Success leaves clues. Why take one new massive goals when you haven’t even reflected upon this past year’s success? I guess that’s why I’ve never been good nor seen the point with “New Years Resolutions”. If you want to replicate ANY form of success, you need to REFLECT on WHY and HOW you were successful. It is for this reason I feel that it’s much more important to reflect upon what you’ve learned over the past year. It’s in the reflection that we are reminded of life’s lessons.
Last year I broke my lessons down into four categories in which I’m most passionate about: Physical / Personal Development / Music / Passion & Business. This year, I decided to tack on an extra category; dun dun DUN….. Relationships.
As always: can’t WAIT to hear your feedback at the end! Which lessons did you connect with? Where in your life did you experience something similar?
Real quick: I’d also like to note that I’m in no way trying to sound preachy. These are as much reminders for myself to look back on throughout the years as they are to you! May we all get something out of these!
Top 8 Things I Learned About: Personal Development
1. “WHAT ONE CAN BE, ONE MUST BE” In short, this has become my life’s philosophy. What Abraham Maslow is saying is that all of us have this divinely inspired need of self-actualization. It’s corny but true, that everyone is as unique on the inside as they are on the outside. The universe NEVER recreates. You were put here for a distinct purpose. We must fully express ourselves and use our unique gifts / services to better serve the world. Don’t cheat us from your unique gifts!
2. THERE’S NO “HOLY GRAILS”. “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. Did you know that back in Jefferson’s day, the word “pursuit” actually meant, “PRACTICE”? Pretty different than our common interpretation of “to chase after”. If we want happiness, whatever that means to us, we can’t be caught up in this Holy Grail chase of “one day”. We must practice it EVERYday. VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S6H05qFHPg
3. EXPRESS OR DEPRESS . Probably my most important lesson this year. Everything in nature has a polar opposite. There’s hot / cold, night / day, male / female, depression / expression. If you want to get out of a rut, you NEED to express yourself. This looks totally different for everyone. My favorite way is through Dynamic Drumming Meditation. All you drumming buddies know what I mean! EXPRESS OR DEPRESS!
4. CONSISTENCY ON THE FUNDAMENTALS. Not taking time for yourself is like saying that you’re too busy driving to stop for gas! Ridiculous right!? Yet we do this SO much. Doing the fundamentals or things that FILL you up is a must. My big ones are: Exercise, good nutrition, proper hydration, expression, restful sleep, and personal development books. What are yours!? Do them!
5. REAL COURAGE IS… Real courage is NOT getting rid of fear; REAL courage is taking action in spite of fear. I feel there’s a huge myth in our society that we’ll “one day” or “somehow” completely rid ourselves of fear. Let’s listen to good ol’ Mark Twain with this gem: “courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” Take action. Yesterday you said tomorrow. Begin it today.
6. WHEN YOU’RE GREEN YOU’RE GROWING “When you’re green, you’re growing. When you’re ripe, you start to rot.” -Ray Kroc. In short, never stop learning. Oh MAN is this true! There’s something so beautiful about growth. As is in nature when something stops growing, it dies. The same is true with us! You may not die in a literal sense, but you’ll be one of those people who die at the age of 25 and continue walking around like a zombie till 70! Never. Stop. Learning.
7. KNOLEDGE COMES IN THE REFLECTION I’ll be the first to admit, this one’s super hard for me to practice. I feel the constant need to be in the “Action Mode” when in reality, real growth happens in the “Reflection Mode”. Journaling has become a huge practice of mine. I feel that this is where everything really soaks in. Knowledge without application is useless.
8. 95% A BITCH, 100% A BREEZE How true is this title? There’s that monkey on your back when you don’t fully commit. It’s always going to beg the question of “is this the 5% day?” That 5% will start turning into 50, then pretty soon you quit! When you’re REALLY 100%, there’s NO question and NO guess work! It’s a breeze because there’s no thinking! Take the 100% and live it!
BONUS LESSON: Brian Johnson is my mentor of the year! He’s a real cool dude who takes personal development books and distills them down into bite size chunks. Real cool stuff. This dude came out with a book called “A Philosopher’s Notes”. Super easy read that I went through five times! Love this guy. Look him up for sure!
