March 2019 Q&A

Submit your questions in the comments, on any subject, and I will be glad to answer them in the next Q & A.

This month’s questions:

  • How do you balance work and life?
  • Why do I let Sienna buy me skinny jeans?
  • How do you choose investments?
  • What do you think about $15 minimum wage?
  • Should government mandate pronoun usage referring to transgender people? Is it a fad or biological. Should there be a biological standard for male/female? Is gender a social construct or biological
  • Will California secede from the union? Would I leave?
  • Why do some people lean left politically? is it out of desire to protect the helpless or to protect their own circumstances?
  • How do you deal with haters?

(Watch video or read transcript below)

How do I balance work and life?

To be quite honest, I don’t do it very well. I don’t think most people do it well. I have learned a lot by studying highly successful people through the years, through writing the books “Success” and “Motivation,” and through studying many successful people and from my own life experiences. I’ve concluded that people who are very successful in one area of life tend to have very poor work life balance.

Look at Michael Jordan for instance.  He is very good at basketball, but not well balanced in other areas of his life. Hence, when you focus on thriving in one area, other areas are bound to suffer. What I have done to balance work life is to be very clear about the goal or the outcome that I want and then focus the right amount of energy towards that goal.

For example, at this stage in my life, my son is with me most of the time. Thus, some aspects of my career have been put aside to prioritize raising him. When he gets a little older and more independent, I will begin to focus less on him and to expand my career.

When writing the book “Success,” Ryron Gracie gave me a great line which I took to heart.  He said, balance means giving each part the amount of time that it needs. If I understood his explanation, it means work may require a lot of time throughout the week, while your wife doesn’t quite need as much time, but she does need times. You must give her, your kids, and your hobbies the proportion of time they need.  Balance doesn’t necessarily mean equal but rather proportional amount of time towards each endeavor.

Creating a balance means committing the appropriate amount of time to achieve the desired goal. I use this secret to attain a balanced life. It begins with clarity on the end goal and then committing sufficient time to reach that goal balancing proportionately with each different endeavor.

Why do I let Sienna buy me skinny jeans?

This question is from my buddy Sonny. He is always ragging on me because I admitted that Sienna and I drove four and a half hours to a wedding; and we threw a bag of clothes at the last minute. This wedding was out in the middle of nowhere at this cool cowboy‐like ranch.  

We got there with about 20 minutes to spare, which I blame Sienna for because I’m always ready on time. LOL. When we got there, I was wearing my typical daily uniform—board shorts, flip‐flops and a t‐shirt. I literally had no pants. I found this store that had pants that were like a little too small for me, size 32, but they were going to work, and I had to go to the wedding.

Sonny saw a picture of me in the new pants and he has been relentlessly teasing me about my skinny jeans. To answer your question, Sonny, Sienna didn’t buy me the skinny jeans. I bought my own skinny jeans.

How do I choose an investment?

This is a hard question to answer briefly. Therefore, I’m going to be a little bit vague about my answer. I look for things like where do I need to diversify? Meaning I don’t want all my eggs in one basket so to speak. Therefore, I am careful about where I am going to invest so that I’m balancing out my portfolio.  

Secondly, I look at the expenses—how much is the investment will cost me. I also recommend you download on my website, at ChuckRylant.com, an article called “The Single Best Investment. That article describes a completely different approach to choosing investments.

Finally, here is my real answer to the question.  I think this came from Warren Buffett, if I remember right. I never invest in anything I do not completely understand. Many people are duped into fraudulent investments because they invest in things they do not understand. If you don’t understand the stock market, you either learn about it or don’t invest in it.

I don’t trust other people with my money. I need to understand it myself. Most people go into real estate investment because they have either rented or bought a house, so they have some little understanding of its operation. This is a safe investment if you understand it.

Other areas are more complex, like investing in a tech startup. You ought not to be quick to invest in this area until you get to understand it better. That is how I choose investments. I make sure I completely understand what I’m investing in.

What do I think about the $15 minimum wage?

If you ask me, the $15 is irrelevant. The better question is: “What do I think about minimum wage?” If you understand the basics of economics, there really should not be a minimum wage which is artificially inflating wages. Minimum wage law is a government getting involved with the market where the market should be the one that determines wages.  When government interferes with wages and artificially controls the price of the market, it screws things up for everyone.

The people that support $15 minimum wages, do so out of the kindness of their heart. They want to help poor people. However, what they are doing is hurting poor people.  I will qualify my assertion with a practical example.

If the potential earning of an employee is $10 per hour, the most he can possibly produce is $10 worth of labor. When you artificially inflate the wage to $15 an hour, several complicated outcomes occur. First, the employer is forced to get rid of that low‐earning employee. This is because no company can afford to pay somebody $15 that is producing $10 an outcome.

Anyone that disagrees with minimum wage believes in corporate welfare. Corporate Welfare means employers should be providing free handouts to somebody who has not earned it. Because many people misunderstand, they believe that corporations have this unlimited pot of money. The truth is money from corporations is money that comes from the consumer.

Since consumers buy things, they determine how much things are worth. The investors invest their money hoping to earn a return. Consequently, if the company is not profitable, it will go under or have to do things to make it profitable.

Corporations are not a welfare system. Hence, artificially raising the minimum wage will force people into unemployment, as companies will have to find alternative options such as robots. As you have noticed, in all these stores now, they don’t have checkers anymore. At the grocery store, the movies, at McDonald’s, they are starting to have computers replacing humans because the cost of labor is too high.

Therefore, minimum wage laws are supposed to help poor people, but they are in turn taking away their jobs. The entry‐level positions are being replaced by robots because the cost of labor is too high. When McDonald’s replaces an employee with a robot, it doesn’t affect high earners like me or whoever else is probably watching this. It doesn’t affect you because you don’t lose your job at McDonald’s, you make more money, but it affects the entry‐level employees.

