Categories
Lifestyle

5 Things I Wish I Did Differently at 18 Years Old

When I was 18 years old my life was a complete mess. I had just dropped out of high school for the second time, I was depressed and my days were spent playing video games in my parents basement.

Here are five things I wish I did differently:

Now although it’s easy to look back in hindsight and see the things I could have done differently, it’s important to remember that everything I’ve been through has made me who I am today.

And I like who I am today, so I don’t necessarily regret what has happened in the past and instead I’m using this as a reflection if you’re in a similar position that I was.

Just because you can do it the hard way, doesn’t mean you need to do it the hard way. Click to tweet.

Here are the five things I wish I did differently at 18 years old:

1. I wish I had started reading better books.

The main thing I lacked at 18 years old was perspective, and reading better books (or just, any books) would have helped me gain more perspective. Here are five books I would recommend for you.

2. I wish I had started eating healthier sooner.

I didn’t realize how much of an impact what I was eating was having on me until I was about 23 years old. Since then I’ve been able to get rid of all of my acne, my energy has improved and my mood swings are less frequent. All from paying attention to what I eat, amazing!

3. I wish I had been more intentional with my environment.

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn

Your environment has a greater impact on you than you have on your environment. Who you choose to surround yourself by is going to have a direct impact on your life. Over the past few years I’ve spent a lot of time building relationships with people who inspire me to be my best, and it’s had a huge (positive) impact on my life.

Consider what kind of friends you want, what kind of values you want to live by, and then go hang out in the environments where these kind of people hang out.

4. I wish I would have used consistency to my advantage.

We all have goals and projects to accomplish, skill to learn, but when we think about how much time and effort it will take to actually get good we become discouraged.

Instead, use consistency to your advantage. If you focus on learning a new skill for 15-20 minutes each day, a few years later you’ll be thankful you started back then. And it only takes a few minutes each day, and we all have time for that.

One example from my life is this past year I started a YouTube channel, and I put out one new video per week. Now I have over 45 videos, my video-editing skills have improved and I have a following that can help me accomplish other goals.

5. I wish I would have traveled sooner.

When I was 18 I lacked perspective, and travel is one of the best ways to get a better perspective. Over the past few years I’ve traveled a ton and it’s improved my life in tremendous ways. The earlier you can start traveling, the better. Work a part-time job, ask your school for grants or options to study abroad. Get creative and find ways to travel, even if you’re young.

So those are five things I wish I did differently when I was 18 years old. And of course, I also wish I would have quit playing video games and buy cvv.

What about you? What are some things you wish you had done differently or started sooner? Share your answer in the comments below.

P.S. If you are still playing games but you want to quit right now, check out Respawn.

Categories
Lifestyle

3 Steps to Improve Your Style and Feel More Confident

This post originally appeared on Game Quitters.

As a gamer the chance of your style being poor is high. Sorry, it’s just the truth! But it doesn’t have to remain that way because today my friend Sunjeev Prasad of Street Gentlemen is here to teach us three steps to improve our style:

Improving my style has had a major impact on my life and I know it will help you out too.

When it comes to style it’s easy to focus on how it will improve the way other people perceive you, but I think this is a mistake. Improving your style is much more about how it will improve the way you feel yourself. It will improve your sense of confidence. And the best part is, it doesn’t even have to cost a lot of money.

To improve your style, there are three easy steps you can take right away:

1. Focus on fit.

If it doesn’t fit, you’re not going to look good. Fit is the most important thing. Think about whether your clothes are flattering your body. Go for “comfortably close.” It doesn’t have to be a skinny jean, but you don’t want any boot cuts either!

At first fitting clothing can feel a bit weird but trust me it will feel way better. If you’re ever at a store simply ask a staff member if your clothes are fitting properly and they will be able to help.

2. Keep it simple.

Go with a neutral wardrobe – blacks, grays, whites, and khaki. That way your outfits will always go together. Keep it basic and go with timeless looks.

3. Always plan ahead.

Lay out your outfit the night before and spend an extra five minutes making sure it looks slick. That way if you’re rushed in the morning you won’t neglect your style game.

With a little bit more effort on the three steps listed above your style will improve and you’ll begin to notice not only how people treat you differently but also how much more confident you feel yourself.

