You Know Who Asks For Unsolicited Advice?

Nobody, but I still see people giving it all the time. Whether it’s people telling each other what a better workout is, what kind of diet they should be on, or even just how people should live their life. I’ve also noticed a common pattern with a lot of these people, they never ask what the person they’re instructing wants to get out of whatever it is they might be discussing, or even what other factors may be effecting something.

The easiest thing for me to relate this to is the fitness world. People that act like experts on this are hilarious to me. If the first thing someone says when talking about fitness aren’t what your goals are or what you want to accomplish doing something, that’s the first warning sign that they don’t comprehend the simplest fact which is that everybody is different. There is no one size fits all diet. Not even just because we’re all genetically different, but each sport requires differences too. My diet isn’t going to be that of a football player, bodybuilder, or pro golfer. Those are all completely different things from what I do, but people will still try to make a comparison. My diet and training regiment are 100% built around me and making myself a better athlete while maintaining a target weight. People will still question what I do even though I literally have results I can show them that I’m doing what I’ve set out to accomplish. At the same time, I’m not delusional enough to think that my diet and workout regimen would work for every athlete. When people ask me for diet advice, I tell them to figure out what will work best for them. I think it’s really the only right way to do it, because again, we’re all built differently.

Of course, this isn’t the only thing this applies to. The most unsolicited advice I used to get had to do with life choices. These can be the hardest ones to ignore. In my experience, they usually come from people under the idea that they want what is best for us. Well, how can someone know what’s best for you if they don’t really even know the whole situation? I’m far from perfect, and can tell you first hand that this is a hard trap not to fall in to. I’ve listened to a lot of people about things based on the advice they had given me that I ended up regretting in the long run. That’s not to say that I’m stuck on them, but I definitely learned some valuable lessons about who to take advice from.

I will say that I think the current time period has a lot to do with it. People don’t feel they have to do extensive research on things to be an expert any more. They can just pull their Google machine out of their pocket and find something out. The problem with that is if your point isn’t valid to the argument, then you just look like a doofus who wants to have their voice heard. Maybe try some encouraging words instead of trying to correct people on what they’re doing all the time.

At the end of the day, I’ll take peoples’ advice in to account, but I have to figure out and do what’s best for me. These types of people generally aren’t there for me when I need them any way, so why should I listen to them or seek their approval in the first place?

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Too many Urkels on your team

I’ve had a few people notice, and then ask me about what has changed in my life recently to make me more motivated. While I could point to many different things, I know it really comes down to one. It’s a difference in my mindset.

For me, changing my mindset required me to take a look at myself and ask if I was living like the person I really wanted to be. I used to have what I call the loser mindset. I used to always have preloaded excuses for coming up short in things. I used to blame every bad thing that happened to me on some outside force. I used to never think that I was the problem in any situation. I think it’s very easy to get stuck in this mindset. A majority of people seem to have adopted this culture of blaming everything but yourself and the choices you’ve made for when things go wrong. I know I used to, but I also know that things have gotten a lot better for me since I started looking at my own involvement in how things go down. Especially in my athletic performances as I no longer limit myself on what I think I can or can’t do, but would rather ditch the excuses and push myself as hard as I can to see what I can achieve. That’s obviously not applicable to everybody, but ask yourself if you’re doing the best job you can do. Ask yourself if you’re getting ahead in your field in the way you want. If not, then analyze what you’re doing and try making what you think are the appropriate changes.

This of course is not the only thing that makes up the loser mindset. A big part of it is worrying about what other people are doing, and I mean that in the most general way possible. My normal reaction when people come up and ask me, “Did you hear about what happened to this person?”, is that if it’s not positive or something they need help with and just gossip then I really don’t need to hear it. If it’s something about somebody I haven’t seen or talked to in years, I couldn’t care less. If it’s about somebody that somebody else thinks is my competition, it’s the least important thing in the world to me. I honestly really do know too many people who love talking about or starting drama. That shit wasn’t even cool in high school, so it’s super embarrassing to be associated with grown adults(mostly by age only) who act that way. If you’re reading this, and think I care about what somebody else is doing, the only person you’re fooling is yourself. If you’re reading this and think it applies to you, it probably does and you should probably spend some time worrying about yourself instead.

