Ed Latimore (@EdLatimore) is a heavyweight boxer, physics major, chess nerd, survivor of Pittsburgh’s public housing projects, and author of Not Caring What Other People Think Is A Superpower.
“I’m so happy that I learned to like books instead of social approval.” -Ed Latimore
What We Discuss with Ed Latimore:
- What Ed Latimore learned from growing up in one of the worst environments in America.
- Why it’s never too late to make big changes in your life — and how to kick off the process if you’re feeling resistant to making those changes.
- How Ed rebuilt his life from the ground up after one of his biggest defeats.
- Fear is a more powerful motivator than the desire to change.
- Why would someone who pulled Cs and Ds in high school math choose to double major in math and physics on a second try at college?
- And much more…
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A childhood spent under conditions of extreme adversity can lead to a cycle that perpetuates itself with further generations — unless the child manages to find a way out.
Ed Latimore, author of Not Caring What Other People Think Is A Superpower: Insights From a Heavyweight Boxer, was such a child. In this episode, he joins us to explain how he found his way out, what happened when he took a detour away from a promising future, and what he did to get himself back in the game and excel as a renaissance man who double-majored in math and physics during his second go at college, plays chess, boxes as a heavyweight, became fluent at French, and writes books. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
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More About This Show
Growing up in a bad neighborhood in Pittsburgh is one thing. Growing up in the bad neighborhood against which all other bad neighborhoods are judged — the kind of place a fence surrounds to keep the population inside contained, the police won’t dare approach, and pizza delivery drivers are beaten and robbed for $40 on Christmas Eve — is quite another.
This is where Not Caring What Other People Think Is A Superpower: Insights From a Heavyweight Boxer author Ed Latimore grew up. And while he concedes such an atmosphere is ripe for the prosperity of bad habits, he tries to be thankful for the good things he learned from the experience — like having respect for others.
Networking for Survival
In his neighborhood, there was no way of knowing who knew who. Showing up on one person’s radar for the wrong reasons could quickly escalate into having half the block ready to attack on sight. So Ed became adept at showing respect and knowing how to de-escalate powder keg situations. He built a network around himself not for the sake of furthering his career options, but in order to survive.
“I grew up in an era where there were no trolls,” says Ed. “If you wanted to say something, you had to say it to someone’s face. You couldn’t do it from behind a screen! That carries into how I deal with people now that I can say things from behind the screen — because why would I want to be mean like that?”
Ed was lucky enough to go to a high school across town, which got him out of the projects for a while every week and exposed him to different kinds of people. It helped him understand that not everyone saw violence as the solution to all of life’s problems, and that learning was a lot easier when he didn’t have to constantly look over his shoulder for potential danger.
He befriended classmates whose parents made him feel welcome — and even though he’s in his early thirties, they still treat him as family today.
“They really took me under their wing, for lack of a better term,” says Ed, “and I was very much the recipient of the benefits from positive peer pressure. I was pushed upward. All of my friends wanted to go to college, and naturally it made sense that I should probably go to college.”
Change Is a Choice at Any Age
This isn’t to say anyone in Ed’s situation would make the choice to better themselves, but he had an attitude that was conducive to positive change. He could have just as easily remained friends with the bad apples in his neighborhood who had no desire for a better life.
“I understood as a youngster that I had the power to take my life in any direction,” says Ed. “And if I stayed in this place and I stayed with these people and I didn’t push myself, that I would likely end up here [in the projects] again. I cannot tell you how many families I knew that were two or three generations deep in housing projects.”
But what if you’re not a youngster? What if you’re 30 — or older — and you recognize your current situation as something you want to change?
“You have to step away,” says Ed. “You have to step away and get a new frame of reference for yourself independent of the old habits. So if you’re 30 and you’re like, ‘Man, I hate all these people around me. I hate my job. I’m going to go home; my friends are losers.’ The first thing I would tell you: ‘Man, learn to love yourself. You’ve got to be alone.'”
An Unexpected Detour
While it might seem like Ed was primed at this point in life to escape from the bad habits that dragged people back to the projects, a derailment early on in college led him on a detour that lasted through his twenties.
As Ed tells it, he played football and fell in love with “the booze and the girls” that hadn’t been available to him as a nerdy teenager. His GPA plunged and he dropped out of school just into his second year. He slept on his aunt’s floor where seven other people stayed and he learned how to shoplift for food.
What helped Ed out of this rut?
“I was making progress in boxing,” says Ed. “I was putting a lot of energy there — so much so that I beat a guy named Dominic Breazeale, who ended up going on to represent the United States in the 2012 Olympics. And because I beat him, I got selected to be in his group in L.A. and I had all my training paid for. Life was good.”
Then Ed got injured and they had to cut him. He wound up selling phones at T-Mobile for $11 an hour (with commission), which made him miserable. But this also prompted him to get back on a path of progress instead of self-pity. After researching his options, he decided to enlist in the National Guard.
“One, I could have that on my resume,” says Ed. “Two, I could get some skills…and three, to get money to go to college.”
Whatever the Trials
Even though Ed barely made it through math in high school, he decided to pursue math and physics on his second attempt at college — because any job that dependably paid a salary he sought could always be traced back to a proficiency with math.
“The way I approach problems is…here’s the end goal. That’s where I need to get to. What do I have to go through? Do I have to go through fire? Do I have to go under the bridge? Do I have to answer three riddles? Whatever the trials are, then I just prepare for them.”
How to Take the Good from the Bad When Things Turn Ugly
Ed says that the real gratitude to appreciate one’s own situation comes from expanding horizons and understanding the world from points of reference alien to one’s own. Reading, traveling, and interacting with others helps us achieve this.
“I used to think I grew up dirt poor,” says Ed, “but it wasn’t until I was in the Dominican Republic in Puerto Plata and I was helping people laying cement so people could have floors [that] all of a sudden my whole perspective on poverty changed.”
If we want to cultivate this kind of gratitude, we might keep a journal and write down five to 10 things that happen every day — even if it’s a terrible day — to remind us that bad things happen, but in perspective, they can always be worse. This helps us develop the reflex to say, “This is terrible, but what are two or three things that came out of this that are positive?” Building this reflex changes the direction of our thinking.
THANKS, ED LATIMORE!
If you enjoyed this session with Ed Latimore, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Resources from This Episode:
- Not Caring What Other People Think Is A Superpower: Insights From a Heavyweight Boxer by Ed Latimore
- Other Books by Ed Latimore
- Ed Latimore’s Website
- Ed Latimore at Facebook
- Ed Latimore at Instagram
- Ed Latimore at Medium
- Ed Latimore at Twitter
- Ed Latimore at BoxRec
- Trey Lippe Morrison vs. Ed Latimore Full Fight 09-23-2016
Transcript for Ed Latimore | The Superpower of Ignoring Social Approval (Episode 9)
Ed Latimore: [00:00:00] I’m so happy that I learned to like books instead of social approval because, Jason, social approval, man, that will always work out for the worst, especially in that environment and those are the people you’re trying to get the approval of. I just wanted to learn.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:16] Welcome to the Jordan Harbinger Show. As always, I’m here with my producer Jason DeFillippo. On this episode, we’ll be talking with my friend, Ed Latimore. He grew up in the public housing projects in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and he learned a lot. I mean, this is like a prison environment. He learned perseverance to adversity, but of course he also became highly aware of himself and how much our environment affects us. And today we’ll discover what Ed learned from growing up in one of the worst environments in America and how he turned this upbringing into a set of advantages for himself. We’ll also discuss why it’s never too late to make big changes in your life and how to kick off that process. If you’re feeling like you’re too old or you’re too stuck to make that happen and we’ll explore how one of his biggest defeats resulted in a lesson or set of lessons in rebuilding from the ground up and what we can all learn from the quest to kill our own ego so we can move forward. Enjoy this episode with Ed Latimore. Happy birthday today.
Ed Latimore: [00:01:10] 33, another year. Or as we say in the physics department, everyone wished me another great trip around the sun.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:20] Yes. I want to know what you’re thinking about daylight today. Your birthday. Are you one of those guys who reflects on the past because you had kind of a, not kind of, you had a rough past period. Tell us a little bit about how you were born and what you were raised in so we can get a feel for where you came from.
