Archive for July, 2012

Heroes, Comic-Con, and More..

Posted in attraction, charismatic, confidence, dating, Fear, men, men's health, mentorship, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2012 by full1mpact

                It has now been roughly over a week since I headed two hours South to the amazing, Comic Con.  Yes, it is as amazing as people say.  Yes, it will kick your ass.  And yes, it is as every bit crazy as people say it is.  To me, it is like Christmas, my birthday, and Thanksgiving rolled into one, just without the weight gain of the three.  To me, it is a fan-boy dream come true, and gives me hope for future geek media and entertainment.  Allow me to indulge a bit as to why.  And why this topic is on a men’s development blog.  But first, let me tell you what I saw.

            Day one I saw the mass of one hundred and eighty thousand people gather for one event that most of us would agree is pretty spectacular.  Yes I’m biased, but bear with me.  I trekked across the exhibitor’s hall a dozen or more times probably walking the distance of ten miles in one day.  Unless you’ve been there, you know that is no exaggeration.  I seriously trekked ten flippin’ miles each day I was there.  My legs and I are finally talking again.  I saw celebrities, wrestlers, and writers, oh my.  To me, that first day is like unwrapping your gifts at Christmas.  Or your Birthday gifts if you don’t celebrate Christmas.  Either way…FUN!

            The rest of the days there are like enjoying those gifts you just unwrapped.  You see people of every color, creed, and background all enjoying similar interests as yourself.  You see people who enjoy the art.  You see people who enjoy the games that won’t come out for another year, maybe two.   You see movie trailers before anyone else, you see sneak previews to many things you love in the fantasy world of entertainment.  Generally the sci-fi, fantasy, and super hero movement of entertainment.  And you see people who enjoy the hobby of costuming their favorite heroes and villains.  Some could walk onto the set of a movie…others perhaps should have stayed at home and not burned their image into the retinas of those who witnessed it.  I’m only half kidding on that one.

            I’ve been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and comics books since I can remember.  I was barely three when Star Wars first hit theaters and I remember loving it.  I always loved Batman, and anything with knights in it.  Better yet, anything with a good guy versus a bad guy where somehow the good guy making it out okay.  Or barely okay.  At Comic-Con I not only get to see the new modern take on the good versus evil, but also the nostalgia of when I grew up with toys and comics from that era displayed.  To me it allows the kid to come out and play, all the while allowing the adult to sit back and smile;  wanting to be part of the entire scene and making that level of impact.

            Last year we wrote a similar article about Comic Con and the importance of understanding the things you enjoyed as a child and not confusing the boy-man issue with your inner fun child-like side.  This year I’d like to expand that a bit and go on to explore the many sides of a “Man.”  There are strong, physically dominating men, there are wise men, there are philosophical men, there are logical men, political men, and men from every spectrum.  With true men, the only difference is the path.  Deep inside, every true man has strong character, despite whatever path he has chosen in this life.  Much like the heroes we grew up watching on t.v. or the movies.

            Growing up I idolized Batman, Zorro, Han Solo, and G.I. Joe.  Batman because he was/is an unstoppable self-made force.  He had an answer for everything.  A back up plan for a backup plan.  Zorro is a swashbuckling hero who helps his people from an oppressive governing body.  He, like Batman, has two identities and fights for good.  Han Solo, though he acts like he doesn’t care and is as cocky as they get, fights for good.  He is courageous, snarky, and not exactly predictable.  G.I. Joe I loved…well because it’s G.I. Joe and COBRA was just evil, simply put.

            These would be my heroes as I grew up and faced life.  Sometimes not having someone to stick up for you, you had to stick up for yourself and be the hero in your own movie.  Growing up I drew strength from their character, and their choices.  Even their mistakes.  Their stories stayed with me well into present day adulthood and live on now.

            As an artist I drew my heroes, and my villains, in great detail, imagining other untold stories.  I would spend hours drawing them out, perfecting their battle scenes and heroic stances.  But one thing always remained the same, good always won in the end.  To this day I believe this.  Good will find a way to win.  In modern day, evil is everywhere.  Just watch the evening news and be inundated with sensationalized media about every corrupt thing on Earth.  That part is easy.  The hard part is believing that beneath it all, hidden from common view, just like a story, good is finding a way to overcome it.

