How many times have you heard someone say, “Man, that team got lucky?” I’m willing to bet, you hear it at least once a weekend. For some reason, people associate things they were not expecting with good or bad luck.
What people don’t realize–luck, just like fear, is not a real. It does not have any physical properties. Luck is usually attached to 2 things:
When people say, “She got that promotion because she’s lucky,” is it actually true? Is there evidence supporting how the stars were aligned and her employer was forced to give her the promotion? Of course not. Could it be, she got the promotion because she deserved it by putting herself in a position to win? It’s not luck, it’s preparation meeting opportunity.
When people fall short of a goal, their mind wants answers because it is their biggest critic. Therefore, to compensate, they’ll say almost anything to make themselves feel like they didn’t win because of external circumstances. “You got lucky.” This excuse and demonstration of bitterness doesn’t require any ownership.
Whenever I discuss this with other people, they always bring up the lottery. “You have to be extremely lucky to win the lottery.”
Well, that’s necessarily true. To win the lottery, you have to play the numbers. Meaning, you have to participate. So when you participate, and pick the right numbers, you get rewarded for doing what is required. That is not luck.
Successful people are not lucky; they just work harder than the average person.
When a Quarter Back (QB) throws a Hail Mary on the final play of the game and the Wide Receiver (WR) comes down with the ball in the endzone, does it get listed in the luck stats? Obviously not. The QB gets a passing TD stat and the WR gets a TD reception stat. Why? Because it is not luck when you perform what is required. They did their job. [One guy throws the ball, the other guy catches it.]
At the end of the day, blaming things on (bad or good) luck does not serve you. It undermines people and circumstances. If someone gets a promotion instead of you, next time–put yourself in position to perform better. Blaming your shortfalls on luck is not competing.
I am very excited about finally having this book in my hands. Hard work is always worth it, regardless of how long it takes.
The Best Version of You is a self-help book designed to introduce new skills and concepts for anyone to use when they’re facing adversity, feeling lost and out of focus, wanting to make changes in their lives, or simply wanting to update themselves.
We update our phones, our computers, and our software, but honestly, when was the last time we updated ourselves?
The book is available on Amazon.com and Amazon Kindle:
What you think about the most, will consume you. It will activate your Reticular Activating System (RAS).
“The reticular activating system is a short, pencil-sized piece of the brain located just above where the spinal cord is attached to the brain. It acts as the gatekeeper of information between mostsensorysystems and the conscious mind.“
You purchase new shoes for the gym. You honestly believe they are unique but over the next couple of days, you start noticing other people have the same shoes. Did they buy them because you did? No, obviously not. They’ve always had them but now these shoes are in your awareness. Therefore, you notice them. It turns out, these must be great shoes because other people are buying them, too.
You start believing that people always get hurt in the gym, regardless of their skill set. Therefore, you take notice every time someone gets dinged up or seriously injured. It is all you can focus on. Do people get injured in the gym? Of course, that’s part of Murphy’s Law. However, because injuries are in your awareness, you notice them more than usual. Because of this mindset, you hold back in the gym because you don’t want to be the next person to get hurt. This is also your confirmation bias working against you.
These examples demonstrate how you need to be careful about what you’re thinking. If it upsets you, disappoints you, or goes against your values–why are you wasting your time with it? What is the:
If it doesn’t support any of these things, eliminate it from your life.
“Where focus goes, energy flows.” -Tony Robbins
I don’t care for video games. But I won’t make the mistake of constantly thinking (or talking) about why I don’t like them. It serves no purpose and takes valuable time away from things that I value. I would rather reallocate my time to focus on things that help me win at life.
I love people that are focused on maximizing their potential. They don’t spend their day focusing on what they don’t like. Instead, they focus on what they do like and how they can multiply it. Because my filter is calibrated on this mindset, I notice people that are like this. If I didn’t like these kind of people, I would never notice them even if they were all around me.
Driver seat: You focus on positivity, it is in your awareness, and you set yourself up to win.
Passenger seat: You focus on things you don’t like, you hunt them down because they’re in your awareness, and you fuel disappointment.
I have been a sexual assault victim advocate for 9 years and a proud supporter of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Helping people cultivate change is very important to me. However, being a male advocate in this field is very challenging. Therefore, I wanted to write this blog to help current and future male advocates. Please feel free to share this information.
Congratulations on your decision to become a volunteer advocate. Advocacy is an instrument for change. As a volunteer, you will help facilitate the ambivalent and recovery phases of victims (survivors) of sexual assault.
