EP 44: What we really should be doing about the COVID 19 Pandemic

On Today’s Episode I cover the questions we really should be asking during this time. I focus on some things that I believe shed a positive life on the response we all should have to the pandemic. It’s about impacting the things we can impact right now and not focusing on the things we do not have the ability to change. I know you will enjoy this short form episode. If you take one thing from this episode let it be this: Everything will be ok and as a nation we will return to our previous strength.

Recommended Podcast Episode

Andy Stumpf on the Joe Rogan Podcast

What Brew is On Tap?

Rook Coffee Company, The small business I promise you will not regret supporting.

Links from today’s Show

The Obstacle is the Way

EP 39: with Dr. Brackett on Emotional Intelligence and Having the Permission to Feel

Jim Collins Good To Great

Rubin Hurricane Carter

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Is Quarantine Giving us All a Lesson in Gratitude?

Craving Comfort

I can remember most of the amazing comforts, treats, and coping mechanisms that I would crave most during trying times in my life. My situation in life has at various times forced me to go without various things for a multitude of reasons. While cutting weight for my first North American Grappling Association tournament I went without food period. During my days as a crossfit competitor who drank the paleo Kool-aid, it was going without carbs. Then came the litany of things I went without during my time in the Marine Corps.

For some reason, while cutting weight or following a strict diet I always seemed to crave taco bell. At those times I thought I was being tested, and that I was treating myself to a cheesy gordita crunch with extra spicy sauce. Then I felt real pain. Nights out in the tree-line in sub-freezing and at times subzero temperatures. Days without a moment to myself. Weeks without showers and only eating MREs. Needless to say, bowl movements were few and far between at the end of those stints.

The TV in the Background Analogy

The cravings at those times were things I thought about only briefly. Yet, I tried very hard not to dwell on them for too long out of a fear of softening. Craving the warmth of a bed while trying to sleep at night on ground that is frozen solid is rarely good for the brain. It was as if the thoughts of what I desired loomed in the background of my mind. They were more like the TV at the bar playing the sports game I was not interested in as opposed to the person I was having a conversation with. Background noise that I was aware of yet, I refrained from allowing it to fully consume my attention.

Then, I would return. I would come back home, or end my diet, finish my competition. It was as if the closer I got to the end of the challenge consuming me the volume on the tv increased more and more and the game became something you could not look away from. A match that culminated in double overtime or penalty kicks. It didn’t matter what distractions would arise, that same force that existed within me and allowed me to ignore the tv also allowed me to focus solely on my desires and drown out everything else.

My cravings and focus were always drawn to the opposite of whatever deprivation I had faced recently. After coming home from Jordan I drank an entire pot of coffee and ate an entire package of bacon once in the confines of my home. The cold always ended in a hot shower and a night of sleeping in and under more layers and blankets than necessary. I always knew what was coming the moment I got home and the volume of desire playing in the background would increase.

Here we are today and I’m sure many of us know exactly what that thing is we will not take for granted once this quarantine is over. I’m sure for most it has to do with the friends and family that just don’t look the same over a screen. It’s the restaurant or bar you love to go to that may have great takeout right now, but the atmosphere was always what drew you in anyway. For some of us it may be solitude. For others it is community. Whatever it is I am sure you have a thought in your mind of what you miss most and hope to indulge in as soon as possible.

I hope that you heed my words when I say that you can and must take the time right now to cement this feeling into your soul. Consider the pain of the deprivation that you feel and force it to make you grateful for all of the things you once took for granted in life.

Forgetting Pain is in Our DNA

If you don’t, I can promise you that one day you will forget this pain and you will return to taking the things you love most in life for granted. How do I know? Well first of all, our ability to forget pain is a part of our DNA. Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky proved it in their study of Peak-End rule (more on that here). More importantly thought I have experienced it myself. During my time as an infantry officer I very frequently would be back home watching people lose their shit over the simplest mistakes. For some reason my focus was always drawn into the way that people would freak out if their order got messed up at Starbucks.

