Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Warning: Accountability is not included.

Not only does someone need goals to succeed but they also need promises. Self promises. It is incredibly hard to make self promises when you don't have very much self love, worth, or esteem. You can't trust yourself. You've already spent years of breaking promises to the one person you are supposed to love completely unconditionally, yourself. That was my dilemma. With this new #LiveALittle lifestyle I needed to make some self promises but I needed to get down to the nitty gritty of what they should be.

My first promise needed to reflect why I was even making an attempt at a new #LiveALittle life. I wanted to get out and be more active. Seeing the world was becoming more of a priority to me and my new job was giving me the opportunity to get out more.  A flight to Las Vegas via Southwest Airlines put a huge scar on my self esteem at the beginning of my journey.
Got to the airport early, grabbed a coffee at the Starbucks, read some articles on my iPad waiting for my flight at the gate, got A list seating, boarded the plane, took out my laptop, sat down, buckled my seatbe........ Try again, buckled my seatb.......... Damn, suck it in fatty. Buckled my seatbel............Holy shit. I'm too fat for the seatbelt. This was one of the biggest eyeopening experiences of my life. It was all making sense, how could I travel and experience new things if I couldn't fit in normal airplane seats? I also had recent memories of how I couldn't ride the roller coasters at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City because the safety bar wouldn't latch due to me being too big. This was serious.
Promise #1: Live a healthier and more active lifestyle. 

Sitting for long periods of time in front of the television watching entire seasons of shows like Sons of Anarchy, Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men used to fill my weekends. I didn't know anyone in Kansas City and I didn't have any intentions to meet anyone so getting out and about was detoured again by bullshit. If I wasn't too fat to do it, I was too lazy. Notorious for always mumbling to myself, on the long lazy ass weekend of extreme Netflix watching, "Damn, I'm so bored". How in hell could I be bored?! I lived in amazing city with hundreds of things to do. I had no right complaining that I was bored. Choosing to stay at home and not venture out was my own doing. Laziness was my problem and a fear of change or trying something different. A change my pattern is what I needed, and to live outside my current comfort zone. Focus on starting local, and go from there. Needed to look for activities happening in my community like Waldo Days, Irishfest, Union Station, or just garage sale driving, and venture more out from there. With this new way of thinking I would hardly be at home. Always be moving.
Promise #2: Never complain about being bored.

Not only would I complain about being bored sometimes I just wouldn't want to move. Just lay in bed. Making excuses why I couldn't meet new friends for happy hour or go on a 12 mile bike ride through Lenexa & Overland Park. Lying to myself was something that came very easy. It's something I still struggle with daily. Constantly want to lie to myself and make up excuses to not live a little bit more. To just give up and lie. This is possibly the toughest of all of the promises. Still struggle with it but I've come so far.
Promise #3: Stop making excuses & lying to yourself

The fourth promise I needed to make to myself, in order to live a better and more productive life, seems like it would be a tough one but it's really not. I compare it to removing a bandaid. What's the least painful way to remove a bandaid? You guessed it, just rip it off. I needed to get the negative out of my life. Negative people, vices, habits, thinking, everything. I've got to be really careful here because some of you reading this might take it personally and I think I'm talking about you when I mention getting the negative people out of my life. If you are taking it personally and think I'm talking about you you're absolutely right. Only negative people would think that way. If you haven't heard from me in awhile then at least you know now why. So at least it's a win/win? Getting rid of negativity was like I was having a fire sale. Everything negative must go! Smoking cigarettes, GONE! Shitty unloving girlfriend always complaining and talking mad smack on all her friends, GONE! Getting liquored up weekly, GONE! I still enjoy a drink now and again but seriously, if you're over 35 and enjoy getting schammered daily or weekly you might want to reconsider your choices. But hey, its your life, this is just a promise I needed to make to myself.
Promise #4: Cut out all negativity

