Mayweather/McGregor is America Defined

Mayweather/McGregor is America Defined

Every fall the Sigma Chi fraternity at the University of North Texas hosts its annual charity fight night. Students and local residents alike turn out in droves, partly to support whatever philanthropic effort is on the docket, but also because it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to see someone get knocked out. They swarm the skirt of the ring like a pack of wild hyenas observing a showdown between two merciless and simultaneously majestic lions battling for dominance in one of nature’s most beautiful and violent rituals. Except instead of lions it’s two dumbass college kids hitting one another, mostly in the shoulder and hip, until one of them gasses out and they wave it off. Still, it’s a pretty cool event, if you’re ever in town you should check it out and support the cause. But the real show happens a few weeks prior, just down the street.

(more…)

4 Areas In Which Millennials Need to Stop Sucking

millennial

The era of hyper-connectivity has brought with it innumerable social phenomena. As we live in an age in which everyday opinionation has bled into the realm of performance art, in which innocuous civil disagreement so routinely morphs into unfettered keyboard savagery, we’ve been granted an intriguing and ongoing glimpse into the stark disconnects in the way different generations observe and perceive the human condition. This uber-public display has spawned a number of widely agreed upon perceptions regarding the current state of social affairs.

Times have changed.

The world is doomed.

Millennials are idiots.

Continue reading “4 Areas In Which Millennials Need to Stop Sucking”

Why You Need To Stop Being So Optimistic

optimistic

We all have that friend. His name is usually Jeff or something. He’s the guy that’s always in a great mood. The one that lights up the room as soon as he walks in and is always looking for the bright side of any issue. We like Jeff. Jeff keeps us centered when we spin out of control. He makes the tough times a little easier. And he’s always there to let us know that things could be worse.

But while we all depend on him to gives us a boost every now and then, the reality is that Jeff is playing a very dangerous game.

Continue reading “Why You Need To Stop Being So Optimistic”

Five Harsh Truths About Happiness You Need to Hear

A long time ago, probably back in like ’95, performers were people that had mastered a particular craft, and enough people enjoyed watching for them to make a living off it. They were called singers or actors, even magicians and athletes. They were the pinnacle of entertainment and we cherished their abilities and penchant for allowing us to escape the banalities of everyday life. But those days are long gone.

It’s not that those professions no loner exist. Rather, they no longer have an exclusive grip on the term performer. Like it or not, in today’s world we’re all performers. We cross the threshold into performance art the moment we surrender our personal info to Mark Zuckerberg in exchange for the opportunity to broadcast the rosiest parts of our existence to an ever-expanding network of people we sort of know but don’t really care about, and also our grandmothers.

By rosiest parts I mean that the motivation behind most of what we broadcast to the world is convincing it that we are straight up crushing this whole life thing.

Let’s be honest with each other for a second. We want people to think we’re awesome. You do, I do, so let’s not kid each other. Whether it’s a status about your new promotion or that picture you took with Dan Bilzerian where you refer to him as your ‘Boy Danny B’ we showcase life’s high points as a way to validate our inherent confidence and suppress our insecurities. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, so long as we understand the superficial nature of our efforts.

But when we blur the line between innocuous self-aggrandizing and genuine personal fulfillment, we become dependent on the dopamine-fueled highs that accompany the positive affirmations received in response to our performance. And that need for acknowledgement is not a whole lot different than other forms of dangerous addiction. More importantly, it’s an impossible place from which to derive true happiness.

Happiness is a tricky and elusive concept. It’s one of the only things we can unanimously agree we desire, yet we have an entire spectrum for its definition. And while the incessant media blitz of our hyper-connected modern world would lead you to believe it can only be attained through the accumulation of egregious wealth and big ticket items, psychology and basic logic prove that happiness isn’t created by these kinds of external forces. In fact, those achievements may well in fact be antithetical to legitimate fulfillment.