The last part of the loser mindset to me is when you head in to something already thinking you can’t do it. This is one is often times a combination of the two things I talked about above. We will head in to things thinking that we can’t do them, then we have people telling us we can’t do them, so we head in thinking it’s already lost. Any time you try to do something bigger than yourself, you’re going to have people tell you that you can’t do it. You can’t listen to these people, or even be around them really. If things were truly impossible, people wouldn’t even try them. There’s a big chance that other people will question what you’re doing because they wish they could be doing it themselves. The last thing you should ever do is listen to them, and definitely don’t question yourself. At the end of the day you’re the only one who knows what is best for you.

I know people will ask about the title of this, it’s a line from a Kanye West song. “Too many Urkels on your team, that’s why your wins low.” A great reference not only to Family Matters, but also to the idea of surrounding yourself with losers is the quickest way to make sure you become one.

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Why Do Anything

I didn’t make a big deal out of this, but I did something this past weekend that I think most people would call either crazy or incredibly ballsy, but I decided to do a pro wrestling show and MMA fight on back to back nights. I feel like I need to take two approaches to this. One is needing to answer the question of why I would even do such a thing, but I also feel like I should go in to a little bit of detail of what the experience was like.

So, the first part, why would I even do this? I’m not sure this is something that I can even explain if you have to ask that question lol. It’s not easy enough to just say, “because I wanted to see if I could”, and expect people to know what that even really means. Let me say that I know that doing both pro wrestling and MMA isn’t what’s going to make me different from people. There are already plenty of others that do both. The difference is in the frequency in which they do both. It would be easy to take time off from one or the other to concentrate on each individually. That sound like the easiest thing in the world to me. Even doing the occasional show while focusing on my training camps isn’t any added stress to me. I knew the only thing I could do that other people wouldn’t be up for is to do them back to back, and it wasn’t even so much about doing what they wouldn’t as much as it was finding out if I could do it myself. I’ve talked a lot about how I don’t have a problem doing both, and they don’t effect each other as far as my training and everything goes, so I wanted to see how far I could push myself. Like I said at the jump, that’s not something I think people who would ask why I would do it could ever understand.

Now to the fun part. We’ll skip the week of cutting weight and jump straight to the point. The weigh in for my fight was at 6PM in Middletown, VA. The NOVA Pro show I did was set to start at 8PM in Annandale, which is about a hour from where the weigh in was. I figured this would be enough time to rehydrate some and get some food in me. I downed my first gallon of water in about 40 minutes, and had stopped to get some food along the way too. I arrived at the building for the show around 7:15, and started to get ready. I was hoping I would have been on later, but I literally didn’t tell anybody what I was doing, so I ended up being second match. Even being in the condition I was in, I was well on my way back to feeling normal and ended up having a pretty good 10 minute or so match with this other indie wrestler named Tracy Williams. I actually exceeded my own expectations on it. This was part of a tournament though, so that means I had to wrestle again that night. No problem. Went out and had a 3 way dance with Chet Sterling, and the eventual winner, Logan Easton Leroux. I finished that match up, and was ready to rest until the next day.

Saturday I woke up feeling pretty good. I had expected some soreness in my back, but was surprised to wake up feeling perfectly fine. I had enough fluids and food in my system to have a full recovery even with having done the show the night before. I was super excited at this point. I got ready and headed out for my fight that night. I fought Jeromy Mitchell that night, and had a decent little scrap before he got my back and choked me. This is when I realized something was a little weird about this. While I was disappointed I had lost, I wasn’t as upset as I have been in the past. If anything I would contribute it to not only having put on a decent performance in a loss, but also having put on a good performance the night before. I would say if there was any glaring problem to me in my fight, it’s that it was hard to flip my performance switch back on that soon after having done it. I probably should have anticipated this, as I’ve done MMA tournaments in multiday format and had the same thing happen. It’s OK though, this was more about the experience than anything else.

Would I do it again? Yes, but only if the wrestling part came second 🙂

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It’s mostly just in your head

As somebody who has tried to accomplish a few outlandish things over the years, there’s one thing I think I’ve learned that’s been more important than anything else:

The best advice I’ll ever receive is from myself.

There’s a common theme in the two different sports that I do. People love giving you advice, and everybody that does can tell you exactly what you can do to be successful.

Now that could be the case. The person giving you the advice could know exactly what they’re talking about. When it comes to myself, I ask two questions. Has this person been at the top of their field? What has this person done to show that they actually care about my personal progression, as opposed to just wanting to put their opinion in the air?

These are two very different questions, but both are extremely relevant to the point. The first one is obvious. How can someone tell you about being the best at something if they haven’t been to the top of that field? That doesn’t mean you have to be the best ever. I know plenty of people who have had try outs and been looked at by some of the top companies in the world. That to me is just as much validation. Being considered to be among the best means that you’re at least viewed in the same light as them. It’s the people that don’t have the slightest clue of what it really takes to make it that baffle me. I guess it’s the confidence with which they speak. That and making sure they’re surrounded with people that will not question them. But rest assured, these people are losers. Nobody gets ahead in life without being challenged.

