Joining us today is Armando Rivera, a stand up comedian from Rochester, NY, here to talk about life, relationships, goals, dreams, and even to share with us his biggest mistake of 2020! Tune in for a wisdom-packed chat show with one of the funniest guests we've had so far (for obvious reasons!).
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BH 123 - Better Human Feature: Armando Rivera's biggest mistake of 2020
[00:00:00] [00:00:00] Colin Stuckert: [00:00:00] All right. Who do we have here today? Name please.
[00:00:02] Armando Rivera: [00:00:02] Hey, how's it going? My name is Armando Rivera.
[00:00:04] Colin Stuckert: [00:00:04] And what's your occupation, sir?
[00:00:06] Armando Rivera: [00:00:06] I'm a standup comedian, but right now in COVID I am stay at home writer.
[00:00:12] Colin Stuckert: [00:00:12] So does COVID mean you're no longer stand up comedian?
[00:00:15] Armando Rivera: [00:00:15] No doesn't mean that exactly. That's a good point.
[00:00:19] Colin Stuckert: [00:00:19] Okay. Where is the most obvious social if people want to follow you after the show?
[00:00:22] Armando Rivera: [00:00:22] Right now my most active social is Instagram Armando Rivera comedy. I'm also on LinkedIn under the same name and stuff like that, but Instagram is the best one.
[00:00:32] Colin Stuckert: [00:00:32] Okay, great. Let's go right into a big failure or mistake.
[00:00:38] Like one big, just huge thing in your life. Did I sent you these ahead of time? So did you have a chance to think about what that one
[00:00:44] Armando Rivera: [00:00:44] thing might be? Yeah, no. It's it was pretty recent, probably like a year ago. It was stopping doing what I loved as far as creating comedy. So,
[00:00:54] Colin Stuckert: [00:00:54] what do you mean what happened with that?
[00:00:55] So this is a one big failure or mistake or like a struggle.
[00:00:59] Armando Rivera: [00:00:59] Yeah, I would, I would think it was a big mistake and a failure. I got into a new relationship and I created the excuse for myself that because I was now with a new person and we had to grow together right now. The things that I love to do had to take a back burner.
[00:01:16] When is the opposite? I mean, I took a lot of time. A way to not do the things that I love, because I was getting to a point in my, my comedic career where it was getting really hard. So it, it was almost like that, that way that your brain rationalizes to trick you to do something else, path of least resistance completely.
[00:01:37] And you're like, Oh no, no, I'm, I'm, it's still important to me. I just got to do this other thing because that's important too. Yeah. That's kind of where I ended up. It was a huge mistake and. And when I, when I was open with my partner about that, she was completely like, what, like, why would you do that? You know, like I
[00:01:59] like, you should [00:02:00] always pay attention to yourself as well. So that was a huge mistake was, was kind of making that, you know, falling into what a brain wanted to do rather than kind of fighting against it. All right. So a few
[00:02:10] Colin Stuckert: [00:02:10] questions let's unpack this quick. So question one is going to be, it got hard. How give me an example.
[00:02:17] So paint a picture also of what you were doing before. So you were doing comedy like just X, times a week, you know, you're doing this and then the hard part showed up. And then, and then you kind of did it last, like what did that look like before, when it was in your words? Easy. And then what did it look like when I start getting hard?
[00:02:32] Armando Rivera: [00:02:32] So, well, I think in the beginning it was easy. Especially when you go into something as a. As, yeah. As a beginner, you, you don't have the pre predisposition predisposition or shit, right? Yeah. So I went in, I was excited. I made sure to write everything down that came to mind. Anything that seemed like a premise.
[00:02:52]And then I got tied up into after after a few months I was, I mean, I was going in every day, dude. I was, I was the earliest. Shows you could go to an LA where like around three and you 3:00 PM like open mic, or how does that work? So I started off with open mics in the daytime, and then you'd try to call people up and book shows at at night, you'd call up local clubs and hopefully by then you've built a network.
[00:03:17] So you go, Hey man, I'm free from, from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM. What spots do you guys have available? So I would call ahead. I would be, I'd be going out. Work in material from 3:00 PM to about seven 30 and I'd call a friend just as the clubs were opening up and be like, Hey, what's going on? What's w w you know, and I would be doing that from, so basically the grind was from 3:00 PM to about 4:00 AM.
