Engagements are a special time in a couple’s relationship to reflect on the moments of dating that got them to where they are, and to look forward to the nuptials to come.

Photos from July 12th, 2017:

Cody and I have enjoyed being engaged so much! It truly creates a deeper bond in a relationship to plan a future and wedding together. On August 26, 2017 , we host an engagement party at his parents’ backyard, together with some of our family and friends.

At long last, Jam Milcah and Cody will make their long-time partnership a legal one. After battling dragons together for three years, they have undertaken the perilous journey to relocate from Asia to the USA and to finally make their own private, sacred commitment to each other a public one… to officially join their family houses under one banner in America:

House McKillinit!

One Team, One Dream

(See our wedding website here)

I’ve been enjoying Joe Rogan’s fascinating interviews for quite a while now. It might sound strange, if you remember Rogan from television shows like News Radio or Fear Factor, but the stand up comedian turned actor turned UFC commentator has come a long way since those days, and some might call him the “gateway drug” to a wide world of insightful thinkers — from fellow comedians and MMA fighters to fascinating authors, academics, leading scientists and medical doctors, and a wide array of researchers expanding our understanding of the world.

His Joe Rogan Experience podcast is jam-packed with inspiring and enlightening interviews, coming up on 1000 episodes very soon.

Today is Joe’s birthday, so I made a little tribute for his 50th lap around the sun.

The Creation of Joe Rogan - McKillangelo

The Creation of Joe – by McKillangelo

Just a work passion to say I’m grateful for his incredible podcast, his intellect, for having his voice in my ears these last several years exposing me to hundreds of new people, new ideas, and helping give me a bigger map of the world. Thank you Joe Rogan and happy 50th you legend!

We polled the 1000+ members of our Joe Rogan Experience Fan Club on Facebook to decide who to include, and I casted Jordan Peterson in a central role since Joe recently declared Peterson his favorite interview guest of all time on the JRE podcast #958!

Here are some favorite clips from our Top 12, in order of popularity:

(WARNING: these may not be safe for work, and many of them include obscene/vulgar language)

Dr. Jordan Peterson

Full episode JRE #958

Joey “Coco” Diaz

Full episode JRE #39 with Eddie Bravo

Graham Hancock & Randall Carlson

Full episode JRE #725

Duncan Trussell

Full episode JRE #179 with Brian Redban

Bert Kreischer

Full episode JRE #73 with Brian Redban

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Full episode JRE #310

Chris Ryan

Full episode JRE #739 with Duncan Trussell

Alex Jones & Eddie Bravo

Full episode JRE #911

Russell Brand

Full episode JRE #812 with Jim Breuer

Sam Harris

On Vipassana meditation retreat

Full episode JRE #543

Jocko Willink

Full episode JRE #729

Dr. Rhonda Patrick

Full episode JRE #941

“We define ourselves far too often by our past failures. That’s not you. You are this person right now. You’re the person who has learned from those failures. Build confidence and momentum with each good decision you make from here on out and choose to be inspired.”

—Joe Rogan

Ready to Be the HERO of Your Own Story?

 

The Better You bundle offer is now closed.

Thanks to your help, we raised over $1,000 for Courageous Kitchen, a charity organization founded by my good friend Dwight helping asylum seekers in Bangkok. Learn more about Dwight here, and you can still make a direct contribution to my fundraiser for CK here.

 

I was recently asked to write a chapter for my good friend John Bardos’ ebook Change Your Life.

“Is there something specific that really helped put your life on a better path? Can you talk about a transformation that occurred because of one particular strategy? Is there something you do every day that is critical to your productivity?”

Rather than the typical personal development tips you hear, beyond practicing meditation and establishing a morning routine, my answer is the same one I give to people who ask how they can find more happiness in their lives. It’s incredibly simple advice, but requires great discipline to implement:

Choose Wisely

The secret to life is deceptively simple: choose carefully what you focus your attention on.

Namely, focus on the things you genuinely and deeply want more of. Look for what makes you happy.

