in Life's Cheat Code

The God Mode Mindset

Life: Play it like a Video Game

A Winner Is You!

A week ago I had a plan. Last Wednesday I was sitting at work, earning a steady paycheck at a reputable advertising agency in Nashville, Tennessee.  I woke up in the morning, watched an episode of Saved by the Bell, showered, grabbed a McDonald’s iced coffee, sat behind a desk all day, did my job, went home, ate dinner, watched Seinfeld reruns, and went to sleep. This cycle was repeated almost ritualistically day in and day out. My days had become so routine that I had almost lost interest in breaking away. What was the point in changing anything? Why should I bother taking any risks when this ‘worked’? I could work my way up the corporate ladder, get my annual raise, put a down payment on a house, have some kids, set up a pension, and live out the ‘American Dream’.

It’s amazing how fast things change. Now, one week later, any semblance of that cookie cutter American Dream is gone. The only similarity between last Wednesday’s routine and today’s was the waking up and watching Saved by the Bell Part. Today I’m sitting here, unemployed, in my new home of Elgin, Illinois. Last week I could have mapped out the next 25 years of my life. Today I can’t tell you what will happen 25 minutes from now. Looking into my future, there is no plan. I don’t know what I’ll be doing tomorrow or where I’ll be living a year from now. For the first time in my life I’m living spontaneously, moment by moment, and honestly all I can ask myself is, ‘Why didn’t I do this sooner?’

When you live by the rules – you limit your potential. I’m here to tell you that the rules are BS. Odds are they were put there to keep you safe – to limit your risk taking but promote a safe and secure lifestyle. Graduating college, finding a job that pays well, getting married, providing for your family – this is all part of our lives’ script. Some rules are there for a reason, I’m not promoting all out anarchy here; but sometimes when you break the rules, when you ‘cheat life’, you start to realize what you’re truly capable of.

Remember the old school Contra on the NES? Yeah, that game was awesome. Those video game nerds out there will remember that three lives was never enough to conquer the game. There were too many unexpected things thrown at you, too many situations where the ‘game’ pretty much screwed you and there was no way to escape certain death.

So most of us, myself included, saved ourselves the trouble and cheated. Sure, we may have lied and said we never did to our friends during recess because only losers had to use cheat codes. But it’s OK – we’re all adults now, we can admit we were just a bunch of cheaters back in the day. The universal ‘Konami Code’ was legendary amongst gamers of our era:

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start.

Entering the sequence of buttons above gave you unlimited lives: Immortality in pure, 8-bit format. It’s funny how different you approach something when you have nothing to lose. You face risk head on – you’ll run in guns blazing instead of tippy-toeing from screen to screen. You’ll jump down the dark pit without knowing what’s below. The beauty is, if you die, if you ‘fail’ you can pick yourself up and try again. And with every death, through every failed attempt, you learn, you grow. With experience you learn what to do, and maybe more importantly, what not to do the next time through.

Over the past few weeks I’ve shared my story with many of you. There have been several who have commended me for my bravery – for being able to take the leap when there are so many reasons not to. Many of you have said something along the lines of ‘I wish I could do what you’re doing’. My (public) response to all of you out there who may be doubting yourselves is to just do it. If it helps, watch me try and fail. Observe how many times I fall down, only to pick myself up and try again. Now that the line has been drawn in the sand and I’m standing on the ‘other’ side – I’m telling you that as terrifying as it might seem to break away – you CAN do it. If I can do it, anyone can. Stop living your life by the rules and start cheating. Punch in the code and start taking risks.

You may not be able to cheat death, but you can always live a life of invincibility.

[+10 Bonus Points to the first person who explains the context of the ‘Winner Is You’ headline]

Add Your Voice

Comment

58 Comments

  1. This is a really good analogy, Matt. I like the idea that once you use the konami code, you will take more risks in the game. In order to play in god mode in real life (or as I like to say, living with a life sized game genie), we need to take control of our life and give ourselves enough factor of safety to take some chances. This can be done by reducing your monthly bills, reducing the amount of nonessential stuff that we own, and accepting possibilty of failure. You have done all three of these things and therefore have a much higher chance of success. Or possibly your are already successful because you are in total control of what comes next. Awesome post, maybe next week we can discuss what donkey kong can teach us about monkey and human relations!

    • @Ben. One reoccurring theme I see in everything, both in our (collective) personal and professional lives is this idea of ‘getting back to basics’. When we eliminate the excess, cut out the fluff, and think simplistically, we’re able to achieve a renewed sense of presence and focus. Over the past couple weeks I quit my job (so I don’t have that commitment in my way), sold most of my stuff (reducing the nonessentials’), moved in with the in-laws (eliminating some bills I have to pay) and now my focus is on the future. And this time, it’s centered around what I want to do. I’m doing everything I can to not sell myself short. In short, by focusing on ME, I’m realizing my worth.

      I’m thinking there should be a common ‘Video Games and Life’ theme here at Life Without Pants. Thoughts?