The second question to me is the more important of the two. So many people want to be experts now a days, and not just when it comes to what I do, but life in general. I see people giving out unsolicited advice all the time. I see people giving advice to complete strangers they’ve never even met. I couldn’t imagine following advice from somebody who doesn’t know me. I even struggle with following advice of people who do. A lot of people only know certain aspects of my life, they don’t know everything. Even when people are telling me they’re thinking of my best interests. How can they know what’s best for me if they don’t know everything that’s going on in my life? Granted, a lot of that comes from my own experience of following advice from people who didn’t know the whole situation, but I sure didn’t need it to happen a lot to figure that out.

So what’s the point of this other than me just therapeutically typing words out? It’s a reminder that you need to listen to yourself if you want to be happy. Too often we seek approval from outside sources, but it’s really unnecessary. At the end of the day, I’m the only person I go home to, so what do I care about what other people think I can or can’t do? I’m the one handling my own business, and I think I know better than anybody what I’m truly capable of.

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Relationship Goals

Despite the title, this blog is probably not what you think it’s about.

A lot of people that know me would say my outlook or attitude about life has probably changed in the last year or so. I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s true, but I think I’m just a little more outspoken about how I view/feel about things now. I would say the one thing that I started to do to make me be that way is analyzing my relationships with the people in my life.

Analyzing our lives is one of the hardest things to do, but I would put analyzing our relationships up there near the top as well. I think most people, myself included, will always try and make excuses for the way some people are or treat us because they did something good for us at some point. This can be one of the biggest mistakes we make, in my opinion. A lot of us talk about how we’ll cut out people in their lives that we feel are holding us back, but that’s easier said than done, especially when it comes to not wanting to hurt the other people’s feelings.

Now we have all different kinds of relationships too, so this isn’t just about the romantic kind. I had to seriously take a step back and identify the people in my life that were helping me professionally, and who might be holding me back some. This goes beyond people just showing me new techniques or things to use, but also who around me was I felt being overly critical or negative. It turns out there were quite a few. There were a lot of people that could only tell me what I was doing wrong. They could only tell me what I needed to work on. If you don’t ever get positive feedback, how will you know what’s working? I don’t like making a big deal out of things like this, but I started communicating about things less with them and I think I’ve only improved since then.

Of course this also includes friendships. I’ve had to ask myself many times if the people I hung out with on a regular basis were the type of people I wanted to be associated with. This one is obviously the hardest. How do you tell a friend that you need to do something that is completely different from what you normally do when you hang out? I’ve found that the true friends will understand, and still make time to hang out even if it’s not as often, or in some cases even join you on the journey. Given what I do now, I would say this is the one that I have the most experience with, but that still doesn’t make it any easier. That being said, I still prefer to surround myself with the people who are going to push me towards my goals on a regular basis(which could be anybody willing to have a similar lifestyle).

All this being said, there are some people that I communicate with that really only hit me up if they need something. It’s not always money or a favor either, but some times it’s advice or something for peace of mind. They don’t ever ask how I’m doing, or if they do it’s obvious they’re only asking because we’ve been chatting for a while and only about them, which can feel kind of crappy. But I always think that I might be the only person that they have to talk to about whatever they’re going through, so I don’t cut them off, I just don’t fill them in on what’s really going on with me. Like I said, it can feel crappy, but the good news is you don’t hear from them that often lol.

So, what’s the point? Just a reminder to try to surround yourself with the people who push you to better yourself. There are so many distractions and things people worry themselves with that don’t really matter, make sure you identify the people that do the right things for you. I really shrank my circle of friends recently, but I’m also a lot happier for it. Just goes to show that it’s about quality, not quantity.

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Who Am I

It’s funny to me that in this day and age of social media, which to me is the height of egotism, that so many people don’t seem to know who they are. What I mean by that is there seem to be a lot of people who let the popular opinion of social media overtake their own thoughts and beliefs in the sake of having people agree with them or approve of whatever it is that they’re doing. If there’s one thing I’ve found in life, it’s that that is the fastest way to make sure that you’re unhappy/unsatisfied. The court of public opinion doesn’t really give a damn about who you really are. Some people will always question or doubt what you’re doing before giving you props for even trying.

