Exactly 10 Years Ago Today, I Met the Girl I Would Marry

I Married the Right One

Exactly 10 years ago today, on October 5, 2006, I met the girl who I would start dating 4 months later, and marry within 2 years. In a crowded building called The Factory in Franklin, Tennessee, I saw who I thought was a beautiful Puerto Rican or maybe even half-Korean girl.

I was wrong in both my assumptions on her ethnicity, but as I introduced myself to her in a line of hundreds waiting to get into the main room where an episode of CMT’s Crossroads was soon to be filmed, I knew right away that this fellow “extra” for the audience of that episode was A) out of my league and B) someone very intriguing and special.

Now flash-forward to this past August. It was close to midnight in the parking lot of the movie theatre in Spring Hill, Tennessee after having just seen the premiere of Suicide Squad. My friend Jarred and I were laughing as we reminisced about the “10 years-ago” versions of ourselves; back when we lived in a house together along with other bachelors.  During that time frame is when we happened to meet and begin dating our future wives.

He then said something that has stuck with me: “We married the right girls.”

It’s weird to think that the more naïve, less mature version of you is responsible for making one of the most serious (and permanent) decisions of your entire life; a decision that will not only affect other people’s lives but also create new life.

I feel like only now do I know enough about life to begin to make a decision like that. But it doesn’t work that way. Instead, it’s the opposite:

The reason I am now the mature and experienced person I am now is because of the girl I married 8 years ago.

It turns out, the 25 year-old versions of ourselves knew enough of what they were doing when met nearly 10 years ago, fell in love, and got married.

By “doing life” together for nearly a decade now, we have by default taught ourselves and each other what emotional intelligence is all about; making daily conscious decisions to choose to be victorious, not allow ourselves to be victims.

I see emotional intelligence as the inside-out version of what love is. By choosing to love your spouse, you choose to victorious instead of allowing yourself to become a victim.

A decade ago she and I were 25 year-old kids trying to figure out life. Now were are 35 year-old adults with two beautiful children. For the most part, we’re settled down and along for the ride.

I don’t know which surprises and adventures are ahead, but I do know this: She’s the one I want to spend the rest of my future with.

Victors versus Victims

Victor: compliments others

Victim: criticizes others

Victor: embraces change

Victim: fears change

Victor: forgives others

Victim: holds grudges

Victor: always learning

Victim: thinks they know everything

Victor: accepts responsibility for their failures

Victim: blames others for their failures

Victor: has a sense of gratitude

Victim: has a sense of entitlement

Victor: sets goals and develops plans

Victim: never sets goals

Advertisements

“Should I Be Offended by That?” (Victorious Mindset versus Victim Mentality)

“Should I Be Offended by That?” (Victorious Mindset versus Victim Mentality)

Should I be offended by that?

No.

No, I should not.

The answer is simply no. Whatever it is, you shouldn’t be offended by it.

Because you can choose to be more intelligent and psychologically stronger by making the decision to not be offended.

There’s no question that in an age of social media serving us in the likeness of Big Brother, word travels quickly and even makes national headlines when someone or some group out there gets offended by something.

Some of these cases seem more legitimate than others, of course.

But my challenge to you is that whatever the offense, choose to not be offended.

Here’s why.

I am a believer in choosing to be victorious.

(After all, that’s literally how my name translates. Nicholas is Greek for victorious.)

My observation is that if you don’t proactively choose to adopt a “victorious mindset,” you by default fall in danger of having a “victim mentality”.

I can choose to be on top of this thing, psychologically.

Or, I can choose to allow someone else to “do me wrong.”

If I believe that the entire free world has the ability to offend me (or for lack of a better term, “hurt my feelings”), then I am fair game to constantly being a victim.

But if up front, each and every day, I decide that no one has the ability to offend me, then I instead place myself in a position where being offended by someone else is always one less thing I can worry about that day.

My observation is that most of the time, people aren’t intentionally trying to offend each other.

And even if they are, that simply reflects the offender’s own character.

I’ve learned the best thing to do when someone says something seemingly offensive, whether they are outright intending to offend or not, is to simply acknowledge what they are saying, with confidence and a smile, but no sarcasm nor biting remarks.

In the past year alone…

-Taller men than me have pointed out that I am shorter than they are.

-Men with lower hairlines and no thinning spots at the back of their head have pointed out that my hairline is higher and that my hair is thinner in the back.

-Smaller nosed men have pointed out my nose is bigger.

Consider those things. Other grown men have taken time and energy out of their day to point out perceived imperfections about me.

What does that say about their own level of confidence?

More importantly, what does it say about my level of confidence when I am quick to respond that I indeed am shorter, have thinner hair, and a bigger nose than those who are pointing it out?

I simply own up to their perception.

What does it hurt me?

I go on with my day. And they realize that their lack of self-confidence was unable to bring down my level of self-confidence, which ironically is something they don’t have.

Should I be offended by anything?

Try me.

Some People Like Being Offended and/or Taking Advantage of Pointing Out a Person’s Perceived Faux Pas So They Can Correct Them and Feel Empowered by It

There’s more than one way to say, “You’re wrong and I’m right.”

I admit that part of the joy I get in reading the online articles of other writers who are much more popular and commercialized than I am is from skimming through the hundreds of opinionated comments that people leave at the bottom of the post: People on both sides of the issue trying to prove both the author and/or each other wrong.  Here’s an example I effortlessly found this morning: http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Insurance/AssessYourNeeds/weston-7-insurance-myths-that-could-cost-you.aspx

And it often starts with one person who slightly takes the author’s words to an extreme context to where they can become offended.  Therefore, they’re happy because now they get to leave a comment to tell off the writer, which indeed draws a flood of other commenters disagreeing with the first person.  And so the snowball grows. 

For many people, their desperation for a sense of power is so strong that they make themselves a sort of victim, offended by the slightest opinion of someone who does have some amount of control or influence over others- in this case, an online author.  A website where this tends to happen regularly is The Grio.  Here’s an example:

http://www.thegrio.com/specials/be-well-be-healthy/how-obesity-has-become-a-part-of-black-culture.php

Of course the easily offended don’t just get their kicks from the Online World, they practice their form of self-psychosis in the real world too.  Not too long ago I offended someone when I bought a snack for them (they gave me the money for it up front) and I didn’t bring it back to them in a separate container from the one I got for myself.  It all worked out because they ended up giving me theirs without me paying them back- but still, the person made a scene over something very petty, in front of several other people.  So I felt compelled to apologize- if for no other reason, because I felt awkward.  (But if anyone should have been offended, I’d like to think it should have been me- for the sense of slight public humiliation I went through in the process.)

Events like that have taught me to apologize less.  It’s not always my fault when a person is offended (though it often is).  I’m learning to be better about sorting out the people who I indeed hurt through my lack of sensitivity and those who are simply chronic Glass Joe’s.  So hear this, people who are offended way too easily:

Sorry, but I’m just not that sorry anymore.