So far my promises seemed very doable. I needed to stick to them. Figuring out how to keep myself accountable was the tough part. Talk the talk, no problem. Walk the walk, "Houston we have a problem." Accountability. I figured the best way to create accountability is to tell the masses what you are going to do and the promises you are going to make. I knew the perfect place to announce my promises and ask for assistance in keeping them. In fact, asking others to examine the same promises and maybe make them for themselves might even increase that accountability. People relying on others in a full accountability circle, what a great concept. The #LiveALittle Project members were perfect for this and the promises I was making to myself fit right in with other struggles people face with trying to live a #LiveALittle life. So not only would the word of the promises spread but the word of The #LiveALittle Project would spread with it.
Promise #5: Spread the word about the #LiveALittle lifestyle and encourage others to make the same 5 promises


Friday, June 20, 2014

The #LiveALittle Mission Statement | Living for those who cannot

I've been thinking a lot lately. I love the #LiveALittle Project but want to see it go to the next level. What that level is I don't know. I've been advised to write a business plan & mission, vision, values statement for the project. Making The #LiveALittle Project a registered nonprofit would require those anyway. I've been stuck on the Mission statement. What exactly is the mission of The #LiveALittle Project? There’s a few of the things I have said in the last year that The #LiveALittle Project stood for but this has been the main statement:
“Encourage people to live a little bit more every single day.”
What exactly does that mean? We are all different when it comes to living a little bit more every day. Fitness, health, losing weight, more activity, have been the issues that most of the members of the project have focused on but there are so many more issues project members getting detoured with to further their “live a little” life. Dead end jobs, terrible relationships, estranged family, substance abuse problems, and the big three: lack of self-esteem, self worth, and self-love.
Then it hit me.
In high school I met a very beautiful, funny, caring, protective, loving amazing girl named Michelle. I fell in love with Michelle within minutes of meeting her. We spent hours upon hours together. She was a true friend. We weren’t romantically involved; we loved each other in the purest form, complete respect. Over time our lives drifted apart but we stayed in touch because of modern social media sites like MySpace and Facebook. The last time I saw Michelle was when I went to visit her in
Phoenix nearly 4 years ago. She was still beautiful after all those years. Now a wife and a mom our lives had changed very much but that visit we were swept back to 1992 and giggled like high school teenagers gossiping about everyone we went to school with. About 2 years ago I received an email from Michelle telling me that she had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer but for me not to worry because she was going to fight it and she was going to beat it.
Six months later my beautiful Michelle died.
A lot of you may have some kind of similar story about someone you love or know being diagnosed with a terminal disease. Have you noticed the amazing thing they do after they are diagnosed? They change. They wake up from the haze that all of us seem to be in. Suddenly trees look different and are more noticeable. Smells smell different and amazing. Wind isn’t just wind, it tickles and fills your spirit. Self-love starts to prevail, self-esteem become clearer, and self worth becomes one of the most important things right next to the love of others. The definition of life for someone with a terminal disease takes on a whole new meaning and I believe that meaning is what we all are striving for. Why must we wait until we are told that our death is very near before we truly start to live a little? Why can’t we do it now? We are all dying but we ignore that. What’s the first thing most smokers diagnosed with lung cancer do when their doctors tell them that their disease is fatal? They stop smoking, because they truly find that self-love to continue to do whatever necessary to possibly continue their life even if it is a tiny chance. It took me 20 years to quit smoking. Even when I learned of Michelle’s disease, and even her death, one would think I would have stopped but I didn’t.
This is where I believe the mission statement of The #LiveALittle Project needs to come from. It’s not solely about fitness, eating right, loving your work, and trying new things, loving new people and those already in our lives. It is about LIVING.
The #LiveALittle Project’s Mission Statement:
“To encourage others to live life as though they would not see next year”

From this moment on I dedicate my #LiveALittle life to my beautiful Michelle and her spirit, and I live my #LiveALittle life for myself and those who love me.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who Hustle.