Top 8 Things I Learned About: Passion / Business
9. ABSOLUTE ABS Launching a business / product is HARRRDD! SHIT! I had no idea how much time / effort this would all be. Hiring a programmer, web developer, online banker, videographer, producer, camera man (YOU’RE MY MAN HARRY!), Film editor, graphic designer, AND writing / creating the program. WHEW! Glad that’s done! HOWEVER! SO thankful that I’ve learned how to do it all so I can be better prepared for the next products! Thanks for the support on Absolute Abs guys! www.Absolute-Abs-Workout.com (had to plug it).
10. TWO ULTIMATE RESOURCES Time and money. Ultimately, you’re time is more valuable. You have to choose which one of the two you want to spend. The other will suffer. Spending all those hours editing / producing Absolute Abs saved me thousands, however my whole summer was spent a slave to Final Cut Pro!
11. DHARMA This one could go in any category really. Dharma a concept I ripped of Deepak Chopra’s must read: “The Seven Laws of Spiritual Success”. The seventh law is the law of Dharma. Basically Dharma is a concept that we are ALL put here for a unique purpose. The “Universe” or “God” or “Creator” (whatever you want to label it) NEVER duplicates. Each and every one of us were given unique talents / gifts. By not fully using those gifts or fully expressing yourself you do a disservice to yourself, but more importantly everyone else who could of benefited from them! My English teacher would kill me for that run on sentence, but you get the point! Dharma. Powerful stuff!
12. EVERYTHING IS CREATED TWICE. Once in your mind, and once in reality! This is the concept of blueprinting! We gotta give ourselves permission to dream big and think even bigger! Once you’ve created something in your mind, all that’s left is to get a M.A.P. or “Massive Action Plan.” Take action and manifest that blueprint into a reality! Dream it up peeps!
13. EARN A DEGREE IN G.S.D: GET SHIT DONE Sometimes you just need a degree in G.S.D or “Getting Shit Done!” Turn the distractions off, lock yourself down, and make a to-do list. GSD! Oh and shout out to my roommate / best friend Harry with this one!
14. OUTSOURCE If you want to be a millionaire, then you need to stop doing $10/hour tasks! Word. Sri Lanka does great work as does South Africa! Elance.com has saved me SO MUCH MONEY. Tim Ferris thought me this one for sure. Not just in business, but in every area of your life. There’s only so much time that we have. What’s the 5% of things that you and ONLY you can do? Do them and outsource the rest.
15. START & STOP “What’s the #1 thing you should START doing. What’s the #1 thing you should STOP doing?” Hands down, one of the BEST questions I ask myself whenever I’m feeling off-task or off-centered. It’s not surprising at all how many times the answer has been some form of social media…. What a time-eater facebook is, good God!
16. GIVE GIVE GIVE I said it last year, but it’s worth repeating. THE SECRET TO LIVING IS GIVING.
BONUS LESSON: Don’t shit where you eat. Vulgar, but true! Designating a definite place for business, school, homework, rest, and reading has increased my productivity ten fold. Pro tip: coffee shops are always a win!
Top 8 Things I Learned About: RELATIONSHIPS
17. FINGER POINTING & MIRROR REFLECTIONS Every time you point the finger there’s THREE pointing back at you. In short, I find that I’m always quick to tell OTHERS what to do even if I still haven’t fully mastered the area I’m preaching at them for! Whenever I get pissed at someone, a huge practice of mine has become always asking myself “how am I that”. It’s amazing how normally the little things that make me tick most are the little things I still need to work on and incorporate into my life!
18. BECOMING > FINDING Stop trying to LOOK for the right person and focus more on BECOMING the right person.
19. ROAD TRIPS AND BEST FRIENDS My two best friends and I are idiots, and I love them for that! Taking a trip down the west coast then cutting through Vegas was the highlight of my summer. Love you Emmanuel and Harry!
20. OVERFLOWING CUP. You can’t give what you don’t have. Likewise, you can’t be what you are not. You’ll NEVER help or serve any one if your cup isn’t full. Always ask yourself if you’re in the right place or even the right person before you try to “help”.