  2. This is a really good analogy, Matt. I like the idea that once you use the konami code, you will take more risks in the game. In order to play in god mode in real life (or as I like to say, living with a life sized game genie), we need to take control of our life and give ourselves enough factor of safety to take some chances. This can be done by reducing your monthly bills, reducing the amount of nonessential stuff that we own, and accepting possibilty of failure. You have done all three of these things and therefore have a much higher chance of success. Or possibly your are already successful because you are in total control of what comes next. Awesome post, maybe next week we can discuss what donkey kong can teach us about monkey and human relations!

    • @Ben. One reoccurring theme I see in everything, both in our (collective) personal and professional lives is this idea of ‘getting back to basics’. When we eliminate the excess, cut out the fluff, and think simplistically, we’re able to achieve a renewed sense of presence and focus. Over the past couple weeks I quit my job (so I don’t have that commitment in my way), sold most of my stuff (reducing the nonessentials’), moved in with the in-laws (eliminating some bills I have to pay) and now my focus is on the future. And this time, it’s centered around what I want to do. I’m doing everything I can to not sell myself short. In short, by focusing on ME, I’m realizing my worth.

      I’m thinking there should be a common ‘Video Games and Life’ theme here at Life Without Pants. Thoughts?

  3. You are definitely doing the right thing. There’s absolutely no chance of living the life you want to live, if you’re not prepared to take a risk to get there. I was grappling with taking the same sort of leap 6 months ago – I did it. And now? I’m in my dream job, a job I’d never have known even existed till I landed it. And blogging helped me get there. Keep going, you’re on the right path.

    • Thanks for stopping by. It’s great to hear you took that leap and put yourself out there. Us risk-takers have to stick together, no? The least we can do is act as guides to those who want to take that leap but don’t know how or where to begin. I’m on the hunt for that dream job; and while I’m not there yet, there is no doubt in my mind that by continuing to do what I do, I’ll get there soon enough. Cheers!

  4. You are definitely doing the right thing. There’s absolutely no chance of living the life you want to live, if you’re not prepared to take a risk to get there. I was grappling with taking the same sort of leap 6 months ago – I did it. And now? I’m in my dream job, a job I’d never have known even existed till I landed it. And blogging helped me get there. Keep going, you’re on the right path.

    • Thanks for stopping by. It’s great to hear you took that leap and put yourself out there. Us risk-takers have to stick together, no? The least we can do is act as guides to those who want to take that leap but don’t know how or where to begin. I’m on the hunt for that dream job; and while I’m not there yet, there is no doubt in my mind that by continuing to do what I do, I’ll get there soon enough. Cheers!

  5. To echo Benjamin’s sentiments I also enjoyed the analogy.

    When I first came out here to Charlotte, I spent a week in an empty apartment with an air mattress until my furniture arrived the following week. It was then (like a true Stoic – lol) that I knew if that’s the worse I had to encounter then life isn’t really all that bad.

    Granted, if you weren’t prepared you could get yourself in a bind, but you’re ready (and I’m ready to witness your journey).

    I think it’s all about how you frame things. We can continue challenging ourselves even if our jobs aren’t necessarily challenging us. I’m sure you learned a ton in your agency gig, about what not to do as much as what to do (or more). Now you can leverage those experiences and the fact that you continued to push yourself outside the office to excel at whatever is next.

    It’s easy to be frustrated about an annoying gig. It’s hard to extract the value from said gig until the pieces are in place to take the leap. When most of our friends in the space take said leap it’s a smart decision, but I don’t want to glorify it for everyone, because many do so irresponsibly, knowing they can fall back on their parents, etc.

    • @Ryan. I know I’m not ‘special’ here, but what I think my story and journey does is illustrate that even if a decision may not make the most sense, in life you ultimately have to do what you want to do, even it it means taking a step back for a while, even if it means accepting the graciousness of others to help you out when you are so used to doing everything on your own.

      I fully realize that many aren’t able to do what I’ve done, given their particular circumstance. But I also know, through talking to and observing the people around me, that many people CAN, but they’re holding themselves back. Those ‘rules’ are in place and they don’t know the cheat code that will allow them to face their fears and live a little more ‘dangerously’.

      I’ve learned something from every single career experience I’ve had – even all the way back to the summer of 2000 when I was working as a grocery bagger (read the ‘Nobody Likes a Quitter’ post for more on this). Through the past year at my most recent employer, I grew and matured by leaps and bounds, both personally and professionally, and I’ll take my experience there, both inside and outside the office, and carry it with me forever.

      Sheesh, I’m turning this blog into a damn after-school special. ‘The More You Know’

  6. To echo Benjamin’s sentiments I also enjoyed the analogy.

    When I first came out here to Charlotte, I spent a week in an empty apartment with an air mattress until my furniture arrived the following week. It was then (like a true Stoic – lol) that I knew if that’s the worse I had to encounter then life isn’t really all that bad.

    Granted, if you weren’t prepared you could get yourself in a bind, but you’re ready (and I’m ready to witness your journey).

    I think it’s all about how you frame things. We can continue challenging ourselves even if our jobs aren’t necessarily challenging us. I’m sure you learned a ton in your agency gig, about what not to do as much as what to do (or more). Now you can leverage those experiences and the fact that you continued to push yourself outside the office to excel at whatever is next.

