Buckley Blog Bits – May 26, 2017

  • I’m not a huge fan of the UFC making a lot of interim title fights over the past year (personally, I don’t even consider the interim title to be a real title; I look at it as a number one contender label), but I do like the UFC scheduling Yoel Romero versus Robert Whittaker. However, I really would’ve preferred to see Romero fight Gegard Mousasi, but that wasn’t going to happen with Mousasi currently exploring free agency and reportedly being unhappy with the UFC’s latest contract offer.  Hopefully the UFC keeps Mousasi, and fellow free agent Souza around, otherwise both of them would be major coups for Bellator and would leave the UFC’s middleweight division looking pretty thin.
  • I love the idea of UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson defending the title against ex-bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw. With the exception of Ray Borg, Johnson has practically cleaned out the flyweight division and I think someone like Dillashaw would be a great challenge for Johnson and this really would be a superfight in my opinion, even if it’s not a champion versus champion affair.
  • I’ve been reading the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, and I’m really enjoying it.  So much so that I received the book 4 days ago and should be able to finish it tonight.  While I don’t want to give away too much in order to be fair to the author, I’ll say that this book has really shifted the way I think about people who are successful.  Furthermore, it also supports the idea that I’ve had that successful people really aren’t that much better than the rest of the population – they just had a certain skill or trait that separated them from the rest of the pack, which gave them an opportunity of which they capitalized on.  When you really think about it, anyone can be successful, it’s just a matter of finding that unique opportunity.

Buckley Blog Bits – May 22, 2017

  • You really couldn’t have scripted a better Bellator debut for Rory MacDonald. I was hardly surprised at the fact MacDonald won decisively over Paul Daley on Friday, but I’ll admit that had he lost I wouldn’t have been that surprised.  We’ve seen a few high profile free agents join Bellator and then be underwhelming in their debut, but that certainly wasn’t the case for MacDonald.  As I stated last week, I’d really prefer to see him face Douglas Lima instead of Lorenz Larkin for the title in the next few months because that matchup intrigues me more than a showdown between two former UFC welterweights.
  • It’s time for Bellator to crown a new heavyweight champion. Cheick Kongo became the winniest heavyweight in Bellator history on Friday (he’s gone 9-2 in Bellator), and I think it’s time that Bellator finally finds someone to face him for the vacant heavyweight title.  As I said last week, I’m in favor of seeing the winner of Fedor Emelianenko/Matt Mitrione face him for the vacant title.  But if Bellator ever decided to go another route, because they are signing a lot of aging legends lately, I’d be somewhat okay with seeing Bellator bring in Mirko Cro Cop to fight Kongo for the heavyweight title.  As bizarre as this might sound at first, Cro Cop could make sense because he is on a 7 fight winning streak and he recently defeated one of Bellator’s poster boys King Mo Lawal back in December en route to winning the Rizin Open-Weight Grand Prix.  But otherwise, I’d prefer to see Kongo face the winner of Emelianenko/Mitrione, or maybe even face King Mo Lawal for the vacant title since Lawal did defeat Kongo in a superfight back in February 2015 and has defeated the likes of Rampage Jackson and Satoshi Ishii in heavyweight fights over the past few months, which in my opinion makes Lawal a qualified candidate to fight for the vacant Bellator heavyweight title.  Regardless, however, Bellator really needs to aim to crown a new heavyweight champion in my opinion because for a major MMA promotion to lack a heavyweight champion for as long as they have is a bit ridiculous in my opinion.
  • I commend the WWE for trying something different with Jinder Mahal as champion. I honestly have not watched the WWE regularly for a little over a year now (I still watch the pay-per-views when I have the time, since I do have a WWE Network subscription because I like the old episodes of WCW Monday Nitro and their documentaries), but I’m unsure how much I like putting the title on Mahal right now.  It’s nothing personal against Mahal, but it’s just hard to comprehend him as champion when it was literally 6 weeks ago that he was jobbing to the likes of the Big Show, Big Cass, Cesaro, and Mojo Rawley on television and at house shows.  Had the WWE spent a few months building him up with a winning streak then I’d probably like this more than I do at the moment, but I’m curious to see where they go with this.
  • I finally started my book project.  For at least for a couple of years, I’ve wanted to write a psychology book based on my life experiences and my interpretations of what I’ve learned over the course of my studies.  I’d like to publish it before 2019, so I’m under a bit of a time crunch, but I look forward to writing it and really getting my message out there.

Buckley Blog Bits – May 18, 2017

I’m going to cover a little bit of psychology and a little bit of MMA in today’s edition.  I’ll start with the psychology part first.

Work/Life Balance

I prefer to keep my work life separate from my home life, so I enjoy having a quality work/life balance.  So much so that whenever I’ve received a promotion at work, I’ve always made it clear to my employer that having time away from the office is a must for me.  This isn’t because of a lack of love for my job, but rather it’s because I recognize that I need adequate time to recharge my mental batteries to ensure that I’m able to perform my best on a daily basis.  Plus…I tend to be a bit of a workaholic if given the opportunity, so I like to make it clear that once I leave the office every night that I’m turning work “off” until I come back the next morning.