Ed Latimore: [00:01:36] I was born in a housing project here in Pittsburgh, PA where I live, the Hill district. And for a long time the Hill District was nationally known. I mean if there was a who’s who for housing projects, the Hill district was up there. So rough area man, I stumbled upon a dead body once and I seen a young kid got hit by a car in a runaway. I think it was a drive-by maybe that condo stuff just constantly happening. Violence. I had been robbed when I was a kid a few times. My first time getting stitches, I was six walking through the store and these kids decided they were going to rob me and bust my head open with a brick.
[00:02:17] I mean, and this is like, these are just events thinking of it and now I can like talk about them with like almost a bit of levity and humor but at that time, man, I was miserable. But I lived there until I was nine. They want to tear my housing project down. So they moved us to another project across town, Northview Heights Estates, that place was so bad, they actually had gates around it to keep us isolated. When I moved to Northview Heights, I started to contrast life because I was going through another high school across town and meeting new people and I was like, “Wow, man! We live really in a bad place, man.” I’d seen my mom get arrested when I was 11, fighting people in the streets and another, I watched them on Christmas to just thinking about things with Christmas Eve.[00:03:02] And I watched some guys at the other end of the court yard, they ordered a pizza. The pizza man brought the pizza and they pulled the pizza guy and they just, I mean, they beat the hell out of them. All for what? For the pizza and 40 bucks on Christmas Eve. And you know, those were the types of incidents, but we do there was no public transportation. A lot of times the cops wouldn’t come up because that’s how you know, you’re in a bad neighborhood when the cops are like, “Aah! I think I’m going to just sit this one out.” So this is the kind of the environment I came up in and that really that shapes you, that shapes you when you get out of it because even though I was really fortunate and then I got to go to a high school across town and that exposed me to a lot of different people, but I still carried a lot of the bad habits.[00:03:46] I’m still me. I think now at 33, I’ve learned to control our get past or gotten past most of the bad habits I’ve developed as a youth. But it really imprints on your psyche.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:59] I’m sure it does. What are some of the lessons that you took from growing up in an environment like that, that you think are beneficial? Because of course there’s a lot of bad habits that you came up with for sure by being around all that. Is there anything that you came out with where you’re like, “Wow! This is a benefit I got growing up in the hood.”
Ed Latimore: [00:04:19] Oh, you know, I always treat everyone with respect. You know, I grew up in a neighborhood where you didn’t know who knew who. You didn’t know whose cousin was whose cousin. And as I got older, you didn’t know who cared about jail or who didn’t, who was just trying to make a name for themselves or who was trying to impress other people.
[00:04:40] So if there was any kind of conflict, I always tried to de-escalate conflict. I always think that your one missed my bat away from things getting bad, man. I just don’t get into conflicts with people. I’m from an era where there was no trolls, man. If you wanted to say something, you had to say it to someone’s face. You couldn’t do it from behind a screen. That carries into how I deal with people. Not that I can say things from behind the screen because why would I want to be mean like that? You know?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:14] Right. You grew up in an area where safety and security were essentially, completely illusory. There was none of that to be had the best safety and the best security for you was being someone who treated other people with respect and being someone who got respect not out of fear because you don’t want people trying ou, but because you had given it initially in the beginning. So in a way, it’s almost like when people say you’ve got to create relationships around you and create a network around you for safety and security, you are literally doing this because if somebody decided they didn’t like you, you are almost in a prison-like environment.
Ed Latimore: [00:05:52] When you day in and day out have to pass through a gate and check yourself, and it’s nothing serious but it is an impediment that most people don’t have to go through or deal with. They just walk back and forth to their home. I couldn’t do that, you know? And over time you started to see the world that way. You started to wonder, you started to wonder like, “Okay, is this area safe? Who controls this area? What are the rules here?” And you know, I struggled a little bit when I did get into what I call a polite society when I went to high school across town.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:30] How did that struggle look? I’m just curious because it sounds like, okay, you’re coming from, like I said, prison-like environment where you different rules of different areas. You’ve got to check in and there’s gates literally around you. Then you go to the high school across town. What’s going through your mind and what did you have to change to adapt and change into somebody that “belonged there” or at least look like they belong there?
Ed Latimore: [00:06:53] Well one of the first things I had to realize is that people who are poor don’t settle everything with violence. I used to ask kids this and just as like as a conversation icebreaker though, like a 14-year-old would have, I would ask you, how many times have you been in a fight? And after a while when enough of these kids said zero, I was like, “Huh? Maybe I’m the odd one out here. Maybe there’s something wrong with me.” And then I get to this school across town and people are just so civilized. I just remember thinking, man, how nice is this? I don’t have to like freak out. I can like learn and not have to worry about looking over my shoulder. Also, I quickly appreciated how easy it was to learn when you weren’t dealing with disciplinary issues because I just took it for granted for like the first eight years of school, eight or nine years that somebody was going to be in class and they were going to, you know, piss the teacher off and this was going to turn into a big back and forth and I just kind of figured, at least two days out of the week my learning was going to be disrupted in some fashion.
[00:08:01] I know I think most people have an experience like mine where you could sit in class for 40 minutes and absorb a lesson if you wanted to. You know, the differences if I had gone to the high school that I was assigned to go to or when I was back as a child and I went to the elementary and middle schools, I wouldn’t have a choice whether I could absorb the lesson. I know those are the differences.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:23] How did you start to change yourself once you became aware of this? Because the theme of this episode and the theme of you, Ed, in a way, it’s kind of like metamorphosis, man. Because you got up and you went across town, that in itself was a big move, but how did you consciously start to adapt to that new environment? Because it seems like it’s got to just have been so hard to, “Okay, great, there’s nobody disrupting class”, but you can’t just tell yourself one day, “All right, I guess I don’t have to worry about that anymore.” I mean, you’ve been programmed with this and you still have to go home to it all the time.
Ed Latimore: [00:08:58] Right. And here’s the thing, and I’m really fortunate about this. Remember, change takes time, takes a long time, but a different environment can do wonders if you have the ability and you have the desire to be different. If you can put yourself in a different place, you know, a lot of people say, “Oh, I’m going to move.” Right? And I always laugh at them and I go, “You understand that you’re the cause of your problems and you’re moving.” And so what you’re going to do is infect this new environment with your old problems. However, I do recognize there are exceptions and I would like to think of myself as somewhat of an exception to the rule. The big things that helped me when across town is I did find friends and these people are from great families and they looked out for me.
[00:09:46] I mean they’re as good as my family to me and in some cases better. They are responsible and their parents today still consider me their child and they didn’t have to. This is not somebody as their kid grew up with their whole life. I showed up when they were all 14, starting high school and they really took me under their wing for lack of a better term and I was very much the recipient of the benefits from positive peer pressure. I was pushed upward. All of my friends wanted to go to college, so naturally made sense that I should probably try to go to college whether I succeeded or not, because I definitely didn’t succeed the first time there, I’ve carried myself as in a way that would make me attractive to universities. And that means, you know, behaving well and working hard and forming connections and really getting out there and immersing myself when it’s like taking on extra curriculars.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:38] Okay, so you did this because you knew that you had to change your environment, but you couldn’t just be in a different place without changing something about yourself. And so it sounds like you wanted to not just be in a different place, but have a different set of relationships so that you could really immerse yourself in this. So if someone is stuck right now and they listen to this, it’s not just maybe change your environment, but it’s change your environment and put down roots as deep as you can so that you can build what you had termed positive peer pressure. Because if you just move and you don’t set down roots and create a network and create relationships, then you might not end up with that positive peer pressure because you’re kind of just a spectator. If you’re there with no roots.
Ed Latimore: [00:11:17] Absolutely. Now I could have just as easily, you know, sat on the sidelines and didn’t make any friends and are found people who are like the people where I came from. I could’ve stayed in what was comfortable for me, but I was not interested in that life or those people. When I got into this new environment and I had to make the environment work for me. It wasn’t just going to absorbed by osmosis. No, no, no. I had to throw myself in there because I didn’t want to be in that environment whatsoever. I tried to keep myself away as much as possible and the holidays are no different. I mean I really got myself away, for better or worse. I mean there’s pros and cons to this approach.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:59] So staying away from that environment as much as possible, you obviously then knew early on, I can’t be around this.
