The most precious thing you can give someone

She was screaming.

You don’t know what’s happening Gregory!

You just wait Greg, I know what you’re up to!

More screaming.

There isn’t anything I don’t know Gregory!

I walked across the street. What was happening? Why didn’t Greg know? What did she know about Greg? There wasn’t anything she didn’t know. Was she an oracle?

I should’ve talked to her. I could’ve asked her about life. She could’ve help me figure it all out.

I pretended like I did.

Can I ask you something?

There isn’t anything I don’t know Daniel!

What’s the most precious thing you can give to someone else?

Give them a feeling!

What?

Something that penetrates their soul! Get deep! Really deep! Make it bubble up!

Make what bubble up?

You want it to be there in a year! In 5-years! When they’re in a cafe reading a newspaper and they look up and get nauseous thinking of the feeling! You want it to be so good it comes back! It always comes back!

I get it but why are you screaming?

Why do you think! Do you not listen! You’re just like Gregory! You don’t know what’s happening!

Imagining is almost as good as the real thing. Sometimes it’s better. Sometimes worse. Far worse.

She made me feel something. Unintentional or intentional? Who knows. She was talking to Gregory. Gregory didn’t know what was happening.

Her purple top left her stomach uncovered. And the pants she had on were dirty. Maybe she was crazy. Maybe I was crazy for taking lessons imaginary lessons from a screaming lady on the street. Gregory wasn’t. Gregory didn’t know what was happening.

Financial freedom has two extremes. One where you can buy whatever you want. The other where you don’t care about anything. She was financially free. Rich. Rich with the most valuable currency there is. Rich with effect. Effect on others. Effect on me. She had an audience. Everyone crossing the street was in awe. What was Greg up to?

Effect is precious. It can last an instant but be remembered for a lifetime. It can happen once and then again 1000 more times.

You could be sitting in a cafe in 5-years reading the newspaper. Look up for a second. Your stomach does a backflip. And it comes back, the feeling all over again.

How she smiled at you.

Or how she screamed from across the street.

Once you give a feeling to someone, it’s there. Always there.

Source: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-most-pre...

Milk or water?

There are two cups. One of milk, one of water. Drink the milk and you get wealth beyond your dreams. Drink the water and you get knowledge.

Which do you choose?

I’d choose the milk.

‘Look Dad, a bird!’

‘Do you know which one it is?’

‘No…’

‘That’s a lark.’

‘There’s lots of them!’

‘Do you want to know what a group of larks is called?’

‘What?’

‘An ascension.’

‘What does asksenchen mean?’

‘Asension means to go up higher.’

‘Dad! Look how high the bird is!’

Acquiring wealth is fun but it’s nothing compared to the pleasure of finding things out.

Source: https://qr.ae/TUy4cd

Being 13 is tough

Dear Pauly,

Being 13 is tough. There's a lot going on.

You're getting to middle school, your parents are starting to talk to you about your grades more, your friends are growing up. Some of them even have girlfriends. Multiple girlfriends.

The worries never stop. The internet says you should be one way. Your parents think you should spend less time doing that thing you enjoy doing. You aren't very good at anything. School work is a drag. You can't keep up with your friends on the sports field because you're overweight. You try. But you can't. There's a cute girl who goes to the events you go to but you're too afraid to talk to her. Plus, she's taller than you.

I know these things because I remember being in 8th grade. I remember standing on the sports field looking at my friends with hair under their armpits. Then being extra careful to keep my arms by my sides whilst I took my shirt off. I kept the shirt in front of me so my stomach wouldn't show.

My hair was always a mess because I didn't like looking in the mirror. I didn't really care anyway. I'd go to class and cause trouble because I needed attention.

I thought, "I can't wait to grow up."

Some years passed. I started to grow. I got hair in the places.

But the worries were still there.

13 is tough but so is every other age. The worries never go away, they only change form.

