Something New Is Fucked Up In My World Every Day

In The Cave of DemonsThis is one of my favorite lines to use to explain the business life I live. When asked what it’s like to be a partner in a VC firm, be on a bunch of boards, and have a continuous stream of random interaction come my way, I like to level set my reality.

It’s simple. Something new is fucked up in my world every day.

Now, just because something new is fucked up, doesn’t mean I’m unhappy. Quite the opposite – I’m usually happy, although when the pile of fuckedupness gets high enough I get tired. And day after day after day of 12+ hour days also make me tired. I used to be able to work through the weekends – now at 49 years old I need them to recover, get patched up by Amy, and get ready to go back out there.

Jerry Colonna at Reboot.io tells a wonderful story about the crucible of leadership on Fred Wilson’s blog with a section titled Eat Me If You Wish (read the whole post but the parable is about half way through.) It’s worth repeating here. Take your time reading it.

“One day,” begins a story re-told by Aura Glaser in the latest issue of Tricycle Magazine, “[the Buddhist saint] Milarepa left his cave to gather firewood, and when he returned he found that his cave had been taken over by demons. There were demons everywhere! His first thought upon seeing them was, ‘I have got to get rid of them!’ He lunges toward them, chasing after them, trying forcefully to get them out of his cave. But the demons are completely unfazed. In fact, the more he chases them, the more comfortable and settled-in they seem to be. Realizing that his efforts to run them out have failed miserably, Milarepa opts for a new approach and decides to teach them the dharma.

“If chasing them out won’t work, then maybe hearing the teachings will change their minds and get them to go. So he takes his seat and begins… After a while he looks around and realizes all the demons are still there…At this point Milarepa lets out a deep breath of surrender, knowing now that these demons will not be manipulated into leaving and that maybe he has something to learn from them. He looks deeply into the eyes of each demon and bows, saying, ‘It looks like we’re going to be here together. I open myself to whatever you have to teach me.’

“In that moment all the demons but one disappear. One huge and especially fierce demon, with flaring nostrils and dripping fangs, is still there. So Milarepa lets go even further. Stepping over to the largest demon, he offers himself completely, holding nothing back. ‘Eat me if you wish.’ He places his head in the demon’s mouth, and at that moment the largest demon bows low and dissolves into space.”

I put my head in a demon’s mouth every single day. Often, it’s a different, or new, demon. Sometimes it takes me a few days to get ready for this so the demons back up. Other days two or three new demons appear and I can only deal with one of them so the others hang around.

I learned how to deal with this in 2001. That year started out miserable with companies I was involved failing all around me. I did everything I knew how to do to help. I’d go to bed at the end of the day thinking, “Ok, that totally sucked, but tomorrow will be better.” It wasn’t – each day was worse. By about June I realized that every single day of 2001 had been worse than the previous day. I finally metaphorically threw up my hands and internally said, “Fuck it, let’s see what the world can bring on today.” That’s when I started to sit with the demons.

Up to that point, I was fearful of what the day would bring. I would fight against it. I would thrash around looking to solve every problem, chasing the demons around my cave trying to get them to leave. And then 9/11 happened, on a beautiful morning in New York, while I was fast asleep in a hotel room in midtown Manhatten at The Benjamin Hotel after taking a redeye from San Francisco. As the planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers, Amy frantically called me from the road as she was driving to the airport to come visit me in New York. I had turned off my phone so I expect I snored happily away as the first tower fell. When I finally woke up I to whatever station the clock radio was on, I thought it was all a joke. For about a minute, I struggled through the post redeye haze that enveloped me, along with the existential fatigue I was feeling from nine months of companies failing everywhere, people being angry, unhappy, depressed, stressed, scared, and under immense pressure, and then I realized it wasn’t a dream.

When I finally woke up enough to turn on my phone and call Amy, I was lucky enough to get through. She pulled over to the side of the road and cried. She was sure I had been on one of the planes that had crashed. After a few minutes, we realized a trip to NY was silly so she turned around and went home. I then took a shower and tried to process what was going on and figure out what to do next.

There’s a lot more from that day that shaped me, like it shaped so many others, but suddenly many of my demons just disappeared and went to torture other people. I realized that as fucked up as my world was, it was trivial compared to what was going on 60 blocks away. While I was terrified and trapped in The Benjamin for a while, I had at least four hours before I took action to just sit and process things.

