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Do You Believe or Naw???

The other day I was watching Daniel DiPiazza’s new YouTube video about Childish Gambino, someone I am very much a fan of, and how Childish Gambino’s belief in himself, transcended him to incredible heights as a comedy writer, actor, comedian, and rapper, which from my perspective, is awesome.

Daniel then brought up President Trump, someone I am not a fan of at all, and how Trump’s undeniable belief in himself, among other things, propelled him to be the 45th President of the United States of America.

To me, it was inconceivable that a person with no political experience whatsoever could actually be considered in the running for President of the United States, and win. For whatever reason though, Trump thought it was conceivable, and believed in himself wholeheartedly.

My question is, “Why was that?”

I want to know what made this man believe in himself so much, that that belief drew in others to believe in him as well.

This writing is not about Trump, but I did want to talk about how he strikes me as a person that is very sure of himself, for better or for worse.

With that said, I am aware that Trump is not a good person (depends on who you ask). I don’t find him to be one for a lot of different reasons, so I am removing the person from the equation, and focusing on the state of being he and many others, like Childish Gambino, exhibit.

That state of being, is belief in oneself, above all else.

I am focusing on this state of being because it is one that I truly admire.

If you were to examine my work, you would see that all I talk about is Fulfilling Life’s Yearnings, and in my gut, I believe that the only way a person can truly FLY, is by going to the beat of his or her heart… not by listening to the advice of other people that bring about negative vibes.

The Advice of Other People

The worst vice is advice… Charles Abrams

I enjoy watching movies, and in the movie, Misconduct, Al Pacino’s character, Charles Abrams, in his signature raspy voice, tells Josh Duhamel’s character, Ben Cahill, that “the worst vice is advice.”

Hearing that piqued my interest, and I wondered what Al Pacino’s character meant by that.

If we separate vice from advice, the Merriam Webster dictionary defines vice as: [an] immoral or wicked behavior. Whereas advice is defined as: an opinion or suggestion offered about a decision or course of conduct.

Don’t ever take advice, that was great advice… Drake

If you know me, you know I love to extrapolate meaning from lyrics in songs as well. That is what I was doing above, and Canadian Rapper, Drake, in his 2015 track, You and the 6, on his album: If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, did not disappoint, on my quest to uncover deeper meaning in lyrics.

In that song, he said “Don’t ever take advice, that was great advice.”

“Like what? What does that even mean?”

My initial thought from hearing that was obviously what I said above, but a close second was, “what does he know that I don’t know.”

If you don’t understand why I am saying that, here’s why…

I grew up, like most people, taking advice from individuals I looked up to, but maybe that wasn’t the best course of action.

As I reflect about it now, I never knew there was anything wrong with taking advice from other people, but clearly there must be, if Drake was aware and self-reflective enough to include it in his verse, which was sick by the way (aka., really good, if you don’t know what sick means).

My gut feeling tells me that receiving advice from others, sets us up for a life of dependency on others (spoken and unspoken) thoughts. That had never occurred to me, but if you think about it, when you take advice from someone on what to do in life, you’ve just allowed that person to direct your life when you follow through with their advice, based off of fear.

You end up listening to everyone else but yourself, and consequently, you give away control of your life to others, and start living life as a string puppet, which is a messed up place to be in.

I feel that this is what Al Pacino’s character was hinting at in Misconduct.

I feel that when you take advice over and over again, instead of listening to your gut, you end up believing that others know what’s best for you, and you become paralyzed by the opinions of others, and let me tell ya, you’re not going to be able to Fulfill your Life’s Yearnings that way.

Real Life Example

I would love to do that, but I can’t…

Just the other day, I was talking with a friend, let’s call her Darby, about not listening to the advice of others. At 22, she has been doing that her whole life, taking advice from her parents, her older sister, and others that “want the best for her,” as if she is not capable of doing what is best for her, and now she has arrived at a point where her well-being is compromised because of the decisions she’s made that were not her own, and now she feels trapped.