            In the midst of writing this article the Aurora tragedy of the Batman theater shooting has happened.  Though it is hard to see it now I believe good is finding a way through all of this.  Was the man behind the killings evil?  Without a doubt.  So where is the good in all of this?  How is it working?  Why can’t we see it yet?  Maybe we have to look for it.  When I would read Batman comics he would look for a way to solve a crime.  What clues led him to the Riddler?  How hard would he search?  And why did he never give up?  Good will come of it.  You just have to look for it.  It isn’t always shiny.  It isn’t always obvious.  It never has to be in the limelight and often chooses not to.  But it is there.  Trust me.

            Sometimes we become jaded with humanity.  I know I can at times.  But as I searched for my own journey and began to find my own identity as a man, there is one lesson that stuck with me and gave me hope over many others.  It was at a seminar, and the speaker had us make a list of things we hated in other men, and then make a list of men, either fictional or existing;  then write what we admired about those men.  Part of my childhood came back as I wrote down, Zorro, the Lone Ranger, Batman,…then I began writing down real people in my life.  My pastor.  My grandpa.  A best friend’s father who took me in when I just finished my bout with drug abuse.  He and his wife treated me as their own.  He didn’t have to.  But he did.  I wrote down all of their heroic characteristics.  All of them.  I filled four notebook pages.

            After that the speaker told us to examine each list.  The attributes we hated, and the ones we loved the most.  The he said something remarkable that changed me forever.  He said, “with the ones you hate, that is more than likely something within yourself you hate now, or at one time hated.  That is why you recognize it.”  For the most part.  There are always exceptions.  But then he said, “The heroes and men you admire, those attributes you see deep within yourself that is probably already there, you just have to tap into it.”  For me, it broke a lifelong bondage of never feeling good enough or adequate enough. 

            Though at times I do struggle with childhood programming of inferiority, I champion on, knowing deep inside, there is a self-made hero wanting to do good and impact others in a positive way.  How do I know this?  Because I saw the same hero in men and women who impacted me.  They were strong, persistent, courageous, brave, full of faith, and most importantly full of love.  They trained other side-kicks with the best of their superhuman ability, to do good.  Simply, to do good.

            With that said, to summarize, if you take away anything from this article have it be simply this;  Comic-Con is freaking awesome!  Superheroes are awesome!  It is okay to enjoy and love the things you did as a kid and to reflect back to simpler times.  It is okay to let the kid out to play once in a while!  Good will triumph over evil.  Even it isn’t always obvious, it champions every day.  The good you see in others, the things you see that make a champion, IS INSIDE OF YOU!  You just have to look for it!  Look for the good.  Look for the super hero.  They’re there, inside, waiting to conquer evil and take you to places in your life you have never been to before.  You just have to look.

Keep looking my friend.

P.S.  Enjoy the pics!

By William M. Jeffries

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Lessons In Personal Success

Posted in arrogance, attraction, charismatic, confidence, dating, inspirational, men, men's health, mentorship, self development, self help, Steve Siebold, T Harv Eker, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2012 by full1mpact

We are all about personal success here at Full 1mpact.  Our job is to connect the dots to help guys in their own journey to becoming better men.  We’ve often taught “your thoughts become actions,” and here to elaborate much of this, is our own Rob Miner.  Mr. Rob Miner is both an author and teacher.  He is also a mentor here at Full 1mpact.  He is the author of the book, “And Their Eyes Were Opened.”  You can find it on Amazon.  We are very proud to have his input on success.  — William M. Jeffries

 

Lessons in Personal Success

By Robert Miner

 

            One common goal we all share is to the need to achieve success in our lives. What makes us different is the vast diversity of definitions we attach to the word.

            Success is different for every person because every unique individual has his or her own personal values worth pursuing. Furthermore, each person gets something different out of the process of pursuing those goals. In fact, what we all eventually realize in the end is that the means of attaining success is greater than the ends of achieving it. Therefore, I define success as follows: the satisfaction one derives from actively moving toward something which matters to that person.