Whether you’re a segmenter (someone who sets clear boundaries between work and home) or an integrator (someone who combines the two), it’s important to find the style that works best for you.  While there’s no “right” way to be, I prefer segmentation for the reasons stated above.  But I do happily integrate the two when the situation calls for it, but I try to keep that to a minimum.

Bellator 179

The winner of tomorrow night’s Rory MacDonald/Paul Daley fight is slated to take on the winner of Douglas Lima/Lorenz Larkin later this year.  Personally, I’d really rather see Rory MacDonald versus Douglas Lima at some point rather than some combination of a rematch of Douglas Lima/Paul Daley, Lorenz Larkin/Rory MacDonald, or Lorenz Larkin/Paul Daley.  Sometimes it’s hard to decipher how good a non-UFC fighter really is, but I think that a matchup between Lima and MacDonald would give great insight to how good Lima really is.  Even with his UFC departure, MacDonald is viewed as a top five welterweight, and Larkin is viewed at least as a top 15.  A win over Larkin for Lima, and then a showdown with MacDonald would really allow the MMA community to get a better idea of how talented Bellator’s welterweight division is in relation to the UFC’s welterweight division.

So ultimately, I’m cheering for Rory MacDonald to beat Paul Daley.  Not only for the reasons I stated above, but also because I’m a fan of MacDonald’s and I’m eager to see how he does for Bellator.

In the co-main event of Liam McGeary/Linton Vassell, I’m hoping to see Vassell win.  I’ve never been completely sold on McGeary, even if he did have a title reign as Bellator’s light heavyweight champion, so I think Vassell pulls off the win here.  I’m unsure of what’s next for the winner of this fight, whether it’s facing the winner of Phil Davis/Ryan Bader for the light heavyweight title at a later date or facing King Mo Lawal in a number one contender matchup, but I’d like to see Vassell win here.

I think Cheick Kongo defeats Augusto Sakai to continue his “reign” as the unofficial Bellator heavyweight champion (or at least in my mind he is, since Bellator took the title away from Vitaly Minakov last year due to a lack of title defenses).  I’d really like to see Kongo fight for the vacant title at some point, possibly against the winner of Fedor Emelianenko/Matt Mitrione, because I think it’s a tad ridiculous that Bellator hasn’t crowned a new heavyweight champion after stripping Minakov of the title after not defending the title since April 2014.

Finally, I hate how Bellator puts some of these international cards on tape delay.  I would much rather have the option of seeing this card live as it happens, even if that means I’d have to possibly duck out of work early to catch it live.  I know that I can avoid the internet and social media to avoid spoilers before I watch, but I’d just rather know that I’m watching the fight unfold live and spontaneously in front of me.

Buckley Blog Bits – May 9, 2017

I was reading some articles on Psychology Today this morning, as well as making some more progress on the psychology book I’m hoping to publish in late 2018, and wanted to share some of my thoughts.

  • I’ve always felt that helping others with their problems, or even simply just talking about similar problems with one another, helps you because it helps you realize that you’re not alone with your problems and anxiety. Plus it facilitates discussion between you and another person, and gives you an opportunity to brainstorm and strategize while coming up with new coping strategies.
  • When you’re faced with adversity, remember that it actually comes with several benefits:
    • Adversity builds resiliency in you
    • Adversity prepares you to achieve your goals
    • Adversity helps you keep things in perspective
    • Adversity gives you an opportunity to learn.
  • Remember that in every negative experience, there’s a positive lesson to be learned. Sometimes it’s not always obvious, and sometimes it’s up to you to dig deep to find it, but it is in there somewhere.

It sounds cliché, but you’re really not alone with your anxiety and adversity.  Everyone experiences both at some point.  The difference is in how you react and perceive it.

I Was Overthinking about Overthinking…

I feel like I overthink things sometimes.  Some friends would tell you I overthink things a lot, maybe even most of the time.  Personally, I think it’s more a case where I like to see things from various perspectives because I’m an open-minded person.  But it got me thinking (maybe even, overthinking?) about the topic of overthinking.  So I decided to take a look at what causes us to overthink.

From what I’ve gathered, there’s three main reasons why we overthink things.  The first is a lack of confidence, which causes us to second guess ourselves.  When you’re confident in your ability to do something, your thinking becomes rather automatic and you don’t overthink something before doing it.  Quite frankly, you probably barely think at all in these cases.  But when you lack confidence, it causes you to really second guess yourself, which leads to overthinking something which might actually be pretty basic.

The second reason we overthink is due to a lack of experience.   Experience makes you more mature, and consequently makes you more confident.  As you gain more experience and confidence, your “need” to overthink things becomes greatly reduced.

