belly. I’ll call that a win.
Growing up, we moved a lot. As a result of that and my introverted personality I didn’t have a good set of friend. I had friends, but even in my early childhood days I never did feel really connected to anyone.
In hindsight, I realize that through much of my life, from my earliest thought to about 25 years of age, I was ambiguous. I was indifferent.
I had no values, no character, no morals, no definitive path to happiness. Instead I had a whole lot of I don’t know and I don’t care.
The problem was that a lot of people around me appeared to have these sensational lives, and it got to me.
I saw friends going on vacations that I would never get to go on. I saw people around me with money, friends of parents who would take them to hockey games in Arizona and football games in Minneapolis. I had one friend who got a new Dodge truck every year from his dad. When I turned 16 I got a 1982 Subaru that bit the dust shortly after.
I got pretty jaded to the fact that we didn’t have the things that other people had. As a result of that jadedness my indifference grew. Indifference became boredom and a sense of powerlessness. On every metric I could measure myself against the people around me, I failed. That’s a hard pill to swallow but I found a coping mechanism—I told tall tales.
It wasn’t that I was trying to lie. Rather, I didn’t understand the consequences of a lie when I was young.
I remember the stupidest lie I ever told was that I was related to Michael Jackson. It’s not that I actually believed it, but escaping into a fantasy world that I could will to life in my own mind helped me get through the darkest of days. They helped me cope with the bullying that I was unfortunately subjected to regularly.
Throughout my youth I was skinny, awkward, had terrible fashion, worse hair, and my redeeming qualities were so hidden that no one could find them. This led to an onslaught of bullies from every school I went to.
The Burden of Bullying
I realize now, that I came pretty close to serious injury or death as a pre-teen and early teen. I was once thrown into an icy river off of a bridge. Another time, I was beat up in my own backyard while headed back to school from lunch. I spent two days curled up in bed, shaking after the river incident and I was knocked unconscious in the backyard incident. Both, I kept from my parents because I felt like a failure.
I was pantsed, punched, had my head smashed by a locker door, and on several occasions, my lunch/lunch money was stolen.
The sad part is that in the school I spent the most teen years, I didn’t get it as bad as some. A kid named Jason ended up with permanent brain damage from an apple being thrown across the cafeteria and landing on his temple. Another kid named Jason lost eyesight in his right eye from being held down and poked with branches. A girl named Stacey was forced to wear tights that showed off camel toe and as a result many, many times, she was “grabbed by the pussy”.
The worst part of it all was that I came from a school where bullying was a taboo subject. It was never properly addressed and if you were a kid that was bullied, the principal, Mr. Bumstead, would hold it against you. When you fought back, he would double down on how terrible you were because he couldn’t go in another direction and be humbled.
A kid named George was constantly bullying me for almost an entire school year. He was bigger than me and made my life a living hell. Finally, a couple of friends and I fought back. George was never suspended for everything the school knew he did to me, but for that one fight, I was suspended and an assembly was called about my friends and I. The principal actually told other students not to hang out with us.
Yeah, Mr. Bumstead was a real piece of shit human being and later was brought up on charges of embezzlement from the adult education program; charges I was not shocked to hear about. He’s just lucky that there was no 13 Reasons Why incident. I relate heavily to that show.
The biggest problem was that he was setting me up for failure. I was already a bad student. I was already indifferent. I hated that my parents moved me to the country and, the home of my Papa who had recently passed away. He was my role model, he was gone, and now I had to live in his house. It really messed me up.
I started to act out as a result of fear and that overwhelming boredom with my life. As I graduated, I still hadn’t established any describable core character. I wasn’t a jock, in band, a bookworm, a gamer nerd, a science geek, the best looking, great at sports … nothing. I was just taking up space.
I really loved science but my brain wasn’t in a place where I could retain the information to excel in it. Basketball was my jam but I was always in the awkward middle when it came to height and my main school all but ignored the sport. Sure, I played games but never to the point where I cared about winning.
In hindsight, I wish none of this were true. But it is. And for a thought experiment like this, you have to be completely honest with yourself.
So, as this awkward, scrawny teenager who was bullied constantly I suffered a lot of embarrassment. I lived a very closed off life as a result.