            One of the greatest sources of frustration in life is the erroneous belief that what we seek will provide us sufficient fulfillment once we achieve it. Just as one apple off an apple tree will quench your hunger for a moment but not for a lifetime, so the accomplishing of a personal goal provides fulfillment for only as long as that initial energy boost satisfies. Like with the apple, your hunger will be stirred up shortly thereafter if you don’t have a tree full of apples (a lifestyle of pursuing personal success).

            The first key to personal success is the understanding (and the belief) that the process of moving toward a goal is of greater value than the goal itself. I heard one NBA superstar put it this way: “The awards are great, but what really matters is the feeling of knowing how hard you’ve worked to attain that award.” The Bible says, “Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The process of achieving personal success (or specific change in one’s life) is the fuel that fires the desire by which our heart thrives. The goal is great, but the daily battle of defeating our enemies (the obstacles which keep us from our goals) is the higher value.

            The next key to personal success is the honest assessment of what matters most to us. I may want to grow in physical fitness, finances, marital happiness, inner peace, and the attainment of more friends, but what is your priority? Which goal(s) is most worth fighting for? For most of my life I’ve had lots of friends but during the last couple years those relationships have diminished as much as 30-40%. On average, my wife and I were connecting with friends 2-3 times a month. After setting a goal to meet with friends 6-8 times a month in early May, by the end of June my wife and I had met with friends on nine different occasions!  I will show you how I experienced such a quick turnaround later in this article.

            The third key to success is the understanding that the process is both spiritual and physical. First, we pursue by faith that which we seek. Our most important discipline is not the physical work and planning that goes into achieving success but the daily guarding of our hearts and minds – to believe even when we don’t see the results we desire. If our faith goes no further than the belief in results we see, then as soon as our results falter – which they inevitably will – we will disturb our process with the negative energy of fear, guilt, frustration, and eventually, resignation. A daily battle of faith strengthens our heart to look negative results in the eye and say, “The past is the past. We move on.”

            Furthermore, when we daily pursue by faith (which may include prayer) those things we value, our mind starts to receive ideas, and by acting on those ideas we set the vehicle of change in motion. Once in motion, we may achieve change through effort, but we also achieve change through the law of serendipity. This means that a consistently positive pursuit of something will cause us to literally run into opportunities, just as someone may run into an old friend on the streets.

            When I set my faith, my mind, my prayers, and my actions toward improving my social life, I initially sent emails or calls to whomever my heart felt like pursuing. Many of those people did not respond or they had plans. Some did respond, and those connections led to other connections. While having one friend over to my house, it led to the suggestion, “Why don’t we have such-and-such join us and our wives for dinner one night? That dinner ended up becoming eight adults and three children. Before long, my cousin called out of the blue to invite us for lunch. A neighbor invited me over to teach me about the Stock Market. Another neighbor saw me in front of my house and invited me to a party at his house. By month’s end, we had made plans and met with friends on nine different occasions. We sowed seed, we watered the seed, we examined the seed daily to check for growth, and we saw the seed grow to fruition.

            What personal success do you seek? First decide what you value enough to pursue. Then position yourself in faith. Finally, daily pursue in mind, action, and follow-through that which you seek. Finally, throughout the whole process, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Don’t let obstacles get in your way. Don’t let what you define as failure convince you that you can’t. Don’t let the words or attitudes of others persuade you that your goal is too lofty.

            Little by little one travels far. Take a step of faith today and renew that faith daily as you strive toward your goal. You’ll feel like that NBA superstar when you reach it, but more importantly, your heart will feel alive and vibrant along the way. —

 

Bully, Bully, Bully

Posted in arrogance, attraction, charismatic, confidence, dating, Fear, friend zone, inspirational, men, men's health, mentorship, nice guys, self development, self help with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2012 by full1mpact

                Lately in the news I’ve been seeing a trend in the headlines on bullying.  It surfaces and resurfaces about every five years.  Every time it resurfaces there are new statistics on kids being bullied, workplace bullying, cyber bullying and so forth.  As of now, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children,  each day it is estimated that 160,000 students refuse to  go to school because of bullying.  That doesn’t include the children that do go back.  The ones that suffer daily. 

