10.11.2017 – Learning Curve

Here we go!

Shout out to my friend, Keegan F., for giving me one to lead off with for you readers.

Or, economics, government, and English for that matter. For the record, I failed English three times.

To say that I didn’t care was a massive understatement.

I don’t care what they would have said, I was bad.

There is no worst feeling than being told that you’re not wanted.
Some for the better. Some for the worse.

One experience that is unique and challenging, to be certain.


I’ve grown to appreciate these moments more and more.

Contact information is at the bottom of the page!

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Peace of Mind

I will rarely express my political views about anything because I find them to be utterly useless in any social arena.  I find it equally useless to talk about social issues because ultimately the discussion breaks down into a left vs. right argument instead of a discussion that yields problem solving techniques and solutions.  But, today will be a little different.

First off, let me say this:  I don’t have all of the answers nor will I attempt to justify or articulate the reasons why for all of these things that are happening in America today.  However, I will say that as a child from a military family, a former athlete, and a man who has had to deal with some consequences of being a minority, I feel that I should speak on some of them.

1) Racism in America:  First off, let me define through a practical application of what racism is.  Racism is the isolation of an ethnic group by either denigrating single or multiple groups by another in an effort to improve the status of another.  For example, Adolf Hitler was a racist.  The KKK, at the time of their establishment, was racist.  You folks get the idea.

Part of the problem is that everyone in the NFL who is kneeling to activate themselves in the face of oppression isn’t helping their cause.  They’re actually being more divisive.  What these men don’t understand is that their objection is cultural and not legislative.  The problem isn’t the senseless killing.  The problem is that the protests are by men who embrace their heritage but don’t condone the negative images that it portrays.  You see these men mimicking the mannerisms and behaviors of their successful peers but don’t pay attention to what brings that success especially with regards to music.  Some of the elements include drugs, guns, violence, and the open resentment of authority.  Now, I understand that some of these people don’t have the luxury of living in an environment that don’t produce a better opportunity at a life where one doesn’t have to worry about things like that.  I totally get that.  But, those things don’t necessarily make you obligated to “be about that action” as Marshawn Lynch would say.  The sad thing is that if one wants a better life for themselves, they would be accused of “selling out.”  You can’t act the part and live the life and not expect to be treated as a degenerative influence.  Now, some of the shootings were bad.  I talked with a Canyon PD officer who shared his thoughts and opinions and I found myself to be in agreement.  His ethnic background is irrelevant as it compares to his objectivity within the situation.  He said that some were bad and some were justified.  I agreed with him.  It doesn’t mean I’m an “Uncle Tom.” It doesn’t mean that I’m an enemy of my race.  It means that I can’t sit here and condone the actions of people just because they refuse to be accountable for their individual actions or choices.  You can’t act a certain way that promotes antagonism and expect to be treated fairly.  Simply put, you get what you give.  If you offer a reason to be mistreated, the odds are you will be.  You can’t stand around and disrespect authority and seek a fair and just response.  Now, I get that this isn’t always the case but in my experience, I get treated much in the same way I treat them.

Finally, if you want to work towards a solution for racism, here’s one:  Work to end it across the board because black people wanting equal and fair treatment for themselves is inherently racist.  Equality isn’t something you can take from someone and add to yourself.  It isn’t a finite resource to be fought over and coveted.  History is replete with examples of people warring over such a thing only for the victor to be given more avenues to further subjugate and marginalize each other.  It’s unfortunate but as a people, we are incapable of demonstrating the necessary ability to not commit acts of ethnic patriotism, for lack of a better way to put it, against one another.
2) Protesting the Anthem:  As a military child, I will always support the American Flag and National Anthem.  This country we live in isn’t perfect but the total disrespect being shown by athletes during the ceremony is contemptible.  Men and women have died so you can sit there and demonstrate your discontent with the social climate.  You can express that all you like; however, there are places in this world where you would be executed for such things.  You have a problem?  Okay, power to you for offering a solution.  But, you’re not offering solutions.  You’re using your profession as a platform for political and social reform.  You’re being paid millions to play a game.  If you want to affect change, do it through affecting policy or the climate in your community.  You won’t do it through your demeanor at work because some people would rather fire you than have to deal with your personal circus in the workplace.  If you ever doubt that, you can ask Kaepernick, Terrell Owens, Greg Hardy, Ray Rice, or any other person who has red flags because of their personal behavior or politics.  Honoring your home, despite its flaws, speaks more about you than complaining about the injustices you do not suffer.  You don’t have to be a patriot.  Just don’t be a divisive influence because it makes your hypocrisy more evident when you protest and do nothing to promote positive changes. 

