Author: J R

3 Rap Songs that Changed My Life

Uncategorized 5th Oct 2019

Lost in The World – Dark Fantasy – Kanye West

 

What I love about this song is the poeticism in which Kanye starts the song. The theme is of being lost in the world like we all are to some degree. Like at the end of the day, we’re all like ‘what are we doing here?’

Beyond our goals and relationships, what are we doing here? You could make such a valid argument that our world is just pointless, and we are lost.

However, when Kanye goes onto express his love for a woman in this song, it shows how love itself is what brings meaning.

Lost in this plastic life,

Let’s break out of this fake-ass party

Turn this into a classic night

ye1

It’s like he’s done with the pretending and the appearances. He’s done with the persona and the veneer and he just wants to live authentically with this beautiful woman, who is all he really cares about in his world.

Kanye actually wrote this verse for Kim Kardashian, who you know turned out to be his wife. So there is so much meaning to this verse for him.

You’re my devil, you’re my angel

You’re my heaven, you’re my hell

You’re my now, you’re my forever

You’re my freedom, you’re my jail

You’re my lies, you’re my truth

You’re my war, you’re my truce

You’re my questions, you’re my proof

You’re my stress and you’re my masseuse

Every line here is just contrasted by the next. It doesn’t really make sense pragmatically. But then from another perspective, this contradiction that this woman provides Kanye is like the meaning for his life. This woman is what brings Kanye the meaning to his existence.

This song means so much to me, because whenever I feel ‘lost in the world’ I’ll turn this on and I feel related to.

Run from the lights, run from the night, run for your life

This is a line that comes later, which is like – just keep moving forward, don’t stop. Run for your life! Because life never stops, you have to keep moving forward or you’ll be left behind and swallowed up.

runaway

 

Hate It Or Love It – The Game & 50 Cent

“Hate it or love it, the underdog’s on top

And I’m gon’ shine, homie, until my heart stop”

What I love about this song, is that it talks about what it’s like to come from nothing and rise to the top.

50 Cent and The Game both talk about the bullshit they had to endure whilst growing up in the hood.

50 starts with a verse about his childhood situation, and how he had ambitions on how to get out of that situation and be highly successful.

Coming up I was confused, my mommy kissing a girl

Confusion occurs coming up in the cold world

Daddy ain’t around, probably out committing felonies

50_Cent_Jamaica_Queens-front-large

This initial verse gives us a sobering insight as to what it was like to be 50 Cent when he was growing up.  His childhood was confusing. His mother may have been lesbian, but she was also a prostitute who was killed when he was a young kid. His dad wasn’t around so he obviously didn’t have many role models. Being in that situation, most would feel hopeless, but 50 Cent has got that winner mentality, to which he goes onto the next line:

I wanna live good so, shit, I sell dope

Obviously, being in the hood, opportunities are slim and the way that a lot of people make money from that environment is by dealing drugs, and so he turns to that. He goes onto the next verse however, talking about his ambitions furthermore to break out of the hood, the drug scene and live a life of prosperity.

Tossed and turned in my sleep that night

Woke up the next morning, niggas had stole my bike

Different day, same shit, ain’t nothing good in the hood

I’d run away from this bitch and never come back if I could

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What really gets me is the ‘I’d run away from this bitch and never come back if I could’ line, which I’m sure we’ve all felt at sometime in our life. When this song was released I was like 7 years old, and my family home was a very turbulent one. My parents had divorced, and my dad had left home, which meant that my mother had to take care of older siblings never-ending arguing. I was a decade younger and physically weaker then everybody. I remember feeling just helpless within the midst of it all.

At school at the time, I had no friends at the time – I just felt disconnected from everyone, like I had nobody. I had low self-esteem, and I was a loner at school at the time.

I literally used to listen to this kind of rap music when I was 7-8 years old. So when I’d here 50 Cent say “I’d run away from this bitch and never come back if I could”, even though I was 7 years old, hearing him say that, I could relate and I felt like someone had been through what I’d been through.

