Retired USAF Master Sergeant talks about his personal journey to be the best man he can be and his quest to buy a 4-million dollar ranch while trying to overcome life's obstacles. ADHD, Vanlife, Financial Independence, Weight-loss, Indie Author, Dating, and Everything Else.
By the time my son is born, I will be just a couple months away from my 45th birthday. I am going to be an old dad. There is no doubt about it, and I am perfectly fine with it.
In this episode, I tell you why I am grateful for waiting until middle age (I intend to live to be 100 so technically I won't be middle age until I hit 50) to start a family.
If you want to read the article that inspired this episode, you can read it here.
If you are interested in buying any of my books, visit my Amazon author page here.
Seven of the top ten causes of death in the United States: Heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and kidney disease can all be directly linked chronic inflammation. (FYI Accidents, Influenza, and Suicide are the other three. Also, diabetes itself leads to at least three other diseases on this list.) What causes chronic inflammation? For one, constant exposure to a mild irritant such as foods that cause an Immunoglobulin G response.
Immunoglobulin G is what food sensitivity test checks for after exposing your blood sample to certain foods, ninety-six different foods to be exact.
In this episode, I talk about my results from my recent food sensitivity test and how eye-opening it was. If I were to sum it up in just a few words: wheat is not what's going to kill me like I thought. Something that I have been eating for years, something that I thought was "safe' was actually worse.
If you would like to take the same home food sensitivity test You Know Who and I took follow this link and get 20% off.
Visit my author page on Amazon here.
And why not post a link to our baby registry.
Of course, I like to—or at least try to—live in the present but this time of the year, I like to take a look back on the year and acknowledge my accomplishments and express some gratitude. I used to do this in the form of essays but now that I am a podcaster, I thought why not make it an episode.
In this episode, I review the past year and talk about some of my major and even minor achievements.
2018 went from snowmobiling to a cabin in the woods so that I could write in complete isolation to trying to figure out which baby carrier I want to put on the Baby Registry—the one with the rings or the one you wrap around you. What a year.
If you are interested in our baby registry you can follow this link. We only started working on it but I thought why not start sharing it now.
To see my books for sale you can check out my author page here.
You never really notice the effects of eliminating something from your life until you reintroduce it. I have considered myself a minimalist for several years and every now and then, I've tried to take it to another level. Once I got down to fitting everything I own into a van, I felt I reached a minimalist level just under that of Gahndi. Now that Vanlife is over and I'm living with a partner who is not a minimalist, I have started to notice some subtle differences.
In this episode, I talk about some of the benefits of being a minimalist. Two of those are minimizing the decisions you have to make on a daily basis and being tidier and better organized. I ended up concluding that each thing in your life causes a little bit of stress and the more stuff you own, the more stress you have in your life.
My articles on Medium can be found here: https://medium.com/@davidsotojr
Here is a link to my author page if you are interested in checking out my many publications: https://amzn.to/2QYs21j
I've made a big discovery over the past couple weeks. I am a serial run away-er and I have been running away for decades from something I can't get away from—me.
If you read one of my most recent articles, you know that a recent counseling session made me realize that I have been depressed for most of my adult life and what I thought was me "dealing with it" was actually me trying to run away. Running away resulted in nothing but a temporary fix—a band-aid, so to speak, over a serious wound that needed attention.
In this episode, I talk I about how I realized I have been running forever and how I will not be running anymore.
Read the article I'm talking about here: https://medium.com/@davidsotojr/you-cant-run-from-you-961e14436ee7
Click here to check out my books: https://amzn.to/2Up7o9A
We talk about physical health so much. Diet, exercise, kale shakes, prescription meds, obesity, smoking, seatbelts are all almost daily topics of conversation yet we refuse to talk about mental health—which is probably the root source to a majority of our health problems.
In this episode, I talk about the stigma of mental health and how it affects our lives and especially mine.
I just think that it's unfortunate that this is something SO many people suffer from mental health issues but avoid talking about it and therefore go an entire lifetime in such an unhealthy condition. I could have easily been one of them.