I get you don’t like the state of affairs.  Nobody is accusing you of being oblivious or ignorant of them.  What you are being accused of is being an idle force.  If you’re protesting, you can also be active in the community and use your voice productively.  If you’re not, you’re merely an inert element in a turbulent situation.  Which sadly translates to being a part of the problem by not being part of the solution.  Sorry athletes, you’re not doing much of anything unless you’re promoting change.  Donating money doesn’t mean you’re doing anything, either.  You gotta be in the field living out the kind of behavior you want others to show.

3) Trump’s Comments:  Oh boy, did he drop a bomb here.  But, his comments are indeed fair and here is why:  If any one of us walked into our workplace and started a movement that was clearly divisive and disruptive to the integrity and quality of the product, we would be fired for it.  Plain and simple.  The hitch here is that the players are ultimately accountable to the fans and the owners have a responsibility to the fans.  The players are entertainers with no podium other than Twitter and Facebook to express themselves.  Trump used his podium, as the elected head of this country, to express his thoughts as to the social climate of the U.S.  Calling them a “son of a bitch” wasn’t wise but he did raise a good point.  They want to agitate an already inflammatory situation without dealing with the consequences.  As a result, they are angry for him expressing his discontent with their actions.  For better or worse, Trump has to bear the consequences of what comes out of his mouth just like we do.  Unfortunately for him, the spotlight is a lot brighter for him than it is for an athlete.

His comment wasn’t racially motivated.  If anything, it was patriotic and in defense of the sacrifices the military makes daily to preserve the American way of life.  Or, at the very least, what we hope it one day can be.  Furthermore, any person who has a problem is welcome to go somewhere else.  There’s nothing saying they can’t go anywhere that is more amenable to their sensibilities.  But, since they would rather stay and voice their issues, it isn’t as big of a problem as they want to lead others to believe.  As evident as it is, keeping quiet just isn’t an acceptable option.  You can ask Dez Bryant about that. 
As always, these are my thoughts and opinions.  I welcome discussion and your thoughts.

Until next time…

Kevin

Dying Words

First things first, to anyone who reads this thing… Effective September 1, I’m going to post twice a week or at least try to for all of you.  So, look for that as I post pointed and not so pointed content in the coming months.  Now that I’ve said that… 
So, lately I’ve had this song stuck in my head.  What it is really isn’t important but the message is.  Seeing as how much we take it all for granted, it really is something that needs to be addressed.

What really spurned it all forward was that I was having a conversation with a woman on a dating site that which we are both subscribed.  She told me a story about how she was mistreated by her exes and that it’s alienated her and all that.  [For the record, I believe that physical abuse any relationship is unacceptable from either party.]  So, I asked her thoughts on the matter.  Before I get into that, I’ll put the cart before the horse.  My response illicit some pretty harsh comments from her.

Granted, I’ll take some heat for this and that’s fine but my point is strictly this:  I asked her whether or not she deserved what she got.  Both good and bad.  That’s when I got the onslaught of comments and insults.  [She didn’t hurt my feelings one bit, by the way.  But, it did go a long way for the sake of this entry.]

Now, a lot of the time we say things, we use them to either hurt or heal someone.  Words like regret, mistake, goodbye, hate, and a multitude of others are used to take shots at others.  We want them to hurt. We want them to fucking suffer!  Conversely, we will use words like joy, blessing, welcomed, and love to bring them healing.  We want them to heal.  We want them to be made whole!

