The greatest single piece of advice that I have heard lately, straight from GaryVee (Gary Vaynerchuk) himself – that has actually had a very dynamic impact on me personally, comes from one of Gary’s many motivational clips – where he plainly states – “stop giving a shit about what others think of you!”
Although, admittedly I’m not 100% there – I have to say that I’ve made some huge strides in this area lately – and it feels like a huge pressure off of me!
For years the weight of self consciousness was like an anchor that held me back; I would become frozen in indecision, concerned of how my looks, my comments, my actions – how my entire persona would be received by those I knew, and more ridiculously- people I didn’t know. I was always concerned with what impression I was making, maintaining the right presence and image – the right image for my family, the right image for my career – and although this sounds responsible and reasonable, I wasn’t allowing myself to experience opportunities, engage with certain people – and quite honestly, I was limiting the fun I could have been having in my life, I was restricting experiences that both my wife and I would have enjoyed!
I can’t place my hand on the specific lever that I pulled in my brain that enabled me to “let go” so to speak – but I can tell you the last few weeks have been liberating! New friends, new experiences and lots of laughs – and as I look back – my reputation hasn’t changed, my image hasn’t been impacted, my career is still intact… why did it take almost 49 years…. it doesn’t matter – I’m on a new path now!
So, when presented with an opportunity to let your hair down, take over a stage at a dive bar, or just try something new – don’t look around, don’t look back, and don’t hesitate – lean forward and enjoy the ride!
When looking at anything in life, the success or failure of a project is truly a matter of perspective…
Recently I took advantage of an opportunity to advertise Bullets 2 Beans in a small web based magazine. In my corporate life, I routinely manage and drive marketing and advertising campaigns, so I am familiar with the business process for a simple campaign such as this. In the weeks leading up to the edition release, I was a little concerned that I had not had a chance to preview my ad proof, and that the magazine editor basically said – answer these three questions and we will take it from here..
Well, on the release date, there was a flashy cover, evidence of diligent work from a graphic designer – you could see literally the hard work from the team that went into the publication. The social media reviews were a roar with accolades and congratulations to the editorial team. Everyone was quick with applause and adoration for this self-made project… Everyone that is, but me…
Now, not to come off hyper critical, but as a paying customer I guess my expectations were more… And although in the entrepreneurial world I am just getting my feet wet compared to many, including the magazine owner, in the word of business I am a highly accomplished Director with a proven track record of success managing a $20M+ portfolio – so my expectations were in my opinion, justified…
The point of the post is this, two highly successful business people in their own rights with two different views of the same outcome. Success and failure are merely determined by the lens with which you look at the issue. So while you may be celebrating a recent success – to others it could be a disappointing failure. And likewise – your failure that haunts you personally, could be perceived by others as a huge win… The moral of the story here – consider life though another’s lens from time to time… it may change your perspective.
I have to share this story as I think it perfectly defines the challenges we are experiencing as a Nation with COVID-19.
My occupation as a healthcare worker has potentially exposed me to many infectious diseases throughout my career. In the trauma center in San Antonio I was routinely exposed to potential blood bourne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis, other respiratory diseases such as tuberculosis – which I actually got and had to undergo treatment for, along with the day to day pathogens that we share the world with, just like everyone else. So when COVID-19 popped up on the radar as a healthcare professional in the industry for over 28 years I didn’t really give it much thought (and I still don’t – before you pass judgement, keep reading!)
From the very beginning of the pandemic I knew it would only be a matter of time before I had to cross paths with the latest nemesis wreaking havoc across the globe. What perfect timing, what a perfect disease to politicize, what a perfect pathogen to bring life as we know it to a screeching halt. 100 to zero in 45 days and in America, that’s about how long it took for the Constitution to be shredded – and the fear that was cast upon our society had American’s lining up by the thousands to hand over their freedoms that only 1% of them fought to preserve and protect. They had no equity buy in so they just gave it back… but that will be another post, now back to the COVID….
So we have a disease that is very real, very deadly (to what degree we don’t actually know) and we are collapsing economies and destroying businesses and livelihoods over it; and yet we still have very little empirical data to back up what we are doing and why. To better understand this disease, and it’s actual impact on our society, we need to start at the beginning of the data collection, and that’s where the problems start….