I'm back! It's been four months since my last episode. Where have I been? "Out of pocket," seems like the appropriate response since I say I was "deployed." A better response is to say I just wasn't emotionally available. You Know Who and I have been through a lot these past few months. I call it Operation First Trimester. Listen to find out what I'm talking about.
Here is a link to a related article I wrote. https://medium.com/@davidsotojr/operation-first-trimester-ee5eec2eed0
Also, if you haven't caught on, You Know Who and I are expecting our first child in April—a son. If you'd like to show some support, you can pick up one of my books here: https://amzn.to/2RWa9xa
I reached out to my Instagram followers again this week for a podcast topic. I ended up with several and decided to talk about them all.
In this episode, I talk about the end love my life... Vanlife. After two and half years it's coming to a close. Yeah, I loved my life on the road but nothing is forever and circumstances change.
I talk about why I podcast. The biggest reason is I can't STF up so, why not podcast.
Someone asked me to talk about mental health. I think the majority of my podcasts are about mental health, mine!
Lastly, it was suggested to me to talk about what it feels like to be in love. This one really got my wheels turning and I kind of make a discovery while recording. Check it out!
Here is that link to the poem I wrote: https://medium.com/@davidsotojr/if-you-love-something-373b7e38ac5b
Also, here is a link to my Amazon author page in case you want to help me reach my goal of selling one million books: https://amzn.to/2mRXnSV
God bless John and Paul but those fools were wrong. Love is not all you need. Trust me, I know. I have loved a lot of women. And no I'm not bragging about conquests. I literally mean I have loved a lot of women and they have loved me back—most of them. Love comes easily to me and I give it easily. So what's the problem? Why have none of these relationships, with all this love, ever worked out? Because love is not enough.
In this episode, I will BRIEFLY cover what is going on in my love life. (The whole story will come one day.) I can sum it up right now, though. The woman I have loved for fifteen years but has been out of my life for the last thirteen has come back. This blessed event has caused me to look at myself and my life from a different perspective—from one of gratitude. The other thing you need besides love.
I am an expert a very few things if any. Today's topic is not one of them, but that doesn't mean I can't share some thoughts and opinions on the subject. The subject? Racism! Specifically, the fact that I don't think it will ever go away.
Why do I say this? Because I don't think it has diminished over that last 100 years one bit. Rules and policies have been put in place. We as a country have made advancement in the fair treatment of people of color but that doesn't mean it has stopped racist people from being racist. We have implemented consequences for being racist but we haven't changed racists' minds. And now with the leader of this country being who he is and what he is, racists now feel free to express their thoughts.
Our country may seem more racist these days but it's not, those people were always there.
Does anything good come from fear? I don't think so. While recording this I did realize that maybe fear keeps us from doing dumb and dangerous stuff but does it? Or is that more common sense than fear.
In this episode, I talk about the two types of fear, which I completely made up. Supported and Unsupported fear. Whether you are afraid of something because of past experience or not, what you are afraid of doesn't really exist. You are afraid of a future event, something that may or MAY NOT happen.
Can you imagine a world where we base our decisions on something that may or may not happen? In a world where anything is possible—limitless possibilities—we are going to base our decisions on the one scenario that would suck.
You can get "Moncada" here: https://amzn.to/2N6YnOK
Two very successful people recently killed themselves. Maybe we should redefine success. But that's another podcast. The death of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain reaffirms something I had been thinking about and prompted me to publish something I wrote a couple years ago. An article I wrote after I had the vision of sending a bullet through my own head.
The thing I have been thinking about is how everyone is struggling with something. All of us. We all have something we are dealing with. A lot of us think that our problems will go away when we have money. If this is the case then why have so many celebrities over the years killed themselves.
In this episode, I share my thoughts on how money does not bring happiness. (I know it's cliche.) In fact, I can bring the complete opposite.