I ended up landing in music as a DJ, and that is where I found a bit of an identity. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t understand at the time that it wasn’t the identity I was meant to have. It was a desperate play for validation but I did enjoy the music, the feeling, the attention, and the entrepreneurial side of it.
I enjoyed it until I had to work for someone. I bucked authority because I didn’t like people telling me what to do. This probably stems from Bumstead’s reign of terror over my life, but regardless, at the age of 19 I found my first core character trait; independence.
A second piece of character was starting to form as well; one which I would wrestle with for years. I was that guy. You needed a DJ? I was that guy. You needed tickets to a show? I was that guy. You needed to get in past the line? I was that guy. You needed your evening kept a secret? I was that guy. You wanted to meet that girl? I was that guy.
In what felt like something that happened overnight, I was suddenly pretty popular. However, that popularity came with a caveat … I was a utility. Sure, I was getting invited to everything and I knew everyone but it didn’t serve me well because I was still too shy and introverted to turn that popularity into something … anything; power, respect, prestige, etc.
I was doing well on the surface but struggling to get by. In my early 20’s I was living in public housing and dead broke. The cost of gear alone to keep up with being a DJ was far too much for me. Then I saw an ad to get paid to go to a bootcamp. For a guy that couldn’t even pay for groceries, I was all in. I figured that I’d get paid to work out (which I sorely needed) and that it would be an easy peasy few weeks. Plus, I’d get three meals a day and I could escape my fake it till you make it persona for a bit. More on that later.
It was in boot camp that I learned I could never work for someone else. The problem with authority is that, at some point, that person is going to ask you to do something you don’t agree with and you have to make a decision as to whether you’re okay with that. As this conflicted with my first core character trait, I wasn’t okay with it and I got the boot from boot camp. At that point, any interest in the military was gone.
I learned in the moment that the only way for me to feel whole in my work life was to realize my entrepreneurial dreams. I was still wrestling with not ever feeling fulfilled in my life, not feeling like I had a purpose, not feeling like I was a contributor and not feeling insecure but I now had direction.
I didn’t know much at 21, but I knew I had to be my own boss, that I was that guy, and that I needed to be more to succeed.
The problem was that I now firmly sat behind in life. As a late bloomer, I relied on exaggerations, fibs and outright lies to make people think that I was better than I was.
Fake it Till You Make it
I’m sure everybody reading this is familiar with the term fake it till you make it.
When you get into music and then eventually nightlife and events you realize something that shocks you to your core. EVERYONE IS LYING ALL THE TIME.
Even if you are at the top of the game, King Shit, packing rooms, getting all the girls and you have notoriety you don’t feel fulfilled. I know because I was, for a time at the top of the game.
I think the lying came as a result of how fleeting the success was. One day you’re holding $40,000 cash from a single night’s work, and the next you take home $5.
Things were worse for me because I had a permanent hole in my soul from what happened as a kid.
Of course, I didn’t know any of this at the time. I was just enjoying the ride in public and cursing my path in private.
We all know that men’s mental health is barely talked about today. It was so much worse then. If you even tried to tell people you were sad you were a wimp, a loser, and a pussy. At the time, if you ever said to somebody, “I don’t feel good inside,” or, “I don’t feel right,” you were shunned by society. This is still true today, but thankfully to a lesser extent.
That manly man persona that one has to keep up is so much worse in nightlife. The constant need to show yourself as strong really affects us, even if most men won’t admit it. In fact, I dare say it completely distorts reality.
That’s exactly what it did for me but I continued down my path anyway. I justified everything with fake it till I make it. Everyone around me was doing it. Some guys that I worked with 20 years ago are still doing it!
Most were pretending that they owned their condo when they were renting. A bunch of guys I knew pretended they had nice cars … but that ride was their parent’s whip. Everyone was fucking everyone so it was easy to lie about who you slept with. There were guys blowing huge paydays on drugs for everyone so they could keep the party going.
Eventually that part of my persona bled into my personal life and I couldn’t tell the truth from the lies anymore.