I would love to watch people explode about the fact that they received a latte with soy instead of almond milk or what have you. I would pity them for their inability to realize that their comfort level in life had grown so high, that they failed to realize that they were able to afford a 3 dollar cup of coffee in the first place. Many of us fail to realize that the fact that we can walk about freely to the coffee place is a gift in itself, until now. Then one day a few years later I was in a rush to get to class when I put in an order at Starbucks via my mobile app for a black coffee to pick up on the way to class. I was on a tight timeline so I couldn’t afford to wait in line.

I arrived only to fine that the Barista had forgotten my order. It took everything I had not to blow up on this college kid making coffee. I was incensed and outraged. A day later I reflected on this moment and I was so disappointed in myself. Had my level of comfort grown so high that I failed to appreciate all that I had? Yes it had. Now, in many situations this is a place where an individual tells you some awesome story about how this was the moment in life when they cast aside the expectations of society and followed a new path.

Taking Action

I had already done that when I graduated college and signed up to be a Marine. Instead I chose to start practicing as much gratitude as possible. I began ensuring I was as thankful as I could be for all of the things I had in my life even if it was only food, shelter, and water. Ben Bergeron, famed coach of some of the fittest people on earth has a practice he and his family engage in every day. Every single person at dinner in Ben’s house states three things they are thankful for, one thing they did very well that day, and one thing they could do better.

This is how they practice gratitude for all that they have. It’s also a great starting question for journaling. What am I grateful for? I think that everyone who reads this should take the time to journal the three things they will not take for granted after being quarantined. Write a compelling argument for why you won’t take them for granted and store it away. Months from now when you’re about to blow up on the barista who forgot your order, grab that journal and flip to that page. I promise you won’t give a shit about your coffee.

EP 43: Covid 19 Bonus Episode

On today’s episode I interview a Nurse who is actively treating patients suffering from COVID 19 at one of the most prestigious hospitals at what is now being referred to as the Epicenter of the pandemic; New York City. My experience has shown me that to find out the truth about anything you need to ask questions of people who are dealing with the heart of an issue. Fortunately, my experience has also afforded me the opportunity to appreciate the experience gained by first responders. Today’s guest has been in the nursing field for 10 years and has spent the past 4 years working in various capacities at a teaching hospital in manhattan. He comes on the air and shares first hand experience about who he is seeing exhibit some of the worst symptoms. What those symptoms are, and how we all can prepare for the current situation.

Links From Today’s Show

I think this article does a great job breaking down some factual reporting behind the spread of this pandemic

Ep 41: Joe Maffei and the three commodities that make life rich

WHO Corona Virus Fact Sheet

Ep 42: warrior’s Redemption with Matt Ingold

Today’s guest is another fellow Marine Infantry Officer. Big surprise right? I love bringing these guys on the show because their insights on life, and leadership are priceless. They’re generally part philosopher and part warrior. Matt Ingold is no different. He opens the show by talking about the energy we need to bring to life and I think a lot of us can learn from him in that regard. What I think is most important is that Matt is doing a great thing for Veterans. He’s helping them to make their transition out of the military and shed any sort of negative mindset that can be developed from said transition. It was an honor to have Matt on the show and I’m excited to see the work and content he continues to put out for the world.

Matt Ingold’s Bio

With over seven years in the USMC, Matt Ingold served as an Infantry Platoon Commander on two deployments in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia, and finished his career as a leadership instructor at the Marine Corps’ Basic School.

Passionate about working with veterans, he served as a retreat leader helping men recover from trauma and is a national presenter on topics of healing and post-traumatic growth. His healing story has been produced in one documentary film, Taking the Hill, and shared with thousands of men worldwide in the online retreat program, RISE®.

Warrior’s Redemption is an effort to further the movement of veterans and first-responders taking responsibility for their own by empowering them to understand and communicate the battle of their interior life so they can enter conversations that bring about true healing and growth.


