reinvent yourself

Cross the Thinking Gap and Reinvent Yourself!

How do you reinvent yourself? For the longest time, I questioned how this is possible. Aren’t we are who we’ve always been? How do we get another identity than the one we’re so familiar with?

A book that I found during my years at Purdue, called Reinventing Yourself made me start thinking more and more about this. And I realized that I had started on this path early on.

When I was growing up, I understood competition. In fact, I remember the first time I “lost” in the real world. It was in 4H in a shooting sports competition. And frankly, I hadn’t practice – and apparently it showed. I ended up getting 7th out of 10 competitors in my age range.

reinvent yourself

I was pretty upset when I heard the news. Up until that point, I felt that I was good at about just anything I put my mind to. I just couldn’t believe that I didn’t do as well as I thought I was going to do.

I vowed that next year I was going to be better.

That next year, I made it a point to get up super early on Saturdays and go out to the firing range with the club.

That next year, I didn’t do much better. In fact, if I remember right, I got 5th place. Still not nearly as good as the champions and grand champion ribbons I was seeing in my other projects.

However, one thing did stand out to me. Everyone at this event, which was supposed to be highly competitive, got a small trophy.

This was the first time I was exposed to the idea of all participants get a trophy.

I remember being pretty ticked off. Why should they get something for not even placing? I worked at my loss!

So the next year I opted to focus more on Dog Club and left the shooting sports group all together.

Generation Entitlement?

Many argue that Millennials are the most entitled generation. In fact, there are all kinds of books and articles that suggest that the reason for this is because of the rampancy of participation trophies.

Whether that’s truly the case is unknown. However, a lot of Millennials have been told their entire life that they can do anything they want if they put their mind to it.

Well, that’s simply not the case.

What’s worse, is that when things don’t go a certain way, many blame others for their downfalls.

It’s my parents’ fault.

The professor screwed us!

The government needs to do something about that!

Society teaches us that using phrases like this are ok. Unfortunately, they’re only ok if we plan to stay stuck where we’re at in life and in our careers.

Owners Win & Victims Lose

You might have heard the phrase “Own up to it!”. If so, you know that this is slang for taking responsibility for one’s actions.

When you own up to doing something wrong or incorrectly, you’re acting in a space of courage. You say something like “This is my fault. I will do better next time”.  

When we’re denying that we didn’t do something we’re accused of, we’re shedding responsibility. We think “I didn’t do anything wrong. Why should I change?”

Here’s the thing. We can only get better if we acknowledge our failure. If we don’t acknowledge that failure, we’re setting ourselves up for that same failure in the future.

So, really, it’s not much of a stretch to say that what you say on the outside starts with what you think and feel on the inside.

Become an owner and reinvent yourself

If you’re tired of losing, then it’s time to turn things around. But how? How can you reinvent yourself?

Well, here’s a few things that you can become a bit more aware of as you’re living your daily life. Once you break your habit of doing these things and turn it around, you automatically set yourself up to win.

1. Life is Hard! It’s Me vs the Rest of the World!

No, it isn’t. It really isn’t. Life is what you make out of it. 17 years ago, I believed that the world was acting against me and my goal of graduating. It felt like all professors were conspiring against me.

Truth is, engineering is just super tough and I wasn’t putting in enough work to get it done. Once I realized that it wasn’t working out, I switched majors and life started getting better. I got into a study group and started making the grades that I knew I was capable of. Heck, I even had time to do extracurricular activities for once!

2. I’m Not My Fault. They Made Me Do It!

Here’s a phrase that you’ll hear in movies quite a bit. Often times, you’ll hear it from a villain who’s trying to get back at the government or some kind of company.

We as the audience know that while they might have gotten a bad rap, it’s their fault that they’re acting the way they are. They’re making active choices to take the actions that they are.

Soon after, the villain gets what he deserves and the hero rides off into the sunset.

In our own lives, while using this phrase might not involve high stakes as a building exploding or aliens from another dimension being released into our own, it does have the same effect.

It’s our job to realize that we can totally change our perspective of the world at any time.

For example, there are plenty of people out there who have lost a limb and think they can’t be their former selves. That might be true, but it’s also totally possible that they could now be a better version of themselves now.

Also, there are homeless people who are constantly miserable and there are others who are fighting to get out of their funk. I’ve interviewed two people fairly recently who were both homeless in high school and now, years later, are living their dreams.