So let’s take a few moments to dispelled a few of the common myths about how we find happiness:

Continue reading “Five Harsh Truths About Happiness You Need to Hear”

Get Off the Escalator

escalator

I spent the majority of last week scribbling a mountain of notes, largely unreadable to anyone but myself, as I sat among a group of 23,000 or so colleagues at one of the largest annual real estate conventions in the country. Being a perpetual learner, it’s the kind of event I look forward to as it gives me a chance to revisit my business, feel guilty about the things I know I need to improve, and gain insight from other successful operators in my field.

But despite absorbing a tremendous amount of knowledge from the myriad of  speakers, panels and well-crafted presentations, the most pervasive experience of the week had little to do with entrepreneurial improvement, but rather was a revelation of human observation.

I’ll explain.

As the doors opened at the conclusion of the week’s first segment, I was carried out into the corridors of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center by a sea of departing peers in a furious rush to beat the crowd to the next event. Looking down the quarter-mile walkway I clocked the line for the descending escalator already backed up by a swarm numbering in the several hundreds.

Now if you’re anything like me, lines have always presented themselves more as a challenge than an obligation, so I instinctively began searching for an alternative route to make my way to the mezzanine. After a few moments of exchanging ‘excuse me’s with a handful of attendees, as I fought sideways against the masses, I stumbled upon a not particularly well-hidden exit door and proceeded through into the stairwell beyond, hoping it would be at least somewhat less packed than the bottleneck up the hall.

To my surprise, I found the set entirely empty, trotted down a single flight, and washed out just few feet from the first arrivals, trickling down from the restless mob above.

Thinking little of the ordeal, I patted myself on the back for a mediocre display of heads-upery and strode quickly on to Ballroom C.

But as the week progressed, and I made a habit of circumventing the obstruction in this manner, something became undeniably apparent. I assumed that luck had granted me a sporadic token of its acknowledgment and that by the time I took the return flight up for the afternoon’s final offering the stairwell would be packed to the gills with other convention goers lacking the patience and willingness to share personal space for fifteen minutes for the luxury of having the stairs move for them.

I was wrong.

Continue reading “Get Off the Escalator”

How Donald Trump is Destroying America

Donald Trump

Last Friday, amid a gaggle of advisers, security guards and media members, and basking in the warm glow of the stage lights diffusing off the curved walls of the Oval Office, the newly elected leader of the free world signed an executive order that would place stern restrictions on immigration into the United States for, at minimum, the next 120 days.

Or, as the contributors at Salon.com and Slate may put it, Donald Trump banned all Muslims from entering our country because the only thing Donald Trump hates more than Muslims are people with normal hair and regular-sized hands.

But he didn’t stop there. Over the course of the next 48 hours, the Commander-in-Chief was seen tweeting about plans for new policy measures, meeting with CEO’s of major international corporations, kicking people really hard in the shins, and basically just being a dick to everyone.

Now I know what you’re thinking – ‘Brian, did Donald Trump really kick those peoples shins? Or are you just making that up?’

That’s a fair question and I commend you for asking. I honestly don’t know if he kicked anyone’s shins. I’m not even certain he pushed anyone to the ground, and I’m starting to wonder if that story I read about him ordering every female White House staffer to make him a sandwich was entirely accurate. But what I can tell you is that those assertions are no more made up than just about every piece of rhetoric surrounding any one of the executive orders enacted over the last week and a half.

Continue reading “How Donald Trump is Destroying America”

Everyone You Know Has a Disease

disease

I remember when I was diagnosed with Ebola.

It was a warm September morning…well, they were all warm during that stretch. The air outside clung tightly still to the moisture of the humid summer, not yet ready to give way to autumn’s crisp vacancy.

I remember the room turning as the doctor affirmed the suspicions raised by his adornment of full hazmat garb upon entering, as if the world behind the walls had sunk its teeth into the mortar and begun to spin off aimlessly into the ether. His voice fading into the distance as we spiraled towards the cosmos, weakening my grip on the cold steel rim of the bed.

I remember losing hold, the smack of my bones against the tile as I collapsed to the floor. I remember making all of this up and never having Ebola.

But if you roll back your newsfeed to 2014 you’ll recall that the general consensus was that, if we weren’t already infected, we were mere moments from succumbing to the strain. Surely this was the end of civilization as we know it.

Continue reading “Everyone You Know Has a Disease”