Links From Today’s Show

Warriors Redemption Website

Warriors Redemption Facebook

Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Permission to Feel by Dr. Marc Brackett

The Art of Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenburg

Quarantine Reading List: PMP Edition

I can’t reiterate enough how proud I am of people out here banding together via technology while social distancing separates us. I think it is an amazing thing the way our world has found new ways to reach out and touch each other during trying times. I personally am annihilating yard work, I’ve signed up for a social distancing team competition with my local gym, and I’m crushing reading. Which is the impetus for this post. I have some things in the works right now in response to COVID 19 (another note, the increase in content creating in the world is a data point I would love to see some material on, creators are creating). In the mean time I want to share some reading lists with the world so that they can double down strengthening the mind and hardening the body.

Below are two reading lists. First is what I am reading and hoping to finish during the quarantine. I’ve set an audacious goal of 4 books. One of which I am 200 pages into and is 800 pages. Of the books I am planning to read I will provide a brief overview and caveat with the fact that I make no promises. These books could be awful. So although I am recommending them, I am giving fair warning that I have not yet taken the time to soak them in. However, most of them are books I have taken from Bill Gates’s winter reading list. So if ole Bill is reading them, it won’t kill you to give it a try. The second list is 4 books I recommend purchasing right now. They’re awesome, I’ve read them, and I have provided a review on them as well.

List 1: What I’m looking to Tackle

These Truths by Jill Lepore

 It takes an ambitious historian to write a single volume history of the United States: Enter Jill Lepore, Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer. These Truths sets out first to remind people how the United States got its start. The “truths,” as Thomas Jefferson called them, were political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. But Lepore also notes that history is a form of inquiry, something to be questioned, discussed, disputed. Has this country lived up to These Truths? she asks. The answer, as you might expect, is yes and no (though more yes than no). And the book itself is engrossing and even-handed, examining our contradictions—like a land of liberty supporting slavery—and singling out important historical figures, some well-known—like Benjamin Franklin—as well as others who were key voices in their time, but have since been left on history’s curb—like Mary Lease, leading voice of the People’s Party. As the book traces wars, policy decisions, and national debates, one can’t help but feel that the arguments we are seeing today have been carried out all throughout our history. When the final chapter (America, Disrupted) brings us to Obama, and then Trump, the narrative has lost no steam—rather, it has coalesced into a national story approaching coherence, something resembling the Founding Fathers’ more perfect union, though never actually perfect. –Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review

Chris Shluep, Amazon Book Review

Dark Horse by Todd Rose and Ogi Ogas

Through their research at Harvard, the authors examine the characteristics and histories of individuals who forged unique paths to professional and personal success. Bucking the standardized ladders of achievement, these individuals harness their passions, motives and strategies to attain fulfillment in very varied walks of life.

This is a “must read” for parents, educators and any individual looking to “take the path less traveled”

Anne Marie Rabke – Amazon Review

Growth by Vaclav Smil

It amazes me how prolifically Smil writes (and reads!) on a quite wide variety of topics. His main expertise is energy, and this book on growth patterns is of course largely related to this topic. It is a great resource for finding links to current and past work on growth phenomena of a very wide variety, however the book itself is unfortunately not very synthetic. Smil describes hundreds of patterns, but does not take a step back and discuss “meta-patterns”, and does not offer that much in terms of take-home lessons. If you are looking for something encyclopedic, this is a good book; if you are looking for synthesis, not the best resource.

Mitchus.kindle – Amazon Book Reviewer

Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

Given the 24-hour news cycle to which we have grown accustomed, it’s difficult to navigate life and think that everything is peachy. But Steven Pinker has set out, first in The Better Angels of Our Nature, and now in Enlightenment Now, to illustrate that there has never been a better time to be a human being. In his new book, Pinker points out that the slow creep of progress is not as newsworthy as, say, an earthquake or an explosion. So it’s clear why we don’t always have the sense that things are getting better. But the Enlightenment—with its dedication to science, reason, humanism, and progress—has led people to live longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives. And Pinker uses charts, data, history, and a firm dedication to his cause to empirically prove that we are living in better times. It makes sense to be skeptical of a scientist arguing that that science is the answer. And his optimism won’t always jibe with your personal experience or judgement. But there’s lots to chew on here—and it’s so easy to obsess on the intrusions and negatives of technology and “advancement” that this book can serve as a kind of antidote. 

