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Use Em, Abuse Em & Lose Em: A Zero Sum Game

The origin of this is right after my dad died, my mom was going through a lot. The doctor’s office that my dad had helped open, I guess, didn’t support my mom as much as maybe she would have liked. Her friends followed suit, where everyone was really sad when my dad died, but then as time progressed, they had their own problems and their own life. So my mom kind of got left in the dust.

So Use Em, Abuse Em & Lose Em, she felt like her friends, when my dad was alive, used them and abused them, and then once my dad died, lost her. When everything was good, she had friends, but then when everything went bad, she had nobody. That’s where the story comes from.

This could mean Use Em, Abuse Em & Lose Em in a negative way. But the situation that my mom was in, she was preparing me for life. Because as the subtitle says, it’s a zero sum game.

In life, it is a zero sum game. There’s either a winner or a loser. It doesn’t tie. You’re not going to get a trophy if you lose, if you don’t work hard. If you just succumb to bullshit in life, then you’re going to lose them. That’s what my mom was preparing me for later. Use Em, Abuse Em & Lose Em, and be careful, and understand whether you’re going to lose or you’re going to win.

If You’re Going To Lose: does not understand or evaluate the environment they’re in, they hesitate on opportunity, they burn vital bridges, and they allow emotions to dictate action.

Does not understand or evaluate the environment they’re in.

A person that’s prone to losing, that didn’t learn the lesson my mom learned or was trying to teach me, doesn’t understand what tools to bring to be prepared in the environment they’re headed in. To use as an analogy, it’s like being in the desert with snow gear and being in the snow with desert gear. You went into that environment without evaluating the environment that you were getting yourself into.

If you want to lose and you want to lose fast, jump into a business or jump into a relationship that you do not understand, or move to a city and act one particular way in a city where it’s not socially acceptable, and see what happens. It’s not going to turn out well for you. As a loser, the loser is going to do that. They’re not going to understand the difference in the environments that they’re in.

Perfect example. When I was in these different programs, I didn’t understand or evaluate the environment I was in when I got out of the programs and was given money. I didn’t understand that it was very difficult to make money. I did not understand that the rest of the world did not have a lot of money.

I didn’t evaluate the situation and actually ask questions like, “Well, how much money do you have in your bank account?” Because if they were like, “I have $10.” “$10 to your name? “Yes. That’s all I have.” Then maybe I would have evaluated life a little different. If they had $10, I have 300,000, we should probably not be best friends, (it would create a codependent relationship) because everything’s going to be on me. They don’t have any money. Sum the story up, I went broke. I did not understand, and I did not evaluate the environment I was in.

Hesitates on opportunity.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. If you’re going to be a minus and you’re going to lose, you’re going to hesitate on opportunities. This doesn’t have anything to do with my history, but a great verse out of the Viking series is when Ragnar talks to his friend, the Pope or the Christian guy, and he’s teaching him how to fight. He says, “Never hesitate.” Or a better story would have been when Ragnar’s son is fighting with his uncle, and his uncle’s teaching him how to fight, and he said, “Never hesitate.” Hesitation will get you killed. It did back in the olden days when you’re fighting with swords, and it does today.

Hesitation is that quick little sense in the back of your mind that says, “Well, I don’t know.” Then you’re like, “Well, what did you say?” And you start listening to that hesitation. Then before you know it, the train has already passed. Then you look at your life and you’re like, “Well, what happened?” You hesitated. I’m not saying act impulsively, but don’t hesitate on an opportunity.

Let me think of a great opportunity. I wanted to use this house as not hesitating on an opportunity, but I’m 37, and we’re talking about when I was 10 to 22. So hesitate on opportunity.

We talked about it before, a couple chapters back, where I was discussing hesitating or not making a good decision about investing in Apple. Well, that’s hesitating on an opportunity, a great opportunity. The opportunity passed, and I’m suffering the consequences from it. I’m not a multi-multi millionaire on something I would have done years ago. But I hesitated on an opportunity, and I blew the money.

Burns vital bridges.

This is key. A person who doesn’t understand Use Em, Abuse Em & Lose Em will burn vital bridges and not even understand that they’re losing them. What do I mean by a vital bridge? A vital bridge is your life line, your life support. A person who goes out of their way to help you is a vital bridge. A vital bridge does not necessarily mean your family, because your family might not directly be trying to help you. A vital bridge is when you slap the hand that feeds you.

If someone’s trying to teach you a skill, and you just are not susceptible, and you are just hardheaded, that’s burning … Well, it’s hesitating on opportunity, right? But it’s also burning that bridge, because the person that’s trying to teach you something, if you spit in their face too many times, they’re just going to say, “To hell with it. I’m done.” 

Burning a vital bridge. Throughout the time of those 12 years, mostly when I got out, I burned two major vital bridges that could have been my lifeline, and to this day, would have been grand opportunities for me to have.

First vital bridge I broke when I was younger. My friend’s mom, she had me work the Halloween party. This is in Woodside, California, so it’s around affluent people. I did not understand or evaluate the environment I was in right.

First year, I worked like a charm. Everything was great. Got a couple hundred dollars in tips. I was 19 and just going broke, or 19, 20, however, 18, I don’t remember how old I was. I was out of the program, but I went broke. I was already broke. Life was not working very well for me.

First year, I was with my girlfriend. If you read the story, then you’ll understand what I’m talking about. She went with me. Everything was a charm. She was with the kids. I was with the adults. We worked magic.

Well, year number two, me and that girlfriend, we’re not on best of terms. So I went to the party by myself. I had a problem with drinking at the time and got drunk. In that time, I was also living in a completely different environment. I was living on the other side of the freeway, where it was more rough and stuff Afro puff. And I was in an environment with a lot of rich people. Now, I got drunk and wanted to fight everybody. I Did not understand or evaluate the environment that I was in. I blew an opportunity, which is to burn a vital bridge.

Now, the other story, don’t have enough time to get into. I apologize. 

Allows emotions to dictate action.

This is very dangerous. If you want to lose and you want to lose fast, allow your emotions to dictate your actions, opposed to common sense or wisdom or being patient. If you allow your emotion to dictate your action, then you are blind to what you are doing. If you are angry when you do something, when you’re no longer angry, you might regret it. If you are sad, and you make an emotional decision, you might do something that later you might regret.

Perfect example of allowing emotions to dictate my action was when I wrote the letter to my aunt. The program, put me in an emotional sense or a state where I was writing emotionally. I was allowing my emotions to write, not my mentality, not my intellect. I was allowing my emotions to write. So when I was writing, I was writing very emotionally, not just for me, but also for the other person that would be receiving my emotions. Does that make sense?

When you make actions based off of emotions, those emotions are then transformed or projected onto a different person. If you have the happy emotion, and that happy emotion dictates your action, then you’re going to be radiating happiness. But if your anger is dictating your emotions, then you’re going to be radiating anger. That’s what I’m saying. This is very important that you get in control of your emotions.

In certain situations, losing control of emotions is a good thing. Having a baby, allowing your emotions of joy to radiate is great. It fits the time and the place. However, if you’re allowing your emotions to dictate your actions in a negative manner, nothing good will come out of it. Nothing.

Emotions to dictate action. Let me think. A great story that comes where I allowed my emotions to dictate my action. We mentioned it a little bit in the book, but I’ll mention it again here. When I was in Mexico, I was doing really well. Then they took the resident leader away from me, so they took my power away from me.

I was in an argument with my counselor. I allowed my emotions to dictate my action, because I yelled and I screamed at him, and I told him it did not matter whatever he was going to do to me. I got up from our argument. I went over to the board, and I erased my number, and I dropped my number. I think I was a three and I dropped it to a two. I took my watch off. I took everything off. I took my belt off. I went to the solutions room, and sat down, and told him, “What are you going to do now?”

I allowed my emotions to dictate my actions. Not always the smartest thing that you can do, because when you’re no longer emotional, then you’re trapped in jail. But while you’re emotional, it made logical sense to go drop myself. All my progression, all the hard work that I worked for, it made sense, when I was emotional, to take it, erase it and drop it, and then put myself in punishment. It made perfect sense at the time. But when I was no longer allowing my emotion to dictate my action, where was I? Not in a good place.

That’s how, if you want to lose; don’t understand or evaluate the environment you’re in, hesitate on great opportunities, burn vital bridges, and allow emotions to dictate your actions.


If You Want To Use Em, Abuse Em & Lose Em In A Positive Manner this is what you need to do. Take time to fully understand and evaluate the environment you are in, seizes opportunity at every chance, destroys opponents and disassembles useless bridges, keeps emotions hidden, understands the power of manipulating his own feelings and emotions. 

Takes time to fully understand and evaluate the environment they’re in.