50 Cent grew up in the hood of Queens, New York – I grew up in the green suburbs of Wolverhampton. Hardly much of a similar background from that perspective. But from the pains of growing up and feeling helpless to your environment, and having the hope of breaking out one day was very much where I related to 50 Cent in this song.

And then the chorus goes onto the beautiful, poetic verse:

Hate it or love it, the underdog’s on top

And I’m gon’ shine, homie, until my heart stop

I love this so much, because the ‘Underdog’s on top’ is like 50’s perspective now he’s broke out of that situation and he’s winning at the highest level. To go from the bottom, where he has no parents, and it seems like his only way out is selling drugs, but to then go to the top where he has the highest form of success is just truly inspirational. For me as a child as early as eight years old listening to that, is just priceless man.

I feel like rap music can really appeal to one’s ambition and to the hero that’s within all of us.

cent with mayweather

The underdog’s on top! Sitting with Money Mayweather

Finally, ‘I’m gon’ shine, homie, until my heart stop” is like that winner mentality – that all or nothing mentality. I’m going to be virtuous until the day I die, I’m going to give my all until I stop breathing, I’m going to put my all into getting out of this situation and succeeding no matter what it takes – whether that be a bullet in the heart – I will NEVER give up.

I love this song so much, that I get goosebumps every time I hear it. The Game’s verses are equally exceptional, but I think 50’s bars are just on another level.

 

Reborn – Kids See Ghosts – Kid Cudi & Kanye West

Kids See Ghosts is the collaborative album and group of the same name comprised of Kanye West and Kid Cudi. The album was only released in 2018, and the reason this album had such an impact on me was the main theme which was mental health.

The song ‘Reborn’ is one of the highlights of the album, where the theme is about going through something hard or even tragic, and coming out the other end killed, but then to be reborn – which is a very real concept.

Kanye West talks about his depression and nervous breakdown. This line stands out to me the most:

I was off the chain, I was often drained

I was off the meds, I was called insane

What an awesome thing, engulfed in shame

I want all the rain, I want all the pain

I want all the smoke, I want all the blame

What really gets me about these lines, is that it’s an almost Christ-like comparison.

Yeee

Ye calls himself Yeezus, but it’s in these lines where he is most like Christ, where he is talking about taking all the hits, taking all the pain and lifting the heavy load, so other people don’t have to bear that responsibility.

‘I want all the rain, I want all the pain, I want all the smoke, I want all the blame’ is so powerful, because it’s a line about taking responsibility for all the bad things in your life, and inviting that responsibility in.

Once you take responsibility, you have control, and because you’re no longer in defence, whatever people say cannot harm you any further. It’s like you take that ammo away from other people. And whether you may be in the wrong or not, by taking that full responsibility, you’re doing a heroic thing.

It’s like the scene in Batman: The Dark Knight Rises when Batman takes the atomic bomb with him and flies away from the city, to avoid the whole city getting blown up, and obviously taking his own life in the process.

Relating it back to the Kanye verse ‘I want all the rain, I want all the pain, I want all the smoke, I want all the blame’, Batman is taking all of the pain and sacrificing his most precious thing – his life – so that other people don’t have to suffer.

Check it out below.

Powerful shit.

-Josh

The Benefits of Long-Term Thinking

Uncategorized 28th Sep 2019

It was in the film Fight Club where we hear Brad Pitt’s character Tyler Durden utter these existential words: “We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives.”

Tyler Durden

This existentialism or nihilism is very interesting and I see it common, especially in young men, today.

I myself have had this level of existentialism, where you’re asking yourself, what’s the point in it all?

The ‘our Great Depression is our lives’ quote is especially cutting and deep. It can really turn you into a state of ‘Fuck it’ nihilism, where you live expediently and go down a path of irresponsibility.

However, having tasted the fruits of that kind of behaviour, and having to bear the burdens that come with that afterward, it’s a very ugly picture where you go further down and down. Like an addict, who just acts expediently because the question ‘What’s the point?’ takes away from you further.