When you're 13 you're self-conscious about your body.

"Why don't I look like the other kids?"

When you're 23 you're self-conscious about your job.

"Am I earning enough money?"

When you're 33 you're self-conscious about your body.

"Am I getting fat?"

When you're 43 you're self-conscious about whether you can pay for your kids' school.

"Am I earning enough money?"

When you're 53 you're self-conscious about whether you've spent enough time on the things you enjoy.

"Should I sign up for next weeks piano class?"

When you're 63 you're self-conscious about whether you've got enough time left to spend with your grandkids.

"The doctor said I should be taking it easy."

I'm not saying these things to scare you Pauly. But I'm not going to hide the truth from you either.

You're old enough to start thinking about what you can and can't control.

Put it this way. You can't control when you start to grow. And as much as you'd like, you can't control when you first kiss a girl.

Spending too much time thinking about these things will only make you more insecure. It's hard to understand now but I thought about the same things when I was your age. Thinking about them all the time only made it worse.

I want you to try something. Sit down and think for a minute.

What are the things you can control and what are the things you can't?

You'll probably find there's much more you can't control than you can.

But there's one thing you've got within you. One thing that will follow you from 13 to 23 to 33 to 103.

The story you tell yourself.

Now they don't teach this in school. Because it's really hard to teach. Everyone is still trying to figure it out. No one really knows how to explain it. Including me.

The best example I can give is that movie you love watching. You know the one we put on when I came to visit last.

What happens in the ending scene?

Jira becomes King.

But you know he didn't start there.

He started as a young boy. You remember him walking through the streets. The merchants rushing up to him and telling him to get lost.

All he wanted to do was grow up like his older brother, Leroy. Leroy the tall Knight with the beautiful girl.

What happens next?

Jira goes through the forest. He gets lost. He's stuck and doesn't know what to do.

Then what?

Jira decides to face his fears. He fails the first time. And the second time. Then still manages to end up on the throne. But now he's self-conscious about whether he's a good leader or not. There's always something.

You're probably thinking, "yeah, but that's a movie."

And you're right. It is. But I want you to think like Jira. Think like the movie.

You don't have to go through a forest.

But like how Jira ends up in charge of the Kingdom. You're in charge of the story. The story you tell yourself every day.

Being self-conscious is not a bad thing. It means you're thinking about where you fit in the world. Many people would benefit from being a little more self-conscious.

You can't control the challenges you face in life but you can control how you think about them.

You will grow taller.

You will kiss a girl. You'll both lean in and close your eyes. Your lips will touch. Then you'll pull away. And she'll open her eyes and smile. And it'll be beautiful.

You can lose weight if you try. It's hard. But doable.

Every time you think to yourself, you're writing your story. Some thoughts will be good, others won't.

But when you focus on the things you can control instead of the things you can't, you become King. King of your own Kingdom. Just like Jira. Except you don't need a crown.

I didn't get hair under my armpits until I was 18. And I was still 190lbs still at 22.

If you can lose weight, it's better to do it earlier. You can control that one. With food, movement and sleep. Write back if you need some help.

Talk soon,

Charlie

ben-white-126974-unsplash.jpg
Source: https://qr.ae/TUyysR

Food, story and service

That's why people keep coming back.

Keep the story going and they'll be back. They'll always be back.

No one comes back only for the good food, they come back for the story.

The story behind it all. The show and dance. Johnny serves it with a smile.

The food wouldn't be nearly as good without the service.

PS you can change the word food out with almost any product or service. Try it.

How to use your body to manage your mind

There was 3-hours until my flight. Austin to Cleaveland. I did a lap up and down the terminal looking for a nice cafe to write. I found one.

The seat I was on was high. My feet couldn’t touch the ground. They were dangling there. The table didn’t match. It was too low for the chair. My thighs rubbed up against the bottom of the table.

I starting thinking.

The world needs more well-designed chairs.