Don’t obsess over the things that frustrate you. Don’t let anger, or resentment, become the center of attention.

Because as the saying goes, what you focus on grows. When I started to focus on cultivating an attitude of gratitude, my whole life transformed. And I find that when I consciously acknowledge the experiences, the people, and events I’m grateful and thankful for, somehow I tend to find more and more similar things that inspire gratitude.

Whereas, when I focus on my problems — when I go into emergency mode fighting fires and looking for every little detail of what is wrong with my work and family life — then I’ll find plenty of problems.

Seek, and you shall find. So seek the right things, and discipline your mind to search for opportunities rather than limitations.

I highly recommend any ambitious young person in the world today develop a regular gratitude practice as part of your daily rituals – write your answers in some kind of journal, or keep an ongoing note on your computer — but start the day with 3 things you’re thankful for, and end your day with 3 amazing things that happened for you. (If you have a hard time getting started, I recommend trying The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day)

You’ll be surprised how quickly this daily practice can change your outlook, and even your circumstances.

Count your blessings, not your problems.

If you want to read 99 other great chapters from experts sharing their top strategies for reaching your highest potential, download your free copy of the book here.

ATTENTION FELLOW FATHERS!

Join a crew of proud dads for the first Heroic Dad Challenge – a fun, free 30-day habit change challenge for fathers (or uncles/grandpas/other care providers) and their little ones to get some fun recreation together! Try father-kid pushups with us, EVERY day for a full month.

We’ve gathered a small private group of over 60 dads around the world, and we’ll help keep each other accountable by checking in with a video or photo evidence each day in our private group, or if you want to spread the fun, feel free to share YOUR posts publicly on your Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #HeroicDad and #30dayHERO.

It doesn’t matter if you can only do 1, or if you can do 100; if your child is 1 year old or 10 (as long as they can hold onto you), but if you make it a regular daily practice, then over time you will slowly build increasing strength and provide a great example for your kids too.

Milo of Croton

We officially start this Thursday, July 20th and go through August 18th, but please don’t hesitate to post YOUR pushups anytime you’re able to participate.

5 easy steps to join the fun:

  1. Please RSVP and get the details here.
  2. Join our private dads group on Facebook here to follow all the action and get daily accountability prompts.
  3. PLEASE help us spread the word and invite your father friends using the “Share” button in the right sidebar on this event page OR by clicking any of the share buttons on THIS page.
  4. Sign up for my email updates to be sure not to miss a thing (and get lots of resources for the fatherhood journey) by filling the email form at the bottom of this post.
  5. Stay tuned for our official launch THIS THURSDAY, July 20th, and post YOUR videos and accountability updates inside our HERO Dads group for your chance to be featured!

Recommended tags include #30dayHERO #heroicdad #30daychallenge #HEROdad #pushupchallenge #HEROproject #dadfitness #30DC #pushups #fatherson #fitness

See you this Thursday!

Today’s affirmation:

I am GREAT because I deal with 10,000 people’s ignorance and hopelessness and discouragement and unconscious indoctrination and I move the needle forward anyways.

Every day in every way I’m getting better and better.

the Dude abides

From Uncle Dwight at Courageous Kitchen:

“Either you dwell on people’s feedback and you don’t do it, or you knock on every f****n door until you get a couple people to say yes…” –Gary Vaynerchuk at RISE Conference, Hong Kong

BTW – I’m raising money for Courageous Kitchen, and I pitched in the first $55, go here to make a donation, plus see their upcoming Austin cookout and enter for a FREE trip to Bangkok!

Be FEARLESS and DESIRELESS. Just Becoming. This is the condition of a warrior going into battle with perfect courage. That’s life in movement.”

Joseph Campbell, father of the Hero’s Journey

Over the last few years, I’ve had the great pleasure to work with David DiFrancesco — the Living Warrior — who has become a great mentor to me.

David is the author of The Warrior Way and has spent his career dedicated to releasing the warrior inside every man.

