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kurshot partying with billionaire
Adventures, Breaking Free, Mindset, Stories,

What I Learned Partying with a Billionaire for a Summer

I was in a taxi headed from Miami Beach to the Airport—and sitting next to me was a billionaire I just met the day before.

We were flying to Puerto Rico where he lived and I had no idea whether this guy was an incredible human being who enjoyed my company and just wanted to continue the fun…

…or a raving lunatic getting ready to murder me as soon as we touched down.

My rationale for going: “Fuck it! You only live once.”

I was reminded of a quote from the movie, Rounders, with Matt Damon.

His character, Mike McDermott, said, “You can’t lose what you don’t put in the middle—but you can’t win much either.”

Needless to say, I went for the ride.

But before we get into the details, let me give you the back story. This is important.


PART ONE (1/3): HOW I ENDED UP IN A TAXI WITH A BILLIONAIRE

It was around 1pm the day before and I was walking down famous Collins Ave headed towards my job at Hyde Beach Pool Bar in Miami Beach.

At the time I was a server/bartender, and I fucking hated it. Don’t get me wrong, being surrounded by half naked sexy women and making $300-$700 a day sounds delightful!

(Photos: Me with long hair “working” during Miami Winter Music Conference)

But I’d been working in the service industry for over 10 years at this point and I knew I was meant for more than making drinks and serving people food 8hrs a day, 6 days a week.

Plus, I hated taking orders from power hungry managers, especially when I knew I was born to be an entrepreneur and run my own shit.

For years I had been reading self-help books like Rich Dad Poor Dad, 4 Hour Workweek, and How to Win Friends and Influence People, which are epic books. But I still felt like I wasn’t progressing, and worst of all, I didn’t know why.

My dream was to break free from the shitty corporate world, start my own online business, and begin traveling the world full-time! Yet, here I was still working for another corporation, stuck in one place with no other perceivable options besides finding another J.O.B. somewhere else.

I was miserable and frustrated, “When am I gonna catch a break?!?!”


After arriving at work, my first two customers of the day were two intelligent and spirited middle-aged women on vacation laying by the pool. It was pretty early and the pool was dead, so I spent a good chunk of time chatting with them.

After a short while, those women ended up meeting another man who we’ll call, “Justin.” Over the next few hours, we all got to know each other better. And by the end of the day, Justin invited the women and I to dinner.

Initially I was hesitant because my first impression of this 50+ year old man excitedly jumping around in the pool like a middle-schooler was that this dude was crazy af.

Plus, the women were a bit older for my taste, so I wasn’t really into it. However, for some odd reason, my intuition kept whispering to me, “JUSSST GOOOOO!!!”

So, eventually, I accepted the invite.

Later on that night at the first restaurant, we were conversing while enjoying cheese and wine. I asked Justin if he ever considered investing in Elon Musk’s company, Tesla.

This was back in 2013, so not as many people were talking about Elon and what he was doing to change the world. I believe the stock at the time was $15.

He replied, “I already invested 4 million.”

(As of today, the price of Tesla is $358 per share… more than 20x his original investment!)

As you can imagine, this caught my attention.

At first I thought this guy was just some shmo trying to impress a few ladies. But little did I know, he was incredibly intelligent and clearly successful. Everything I questioned him on, he had a relevant and insightful answer for. This guy was no dummy.

As we got ready to make moves to the next restaurant for dinner, they all put it on me to decide where we were gonna eat next.

Naturally, I chose Dolce (Dole-chay), one of the best upscale Italian restaurants in Miami which I just got fired from a week earlier for getting into an argument with the GM.

As the host was seating us, we walked right past my old GM and another manager. I smiled with a wide grin on my face, but for some odd reason they didn’t seem very happy to see me.

We sat down and enjoyed a feast for a king—five mouth watering courses—while laughing our asses off over endless bottles of fine wine.

I remember thinking to myself, “These strangers are fantastic!”

Then Justin went to pay the bill.

But since he lost his wallet the day before and his temporary card had reached it’s credit limit, his card was declined. This seemed fishy to me at first, but as you’ll soon learn, he wasn’t lying.

After a while of him trying to sort things out on the phone with the credit card company, I offered to pay for the $400+ dinner so we could continue enjoying our time together and not let money defuse the momentum of the night.

After leaving Dolce, we all headed back across the street to Justin’s penthouse at SLS Hotel. But come to find out, after taking the elevator upstairs, his room key wouldn’t work.

So we headed back downstairs to the front desk, and sure enough, they told him he had an outstanding balance of $3k for the penthouse because his card was declined.

Since his credit card still wasn’t working, they kept hassling him and refused to let him into the room despite the fact that, at this point, it was 12:30 in the morning and him and his three guests had been waiting for over a half hour in the lobby.

Mind you, he’d been staying at the hotel for over a week at a rate of $4k/night since it was during one of the busiest times of the year—Winter Music Conference.

As the front desk clerk continued to hassle him, I upsettingly blurted out, “So interesting how when you have money, it’s yes sir and all smiles. But the moment you run out of money, they immediately kick you out on the street.”

I had previously told the dude at the front desk I worked there, because Hyde Beach Pool Bar is connected to SLS Hotel.

This was a mistake.

He looked at me oddly, then walked into the back room. A moment later the hotel manager walked out, pulled me into the back room, and we started going at it.

I said, “What if this happened to you—wouldn’t you want the hotel to be sympathetic and compassionate to your situation for the time being so you could enjoy the rest of your night or at least get to bed?!”

My comment infuriated her, so she called security on me and demanded that I give her my name.

I refused, knowing that it was my job on the line. Then quickly walked out of the back room and straight out of the hotel, leaving the situation and everyone behind.

But then I thought, “They have cameras, so you’re already fucked—you’re gonna get fired regardless.”

So, figuring I had nothing to lose, I tried to make my way back into the hotel to grab Justin. But at that point, security had already been informed and refused to let me back in the hotel.

I didn’t have Justin’s or any of the women’s numbers and no way to get in contact with them. So I assumed that was the end of that story.

But just as I was about to leave and head home, to my surprise, Justin bursts out of the main entrance of the hotel with a bottle of Dom Perignon held high and excitedly yells to me, “LETS GO TO THE BEACH!!!”

Justin had solved his credit card situation and was let back into his penthouse. But at this point the women had already bounced, so we headed to the beach, which was a few hundred yards behind the hotel.

On the walk there, Justin says to me, “No one has ever stood up for me like that in my life. Thank you, my friend!”

When we got to the shore, we sat down, popped the bottle of Dom, and continued to drink and converse.

Out of no where, he drunkenly exclaims, “I’m a Billionaire!!! … With a capital B!!”

Although it’s a pretty shocking statement to hear, at this point in my life, status or wealth alone did not impress me. And this is still true today. Nevertheless, the outburst was duly noted.

We were pretty hammered at this point, so we began to stretch out on the sand. And before we knew it, we were both passed out.

Next thing I know, I wake up, look to my left, and see two dark shadows quickly walking away from us. I look down and see that my wallet is just sitting there on the sand—instead of nice and secure in my back pocket where I left it.

I check to see if anything’s missing. Sure enough, all my cash is missing—about $200 bucks.

I wake Justin up, and after patting himself down, he realizes his iPhone is missing too. So, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by this point—we got robbed.

As we walk back to the front of the hotel, he tells me that as repayment for losing my job over speaking out in his favor, he wants to fly me out to Puerto Rico where he lives so we can continue partying, and that he’d cover any bills or expenses I may have by giving me $5k/month—about what I was making working at Hyde Beach Pool Bar.

After some hesitation, I agree, so he instructs me to meet him outside the hotel at 11am. It was 4am at this point.

I thought it seemed crazy and too good to be true, but I knew there was only one way to find out. I went home and quickly packed a few shirts, a pair of jeans, some socks, underwear, and a toothbrush.

I was sort of dating an Argentinian girl named, Veronica, who I met at a hostel when I first moved to Miami. She had just moved to the states and didn’t really have a place to stay, so I let her stay with me in my studio apartment on the beach until she could find her own spot.