You can read the article I am talking about here: https://medium.com/@davidsotojr/i-struggle-with-it-too-aef7dacbb6ef
I'm 44 now. I guess this is my 2018 birthday podcast.
Nothing special really to talk about. I pretty much took the week off. Not really. I'm a writer, I write and create every day but I did have a little birthday getaway up in the mountains. It's almost over, then back to... I don't know what. The land of the internet I guess.
In this episode, I talk about my week in the mountains and the accomplishments I have made. It's funny what you can do when you have no internet. You have no choice but to read and if you are a creator, you have no choice but to create.
One of the things that came to me was an idea for a new book. I share that idea here.
Well, I published another book and nobody cares. Not one bit. I launched Moncada and 5 people bought the damn thing. Three of them were friends helping me out.
I had a pity party for about a day and then I got back to work. I got more books to publish.
In this episode, I talk about what I went through and what happened a few days later that made me forget any doubts I had. I work things out on camera again. I figure out that I have readers out there, I just need to find them.
I am not giving up. This is all part of my story.
If you don't know why I do these podcasts, why any of should do anything in our life, really, it's for myself. It might seem silly. Yeah, I want to help people and all but what I have realized is that people don't want your help unless they ask for it. The thing is people aren't going to ask you for anything unless they see you have something they are also striving for. Basically, lead by example. If I want to help people be their best self, I need to lead by example and get my shit together. I have discovered that these podcasts help me do this. This episode is a prime example as I am caught on camera figuring something major out.
I wasn't sure what the topic of this episode was going to be. I just know I had a story I wanted to share. I talk about how poorly I was treated as a kid because I was not good at sports. These stories led to me asking why did I keep trying to play organized sports if I got so much crap for being bad, if I was ridiculed so much, if I was picked on so much?
As a writer, the most important tool in my arsenal is my computer. When it goes down it needs to be fixed or replaced ASAP no matter the cost. Now, when mine went down the other day, I replaced it with a used one. When that didn't work, I went out and bought a brand new one without returning the first one. (but with the intent to) Why do I bring all this up? Because I dropped $1700 without any problem. Me, an unemployed veteran that lives in a van and hasn't had an income for six months. Oh, and doesn't have a credit card. How was able to do this? An Emergency Fund.
Insecurity got the better of me not too long ago. Some feedback on my first book, or rather the lack of it, led me to self-doubt and feeling like an imposter. I decided it was time to rewrite the book.
Funny thing happened when I started reading it. I went from one extreme to the other. I got my confidence back. It's a great story. I love it. Yeah, it could use some polishing but it's pretty damn good as is.
So what changed? Nothing really. The book is the same. I am making the changes but they aren't published yet. That's the thing. If anything changed, it was me changing my mind about how I felt.
This means I am in control of my feelings and mood. I let outside influences affect my mood but ultimately it's my decision. Why would I give that control to anything or anyone?
Also, comparing myself to others is another bad habit I have which I let influence my mood. I cover it more in this episode.
This is the book I am talking about rewriting: https://amzn.to/2LdXT8G
I have my up days and I have my down days. The day I recorded this was a down day. I felt lower than whale shit. The first thing I decide to do was to go see a movie and eat some popcorn. That helped a bit. Next, was a nap and then, the recording of this podcast.
In this episode, I talk about anxiety and depression. I don't have a solution for you, but I do document me trying to work through it myself. I have been dealing with and working on my mental health for years now. The weird thing is that it's like physical health, I know what to eat, what activities to do, and what kind of environment I should be in for optimal health but I don't always do it.
The big take away from this is reminding myself the things that give us anxiety and depression don't really exist. They are figments of our imagination. Really!
I know the title is deceiving as I haven't actually sold one million books and am now passing on that knowledge to you. In Episode 17 I made the declaration that I was in the process of selling one million books. This is me documenting the process.
Make no mistake, I have no idea how I'm going to sell one million books, but when it happens, we'll have these podcasts and videos telling the story of how I did it.