[00:03:42]Yeah. Like how many
[00:03:43] Colin Stuckert: [00:03:43] shows, like, give me, so what does that look like? You do a show, you hang out your weight, you get off the stage, hang out. You go to another place. Like, is it like eight shows in a day? I mean, what, what is that?
[00:03:52] Armando Rivera: [00:03:52] So typically if you're in LA, if you're doing good, it's a three show at night.
[00:03:58]And that's how long has a set. [00:04:00] A set can be anywhere at the, my level at the time it was between five and 10 minutes. Yep. This was kind of after the beginner stage, I was getting into that what they call a feature, which, which you can go as long as 15 minutes. And you typically go on. Sometimes there's three or four features.
[00:04:17] And sometimes there's one feature that does half hour and they go straight to a headliner who does the full hour or two hours, whatever. Right. And then you, you got to account for drop-ins and stuff like that. Like if Dave Chappelle shows up, you're like, Oh, well I'm not getting any fucking time. Right.
[00:04:30]So there's a lot of politics involved with that, but yeah, typical nights, like, like. Three shows a night. And you're working all your material before. You've been out the night before, till about 4:00 AM and it's a really long arduous process, but like you said, you get to hang out with people and, and kind of shoot the shit in between shows or, or like just before you go on set and you of it's, it's really just like a big hangout.
[00:04:55] You go on stage and you talk. But I think to your question where it got hard was. I got into the it's funny, cause I, I heard something today where the environment in which you do your art can. Either make or break your art sometimes. Now it is dependent on the singular person, right? Like I always knew that I was getting into something hard.
[00:05:19]And that most people, I mean, you know, you're a business owner and an entrepreneur, you understand that most people quit or they just don't do it. And I knew that I was doing the same thing with what I was doing with comedy, but I knew personally that I would do everything it took to make it work right now.
[00:05:37] It's something about the environment in comedy. It's one of those, like misery loves company type situations where you have a lot of drug addicts. You have a lot of people would just shit habits in general. You know, but drugs is definitely at the forefront in comedy. So you're, you know, you're dodging that stuff.
[00:05:54] It shows all the time. If you're not that type of person, right. I think where it got [00:06:00] hard was I started to play to those people. How. Instead of going instead of going it's it's important, what the customer or the audience, or what have you, whatever word you want to use, worrying about what they wanted and, and giving them an authentic me and giving them a good show and a good experience.
[00:06:23] Comics fall into this thing, especially in like the comedy underground, where you play to the comics. They call it playing to the back of the room
[00:06:30] Colin Stuckert: [00:06:30] when journalists try to write articles to impress other journalists so they can get awards. Totally.
[00:06:35] Armando Rivera: [00:06:35] Yep. Totally.
[00:06:36]It's all an amazing thing. And it sucks because I'm sure there have been plenty of, like you said, journalists creatives in my field as co comedians who were playing to comedians where some of the jokes, you know, they go over the, the crowd's head because you're like, you're, you're doing an inside joke that you told with a comedian before.
[00:06:58] And some guys just chalk it up to Oh yeah. I'm just intelligent. It's my, my, my brand of comedy. Yeah,
[00:07:04] Colin Stuckert: [00:07:04] sure. But, so where's the hard part is the hard part where the was the audience becoming less responsive. And so you were hitting like a hundred percent,
[00:07:11] Armando Rivera: [00:07:11] 100%. It felt like I was doing the same jokes and which you always have to do.
[00:07:17] You have to work your, your same salary, but I was doing the same jokes and they weren't hitting the same. I was doing them a different way. In all in all, it's just, as I changed my energy, you know, I changed, I changed a lot of things where essentially it was like changing myself and I started to chalk that up to just, Oh, it's just getting hard.
[00:07:36] This is, you know, this is the wall that every comedian hits and, and, you know, the crowd just doesn't get it when it was really like, Oh, I'm letting the environment that I'm in kind of poison my art with all these people who, with a good amount of people who probably shouldn't even be here. Yeah.