3. Why Should I Take Responsibility of Something I Didn’t Do?

I’ve mentioned this before, but Andrew Luck is a great example of a leader. In all of his post game interviews, he always takes the responsibility of a loss. And when the team wins, he sheds the glory to his teammates.

We all should try to be this humble in our own lives. Take responsibility even if it’s not our fault. And when we’re awarded, give thanks to those who have supported us.

Action Steps

As far as additional action steps to reinvent yourself, it might be worth your time to listen to a couple of interviews from those who had plenty of reasons to be a victim.
David Anderson, Antonio Smith, Jr., and Kristian Aleixo.

Also, you can learn more about crossing the thinking gap by checking out the newest version of Reinventing Yourself by Steve Chandler.

real income

How to Get Real Income and Recognition as A Creative Entrepreneur

In the last decade, entrepreneurship has exploded. Especially the online entrepreneurial scene. If you get connected to it on Facebook as much as I am, then all you’ll see are ads for courses, events, and plenty of “friends” offering free value for people to like them and eventually buy from them.

There’s such an ocean of online creative entrepreneurs these days, that it’s easy to be overlooked when you’re beginning. Especially if you do B2B work (which I’m not necessarily a fan of the terms B2B or B2C terminology).

So, instead of going the route that we’ve all been trained to believe is the only way, I have a idea for you I was reminded of from a book I’m reading called the Win Without Pitching Manifesto.

In the book, author Blair Enns shares with us the mindset that we need to use to be seen as an expert in our art and work. He does this through Twelve Proclamations which, when I read them, I was like “Yes, yes, YES! Finally someone is telling it like it should be!”

Practitioners Don’t Present, Stars Don’t Audition

See, here’s the thing. The whole idea of sharing content and essentially your work for free is a relatively new idea. Before the internet, what was heard or seen in popular culture was generated by networks, large labels, and celebrities. Nothing was “free”. Not even the music you heard on the radio or TV. It was (and continues to be) paid for the same way that Facebook is paid today – ads!

As hard as it is to imagine today, not all millionaires and billionaires made their fortunes through the internet. Sure, the internet changes things a bit, but like anything else, it should be seen as a tool.

Believe it or not, there are “online entrepreneurs” today who never built an audience until they were already millionaires. In the most recent session of the AoL Podcast with Tony Whatley, we find that he became a millionaire while he was still working a day job as a mechanical engineer! It’s only now that he’s building his audience.

Same thing with Damion Lupo of session 125. He made his millions in the real estate way before building an online following.

Popularity doesn’t necessarily transfer to profit. Is it a way? Sure. Is it the only way? No.

Personally, I’d rather be a practitioner and NOT a performer.

Embrace Your Inner Expertise

As Blair said in his book, no matter what you make, have experience in, or help others do, it’s much easier to work with them when you’re not constantly pitching your services.

Here’s the general idea of how online marketing usually goes down:

We have been trained to think that we must give work for free so we can show our value. Once we show our value, then we have the potential to market. Then, as we market regularly, we might see some sales if we have a product that’s desired by our audience.

The problem with that is that when we pitch our work and services to potential clients and customers, we’re giving them the power to control if they want to buy from us.

However, if we were to approach sales like a lawyer, doctor, or a mechanic then you don’t give up that control.

Doctors, lawyers, and mechanics never do free work. Any time we go to them, we expect to pay (unless of course it’s a pro bono case) for their efforts.

Why should we as creative entrepreneurs think any differently?

Examine, Solution, Implementation

So how do doctors, lawyers, and mechanics work that’s different than other entrepreneurs?

For one, they respect their work. They know that the person who’s talking to them can’t do what they can. Therefore, if they don’t work with them, their problem won’t be solved.

This is called positioning.

Next, through examination, they determine if they’re a fit for what the potential client needs. They do this by offering a vague solution so the client has an idea of what the situation calls for, but they don’t give all the step by step instructions in how to do it.

Next, once the potential client believes that the solution that has been given to them is what is needed, they agree to pay once the expert’s work is implemented.

In our situation, we might not feel comfortable with that arrangement, so we might only implement after payment. Or, you could go halvsies and pay 50% before the work and the rest after the job is done.

Action Steps

Anyhow, guys. This is some advice that I hope you think about. If you’re an artist and want to be rewarded for your work, then this approach will get you more commissions.

