My very talented and wonderful friend Tessa Mansfield-Hung visited a few times, shot some footage and we had some interviews over the last year and a half. I am humbled to have gotten back this piece.
"I've changed my definition of success from how much I can accumulate to how much I can do. As soon as your definition of success changes from you can get to what you can do for others, the meeting or the long time in the factory or these back-to-back meetings with non-profits doing stuff, it doesn't matter, it's helping people. When that's the definition of success, you're winning every day.
Through the violence I experienced, I've found a fighting spirit that has allowed me to get on with things in a different way. To own that fight internally and use it externally to fight for opportunities for people who are unable to fight for themselves. I think boxing as an 11 year old was a big part of that process, turning violence into fighting spirit.
Because when you love something, you fight for it. Not against it."
Music by Delsinki Records and Brooke Taylor
Because when you love something, you fight for it. Not against it.
Head over to check out Tessa Mansfield-Hung on Youtube and Vimeo
I cannot thank her enough for her wonderful work, friendship and massive heart. Turning hours of filming into a few minutes of interview I would find hard to edit myself.
Purpose, Happiness and Impact.
Words that get thrown around a lot lacking clarity of definition. How can we attain things that we cannot define or describe?
This VLOG looks at what a good impact looks like, and what we need to do if we are to improve the ways that we help others achieve an equality of opportunity.
What on earth is passive aggressive? Low key treating people like shit because you are upset at them in the hope that by you treating them like shit they will work out what is wrong and then apologise profusely so that you can continue to be grumpy at them regardless?
What a waste of everyone’s time.
Being passive aggressive serves no one. You have to be miserable, or a bit of an asshole for a period of time (which surely you don’t want). Only to try and teach a lesson to someone that may or may not even realise.
Be actually aggressive. Well not too aggressive, but if you have a grievance…. Air it. Immediately. Like an adult. Don’t let it fester and ruin good time for everyone. If it isn’t important enough to tell someone directly, it’s probably not important enough to be an asshole about for any period of time.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being upset with someone, or being annoyed, frustrated or even angry. But there is something wrong with half pretending you’re annoyed and half not pretending you’re annoyed so that someone else can attempt to work out your problem.
If you just mention you’re upset about something, it can be discussed and dealt with on the spot!
I’m not surprised that people love looking for reasons to be passive aggressive and grumpy, today in my news feed (of news, not the Facebook feed), every single headline was a negative spin on something. EVERY ONE! We are subconsciously being trained to look for things that are wrong in all the comments, media and discussions around us! Passive aggression, however, is a special kind of trick because it isn’t about anyone else except the person who is engaging in the behaviour. It is a selfish way of being mad.
Who wouldn’t rather just have a family member, work colleague or friend tell you they are annoyed? Sure, being told you have annoyed someone can be confronting at first, but when compared to a day/week/month/year of strange passive aggressive, useless behaviour, it is a godsend.
Airing grievances doesn’t mean they get solved, but at least when you bring them up like a grown up everyone knows why you are mad!
Next time you are thinking about being passive aggressive, run it through a couple of filters.
You don’t have to like everyone, no one likes everyone! You don’t have to be happy all the time, or even accept that people will never annoy you. You simply have to let go of passive aggression and either be a grown up, or let it go.
If its not that important, then its not that important. If the person consistently annoys you, either stop having anything to do with them, or (if you have to work with them) accept that they are annoying and work on the one thing you can change….YOUR attitude.
Don’t waste your life carrying around baggage on behalf of people that don’t even notice you’re carrying it, don’t sweat the small stuff, and as always, Just Be Nice.
With a lifelong goal of improving equality of opportunity for people, it is important to also improve discussion and understanding around what opportunity actually looks like.
If you'd like to learn more about measuring difficulty from the starting line after watching. I have written about it here also: one-white-privilege-we-should-give-up-immediately.html
Thanks for watching! Like, share, subscribe and as always, just be nice.
What a cracking way to get back into the swing of things after being away for a few weeks! Caught up with Ben Connelly today to drop off a care package from the RUOK Day team as he walks from Lake Eyre (The lowest point in Australia) to Mt Kosciusko (The highest point in Australia).Its a mammoth effort and he's a great guy. Check out his efforts on his webpage www.pittopeak.com
For more information on RUOK Day and how to have better conversations with your mates, check out www.ruok.org.au
Maybe the first ever video book review to be done at Niagra Falls!
Check it out here, subscribe to my YouTube channel, read some books, be nice to people!
That's pretty much it!
Chicago. The windy city! Not nicknamed for the bloody freezing winds that whip through the city off Lake Michigan, but for the hot air that spews out of the mouths of politicians.
Still, it works both ways.