The next morning I explained the story to her and let her know she could have my apartment rent free for the next 3 months or until she left on her next adventure.

She was pretty shocked by the whole situation, but I had told her from the beginning that I wasn’t looking for a relationship because I wanted to travel and not be held down by anything or anyone.

After sleeping for a few hours, I grabbed my duffle bag, kissed her goodbye, and headed to SLS Hotel where Justin and I decided to meet up.

I got to the Hotel at 10:55am.

I still wasn’t allowed on the premises, so I waited nervously on the sidewalk in front of the hotel with my fingers crossed.

11am… nothing.

11:05… nothing.

11:10… nothing.

So, as expected, I figured it was too good to be true and decided to head back home.

But, right as I went to turn around, Justin walks out the front entrance of the hotel with a big smile on his face and waves me to come in.

For some reason the security guards didn’t bother me since I was with him, so we took the elevator up to his penthouse and he immediately called his travel agent.

He booked two tickets back to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and before I knew it, we were in a cab on our way to the airport.

I was experiencing so many emotions, I didn’t know what to make of it all. All I knew was that this was gonna be big!

I texted a few friends to fill them in on what was going on. But out of fear, most of them thought I was crazy for trusting this random dude, which made me grow nervous.

“IS this a horrible idea??? IS this crazy???”

When we got to the airport and were waiting for our flight, I looked at Justin with suspicion and said, “Why are you doing this? Why are you taking me with you?”

He laughed and said, “Don’t worry—I’m not gay! We just have a good connection and I feel an energy between us, so that’s it.”

This was really all the assurance I needed because I knew what he meant. There WAS a connection between us. So he was doing what I had been doing for the last few years—going with the flow by having faith that my heart and intuition would guide me in the right direction, which once I started doing, made all the difference in my life.


PART TWO (2/3): PARTYING WITH A BILLIONAIRE

When we arrived in San Juan, his personal driver picked us up and we headed back to his mansion, which was an hour away in one of the wealthiest cities in Puerto Rico… Humacoa.

At this point I was sold, “Okay, this dude is legit.”

The next day we took his yacht to St. Thomas in the Caribbean, reserved a slot at a local marina, and ended up partying our asses off all day everyday for the next week. It was almost too much to keep up with, even for me. But this dude had endless energy.

Come to find out, Justin had just got divorced and was on a longterm vacation to get his mind off things.

And although we had also discussed me coming to work for him, what I was really doing for him was serving as a good wing man.

One night we went to a local strip club on the island and ended up bringing three of the strippers back to the yacht to party with us until the next morning as we all laid on the top of the yacht watching the glorious sunrise overcome the ocean’s horizon.

After leaving St. Thomas, we headed to San Juan Resort and stayed there for close to a week.

One day when we were headed to the pool, I told him I had to use the bathroom first and I’d meet him there.

When I met back up with him, he was already in the pool partying with a large group of beautiful women celebrating a bachelorette party.

Mind you, Justin was in his early 50’s, yet he had the spunky energy of a teenager and all the women we met instantly gravitated towards him even though, initially, they had no idea he was wealthy.

He ended up ordering something like 15 bottles of Don Perignon—one for every person in the pool—and we all had a glorious time spraying champagne on each other and splashing around in the pool.

Later on, he invited all the women from the pool party to dinner, so the party continued into the night.

After dinner, we headed to the lobby and were stunned by a guy and his crew who were randomly jamming out in the lobby using the Hotel’s grand piano and other instruments they had brought.

Come to find out, that guy was Bob Marley’s son, Ziggy Marley.

Justin asked Ziggy if he could treat him and his crew to a late night bite at one of the local restaurants. They were all inclined to go, but bailed last minute because they had to get up early for a show they were putting on the next day.

Crazy random experiences like this was how most of the trip went.

Although I made so many incredible memories while partying with Justin over the summer, what was most defining about the experience was what I learned by getting the opportunity to experience HIS world.

Sure, we did a lot of outrageous partying which was super fun. But that’s not what I’m talking about.


PART THREE (3/3): WHAT I LEARNED PARTYING WITH A BILLIONAIRE FOR A SUMMER

Prior to going on this random adventure with Justin, I despised money and rich people.

At the time I had a limiting belief that money was the root of all evil and those who “hoarded” that money were egotistical conniving materialistic people who didn’t care about the rest of the world—only themselves.

But after hanging out with Justin and many of his uber wealthy friends, I realized that nearly everything I was taught to believe growing up about money and rich people was essentially bullshit.

To my surprise, I found my new rich friends to be phenomenal listeners, generous, caring, compassionate, well read, business minded, and just all around the type of people I enjoyed being around.

I could converse with them on a wide range of interesting topics. And the conversations didn’t simply revolve around gossip or other meaningless shit, but rather around knowledge, growth, and new ideas for various business ventures.

And when I spoke confidently about myself and my audacious goals, my ideas weren’t put down, but instead were supported and celebrated.

I found the experience unbelievably refreshing, because conversations with my best buddies back home revolved around gossip, sports, and how hammered we all got the night before.

And when I tried to have intelligent conversations with them or discuss my goals and various business ideas I had, they would get bored, roll their eyes, laugh at me, put me down in subtle ways, and even shrink in my presence because their goals were small and mostly non-existent.

With my buddies back home, I felt bored, alone, and held back.

But with my new wealthy friends, I felt excited, inspired, and fully supported to think big and try new things.

So I began to wonder what the difference was between my buddies back home and these new wealthy friends I had recently made.

The first thing that seemed apparent was that my new wealthy friends didn’t seem like anomalies or like they had any sort of special innate gifts that naturally gave them super powers.

But rather, they had a radically different MINDSET (or way of thinking) that helped them make better decisions in a variety of situations, which led to better circumstances in their lives as a whole.

They also leveraged a set of MENTAL TOOLS (or specific strategies) that most don’t, which gave them the power to take action, overcome hurdles, and create a life of freedom and abundance.

Ya see, a man with the right physical tools can build a house or fix a car. But a man with the right MINDSET and MENTAL TOOLS can do anything!

And so I became obsessed with studying how successful people think and the most common strategies that they use.

And after a few years of reading, studying, and breaking it all down, I found that there were consistent patterns in mindset, strategies, and daily habits that separated those who thrive from those who merely survive.

Here are just a few of them…

[WARNING: Please realize that the comparisons I’m about to make below are a generalization. But a generalization I find to be true time and time again. And yeah, sure, just like any other group of people, there are rich people who are complete douche bags. But even self-made rich douche bags have a set of beliefs, traits, and skills, that allow them to achieve such riches. So do me a favor and don’t do what most will do… which is get offended. Instead, take note and think deeply about it because, if you want freedom, this is everything!]

  • Rich people see opportunities. My buddies back home see obstacles.
  • Rich people see potential growth and rewards. My buddies back home see risk and potential loss.
  • Rich people focus on what they want (making the shot). My buddies back home focus on what they DON’T want (what will happen if they miss the shot).
  • Rich people see money as a tool to increase their options, freedom, and quality of life. My buddies back home see money as “the root of all evil.”
  • Rich people are willing to act in spite of fear. My buddies back home let fear stop them in their tracks.
  • Rich people see freedom and financial independence as easy to create and the only way to live. My buddies back home think becoming free and financially independent is either impossible or too much work.
  • Rich people make money by producing results for others—regardless of the time spent (or not spent!). My buddies back home make money by selling their most valuable and non-renewable asset—time.
  • Rich people see work as a way to do what they love to do while serving others. My buddies back home see work as a painful experience necessary to pay bills and survive.
  • Rich people focus on the process and enjoying the journey. My buddies back home focus on the result, like making enough money to buy a new car, and therefore experience short lived bursts of excitement, which often puts them in debt for years after.
  • Rich people leverage debt to buy up assets such businesses, stocks, investment properties, etc, so they can build wealth and financial freedom. My buddies back home use debt to buy up liabilities such as big homes, new cars, flashy boats, etc, so they can show off to their friends and end up spending the rest of their lives trapped under a mountain of debt.
  • Rich people are great at promoting themselves and their business(es) or ventures. My buddies back home don’t believe in themselves enough to promote themselves or their ventures, and don’t want to be “too salesy.”
  • Rich people focus on appreciation, gratitude, and serving others. My buddies back home constantly complain, criticize, and condemn others.
  • Rich people have big libraries. My buddies back home have big TV’s.
  • Rich people are life-long learners who see education as enjoyable and incredibly beneficial in every aspect of life. My buddies back home stopped educating themselves after high school or college because they see education as boring and only necessary to get a job.
  • Rich people constantly ask questions. My buddies back home constantly make assumptions.
  • Rich people see traveling as a way of life so they can expand their mind and experiences. My buddies back home see traveling as a two week vacation so they can escape their work, and really, their day-to-day lives.

(COMING UP: What I learned NEXT was 10x more important!)

Look, this can be hard to take in at first. I love my buddies back home dearly. But they think and operate in a way that doesn’t serve themselves or others.

And that’s why my only option if I wanted to progress was to slowly distance myself from them and begin developing new relationships with people who thought and strategized at a higher level.

“You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” —Jim Rohn

As you can see, the rich friends I met on this journey thought much differently than my buddies back home, which is exactly why they’re able to produce more freedom and abundance in their lives compared to my buddies back home who’re forced to work 9to5’s they hate with little to no control over their lives.

Sure, some rich people just get lucky and are born into wealth. But for the millions of self-made individuals out there, the money didn’t come first. What came first was a shift in their self-awareness and mindset. The money and lifestyle was simply a bi-product of their thoughts and daily actions.

BUT THERE’S MORE… what I learned from Justin and his rich friends WASN’T ENOUGH to produce happiness or a truly fulfilling life.

In fact, there’s something I haven’t told you yet which I’m about to share with you now…

Like I mentioned above, the main reason why Justin was on this big vacation was to get his mind off his recent divorce. But what I haven’t told you yet is that many times during our adventures he would suddenly break down into tears over the divorce and losing his wife, who he loved dearly.

It would often send him into bouts of rage, anger, and sadness, which he unsuccessfully dealt with by drinking himself into oblivion.

This was A HUGE EYE OPENER for me!

What this taught me was that, you can have a bunch of bling-bling and all the money in the world, but still be fucking miserable!

Which is why you hear tragic stories about people like Robin Williams and Anthony Bourdain who had all the money, fame, and love in the world, but still weren’t happy inside.

They knew how to become rich and famous, but they didn’t know how to manage their mental and emotional state. And at the end of the day, that’s everything!

Ya see, on the surface it seems like what we want is material. But what we really want is to feel good.

To be more specific, what we’re looking for is a positive change in our mental and emotional state.

We wanna feel excited.

We wanna feel inspired.

We wanna feel motivated.

We wanna feel in love.

We wanna feel energized.

We wanna feel confident.

WE WANNA FEEL ALIVE!!

And naturally, we believe that if we get that house, or that car, or that girl, or a million likes, or a million dollars… THEN we’ll feel those things.

But getting your hands on that stuff doesn’t guarantee that you’ll feel those things or obtain life long happiness.

I mean, look, making a million bucks and driving a Ferrari is dope and you should absolutely go after what you want!

But what’s even better is being able to feel incredible anytime you want by simply flipping an emotional switch.

What this means is that you don’t have to wait until you become a millionaire to be free and happy.

You don’t have to wait until you find some hottie to be with.

You don’t have to wait until you have a six pack.

You can use emotional “cheat codes” to feel incredible right now!

And here’s the best part: the better you feel, the more confident and capable you’ll be.

And the more confident and capable you are, the faster and easier it’ll be to overcome hurdles so you can get whatever the hell you want.

How do I know? Because I’ve tested it.

After upgrading my mindset by implementing what I’ve shared with you today along with other concepts I’ll share with you in the future, my life went from 0 to 100 real quick!

In only 5 years I’ve been able to…

  • Ride my bicycle across country from NYC to LA starting with no money, no plan, and no place to stay, for a super fun cause I created to inspire thousands across America to believe in themselves even if they don’t have all the answers to start. I called it, Bike To Believe.

  • Quit a shitty job I hated (serving-bartending) and started my own online business, so I make money doing what interests and excites me—not slaving for others making them money for pennies on the dollar.

  • Become fully mobile so I can fund my lifestyle while I explore mother earth! (Being able to work online and take your work with you where you go is a godsend! You should try it…)

  • Drop 30 pounds in 3 months and now feel non-stop mental and physical energy (My weight used to yo-yo all the time, but I figured out it was ALL mindset.)

  • Live in 9 different cities including NYC, Miami, LA, Las Vegas, Denver, Atlanta, Key West, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Medellin, Colombia.

  • Eliminate negative unsupportive people from my life to make room for those who love and support me.

  • Overcome crippling fear, anxiety, and depression so I can feel great and enjoy my damn life! (Also perform better in everything I do!)

  • Be personally coached by Ryan Holiday, a brilliant thinker and author, and the youngest Marketing Director of a Fortune 500 company ever—American Apparel.

  • And so much more I can’t even describe!

I dubbed this new philosophy and way of life… Ultimate Freedom Lifestyle! 

(Yes, semi-corny name but UFL has a much deeper meaning than it may seem initially…)

Ultimate Freedom Lifestyle means FIRST designing a life around what makes you happy—NOT just what makes you money or what society thinks you should do… aka… waste exorbitant amounts of time and money on college, do things you don’t wanna do to please your parents, get a secure job that you fucking hate, invest in an overpriced and underperforming 401k, buy a big house you can barely afford, live the rest of your life trapped under a mountain of debt, and wait until you’re about to die so you can retire and begin living free… you know, the American dream.

SECONDLY you’ll need to develop the mental, physical, and financial power required to build a high performance life that offers you more free and flexible time, global mobility, and unlimited options.

And LASTLY eliminate any relationship, environment, or activity that makes you unhappy, bores you, or slows you down.

But, to be clear…

Ultimate Freedom is NOT about never working again and sitting on a beach the rest of your life sipping mojitos. Let me save you the suspense—that’s boring af.

It’s about abandoning conventional norms so you can spend more time doing what interests and excites you, and waste less time doing what doesn’t.

And no… the journey to Ultimate Freedom doesn’t begin with “3 Simple Steps to Starting an Online Business” because that’s bullshit, which is why so many who try to build an online business end up failing (including me in the past).

Myself and so many others have failed with successfully starting their own online business, because…

The real work begins with shaping your mindset and how you think!

And please trust me on this because I learned this the hard way and ended up spending years banging my head against the wall, frustrated as to why I was still living a life that made me miserable 50-75% of the time.

Basically, I was trying to take shortcuts (aka LONGcuts).

Truth of the matter is, the “mechanics” or steps to starting an online business and creating Ultimate Freedom are relatively simple and straight forward… as long as you put them into action (the hard part).

What isn’t straight forward is being able to overcome common roadblocks that enable you to take consistent action, which you do by upgrading your mindset, developing new daily habits, surrounding yourself with strong supportive people already living the life you wanna live, and getting rid of subconscious limiting beliefs that unconsciously keep you in fear, which stop you from taking action.

Once you do that, the steps to “success” become fairly easy.

But if you don’t do that, you’ll NEVER take action and be stuck for another 5-10-20-30 years wondering wtf went wrong.

“Success is 20% mechanics (the steps) and 80% psychology (your mindset).” —Tony Robbins

Look, whatever your dreams are, TRUST ME, you got this.

Your past failures don’t define you—they’re the stepping stones to success.

If you’re scared and insecure, guess what, the rest of the world is too.

But the good news is, YOU CAN overcome your fears and dive into an ocean of possibilities because you’re more capable than you can even fucking imagine.

And as for those who doubt you and your dreams, eh, fuck’em!

