Fear & Hardship As A Next Level Human- Episode 56

What an interesting time in the world as coronavirus has us all inside. Having more time on my hands, it has given me the ability to practice more of my favorite philosophies and dig deeper into concepts of fear and hardships. In this episode, I pass on to you some of the key philosophies, such as Stoicism, to better help deal with these uncertain times. These philosophies have served me well and brought value to my life.

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Jade:    [01:17] Ok, what’s up everybody? Welcome to this week’s show. Obviously, it’s going to be an interesting show. I’ve been going back and forth on what I wanted to do. Typically, every other one – I get a lot of feedback from all of you – is a monologue, and this is going to be a monologue this week. Obviously, we got the whole coronavirus going on at this time, this time point, and I was going to do a review on that. I’ve been posting a lot of stuff on my instagram, and I decided not to. Instead, I decided to do something a little bit different that I think will be very helpful to all of us. One of the things that’s been going on that’s interesting for me is that many of you know that I practice philosophy, and what I mean by practicing philosophy is, yes, I read philosophy, and yes, I study philosophy, but more importantly, I live philosophy. I live my own philosophy and have developed my own philosophy from reading and studying and living. And this has shielded me from some degree – to some degree – from some of the things that other people deal with, like fear, and anxiety, and uncertainty. Now, to be clear, I’m human, so I feel all of these things as well, but my philosophy practice helps me deal with hardships, and part of this philosophy has come out of hardships. So, today we’re going to talk a little bit about how to deal with this and help give you a sense of living a particular philosophy. Now, throughout ancient times philosophy was really just about that, especially Stoic philosophy. They were meant not just to be thought provoking and to sit around and think deep thoughts. Philosophy was meant to help us live a better life.


            [03:02] It was meant to be very practical in nature, to help us deal with life’s suffering, and help us deal with the uncertainty and unknown, especially of death. So, we will hear a lot in philosophy over and over again about the meaning of life, the purpose of existence, what is it to be a human, what does that mean, and what does that mean for existence, and what are we actually doing here. So, today I want to talk about this in detail and go into some of the philosophy that I feel like has shielded me. One of the interesting things that is happening at this point in time is I am getting lots of calls from lots of different friends. Some friends I’ve lost touch with, but different people in my life, and it’s really interesting that they reach out to me, and they’ll say things like – actually, it’s so funny, I have gotten so many texts; and when I say so many, I mean, this is maybe between 5 and 10 different people texting me and, literally, the subject line in some way, shape, or form is hey man, I’m feeling a little bit scared, do you have time to talk, or I’m feeling really apprehensive, do you have any words of wisdom, or like, literally, a couple of friends are just like I’m scared, Jade. What was interesting to me is getting these sort of texts and these calls is that I’m starting to understand that there is something about the way I think and approaching these things that other people are looking for and wanting help with. So, I want to talk about hardship, and I want to give you a little bit of my personal philosophy that has been taken from lots of different philosophies, and my own sort of way of looking at this. Now, the first thing I’ll cover is the first thing that I think is a very useful piece to understand when you’re developing this fear resistant to philosophy. And maybe that’s what we can call this, sort of this resistance to fear, resistance to the unknown, resistance to panic, and just being a good human. How do we when we get stressed resist going base level, and instead go next level? How do we when we get uncertain times and we don’t know what’s going to happen to our friends and our family and what’s going on in the world, and everything gets shaken up, how do we go next level and make this growth promoting and/or – and I’ll go ahead to give you sort of a precursor to what I’m going to cover at some point in this conversation – is if the worst happens, if someone we know dies or we find ourselves on our own deathbed. How do we deal with that? The way we deal with that, in my personal opinion, is we think about that. Not just a little bit, but a lot. We make it part of our daily practice. We make it part of our daily practice to think about death. One of the ways I have done this, actually, is I have on my chest a tattoo.


