Mike: Mike Sorg here, producer of Fishing Without Bait. Today, we went down to Black Star Tattoo in Belle Vernon, PA. And, we had a conversation while Jim was getting his new tattoo representing full-impact mindfulness. The following is a conversation that Jim had with Jake Steele, the artist working on his tattoo. Alright, Jim, how’s it coming?
Jim: How’s it coming?
Jim: Well, it’s coming along very nicely. It’s like stacking blocks.
Jim: You know, you have to get a good foundation before you reach the sky. That’s what we’re doing. We’re getting a good foundation to build on.
Mike: You’ve only more recently gotten your first tattoos, right?
Jim: That’s correct.
Mike: What surprised you about when you got your first tattoo?
Jim: How much I liked them and wanted to get more.
Mike: What do you think your arms and body would have looked like if you discovered tattoos earlier in life?
Jim: I don’t think I was prepared early in life to have enough confidence in myself. I compared myself to others and took others’ perceptions of me as my own self worth. That’s I think. But, now I don’t. And, some people say hey man, that’s really cool. Other people look at me and just shake their heads. And, that’s okay because the only person I have to please is myself. As long as I’m not interrupting or disturbing anybody else’s health or happiness, then I can do as I choose. I choose. I say the words. I choose. I chose to come down here and see my friend, Mr. Jake.
Mike: You have two tattoos kind of on deck between this and your other one.
Jim: I do. Yes.
Mike: Tell us what the other one is.
Jim: Well, the other one is going to be the Fishing Without Bait logo, a lifetime without definitive expectations which of course a lot of people misinterpret as Fishing Without Bait. Well, that’s walking through life aimlessly. It is not. It’s having your eyes wide open and turning certainties into possibilities. Taking the blinders off. Losing that expert’s mind. The tattoo that I’m having done right now is the full-impact mindfulness logo. It’s something that has been ruminating around my mind, brewing for a number of years. It’s about – I’m really not the type of person that is sitting on the satin pillows surrounded by 10,000 candles with my eyes closed going hmmm all day. That’s wonderful. That’s a good thing. That can center yourself. I’m much more interested in pushing the envelope, stepping outside the comfort zone and helping people fully participate in their lives. And, every day to say no, I had no regrets today. Why did I pick this one to do first? Because, actually, it’s colorful. I love color. And, it’s one of the things that – of all the logos that I’ve had done, I’ve had the most comments by people who I care about and who care about me, and they tell me that they are really impressed with that. In fact, it’s on the business card that we have for Namaste Holistic Counseling. It expresses our philosophy. And, our philosophy doesn’t mean it’s the right philosophy. It’s merely ours.
Mike: Do your clients and your co-workers know you’re going to show up with this in the office tomorrow?
Jim: I’ve told some folks about it, yeah. I have. And, they’re looking forward to it. However, they’re perhaps not in the same type of mindset that I am, the type of exploration that I’m making in my own life. My friend Jake and I often talk about exploring life. And, that’s what we try to help people do. We try to help people participate in their lives. We often talk about buying the ticket. We often talk about people who live their life on wishes and hopes, waiting for something to happen. Hoping that something will happen. Wishing that something will happen. Or sitting back and maybe, perhaps feeling entitled and saying I know it’s coming, all I have to do is be patient and wait. Well, you can be patient and wait. Buy the ticket. You can’t get on the ride unless you buy the ticket. And, that’s not necessarily a monetary cost. It’s an investment of yourself. And, what’s your thoughts on what I just threw out into the air?
Jake: There’s a lot of people talking about trying to do this. I’m trying to speak a foreign language. I’m trying to get into traveling. I’m trying to work out. Trying to get healthy. But, there are very few doers. Because people that say things, they’re usually not doers. Actions speak louder than words.
Jim: So, could you share with the folks that are going to be viewing this how you incorporate some of this philosophy in your own life?
Jake: In my own life, I just choose to wake up and just start doing until I go to bed.
Jim: What’s that word you said, I?
Jake: I do. I choose to do.
Jim: So tell me, tell us, in your life when you decided that you had a choice and you could say those words.
Jake: When I stopped treating myself and acting and behaving like a victim, when I realized that the victimization was going to get me nowhere, then the only choice I could make was to just do. Because, if I sat there and just was a victim then I was going to live an unfulfilled life. I don’t know if I’d put that in good terms, but?
Jim: You put it in your terms. I love to hear those words come out of your mouth. I love to hear you say those things. Do you remember the first time that you heard your recorded voice being played back? That you heard it?