    It’s easy to be frustrated about an annoying gig. It’s hard to extract the value from said gig until the pieces are in place to take the leap. When most of our friends in the space take said leap it’s a smart decision, but I don’t want to glorify it for everyone, because many do so irresponsibly, knowing they can fall back on their parents, etc.

    • @Ryan. I know I’m not ‘special’ here, but what I think my story and journey does is illustrate that even if a decision may not make the most sense, in life you ultimately have to do what you want to do, even it it means taking a step back for a while, even if it means accepting the graciousness of others to help you out when you are so used to doing everything on your own.

      I fully realize that many aren’t able to do what I’ve done, given their particular circumstance. But I also know, through talking to and observing the people around me, that many people CAN, but they’re holding themselves back. Those ‘rules’ are in place and they don’t know the cheat code that will allow them to face their fears and live a little more ‘dangerously’.

      I’ve learned something from every single career experience I’ve had – even all the way back to the summer of 2000 when I was working as a grocery bagger (read the ‘Nobody Likes a Quitter’ post for more on this). Through the past year at my most recent employer, I grew and matured by leaps and bounds, both personally and professionally, and I’ll take my experience there, both inside and outside the office, and carry it with me forever.

      Sheesh, I’m turning this blog into a damn after-school special. ‘The More You Know’

  7. This is awesome — I love the analogy, often when you punch in those “cheat codes” you only end up dying a few times. You end up having more lives then really need, but since you no longer have fear you take more risks. You discover it was fear holding you back.

    The winner is you — YOU become the winner when you recognize that you can live life on your own terms. YOU can be the rpg character of your own world, gaining experience points along the way with every risk you take.

    • What’s up Tony? You hit the nail on the head – it’s our OWN fear that holds us back – hell, even if you’re playing a video game. I always think back to my Resident Evil and Silent Hill playing days – why was I so scared to go into the dark room without a flashlight? It’s just a game, there’s nothing to really be scared of, right?

      That same mantra can be applied to our actual lives. It’s just life! When you start taking control and stop living by the rules ‘they’ have set in place for you – you’ll not only be more successful, you’ll lead a more fulfilling and self-actualizing life.

      The Winner Is You! (Can’t believe no one has picked up that reference yet)

  8. This is awesome — I love the analogy, often when you punch in those “cheat codes” you only end up dying a few times. You end up having more lives then really need, but since you no longer have fear you take more risks. You discover it was fear holding you back.

    The winner is you — YOU become the winner when you recognize that you can live life on your own terms. YOU can be the rpg character of your own world, gaining experience points along the way with every risk you take.

    • What’s up Tony? You hit the nail on the head – it’s our OWN fear that holds us back – hell, even if you’re playing a video game. I always think back to my Resident Evil and Silent Hill playing days – why was I so scared to go into the dark room without a flashlight? It’s just a game, there’s nothing to really be scared of, right?

      That same mantra can be applied to our actual lives. It’s just life! When you start taking control and stop living by the rules ‘they’ have set in place for you – you’ll not only be more successful, you’ll lead a more fulfilling and self-actualizing life.

      The Winner Is You! (Can’t believe no one has picked up that reference yet)

  9. Man, this post drew some smiles… Contra, now that’s a videogame!

    Ok, yes. You’re absolutely right here. Like we always say, there are no mistakes. It’s just a matter of choices. It’s all one big path that leads nowhere, so we might as well enjoy it while we are at it.

    I like what you say about rules. I never thought about it that way, but it’s one of those things that once you read them, it makes you want to break free ASAP. You already know that I’m going for some crazy experience too, but reading this makes me even more anxious. So kudos for that advice.

    In the end, you always have to report to yourself, and we’re all very self-demanding bosses. People regret more what they didn’t do than what they did and went wrong. After all, that “wrong” is just another door open.

    Last, one has to look for failure. It’s failure what makes you grow. If you always succeed, you don’t learn anything. In my case, I can’t wait to be wrong again.

    Hope everything’s well with you my friend. Heck, everything will, you’re one exceptional dude…

    • @Carlos. Immediately following the writing of this post – I hopped on XBOX Live and played through Contra with a buddy of mine (Gotta love XBOX Live Arcade) – much easier with two people. Maybe it’s the change of scenery or the cooler weather, but making this transition has given me new found focus and determination. I’m finally starting to realize who I am and where I want to be, and it feels good to be siding with the rebels rather than standing on the outside looking in.

  10. Man, this post drew some smiles… Contra, now that’s a videogame!

    Ok, yes. You’re absolutely right here. Like we always say, there are no mistakes. It’s just a matter of choices. It’s all one big path that leads nowhere, so we might as well enjoy it while we are at it.

    I like what you say about rules. I never thought about it that way, but it’s one of those things that once you read them, it makes you want to break free ASAP. You already know that I’m going for some crazy experience too, but reading this makes me even more anxious. So kudos for that advice.

    In the end, you always have to report to yourself, and we’re all very self-demanding bosses. People regret more what they didn’t do than what they did and went wrong. After all, that “wrong” is just another door open.

    Last, one has to look for failure. It’s failure what makes you grow. If you always succeed, you don’t learn anything. In my case, I can’t wait to be wrong again.