Dealing with the particular set of demons in my cave at this point to another three months. That period was my second of three clinic depressions that ended around my birthday on December 1st. I spent these three months sitting with all of my demons, welcoming more into my world, and just learning from them.

When the really scary ones showed up, I didn’t fight. I just placed my head gently in each of the scary demons’ mouthes and said “eat me if you wish.”

Just like with Milarepa, it worked. And it’s now how I live every day.

  • You are an incredibly endearing writer. It may be because of the mood of this week, but I was particularly taken by this one. Thank you for sharing

    • Thx man. Sending you good karma for dealing with the demons.

  • Interesting how we get more philosophical and wiser as we get older.

    You know, sometimes it takes 1 good thing during a day to erase 3 bad things, although sometimes it’s not enough. If my day is bad, I always remember that there are some people out there that are having a far worse day. I do count my blessings, and proceed to making it a better day.

    If I let a “bad day” affect me, how can I then deal with it? I say to myself: I can deal with it, but I won’t let it deal with me.

    • It’s awesome that you’ve got the 1:3 ratio. Most people end up in a 5:1 ratio – you need five good things to fix one bad thing. I find this is very true in my relationships, especially with Amy. If I do one negative thing, it takes at least five positive things to get back to even.

      We are very honest with each other, so it’s less about what we “say” vs. what we “do” – but it plays across a lot of relationships.

      I love the “I won’t let it deal with me” – I will use that in the future.

      • cool. the genesis of that last part was a metaphor that was engrained in me by a wise family friend many years ago, when he told me: “problems are like arrows that want to get into your head. you can let them get in, or you let them brush against your skull, and they don’t affect you so much.”

      • Do you find exercise helps? I only do 5K 2-3x/wk (not marathoner like you), but I find the adrenaline of a good run or better yet a great hockey game puts all of the bad stuff in better perspective.

    • “I can deal with it, but I won’t let it deal with me.” What a great quote!

  • Sharon Kincl

    Very inspiring, especially for those of us who have lived in the start up world. You really never know what you may walk into on any particular day, so you simply accept that each day will bring challenges and achievements. And that’s why I stay in the start up world.

    • Yup. It’s part of the magic and joy, even when it is incredibly stressful and painful.

  • I sense empathy in this post. Instead of putting my head into the Demon, I have decided to just jump into the demon’s mouth and live there. Sometimes the bad breath stinks, I cringe my nose but move on to admiring the beauty of the demon’s teeth or the world outside that I see from the mouth of the demon. There is always something to be thankful about. I have really seen poverty and know what it feels to be desperate, it grounds me a lot. Thank you for writing this. Love the timing, I feel like you can sense what is going on around those who care about you to touch them.

    • Hugs. Awesome Skyping with you a few minutes ago. I look forward to springing our collective surprise on the world.

  • thanks for sharing @bfeld:disqus…

    am still just a young padawan, but have, as of late, learned that this too shall pass…

    feels better and better with each passing demon

    • It’s useful to also remember that life is a process of continual oxidation. Or, another way to say it is that life is a fatal disease. Acceptance of that puts a whole bunch of other things into perspective and gives one (at least me) space to explore.

      • ha. while (i think) i’ve kept that in mind, i’ve never phrased it so grimly 😉

        but yes… realizing, and accepting(!) that life is 1. always changing, 2. experienced/viewed very differently by each of us puny humans, and 3. (at least currently) finite, helps me get through the daily minefields without too much blood loss…

  • jerrycolonna

    Beautifully told my friend. First, yes, yes, yes…what a beautiful understanding of that Milarepa story (and I will say I take inspiration from Milarepa every day…he struggled so mightily and came out on the other side).

    To me, the essential wisdom in that story goes beyond surrender (“What are you here to teach me?”) which is a kind of false, nefariously ego-aggrandizing expression (“See how smart I am? I have learned to ‘surrender’ to my obstacles.”) all the way to a deeper acceptance of what life is really, truly like. And oftentimes that is fucked up.

    It’s also beyond nihilism (Everything sucks.). It speaks to the fact that fighting against the stream is what causes suffering.

    Moreover, in accepting what will be, we finally make the truest demon disappear…that which is in us, fighting like hell the world as it is. (Planes crashing and being thousands of miles from our loved ones.)

    This lesson, which I have to learn again every fucking day of my life, is one of the most liberating notions I’ve ever encountered.

    • You know I don’t think I ever thanked you for giving me one of the biggest compliments of my life in that post. I remembered as soon as I saw, and I searched through the comments and realize I did not say: Thank you.