Nowadays it is rare to see young people in these entry level positions. I started at McDonald’s when I was a kid at 16 years old. But you do not see kids working as much now because it is just too costly to pay a kid that much money. Instead they found alternative options. Therefore, it does not make sense to raise minimum wages.

When minimum wage increases, the cost of goods, that poor people buy, also goes up. For example, let’s say a gallon of milk costs $3 a gallon. The people who earn minimum wage, that help produce that gallon of milk, get paid more, so that the only option is to lay people off and/or raise the price of the milk. The $3 a gallon of milk goes to $3.25 or $3.50. Everything goes up to offset all of the costs of the higher wages.

Minimum wage laws do not make sense at all. The government should allow the market to control the wages and the people who can’t earn decent living need to raise the value that the contribute to the market. They need to get more education and experience. They need to make themselves worth more rather than expecting others sink down to their level.

Should government mandate pronoun usage for transgender people? Is it a fad or biological? Should there be a biological standard for male/female?

No, government should ever be involved in regulating free speech. They should never dictate how people should speak because this right is clearly expressed in the US constitution. Individuals, not government, should choose how they’re going to address people of transgender. Anyone should be free to do whatever they want to do as long as it doesn’t harm other people.

Is it a fad or biological? I think a little bit of both. As things become more trendy, young people who are trying to find who they are in life, and where they fit in, will probably tend to want to rebel against their parents. Hence, there are a lot of experimental same‐sex relationships in the schools because of rebellion.

But for the most part, I truly believe the few people who I have met that are transgender, they truly feel or believe that they are the opposite sex. The reason I think that is that there is awful lot of social stigma even today for making that transgender change. Subsequently, it is quite difficult for somebody who feels like he or she belongs to the opposite sex.

I don’t think most people would take that very lightly.  Someone who is really changing who they are is different than versus somebody who wants to wear makeup or dress up because they’re a teenager and are acting out of rebellion. The answer to your question, I think it’s more biological than anything.

Should there be a biological standard for male or female? Here is the deeper question: how does the rest of society deal with this? In my opinion, individuals should be allowed to do what they want if they don’t hurt people.  Be as it may, there is an unequivocal standard in science of what the difference between a male and a female. For the most part, if you have a penis or vagina that determines whether you are a male or female, that is just the way it is. I understand this is a little more complicated with chromosomes, but for the most part, when we look at somebody’s genitals, we know what they are, and that should be the standard.

There is a standard because there are inherent differences between men and women. Sometimes these differences are blurred between masculinity and femininity. You can have a male who is very feminine, and you can have a female who is very masculine, but that does not change what sex they are.

Just because a male wears eye liner and grows her hair long, doesn’t change his sex. Along with sex come other things in the body:  level of strength and testosterone. These are indisputable facts and so the issue now is how to do what you want without harming other people. This comes into play when men are claiming to be women and then doing things like competition with the opposite sex. Now that is clearly unfair and I think 99.9% of society feels that way, even if not everyone will admit it because it’s politically incorrect.

Today, you should not have a male mixed martial arts fighter fighting with females. It is unacceptable because there is a potential to bring harm to other people. Now imagine a male cyclist who wins a gold medal against female cyclists. This is harm in a different kind of way, and I think it can be avoided when competition is based on the sex that we are born with.

Most females look a certain way. There are anomalies of course, but they are the fringe minority. So I still think that we should adhere to the general standard that if you are born male, you are male and if you’re born female, you’re a female.

Is gender a social construct or biological? Gender used to mean male and female. The lines are being blurred when referring to male, female, sex, and gender. Many people on the left tend to want to say that gender means how you identify. You could be a male, but you identify yourself as a female. I think we really should stick to the original standards. It doesn’t matter what you want to be. You are what you are.

We are what we are, even if we don’t like it. Now we’re free to try to change who we are and change our appearance and stuff. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that everyone else should be forced to comply, especially at the, at the risk of harming other people like in the sports events, for example.

According to the DSM‐5, gender dysphoria is a mental illness. Believing you are one thing when you’re not is a mental illness according to the DSM‐5 which is written by hardcore leftists. Let’s say I have a mental illness to the point that I really believe I’m Leprechaun, we shouldn’t expect other people to treat me as a Leprechaun, nor do I think the government should treat me as if I’m a Leprechaun.

In summary, we should all be free to do what we want, and I completely support and encourage individuals who want to change who they are. I support it, good for them, and no problem. Nevertheless, I don’t support mandating other people to change their own beliefs or point of view around that.

Should government determine biological standards for benefits of scholarships?  if I were applying for something like a school scholarship, I would put on there that I was a black lesbian, female or something like that, because we’ve gotten to a place in the world where certain “victim” classes have privileges above all others. I think everyone should be treated equally regardless of your sex or race or your sexual orientation. All that stuff should be deleted from these government benefits. I think it is appalling that we give certain people treatment unfair.

Will California secede from the union. Would I leave if they did?

I think politicians say that for attention. There’s no chance in hell that the Democratic Party would allow California to separate because without California you’ve just killed the chances of a Democrat winning the national election. Without California there is almost no chance, I don’t think it’ll ever happen.

Would I leave the Communist Republic of California? Man, I like California, but it’s getting batshit crazy here to be honest. Right here on the central coast, it’s not completely crazy, San Luis has gotten pretty nuts. San Francisco, it’s completely mad. I don’t know if all I will the People’s Republic of California, but I think about it.

Why do some people lean left politically? Is that out of desire to protect the helpless or to protect their own circumstances?

First and foremost, it’s out of a place of complete ignorance. And when I say ignorance, I don’t mean it in a derogatory way. In order to believe a lot of the leftist positions, you have to be ignorant of reality, meaning you don’t know what’s happening in the real world and you have no idea of how the real world operates—you’re an idealist. Most of the views from the left are admirable, but unrealistic.