I had a good view of the planes and the rest of the walkway. People going places. Two guys at a table in front of me starting leaning into one another. As if one had a secret to tell the other. Then the one leaning in pointed across the cafe. I looked where he pointed.

There was another man. He was talking. I could see sounds coming from his mouth but not enough to know what he was saying.

The voice was familiar. He kept talking.

He was leaning over the rail with his elbows on one of the high tables. Sunglasses on, hat on.

I start thinking.

That’s Matthew McConaughey.

I looked away.

He started speaking.

This time I recognised the voice. I’d heard it the night before watching Tropic Thunder highlights.

It was Matthew McConaughey.

I was alone, 8000 miles from home and 10 feet from Matthew McConaughey.

I started thinking again.

I’ve got to go and say ‘Hi’ to him. He probably gets it all the time. But now’s my only chance. I’ll just go and say hello. No photos. Just hello.

My heart was racing.

More thoughts.

Why’s this happening? He’s just a man. A man like me.

He got up with his wife. They were leaving. I’d blown my chance.

Then they stopped. She went into the bathroom and he stood in the hallway.

I’m going. I could feel my heart in my chest. You know it’s a good time when it starts.

I went over.

‘Hi, I’m Daniel, I’m a big fan of your work.’

He stuck his hand out and grabbed mine.

‘McConaughey.’

‘I was watching Tropic Thunder last night.’

He smiled.

‘Where are you off to?’

‘New York.’

‘How come?’

‘Got some work.’

‘Have a nice trip.’

He smiled again.

I went back to my seat. My feet dangled.

I opened my journal and started writing.

Met Matthew McConaughey today. He introduced himself with one word. I said about 30.

I sat there for another 2-hours before my flight came.

Want to manage your mind?

You can do it by listening to your body.

If the body changes, your mind will come along.

It’s natural for your heart rate to go up in uncertain situations. Most people would write this off as fear. But the thing is, fear is caused by the same hormones as being excited.

Same energy but a different form.

Knowing this, the next time you get nervous and your heart rate goes up, you can remind yourself.

‘I know this feeling. I’ve felt it before. Instead of letting it hold me back, I’m going to use it to push me forward.’

The best thing?

It works in reverse too.

Raise your heart rate and you can change your mind.

Humans work best when they’re running away from something or chasing something. Either way, you better get moving.

Source: https://qr.ae/TUrkgl

Quality: the only universal criteria

The teacher would hand out the sheet with the boxes on it. Each box had words in it which were supposed to specify how you got a certain mark. The words were all the same with one or two changed in each box.

‘The student shows sound understanding of the topic.’ That was worth a C. Sound was the mid-tier. Not good. Sound.

‘The student shows great understanding of the topic.’ B.

‘The student shows exceptional understanding of the topic.’ This was the money. Enough of these boxes and you got an A.

I never got why exceptional was the word for an A. I thought it meant something like accepted. ‘Your work is accepted, here’s an A.’

When doing assignments I never paid attention to the criteria sheet. It was always overflowing with words. So many it lost its meaning.

All I wanted to know was what I had to do. What I had to hand in to not get in trouble so I could get back to gaming.

All my assignments looked great. I made sure of that. I had a thing for good looking documents. I’d finish a physics assignment and hand it in. A+ for aesthetics, B for content.

University was the same. More criteria sheets. More lack of reading. More reading the task sheet 6 times and asking myself, ‘What do I actually need to do?’

Then came creating online. No criteria sheets. Anything goes.

My first blog post was crap [TK — link]. Crap but honest. I tried to get my girlfriend to read it. She was good with words. Since then, I’ve probably had 6 great, 277 sound and 3 exceptional posts.

There are no criteria sheets on the internet. So it can hard to start making anything. ‘What do I actually need/want to do?’ Notice the addition of want.

There may be plenty of things you want to do. Too many. So it’s unlikely you’re stuck with a lack of ideas. Instead, a lack of direction.