If you're in the automotive retail industry you know who Grant Cardone is. Grant Cardone is a motivating, in your face, "Don't be a little bitch", coaching, social media posting, branding superstar that has positively touched many.  I don't sell cars but as my pal Sean Stapleton says, "Everyone is in sales. Doesn't matter if your desking deals or sweeping the service department floor, you're in sales." Professionally I'm digital marketer in the auto industry that provides services to dealerships and Grant has greatly influenced me. The dude is good at personal branding. Grant hosted a NatGeo television show called The Turn Around King, he's put on hundreds of training seminars, video blogs, and has wrote a few books over time. One of those books really grabbed my attention. "The 10X Rule." Amazon describes the book as:

"While most people operate with only three degrees of action-no action, retreat, or normal action-if you're after big goals, you don't want to settle for the ordinary. To reach the next level, you must understand the coveted 4th degree of action. This 4th degree, also know as the 10 X Rule, is that level of action that guarantees companies and individuals realize their goals and dreams."

With my new found #LiveALittle lifestyle this book seemed right up my alley.  It was time to make more action, stop settling for ordinary, and truly start to realize my hopes and dreams.
My commute to work is around 30 minutes so I purchased the audio book. With no idea what to really expect I started listening the day I downloaded it. Grant started out pretty strong, would get distracted a few times but listening to Grant's side bar commentary was well worth it. Hearing Grant get excited and pumped up about his own words made me a true believer that he owned every word coming out of his mouth. He didn't just preach it he lived it everyday. He brought back the true positive meaning of the word "Hustler".  Not a nickel and dime punk that did anything to make a buck but a true work your f*cking ass off-hit the grind stone running-self made hustler. I wanted to be a hustler. Listening to Grant's words even made me believe he wanted me to kick ass.   A few other things really stood out to me too and were "aha" moments.

Average is a failing formula.
I never thought about this concept. Studies show that the majority of Americans strive for average. Strive for average. Repeat that one more time. They strive for average. They don't believe they are average so they are working on just becoming average. I thought I was average, heck I thought I was above average but I wasn't. I was one of those striving for average. Many might disagree with this whole striving for average statement but I bought into it. I still do. Living a #LiveAlittle life may not be living below average, average, or above average but it does put things in perspective. I don't want to make a medium income, have a average relationship, average vacations, learn normal things, etc. By living a little bit more every single day is my way of staying above average.

It is your moral duty, obligation, and responsibility to your family, your company, and your future self to achieve success.
Wow. After setting back and making excuses about why I couldn't achieve my goals this really hit hard. I mean I've hit goals but I usually did them half ass or changed them multiple times to fit my slacking nature . This truly called out the person I had been before discovering a #LiveALittle journey.

Become Omnipresent. 
In other words "be everywhere". No excuses for being bored. Be everywhere. Always be moving either physically or mentally. Keep your mind, your body, or your hustle always in check and in demand. This one may not fit everyone but it fit me in a few different ways. For one, I'm a digital marketer in the automotive industry, a very competitive industry with outstanding digital marketing solutions and consultants, and I need for people to not only know me but trust the advice I give. Personal branding is all about marketing. If I can't market myself how can I expect you to believe I can market your business? Personal branding isn't the only thing I need branded, I also wanted to market the #LiveALittle Project too along with the inspirational stories from all of the members. The #LiveALittle Project is an amazing motivational and inspirational group I think the entire world needs to know about. Success for myself and the #LiveALittle Project was not just going to find me I had to fight for it and become omnipresent.

Grant Cardone's words from The 10X Rule may not be what you need but it was exactly what I needed at the time and even now. Promises I made to myself and what I challenged members of The #LiveALittle Project to were directly influenced by The 10X Rule. Out of dozens of promises to be made to one's self in the #LiveALittle lifestyle 5 really stood out and seemed the most important. If you promise to keep reading my blog, go back and read a couple you may have missed then I promise to break down the 5 #LiveALittle Promises in my next post. Before I started writing this post I noticed "My #LiveALittle Project" blog hit 1000 views. Thank you. Thank you for reading my story.