I think there are two categories of people, all of them being ignorant. Maybe because of their IQ or the environment they grew up where they were exposed to leftist propaganda, they develop the victim mindset. The victim mindset is incredibly detrimental to an individual’s success because they blame other people for all of their own hardships rather than taking responsibility for the things that they can control.

This group is raised to believe they’re helpless victims.  When a Hillary Clinton comes out and says, we’re going to give you a free phone, free house, and free everything, it is too enticing for these people to ignore. I think there’s a group that just truly believes that out of ignorance because they don’t know any better.

The second group is comprised of educated and intelligent leftist people. They are college‐educated people, but very naïve and unaware of the real world. It is one thing to be ignorant because you haven’t been exposed to ideas, and another to be ignorant because you’re only exposed to leftist ideas and you haven’t really exposed yourself to the real world. If you go into the real world, especially if you go into ghettos and go around criminals and people like this, you will see that this whole victim narrative is just false.

These people are not victims of everything. They make bad choices and providing them with free things is only going to fuel their bad habits. Are there occasions where people are down and out, and they need help? Yes, of course there are. But what’s interesting is people left and right have the desire to help other people. It is a natural human instinct.

Therefore, if someone is truly down and out, the community will come to support. But what leftist want to do is to support criminals; people who don’t have the desire to help themselves. In summary, some people lean left politically because they’re uninformed and unaware of the real world, while, some of them are opportunists who are seeking power.

How do I deal with haters?

I encourage haters and here’s what I mean. I’ve realized that if you try to please everyone all the time, you please no one including yourself. I pick a stance but I’m open to changing that stance with new information. Most of what I put on Facebook and share publicly designed to intentionally to piss somebody off because I know it will push the wrong people away and attract the right people.

Here’s what I mean. If I’m against the minimum wage, I’m going to push away freeloaders who think that they should get $15 an hour when they’re only worth $10. I purposely want to piss them off and get them out of my life. But what it’s going to do is attract people who agree that you should only be rewarded by the things that you earn; and those are the kind of people that I like to be around.

The kinds of people that might buy one of my books are the realists. I repel those who think they should get $15 when they earn $10 because they think they should get a free book. And that’s just one example. The people I want to have over for a barbecue, hang out with, and have a good time with are hardworking, ambitious people who take responsibility for their own lot in life.

I deal with haters by being very clear on my positions in life. Moreover, my views and philosophies are very well thought out. I’m open to somebody showing me a point of view I haven’t seen or considered, and I will happily change my view. But if someone hates me because they disagree with me, then they need to go.

I have a few liberal friends and I just love when they politely and respectfully disagree. Sometimes they teach me something I didn’t know. Sometimes they help reinforce that I was right. They’re not haters. I welcome that.

The disrespectful people, I just delete them out of my life, and I keep doing things to offend them hoping they will go away forever.

I appreciate getting a chance once a month to share my thoughts with you guys and I’ll do this again next month. If you have more questions, put them in the comments or send them to me privately until then. I will talk to you guys later.

January 2019 Q&A

Submit your questions in the comments, on any subject, and I will be glad to answer them in the next Q & A.

This month’s questions:

  •  How to stay motivated?
  •  Favorite tacos? 
  • Greatest challenge? 
  • Will Trump win reelection? 
  • Will the wall be paid for by Mexico? 
  • Do the Rams have a chance? 
  • How to cure leftism? 
  • How do you find your life purpose? 
  • Is the country headed to civil war 2.0? 
  • The morality of abortion? 
  • What does it mean to fail? 
  • Is there more to life than food and sex?

Link to new book: “Success: The Path to Personal Fulfillment Through Brazilian Jiu‐Jitsu Fighters

(Read text below or watch video)

How do you stay motivated?

I’m so intrigued by the idea of motivation, that I wrote a whole book called Motivation. I’ve come to the conclusions that what works for motivation is to not wait until you’re motivated, but instead to kind of fake it until you make it.

The way to stay motivated is to pick something worthwhile to you, then create steps to work towards and progressively, little by little each day, work on those steps, even during the times when you’re not motivated.

A key thing I found when I interviewed all the people for the book Motivation, I found that the secret is to have a goal that’s important to them, and it doesn’t matter what that goal is, it just matters that it’s important.

In my life, for example, one thing I wanted to do was teach scuba diving, so I set a goal to teach scuba diving, but I had no particular purpose or reason other than it was something I wanted to do. Once you have that goal in front of you, you can create tiny steps so that every day when you wake up, you have something to work towards. Even on the days you don’t feel like working towards it, the steps keep you going one little step at a time.

As you keep working towards those goals, and you’re faking it at first, fighting yourself to work through those steps, you will begin seeing progress after a week, or two, or a month, and when you start seeing that you’re moving closer towards that goal. That builds momentum and you will begin getting excited about the goal.

That excitement will carry you through the next days and then as you start getting more excited about seeing progress, then you start actually becoming motivated, even if you were not in the beginning. When you start making progress on little things, you start becoming motivated about other things in your life.

Let me provide a couple of examples. Let’s say that you’re out of shape and you want to get in shape. The hardest thing to do when you’re out of shape is to start working towards getting in shape. The key is to make little steps. The end goal might be to lose 40 pounds, but that’s huge. Instead make small steps like the day the goal might be to take a walk around the block, walk a quarter mile.

If you force yourself to do the one thing that you really don’t want to do, after doing it, you’ll get a little excited because you accomplished it to some degree. Take that walk around the block and on day two, take that second walk around the block. On day three, you might say well, I’m going to try three blocks, then four blocks, and now you’re walking a mile.

It doesn’t matter what working towards. I’ve been fighting this stupid pile of laundry at my house and if I just put one load in per day, I start seeing the progress as the pile gets smaller. And the success on those little things like laundry, cleaning your room, or whatever, all apply to other things in life too.

What are my favorite tacos?

