I like to tell people that I’ve lived four different lives and from each of these lives, I’ve learned something that’s helped me become who I am today.
In my first life, I was born and raised in the public housing projects of Pittsburgh, PA. Though I knew both my parents, I didn’t live with them. I was raised solely by my mom. I have memories of my dad, but it’s safe to say that I received nothing in the way of masculine guidance.
Growing up poor and in public housing projects was stressful and dangerous. I fought a lot, suffered physical abuse, observed a lot of violence, and even saw someone get killed once. I survived by spending most of my free time reading and playing video games. However, I also learned how to make friends with the right people without getting drawn into activities that would put me in danger.
The major lesson from my first life was “Never underestimate the power of being likeable and controlling your emotions.”
The experiences here largely shaped my emotional approach to life. I believe that nothing bad comes from being likeable and nothing good comes from losing control of your emotions. This philosophy would serve me well but it was tested in my next life.
In my second life, I learned just how bad my first life was. Until I was 14, I lived in the projects and I went to school with other people from the same environment. When I got to high school, I got around different people from a different type of life. It was here that I’d meet my best friends and get exposed to people whose kindness would change my life.
When I graduated from high school, this was the part of my life where my problems started to show and I was almost consumed by the dark side of my personality.
I became resentful at my mom for the life I had growing up. This directly led to a lot of problems I had with alcohol. I was always broke and, with the exception of my amateur boxing career, making no progress in my life. In fact, I was going backwards in many ways. My drinking and my behavior while drinking was costing me jobs and relationships.
The major lesson from my second life was “No one cares what happened to you or what you’ve been through. No one is coming to save you.”
This isn’t selfish. This is just part of life. Rather than be punished by it, I chose to use it to my advantage. This brings me to the third life I lived.
In my third life, I was full of a different type of anger. I was angry for all the time I wasted living a life of mediocrity. Instead of chasing respect, I chased attention. Instead of focusing on accomplishment, I focused on distraction. Instead of committing to long-term plans, I committed to short-term fixes.
I looked in the mirror, admitted to myself that I was a loser who was only chasing the low-hanging fruit in life. Once I did that, I could make big changes in my life.
2013 was the year it all started. On January 4th, I enlisted in the military so I could start building employable skills and get money for college. On January 26th, I had my professional boxing debut. On June 4th, I shipped out to basic training, which got me away from alcohol for 5 months and led me to make the decision to become sober on Dec 23rd. I took my first college class in January 2014.
Now I could make serious changes. It wasn’t easy, but by 2018, I graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in Physics and learned how to make a 6-figure income on the internet. I wrote and self-published my first book. I went from a kid who struggled with mathematics in high school to a private tutor helping high schoolers prepare for AP physics and calculus exams.
The major lesson from my third life was “The most powerful belief you can have is that given enough time, you can learn anything. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but Hiroshima was wiped out in seconds.”
I made small progress everyday during this 5 year period, but it paid off. I challenged myself, what I was capable of, and there were even moments I thought I wasn’t going to pull it off. I failed classes, lost my first professional fight, and was even poor again. But I stayed the course, remained patient, and never even entertained the idea of giving up.
Now I’m living my 4th life, and it probably won’t be my last. I have a website that gets over 50k visitors per month. I make a living from my writing, and I’ve been sober since December 23rd, 2013. Now I teach people what I learned the hard way so they can live a better life themselves.
The major lesson from this life I’m living now is “A limitation is only as powerful as the energy you give to it. Your dreams also follow this same law.”
Get on the email list
Are you getting all you want out of life? If not, sign up for my free newsletter for regular self-improvement content.
Published on the Art of Charm blog
Appeared on Farnam Street’s Knowledge Project podcast
“Latimore is part of a wave reinventing the modern masculine male”
Participated in Google Pittsburgh fireside chat about entrepreneurship
Appeared on the Art of Manliness podcast