Your commitment is a representation of the (Your Agency Name) and supporting agencies. Meaning, you are the face of multiple agencies that share one common goal: serve survivors of sexual assault without allowing any of your biases to interfere.
Whenever I am facilitating training, I always ask this question: “What is the number one thing you notice about me?” [Which is the best answer]
You are committed to helping people.
You’re a male advocate.
You are just going through the motions and do not really care about this topic. (check-the-block mentality)
You facilitate this training way too much.
If you answered 2, you are correct. Although answer 1 is valid, it is not a major factor. Wanting to help people and actually doing it are not always the same thing. I usually get a few laughs and an occasional shoulder shrug. “Why does that even matter?” With the way society is today—thanks to television shows, movies, magazines, music videos, advertisements, and social media—it matters a lot.
Being a male advocate in a female-dominated field can be incredibly challenging and exhausting if you are not prepared. Preparation is the key. Here are some examples of the stereotypes you might be up against:
“Wait—why are you here? You’re a male…”
“You’re an advocate? Why?”
“I’m sorry but—she is not going to want to see you because you’re a guy.”
“I appreciate you doing what you do. However, we normally recommend that a woman responds to these types of events. I’m sure you understand, right?”
“Are you trained for this?”
“Wait—you volunteered to be an advocate? But, you’re a guy!”
These are just a small sample of the obstacles you can face as an advocate. They might sound like the worst-case scenarios because they are. The reason why you need to consider the worst-case scenarios is because you need to prepare yourself to hear things that you’re not expecting. Keep in mind, these are comments that you might hear before you even see the survivor. When you’re talking to the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) or hospital staff, you are in a safe environment. Meaning, your body language and emotional reactions to these comments should not impact the survivor. However, once you receive permission to enter the survivor’s room—there is no room for you to demonstrate how uncomfortable you are with these types of comments.
Not everything is about you. Leave your ego (h-ego) out in the waiting room.
The fact is, if you are not willing or prepared to take criticism——due to the fact you are a male—then this is not for you. That might sound very harsh but it is true. Allowing your pride and ego to get in your way does not serve survivors. If anything, it insults them. It is not always about you.
How do you get better at handling these types of situations? I highly recommend you incorporate Push Back scenarios into your training. This will help condition you to handle real-time resiliency.
What will using Push Back scenarios and exercises do for you as a male advocate?
It will condition you to handle circumstances that you are not expecting.
You will become a better advocate.
You will become a better facilitator and leader.
It will help you understand how other people feel about this topic, to include how they feel about male advocates.
The world would be a better place if we focused on things that we love, instead of what hate or dislike. That is why I highly recommend you develop an attitude for gratitude. Here are just a few things to consider:
I love people regardless of their gender.
I love people regardless of their age.
I love people regardless of the color of their skin.
I love people regardless of their sexual orientation.
I love people regardless of their political affiliation.
I love people regardless of their abilities and disabilities.
I love people regardless of their looks.
I love people that have a different opinion as me.
I love people for their uniqueness.
I love people for their originality.
I love people that challenge me and other people.
I love people that are obsessed with success.
I love people that are comfortable in their own skin.
I love people that value doing what’s right.
I love people that understand and practice selfless service.
I love people that choose not to conform to society.
I love people that support equality.
I love people that take ownership of the failures and success.
I love people that don’t settle for their comfort zones.
I love people that crave self-development and self-improvement.
I love people that understand when love is not always the answer.
I love people that recognize when something is not for them.
I love people that welcome the next chapter in their life.
I love people that are not afraid to take a stand.
I love people that challenge themselves.
I love people that can control their confirmation bias.
I love people that can identify their thinking traps.
I love people that own their happiness.
I love people that can fight off the comparison trap.
I love people.
This list could go on and on because once you recognize what you love or what you’re grateful for, you will begin to notice more and more things. Love, happiness, and positivity create winning streaks. Set yourself up to win.
I have officially signed with Xlibris Publishing (The same Publisher I used for my 1st book, Crematory.) My new book is called:
The Best Version of You
Although the book is in the (publishing) production phase, it still could be 1-3 months before it is available. This process usually takes some time, due to the attention to detail aspect.
Note: The official cover will be released at a later date.
The Best Version of You is a Self-Help book designed to introduce new skills and concepts for anyone to use when they’re: facing adversity, feeling lost, out of focus, wanting to make changes in their life, or simply wanting to update themselves. We update our phones, our computers, and software but honestly—when is the last time we updated ourselves?