We’ll go back to Aspen. That very first night, I was nervous, I was scared, but when I woke up, and I looked around, and I realized I was where? In Aspen. What time was it? At that very point in time. I was where I was, and there was nothing else I could do about it. So I had to accept where I was.

What did I do? I took the time to pay attention to my surroundings, see who was the leader of the group, watch how the group worked together, watch the staff, how they interacted with each other. I evaluated the situation or the environment that I was in. Then I was able to plan how I was going to take it over.

If you remember in the story, I didn’t take over it all the way. I made it to the second highest level. Eagle With Honors was the highest level. I made it to Eagle. But it started from paying attention to the environment that I was in, understanding it, evaluating it, and then having a plan. 

If you also read the book, another circumstance where my family and I were arguing, and they said I manipulated an entire program. How did I do that? I took the time when we first got there to CEDU Accent.

I don’t like being yelled at. If I can help it, I don’t really like being in trouble. I seemed to be in trouble a lot when I was younger, but I didn’t particularly like it. So I try to avoid it when I could.

So when we first got there, and I’m hearing the yelling and the screaming, and man, just hell on earth, I took the time to understand what hell on earth was. I evaluated how the staff interacted with the kids. I watched how the kids interacted with the staff. I saw who was the staff who you needed to befriend, who was the staff to avoid at all costs. I took time to understand where I was, and then I evaluated the environment. So by the end of it, I became like the staff. So I was telling the kids where to go. I could yell at the kids.

Seizes opportunity at every chance.

Opportunity comes and goes in a blink of an eye, in a blink of an eye. Yesterday, the opportunity was here. Today, the opportunity is gone. If you understand the financial markets, then you truly understand how fast an opportunity can present itself and disappear. I’m talking milliseconds.

If you want to be in the plus category, then you have to understand the importance of being open to opportunities. You need to be able to evaluate an opportunity at a split second, and then seize it if it’s good, or reject it if it’s bad.

Now, I’m not saying act on impulse, because I understand you can be like, “Well, Erik was like, ‘I got to seize it fast. I got to evaluate fast and make an impulsive decision right this second.'” I did not say that. I’m saying you need to seize the opportunity. You need to be able to evaluate situations or environments that you’re in at a split second, yes. But I did not say impulsively. I said seize the opportunity and evaluate. Impulsively, you’re not evaluating. You haven’t trained your brain in order to recognize a situation or recognize an opportunity.

If you’re a novice, you’re not going to seize the opportunity at every chance. It’s nearly impossible. You just don’t know enough. By seizing the opportunity at every chance, you have to increase your personal intellect. The more you know, the more opportunities will present themselves to you.

If all you know is one subject … If all you know is, let’s say, farming … You’ve been a farmer since your grand pappy was a farmer, your great grand pappy was a farmer. It’s been farming in your blood since the beginning of time. You’ve been farming corn.

Now, if that’s all you know, then the only opportunities that are going to present themselves are opportunities that have to do with corn, because you’re not trained to see any different opportunity.

But if that great, great, great, great, great, great grandson started to read some books, “You know what? We can turn this corn into liquor,” by reading a couple books. Lo and behold, they turn into Jim Beam, or they turn into Jack Daniels, because they seized the opportunity. They paid attention to the news. They paid attention to what’s going on. They looked at what they had. They brainstormed, and they created something more.

They wouldn’t be able to do that if they were shut off and they did not understand that opportunities only present themselves if you are in the know. If you do not know anything, then you will not be presented with any opportunities. They only present themselves to the people who see them.

Destroys opponents and disassembles useless bridges.

When I say destroys opponents, this is more of an internal opponent. Now, there are external opponents that you need to destroy, but it’s an internal opponent, something that’s in your way, something that is not allowing you to be in that plus portion of this. It’s keeping you in the minus of Use Em, Abuse Em & Lose Em.

You keep getting used, abused and lost in your life, because you’re not destroying your opponents. I didn’t say it’s the government or it’s whatever else you want to blame. It’s your opponents internally that you need to destroy, laziness, procrastination, sloth, just repeating the 10 deadly sins. Lust, greed, whatever, name them all. I can’t think of them all. I don’t know them all.

However, you have to abide by that in destroying those. If you don’t destroy them, then they’re always going to linger. And then it’s going to bite you in the ass down the road.