      Best regards.

      • jerrycolonna

        You’re welcome! I meant what I said.

    • Jerry,
      Your sentence caught me unexpectedly,
      “the fact that fighting against the stream is what causes suffering.”

      It goes against so much of the commonly taught and prescribed notions that working harder and swimming upstream is the only path to ‘success’ (whatever that means)

      In our tradition of Shakespeare quotations..
      “To be or not to be, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them.”

      • jerrycolonna

        I think that, when you wrote “whatever that means,” you hit upon the real issue. More often than not, we have lost the power of discernment. We mistake a coil of rope for a snake, for example, to cite an old Buddhist notion.

        When we struggle “upstream” without the clarity of discernment, we doom ourselves not only to suffering but, equally often, the likelihood of failure (whatever THAT means 😉 ).

        Go against the stream. Go with the stream. Suffer the arrows or take up arms. Neither is the “right” answer if by “right” you’re looking for the universally-true path to follow. Without discernment–which includes the ability to cut through your own bullshit and figure out what is a true threat and what isn’t–you won’t get where you want to go.

        And lastly, it’s important to remember that Hamlet was suicidally depressed when he said those immortal lines. I do not believe Shakespeare, in putting that dilemma into the words of a man so torn, was prescribing a path. I think he was making a statement about the universality of the feeling behind Hamlet’s existential dilemma: To be or not to be.

        But hey…what do I know?

        • You know plenty Jerry!,

          That’s why it takes a second read to absorb the wisdom in words that literally just stop my day and flip life into a mirrored perspective.

          Sometimes I question the clarity of my discernment when it feels like I chose this start-up goldfish bowl to swim around in, when I had the choice of so many others.

          The currents or stream in this bowl are created by me, so going against or with are just measurements of energy, not direction.

          • jerrycolonna

            Well thank ya for that. I just read a lot. 😉
            That discernment is what I often refer to when I say “radical self-inquiry.” Radical in that it’s designed to cut through the bullshit and myth-making machine otherwise known as our own minds.
            Hope Armenia is treating you well my friend.

          • I’ll drop you an email tomorrow with an update. Currently accepting a hard reality (which no number of mental myths can fix) and making passionately driven choices for the company and my family.
            🙂

          • Well said. FWIW, I read voraciously to and I apply what you articulated in this thread to my work, but ironically I learned most of it from surfing (on the ocean, not the web) as opposed to reading.

  • Chris Heivly

    It’s F’n demon day for me today and trying to find the 1 good thing that will eradicate the 3 bad (i like that ratio too). Every day I gravitate a little closer to the Buddhist thinking. Thanks for today’s story that gives me another push and maybe I just found that 1 good thing.

  • Wow.

  • Wil Schroter

    Brad the one thing I think the parable may miss is that as Founders we go seeking out caves full of demons. They didn’t just show up randomly. Any of us who have done this long enough (I’ve been at it for 21 years) can find caves without demons to dwell in. Instead, like the jackasses that we are, we say “Great, I just eradicated all the problems. Hey look – more problems – let me go run over there!” It’s sort of in our DNA don’t you think?

    • Every cave has demons in it. And demons are lurking around every corner. And there are lots of ways to make them go away. Some are simply problems, others are something much more than just problems.

      There’s great parallels here. Entrepreneurs have demons everywhere. But so does everyone else in life. Accepting that and figuring out how YOU deal with them is so powerful, at least it has been for me.

      • Wil Schroter

        No doubt. But you specifically go after situations where demons are aplenty. You could deal with less of them – but you choose to seek out more of them. Otherwise being in startups/VC would not be on the top of your list 😉

  • When you first described this coping strategy to me prolly 5 or 6 yrs ago, it changed everything. Accepting this as part of the deal, and embracing it (instead of fighting the relentless tide) allows one to be at peace and in a better place in which to take on the challenges.

    I’ve since retold this perspective/advice countless times. Thank you (again).

    • You are welcome. As we walk in loops around Boulder, I’ve learned a lot from just being with you. It’s a nice two way street!

  • had a particularly bad demon today. Minor car accident (not my fault) on the way to my good friends 10yr old daughters wake (she was hit by a bus in providence on Thursday). Spending 3 hours in a wake line (i’m not religious), kneeling down next to an angel of a dead little girl, approaching my friend to extend condolences and noticing that his entire life-force has left him completely and he was alone in this unfathomable zombeistic misery…..you get the picture.