21. QUICKEST WAY TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE? Change your habits and change who you hang around. We are literally a bundle of habits, just as we are whom we hang around. You are the average of the top five people you hang around most! Honestly ask yourself / journal on if whom you’re hanging around is elevating you or bringing you down. Do they support you or suck energy from you? See the next lesson for this. Radical Honesty baby!
22. RADICAL HONESTY The MORE open you are. The LESS you have to hide. And the less you have to hide. The LESS worried you are about being found out. And the less worried you are about being found out. The MORE attention you can give to someone. And THAT’S where true, authentic relationships occur. Radical Honesty peeps. VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aLhkLEYCCE
23. FIXING PEOPLE Never. Ever. Try to “fix” anyone. I have a huge problem with this, and I think that’s cross the board with most men. Always trying to analyze the problem to come up with a solution is a common trend I see with us dudes. Being the “problem solver” has its time and place, just NOT with people. It’s ironic because this very thing although often done with good intentions, turns people into objects and pushes them further away. No one wants’ to be seen as defective or in need of fixing, they just want to be seen as whole. No one wants’ to be fixed they just want to be loved. Always seek to be the question NOT the answer.
24. WHITE LIGHT. Light is the sum of ALL colors. If you eliminated any one of those colors, it would lose its light and power. It would no longer be whole and true. The same is true with our own lives and experiences. Our true expressions of ourselves are the sum of all are past experiences; the sum of ALL our colors. Our darker shades of blue, purple, green are no more or less important than our brighter experiences of red, yellow, orange. Stop hiding from your past and trying to ignore it. Be thankful that it’s made you true and whole. A bit cliché or corny, but true! White light. VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-xsH8y53wU
BONUS LESSON: Dependence / Independence / Interdependence. Strive for Interdependence with any relationship. The other two will bring you both down and weaken you. You should both be growing more TOGETHER than alone. If you’re not, then there’s no reason for that relationship.
Top 8 Things I Learned About: MUSIC, DRUMS, YOUTUBE
25. SAY WHAT NEEDS TO BE SAID If you’re not offending anyone, chances are you’re not really saying anything; or at least anything that hasn’t already been said before. Real creativity / originality is offensive because it challenges our current state! Now here me out before you try and offend people on purpose. This in no way means go out and be reckless and offensive just for the sake of it. However, if you have STRONG convictions, be bold and say them! People may not agree with you, but they can trust you more. “How can I ever trust your ‘yes’ if I never hear your ‘no’?” Stop being afraid of saying ‘no’.
26. DEFEND POP-PUNK! Seriously! Still my all time favorite genre! Just makes you feel like a kid again! The Wonder Years “Suburbia” still remains my favorite pop-punk album ever. Firework’s “Gospel” is a close second! Never lose your youth!
27. RAW AND REAL This is the way to approach anything, for real. As hard as it is to just go from the gut, people relate to you SO much better. No one wants to see a “perfect” person or “perfect” performance. How relatable is that? In general, I find myself being so fed up with overproduction and in authenticity from our media, that I crave real & relatable people! There’s something almost too polished or put rehearsed about over preparing. Still working on this one for sure!
28. ALBUM OF THE YEAR: This one has to go to Balance & Composure’s “Separation”. That WHOLE album is just…. trashy! Brings me back to my middle school punk days for sure. I listened to this album too many times, and the authenticity / rawness just kills! For some reason, B.O.B’s “strange clouds” was a close second… PREDICTIONS FOR THIS YEAR: Plot In You or The Wonder Years.
29. DYNAMIC DRUMMING MEDITATION This was by far my favorite video to make. EVER! The feedback letters from kids who have actually participated in it are beautiful. I’m in no way trying to be boastful, but to receive double-digit emails of kids saying what a life saving impact it’s made on them makes any work TOTALLY worth it. Amazing! VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNbKIU4tLBo
30. HEALTH IS A MASSIVE OCEAN WITH LOTS OF FISHERMEN Good God. Trying to launch a successful health and fitness channel has been 100X harder than drums / music! There’s not only millions of videos, but there’s millions of people fishing in the same pond you are! I’m learning that you have to put out killer content and a lot of it! Goal for this year: Three videos / week for a whole year!