[00:12:07] And how conscious was this for you? Were you thinking, “If I’m around this too much, it’s going to seep in like osmosis and I’m going to go in the wrong direction?” Or were you just kinda like, “Being at home makes me feel like crap because my friends have nicer houses.” Like on that spectrum, kind of where do you fall?
Ed Latimore: [00:12:21] I was more of the thought that I don’t ever want to be in this position. I understood as a youngster that I had the power to take my life in any direction and if I stayed in this place and I stayed with these people and I didn’t push myself then I would likely end up here again. I cannot tell you how many families I knew, there were two or three generations deep and in housing projects, they turned 16, had a kid. The kid, you know, turns 15 and has a kid.
[00:12:57] So now you got a 31-year-old grandmother and I seen that and I was like, I don’t want anything even close to that from myself. So I want it to be as different as I could be from the people around me and spend as much time away from it as possible. And it really worked out on me. I think some of us decide to be different and for whatever reason, and it’s never too late, but once you decided you didn’t want to be different from what you’re surrounded by, man,you have to change it. You have to get away from it. It’s so difficult to make a change in an environment that is actively working against that change.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:36] Yeah. Amen to that. I completely agree there. If I’m listening right now and I want to change my environment, but I don’t really know what the first step is, what is my action that I take? Because you started in when I need to surround myself with different people at school. What if I’m 30 and I realize I am in a crappy environment, where do I start the change?
Ed Latimore: [00:13:58] So you have to step away. You got to step away and kind of get a new frame of reference for yourself, independent of the old habits. So if you are 30 and you were like, “Man, I hate all these people I am around. I hate my job and I go home, my friends are losers or whatever.” The first thing I will tell you, “Man, learn to love yourself. You’ve got to be alone.” I had such a hard time being alone for a very long time and by happenstance I got forced into a situation or I got to be alone or at least where I got to be in a foreign social environment and this is after high school in this new environment, I got to really sit in and you know, look at my thoughts and go, “Wow, man! I’m a person who thinks and wants to do this.”
[00:14:41] I’m not just responding to my environment. I’m not just, “Okay, they did this, we’re going to do this and it’s Friday night again. Let’s go, you know, let’s go do the thing I say I hate so I can forget about the week I just had at the job.” I say, “Hey, if you want to change things, you’ve got to start with something — something central to your frame of reference.” Whether it’s, you know, for more drastic risk takers, you know, you quit your job and get a new job, that’ll put you immediately into a new frame of reference. You go do something, they’ll let you start redefining yourself. They’ll let you find a new frame of reference to work on.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:17] When did you realize that you had the potential to be something or be different than the people around you where you were being raised? It sounds almost like I’m saying, when did you realize you were smart or something like that. But there’s more to it because there’s a lot of people who grew up around you that were probably very intelligent. Some of them might have done something with themselves and other guys, I’m sure you know people there that ended up in a life that they really could have worked their way out, right? But didn’t, when did you go, “Wait a minute, I’m too smart for this crap. I don’t want to be here.” Because at that point I feel like that’s when you maybe started working hard at building a life for yourself, but before then, why bother?
Ed Latimore: [00:15:56] Why bother, right? So I think no one’s parents are perfect, right? Everyone’s parents make some mistake. I’m really fortunate in that, you know, my mom was often in some areas, but one area
[00:16:12] she really, really was strong in is that she never let us feel like[00:16:21] we were our environment and we got that support. Different people can plant seeds at different points in your life, in different ways. And I was just very fortunate that my mom, not a great disciplinarian, but did happen to drop that seed that I could learn things I should read. I’m so happy that I learned to like books instead of social approval because, Jason, social approval, man, that will always work out for the worst, especially in that environment. And those are the people you’re trying to get the approval of. So these things that aren’t pointing me towards a better direction, but they’re doing something just as important and depending on your perspective may be more important. They are keeping me from developing a taste for the other life.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:09] So you had all these different escapes, you just happen to choose nerdy ones, which turned out to be a huge blessing. But all right, so you started to work your way out of this, but why did you, what was happening in your twenties because you really, I’ve heard you say, and I’ve read of course a lot of your stuff, you didn’t really start working hard at building a life for yourself until your late twenties. What was going on between then? Because it seemed like you were on a roll, man. New environment, new school, nerdy hobbies. What else are you battling here?
Ed Latimore: [00:17:37] You’re like a great – this is like therapy, man. It’s awesome because I never really thought about it that way because yeah, I had some upward momentum and it was really good. And then I get to college because I did, I got into the University of Rochester and I’ll tell you what, man, I failed miserably my first year to the point where I dropped out my third semester at the beginning of my second year. And what was the cause of failure? I had never ever developed some real emotional discipline. I just happened to be a guy who’s common, even killed, you know, and I learned how to avoid conflict. So in many ways, you know, when you’re not getting into trouble, it’s kind of hard to tell you know if you’re together or not. It’s like when they say, “Well, if you don’t open your mouth, we don’t know if you’re stupid”, that kind of deal.
[00:18:30] Well, if you don’t ever get in trouble, we don’t know if you have the makings of a troublemaker is where does that sound? But I get to college and I fell in love with the booze and the girls. And those are two things that I did not have access to when I was a teenager. And for whatever reason, when I was in high school and I really just wasted, I mean, every time. And it’s kind of silly. I am looking back on it now? I mean, it’s so funny, like thinking about my typical week at school, man, it was like, “All right, let me figure out where I’m going to go party and drink out or let’s figure out what girl I’m going to try and get on.” And it was one or the other alternate. And then I’ll never forget because I played football and they kept track of all of us.[00:19:17] And I had a guy say to me, he was like, “Man, you’re one of the smartest guys I’ve met. You got the lowest GPA on the team. How did that happen?” And I had a 1.2 on my first semester.
Jordan Harbinger: Wow, you’ve got to try to do that bad! There’s no accident there.
Ed Latimore: [00:19:34] It was bad. So what ends up happening though is, you know, I decided that I want to chase this instead. And I ended up with a decent girl though when I’m 19. I do drop out the school as a result of most of this and spend time at home a little bit. And by the time at home, my mom had moved. There was no space for me. There was a period of about three months, I remember where I was sleeping on my aunt’s floor. She had like seven people living in there and to eat during the day, because I didn’t have any money.
[00:20:03] I had perfected, I mean I was a thief man. I wasn’t good thief, you know. I had perfected how to walk into the RiteAid and looked like I was browsing and you know, slide some Pringles down my pants or put a pop in my pocket. I mean that’s how we were living and it’s really, I’m not proud of it, but it is part of the story. You know, you can’t ignore the parts of the story you don’t like. But that’s how it was. And so I really fell off and I started dating this girl and that probably kept me from really doing some craziness too, not because, you know, I needed her to emotionally balance me, but because her mom fed me every day. She was 15, I was 19.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:44] Oh, my gosh! So you picked your girlfriend based on where you could eat and that’s funny, but it’s also kind of a sign of the times for you, right? Like who, where am I going to get fed? Literally.
Ed Latimore: [00:20:56] I didn’t do it on that intention alone, but you know, one thing led to another. Next thing you know, I’m eating most of the time there for four years. And it worked out great. I didn’t die of starvation. I didn’t have to steal. No, I didn’t have to down dash often. So yeah, you know, I hate the dine and dash stories, man, because as an adult, someone who makes a living from other people spending money, right? You know, it really pains me like to think, that I ruined somebody’s night in that regard. Oh man. And then, just desperate, stupid stuff. But these are all just parts of things that, you know, we’re going downhill, one downhill or we’re picking up lessons now. I don’t know they’re going to be lessons one day. It’s just, man, I really don’t want to die. I don’t want to move home with my mom.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:48] Is that the right kind of fear, you know, is that the right kind of motivator I guess I should say. Because if you’re really thinking about, “Man, I hope I don’t die or I have to steal for my next meal and I don’t want to go home because it’s dangerous.” Is that kind of fear motivating for you or were you looking forward to something instead?