    Oh and i run a startup which is really fucking hard.

    Getting that off my chest was actually theraputic.

    Dust off – up we get….attack tomorrow…

  • Jasterix

    Blown away by the interaction in the comments section between brad and the readers. Accesed this blog expecting to be just another reader, but looking forward to many interesting conversations and perspectives.

    • Thanks. I enjoy the community and comments a lot – I always learn from it.

  • Ryan P

    My basic tenet of life (adapted to the parable) is that as long as I’m capable of drawing breath, the demons could always be worse. Even when bad things happen to those you love, if you’re alive you haven’t lost the ability to help make others’ lives better or brighter.

  • J franta

    clarity is you. more anticipation for your feld tech ipo part 2 post…. aka prequel to the demons!

    • Ah – yes – good prompt to get back on the writing horse and finish the story.

  • Michael Oiknine

    Thx for sharing Brad, such a helpful and authentic post. I completely relate.

    • Thx Michael. Good reconnecting a few weeks ago…

  • timbarnes10

    Brad, thanks for sharing. Everyone can relate to this in some way….A song came in my head after reading the post – Kanye West “Heard em say”….it’s soothing so give it a listen..”nothin ever promised tomorrow today”

  • Brad, wow. Smart entrepreneurs admit how it stresses and frightens them all of the time. VCs often wear this “cloak of invincibility”. The really smart one opens up. You really care about your firms. You, @msuster, there is a new generation of people who *should* be VCs!

    I have been consulting independently on ops and scaling for a decade. I have great years and terrible years, and I live with my own demons in the bad ones… and in the great ones I internalize my clients’ demons.

    I was on a plane LGA-ORD while the towers came down. I had not forgotten the national lessons… but I had let the personal ones slip by. Thanks for bringing it back to life.

    • I think it would have been scarier to be in a plane than to be asleep in a hotel room in midtown. I get a little anxious just typing about that day.

      While some VCs wear this artificial cloak of invincibility, lots of other people do also. It’s a well worn cloak that I prefer to leave in a dumpster whenever I notice it.

      • “Fearlessly, the idiot faced the crowd…”

        I was in the air. Pilot announced what was happening… I’ve told this story before.

        It took me years before I was able to listen to Fearless again. It was playing in my headphones when the pilot cut in.

        • Breathe …

        • Christian LeFer

          Wow, that Pink Floyd song is a powerful metaphor in light of the circumstance and this post. Thanks.

          • i was listening to a united media channel retrospective of Floyd + that line was literally the last part of the song that played before the pilot made the announcement

      • It would have been if we knew what was going on. We didn’t. I only realized on the train into downtown Chicago. My wife and co-workers, who couldn’t reach me, felt a little differently.

        I hate the cloak. I know what I am good at and where I add a lot of value, but sometimes I have to appear superhuman to make the sale. Feh. Far prefer clients who know we are all human.

        I will remember your saying for a very long time.

  • Brad, thanks for writing this. As someone that’s worked mostly in operations and startups for 20+ years, now a VC, I understand. I like things to go right. I used to get really upset when things didn’t go according to (my) plan. Now I realise that things do and will go wrong and you can either push on through and learn or you can suffer. I prefer to push on through. I find this tough though; every day I fight with my own head to stay the right side of that line. Respect to you for saying it so clearly – thank you.

  • Ozge

    As a first time entrepreneur, this just made my day. It is so encouraging to see that there are many others and many more experienced ones going through the similar fears as I do every day.

    It’s been only two years for me but I know I’ve learned so much from my demons. It’s also scary but very exciting to think that this is only the beginning for me. I know I am only becoming a better entrepreneur and a better human being all around by facing with my demons.

    Thanks Brad!

  • Steven Hertzberg

    After 26years of startups, I don’t see demons anymore. I now live in a world where I only allow myself to see possibility & opportunity, and it’s all fun.

    A lifetime of studying Complexity Science has taught me that I can’t predict the future, and that outcomes can vary wildy based upon the smallest change in initial conditions. So, I’ve disposed of the cave, and do the best I can to navigate my world. The future is incredibly bright 🙂

  • awaldstein

    Thanks for this.

    I”m smarter as i’m older. I’m a better CEO as I don’t need the win as much.

    But there are days in business that are just bad. Just suck.

    Just the way it is.

    Personally, I don’t sugar coat them I simply embrace them as they happen and move on.