She wants to leave her job because the environment is toxic, but she’s afraid of what her parents will say about her leaving her perceived “secure” job, so she is paralyzed.

When I encourage her to move on from that place, she says, “I would love to do that, but I can’t.”

And I get why she said that. She has been conditioned to respond that way almost instinctively, through years and years of detrimental reinforcement, that she actually believes that she really can’t leave.

To her, it feels like a huge risk to leave her job, whereas I know that that is not true.

When Darby called me and told me her job put her on a 90 day probation for being sick, I said to her, “Why don’t you give your two week notice by the end of the week, and move on from that place?” Her programmed response was, “I need to have another job lined up first.”

She’s been taught that it is too risky to leave a job when you don’t have another one lined up, which has its merits, depending on the situation and the financial responsibility one has for self and others.

My disclaimer though is that only you know what your situation and obligations are, so you must act accordingly to your circumstances, and follow your gut.

After Darby told me she needed to have another job lined up first, I knew we had some work to do to peel away the layers of what she believed to be true. She already wanted to leave and knew why she wanted to leave, so I didn’t have to guide her through figuring that out.

So I started with addressing her irrational fear to leave her work. I asked her why she was afraid to leave, and I also asked her why she felt compelled to stay. I was going at her and challenging her way of thinking with every piece of information she gave me.

Her top three irrational fears were: her parents being upset at her; the unknown; and not making any income.

Compelling her to stay there was the money.

Now that I knew what her fears were and what was compelling her to stay, I had my plan of attack. I was going to hit her with an ass-whooping combination of possible solutions and scenarios. These of which she guarded against with all of her 5ft stature.

However, I was relentless in my attack, (aka., my guidance) and she wanted to leave anyways, so after her defense systems (aka., her irrational fears) were destroyed, the switch went off in her mind to just do it.

I gave her a constant attack of do what you want to do and Fuck everyone else’s opinion. It was R1 and R2 over and over again on the PS4 joystick, and it worked.

I kept saying those things to her because the people that she held near and dear, were giving her their own combination of attacks (advice) based off their fears, and were projecting those fears onto her, until she finally had enough.

Once I finished my positive attack, I reminded her to look at her situation holistically (something that everyone has to do for themselves, to assess where they’re at, and whether a change is going to be made or not). That was it for me.

The metaphorical ball was now in her court, and I left it up to her to piece together what her finishing move was going to be, and it didn’t take long for her to put it in action.

Finishing Move

A few days after our long conversation, Darby called and told me that she was putting in her two week notice! Her excitement was through the roof, and I was happy for her because I’d been in her shoes before. It feels like a 100 pound boulder has been removed from your shoulders, and that you could fly if you tried to because of how free you feel.

Who wouldn’t want to feel like that. That’s a fucking amazing feeling. However, there’s a caveat to why this feeling was so intensified for Darby. It was because she had endured a lot of painful moments at her job.

Those painful moments forced her to realize that she needed to stop dismissing the anger and hurt that she was feeling and make a change.

Pain brings about a visceral response from the receiver, and fosters growth if the receiver does something about it. I did something about it. Darby did something about it. Plenty of people have done something about it when confronted at the crossroads with an ongoing attack of painful expresses that slowly destroy who we are if we don’t act, and make a change, by writing the story of each of our lives to what we want it to be.


The wonderful moment that Darby experienced felt so good because she knew what the horrible moments felt like, and never wants to feel like that again.

It took some time, and she’s still a work in progress, like myself, like you, and like many others, but she finally believes in herself more than ever, and is going to put in the work to pursue what she passionate about, which is fitness and makeup.

This change was able to happen because when confronted with her situation from an outside perspective, Darby was able to come out her conditioned state of listening to the non-helpful advice of her parents and others, which was holding her back from what she is capable of accomplishing.

Now, she is finally giving herself the chance to explore that possibility, and that is great news, because it is always better to truly live while you’re alive, by Fulfilling your Life’s Yearnings, than to live and be empty inside.

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