Chapter 3: The Dresser
Learning how to think.
I've always gravitated to the word "enlightened". It seems to be a destination in everyone's GPS, but what does it really mean?
I believe the word is solely defined by whom you ask.
By definition of "enlightened" is an individual who can control his or her thoughts.
I'm going to share with you a method I designed years ago on my path to enlightenment.
You'll learn how I became the ring leader of the circus in my mind.
But before we get into that, I must be blatantly clear.
I was not always living in a state of constant positivity.
In fact, for 18 years of my life, I was an extremely stubborn person known for having one hell of a bad temper.
As a child, I spent a lot of time on my own.
The first portion of my life, I grew up in the rural countryside of Corcoran, Minnesota.
I really can't imagine a more rounded place to be raised in than Minnesota.
Growing up there, I got a taste of every season.
At 6:30am on a cold winter morning, the last thing anyone wants to do is go stand at the bus stop, but we had to, and furthermore, we had to learn how to enjoy it.
We lived on a 3 acre farm house with no neighbours in sight.
The only people I knew that existed were my mom, dad and sister.
My mother was a wholesome lady, born and raised in the midwest.
My father, a motorcycle riding rebel without a cause.
The thought of the two of them being together was something like a blizzard in July.
They were young and in love, but my father turned out to be more unfaithful than a gas tank on "E", and one day, he ran out.
Not just from his wife, but from his children as well.
They got divorced, and from this point on, a woman would teach me how to be a man.
During the ages 5 to 10, I did a lot of moving around with my mom and sister. I didn't know it then, but we were jumping from city to city simply to survive.
At the time of the divorce, my mom was working in the warehouse in my dad's trucking company.
When the marriage ended, so did her pay-checks.
Not only that, but my father was doing anything he could think of to avoid paying child support.
She now had 2 kids, no money, no job, no house and no partner.
Mom was standing toe to toe with the biggest challenge of her life and refused to blink.
I'll never forget receiving care packages from my grandparents and eating oranges for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This all just added fuel to the fire, she became for determined than ever to provide for her family and change our current circumstances.
The only thing to follow a problem is a solution.
Eventually mom landed a great job and we relocated to Bloomington, Minnesota.
This environment was very different than what I had been used to. It's a very populated suburb that sits just south of Minneapolis.
It was built off interactions and relationships with others, which I had absolutely no skills at.
Assuming it would be easy for me to make friends, mom recommended I sign up for some sports at school.
So I began playing hockey, lacrosse, baseball and golf. Instantly I found myself surrounded by peers but instead of making friends I made them my competition.
At this point, growing up without a father figure in my life began to affect me.
During practices and games, I'd look around and see my teammates fathers cheering them on and in some cases even coaching the team.
I started to realize my family situation wasn't exactly "normal" or similar to most of theirs.
Since I spent so much time by myself, I never learned how to take a loss.
I had to be the best and needed to impress and outshine others.
I was very hard on myself and in turn, would allow these emotions to boil up until I lashed out in fits of anger.
Episodes like this would follow me for many years.
At one point in school, my math teacher even recommended to my mom that I get tested for bipolar disorder.
I wasn't in control of my emotions, they were being controlled by my thoughts.
I was very confused and determined to fix this, so I took matters into my own hands.
Here's what I came up with:
Inside my head sits a dresser.
You know, the kind of dresser you keep you clothes in, with top, middle and bottom drawers.
Anytime a negative or undesired thought enters my head, I immediately place it in the bottom drawer and slam it shut.
Then, I open my top drawer and allow the thought erasing to begin. Thats where I keep all the things that can instantaneously make me happy.
It's like how a certain smell can trigger a memory, or how a song can magically bring you back to a place and time.
We all have memories with past feeling that make us happy.
The goal is to place these memories in your top drawer.
The moment I open up my top drawer, vibrant colours explode into the air illuminating music notes, birds, paintings, palm trees, oceans and many other beautiful sites I've captured while travelling the world.
Within 1 second, you could completely erase any negative thoughts by simply thinking about things that make you happy.
The ability to let go of memories is one of the most powerful tools we possess.
I can honestly forget about the initial negative thought immediately, and you can too.
Over the years, plenty people have told me they think I have a bad memory. But these people don't understand is that I have a selective memory. I choose what I want to remember. If I decide to remember something, I'll be able to tell you everything about that memory until my dying day.
Chapter 4: I'm Selfish
I really like me.
To say that you're dreaming right now would essentially mean no one else exists without your effort.
It's saying that you're solely responsible for creating everything in your life that, without you, the world would not exist.
That's exactly how you're supposed to feel. I'm at the top of my list and I'm not afraid to admit it.
I'm not the least bit ashamed and you shouldn't be either.
The word "selfish" has been abused and misused since its origin.
For some reason, we've attached a negative connotation to this misunderstood word. I'm here to restore it's dignity.
By no means am I saying you shouldn't help out others in need, because in my opinion there's nothing more gratifying than being told "thank you".
What I'm saying is, until you've helped yourself, you're not helping anyone else.
This is your life, and it's time to start focussing on you.
The first song of mine that really caught people's attention was called "No Girlfriend".
From the outside, looking in, it sounds like a typical rap song about being promiscuous with a bunch of girls and not being faithful with one in particular.
Let's take a closer look.
I've always had an addictive personality to things I feel strongly about. Whatever caught my attention at the time, I would submerge myself in it.
When I first saw Travis Barker play drums, I picked up drum sticks and studied every Blink-182 song.
When I first saw Danny Way air out of a half-pipe, I skated everyday until my shoes had no soles.
When I first heard Eyedea freestyle, I started to rhyme.
The same went for when I had feelings for someone.
The person wouldn't leave my mind for a second and if I didn't know what they were doing at all times, it would drive me mad.
Then came "No Girlfriend".
I used to record in my moms garage in Bloomington.
One night, just as I was about to shut down the computer, I was hit hard with a moment of clarity.
I suddenly realized how significant it was to have yourself on point before you offer half of your time to someone else.
From here on out I wanted to spent 100% of my time focussed on me.
I'm a very career driven individual.
When I understood this, everything began to click.
I would become successful in every aspect of what I was pursuing before entering another relationship.
I'm not saying you should push people away and become a loner. What I'm saying is, you have the choice to spend the maximum amount of time focussed on you goals.
It's you call, but the choice you make will be the deciding factor in how long it takes for you to get what you want.
The more time you spend thinking about what you want, the faster you will get it.
I was so inspired by this wake up call that I had to immediately start writing.
The second I put my pen to that page it didn't stop moving until the song was completed.
The first sentence on that page was "No girlfriend until I make a million".
The reference to making a million doesn't have anything to do with money. Rather, it symbolizes a form of success in the general public's eyes.
Within one our, the song was written and recorded inside moms garage. It's my right to become successful and take advantage of the years I've been given.
Every dream you want to pursue is waiting for you to introduce yourself. Now is the time to say "Hello".
The time to hesitate has passed. I've always found it interesting that you could walk into any establishment and see one thing about the employees: ages.
Old and young people all work under the same roof.
You could go into any fast food restaurant and notice just as many people under 40 as you do over 40.
The older people are able to maintain a living and pay whatever bills they may have off the same jobs you can get as a 16 year old.
Spend your years chasing true ambitions. You're never too old, and it's never to late to dive head first into the dream.