TESTING – The crux of the issue here:
To date, I have been tested 5 times at 4 different testing centers – and you want to know what – I have had 4 ½ different testing experiences! This should concern everyone – as someone with a very basic experience and training in disease surveillance it concerns me! As I started to investigate this over the last week, in talking to acquaintances that have also been tested, I am finding that my 4 different experiences were just as different as theirs. So how can we trust what we think we know about a disease that is crippling everything about our life’s, if at the very first link in the chain of investigation, the processes are so varied and subjective in nature? How can we know the truth behind COVID-19 if we cannot trust the information being published? I think this is what has Americans concerned and furious.
In America, by and large the medicine we practice is “evidence based”, this meaning that diagnostics, treatments and protocols are based in evidence – we do what we know works on the large scale – this helps to keep costs down if you do what you know works. The same holds true in medical surveillance. So although COVID may be new, the testing and specimen collection processes should not be – and they should be consistent.
Large q-tip type swab versus fine specimen brush; anterior nasopharyngeal swab both sides for 5 second versus posterior nasopharyngeal swap for 5 or 10 seconds versus throat swab; swab by nurse versus patient guided swabs, these are the types of variances that I have personally witnessed or have had reported to me from first had accounts – there is no consistency in the data/specimen collection.
HealthLine reported in August of this year that even the CDC states that the PCR test, considered to be the gold standard in COVID testing, can have a 29% false negative rate. The antigen test, that can be processed much quicker, runs up to a 50% inaccuracy rate.. These results should come as no surprise, as the mass rush to market of tests for a disease that has never been seen before, and the inconsistent sampling practices that we are seeing. (www.healthline.com/health-news/fast-isn’t-always-better-experts-worry-about-rise-of-rapid-Covid-19-testing)
To close this week’s rant, take personal responsibility and ownership of your healthcare in the midst of this healthcare crisis. We don’t fully know what we are completely dealing with, and although the experts are “learning more every day” it is apparent there is still a lot to learn here. Maybe they should start by going back to the basics and evaluate the processes from beginning to end!
The state of affairs in our country are at an all time low. Friends and family are openly attacking one another over political ideology – mostly spurred by false narrative and hyperbolic opinions based in anything but facts. As we are just weeks away from what is likely going to be known as a turning point in American history, the 2020 Presidential Election, we watch the aggression grow and tolerance in our society decay to an all time low.
The irony behind the chaos, mayhem and violence that we are seeing run uncontrolled in our cities in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest and even the Eastern seaboard – literally coast to coast, America is being torn apart from within; all spurred by social engineering Netbots and Troll Farms in Russia, China, Korea and Iran. Our enemies didn’t need an ICBM to cross the ocean to strike us. They didn’t need a massive deployment of thousands of troops and equipment that would cost billions of dollars and drain resources – no, they needed a few hundred hackers backed by a small network of proxy servers and a few thousand dollars – they just slowly launch a cheap, efficient and highly effective cyber insurgency and watched us tear ourselves apart – they will likely never have to fire one single shot – it looks like we will line up to do that ourselves…
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, whatever flavor of social media you subscribe to and feed your addictions from – our “me too” society quickly became hooked on the dopamine hits of ‘likes’ and ‘followers’, the self-involved movement of “my voice is more important than yours”, and “facts don’t matter as long as the video gets downloads” set the stage for the biggest cyber attack in computer history – and it will likely cause the partial if not complete downfall of the greatest nation in modern recorded history.
Buckle up America – the next 60 -90 days are going to be a wild ride…
Earlier this week I received information that yet another brother lost the battle to his own demons and took his life – this is not the first and unfortunately the reality is this is likely not the the last notification like this that I will receive. If you know my story (or listened to Episode 1 of my Podcast) you will know that I almost took this road myself. I am familiar with this temptation, I know the decision matrix, I understand its draw…
How do we stop this – well, not to insult people, but doing 22 push-ups for 22 days isn’t having an impact, except maybe on your own “feel good” meter. I did something… You did push-ups – we did them every day in the Army… The intent is good and pure, but if that is all you are doing – is making 22 Facebook posts of you doing push-ups, then stop!
This week, look for my “3 Factor Hypothesis on Veteran Suicide” to be re-posted. This is a theory that I came up with last summer, presented at a symposium in November and is being published later this year. we will never get a handle on this if we don’t understand the”Why”.
For my Brother that lost his battle last weekend – ‘Till Valhalla!’
It’s been a while… a lot has happened since the last post, the country is still reeling from the COVID-19 impact, communities across the Nation have been crippled by racial tension to the point of cities being burned literally to the ground, and even more unthinkable – there is an active insurrection in Seattle… municipal property has been forcibly seized by alleged protesters… So much has happened so fast – where to begin….
