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.
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Buckley Blog Bits – August 22, 2016

I was doing some reading over the weekend (big surprise there), so I’d like to share some of my thoughts on what I was reading, along with some quick thoughts on UFC 202 and WWE SummerSlam, and of course the Jays series with the Indians.

  • The first book I read some of was The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris. I’m only partway through the book, but I really enjoy reading his perspective on confidence and how we seem to fall into a trap when it comes to obtaining confidence.  He does a great job of reiterating how confidence comes from experience, and how even if we have confidence it’s still very normal to feel nervous.  In addition, his take on how you should view thoughts as “helpful” and “unhelpful” instead of “positive” or “negative” is pretty intriguing.  It wasn’t until I read this book that I really thought about how negative thoughts can actually be helpful under the right circumstances because they make you ask yourself further probing questions.  I’m looking forward to finishing this book, as it’s already made a pretty big difference with my mindset, which I think really helped me out with setting a new personal best score while I played park golf (it’s a Japanese game, but there’s a course nearby) yesterday.
  • The second book I’m in the midst of reading is called The Fighter’s Mind by Sam Sheridan. I only had a chance to read the first chapter over the weekend, but Sheridan discusses an interview with 1972 Olympic gold medalist Dan Gable (one of the greatest wrestlers in history) and during the interview, Gable said something interesting that I have always felt.  He discussed how no matter how well you’re performing, or what the “gold standard” (my words, not his) is, there is always another, greater level that you can achieve.  Personally, I agree.  Regardless of how I’ve performed a task, I’ve always felt that I could’ve done “a little bit better.”
  • If I can combine my two “book reviews” here, it seems like it’s important to acknowledge how you can always achieve better, but to avoid being too harsh on yourself along the way. It’s good to be a realist and take accurate assessments of yourself, but not to the point to where you’re killing your self-esteem and self-acceptance and making yourself miserable in the process.
  • I enjoyed the main event of UFC 202 over the weekend. I’m not sure if I’d label it an “instant classic” like some of the media have, but it certainly was an enjoyable fight to watch.  I had McGregor winning it 48-47 (I wouldn’t have argued it if someone scored it 48-47 for Diaz since the second round could be seen as a little ambiguous, but I was surprised by one judge scoring the third round 10-8 for Diaz), and was very surprised at the way McGregor rebounded in the fourth round when it looked like he was set to gas out.  I wasn’t a big fan of the immediate rematch between these two, but it was a fun fight to watch so I’m happy they went through with it.  But I’m not super eager to see part three of the trilogy quite yet, so I hope that they put that off for a year or so and let the two fighters return to their natural weight classes for a little while.
  • Meanwhile, I feel like I’m one of the only people who enjoyed WWE SummerSlam as a whole last night. Mind you, it felt like the show sucked after the A.J. Styles/John Cena match, but I think that’s cause that match might’ve been too early in the card (to be honest, the match order really puzzled me…I know it’s “fake” but why would you have a United States title match on the card after the two upper-tier title matches?).  Furthermore, I didn’t have much of an issue with Brock Lesnar winning via TKO over Randy Orton, but the sequence of events just seemed weird.  It felt almost as if some sort of an audible was called on the spot due to Orton bleeding (I’m convinced he didn’t blade).  It does kinda annoy me though when wrestling fans complain about the particular finish of a match, however, without waiting to see how the story unfolds after the fact.
  • The Jays series in Cleveland was fun to follow. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch Friday’s game (I saw the obligatory highlight of the walk-off inside-the-park homer and immediately thought about how angry I’d be at that moment had I driven all the way to Cleveland to watch a loss like that…) but have to say that even though the Jays lost two out of three, all three games were pretty closely contested and that a playoff series between the Jays and Indians would be fun.
  • I don’t have an issue with the Jays sending Aaron Sanchez down to the minors for ten days since he was going to skip a start anyways, but I kinda would’ve preferred they call up a bench player rather than another reliever. However, I do understand calling Loup up since they needed another lefty in the bullpen, and Loup has done very well for Buffalo as of late.
  • Lastly, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but if you can’t accept the randomness that occurs during a 162-game season, then find a different sport to watch and comment on. I just cannot believe how after every Jays loss I have to read comments like “good teams don’t allow this to happen.”  “Good teams” in baseball still lose about 70 games a year.  When you think about it, a “good” team in baseball finishes with pretty much the same winning percentage as a team who finishes 9-7 or 10-6 in the NFL does, while the “bad” teams finish with the same winning percentage as an NFL team that finishes 6-10 or 7-9 does.  When you think about it, that’s a decent amount of parity.  Shit happens along the way, and baseball fans just need to accept that.

Buckley Blog Bits – August 18, 2016

Most mornings before I settle in at work, I enjoy reading an article or two on Psychology Today’s website.  So I’d like to share a pair of articles I read this morning, as well as some of my thoughts on them.

The Countryside vs. The City

Having grown up in more of a countryside setting during my youth, I read an article entitled “Is The Countryside Now More Toxic Than The City?”  Having migrated from the country setting to a more city (or at least, more suburb) setting after I finished high school, and seeing and hearing through the grapevine what’s become of a lot of my high school friends growing up, I decided to read the article.  After all, I had my own “assumptions” of sorts heading into the article based upon my own personal observations.

I do agree to an extent about the idea of the bright and motivated kids moving to the city for school and job purposes.  I know that’s a big reason of why I relocated out of the small town in the country for a more urban setting.  So I can understand why those who don’t relocate to the city can feel a lack of affiliation as their friends who they grew up with leave them behind to pursue bigger and better things.

But to be honest, I’m not sure how to articulate what the rest of this article makes me think quite yet.  But I can say that this article did, however, peak my curiosity to dig deeper and research this topic even more.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-everyone-became-depressed/201604/is-the-countryside-now-more-toxic-the-city

Single Life

Another article I took a gander at before finally setting in at work this morning was entitled “Are You Single? You’re Likely to Have a More Fulfilling Life.”  This title kinda surprised me at first, but then I thought about it, and decided to dive head first into reading the article.  After all, I have noticed a shift where it seems like a good portion of people my age are enjoying the single life.

I know I get asked a lot “how/why are you single?” The question, to be a little honest, can get a bit irritating at times.  Sure, I suppose it’s a compliment at times, and other times it seems like some sort of a put down, but regardless of that, I’ve never had a real answer to the question (I guess I’m too busy living my more fulfilling life to ponder the question).

The research finds that “living single allows them to live their best, most authentic, and most meaningful life.”  In addition, other studies show that single people value meaningful work more, have better connections to friends, family, and co-workers, and are also less likely to experience negative emotions.

I’m not that surprised by some of the findings here.  I’m not surprised that a single person is more likely to take more value in their work, and I’m also not surprised to see that they have closer relationships with others in their lives, because they have more time to invest in these aspects of their life.

I won’t lie, there were times when being single did annoy me.  But in hindsight, I think that was due to the message that society tried to tell me at the time (pretty much, “being single makes you a miserable loser” seemed to be the common theme).  But it’s really not an issue for me nowadays.  I enjoy the freedom aspect of it, and I like that I’m more free to live my life on my own terms.  For example, if I wanna get in the car and go on a short road trip somewhere (something I do rather often), I can without having to make sure it’s okay with someone else’s schedule, I can just go.

In conclusion, I’m not necessarily surprised by the findings of the research in this article (link below), but I am curious to see if this sense of fulfillment hits a “plateau” point at a certain age in life.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-new-resilience/201608/are-you-single-youre-likely-have-more-fulfilling-life