#12: Listen to Ridiculously Awesome Music While Cooking and in General

I am honestly going to get a lot of crap for writing this next post because it does involve my favorite genre of music. Based on that sentence alone you can probably guess my favorite genre is country. There are many reasons why country music is great and like every cliché blog post about an opinion; I’ll make a list.


It’s Relatable – When you’re really happy or sad you can turn on some country music and become one with the lyrics. With country music, you can always find that song that you want to believe was meant for you.

It isn’t complicated – Let’s be honest for a second. You can always understand what the song is trying to say. It isn’t bogged down with over-used metaphors that you have to decipher in your free time. I’m not lazy I just don’t have that much time.

The Twang – Most people hate it with every ounce in their body, but I love it. You can easily identify when a country song is playing on the radio. Some people believe that all country songs sound the same, but they are all different and have their own unique sound. I encourage everyone to at least try and listen to different artists and not just what you hear on the radio.

Country concerts are the best – Even if you hate country music you’ll absolutely love the atmosphere. Country singers and their fans know exactly how to have a good time. The music is just a reason to come together and party. Whether it be in the parking lot before the show or in your seat singing along with friends. If you’ve never been you’ve already failed at being awesome.

Now, this post is about listening to ridiculously awesome music while cooking and in general. I believe I have touched upon why I love country music (that’s the in general part). Let’s talk about the cooking part.

A few nights ago I rigged my kitchen with an Apple Airport Express and a set of speakers for the sole purpose of listening to music while I cook. That’s exactly what I accomplished when I blasted country music and cooked an awesome chicken dish. If you want to know what I cooked check out the recipe on my dad’s food blog, foodieroadshow.com.

This was just another step to being awesome yoo.

#42. ALWAYS Follow the Golden Rule…Especially Complete Strangers

Everyone has been told the same thing growing up “Treat others the way you wish to be treated”. The way you speak, think, and act actually affect other people and it is very easy to offend someone you know or even do not know. The way the golden rule is presented is simply telling others to go out and do the right thing, everyday. In reality, it isn’t possible to do the right thing everyday. We all have our vices and those things that prevent us from doing the right.

I work in an environment where it is extremely important to follow the golden rule. One thing I’ve learn is that you never want to come between someone and their technology. Especially when it is not working as they expect it to. We say this all the time at work “You only have the first minute of the interaction to make the appointment as personal as possible”. If even for a second you forget the golden rule you’ve lost that customer. It is as simple as shaking hands and introducing yourself. If you are able to smile and ask “how are you?” you will reap the rewards.

In my personal life my older brother Michael is an awesome example of the golden rule. He will always give someone a chance and will never judge a book by its cover. He really does have an interest in getting to know most people and seeing the good in them. That is until you get on his bad side. Love you bro.

This one is easy. Be kind. Be awesome. And remember that everyone is fighting a battle.

#37: Stop Caring About What Other People Think of You

This one is tough because it is very much in our nature to worry about what people will or will not approve of. I understand that everyone wants to be liked and I’m not going to lie, I want to be liked. I tend to be sensitive not to offend anybody and in doing so I realized how bad it was for my personal well-being.

Let’s be real, people are constantly judging you and there is nothing you can do or say about it. The good news is that you don’t need everyones approval. You only need the approval of those you care about. Recently, I struggled with the feeling of loneliness and being a loser, but none of that was true. I read an article online that outlined “How Not to Give a F*ck What Others Think”. And here is what it outlined.

1. Stop over-thinking:
  • It’s easy to obsess over the little things that put us down. An easy way to see if someone likes you is to push the limits and see how they react. A stranger won’t care or notice the change to your personality, but a friend will and ask questions. 
  • Really listen to yourself and catch when your over-thinking. Once you can recognize what you are doing you can do something about it. 

2. Put things into perspective:

  • Look at it this way, you only have one life, are you really going to let other peoples opinions control your life. I’m not saying to ignore the opinions of others because it is important to accept people for who they are and their point of view. Just don’t make them something you obsess over. Your thoughts are important too.

3. Be confident:

  • Smile: Everyone is struggling with something and a smile can easily put someone at ease.   
  • Visualize success: The first thing we always think about is when we are going to fail. Instead of thinking about a potential failure think about how you can be successful. An easy way to do so is to break down goals into pieces Everyone has small and long term goals, and everyone has a different approach to accomplishing them. Recently, I have been breaking down my goals into small pieces so my goals are more obtainable. It really works!

4. Learn to control your emotions:

  • It’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose focus on a current goal or objective. As soon as you can observe your feelings and emotions, you can pull yourself away from them and overcome what is putting you down.  

5. Accept yourself for who are:

  • This is by far the toughest thing someone can do. It’s doubt that puts us down. But how can you manage it? A friend of mine told me to write down everything I didn’t like about myself. After you have your list, look at it carefully and see what you can do to possibility change them. 

Overall, it’s ok to to care about what other people think about you. Just don’t make it your priority and be careful not to offend anyone. I recently wrote another post about “Making Your Life A Priority”. I believe that your life and how you think about it is truly important. So…go out there and be awesome yoo!