                There are more statistics covering suicides related to constant bullying, drug abuse, and other destructive symptoms of being targeted.  As technology grows, then so does the ways in which one can bully.  Cyber bullying itself has gotten some media buzz due to the mob mentality behind it.  How it’s easy to bully when you don’t have a face or have to be in person to issue the verbal abuse.  But what about adults, or workplace bullying?  Is this growing as well as we move into the second decade of the new century?

                What sparked my interest in writing this article in a blog related to men’s development is sort of two fold.  I had first seen the recent news stories on the woman, Karen Klein, who was horribly bullied by young middle school kids as a bus monitor.  The second is myself, being someone who didn’t hit his growth spurt until almost the end of High School and was bullied.  I cannot stand bullies or the nature behind it.  Though I fully understand it.

                Personally I do not believe this is a new epidemic.  Not at all.  Nor do I believe it is “on the rise.”  I believe we are merely being made aware of it.  When I grew up no one talked about it much.  If a kid was picked on to the point his or her parents were involved, then usually the kid would get picked on more.  The kid was literally, in most cases, forced to deal with the cards dealt.  And those who cannot relate, in my honest opinion, were probably never subject to that level of indignity.  Nor were they ever forced to witness it.

                During my first initial journey to understanding my own masculinity I wanted to know everything there was to know about growing and about life.  Everything that I wasn’t taught as a boy.  What was I missing?  I interviewed and documented dozens of men from every background, and various professions.  Firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, psychologists, you name it.  Every subject came up from camping and fishing, sex and money, to gambling and vices.  But one topic was common throughout, and that was bullies.  Some were bullied, others were the bully. 

                Listening to these men allowed me to come to terms with my own life.  Having bullied my little brother because I was bullied both at home and in school, I had some weight to remove.   Some men were able to forgive either the bully or themselves.  Others finally snapped and struck back at the bully, allowing themselves a victory in their life.  The feeling of never being bullied again.  Some guys even ended up as best friends with the thug after coming to an understanding.  But what is that understanding?   What caused the infraction to begin with?

                One of the first things in Full 1mpact we teach is identifying boy-man behavior.  The “inner punk” as one person once referred to it.  How do you identify this behavior?  It is behavior that is both destructive to yourself, others, or your personal goals in life.  It derives from fear, lack, and entitlement amongst a few other things.  One of those traits is insecurity.  Dealing with your own personal insecurity.

                We all deal with insecurity on one level or another.  It is how it is dealt with that defines a man as opposed to a boy, or a bully.  In all of my studies most bullies are or were bullied elsewhere themselves.  Like a territorial predator, they feel threatened and lash out.  Or quite simply in order to maintain, what they believe subconsciously as an “alpha status,” they choose someone weaker and a pecking order is established.  Therefore a form of amusement is made and at the cost of another individual.  In the “alpha status” case there is usually a “pack” of bullies, which is much harder to set boundaries once a pack mentality has been established.

                The majority of bullies, (not all but most.) have one level of insecurity or another.  There is an element that they need to appear “cool” and were at some point taught to do so at someone else’s expense.  Here we teach security.  It comes from within, and not at anyone’s expense.  There is no need to lord over another person, to play power games with them or push them around.  Real men have no need to shove their weight around, constantly having to show their might.  There is just simply no need.

                 I’ve seen former bullies talk about the days they harmed other kids, and they are weighed down by guilt many of them.  When I interviewed a Kansas man, I will remain nameless, he looked to the ground and told me of how he used to follow a kid home just to throw the kid in dirt, mud, or dirty snow.  It made him feel good briefly before he went to his hell hole of a home.  This 254 lb, six foot three firefighter and former cage fighter broke into tears and then told me wished he could go back and tell his younger self to chill out.  To knock it off and think straight.

                He also told me he desperately wished he could tell the other guy he was sorry.  I asked if he had seen him since High School.  The firefighter told me that the young man went to Afghanistan to fight and never came home.  The guilt swept him like a flood but then a flash of anger broke out as he told me about how his dad used to beat him, his mother, and his little brother at home.  Now it all made sense.  This was only one of many cases.  Not all have that background, but many do.  Does that make bullying somehow rectified, or understandable, not exactly.  However, it does shed light on the issue.