Ed Latimore: [00:22:10] Fear is a tool, and fear is really amoral, or neutral I guess. And that the same fear that can make you work and bust your ass for four years so that you can get a hot pan jobs that you never go back to a life of poverty is the exact same fear that can make you decide to get into the dope game and start moving bricks on the corner of illegal narcotic substances and land you dead or in jail. The decision’s made out of fear of poverty either way.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:48] This episode is sponsored in part by Organifi. Jason, I’ve been messing with this Organifi stuff for a long time. They sponsored us a long time ago and they gave us a bunch of green stuff and red stuff and all this stuff and I just kind of forgot about it. I was using the green juice for awhile and I got more of it and I started using it and using it and using it. And then I was traveling a lot and I was eating crap or not eating at all or you know, coffee for breakfast, coffee for lunch and a fried chimichanga for dinner or something, you know? And I was just like, “All right, let’s use this green juice.” So I started using the Organifi green juice and then I ran out and I just realized, actually I like this stuff and I missed this stuff. So I got back in touch with them and was like, “Hey, can I mooch some more of this?” And they sent me this huge care package full of all their new stuff. And I like it. I now I just do this instead of breakfast or an early lunch. And I kind of can’t live without it at this point.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:23:43] They sent me that same care package, which I could not believe when it showed up. It was just tubs and tubs of powders and this, that and the other. And I started using the red juice every morning to go with my breakfast and my vitamins. And I tell you, I see a marked difference in my output every day that I take Organifi. It really just kind of, I don’t know, it just kicks my ass and gets me going there. There’s a clarity that comes with it, I think.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:09] Yeah, it tastes good, which is nice because you don’t have to deal with like, “Oh, it’s good for you.” And you’re like, Ugh. You know, like wheat-grassy kind of stuff.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:18] Yeah. And it’s organic. It’s got 11 superfoods in there. It’s got all the superfoods, but it’s really quick and easy, which is what I care about more. I know I should probably care more about superfoods, but frankly I just like having a little tiny packet that I can put in my pocket. And if I met some seminar or some event or blah, blah, blah, in the morning, I can really just dump it into some water. It’s like making tea so you can get your green juice without a big mess. You don’t have to juice a bunch of stuff. You cannot break the — it ends up being like two bucks a juice, which is more than I can say for most juices, which are like you go get a green juice.
[00:24:50] Granted you go get a fresh squeezed green juice someplace. It’s like 13 bucks. Granted, I live in California, so you know I’m paying communist pricing but still it’s too expensive. So I love this stuff and you can get 20 percent off of the Organifi. Pretty much on anything on the site using the code harbinger, check it out at organifi.com, it’s Organifi with “I” on the end, it’s like a stripper name. O-R then probably going to get in trouble for that, but I don’t care. O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I dot com and 20 percent off using the code harbinger. Check it out and grab a bunch of this stuff. It tastes good and everything I’ve tried from them is awesome. Support for the Jordan Harbinger Show comes from our friends at Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans. This is the mortgage company that decided to ask ‘why?’[00:25:36] Why can’t clients get approved in minutes rather than weeks? Why can’t they make adjustments to their rate and term in real time and why can’t there be some sort of client-focused technological mortgage revolution? In other words, why can’t you do mortgage stuff online instead of with a giant stack of paper at a bank? I think that’s what they mean by this. Quicken Loans answered all these questions and more with Rocket Mortgage. Rocket Mortgage gives you the confidence you need when it comes to buying a home or refinancing your existing home loan. Rocket Mortgage is simple. It allows you to fully understand all the details and be confident you’re getting the right mortgage for you. Whether you’re looking to buy your first home or your 10th, and Jason whenever I say 10th I’m always like, “Wow, that’s amazing.” I know people now when I started talking about this, a lot of people email and were like, “Oh, I have 10 properties, and a lot of them are income-based” and they’re using Rocket Mortgage as well because it’s really easy for them to check this stuff even on their phone. And with Rocket Mortgage you get a transparent online process that gives you the confidence to make an informed decision. Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans – Apply simply. Understand fully. Mortgage confidently. To get started, go to rocketmortgage.com/forbes.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:26:42] Equal housing lender licensed in all 50 States. NMLS consumer access.org number 3030.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:47] That’s RocketMortgage.com/forbes.
[00:26:51] What was the lesson that you learned in your late twenties that made you change so drastically? What happened to you? Because it’s pretty rare, I think, for people to change that dramatically that late in life. I mean you hear about people making changes at any age, but if you are on this downward spiral, even though you had sort of gone to college and failed out and gotten back into the game, what actually made you change and made those changes stick? Because there’s a lot of people who are in their twenties and thirties right now who are listening and they’re like, they’re thinking, “Man, I don’t like my situation, but how can I motivate myself to change?” Is there a formula for this?
Ed Latimore: [00:27:28] My twenties were, you know, I was progressively getting worse, but I was making progress in boxing. I was putting a lot of energy there and somewhat so that I beat a guy named Dominic Breazeale who ends up going on to represent the United States on the Olympics in the 2012 Olympics. And because I beat him, I got selected to be in this group in L.A. and I had all my training paid for. I had a great apartment. Life was good, man. And I’m spending all this time out there in L.A.. And then I come back after they cut me. I got injured, I came back, I lost my second to last amateur fight. And so they cut me. So I come back and I got to get a job because no one’s paying my expenses. And the only jobs that I can get, I worked at T-Mobile, I was selling phones at T-Mobile.
[00:28:12] Now I don’t know if that was the only job I could get, but I wanted to alleviate the stressful situation as soon as possible because I needed to get some kind of income, some kind of revenue stream, right? So got this job at T-mobile and I’m making maybe, I think it was like $11 an hour and that’s plus commission. And I’ll never forget, man, I was sitting there one night and I was just like, this is miserable. I was closing a store by myself. It was cold. And I said, “I need to do something. I need to change this now because I don’t like this.” But at that point I remember standing there and that empty T-Mobile, have been frustrated closing out the till or making sure everything balanced. I said I got change so I put a lot of research in,[00:29:00] I looked and I enlisted in the National Guard so I could have that on my resume. Two, so I could get some skills with whatever MOS I select, and three, to get money to go to college because I was going to go back to college. I said you know and now you’re going to get it because I don’t want to paint this picture. Like I made this decision and I was super confident. I was like no, you know we’ll figure it out. We’ll learn the math. Because I wasn’t going to go back for just anything. I wanted to go back for something, focused. Some Quantitative Discipline STEM, right? And so I was going to go back from math. That was the plan. I ended up going back and ultimately my degree will be in physics. I get dismay, I just was fed up.[00:29:43] I was putting things on hold and thinking that it will work out or I get a break in and then I said, “No, you know, if you want to make a change, or you want change to happen. You’ve got to make the change.” So I enlisted and I didn’t know what was going to happen. I had just met my girlfriend and I said, if she leaves me, that sucks. But what will really suck is if she leaves me because I’m broke and I don’t have any ambition. So I bit that bullet and you know, it turns out it worked out, but that’s what sparked the change. That’s what sparked the initial change. I was just frustrated and I said, “If I don’t do it now, when am I going to do it?” And I said to myself, I said, you know the time’s going to pass anyway, am I going to turn 33. I’m 33 today. That just happened to be the number I always used. But I said, I am going to turn 33 with more prospects than I have now or, am I going to be in the same position? Because I’m going to turn 33 anyway. So I said, “Okay, let’s do this and let’s make it happen.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:40] So you decided, all right, I’m good that the time is passing. I can either work my ass off and get through it or I can while it away and end up like all of these people I grew up around in the projects, but I got to ask how a kid from the projects decides to become a dual physics and math major. Did somebody encourage you? I mean, how did you even know you’re smart and who’s encouraging you? How did you get into that? It sounds like, because I get it, people go to college and like, “Oh I want to study being a dental assistant or something like that.” It’s like, “Okay”, and you’re like, “No, I want to go into this super hard field of study.” And you’re like, “Oh hmmm. Projects and ghetto or college? No, this is more like projects and ghetto or the big bang theory.”
Ed Latimore: [00:31:25] How did this happen, why physics and everything? So, first of all, spoiler alert, I’m not a brilliant math student. One of the reasons because I tutor kids on the side, in science and math, I just love doing it. I actually don’t even need to do it for money, which is great. I just love doing it. But one of the reasons why I’m so good at it is because I was a horrible math student. I mean I went into high school, so behind because of the way middle school was, that I looked at my transcript because for whatever reason I had to get my high school transcript when I transferred from a two-year to a four-year university, and I looked at my maths and I was like, “Man, I know it was bad but damn, man, the D’s on here and C’s?”
