Uber Post: The Journey
So I want to start something new. I’ve written a few blogs over the past months. It has been enjoyable, however, as with all things growth must be present. I am starting what I like to call “Uber Posts.” Posts that are just that… Uber! Bigger posts under 2 categories: Solid & Silly. Solid posts have a more serious nature, with an educational purpose, whereas silly posts are just plain fun. They’ll be posted infrequently but when they are I encourage you to read them, It will be well worth your time, let get started.
Todays post: Solid
It took me a while to come up with a topic for todays Uber post. After much consideration I realized the best place to start would be with my story. How I became a writer, blogger, my shifted philosophy, my personal journey to who I am today.
Lets start way back, grade school. As a student I was in many ways an outcast, an oddball. I am not into sports, I don’t like cars, I am an established non-conformist. At first this was a hard pill to swallow. As I matured I embraced this reality and even accentuated it. My little quirky interests set me apart, I am into fashion and grooming and consistently strive to portray a presentable image, I am also an organizational nut, maybe its more OCD than anything else, but messes frustrate me. This being said, I consistently struggled to fit in.
As I approached my high school years I started to not care anymore. High school was the point where I begun to accept who I was. This degree of authenticity helped to give me friends and more of a sense of purpose. In high school I began a serious degree of introspection. I took the train to school and each morning I would hop on, throw my earbuds in and think. Sounds simple I know but in reality it was a time for me to first off relax but secondly ask probing questions pertaining to life. Frequently the question would come up, “What is it all for?” A question about our purpose within this thing we call life.
Being part of a catholic school I was nurtured under the pretenses that we are here because of one God and his almighty rule. As a catholic practitioner it is said we must follow all the rules, regulations, policies, and procedures in order to define our purpose in life. As I ventured through high school I started to understand that this mindset is limiting and forces us to view the world through a microcosm. Not necessarily that catholicism or its teachings are bad, but rather that a devout pursuit subsequently leads to a lack of perspective.
When we look one direction we miss the view from all other directions.
During this time I was also approaching a decade long voyage in the martial arts world. I was a black belt at the time and had, for almost ten years, been conditioned with ideologies of personal development and self improvement, which helped garner my broader perspective as well as help shape my philosophy. I decided around junior year to pursue martial arts to a fuller degree and began working as an instructor at the dojo. This learning experience has done multitudes for my philosophy and mindset.
I got to see the show from behind the curtain.
It was this degree of insight that helped me to realize, there is more out there than we regularly perceive.
The catalyst for my current lifestyle I believe came through a collection of moments. First was my junior year. I took an entrepreneurship class. It was without a doubt, hands down, the BEST course I have ever taken largely in part due to the teacher. The class lessons were great but I feel most of what I retained were the stories the teacher told about himself and his lifestyle. He was in many ways a hustler, (NOTE: I am talking about the kind of hustler who has a nearly insatiable work ethic and is driven to get things done, not the other kind of hustler… important distinction.) He worked 5 jobs and frequently discussed them. The most inspiring to me was when he told the class he was a landlord. At first I thought “Landlord? What in the world is that??” Then he began to explain real estate investing, renting buildings and putting tenants in the units, after his explanation I had one thought… Genius! I don’t remember him specifically using the term passive income, but I’ve learned thats what he was describing and my affinity for real estate has grown ever since.
This was my first smattering in the other side of the coin or what I like to call the “Invisible World.” It made me realize there was something more out there, a greater perspective than simply the veil that is pulled over our eyes. My pursuit of greater purpose had subsided for a while until I approached moment number two…
When I turned 18 one of my co-workers at the dojo said “Fred I have a book for you now that you’re 18.” My initial response was a little apprehensive. Up until this point I had never read a book to completion in my life. In fact in many ways I disliked reading. However I felt compelled to make an effort to read this book considering it was a gift from a friend. The book was a financial literacy book entitled “The Total Money Makeover” by: Dave Ramsey. I started to read it and was a little interested, then I got distracted and stopped, started again, stopped. Then one day I sat myself down and said “This is ridiculous I dedicated 10 years of my life to martial arts, earned my black belt and I can’t even read a stinking book!” Though with slightly more colorful vocabulary. It was at this point I made a commitment to myself to read this book to completion. I sat down everyday that month and read through it. When I finished I had emerged enlightened. If you are unfamiliar with Dave Ramsey and his teachings I highly recommend it, he teaches money in such a simplified and unsophisticated way that anyone no matter how uneducated can figure it out, and most importantly, its sound solid advice from someone who has lived it. This is not a broke finance professor preaching about investment strategies.
This was the catalyst I needed. From here I went on a reading extravaganza. I set a goal to read a book a month for 12 months… at the end of the year I read 16 books. Covering topics of financial literacy, personal development, psychology, philosophy, and self-improvement. My jump in knowledge from simply a year of self-discovery has been exponential. My education progressed beyond just books, it was expedited through youtube, college courses, online courses, seminars, webinars, etc. I spent roughly the past two years educating myself in self-improvement and entrepreneurship. I have made a complete and total paradigm shift in terms of goals and aspirations. A 180 degree turn that I believe in many ways has pointed me in the right direction.
To close this story about my journey I will leave you with a single piece of advice. Do not under any circumstance underestimate yourself. The human potential is unlimited and if you apply yourself you will be astounded how much you can accomplish in a years time.
There is no excuse. You’re not too old, it’s not too late, there will never be a better time. Give yourself a purpose and then aggregate everything you do in your life towards that purpose!