31. MUSIC & AUTHENTICITY Feel like I’ve beaten this one to death. You get the point! (See #27…)
32. COUNTRY MUSIC… I still hate it.
BONUS LESSON: Binaural Beats Meditation. My new secret weapon! I love these things. Go on Youtube and listen to some while you’re studying or meditating! Get your brain waves on!
Top 8 Things I Learned About: HEALTH & FITNESS
33. THE BODY IS BEAUTIFUL… AND COMPLICATED I have Anatomy and Physiology to thank for this one. Our bodies are so complex yet simple it amazes me. There’s so many carry over’s / parallels between our bodies and nature.
34. HOMEOSTASIS Such a solid concept for all areas of our lives. The body will ALWAYS resist change and fight to stay in it’s current state. It’s the challenge, which allots for growth in any area. It’s not the end result; it’s the journey and what it makes of you. This is where the growth happens.
35. H.I.I.T. AND FAT LOSS Interval training is still the best way to burn off fat (aside from proper nutrition). 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. Repeat for 15-20 min up to 3x week. The key is intensity. You have to be prepared to give absolutely 100%. Otherwise forget it. VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rATcnHf7Plg
36. OBSESSION IS REAL AND UNHEALTHY Still struggling with this myself. Body image obsession is huge and can take over your life.
37. REST MORE Less is more. Tim Ferris’ concept of the “minimal effective dose” out of the 4-Hour Body is genius.
38. INTERMITTENT FASTING Is Legit. Taking one or two 24-hour fasts per month is not only great for detoxifying the body, but great for your overall health and well being.
39. DETOX AND RAW FOOD Is freakin’ scary! Made an attempt to do a raw vegan cleanse for a month this year. Bad move. By the fourth day my entire body was shaking uncontrollably. Detoxification is way more intense than I had ever thought of. VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-JY11w0lwU
40. BEST WAY TO TRAIN FOR MUSCLE DENSITY I’ve always been a huge fan of occasional bodyweight only workouts. The density and definition you can get without weights are insane. Plus, the concept of adding more weight when you can’t even use you own bodies’ is ridiculous. If you can’t do at least 100 pushups, 20 dead hang pull-ups and 40 dips you have no business using weights.
BONUS LESSON: What gets measured, gets managed. Tracking everything is the only way to be honest with yourself. Start with writing down your workouts / reps / weights then move onto tracking your entire diet. Going to have to do this bad boy throughout this year for sure!
MY TOP BOOKS OF 2012
1. HOW TO EAT MOVE AND BE HEALTHY – paul chek
2. A PHILOSOPHERS NOTES – brian johnson
3. AS A MAN THINKETH &FROM POVERTY TO POWER -james allen
4. THE WAY OF THE SUPERIOR MAN – David Deida
5. WHY YOUR LIFE SUCKS – alan cohen
6. THE FOUR HOUR WORK WEEK -Tim ferris
MY GOALS FOR 2013
1.PURA VIDA season 2 It’s been my goal to come out with season two of my motivational show: Pura Vida. This will have 10 full length episodes. Super stoked for this!
2. READ MORE! I hope to read at least one new book a month. Kinda hard with school studies, but making time will be a must.
3. DRUMMER’S WORKOUT I’ve been REALLY wanting to tie in my three passions: Drums, Health, and Inspiration. I have no clue how I will go about this product, but it better be out and ready by 2014!
4. FITNESS SHOW compete this April I’ve always wanted to compete in a fitness modeling competition. This year will be the year I finally bite the bullet and go for it! Goal is to get down to 7% bodyfat. I’ll start this process in January. Sub goal: film weekly honest / raw progress videos for fitness channel.
5. GROWTH continue to grow holistically I feel that there’s always areas in my life that I’m not devoting as much attention to or neglecting. You’re whole life works in harmony with all parts, so I gotta’ crack down this year!
6. GIVE MORE I want to work with kids super badly! REALLY looking forward to doing the Big Brother program this year! Stoked!
What a novel! Thanks so much for reading through dudes and dudettes! Hopefully this inspired you to do the same! What are the top 40 things YOU learned this year? What are YOUR goals? How will YOU make 2013 the year to remember?
Control your life, and don’t let life control you!
COMING THIS YEAR: