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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

5/17 - 5/24... Days 138 - 145

Wow so much happens in a week where to begin.

This blog is going to be a little different.  A client of mine and I were talking the other day about it being graduation season and how time seemed to have passed so quickly since our time at the University of California Santa Barbara.  I told him that one day I wanted to give the commencement speech to the graduating class.  He said, "I think that would be great, for your next blog you should write your commencement speech you would like to give in the next five years."

Why not I thought, it would be fun.

So before I get into sharing my thoughts for the graduating class of somewhere between 2012 - 2016 let me share with you a few updates.

I have my first radio interview coming up Wednesday June 1st at 5pm Pacific Standard Time.  I will be interviewed by Pamala Oslie on her radio show.  Full info on the show is posted at the bottom.

Today at 215pm I have a surgery consult to see if I will need surgery to repair a hernia.  I am pretty sure I will as this thing is big and it is starting to cause a lot of discomfort.  I am really excited more than anything as I look at it as an opportunity to experience a different side of life, to put this whole hernia business in the past, to move forward and no longer have an injury limiting certain things I can and want to do.  I will keep you all posted.

Thank you everyone for all your kind words, thoughts, good energy, and advice you have been passing on to me and my Mom.  Still have not figured out what the problem is, but hopefully through process of elimination they will get there soon.

Carpe Diem!  I have to share with you what someone posted on facebook yesterday.  I kid you not I about did a happy dance when I saw it.  I yelled out "YES!" at the top of my lungs.  My friend I was sitting with asked me if I had just won the lottery?  "No," I replied... even better, "People are really starting to get what Carpe Diem means."

From facebook: "Sorry about your injury, but very good outlook. I think that is what I was missing about your message. You said Carpe Diem and so I always thought it meant that you had to do something spectacular everyday, but I get it now it is the frame of mind. Thanks so even at nursing school I can Carpe Diem. Very cool!!"

Read and re-read the above.  I cannot tell you how happy I was seeing this.  Ok and on that note... onto graduation! :)

Good afternoon everyone.  Wow, it was not that long ago, well at least it seems that way, that I was sitting where you all are right now.  How many of you are a little hung over from a long night and early morning of celebrating?? C'mon, show of hands please, don't be shy!  Ahh, fantastic, I was one of you!  How many of you have opted to wear shorts and tank tops under your gown's instead of the more formal, "picture" attire?  Very good, very good, I was also one of you as well.  And how many of you define your educational experience here at UCSB not by the lectures you attended, or the tests you took, but by the experiences you had??  I was, and still am one of you.

When I joined the ranks of UCSB in September 2000, I was one of the most shy, most awkward, most insecure 18 year old males you would ever meet.  Unfortunately we do not have media out here as I have some great pictures to prove it.  I weighed in at about 165 pounds vs the 220 pounds I am today.  I had long hair that was a "bull cut" you may have to google that to look up the hair due.  I was so shy that IF, which it was a big IF, in those days, a girl ever spoke to me I would turn bright red in the face.  In fact I can remember one time in Psychology class a girl in section turned around and looked at me to ask me a question about Pavlov, or Freud or something like that and you would have thought she had just asked me if I wanted to strip down naked and do the wild thing right then and there.  I turned bright red in the face, broke out in a full on sweat, and blurted out some lame response.  To try to make myself to "appear to be cool," I remember leaning back in the desk thinking it gave me some sort of edge or something.  She never sat near me again!

The few friends I had at the time and I used to sit around and discuss interactions with a girl.  We bought a book that analyzed intra-personal interactions.  What did a touch of the hand on the shoulder mean?  What did eye contact me?  If she said a quick HI or a more long drawn out HIII was there a difference?   I remember laughing at our lack of "game" then and I still laugh at it now when I revisit those memories with friends.  

