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.

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