You rock.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Many Ways To Commit Suicide, I was doing the Extended Version

This is the blog post that has been haunting me since I started writing about my personal journey of positive transformation. Regrets are something I don't have a lot of. Everything I have done in my life I would do again but in a healthier way. Never been a huge drinker. Drugs have never been a big thing for me either. I'm mumbling to stall so I don't have to tell you that I was addicted to cigarettes for 20 years. Little embarrassed that cigarettes controlled my life.  Jesus Christ cigarettes are expensive and possibly the most dangerous murderous things that are legal. Thinking back over the past 20 years I spent thousands of dollars on a horrible addiction. Blaming anyone but myself for having that nasty habit would be ridiculous. Smoking made me believe I looked cool and a little dangerous. Thought the girls around me were attracted to a man who smoked. Little did I know I just looked like an idiot and smelled horrible.

Parliaments were my huckleberry. Almost two packs a day. It was time to break up with Mr P-Funk. That's the cool name Parliament smokers called their cigarettes. P-Funk is a shorthand term for the repertoire and performers associated with George Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic collective and the distinctive style of funk music they performed (thank you Wikipedia). Cold Turkey worked once for me in my 20 years of smoking. "Worked" probably isn't the right word to use since I only stopped smoking for about 3 months. Using a e-cig helped me stop smoking for 30 days. Nothing truly helped me quit for good. I had noticed television commercials for Chantix, the stop smoking medicine prescribed by a doctor. Like all other pharmaceutical commercials the side effects disclaimer at the end of the commercial scared the BeJeezus out of me. According to the Chantix' website these are the possible side effects:

Some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions while using CHANTIX to help them quit smoking. Some people had these symptoms when they began taking CHANTIX, and others developed them after several weeks of treatment or after stopping CHANTIX. If you, your family, or caregiver notice agitation, hostility, depression, or changes in behavior, thinking, or mood that are not typical for you, or you develop suicidal thoughts or actions, anxiety, panic, aggression, anger, mania, abnormal sensations, hallucinations, paranoia, or confusion, stop taking CHANTIX and call your doctor right away. Also tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems before taking CHANTIX, as these symptoms may worsen while taking CHANTIX.

