Your DNA

I love it when I ‘look for something new’ on Netflix and score a home run.

Me and wifey just finished watching The Night Agent and thoroughly enjoyed it.  

What it is about?  Glad you asked. The blurb on Goolge says:

“While monitoring an emergency line, an FBI agent answers a call that plunges him into a deadly conspiracy involving a mole at the White House.”

Corruption you say?

In politics?

No way?

A lesser part of the Night Agent is a reoccurring story about his deceased father.  His father was also in the FBI and died in the middle of a personal scandal.  

Like LukeSkywalker and plenty of others, The Night Agent, Peter Sutherland wanted to know the truth.  He wanted to know if his father was who he thought he was.

Whether you REALLY know someone is important but it’s nowhere near as important as knowing who YOU ARE.

I was listening to Natalie Franke’s podcast this morning.  She spoke about a low point in her life when she was depressed and sounded nothing like the chipper voice we hear in her podcast.  

She was strugglin.  


No va.  (Spanish, not a misspelling of an old Chevy.)

And when she didn’t move forward her husband rattled off some of her attributes and accomplishments and told her, don’t forget who you are.

I loved that so much I hit rewind and listened to it again.  

I resonated so much with this because I AM a teacher.  

It’s in my bones.  

My DNA.  

My soul.

As  much as I try to fight it sometimes, it always comes back around.  Whether I’m launching a new educational product or answering a question on social.

I used to fight it but now I greet it like an old friend.  

“Oh, you’re back…”

Knowing who you are makes doing what you do so much easier.  And you feel so more satisfaction and fulfillment from what you do.

Your decisions get easier and there’s a flow that you get into that you just can’t manufacture artificially.  

And if you’re not 100% sure of who you are, what do you do?  

Move forward.

Do stuff.

“You have to make mistakes to find out who you aren’t. You take the action, and the insight follows: You don’t think your way into becoming yourself.”  

Anne Lamott


How you really get paid

I was at an event drawing a married couple.  The wife said her husband was an artist and I found out he liked comic books.

Normally when people say they like comics, what they really mean is they bought SOME comics in their youth.  They usually weren’t doing cartwheels over them for most of their childhood like I was.  

There’s nothing wrong with that of course.  

Just like some Los Angeles Lakers fans occasionally watch games on TV and some folks DVR every game and watch them wearing a Magic Johnson jersey.  All while drinking purple Kool-Aid.  Both are fans.

I gave the husband a list of my favorite artists and to my surprise he knew who they were.  He even mentioned new art by one of my favorite artists growing up, John Byne.  At this point we looked like two 10 year old boys comparing baseball cards.   

I even had to stop drawing a few times because I was so enthralled by our conversation…  

About halfway thru I looked over at his wife.  Usually when I start geeking out over Star Wars or comics or something, the significant other tunes out.  Wives (sometimes it’s husbands) usually want to listen to us talk about comics about as much they’d like to binge-watch C-SPAN.

I looked at her face and to my surprise she didn’t look annoyed. 


I love comics and cartooning.  So much so I draw those things for a living.  I do have a passion that I don’t put on my resume though.

I’m a miner.  

But not like with crypto or working in a mine with an ax.

I’m constantly digging for ways to be successful.  And by success I don’t mean just making more money.  I want to know the ideas, habits, and beliefs you need to have to be successful at what you wanna do.  

And just like with my cartooning, where I take something complex like the human face and draw it with only a hand-full of lines, I want to simplify success too.  And I want to do it in a way that anyone can understand and apply it. All while ignoring the “Brules”.  

What are brules?  

Glad you asked.  Vishen Lakhiani created this term and he defines brules as “bullshit rules”.  Hence the name… What’s an example of a brule?   Hard work equals success.  Hard work helps but it’s not everything.  

And neither is saying affirmations.

Or writing down your goals everyday.

Hell, you don’t even have to be nice to people.

I have met (and read about) some really grumpy asshole millionaires in my time.  

So why do brules keep hanging around?  lt’s because almost all brules have some truth to them or they were true at one time.   Brules can help, I’m just saying that none of them are vital.  I used to think things like hard work was necessary but I know differently now.  

Dan Kennedy said something years ago about selling a monthly newsletter.  I don’t remember it verbatim but it went something like this.  He said people sign up for your newsletter to get the information but they stay signed up your newsletter because of who you are.  

And as I enjoyed Dan’s knowledge, insights, and his lovable grump personality, he was 100% right.   This also a conclusion I came to at the end of the writing challenge I just started in February.  

The conclusion I came to is…

Wait for it…

Is the suspense killing you…?

Here’s it is:  You get paid because of who you are.

Science now proves what the spiritual community has said, for as long as it’s been around.  

Ask and it is given. 


And if you’re asked and ain’t gettin’, you’re blocking it.  The problem is you’re likely doing it  emotionally or spiritually.  When you solve that problem, your life changes.

Look at it this way.  You could make $100,000 a year doing what you love,  like photographing dogs.  Or you could make $100,000 a year working for your power company.  

And if you first thought I’m wrong.  It would be hard to make that much money doing photography or making $100,000 working for the power company was easier, or more stable, or “acceptable”.  That’s a block.

Think of it like Newton’s first law of motion.  Every object will remain at rest or in motion unless the actions of an external force gets in the way.  Or in my words…blocks it.

Blocks come in about many forms as Baskin Robbins sells flavors of ice cream.  Your blocks could be…

Feeling unworthy.

Fear of success.

Family pressures. 

All sorts of stuff.  Keep in mind though, vision and blocks come from the same place.  


So that means, YOU can fix it.  


Your Fortress of Solitude

When I was kid, I loved the The Superman movies.

