Tomorrow is my birthday.  And before you say “Happy Birthday” or post on FB or some other silliness, instead I would ask you to take 5 minutes, read one of my blog posts, and give me critical feedback on it…in the comments section.  That would make me much happier.  I honestly could care less about you reminding me of something I already know.  Might as well just post “The sun is up!” tomorrow morning.  Yeah I am a little punchy today, and I know I am an asshole, no need to remind me of that too.

As I drove in this morning I was listening to MTP and the nightmare that is the current GOP nominee.  I felt sad for the country.  I felt depressed that I contribute nothing to making it better.  I felt incomplete that another year has passed without any major goals accomplished.  As I grabbed my bags out of the back seat, I realized that I had not recited Invictus today, which is my new daily ritual.  Depending on how I feel, I emphasize different lines.  “…my unconquerable soul…the menace of the years…it matters not how strait the gate…” and I always finish with an emphatic “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”  I started feeling a little better.

I have tried to explain SealFit and Unbeatable Mind to people and why I have become such a fan.  I think my whole life I’ve been looking for a holistic mind:body training regimen that actually has practical applications and strategies.  In the book, Coach Divine talks a lot about negative emotions and strategies to interdict.  Some of it involves pre-work that I haven’t gotten to yet.  But this morning I made some progress.

Coach’s process goes like this

  1. Identify that you are having a negative emotional experience
  2. Based on your self exploration of these negative emotional states you should know the true underlying cause (aka the pre-work), and are thus able to quickly recognize the opposite emotional state to combat that negative one
  3. Re-orient yourself to the corollary positive emotional state
  4. Reinforce the positive state with self talk and mantras that solidify how you want to live

So for me, depression and sadness at my lot in life is really caused by a sense of disappointment in myself and what I have accomplished (lack thereof) exacerbated by the annual reminder of my birthday.  “I don’t believe in the no-win scenario”** and so I refuse to accept where I am, or to look at the bright side of what I have accomplished.  The glass may be half full, but just looking at it that way, doesn’t negate the fact that it IS half empty.  You are deluding yourself if you think you can look past the stark reality of the emptiness of the glass.

So the opposite of disappointment for me, is determination.  Determination in accomplishing my goals, kicking ass until I get there and never quitting.  The whole purpose of 20X was a realization that the human spirit can take 20 times more pain and punishment than you think before it truly breaks.  What seem like breaking points are just temporary and fictional surrenders to minor challenges that are easily overcome with grit.

I remind myself over and over:

  • Know that you will reach your goals: Focus, Drive, Determination
  • I AM the master of my fate.
  • The only easy day was yesterday.
  • Don’t ever ring the bell.

These thoughts awaken my kokoro spirit and get me focused on doing what is important.  Hooyah 44, bring it on.


**If you don’t know this quote, well I can’t help you, watch the damn movie!

About Josh Rutstein

I am an aspiring entrepreneur and hopeful political candidate. Father of 2 very special girls, husband to an amazing woman, and passionate American. I snowboard whenever possible and follow a 20x mentality for exercise. I also play golf and ultimate frisbee and am a die hard New England Patriots fan and season ticket holder. Everyday I wake up wanting to make this country a better place, someday I hope to actually succeed.
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3 Responses to Pre-44


    You asked so here goes:
    You had choices and models as you grew up, I considered myself the ultimate optimist, I not only thought that the glass was half full I also thought that someone selected the wrong size glass. I would continue to dig in the horseshit until I found that pony. If you want to be an entrepreneur, optimism is requirement #1. As you grow older your reflection will be backwards since there is less in front of you, but that view should be seen with a smile. Being an optimist, I have a unique memory, I find it very hard to remember the bad times. So, when I was asked if I could go back and change anything in my past, I emphatically said no, I am who I am by all that has happened to me up to this moment.
    Yes, tomorrow is your birthday, and it is more of a celebration that your Mom and I should commemorate your birth, than to you. To us, it was a life changing event and a major accomplishment. Being a parent is a lifetime commitment, one that truly runs the gamut of all emotions, it is the roller coaster ride to beat all rides, and it is never ending. We have watched you grow, we revel in every success and accomplishment (especially our GrandGirls), we tried to help in the few missteps, which you rarely shared, however we were there regardless. There are no words to adequately describe our pride on who you have become. We watch from afar and are amazed at how you succeed at whatever you attempt, never underestimate your capabilities, i agree with the 20X factor and I think this should also apply to your intellectual, and emotional limits, you seem to challenge yourself physically and ignore your real strengths; your intellect, and your strength of will (you get that from your mother). You are in the best place you can be in your life, don’t be afraid to take chances, you are “the master of your fate” and DO ring the bell, let everyone know what you have done. I know that ringing the bell refers to the Seal team when someone gives up, but I think that there are some that need to ring that bell as well, we have to sort out who we are and testing ourselves to the limit is an individual thing and some of us were not built to be Seal’s. Finding our place in life is an evolution process not a scripted plan. I am very proud of you and all your accomplishments and thoroughly enjoy the time we spend together.
    Love, Dad
    more later…

  2. Your birthday is set in stone in my mind and despite our distance you will cross my mind on that day each year. I would not dream of wishing you a happy birthday because since we were quite young, your birthday was the day you spent reflecting on yourself as a failure and there is certainly nothing happy about that. So the option to provide critical thoughts on your post was far too intriguing to pass by. I am excited by your progress toward self awareness. Recognizing negativity and combating it within yourself is a difficult task and likely a life long journey. Yet even as I read this post, I can feel the disappointment you have in yourself that only can come from a place of not recognizing your own worth. To use the cliche glass half empty or half full scenario, you are missing the fact that the glass is refillable. You may not be running for president (I would vote for you) or running a large scale wind tunnel company, but you have much success. You have filled your glass to overflowing many times. Then life happens and it empties and you refill it. You are unaware of your impact because you have been plagued by feeling like a disappointment to yourself at times. You have always presented yourself extremely well. Yet I have always wondered when your confidence would match your ability and image. It has been many years since we have had a real conversation and quite unfortunately we don’t know each other as older adults now. But I do know your character because that does not change. You have never lacked determination. You have never lacked intelligence and intuition. The only thing you have lacked is an accurate self image. Here’s hoping that all your progress brings you to a place of knowing your worth and we can wish you a happy 45th!

    p.s. I can’t imagine that you didn’t expect a lengthy response from me when you tossed that softball up! Lol

  3. Pingback: Broken to Hopin’ | A Goofy Foot in Mouth

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