Disassembles useless bridges. Now, on the last one, we were talking about a person that lives in the minus. They destroy bridges, vital bridges. Now over here on the + side, we disassemble useless bridges.

In the military, they have bridges that they can put together and then take apart and move, and put together and take apart and move, and put together and take apart and move. They’re disassembling useless bridges so that they can use that bridge somewhere else.

When they’re doing this, and what you need to do in your life is don’t destroy the bridge, because if you destroy it, then you might need to go back across it. But if it’s destroyed, there’s no way going back. If you disassemble it, you can always put it back together. But if you blow it up, it’s gone. It’s gone.

It takes a lot of energy to have to recreate a bridge that was there, that you destroyed, opposed just putting it back together. It’s called rekindling a relationship that just sizzled out.

The difference is this. When you disassemble a bridge, you just go your separate ways. The other person went their separate way. That means 10 years from now, you might rekindle and see each other, and then put that bridge back together. You might find some great opportunity. But if you burn that bridge and destroy it, then the next interaction you guys have, it won’t be there. Does that make sense?

Keeps emotions hidden, understands the power of manipulating his own feelings and emotions.

If you want to live in the minus, you allow your emotions to dictate your actions, remember? But if you want to live in this plus, you understand how to control and hide your emotions.

The importance of this is there are people in this world who will do things just to see how it’s going to affect you. If you don’t understand this, and you allow your emotions to be affected when someone is pushing your buttons, or when someone is manipulating you, then you no longer have control of yourself, and that other person is now controlling you, because you allowed your emotions to control you. But if you keep those emotions hidden, so when somebody is antagonizing you, but you don’t allow them to see it, then you are retaining the power on which they are trying to seize from you.

Now, understanding the power of manipulating yourself. Okay. How did I deal with the loss of my parents better than most? If you read the story, people hated me for it. Probably people still do. I was able to manipulate myself, my feelings and my emotions. A lot of people might say, “Well, that’s not a healthy thing to do.” Opposed to what? Breaking down? No.

See, I didn’t have the opportunity to break down. I had to move forward. I had no option. I had no allies. I was on my own. So the only way I could survive is I had to manipulate my feelings and my emotions. The way I did that is I just convinced myself my parents were gone on a trip, and I’d see them later, and I focused on something else.

The truth of manipulating yourself is, whatever’s bothering you, if it’s a breakup, if it’s your financial problems, don’t focus on the problem. You have to manipulate yourself to see that problem as a solution.

That sounds crazy. Yes, I know. So does believing in God, believing in something that you’ve never seen before. It’s kind of like faith. It’s no more ridiculous to have faith than it is to be able to manipulate your feelings and emotions in a positive manner for the betterment of yourself.

A person who lives in the plus, who understands, use Em, Abuse Em & Lose Em in a positive manner, takes time to fully understand and evaluate the environment they’re in, seizes every opportunity at every chance, destroys opponents. But you mean inner opponents, right? Our inner demons. And disassembles useless bridges.

In life, we all move forward. If a bridge is useless, disassemble it. You can always put it back together, but don’t drag a relationship on for no reason.

Keeps emotions hidden. Unless you are willing to give your power and control to somebody else, do not show them your emotions. It’s the same don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Well, don’t let other people see your emotions unless it’s something as in a wedding, a marriage, a death, something that’s extreme, where emotion is accepted, is expected. Other than that, keep your emotions hidden. Don’t tell anybody.

That’s with understanding the power of manipulating your own feelings and your own emotions. Because again, if you were paying attention to a couple chapters ago, you can only control two things. Your what? Attitude and action.

If you want to control your attitude and action, you need to understand how to manipulate your feelings and your emotions. Not persuade. It’s not about persuading. It’s manipulating. You need to shift your thinking and the way that you want it to think. I didn’t say manipulate other people. I said manipulate yourself. Shift your thinking to which is most optimal and most efficient to get whatever it is that you need to get done, and go out there and do it.

Table Of Contents

  1. Live In The Here And Now
  2. Walk With A Purpose
  3. All You Need Is 2 Dollars
  4. A Man Can’t Be A Man Without A Plan
  5. Does It Hurt Yet
  6. Be Careful When You Are Using Someone That Person Could Be Using You
  7. Use Em, Abuse Em & Lose Em: A Zero Sum Game
  8. Picking your own shit
  9. I hate people – people are stuupid
  10. I stay ready It keeps me from having to get ready
  11. Be Selfish
  12. Either You Do Or You Don’t

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