The third reason that we overthink is due to the desire to be perfect.  Perfectionism is just a waste of time, because it’s impossible to be perfect.  It’s inevitable that things will not always go our way.   You could try to argue with me that a pro boxer, such as former super middleweight and light heavyweight champion Joe Calzaghe who retired with a record of 46-0 was perfect.  However, upon further examination he wasn’t (for the record, I was a Calzaghe fan, so I’m not picking on him).  It’s not as if we won every single round he fought.  It’s also not as if he didn’t taste defeat at some point in his career, because he did reportedly lose 10 amateur fights before he turned professional.  No matter what it looks like on the surface, no one is perfect.  So stop trying to be.

So in the end, remember this.  The first key to breaking your overthinking habit (which is, just a habit, which like all habits can be broken through practicing new habits) is to gain experience.  It’s normal to feel anxiety and a lack of confidence when trying something new, but take the risk of trying something new without torturing yourself with overthinking.  It’s a waste of time and mental energy.  With that newfound experience comes newfound confidence, which will lead you to reduce the amount of time spent overthinking.

Buckley Blog Bits – March 17, 2017

  • I attended Colin Doyle’s jersey retirement ceremony in Toronto last Saturday. I’m sure a lot of you who read this aren’t super familiar with Colin Doyle since lacrosse isn’t exactly a mainstream sport, but I really enjoyed the ceremony.  I grew up watching Colin Doyle lead the Toronto Rock to championship after championship during the dynasty days of the 2000s, so for me it was really cool getting to see a ceremony of this nature for an athlete that I was not only fortunate to see play, but also legitimately be a fan of during his prime.  I thought the ceremony was very well done, with Doyle and Rock owner Jamie Dawick giving credit to the previous ownership group.  While I would’ve liked to have seen Bob Watson, the former Toronto Rock goaltender that had his number retired back in 2012, be on the field for the ceremony as to welcome Doyle to the jersey number retirement club, I can respect his wishes not to be as to not take away from Doyle’s night.  Overall, it was a great night and it was capped off by a great victory for the Toronto Rock.
  • I’m attending tomorrow night’s World Series of Fighting event in New York. I’ve been to several MMA events over the years, but I’ve never had the chance to attend a WSOF event before, and with three title fights on the card you can be sure that I’m pretty excited for it.  While I think the WSOF is a distant third behind Bellator and the UFC, live MMA events are always a fun time, and there are some pretty solid fights on the card tomorrow.  Of note, I’m really eager for the Lance Palmer vs. Andre Harrison fight for the featherweight title, as well as the Blagoy Ivanov vs. Shawn Jordan for the heavyweight title.
  • I’m about to finish the book Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg. I’ve really enjoyed this book more than I enjoyed his other book The Power of Habit.  I’ve just enjoyed reading his perspective and accounts of what motivates us, managing others, goal setting, and being innovative.  It’s a great read and if you have a chance I really suggest picking up a copy.

Buckley Blog Bits – March 15, 2017

Today’s articles that I read on Psychology Today pertained to humor in the workplace, and why we shouldn’t fear failure.  I’ll start with the article that discussed humor in the workplace (link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201703/cracking-joke-work-can-have-surprising-payoff ).

I hadn’t really given much thought to humor in the workplace before reading this article, nor had I thought about how it can help to elevate your status within the organization.  I once had a supervisor several years ago comment on how he appreciated my ability to “bust his chops” on occasion and that it brought positive energy to the department, so I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised that it doesn’t hurt to bring some humor to the workplace.

Personally, while I wouldn’t exactly promote or retain someone at my organization simply because of their ability to be humorous, I might be more likely to retain or promote them if they can demonstrate an ability to bring a positive energy to the workplace in addition to their quality skillset.

In my own work experiences, I’m only sarcastic or humorous with co-workers who have previously established that sort of communication style or relationship with me.  Personally, I think that humor in the workplace is just like humor anywhere else in life: there’s a time and place for it, so just exercise good caution when engaging in it.

In the second article (link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/contemporary-psychoanalysis-in-action/201703/why-we-shouldn-t-fear-failure ), the author describes failure as “just bumps on the road to success.”  I recently accepted a promotion at work, and before I started my new boss told me “I expect you to fail at some point, but I won’t let you drown.”  There was a point in time where his remark would’ve pissed me off because I wouldn’t have understood why he expected me to fail, nor would I have understood why he would have promoted me if he felt that way.  But now I understand more how failure really is just a bump on the road to success.  It’s normal to “fail” or simply not be as successful as you want or expected to be the first time you try something.

But you can’t let the negative consequences of failure, such as losing the desire to try new things, to weigh you down.  The fear of failure can be pretty paralyzing, so that’s why it’s important to have the mindset that failure often leads to success because it allows you to learn what you need to learn along the way.

As Duke Roufus, the renowned MMA coach said on an episode of The Evolution of Punk, “if you’re not winning, you’re learning.”  In the end, it’s your resiliency and ability to persevere that determines how successful you’ll ultimately be.