“Be kind. Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle.” – John Watson

#7: Go for a run…just exercise DAILY.

So if you know me then you aren’t surprised to hear that I love running. No, seriously, I mean, I LOVE IT. A LOT. It’s something that has always been that one thing I loved to do, but hesitated to keep up with. Last summer I started a personal campaign to run as much as I could. Why? Because why not. It’s a confusing combination of exhilaration and relaxation. I don’t run because it’s healthy or because I want to finish marathons. I run because it’s the only time I’m really alone; when I run I think about, well, everything. It’s not just everything, but everything in my life that matters.

Lets look at the overall aspects of running.
  1. You can run literally whenever, wherever! Down the street, in a park, on a treadmill, through a city, school track, playground, baseball field. Anywhere as long as you have the mindset, motivation and you aren’t trespassing. Also. it’s a year round activity. Just saying.
  2. It’s a super cheap way to just feel awesome. Since I started running I’ve spent a few bucks on water bottles and of course new shoes (more than a few dollars), but that’s ok because I will never go to a gym. And I honestly I don’t want to waste the money (personally of course).
  3. Running has improved my overall self-esteem. After a good couple of miles outside I come home and just feel incredible. As if I could take on the world. Everything that made me feel sad just goes away and for those brief moments I’m at my happiest.
  4. There are some health factors like reduced risk of heart disease, stress relieving, stronger bones and other benefits, but I have a little longer before I really start worrying about any of that. Sorry mom and dad I should worry more.
This list can be very vast, but I want to stick to why I love it so much.

There is something called a “Runner’s High” and yes, it is very real. It happens when you hit a point during a strenuously activity where you don’t want to stop. The endorphins that are release just make you feel a level of intensity that is very hard to explain. For me, it comes at about the mile mark. I finally find a comfortable stride, my breathing is very controlled and the rush of the wind brushing passed me is like no other feeling. I’m lost in my headphones and can feel every movement my body makes. My feet hitting the ground and adjusting to the messy sidewalks and streets of Providence to my muscles getting tighter with every stride. Honestly, I lose myself for that time and my mind just goes nuts. I can think of everything that is relevant and not relevant at all. I can’t get into detail about what I think about simply because they’re my thoughts and I don’t want to give those up.

Overall, I’m not sure why I stopped running after high school. I had forgotten how good it made me feel. If I were not able to run anymore I’m not really sure how I would handle it. I’d be lost and the thought of losing that feeling of freedom actually scares me. Until then, I run until I can’t run anymore.

Sometimes I feel like Forrest Gump


#1: Make Life a Priority

What does it really mean to “Make Life a Priority”? I mean, do we really know the answer to that question. Recently, I struggled to figure that out. And honestly, I still struggle. I guess it all really comes down to a work-life balance. What does that mean? Basically, it’s a self-determined state of mind and well-being. Someone who demonstrates a proper work-life balance is a person who can set goals and accomplish them while balancing work and personal responsibilities. I for one have failed dramatically at accomplishing an appropriate work-life balance.

To really understand why I failed I’m going to have to open up a little bit. It was just last year that I hit a very low point in my life. I just graduated from college with some pretty awesome honors. My family and friends did nothing but support my every move. And I had (still have) a job that is seriously awesome. But I was still very displeased with myself. I struggled trying to find a job in my major. I went on dozens of job interviews all of which led nowhere. I had set such high expectations for myself that when I failed I stopped caring. I felt as if I let everyone who believed in me down. I drank excessively and the only thing to pull me away from the hatred I was feeling for myself was my job. I worked myself pretty hard pulling constant seventy hour work weeks in a row. I needed the escape and work gave me that. Whenever anyone tried to get close to me I pushed them away. I became a shitty son, brother and friend, but with knowing that I still couldn’t get myself out of a hole. Now you’re probably reading this saying it wasn’t all that bad. Remember I said I was opening up a little bit. Really, I hated myself and the person I was becoming and didn’t know where to turn. Until someone in my life who I least expected said to me “If you ever need to talk, I’m a good listener.”.

Surprisingly enough I took her up on that offer. I finally started talking and opening up to a friend. She helped me understand the person I am and the value I bring to the people around me. If it were not for her I’d still be miserable. I will always appreciate her for believing in me. I still can’t forget about the other awesome people in my life. I am grateful for those who have helped me even when they weren’t aware they were. I had moments of weakness like wanting to give up and move back to NJ. At least there I was safe and could start over again. That was the easy thing to do and I had to prove to myself that I can do great things and be the person who loves what he sees in the mirror. I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for awesome people in my life. Seriously. Awesome. People.

Basically, I managed to open up and realize how important it is to care about yourself. Don’t worry about the people around you because if you’re good, they will be too. It’s ok to be selfish sometimes and need time for yourself. And it’s ok to always be yourself. My life is now my number one priority and everything else around me is where it needs to be. For now.

This blog is about getting to awesome. I feel far away from awesome, but I’m getting there.