When I see that a pill could cause "suicidal thoughts" it gets my attention and a big fat NOPE. My best friend had his doctor prescribe to him so I thought I'd sit back and see how it worked. He mentioned that it was giving him crazy vivid dreams but other than that he would forget to take the pills & eventually he stopped taking the pills altogether. Meanwhile I was still determined I would quit. Many times I would get a wild hair and proactively throw away a half packs of cigarettes proclaiming that I was done done done only to buy another pack two hours later. Struggling was full on but I knew something had to give. Either I go full throttle on quitting or give up and wait for the lung cancer to set full in. I needed to at least give Chantix a shot. In all actuality continuing to smoke cigarettes was basically committing long term suicide anyway. 
"Whoa, expensive." My first thoughts after arriving at CVS Pharmacy to pick up my Chantix. Insurance paid for nearly nothing. Some insurance programs, I've been told, will cover a lot of the cost. Unfortunately my insurance did not but after weighing the amount of money I have spent on cigarettes over 20 years the price didn't seem so bad anymore. The prescription cost me about $240 out of pocket for a month worth of medication. 
Started taking the meds the very next morning. One a day for the first week and I could continue to smoke. I didn't feel any different that first day. It was like I never took the pill but I still had hope. The second day I took the pill again in the morning and went on with my day. I was anticipating feeling different so I don't know if the light headiness I had later that afternoon was from the Chantix or just from another stressful work day. Took the third pill the next morning and noticed that my morning cigarette tasted slightly funny. Didn't taste as good as the night before. It was just a slight change. Throughout the day all of my cigarettes tasted different but not horrible enough that I didn't want to smoke. Day 4 was pretty much the same as day 3 with all of my cigarettes now tasting even worse. Day 4 consisted of smoking nearly half of what I had been smoking. There were no side effects kicking in. No noticeable changes except the taste of cigarettes was changing. No weird dreams or thoughts of killing myself so something was going right! 
Day 5. I will always remember day 5. This was the first day in 20 years that I did not want or crave a cigarette. I took my pill in the morning and continued my day without smoking once. When I say there was no craving I mean absolutely zero want for a cigarette. I felt amazing. To this day I have not smoked again but the Chantix journey would continue. You don't just stop taking it after you lose the cravings. It apparently needs to get deep into your system and that would take anywhere from 30 days to 6 months according to the doctor. 
On the 8th day is when the instructions say to start taking two pills, one in the morning and one before bed. Taking the pills now became fun for me because I realized they were working and I was having zero side effects. That was until the 9th night. Took my before bedtime pill and laid down for bed. I fell asleep easily but completely woke up at 3am. By completely woke up I mean wide eyed and bushy tailed, ready for the day. After laying in bed wide awake until 4am I finally got up and went through my morning routine, just 3 hours earlier than normal. The 10th night I was so sleepy at 7pm that I went to bed only to wake up at 11pm then 2am then 4am. Each time I woke up I felt like I was wide awake. Luckily I could fall back asleep a half hour or hour later. This sleeping pattern continued the 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th night. My sleep was really being effected and it was starting to effect my work and personal life but I still wasn't smoking. It was a complete bitter sweet feeling. 
I'm not a doctor but I pulled a doctor making decision and decided that I would stop taking the pill before bedtime and only take the morning pill. I didn't want to start smoking again so I had to really manage this carefully. My plan worked. The weird sleep patterns stopped and I still wasn't craving any kind of cigarette. Another bonus is no other side effects were apparent. I had finally kicked this habit. I was going to win. 
Day 24 was the last day I took Chantix. I can't remember why I stopped taking the pills before I was supposed to but I did. Could of been that I was worried about the other side effects taking hold and I wanted to head them off at the pass before they attacked. So officially it took just over 3 weeks of Chantix to finally break free of one of the most disgusting and life consuming legal habits there is. 

My #LiveALittle lifestyle was really coming together. Healthy was a new word for me but I was doing it. Losing weight, eating better, exercising, getting out more, making new friends, and now no smoking. The world was mine. What was next? What mountain could I climb metaphorically? It was time to finally sit down and read something I'd been telling myself to read for a long time. I was officially ready to read the words of Grant Cardone. One of the most energizing, hard working, no excuses, not taking average as a lifestyle, 10X living son of a gun's working in the same industry as me that I have had the chance to meet.  I was ready to educate myself. 

What would Grant Cardone do? 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Annoying: Cigarette Ashes Blew Into My Eyes When I Ran

