“When You Put Your Preferences On The Altar Of Your Life & Say: This. This Is What Compels Me…. The Real You Emerges.” -Danielle LaPorte
I absolutely love this quote because it hits right on the spot when it comes to providing a window for oneself to answer one of the most elemental questions a human being can ask him or herself, which is “Who am I?”. This question is certainly a lot more complex that it actually is but this quote would be a solid starting point for anyone out there that is in search for shaping life and finding themselves.
Ultimately it is about YOU and only YOU. Setting your preferences and healthy boundaries. Before you answer “Who am I?” you should be able to answer “What makes me tick? What are the things that charge my mind and soul with happiness that makes me brim over with passion for life?
With that being said, the following is a rundown of my personal preferences. Yes, the things that draw an incandescent smile on my face and fill me with unbridled joy. Everything listed is not only highly recommended by yours truly but each one of these things have had some sort of impact in my life.
It is always something about every single one of them. Simple, subtle yet with a magical effect that keeps me interested, and this could truly be anything. A smile, a gesture, their smell, their eyes, a flick of the hair, and I can go on and on. If you ask me, I believe they are the greatest gift and creation that has ever graced the face of the earth. They are volatile, they are all over the place, they are wonderful, they are moody, they are fantastic, they are everything we -men- are not. To women all over, here’s to you.
- Man’s Search For Meaning
- Talk about a life changer. This one contains a ton of golden insights and wisdom, a masterpiece that takes us inside the mind, the way, and the approach of Viktor Frankl -a psychiatrist and holocaust survivor- took to survive and overcome what seem to be an eternity of suffering in four different concentration camps of the Nazi Germany back in the early to mid 1940s, during this span, he endured the loss of his family including his mother and wife. The book goes through the entire ordeal where he found himself and gave birth to one of his key ideologies that points to life not being a quest for pleasure or for power but a quest for meaning. A gem and must read.
- The Way Of The Superior Man
- The subtitle says it all: “A spiritual guide to mastering the challenges of women, work, and sexual desire”. David Deida –author of the book– does a phenomenal job addressing every aspect and most pitfalls we -as men- have, why we have them and what can we do about it. An eye opener right from the start with “Most men make the error of thinking that one day it will be done” and you may ask what is he referring to, he is talking about desired outcomes and life. “The oh-so common “If I do this… then maybe one day this (fill in the blank) happens” when we have to be aware that day may never come and -in most cases- it never does. As long as we have a heartbeat, life is a continuous process without a true ending. It goes beyond that but you get the idea, top notch book.
- The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life Of a Shattered Rockstar
- This book is a total joyride -and unlike many autobiographies that highlight most of the best and some of the worst in an artist’s life- this one is raw as sandpaper and painfully honest about the struggles, madness and life decay of Nikki Sixx, bass player and mastermind behind Mötley Crüe. Truly hard to put down for a book that turns darker with each flip of the page, almost like finding pleasure in someone else’s demise -which is fucked up- but you are waiting for the turning point where things improve, the crazy thing is that the more you read, the more it almost feels like it may never come. So glad Nikki is doing well with a highly successful radio show and his now main focus as far as music goes, his band: Sixx:AM. Nevertheless, this is a fantastic read.
- Honorable Mentions: Drive. The Psychopath Inside. Endless Rapture. The Dirt. She Comes First. Tropic of Cancer. Psycho-Cybernetics. The Alchemy of Love & Lust.
Beyond just giving you a list of bands or specific genres that I love to listen to, I will only say this: For me, music is absolutely everything. After family and friends, this is it, my number one passion and the source of happiness, and euphoria on the daily. You can go ahead and blame my parents for my undying and infinite love for it. They were both audiophiles, musicians at heart. They are the reason why I got into it at such an early age, and until this day, it is ingrained and part of my everyday life.
I love art in all of its forms, from paintings to sculptures passing through the written word in the form of prose, poems, short stories, bios, any sort of composition, etc. All of it, it is truly wonderful but personally I believe music takes the cake because it taps into the entire emotional spectrum, we feel it all when its audio waves crash into our ear drums and begin to transmit different kinds of emotion for all us. It transcends culture, nations, races, backgrounds, everything. Music has the power to shape up our lives and gives us an identity, that’s how powerful it is.
I grew up on all kinds of music: From Frank Sinatra & The Rat Pack to Motörhead, Guns N’ Roses, Mötley Crüe and most of the 80s scene, passing through the Motown Classics: The Temptations, The Four Tops, Etta James, Aretha Franklin. Then Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson, then the 90s rolled-in and I got into grunge, alternative rock and industrial from that era: Nirvana, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, etc. The list goes on and on, my iTunes/iPhone music is a total melting pot.
Thank you, Mom & Dad for introducing me to such wonderful world, the world of music.
This one is tough, similar to music the spectrum and range that I covered during my early years to the present time is quite varied but if I have to list some of the ones that have resonated with me one way or the other, to me it boils down to social dynamics. I love movies that deal with a lot of conflict, drama, convoluted storylines where the protagonist has to go through hardships, trials, enduring all kind of obstacles, mental & physical challenges, and ethical decisions that may compromise personal values.
With that being said, here’s the list in order of theatrical release:
- A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
- Saló/120 Days of Sodom (1975)
- Taxi Driver (1976)
- 9 1/2 Weeks (1986)
- Indecent Proposal (1993)
- Fall (1997)
- Memento (2000)
- Unfaithful (2002)
- Closer (2004)
- Crash (2004)
Honorable mentions: After psychological/heavy on social dynamics flicks… Just about any Horror movie.
- Single Malt Scotch
- 12 Elegancia
- 18 Sherry Oak
- 1824 Estate Reserve
- Balvenie Doublewood 12
- Aberlour 12 Double Cask
- Mixed Drinks
- Old Fashioned
- Absinthe Sazerac
- Lemmy (Jack + Coke)