The cure?

The universal criteria.

You already know this one.

People like things which are of high quality.

Things that teach them something. Things that entertain them. Things which suit the story they repeatedly tell themselves every day. Things that work.

If you’re a maker and looking for a guide or some criteria to adhere to, make it quality.

Everything else is up for debate.

You have to work up to be a level 35 boss

Sam and Josh are the bed trying out my new bed base. I'm at the desk writing.

Sam speaks.

This is like a psychologist session for me.

I look up.

What are you thinking?

The goals I have and finding the fastest way possible to do them. Having fun as well. But I'm scared.

I speak.

What are you scared of?

Scared of doing them. Scared of them being impossible to reach. I don't have time or experience or the money to do it myself.

Josh speaks.

You are a level 1 crook at the moment. You have to work up to be a level 35 boss. That's how mafia works.

We laugh. He was talking about a meme going around. And he’s right.

I speak.

Write down what you're thinking. You may get lost in thoughts but found in the words. It helps me. And it's free to try.

Sam listens closely.

Then get up in the morning and write 1 thing down on a piece of paper. What's 1 thing you want to get done that day? Then do it the next day. Learn what it's like to get something small done.

He nods.

I continue.

Hey Siri 20-minute timer. I set a timer.

When it's time to do the thing you wrote down, set a timer for yourself. For the next 20-minutes do nothing except work on that thing. For the first few minutes it will be hard but then as you go on, you'll get into a flow.

He smiles and picks up his phone. Facebook is more entertaining than me.

I go back to writing.

I think of something else to tell him. Patience. But it can wait. I don't want to over lecture him. The best way to teach is to set an example anyway. I know I can do that.

He's holding himself back. I'm holding myself back. We're all holding ourselves back. It's the old version of ourselves. Our old way of thinking.

That's why we're scared of the goals we have. Because the old version of ourselves doesn't have the brain capacity to handle them.

Can you imagine trying to run the latest apps on an old operating system? The latest version of the Quora app wouldn’t run very well on iOS 6.

To achieve what you want to achieve, your old ways of thinking have to be upgraded.

This is where writing has helped me. Write down the best version of your future self. 3-5 years from now is a good timeline. Not too long. Not too short.

How would they think?

How would they make decisions?

What actions would they take?

Those are the features you want in the most important software there is: your way of thinking.

The role of film

When you're shooting with film, you have to be more careful about what you choose.

A short-film director told me about how he had to work 15-hours at the supermarket to purchase 4-minutes worth of film.

When he went to shoot, he made sure every minute mattered.

Questioning everything. 'Does this need to be here?'

I wanted to know what would happen if he took the wrong shot.

'What happens if you didn't get the shot you wanted?'

'Well, that was tough, but you couldn't do anything about it,' he said, 'I'd have to go back down to the supermarket, work 15 more hours and then try again.'

We kept talking about how far devices have come. You know the spiel. 'The device in your pocket can now do so many things that weren't possible.'

The roll of film got me thinking.

What would you do if every day you only had 16-hours of film?

8-hours for sleep and 16 to the do the other things.

When you're shooting with film, every frame counts. There aren't any retakes, but if you don't get the shot, you can always work towards getting the next one.

You can try the hot sauce too

The other day we did a hot sauce challenge at work. There were four sauces.

I joined in. I didn’t really want to eat a cheerio but I did. A single cheerio won’t kill you in the long run. The sauce might though.

I cut the cheerio in half and went straight for the top 2 sauces. People were saying they were the hottest. I didn’t need to waste my time with the entry level sauces.

You had to get the second tier sauce out with a chopstick. It was thick. I lathered the half cheerio up and put it in my half. It was an instant burn. Tolerable but enough to know you were eating something hot.

Then came the hottest one. The others were crying. Their faces were red. I was one of the last to try it.

 ‘It’s hot bro,’ said Ron, ‘real hot.’