    Hope everything’s well with you my friend. Heck, everything will, you’re one exceptional dude…

    • @Carlos. Immediately following the writing of this post – I hopped on XBOX Live and played through Contra with a buddy of mine (Gotta love XBOX Live Arcade) – much easier with two people. Maybe it’s the change of scenery or the cooler weather, but making this transition has given me new found focus and determination. I’m finally starting to realize who I am and where I want to be, and it feels good to be siding with the rebels rather than standing on the outside looking in.

  11. Matt,

    Good for you! Taking huge risks is important. I did something somewhat similar a few years ago and it really was the best possible thing I could have done… maybe. I now often look back and say, “What if I would have stayed.” There are times I wish that I did; however, the experiences that I got as a result of my choice were invaluable.

    So, do you have a plan? The only way I would take a risk like this is if I had a plan… or is that too much “playing by the rules”?

    Oh, and isn’t it “…A B A B select start”? ;-)

    • @Andy. Glad to see you back here my man, it’s been a while! I had to double check, but I’ve verified my ‘sources’ and the code above IS right (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konami_Code) – although A B A B select start sounds very familiar…

      You’re still playing by the rules if you have a plan! HAHA – No, I see where you are coming from, and I’m not suggesting everyone throw away everything they’ve worked to achieve – but to answer your question, I don’t have much of a plan right now other than finding work, a good place to live, getting settled in, writing a book, and getting settled here in Chicago. More of loose guidelines than a plan, per say. The pros and cons were weighed, and ultimately, the risk is worth the future payoff!

  12. Matt,

    Good for you! Taking huge risks is important. I did something somewhat similar a few years ago and it really was the best possible thing I could have done… maybe. I now often look back and say, “What if I would have stayed.” There are times I wish that I did; however, the experiences that I got as a result of my choice were invaluable.

    So, do you have a plan? The only way I would take a risk like this is if I had a plan… or is that too much “playing by the rules”?

    Oh, and isn’t it “…A B A B select start”? ;-)

    • @Andy. Glad to see you back here my man, it’s been a while! I had to double check, but I’ve verified my ‘sources’ and the code above IS right (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konami_Code) – although A B A B select start sounds very familiar…

      You’re still playing by the rules if you have a plan! HAHA – No, I see where you are coming from, and I’m not suggesting everyone throw away everything they’ve worked to achieve – but to answer your question, I don’t have much of a plan right now other than finding work, a good place to live, getting settled in, writing a book, and getting settled here in Chicago. More of loose guidelines than a plan, per say. The pros and cons were weighed, and ultimately, the risk is worth the future payoff!

  13. I think an important thing to note here is the knowledge of the God Mode code. Some of us spent months trying to figure out how to get to secret levels or “buy extra lives” on our little originial Nintendo games system, and would have happily used some invincibility tricks had we known them.

    The same can be said for going thru life in God mode. If you don’t know the codes (or that they exist) you can’t apply them. There are people that want to break the rules and take the leap, but they don’t know how to do it.

    • @Elisa. – We were all eager to cheat but never wanted to admit it. It was never cool to say you beat Contra with unlimited lives or Duck Hunt by holding the gun an inch from the TV screen. Real men (and women) played by the rules, or at least, never admitted to cheating.

      I argue your point on people not knowing ‘how to cheat life’. I think we all know how, it’s our own fear that holds us back. If we want to quit our job and move across the country, hell – we can do it, but we’re afraid, and understandably so. Change is scary (ehem, not to mention inconvenient) – but all of us, every single one, has the capability to step outside the box and start taking some risks.

      Fear is a very, very powerful thing. Overcoming it is never an easy task.

      • I would concur that probably more people know how to “cheat” than actually use the knowledge. That being said (and you can blame CarlosMic for making me think more globally every time I think of circumstance now) what about the people who REALLY do not know how to cheat because the opportunities we have afforded to us are not afforded to them. Think EXTREMELY impoverished single parents, African woman assaulted and beaten in their tiny villages, etc. They are not changing because they are barely scraping to cling to the unfortunate livestyle they have, let alone the ability to cheat their way into something else.

        If no one ever TOLD you where the secret coin room in the first world of Mario Bros. was, for example, you wouldn’t get an extra life before entering the cloud level. Others already have an advantage due to their knowledge (which they probably got from someone else who learned how to play God with the game) that some will never have cause they never even realized the possibility for a secret coin room existed.

  14. I think an important thing to note here is the knowledge of the God Mode code. Some of us spent months trying to figure out how to get to secret levels or “buy extra lives” on our little originial Nintendo games system, and would have happily used some invincibility tricks had we known them.

    The same can be said for going thru life in God mode. If you don’t know the codes (or that they exist) you can’t apply them. There are people that want to break the rules and take the leap, but they don’t know how to do it.

    • @Elisa. – We were all eager to cheat but never wanted to admit it. It was never cool to say you beat Contra with unlimited lives or Duck Hunt by holding the gun an inch from the TV screen. Real men (and women) played by the rules, or at least, never admitted to cheating.

      I argue your point on people not knowing ‘how to cheat life’. I think we all know how, it’s our own fear that holds us back. If we want to quit our job and move across the country, hell – we can do it, but we’re afraid, and understandably so. Change is scary (ehem, not to mention inconvenient) – but all of us, every single one, has the capability to step outside the box and start taking some risks.