[06:05] The tattoo is “memento mori” and it literally means in Latin “remember death.” It’s a very Stoic saying, very popular among the Stoics, and it reminds me everyday that when I wake up and when I get out of the shower and I’m sittin’ there looking in the mirror, the first thing I see is “memento mori,” and it snaps me to attention; it says Jade, this day could be your last day. You might live another 15 minutes, you might live another 15 years, you might live another 40 years, but you don’t have time to waste, so how are you going to show up today? When you interact with people, when you interact with your creative pursuits, what will you do? If you find yourself at the end of the day on your deathbed taking your last breath – because you got hit in a car crash, some kind of accident, or you’re dealing with some virus that is literally taking your lungs away, or it is making you succumb – how will you be? And the first thing to understand is to consider these things. If you never consider these things, you never have time to practice. It would be like a warrior who goes out to fight but’s never been given a shield and a sword, and then is expected to defend himself. We rise to our training. We rise to our training, and training starts in the mind. So, one of the first things I always tell myself – this comes from the Buddhist philosophy – is I tell myself what the Buddhists, I remind myself what the Buddhists say; they say life is dukkha, or life is suffering. In fact, I have my whole honor code tattooed on my body, and so another tattoo that I have going down my side is “vivere est militare,” and what that means in Latin is “life is a battle.” It’s an ode to this idea that life is suffering. So, “vivere est militare” down my side and “memento mori” on my chest are 2 of the tattoos that I see everyday, and they remind me that I’m going to suffer, and I am going to die. Now, most people find this kind of thought morbid and they don’t want to think about this, but then times like now show up and we start having to deal with very real things, very real uncertainty financially, very really uncertainty in our health and physical capacities, very real uncertainty in what’s going to happen to our friends and family, very real uncertainty about where the world is going. And then we crumble and we fall apart, and we are basically the warrior who cowers in the foxhole instead of fighting alongside their comrades, which to me is not what I ever want to be. When we don’t plan for this, think about this, have a philosophy around suffering and a way to handle suffering, what we do is we cower and we fear.


[09:01] However, when we create a philosophy around suffering, and we think about it, we can decide who we are going to be in the moments that matter most. These are the moments that matter most. These are the moments that define us. It’s funny, one of my favorite Stoic philosophers has a saying, and I’m going to botch it here because I don’t know exactly, but he says essentially the following: I pity those who have no misfortune for they never have the opportunity to prove themselves. In other words, misfortune, and uncertainty, and fears, and failures, and missteps are our opportunities to prove ourselves, to hone our mind. That’s what this podcast is going to be about. I want to give you some ways that I do this for myself and the reason, perhaps, that myself and people like me, who very purposely cultivate this mindset, are the ones that many people who don’t are showing up to and saying hey, what are you doing, what can I do; like, I’m scared, can you soothe me? And I want to essentially say that this mentality that I’m going to talk about today is very much like anything else. It’s very much like training in the gym to get a healthier, more physically fit body so you can withstand infections. It’s very much like saving up your finances so you can deal with more hard, difficult times. It’s very much the same thing. So, how do I do this? Well, the first thing is when the trials and tribulations of life hit you – you lose a loved one because they die, you get rejected by a lover and you have to suffer heartbreak, you have financial insecurity, getting fired from a job, or having something that takes your financial security away – any of these sort of losses, or you get physically sick and ill yourself, any of these things, these trials and tribulations in life will feel like you’re being tossed about in a storm. Imagine yourself as a little dingy in the middle of the ocean getting tossed around by a storm that’s going to sink you at any moment. Well, what we need in moments like that is we need a lighthouse and an anchor. We need something that can anchor us so we don’t get tossed around, and we need direction so we can find our way back to solid ground even in the most difficult times. So, what is that thing? It’s what I call the honor code. This is not an honor code that you borrow from religion, or you borrow from someone else that says this is the way you have to be; it’s an honor code that comes from who you want to show up as as a person. And I’m going to go through how to deal and come up with your honor code, because for me, I have my honor code now tattooed on my body. It’s 6 principles that I thought about and refined over a period of about 6-10 years after one of the most difficult times in my life – time where I almost went bankrupt in business, time where I had difficulties with family members, time where I had an affair, and went through a divorce and had to see my own shortcomings, time where I dealt with a healing issue, some health issues – all these times.