Personally, anyone can say whatever they want to me or about me.  I don’t care an awful lot seeing as it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.  Sticks and stones, right? 


But, I’ll BE DAMNED if people flaunt the word deserve around.  Talk to me like the consequences of your choices in the past entitle something to you now and there may be an incident.  Call me an asshole.  Say I’m a piece of shit.  Hell, run me through a wood chipper for crying out loud.  Do whatever except sit here and tell me that I deserve what I get.  That anyone deserves what they get…  Especially when they think it’s owed to them because they want it.  Hell, I want a blonde haired, blue eyed, and well-endowed Australian woman who has the accent to match.  Doesn’t mean that who I am or what I’ve done merits me one.  It’d be my luck I settle down with a Canadian woman.  As long as she has legs that go up to there, naw’mean fellas???? I digress…

I guess the method to the madness is here is that I’m a firm proponent of the philosophy of “You get what you give.”  Nobody owes anyone anything and that work and effort are rewards and rewarded.  It chaps my ass to see people, men and women alike, who are critical of their situation because they don’t deserve it.  [Now, I’m also a believer that life is indeed fair and that situations regardless of what they may be are a result of many things.  None of which stem from entitlement.]  Consequences aren’t always favorable, but they are definitely a result of what happens.  Not from what we want to happen… 
I want the best for people and I’m willing to go as far as they are to get it.  If they want it bad enough, I’ll support any action that leads to that goal.  But, sitting around waiting for something sounds like a lesson in patience to me.  I hope I’m not the only one, either. 

Now, those are some words to live by. 

-Kevin

Twenty Minutes

When I woke up today, the last thing I honestly wanted to do was reflect on points in my life that had come and gone.  However, I was reminded by an awesome colleague and even better friend of this:
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” -Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV)

 

It really resonated with me because of something my driving instructor at Exotics Racing in Las Vegas said to me.  He said that he wouldn’t have been telling me I was doing good things if I hadn’t been.  For a long time, people telling me I had been doing things well just to be nice.  Brandon, my instructor, also said that he had been around way too long to tell people constructive things for the sake of being constructive.  Looking back at it all now, it really makes me wonder just when I had been doing good things or just being told I was doing good things.  However, that is something for another day.

 

What I really wanted to get off my chest is that we seem to only really encourage or impart words of affirmation only when we’re on the journey.  We feel that the need to encourage one another only has punch when we’re about to do something important, risky, or unknown to us.  I can agree that those three instances can be critical when it comes to being encouraging.  However, it is disheartening to see it practically in only those three instances.

“For the most part, we have to work on small things right now.  So, if we’re having to work on small things after six laps, that’s pretty good.  It’s a car you don’t know.  It’s a track you don’t know.  It’s a driving style you don’t know.  After six laps of doing pretty good… getting to where you’re working on small things, I think that’s pretty good, right?” -Brandon, my instructor

Halfway into the experience and to have this spoken to me by an experienced driver was… for lack of a better way to put it, encouraging!  Here I am… no competitive racing skills or experience under my belt and just there for the sake of getting to drive a $120,000 sports car… to be told, by an experienced driver, that is what I would need to work on to progress?  That’s what we all want!  We want to be naturally in a position to have to make subtle adjustments instead of these whopping, life changing ones.  All too often, we take those whopping ones for granted because we don’t necessarily appreciate the journey we took to get there.

As I’ve gotten a little older since then, I’ve learned to really enjoy not abiding in being stationary.  Just because I haven’t left Canyon, USA doesn’t mean that I’m stationary.  There’s always a place to go or a thing to do wherever you are.  Lately, I’ve been exploring my faith and what it means to me.  I’ve been exploring my talent for composition and creativity.  I’ve been lots of places that a car could never take me.  But, for those twenty minutes in that Nissan GT-R, I found that a car could take me places that I wouldn’t have ever considered otherwise: a place that showed that encouragement is a journey all its own and not merely just a stop along whatever path you happen yourself to be.