My personal life has rarely ever been in a position where I could say it was healthy. My relationship with women up until probably 10 years ago was a complete disaster. I couldn’t figure out the mental side of relationships, the sex part constantly scared me (diseases and performance), and so I faked confidence with grand gestures. I figured that the strong persona worked in nightlife, so why not at home? Spoiler alert: it doesn’t.
I was, however, dating outside of my number. In my 20’s I was a solid 5 or 6. I was dating 9’s and 10’s, and that too, distorted my reality. I didn’t acknowledge soon enough that I was getting such incredibly attractive women because of what I could do for them, rather than what you actually want a woman to be in a relationship for. And yes, I know, the number scale is immature, but it’s also valid.
Strength in Question
There came a point where I took the strength persona too far. I worked too much and it was often my way or the highway. This is something I’m ashamed to say, but it is the truth. I never abused a girlfriend or anything like that but what we did had to fit my schedule, my mood, and my lifestyle. I shunned staying in for the night because I needed to fuel my validation 24/7 or else that scared kid would come creeping back.
In short, I was a difficult person to know and still am (just in different ways). Back in the day, my difficulty came from uncertainty.
I went through various businesses trying different industries out. I always wanted to be in movies, but I didn’t really know the road to get there. I enjoyed the nightlife scene but never settled into a role I felt 100% comfortable in. I liked doing TV but could never dedicate myself. I enjoy writing, but there’s almost no time most days. I love science but it’s too late to get into that. I’d be 190 years old before I could do anything that would satisfy me.
I wasn’t focused on any one thing. I just kept surviving, rather than living and finding the answers I needed to get to the next day. That’s no way to live and that’s no way to make progress, because you’re never going to change or learn. You’re never going to evolve if you’re your primary focus is just to survive for another day. I realized this around 25 and boy did it change my life.
Experience Life & Be Better
Instead of spending my money on stupid crap to make me seem “better” than I was, I started spending it on experiencing life. I started to travel, open up my bucket list, venture into some taboo areas of my brain, and I started to take an immense amount of risk.
This is where my story really starts. I was becoming the person I waned to be but it took me much longer to realize that there is hard work in change, and part of that work involves confronting your past. You can’t become more until you deal with your lesser qualities. We all have them.
For me, I was always too loud, too quick to temper, I lied too much, and I didn’t accept responsibility for my actions.
Being loud can be fine but not when you tie it to lies. It feeds the addiction to that fake it till you make it persona. And yes, I do understand that everyone lies. Science says we’re lied to 10 to 200 times per day and we lie, ourselves, several times each day. The worst of it is that the people who call other liars are often the worst of the worst. I get that we all lie but my goal is still to crush that side of my humanity.
Being quick to temper was one part of why violence has played a large role in my life. The other reason is that I don’t have a panic button inside of me. If I see something about to happen, I stick around to see if I can help. I’m told this is the product of being bullied but who knows? All I know is that it didn’t serve me well when I was smaller and it’s led to some pretty interesting collisions now that I’m bigger.
I did get into some scary situations growing up; knives came out, guns came out, I was maced. I felt like I was a soldier in war at times, and there are parallels. I mean, not directly; I would never want to discredit or disrespect anybody that committed to fighting for the greater good.
But, there are parallels between life and war. There are people who are constantly coming to fuck your shit up when you have any sliver of success. And that’s why I developed a side of my persona that only exists in business and when wronged. I can be ruthless but never as an instigator. If you let the wolves in the front door they will make your life a living hell. I don’t know about you, but I’m more of a Heaven kinda guy.
A major lesser quality in me was not accepting responsibility for my actions. Life wasn’t fair, or so I thought. I wasted so much time pretending that my problems were a result of other’s actions. As a result, I constantly felt like my back was against a wall with the rest of the walls closing in. I now see that there is great accomplishment in being able to admit your mistakes. A lot of people won’t let you make up for it, but you should still try.
Another piece of my unfortunate identity was I got injured a lot. I mean broken necks and broken skulls, numerous dislocated shoulders and torn muscles. I was constantly injured, always trying to do outdo my latest crazy thing that I did previously. A lot of that stemmed from never being comfortable in my own skin, but along the way I became more responsible and now my thrill seeking is an adventure to which I accept that I may kill myself one day.
