I'll have to admit here, there is a part of me that enjoys modern comforts of America and part of me that despises westernization and the attitudes it's created amongst a large part of society.
The benchmark gains in success are solely defined by the meaningless material bullshit of modern day consumers.
Day in and day out it's drilled into our minds that “we have to do something to make it in life.” I'm here to tell you that…
The only thing you have to do is live for your own enjoyment & quality of life, and fuck what everyone else thinks!
I'll never forget this house I saw for sale in Atlanta one time. This giant home was beautiful and it sat right next to a crack house looking property!
They threw up a giant fence between the two properties and I'm assuming they just figured the hell with it, “let's do what we can to make our property nice and fuck everyone else.”
I'm starting to see this a lot more now. Neighborhoods that used to be considered good neighborhoods but went downhill (but still hold quality built homes) are coming back.
People are starting to say the hell with what the house up the road looks like, let's do what we can to make our home as nice as we can for OUR FAMILY.
The home I'm living in would cost 5 times more money if it were in a different section of town. I'm talking about the exact same style house with the same amount of square footage and similar layout!
The location of my home used to bother me a lot more than it does now. I wouldn't want to tell people exactly where I lived or if I did tell them about it, I made sure to follow it up with “yea, it's just a starter home, I want to get out of there, blah blah blah…”
I no longer do that.
I could really give a fuck what anyone else thinks and the difference between most others and myself is that I live a lifestyle most do not.
If I want to eat steak every single day and smoke a $15 cigar every night I can. If I want to buy a pair of shoes or Armani shirt I can do it at any given time.
If I want to take my family to the beach and drop a few hundred bucks on any given weekend I can.
It took me awhile to realize that my lifestyle was a lot different than many others, but when I finally realized that most others were completely fucking miserable and I was usually happy.
I didn't regret not taking the same path in life that people think they HAVE TO TAKE!
I saw a guy I know in the gym the other day who is about 20 years older than I am. He's a really cool guy and still active and athletic.
Anyways, we were talking about life for a brief few minutes and I asked him if he ever got to a point where he tried to simplify life.
He said to me “All I ever did in the 30's and 40's was work 2 – 3 different jobs to try to acquire everything I could for my family, now I'm just trying to gain those life experiences.”
His approach was a tad different than mine. In my mind, I could be dead tomorrow morning. Nobody is guaranteed another day here.
Of course I believe in providing for your family, but there is a fine line between simply providing, and living to provide but not spending time with them.
I've seen this time and time again, where the man is looked at like nothing but a work horse but not as respected because he doesn't spend the time he should with his family.
When you live to simply provide but fail to spend any time with your family then nobody is close to you. The closer they are to you, the smoother things run at home.
The closer your kids are to you, the more they'll tell you. When your kids are close to you it'll actually hurt them to know they did something wrong to disappoint you.
I believe that often times there is a direct relationship between how much kids are in trouble and how much time their family spends with them.
The family that spends no time can often be the family who loses a son or daughter to jail, drugs, or simply not caring enough to stay in contact with them as they grow older.
I may not live in a gigantic home (my home is maybe 1,000 square ft) but it's awfully nice to have money to go do things with.
It's nice to have bodybuilding in my life and to be able to keep stress off me so I can go to the gym and hit my meals. It's very hard to do this when you bury yourself in worry and debt.
I just don't understand the sense in living a life that you can't enjoy. A life with no trips, nothing spontaneous, no laughter, what the hell kind of a life is that?
Trust me, there are a ton of people living in gigantic homes and driving 100K + cars who are fucking miserable. The divorce rate is just as high (if not higher) with rich people, so there is proof right there that money doesn't solve everything.
4 Ways To Stop Living Like Everyone Else And Start Living Better Than Everyone Else
#1 Start Living To Give
Often times I look to see who I can help out. I'm a huge tipper when it comes to eating out or getting my hair cut and often tip the same amount as the bill if the service was good. I do things like this because it helps someone have a good day.
It's more satisfying to me to help someone have a good day than it is to simply acquire things. Acquiring more useless shit never satisfies me, but life experiences do.
Have you ever heard the expression “People won't remember exactly what you said to them, but they'll always remember how you made them feel”? It's true.
Throughout my life experiences, it has always felt like living my life to give to people has taken care of me in return. I do not give because I expect to receive, but I always get it back. Strange things in my life will happen all of the time when I'm living to give.