They’re just too afraid to go after their own.

My name’s Kurshot and my goal is to help free you for life. If that’s something that interests you, subscribe below.


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psychedelics, Stories,

My First Ayahuasca Ceremony

It all started with a text.

My dear friend Mariana, the one who talked me into moving to Medellin, Colombia, said she was gonna take ayahuasca, a psychedelic drug known for its therapeutic effects, and asked if I wanted to join.

Without hesitation, I jumped at the opportunity.

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It’s no secret that I have a deep love and respect for psychedelic drugs.

I attribute much of my personal transformation—FROM unconscious human being going through the motions of daily life totally confused TO conscious human being directing his own life with confidence and clarity—to the many mushroom trips I experienced while living in Las Vegas in 2012 over a nine month period.

Three to four times a month, I would venture out to Red Rock Canyon—sometimes with friends, but often by myself—with the goal of “figuring out my shit.”

I believe no one knows you better than you, therefore, I believe the best psychologist for you, is YOU!

Thing is, most people don’t understand how the brain works, how we function individually and socially as human beings, and what we really need to live fulfilling lives, so it makes it quite difficult for most to dive deep into themselves and squash out issues that lie at the root of their lives.

Psychedelics are the cheat code.

Given the right dose, the right mindset, and the right environment, psychedelics have an almost magical ability to help people dive deep and “figure out their shit” without having to drop a bundle of cash on a therapist or get a PhD in both neurology and psychology.

But interestingly enough, my psychedelic journey did not begin from such an open-minded place.

It began with fear.


From an early age, I was told that psychedelics would make me go crazy, cut myself, and more than likely, end my life by jumping off the roof of a very tall building.

I was even told that schizophrenia ran in my family, and that if I took psychedelics, it would trigger “my schizophrenia” and I’d go insane FOR-EV-ERRR!

So I stayed away from it, “Fuck that! I’m not going insane.”

But that stance didn’t last very long.

One drunken night when my buddy Vick and I were whipping my Honda S2000 back from Pearl Nightclub in Rochester, NY—my favorite place to grab drinks, dance, and pick up chicks when I was 20—we took a detour and ended up at a mutual friend’s house where she was throwing an after party for ten of our closest friends and dishing out psychedelic mushrooms like they were hors d’oeuvres.

I was drunk, so of course I threw caution to the wind, saying something like, “Fuck schizophrenia!” right before popping two caps and two stems into my mouth and washing them down with a big swig of my vodka soda.

What proceeded was one of the best nights of my life.

It began with Will Smith of Fresh Prince bursting into a bunch of pixels on the TV screen, and ended with most of our friends from the evening falling asleep intertwined on a king-size bed in orgy-like fashion.

I’ve never been much of a sound sleeper, and that particular night was no exception.

I laid there on the bed, mind churning as I watched the sunrise slowly peek through the skylight of my friend’s bedroom.

So I got up, left the house, and went for a walk, leaving Vick and the S2000 far behind.

It was one of the most euphoric adventures I’d ever been on.

I remember gazing up at the sun and feeling so much joy and appreciation for all the life around me.

The birds. The people headed to work. Just everything. I loved it all.

Four miles later, I had arrived home.

I got into bed, fell fast asleep, and woke up later that day feeling just as incredible.

Although I wouldn’t take mushrooms or any other psychedelic again for another 4 years, this was the beginning of my relationship with psychedelics.


Fast forward to the beginning of last week.

My friend Mariana asks me to take ayahuasca and I eagerly accept.

So what the hell is Ayahuasca anyway? And why did I want to take it so bad?

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ayahuasca drink

As defined by www.ayahuasca-info.com:

Ayahuasca is an Amazonian plant mixture that is capable of inducing altered states of consciousness, usually lasting between 4 to 8 hours after ingestion. Ranging from mildly stimulating to extremely visionary, ayahuasca is used primarily as a medicine and as a shamanic means of communication, typically in a ceremonial session under the guidance of an experienced drinker.
 

The main ingredient of this jungle tea is a vine, Banisteriopsis caapi, which like the tea itself is also called ayahuasca (which means ‘vine of the soul’ or ‘vine with a soul’). The secondary ingredient is either chacruna (Psychotria viridis) or chagropanga (Diplopterys cabrerana), plants that contain a relatively high amount of the psychedelic substance DMT…

…Psychonauts, i.e. people who practice responsible and conscious use of mind-altering substances, use ayahuasca to confront themselves with the richness of the mind, the infinity of the universe, and their deepest fears, so as to experience ecstasy resulting from facing and overcoming these fears.

One effect of ayahuasca is that it makes a lot of people vomit and many drinkers get diarrhea… as it purges the body through this physical effect, and purifies the mind through the meaningful psychological experiences or visions. You usually feel totally refreshed and reborn after a strong experience.”

Because ayahuasca is most commonly administered in the Amazonian regions of South America, it is often out of reach for most Westerners, making it one of the least accessible psychedelic drugs compared to, let’s say, mushrooms or LSD.

This is what I believe ayahuasca’s legendary status is partly attributed to.

This is exactly why—even after 20-30 psychedelic experiences—I was so eager to experience it.

And so I set out to do just that.


In order to be in the highest state of mind for the upcoming ayahuasca ceremony, Mariana “suggested” that I begin preparing immediately.

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Truth be told, I didn’t really follow her “suggestions.”

Although I abstained from sex (not by choice), alcohol, and meat, I smoked weed several times, masterbated “several” times, and smoked my e-cigarette religiously.

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I had just finished a two month project that didn’t workout as well as planned, so I needed to shut my brain off for a while and relax, which mary jane does an excellent job of.

My megalomaniacal ambitions ain’t got no time for relaxin.


At any rate, the day had arrived. Not Wednesday like we had originally planned, but Friday instead.

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Since the ceremony would be taking place high up in the mountains, I was advised to dress warm and bring extra layers just in case.

The cost of the ceremony would be 60,000 colombian pesos …aka twenty bucks.

I had all my shit together, but of course, as I went to leave, I couldn’t find the key to my apartment.

Funny thing about my apartment door is that if it’s locked shut with you inside and you don’t got a key, unless you’re willing to base jump from twenty stories, you’re shit out of luck.

Huge fire code issue, but hey, welcome to Colombia!

Luckily, my roommate hadn’t left for work yet, so he let me out in time to catch my ride to the ceremony.

Since Mariana and I live in the same building, we caught a taxi together to her best friend, Jessica’s house.

From there, we took Jessica’s 1.5 liter go-kart looking car miles up the mountains of Medellin to pick up two more friends on the way to the ceremony.

With how steep many of the roads are, I’m always surprised these little 5-speed manual transmission cars make it without having to rebuild the engine and replace the clutch after every trip.

(Here’s a 30 second clip of the ride up. Incredible views!)

On the way up, a few pessimistic thoughts surfaced.

Besides my very first psychedelic experience at my friend’s house almost 10 years ago, I’ve never really enjoyed indoor experiences.

My favorite way to take psychedelics for therapeutic purposes is to go to the top of a mountain during daylight, preferably alone, put on Pretty Lights or other comparable non-lyrical electronic music, and gaze out at the world while my drug-induced mind uses its heightened awareness to process deeper aspects of my life and answer troubling questions I’ve purposely set out to solve.

I’m not quite sure how to explain it other than it seems like common-sense not to take psychedelics in small dark spaces.

Nevertheless, I wanted to keep an open mind, so I brushed off the pessimism and approached the experience from beginner’s mind.

Shortly after picking up our other two friends, we arrived at the “hut” where the ceremony would take place.

ayahuasca hut

 

The hut came with two bathrooms for people to take a piss in, poop in, or throw up in, at anytime, which we’ll get to shortly.

I tried taking a poop before the ceremony, but all I managed to do was take a lifeless pee.

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Here’s a picture of inside the hut, as well as Mariana checking her phone (of course).

It should be noted that I was the only idiot from our group who wore black jeans instead of an incredibly comfortable pair of sweatpants. As life presents few opportunities to do so, I’ll never forgive myself.