Skydiving became extreme skydiving. Weed became Ayahuasca. Mobility became parkour.
My life has been one escalation after another, but that was put on pause in 2016 when I lost everything due to a political scandal and broke my back. Being broke and paralyzed gives you time to think. It’s then that I realized I needed a major shift. While I needed more of a shift, what I did end up with was a major change in the way I used my brain. I put focus into getting smarter and it worked.
I needed some benchmarks so I selected IQ score, memory, ability to beat certain games, and retention. My IQ went from 116 to where my IQ sits today at 132. I smash the games I used to hate due to not having the mindset to beat them, and my retention is far better. This all came about because I stopped trying to learn like they teach us to learn in grade school and I started learning in a way that my brain enjoyed.
In the middle of this self-improvement, I realized just how toxic my transactional relationships were and for the first time I was an examiner, a learner; a person that could actually say, I don’t like who I am, I need to improve my character, establish values, and figure out what my morals are.
I realized that I had an insatiable need to figure out who I am. The journey in that regard continues.
Throughout my life I’ve had a bit of a Forrest Gump-like existence. I worked on the 2008 Obama for America campaign, shaking hands with Bill Clinton, the Obamas, John McCain, and the Bush’s. I’ve been on national news. I’ve dated some truly incredible women. My bank account has seen the lowest of lows and some pretty incredible highs. I’ve traveled the world, done drugs in the rainforest, fought for what I’ve believed in, took an honest run at going to space, and I’ve received awards and accolades. Not bad for a skinny kid with some serious issues.
Some of this came when I wasn’t ready, and some came lately, when I was. Nightlife and concerts turned into a Halloween event called Fear and owning an event ticketing website; a happy transition. My projects became less about helping me and more about helping others; another happy transition. I don’t come from money in any way, shape, or form so helping others often takes a backseat but every so often I get ride sharing pushed through and taxicab boards dismantled, or work to get an arbitrator for nurses, get gift baskets out to nurses, do food and clothing drives for charities, etc. I do enjoy being a part of the solution. I would like to do more but I don’t come from any real advantage except for the fact that I have white male privilege, which is a thing.
Before you roll your eyes, understand that I don’t mean that negatively but being a white man has helped me in ways it shouldn’t have. No one grips their purse when I get in an elevator, no one looked down on me for the colour of my skin, I never felt like I was particularly vulnerable physically (even when I was tiny), and I believe some opportunities came as a result of being a white man. It’s a sad truth in our society and it’s why I try to make anyone who isn’t an equal in all conversations. Privilege is inevitable but nonetheless, disgusting unless you use it properly to help make the world a better place.
So, this blog is much longer than I intended and I should probably wrap it up, which brings us to my emotional maturity. While my brain was taking in knowledge and processing information quicker than ever, my emotional maturity was still lacking.
That all changed on October 26, 2017. I met something who I fell in love with the very first second that I saw her. I had always wanted the love that Anthony Hopkins described in Meet Joe Black and I finally had it.
I was levitating, dancing like a dervish, and yes … lightning struck!
When you fall in love at first sight, you fall in love hard. It’s very emotional and you don’t know what to do with it if you’ve never experienced it before. I was like the Joker parable; a dog chasing a car and I had no idea what to do if I caught up with it. It’s all consuming and it turns into obsession. Whether that’s healthy or not depends on how that love is nurtured.
We dating for several months, and in the beginning all was amazing. Then the problems set in on both sides. She had a kid who I would still lay my life down for to this day just as quickly as I would for her.
We both had problems though, and mine was that I wasn’t ready for that kind of a relationship. My emotional maturity just wasn’t as high as my newfound IQ.
I’m over that relationship now but I find too often, people abandon one and other when a relationship breaks down.
Even though her and I don’t talk and I don’t see that kid anymore, if they ever needed me for anything, I would be there. Not because I’m still holding onto some misguided thought of a resurrected relationship, but because of what they mean to my existence.
That relationship, with all it’s warts and hangnails, is a forever debt. I say that because only through the act of love and loss did I find who I truly am as a result of being forced to grow up.