The funny thing is, there is an asymmetrical element of destruction. It may take a decade to amass a million dollars. It may take just one evening to lose it all.

It may take a year to build a great physique, but it may take two months to lose it all again.

Excellence takes time and is a gradual pursuit – nothing worth having is built overnight. But destruction can take everything away in a matter of moments.

With that very pessimistic statement, however, I guess we just have to swallow that truth.

So, after tasting the negative effects of ‘YOLO’ short term behaviour,  I turned to take a path of long-term self-development, where I could become a better person and attract more into my life. Where I could build virtues.

Today, the average person may be expected to live to over 100 years old through medical advancements and progression, is fucking insane.

I’m 21 years old right now. It is very reasonable to suggest that I might live to 100 years old or older.

Therefore, instead of orienting my thinking to three months or six months, I should really be thinking about 3 years, 5 years, 7 years from now.

Now, obviously the further down the line you think, the less resolution your view of reality can be, so the more general you have to be.

Like Jordan Peterson says: ‘Make a Bad Plan.’

Truthfully, we never know the possibilities if we think long-term and orient ourselves to a higher version of ourselves.

The Longer Term You Can Think, the More Successful You Will Be

Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world at $108 billion in 2019, (who actually was worth more pre-divorce) says he makes decisions that will come into effect in quarters that will land three years from now.

Think of it, he is thinking three years ahead of time. By doing so, Amazon are able to have an influence on the market that no other company can have. While most companies are reacting to the present market, Bezos is planting seeds three years ahead of time that will come into fruition.

That’s fucking crazy.

To have that level of patience and foresight is crazy. Obviously, know one can see the future, but if you plan for it in the long-term you will be better off.

Which is why it is so much more important to delay gratification.

Check out this video on how Bezos views long-term thinking.

 

 

 

 

How to Never be Needy… Build the System First, and Then They Will Come

Uncategorized 19th Sep 2019

This article is simply about building systems in your life to ensure that you are never needy for anything.

Literally, this post is about you’ll never be needy for money, relationships, a job, clients – whatever it maybe – this is a law of the universe if you will.

What I’ve learned is, you can never rely too much on one outcome happening. As soon as you are needy for a specific outcome, you are in a place of weakness, and therefore, heavily reliant upon something which is completely out of your control.

The way this affects you emotionally is that you have more built-in pressure. More nerves. And your emotions are gripped in the hands of someone else who has more control over the situation than you do. This, to me, is the definition of neediness and is extremely off-putting and repulsive to other people.

How about, instead of focusing on one specific outcome, you can focus on building the systems and infrastructure that generates many similar potential outcomes – which buy the laws of probability, there will be a success – and thus you can choose from a place of abundance, not scarcity?

I work in recruitment at the moment, and what I’ve learned is, you can never rely on one specific deal happening – because the world is so random, and there are a plethora of random possibilities which take the process out of your control.

You can influence the process but you can’t control the process completely.

Influence

So the answer is, to never depend on one deal happening.  Build a system which creates a large pipeline with a lot of potential deals, and maybe two or three will land. But that’s okay if you lost the rest because you’re still closing more deals overall.

You’re investing that time, which you would have spent chasing one outcome, and re-directing it into the overall eco-system which generates many similar outcomes.

Furthermore, when you have a proper system in place which generates more potential deals overall, it affects you far less if one deal doesn’t land,

And because it affects you less you have more ability and willingness to walk away if the deal isn’t right for you.

Because of which, you will be in the driver’s seat more often, and will have more leverage when it comes to agreeing on terms that you want.

The same principle comes with dating.

If you want that ONE special person in your life, and will do ANYTHING to get them – even to the expense of your own personal dignity, how does that make you look?

It makes you look weak. It makes you look desperate. It makes you look scarce.

Simply, its because you haven’t built the system where you could meet a bunch of potential partners. Instead, focus on the system, not the circumstance. Then, you’re eventually able to sift and filter through the ones which are right for you, and finally, meet the right partner on your terms.