Of course, you’ll need to go to more trade shows, go to more conferences, and/or pay for more ads on social media, but it’s much more efficient then hoping you’ll get results.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out that book! It’s a game changer!

full stack designer

Sagi Shrieber – Mindful and Ruthless: Going from Full Stack Designer to Full Time Dream Achiever (AoL 146)

Having success in work you love doing can take awhile to actually happen. There’s certainly a Gap we all have to cross. In that Gap, we tend to ask ourselves different questions ranging from “Why am I still struggling?” to “Should I give up and do what I know I could get paid better for but not like to do as much?” to even “Why am I having so much trouble growing my audience?”.

I know I’ve had these questions myself.

In this session, our guest, Sagi Shrieber, talks to Veronica and I about his career in design and how he was fairly successful right out of graduation. But after awhile, he found himself at a point in his life where he was $50k in debt and still having to support a family.

In our conversation, we learn what he did to start climbing out of this funk as well as why he spent over $70k in improving himself in 2018.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • What led Sagi to school to be a designer? 9:40
  • How was he able to have as much success with his career after getting out college? 13:58
  • After having success early on in his career, how did things take a turn for the worse and how did he find himself getting out of his funk? 22:08
  • What did he learn from this experience that he’s still using to this day? 31:50
  • When it comes to the way that Sagi uses it, what does it mean to be “full stack”? 38:17
  • What are some pointers he recommends when someone is building their first business website? 42:56
  • Where can we expect to see Sagi in 2019 conference wise? 55:55
  • What are his favorite top three books he tells others about? 58:12
  • Is there a gift he likes to give? 1:03:31
  • What message is out there that’s a disservice to youth? 1:05:22
  • What one travel tip does Sagi have to share? 1:06:59
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 1:10:23

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Russell Brunson makes $3 million on stage at 10X Growth Con

How to Network with Influential Entrepreneurs

Interview with Pat Flynn

Interview with Paul Jarvis


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

Paul Tokgozoglu – How Do We Get to Where We’re Going? Exploring the Future Evolution of Mankind (AoL 142)

In this edition of the AoL Podcast, we continuing our in depth look at motivation and what drives people to step out and embrace who they are. During the previous session with Chris Jordan, Chris told us about his life changing turning point and how being a man of Faith has allowed him to live a more fulfilling lifestyle and be a better person.

In contrast, today’s guest is someone who’s actually motivated to be a better version of himself through Natural Laws he’s learned about in the personal development field.

Join Harrison and I as we talk with the host of the Beyond Homosapien podcast, Paul Tokgozoglu. In this chat he’ll share how practicing laws such as the Law of Attraction have continually improved his outlook on life and his engagement with those around him.

On top of this, we’ll also be looking into what we should be expecting when it comes to the changes in work people do in the not too distant future.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • What was it like for Paul growing up? 10:27
  • What triggered his interest in personal development? 13:54
  • When did he realize that he wasn’t a victim of the universe? 17:49
  • Where does he see digital marketing going in the near future as a marketer? 29:45
  • What does Paul see happening as all the current technologies continue to move forward? 35:29
  • Is there anything in particular he feels himself currently being pulled more towards to learn about? 48:35
  • What’s going on for Paul in 2019? 56:31
  • What are 3 of his top favorite books that he gifts or tells others about? 59:38
  • If he could ask anyone alive or dead a question, who and what would he ask? 1:01:44
  • What’s one of the biggest differences between marketing to a German market vs a US market? 1:04:40
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 1:08:27

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Paul Online: Website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube
Cohost: Harrison Painter
Session Sponsor: Fizzle – Get Access to a Library of Great Courses like SEO for Bloggers by Matt Giovanisci FREE for two weeks!
Mat Tricks BJJ Podcast
Law of Attraction
What happened to Blab.fm?
Yuval Noah Harari – 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
Robot passed China’s medical exam
IBM unveiled quantum computer
Elon Musk on Joe Rogan’s show discussing Neurolink
An Iron Will by Orison Swett Marden
Remembering Wholeness – Carol Tuttle
You Can Heal Your Life – Louise Hay
Michael O’Neal talks Life Balance with Natalie Sisson


Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Here’s what you Need to Know about Evolution

Manifestation Pyramid and how the Law of Attraction Works

AI Tech and the Evolution of Man with Anton Harrison-Kern

Ethical Weed with Molly Rose


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

proactive personality

Developing a Proactive Personality – How the Best Create Their Own Luck and Don’t Try to Control What They Can’t

Manifest: Anything is Possible is the name of the event coming up this month that Amplify is co-sponsoring with Walk the Talk.