Some the questions people ask are serious, and some I think people are just trying to funny. I like the funny ones too. He asked if I prefer beef or chicken tacos. My answer is neither, I like tacos al pastor. I’ve spent about 12 to 18 months living in Mexico, if you combine all the times, and something that they have in Mexico, that I can’t find here is tacos al pastor on the street corners. They have these little vendors, or a guy in a little trailer with an umbrella and a slab of meat that cooks all day. Then they carve the meat right off the slab and give it to you on a taco with some pineapples. That’s my favorite.

What has been my biggest challenge?

Raising kids is the hardest thing I’ve done. Because the stakes are so high with raising kids and it’s super important that you do it right. We get it wrong more than we get it right, but there are no right answers and we have far less control than we think we do.

I love my son to death, but he is a handful, because he’s just like me. He’s a real pain in the ass. Raising kids is super hard and I never feel like I know the right answers. I have a lot of great ideas but putting those into practice is sometimes easier said than done.

Will Trump win the 2020 election and build the wall?

Before this whole government shutdown, I honestly thought Trump would have an easy re‐election win, because he has done some things well, even if people won’t admit it. The angrier people on the left become, the more irrational they get which I think takes people who are in the middle and leans them towards the more rational side, which tends to seem to be more conservative.

I thought it might be an easy re‐election for Trump, but this government shutdown thing, I think most people would perceive that he caved in on this border wall. And then the border wall creates a whole other set of issues because during his election he was saying that Mexico would pay for the wall. I don’t know if he meant the Mexican people or the Mexican government, but he was never clear.

Was he talking about them paying directly or were they going to pay indirectly, he never clarified that, but then he had to shut down our government in order to get our government to pay, so how does he deal with that come re‐election time?

I think that the right answer would be for him to come out and be honest and say he had a strategy that didn’t work, so now he’s trying a different strategy. Most people could deal with that. But now he has seemingly lied or changed his plan and won’t admit it, then shutdown the government, and the left called his bluff. And it appears that he lost that bluff.

Now he’s talking about calling a state of emergency, which if he could have done at the beginning. Why didn’t he do it previously? If he does that it will be his Hail Mary, and it’ll probably be denied in the courts.

He’s a Teflon guy, but I don’t know how he’s going to get around that part of the whole thing. The whole border wall thing is silly because the leftists have done a really good job with PR and and promoted the idea that having a wall or barrier at the border is racist.

It is completely insane if anyone actually believes that, because at every border in every country there is some sort of fence of some sort, otherwise there’s no border. There are fences around schools, there are fences around churches and there are fences around homes. The idea of a fence or a wall the idea of a fence or a wall being racist is just insane. But they’ve done better PR, so I don’t know how this thing is going to turn out, but it does make for interesting conversation.

Do the Rams have a chance?

Here’s how ignorant I am about football. I’m assuming that’s a Superbowl question. I don’t even know who’s in the Superbowl, because football is so boring. During a three‐hour game, they say there’s 11 minutes of actual playtime, so it’s almost as boring as golf.

But I do like the Superbowl because it’s an excuse to have a beer and hang out with your friends and barbecue. The only sport I ever watch is the UFC or maybe some Jiu Jitsu videos. In the UFC, one fight is 15 minutes of solid action and there’s a whole bunch of fights on a card, so it’s far more exciting. I didn’t even know the Rams were in the Superbowl.

How to cure leftism?

To cure leftism, you don’t have to do anything, the non‐leftists just have to get out of the way and let the leftists do their thing. Give them a longer rope. Here’s an example. They did this march recently, the “women’s march.”  Who knows what the women’s march is for—I don’t think anyone knows what they’re protesting? These people turned against each other because they’re marching, complaining, and protesting, but they don’t have an idea of what they’re marching about. It just annoys people when they’re trying to cross traffic and there’s a bunch of people marching for no reason.

But here’s what I mean, by you just have get out of their way. This march, which started out as the women’s march, became so segmented and divided, that they started shutting down marches because they said the marches were going to be “too white.”

You have a group of females who are part of the “victim” groups, now subdividing within themselves by saying we only want minorities at the march, so if there were going be white people there, even though they’re women, they’re going shut down the march. From what I understand, they canceled some of these marches. This is what I mean when I say the left is going to do it to themselves. They’re fighting with each other, and in the end, I think common sense will prevail.

A lot of these non‐leftists, like you see the Joe Rogan type who is very left‐leaning, are associating with people like Ben Shapiro who’s very right‐leaning, and the Jordan Peterson types, are having very in‐depth conversations about facts and logic and reality without aligning themselves with being left or right. I think that’s the solution is good, honest conversation without the name calling and the fighting and I’ll work itself out.

Because in the end, leftists are completely emotional and irrational. I don’t even think that’s debatable, that’s a fact. Whereas non‐leftists tend to be interested in facts and reality. So in the end, I think it’s going to sort itself out.

I’ll will kind of exaggerate here, but if you’ve ever watched The Walking Dead, all the people that survive in that show are like non‐leftists. People who are hardcore left tend to get eaten by the zombies, and I think that kind of plays out in the real world too.

Like the lady congresswoman who is a hardcore socialist—her ideas are nuts. Even CNN has turned on her, which says a lot. So I think the cure, the question was how do you cure leftism, I don’t think you have to do anything. I think you just let them destroy themselves. And in the end, it’ll come out better.

How did you find your purpose in life?

My new book is called Success and you can find it on Amazon and in it I told my story for the first time. In that I talk about how I found my life purpose. The short version of that story is that we go through stages in life. When we’re young, and I see it with kids, they’re very focused on themselves.

I went through this period where I wanted to do everything better, make more money, more status, houses, cars, degrees, etc. Then at some point that was no longer as fulfilling as it was when I was younger. Then I started finding much greater purpose and joy out of helping other people in different ways, whether it was teaching, or writing a book that helps someone.