This is abundance, vs scarcity.

So, therefore, the resolution to this blog post is to put energy and focus into building the system, rather than chasing the single outcome.

You can’t control the micro. But you can have a major influence over the macro when you invest in the right systems and infrastructure.

-Josh

The Power of Meditation

Uncategorized 18th Sep 2019

The power of meditation is something you’ve probably commonly heard about.

But I just want to reiterate the power of meditation.

Because when I’ve been off it and I go back to meditating every day, I feel:

  • More at one with myself
  • Less stressed
  • More aligned with my inner purpose
  • A kinder person and less confrontational to others
  • I move through life with ease
  • I attract things I want, rather than having to chase everything

Therefore, I’m far happier and have more energy when I meditate.

In fact, when I went off meditating every day, I felt spiritually trapped and kind of depressed.

I started doing things for the wrong reasons.

  • Compulsively over-eating
  • Getting in petty arguments with people
  • Chasing validation from others
  • Losing my discipline
  • Drinking too much and smoking cigarettes

And I would say all of these behaviours stemmed from the fact that I felt out of touch with myself – or with God – whatever you would want to call it.

I was tempted by the easy way out. Chasing the high, instead of realising the power was already within me.

And they say, the less you feel on the inside, the more material stimulation you need on the outside – i.e validation, clothes, food, alcohol, sex, drugs, money etc. It’s like an ego trip. All these external things are needed to fill that insatiable hole within.

So it wasn’t until I started looking inwards again, that I began to feel whole. I gained back my confidence, and all the other things just fell to the side.

And I really feel about meditation, that it’s the hidden piece to a happy life. Through that stillness that you experience when you’re deep in meditation, things are clearer and you have more clarity

You’re not constantly worrying, you can work situations out with more ease, and see the solutions instead of the problems.

You always have the capacity to feel the achievement of your goals. Imagine if you’re in a bad situation, and you can have 10 minutes where you’re in another place, where you have already achieved your goals. How awesome is that?

If you haven’t already, I would highly recommend you incorporate meditation into your daily schedule!

-Josh

24 Hour Fast… Here’s what happened

Uncategorized 17th Sep 2019

After checking out some of Elliot Hulse’s videos about fasting, I decided to do a 24 hour fast yesterday.

The results were, well, negligible in terms of measuring. I mean, it’s only one day.

But I felt:

  • Leaner and lighter
  • Sharper focused
  • More vibrant
  • More energy

And I had more time to do the things that I wanted to do, like write, post videos and study – because I wasn’t eating or preparing food.

Now, I’m not going to be doing 24 hour fasts all the time, but I think that there is a lot of benefit to not eating and giving your body a rest from digesting all that food.

I am a BIG eater. I can consumer 5,000 calories in a day without much thought. Like I can go HARD.

And my body can probably take it. I’m 6ft6 inches, I exercise a lot and I’m 21 years old.

However, not only can eating that many calories be expensive, but the problem is, if I’m never given my body a chance to recover, then I never give my body the opportunity to repair itself.

In the past few years, there has been the discovery of autophagy.

As defined on Google, Autophagy is the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells.

Autophagy is triggered when the body is in a fasted state, and so the healthier cells literally eat up the dead cells for energy. You’re basically clearing out all of the old, dead, ill cells.

This can be one of the best things you do for your long term health, as you are repairing what is broken in your body through a natural process.

There have been studies which have proven Autophagy to reduce cancer, and promote longevity of life. Check this out here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6257056/

After around 24 hours of fasting, your body enters into a state of autophagy. I’m not sure how long I was in for, but I felt amazing.

I also got more ripped – which isn’t a surprise. It’s not like my body was cannibalising itself.

Overall, I felt fucking awesome, and am definitely going to do it again – I’ll probably do it maybe once or twice a week where I don’t eat anything for the day, and then eat one big meal.