 

So, as I find myself sitting here reminiscing about the things I have experienced and the things yet to come, I am encouraged.  Because at some point, somewhere down the line, there either has been or will be a Brandon telling me that regardless of what point I exist in, I have done good things and those little things will resolve themselves with understanding and application.  It’s kind of a shame that at first, I didn’t believe him.

 

Now, I do.  Wherever you are, I pray that you’re doing well and that the same drive and passion for racing and instruction serves you in areas of life that extend far beyond the track.

I can still hear “Turn now!  Brake now!  Push through the apex!  Go, go, go!!!!” in my head.  A lot better now because I can appreciate what it means to be encouraged through proper guidance.  Wherever you are, I pray that you’re doing well and that the same drive and passion for racing and instruction continues to serve you in areas of life that extend far beyond the track.

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-Kevin

P.S:  Thanks, JP!  As one racing fan to another, “Boogity!  Boogity!  Boogity!”

 

Blind Eye

Under normal circumstances, I would put some effort into how I would phrase all of this.  However, in my best Stephen A. Smith voice, I would say, “I don’t give a damn.”  Too many times do people, and I must say I’ve had it happen to me, get a proverbial shot in the face by the “love gun.”  So, it will be a great joy to deal some reciprocity.  Especially to those who use the word without restraint or competence.

I have severe fundamental issues with the word “love” and everybody who uses it.  For the most part, it is used to elaborate upon a degree in which we value something.  We “love” ice cream.  We “love” football.  We “love” pornography.  We “love” Jesus.  We “love” this thing or that thing.  The harsh reality is that we don’t love any of those things.  We are incapable of it because we use the word as a measure in which the degree of our intent is.  If we “love” ice cream, we will prioritize it as our preferred desert.  If we “love” football, it will take precedence over other responsibilities.  If we “love” pornography, it offers stimulation where our spouse falls short.  If we “love” Jesus, it is the religion we practice above anything else.  Are you getting the idea here?  We use the word as a way to define the value in context.  In other words, we use the word as a way to either define how much better we regard the thing that is spoken above something else.

Because of that, we use it as a method to manipulate others into situations that will ultimately call us out on what we choose to favor.  Abuse victims will tend to use this as a means to intervene and use the line, “If you really love it, you’ll [insert action here.]” It’s actually kind of sad…

People who don’t like ice cream get the cold shoulder against the people who do.

People who don’t like football get hung out to dry in favor of people who do.

People who watch pornography find people who share in it.

People who are receptive to Jesus won’t abide in people who don’t.

The default reaction is why I have come to believe that there really isn’t such a thing as love because of a compulsion to quantify their desire instead of simply acknowledging that it is there.  We have to be able to determine how much or how little of something we have instead of just being able to have it.  That’s the sad fucking truth about existence.  We invest so much in something so frivolous and ultimately irrelevant simply because we MUST be in possession of gross quantity.  We have to have the best or be the best.  We have to have the most of something.  It’s all ridiculous and utterly disgusting, to be honest.  Not because of how greedy it makes us seem or how we justify that greed by placing it in something honorable or something worth having… but because of just having the impulse that makes it seem necessary and it being a motive to go to any length to abide in that impulse. It only serves that we must identify as something “more or less” instead of identifying it as “different.”  As we all know, we tend to diminish the relevance of what is different because it is threatening to us.

Much to the chagrin of those set in their ways, what is different can and often does render the “here and now” moot and unnecessary.

 

Addicts may have different priorities and methods but they have the same goals as those who don’t.  How they choose to pursue those goals isn’t indicative of their worth and talent and the need to subvert them on those grounds is pejorative.  It’s degrading and just furthers that impulse to assign a value to something.  No matter how much we try and spin it so we can keep with our own standards…

 

The boots on the ground tell a different story.

 

The facts are simply this.  Humanity isn’t capable of love.  Personally, I don’t think the word “love” should be used like it is.  The word itself is a clever euphemism for just how much we need to define our need to articulate the degree in which we do something.  The word doesn’t change the notion that we possess a desire or compulsion to do those things.  As long as this is the case, there won’t be an environment conducive to the need to accurately articulate feelings.  Simply because of quantity and quality playing such a huge role for us, there’s an inherent and subjective desire to describe them in those terms.