[00:07:55] Colin Stuckert: [00:07:55] How did that go from? You're doing comedy, you're enjoying it, then [00:08:00] it's getting hard. And you were like, grinding. Are you like grinding less every week? Are you like once? Are you like showing up one less day? Are you showing up like half the time? And then your, and then your relationship happens and you're like, I'm going to not go at all.
[00:08:12] What happened? What kind of timeline was
[00:08:13] Armando Rivera: [00:08:13] that? Yeah, that that's, that's almost exactly it a year into it. I'm doing it every single day. I'm going to 15 or 20 mikes a week. I'm doing yeah. Yeah. And I'm doing a, and you're waiting hours at these mics. So it's a
[00:08:28] Colin Stuckert: [00:08:28] lot of sitting around,
[00:08:29] Armando Rivera: [00:08:29] right? Yeah. 100%.
[00:08:30] Sometimes you're spending money. You got to buy a drink, right? And I, I'm not a drinker, so I'm like, all right, water, water, water. I gotta piss in between all these, you know, I don't know if that's okay for your viewers or whatever, what the
[00:08:42] Colin Stuckert: [00:08:42] word piss. Yeah. Well, you already said, I think shit. So I think we've already ruined it.
[00:08:49] I'm gonna have to create a new podcast just for you or.
[00:08:51] Armando Rivera: [00:08:51] I mean, you say you're
[00:08:51] Colin Stuckert: [00:08:51] going to adults here. We're not offended by words. Good,
[00:08:56] Armando Rivera: [00:08:56] good. I'm the same way. Good. No, Nancy's for me, that's offensive to Nancy's. Collin, are you kidding
[00:09:01] Colin Stuckert: [00:09:01] me? Come on. It's not spelled N a N C Y N a N C I E S. And so there you go.
[00:09:07]Armando Rivera: [00:09:07] So yeah, man, I was, I was doing a lot of, a lot of shows. Just chalk it up to a lot. And then it went from maybe I'll go to one last one, or maybe I'll call out a one show. Cause I didn't want to go, I had a rough micron. Right. And then I meet my she's my now wife. So I mean, I made the right call.
[00:09:25] It's just, I didn't do the right small details. Right. So yeah, eventually it became meeting someone I liked and then I
[00:09:35] Colin Stuckert: [00:09:35] stopped. You just sounds like one day it was like zero shows
[00:09:39] Armando Rivera: [00:09:39] it light, like it never happened. And she,
[00:09:41] Colin Stuckert: [00:09:41] did she ask you or like 100%
[00:09:45] Armando Rivera: [00:09:45] and how you just
[00:09:46] Colin Stuckert: [00:09:46] made up some BS?
[00:09:47] Armando Rivera: [00:09:47] Basically it's you would be like, Hey you, because when we met, she was in pre-law.
[00:09:52]So she was working just as much as I was. Yeah. And our nights where it's funny. Cause we were that couple that hung out late night and not like [00:10:00] typically people, most, most people. Do you know when they're like late night booty calls? No, it was like, Hey, you want to go to, you want to go hang out? You know, at this late night spot and
[00:10:09] Colin Stuckert: [00:10:09] study till 2:00 AM,
[00:10:10] Armando Rivera: [00:10:10] what basically.
[00:10:11] Yeah. It's like big city coffee shop where, where it's open 24 seven and we would study there. We get a coffee. We talk. Yeah, so it just became, she started to ask because I started to become more available. Right. And every partner would love that. Right. But if it, what I did, I made myself available by foregoing.
[00:10:30] What it is I love to do. And those questions came up. Those questions came up. It was like, Hey, why don't you? Do you have a show this week? Right? Yeah. Well, were you
[00:10:38] Colin Stuckert: [00:10:38] aware when you would answer these questions? Are you like lying to yourself and hurt the same time? Or you're like kind of aware and you're just like telling yourself some story, like, well, I'll just do it later.
[00:10:48] I mean, like what, what, what, yeah. What was the mental thought
[00:10:51] Armando Rivera: [00:10:51] process? It was absolutely one of those things. Like how people can get themselves to do anything. You go I'm all right. I I'm not, it hasn't been that long. I, I I have plenty of material. I have I was hustling just like I can jump right back into that hustle like I was before.