The answer to the question, how did I find my purpose, it was really by accident, and maybe the normal course of life. Having kids, seeing their joy is a little more fun than me getting something for myself. Seeing my students at the college, Jiu Jitsu, or my clients, seeing them reach their goals is far more satisfying to me than me obtaining something for myself.

Are we headed towards civil war? 2.0

I think the division in the country started with Obama and has continued to even greater degrees with Trump, hopefully it doesn’t get to the point of extreme violence, but we are definitely at an interesting period of our life where everything is pretty divisive.

I kind of talked about this a couple questions ago where maybe the solution to this is more discussion, which is starting to happen, and less of what we see in the news. Both sides, CNN, FOX, which are very divisive.

The interesting question is, can a political candidate be successful without polarizing people. We’ll see what happens in the next election, but I imagine it’s going to be a repeat of the last one. If it’s Trump against anyone, it’s going to be a war of junior high school bullies and that’s not good. But in the long run, things will probably work themselves out.

The morality of abortion

I don’t quite have my head wrapped around it, but I think the question came about because New York changed their law about a week ago where they, in my understanding, can do an abortion right up to the day of birth, which is a little frightening to me.

I haven’t solidified my views on abortion, because when I was a cop I saw a lot of a lot of the results of kids born with parents that weren’t capable of being parents. There are a lot of potential benefits to having an abortion, but there’s also the flip side to that.

I don’t have a religious stake in the game, so on that particular issue I’m unclear on where I stand. But, this thing with New York with a baby being killed up to the day of birth, that’s definitely crossed the line. I don’t know where the line is, but in my opinion, that’s crossed the line and gone too far. That’s a full blown baby, because babies that come out premature, are born and live, and they thrive, so I’m very uncomfortable with that.

But his real question I think was about the fiscal benefits to government and does the government have an incentive to encourage abortion because there’s a financial benefit, meaning less government spending, less government costs to babies being born that don’t have healthy parents or parents that are not capable of carrying the load of parenthood. So my question is who is government? Is that the politicians, is that the people? I think his point was that government makes decisions that are best for society, but I have a slightly different point of view.

I see government as a bunch of individuals seeking their own self‐interest. When a politician is for or against abortion, I don’t think it has as much to do with the greater good as much as serving their own individual philosophies or points of view. If a politician is for abortion, it’s because they think that will help them get elected. That’s not true for everybody, but I think it’s true on average. If they’re against abortion, often it’s because that will help them get elected.

I think each person’s looking out for their own self‐interest more than for the greater good.

What does it mean to fail?

I love that question so much because our society is hard on each other when we try something and fail. I think it begins in school. Our public‐school system is based on taking tests and failing, or get a grade, but nowhere in there is the whole idea of trying something, experimenting, and if it doesn’t quite work out, it brings you closer to the next step.

I don’t really believe that there is any failure if you keep moving forward. I honestly and sincerely believe that failure is trying something, not succeeded, and then giving up if you still want the end goal.

If we discover we don’t like it, that’s a success. But people are too apt to quit too early. Failing is not succeeding and then giving up. Whereas success is continuing to try and keep trying different things until you find what works.

Is there anything to life besides food and sex?

I guess in the end that’s really all that we’re here for, right, is to eat, have sex and procreate. From the evolutionary perspective, that’s probably all we’re really supposed to do. But it’d be kind of a depressing life if all we did was eat and fuck.

I mentioned this earlier about my life purpose, so besides eating good food and having sex, I think the other thing is to do something worthwhile that makes the world a little better for somebody else. Whether that’s a mom raising kids, teacher at school, or a cop who does something that helps some other people.

Besides food and sex, I think it’s making the world a better place in some small way. I know that sounds super cheesy, and if I heard that when I was 18, I’d have rolled my eyes, but I sincerely believe that today.

February 2019 Q&A

Submit your questions in the comments, on any subject, and I will be glad to answer them in the next Q & A.

This month’s questions:

• How to invest when money is tight?
• Can men and women be friends?
• What is the best way to stand out?
• How to overcome difficult times?
• Opinion on police body cameras?
• How to focus when others are more successful
• Will sheepdogs ever run the country again?
• How to remain grounded in success?
• What about the man who cops tazzed in his nuts?

(Read text below or watch video)


Before I get to the questions, I have a couple of quick announcements. My book “Success” hit number one best seller in two Amazon categories: Sports psychology and martial arts.

Thank you to everybody who’s been posting about it, sharing, and all the other great things you guys have done to support that book. I’m very grateful for that.

I’m heading to Orlando March 2nd to promote the book during an event with Ricardo Liborio. It’s the first Jiu‐Jitsu, credited college course program so he’s having an intercollegiate event revolve around Jiu‐Jitsu, the culture, a tournament, a seminar, and lots of amazing people are going to be there. If you happen to be around Orlando March 2nd, stop by and say hello.

Where do you begin investing when money is tight?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions I ever get, or some version of it. I’ve been coaching people with their personal finances for over ten years and I’ve had clients who are struggling earning 60 thousand dollars a year, and I have multi‐millionaire clients.

They’re all the same in that no matter how much money people make, they pretty much spend all that they have, and a little bit more. Some people are more disciplined than that, but it’s very typical, especially for northern Americans, to spend all their income, and sometimes a little more.

With questions like, how do I invest when I don’t really have extra to invest, I try not to focus on the actual tactics, like should I invest in real estate? Should I invest in mutual funds? Instead it’s more of a behavioral thing.

Modify the behavior to change the money habits so that as income grows, you don’t spend more, but instead you make decisions that align with what you want to do with your money.

Here’s the short answer to the question. No matter how much money you make, you have to pay yourself first. That’s an old tale that’s been told many times, but it has to actually happen, and it has to be done outside of self‐discipline, outside of your will power. It must be done on auto pilot.