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As you can see, we all had padded mats to lay on, as well as a stack of blankets to choose from so we could stay warm, as it was VERY cold where we were high up in the mountains.

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As Mariana and I settle in for our psychedelic adventure, I decide to snap some before-pics.

Mariana kurshot ayahuasca 1 Mariana kurshot ayahuasca 3

 

One of the Shaman’s helpers sparks the fire.

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Out of respect for the ceremony and to not seem like a complete tourist, I decided to hold off on the pictures for the rest of the ceremony.

And sorry, unfortunately no picture of the Shaman. But if it makes you feel any better, he looked like any other Shaman you may have seen before, but replace leaves and feathers with jeans and a t-shirt.

He was dressed sort of like this guy, but didn’t look as decrepit and wasn’t wearing the feathers hat.

ayahuasca-retreat-ceremony-ayahuasca-initiation


The Ceremony

Once everyone was settled, the Shaman explained what ayahuasca was, the purpose of it, and some other shit that I couldn’t understand at all because he only spoke spanish, and as of this post, I’ve got a ways to go before I’m fluent.

To his credit, he did ask Mariana to translate for me, which she did for all of two sentences and then stopped.

I still love her.

Later on, for the purposes of this post, I asked Mariana what he said, and apparently he said:

Ayahuasca is a powerful medicine that helps you deeply connect with yourself so you can see inside you. To see all the things you’ve done in your life. To see all the mistakes you’ve made. And a way to fix any problems. It’s a beautiful experience all about love and reconnecting with the father, which we can call God, and that it’s a connection of fire, water, air, and earth.”

The rest is lost to poor memories.

After the Shaman’s speech, he began picking people one by one to take ayahuasca.

It seemed to me that he chose all the men first, then the women.

I didn’t complain.

As each person went up to receive their ayahuasca drink, the Shaman would sing some sort of chant at the cup to “unlock its special powers,” have the participant repeat a prayer, and then hand the cup over where the participant would drink the thick greenish-black concoction in one big gulp.

Then he’d have you drink a little water, wipe your mouth with a napkin, and sit back down.

(Pic I stole off Google, but very similar.)

ayahuasca

This is how it went for me as well, except, since I didn’t speak spanish, he had me say my own prayer instead of repeating his.

I acted like I was thinking about something really deep, then drank the concoction, passed up the water and napkin (because I’m a badass), and sat back down.

After everyone drank the ayahuasca and was back on their mats, nothing more was really said or done for the next hour.

As that hour passed, most began to lay down on their mats, and one began to throw up inside her throw up bag, which everyone received in the beginning.

At that point, I felt nothing.

I was beginning to grow concerned.

Is this shit ever gonna hit me? Or is this gonna be another one of those first-time dud experiences I’ve heard of before?”

I sat down next to the Shaman to ask him for more ayahuasca. He said a bunch of words I didn’t understand, but luckily, he said one word that I did understand… “despacio,” which means “slowly.”

Basically he was telling me to chill the fuck out.

So I nodded my head and sat back down next to the fire.

Right after he said that, I began to feel something.

My thoughts were speeding up and I was starting to see visuals.

I knew it was beginning to hit me, so I decided to lay down on my mat.

It was freezing cold and the ayahuasca setting in only made me feel colder.

I covered up with a blanket and put on my headphones to listen to my favorite music when I trip, Pretty Lights.

Almost as soon as I closed my eyes, I began seeing a lot of weird shit.

It’s hard to describe now, but initially it was somewhat demonic, which I can’t say I’ve experienced too many times on psychedelics.

One thing I remember seeing was a miniature joker bouncing his legs and arms up and down, as if he was doing some silly sideways dance.

I mean, it wasn’t scary enough to get me to call my Mom, but it’s not something I felt was necessary to connect with my deeper self.

At this point, I wasn’t too happy with my experience thus far.

From within my blanket, I could hear people throwing up in and outside the hut. The Shaman and his helpers were now drumming and singing away, which was interfering with the music coming from my ear buds (which I turned off). And I wasn’t reaching a higher state or connecting with any sentient beings that were ready to show me the way.

It felt the same to me as nearly every other time I had taken mushrooms in a small dark space, such as inside a friend’s apartment.

Around this time, Mariana asked me if I was feeling anything, and I said, “Sort of, but not really.”

So we both got up to get more ayahuasca and then laid back down.

I had to pee, so I got up and headed outdoors. But once I got outside, I suddenly felt like I wanted to puke everywhere.

I looked for an empty toilet, but the Shaman directed me towards the short fence where I began to vomit excessively into the brush.

With each explosion of vomit, I could see dark globs of greenish-black ooze pour out of my face and paint the plant life below. It was sort of interesting to watch.

After that glorious event, the Shaman handed me a napkin to wipe my mouth, then I took a pee and headed back in to escape under my blanket once again.

At this point, I was wishing it would all end. I kept thinking, “When is this gonna be over?!”

It had nothing to do with the vomiting. I already knew that was gonna be the case and was fully prepared for it.

But to be freezing cold, hear constant vomiting from others, feel like shit yourself, be forced to listen to loud music I didn’t enjoy which was overlaid with seemingly obnoxious chants, and after all that, get little to no insight in return?!

I didn’t think that was a fair trade-off.

At this point, I was convinced that an ayahuasca ceremony was nothing more than a mushroom or acid trip, accept with a lot of throwing up and traditional ceremony mumbo-jumbo, which I didn’t feel enhanced or added to my psychedelic experience at all.

Nevertheless, I wanted to make the best of my experience, so I tried to focus on questions that I had and wanted answered.


Since I’ve spent so many years looking within and working desperately to understand myself and resolve inner conflict, I didn’t focus too much on myself, but more so, my business.

I wanted to know why I wasn’t having the success I felt I deserved after putting in so much hard work.

And here’s where I found the experience to be beneficial.

Ayahuasca “told me” that I no longer needed to search outside myself for answers. That the answers were within me, and that I needed to guide my progression going forward.

I think this was a small part of the reason I experienced such a lackluster trip. It was almost as if ayahuasca was telling me I didn’t need it.

It was saying, “Guide yourself. You know what you need to do. Now just do it.”

I usually write a lot when I take psychedelics. In the past, I’ve written entire essays while tripping balls. But this time I kept it minimal:

People revolve around sources, like planets revolve around the sun.

Marketing, most of it, is shit.

No, marketing isn’t shit. Most marketers are shit.

They’re doing it wrong.

Because all they care about is money.

They miss the entire point of all of this.

It’s all about love.

Helping each other live better lives.

Everyone focuses on different ways to help people live better lives.

And with the whole, everything is complete.

Just help people.

Be kind.

Be funny.

Be helpful.

Do those things consistently, and you become the source.

[my definition of source] A dependable person or organization that helps others meet their needs.”

Over the last 6 months, I’ve spent hours upon hours trying to figure out how to best market and sell my online course, Ultimate Freedom Lifestyle.

After hiring a “professional” marketer to help me put together an automated marketing campaign, I left the experience feeling disgusted with myself.

For him, it was just a bunch of sequences and templates paired to a numbers game.

Fill in this template, put it in this order, and let’s try to make the numbers work so we can make some money.

It had nothing to do with helping people, or being creative, or doing something that was remarkable.

It was just about copying and repeating what most marketers do and praying for results.

Moments like these remind me of a quote by Mark Twain, “When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.”

It sickens me just to think about it.

But moving forward, I know what I have to do, and ayahuasca helped me clear that up.


The trip began at 10am and it was now roughly 3 or 4pm, so I knew we were nearing the end.

A random guy who showed up to the ceremony later than others started talking to one of the Shaman’s helpers and decided to never stop.

In the beginning, the Shaman advised that no one talk to each other, as it can interrupt and disturb the individual’s experience, which I totally agree with.

When you’re on psychedelics, every sense is super heightened, and if you’re in a deep thought and someone starts talking to you or blabber mouthing in the background, it can totally fuck up your mental path.