After witnessing the death of a police officer as a child, David understood that a life well-lived is one with purpose. He dedicated himself to seeing that all men have the opportunity to discover and live their own purpose through his work — work that guides men through accepting their fears and inner demons and moving forward with them, rather than being pulled into inaction by them.

Coach, author, speaker and mentor, David leads men through physical and mental training designed to strip away the lies and myths they hide behind; coming through the fire of battle into the strong, powerful, masculine hero all men are called to be.

After over 30 years working with Navy SEALS, as a gym owner and mental toughness trainer, here are the top things David says men need to hear. A succinct mastercourse on the Way of the Living Warrior:

1. You are owed nothing

Life is not fair, you make your life a success through hard work, not because you’ve earned some imagined right to it. Similarly, you are not entitled to be loved, respected, or anything else you’ve convinced yourself is your entitlement simply because you exist and are being a well-behaved, well intentioned, good boy. You and you alone are responsible for making sure your needs are met.

2. Positive thinking will get you nowhere

Determination and perseverance wins the day. Determination takes the place of dreaming. Willpower takes you through the work. Self-discipline takes you through the pain (when you no longer feel like doing the work).

3. We are not all equal or capable

…but we all are flawed and limited.

4. Failure is part of the process of improvement

Expect failure, but don’t accept it. You must be prepared for a lengthy time of poor or mediocre performance before you can become world-class.

5. You need more haters in your life, not supporters

6. Embrace the suck

Life is struggle. Don’t put your effort into living a life without pain, instead choose your struggles and work on raising your pain threshold. Seek pain, not comfort, for pain is the barrier keeping those who haven’t put in the work and time in from the success that lies on the other side.

7. Men do not try

Either decide not to do something, or have the determination and discipline to see it to its conclusion.

8. Actions not words

What you intend to do means shit. What you are doing now means everything. Don’t tell other men what you’ll do, show them the results of what you did. Winners do, losers dream.

9. Success comes from hard work and time

While you can compress the time needed by working with other men, but only you can do the hard work.

10. Seek the battle

Men thrive on hardship. Comfort, pleasure and instant-gratification feminizes men. Men seek struggle, battles and prove themselves through hard work and effort. Always seek the harder thing.

11. Not everyone is good deep down

There are people who truly want to harm you. Learn to defend yourself and build the confidence necessary to minimize the chance of attacks. Become a strong, virile man capable of determining your own destiny. Show others that you are a man of strength, power and confidence simply by looking at you.

12. Seek a tribe of men

Camaraderie in its support of fellow brothers knowing we are all striving to become the men we were meant to be and Competition in that it drives us to continually improve and not settle.

13. It is good to be a man

BONUS: Men need Rites of Initiation

This one is so true. I spent my teens pulling all kinds of pranks with my close circle of best friends, some of them trending towards dangerous, got into street racing, got arrested twice, then the challenge moved on to women, seeing how much I could drink for years, and far worse.

Instead of leaving my children to figure life out on their own, I aim to provide some kind of rites of passage for my son.

If you’re interested to learn more about the Warrior Way of Living, grab your copy of David’s book The Warrior Way: Conquer Your Inner Battles and Level Up Your Life.

After nine years living overseas, now with a fast-growing 3-year-old son who’s getting close to school age, after a catastrophic betrayal by someone close to me in business in February, and two years of continued challenges and political upheaval in Asia, Jam and I have finally made the decision to move our young family to the United States — which offers our son tremendous advantages.

Besides, America needs us. And we need family. Time to build a new kingdom in the land of my birth.

america homecoming

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave

It’s rare that I appreciate major blockbuster comic book films these days.

They’re fun, but rarely do they have deep life lessons for all of us, and they nearly never go on my list of classics to keep in mind for the kids one day.

But, just back from date night last night, I took my queen to see Wonder Woman, and we both loved it.

Admittedly, you can’t go wrong with a fit and powerful lead woman, so when Jam said she wanted to see Wonder Woman, it was easy to persuade me. But there was a tremendous amount of unexpected depth to this story.