Chris Schluep, The Amazon Book Review

List 2: Highly Recommended by PMP

Factfullness by Hans Rosling

It won’t be long until the data in this book is no longer relevant. Apparently Steven Pinker author of Enlightenment Now used a majority of the data that Rosling collected for his own book. This is the book I give away most and that I recommend first to everyone. At a time when many of us are feeding into the fear mongering of the media, Rosling’s book puts an optimistic calm on things. He shows that we aren’t on our way to hell in a hand basket. If anything, he proves that now, is the greatest time to ever be born. Yet, he still tactfully points out the factors we need to focus on as a people. I’ve recently determined that life is more about finding things to remove from my focus to work on what truly matters. This book is a great place to start in order to identify what we don’t need to worry about as a people and where we get most things wrong.


Why We Sleep by Dr. Matthew Walker

I have long been the biggest sleep critic you could ever meet. The Hip Hop Preacher Eric Church has a speech where he quotes Beyonce saying, “Sleep is for those people that are broke.” A life in the military, paired with an A-type personality, and a fervent desire to make the most of my time on this earth have all forced me to despise sleep. This book changed all that. Much to the dismay of my wife I know find myself aggressively protecting the 7-9 hour sleep window that Dr. Walker recommends we adhere to. I could spend the time trying to tell you all of the reasons why I now a card carrying member of Dr. Walker’s sleep revolution; except I wouldn’t do it the justice that he does. All I can say is I am deathly afraid of Alzheimers disease, and Dr. Walker has shown me that a surefire way to lose the capability of the mind is to deprive it of much needed sleep.


Gates Of Fire by Steven Pressfield

I think that the story of the brave 300 who fought and died at Thermopylae has been somewhat played out by pop-culture. I also believe that most of the modern world does not like to read historical fiction the way we once did. Many people stay away from fiction period due to the advent of streaming services, and podcasts. Who would waste time reading a book these days. Well you haven’t read the heart pumping novel written about the Brave 300 by Steven Pressfield. I many times find myself considering Dienekes’ example of good officership in the way I choose to lead in life. He and all of the characters of the book serve as amazing role models we all can learn from.


Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

Some people are Gladwell enthusiasts and some are not. I am a fan of Malcolm Gladwell and I think he does an amazing job in this book of sharing concepts we all need to take a second glance at. This book is no different. Any great controversy has always been preceded by some individual jumping up and down shouting, “THIS WILL BE A PROBLEM.” Gladwell shares the stories of these people who existed prior to the Jerry Sandusky conviction, The Bernie Madoff Scheme, and a host of other iconic events. He points out why we should have listened to certain people, while tactfully pointing out why so many of us chose not to. I loved everything about this book except the ending. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a great book to learn from and I ask that you read it objectively and form you own opinions while still learning from such an impressive individual.


EP 41: Joe MaFFei and the three commodities that make life Rich

Hint: One of them is not bitcoin. My Guest on today’s show is a man by the name of Joe Maffei. He’s the co-host of the recently returned Pizza Beer Revolution Podcast. The podcast where I first made my recording and the show that helped me get started. Courtesy of another well-known guest, Mike Pullano. Joe has always intrigued me because of his ability to call things as he sees them and capture the essence of things he’s describing in a profound way. He is a wealth of knowledge in host of areas and we covered a concept in the show that caught me off guard. Joe’s belief on the three commodities we need to focus on in life. We talk about the education system, economics, and decision making.


Links From Today’s Show

Being a Life Long Learner

1984 by George Orwell

Brave New World

The speech I gave about lessons I learned in high-school that have made me successful

Wired Article on how programmers urge to kill inefficiency can be bad for world

The Intersection of Simplicity and Happiness

The PBR Podcast

Mike Pullano on my Podcast

Cobotics


A three tiered plan for coronaVirus Hysteria

So the NBA has shut down and Travel bans are being instituted all over the country. People who can work from home are working from home, and people who cannot may soon find themselves home from work. I’ve been reviewing a lot of information regarding these issues on the internet and I think there are some important factors for consideration.