In the event’s description, it reads:

The law of attraction is always steadfastly delivering what we have consciously or unconsciously asked for through our focus, our thoughts and most especially our feelings.

We are always in the process of manifesting and creating our lives. This is good news because it means we can change our thoughts to change our world. We can learn to come from an empowered place and use this law to manifest the life of our dreams.

Can’t say that I can disagree with this statement at all. In fact, I think most people who have done any work in the self-help / personal development space would agree with this statement.

However, I think there’s something I should bring up. And, I think it’s something that a lot of people tend to gloss over:

Being proactive is all about controlling what you can control and not expecting what you can’t.

Start with the End in Mind

We’ve all heard about Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In it, the first two habits are, I think, the hardest two for many people to get used to. Mainly because we live in such a reactive world.

The first one, is simply to stay proactive. Like my co-hosts and I talked about all the way back in session 5 of the AoL Podcast, It’s only when you work proactively that you can become the influencer instead of the influenced.

The second habit is all about planning. It says that if you want to be successful at achieving something, you need to start with the end in mind.

Not to go into too much detail in the football analogy here again, but since we did just see the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl again this past weekend giving both Tom Brady and Bill Belichick their 6th ring, it might be worth noting that there’s no doubt in my mind that they start from day 1 each season with the end in mind.

I’d go on to say that the particular end that they’re going for is easier to illustrate to the new roster because the organization has reached that pinical so many times.

That analogy aside, if you were to build anything, say a dog house, a phone application, or even an organization, you need to know what the final product will look like.

When it comes to these two laws, simply letting the universe (or God) decide our fate, isn’t a great move. We need have that plan in place to get to where we want.

Habit 3 suggests that the first thing we need to do is determine what the order of steps are we need to perform “to get there”.

Luck Does Play a Role

The definition of luck is this: it’s the point where preparedness and opportunity intersect. With that definition, it’s hard to not think that Andrew Luck has learned to truly embody his surname.

Quenton Nelson, who was the Colts’ rookie guard this year, recently said that Andrew is one of the biggest nerds he knows. And he’s not just talking about football. When the team is traveling, Andrew acts as a tour guide of the city they’re visiting.

When we’re wanting to achieve something in our work or lives, we need to not only be prepared, but we also need to be on the lookout for opportunity. Meaning, if you were a fisherman, sure you could have he best gear and have the best techniques, but if you’re not near a body of water, then you’re never going to land a fish.

Likewise, if you’re looking to serve a certain kind of people, but you’re spending your time elsewhere, perhaps that’s not the best move. If you were Andrew, even though you were good at it, you wouldn’t be practicing soccer in preparation for a football game.

External Expectancy: It’s a Trap!

Now, with all this talk about setting out with the end in mind and being lucky, there’s something we really need to watch out for.

Expecting certain results to come to us from the universe after we put in our own efforts.

Here’s the truth: you can only affect the things that you control. It’s when we try to affect things outside of our control that bad stuff happens.

For instance, you might have wanted to write a book. Ok, that’s great. Are you doing it for the right reasons though? Are you wanting to write it because you want to get nationally recognized or because you simply want to get your message out there?

If it’s the latter, then you’re good to start. Build a writing habit (say 1000 words per day) and you’ll have that puppy out in no time.

However, if the reason you’re wanting to write a book is because you want to get that recognition, then you might have some problems. For one, what if it doesn’t get recognized? Does that mean that you shouldn’t create in the future? Does that mean you need to choose a different niche? Perhaps you’re just not cut out to be an author?

It doesn’t mean any of those things. You just put the expectancy on external results.

Here’s another example. Perhaps you wanted to earn more money last year or become more connected in your industry. If you did everything that you could do to make that happen, but you’re upset. I’d argue, what’s really upsetting you isn’t that you failed – because you didn’t. What happened is that the results that you have no control over weren’t what you were expecting.

All of these questions pop up when you expect things to go a certain way and they don’t. So don’t try to control things you can’t control.

If you want more about this topic, Srini Rao did a good writeup over at Unmistakable Creative.

Action Steps

So here we are. Halfway through winter and you’re still spinning your wheels in how you can get out of your individual rat race.