My second day on the U.S. saw me trek to Chicago, the windy city. I arrived to a dark city getting pelted with rain in a balmy 4 degrees, so naturally upon getting to my AirBnB I went for a run to see what was around. Not much. Turns out, I ran in the wrong direction to all the things! That’s OK, I am trying to not come back with an additional 40kgs on me, so the run was well worth it… then I ate tacos.
Well. Well.. Well….
I have been told many times that Mexican food is better in America, and after staying in a Latin neighbourhood, I can confirm… It definitely is. The tacos were the bomb.
A sleep in, because I was buggered and then to the Art Institute of Chicago.
It is amazing. I didn't take a whole bunch of photos in the Institute because shitty photos of magnificent works of art and things that are thousands of years old, just seems rude.
I have always been drawn to activities that force me to do things I am not good at. For instance, I box because I find it hard to clear my mind unless someone is trying to knock my block off.
I think this is partly what made Impressionism my first art love, and Monet my first favourite painter. With impressionism, there is nothing to be gained from over scrutinising. Getting too close to the painting you lose all concept of what it actually is. You are forced to step back, take it all in, and enjoy the way the dots and swirls of colour come together to paint the most beautiful scenes. The Monet 'The Petite Creuse River' was placed in a corner and drew my attention for quite a while.
There are dozens of spectacular artworks in this exhibition alone, Pissaro, Van Gough, Monet, Sisley, Renoit, Gauguin, Manet, Caillebotte, Cezanne and many others. It truly was a fantastic exhibition and it took me by very pleasant surprise.
Downstairs, a photo exhibition,
"Provoke: Photography in Japan between Protest and Performance, 1960–1975"
Some really interesting pieces and stories going on in this exhibition. I could explain more about the exhibition, but the thing that took me most by surprise was overhearing a man speaking about a video in which protesters were engaged in protesting the building of Narita Airport.
The video shows the protesters being violently removed as they fight against US intervention in Japanese politics and for the rights of the farmers to keep the land that was being taken for the Airport.
"You can't stand in the way of progress, I bet they built it anyway"
"Lets just give them back Okinawa, sure, and lets give them the Atomic bomb while we're at it"
Speaking as though the Japanese were people that needed to be kept down and should know their place. That these people shouldn't protest because its a waste of time. I was shocked to over hear such callous remarks, as was this mans companion, who said "They're taking their land, what would you do?" He continued on talking about how they need to get over it etc etc. I understand when people don't quite get another persons situation, but I am bothered when I hear people avoid attempting to understand another persons circumstance in order to empathise. Dismissal is a cause of so many problems, and would be better suited to somewhere other than a discussion about cultural and personal identity through art... In my opinion anyway.
Nonetheless there was some fantastic photographic work, from the Japanese magazine Provoke which I found very interesting. It was raw, rough and at times pretty confronting.
Among other crazy but cool exhibitions in the Art Institute, there was some 3000 year old peruvian pottery, 1200 year old weaponry from the Europe, amazing Medieval artworks from Europe and a whole exhibition of amazing miniature room recreations!
The 68 Thorne Miniature Rooms enable one to glimpse elements of European interiors from the late 13th century to the 1930s and American furnishings from the 17th century to the 1930s. Painstakingly constructed on a scale of one inch to one foot, these fascinating models were conceived by Mrs. James Ward Thorne of Chicago and constructed between 1932 and 1940 by master craftsmen according to her specifications.
Next it was off to Cindy's, a rooftop bar in Chicago in a former Athletic club. It is immaculately presented and comes with all the trappings of a fancy hipster place to drink, including drinks with weird names, bearded bartenders and pretentious staff!
The view, however, is awesome and I got to view the shiny bean (Cloud Gate) for the first time, from above!
Downstairs from Cindy's is a Shake Shak, where I had my first Shake Shak Burger and.... Shake. It was good, but basically just a fast food burger and shake. The setting for this meal however, was pretty special!
I ended up bumping into a little bar called 'Blue Chicago', a live blues bar for a couple of Goose Island beers and some good ol' fashioned Blues.
It was awesome. The beer was great and the blues were soulful, playful and loud.
Chicago, in the first day, you have done a fine, fine job I must say.
I had written notes in my notebook, it had my favourite kind of pen stuck in it, and I must have left I on a plane or in an airport. Dammit.
It was not overly full, I had grabbed a new one for my trip, so it was maybe only 4 pages of writing, my thoughts on LA, and a few days in Chicago recorded in there. The sketchings of some explanations of the Just Be Nice Project that I doubt will make much sense to anyone who bothers to flick through the first couple of pages once they pick it up.
It’s strange, but I rarely lose things, apart from hoodies, which seem to go walkabout all the time, I have a wonderful lifetime track record for keeping things and knowing where they are. In the interests of not losing the precious memories contained within, I thought I might write the first travel blog!
My first time in the US has been great so far, I have collapsed in a heap and slept for longer stretches than I have in ages (I know I’m overseas, but I’m also on holidays!) I have met some fantastic people, and seen some amazing sites.