Addicts can be addicted like those who share their compulsions.  The belief that they may or may not be happy is exactly why I’m making the point that “love” as we utilize and understand it, is impossible.  Humanity is simply incapable of articulating desire and intent without quantifying it.  So, what makes an addict’s “love” less than someone who isn’t an addict?  Simply put, the criteria we use would make the addict’s possession insufficient compared to the nonaddict.  Is the picture coming into focus?  Is your knob set to “receive” yet?  We can’t “love” something or someone if the reality of its existence is predicated upon how much we value it compared to our own arbitrary standard.  That, in itself, is prejudice and cannot produce favorably.

 

“Love” isn’t being lavish with affection or loyalty.  It isn’t the measure of our commitment or engagement.  It isn’t a tool to manipulate and coerce.  “Love” is an expression coined by man to articulate our need to exist quantitatively and to appease deities whose desire for it is insatiable.

 

The sad thing is the saying “love is blind” is a testament to the idea that it just has to be.  It requires an absence of calculated intent or desire.  It simply requires that intent or desire be present.  It cannot see how much or how little of anything that exists simply because it lacks measure.

Do you want to cherish your spouse?  Be there for them.  It isn’t a matter of how much you cherish them.  You just have to have that desire.

Do you want to live the rest of your life with your spouse?  Don’t wander from them.  It isn’t a matter of how much life you want to spend with them.  Time is finite.  Your commitment to that time can’t be.

Do you appreciate something?  Do so with honor.  Enjoy having it.  Its place with you isn’t based on how much you appreciate it.  Its place lies with knowing that you are capable.

 

So, anybody who will dare say they “love” anything is embellishing.  I simply think they don’t know what it is.  It’s hard to place value on something you haven’t experienced nor can you see something that hasn’t seen you.

 

And all this is completely absent from what The Bible says about “love.”  It doesn’t even say what “love” is.  All it does is elaborates on the characteristics of love.  Don’t get me started on God/Jesus.  They both do the same thing.  They aren’t “love.”  They are indicative of the characteristics of “love.”  Even then, they are very much so biased towards those who mimic those characteristics to any “honorable” level.  In which case, “honorable” is subject to who defines what it is.  But, that’s a different topic for another day…

 

The bottom line is this:  No soul, anywhere at any point, will know what “love” is.  So, for the sake of what it actually means, don’t use it.  If you adore something, say you adore it.  Saying you love it undermines the emotion behind it.  Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Articulate the feeling and intent.  I think, as a society, we are at a point where we can do that simply because we aren’t intellectually challenged.  Being intellectually lazy is a whole other discussion on its own.

 

Have intent.  Have desire.

How much of it is irrelevant.

If possessed, it will perpetuate.  It will not grow or diminish.  It will evolve as the situation evolves…

 

In spite of our own best intentions.

-Kevin

 

 

Future History

There’s this philosophy that people seem to live by and it states, “Those who are not aware of history are doomed to repeat it.”

Repetition can be a great or terrible thing for everyone depending on what it is that you find yourself repeating.  However, I feel like repetition isn’t positive or negative.  I believe it to be more necessary than unnecessary because it is a key component of finding the meaning of life.  Well, not necessarily life itself but the progression thereof.

However, humanity as a whole has decided that repetition is detrimental.  Sure, there is something to be said about being confident in the circumstances.  It isn’t wise to argue the merits of being in familiar territory and the more I see these circumstances unfold and analyze the dynamics, the more I feel that as much as we hate being “stuck,” we find substantial value in the familiar.

This idea of “progress,” as demonstrated, isn’t anything more than a cyclical expression of linear advancement.  But, I’m the type of person, and I suppose I’ve always been as such, to believe our existence isn’t necessarily linear.  There are aspects of living that are linear such as how we age or our perception of time, perhaps.  Our own history, if we reduce it to a personal level, suggests that we “move” along “paths” that are conducive to the choices we make and in doing so, we fail to deviate from “inescapable conclusions.”