This episode is a little selfish because not only am I sharing where I am in the book publishing process, but I am making a big announcement. One of them is that The Whore, Marisol Rivera is free on Amazon for Cinco de Mayo. The other? You'll have to tune in.
If you are listening to this on Cinco de Mayo 2018 follow this link to get your free copy of "The Whore, Marisol Rivera."
I have both blogged and vlogged about it before. I even think the article got picked up by The Goodmen Project, now that I think about it. I recently had an experience that reaffirms what I believe about doing what you love. I went salsa dancing.
For the past four Tuesdays, I have gone to salsa class. The is the first time I have taken a partner's hand in four years maybe. What took me so long? With just an hour a week, my quality of life has improved so much.
This is the importance of doing what you love. IT MAKES YOUR LIFE BETTER! It does not have to be your job or career life everyone insists. Just do what you love even if it is just an hour a week. Your whole life will improve.
Also, I meant to get into this a little more, but I think that the miserable people of the world are so because they do not do what they love.
I am a firm believer in affirmations. Some people call them prayers, some refer it to as putting it out there in the universe. Whatever! All I know is that if I write something down, say it out loud, or think about it often; it WILL happen. All that being said, I thought it was time that I made a declaration.
I am in the process of selling a million books. ONE MILLION!
I have had such a strong desire to say it out loud—to publish it on the internet for some reason—but what good is it to anyone for me to do that. So what I have decided to do is to document the process. I am going to share what it is I am doing as I reach my goal of one million books sold.
In this episode, I not only make my declaration I feel so strongly about, but I also catch everyone up with where I am in the book writing and publishing process. I could be documenting me falling flat on my face, but I doubt it.
Two things really got me thinking about this topic lately. One, I went and did a reading at a place called Book Bar in Denver. Now, I thought, and have even been told, that I am a good public speaker. I thought I was going to be a natural in front of the mic. I'm a podcaster for Christ's sake! Well, I got nervous and my voice trembled a bit. Overall, I did pretty well but it was not a flawless performance. I would have liked to have done better. That's when I knew I had to do more of them.
The other thing that led me to this podcast topic was "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." In listening to Jerry Seinfeld interview all these successful comedians, I learned they all had one thing in common. They were all bad at one point and it took getting on stage over and over again to get better.
In today's episode, I go over the four steps to getting better at anything. Anything you want! If these four steps don't work, I guarantee your money back.
Good question! For the longest time, I thought Mexican was a race and that people who were prejudice against Mexicans were racist. It turns out; I was wrong. That led me to wonder what do I mark when I fill out forms and applications that ask my race?
I was reminded of this when someone posted a question on youtube in response to Episode 5 "Proud to be Mexican-American." In this episode, I answer that question and go over the research I did in order to back up my answer. Yeah, I answered the question BEFORE I did the research. But it had been something I had been pondering on for quite some time.
My research not only reaffirmed what I thought it taught me a lot about Mexico and race. I like how race is a social construct. Oh, I also learned what the word construct means.
What if I told you there was no such thing as race?
Before I discovered I was meant to be a storyteller I wanted to be a health and wellness guru. Someone in the field, someone I looked up to, gave me some really bad advice one day. I followed this advice for several years and was unhappy. Then I noticed so was the person that gave me the advice.
In this episode, I get into the specifics of this example. It has to do with writing and being an author but it applies to life in general.
A recurring theme I seem to be talking about a lot is putting oneself first. Even before this podcast, I talked about it. Doing anything in your life for others is the path to misery. Essentially, because we don't give without the expectation of something in return.
I think a big contributor to the unhappiness of the world is this:
We give something people didn't even ask for and then get pissed because they're not interested, because they didn't buy it, or because they didn't appreciate it.
Put your oxygen mask on first!
Nobody wants your god damn guns. They want children to stop getting murdered.
I never really thought I would be talking about such touchy political subjects but I can't not speak about it. We have people attacking children for voicing their opinion, propaganda all over youtube, a housewife from Arnold, Missouri seeking out fame by brainwashing Americans, and here is the biggest thing, SOME OF US ARE ON THE SAME SIDE!