[12:16] Some people might call it a midlife crisis. For me, I call it a midlife awakening. Made me wake up to the idea of building my own personal philosophy. As a matter of fact, Next Level Human is, in fact, the sort of birth of this philosophy. Next Level Human is teaching this philosophy that I put together from all the philosophy I’ve read, and also the thousands of people I have dealt with in helping them deal with their difficulties, and my own. So, the Next Level Human philosophy, what’s core at that philosophy, is the honor code. It is the thing that creates a lighthouse and an anchor in your life, for all the storms in life. So, what is that? What is that honor code?  Well, it basically works like the following: I want you to imagine that you are on your deathbed. Let’s fast forward to that, let’s say in 2 weeks you get this coronavirus and you’re one of the 16% that actually has very severe reactions and you’re sitting on your deathbed, and you are sitting there contemplating and struggling for life. How do you want to show up? How would you want people to be inspired by or afraid of you? I have one experience in this where a friend of mine… I had to basically go and visit him in the hospital; he had stage 4 liver cancer, and it was diagnosed very quickly and he passed very quickly. I remember being there with him and him weeping and crying with deep regret. It was a cry that I’ll never forget. It was a cry of sadness and a cry of utter fear and panic. It was scary, this cry. It felt to me like the deepest fear I’ve ever seen anyone. Obviously, this person is looking at his deathbed, and I remember thinking to myself watching this, I looked at it and I said, I will never die this way, and I just decided in that way. I started thinking about that. It has impacted me ever since, and I was like I will not die - because some of the people in the room were terrified. They went away from that experience being more afraid of death… and I went away from that experience saying I will never die that way. I’m going to die like the World War II GI who is charging the beaches of Normandy with a purpose. I’m going to die like the spartan standing on the front lines with a hoard of Persian army bearing down on him because he believes in why he is there.


[15:07] I’m going to die like that. I’m going to die at the front lines strong, and if someone watches me die, I am going to inspire them. They are not going to be more fearful watching me die, they are going to be less fearful. I want to be a model of how to die. How do you want to do that? And how do I think about this? I think about it all the time. I used to be afraid of flying. Now, I essentially think this way – if I’m on a plane that’s going down, how will I show up? I decide, I go, I’m not going to be the one cowering; I’m going to be the one holding someone else’s hand; I’m going to be one looking at them saying it’s going to be ok; I’m going to be the one making sure their oxygen mask is on; I’m going to be the one looking for people to help and inspire; I’m going to be strong and helpful when I die. The first thing about this whole idea of the honor code is to think about. It’s really interesting because, again, this is a concept called premeditatio malorum, which basically means premeditated negativity; thinking on the worst thing that could possibly happen, and then preparing for it. So, for me, I’m the kind of person who thinks about these unsettling thoughts. It sometimes feels very morbid to my friends and family, but it also protects me at this time and makes me strong, because I know how I’m going to show up if I’m on my deathbed with coronavirus; I know how I’m going to show up if I’m on a plane that’s going down; I know how I’m going to show up if I get in a car accident or I’m in a hospital. I’m going to make everyone there understand that you don’t have to die terrified. I want to be the person that when they remember me, it’s not remembering this weeping, fearful, regrettable cry, but it’s me more looking at them saying I love you guys, you’re going to be just fine, this is part of life, we all have to do this, I’m going to do it just fine, you’re going to do it just fine. To me, that’s how I handle this. That’s the way I think about this. And if you want to know sort of another funny story from our history, back in the 1970s, there was a famous plane crash - and I don’t know the exact details, but I think it was a PanAm flight, and I forget the other flight - but these two flights collided on the runway; one cut in front of the other on the runway just as one was taking off. The one that was taking off clipped the roof of the one on the ground, basically flipped over and exploded; everyone died on that flight. But the one that was sitting on the runway that got the roof torn off, they realized that, after the fact - something like 90% of the people on that flight died as well – but after reviewing this accident, what the investigators found is that there was at least a good 2 minutes before that plane caught on fire to get people off, and they estimated had everyone sort of gotten up and got out, they would’ve been able to save most of the people on that plane.