The trauma from that relationship and the hole it left in me forced questions and just as importantly, forced answers. For the first time in my life, I felt like a piece of me had been torn out and that meant that there were pieces to me that could be torn. In that moment I realized I had finally formed a core identity complete with morals and values that are unique to me.
I was realized that I do understand empathy. That’s not to say I’m the most empathetic bloke on the block, but I get it and I’m capable of it. Of course, growing up bullied and indifferent and then moving into a fake it till you make it lifestyle you worry that maybe your humanity is lost. A lack of empathy is a lack of humanity and I was happy to find it in tact.
The relationship I experienced with her and her son taught me that I wasn’t the man I wanted to be. I was always brash. I was always a showboater; grandiose. I was everything that that she didn’t want, and through a series of events as we both wronging each other, things went right off the rails with us.
I just wasn’t ready.
COVID-19 & Me
So, I go through all of this to figure out who I want to be and what I need to fix just in time for COVID-19 to shut the world down. It’s kinda incredible how it happened, isn’t it? Overnight, the world changed forever and we’re now just seeing the mental effects of such a traumatic event.
Two people emerged from this pandemic; the hysterical and the stronger for it. Had I not gone through the journey I did, I’m kinda thinking I would have been one of the hysterical folk. But, alas, I used COVID-19 to become a better man.
Whether COVID-19 ultimately undoes all of my hard work and the growth of my company, leaving me penniless and in a restart position or not is still uncertain but I do know that it’s left me confident that I will weather that storm just as I have all others in my life.
Personally though, COVID-19 has been just like my political scandal. Sure, the entire thing was out of my control and completely negative but I flipped it on its ear and created positive energy in the end.
It was during the pandemic that I really started to be good with me. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. I mean, I needed to feel like I was the person that I wanted to be. For better or for worse, the person I wanted to be.
So I started to make incremental little changes in my life. One thing I really wanted to do was to stop feeling unhealthy. I really focused in on my health and today, at this moment, I would say that I am the healthiest I’ve ever been.
I take my health very seriously. It doesn’t mean that I’m a Gestapo about food and all that, but I am definitely more cognizant of my health, my food, my supplements, and my workouts.
I’ve figured out a pattern for myself that works, and I feel great about it. Now, the rest of it is a work in progress, and it has been for several years.
Over a decade ago, I started to become a little more self-aware. Today, I am hyper self-aware and I want my identity to be tied to good in this world, regardless of how that is achieved.
That’s what I want for my legacy.
If I have to die, I want to know that with my final breath I did something to contribute to the betterment of this world. Small, big; doesn’t matter as long as it happens. I prefer big because I kind of like to make a splash but I will take anything I can get.
So through COVID-19, I worked on my health, my personality and I worked on getting out of that nightlife mentality. No more fake it till you make it.
If you’re reading this and realizing you’re going down that path, don’t. Please, just don’t. It’s a terrible way to live. All you’re saying is, “I’m just going to lie to everybody around me so that I can seem like a big shot until I have a bunch of money and resources.”
That is a stupid way of living and I really wish somebody had said something to me back in the day. All it does is force you to compete with the people that have already made it. It’s so incredibly unhealthy.
Another side effect of living a fake life is that you start to accept things that are absolutely insane. In nightlife, there are guys known for being the Roofie King.
There are guys known for beating up other guy smaller than them, guys known for coming to the club in white shoes so somebody can step on them and he can hit them.
Women are known for using guys for their money, stealing from them after sleeping with them, things like that.
All these things that are insane to me now were normal to me then. A part of the domino effect of that life is that you become the bad you ignore. Now, I didn’t do any of the wild shit I just listed but I definitely wasn’t always kind when I should have been. I wronged people, and while I feel it was never intentional, it happened.
To those who I wronged in any way, I am sorry. I hope you accept my apology. If not, that’s okay. You don’t owe me anything, but I hope that we can peacefully coexist in this world together. If not—if your hatred is strong—that’s unfortunate but your opinion is of a boy that once existed and I won’t let my past mistakes define me anymore than you should. None of us goes without blame. We all need to let the lessons define us.
