I've really begun to take the reins in my life. I had listened to Jordan B. Peterson's books. Yes, I know he's a bit of a dick online, but I found his books interesting. It kept me resolute about how hard I was working but there was just something missing. I simply did not have the drive I was looking for. I'm a leader at work. It's a small position for a small store but I get a great degree of satisfaction from knowing my hard work makes a difference. I manage a small team of employees stocking grocery shelves overnight and I have several really great, hardworking employees. There are some that don't tow the line the way I like but I'm working on directing them to a higher standard. I had also been struggling with confidence in my authority to direct these young people. I don't want to be hated because I'm overbearing or mean. That's when I found Extreme Ownership.
Extreme Ownership is a book by Leif Babin and Jocko WIllink. I can't begin to describe the confidence this book has the potential to instill in you. Between the stories of war, victory, and failure there also comes a practical application complete with a real life example of how these lessons apply to business leadership. Put simply, you do not blame subordinates for your failures. You step up and take ownership for the people you are responsible for. Your superiors respect it, and your subordinates do too. The book focuses on several different ideas. I have trouble retaining information that I read so I will be reading it several times. The things that stuck with me were situational awareness, prioritization, planning, and clear and concise instructions. There is also a focus on setting aside your ego and planning with your subordinates as well as empowering them to make important decisions without you overhead micromanaging them.
This has helped me to be a better leader as well as a more disciplined person. I can't begin to describe the way that this book has made me feel. Jordan B. Peterson's work cannot be understated as well. His work helped me solidify my drive and work ethic. Jocko and Leif's book helped me understand my relationship with my subordinates and how to effectively lead them, and build them up.
One of my biggest regrets in life is that I never got the chance to serve in the military. I went through a very unpatriotic episode in my life. I used the think the United States was so terrible, and responsible for some very big atrocities. Over the past 10 years since Trump ran for office and one I've been inspired to believe in my country, and question those with easy answers and empty promises. Capitalism dominates the world for a reason. It ultimately provides the best life for all involved over every other ideology. You can call me a slave all you want but I can pluck apart and strawman socialist and communist ideology too. It's not a matter of being subordinate to someone with a greater position and responsibility. That's going to happen no matter what system you're in.
The reason I choose capitalism is because I feel that it provides me with the greatest opportunity for growth and enrichment as an individual. I'm going to take all the lessons I've learned and accept the confidence that comes with success no matter how small the gains. There are so many people that walk around with undeserved confidence. I suppose it is all relative and based on one's perspective but I think that when you get the results you are looking for and succeed in your missions in life you can come to rely on what you have learned. Will this 100% win out for you? No it will not, but there's always something to be learned when you do not succeed. There's always a way to be better than you were the day before.
I'm going to work as hard as I can and put that foot forward and do the things that may be uncomfortable. I do not have the luxury of time right now. I'm nearly 40 and I have never been an independent success aside from the short time I worked at Activision Blizzard in the early 2010's. I've seen all my peers and friends from school go on to become amazing people and succeed in ways I never had the patience to execute for myself.
I know what you're probably thinking right now. "Keeb, what does this have to do with music and gaming?" I'll tell you what it means for me. Extreme Ownership. I've let myself wither in anxious paranoia for far too long. I'm going to be going live on twitch the moment I finish this blog post. I did the same thing last night. I played through and finished Quake. I used to only play games I was comfortable with on stream. Now that's great because you get to do something comfortable and easy, but comfortable and easy is not engaging. People don't want to see that unless it's very high level gameplay and practiced to perfection. People want to see raw reactions and funny moments to situations that the streamer hasn't been in before. Either that or they want to know all the ins and outs of a game. I have another friend that plays older PC games, and he replays them every year. You would think that this would not make him very successful but it does. It's because he's an older man and he was there when all of these things hit the store shelves in the late 80's and early 90's. His content may be repetitive but he knows the games well and has a lot of experience in completing them.
I still have to find what I need to make myself entertaining enough to watch on Twitch. I practiced extreme ownership, and I sat down last night and demolished Quake classic. I had never played anything outside of the first episode in my life, but I did it all in one sitting. Or at least episodes 2-4. I had completed episode 1 but had gotten motion sick the night before but that's beside the point. I'm never going anywhere if I don't break through and take the risks that are uncomfortable and make decisions that have the risk of failure. This is what life is all about. You can't win every battle, but you always have options even when presented with inevitable or extremely likely failure. What matters is what you do. Avoidance doesn't make you stronger. It may make you feel more comfortable, but it doesn't actually help you build a life. Pain and suffering and how you overcome them is what makes life meaningful.