As if having super-power wasn’t enough, I loved Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.  It just looked cool.  Wouldn’t it be neat to have one of those?  

I thought so until I realized his fortress was made of ice.  And was located in a frozen tundra.

For a kid born in a dessert, that made me very nervous…

And by the way, no Wi-Fi or DirectTv either?  It’s like Superman didn’t want anyone to visit…

But Soop’s was onto something.  He needed a Fortress of Solitude to think, relax, and rejuvenate and so do you.  A “Fortress of Solitude” can manifest in many different ways.

Your probably know about meditation and getting and still but there’s tons of ways to ‘reset’ yourself.

One of my new recent discoveries is walking.  Walking 3-5 miles. Sometimes i take audio with me and listen to books and sometimes I don’t.  Silence gives me time to think and observe my surroundings.  

Your Fortress of Solitude could be other activities like:


Doing Yard work.

Sitting in a sauna.

I know what you’re thinking, these are great when you have time.  But what happens when you’re out in the REAL world?  Like when you’re at a restaurant getting bad service or you’re driving and some son-of-bitch cuts you off in a Prius?


This one I learned from Eckhart Tolle.  Breathe 5 seconds in and 5 seconds out.  I call them mini-meditations.  You can do it while driving and you can do it anywhere.  

Try it.  

All these things can help keep  you centered, focused, and ready to go.


Upside to the downside

Could you imagine winning $1,000,000,000?  

You can buy a lot of stretchy pants with that kind of cheddar…

Last year the multi-state lottery here in Arizona got to over one billion dollars.  For the first time in my life, I felt sorry for the winner.

You’ve probably heard that 70% of people who win a lottery or get a big windfall end up broke within a few years.  And let’s face it, that’s usually people who lose millions.  Could you imagine failing to keep over 1 billion dollars?

I don’t think most people wanna live with that kind of failure on their resume.  Even if you’re in Manolos and driving a Bentley.

I used to worry about failing. 

Even in school when I played pick-up basketball games, I wasn’t a fan of losing.   I liked to have fun playing but I liked winning too.  I loved to do what David Goggins calls “snatching souls”.  I relished winning with a game winning shot or by blowing out the other team by a big margin.  

When I got my first sales job I hated failure there too.  Being told ‘no’ and sucking at sales goals was something hard to get used to.  Especially for a guy who looked at losing the same way Lex Luthor looked at losing to Superman.

Eventually I read the book, Go For No: Yes Is The Destination. No Is How To Get There by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz.  The book was a nice shift in approach.  Instead of focusing on sales and overcoming objections, this book told you to focus on no’s.  After all, if it takes 10 no’s to get a yes, you should want to burn through those 10 no’s as fast as possible.  

For about six months I was in love with no because no got me that much closer to yes.  Then I noticed something strange happened.

I started caring TOO little about yes.  And my sales process in general…  It reminded me of a call I took at my old insurance job.  A lady told me she was depressed after a death in her family so her doctor gave her Prozac. She said the prescription was so strong she didn’t give a f*ck about anything.  

They lowered her dose.

I lowered my dose too by leaving my go-for-no philosophy behind.  

In my 30’s I figured I could outrun failure like Usain Bolt.  I read about a book a week and submerged myself in success principles.  It’s like I wanted to drown away failure like Robert De Niro in Cape Fear.

It was time I stopped treating success like a vaccine that I hoped would keep failure away.   

I decided to look at failure like  Kobe Bryant does.  Kobe said failure only happens when you refuse to keep on going and decide not to learn anymore. Disappointments are not failures but are necessary learning tools for growth and self-improvement.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”

J.K. Rowling  

No failing by default…

Embrace failure.  Embrace learning.   Live your life.


Sharks in Manhattan

You ever notice that your brain doesn’t really shut up?  

Did I lock the front door?

I paid that already, right? 

Do these jeans make me look fat?  

Author Michael A. Singer in his book The Untethered Soul calls this voice your “Inner Roomate”.  This voice is more than an annoying roomate, it’s more like a bad marriage that you can’t divorce out of.  

You can’t take it out with a Smith and Wesson either.  It just hangs out with you like herpes.

We’re kind of used to having an over protective, nagging, mom-like voice in our heads.  We understand maybe you shouldn’t eat that pizza before you swim or stare directly into the sun.  But there’s a more nefarious version of this voice too.

Mine told me…

I wasn’t good enough to be an artist.

I could never date a girl that pretty.

Opportunities like that don’t exist for black people.

Blah, blah, blah.  I listened to that nonsense for way too long.  One of the first things that helped me get past that was understanding that the brain has one job and it’s not helping you ‘follow your dreams’. It’s job is to keep you safe. 

“Your brain is biologically wired to protect you from harm. So when you’re about to switch jobs, move to a new place, or try something new, it tries to stop you.”

-Mel Robbins

Not only does this voice never go away but it changes its colors like a chameleon and manifests into other things like procrastination and perfectionism.  It’ll make your ADD kick in more relentlessly than ads on YouTube.  

That’s why to quiet this voice, you want to focus on what Dan Sullivan calls, ENERGY.  Energy is…

Everything you permanently love.  

Everything that produces growth.

Everything that grows confidence.

When you develop the daily habits of doing what you love and combine that with your personal development routine, your confidence grows and ignoring your Inner Roomate gets easier and easier.  

And don’t forget about your environment too.  That can be just as important.  Great white sharks are badasses but if you throw one in a Manhattan apartment, it’s not going to thrive.  It will suffocate and die.

Focus on your energy and creating an environment that is an incubator for your success.  But  also… stop doing what drains your energy too.