[00:11:07] Yep. No problem. I can start tomorrow. And then, Oh, a week turns into two weeks and a comedy two weeks is like,
[00:11:18] You gotta jump again, you know, because it's it's so, because it changes every night, you know with the crowd and, and how you react to everyone. Yeah. It's also a craft.
[00:11:32] Colin Stuckert: [00:11:32] also a craft that. Like, for example, I think it's Chris rock, he still does tons of small shows where he'll just go up there and not give a fuck and he'll have like no cards of jokes.
[00:11:42] And he's like, he's like just testing shit. That's not even funny. And he's like, Oh, that's gone up. That's going on?
[00:11:47] Armando Rivera: [00:11:47] Yeah. I've literally, I've literally, and he's been
[00:11:49] Colin Stuckert: [00:11:49] doing it for years. Like, imagine that like a craft where you do it forever. It's like ending
[00:11:54] Armando Rivera: [00:11:54] forever. Yeah. George Carlin had a heart attack.
[00:11:58] Not while filming, [00:12:00] but during the same week he was filming an HBO special. So he literally died doing his craft. And that's what I love about standup is even Richard Pryor, Richard Pryor had I believe it was Ms or, or he had a horrible, debilitating disease because of his drug use and his alcohol abuse.
[00:12:21] And I believe genetics as well. Yep. And He, you know, people, they were carrying him onto stage in his last days. And he was still ripping the crowd apart. Yeah. So it's 100% that it's it's to think that I can go, I can stop and jump right back in, you know, and also I was in no place in my career to be doing it wasn't like a Dave Chappelle, I'm going to Africa for, you know, 10 years and come back and just kill it, you know?
[00:12:49] Okay. So
[00:12:50] Colin Stuckert: [00:12:50] then what is the. What is the transformation process? Cause that's what we're most interested in. Where were you go from that? You maybe start realizing it. Maybe you start thinking about it here and there. Then you're like, like, do you formulate a plan? You're like, well, I'm gonna start two days a week or I'm just gonna jump back in, you know, did you have to do any major interventions?
[00:13:06] And like, I mean, I don't even know where you're at this point. Have you failed or are you like kind of somewhere in between this process? Cause. W I'm, I'm just assuming, I don't know if you're even doing it right. So where are you at now? And like what, what part of that process and that thought process and what are you doing, or have had to do to try to like, learn from this thing and get back in it.
[00:13:25] Armando Rivera: [00:13:25] That's perfect. Cause that's like right where I'm at, where I, I went through the whole, when I started back up, it was very much trying. I tried to jump back into my previous hustle and it just, you know, like anything it's like, it's hard for people to just do. Yeah. Especially with life going on.
[00:13:43] So I promised myself I would do. One show a week, a show, not a Mike didn't matter how many mikes I did. I wanted to get up in front of an actual crowd and not just, you know, some other guys like me. Who've like we're having trouble in life and just get [00:14:00] it in front of a group of people who are ready to have a good time and give them the best time I possibly could.
[00:14:06] And I was able to do that. Was shooting for one show a week, got me one show every other week because of how long it had been since I've been on the scene. And then after I got one show every other week I would meet people at other shows. And then I started booking my week up. It, it, it slowly escalated.
[00:14:23] It went from one show every other week to three shows every week to my, a couple of months later, I'm booked up. I'm booked up two months out. Right. Okay. And. You know, I got to a place where I got to play. I was, I was getting passed at like big clubs again. So like the last show I did was this place called the ice house in Pasadena and it's a super, super popular club.
[00:14:46]Lot of people play there. It's the legendary place. There's a lot of like mafia, folklore. It's super cool. And you know, I, I had gotten back to the point of what's. Fitting my craft into my daily activity in any possible way I could. So I, I, I got to the point where I was writing a joke a day every morning, I wrote the premise to a joke a day and I tried to go from Seinfeld.
[00:15:11]I did Seinfeld and don't
[00:15:13] Colin Stuckert: [00:15:13] break the chain early.
[00:15:15] Armando Rivera: [00:15:15] Yeah. And, and the guy that used to be the guy that used to host the guy that used to host whose line is it anyway? Oh, drew Carey, drew Carey, drew Carey too. That was that was from a book I read a couple of years ago.
[00:15:28] Colin Stuckert: [00:15:28] So let me get, let me get this straight real quick before we go too far.