-Josh

A Young Man’s Guide to Getting Over Depression

Uncategorized 16th Sep 2019

Depression and mental health is a common problem amongst people -, especially young men. I, myself, have suffered bouts of depression, where I’m up and then down again for a little while. I tend to have very big highs, and then deeper lows if that makes sense. Sometimes I really on, and sometimes I barely want to leave the house.

In this blog, I want to share some of my personal experiences on what has worked with how to get over depression and maintain some kind of equilibrium.

Change your environment, get perspective

One of the most important things to do if you’re in a bit of a rut is by traveling somewhere else and getting out of your everyday schedule.

The reason being is that we have certain mental anchors with our everyday schedules which trigger particular emotions within us. For example, you drive past the same school on the way to work, which triggers a certain thought about something or other.

Whenever you get out of that area for a period of time, you give your psyche a chance to untangle from the mental triggers of everyday life and see life from a fresh perspective. You always get the opportunity to see life from the bigger picture, rather than being in the trenches.

Cut out toxic relationships

Seriously, whenever I’ve felt low self-esteem, was when I needed validation from other low self-esteem people. When you’re low self-esteem and have friends who are low self-esteem, it’s really fucked, because you essentially end up emotionally manipulating and poison dropping one another to validate the gaping hole within yourself.

Take a toxic relationship for example. If you are with someone out of fear of loss, rather than inspiration to be with that person, then you are not really in love with them, they are just an emotional crutch for you.

For whatever reason, that person acts as some kind of relief, however, because you’re treating the symptoms to a problem and not the route cause to the problem, you’re not actually getting to the true cause of the pain, and so you’re scared for dear life if that person walks away from your life.

Therefore, what you do, is you put the other person down, manipulate and control them until they too have low self-esteem and feel too weak to walk away. From there, what happens, is that you both feel shit about yourselves, but both of you feel too disempowered to walk away, and you’re fucking stuck there for years.

This is literally what many people define as a relationship – how fucked is that?

Shouldn’t a relationship be about the inspiration to appreciate and enjoy someone for who they are alone, not for what they can do for you?

Shouldn’t it be about appreciation without attachment, not possession?

I personally think that to be in a position to have a healthy relationship, you either have to have been raised really well, or do the inner work which essentially heals your inner demons and gets to the route cause of your suffering. From then onwards, you can actually enjoy people, without needing them or possessing them.

If you’re in one of those toxic relationship situations, or you have toxic friends, you should cut them out as soon as possible, because it’s only going to take you further down, and you’ll be doing the shitty behaviours that they’re probably doing, because you become the people you spend time with.

Here’s a piece by the homeboy Jordan Peterson on toxic relationships:

Get a consistent sleeping schedule

I’ve just realised this, but going out until 5 in the morning, and then waking up at 6 to go to work on Monday, will literally fuck up my whole body and mood.

Your body’s circadian rhythms are really important. If you don’t abide by them, then you are going against nature, and you are going to feel seriously depressed. It’s been apart of our human nature since we started as a species. There’s a reason why workers get paid more for nightshifts – it’s the extra financial compensation for feeling depressed every day.

Make sure your sleeping patterns are consistent.

man sleeping
No to alcohol and drugs

Apart from the maybe smoking weed maybe once per year, I don’t do drugs, because I know myself. I have an addictive, compulsive personality, and drugs for me would be like a toddler playing with fire, so I just ignore them altogether.

And I’m not talking about the hippy drugs like ayahuasca or magic mushrooms, I’m talking about cocaine and hard drugs like that.

Fuck that, I’ve seen people ruin their lives from what was once a recreational activity, turning into something that has a grip over them. I have an extended family member who literally went to the best university in the UK, and worked as a journalist for one of the most prestigious newspapers in the world, but was shooting heroin in the toilets of his workplace.

It stems from recreation, but then it turns into you medicating yourself from the daily pressures of life. Thankfully he’s recovered now and sober, but it can happen to literally anyone.

Now that’s a serious case, but I’m just saying it can literally happen to anyone. Drugs and alcohol are expensive and take from you more than they give to you in my opinion. That downtime spent hanging over from drugs or alcohol could be put into something more productive AND you won’t be putting harmful chemical substances into your body.