When you grow up in the public eye, as I did on TV, in the recording industry, the nightclub industry, the concert industry, hosting a whole bunch of events and shows you get a public that has one of two reactions without even knowing you.
They’re going to love you or they’re going to hate you. And unfortunately, the haters are generally a lot louder than the lovers. The lovers quietly try to support you. The haters will take to the Internet and they will hit you as hard as they can. They will say as much as they can regardless of proof in an effort to make themselves feel good inside. You know why? Because they’re where I was at years ago.
They won’t see it until they’re ready, but the people that live in a cesspool of hatred and constantly talking about others behind their backs to anyone that will listen are just unhappy and without direction.
The Way Forward
That’s not to say I’m some pillar of virtue and positivity. I have a long way to go but I’m going and that, in and of itself, is pretty remarkable considering where I started.
I feel like we all have a long way to go because the goal posts will forever move. The things that we accept as okay, the norms that we subject ourselves to; we fool ourselves all the time to think that what we’re doing is right. What we’re doing in every moment is rational. What we’re doing makes sense. But what I learned through exploring science more is that certainty is an illusion.
We only have the information that we choose to digest at any given moment, so why not digest the information that makes you better, moves you forward, and frees you of your burdens?
Much of what we do is based on what we’re told and not necessarily what we know.
What we really need to do is look at the proof in front of us and make our own conclusions based solely on the proof; not based on what ours friends say, not based on what our parents taught you as a kid, not based on what our grandparents told you as a kid.
The only thing that matters is what you see and hear yourself.
When I was young, I was a dummy; an absolute idiot. I did not get good grades. I was not absorbing information. I wasn’t particularly memorable. As an adult, there are people that respect my opinion, or my research, or my ideas, or my conclusions. There are those who I connect with on various levels and those who have told me they think I’m a good man.
It’s an odd place to be, but absolutely fantastic. It’s a place where I know that I am, in a small way contributing to change.
Whether it be the many conversations with people who were misled about vaccines who decided to get it because of my articles, or the campaign to get nurses an arbitrator and ultimately a contract, or through something as small as entertaining people with Fear … I like where I’m at right now as a person.
Through these little things that I do, I’m able to make small contributions. There are other ways that I spend my time trying to make the world a better place with varying degrees of success but this blog is seriously long enough.
Let’s wrap it up …
The reason I write this is because I have—in the last couple of years—engaged in therapy, which a lot of people will laugh at, some will commend, and some will be completely ambiguous towards. Feel how you feel, but it’s helped and allowed me to understand that a man can be strong while feeling weak.
It’s not through a show of strength that we’re strong, but through discovering and dealing with weakness.
I‘m no the type of person that is going to take to Instagram every day and talk about my my crises and my personal dramas. But I find in therapy, you must confront who you are and today, I finally have an answer.
I am and wish to be truthful, loyal and strong. I take my health seriously but am not fanatical. I lead with hopes and work hard on my dreams. I’m a man who bucks authority and wishes to change the world. I love to travel and I love to love. I have morals and values that may not align with yours and that’s okay because I’m never out in the world trying to create victims.
I am about to embark on a crazy journey that is going to test my energy levels, my capacity for learning, and my capacity for accomplishment. It’s going to test my relationships. It’s going to test my ability to to stay healthy as well as every aspect of my being.
And that’s on purpose.
I need this.
I need to test me.
I need to put me through the litmus test to end all litmus tests, to figure out if I can finally say that I am a man of good character, good values and good morals.
Who am I? I’m a blip in time; a man trying his best not to destroy anything in my path.
In the past, my indiscretions were driven by lack of character. In the future know that my indiscretions do not come from a place of ill-intent or a place that is malicious. It comes from a lack of understanding in the moment … hopefully, just like yours.
If you’re struggling as a kid or as a man know that you can take control of who you are, what you do, and what you see in the mirror. You may never be able to control how the world sees you but that’s okay. The people that matter will see you for your true self.
But, change has to start with action that you, yourself, take. No one is going to do it for you. If you find yourself wishing you are something that you’re not, only you can do something about it. DO IT! I promise you that even when you fail (and you will) you’ll feel better failing at what you want to be than you will succeeding at being a lesser version of you.
Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.