The bottle had Ultra Death written on it. When you unwrapped the plastic seel on the lid, a keychain with a human skull fell out. Skulls and Ultra Death, the real deal.

I covered the cheerio. There was a lot of sauce. The colour was like lava flowing through a blackhole. My mouth was still tingling from the last one. So I popped the second half in.

Hiccup. Hiccup. Hiccup. They began immediately. I can’t tell if it was my body rejecting the cheerio or the hot sauce.

My eyes starting leaking. My face began changing colour to match the sauce. This was hottest thing I’d ever eaten. All my senses heightened. I could see sounds.

It felt like there was a charcoaled rodent clawing the back of my throat. I walked over to the tap. I cleaned my hands. That stuff would send someone blind if it went in their eyes. I didn’t want that. I could see sounds.

The burning continued. 10-minutes of pure inferno. Then the burning was less intense but there was still a low level hum throughout my body. ‘I don’t know what you’ve done but we’re staying on high alert for a while,’ it would’ve said.

A few guys went round 2. Ron even lathered up another whole cheerio with the second hottest and hottest. It didn’t end very well. But he won the challenge. You need to go through pain to get the glory. 

What’s the lesson here? If someone else can do the hard thing, you probably can too.

Tears fell into the cup

Tears.

We broke up the night before.

I thought all was fine. Then I looked out the window. The coffee machine was running. I looked out the window. Then looked down.

Tears filled my eyes. Then they fell into the cup.

We worked together for the next six months.

Day in day out. My heart skipped a beat every time I saw her.

I ignored her. It was easier that way. Easier to not say anything than to try and make conversation and let the pain come back.

The void was there. The void sucked. Like something inside of me was missing.

It wasn’t her fault. It’s easy to blame the other person. But it was no one's fault. No one's fault except my own. My fault.

Now and then I’d think of her. Her smile. Her laugh. Her cute little nose.

How could I fill this void?

Nothing could fill it. People said keep busy. I kept busy. Busy is just putting it off.

We met up for coffee.

Why did you want to meet up?

Because I wanted to thank you. Thank you for everything.

What do you mean?

Thank you for the time we had together.

Then I asked her what her goals were for the future.

What are your goals for the future?

Don’t do that.

Don’t do what?

Ask those questions.

We hugged and haven’t seen each other since. That was 18-months or so ago.

The void came back. What was missing?

Nothing could fill it. This was the part where people get addicted. Addicted to something to try and fill the void. Alcohol. Drugs. Whatever it was. Something had to fill it in.

You have to find a way to fill the void somehow.

I wrote down my thoughts. How could I be feeling like this? On the outside all shiny and smiley. A black hole inside. It’s tough being an actor. When the you everyone sees is different to the you inside. It’s exhausting.

Every thought went onto the paper.

I’m feeling bad because I miss her.

I want to feel important to someone. I invested all my love into her. No. That’s what it is.

I forgot to love myself.

I’m not missing her. I’m missing the version of me I was with her.

It’s not her fault. It’s my fault.

I looked in the mirror.

I love you. I love you. I love you.

Straight to my face whilst looking in my eyes.

I love you. I love you.

It felt weird. But the void was filling up. I could feel it. The black hole was collapsing on itself.

I love you.

10 times. Then I stopped. I’d figured it out. The void I was trying to fill was a lack of self-love. A lack of self-esteem. I’d invested my whole self-worth into someone else.

It’s not her fault. I’m responsible for it. I’m responsible for my self-worth.

People would say to stay busy. Don’t stay busy. Busy meant avoiding the problem. Not anymore. The problem had to be solved. If it wasn’t, I was done.

It still happens. The void needs to be filled every day. No one wants to talk about it. You lay in bed at night and listen to the voice in your head. It’s the most important conversation you have all day.

When the void was big all hope was lost. I spent too long trying to walk around the edges instead of jumping straight in.

