#16 Why So Angry? Podcast: The Good, The Bad, and The Messy of New Parenting

I remember going to a Crossfit gym in LA and meeting an individual who had an interesting job: a financial manager for professional sports players. He explained to me how the job was like being a parent -- having to teach their children about money. I distinctly remember the most important lesson that he would tell his clients, "to never put your money in depreciating assets." When I heard that I was struck and started wishing that I had learned this from an early age.

Therefore, I want to talk about value systems. I want to talk about those most important things in life that are expected of youths to understand as they grow older. Yet, sadly there is a large majority of these lessons that are more implied rather than explicit through our institutional educational systems. What I mean by implied is by the way we are forced to read between the lines to determine what it requires to live as adults. It is fair to say that there are critical concepts to learn during the early stages of development (emotional intelligence, social etiquette, hygiene, personal finance), and though we have specialized curriculum that may engage with these "societal" wellness categories, I would say that from an academic standpoint, these areas of self-growth are severely lacking.

Of course, this stance is a more a matter of my perspective, but I'd have to say that my life has been a result of learning a lot of things on my own -- and it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to state the claim that there is a large majority that feel the same way. My parents really sacrificed a lot to make sure that me and my siblings were provided for in every area of development, to make sure we had a strong educational background and that we participated in almost every extracurricular activities -- making sure that we were active physically and mentally. My mother specifically pushed for us to be in certain activities -- and I think I never really understood why, but in hindsight I understand. Essentially, she feared that my father, who was tremendously incapacitated by depression, wasn't suited to be a strong paternal figure necessary to facilitate a balanced and healthy adolescence. Therefore, my parents had strong feelings that -- having been provided a sound educational background -- their children will somehow overcome a vacancy left behind my mental illness. 

Though my own story is unique to myself and my family, yet I suspect my story has more in common with other members of the community -- and more specifically, the under privileged minority families that exist throughout this nation. I have realized that there is a tremendous gap in not just society's educational system, but our cultural developmental system. 

The perception exists that schools are predominantly tasked to educate America's youth with the necessary life skills that will build a thriving economy and society. However, that is not the entire picture. What happens when families are severely lacking with the at-home dynamics that make for a complete and emotionally balanced human being? After all, aren't these places of education quick to the defensive posture that they cannot be responsible for destructive behavior of certain severely troubled children? That schools can never replace the need of involved parental figures?

American school systems' primary function is to introduce our youth to higher levels of education: math, science, English, and history. Yet, where are the crucial lessons about personal finance and how to save money? What of the concepts of what is acceptable debt and how to understand medical health insurance? Schools aren't here to teach students how to be compassionate towards a partner in a relationship or how to deal with perpetual loneliness -- the things that really are the core of your day-to-day adulthood for most Americans. Sadly, parents, especially if they're two working parents that have to leave their children with a caretaker or preschool, a kindergarten or middle school teacher, are trusting their children will somehow learn these lesson's through osmosis of some sort.  

So, essentially what I'm trying to illustrate here is that there's a gap. Whose fault is it? How is it supposed to be? I think these questions would immediately be jumping to the per-mature reaction of "how do we fix things". But let's just take a moment to acknowledge that there is a problem before we do what we do best and blame one another. I'm not even proposing a solution or an ideal setup of how this is supposed to be, but a spotlight.

So long answer, short answer, is to remember when you start earning your own money to think of every purchase as an appreciating or a non-appreciating asset. 

Okay. That's all I have.

Show Credits:

  • Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/AlexAntonio00
  • Visit www.captivatedmind.com for show notes.
  • Music by twitter.com/TheGlitchMusic 
No show notes this week.

#15 Why So Angry? Podcast: Nobel Peace Prize for Truth, Anxiety, and Joker

I have a ton of thoughts buzzing through my head, at almost every waking moment (and sometimes non-waking) of the day. So naturally, having some sort of overactive thought process can be a bit of a burden. Okay, in fact, its overbearing -- a lot of the times debilitating. When I as in my early 20s, I actually went to see a neurologist and was prescribed an MRI scan of my brain. The reason was actually for a condition I have with my shaky hands that, in hindsight, seems unrelated to any neurological disease -- but I was just to leave no stone unturned.