      Fear is a very, very powerful thing. Overcoming it is never an easy task.

      • I would concur that probably more people know how to “cheat” than actually use the knowledge. That being said (and you can blame CarlosMic for making me think more globally every time I think of circumstance now) what about the people who REALLY do not know how to cheat because the opportunities we have afforded to us are not afforded to them. Think EXTREMELY impoverished single parents, African woman assaulted and beaten in their tiny villages, etc. They are not changing because they are barely scraping to cling to the unfortunate livestyle they have, let alone the ability to cheat their way into something else.

        If no one ever TOLD you where the secret coin room in the first world of Mario Bros. was, for example, you wouldn’t get an extra life before entering the cloud level. Others already have an advantage due to their knowledge (which they probably got from someone else who learned how to play God with the game) that some will never have cause they never even realized the possibility for a secret coin room existed.

  15. Bravo.

    I want to leave it at that. But I can’t.

    I am so excited for you and for everything that life has in store. Relocating rocks, I know, because I did it two weeks ago, to the very same city that you did. You stole this post from the deep nooks and crannies of my brain. I want to write one similar, my “you can do it!” post, but I think I’m saving it for when I get hired full time.

    You will excel here. This city is full of people like you and I, people who are not from here, who set out on a dream. There are your usual suspects; slackers, nay-sayers and the like, but now, with this worldly feel about you, you can spot them from a mile away.

    You will prevail. I know it. There are times when I think some of us are a little crazy, some days where I hate our community and then the rest of the days, most of the days, where I’m so proud of all that we have accomplished.

    Between you, Nisha, Jamie and I, we’ve got quite the record going for life-changing experiences. All different but incredibly brave and awesome in their own right.

    I will be here if you fall. Because I know you’ll be here if I do too. And the best part about this city? You already have friends, whether or not you’ve met them in person. That’s what gets me through the hard times. There is someone to hang out with just a tweet away (literally).

    Wake up tomorrow. Watch SBTB. And don’t turn back on what you know you can do.

    We’re watching. Keep us posted. And keep us posted because some of our community is living vicariously through you.

    Bravo.

    • @Sydney. Thanks for this – it means a lot – our paths are running parallel and it’s great to be able to share war stories with someone who is going through a very similar experience (hell, even in the same city). Maybe it would have been better to write these inspirational ‘just do it’ posts once I actually had achieved some level of success (finding a job, moving out from the future in-laws place, etc). But I think on many levels, I already have succeeded. I never thought I had the guts to do all this until I did it, like ripping off a band aid.

      There are many of us sharing in this dream – to now be in this super-cool ‘risk taker’ club feels pretty damn good. And there is no doubt in my mind that you and I (and everyone else who is putting themselves out there) will succeed, prevail, and otherwise overcome all obstacles. The support from everyone is amazing, and I am happy to reciprocate that support and ‘guidance’ (for lack of a better term) to you and everyone else.

      Saved by the Bell was somewhat lackluster this morning (never was a big fan of the Tori episodes) but the new day is here – I don’t know what the next 24 hours will bring, but I’m excited about the possibilities!

  16. Bravo.

    I want to leave it at that. But I can’t.

    I am so excited for you and for everything that life has in store. Relocating rocks, I know, because I did it two weeks ago, to the very same city that you did. You stole this post from the deep nooks and crannies of my brain. I want to write one similar, my “you can do it!” post, but I think I’m saving it for when I get hired full time.

    You will excel here. This city is full of people like you and I, people who are not from here, who set out on a dream. There are your usual suspects; slackers, nay-sayers and the like, but now, with this worldly feel about you, you can spot them from a mile away.

    You will prevail. I know it. There are times when I think some of us are a little crazy, some days where I hate our community and then the rest of the days, most of the days, where I’m so proud of all that we have accomplished.

    Between you, Nisha, Jamie and I, we’ve got quite the record going for life-changing experiences. All different but incredibly brave and awesome in their own right.

    I will be here if you fall. Because I know you’ll be here if I do too. And the best part about this city? You already have friends, whether or not you’ve met them in person. That’s what gets me through the hard times. There is someone to hang out with just a tweet away (literally).

    Wake up tomorrow. Watch SBTB. And don’t turn back on what you know you can do.

    We’re watching. Keep us posted. And keep us posted because some of our community is living vicariously through you.

    Bravo.

    • @Sydney. Thanks for this – it means a lot – our paths are running parallel and it’s great to be able to share war stories with someone who is going through a very similar experience (hell, even in the same city). Maybe it would have been better to write these inspirational ‘just do it’ posts once I actually had achieved some level of success (finding a job, moving out from the future in-laws place, etc). But I think on many levels, I already have succeeded. I never thought I had the guts to do all this until I did it, like ripping off a band aid.

      There are many of us sharing in this dream – to now be in this super-cool ‘risk taker’ club feels pretty damn good. And there is no doubt in my mind that you and I (and everyone else who is putting themselves out there) will succeed, prevail, and otherwise overcome all obstacles. The support from everyone is amazing, and I am happy to reciprocate that support and ‘guidance’ (for lack of a better term) to you and everyone else.