I hate this practice that life is linear.  I don’t understand why we even bother with using it in a descriptive manner.  Especially when we use words like “again, “repeat,” “anew,” and “recurring.”  Granted, there are more than just those but those are pretty strong indicators that life, and to an extensive degree the act of living, is insatiably cyclical.  Isn’t it scary that at a fundamental level everything you’ve done today, you’ve already done yesterday and you’ll invariably do tomorrow?  There’s no intrigue in knowing what will come if you’ve already mapped the plane in which this action is executed.  Consequently, if you know what’s coming and don’t take action to adjust, the conclusion will invariably be a result of cyclical reasoning on a singular, linear plane. I guess it makes sense to call them life “cycles” and time “lines” after all.  If we are just going to repeat the same things in a singular trajectory, then the novelty of living will just lose its luster.

 

So, to that end, there’s another saying, “If you want different, you have to be different.”

 

I agree with this one as well.  However, it isn’t within human potential to achieve the kind of different we would want.  Sure, we can be unique in the aspects that our journies are our own and that our choices give definition to it all.  I get that.  I understand that.  But, are our goals really all that dissimilar?  I believe it to be safe to say that a life full of adventure, happiness, and fulfillment are goals to be worthy of achievement.  Everybody wants those things.  Everyone endeavors to find solutions to those issues.  But, that’s the burning issue:  Everyone wants those things.  Everyone pursues them zealously.  Perhaps, even to a point where they are willing to compromise their integrity to acquire them.

That, my friends, is what I’ve become bored with and the sheer lunacy of it all.  Hell, for those who don’t know:  Life is a zero sum game.  Your loss is someone else’s gain or vice versa.  Yes, that’s the way it is.  No, it will never be different because of what your own nature.  You’re tasked to do one or multiple things and you train yourselves to believe that if you don’t do these things, you won’t be fulfilled.  Thus, enabling your opposition to assume ownership of missed opportunities.

Worse yet, it offers confirmation in something I’ve already come to understand:  Life and the act of living are obscenely unilateral and one dimensional.  The sad thing is that we all know it.  We show it every single day.  We’re unhappy with a position or circumstance and voice our disposition only for those who make decisions favor those who don’t.  We leave our spouses or careers only for them to find a different match (Note, I did not say better or worse.  I do so for a reason.) and achieve the goals that you weren’t able to achieve had you remained.

 

For a civilization who thrived on revolution and a need to progress beyond the status quo, we sure do shy away from advancement and the human compulsion to extend ourselves beyond what we are.

 

Which leads to the nugget:

So, the other day, I had a conversation with a friend about how I was bored.  Well, I had two conversations and one of which determined how I was bored.  The other, which is the relevant one, was about how I would address this boredom.  Needless to say, he wasn’t happy with my plan of action and would make the attempt to dissuade me.  Much to his chagrin, I made it as succinct and clear as I could that my decision was final.  But, I do commend his objectivity and the necessity to voice his discontent with it.  He’s human, after all.  He stood, and still does stand, to lose something he values.  Who wouldn’t want to try and protect something of value?

In the effort, he said many things that are relevant and important.  But, one thing he did say was this:

You’re my friend and I love you.  But, you wanting what you do doesn’t vibe with me and I will sure try to convince you (whether by softballing or hardballing you) that this isn’t what you want.  In doing these things, I hope you consider what you’re doing to those around you who want what is best for you.

As much as I like the guy and he’s done so much for me in many areas.  But, that statement is a testament as to why I no longer am able to take any man (or deity for that matter) at their word.  Just another dot on the line… just another turn of the wheel… just another reset.  I’m not interested in a reset and it’s hard to renew interest in something you consciously choose to abstain from and abhor absolutely.