[18:15] But the fact of the matter is, after interviewing some of the people who got off the plane, those people surprisingly were very quick to get up and get out, but they were shocked to see that there were so many people who just stayed sitting, stayed stuck in their seats, in shock or not in any kind of panic. And what they discovered is this very strange human brain glitch, which is when we are confronted with something that is different or shocking or out of the ordinary, especially tragedies like this and accidents, someone shooting, a car accident, an explosion, what ends up happening is our brain takes a minute to go what’s happening. We kind of go into shock and denial at first, and this can last for seconds to minutes. Now, what happened was they asked these people who got off the plane, and some of them actually had to grab their spouses and significant others and shake them out of it and pull them off the plane, what made them not fall for this shock, and the major thing was that they had thought about it. They had thought about this could happen, there could be an accident, how am I going to behave if there is, what actions steps am I going to take. These are the kind of people of your friends who are, you know, basically sitting in a restaurant and know where the exits are, or are thinking about things ahead of time; if someone comes in here and shoots, something’s going to happen. I’ll tell you another funny story about this. Many of you will remember the Batman shooting. One of those shootings that happened in Colorado, I think it was, where people went to the opening night of Batman – I think it was the Dark Knight or something like that – and there was a massacre where a gunman came in and started shooting up the place. Well, what’s funny about that is, about 2 weeks prior to that, me and my brother-in-law at the time, and my current – he’s still one of best friends, Danny Coleman, he’s my co-author on Next Level Tribe; some of you may know him – was sitting with me; we went to a movie. I think it was like a Thursday night or Friday night, or something like that, I don’t know. And we both go up, and it’s the first time me and him went to a movie together, and he starts to walk to the middle of the movie theater, and I go, no, no man, let’s sit on the end. And he’s like why. I said, dude, if someone comes in this place shooting, what we’re going to do is the exit’s right there, we’ll sit closer, we can jump right over this thing and we’re out. And I remember him looking at me and being like dude, you are absolutely insane; how does your mind – like, what are you thinking – and he made fun of me about it and laughed about it. We ended up sitting on the end, and I said just bear with me, man; it’s just my weird brain. Well, about a week later, he texts me on whatever it was in the morning and he goes, did you hear what happened last night?


[21:00] He goes, I’m like blown away. And I said no, what happened? He goes someone bust into the movie theater and shot all kinds of people. He goes dude, you literally just said that a week ago, like what the hell. And I said dude, I’ve always thought like that for some reason, but it was so weird. So, imagine if me and Danny happened to be in that movie theater where someone started shooting. We would’ve had a better chance to get out, maybe could’ve save our lives or other people’s lives because we thought about it. Now, I know this stuff is morbid, but I’m telling you this is how you develop this personal sort of philosophy. The honor code is important, and the first aspect of that honor code is how I will show up on my deathbed, and how I will show up in traumatic, dangerous times. What am I going to do? How am I going to pay attention to that? So, that’s the first part of the honor code. Write that down, how do you want to show up? Another part of the honor code is thinking about - if you have problems with those - thinking about your heroes. These could be heroes from history, these could be heroes in present day, these could even be fictional heroes, and think about how these individuals show up in the world. Why are they your heroes? So, some of mine are people like Muhammad Ali, and Martin Luther King, and Bruce Lee, and Mahatma Gandhi, and some of these individuals, and Nelson Mandela. These are my heroes. Now, you might say, well Jade, why are they your heroes? Well, if you look at them, at least with Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali, they have this warrior, fighting instinct; but more importantly, both of them were on the right side of history, and both of them were teachers. Muhammad Ali was a very integrous individual. He got a lot of flack for it, but he was very much in his integrity. He knew what he believed, he was incredibly self-confident in himself, and he was a teacher, actually. It’s like my father often times says – he goes, you know, it’s funny Jade, when I was coming up, a lot of us hated Muhammad Ali; we thought he was just this brash talking, arrogant dude. He goes, but over time, as I saw the way he showed up in the world, he goes, and especially looking back now, he’s one of my heroes now. So, this is the kind of thing you want to do. Who are your heroes? Think about how they show up in the world, and then you show up that way as well. Think about that. It’s very, very important in my mind. And the final way you write your honor code is you think about being a fly on the wall after you’ve died. In your eulogy, you’re a fly on the wall and people are getting up talking about you. They’re talking about how you impacted them. What do you want them to say? How do you want them to remember you? The way I want to be remembered is someone who was a teacher, someone who had my friend’s back, someone who was the most honest person that people knew. I want to be the guy that says, you know what, Jade didn’t always tell me what I wanted to hear, but he was always honest and I know that the way he felt about me, he always told me.