There’s a reason the government takes out our taxes before you receive your paycheck if you’re employed. They want to make sure the government gets paid before you receive anything. You have to set up the same kind of discipline system for yourself, so you don’t have to think about it.  It must be automatic.

No matter how much money you make, if you want to save more money, you must set up an account with an automatic deduction that comes out of your check and deposits that money into that account.

It doesn’t matter what the account is, preferably it’s very difficult to access, meaning no check books, no debit cards, no connection to your Venmo accounts, or anything like that. It’s an account that is very difficult to access and money automatically comes out.

If you are literally broke—you’ve got credit card debt and you’re unable to pay your bills—set it to a dollar a month or a dollar per paycheck. Once you can figure out that you can survive on a dollar a month savings, or a dollar a check, then you double it, then five dollars, ten dollars, etc.

If you’re making a million dollars a year then you can obviously do more than a dollar, but you need to push yourself, and you keep pushing until you create that new habit of saving.

That’s the first investment and it doesn’t need to be in anything fancy like the stock market. It just needs to be somewhere that it’s not easily accessible and is on autopilot.

You need to create a nice little cushion of money, preferably 10–20% of a year’s income as an emergency fund. That way if something bad happens, like your transmission blows out or you get sick and can’t work, you have some cash and you’re not dependent on credit cards.

That applies to everyone at all income levels. Create a system that’s bullet proof so you can’t screw it up and don’t go spending it when you get those urges that we all have. Taking away the self‐discipline aspect of it and your money habits will change.

Can men and women be friends?

I’m going to piss off a lot of people with this, but the answer is unequivocally no. People love to debate me on this—that’s fair and it’s fun.

Men and women cannot be friends and here’s why. Men are predators who chase women all the time. That’s the reality of it.

What is the definition of a friend?

Of course, I have friends that are female, particularly my friends’ wives, but it’s a very different relationship than my real friends.

I get to be myself around my real friends. I don’t have to change and modify my behavior, so if you ladies haven’t been around a bunch of guys when they’re being guys, they’re pretty much obnoxious pigs. The moment a lady walks in, men change their behavior and they’re no longer being the person they really are. They go into courtship mode and they start behaving in a way that women can tolerate.

I have a feeling, ladies, that you do the same thing. You probably talk a certain way, and then when a man is present, you probably change your behavior too. If you’re changing your behavior to be around somebody, is that really a friendship? I say no.

I don’t think men and women can be friends and here’s the other reason. If you really enjoy the company of the opposite sex, regardless of what they look like, I think you’re going to become attracted to that person, and then it’s no longer a friendship because you start changing who you are because you go into courtship mode and become somebody else. If you have a relationship with somebody else, having that kind of friendship on the side usually leads to problems. At least that’s been my experience.

Every time this comes up, 95% of men agree that men and women can’t be friends, but 95% of women think they can be friends with men, because they don’t want to admit that all these “friends” are trying to hook up with them. Particularly younger girls who have lots of guy friends who are just guys waiting for a weak moment to try to hook up with you.

What is the best way to approach manufacturers, distributors to sell on Amazon without taking inventory?

This question relates to everyone, even those not selling online, so give me a chance to explain.

Another way to phrase this question is to ask, how do I reach people and get recognized to form a relationship with someone who does not know me. If you’re trying to get noticed by someone, it’s the same as if you’re trying to get a job interview, a new customer, or if you’re trying to date somebody.

The key to connecting with these people is to not do what everyone else is doing.

I would assume most manufacturers and distributors are getting hit up by email like crazy. Whatever everyone else is doing, you have to do the complete opposite. Here’s an example: If a guy is trying to meet a girl, the worst thing he could do is go into a bar and offer to buy her a drink because there’s about ten guys in there for every one girl, and they’re all doing the same thing. That’s the absolute worst way to do it. Instead you have to come with a completely different approach in a very different place, maybe at the grocery store or something.

If I were trying to reach these manufacturers and the distributors, I would hit them where there not being hit and that would be something like direct mail or a visit to their office, and I’d hit them with something unusual that stands out.

I would become some sort of stalker online to these distributors and I would try to find an individual that works there who is responsible for what you need and sometimes this takes a bit of work. I would try to find out about them as an individual and find a way to connect with them by finding some sort of common bond.

If you have military background, that’s a common bond for a lot of people. For me, Jiu‐Jitsu gets me into a lot of doors because we speak the same language. Find some sort of mutual connection and then send them something of value that would help them notice you. Maybe send a book or something unique.

Something that will get you on their radar from a very different level than all the other people that are reaching them. If I were trying to get a job, I would never submit an application and a resume to an employer. I would find some back door, some friends, some mutual friends, some sort of connection, to get on the decision maker’s radar to try to get that person one‐on‐one.

Send a pizza. It’ll definitely stand out and anyone sending food always get noticed and appreciated, right? You can’t go wrong with food.

How to overcome difficult times?

This is a very good question, but a very hard one to answer.  My answer originates from two different sources. One, a book by Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning. It’s a fantastic book. Every human should read that book. Second from Tony Robbins.

Victor Frankl was a holocaust survivor and he went through a bunch of terrible events that I don’t think any of us could ever measure up to, in terms of hard times. His family was murdered, but he survived and has gone onto live a prosperous life.

For him, it was not just finding the positive, but finding meaning in everything, even the negative, because having something to work towards was essential. You really have to read the book for it all to make sense, but that book helped me a lot. When I go through a hard time, to whatever degree it is, I can always compare it to Victor Frankl and that holocaust. My issues weren’t that bad and probably most of yours are not, either. So that’s very helpful.

The second thing came from Tony Robbins. I had heard this for years but I kind of rolled my eyes about it until I went to a couple of his events and experienced it firsthand. Tony talks about how we all think that events that occur drive our emotions, but really, we decide how to feel, and then we experience those emotions afterwards.