[00:15:31] So you, you started with. Okay. The daily minimum routine. So you actually did. I don't either on accident on purpose, what all habit research says is you need to do the bare minimum every day and then build up rather than trying to say, Oh, I'm going to, I'm going to work out eight, eight times this week or whatever.
[00:15:46] I'll just create crazy ideas that the human mind we love to do. Right. It's the opposite of how you do it. So you started from the minimum one a day, one joke a day, one line a day, whatever. And then one show a week. Yeah. Okay. And then you're doing that. [00:16:00] Is that. Did you fail at any point? Did you like have weeks where you like regressed?
[00:16:04]And where are you at now with it?
[00:16:09] Armando Rivera: [00:16:09] I think there were in the beginning there were points where I just didn't want to go out, but one, one show a week was typically, I think I set exactly what you said. I set the bare minimum low enough where like, if I wasn't doing that, then it was like, do I really want to do this anymore? Yes,
[00:16:23] Colin Stuckert: [00:16:23] you are committing to the one show a week pretty much.
[00:16:25] And then the one that in your writing, at least a joke a day, Correct. Okay. And then where are you still doing it today? Like, paint me a picture of what's going on right now,
[00:16:33] Armando Rivera: [00:16:33] now, so now I'm at the point where it's funny. Cause you know, it's so crazy with habits, especially with the past year, people had to adjust their habits anyway.
[00:16:43] Right. What I have adjusted my habit to is I have a nice backlog of of. Essentially material that I now want to beef up that I now want to add more to. So instead of. Just doing as much as I can putting the quantity out. Now, I'm going into the, the mechanics and the quality I'm trying to now take material that hasn't seen the stage, beef it up a little bit more.
[00:17:10]But I think just that, just that daily practice of the joke writing and getting on stage has now in the time of you know, being inside and paying attention to the news and stuff like that has made me funnier. I'm able to, I'm able to, it, it doesn't take as much of the grunt work as it used to, to be able to take a situation and get a good premise from it.
[00:17:34]So that's kinda, that's where I'm at now, where I'm at now is.
[00:17:37] Colin Stuckert: [00:17:37] What are you doing physically weekly though? Like, are you so on show week? Are you so, and you're still
[00:17:42] Armando Rivera: [00:17:42] we're closed. So there's no like that's, I didn't even, I didn't realize. Yeah, the, the we're closed. The, the, the industry
[00:17:49] Colin Stuckert: [00:17:49] did this close recently again, like as the California's crazy nonsense, like, and that was, was it open for awhile?
[00:17:55] Armando Rivera: [00:17:55] So other States were open. And then, so I was trying to book [00:18:00] shows on the road and they started closing a lot of the governors started closing just comedy clubs and restaurants in general.
[00:18:06] Colin Stuckert: [00:18:06] So yeah, well Walmart, you know, that's fine. Yeah. F-ing P O S shit ass hats. God, I can't stand it. Yeah, so, okay.
[00:18:14] You're closed now. So you, can you not physically, so you can't physically do a show. It doesn't really seem like there's like a zoom audience because you don't really have like an online platform.
[00:18:22] Armando Rivera: [00:18:22] So there, there is a zoom audience, but the problem is Just comedy stand up. Comedy was one of those things that it just doesn't transfer.
[00:18:31] I've done two zoom shows and they're bad. Even the best one it's
[00:18:35] Colin Stuckert: [00:18:35] bad. Yeah. Yeah. It's just a different thing. Yeah. So, yeah. So you're still, you're doing your best. You're still maintaining, but you were going while it was open is what you're saying. 100%.
[00:18:46] Armando Rivera: [00:18:46] And so it was doing my best just as everything
[00:18:49] Colin Stuckert: [00:18:49] closed down.
[00:18:50] Right. And so you were still doing like at least one a week is what you said. Okay. And so now as a way to compensate, as you're just focusing on your writing your material, totally exploring everything's.
[00:18:59] Armando Rivera: [00:18:59] Okay. And I'm going back to the, you know, content creation aspect, just doing that before everything closed down, like getting those habits back again.