Initially I wanted to take to the cyber waves and get my opinion out and be heard, be part of the voice of reason… no body has wanted to hear a voice of reason recently- oh, believe me, people want to be heard right now but it seems no one wants to listen. So much shouting at each other, so much senseless violence, so many social justice warriors being emboldened by the law enforcement community that is frozen into inaction with cried of defunding and ending police services all together
As a Soldier, when being shot at the initial reaction is to shoot back. As a skilled, experienced and seasoned Warrior sometimes the hardest thing to do is be patient, observe fires and develop the battlefield before engaging. Well, the battlefield is fairly well developed and it’s time to engage!
This weekend for the first time in a long time I did something – I disconnected for the weekend! No work email, no show editing, no mountain climbing or guiding – I just unplugged from reality for a couple of days and tried to relax.
One would think that the act of relaxing would be quite easy, but for someone who is used to an excessively busy tempo and juggles 2 private businesses and a full time regional director position – shutting down takes work, it takes practice, and I still don’t always get it right!
Relaxing is a state of mind! When your mind won’t stop working and has trouble resetting itself, relaxing can be an extremely terrifying event. For the longest time the mere concept of relaxing was horrifying and seemed counterintuitive to being successful and engaged. Disengage – Really? You can’t be serious… I’ve had to learn to take “relaxing” in segments, small amounts of time and to build up a level of comfort with its presence. Imagine how unrelaxing, relaxing can be, if your unable to comprehend its purpose.
But – success was mine! 2 days camping with my wife, no agenda, a little day drinking and a couple of cookouts with the company of great friends… An adventure was had and disengagement was achieved!
Earlier today to get away from the constant thought of my fallen friends, my wife and I decided to go to the mall and see how society was doing amidst the COVID crisis and recovery – what a mistake that was…
Downtown Anchorage is a ghost town – normally a bustle of activity with the tourist season in full swing by now, but today there was little bustle and even less activity. Sure there were locals out trying to take a break from their same four walls they have been locked down in for the past month or so, but the foot traffic of visitors was no where to be found.
The mall itself, normally a center of organized chaos and commerce, barely had a pulse with only about a third of the vendors and shops open for business.
And how quickly we forgot to interact with one another – passing a stranger in an aisle of a store now seemed like a first slow song at a junior high school Sadi Hawkins dance – an awkward display of space sharing afraid to get too close to one another…
And, the Apple Store, the irony here as I am typing this post from my iPad, but the Apple store brought it all to perspective for me… we could not even get within 50 feet of the entrance of the store before being stopped and questioned by a private security guard, who quickly wanted to know our business and reason for approaching their store. It was then explained that we would have to have our temperature checked, after our detailed interrogation prior to waiting in line as it was a “State requirement” WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK! When I explained that this was not actually a state requirement, I was told it was still required of them… but by who?
As I sit and mourn the loss of Brothers in Arms, good men who died to protect the ideals and principles of our country, I now started to mourn the apparent loss of our country – as it is obvious it will never again be the same. It took a mere 45 days for the fabric of our country to be shredded into a “new normal” that has yet to be settled…
Makes me wonder what we fought for all of those years….?
Memorial Day… many mistake this long weekend as the unofficial start of summer – a time to barbecue, camp, drink, celebrate – but I wonder if the masses know what they are celebrating…
This somber and solemn weekend is meant to memorialize and remember our fallen Warriors – those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country and to defend our freedom and liberty, those who died for the ideals of what America stands for.
Ceremonies and celebrations for fallen Warriors date back to Roman times. The first known American ceremony for fallen Soldiers was three weeks after the end of the Civil War, on May 1st, 1865, and it did not become a Federal holiday until 1971…
So as our countrymen and women gather on this solemn weekend, and celebrate the beginning of summer – please take a moment to remember the true meaning of this holiday.
For America, remembering our Nations Warriors who fell in battle may come once a year – but for the Warriors who watched their brothers and sisters die on the battlefield – everyday will always be Memorial Day! – Until Valhalla…
The crisp air, the solemn quiet of the morning, the internal conversation to get me going – “working it out in my head“ if you will, this is my most sacred time – me and the mountain and our moment together!
If you time it right, you can top out on the summit just in time to catch the sunrise. There is a sense of accomplishment, standing on top of a mountain before the sun crests the ridge – taking in the first pure light of the day… Knowing that no matter what the day holds, nothing can take this moment away from you, nothing can defeat this feeling… most people are still trying to muster a cup of coffee or brush their teeth, and your standing on top of a mountain – revel in the moment!
Find your morning moment, find your mountain and climb to your own greatness!