Living to give doesn't always have to mean handing someone money. It could be nothing more than handing out a compliment.
Making someone feel good is what it's all about, and when you can start doing that anyplace you go you'll see your world change right before you. I say “your world” because I think that you should live in a world that you create and enjoy.
You will begin seeing positive vibes all around you, it's like this hidden energy you let off into a room and that energy keeps bouncing around from one person to another.
People can sense when there are positive or negative vibes in the air. A negative person doesn't even have to open their mouth and you can sense their negativity.
#2 Start Living In Your Own World
I live in my own world. In my world a 1,000 square foot home for my family and big goofy dog is good enough for me.
In my world I can drop $100 like it isn't shit because I haven't overwhelmed myself with material bullshit that society tells me I have to have.
In my world it's cool to wear tank tops to restaurants where people wear dress clothes because it's my world and it's cool to do in my world. I'm not trying to keep up with them, I'm trying to just be myself. If they don't like it then I don't care, I just eliminate them from my world.
In my world it's a good day if you can go to the gym and sit outside to eat lunch afterwards. It's a bonus if you can have good conversation with someone and do something to make their day better.
In my world you're not stupid if you don't read the daily newspaper or follow certain sports or current events, you're only stupid if you follow all of the sheep in the herd.
In my world strength is measured by sacrifice. Sacrifices are scored by what degree I can break out of my comfort zone to help enhance someone else's life or enhance my own. But others always come first.
#3 Personality First, Bodybuilding Second
It took me a long time to learn this and gain this type of confidence in myself, but I try to let my personality lead the way and my body to follow.
When you develop a positive personality and let it be your guiding light, people will like you for who you are and not just because you carry a good build.
All of the negative stereotypes and stigmas about bodybuilders will not apply to you, because you let your personality guide the way.
Working on your personality is more important than your body. You can have the nicest body in the world and still repel people by being an asshole or a narcissist 24/7.
We all have good days and bad days. My advice is when you're having a bad day, be at least cordial with people. It helps to stop and think about what is making your day rough. It's easy to direct our anger at the wrong people sometimes.
For example, you may be upset that your car got dented in a parking lot earlier that day. Now you find yourself in line at a place to eat.
Your already pissed off about your car, so it's easier to want to direct your anger about your wait on your server. Before you lash out at them, ask yourself if it's their fault that your day isn't going so well.
As hard as this may be for you to do, try doing something positive to redirect the negative.
By forcing yourself to perform a positive action in a negative situation, the negative will go away and ultimately your positive action will bring about another positive action upon you.
The dent in your car just becomes a thing, it doesn't control you anymore.
By controlling things in your life and controlling yourself you will attract people.
Guys, if you want to be attractive to women then have control. I don't mean in a slave-master sort of way, but in a way that lets them know your level headed.
Women like this trait in a man, and it's a character trait that a lot of men just don't have anymore. Most men can't control jack shit, and what's worse is they whine all the time.
Stop whining and start doing!
#4 Strive To Achieve But Always Stay Grounded
I'm not telling anyone not to achieve here, I'm telling you to always remember the things that matter in life. The things that matter become easy to forget as we achieve more or build more wealth.
Remember to always put non-materialistic things first in life. Things such as time spent with someone, kindness, being outgoing, laughter, and a lot of life experiences should always come before valuing a material purchase higher on the priority list in life. At least that is my opinion anyways.
You'll find that there are certain things in life to help stay grounded. Things such as the gym, your job, maybe some sort of volunteer work or community involvement, all of these things can help you stay grounded.
They basically keep you from going nuts and destroying your life. They keep a sense of routine and normalcy in your life.
If someone handed you a briefcase with 1 million dollars in it and told you to go out and spend it on anything you wanted to, you'd probably see most people ruin their lives quickly.
They would lose a sense of normalcy and they wouldn't stay grounded to anything. Not everyone can handle this sort of money because they let it destroy them.
Don't let the money destroy you, control it. Control your life and every aspect of your life!
Strive to achieve more because it's who you are and what you're made for, not for meaningless, material benchmark goals.
Simplify your life, it'll only help with living a happier existence.
While everyone else is struggling to achieve things that won't even make them happy, you could be out there giving back to the world.
And rest your head at night knowing that you truly made a difference that day.
Over and out! – JD
PS – Don't forget that I offer bodybuilding and life coaching. Check out what I can do for you right here.