Gal Gadot delivered a great performance as Princess Diana of Themyscira, an Amazonian trained to be an incomparable warrior, daughter of Hippolyta and (SPOILER ALERT) of Zeus, the king of the gods. How this immortal ends up walking into World War I — the “war to end all wars” — is a mystery I’ll leave you to discover for yourself if you haven’t seen this flick yet.

Wonder Woman 1918

An unknowing demigoddess raised naive of her heritage, Diana only gradually discovers her incredible abilities as she develops courage and confidence in herself — a nice metaphorical message I approve of!

A great mix of moving drama, mild romance, action, and humor. Bravo to director Patty Jenkins!

The Heroine’s Journey in Wonder Woman

Beyond your typical movie reviews, it’s even more fun to analyze films from an archetypal perspective, incorporating what’s usually referred to as Jungian psychology.

From Lewis Carrol’s 1865 Alice in Wonderland, to the roaring success of the Harry Potter series, and The Hunger Games trilogy, the “Hero’s Journey” charts the stages and trials that the average Jane must face in order to discover her greatest self and share her exceptional gifts with the world.

It is the recurring story of those who choose to pursue greatness, of those who strive to make the world a better place, the greatest story ever told, a story older than time.

The heroine starts out as an ordinary person in the ordinary world, and receives a call to adventure. If she accepts the call, she must face internal and external trials, sometimes alone and sometimes with help from a guide…

heros-journey

This is what Joseph Campbell identified as the perennial “Hero’s Journey” monomyth — the cyclical hero’s path seen time and again throughout mythical stories passed down over the millennia, in spiritual traditions, in children’s bedtime stories, classic literature, and now in the fantasy and science fiction of today.

The long, difficult road of trials and challenges, as well as the heroine’s frequent brush with death, loss, or confrontation with evil, transform her for the better. In the end, the heroine must return to the “normal world” to share her extraordinary gifts with others, often facing life-threatening obstacles along the way.

“The heroic quest is about saying ‘yes’ to yourself and in so doing, becoming more fully alive and more effective in the world…. The quest is replete with dangers and pitfalls, but it offers great rewards: the capacity to be successful in the world, knowledge of the mysteries of the human soul, and the opportunity to find and express your unique gifts in the world.”

–Carol S. Pearson, author, Persephone Rising

While Wonder Woman isn’t for younger children, the two most important ladies in my life thoroughly enjoyed the film, and I look forward to sharing this film with any daughters I have one day, as a decent example of an empowering heroic female role model.

Fun trivia: at 75, Wonder Woman was recently named a U.N. Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls. Check Wikipedia for more on Wonder Woman’s character origins and history.

What Does It Mean to Be a Real-Life Hero?

“In times of radical uncertainty, it’s necessary that the Hero be born.

Because the Hero is the person who doesn’t deal with something specific, the Hero is the person that deals with Uncertainty itself. And that’s the Great Dragon of Chaos.

…What’s necessary is for the individual to become prepared for anything and everything, and the way that you do that is by developing your character.”

Dr. Jordan Peterson, University of Toronto professor of psychology

The hero or heroine is the person who is not afraid to confront their own inner demons, to explore the world of the Unknown, discover hidden power and talents, slay dragons, and eventually return to their regular day-to-day life to help lead their community towards a better future.

We were all born Kings and Queens, but we must reclaim the power and authority that is rightfully ours to take charge of this magical life and sculpt it into something beautiful.

But what does it truly mean to be a real-life, modern hero? As the Buddha observed, the REAL enemy who every great hero must defeat is oneself, and all of humanity’s greatest myths are really metaphors for this (often painful) process of self-overcoming.

“In many indigenous traditions, a person seeking answers to questions would approach a medicine man or woman sitting by the fire and ask what they should do to resolve their dilemma. He or she classically would respond to this request by saying, “Let me tell you a story.” Moms, dads, mentors, and friends can do this, too…. In new situations, often what is needed is a new story that can help supply a map for the new journey and a toehold when that journey feels like climbing up a steep and dangerous mountain.”

