How to become a self-disciplined bad ass: Lessons from The Accountant

1. Nothing is impossible through self-discipline. Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is not your average type of bad ass. He has high functioning autism. A genius with numbers and the incredible ability to go into hyper focus mode. He’s socially awkward; blunt and direct. Jokes, sarcasm, and common social cues confuse him. It’s funny as hell to see his conversations with people. Arrogant douchebags despise him. Chill people accept him. Christian learned to live an independent, self-sufficient life.

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Christian’s father (Robert C. Treveiler) was a soldier and self-discipline perfectionist. He took his boys, Christian and Brax (John Bernthal) around the world. They our trained by the best martial artists and Special Forces type operatives. He raised them to stand their ground and perform with the utmost precision. Failure is not an option. Christian became an independent accountant for high profile criminal organizations. Brax became the leader of a hit squad. Christian survived the criminal world by staying on the move and outsmarting his enemies.

Christian’s a killing machine. Nobody can match his deadly fighting and shooting skills. Intense self-disciplined allowed Christian to overcome any obstacle that he came across.

2. Simplicity over complexity. Simplicity keeps Christian moving forward in life; rigorous routine and hyper focus. He must complete tasks or he becomes agitated when his plans fall apart. He lived with nothing but the essentials. He had few possessions along with a few beautiful painting masterpieces. They brought him peace and calmed his mind. Christian had about a dozen identical suits and shoes. He owned one set of silverware and dishes. It took him 50 seconds to do the dishes. His food menu was simple. It never changed. It takes me five minutes to decide what to eat from a menu because everything looks good. Million-dollar idea: Restaurants where you can sample the menu before you eat it like Costco. Now, make it happen!

I love pure simplicity and efficiency. Decision fatigue is a bitch to deal with. I hate wasting time on unimportant decisions. Finding ways to automate unimportant decisions is a lot of help in life. Don’t complicate life. Flip the bird to stress and anxiety.

Living a simple life brings out the best in you. It enhances your focus on what’s most important in life. You begin to lead a meaningful life. Amazing things start to happen.

3. Embrace who you are. Christian was socially awkward and he was cool with it. He ran into problems and he solved them without complaint. Fear didn’t hold him back. He was not afraid to be who he was. His autism didn’t slow him down; it made him stronger. Christian embraced his strengths. He could go into hyper focus mode and master anything he put his mind to.

When you focus on your strengths, you no longer see yourself as a failure. You know who you are. You’re capable of greatness.  Disabilities or limitations don’t have to hold you back. You can overcome any challenge in your life when you have faith in your abilities.    

4. Live by an honor code. Christian was in prison for a while and his cellmate became a father figure, best friend and mentor. He handled numbers for a mafia crime family. He taught Christian everything he knew about surviving the criminal world. He also taught him how to become an accounting mastermind. The crime family had Christian’s mentor tortured and killed. Christian struck back with brutal vengeance by taking them all out. Christian has a strong loyalty to those that are close to him. He lives by a strict honor code. You don’t screw with his loved ones or those he cares about.

Honor is what separates us from the scumbags. The true test of a warrior is in their strength of character.

5. Love can conquer any obstacle. Christian met a friendly accountant, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) on one of his accounting jobs for a client, Lamar Black (John Lithgow). Dana took a genuine interest in Christian. Christian and Dana discovered inconsistencies with Mr. Black’s company financials. Mr. Black was an evil, old crony businessman. He hired Christian’s brother Brax and his hit squad to kill his employees who knew too much. Christian found out Dana was in danger and he risked it all to keep her safe. He took her to a safe place, while he took down the hit squad and worked things out with Brax. Christian and Dana developed a strong connection towards each other. Dana wanted to pursue a romantic relationship with him. Christian believed she would be better off without him.

That’s bullshit. Love always deserves a chance to succeed because it will amaze you every time. No obstacle is impossible to overcome through love. Don’t ever give up on love under any circumstance. Love is more powerful than you could ever imagine.

What amazing things have you accomplished in life through self-discipline? Did you ever think it was possible? Share in the comments.

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5 Lessons from Fear the Walking Dead

The new prequel series, “Fear The Walking Dead” has an excellent storyline. Its portrayal of reality is chilling. Compare it to a major widespread disaster and Islamic terrorists like ISIS who’re attempting to bring about the End Times.

Warning: Spoilers Alert!

Know Thy Enemy. Travis still questions whether the zombies are past help. He saw people turning into vicious creatures. He wouldn’t even let his girlfriend, Madison kill their zombie neighbor. People and governments who want violate our civil liberties are the enemy. Guns are not the enemy. They protect our families and civil liberties from evil. The college in Oregon where the recent shooting occurred had one unarmed security guard. A gun could’ve saved ten people. We must name our real enemies, not hide our tails between our legs. When Islamic terrorists are killing thousands of people, I don’t ignore them. Iran chants, “Death to America!” and threatens to annihilate Israel. I take them serious.