Here’s what I mean. Something happens in our life … let’s say somebody breaks up with you. Most of us have been through that kind of pain. There are two ways of interpreting a breaking up. You can say, “This is terrible. I’m sad, I’m depressed.” And then what happens is we act depressed. We behave in a depressed way.

Some people could be excited. “I’m free, now I get to party and have a good time.”

It’s not the event that makes the situation hard. It’s how we choose to interpret it and the stories that we tell ourselves around that.

That’s easy to explain in theory, but very hard to put into practice. What I learned from the Tony Robbins stories was that when you’re telling yourself this story, you choose to behave in a depressed way. Instead you have to fake it until you make it, like behave in a happy way, which usually requires movement—physical movement.

Even though you’re sad, depressed, going through a hard time, it’s really tempting to just sit in bed and mope and be depressed. That’s what we all tend to want to do. Eat some chips or Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food or whatever. But you have to force yourself to physically move your body in a way that you do when you’re happy by changing your posture, exercise, and physical activity.

That’s half of it. The other half is changing the narrative in your head. When things are bad, it’s easy to sit there and dwell on the negative and keep telling yourself this negative story, which we all do. I do it too. Then you spiral out of control.

You need to override that unconscious negative thought with conscious positive thought. And the easiest way to do that, I’ve found, is to focus on positive ideas. Literally, think of all the things you are grateful for, as silly as all this stuff sounds, it really does work when you sit there and you say, “I’m grateful for this and I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for the flowers outside in my garden. I’m grateful that I have this computer and that I get to talk with you again.”

When you consciously focus on the things you’re grateful for, conscious positive self‐talk will override unconscious negative self‐talk. I heard this for years, but I didn’t buy into it until I went to these events and was kind of forced to try it.

Every night before bed, I have my son tell me three things he’s grateful for and I tell him three things I’m grateful for. It’s a cool exercise. He doesn’t really care too much, because he thinks it’s kind of silly. He’ll say, “I’m grateful for my arms, I’m grateful for my legs, and I’m grateful for my pillow.” But it’s an exercise I’m trying to condition him to do and it’s a good little ritual.

What is your stance on police body cameras?

I have two opposing views on the body cameras. Contrary to what a lot of people would believe, most every cop I know is happy to have the body cameras. Nine out of ten times, the cameras will show that the police didn’t do anything wrong, or if they did make a mistake, it was not a malicious mistake. The cameras are a good thing.

Having been a cop, I know that when a camera is present, I dot my I’s and cross my T’s a little bit more. You’re a little bit better behaved when there is a camera. Not that you’d be badly behaved without it, but you might not say cuss words or something like that. So cameras are good for most people. Most cops want them. I think they are good for society and they will vindicate cops of most of the false allegations.

But here’s the flip side to the cameras.

The camera unfairly paints a picture of the story through the lens of the camera. The story needs to be told from the witness’s point of view, the victim’s point of view, and the officer’s point of view. The officer’s subjective point of view is really important, and the public doesn’t seem to understand this.

When the camera is recording, it’s showing one angle and that’s not necessarily the same angle the officer is looking. The officer may be looking at something different than the camera, or the officer is looking at the same thing as the camera is, but he doesn’t see what the camera does.

The camera affords the viewer, who is who is sitting at home watching, the ability to watch it repeatedly with replay, without stress, without fear, without adrenaline. Just because someone sees something in the video, that doesn’t mean that the officer sees it or that he has the capacity to make the same decision that somebody can make while watching it safely behind a TV screen.

There are two sides to this camera thing. It’s good, but it often paints an unfair picture that requires a lot of educating of the audience. Obviously, the media and the majority of the public doesn’t really care about being educated. They just want to jump to their first conclusions.

Overall, I’m for the cameras and I think most people in law enforcement are, but it requires more complex analysis than simply watching the video and then making a decision.

How to remain focused when others are more successful?

She is asking a Jiu‐Jitsu question, but it relates to everybody because, in case you don’t do Jiu‐Jitsu, if you’re fighting with somebody and they happen to be beating you, it’s very hard to stay focused, to stay positive, and to mentally stay in the fight.

How does this relate to the rest of you?

It’s easy in life to feel beaten down when other people around you are doing better. When you get discouraged, you lose momentum, and then you get upset, and it becomes hard to continue. If you’re a little overweight and you go to the gym to get in shape, it’s hard to stay motivated when you see a bunch of hot looking people around you, because in that moment you can’t compete with those people

Jiu‐Jitsu has taught me how to deal with this in life. Jiu‐Jitsu is a fight between one person and another. We’re literally fighting to see who can strangle or break each other’s bones.

The mistake I’ve made in the past, and I think most people make, is that I’m not fighting the other person. I’m really fighting who I was the day before. It doesn’t matter if I get beat, choked, or submitted by another person, as long as I’ve grown from the day before.

I’m using that other person as a tool for me to grow as an individual, not as a tool to measure myself against.

It’s very important in real life to do the same thing. If I’m trying to compete with my peers at work, my neighbors, with a bigger house or what have you, it’s easy to get discouraged because we’re competing in two different games.

For example, if my primary mission in life is to have time available to raise my son, and I’m comparing my income to somebody who doesn’t prioritize their son, I’m always going to be losing because the other person is playing a game of income and I’m playing a game of parenthood.

I cannot allow myself to get discouraged by that. I have to realize that I’m playing a different game and to compete to the best I can within the game I’m playing. I can only compare myself to who I was yesterday. As long as I’m growing as an individual, it’s completely irrelevant what everyone else around me is doing.

Will sheep dogs ever run the country again?

I interpret that question to mean, will the good guys be good guys again and will the bad guys be bad guys again?

In society today, criminals are put up on pedestals and celebrated. Yet the people who are enforcing the law and trying to protect the rest of us from criminals, are labeled as criminals.

It seems bass ackwards.