    Realistic optimist here.

    • I like “realistic optimist.” I also like “paranoid optimist” (in the style of Andy Grove).

  • Ken Greenwood

    Thanks for sharing. Clearly, by the examples that follow, almost all of us have similar experiences and ways to cope. I also got a new term for my vocabulary, “fuckedupness”. Thanks!

  • Christian LeFer

    My favorite Feld post. EVER. Startups are to me a cosmic teleportation device for soul healing, personal growth and becoming who God made me to be by facing and conquering (or acknowledging) the demons. THANK YOU BRAD FOR THIS!

  • Christian LeFer

    …and for having an epic adventure changing the world. Profitably.

  • JamesHRH

    Demons are just things tou want that you cannot control….which is most things.

    Great post for anyone in a startup.

  • Dave Linhardt

    Brad, I think you learned the lesson your demons were trying to teach you – how to be truly resilient. In my experience, you can only learn this when you are brought completely to your knees.

  • Dave Linhardt

    I took the liberty of editing the title of this post, and your favorite saying.

    Everyday, My Life Blesses Me With The Opportunity To Be Challenged, To Learn & To Grow In Ways I Never Thought Possible.

    Try that on for size and see if I changes your perspective a little bit.

  • BarryG

    I take a little dose from Albert Ellis who invented cognitive pyschology and was a true zen master just without the zen. In fact, I used him so much that it is now reflex and hence I’m able to dwell amongst the demons mostly unfazed.

  • mark gelband

    Thank you bfeld and jerrycolonna for the commitment to mindful leadership, for being willing to dig and share deeply, and for challenging the status quo.

  • Dave

    Thanks for sharing. Great post for startups and living life in general.

  • Mike King

    Fantastic! There is a great lesson here. Not in giving up, but in surrendering to the notion that you don’t have to -and simply can’t – control everything.

  • jsteig

    What a great post! That made my day.

  • Sometimes the trick is figuring out what the demons are. They aren’t always readily apparent.

  • Wow, that Pink Floyd song is a powerful metaphor in light of the circumstance and this post. Thanks. love quotes

  • NikkiBaidwanPiplani

    Thanks for this post – sharing it with a few people that I think would benefit from it. This situation came true for me in a very real life metaphoric way. I went on a rafting trip and was terrified. I spent the first 30 minutes tense and scared, clutching on for dear life and bracing for every rapid or bump. And then suddenly I realized the absurdity of being on that raft and being scared of the rapids or the water. I just let go and started to enjoy it – it was the best experience after that. I did fall off and even drifted away – but my friends caught me and brought me back on board. It’s been a useful experience and mental picture to have as I’ve gone through the past year of entrepreneurship – to just let go and literally, go with the flow.

  • Bob Africa

    Thanks, Brad. I very much appreciate your post. As I like to say, Suffer Better.

  • Agree with some of the other commenters – in the “Best of Brad” category! Great post!

    “Embrace chaos and the emotion that comes with it” is the fine wisdom from an advisor of mine recently. Demons are really just that I think, and they only become true monsters when ignoring their reality. I think they just want a little pat on the head, to first stop growling, and hopefully eventually start purring or sometimes just go away. 🙂 (No matter how vicious they seem initially.)

  • myBestHelper

    This is a great post, @bfeld:disqus, reminds me of the Hemingway quote “The world breaks every one and afterwards many are strong at the broken places”. Alex, CEO founder myBestHelper

  • Great post, Brad, inspired me to post on my blog today. Thanks!

  • Ed Roberto

    All of 2001 was a crucible moment, I recall those days all too well. Yet despite the challenges, you brought reason and calmness to a pretty fucked up time. Glad you were there.

    • Thx my friend. You were remarkably clear minded thorough that time period also.

  • evMan1

    Brad, Quite a post my friend ! As long as I have known you in many of the Boulder-based meetup events I have attended, and even in our face to face meetings, you always seem to provide these “nuggets” of wisdom and humanity. I thank you for this gift you continue to give back to the start-up and entrepreneurial community.

    I too have a 9/11 story to tell… But I guess I was in a different “state of mind” on that fateful Tuesday morning. I was also directly affected, but on the opposite side of the country.