[00:32:12] And then I tried to do calculus. It took me four tries to get calculus. On the fourth try did but other the first three I failed. You know, it’s not all academic reasons, but a lot of it, you know, but I really wanted that. I wanted that because in my mind I said, okay because the way I think, the way I approach problems is, “Okay, here’s the end goal. That’s where I need to get to. Okay, what do I have to go through? Do I have to go through fires, I have to go under the bridge or do I have to answer through riddles.” You know, whatever the trials are, then I just prepare for them. So I said, okay, I need to go to college for something that’s worth a decent salary. I looked up all the salaries, I kept trying to get around it, but it all kept coming back to math.[00:32:57] So I said, “Okay, I got to learn math.” So after I enlisted, I enlisted in January — January 4th, 2013. I spent the next six months, every single day, doing problems, shoring up my math gaps on weaknesses. I mean really, I mean I relearned all the math from like basic geometry all the way up to Y-integration works. And I really spent a lot of time doing problems. Thank goodness we live in the internet age. It was super easy to get problems, sets to work and to see tutorials and things like that. I really took initiative from my learning maybe for the first time in my life.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:37] Who is encouraging you at this point?
Ed Latimore: [00:33:39] No one’s encouraging me at this point. At this point, I am 27, 28 I guess, looking at my future and going, “You know what I feel like when I think about this moment when I’m looking at my future making these decisions and in my head’s all dark and cold, I can project into the future. I know. I don’t to be some 33-year-old bum making $12 an hour. Who’s so unhappy to go to work but has to go to work to make the rent and that he’s sharing with two other adults who make other equally foolish decisions.” I saw that I projected it. I don’t want to be disliked. I want people to look up to me. I always wanted that. I wanted to be respected. At this point, it was easy and it seems easy. I guess I got some saying it’s easy. But what I mean is, when I say it’s easy, I mean that there were no other decisions that made sense to me. It was, “go do this, go do this.” At the very least, a worst case scenario fell trying to make your life better, but to just accept this situation even if you were terrible and the first time you went, because I used to say this, I’ll say, you know the first time I went to college I was emotionally immature.
[00:34:54] I got sucked into the scene. Okay cool. But that was when you were 19. You’re 28 now, what’s your excuse? And I didn’t have one. I couldn’t make one for myself. So all that was left was the course of action that was to get me closer to being the person that I wanted to be. The person I believed that I could be.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:11] So you used this sort of visual as almost like visualization or projection and then you saw the scary future and you used that fear of mediocrity or going “back to where you came from” and that way at the projects and things like that. You used that fear to motivate you forward and that’s how you ended up dual physics-math major, fluent in French, getting into the boxing thing because it seems like you really realized, you had to remind yourself maybe not what you’re running away from, but what you’re trying really hard not to get sucked back in by.
Ed Latimore: [00:35:48] Right. You know, and those are the motivation can come from either places. You can either be trying to get away from something or are you going to be moving towards a thing. Now it’s best if you have both, right? I really think I had both working to my advantage.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:04] So you’ve done a lot of different professions, pursuits. You’re definitely a polymath, right? Chess, boxing, electrical engineering, physics, French. Do you have a heuristic for deciding what you want to pursue? How do you decide what to get into? I know it’s not just flipping. What’s the decision making process?
Ed Latimore: [00:36:23] Why do I choose these things? I originally chose math. I decided, you know, after I went to this thing called B Math at Fort Lee, Virginia, which is basic mechanical and electronic theory, 40 MOS that I get in the military, which was a 94 Alpha or land combat and missile systems, electrical repairer as a mouthful.
[00:36:45] But they sent everyone in the 94 series to Ordnance School in Fort Lee, Virginia. And it was there that I learned, “Oh, I think I want to do electrical engineering.” And as part of doing engineering, you have to take physics. And I remember in my physics class, we did the experiment for kinematic motion, how projectiles fall with no other force acting on them, but gravity and the initial angle of their launch form, and I remember my projection was right. Like the bee landed where I said it would land based on numbers and I was like, “Oh, that’s cool. That’s what I really want to learn. And that’s magic right there.” So that’s how I ended up with physics. As far as boxing. You know, I was wasting my life, right? Because I didn’t start boxing until I was like, I think 22 or 23 I can’t remember which one.[00:37:36] But prior to that I wasn’t doing anything. And I used to have these arguments with the mother who was feeding me. She happened to be a university professor and I was on this big anti-university tear. I used to talk about how stupid college was and this was the worst person of course to talk to about that. So she said to me one day, she said to me, she’s like, “Ah, well what have you done for four years? You know, even if you sat in the monastery, where have you applied your energy? You just come here and eat my food.” And then she threw me out. Oh man, I got, you know, it’s funny, now me and Laura, or Professor Roberts, whatever, we’re great friends now, man. She took me to dinner before I shipped off.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:20] Yeah, on the first name basis. That’s awesome.
Ed Latimore: [00:38:22] Oh yeah. Right. We’re great. I mean, and she effectively treated me like her child for years. I mean, so I’m really, really happy about it. But I’ll tell that story and I’ll tell her how I tell people that story because it really motivated me. I said, yeah, she’s right. I mean I’m pretty sure my 22-year-old self went home and cried thinking about that. Like she is exactly right. I have no time equity. I can’t show anything from my time on this planet other than, you know, drinking stories. So I went and I wanted to box and I said, I’m going to try boxing. Let’s see how that one goes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:57] And I want to hear about the boxing game because your name was, first of all, your boxing name was Black Magic, which pretty fun. I see what you did there. And I like it. And I thought, okay. Anybody who chooses that for themselves either has a great sense of humor or, yeah, I mean there are other options, but I figured, okay, I’m going to get along with this guy. So you’re boxing. You’re doing really, really well and you end up in a fight and you got beat in this fight. But it wasn’t just a physical beat, it put you out for a year. It seems like it really had, no pun intended, an impact on you.
Ed Latimore: [00:39:33] Oh man. Aside from what we eventually realized was a concussion, I was financially devastated. Not because I was blowing money, but I mean you don’t make that much money in boxing anyway. I was making more than the average boxer worth at my fight level, but now I was gone. So I needed to figure out what I was going to do for money, which led to me, you know, figuring out online business and tutoring and things that I nature. I had to do that I needed to see if I even wanted to fight anymore. But to do that I had, to determine if I had reached my limits because boxing is weird, man. That kid can get in your head. Just couldn’t, you know, losing one fight isn’t the end of the world. It shouldn’t be anyhow. But a lot of fighters treat it that way. And then I realized, why man, because now I was effectively, you know, starting over.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:22] Yeah, you kind of fell off the mountain. So take us through that. When you got beat in that fight, what was your first reaction? Did you feel immediately like you were starting over, because I think we should really deep dive into this because if you fell off the mountain, where you are on the top, man, you are feeding yourself boxing. People are giving you props and rightly so, you’re crushing the fights and then you end up falling off the mountain. You get a hard beat. And now of course, this is something you look back on almost fondly, but what’s going through your head at that point after you lose this fight?
Ed Latimore: [00:40:59] Oh man, one, what am I going to do financially? That was the biggest thing. Two, you know, am I really hurt or not? Because even though I was like down and out right at that moment. I never really questioned coming back to fighting. It wasn’t until, you know, at least at that moment I didn’t. So the money, my body now at this point, I wonder, you know, I’m going to end up spending the next year realizing that the reason follow and why can’t I engage me, has almost nothing to do with the boxing directly. But I don’t know this, I think that I’ve built what I built based on the fact that I throw punches, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:46] So you created a story in your mind where other people valued something about you. And then once you had felt that that had been taken away, you felt that you lost the value, but really people valued other things and you didn’t lose it.