      Saved by the Bell was somewhat lackluster this morning (never was a big fan of the Tori episodes) but the new day is here – I don’t know what the next 24 hours will bring, but I’m excited about the possibilities!

  17. Matt: I’ve found that the most difficult and challenging experiences in life usually teach me the most about myself and my potential. The key is reminding myself of this as things are going on and making me miserable. That’s something I haven’t quite mastered, I’m better in retrospect. But, here you are, right smack dab in the middle of the unknown, and you just keep coming up with these inspiring, honest posts.

    I know the anticipation was driving you crazy, you were scared of what was going to happen, and you didn’t always have such a positive outlook. But, now that the waiting is over and this new phase of your life has started, you’ve realized that you’re okay, and you’re going to be okay. Another valuable lesson you probably didn’t even realize you were teaching people. I truly wish you the best of luck on your new adventure, and I know something good will come your way. Thanks for sharing your experiences with all of us!

    • Am I teaching people Sam? I don’t know – I don’t feel like an instructor, and I’m honestly not trying to serve up an after-school special of inspiration on how to live your life. I think all I’m really doing is telling my story, and trying to apply it to ‘the big picture’. If I wrote about my day-to-day life in journal form, people would care less, but hopefully, by chronicling my journey in relate-able ‘life lessons’ – you and everyone else will take away value from my little tale.

      OK, maybe I am somewhat of an inadvertent instructor – but in the end, I want everyone to remember that I’m just an average Joe – a regular guy trying to do something exceptional with his life.

  18. Matt: I’ve found that the most difficult and challenging experiences in life usually teach me the most about myself and my potential. The key is reminding myself of this as things are going on and making me miserable. That’s something I haven’t quite mastered, I’m better in retrospect. But, here you are, right smack dab in the middle of the unknown, and you just keep coming up with these inspiring, honest posts.

    I know the anticipation was driving you crazy, you were scared of what was going to happen, and you didn’t always have such a positive outlook. But, now that the waiting is over and this new phase of your life has started, you’ve realized that you’re okay, and you’re going to be okay. Another valuable lesson you probably didn’t even realize you were teaching people. I truly wish you the best of luck on your new adventure, and I know something good will come your way. Thanks for sharing your experiences with all of us!

    • Am I teaching people Sam? I don’t know – I don’t feel like an instructor, and I’m honestly not trying to serve up an after-school special of inspiration on how to live your life. I think all I’m really doing is telling my story, and trying to apply it to ‘the big picture’. If I wrote about my day-to-day life in journal form, people would care less, but hopefully, by chronicling my journey in relate-able ‘life lessons’ – you and everyone else will take away value from my little tale.

      OK, maybe I am somewhat of an inadvertent instructor – but in the end, I want everyone to remember that I’m just an average Joe – a regular guy trying to do something exceptional with his life.

  19. Living by the rules is never really that fun. I love to see coloring outside the lines and risk… Great thought, “You may not be able to cheat death, but you can always live a life of invincibility.”

  20. Living by the rules is never really that fun. I love to see coloring outside the lines and risk… Great thought, “You may not be able to cheat death, but you can always live a life of invincibility.”

  21. This is only the second post I’ve read here. I’m really loving this blog. Subscribed. :)

    Oh, and in case no one has picked up on this yet: A winner is you! is a crappy translation found in “Pro Wrestling”, an old NES game. (Like there are any new NES games…)

    • Well it took three months but someone FINALLY came through on this reference. Well done sir. As for your prize, since you subscribed, you can expect regular greatness (like the post above) delivered directly to your inbox/Google Reader. Who could ask for more, eh?

  22. This is only the second post I’ve read here. I’m really loving this blog. Subscribed. :)

    Oh, and in case no one has picked up on this yet: A winner is you! is a crappy translation found in “Pro Wrestling”, an old NES game. (Like there are any new NES games…)

    • Well it took three months but someone FINALLY came through on this reference. Well done sir. As for your prize, since you subscribed, you can expect regular greatness (like the post above) delivered directly to your inbox/Google Reader. Who could ask for more, eh?

  23. I found your site because of your website review videos and then read a few more things and saw you have quite a bit to say. My CareerJockey.org is aimed at job seekers, but I also blog on topics that are motivational, spiritual or give insight on the attitudes that affect our careers.

    I plan on adding LWP to my blog roll. Keep on writing.

  24. I found your site because of your website review videos and then read a few more things and saw you have quite a bit to say. My CareerJockey.org is aimed at job seekers, but I also blog on topics that are motivational, spiritual or give insight on the attitudes that affect our careers.

    I plan on adding LWP to my blog roll. Keep on writing.

  25. Great stuff!

    My situation is a bit different, but for 9 months now I haven’t had many rules. I’ll explain to you the last year of my life:

    October 2008 – Started visiting open houses, found an area that I loved and was approved for a mortgage. At my company I was leading the strategic initiative in many functions of staffing. I was due for a promotion in title and salary. Towards the end of October, news broke out that my company was acquired by Oracle. Unsure of the fortune cookies message, I backed off from house hunting and decided to wait it out at work.

