Part 4: EARN YOUR LIFE
Response based on Part 1 of this series and the things I've experienced in my life:
I could write a book, or at least a blog, on almost all of those experiences. There are a lot of things I've done and seen that I still could add.
Here's more: I've fought 3 fires as a fireman, how I was forced into alcohol rehab twice when I was 20 (Failed the first time because I didn't take it seriously enough for the Navy), been forced to testify before a grand jury, was an analyst at a top 5 wallstreet firm, had a higher than top secret clearance, hooked up with girls in at least a dozen countries, I've recently been considering training, with the help from my Olympian friend, to qualify for the next winter Olympics, was president of my school (charisma goes a looong way is what I'd call that story..haha), met congressmen, played 5 seasons of soccer and 4 seasons of baseball in Italy, the story from after tearing two muscles playing soccer in Madrid and kept playing- I was treated by the medical doctor for Real Madrid soccer team (good story of not quitting for ANYTHING), meeting Willie Nelson on stage at Luckenbach (a true poet, idol, and outlaw), I once saw my roommate (his father was in President Bush’s cabinet) get kicked in the face AND OFF A BOAT by a bouncer in Spain, my friend who was a drug dealer in the Italian mafia and his stories (fucking crazy!), the time I almost saw a public beheading (thank god I didn’t), the time I passed out in a public bathroom in Amsterdam (one of the grossest and luckiest stories in my life), when our personal driver took us to a Santo Domingo brothel in the Dominican Republic (Ozzie hates that story), I could write a series just on Hollywood, was courted to play D2 college football even though I only played my junior year, toured the slums of Rio de Janeiro and witnessed kids with submachine guns, temporarily buying a boat in Venice on a whim because the city went on strike, hooking up with a girl-who spoke no English-in Florence by telling her "I'm from Texas like the TV show Dallas", helped rewrite a US Navy tactical manual (based on my unique SAR rescue), the time after high school my friends and I drank 21 kegs of beer in under 6 days and the only food I remembered eating the whole time were 3 sandwiches and some Doritos, doing improv in Hollywood's UCB, had glass tables thrown over my head, been beaten up by a gang (a couple times-in hind sight I probably provoked them ), and how insomnia and an over-active imagination has robbed me of years of my life (ala TD from Fight Club).
After I told Tyler about my struggles to write the great American novel lately, I've seriously been working on getting in the groove of doing it more regularly by posting. That and he said he learns a lot from my writing.
2002: The boat in San Sabastian, Spain where my friend and roommate
(and son of George W. Bush’s cabinet member) was kicked off
2005: "Team Kawasaki" Pit crew, Baja 500 Mexico. Incidentally, my team was Canadian
MOTIVATION: Setting Goals
I thought I was finished, but I feel I have to talk about motivation because it's so close to what I've said. Call it the practicality part. Whatever. This may be a shock to some people, particularly to people that love him, but I'm not a big fan of Tony Robbins or anybody that tells you how you should do things, UNLESS you use them as a vehicle to realize your own abilities and core intrinsic motivations. Sometimes people just need permission to do what they already know. Being whom you're meant to be is about BEING your own Guru. Not following other people's paths, though it may make them a lot of money.
As I said before in earlier articles in this series, I believe EVERY question you have in life can be answered in yourself. You just need the courage and strength to follow what you already know. That being said, time is sooo precious in my life. Time flies by so fast. I would, and always have, set daily and long-term goals. For some reason, it brings clarity to your smaller purposes. It gives you permission and reason to do different things. I always set goals, but I think it should be said that I keep a strict-loose like perception of them. Particularly my daily goals. I don't kill myself if I don't get to things. Oh well. I will though. You cannot always plan for the things that need extra thought or time. For example, I find it hard to rush creativity and frequently run over time when writing.
Recognize Greatness and Find Inspiration in Man:
I find inspiration in my family. My grandfather is one of the most amazing people I have ever known. Truly an idol. He came from a small farming town, super poor as 1 of 16 children (many of them died before the age of 18), he often slept in ditches, and never graduated high school because he had to work.
My grandfather went on to fight in WWII on the small South Pacific Island of Tonga, hitch hiked all around the country from town to town (Jack Kerouc style) including old school California, was a gold prospector in Montana, was a great mechanic, built his own-and many other- houses, sang country western music across the West, and experienced tons of amazing adventures. Later, my grandfather recieved his GED, taught himself college algebra, trig, and calculus and climbed to the top of an american engineering corporation.
The best part is that EVERYBODY loves my grandfather. I saw this growing up, it particularly resonated with me when I lived in Italy, he would, and still does at 89yrs, just talk to everybody. People are infected by his amazing stories and friendliness (definitely a Casanova from the stories). Additionally, one of the things I'm most proud was that he grew up when America was highly segregated and my grandfather was intelligent to know people as people. He admits to the times when people just said things like, "that's mighty white of you". He got it and changed with the times when people weren't so easy to let go of the past.
Contrarily, many people, even in other parts of my extended family, see the hard and poor upbringing as one of shame and embarrassment. Where's your perspective on the people in your life?
Early 80’s: My other grandfather on our family farm in Iowa
Another inspiration I had in my young life was my adoptive Chinese father. His story is that grew up dirt poor and the son of immigrants. In the 1930's all of his siblings born before him had to be left in their country and were sent money. Growing up he and my grandparents were continuously hated just for theirs race and threatened by the US government to be deported even though he was born a citizen in the US.
Growing up in the streets of Queens New York, he was dirt poor and suffered from rickets because of malnutrition. But in the back of his parents single room laundry cleaning store, he studied on a 3 legged desk that my grandfather had pulled out of a dumpster. He went on to get a scholarship to one of the, and still, highest rated and competitive high schools in the country. From there he attended the Ivy League's Columbia University and on to medical school (he was rejected from Harvard Medical school because at the time Harvard had an allotment of only one Asian per year--to this day he still knows the guy who was accepted over him). He just retired as one of the most respected, most senior, and most decorated officers in the military. Yes, he also served in Vietnam.
So, in respects to my life, I see it as that there is very little that I could ever do that could compare to either what my adoptive father or grandfather achieved. No matter how hard life can possibly get, it would be NOTHING compared to what they endured and accomplished. There are no excuses for not succeeding; they did. Out of respect for my adoptive father, I left at the age of 18 to stake my claim and do it ALL ON MY OWN. No excuses. This is where I come from and, yes, I grew up always believing in meritocracy. Have balls and just do what you know you need to
Earn this. Earn Your Life. Saving Private Ryan
To Be Continued…
Live with Passion. Make yourself proud. Earn your life.
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