[24:06] He would never be the kind of person who would say something behind my back that he wouldn’t say to my face. Jade was an inspiring person, he was a strong person, he was someone who lived his life very purposeful, and died his life in a very brave way. This how I want to be remembered. So then when I wake up in the morning, once you have this honor code and you lay this out, and I’ve written it down in both written form – you can find it on my blog, and I’ll like to some of the resources for this for you as well – but I also narrowed it down into a code of conduct, 10 ways, 10 intentions, my personal 10 commandments. You can write this down in paragraph form, or you can write it down in your personal 10 commandments. I have a document I’ll link to you can get for free to help you do this, or in my case, I ended up doing both of those and then refined it further down into 6 principles that I now have tattooed on my body. And I just shared – I won’t go through all of them – but I just shared 2 of them with you; and the point of that is when you think about your honor code, and you think about showing up as a powerful human in the world in times of uncertainty, and to be inspiring, especially now, and not to induce panic and fear. But instead be one of those people that’s like this guy comforts me, and he shows up in a way that makes me want to be better and gives me strength, and actually gives me direction as well. You want reminders of that. It could be a song, it could be a tattoo like I have, it could be a daily reading, a piece of art. One of the pieces of art I have back home in North Carolina is, “The lion is most handsome when hunting for food,” which basically is a reminder to me, and I used to have it when I walked down the steps. It’s a quote by Rumi, the poet, and he wrote on love and things like that, but I love that quote because it talks about engagement. It talks about the idea of you don’t rise to the occasion, but you create the occasion, and so I would have that reminder. Certain songs I have, but mainly for me, it’s a tattoo, and I look at that daily as a reminder for myself. And I do think once you have this honor code down, the next step then is living it. This is where – it’s not rise to the occasion, it’s create the occasion. You rise to the level of your training, so if I say I’m going to be the most honest person in the world, I need to show up with honesty and real communication, and have difficult conversations I don’t want to have. If I say I want to be a fighter and brave, then I have to do things that are uncomfortable for me, like swimming in the ocean, learning scuba diving, or traveling to places that I don’t want to go that are uncomfortable, or getting in the gym and chasing down PRs. Living in a way that is pushing my comfortable zone so I can actually be this human, because now, the reason I might be able to be a little bit calmer than everyone else, even though I also am human and have uncertainties and sort of fears around this coronavirus, I can show up now because I have challenged my way in many ways.