Fear the Walking Dead, Fear Begins Here
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Trust your instincts over your pride. Travis trusts his instincts for once. Nick tells him the story of waking up in a crack house. His girlfriend is chomping on human intestines like a starved animal. Nick wakes up in the hospital, thinking, “Was I high as shit or what?” His mother, Madison and his sister, Alicia thinks he was hallucinating from the drugs. Travis goes to investigate and sees the bloody carnage on the floors. His pride prevents him from taking a weapon. Travis’s cowardice side shines when he refuses to defend himself, as a zombie is about to take a chunk out of his face. The old man, Daniel had to blow the zombie’s head off with a shotgun. Our instincts are useless when we let our ego and emotions make our final decisions.

Think with intelligence before you act. People are seeing the cops shoot unarmed zombies. They start destroying the city while zombies are tearing people apart around them. Zombies love an easy lunch! We’re acting like members of the Living Dead by letting our emotions eat away at your brain like zombies. We must make our decisions using our brains. It needs facts to process information. The heart must be free from hate as well.

Stay informed. The neighbors were celebrating their daughter’s birthday party in their front yard. Do you realize crazed lunatics are on the loose? There is video footage of zombies getting shot by police and not going down. Nobody knows the facts so they think it’s police brutality. We are too comfortable and complacent with our own lives. We need to be aware of the reality of the world, not succumb to isolation and denial. We can’t learn truth by isolating ourselves from different ideas. We must challenge our beliefs daily.

Trust is earned. The military sends in troops to establish safe zones throughout the city. They tell everybody that they’re safe in a war zone of infected. Don’t believe everything you hear. Madison sneaks outside the safe zone. She discovers soldiers in black armed to the teeth with gas masks. Her gut tells her to hide under a car because there might be something else going on. There was a stadium full of zombies and the soldiers realized that they lost control. They abandoned the civilians to fend for themselves. We can’t be giving away trust like fruitcakes on Christmas. Trust is like climbing a mountain. Only time, dedication, and continuous follow through will get you to the top.

Is America going in the right direction or have lost our way? How do you view the present state of America and the world?

Share in the comments.

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Lessons Learned from the Book, Quiet

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking is a book about Introverts like myself that have always been misunderstood and at times labeled an outcast or a loner.

1. Accept who you are

I found a book that explains why I am the way I am and gives me the realization that it’s important to be accepting of my personality and who I am as a person.

Small talk has always been a struggle for me, which is why I stayed in the computer labs in junior high and high school instead of socializing outside with my peers.  My biggest fear was that when I initiate a conversation, the world might come to an end if I run out of something to talk about and be left with awkward silence.

I didn’t feel like I belonged because something was different about me.  The moments of silence without talking is thought of as a weakness and for so many years, I seemed to believe there was something wrong with me.

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Why am I so shy around new people and feel a wave of anxiousness when I’m around large groups of people?  

Nothing was wrong with me; I have a shy, introverted personality.

“Introverts may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after awhile wish they were home in their pajamas.  They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family.  They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation.  They tend to dislike conflict.  Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.”

 3. Never beat yourself up when you struggle

Growing up, I was good at pissing off my parents, which was odd since I’m not much of talker but laughing when somebody is mad at you doesn’t help matters.  So, I learned that sometimes it’s best to limit what I say to certain people.

Some people like to violate your personal space and jump down your throat when they don’t like something you say.  Drama and conflict is a waste of time and I don’t enjoy conflict but when somebody has the nerve to get up in my face, prepare for World War 3!

I’ve had people get frustrated or mad at me for having trouble with socializing and I’ve been so pissed off at myself over the years for my paralyzing fear around groups of people that I don’t know too well.

When I freeze up around people, I want to slap myself with enough force to launch me across the room into a wall from my wheelchair.  I want to slap the fear out of me but it’s easier said than done.

“Many shy people turn inward, partly as a refuge from socializing that causes them such anxiety.  And many introverts are shy, partly as a result of receiving the message that there’s something wrong with their preference for reflection, and partly because their physiologies, as we’ll see, compel them to withdraw from high-stimulation environments.”

I love to talk with people, but I do better one-on-one so I can focus on a conversation without feeling overwhelmed.  I like yanking people’s chains and joking around.  I’m a curious soul and love finding out what makes people tick.

I’m learning to appreciate who I am and not be too hard on myself and not fear expressing myself under any circumstances, no matter how much my awkward, anxious silence attempts to shut me down.

2. Let your differences be your strength

Many times when I’m at a loss for words, I’m lost in deep thought and my mind is swirling with continuous ideas.  My mind moves at the speed of light while my lips move as fast as a tortoise.  I have a lot to say but my overactive mind has a tendency to overload me by shutting down like a machine until I get a proper recharge.

The psychologist, Carl Jung says, “Introverts are drawn to the inner world of thought and feeling, extroverts to the external life of people and activities.  Introverts focus on the meaning they make of the events swirling around them; extroverts plunge into the events themselves.  Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone; extroverts need to recharge when they don’t socialize enough.”

Since I prefer to listen more than I talk and struggle with small talk, I need to ask more questions to keep conversations from flat lining into the abyss.  I love deep discussions and thoughtful questions can defeat awkward silence.

Would you consider yourself to be more of an introverted or extroverted person?  What is your greatest strength and weakness?

And, if you’re an introvert, what is the best lesson you’ve learned?

Share in the comments.

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