What I want to illustrate is that when I get a thought in my head, I have a hard time balancing different big ideas -- ideas of who I'm supposed to be, my identity of what I'm supposed to believe in, what I'm supposed to be ambitious and excited about -- just too many ideas that really are vastly different from one another; they all become like spinning plates, or huge bowls of water, teetering atop some long, 10 foot iron pole. I am stuck trying keep each idea spinning, preventing the bowls from crashing to pieces on the floor. Each time I fail to spin a pot fast enough, I suffer with the notion that I have witnessed some form of true potential fade away.

It is all in a multitude. What gets me stuck is that I can't commit to a single idea long enough -- and that bothers me; that makes me sad -- leaves me feeling empty, and tired and sad and lonely and fatigued. Sometimes I can feel my eyes filling up with tears of regret that I will never really become my full potential -- because I can't have my own authenticity. 

When I present an idea of thought, a single point of view, a simple equation of cause and effect, I realize that it is in this nature that our true potential comes into being. Basically, when there's so much going on, like some free radicals from an atomic source a billion times the size of the sun, do we now know how to conquer ourselves. It's right there just staring at you -- an idea out of the nebulous -- your power, your core, your ability in all its manifestation centralized around your ability to be within yourself.

So you see, that idea coming at you like a bullet, go ahead and acknowledge it. Just as Neo did in the Matrix, observing a wall of hot lead soaring in mid-space towards him. He sees every single moment and he's awakened. That's how I imagined my being when a terror of an emotional wave comes careening towards me -- or thoughts and self doubt, or rejection, or pain, or fear -- any single one of those cannonballs of ill will heading right towards every vital organ. It is then that you see what is unseen, that perfect tear in the fabric that reveals the wizard behind the curtains. The stage and play is discovered and we are not just the actors or the audience members, or the critics with their op-ed columns in The New Yorker. We are the entirety of it all.

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#14 Why So Angry? Podcast: New Dad Blues Part II & More TV's with Topics

Sometimes my show ideas just come from a post I see online and I just run with it -- but it is not without a mission. I try to gather some context to what I ultimately want to achieve and provide value to you, my most cherished reader. 

Let's start with the idea of mindfulness. What the fuck is it and how is this new age bullshit supposed to keep me from walking off a bridge? For starters, don't let the mystic or esoteric connotation intimidate you from the notion that true mindfulness can be achieved through rigorous discipline. If anything, mindfulness should spread out to those with the least bit idea of how to control their environment.

Now, the reason why I'm referencing their environment, as opposed to their thoughts, is because I am a firm "believer" -- I use this phrase loosely because I don't want to associate this with any spiritual/religious abstractions -- that our acknowledgement of thought dictates what our physical manifestation of what our reality will ultimately become. Our presence within the physical universe is a complex web where the slightest twitch or pull in one direction will ripple out to cause symmetrical reactions to occur in another.

So what the fuck does all that mean?

I love the way that British philosopher and theologist Alan Watts described a teaching of mind over matter as a method of thought and nothing more; he would propose an idea without committing to the listener's needs to accept any of it. Now, I am doing the same thing here. 

If my actions are a byproduct of my motivations -- and my motivations are simply a melody of our own thoughts -- then by mere process of mind we are actively shaping our environment. Though this may simply sound like a "no-shit-sherlock" moment for our dutiful readers, but I assure you that I feel that we give ourselves so much less credit to our actual ability to become shapers of our world, as opposed to just "doers" in the sense that we are following a pre-ordained script. 

Do the research and you will start to see what it is that makes up "living in the present."

Now, to this week's episode!

It was a struggle (which is probably not good that I openly admit this publicly for fear of showcasing my amateureness with this media project).  But it's fucking here despite all the negative reasons of why it shouldn't. So allow me to fucking live!

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Show Notes: No show notes....ehh I just don't have it in me this week! I will do better. I promise.