    On that fateful Tuesday I was on an American Airlines Flight from Colorado Springs to San Francisco, (via routing through LA) on route to visit with a client of mine in San Rafael. We had just taken off on a clear and sunny morning from Colorado Springs airport, but just after about an hour or two into the flight, and after the Twin Towers were hit in NY, and the Pentagon attacked, and Flight 93 crashed into a field in Western PA, you know what happened next… 4,000 flights over the US were IMMEDIATELY Grounded by the FAA ! Well I was now on my way to McCarren Airport in Las Vegas as the Captain made an announcement on the PA saying “There has been a national air emergency and we have been ordered to land.” Nothing else was said, no other explanation made, so I had to wait under 45 minutes to find out what had happened.

    While we now know no other planes were hijacked, at the time, each of the 4,000-plus flights in American air space were potential risks. But we were lucky that day due to Ben Sliney, the FAA’s National Operations Manager on duty that morning, because he made the gutsy — and completely unprecedented — call to ground every single commercial airplane in the country. What made his call that day, (without direct order from the President and the bureaucracy above him), was his and his alone to make — all the more gutsy is that Sept. 11th, 2001, was Ben Sliney’s first day on the job as an FAA National Operations Manager. Sure he had worked at the FAA for 25 years before that day, and knew what he was doing, but he made the decision on his own nevertheless and took the responsibility. That’s Leadership, that’s guts.

    Well, I knew I had to act fast once I started to understand what was happening that day as I started making phone calls on my cell phone once we landed at the airport in Las Vegas. After I called my Wife and told her I was ok, and a friend of mine who called and left a voice message, I knew that all hell was breaking out at every airport in the country, and I was coming into one of the most congested airports in the west… I needed to get a car, and a hotel BEFORE I got off the plane.. So I started making calls while we were taxing into the terminal to get my Rental Car reservation from Alamo changed from San Francisco to Las Vegas, and to quickly book a local hotel BEFORE THEY WERE GONE. After getting to the terminal, I just ran through the terminal and left my bag in the baggage claim area and headed to the Alamo Rental Car center ASAP. When I got there…at least 200 people were already in line… But because I had switched my Alamo Quick Silver Car Reservation before I got to the counter, I was able to use the Quick Silver KIOSK in the rental car area and confirm and secure my car ahead of everyone else… And because I got to the terminal BEFORE 9AM (PST), (which I found out later was the cut-off time that Alamo had set that morning) I was able to avoid a long distance drop off charge for the car because I had to drive it to SF and drop it off. Total Car Rental price $79.00 for a three day rental and no drop-off charge, (which would have been over $400).

    After I got the car, and went back to the Airport to pick up my bag and check into the low-budget Motel in Las Vegas… I sat there in my room alone in front of the TV watching the replays of the horror in NY and DC and PA, and the live news coverage of what was happening as the day unfolded… It was an absolutely “numbing” experience for me as I could have easily been on another American Airlines flight with terrorists aboard who wanted to do the very same thing, and could have been killed that day as well. As many people say, your life can “end in an instance” so you need to live each and every day like your last.

    And as the stories came out later about what happened on United Flight 93 about how the passengers tried to save the plane by rushing the terrorists in the cabin, and the words that Todd Beamer said that was overheard on an Airfone flight phone call that Thomas Burnett Jr., made to his wife as the passengers were gathering to plan their counter-attack…. “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll”.

    I can never forget this phrase, I can never forget its solemn meaning for the brave men and women on the plane who took their lives into their own hands to save others… I know if I was there I would have definitely done the same thing because it was the right thing to do at a moment of terror, disaster and despair, step-up and fight.

    Since then, everyday is a a “Let’s Roll Day” for me… because in the world we are living in today, you never know what will happen to you or when, and you have to always be “ready” to fight or battle “demons” or “events” in your life.

    Keep fighting the good fight Brad… I know you will come out in the end, and hand your “demons” their heads on a platter !

  • That is true confidence and wisdom. Very zen, yet extremely practical.

  • It’s really valuable for people to hear honest, personal stories like this. I enjoyed reading this….thanks for sharing. The Buddhist story was very cool and I hadn’t seen that anywhere else before.

  • oneafrikan

    Thank you Brad 😉

  • Wow. That was sooo good!! I can totally relate with this. Thank you so much for writing this. I’ve got to get my head back in that fucking demon’s mouth again. 🙂

  • The June 1 timing works perfect for me. 🙂 I appreciate the authenticity. So much.

  • Jeremy Riley

    So I don’t want to take anything away from the obvious lessons to be learned here, and there are many, but personally my biggest take away is the fact that you and I have the same birthday only 16 years apart. I Hope its served you as well as it has me.