As funny as I thought that was at the time, I knew I needed and wanted to make some changes.  I was 6ft 3in tall at 19 years old and I had barely been kissed let alone gone all the way with a girl.  I was 19, I had raging hormones, I wanted to get laid.  I figured I had to be the only 19 year old virgin alive.  Of course I would make up stories about sexual exploits and conquests to offset my lack of mojo, but they were just that stories, fabrications far from the truth.

I was so socially awkward that the only way I felt I could ever loosen up and connect with people was when I drank.  So I drank.  Not only did I drink and party, but I also shunned studying because that was what all the "cool" kids in high school had done.  I was rewarded with a 1.13 GPA at the end of my first quarter Freshmen year: 1 "F" and 2 "C-" grades.  I was on my way with my college career.

Returning back post winter break I needed to kick it up a notch otherwise I was going to get kicked out of school.  Having been placed on academic disqualification (How many of you made it onto that prestigious list?  And look at you, you made it! Way to go!),  I was ready to start winter quarter off with a bang and turn things around, and boy did I!  The first Thursday of the quarter I got so drunk in my room by trying to be "Cool" and show off to my friends how much I could drink.  I ended up blacked out and apparently spent three hours throwing up.  I was one phone call away from the paramedics coming and taking me to the hospital to pump my stomach.  My reward for being so "cool," I was put on probation with the dorms and reprimanded to community service.  So now I am the second week into my winter quarter as a Freshman, I am on probation with the dorms, academic dis-qualification with the school.  In my free time I go to mandatory academic counseling classes and on campus community service groups.  Way to go Jesse.

I was lucky, I had a moment.  Standing one night in front of the bathroom, shirt off, tooth brush in hand I noticed something about myself.  I had dark circles forming under my eyes, and this normally skinny kid was starting to get a beer belly.  I was headed no where really fast, I needed to make a change.  I realized I was so close to losing every opportunity I had worked so hard to get here for.  I knew if I let that happen I would be destined for a second rate life than the one I could have.  I made a pledge with myself then and there that I would dedicate the quarter to getting my grades up and getting out of trouble with the school.  Then, once Spring quarter began I would start working out.  And this time it would be different. Carpe Diem time.

Winter quarter ended and with it I earned a 3.38 GPA and a promotion to Academic Probation.

The first time I ever walked into the UCSB gym I almost peed my pants.  I walked in, saw all the big guys, in shape girls, and good looking people, got so intimidated that I picked up my pace and walked right out the other door, and did not return for over three weeks.  I was shy, I had zero self confidence, I thought I was the ugliest person alive, there was no way in hell I was going to be in this room with all these beautiful in shape people.

Spring quarter I had made a pack with myself no matter what I had to be in the gym for at least one hour in a row six days a week.  Not only that, but there was no giving up.  When I got to 10 reps and was ready to quit, I had to make myself do an extra five.  I had all sorts of rules to help give me structure and keep me on point.  Creating that self discipline, and finally getting a haircut thanks to the encouragement of a couple of girls on my floor, who both are still friends today, all that changed my life.

I kept working out and as my body changed so did my attitude about myself.  Yea I was learning in the classroom, learning about ancient Roman Civilizations, Geological formations, the difference between stalagmites and stalactites... I was learning all that, but what I was really excited about learning was myself and life.

I began to develop a little pep in my step when I walked.  If I smiled at someone I found they would often smile back at me.  I could tell jokes and people would laugh.  I began to be able to look at myself in the mirror and actually like what I saw.  I no longer thought I was the ugliest person around.  I began to get invited to parties.  I could talk to a girl, sans alcohol, and not turn red in the face.  I made some new friends, I GOT LAID!!  Thank you! :)

As college continued on, I continued to grow.  I expanded my horizons wherever I could and felt comfortable in.  I met new people, tried new things, sought after new opportunities.  That was one of the things I loved most about UCSB, I felt there was such diversity here that anyone at any stage of their life from any walk of life could find some sort of niche if they sought it out.  I found mine in personal training.  