What you Shouldn’t Worry About

If you’re healthy, and young you have almost nothing to worry about with COVID 19. The impact of the virus is not much more lethal to the healthful youth of the country than the flu and less deadly than regular pneumonia. As a matter of fact, the younger you are they more likely this virus will not impact you. The CDC reported that symptoms of the virus present mildly in children, and severe compllications are extremely uncommon.

As long as you or your loved ones have no underlying health conditions you can rest assured that the virus has a lower probability of lethality than pneumonia. Which kills less than .16 % of every 100,000 people in our population. From what I do read we are not to be as worried about the virus as we are about the incubation period and how rapidly it is transferring from person to person.

What you should be Aware of

COVID-19 has been classified as a “Pandemic” by the World Health Organization. While that sounds extremely scary to many of us, it is actually a term used to classify the spread of a disease or virus. This term and a host of other terms are a method for epidemiologists to classify the spread of a specific issue. More on that here. For the sake of this article though, you merely need to know that pandemic means it is spreading across a large area, I.E. the entire world. Where as an Epidemic is a rapid spike in the number of cases in a specific area.

The major fear is the rapid transmission of this issue and the fact that it could overwhelm our infrastructure. The issue isn’t the lethality COVID-19 but rather the ability for mass amounts of people to contract the virus and then spread it even further. Which could overwhelm our healthcare system and prevent our ability to respond to the virus. Additionally the incubation period of the virus means that you could be passing it onto the elderly or individuals with auto-immune disorders who are at a higher risk of death.

My Recommendations

1. Remember that Fear is Nothing more than a sign to prepare

If you are one of those people reading about this disease and getting worried I commend you for embracing your natural instinct to survive and pass your genes on to another generation. Survival from outbreaks like this is what has gotten the human race as far as we have come. As Gavin Debecker taught us, Fear is a Gift. Be thankful for the message and take it as a sign to prepare. The way we frame our reactions to different emotions has a very large impact on our ability to deal with them and to prevent any emotions from paralyzing us. Remember Fight or flight has an additional response known as Freeze. We want to limit the capability of freezing in the face of fear at all costs.

2. How to Prepare

It is highly likely that we will see more institutions close down in response to this virus. Merely in an attempt to prevent people from spreading COVID-19. I hope we can do whatever we need to stop this so all of our market portfolios quit bleeding. In the meantime I highly recommend preparing yourself with the following items in case we go into a Walking Dead Response to this thing. The list below are things that I think everyone should have stocked up in their homes in case of any kind of emergency. That way if you are ever stuck in your home due to any major disaster, to include but not limited to weather related state’s of emergency; you are prepared.

This is what I stocked up on in my home:

25 Gallons of water in large 5 gallon containers (They can serve as water storage and purification later on ((may not be needed in response to COVID-19, but definitely necessary for a host of other disasters))

Water purification capability (iodine tablets, life straws)

Freeze Dried Meals are always good to have (good luck finding them for an affordable price or in stock now)

Granola (individual packets last longer)

Oatmeal (individual packets last longer)

Tuna (canned)

Beans (canned)

Nuts

Nut butters*

Soups

Broths

Canned Chili

Crackers

Other Cereals

Baby Food Jars (pick things that last longest)*

Noodles

Waterproof Matches/cotton soaked in fire-starter fluid

Fishing equipment *

Firearms/ammunition*

*You always want to pick calorie dense foods that are going to last as long as possible. Food is fuel in serious situations so things dense in calories and high in fat will give your body the fuel it needs to survive large scale problems. Fortunately we currently have fat and carbohydrates in abundance in our nation. If our infrastructure were to shut down for a long time period, that is where firearms, ammunition, and fishing equipment comes into play.

I don’t like to discuss the need for stock piling ammunition because it gets people really fired up. All I will say is that I believe in the good-will of my fellow man. However, the world does become a leviathan of sorts when it comes to providing for our youth. Insert Fury Quote “Wait until you see what one man can do to another man.”

More importantly you need the fire arms, ammo, and fish hooks to be able to go out and provide food for your family after a large scale infrastructure breakdown. I highly recommend reading this article when you have some time. Enough with the dooms day prepping though. Do half of these things and you will be way ahead of the game.