Cigarettes became a thing of my past back in November of 2013. As a smoker I wanted to quit, but at the same time convinced myself that I liked to smoke. Confused? Yeah, so was I. What was worse is that I decided in the early summer of 2013 that I was going to run an official 5K before my birthday in late October. Walking was literally the first step, no pun intended. Let me retract that statement. Actually, motivation was the first step. I needed to quiet the voice in my head that was telling me exercise was dumb and lying around watching marathons of Ghosthunters on SyFy was more important. When I finally got myself out of the house I was pleasantly surprised that there was a paved trail less than a quarter mile from my doorstep, and the trail went east and west for at least ten miles in each direction. With a loaded up iTunes playlist I walked and I walked well. After a few weeks I was informed of an app called Couch to 5K, a.k.a. C25K. Little did I know that within three months I would be running, yes running, 3.1 miles. I also had no idea I would also meet two distinct voices in my head, little voice & BIG VOICE.
Apparently the big voice in my head is a small asian woman
BIG VOICE is the voice in my head that is SCREAMING things, encouraging me to stop, give up, and quit. BIG VOICE affects a lot of us. 99% of the reason we fail at anything is because we only listen to the big voice. BIG VOICE is notorious for lying. Doing everything it can to convince you that you're thirsty (even though you've only been going for 5 minutes), along with other lies that it has perfected. One thing that really stands out about BIG VOICE is what crushes most of us. The creme a la creme of crushing spirits, motivation, inspiration of what BIG VOICE does is convince you that if you quit now you can give it a fresh new shot tomorrow. You've heard it screaming in your head, "START TOMORROW, TODAY IS JUST NOT THE RIGHT TIME. YOU NEED MORE SLEEP, FOOD, WATER, TIME, BETTER SHOES, NEW SONGS TO DOWNLOAD, BETTER PLACE TO WORKOUT, A PARTNER, A NEW WORKOUT PARTNER, MORE ENERGY, LESS ENERGY, BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH!" Then there is the little voice. The exact opposite of the BIG VOICE. Little voice knows you can do it, encourages you to keep going, tells you that you are better than you think you are. Problem is that little voice doesn't get heard. Drowned out because of BIG VOICE. Little voice is the voice you need to listen to.
My first 5K. An amazing day
It took three months to run 3.1 miles without stopping and it was tough. The C25K app really is an amazing thing. It absolutely hands down is why I can run a 5K without stopping. My time at first was 14 minute miles but A MILE IS A MILE. Soon enough I was running 12:30 minute miles. I was a former 400lb + man running 5Ks - holy shit! Never felt better in my life. Even when I was at my top physical self at 18 years old I couldn't run one mile at one time, let alone three miles. My senior year in high school, before moving on to play college football, it took me 18 minutes to walk the mile because after on 1/3 lap of running I couldn't run anymore. Should have been some foreshadowing that exercise was not going to be top of mind for me as an older adult. Time to break that cycle. Time to mark off that goal. Time to get busy living. Get busy living. I did quit smoking in November but I hit my goal of running a official 5K in September, a month earlier than my late October birth date goal. Bittersweet. Shit. Although I was able to run three miles, and every once in a while four miles, I was still smoking. Let me repeat that because it doesn't make sense to me either. I was still smoking. A runner who smoked. This would be my next challenge to conquer. It was absolutely most positively the thing I needed to do....time to quit smoking. For this challenge it was time to bring out the big guns.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Giving Birth to The #LiveALittle Project with the Help of Online Dating

Getting more active in a new city was exciting. Kansas City wasn't really a new city it just felt like it. I actually grew up about 70 miles away but like everyone else from my hometown I only really knew the surface of Kansas City. During my new personal active #LiveALittle lifestyle, of trying new things and getting out more, I discovered museums, festivals, restaurants, and other cool things, but I was doing it alone. Most of my friends from my hometown didn't come to Kansas City that often and my trips to Topeka were becoming less and less. My anticipation for weekends was amazing. I couldn't wait to do something new, and I was losing weight. Yep, pounds were falling off me.

The weight loss was motivated by a flight to Las Vegas on a Southwest Airlines jet.  I weighed right around 405lbs. Do you know what they have on airplanes that don't fit around 400lbs+ people? Seat belts. Asking the flight attendant for a seat belt extender was horribly embarrassing. I promised myself during that uncomfortable flight that I would never have to ask again for the extender.

Weight was falling off me, I was 70-80lb. lighter, and more active in the city. It was time to start dating again. I had used online dating in the past but it wasn't nearly as popular as it was when I decided to do it again. Wow, there were a ton more people logged in. This was going to be interesting. I wrote a pretty humble but yet, I thought, entertaining profile and added a few recent pics of myself highlighting my weight loss. 