–Carol S. Pearson

A New Map: Come Sit By the Fire and Let Me Tell You a Story

I’m bringing together a community to help me fine-tune my upcoming book, Chasing the Sun, and to help develop a new theoretical framework for personal growth based around the Hero’s Journey!

It’s a story about finding purpose, about building a life, a business, and a family, illustrated through travel memoirs and wild, never-before-told stories of some of my more questionable travel adventures around the world over the last 8+ years, business trials, failures, successes, and more.

It’s finally time to share a few of the most important lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Sign up to get updates about the HERO Project below!

What is your Great Work? The important stuff you know deep in your soul you MUST accomplish during your short speck of time here in a meatsuit on this strange little ball flying a thousand miles an hour through the cosmos?

The thing that’s been calling you, for months, maybe years? Your Holy Grail.

If you know what it is, then you’re probably terrified just like me.

Because starting is scary. The unknown is scary. People are assholes and criticism hurts.

But thank the heavens, God gave us Ze Frank. The man who started video blogging before vlogging was a thing.

If you don’t know what your Great Work is yet, then you should probably go dive into something that scares you until you discover it.

But if you know perfectly well, and you’ve been stuck in a rut like me…

Then watch that again.

I’m scared. I’m scared that my abilities are gone, I’m scared that I’m going to fuck this up, and I’m scared of you.

I don’t want to start, but I will.

This is an invocation for anyone who hasn’t begun, who’s stuck in a terrible place between zero and one.

Let me realize that my past failures at follow-through are no indication of my future performance. They’re just healthy little fires that are going to warm up my ass.

If my FILDI is strong, let me keep him in a velvet box until I really, really need him. If my FILDI is weak, let me feed him oranges and not let him gorge himself on ego and arrogance.

Let me not hit up my Facebook like it’s a crack pipe. Keep the browser closed.

If I catch myself wearing a too-too (too fat, too late, too old) let me shake it off like a donkey would shake off something it doesn’t like.

And when I get that feeling in my stomach — you know the feeling when all of a sudden you get a ball of energy and it shoots down into your legs and up into your arms and tells you to stand up and go to the refrigerator and get a cheese sandwich — that’s my cheese monster talking. And my cheese monster will never be satisfied by cheddar, only the cheese of accomplishment.

Let me think about the people who I care about the most, and how when they fail or disappoint me I still love them, I still give them chances, and I still see the best in them. Let me extend that generosity to myself.

Let me find and use metaphors to help me understand the world around me and give me the strength to get rid of them when it’s apparent they no longer work.

Let me thank the parts of me that I don’t understand or are outside of my rational control like my creativity and my courage.

And let me remember that my courage is a wild dog. It won’t just come when I call it. I have to chase it down and hold on as tight as I can.

Let me not be so vain to think that I’m the sole author of my victories and a victim of my defeats.

Let me remember that the unintended meaning that people project onto what I do is neither my fault or something I can take credit for.

Perfectionism may look good in his shiny shoes, but he’s a little bit of an asshole and no one invites him to their pool parties.

Let me remember that the impact of criticism is often not the intent of the critic, but when the intent is evil, that’s what the block button’s for.

And when I eat my critique, let me be able to separate out the good advice from the bitter herbs.

There are few people who won’t be disarmed by a genuine smile.
A big impact on a few can be worth more than a small impact.

Let me not think of my work only as a stepping stone to something else, and if it is, let me become fascinated with the shape of the stone.

Let me take the idea that has gotten me this far and put it to bed. What I am about to do will not be that, but it will be something.

There is no need to sharpen my pencils anymore. My pencils are sharp enough. Even the dull ones will make a mark.

Warts and all. Let’s start this shit up.

And God let me enjoy this. Life isn’t just a sequence of waiting for things to be done.

decision making

We’ll do it live!

“There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.”

–attributed to Victor Hugo

Time to start slaying dragons…

thrilling heroics