It’s my fault. I’m responsible for my own self-worth.

Then I stopped avoiding the darkness and learned to dance with it. It’s always going to be there. I made it my friend.

I’m responsible for my own self-worth.

The darkness is weak to love. It’s why I would miss her. Her love fought it off.

Now it’s my love.

I love you. I love you.

I’m responsible for it.

I look in the mirror. Straight into my eyes. The left one. The right one. My mind is lost in thought but gets found in the words.

I love you.

Source: https://qr.ae/TUtu85

Salt and pepper shakers

How many times have you used salt and pepper shakers?

They work perfectly practically every time. You don't have to worry about whether salt or pepper is going to come out. You shake it and it does.

When I was 10 we went on a school camp. Everyone was around the table able to eat the camp food. Then my friend Kaushal grabbed the salt shaker to use on his meal.

The lid wasn't on properly and the salt went all over his meal. Too much.

15 years later and I can still remember his face when he tipped a full salt shaker onto his plate.

I used salt and pepper shakers today and I can barely remember it.

We take perfect processes for granted. All the things that happen without us noticing.

And people often strive to make their work perfect. But they forget, it's the less perfect stories that are remembered most.

How to Win Survivor — The Ultimate Strategy (and tips for being more confident and charismatic)

 ‘You’re just a bunch of fun aren’t you,’ she said.

‘Yeah, you’re right.’

‘I’m going to put you through to the next round,’ she was smiling, ‘you should hear back in a couple of days.’

I was applying for Survivor.

We had a Skype interview. The video quality was bad but she was beautiful.

Skype calls are like blind dates. I only talked to her via email beforehand. So I had no idea what she looked like.

Then we were dialing in. I had a pile of notes next to me. My brother and I had spent an hour or so practicing potential questions.

This was a big moment. We watched Survivor as kids, now I had the chance to be on it. A real life TV show. This was my chance!

The call connected.

‘Hello, can you hear me?’

‘Hi there, I can hear you.’

‘Oh wait, I can’t hear you, let me fix something.’

She fixed it.

‘There we go are you there?’

‘I’m here, nice to meet you,’ I smiled.

‘Okay, Daniel right?’

I forget her name.

‘Yeah!’

‘Let’s do this.’

We got into it. And then the inevitable question was there.

‘Why should we choose you to be on Survivor?’

This one always comes up.

‘Why should we pick you for this job?’

Or even if it doesn’t, it comes up in other forms. When you’re a date, the other person is trying to figure out if you’re worth another date. But instead of asking ‘why should I keep seeing you?’, they ask questions like ‘are you religious?’

I told her why I should be on the show.

The same thing I told my brother when we practiced.

‘I should be on Survivor because no one else will play the game like me.’

Crap. Everyone would’ve said that.

‘How will you play the game differently?’

She was good.

‘Driving Uber I meet a new customer every 10-minutes. Working at Apple, I talked to a new person every 15-minutes.’

I went on.

‘To provide a quality service to someone, you have to figure out their needs. You have to understand them. That’s what I’m good at.’

‘I see.’

‘So no matter who’s there, I know I can get close to them, lead from the front and at the same time know when it’s time to sit back,’ I was rolling with it, ‘I call it the co-pilot strategy.’

She loved that.

‘The co-pilot strategy?’

I have no idea where this came from. An unexplainable force.

‘The co-pilot has enough control but isn’t the main guy. When it comes time to vote someone out, it’s often the one who stands out too much, the pilot.’

‘Oh I see, you’ll stay high enough in the tribe, but not too high to stand out.’

We kept talking. The conversation was supposed to go for 20-minutes. But we ended up going for an hour or so.

By the end of it I was in love. Or was it lust? I get the two mixed up.

She put me through to the next round. An in person group interview.

We had to attempt the same challenges as we would if we got on the show. My team won all the challenges.