                Since I was very young I have always had a sense of justice.  People who harm innocence should pay.  Anger will rush through me like a wildfire when I see or hear of men harming women, children being abused, bullies, or any other injustice done to innocent people or those who cannot defend themselves.  It has always been this way, and it will probably never change.  The idea of someone harming a loved one, or children brings out a side of me I hope no one will ever have to witness.  It is that same sense of justice that is inside of the soldiers that keep this country safe.  Or the honest police man or woman who fights daily to protect our homes.  Perhaps it burns in me a bit hotter because of my past, perhaps not.

                When I was younger my grandfather taught me to always stick up for myself.  I was smaller than most boys so this was ample opportunity for bullies to take advantage of me.  By second grade I had my first fight because a young kid pushed me down in front of my friends so I pushed him back.  Yeah he hit me, but I wanted to show him I could stand up for myself.  For the rest of my life I would have to keep getting back up.  This sticking up for myself had gotten me beat up multiple times and a nose break to boot.  Whether it was a kid at school or my step-father in my younger years, I would end up fending for myself regularly.  And yes, it had a very fracturing impact on my life at that time.

                Did this cause me to bully other kids?  Yes and no.  I bullied my younger brother for certain.  Brutally.  I’ve come to terms with this and have sought forgiveness from him and myself.  I still have a hard time forgiving myself.  Other kids?  Never.  And I even found myself sticking up for kids being bullied later, not sure if I’d be the next target but I figured someone had to.  See, someone has to.  Someone has to say something.

                There is no more, “Kids will be kids” b.s. I just refuse to believe it.  It is a lie.  Kids being kids is what has caused countless suicides in America alone because the kids refuse to go on.  I was there.  I remember hating life and wanting to take my own.  What?   You can’t relate?  Have someone tell you that you are worthless, that you amount to nothing, that you are a literal waste of time, money, and space for close to 15 yrs of your life and see how much of that gets in.  What about several people sending that message to you one way or another?  Does that shed some light?

                You see, they need a voice, the bullied.  They need people to stand in the gap or stick their necks out.  And there are people who are starting to do it!  Better late than never.  Does this mean there needs to be violence answered with more violence?  Hopefully not.  However there are cases where the bully has been answered with a royal ass kicking and I’m really not opposed to that.  I hate to say, I’m pretty okay with it.  Would I go back and kick my own ass for throwing my little brother around?  In a heartbeat.

                Casey Heynes had enough.                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_BdAk7H6Lk&feature=related

                He decided that the buck stops here and stood up for himself.  Good for him.  The bully claims he was bullied himself.  It’s sad, I feel bad to a degree but it is no excuse.  My sophomore year of High School my lifelong bully to that point kicked me square in the back after some words were crossed.  I knew it was coming but I wondered if I was going to get yet another beat down like before.  Like Casey Heynes, I had enough.  I had wrestled for a few years and knew how to do simple take downs, and simple but strong arm and headlocks.  So I did just that, I twisted around and wrapped my bully up in a single arm choke hold and took him to the ground.  I used his own arm to begin choking him out.

                Had my mother not been there to intervene, at that state I was in and in that stage of my life I may have killed him.  I wanted to.  He pulled my hair and punched by back but I felt nothing.  I just squeezed and part of me felt free.  I knew this one would never touch me again and if he did, he’d pay.  Fortunately that chapter of my life is over and the relationship with myself and that bully has been patched and redeemed.  Yes, there are happy endings, but often they have to be fought for.  If there is anything you take from this, anything at all please try to understand the bully is more than likely in pain too.  Though not an excuse it is a reality and more than likely they are being bullied on some level themselves.  And two, be a voice.  If ever someone is being treated unjust, victimized, threatened….anything where they cannot fend for themselves, stand in!  Be the voice! 

                Someone once misunderstood Jesus’ message and told me, “You should just turn the other cheek.” when it comes to bullies.  Well…what if the victim has no cheek to turn.  There is no choice.  They try to turn, but can’t.  Then perhaps you should be that cheek.  Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.  I hope this helps some of you focus and understand where your stance is.

William M.  Jeffries