I was walking to class one day contemplating what I should do with my life when I realized how much exercise had transformed my life.  I was not the same 18 year old that had shown up here a few years ago.  I was still shy, I still had my insecurities, but I was growing.  Wouldn't it be great, I thought, if I could become a personal trainer and help people really grasp the power of health and fitness.  Wouldn't it be great if I could teach them all that I have learned through my personal experience?  Luckily UCSB had such a program.

After I left college there was more opportunity to experience life, the goods and the bads, the ups and the downs, the successes and challenges.  I fell in love a few times, had my heart broken a few times.  I traveled around the world with some of the most well known faces in Hollywood.  I made some amazing friendships and ended some not so amazing others.  I lost a friend to suicide, a Dad to God's will; I gained valuable life lessons through both of those experiences.  I have traveled around the world through various charitable endeavors helping people in some of the most dire of situations.  Why?

I knew that the more experiences I had the more it would enrich me and allow me to grow as a human being. All of you sitting here today have just received a first rate education from one of the premier institutions in the world.  The world is at your finger tips!  Don't stop there, finger tips is holding yourself back, I encourage you to reach out and grab it with your hands.  Better yet, grab a hold of it, pull it close to you and squeeze it so tight, soaking every ounce of experience you can out of it.

There will be countless challenges you will face that will try and keep you small, keep you from living the life of your dreams.  I encourage you to face them when they come, and they will come!  Do not run and hide, but plant your feet and stand firm - remember all a challenge is, is an opportunity to grow.  You remember how challenging that Econ test was?  Think of life's Challenges as big Econ tests, they won't kill you, they will stress you out, you will learn from it, and they will make you stronger.  

There will be thousands of critics and naysayers, people who will tell you over and over again that you can't, that you won't, that you shouldn't dream, that you need to be realistic, that you need to give up... the more critics that you have, the closer you are to success.  Where would the world be if General Patton, Gandhi, George Washington, Mother Theresa, and Abraham Lincoln listened to their critics?  WHERE?!  Embrace criticism, don't take things personally.  When the critics come and the naysayers say no, deepen your resolve, dig in and show them how great you are.

Every single experience for better or worse is a part of me and what put me in front of you today.  I would not have the perspective I have had I not had the challenges to face.  And the same goes for all of you.

So as I leave you today, I leave you with this.  Your lives are only what you choose to make of them.  Shit is going to happen! Hearts will break, people will die, fortunes will be made and lost; all of it will happen!  How you handle those challenges, how you choose to live your life in the face of adversity, that ladies and gentlemen is what will ultimately define you, and the greatness of your lives.  

Live happy, live well, congratulations and CARPE DIEM!

Radio Interview info:

On Wednesday June 1st 2011, I will be having a sit down interview with Pamala Oslie to talk about the 1000 Challenge. The interview will run between 20-30 minutes and as I understand it is broadcast around the world so YOU ALL can listen in if you like.

Psychic Pamala Oslie can be heard live on KZSB 1290 AM Talk radio in the Santa Barbara area and simulcast via the Santa Barbara News-Press online. This popular show receives calls from around the world.

Pamala's Live Webcast

Call in to talk to Pamala at 805-564-1290

or Toll Free 1-866-564-1290

Enjoy the pictures,

Carpe Diem,



  1. I love the pic with whipped cream...and still hope that your Mom will be OK...and you too...
    Take care and Carpe Diem, Jesse

  2. Hi Jesse,

    In high school, I learned about Carpe Diem from reading a Latin poem by Horace for "Seize the Day". It is what gets me by through each day. I love how you incorporated it into your life and chose to spread the word to all by your 1 year 1000 things challenge. Your challenge is not a cheesy, tacky scheme. I truly believe that it is the one and only motto to live by. Some people take life for granted. I wish they would open their minds, accept this simple motto and incorporate it into their lives. To me, if you don't seize the day, you can't get it back...its too late. We're all on this earth for a limited time, why not make the most of it? Thank you for being a great inspiration and sharing your story!

    Best of luck and Carpe Diem,
    Sylvia Mant