For those of you who don’t know the analogy, I highly recommend you read David Grossman’s essay about the sheepdogs. It’s a pretty old essay, but it’s fantastic. It was popular when I was on the SWAT team and in military circles. The analogy of the sheep, wolves, and the sheep dog goes like this:

The sheep represent the masses in society—80% of the population. They’re peaceful people going about their business and doing their thing. They won’t harm anybody. Nothing is wrong with them, they are great people and they’re who run society.

Then there are the wolves who represent the criminals—about 10% of the society who prey upon the sheep. The sheep are unable to defend themselves against the wolves.

The role of the sheepdog is to protect the sheep from the wolves. The sheepdogs are like cops and the military who protect the masses from the wolves. The thing about the wolves and the sheepdog, is they both have the same capacity for violence.

The sheepdog is capable of violent terror just as is the criminal. That makes the sheep uncomfortable, which is why the public is often uneasy about police officers and the things that they must do to keep the public safe from the wolves.

But the difference between the sheepdog and the wolf, even though the wolf and the sheepdog have an equal capacity for violence, a sheepdog will only use violence to protect the sheep from the wolves. The sheepdog could never hurt the sheep. They’re there to protect them. It’s a different moral code.

Now back to the original question, Will we come back to a time in society where the sheepdog are the good guys and they are respected, admired, and appreciated, and the wolves are treated as criminals instead of being celebrated like they currently are?

All of that was the buildup to disappointing answer. I don’t know, but I’ve often heard that the pendulum swings in both directions. Right now, the pendulum is clearly going to an extreme in one direction where morals are going out the window.

Maybe every generation says that it seems like we’re going to Hell in a hand basket, but I feel like the Trump election, whether you like him or not, suggested that the pendulum went too far one direction and now it’s slightly turning back the other.

Who knows? Obviously somewhere in the middle is better than the two extremes. But it might require things to get a lot worse before they get here better.

If this direction of socialism takes hold, which it seems like it might because we have enough stupid young people being indoctrinated in college and by the media, we could lean towards a very heavily socialist country. Our recollection of history seems very short. It’s an interesting question and I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on that.

How do I remain grounded while being successful?

I appreciate the compliment that I’m grounded. I think I’m humble because I always put myself in the position of a student. If I’m a student in something, that means I’m always at the bottom.

I don’t like doing the same thing over and over. I don’t pick one thing and just try to master that. I want to keep learning and growing. If I’m continually a student, that means I have a long way to go. I never lose sight of that and I never lose sight of where I’ve come from which was a shitty place.

Can you provide your thoughts on the video where an officer appeared to use the taser on a man’s groin?

When I do expert witness testimony, I get paid thousands of dollars to review these videos and to give my opinion on them. The reason I charge so much is because I spend so much time and how many years of training and experience it required for me to understand all the nuances.

You can’t just watch a four‐minute video that’s been edited because the story is much more complex. It requires considerable analysis of all the witness statements, the police report, and the police officer’s statements. It takes a lot because looking at the video does not tell the whole story.

I’d like to review my thoughts on that video for you, but I’m reluctant to give too much of an opinion with limited information because I don’t want to do a disservice to either the cop or the suspect.

I will tell you this in general. I think 100% of the time if the people cooperated, nothing negative would happen, but that doesn’t justify excessive force.

As a society, we should put more pressure on people to cooperate with law enforcement rather than blaming law enforcement for not making perfect actions when the people act like idiots when the police are stopping them.

Having said that, I think that cops lack sufficient skill and training in hands on fighting. Most don’t do Jiu‐Jitsu, so they become overly dependent on the taser when other tactics might be more appropriate. I’ll leave it at that for now and maybe I’ll do more of a breakdown on that one later.

Tom DeBlass: Success Through Pain and Suffering

Tom DeBlass stood across the octagon from his opponent moments before his last mixed martial arts fight began. 

My mindset going into every fight was to destroy the object in front of me,” Tom said. “I didn’t really look at them as human beings. I looked at them as objects that were physically trying to impose their will on me, so I wanted to execute my will against them.”

The fighters had traded strikes for 93 seconds into the first round when Tom connected with a tight left hook. His opponent dropped to the ground but immediately popped back up, and the fight continued. Only 13 seconds later, Tom landed the same left hook, and the fight was over.

That is the moment when most fighters explode with excitement to celebrate their moment of glory, but Tom dropped to his knees to embrace the other fighter, who was unconscious on the mat.

The moment I knocked him out, I questioned what I was doing there,” Tom said. “It was hard to celebrate when I knew he also had a daughter and his whole world had just come crashing down.”

Hurting opponents was never Tom’s goal, but to win in MMA, you have to hurt the other person; otherwise, that person is going to hurt you.

It was just a weird feeling,” Tom said. “For sure, I want to be the one winning, but another person had to lose viciously. That’s when I knew my run was coming to an end with this MMA thing.” Continue reading “Tom DeBlass: Success Through Pain and Suffering”

Mahamed Aly: When Becoming a World Champion Is Your Only Option

When Mahamed Aly left Rio de Janeiro, he walked away from almost everything—his home, friends, family, and training partners—but he brought with him his determination to becoming a world champion.

It was rough, man,” Mahamed said. “I could not communicate because I didn’t speak English, and the people were cold. It was different in Brazil, because kids were running in the streets, and making friends comes naturally when you’re young.”

The weekends in the U.S. were especially rough for Mahamed when he looked at social media and saw his friends in Brazil having fun without him. 

I would be alone the whole weekend,” Mahamed said. “But I did not have a plan B. My two options were to win or win. There were times I would cry at home because I was so lonely, but I didn’t have an option to quit. There was no other way. I had to keep going.”

That was the beginning of a four‐year journey of intense training and competition that earned Mahamed world championship titles at purple and brown belt levels as he worked his way to the black belt division. When he finally reached the final seconds of the last black belt match of the world championships, Mahamed struggled to process what had just happened. Continue reading “Mahamed Aly: When Becoming a World Champion Is Your Only Option”