If you really want to make your situation better, the first thing I would do is figure out if you’re truly doing meaningful work. I WOULD NOT set a possibly unattainable goal of being able to change or quit your job or switch the focus of your business in the next 90 days. You need to first get your bearings of who you are, where you fit in the world, and the superpowers you have.

After that, I’d seek out the first mountain you want to climb and start putting steps into place about getting there.

Maybe you want to be a coach – is there a certification that you’d want to get before setting off on that journey? Is the niche of people you’re wanting to serve actually able to pay you for your services? If not, what’s a possible way you can build an income stream from that work?

Maybe you want to be a consultant? Do you know what that entails? Where do you find clients? How would you sell your services to a potential client?

Heck, maybe you love watching American Pickers and you want to do what Mike and Frank do. Do you know what the market value is for antiques? Do you have a place to store your findings? How will you find targets to pick from?

Figure this stuff out before you set out on your own.

And the third step is this – set the fundamental daily habits in place that will enable you to be successful. As I mentioned earlier this year, I’d recommend looking at Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Habits. But there are tons of other books out there on the subject as well that might be a better fit for you.

the mentor

Antonio Smith Jr – The Making of the Mentor: Escaping Poverty & Building Others Up (AoL 134)


When someone hits rock bottom, they usually have a choice to make. One, they can blame everyone but themselves for what has happened to them. Many times this prevents people from moving on from where they’re at.

They can then choose to make the other choice. They can realize that they’re actually the one in control of where they’re at and make it their mission to get out of that situation and never come back.

The term “rock bottom” is a relative term. Rock bottom for one person can be quite different than rock bottom for someone else.

For some people, a simple habit change can be enough to help them get out of their situation. But on the other hand, the person might need a complete mindset overhaul.

For today’s guest, he was more of the latter. After being homeless through the ages of 6 to 16, he thought his only way to get ahead was to excel at football. When an injury killed his chances to get a scholarship, he felt stuck. Luckily, a mentor stepped up and taught him that he had a gift of communication.

Ever since then, he’s been on a mission to develop this gift. Doing so has given him opportunities he might not have ever considered as an athlete.

Join Harrison and I as we talk with Rev. Antonio Smith Jr. about this transition and how others can make a positive impact in their community!

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • Why does Antonio still feel like an immigrant to the America even though he was born in the US? 10:34
  • How did he find his first mentor growing up and what are his thoughts on mentorship through life? 12:42
  • How does Antonio reach out and help those who are living lives of quiet desperation? 26:35
  • Is there a secret in finding opportunities to work with celebrities like Antonio has? 32:21
  • Is it possible to balance Christian values with business values? 37:29
  • How does he emotionally deal with it when he knows that only a fraction of the people who listen to him actually take his advice and act with it? 41:30
  • What’s Antonio looking forward to and excited for in the future? 46:36
  • Who are his Favorite Top 3 Influencers? 54:28
  • Who would he have dinner with, living or dead? 54:38
  • What is a habit or belief that has improved his life in the last 5 years? 54:47
  • What’s a gift he likes giving others? 55:02
  • What’s something he wants to do that no one knows about? 55:14
  • How can someone make a difference in their community? 55:33

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Why High Performers No Longer Perform Highly

Profit over Popularity

Keep the Wrong People Away

From Where You Are to $100k


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

mental wellness

Mental Wellness & the Creative Entrepreneur

Over the weekend, there was yet another mass shooting. 11 people were injured, 3 people – including the gunman – were killed.

At this point, we’re not sure what caused the guy to do what he did. But many would guess that it was the fact that he was upset that he didn’t do as well as he wanted. He took it out on those who, in his mind, he could blame for his failure.

In the last couple of years, we’ve seen all kinds of people acting out in similar fashions. Whether it’s the series of mass shootings we’ve seen or it’s those cases where the person opted to take  take their own life, creatives seem to be pretty prone to being involved in either situation.

 

Nature of Success

One might think that those of us who have had success in our lives, that we might be able to rise above these thoughts. Unfortunately, that just simply isn’t the case. As The Notorious B.I.G. said, “Mo Money, Mo Problems!”

I’ve mentioned this before, but those who are often the most depressed are the ones who usually have the fire to become successful. They think that money, fame, and freedom will solve their woes. But in the end, they don’t. They’re as unhappy as they were when they first started.