In this episode, I talk about how divided we are as a country and how we don't need to be. We are acting like junior high kids, and I am being conservative here. It's more like elementary school children. We don't like what people are saying, so we are calling them names. We are throwing fits, stomping our feet and crossing our arms saying "it's not fair." It's time to grow up America. Let's use some common sense. If we calm the fuck down a bit and act like adults, we'll see that many of us are on the same side.
The truth is it's hard!
Someone recently commented on FB that I had "this perfect life." I was like, Dude you have no idea how far from perfect it is. These past two years on the road have been hard.
In this episode, I talk about why vanlife is a lot harder than pictures on Instagram show. The biggest contributor? Isolation. And it's not necessarily because of loneliness. I actually like being alone but the isolation, that's tough. When you are forced to quite your mind, many people don't like what they hear. That's why they do their best to keep their mind occupied with something or anything else. With vanlife, that's not an option. Vanlife forces you to deal with the devil within.
I cover some other things that make it tough too, like money! I forgot to cover dating. I guess we can save that for another episode.
I am a grown ass man and I recently had one of those experiences where I woke up and felt like I had to apologize. Even as a young man I thought that one's drinking is out of hand if he or she has to apologize for his actions the next day. I've woke up like that a few times in the past year, and I got to say, it's not ok.
In this episode, I talk about why I shouldn't be drinking in the first place but also go over some hints that indicate that I'm an alcoholic. It's eye-opening for me, really.
I knew I was an addict and thought that my addiction was to food, specifically sugar. Of course, I have fallen off that wagon and am dealing with the fact that I just ate some cookies right now. While I attended my meetings, I always thought to myself that I was glad I didn't have to give up booze—glad I wasn't an alcoholic. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to hang out with my friends and family and not have a beer (code for getting shit-faced). Well, guess what?
With recent events blowing up the internet, I have been asking myself, What EXACTLY is the NRA? I asked on twitter and facebook and got zero responses. Does anybody really know? I took to their website and found some answers.
So... the NRA is a gun safety and training school? That's not a bad thing I guess, but I can't help but wonder why a school is so influential on our government? Also, what does a school have members and not just students—each paying separate fees?
Still confused I continued to ask the question, What the eff is the NRA? I got an answer on a drive in the Rockies with a close friend of mine. His answer: A church. He was absolutely right.
In this episode, I talk about the similarities between the NRA and a church.
Is everything we know about relationships from TV and the movies?
I'm not sure where I heard it, but it was very recent. Someone was insinuating that how we view relationships is entirely based on pop culture. This is something I had been thinking on for a while. What have I been basing the potential of long quality relationships on? It also reminded me of a story in where I actually gave relationship advice to someone where I said the words, "This is not the movies."
In this episode, I relay this story and ask the question, Is everything we know about relationships based on TV and the movies. If we do, does this have a negative effect on our relationships?
I don't really have an answer here. I just ponder on this question for a bit.
I said this the other day, and it resonated with me. Then I posted it online with a picture, and it blew up. People loved it. I guess it resonated with a lot of other people as well. There are a lot of us out there that are moving forward with our dreams and goals regardless whether it's perfect or not. We are just doing it. Then there are the others, the ones that aren't doing anything out of fear. The fear of it not being perfect or fear that they will look bad doing it—that they'll make a mistake.
In this episode, I talk about how I am moving forward with my career as an author and how I have to fix some mistakes that I have made. How those mistakes could have been prevented but had I waited until everything was perfect, I wouldn't be at the point I am now—a published author with the third book in a series coming out very soon.
You may think, Hey I'm not an author what does this have to do with me. It has everything to do with you. Just insert any job or business you are interes
My worst week of #vanlife.
I have been plagued with breakdowns since the beginning of this year. This particularly sucks during my first winter in Colorado because if the engine doesn't run, I don't have heat. The biggest issue I have, I guess, is MONEY. Living off my savings, putting my van in the shop stresses me out.