Ed Latimore: [00:42:00] Right. You know, I hate that I did it, but I really made my identity a boxer. I mean, and it was never that way. It was never that way. Not for any moment, but it just condos, you’re accelerating. You get people interested in you who have, who are like legit people. I mean, everyone knows who Jay-Z is, right? Everyone knows what Rock Nation is, we are not grounded. And I thought I was grounded, but I started to see myself as something more. If you are not doing anything and you make a mistake, there’s no no penalty, man. There’s no rate. There’s no distance. But I was like that fight, and then the next fight was almost certainly going to be in Vegas or Madison Square. And I was like, “Oh, cool. What does it get through this guy?” Nah, it didn’t work out that way. I wasn’t focusing on the things that were important.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:52] How did you get through this? You list these important lessons, like perspective people in the willingness to face fears. I would love to get into some of this stuff. This is in part where I find myself in a way right now, having run another show for 11 years and now doing this show, starting from scratch. I also went slash am going through this sort of this emotional situation where I go, “Oh, my gosh, was my identity this person who is valued by people because of this audience? Or is there more to it?” And I’ve really had to do a lot of introspection and make sure that I’m not driving myself crazy. And in addition that I really can wrap my mind around it. And I would imagine that’s where you were as well. Is this something, can I get back on top? Do I need to get back on top? And who am I without this particular thing in my life?
Ed Latimore: [00:43:44] Ah man, you do, you get it. You get it. Because you asked them, you asked the three questions, you know: Who am I? Do I need to get back on top? And if I need to, can I even do that? Right? And how do you answer those questions? Objectivity. How do you gain the objectivity? Time. It took me probably a little longer than it should have, but you know, whatever. It took me 10 months to watch my fight and then it took me that long because I couldn’t bear to watch myself get crushed. I couldn’t watch and listen with the announcers. I actually still haven’t listened to the announcers. I probably should do that. But the point though is that I needed to be able to look at the event and kind of analyze it. I couldn’t because my emotions were too caught up in it.
Ed Latimore: [00:44:40] But when I got the proper perspective and I was able to look at it, I could see, “Okay, you got caught. You got caught with a punch. You mean there was an error. You kind of sat in an area, then you shouldn’t have sat in and you know that.” But in no way does this reflect poorly on your boxing ability. And that’s what I was saying. You know, I look at the fight and I look at it and I go, okay, did I lose because I suck? Like really? Or did I lose because these are 200 pound plus men throwing a leather and I didn’t move off center enough. I looked at the punch and the punch actually kind of, it goes to my guard. Man, he is good, he’s a strong dude, man. It’s a good punch. Right? But those are kind of questions, I couldn’t ask myself until I watch the video and I couldn’t watch the video until I had felt better about myself.
[00:45:31] And we’re going to apply that to like, you know what you’re talking about, wondering if you got this audience, or you have the show, you know? Well, well, yeah, you’re not being knocked down. You’re not going to step away from not doing the show or anything.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:45] Oh, I thought about it.
Ed Latimore: [00:45:47] And of course you thought about that. We all think about it, but you’ve got to move forward either way. And that is your solution that because time is going to keep going, but you’ve got to keep going because, worst case scenario, 10 months passes and you haven’t done the show for 10 months. 10 months passes and you look back and you go, “Wow, I actually had the audience. It wasn’t the show.” That’s the worst part. Then you get thrown away. But if we flip it and we say it was the show, well, I mean, you’ll know that based on my ratings, you’ll know it very soon. You have to keep moving forward. And that was kind of a mistake I made and I don’t know other reasons why I took the time off. But either way you have to figure out in your particular domain, how do you get perspective.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:34] This episode is sponsored in part by HostGator. HostGator. Depending on how you read it, everybody’s a brand nowadays. And on social media, it’s getting harder and frankly more expensive to get yourself noticed. I was talking with a couple other entrepreneurs yesterday and they were saying, “Oh yeah, you know what’s the key to being well known in social media now?” And a bunch of us were like, “Start three years ago and do that “Follow, I’ll follow you back if you follow me” crap that people were doing on Instagram back then. The only relevant social network these days. And you can’t do that anymore. So it’s getting harder and more expensive to get yourself noticed since the social media sites come and go, you could have this huge following on what was that thing, Jason, you and I had, and we were like so early in the game.
[00:47:18] Ello? Doesn’t even know it exists anymore. Yeah. I mean I don’t even know if it still exists. You need to have a stable place on the internet that you can call home. A place where you can send people to find you no matter what website happens to be popular this week. And that’s why we recommend HostGator’s website builder. You can easily create a professional-looking and frankly feature-packed website. The best part is there’s no coding. You don’t have to edit anything manually by hand. “Oh, it’s this integer was the problem that whole thing didn’t load.” Right? You can choose from over a hundred mobile-friendly templates, so everything looks great on the phone and on the desktop and there’s tons of add ons. Shopping carts. People can pay you with PayPal, they can donate, SEO, whatever you need, and there’s 99.9 percent uptime.[00:48:01] Customer support 24/7, 365 and last but not least, they’re giving us up to 62 percent off all their packages for new users. So go to hostgator.com/jordan right now to sign up. That’s hostgator.com/Jordan. This episode is also sponsored by Varidesk. This year, the cubicle, happy birthday turns 50 years old. Those hail from an age when the work was done on typewriters and smoking at your desk was the norm. Can you imagine, yuck? Now, of course, the sitting is the new smoking and people who want to stand up and work for a little bit, they can collaborate, feel energized, got to stand up, sit down. You can’t really, I mean you can’t. You’re stuck in your cubicle and your little folding chair, whatever the hell did they give you. And Varidesk Active Workspace Solutions, a.k.a. really awesome device that lets you turn your regular desk into a standing desk.[00:48:53] It makes it easy to encourage movement in the work day. Being more active at work, you know, standing more, sitting less. All of this can improve your health, boost your energy and frankly increase your productivity and Varidesk products from the sit-stand stuff to the full-blown standing desks. There’s no assembly, they’re ready to use in a few minutes and they’re built really well. I got one of these things here. People, somebody “borrowed” and I mean sort of borrowed and never returned my last one this weekend. Another one, they’re really good. It’s commercial grade material. It’s made to last a lifetime. It’s not going to be all plasticky and ghetto. It’s nice. And you can try a Varidesk risk-free for 30 days with free shipping to you and free shipping back if you’re not satisfied, which hopefully won’t be the case. See it for yourself. varidesk.com, that’s V-A-R-I-D-E-S-K.com.[00:49:42] It took you 10 months to watch the video and you realize that you had to face your fears to move forward. And you mentioned feeling better about yourself and that’s what gave you the courage to face your fears and watch the video. Is there anything you could’ve done differently or would have done differently that would’ve given you the courage to face your fears earlier so that you could move forward faster?
Ed Latimore: [00:50:01] Well, other than the generic answer, man up, not really. I mean, there were a few times where I toyed with it and I went to go press that play button on a YouTube. I couldn’t do it and to answer the question is, you know, other than man up, right. Because I don’t like that answer but it was the first thing that come to mind. What could I have done? Well I could’ve gone to the gym sooner. I think if I had, if I wasn’t taking a year off, if I had just got back on the horse and started progressing and seeing “Okay you just made a mistake” Because I’m naturally a learner. That’s just who I am. So if I had looked at it in the perspective of a thing to learn from as opposed to this insurmountable kind of fear mountain to get over, then yeah, I think I would have watched it sooner. And that’s how you get to kind of freeze your problems, I think. How can we learn from them, not things to run from and that’s how I treated them unfortunately.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:08] Yeah. I think if we’re in this situation right now, maybe it’s good if we bust out our journal or a paper and we go, okay, if I face this, the worst thing that can happen is I’m going to feel bad. It’s going to send me into this sort of judgment spiral, but if I do do this, you can use that fear that you were talking about earlier, Ed, to motivate you. It’s like, look, I can put this off forever. You could just never watch that fight and then you’ll never be able to move past it. Your ego or whatever was crushed in that fight will always have those wounds and you can map out where that takes you, which is avoiding this particular feeling. I mean, you must have known that you had to go through it. You weren’t just one day like, “Oh yeah, I guess I’ll watch that fight.” No, you are actively avoiding them. You are actively avoiding this. Right? You knew you had to go through it.