Be honest: how many times have you thought to yourself, I look like a fool right now and people are laughing at me? If you’re anything like most of the people on this planet, this has probably happened to you at least 5-6 times. As much as we don’t like to admit, we are way too hard on ourselves (Negative Self Image) and we put words in other people’s mouths. (Mind Reading)
“They’re laughing at my shirt.”
“My coworkers think I’m an idiot.”
“The panel probably noticed when I accidentally used the wrong word during my interview.”
“Nobody trips over their own feet while working.”
These are just some of the examples of things people say to themselves. For some reason, people have a tendency to gravitate toward negative aspects of themselves. At least, what they believe to be negative.
Focus on what matters.
The truth is, 80% of the things you’re stressing or worrying about, other people don’t even notice. Why? Because they’re too busy stressing and worrying about themselves. People are not perfect. They’ve never been perfect and they never will be. Yet, our comparison trap leads us to believe they’re perfect and we’re insufficient. In fact, everything about us is subpar.
[Read more about the comparison trap in my upcoming book:The Best Version of You.]
“Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” — Les Brown
Here are 3 things to help calibrate your thinking:
Stop stressing. People honestly don’t notice when you say something wrong or trip over your own feet. If they do, that’s ok — they’ll eventually do the same thing.
Stop overthinking and mind reading. Unless you have evidence to support your concern, stop overthinking and mind reading. For example: “John, I heard what you said and you sounded ridiculous.” Did they actually say that or do you think they said it? Information changes the situation. Ask yourself: What information do I have and what am I missing? Assumptionsdo not = reality.
Focus on what matters. What people think of you should have no impact on your goals, daily activities, beliefs, and life in general. Worrying about other people is a waste of your valuable time. It serves no purpose and will simply elevate your stress. (You will catastrophize.) Focusing on what will create winning streaks is how you will take your life to the next level. Small things are the secret. Do the little things every single day.
No matter how hard it gets, you have to keep moving forward. People are not thinking about you as much as you think — they’re honestly not. The more time you spend on trying to please them, the less time you’ll have to work on yourself.
Self Discipline vs Self Destruction
Self Discipline: Focus on yourself and ignore external noise.
Self Destruction: Focus on other people and listen/accept external and internal noise.
Every year the LGBT community is faced with difficult questions and comments, such as:
“Why don’t we have a heterosexual Pride Month?”
“Why is this even a thing?”
“Why do I always have to see this stuff?”
“This is ruining social media and television.”
“Why do they have to remind me of this, every year?”
“These people are annoying…”
Although everyone has the right to ask questions and express their opinion — it is still important to think before you ask or comment. Information changes the situation. As discussed in the About – LGBT link, everything has a meaning. Plus, regardless of what people think or believe, everyone deserves something to celebrate and be happy about.
As a sexual assault victim advocate, a man, a father, a husband, a human, and someone that values basic human rights: supporting LGBT rights are extremely important to me. This community holds a very special place in my heart. For that reason, I am a proud member of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community uses the rainbow flag
(commonly known as the gay flag or pride flag), which has different colors to represent the diversity of the community. Here are a few examples:
At the end of the day, LGBT Pride Month is about the celebration of people loving other people. Even if you don’t believe in this, due to religious or personal beliefs, it doesn’t matter because everything can’t always be about you. There are 7 billion unique people on this planet and it would be a tragedy if we were all the same.
Seeing people happy or in love, regardless if they’re heterosexual or LGBT, should bring a smile to your face. That is what life is all about. No, it is not teaching children something bad. Judging, labeling, or even committing a hate crime because you disagree with someone’s sexual orientation is what’s teaching children bad things. I would rather my children grow up in an environment where everyone is happy in their own unique way, then have them grow up in an environment filled with hate or worse — the fear of them self-identifying as LGBT. To me, this world has no place for that. After all, it is 2018, not 1418.
Regardless if people disagree with your lifestyle, your hobbies, your likes, your dislikes, your character, and even if your personality — don’t you dare apologize for your originality. It doesn’t matter if you’re: a man, a woman, weird, popular, religious, an atheist, white, black, straight, LGBTQ, a hard worker, a lazy individual, short, or tall — you are unique.
Not a single human on this planet has the exact same thumbprint as you. They might be close but they’ll never be exactly like you.
That means you’re incredibly special. Yes, there will be days where you might question yourself and your purpose. You might have to make necessary changes and updates, depending on where you’re at in your life. However, those are usually just external things.
Stop letting the world stick a finger in your face and determine your value. You are a brilliant creation. This is your story and you need to be the only one that continues to write it.