[27:21] Traveled, lived alone, gone into ocean water that I’m afraid of, got over my fear of flying, pushed myself in the gym, went on… had a near-death experience in the Grand Canyon, things that really have changed my perspective and allowed me, because I was out there engaged in life, allowed me to be a little bit more brave in the face of what’s currently going on. So, what you want to do is use what I call fear PRs. PR is a concept in health and fitness, and in the strength and conditioning world, a personal record; so, a PR in a lift means trying to get heavier and heavier and heavier lifts. You’re always pushing yourself to the next level. Well, a fear PR basically means let me chase down the things that scare me and chunk them out and face those fears. So, with flying, I flew more, and I flew longer. I got over that fear with the ocean - I’m slowly chunking that away – spending more time with the ocean, spending more time in the ocean, perhaps learning to scuba dive; you know, went free diving off a boat off the coast of Mexico, 400 meters off the coast or so. For some of you that might be like, Jade, that’s nothing, I jump in and swim to shore. For me, that was definitely a fear PR, not something I’d want to do. Even getting on boat and going out into the ocean, it was a fear PR for me. So, you see we chunk these things down, and then we become strong as a result of it. Our brain becomes convinced we can handle more. Meanwhile, if you’re somebody who is sort of in a position where you are constantly kind of being in this place where you’re like hey, I am going to stay home, I’m not going to challenge myself, I just want to be comfortable, then you will certainly be in a position where you will succumb to your fear more often than not, maybe more often than I will, because you’ve never had the opportunity to be challenged. Which brings me to the next step here. It’s not just being, you know, the fear PR, but it’s also the other elements of your honor code. Some of the elements of my honor code are be a good human, be honest, be in my integrity, be kind, be generous, inspire, teach. For me, especially in moments where I’m stressed out, because stress – remember what stress does to use humans – it brings us a little bit more into our base level selves. It brings us a little bit more into our base level selves.


[30:03] Some of you might say, well, what’s that mean? Well, when we get fearful, we go to our lizard brain, we become reactive, we can become assholes and very selfish and want to go to battle. But what happens with me when I get into stress, my next level self comes out. I start thinking how can I be a good human. This is where, during this coronavirus, this is where it’s like, Jade, don’t go out; you may not get sick – I may get sick, just like anyone else – but even if I’m not getting sick, I can potentially spread this thing around to more vulnerable populations. Don’t hoard. Right? Like, be on team human, take care of yourself and take care of other people too. That’s what my honor code says. What happens is when I am very purpose driven and go into stressful situations doing my job that I decided to do via my honor code, I am more anchored, more purpose driven, less fearful, more strong, and I show up in these matters as a next level human instead of a base level hoarder. And I do! I judge myself very much that way. I judge myself that way, and I essentially say you’re not being a good human if you’re out and about at this point in time. You’re not being a good human if you’re hoarding resources. You’re not being a good human if you’re not looking for ways to help individuals. One of the things I’m doing more, because my honor code has a lot to do with teaching and being a teacher - that’s my purpose – I’m teaching more. I am – stuff like this makes me feel better about teaching, and I’m out there a little bit more, and I’m acting as the go-between for people to help them understand coronavirus a little bit better if they didn’t, and I’m trying to allay some of these base level behaviors of believing in conspiracy theories, or acting like it doesn’t apply to me, and all those kind of things. Sometimes, we want rationed, reasoned sort of responses most of the time, and when you go base level, those are emotional responses; they’re very different. For me, I show up in that way. And the final thing I’ll say here is I do gamify this process a little bit, because I go how did I show up today? Did I show up as a base level human? Did I show up as a hoarder? Did I show up as unkind, ungenerous, dishonest, or weak? Did I inspire people? Did I communicate, or did I run for the hills and cower in a ditch? No, I want to be the person who judges myself standing on the front lines ready to go, holding my ground despite being afraid. Now, trust me, all of us humans would be lying if we didn’t feel apprehension at this time. This is not about the absence of fear. This is about the cultivation of courage, and the cultivation of courage means standing in a place despite being fearful, and standing in a place - the way you develop courage - is standing in a place with your honor code acting as a source of strength, and your purpose acting as your source of strength, so that I know why I am here.