The second thing I got from that is a lot more wrenching than an apparent inability to trust another.  It’s that a person’s interest in you, whether it be faux or genuine, will only go as far as their intention or vision will let them.  This is why humanity bores me.  It’s this ease to define and make decisions for others without their consent, knowledge, or insight.  It’s manipulative, devious, and infantile.  Before you go off and accuse me of a degree of hypocrisy, let me defend my position by saying this:  There is a difference between being maneuvered, being restricted, and being open.  I absolutely hate being maneuvered.  Sometimes, the situation is restricting.  But, being able to act freely is refreshing and not conducive to the human condition.  As sad as it is to say, we won’t ever be in a position in which the sum of who or whatever we are won’t be a result of an intent or vision of someone else.

 

Nobody said that humanity was perfect but everyone will say that it is flawed.  I do not agree with that assessment.  I would say that humanity is unilateral and one dimensional and I won’t go as far to say that is a problem.  Humanity is what it is.

 

But, if history has taught me anything, it would be this:  We all look to the future for answers and direction is relative.  But, there is no such thing as the unknown.  There are only things temporarily hidden.

 

However, there’s nothing hidden from the eyes of history.

What a delightfully vicious cycle this life is…

 

-Kevin

Survival Instinct

I can happily say that the last five days spent in Las Vegas has been some of the most interesting and life-enhancing time of my life.  Not just on a professional level but on so many emotional and personal levels.

 

It’s amazing just how much we take advantage of how much we trust people, or the lack thereof.  I have not met one person who gave a damn about how many welds it took to assemble their vehicles frame or how many separate parts it was.  I have met people who just cared enough to believe that their airbag would deploy in the event of an impact.  Those are the types of people I’ve spent too much time around.  I’ve spent too much time and energy with people who prepare for the impact and don’t pay attention to what they’re doing with their lives is made of.

 

This whole weekend I’ve spent in Vegas was centered around being trained… being trained in the art of living… being liberated from the things that keep us down… being liberated from the idea that we JUST CAN’T WIN…  Life isn’t a track meet.  It’s a marathon.  As cliche as that really sounds, it’s the fucking truth.  It’s not about winning.  It’s about finishing.  We, as a people, have learned that just because we crash and suffer doesn’t mean that the race is over.  It just means that we’ve crashed and suffered.  It isn’t the end.  It doesn’t have to take us out of the race.

 

The major point I’ve had just blitzed on my mind and heart was that we HAVE to trust the process and have the faith and courage to see things through.  It’s so easy to jump ship at the first sign of trouble.  It’s just as easy to let fear and doubt assume authority over our way of thinking.  It’s INSANELY DIFFICULT to trust the Captain when everything is perceived to be out of control.  The Bible says that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains… and how many of us honestly and truthfully believe that?

 

Johnny Wimbrey described to me that in a world where we are born to win, we choose to lose.  I didn’t get what he meant at first.  I’ve heard him speak before but it didn’t resonate with me until I took into account really why I was here.  I came to Vegas because I believed that it would be good for me.  I had faith that I’d learn something while I was here.  I wanted to understand what it really meant to be a leader… a Captain.  First, he had to explain what it meant to win.  Winning isn’t about having the most points or being first!  Winning is about finishing whatever it is that you started.  More to the point, winning is a CHOICE.  I’ve chosen to lose… to not finish… so many times… and it stabbed me in the heart when he said this.

 

The thing about losing… is that we choose to take the road with the less amount of risk that benefits us the most.  It’s the human condition… it’s who we are!  The irony about all of us is that we won our first race.  I’m here, aren’t I?  It isn’t anybody else!  Ten billion sperm and you finished!  YOU ARE THE SOLE SURVIVOR!  Don’t tell me you weren’t born to win!  That’s exactly why you were born!  I’m a life long racing fan… I always have… and I’m fairly sure that I always will be.

 

To be honest, this whole thing scares the shit out of me.  I’m so used to doing things myself and listening to my own thinking that it makes me dangerous.  I admit it.  I am dangerous.  However, I am truly blessed to surround myself with a slew of mentors and other leaders who can outmaneuver my line of thinking.  It’s a humbling and enlightening experience to be in the presence of those who can do this.  In multitude, there is safety… the more surrounded you are, the better.  And I didn’t appreciate the idea of being surrounded by these types of people until yesterday afternoon.