Ed Latimore: [00:51:58] Not only was I actively avoiding it, right, it was an interesting psychological barrier. I mean I could not say, “Hey, I got knocked out.” I would say I got stopped in a fight. Didn’t know I couldn’t say that, but now I can say it. I’m like, “Yeah man, I got knocked out, man, that sucks!” Right? I couldn’t say that and what that does, right? You know, it’s a liberating feeling and people think I’m just telling a funny story, but no man, this is exactly how it happened. I watched the fight one day. I looked at it, I watch myself get crushed. I said, “Man, that sucks. I really did get knocked out.” Because I thought I slipped during the fight, I thought the first knock down anyhow, I thought I slipped. And then I looked at myself getting up and I was like, “Yo, man! You got to start shaving your head, bro. You are going thin on the top.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:46] That was your first thought was, “I’m going bald?”
Ed Latimore: [00:52:48] Yeah, because I always, you know, that was another thing I didn’t want to own. I’m losing hair. I’m going bald. I couldn’t say that. It’s weird, man. We put these barriers in our mind and we don’t want to approach and interact with these things, you know, in my mind, I’m just like, you know, “I’ll take…” because, man, I had the whole nine when it comes to like preventing baldness, I had the six month minoxidil solution. I had the little Propecia pills, man. I had the saw palmetto. Oh that’s right. Anything to get me to keep me from admitting, “Yo man, I’m going bald, man. Let’s do something about this.” You know, and I’m black, man. I can rock a boy and that’s ridiculous. Now that’s some privilege.
[00:53:32] There you go right there.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:33] That’s right. Yeah, no. Look, you see a middle aged white dude is going bald, it’s the biggest crisis in his life. And you’re like, “Oh, I guess I have to buy a Mach 3 now.” Yeah, that’s right. Check your privilege, son!
Ed Latimore: [00:53:47] Funny, you know, some side note. When that happened, right? I went on Twitter, you know, because of how I use Twitter. I got on Twitter and I was like, “You know, I finally watched my fight and I couldn’t admit that I got knocked down and I’m ready to get back in the gym, but I can’t also admit, I’m losing hair and I’m going bald.” Don’t you know HeadBlade hit me up and said, “So I hear you’re losing hair. Why don’t we send you one of our products.” And then you know, less don’t you think about it. I was like, Oh great.
[00:54:16] You know, so I got something on to face my fears, you know?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:19] That’s right. You could move forward with your life and you got a free HeadBlade. It sounds like a pretty good deal to me. All you had to do is go through one of the darkest periods of their whole life for 10 months, but you got a free razor.
Ed Latimore: [00:54:31] It was good enough. And I had, I distracted myself in a lot of ways, in a lot of good ways, you know. Fortunately at this point, I don’t drink, right? So that was never even an issue. So I poured myself into proving that I was a strong academic and that I was a good writer and I got to spend a lot of time just hanging out, you know, with my girlfriend and just really having a good time in life.
[00:55:02] But I’ll tell you this, when you’re running from something, you might forget you’re running, but your emotions don’t.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:10] What do you mean by that? That’s really interesting. What do you mean by that?
Ed Latimore: [00:55:13]I can mentally put myself in all of these different places, right? But if I have an emotional wound, an emotional book that is unbalanced. Oh, it’s going to show up when you least expect it. Like in dreams. I’ll be like, man, I wasn’t even thinking about that. Well, it doesn’t matter. It’s still, you haven’t dealt with it though. And I didn’t deal with it. And so every now and then it would bug me, or someone would make a comment on Twitter or Facebook because you know the internet never lets you forget anything, right? And it fucked me and I was like, man, why does it still bug me?
[00:55:52] So I had to face it because you know, if for any other reason, I didn’t want to be an emotional slave to someone just mentioning that I got knocked out. I mean now when someone tries to totally want to troll or tries to say something, I’m like, “Man, do you understand you’re anonymous? And I made almost six figures to lose on TV. Like have you even been on TV?” Like, I can say these things and have a fun time with it. But I did not have that kind of reaction to it before because it did bother me because it was an emotional wound and until I admitted that and then face that I couldn’t move past it. But now that I moved past it, you know, I can have fun practicing in the gym and everything and it’s just, it feels better.[00:56:38] You know, sometimes you just got to heal, you know. There’s wounds, you got to heal and then you get back on the horse.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:43] And you mentioned perspective. I think we can gloss over this a little bit because perspective was — you watch news stories of people in Syria, school shootings and really you got kind of a reality check on. You just lost a fight. You were embarrassed and broke, but you could go home and continue to do something with your life. And a lot of these people in the news did not have that luxury. I would ask, how do we go get perspective and get it in time to save our sanity if we’re in a rut? Like do you think that this is the sort of thing we have to develop all along, perspective, or is this a sort of medicine that we can use in the moment like you did?
Ed Latimore: [00:57:18] I think gratitude is a muscle. Because gratitude and perspective to me, those are slight differences and the same kind of idea — I guess gratitude would be more like an attitude you have about a thing, while perspective is a way you see it. You have to start asking yourself, and really started looking at all things in your life that bring you distress or misery. And you look at that and you go, “Okay, could this be worse?” I mean, no one ever had people don’t like asking themselves that question, “Could it be worse?” or “Sure, it could be worse.” I can think of 10 ways. If you’re not, if we’re having this conversation and it’s not behind bars or underneath the ground buried, I can think of 10 ways this could be worse easily. And even if were in jail, I could probably think of five.
[00:58:14] But the point is you have to, you got to get in a universal perspective or universal way of seeing the world. We all working on frame of reference. So for us, when a thing gets bad, it’s the worst thing in the world because what else would it be? It’s our world. The remedy to this, the way to develop perspective, the way to have gratitude is to take in frames other people, to take them frames in the world, add more to your experience, see more things. I mean, I used to think I grew up dirt poor, but it wasn’t until I was in the Dominican Republic in Puerto Plata and I was helping people. I was a land cement so people could have floors and I’m like, “Whoa, they ain’t even got floors.” All of a sudden, my whole perspective on poverty changes, right? Because now I have more in my frame of reference.[00:59:06] So that is a thing we have to do. Two parts. You got to go experience it and interact with the world and see different things. Read about different people, talk to different people. You know, one of the things that I always kept perspective on, I happened to work in a homeless shelter for a few months. Yeah. You realize, okay it could be worse. Right? And then once you have that knowledge, you have to call on it. Right? Let’s say you crashed your car and now you’re like, “Aw man, I crashed my car and super miserable body as you would be, but are you going to die and ruin the rest of your day? Well you will, if you don’t remember, “Yo, you had a car to crash.” You know, hopefully you had some insurance. I mean you have a job, choose, you can get another car.[00:59:53] I mean already this is just me looking other ways to keep perspective. Right? And in talking to you, that helps me clarify the idea, you know, perspective is what allows you to keep your mood from getting worse. And gratitude is what allows you to increase the feelings of goodwill that you have about a situation. You know, I found that as I look around and appreciate the things I have. I tend to appreciate them more. That sounds obvious, but maybe it’s not so, you know. That’s how people end up selfish and materialistic is that they don’t look and they go, “Wow man, I already have that and I’m really fortunate to have it.” So I’m taking on perspective that I could not have it. And then I’m appreciating it. I’m being grateful for it. So I’m increasing the good feelings. I’m moving away from the bad and moving towards the good in terms of how I emotionally connect, whether it’s an event or an object or a person, you know those.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:50] So if we find ourselves in this type of situation and we have to get perspective, we have to do it at a conscious level. So maybe, and now again, as people can start to tell, like I’m a fan of journaling and writing things down. If you really have to force yourself into that perspective, it might be good for you. Your action step would be to write down five or 10 things that happened today. Even if it’s a terrible day, like you crashed your car, but I wasn’t really injured and nobody got hurt. Like those kinds of things. You can really look on the right side of this.
Ed Latimore: [01:01:22] That is so awesome and that is not easy. That is a practice skill, especially do it in the moment, you know, to go, “Oh goodness, I’m so happy that you know, this wasn’t here or that wasn’t there or could be worse.” You know?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:38] So your action step would be that when things happen like this, you really have to develop the reflex of, “Oh my God, this is terrible, but what are two or three things that came out of this that are positive?” Even if these positives really are sort of a shade lighter than the negative that you’re dealing with. Because if you build that reflex, it changes the direction of your thinking, right? Instead of just thinking about how terrible it is, you literally have to rack your brain to find out two or three reasons why there’s positives out of this, which your brain really won’t be able to think of both of these things at the same time. So instead of catastrophizing, you start to think about the positives.