Just look at the difference in Sunjeev himself:

before-after

You can find Sunjeev on his Website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Categories
Lifestyle Media

Watch: How To Build A Career That Matters & Find Meaningful Work. Adam Poswolsky at TEDxMileHighYouth

My good friend Adam “Smiley” Poswolsky recently spoke at TEDxMileHighYouth about the quarter-life crisis millennials are facing and how we can all shift from going to jobs that leave us depressed and miserable to building a career that matters and finding meaningful work.

Life is only short once, don’t settle. Watch his TEDx talk below:

I’m also a big fan of Adam’s #1 Amazon bestseller, The Quarter-Life Breakthrough.

What do you think? Is having a career that matters important to you? Comment below.

Categories
Media

Podcast Interview: How to Overcome Bullying and Video Game Addiction (Danger & Play)

Blog-348x180Hey guys!

I was interviewed recently about how to overcome video game addiction.

In the episode I share details on my own story (how I overcame it) as well as the latest insights I’ve had over the past four years.

Here are six lessons you’ll learn in the episode:

  1. The two types of people you need to be aware of in your life (Hint: Haters!)
  2. How issues with masculinity, the school system and parenting contribute to video game addiction and poor social skills.
  3. How identity and social issues contribute to video game addiction and what to do about it.
  4. Why we play games and how understanding this can be powerful in learning about motivation.
  5. Key insights into the art of learning and how you can apply your skills in gaming to everything else.
  6. How important it is to get clear on what your goals are in life in order to really take things to the next level.

I think you’ll learn a lot from the episode so let me know what you think!

If any of you have any questions feel free to post them and I will respond to each one!

Categories
Media

The Surprising Truth About Rejection: Cam Adair @ TEDxFargo

the surprising truth about rejection cam adair tedxfargo

This post originally appeared on Medium. You can watch the video of the talk here.

On July 25th I took the TEDx stage in Fargo, ND and shared my most heartbreaking rejections and biggest humiliations in front of hundreds of people.

Yes, it was scary and vulnerable and the events I describe are kind of fucked up, but I did it for a good reason: I want to take the stigma of rejection and bullying out of our culture’s collective closet.

We each have our own stories of experiencing rejection. Some of them involve bullying, and others are merely a moment in time we put ourselves out there—we were vulnerable—and things didn’t work out how we wanted them to.

And it likely hurt us and caused real pain. I know it did for me. Tony Robbins says the two deepest human fears are the fear of not being good enough and the fear of not being loved.

Experiencing rejection validates both of these.

Our fear of rejection causes us to feel shame and pushes us to hide away. It dampens our own brilliance.

Do we share it with anyone? NO WAY! That would make us look weak and vulnerable. We keep our rejection a secret because we think it makes us unlovable. We’re afraid if we tell others, they’ll laugh at us, judge us, and make us feel even worse.

But that’s simply not true. I tried to hide my rejections for years and it just made everything worse.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Eventually, I discovered that seeking support and being open about my challenges made them easier to overcome, and made me feel much better.

By opening up it actually did the opposite of what I thought it would do. Instead of pushing people away, it brought them closer. By sharing my vulnerabilities it made others comfortable in sharing theirs, and this created a connection between us.

It was (and still is) uncomfortable to share, but learning how to let go of my own shame around rejection and instead using it as an opportunity to connect with others has been a major breakthrough in my life.

Rejection doesn’t define us. It doesn’t define you and it doesn’t define me. It’s simply part of each of our stories. Every person experiences rejection in some form and by letting go of the stigma, embracing courage and being vulnerable to share your own story, you’ll find the incredible gift of connecting more with others.

And that’s the surprising truth about rejection.

Please watch the video and let me know what you think.

If this message resonates with you, I’d love to hear about how rejection or bullying has impacted your life.

You can comment on the video, respond to this article or reach out on any of these mediums: Twitter, Facebook Page, YouTube, or Instagram.

Lastly, if you know of anyone who this message would impact, please pass the video on to them.

Photo credit: J. Alan Paul Photography

Categories
Lifestyle

5 Steps to Get Unstuck and Start Living Your Potential

liveIn June of this year I realized that I had fallen off track. Nothing in my life supported my success. I was drinking frequently, avoiding writing, and had stopped talking and thinking about my goals all together. I have aspirations of being a professional fitness model, inspirational speaker, and published author, but I wasn’t living in alignment with these goals. I was hiding.

We all have a desire to grow, to evolve, and to become stronger versions of ourselves. This is why we seek promotions, work we are passionate about, want to make more money, be more fit or seek more fulfillment in our dating life.