 

On Thursday, I went to Exotics Racing out at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  I got to ride in a limousine!  That’s pretty cool!  If you haven’t, I highly suggest you do.  It’s totally worth it.  Anyway, I thought I was a pretty decent driver with a little bit of a lead foot.  When I got there, it was a totally different ball game.  After the ten minute safety briefing, we took a lap or two in a discovery car to get a feel for the track… then it was time to get in the car…

 

We all have talents that can bring us to the game but most of us don’t really appreciate or even trust them to get us into a position to play.  I was scared as all hell to get into the car.  I had to ask my instructor how to open the door!  How stupid did I feel?  How awkward was it for me for him to adjust the seat for me… I couldn’t even make myself feel comfortable.  It was the most nerve-wracking experience ever driving a car.  Through my every insecurity about driving a $110K car, my instructor didn’t judge me.  He didn’t say I was a bad driver.  He didn’t say I was a coward… All he said to me was basically, “Trust me.”  So, I took a deep breath and said to myself, “I’m here.  I’m in the car… I paid to be here.”  But, the most important thing I said to myself then was, “Brandon, I trust you.”  I had to get rid of every excuse I could have given to get out of the car and remember why I decided to get in.  Not because I felt obligated because I paid $560 for the experience (and yes, I do mean that) but because I wanted to be there.  It was my dream!  I fantasize about that car!  If that car was a woman, I would have done unspeakable things to her!  But, I digress…  I had to make the decision to not let my fear of failure and consequently a fiery disaster persuade me that I had a chance to do something great and worth doing.

 

So, he explained to me some of the nuances of the car and what we would be doing and asked me if I was ready.  Hell no, I wasn’t.  I was nervous, excited, and giddy all at the same time!  I didn’t wanna ruin it by becoming ungrounded from the thinking that I wouldn’t enjoy the journey.  Well, the drive in this case. 🙂

 

So, he told me where to go and off we went.  I had to trust that the training I had received prior and all of the in-car guidance I was getting would see me through to the end and the faith that Brandon wouldn’t let me fail.  The fact that I’m writing this is proof evident that the man did really well in keeping me safe.

 

I had a great time driving the Nissan GT-R.  My dream car… my fantasy… More than that, I lived a dream.  It’s proof evident that dreams, no matter how big or small, can come true as long as you courage to believe and the faith to stay on the train.  Instead of coming up with a reason to not drive and feel like a loser who welcomed failure, I made a choice to face my fear and let my “WHY” be bigger than any “NO.”

 

And because I chose to win, I’ve crossed three items off of my bucket list just by being here in Las Vegas.  Driving the GT-R,  Getting to actually race.  And just be in Las Vegas!

 

Johnny Wimbrey said, “Don’t argue for your limitations.  People will let you keep them.”

 

Because I chose not to argue the things I couldn’t do, I was given the freedom to do the things I could.  Nobody can speak to you like you… and I spoke to myself and said, “I can do this.”

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And because I had the faith and courage, I finished the race.  I won!  But, I had a lot of help from someone who said to me that it’s the little things that kept me from doing better than I could have.  Even then, he still said I did great and I believed him.  He didn’t abandon me.  He didn’t give up on me.  He didn’t let me fail.  Through the ups and down, we stood on the train and arrived at the end together.  I didn’t just win… WE won… and it was much more fun when it was the both of us and equally as frightening as when it was just me…

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Believe me when I tell you he got onto me… the video, if I’m nice enough to post it, will demonstrate that.  He believed that I didn’t have to be talented to be successful… just willing to learn and be coached.  Even then, the track wasn’t dry and there were water puddles.  Talk about unfair!

 

I was hanging by a thread.  Instead of cutting my thread, I chose to connect my thread to people who could strengthen my resolve and have the faith… to have faith.

 

There is better.  There is a possibility to win.

 

Trust me.

-Kevin