Ed Latimore: [01:02:18] I love the way you say that, you know, I tell that to people all the time that when you are focused on the gratitude, when you are trying to be grateful, it is very difficult to focus on the negative and in fact very difficult. I think it’s impossible. You put your mind on what you are grateful about in this situation and it will keep you from focusing on what you are sad about. Because you, you know, both of those things, they’re just facts, right? If what happened, and more importantly what didn’t happen and what do you focus on? Do you focus on the fact that you just lost a $9,500 car or do you, are you grateful that you know you’re not going home in a patty wagon?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:03:06] So you mentioned people as well and that you had a great support around you in this dire time that you are in need. And even on social media you were afraid people would eviscerate you, but you got a lot of support from your family, your friends, your fans. If you went through these dark period or a dark period again, what would you change with respect to the people around you? Would you change the type of people that you surrounded yourself with to recover faster or do you think you had the right mix?
Ed Latimore: [01:03:33] I’m a bit of a small bit of a loner by nature and I think one of the worst things I did is I didn’t get out with my friends enough and I don’t think I spent enough time around them. It’s just like every day I go every day. I’m grateful to be here and that helps, but I didn’t get out there with my friends, you know, I spent a lot of time interacting with people on social media and with my girlfriend, but I did not spend enough time with the support system that has supported me from the door, from the ground up that I love so much. Then when I won my 10th fight, I took my purse out and spend a bit of it on me. I just bought everything. I bought them a bunch of Christmas gifts because I won in December 10th.
[01:04:19] And I was just like, I love you guys, man. You’ve been here for me from the beginning when no one believed in me. So I should have spent more time around them. I should’ve leaned on the people around me more, period, you know? And one of the things about coming up and being the kind of person I was, which was the person who learned to retreat kind of N-word at the stress, to video games, to books, to keep himself away from the stresses of the world. That is a habit I carry even into adulthood. I mean, now I know it’s not healthy, but it’s a thing I have to force, right? It’s not a natural tendency for me to just go, okay, I’m having a tough time. Let me talk to one of my homeboys. Right? Nah, that’s not good. That’s not natural for me. But I know I need to do it. So I force myself to and then eventually I forget that I was having trouble with it because they cheer me up or they drop some wisdom. If you have good guy friends, you guys not going to, you know you got friends who aren’t going to think you’re weak for reaching out to them[01:05:21] when you’re having trouble, there’d be happy. You know.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:05:24] What should people do now then to ensure that they have this type of people around them? They have this type of support when they need it?
Ed Latimore: [01:05:31] Oh, man, you know, the people around you, man, like condoms or guns or whatever. I mean, you’d rather have it not needed, than needed and not have it. You have to nurture your friends. They’re not just there for you when you have a problem. They’re there for you because you know, you guys are spending so much time together and invested so much time. It’s like the gumball theory, right? That every little good moment you have with your friends puts a gumball in the gum machine. Right? And when you need to lean on them to support you takes a gumball out. But that’s not even really true because part of their friendship is, you know, people feel good when you go to them for support. Now if you are like obsessive with it or you don’t listen or you could get yourself in a really bad trouble, that’s kind of a different issue.
[01:06:26] But if you have, you have a big deal and you don’t tell your friends. I mean, I think in many ways that can hurt people. So I think of you if you’re not nurturing the groups, if you’re not developing the friendships and the time where you don’t need them, we all know that guy that disappears the minute he gets a girlfriend and then when she — no you don’t want to be that guy. I was almost in danger of being that guy. But they understood because then the other issue was I was dealing with readjusting my life without alcohol. Right? And they were still drinking. So, but then now it’s easy. I mean now I see my friends a lot more. So these are things I learned. I mean, I really am grateful for that. And even until we started talking, I hadn’t realized how much more I try to make an effort to see my friends and people I care about because that keeps you from having to, at the very least, that keeps you from focusing on bad stuff, man.[01:07:24] Like if you’re going on a bad time and you’re by yourself, you’re in the worst company possible. You need to get around somebody that is going to make you laugh. And knows your sense of humor too, like, and you guys got memories. I mean sometimes I’m all about deep insightful conversations and meeting and discussing ideas, but sometimes you just want to reminisce about some nonsense that happened when you guys were 16, right? And there aren’t many people that you can do that with. So you have those people, you have to take care of those relationships and nurture them because they’re going to be there for you, if you’re there for them.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:08:01] And that’s what the show is largely about is the creation and maintenance of those types of connections and relationships. And I’ll tell you, man, I’m glad that you and I became friends because you’re an interesting cat and I’ve really appreciated your time here talking to the audience here, the family because there’s a lot of lessons in what you’ve been through and you’re a good guy to know when it comes to getting through a hard time, which is what I’m, you know, what we’re dealing with as a team right now.
Ed Latimore: [01:08:25] Thank you, man. I’m really happy as I always say, man, I’m always happy when someone decides that what I have to say is worth listening to because I mean I think it’s great. I’ve talked to myself all the time. I think I’m the most interesting person most people are going to meet, right? Yeah. But I know that that’s not always the case for most people. So I’m always grateful.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:08:47] Well, thank you very much. It was a lot here, man. This guy grew up in legitimately in the hood and has made it out and it’s just really made some huge changes and is frankly an impressive guy at this point. I mean, he’s just done a ton and never really looked back.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:09:06] What’s interesting is when he talked about the Hill district in Pittsburgh, I’d never put two and two together, but I don’t, I mean this might be before your time Jordan, but back in the 80s it was an amazing TV show called Hill Street Blues, and that was about the Hill District in Pittsburgh. They put an entire cop show around how terrible that area in Pittsburgh was. And it blew my mind when it dawned on me, “Oh, that’s where he grew up. Oh, my God, that is terrible.” Because if you ever watched that show, which was a fantastic show, it really kind of drives home. How crappy it was, where he was.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:09:38] Well, my mom used to love that show and I remember there’s a guy who was in that show. He’s basically looked the same since 1984 and he’s that cop with a mustache. And it’s like his only role. Yeah. His name is Dennis Franz and he’s basically in NYPD Blue and he’s a detective in everything. Always. Yeah, and you know you can say one trick pony, but I’ll tell you, if you’re going to be a salty streetwise cop, that’s a good trick to have as an actor. I guess, so yeah. I always thought Hill Street was Hill Street Blues since I was so little. I just figured when I moved to L.A., it took place in L.A. because that’s where the cap shop is in L.A., right on Hill Street.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:10:24] No, I think you’re thinking of Rampart in L.A., but I mean when were you born?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:10:29] 80.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:10:30] Okay. So no, there’s no way you could have watched this because the show was on from like 83 to 87. There’s no way you can remember that.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:10:36] I didn’t watch it. My mom did and I remember thinking, “When are cartoons going to come on? For crying out loud! Where’s my Scooby Doo? Good lord!”
[01:10:44] Yeah, man. Kids these days, they have it so easy. Great big thank you to Ed Latimore. We’re going to be linking up to his stuff, of course, and he’s big on Twitter. He tweets gold. There’s a tweet that will live on infominute. It basically talks about how crack heads will hustle for four days with no sleep to get a rock. Do not get out worked by a crackhead.
[01:11:04] That’s pretty good. That’s some viral stuff right there, so thank him on Twitter. We’ll have that linked up of course, and I’m also on Twitter, @jordanharbinger and tweeted me your number one takeaway here from Ed Latimore. That’ll all be linked up in the show notes, which can also be found at JordanHarbinger.com/podcast. This episode of the Jordan Harbinger Show was produced and edited by Jason DeFillippo. Jason Sanderson with us in spirit, as always. Show notes are by Robert Fogarty. Booking back office and last minute miracles and also my lunch right now by Jen Harbinger.
[01:11:36] I’m your host, Jordan Harbinger. Please do share the crap out of the show because we are rebuilding from the ground up. iTunes reviews, shoving this in your friend’s face or in their ears better, probably more, more of a strategy. It would be greatly appreciated. Sharing the show with those you love and even those you don’t. We’ve got lots of more like this in the pipeline. We’re excited to bring it to you but in the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show so you can live what you listen and we’ll see you next time.
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