If these things made us happier with life, then there’s a good chance that people like Robin Williams, Chester Bennington, Kate Spade, and Anthony Bourdain would still be around.

 

We’re Aliens

Recently I came across a new video by the infamous group Die Antwoord. If you’ve never heard their music, then the best way to describe their work is if you mixed a hip-hop artist with an EDM DJ.

It’s not for everyone. However, the message they produce with their songs is one of the most creative I’ve seen in the last decade.

In the case of this video and song, they’re talking about not fitting in.

Here’s a few of the lyrics

I close my eyes and float into the night I like to let my mind drift

Make a jump into a new dimension

Thank God I got that gift

Sometimes it feels like coming from this planet people are so sick and twisted

I don’t wanna fit in anyway, I’d rather be a misfit

They laugh at me because I’m different, I laugh at them because they’re all the same

I am a alien

No matter how hard I try I don’t fit in

Always all on my own, sad and lonely

All I want is for someone to play with me

mental wellness

Do you feel like an alien? If so, know you’re not alone.

 

If I’m understanding this song correctly, I appreciate its message. When I was growing up, I was bullied constantly. Sure, I was the biggest kid in my grade, but I was also a pretty big geek compared to my classmates. And in my small town, that was two strikes right there!

However, looking back, I can now say that I was definitely a proto-millennial. I always had a better time interacting with kids who were younger than me. It’s one of the main reasons why I’m proud to be called a Xennial.

But man, when I was in the thick of it – where it got especially bad was my first few of years at Purdue. In high school, the one thing that saved me was that I was a good student. However, when I started at Purdue I struggled to get C’s in my classes. During that time, I’d try anything to make my grades better. So I can definitely understand why people can just do crazy things when they’re depressed. Depression and an overall feeling of not living up to your own or others standards can really make you into someone you’re not.

 

Coping with Depression

So how did I get out of my funk?

Well, first, I think the biggest thing I did was start hanging out with people who had similar goals in life. Luckily for me, just when I was starting to hit the bottom, I gained several good friends. Two of which were my groomsmen. They weren’t judgemental and really helped me take my mind off of worrying about tests all the time.

It was also about that time where I started actually thinking about working out on my own. I had always heard people talk about exercise as a stress reliever – so I started going to the Co-Rec pretty regularly. (In fact, that was one of the places where I’d see alumni cohost Laila from time to time!)

Another thing that I did was take advantage of free services provided by the Department of Psychology at Purdue. I think I probably had 3 different issues that I saw them for. I still remember some of the issues that people in my support groups had… and I don’t even remember why I went!!

That said, that last one there might be the only way that some people might be able to get help. Seriously, seek professional help. If it’s good enough for Lucifer, then us mortals can probably benefit as well!

If you’re having suicidal thoughts, get help right away. Call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

 

Keep Up with the Weeds

Now just because I got out of my funk, doesn’t mean that I stopped utilizing those habits that I developed back then.

Today, I try to be as social as I can. I still walk Max (RIP Sadie and Sable), and I try to be mindful of what I’m eating. And I also make sure I get a great amount of sleep.

That said, I’ve learned that there’s a couple of other things that I do these days that I didn’t back then. One thing I try to do is be as optimistic as possible by using the 5 Minute Journal – which can be found on the App and Play Store. Since using it, I’ve come to realize that affirmations really help drain your brain of negative thoughts.

Another thing that I’ve found that helps me is not “subscribing” to all the things that I could. Meaning, I don’t put myself into situations where I feel that I could become addicted to something. For example, even though I still call myself a gamer, I limit myself to playing a handful of games only a handful of hours per week. Even more, I could never see myself as someone who plays to get paid. It would take the enjoyment out for me by adding stress to it.

Another example is with it being the football season, it’s time once again for fantasy football. To make sure I don’t get too involved with it, I only play free leagues. The stress from watching the games is enough for me!

 

Action Steps

So, I hope that helps someone. The shooting this past weekend really hit me. Again, it could have been something avoidable. I can see why some people think that removing the gun from the equation might help, but the real problem isn’t the firearms. Guns are simply a tool. It’s the people behind the tool that we have to worry about.

That dude was going to kill one way or another. And it didn’t have to be that way.

If you or someone you know is having issues make sure to get help. Heck, even you reaching out and saying hi to someone you know that’s having some issues might be all it takes to prevent them from doing something drastic.