It’s easy to talk about being a better person, making a difference, contributing to our community. It’s much harder to take action and make some real change in our lives.
Growing means change, and change is uncomfortable. Our basic survival needs are food, shelter, and water. We’re beyond the point of survival and we’re all looking for the feeling of being alive, which means growth, fulfillment and love. Growth and change mean doing things that we are not used to, living a way that isn’t familiar to us, which means feeling emotions we are unfamiliar with.

Why would we feel weird, uneasy, nerve-wracking emotions when we could just as easily feel what we’re used to feeling?

You’re either growing or you’re dying.” Lou Holtz

In the moment it’s much easier to stand still. Over time this decision becomes harder. All of a sudden we realize that the whole world is passing us by, we’re getting older, and our life hasn’t made any real progress. Have you ever felt this way?

Time is always moving forward, and when we don’t move forward with it, we get left behind.
Our lives can be as amazing and beautiful as we want them to be. Most of us begin to walk on the road of high aspiration and then someone cautions us; “It’s bumpy ahead,” and so we stop walking.

Or maybe we’re resilient enough to keep walking even though we know the road is rocky. All of a sudden we’re in the experience and realize this path has many twists and turns!! And so we stop walking.

The problem is, when we stop making progress, we’re always eventually going to wonder what our lives would be like if we just kept moving forward. (Did you know the #1 regret people have before they die is that they never tried to go after the goals they knew they had?)

accept what you can't change, change what you can't accept

It’s easy to make a momentary decision to stand still instead of growth, change, and adapt until one day we’re overcome with this underlying tide of emotion that sneaks up on us and sweeps us away. An unsettling feeling that starts small and then takes us over telling us that we’re not living up to our potential. Working at jobs we don’t like, for pay that is average, for a life that we’re settling for. (We even settle in dating!)

I’m guilty of this too.

In June of this year I felt the underlying tides of emotion creeping up on me. I spent two months partying and drinking denying my desire to become a stronger version of myself. As a result I felt like I had fallen behind and it almost felt hopeless to even imagine myself getting back on track.

I moved away from my friends, my environment, and started focusing on my goals again. I isolated myself and sacrificed everything in my life that wasn’t encouraging my success. I lost a lot of my friends, I lost my old habits, and at first it was the most uncomfortable feeling in the entire world. Once I settled into the space I created by deciding to make a change, I realized how much room was in my life for the things that I wanted.

When you decide to back away from your highest aspirations, the things that you really want to do with your life, you begin to deny the things that make you happy. The need for distractions like TV, drinking and smoking becomes apparent when we’re unsatisfied with the quality of our lives.

Growth means change and change is uncomfortable. I welcome this unsettling feeling now – I know that it is a definite sign that I am moving closer to the life that I want to live.

Let’s Make your Aspirations Real

Take your goals out of your head and put them onto paper – this is the first step to making them real.

  1. Take out a pen and a piece of paper.
  2. Think about what you want your life to look like. If you had a million dollars and all the time in the world what would you want? Would you be married? Do you have kids? What does your house look like? Are you a singer? A professional athlete? A dancer? How much income are you making each year?
  3. Imagine this: you want to go on a road trip but you don’t know your destination. You might end up somewhere you like but you never know because you’re not guiding the direction of your trip.

    When you decide your destination and you start heading in that direction your chances of ending up somewhere you love is much, much higher. You intentionally head in the direction you want and your destination becomes inevitable.

  4. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Write down bullet point notes of what your life looks like.
  5. Examples:
    – I have a beautiful wife and 2 children
    – I live in California and have a house on the beach
    – I am an angel investor and make my money by investing in small businesses and helping them achieve success
    – I have a supportive group of friends who love to go bike riding
    It doesn’t matter what your goals are – they’re your aspirations and unique to you alone. Who cares if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else? It’s what you want to do, so write it down, and go after it.

  6. Write down one thing you can do today to take one more step forward towards this life
    The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. Find a way to take one more step forward and as you build momentum you’ll find the journey is equally as rewarding as the destination.
  7. Do that thing today! Then wake up tomorrow, and write one thing you can do today to take one more step forward towards this life.

Build momentum by waking up every day and writing down one thing you can do to take a step forward. On day two you’re already one step closer then you were yesterday! Always take a step forward because when time passes, and you look back, you’ll find that you’ve taken more steps than you ever would have imagined.