"Well, I'm Joey. Been a Kansas City resident for a little over 3 years. Love that Kansas City always has something going on, rather it's concerts, active parks, and festivals. 
I actively try to live my life a little bit more every single day. Learn something new, trying something outside my comfort zone, or meeting new people. 
I love positive motivated people. I'm drawn to those who also are on a path of constant self discovery. 
I work marketing. 
I love beautiful smiles and positivity. 
I love sports but I don't have to sit in front of a tv for hours.
I love road trips. Memphis is a destination a few times a year."

Shauna & I
I connected with some pretty cool women online. I met one lady who kicked ass. I don't remember what started the conversation with but she was going through the same transformations I was. She was trying to also live a little bit more everyday too. We had a few conversations online and eventually we became Facebook friends.  Watching Shauna's posts coming through my Facebook news feed was impressive. She was on fire with the #LiveALittle lifestyle. She also, like me, started attracting others that wanted to make a change but didn't know where to start. I had found my first peer in a challenging part of my life. Shauna and I were forces to be reckoned with. Soon I started meeting others just like Shauna and adding them as friends on Facebook and suggesting them to connect with Shauna as well. Justine was one of the first too. Talk about a girl that was kicking ass. Justine and Shauna were two peas in a pod when it came to motivation. These girls were my rocks. Then came Kevin (already knew Kevin and nope didn't meet him through online dating) and Amie. My network was becoming larger on Facebook with motivating people that were wanting, and were living, the #LiveALittle lifestyle.  About this time is when I started really preaching my personal #LiveALittle promises and invited all my new friends to join in.

1. become a healthier more active person.
2. don't sit around complaining to be bored. Make a life. Get out and do things. You have no right at all to complain about being bored.
3. stop making excuses. All excuses. Stop lying to yourself.
4. cut all negativity from your life. Situations, people, choices, vices, you name it.
5. Inspire others to find a #LiveALittle lifestyle and make the same five promises to themselves

Out of all of this new networking a private group page on Facebook was born titled "The #LiveALittle Project". Here was a private community posting board on the biggest website in the history where new friends can ask questions, post accomplishments, vent when they need to push the restart button and share it all with amazing peers understanding exactly what they are going through. It was labeled a "Project" because we quite didn't know exactly what it would grow into. A true human/social networking project. Soon the few members of the project we did have started asking if they could invite others they knew into the private group claiming that the inspiration, dedication and motivation that was being displayed could help out tons more. 

 The project started to grow....and grow....and GROW. Today that little private group has grown into 625 members reaching across the country and a few in Canada. Members are still being added. If The #LiveALittle Project is something you need in your life all you need to do is three things; 

  • Make the 5 #LiveALittle Promises (see above)
  • Add me on Facebook so I can add you to the project. Click my name ---> Joey Little
  • Send me a message on Facebook letting me know that you'd like to join. 

Next time; how my life turned into selfies, 5K training, and a brand new way to use Facebook. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Keep trying until it sticks.

I'm not a writer. I've never been a writer. Photography, video, design is usually how I like to express myself. Not writing. Spelling and grammar is not a strong suit for me and neither is proof reading. The fact is I'm horrible at it but it will not stop me this time. This would make my 6th attempt at starting and maintaining a blog. You know what they say, "6th time's a charm". Nope, nobody says that, but here's to making the 6th time a charm.
My name is Joey. Five years ago I was unemployed, just over a year from being let go from my dream job as a rock radio morning show host in my home town of Topeka, KS. I weighed over 400lbs, in a dead end relationship, extremely flakey, overly bossy, a true asshole and a person suffering from no self love, no self worth, and zero self esteem. I needed to make a change but didn't know how.