It’s like trying to watch a movie while someone plays bongos three feet from your head.

What puzzled me the most was that the Shaman never told Motormouth to shut his trap.

At this point it was regardless, because most were ready to leave.

Soon everyone headed outside and began taking pictures with the Shaman.

As for me, I was still tripping pretty hard and could barely walk normal or talk clearly, but I was happy to head home and jump directly into bed.

I gave the Shaman the 60,000 colombian pesos, thanked him, and then headed to the car.

Right before getting to the car, I began frantically searching for my iPhone. I patted myself down, but felt nothing that resembled an $800 electronic device that lies at the epicenter of my life.

I walked back inside the hut, and on my way to my mat, I saw my headphones sprawled across the ground, and then lifted up a blanket which revealed my iPhone.

My life was complete again.

On the way home, we had to take a few rocky dirt roads. The car shook and jostled for miles, and with it, so did my stomach.

I felt this greenish-black ooze sitting at the bottom of my stomach. My body was telling me, “Dude, at some point this shit is gonna have to go, and it’s not coming out of your ass.”

I fought to hold it off until I got home, but no matter how much I tried to mentally focus on the idea that I was fine, I just wasn’t.

kurshot ayahuasca car ride home

Sitting in the back seat, I peeked my head over the front driver’s seat and calmly said to Jessica, “Love, would you mind pulling over please?”

Understanding exactly what I meant, Jessica quickly pulled over.

I got out, walked to a sewage drain, bent over, and began vomiting profusely. Afterwards, I got back in the car, wiped my mouth, and said, “We’re back in business!”


When I got home, my roommate and owner of the penthouse had arrived back from vacation and was having drinks with his buddy.

Gordon’s a pretty awesome dude who runs his own security business and travels the world non-stop with his super hot colombian girlfriend. By the time this blog post gets sent out, he’ll be in Thailand.

In the past, we’ve gone out, taken molly together, and danced the night away, so as soon I saw him, I knew it wouldn’t be an issue sharing with him that I was still tripping hard from an ayahuasca ceremony I just returned from and to please excuse me while I go pass out in my bed.

He just chuckled.

When I walked into my room, Gordon’s incredibly sexy girlfriend, Carolina, was standing there in her tight sexy spandex shorts with a low top on and her long jet black hair dangling passed her incredible ass.

All the clothes and belongings I own in this world fit in a single bag, so she stores her mountain of clothes in an armoire in my room.

Needless to say, I wasn’t bothered by her standing there, but regardless, I needed to rest and wasn’t gonna wait for her to finish gathering the clothes she wanted to pack for vacation.

So I stripped off all my clothes with her standing there, put on a pair of shorts, jumped into bed, and started watching Netflix.

As I noticed her peeking to watch me undress, my presence in the room didn’t seem to bother her either.

For the next 6 hours, I would lay in bed lifeless watching Netflix and intermittently give Carolina advice, like which of her clutches I liked best.

If only her boyfriend wasn’t Gordon…


The Wrap Up

So—what do I think of my ayahuasca experience?

Well, to be fair, I’ll preface this with the fact that it was my first experience, every Shaman offers a different experience, and I think the potion, although effective, was a bit weak.

But all in all, I think the experience was sound enough to offer a legit opinion, and in my opinion, ayahuasca is overkill.

I think it’s simply another means of reaching a psychedelic state.

But it’s not just another means. I feel it’s an unnecessary means of reaching a psychedelic state.

In other words…

A) I think the ceremony is unnecessary. Most of the stuff the Shaman was doing, like chanting and rapidly shaking a bouquet of leaves in your face, is nothing more than gospel and not necessary to reach a higher psychedelic state so you can solve issues in your life.

This text explains it…

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B) LSD and Mushrooms offer a very similar psychedelic experience, minus the ceremony, throwing up, and feeling like shit. If a friend who had never taken psychedelics before asked me what he should take for his first experience, I would NEVER recommend ayahuasca. Definitely LSD or Mushrooms.

C) Being in a dark room, having to listen to music someone else chooses for you, and being surrounded by people you don’t know (or even do know), in my opinion, is not the best way to experience psychedelics.

I think the best way to experience psychedelics is primarily based on your own preferences, mixed with a few common guidelines.

Here’s how I look at it…

Psychedelics stimulate your brain and heighten all your senses. Essentially, they amplify your mind making you incredibly insightful, and allow you to deeply connect with yourself and the world around you.

Although this powerful tool can absolutely help you solve problems in your life and reveal who you truly are and what you need to do with your one life, if you experience psychedelics around the wrong people, in the wrong environment, and/or are frightened by unknown safety concerns due to lack of education, you can easily have a negative experience.

Most call this having a bad trip.

In an ayahuasca ceremony, few of these variables are in your control.

You don’t choose your environment. You don’t choose who you do it with. And you don’t choose what music you listen to.

Personally, if I’m doing psychedelics for the purpose of answering questions in my life, then I go alone to the top of a mountain where no one is and I can see for miles, put on happy upbeat non-vocal music, and just start thinking about shit that matters to me, while writing down any big insights I have.

(Writing can be very challenging if you’re a beginner, as your thoughts are usually racing and it’s tough to get anything down before your mind is lightyears past the initial insight you wanted to write down.)

Although I’ll do psychedelics with a handful of carefully selected friends (smart, positive, experienced people, that I have a deep connection with), I find it much more beneficial to do it alone. You’re diving into your brain to see what you can pull out, and having people around only increases the chances that they’ll disrupt a deep thought you’re having and cut the cord to possible insights you could achieve.

I like doing psychedelics on the top of a mountain, because I find something powerful about feeling on top of the world and being able to see for miles. It seems to liberate my brain and open me up to incredible insights, whereas doing psychedelics indoors has the opposite effect on me.

I think picking the right music is huge! Music is nothing but frequencies, and what you feel (and think about) will depend on the music you choose. I choose upbeat happy non-vocal music as my go-to. I find that vocals can mess with your train of thought, so non-vocal is best in my opinion.

And maybe most importantly, I always know I’m safe. Often what causes bad trips is the uncertainty of safety. I’ve done my research on psychedelics and experienced it many times, so I never fear that I’m going to go insane or do something crazy. You’d have to take over 250 doses of LSD to die from an overdose, which is almost impossible. And it’s not addictive, because if you try to take acid or mushrooms a few days in a row, it just stops working altogether and you feel nothing. It’s as if you literally took nothing.


At the end of the day, I think everyone should have their own experiences, make their own observations, and come to their own conclusions, but whether you’re a beginner or very experienced with psychedelics, I don’t think there’s any rush to take ayahuasca.

If you get the chance to do it, do it!

What I wouldn’t recommend, is paying thousands of dollars to fly to Peru to achieve a deep psychedelic experience you can get for ten bucks by buying a tab of acid and hiking up a nearby mountain.


Question of the day (answer in comments section below): Have you done ayahuasca? And if so, what was your experience like? Also, feel free to share any thoughts or questions you have! Much love!

tough times high school basketball
Stories,

A Story To Help You Get Through Tough Times

gananda basketball team copy

I woke up this morning feeling like shit.

Instead of going through my normal morning routine, which jumpstart my day and gets my head in the right place, I just laid in bed.

I wasn’t feeling right because I felt so overwhelmed with everything I’m trying to accomplish with my business.

I asked myself questions like…

“Am I doing the right things?”

“If I’m doing the wrong things, will it lead to disaster?”

“Will my ultimate vision for my business EVER become a reality?!”

In that moment, everything felt hopeless.

As frustrated and confused as I felt, I’ve trained my brain to fend off these feelings of doubt that surface from time to time.

I was reminded of an earlier time in my life when I felt similar…


When I started playing organized basketball in High School, I sat the bench for over 2 years.

After months of brutal practices and sleeping on the floor in my bedroom because I didn’t have the physical strength to climb onto my bed, I can’t describe to you how frustrating it was to play ZERO MINUTES in any game ALL SEASON.