Give yourself the fulfillment that comes with taking small steps every day. Most of us never take a step forward because we’re so focused on how far away the destination. When we start looking at the moment right now we see the single step that we can take to move us closer.

There’s a difference between surviving and feeling alive. The choice will always be up to you – to live with the unsettling feeling of a lack of progress, or to solidify your goals by writing them down and making real progress on them every single day.

One choice promises regret, and the other, fulfillment.

We all feel stuck sometimes. If you feel like you’re going through a quarter life crisis, here is a guide to help you breakthrough this rut and start living your life passionately again.

Categories
Social Dynamics

3 Lessons I Learned From Speaking at the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference

shrm annualEarly in June I received a phone call from a friend asking if I would like to speak at SHRM’s Annual Conference in Orlando. Of course I said yes.

A few days ago I flew to Orlando for the speech, and although I was happy with how it went, the process leading up to the talk was challenging for me. I had a lot of trouble figuring out what I wanted to talk about, anxiety and self-doubt.

Here are 3 lessons I learned from the experience:

  1. Lean on your friends who believe in you.
  2. A few days before the speech I was really struggling to figure out what to say. I reached out to one friend who said I was in over my head. Ok, not what I needed. The next day I spent a few hours on the phone with three different friends who would help me in different ways, but each reminded me that I could do it. Reaching out for help was the best decision I could have made.

  3. Use the “Yes. Fuck!” technique.
  4. When I got the call asking me if I was interested in speaking in Orlando, I said yes immediately, then I hung up the phone. As soon as I hung up, I said fuck out loud. This is the Yes. Fuck! technique. How it works is you say yes to make the commitment, and then you get to say fuck when you realize you have to go through with it. Knowing I was 100% committed to showing up on stage forced me to push through, especially in times when I was anxious about it. If I would have waited for a few days to commit, I would have never made it.

  5. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Invest in your relationships.
  6. The opportunity for the speech came from Alexi Panos’ podcast I was interviewed on. A friend of mine had listened to the podcast and it so happened that she was also in charge of the stage at the event. Both the podcast interview and the speech came from relationships I’ve had the opportunity to invest in.

Special thanks to Jessica for inviting me to Orlando, Cara, Dan and Priscilla for their insights into the speech, and Ginger for dealing with my craziness beforehand.

Categories
Media

An Interview on Valhalla’s Superhero Academy

valhalla-fb-instreamI recently had the pleasure of being featured on Valhalla’s Superhero Academy, a podcast with Marc Coppola.

Listen here: http://buff.ly/1rIzk6j
Subscribe here: http://buff.ly/1rIzk6j

In this episode you will learn:

  • The difference between having fun and being happy
  • The art of learning new skills
  • Key insights into motivation and applying it to your own life
  • Real emails I get on a daily basis from kids who share their struggles
  • The importance of why you want to do what you want to do

Listen here: http://buff.ly/1rIzk6j
Subscribe here: http://buff.ly/1rIzk6j

Categories
Media

Cam has been selected to give ANOTHER TEDx talk!

tedx youth fargoBIG NEWS!!!!!!

On July 25th I will have the honor of giving another TEDx talk!

This one will be in Fargo at the TEDxYouth@Fargo event, and the topic will be on “Building Your Own Justice League.”

You know how growing up you always hear “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know?”

Well… nobody ever teaches you how to know any of those people. To make matters worse, when you add bullying into the equation, it’s common for us to isolate ourselves away from social experiences.

You know how they say “you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with?” Well, nobody ever tells you who they are and how to meet them.

This issue hits close to home for me because growing up I was bullied a lot and that caused me to isolate myself away playing video games. At the age of 20 I quit playing video games and decided to go off on a journey to learn how to make friends and connect with people.

To learn how to surround myself by those who inspire me, instead of those who seem to have some weird mission to make my day miserable.

Currently up to 30% of Americans would be classified as “lonely” by the UCLA Loneliness Scale. Emotional isolation has been found to be as deadly as smoking. Seriously!

Anyways, I’m PSYCHED to share this personal story of mine to hopefully open the light for so many others I know are going through similar experiences.

Tickets here: http://bit.ly/tedxyouthfargo

Special thanks first to Andrew Hyde, George Morris and Erin Weed who first believed in me, and to Greg Tehven for helping with this next TEDxYouth@Fargo talk and of course my Mom because she always deserves a shoutout!