It all started by being on the inaugural flight from Melbourne - LA direct on Virgin Australia. My favourite airline, and a hassle free 14 hour flight directly to the City of Angels! There were cupcakes and news cameras to celebrate the launch of the service, so the trip started off with an unusual amount of fanfare!
I landed in LA to basically be greeted by a friend of a friend (Michele), who was a complete stranger, but gave up her day to show me around and just be an amazingly gracious and wonderful host. It resulted in drinks on a late night on a rooftop bar in the middle of the city, MacDonalds before dropping me home so I could get up early and take on the next days travel on not much sleep! But it was totally worth it. Lunch in Korea Town (Where I was staying), a laugh at Toe Bang… Whatever that is, and a trip up into the LA Hills resulting in me not having the terrible first impression of LA that I thought I would. Turns out Michele has worked on the College Humour videos which bring a lot of happiness to the office at regular intervals, and I thought that was a cool little bonus/small world thing! If you haven't seen them, check them out HERE!
The air in LA is terrible, the whole place looks like you are looking through a smoke screen of some description which gives it this weird hazy vibe all over the city, and doesn't really look clear... But the people were friendly and smiled and said hello most places I wandered around in West Hollywood/Sunset boulevard. It went by very quickly, but I will return before heading home! Managed a couple of snaps before booting off in the morning once more to the mighty midwest....
Off to Chi-Town....
I am sitting in an airport right now, waiting for a flight back home. It’s been a wonderful trip so far, a few days of conferences, meetings, presentations, time with my goddaughter and even a gala dinner. A wonderful trip to Sydney and one I will remember for a long time.
I checked in early after what seemed like the lightest traffic in Sydney that I’ve seen in 10 years, had a great Uber driver and all in all things were going well.
Then I went to the line to go through security.
The security line at Sydney domestic airport has multiple entries, you can walk right past your check-in lane and walk down the back and join the line there (which I did) or you can come from the other side (from other carriers), or walk in the middle, where there are four or five lanes that converge in the same spot.
For some reason this time I happened to be one of the first ones to enter at this point in time from the check-in gates side.
A woman, who was now maybe one spot behind me as I merge into the line looks up from her phone
“Ummm the line is over there”
I said “actually the line starts in all of these places”
“Well not this line. This line starts there.” Pointing back to the middle entry.
“I'm sorry, are you serious?”
“The line starts over there”
“Ok, no problems.”
So I sauntered over to the back of the line. She went back to her phone and greasing me off like I was some kind of rule breaking maniac. Props to the guy who was lined up in-front of her (and was behind me for a brief time) that gave me a knowing “sheesh” in solidarity over the rudeness.
Meanwhile, as soon as she was past the merge point of the two lines, she conveniently ignored the point that was so important to her only seconds beforehand as the line filled up from people merging the lines, as they always do.
And that’s the bit that bothered me.
If you only hero things that affect you directly, you are an asshole.
If you feel so strongly about the integrity of the line, she could have easily looked at the person behind her and given them the same eyeroll, the same lecture and demanded that they went to the back of the line, but she didn’t because it no longer affected her.
These kinds of people are so frustrating, vocal, indignant and even rude about their self-centred inconveniences and then they go missing later on. It is a frustration that I see all the time.
I actually didn’t mind going to the back of the line, I wasn’t really inconvenienced, I had heaps of time before my flight, and as karma does, this rude woman was held up for a bomb detection scan and I got through the security at the same time as her anyway.
It is the fact that we allow people to maintain a narrow, self centered view of the world, and place over emphatic importance on inconvenience in their own lives, at the expense of others. This woman was quite happy to inconvenience me 15 spots in the line, to improve her convenience by 1 spot. Holding up imaginary rules that she made up on the spot and then promptly forgot once she was past her own inconvenience. By the time we went through the scanners that same line was probably 30 people deep.
Anyway, obviously I am fine, I will board the plane have a great flight and go to my wonderful home, it hasn’t ruined my zen because I just nodded, smiled and went to the back of the line. I was wearing a t-shirt that said JustBeNice on it after all! I just ask that if you see your friends acting like self-centered assholes you call them out on it, so they don’t ruin anyone elses zen.
If you find your zen being attacked, simply remember that we are all essentially the same, each with out own problems and remember that the only thing you can actually control is how you act. Be considerate of others, look at the world through the eyes of people around you, encourage compassion and consideration in those around you and remember that if it isn't a big deal, it isn't a big deal. So be cool, keep your zen together.... and then blog about it later.
Sneaky shoutout to Virgin Australia as well for always providing outstanding service whenever I travel, I am fortunate to have always had fantastic experiences, when I am flying. Legends.
Keep smiling, stay zen, and as always, just be nice.
-Josh Reid Jones
Josh Reid Jones - Founder of The Just Be Nice Project and Odin Sports