That being said, in November I paid $500 for admission to a writer's summit in Austin, TX. I have since lost my job and was not sure I could afford to travel. I for sure couldn't afford the airfare and hotel room. I would have to drive my van. Shouldn't be an issue, right? I just spent nearly $2,000 in repairs over the past couple months. I should be good to go! The van broke down.
In this episode I tell the story, to include the events that lead to my breakdown in middle-of-nowhere Texas and eventually my tiny mental breakdown. This is a long-winded podcast, but I get to the life lesson towards the end. Emotions are a choice and I chose to lose my shit.
Why women shouldn't fake their orgasms.
Wrong! I am not going to tell anybody, especially women, what to do with their body. But it's a cool title for a podcast, no?
I am, however, going to share a story told to me by a close friend on how she realized what an impact faking her orgasms had on her and her relationship. Then I am going to relay how the lesson learned can be applied to every one of us in any relationship. (See this is not about sex!)
The truth shall set you free. Truth always wins. Don't spare anyone's feeling when it comes to how you should or want to be treated. People will treat you as poorly as you allow them. Draw that line, say no. You'll be surprised how many of us don't know we are mistreating you. How it is the last thing we want to do and all you have to do it tell us! Just tell us.
I believe it was Lee Greenwood who said it best, "I am proud to be a Mexican-American." Or was that Cheech Marin?
In this episode, I talk about how I recently realized how much I love being Chicano or, more commonly known as, Mexican-American.
I struggled for so many years trying to pick a side—trying to pick a culture. Mexicans encouraged me to be more Mexican. Americans encouraged me to be less Mexican. I have learned that our culture as Chicanos is a blend of two cultures. Trying to isolate one is like a Latino trying to pick their race on an application or census form. There is no one answer that applies to us. We are a blend, a mixture
Our culture is not one or the other it's a combination of the two. It's Spanglish. It's turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving and Tamales on Christmas. It's Tierra and Kool and the Gang, Mariachi and Hip Hop. It's my grandmother's fair skin and green eyes that causes people to assume my dad is white and my dark ass skin that causes peo
Let's talk about goals.
Goal setting has started to get a bad wrap here in the past couple years. Minimalists have gone so far in giving up things that they have given up goals. Some people have just changed the name of goals to "intentions." Whatever! As much I want to be a cool minimalist, I can't bring myself to give up goal setting. The biggest reason for this is IT WORKS.
In this episode, I talk about why I recently set a goal to buy a 4 million dollar ranch in the Rocky Moutains. Why this goal is important and why it is the first goal like it I have ever set.
I also dig out my old "affirmations" book and review my old goals for the first time in a long time. I unveil that at least two of them have come true since setting them. It's crazy how this works.
Today I talk about how Action Kills Fear!
I go into detail of my recent #vanlife problems, specifically breakdowns. I have had a lot. I let them get to me, but I handle it. How? I took action.
If action kills fear, what kills all the other stuff we battle within our heads. Depression, anger, jealousy, hate, and everything else. I cover it in this episode of the David Soto Jr. Podcast.
I stammer through this episode. The flow I usually have isn’t there. The topics feel a little forced but they are good ones. Today I talk about two things that have come to mind lately.
-Everyone is hurting in someway
Everyone! I have taken this as my mantra and it causing me to feel something I lack, empathy.
-Nobody gives a shit about you
I have heard this a million times but it didn't sink in until the other day. It's the same reason why I don't follow a link for an article a friend wrote or buy a book a fellow other wrote. It's nothing personal but people instinctively look out for number one, themselves.
Welcome to the first episode of The David Soto Jr podcast. Today I talk about:
-What happened to The Struggle, the name I was going to uses for my podcast
-I am not an expert, I am not here to give advice
-Giving without expectation, I saw this happen and was reminded of something I heard a long time ago
-Adversity and the something my dad told me a long time ago, “This is just part of your story.”