Jake: I do.
Jim: What did it sound like?
Jake: The first time I heard it, it was just weird. I didn’t – I don’t know if I was into it.
Jake: I was kind of afraid.
Jake: Definitely just weird.
Jim: How does it feel to say the words out into the air now? How does it feel to hear your own words?
Jake: Oh, I love it. I love it. I want to actually just start recording myself some songs.
Jake: Just listen to it.
Jim: Good. We’d love to hear those. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Hear your choices. Now, remember, we’re not making choices for other people. We’re making choices for ourselves.
Jake: Yeah. I just came to the realization that there was nobody motivating me. There was no one telling me to go out and do it. It was either I’m going to do this or I’m going to miss out on that opportunity. And, another thing I realized is when you are a doer and when you have all these things the people that aren’t in that mindset look at me, or look at you or anyone who does as why don’t I have that? Or they see you as a threat. But, really, what it is is they’re afraid. They’re afraid to take those steps. And, they’re afraid to take those risks. And, life in their eyes has beaten them down to a point where they can’t do this. They can’t do that. Why even try?
Jim: We talk about that frequently, Jake, on our podcasts about fear – that fear is the primal emotion. We’ve often talked about that everything that people want – all the joy in their life, is on the other side of fear.
Jake: Yes. Correct.
Jim: So, we have to understand that there is fear first, before we can move it, move around, move through it. Identify and label, and find out what we’re afraid of.
Jake: Being courageous and having courage isn’t saying that oh, I just am getting rid of fear. I’m getting rid of it. It’s gone. It’s I’m courageous. I’m going to do what I’ve got to do. It’s understanding how to cope with the fear.
Jim: Courage is the ability to deal with fear.
Jake: Deal with it. Cope with it.
Jim: Fear isn’t necessarily something to be avoided or a bad thing.
Jim: No one is truly fearless, Jake.
Jim: How long would a policeman or a fireman last if they were fearless on the job? An hour, maybe?
Jake: Mm-hmm. The fear is what makes us human. It’s what allows us to advance. It’s what says hey, don’t do that. Don’t be extreme. So, I feel like a good balance of fear and courage is going to just carry you far.
Jim: And, we were talking earlier about the middle path, about the moderation. Avoiding the extremes.
Jake: When you pull too hard in any direction in your life, it’s bound to – it’s going to strike back with force. Let’s say you really love working out and you do it, and you do it, and you just work at it so hard and that’s all you’re focused on. You stop doing the things that you like to do because you’d rather be working out. And, soon, you realize wow, I’m hurting really bad. And, you’re hurting because you’ve neglected to stretch. And, you’ve neglected to take a break. That’s the simplest – I feel like that’s the simplest example.
Jim: Well, as you well know we live in a microwave world where people want to microwave recoveries. They want to microwave happiness. They want to microwave wealth. They want to drive.
Jake: I will definitely say that our society that we’re living in are westernized. The belief and thought is that what they see others having or they see that they have a very misconstrued belief of how those things came to fruition. So, in their mind, their happiness could possibly be achieved by having more, getting more. Everyone’s always wanting more.
Jake: And, I just think that less is more. I’m happy with just – I was telling someone the other day. I was telling my friend actually. It was Sunday. Just did a bunch of chores. Cleaned my car. At the end of the day I was like man, I’ve been working all day long. It’s been tough. I’m sweating hard. And, I felt like I didn’t get anything accomplished because everything was just around the house. And, like in my mind, it’s one of my faults. I feel like I need to be better. And, I’m very hard on myself. And, just bigger. Better. Bigger. Better. But, what I did was just put my hat on, get a shower, get in my car, put my music on. And, I took a drive, and I was like hot damn, I’m successful. And, that’s what made me feel good.
Jim: Well, I’m sure that you meet many people who can’t differentiate between wants and needs.
Jake: Correct. It’s like – do I need to be a world-renowned artist or do I need to pay my car insurance? So, I’ve recently been balancing myself out. Before, I was all art, all dough, all live fast and die young. That was my mindset. Until I worked myself into – I guess it was just minor muscle back problems, but it was enough to put me out of commission for a week. And, it dawned on me that oh wait, if I didn’t like that part of my life then I can’t live the rest of it. Just as important as me doing my job to take care of myself. And, then I also realized wow, life is fragile. And, it’s a precious thing. It’s a gift. And, the more precious that we perceive our life, the more it’s going to make you get out of it – the more variety. The more spice. I believe it.