[33:19] I know how to be. I know that if I am on my deathbed, then I know how to show up. I know the way I want to show up. And I know that yes, I’ll be afraid, but I will have courage, and that’s how you develop courage. You can’t be courageous without fear. You cannot develop courage unless you stand up to your fear, so that’s part of what it is. So, I gamify this and I say, how did I show up? In fact, I play even a different game here, and I know some people do this with religion, and it’s part of the benefit of religion maybe. I don’t relate to religion at all; if you do, that’s just fine. You know, I’m not one of these people that says my belief is better than your belief; you can believe what you want. I tend to see religion and the belief in God as sort of a fairy tale, but who knows. Maybe I’m the one living a fairy tale, I don’t know. The point is I don’t judge you for your beliefs, and I do think part of the things is that having some kind of external source of judgment is interesting. Part of what I do is I go, what if – even though I know it’s a ridiculous concept – but I’m like, what if I die and I wake up and I was actually playing a damn video game? How will I judge my behavior? What if there’s people – I’m playing a video game right now, and there’s all these people, and I wake up and they’re going to judge me based on my courage, and my strength, and the way I showed up for other people? So, I go I want to show up, I want to win this game. It’s my game to choose. It’s a fairy tale, it’s a made-up thing. I’m not going to wake up, you know, being pulled out of some hologram or something like that and be judged that way. Just like you’re probably not going to wake up and have God judging you, but the act of thinking about someone judging you can be helpful, and so I do. I say, how am I gamifying this process, and that also gives me strength. So, from my perspective, this, to me, is the philosophy of developing courage and dealing with hardship as a next level human. You build out your honor code, you decide who it is you want to be very clearly – that’s the first stage. Then, you decide now I’m going to chase these fears, I’m going to look for opportunities, I’m not going to rise to the occasion, I’m going to create the occasion, and by creating the occasion, then when the time comes, I will be able to rise to the occasion. No one rises to the occasion if they didn’t train for the occasion. To me, that’s why I say it’s not rise to the occasion, it’s create the occasion before it ever comes. This is the concept of saving money, working on your health, being a good human, showing up with this honor code, and this purpose driven way of doing things.


[36:07] And then, what you’re going do is you want to kind of be like hey, what am I playing for, then you kind of play out and be that human. Especially in these difficult times, be a good human. I’m not hoarding because that’s not the kind of human I am. I regard that as a bad human. That’s not a next level human, that’s a selfish human; so, I don’t hoard. I help my fellow humans by staying away from them, and socially distancing, and that kind of thing. I don’t think it’s a good human to show up and be around other people when there’s a virus going on that we don’t know how it spreads. That’s just me, so that’s how I’m handling this. I just decide. Then, I give myself reminders – tattoos, songs, quotes, things that I keep close to me at all times, mantras that I keep in my head to help me be strong in the moment when I’m standing on the front lines and I’m getting afraid. Then, I think about how will I judge myself, and how do I want to inspire people in the worst of cases. I just think, I premeditate on what is the worst thing that can happen, and then I decide how I will show up. Then, it’s up to me to be that thing in the moment. This is how I handle hardship, and this, to me, is the philosophy of this hardship, realizing that as a human you will suffer. If there’s one thing that we know for sure, you are going to die, and so am I. It could be tomorrow, it could be in a week, it could be in 40-50 years, it could be at 120, but you are going to die, rest assured. So, from my perspective, I start thinking about how I want to die, how I want my last day to be, and by working on my honor code, and working on my humanity. When I show up at that day, one of my favorite quotes is by a Polish freedom fighter called Witold Pilecki, and what he said when he was sentenced to death by the Russians for fighting for his country, he said, “I have lived my life in such a way that on this day I would meet death with joy instead of fear.” And when you live your life according to your honor code, and you judge yourself successful in the way that you have lived your life, you negate fear, you can tap into courage, maybe even – like Witold Pilecki – you can tap into a sense of joy and fulfillment when the trigger is pulled. I hope this episode is helpful for you. I hope you’re all staying safe. Be a good human, take care of team human, take care of yourself. I’ll see you at the next episode.


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