Have a Goal

Have you ever felt like ‘what’s the point to life?’ Or ‘Why am I here?’

Yes, I have anyway. The truth is, shit can get existential real quick without a goal or direction that you’re heading in, because ultimately without a meaningful goal, there is no hope of some kind of reward or better circumstance.
That’s why I always try and orient myself towards some better future. Some better version of me, whether that be one month from now, six months from now, five years from now. That’s what gives me meaning. It gives me that mountain to climb, and the reason for waking up in the morning to go to work – to put the effort in.

kyle-johnson-Aq7id0ZjEW4-unsplash

The beautiful thing about having a goal is that you get to choose it.

To me, that’s what happiness is – moving toward a direction in which I want to go in.

That’s also why I’m thankful that I literally had no pressure from my parents to be anything at all when I was a kid. When you see children who grow up to become accountants or lawyers or doctors because their parents told them to do so, or because the child thought that if they didn’t do as their parents told them, they wouldn’t be loved anymore. That’s so fucked up.

Set a goal, but set it for your own purpose/enjoyment/reasons/meaning.

Exercise regularly

I try and work out every day. I’m not saying I’m going, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Just lifting something or doing some kind of exercise which gets me moving. It keeps my hormones in check and gets me in my body and out of my head.

Also, having a good physique is such an awesome feeling.

I don’t think I have to really say much more than that…!

Talk to someone

If you feel like you’re depressed, the best thing I could sometimes tell someone. The reason being is that when I verbalise how I feel, it puts space between my thoughts and me.

It’s like if you think a certain thought and then verbalise it, you realise how ridiculous that thought is, and then you can laugh at it because the thought has been contextualised as not actually you – and humour is the antidote to negative emotion, in my experience.

Obviously, you want to be aware of who you entrust your thoughts and feelings with. But if you have someone you can trust, then go speak to them about it, because they will be able to give you that space, and that vessel to confide in.

Conclusion

There are probably a lot more points you could make about curing depression here, and I could go into a lot more detail too, but I don’t want to overload with too much information in one post.

Also, these are just points I’ve realised from my personal experience – feel free to debate them or reject them, I am not a psychologist or a qualified professional – I’m just a regular dude offering my life experience. I hope you found something useful 🙂

How to Put on Muscle if You’re a Skinny Ectomorph

Uncategorized 14th Sep 2019

In this article, I’m going to discuss how to put on muscle if you’re a skinny ectomorph like I was. Here’s a picture of me when I was 16 years old, up until now (age 21) on the right.

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Look at those big biceps!

Back then, I thought I was doomed to being a skinny bastard for the rest of my life.

“It’s going to be really hard for you to put on muscle” said one supportive guy at the gym.

“You’re just all arms and legs” said another friend. Hahaha.

But eventually, I made gains.

What would I say is the best way to put on muscle if you’re a tall, skinny guy?

Compound Exercises

When you’re skinny and wanting to put on size, you need to shift your focus to the 20% which produces the 80% of the outcomes, which is compound exercises.

Seriously, don’t waste any time on the toe curls, or the isolated forearm workout if you want to get bigger quicker. Cut out ALL the waste!

Lift heavyweights on the following exercises:

  • Bench Press
  • Shoulder Press
  • Leg Press/Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Pull ups/Chin ups

That’s literally all you have to worry about in terms of exercise. NOTHING ELSE.

Eat carbs and protein

If you want to put on muscle as a skinny dude, then eat carbs, because eating carbs will trigger the hormone insulin. Insulin is an anabolic hormone, which essentially means your body will focus on putting on weight.

This will convert to both muscle and fat building, so be careful if you’re putting on too much fat.

Sleep

Your body will restore itself during the night sleep you give it. That’s where you will get your muscle gains manifested. Getting the food and the exercise is only half of the equation. The other half is solid sleep. So rest up, and get to 7-8 hours per night.

I would go into more depth, but for your first two years of progress, this is basically the equation.

Don’t give up!