I used to think that I needed support from or to have certain people in my life, but I’ve since realized that while I may want it, I certainly don’t need it. At the end of the day, I’m the only person I have to worry about being satisfied. None of those people are at my home for me, so what they think may be best for me honestly doesn’t matter to me. That’s not to say that I don’t take their input in to consideration, but when it comes to deciding what’s best for me, only I can really make that determination.

One thing I do on a regular basis is ask myself a few questions:

Am I being who I want to be?

Am I living up to my own standards?

Am I heading in the direction that I want to be headed?

I think asking myself these questions has been the biggest help in regards to me finding my own happiness. It’s hard not to get swept up in what everybody else thinks is the right thing to do, but I’m always sure to ask myself if what I’m going to do is going to benefit everybody involved, especially if it is something that involves solely myself. I’m not one to tell other people how to live, but I think we’d all be a little happier if we all did that more often.

 

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This is my BvS review. There are a lot out there, but this one is mine.

Like many people, I was super excited for this movie. We’ve waited YEARS to see these two not just cross onscreen paths, but duke it out. I’ll do my best to express what I thought spoiler free, but there might be some.

Before I get in to things, I can’t say this was a bad movie. It was two and half hours long(!) and it didn’t feel like it while I was in the theater. Any movie that accomplishes that isn’t a train wreck in my book.

What I liked

There were a few things they did that I thought were actually really good. I liked all of the new characters, the most surprising being Lex Luthor because the previews made me think I was going to hate him. The actress playing Wonder Woman did great, in my opinion. There were tons of hidden things in the movie, but they did a nice tease for the rest of the Justice League with their symbols on a computer program.

I thought the pacing of the movie was really done. I saw another review that said they were confused because it jumped around too much, but I feel that’s a side effect of not knowing the characters ahead of the movie. If you don’t know anything about these characters, you might get lost. Like I said before, it didn’t feel like I was in the theater for 3 hours, and that’s one of the best compliments I can give a movie this long.

A lot of people are heaping praise on Affleck’s Batman right now, and I thought it was fine. I don’t really see what separated him apart from everybody else in a single performance, but it’s not like he sucked either. I actually think everybody did a fine job acting wise.

What I didn’t like

I didn’t want to lead with this, but there were things I didn’t like that far outweighed what I did like. There will be some spoilers in this section. You’ve been warned.

Too much nothing happened in this movie. I know that sounds weird after my comment about the pacing, so let me elaborate. There was a LOT of time spent on story development. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when Batman and Superman have barely been in the movie in the first 90 minutes, that’s a problem for me. The biggest thing of the movie was about how the planet should handle Superman, which may be a legitimate point to make, but I came to see him fight Batman.

One thing that’s extremely frustrating about this movie is it’s lack of explaining things. I almost wanted to walk out during the opening scene because it was weird as Hell, and they didn’t explain what was going on until the very end of it. There’s no explanation for why Batman keeps having dream sequences. There’s no explanation behind Lex Luthor’s motivations for his actions in the movie. How does Lex Luthor know everybody’s identity? How does Bruce Wayne know who Clark Kent is? I can totally understand Clark knowing who Bruce is, but why would a rich playboy know the low man on the totem pole at the neighboring city’s newspaper? There were a lot of other things that could have used more detail, but those were really the most egregious to me.

They also made the heroes seem really dumb at some points. During the fight with Doomsday, they point out the fact that their attacks are making him stronger, but they just keep attacking him the same way. I don’t think a strategist like Batman would do that. Also, remember earlier when I said the main point of the movie was about how the planet should handle Superman? They show him expressing concern over the destruction to Metropolis during Man of Steel, and whether he should fight like that to protect people for a large portion of the movie. So what’s the first thing he does when Doomsday shows up? Punch him in to a gigantic explosion. I guess he didn’t really learn anything at all…

Finally, and this is really the biggest problem with this film, is there is a serious lack of Batman fighting Superman. The title of the movie is freaking Batman vs. Superman, and they only have one fight scene that lasts just a few minutes. Seriously, every fight scene in Daredevil is better than this. They even had a tease, where I was sure they would fight, but Supes just threatens Bats and flies away. This is really my biggest problem with the movie, and why I would say I didn’t really like it. I like character and story development, but when I buy a ticket to see Batman vs. Superman, that’s what I expect to get. Instead I got Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent acting all smarmy and like they know what’s best for everybody else. If I wanted to watch a “political thriller”, it’s election season, and those people act way more outrageous.

As I said before, I wouldn’t say this was a bad movie, but I definitely wouldn’t say it’s a good Batman vs. Superman movie.

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