3. Probably What is Hardest: Be Nice to People

The entire country is freaked out right now. You can see it on peoples faces. When I was picking up last minute items at the grocery store today people looked scared. I hate seeing that. We live in the greatest country in the world and I have long sought to ensure people feel safe here. A part of being a good American is being neighborly and looking out for each other. At times like this we need to know that we can depend on each other. We may not need to hug as much, but we should definitely extend the warm welcome to people, to let them know we’re here for each other.

Keep Calm and Carry On

The slogan, created by the British Government to encourage their people to maintain their lives in the face of frequent Nazi bombings during WWII holds water. The recommendations above are universally applicable to a host of situations. Be thankful for the message that the emotion fear provides us. Take that message as a sign to prepare. Find an expert in their given field and ask them how they recommend preparing for the task ahead of you. Be nice to people in the process. Simple and effective.

Ep 40: forever Your Overwatch with Nick Luciano

On todays episode I interview Nick Luciano, fellow Marine, and the Founder of Forever Your Overwatch. Today’s episode maintains the pace of heavy hitting topics after last week’s episode. Nick and I discuss 2d Amendment rights and how they don’t solve everything, The shortfalls of the justice system in protecting victims of Domestic Violents, and where veterans need to get their act together.

Nick founded Forever Your Overwatch when he recognized the need to train staff and clients at domestic violence shelters in areas such as personal security, active shooter, and threat assessments. Nick works as a Master Instructor at Fort Dix, NJ training pre-deploying troops in active shooter, combatives, tactics, warrior mindset, convoys, and urban warfare. Prior to that Nick worked installing security systems and alarms for residential and commercial buildings. Nick also worked for Blackwater USA and Dyncorp protecting dignitaries overseas in hostile areas and served five years in the United States Marine Corps. Some of his training and education include: Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Walden University, Active Shooter Response training conducted by Department of Homeland Security and ALICE, Academic Instructor course

Donate to FYOW by clicking HERE

Buy a Ticket to the Upcoming Fundraiser for FYOW

Buy their SMART pepper spray

Warrior Mindset by Lt. Col Dave Grossman

The Gift of Fear by Gavin Debecker

On Killing by Lt. Col Dave Grossman

On Combat by Lt. Col Dave Grossman

EP 39: Unlocking the Power of Emotions with Dr. Brackett

On today’s episode I interview Dr. Marc Brackett. He is the founding Director at the Yale Center for Emotional intelligence. His work focuses on (1) the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, creativity, relationship quality, and mental health; (2) the measurement of emotional intelligence; and (3) the influences of emotional intelligence training on children’s and adults’ health, performance, and workplace performance and climate. Dr. Brackett share’s strategies with our audience on developing the ability to Recognize, Understand, and Label emotion.

He goes further by discussing the ways we should express and regulate emotion, at home, and in the work place. His book “Permission to feel” is one of my favorite reads of this year and I believe it may be my most valuable read in a long time. I highly recommend the interesting and intellectually stimulating episode and I hope you will be compelled by his research and work efforts.

Important Links from Today’s Show

Yale School of Medicine Child Study Center

The Ruler Approach

A great video explaining the mood meter

Oji Life Lab

Inspire Ed

The Mood Meter App

Permission to Feel (Dr. Brackett’s Book)

Daniel Coleman’s book on Emotional Intelligence

EP 38: Advice On Being a Dad

In today’s Episode I cover a topic requested by one of my veteran listeners, what I’ve done to elevate my ability to be a father. Of course like many other things in life many of us are feeling around in the dark attempting to position ourselves as experts. Whether you’re a Dad to be, New Dad, Mom to be, or New Mom, or you hate kids, this is an interesting and compelling episode that covers the highly emotional and controversial topic of child rearing.

Links From Today’s Show

Taking Cara Babies

The Wonder Weeks App

New Ways Nutrition

Mom’s On Call

Dad’s Survival Guide

How to Swaddle

Recommended Swaddles

The Fourth Trimester

Isaac Wyant

This Week’s Recommended Podcast

Planet Money: The Crypto Queen

This Week’s Book Recommendation

Permission to Feel by Dr. Brackett