After the group interview I saw a girl looking at Physics books at the bookstore. I stopped her on the way out.

‘Were you looking at Physics books?’

‘Yeah, I was.’

So how do you be so charismatic and confident you get through to the second stage of Survivor?

 

A) Practice

If you know the questions are coming, practice them.

This goes for any kind of scenario. Got to give a talk? Practice it. Going for a job interview? ‘Why should we hire you?’.

I practiced the exact questions she asked with my brother before the interview. I had a head start.

 

B) Get good at something

Being confident is being good at something.

If you’ve got some skills, own them. So you hear someone is looking for a few art designs, and you can draw. ‘Hey I can draw up a few things for you.’ Will it work all the time? Probably not. But at least you put it out there.

I’d been practicing understanding people for the past four years driving Uber and working at Apple. And I was good at it. So I told her. It’s easy to be charismatic about something you’re good at.

 

C) Practice again

This one is important enough to list twice. You don’t get good at something without practice. And practice usually involves being bad at something for a period of time.

It’s normal to lack confidence when you first start. But over time, your skills will improve and your confidence will begin to grow.

 

D) Tune the voice in your head to suit the conversation

There’s always that voice. The one telling you you should say something. Or telling you to go and talk to that girl. It won’t always be the right words. But the nervous energy will be there. Shape the energy to match the scenario.

I had no idea where the co-pilot strategy came from. The nervous energy must’ve sent it out. So I ran with it. And the subconscious took over.

There’s no way to get this to happen except to keep showing up. And learn how to use the energy when it arrives.

In the meantime, better to practice what you need to say or the skill you’re working on.

I think I would’ve won Survivor if I got on.

If you manage to get on, use the co-pilot strategy. Tell me how it goes.

Source: https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-be-charism...

The man in the arena

My heart was pumping.

I tried to slow it down with my breathing.

In for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, out for 4 seconds. I read somewhere this is how Navy Seals breathe to keep themselves calm. If it was good enough for them, it was good enough for me.

It worked.

My vision got clearer and my heart rate slowed down.

But the voice in my head was still there. The one who says, 'you're not ready for this.'

Still there. It always is in the big moments. Even if you've been getting prepared for months. The voice always shows up.

I knew it was coming. And I knew what it was going to say.

Samurai's thought it was best to fight with an empty mind. So I cleared out the house in my head where my thoughts live and locked the door.

There I was standing at the edge of the mat, staring at a guardrail across the hall. But how did I know I was staring at the guardrail? Was that a thought? Dammit. My mind wasn't clear.

The voice started to come back. Maybe I hadn't done enough training. Maybe the other guy was better than me.

Shhhh.

These thoughts aren't helpful but they're always there.

'Don't forget to breathe,' one guy told me. He was right. Breathing is important.

The fight started and the crowd cheered. I had some supporters and the other guy had some too. Everyone was there for the show. People love to be entertained.

It went on for a few minutes, he had control for the most part and ended up winning on points.

My first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament match, a loss.

'That wasn't so bad,' I thought. And the voice was gone.

What was the point of it showing up?

No one else was against me except it. Our harshest critique lives in our heads.

But you can silence it with your actions. The critiques opinion doesn't matter to the man in the arena. Because the critique isn't the one going to battle.

The critique isn't the one putting themselves out there.

The critique isn't the one showing up and trying something which might not work.

The critique feeds on attention and loses her power when the man in the arena decides to ignore her.

Today was good fun. I finished the day with 2 losses by points, 1 win by armbar submission and 9.5/10 fingernails.

Six weeks into this sport and I'm already in love. There are plenty more rolls to come. And that gets me excited.

If you haven't tried Brazilian Jiu Jitsu before, you should. I highly recommend it.

Even if it's not Jiu Jitsu, and you're thinking about trying something else. Something new. But you've been paying too much attention to your harshest critique and it's holding you back. Silence the critique with your actions. I highly recommend it.

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