    December 2008 – Find out that my last day would be at some point at the end of February. I turn down a position with the acquiring company since it didn’t fit in with my plans. I decide that I’ll take a risk.

    March 2008 – A week after my official last day, I went to Cancun with my best friend and little brother for his college spring break. One of the best times ever.

    June 2008 – Trip to Key West with a bunch of my friends. Another great time.

    July 2008 – Randomly on a Saturday morning I create CornOnTheJob as a means to keep my mind fresh. Little did I know that it was the beginning of many roads for me. The connections I’ve made, the brand I’ve built for myself, and the absolute fun I’ve had in running CornOnTheJob have meant the world to me. It also lead to the job I have starting in December.

    August 2008 – Go to Vegas with my best buddy, and my cousin and her friends. Another great time.

    That leads to now. A year later I’ve gone on incredible trips, started a career/employment blog that I feel is well on its way to becoming a top destination, and have made some incredible connections (like yourself) along the way. I took a risk and turned down a solid opportunity with the #2 software company in the world. Maybe down the line I’ll come to find out it was a mistake, but I can’t think that way. Without making the decision to turn down the offer, I would have never connected with you and so many others. I’d most likely be wondering, or even insisting that I should have turned down the offer if I stayed.

    Sometimes you need to jump in with both feet and say Fuck It. I just had the best summer of my life, while also starting to build a name for myself. If I regret anything, I regret not renting an RV and driving cross country.

    …maybe next time

  26. Great stuff!

    My situation is a bit different, but for 9 months now I haven’t had many rules. I’ll explain to you the last year of my life:

    October 2008 – Started visiting open houses, found an area that I loved and was approved for a mortgage. At my company I was leading the strategic initiative in many functions of staffing. I was due for a promotion in title and salary. Towards the end of October, news broke out that my company was acquired by Oracle. Unsure of the fortune cookies message, I backed off from house hunting and decided to wait it out at work.

    December 2008 – Find out that my last day would be at some point at the end of February. I turn down a position with the acquiring company since it didn’t fit in with my plans. I decide that I’ll take a risk.

    March 2008 – A week after my official last day, I went to Cancun with my best friend and little brother for his college spring break. One of the best times ever.

    June 2008 – Trip to Key West with a bunch of my friends. Another great time.

    July 2008 – Randomly on a Saturday morning I create CornOnTheJob as a means to keep my mind fresh. Little did I know that it was the beginning of many roads for me. The connections I’ve made, the brand I’ve built for myself, and the absolute fun I’ve had in running CornOnTheJob have meant the world to me. It also lead to the job I have starting in December.

    August 2008 – Go to Vegas with my best buddy, and my cousin and her friends. Another great time.

    That leads to now. A year later I’ve gone on incredible trips, started a career/employment blog that I feel is well on its way to becoming a top destination, and have made some incredible connections (like yourself) along the way. I took a risk and turned down a solid opportunity with the #2 software company in the world. Maybe down the line I’ll come to find out it was a mistake, but I can’t think that way. Without making the decision to turn down the offer, I would have never connected with you and so many others. I’d most likely be wondering, or even insisting that I should have turned down the offer if I stayed.

    Sometimes you need to jump in with both feet and say Fuck It. I just had the best summer of my life, while also starting to build a name for myself. If I regret anything, I regret not renting an RV and driving cross country.

    …maybe next time

  27. Matt

    We recently hooked up on Twitter, have been enjoying your posts ever since, and I see from the dates above, I have arrived at your GOD MODE MINDSET almost a year since you wrote it! But hey – who cares about the dates/times, cos when you are going commando, those things don’t always seem to matter do they?

    I have to say now, I too, threw my pants to wind, and left my job as an Account Director for a digital agency in September 2009 – the reasons are varied and many – a lot of them echoed here on your blog by yourself and others, so I know I’m in good company!

    I just wanted to say a few things in support of the pantless society:

    1. Without the comfy pants, life gets very real again – yeah, it can be scary, but doesn’t really feeling something take you from the *same shit, different day * to *totally-in-the-moment-i-can-make-this-happen-shit* ?!

    2. Fear – stops us all in our tracks..fear of failure, fear of not enough money to pay the bills, fear of looking like an idiot, fear of the wind blowing up our dresses and exposing our pantlessness? I say fear was the most crippling thing in my life..and learning to say F&!@ YOU FEAR! was one of the the biggest hurdles..

    3. Like Attracts Like – as in the people you have reached via your blog, your messages, your work etc….I have had a similar experience too :) it’s like universal serendipity turned up to the max when you are brave enough to jump…

    I could go on and on and on and on….but as I am about to publish my own blog, I am saving some rants for my first posts on there – all I can say is I love your work to day, I’m on the same page and am happy to have met!

    p.s. Electric Six “Gay Bar” really IS my workout tune :)

    • Hi Jo – Just wanted to say (again) that I’m so glad we’ve connected recently. Fear is so prevelenat in all of our lives, and if we’re not careful, it can control our lives. Instead – you have to use that fear, whatever it may be, as a motivational tool. Overcoming your fear and the obstacles before you is one of the best feelings.