I felt like I wasn’t getting anything in return for everything I was giving.

But to my surprise, there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

In my junior year, after 2 years of bloody perseverance, something had happened to me over the summer and I came back to school a better ball player.

Because of my new-found skills, my coach and teammates were now looking at me differently.

When the season started, my position on the team was upgraded to “6th man.” And by the end of the season, I was being trusted to take the last shot with 10 seconds left on the clock and sectionals hanging in the balance.

Long story short—we won.

I remember this story often when I feel like I’m going in circles getting nowhere and all I want to do is give up.

The idea here is that you can achieve whatever your heart desires, but you have to learn to persevere through the discomfort, confusion, and pain that stands between where you are now, and where you want to be.

Once you commit to achieving what you desire by having the patience and determination to see it through, then your odds of turning your dreams into reality skyrocket!

It’s not easy. That’s for sure. But I’ll tell ya what, in the end, it’s worth it!

“Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” –Bruce Lee

Much love, my friend!

Kshot

Steve Jobs
Mental, Quotes, Stories,

5 Incredible Quotes by Steve Jobs That Instantly Changed My Life Forever

I had just moved back home from NYC and felt like a complete failure. I had lost my very lucrative day job, the entertainment business I started with my best friend wasn’t making any money, I owed $4,000 to another friend, my girlfriend dumped me, my lease was up so I was about to be homeless, and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

Then my Uncle came down from upstairs, walked into the kitchen, and told me that Steve Jobs had just died.

A few days later I bought his biography and began spending hours reading it in a spare bedroom my Aunt generously offered me while I got my life together.

I can’t tell you how many times I cried reading that book. It really struck a chord in me.

I realized that I had been following the wrong path—one that was disconnected from my heart and intuition. This realization led to a 4 year journey that I’m still on which included riding my bicycle across the country twice (Bike to Believe), traveling from tropical island to tropical island with a billionaire for a summer, living in 7 major U.S. cities plus Medellin, Colombia, and creating my first product that helps others create the life of their dreams too, Ultimate Freedom Lifestyle.

Nearly everything I learned that sparked this renaissance of my mind and life can be found in the following quotes by Steve Jobs. If you take the time to really think about what he’s saying, I think his words will resonate with you as much as they did with me.

5 Incredible Quotes by Steve Jobs That Instantly Changed My Life Forever

1) “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Before I set off on my cross country journey from NYC to Las Vegas, I was super nervous and it was a huge leap for me because I had never been to the west before and only had one friend out there.

I was giving up my old life for this new life and I didn’t know why other than the fact that my heart and intuition was telling me to do it.

Because of this quote by Steve Jobs, I was able to have faith that even though I didn’t have all the answers at the moment, I would eventually find them. And because of that faith, sure enough, 3 years later I did. And like Jobs said, it has made all the difference in my life.

2) “Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”

I’ve learned along the way that events in my life look sort of like a frequency wave—up and down, up and down. My life is constantly ebbing and flowing and when it takes a dip for the worst, it can seem like my whole life is falling apart and I should just give up. But if you understand that this is how things work in life, then when things take a dip for the worst, it won’t have as much of a negative effect on you because you were expecting it. Not in a negative way like you think bad things are always going to happen to you, but rather that shitty events are inevitable and the path to greatness is paved by hardship.

3) “You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

Man, this is crucial! The reality is that your work is going to take up a large part of your life—about 50 to 80 percent of it—so if you want to lead a fulfilling life, you gotta love what you do. Otherwise you’re going to spend a large part of your time stressed out and unhappy, which will seep into others areas of your life such as your relationships, finances, health, etc.

You may not know what kind of work will make you happy right now, but you have to start looking and experimenting. And you can never stop until you find it. Like Jobs said, you’ll know when you find it. DON’T SETTLE.

4) “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

One time I recited this quote in my head while in an AT&T store staring at this beautiful woman standing over to the side waiting to get her phone fixed. I got so nervous for some reason, but after reading this quote off in my head, it gave me the perspective to approach her and introduce myself. I ended up getting her number and we went on a date the next night, which turned out fantastic to say the least. To this day she is one of my best friends and I’m so grateful to have her in my life.

The reality is that one day not too far out you’re going to die and this ride is going to end. And once you realize this, the petty worries and fears you have that hold you back from your greatness become insignificant and you develop a certain power to make big moves and not give a fuck because you recognize that this is your one life and you need to make the most of it.

5) “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

There is probably no bigger lesson that I’ve learned than the reality that most people are living with major fears and limiting beliefs about what’s possible in this world and for them. And what they do by default is pass on those limiting beliefs to the people around them. One of my biggest struggles over the past 5 years has been overcoming the opinions and judgements of others, be it my family, friends, or strangers.

If there’s one thing you MUST cultivate, it’s your ability to be self-reliant and look within for answers.

Everything you see in this world was created by other people just like you. They weren’t all extraordinarily smart or have innate super powers. They simply believed in themselves and listened to what their heart and intuition was telling them.

You must do the same.

Ignore the naysayers and listen to what your heart and intuition is telling you.

They’re never wrong.

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feminists
Stories,

What I Learned By Pissing Off A Bunch Of Feminists

feminists

The other day, right after waking up with a killer hangover, I saw a feminist Fb post hating on men again. After coming back from a country (Colombia) where women overwhelmingly LOVE men like no other, it pissed me off and I reacted by writing a super harsh post tearing into feminists.

As one would expect, I got some pretty harsh comments from a few women—a few I really care about—and it made me feel like shit. But it did more than that, it made me reflect on the message I send out into this world and how I handle negativity in my life.

In life, there will forever be the negative and positive, the yin and the yang, and as individuals, we have a choice in what we focus on. And depending on what we focus on will result in how we feel.

For years I heavily researched government corruption, which had me focusing most of my attention on all the negativity in the world.

Although I don’t regret that chapter in my life because it taught me a lot, it also made me feel like shit a lot for the simple fact that I was focusing almost entirely on the negative.

So I quit focusing on all that shit and made a decision to do my part in changing the world for the better by doing what I do best—inspiring people to live bad ass lives. Then a few days ago I wrote that post and that shitty feeling came rushing back. Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy it.

The thing about feminism is it’s the same thing—it pins women against men and creates that negativity I so despise. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know incredible women who absolutely adored men, and then watched them go down the death spiral I did with government corruption—accept with men.

They frame everything as men against women just as I once framed everything as the awaken against the sheeple.

But that’s not truth. The reality is things aren’t as simple as that.

The reason I stopped shitting on the masses and resenting the fuck out of them for the world they supposedly allow to exist through their ignorance alone, is because, like I’ve said before, we’re all doing the best we know how. And much of the reason why many of us don’t know how to do better (like being informed citizens) is for the simple fact that we were never taught how to do better.

And the same is true for the feminist movement.

I’m all for equal female rights, or walking around topless if a woman wants (like a man would), or whatever they want to do with their lives. But that’s not what I see from most feminists. Instead of focusing on real equality issues, what I see is a lot of hatred towards men in general.

Women taking out their personal frustrations with their love life lacking any excitement, and using feminism as an excuse to blame men for it instead of taking responsibility for the quality of their own life.

But I don’t believe that feminists truly hate men. I believe, in many cases, they were taught to hate men. I believe that there are forces out there that want us to fight each other—to pin whites against blacks, democrats against republicans, women against men. The more division the better.

These forces benefit when we divide because unity is strength, and strong people are hard to manipulate and control. Why play the game straight up when you can rig the system? At least that’s how many of those who have immense power feel.

They want us to fight each other because it diverts attention away from real issues like severe poverty, corporate welfare, and the war machine which sacrifices human life to make gargantuan profits.

We have to learn to stand up to these forces, and one of the best ways to fight these forces is to not fight at all. To choose everyday to focus on the positive instead of the negative—love instead of fear.

When we as individuals focus on the positive, we destroy the negative.

For example, Gandhi was only one man, yet because he chose not to fight at all (which led others to do the same), he was able to free an entire nation.