I faked my misery pretty good. My friends thought I was a huge positive guy always inspiring them but when it came to me every roadblock I came across felt like someone had taken a big part of me and set it on fire. It took everything very personally and it was killing me. Worrying about what everyone else thought of me was magnified by a hundred. I played a big talker but I was just a scared fat man. This continued for an additional three more years.
2012 would be the year my life would change. I found work as a digital marketer for a start up company that eventually sold to a large corporation and things were good on the professional side of my life but my personal side was in pieces. My long time girlfriend Mandy and I had broke up & I moved out to live on my own, physical signs of type 2 diabetes starting showing up, started drinking booze more, still smoking cigarettes (almost two packs a day), my friends were becoming more distance and would communicate with me less and less (I had moved away from my hometown where my friends and family live). My life was falling apart.
I had seen the movie Shawshank Redemption at least 20 times before. Every basic cable channel has show it on a weekend at some point in their existence. In fact I think its a rule that it has to be playing o a channel during a Saturday afternoon every week. I love the story line. The director did a great job of turning Steven King's book into a movie staring Tim Robbins & Morgan Freeman but this time a certain scene really grabbed me. The scene between Andy and Red when Andy was asking Red if he ever thought he'd ever get out of prison. Instead of me trying to explain it just watch this 3 minute clip:

"Get busy living, or get busy dying". Those words cut me deep. Life really consists of those two choices. Sit around and do nothing or get off your ass and change things. Live or Die. Your choice.
I didn't make the choice right away. How could someone make that choice if they had little to no self love, self worth, or self esteem? I couldn't. My first goal was to decide if I was truly worth living for? Anymore disappointment to myself would have pushed me over the depression bridge and I was worried I would never come back. Time to start giving a damn about myself was now. It was time to "get busy living".
It would take me many attempts to start down the right path of learning to love myself more. Kind of like this blog. I would start but then become frustrated or get distracted and it would become less important. The key was to keep trying until it sticks, and it finally did. I finally started to give a crap about myself. I started looking into ways to quit smoking, started losing weight because I was changing what I was eating, not caring what others thought. That's a big one, to stop caring what haters think. When someone tries to improve their life the people around them will turn into 1 of 5 people.

The Cheerleader: these people will encourage you, ask you how things are going, compliment you on achieving goals.

The Distractor: I hate these peeps. They know that you are trying to change you life but they don't care. They'll still smoke around you, if you've quit smoking. Eat crappy stuff and fix/order you crappy stuff, if you're trying to eat better. Invite you out for drinks, if you're trying to quit alcohol.

The Eeyore: These people are hard to deal with because they want to make the same changes you are making but they haven't found that self worth, self love, or self esteem yet. Possibly they never will but you have more faith in them then they have for themselves. They don't realize they are Eeyores, heck I didn't realize I was one either until I changed.

The Don't Cares: they don't really notice anything. They've got their own stuff to worry about so your changes are noticeable to them.  Every once in a while they might pipe up with a "You losing weight?" but any more than that is thin to nothing.

The Haters:  whoa, these fucking assholes. I don't know what has happened in these peoples lives but either daddy and mommy didn't hug them enough, or they were constantly picked last on the playground, or they completely hate themselves and attempting to destroy other people's dreams makes them feel better. Nobody needs these pieces of shit in their life but we all have them. With Facebook, Twitter, and other online sources these trolls are even more apparent. Example: If you happen to be losing a lot of weight and you're posting more pics of yourself these assholes are the ones that bitch that all they see is selfies 24/7 (piss off and unfriend/unfollow me then douche-canoe).

In the honorable words of author and motivational speaker Grant Cardone, "Let your haters fuel you".

This was fun. I like where this blog is going. I want to tell my #LiveALittle story and I think I'm off to a good start. A problem I had before was what I was going to write about in the next "chapter", so placing a teaser here will motivate me to write the next one so here goes.

Next time: Find out how online dating was the inspriation of turing "My #LiveALittle" Project" from a personal mission into "The #LiveALittle Project", a public mission involving 600 people.