      Positive energy is contagious. I was so afraid to take control of my life and make some difficult decisions but once I did, once I started living on my own terms, it was like everyone else could relate, like a surge of positivity shot through everyone, and this blog become one big “happy place” for everyone to share there successes and accomplishments.

      Looking forward to checking out your blog once you get it up and running – be sure to keep me in the loop!

      P.S. Electric Six rocks!

      • I love this post! Thank you for all those sharing their god mode experiences. And thank you Matt for starting it……hope it is all working out for you. I found this site searching for god mode in google, because I was wanting to see if anyone had found this connection with our own personal god mode, and here you all are.

        I have to declare being a bit older than all of you at 63, but that gives me a little more time maybe exploring god mode. I’m married with two girls who have given us 4 amazing grandchildren. I found godmode first of all in Doom in the 90’s, and thought this is much better than being killed all the time. As you say, you can try new things.

        Now I can see that life is just a game where the only purpose is to have fun, as long as you harm no one in the process. And the great controller of me in this game is my own personal godmode, connected to my version of god in my life. We each have our own version of this.

        So how does god mode work for me.

        I have found that as long as I do whatever I do for the good of me and for the good of all in can’t fail. It’s important it fulfils both aspects. That’s the job to look for or the work to do. Feel whatever it is that you are drawn to and start doing it, and as long as you harm no one in the process (Buddha gave us this clue – he said “harm no one” and “watch yourself in action”) you will always be successful. That is true god mode.

        So as you have all been saying “be yourself”, and then see what happens next….trust in your version of your godmode to guide you, learn to listen and enjoy the game………

        As the vedas said 5000 years ago, we are here to experience “eternal bliss and joy” (sat cit ananda). Enjoy it all!
        May your god bless you all……..
        Peter

  28. Matt

    We recently hooked up on Twitter, have been enjoying your posts ever since, and I see from the dates above, I have arrived at your GOD MODE MINDSET almost a year since you wrote it! But hey – who cares about the dates/times, cos when you are going commando, those things don’t always seem to matter do they?

    I have to say now, I too, threw my pants to wind, and left my job as an Account Director for a digital agency in September 2009 – the reasons are varied and many – a lot of them echoed here on your blog by yourself and others, so I know I’m in good company!

    I just wanted to say a few things in support of the pantless society:

    1. Without the comfy pants, life gets very real again – yeah, it can be scary, but doesn’t really feeling something take you from the *same shit, different day * to *totally-in-the-moment-i-can-make-this-happen-shit* ?!

    2. Fear – stops us all in our tracks..fear of failure, fear of not enough money to pay the bills, fear of looking like an idiot, fear of the wind blowing up our dresses and exposing our pantlessness? I say fear was the most crippling thing in my life..and learning to say F&!@ YOU FEAR! was one of the the biggest hurdles..

    3. Like Attracts Like – as in the people you have reached via your blog, your messages, your work etc….I have had a similar experience too :) it’s like universal serendipity turned up to the max when you are brave enough to jump…

    I could go on and on and on and on….but as I am about to publish my own blog, I am saving some rants for my first posts on there – all I can say is I love your work to day, I’m on the same page and am happy to have met!

    p.s. Electric Six “Gay Bar” really IS my workout tune :)

    • Hi Jo – Just wanted to say (again) that I’m so glad we’ve connected recently. Fear is so prevelenat in all of our lives, and if we’re not careful, it can control our lives. Instead – you have to use that fear, whatever it may be, as a motivational tool. Overcoming your fear and the obstacles before you is one of the best feelings.

      Positive energy is contagious. I was so afraid to take control of my life and make some difficult decisions but once I did, once I started living on my own terms, it was like everyone else could relate, like a surge of positivity shot through everyone, and this blog become one big “happy place” for everyone to share there successes and accomplishments.

      Looking forward to checking out your blog once you get it up and running – be sure to keep me in the loop!

      P.S. Electric Six rocks!

      • I love this post! Thank you for all those sharing their god mode experiences. And thank you Matt for starting it……hope it is all working out for you. I found this site searching for god mode in google, because I was wanting to see if anyone had found this connection with our own personal god mode, and here you all are.

        I have to declare being a bit older than all of you at 63, but that gives me a little more time maybe exploring god mode. I’m married with two girls who have given us 4 amazing grandchildren. I found godmode first of all in Doom in the 90’s, and thought this is much better than being killed all the time. As you say, you can try new things.

        Now I can see that life is just a game where the only purpose is to have fun, as long as you harm no one in the process. And the great controller of me in this game is my own personal godmode, connected to my version of god in my life. We each have our own version of this.

        So how does god mode work for me.

        I have found that as long as I do whatever I do for the good of me and for the good of all in can’t fail. It’s important it fulfils both aspects. That’s the job to look for or the work to do. Feel whatever it is that you are drawn to and start doing it, and as long as you harm no one in the process (Buddha gave us this clue – he said “harm no one” and “watch yourself in action”) you will always be successful. That is true god mode.

        So as you have all been saying “be yourself”, and then see what happens next….trust in your version of your godmode to guide you, learn to listen and enjoy the game………

        As the vedas said 5000 years ago, we are here to experience “eternal bliss and joy” (sat cit ananda). Enjoy it all!
        May your god bless you all……..
        Peter