Tag: life lessons

Comparing Yourself to Others – Unjust Comparisons

Comparing Yourself to Others – Unjust Comparisons

Judging your life based on others… sometimes I can’t help it, but it’s helpful to stop and reflect. Sure, you probably need to re-evaluate your own life and practice some gratitude, but you also need to reconsider how fairly you’re perceiving that other person’s life.

Luckily for me, I have a great old conversation archived covering this very topic.

Much thanks to Blake and his words of wisdom:


Why Generation Y Yuppies are Unhappy

Tale of Heroes: Domon Kasshu

Tale of Heroes: Domon Kasshu

In my life, I’ve had lots of role models. Here’s another.

The Legend

Domon Kasshu comes from one of the more polarizing anime series: Mobile Fighter G Gundam. I got introduced to the show when it ran on Cartoon Network’s Toonami block.

It’s very much your typical shonen type arc (i.e. protagonist wants to be the best X, makes friends along the way, tries really really hard to reach his dreams). And I think for people who enjoy Dragonball, they’ll be right at home here.

The similarities to your run-of-the-mill shonen are the exact same reasons why people don’t like G Gundam– it doesn’t respect the lore of the traditional Gundam universe. And it’s really, really over the top. But since I don’t know that much about that anyway, let’s just focus on Domon.

He takes his fashion cues from X-men’s Gambit, which makes him a terrible Halloween costume to attempt. And at his core, he’s kind of a jerk… until the learns the true meaning of friendship, etc.

But thanks to his fighting capabilities and Gundam use, he has some pretty badass moments to shine.


The Impact

Domon on his own didn’t do much for me, but following his journey really sucked me in. The driving storyline of the show is Domon’s conflict with his brother, Kyoji… who killed their mother! Or did he?! Without getting into any kind of spoilers on that front, let’s just say he learns the true meaning of family along the way.

He too, has his own role model that he idolizes: Master Asia, the Undefeated of the East! I mean, Domon’s “King of Hearts” moniker is great, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Master Asia’s title. Along the way, Domon had to learn that he had to carve his own path and not blindly follow his mentor to a tee.

As Domon continues to train and get stronger, he also learns the true way to harness his strength. Ya see, for a good first half of the series, he relied on the negative to push himself forward.


He turns to his anger as a fuel source. But the energy from hate is really limited. After some training in the waterfalls of the mountains (of course), he adopts the concept of meikyo shisui. Dubbed “The Serene State of Mind” in the English translation.

If I had to overly simplify the concept: don’t bring your baggage. To act and react properly, you have to be clear and free.

When I get overwhelmed, I try to remind myself of this concept. I may or may not still strike the Domon finger pose too.


Now for all the good that Domon did me, there is one aspect in my life he did me very wrong: romantic relationships! G Gundam’s message of love is really bad.

After finding out Kyoji dies (no!) and Master Asia (no no!), Domon hunts down the real baddie of the series who’s also kidnapped Domon’s is-she/is-she-not girl. And it’s in the very last episode, in the middle of the daring rescue, he lays it all out on the line.

He gives this big speech about how stupid he’s been to neglect what’s important in his life. He’s been so obsessed and focused pursuing other things, he didn’t recognize what he truly cared about was always near him by his side.

What did we go through? What happened to us this past year? What meaning did this year have for us?

Maybe that’s romantic to some folks. Maybe if you watch the episode, it’ll get you all teary eyed and stick with you. And– aw man, I’m still a sucker.

I just re-watched that scene, and even now I feel the feels.

But no, that’s not love, Old Jon! Back then, I took the impact of that scene and tried to shoehorn it to fit into my own life. I tried to force my own narrative to play out the same way.

I mean, I too had a female friend who was by my side for the year. Could she be the Rain to my Domon? Why not try to make it work?

And she wasn’t… because that narrative works for the show and not real life.

Love is NOT…

Love is NOT…

All right! I’m doing it– the blogging thing. After starting the year strong with the mantra of New Year, New Story, let’s get to exploring love itself. Just in time for Valentine’s!

I thought about adding to my list of Lessons from Dating, but I think the best way to approach this topic is to focus on the misconceptions of love. We might all want to know what love is, but let’s tackle what love isn’t.

1. Love is NOT not ever having to say you’re sorry. 

On a podcast years ago, I was talking about that famous line from the movie Love Story: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” My friend Sam called that line on its bullshit because, yeah, when the need arises you should apologize.

So why has this quote carried on throughout the years? Part of it has to be that soundtrack. The other part has to be the idealized want of forgiveness (i.e. our love is so strong that they’ll always forgive me, and if they always forgive me, I don’t need to say sorry).

Just because you’re in love doesn’t mean you can skimp out on the apology, but you should be wary of two things. First, don’t give an asshole apology where you blame the other person for taking offense or getting the feelings hurt. You need to be able to own up to your mistakes. Second, don’t make it all about the apology. Some people think “I’m sorry” are two magical words that can fix everything. Those words are a step in the right direction, but saying “I’m sorry” all day/everyday without any follow through won’t mean much.

And yet, I see people repeat those words like a broken record….

2. Love is NOT completion.

We hear it all the time. Barry Manilow lied to us. Bryan Adams lied to us. 98 Degrees too. Your significant other shouldn’t be the reason you live your life.

Can a girlfriend/boyfriend be a huge part of your life? Absolutely. Should a spouse enrich your life– most definitely. But I know I’m fighting against a lot of words and phrases that’ve become embedded in our speech.

“What? You want to tell me my wife doesn’t complete me? Fuck you, Jon!”

I’m not trying to take away from anyone who feels they have something special. It’s just that if you spend your whole life searching someone to make you whole, that means you live a good portion of your life thinking you’re incomplete. You carry the mindset that you’re not good enough.

And not only is that no way to live, it’ll also skew the dynamic of how the relationship plays out. What might seem romantic becomes a reality of neediness and over-dependence. And in turn, being the “everything” for someone else is a lot of pressure to bear.

Getting hold of your “other half” might also be disappointing because you’ll learn that…

3. Love is NOT enough.

Damn it, Beatles! Who hasn’t been conditioned to think “All You Need is Love”? This point really hammers in the idolized love that so many people deem romantic. But don’t ya know? Love don’t fix a headache. Love don’t stop a ticket. Love don’t pay the bills.

I always think about brides who say their wedding day was the best day of their lives. That sort of sentiment always makes me sad because after that day, then what? It all goes downhill? You see the same thing crop up when people get nostalgic about high school.

Life without love might be bleak, but love isn’t a magic cure. Just like the apology scenario we covered above, you need the follow through. There needs to be something else– something more to it. And it’s not that you need to work harder or have to kill yourself by putting more into the relationship! Don’t make it all about love.

Actions without love might be bad, but love without action is worse.

I don’t quite know how to transition to that thought, but I’m going to take a gamble and believe in myself for doing just enough set up. Go on and tweet that.


Do you or someone you know struggle with keeping a realistic hold of self-value when it comes to love? Schedule a free consultation by calling 617-870-3615.

A Tale of Heroes

I was raised by a single Mom, and it didn’t bother me one bit because I had enough heroes to fill that Papa-less void. Curious as to who’s influenced and inspired everyone else out there, I sent this tweet:

I got a few mixed responses: the Matrix, NFL greats, Madonna for her cone boobs. In turn, here’s my top 10 and how they’ve shaped me. Ranking wasn’t easy! [Note: WordPress puts the “next page” jump underneath the sharing options]

Continue reading “A Tale of Heroes”