And that’s not a stretch—that’s a fact. One man’s actions literally freed an entire nation of people.

He said, “An eye for eye makes the whole world blind.”

But maybe even more powerful is when he said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

And this brings me back full circle.

If I want to help change the world, the best place to start is with me. And so that day, after feeling shitty from posting what I did, I realized that I have a choice too—to focus on love or fear. And ya know what—I choose love.

Maybe you’ll do the same.

first-night-in-key-west
Stories,

My First Night In Key West

I left Medellin, Colombia so I could see family and spend some time with my favorite person in the world—my cousin, Shane James Zingo. He said he was headed back to Key West to live so I said I’d join him.

Fast forward ——>>>>

I arrived by Greyhound to Key West international airport and head a few miles into town on foot until I spot the first establishment with wifi (haven’t had cell service in 10 months), which ended up being Shanna Key Irish Bar.

I walk in and there’s 4 people sitting at the bar + the bartender, Nancy, and they all acknowledge me immediately and conversation ensues as fast as I sit down.

They ask me where I’m from. I tell them—“The world.”

I ask the older guy sitting on the bar stool to the right of me what he does for work and play, which led us to a conversation about how bad ass prop planes are.

He told me a story about him dropping into Alaska and, since it was so cold, having to keep the engine running, otherwise it would freeze up within minutes and he wouldn’t be able to start the engine again, which would result in him being stuck in the middle of no where and more than likely dying.

Just another day at work for him.

I went outside for a smoke and end up talking to a marine and his girlfriend about what combat was like. He seemed to revel in it—he loved the action.

Then Nancy (the bartender) comes out to tell me my Irish Nachos were done, which is basically nachos minus the nachos with steak fries in place.

They were fucking delicious.

The bartender and I get to chatting about her married life and how she had one kid of her own and four step children from her husband.

When they met his first wife was dying of cancer. They all knew each other and were cordial. After 14 years of marriage, she decided to move to Key West and live the care-free island life.

She shared some ideas for me to do while in Key West and at that same time someone was grabbing a cab heading downtown to Duvall street, so Nancy suggested I catch the cab with them.

I told the woman heading there I didn’t have any cash on me—only credit card—and she said don’t worry about it. So this woman (I forget her name), this dude named Danny, and I, headed to Duvall street.

We walked into a bar together and the first dude we ran into bought us all beers.

Key West is so friendly.

His name was Randall. He’s a traveling chef who works for the coast guard and the vinyard, Kendall Jackson. We got to talking about some pretty deep government shit and he mentioned he worked at Bohemian Grove and served Henry Kissinger a martini. He said he watched Colin Powell drunkenly take a piss on a tree.

As we were talking, he had his eye on this Scottish chick who had mangly yellow teeth and, although super nice, was far from attractive. I was surprised being that he wasn’t an ugly dude and had his shit together for the most part.

Then Randall and I decided to split from the girl and Danny, who ended up going back home to fuck.

We headed to a titty bar on Duvall Street called Red Garder Saloon. We walked in, and mind you, this whole time I’ve had my massive backpacking pack on me, so that gets searched by the bouncer and he has me open it wide so he can rummage through all of it.

After he gave me the okay, I ask him if I can give it to him to put somewhere, but he had zero interest in helping me with that, so I just took it upon myself to stash it in some dark corner next to the bar where no one could really see it.

Then I assessed the female action and it was pretty poor. After living in Medellin, Colombia, most women I meet in America just don’t compare.

Colombian women have long thick black hair, voluptuous bodies, tanned skin, and they’re super friendly and love to fuck and please their man.

American women often don’t take care of their appearance, aren’t that friendly or easy to approach, and in my experience, usually aren’t that passionate in bed. Of course that’s a massive generalization and an unfair comparison to Colombian women, which are among the most gorgeous in the world.

Anywho, while Randall is running around pulling out money from the ATM for more lap dances, a Russian stripper approaches me sternly like she’s Joseph Stalin and somehow thinks that’s going to seduce me.

I’m bored and she’s pretty hot so I continue chatting with her and try to soften her up. She tells me she use to live in NYC and worked there too but hates the cold so she came to Key West. Ultimately she just comes to America to make money so she can bring it back to her family in Russia. A story I’ve heard more than once.

After that jazz, I looked around for Randall and he was nowhere to be found, so I chat chitted with the bartender for a little while longer and then split.

As I walked out, the original taxi driver who gave us a ride to Duvall Street, Jodie, yelled out from her pink taxi whip to get my attention and asked me if I wanted to go on some rides with her. I said sure and jumped in, massive backpack in my lap.

We were cruising around and stopped so I could throw my bag in the back of this SUV taxi. When I lifted the window gate, the corner of the window jammed into my eye and for some odd reason I instantly felt super nauseous. I told her that as she came back to help me get my 80 pound bag into the back.

Right after telling her I felt nauseous, I sensed something bad was about to happen, so I rushed back to the front passenger seat in dire need of safety, sat down, and immediately passed out, falling into full-on dream mode. Next thing I know, the taxi driver is out of her car on my side with the door open slapping me in the face to wake up, “Are you okay Kurshot?!?! Are you okay?!?!”

I had totally blacked out from poking my eye. It was super weird.

After I came to and that debacle ended, she said she had to pick up four people (not enough seats in the taxi for me), so she told me to hang tight at the bar across the street and that she’d come back once she dropped these people off and pick me back up for more cruising around town. Being the trusting and care-free person I am, I left my bag with everything I own in this world in her car.

After about ten minutes of waiting alone in this bar, she pulled back up and I jumped back in. We drove around for a bit, and ended up picking up this guy who had lost his girlfriend, had both of their phones on him (which were both dead), and was limping around from what he believed to be a broken toe.

On our way to his hotel we stopped at an ATM so he could pull out fare money, then we headed to his hotel. As soon as we pulled into the hotel loop drive way thing, the taxi driver’s dispatch said through the radio that he just dropped off a woman to the same hotel who couldn’t find her boyfriend. That gave us a chuckle.

Jodi needed to make rent for the month so her goal for that day was 120 bucks. She was only at 93 bucks. She had 30 bucks to go till she could hop out of her pink taxi and hop into bed. So she went to a bar that was closing soon and staked it out waiting for the guests to come out suspecting they’d need a ride home.

This wasn’t her first rodeo.

I had told her that I was looking for a place to stay, so while I ran into the bar to take a piss, she got to talking to a plastered guest sitting outside alone drinking a pitcher by himself. When I walked out of the bar, she said, “Looks like Tom here is gonna give you a place to stay.”

I sat down and he poured me a cold one from his pitcher of beer, and shortly after Jodi took off on a call. I got her number of course. She was a cool lady.

As hammered as Tom was, him and I managed to make it back to his place where we chat chitted about his daughters and how one of them is brilliant and the other is an idiot. His words, not mine.

Shortly after arriving at his “sober living” apartment (As nice as he was, Tom was an alcoholic), I passed out and before I knew it, woke up to the sounds of an older gentlemen making breakfast.

Morning had arrived.

I had to use the bathroom first and take care of some biz-nass, but afterwards I went into the kitchen and startled him with a bold introduction.

His name was Doc. He was 67 and was cooking spaghetti for breakfast.

Regardless of his choice of breakfast food, I soon discovered he was well-read, especially in the area of history and government. We spoke about 9/11 and the gulf of Tompkins incident and the black panthers in the 60’s and Nixon and the Bush dynasty and the Kennedy dynasty and the state of affairs today. Then he said he had to split. But before he did, he told me I didn’t have to run off so quick; that he enjoyed our conversation and I could stay for a while if I wanted.

Taking him up on his offer, I past back out until being woken up again, but this time by a grey pony-tail haired dude who told me I had 15 minutes to get my shit and be out.

He was the resident manager who oversaw all the “recovering” alcoholics.

I didn’t make a fuss and gathered up my shit and took off on my next adventure.

Needless to say, my first night spent in Key West was one to remember.