[00:19:09] When everything closed down, I was already thinking, okay, what's the next thing I could do within this? You know, it made me more adaptable. It made me more like, how can I take comedy online? You know, I, I record a podcast as well. It's a comedy pot. It's like strictly comedy. You know, I try to comment on, on current things the way I used to what I did on stage, and you don't have the, the crowd aspect, but it's like, you adapt.
[00:19:34] You adapt it and that's where everyone's going, you know? And I think that all comes from that all stems from that basic habit building, I think in the beginning. Yeah. So
[00:19:43] Colin Stuckert: [00:19:43] the, the, the story you told yourself when you stopped the new relationship thing. Yeah. What have you learned about that? And do you feel like you've.
[00:19:56] Kind of addressed it and I mean, you're married. So like, I can't really [00:20:00] say like, what about next time? Right. Like,
[00:20:02] Armando Rivera: [00:20:02] it's like, I mean, life is my
[00:20:05] Colin Stuckert: [00:20:05] thing, but do you think that your like, maybe going to some other things that have come up in your life and then you're like, Oh, I gotta put this on the hold or like, what did you learn from that experience and what have you doing to try to prevent like falling into that funk again?
[00:20:19] Armando Rivera: [00:20:19] I have a, and not everyone can say this, but I have a partner that we check in all the time and we're super supportive when I say to my wife or she says to me that this is something I want to do. and you show in your daily habits that it's something you want to do then there's really no argument.
[00:20:37]There were, there were times before this, when my wife was at home.
[00:20:44] And, you know, the unit, the people at her job, I could never do that. I hit it. And it was just some, we figured out together that we were, you know, she saw that I wanted to do it. She was right behind me. So I think we're at the point where we've built that, especially now that there's another person involved because your, your family does take an in, in.
[00:21:02] They take a part in your shortcomings and your wins and stuff like that, right? Yeah. And they can hold you back to
[00:21:06] Colin Stuckert: [00:21:06] 100%. Can't support you or hold you back
[00:21:09] Armando Rivera: [00:21:09] a hundred percent. And that's exactly why I made the point, you know, before I went on, before I go on, it's just that I am lucky that I have someone that goes, listen, this is what you want to do.
[00:21:18] I'm behind you. You know? And she's very, very flexible when it comes to things like that. I mean, we're getting our work to a point where it's almost all remote. So what's a way.
[00:21:30] Colin Stuckert: [00:21:30] Okay. What does that, so that, so your support, so your, your relationship, you sound like you're going to use as a way to support what you want to do rather than, so then it's less likely that it's going to happen.
[00:21:39] That that would happen again in future, but are there any, are there any mental cues that you can maybe like be aware of that you might have, like stories you might have told yourself before that would have led to that? Like. Have you thought about any of those, like, have you reflected on like, whatever you were telling yourself at the time, so that maybe you avoid that in the future?
[00:21:59] Like, are there [00:22:00] any, is there anything specific that, that you've learned from that situation?
[00:22:04] Armando Rivera: [00:22:04] Yeah, 100. Yeah. I believe you know, in this whole year, I've had a few times where I've been able to kind of test that comfort level, right. Where when I'm uncomfortable, it's kind of a good place. And when to just drop something, when it's just not working Yeah.
[00:22:17] I, I think I've gotten to the point of, of reflecting that I know I should have. I know that what I was telling myself was basically bullshit. Right. And now that I'm at the point of, you know, I know when that quote, unquote inner bitch is coming out, I can hear, I know his voice. I've identified him. You know, he's a part of me he's in there, but I know when it's him.
[00:22:41] So when it comes up, I'm like, You know, I observed the voice. I don't feed it. I don't, I try not to react to it. Like shut up, let them bully it because I know it's there. And I know it's another part of me. I let it happen. I observed the thought in end. Typically you get to a place, especially in a creative endeavor and I'm sure entrepreneurism is the same way when, you know, in your gut.
[00:23:05] When it's something you're supposed to be doing. So I think mentally I've just gotten myself to a place where, you know, when that comes out to, to sit with it for a second, but don't let it exactly let it pass. Don't don't don't
[00:23:19] Colin Stuckert: [00:23:19] self-awareness can do holding
[00:23:20] Armando Rivera: [00:23:20] on. And that has taken work man or taking work.
[00:23:24] Colin Stuckert: [00:23:24] It's it's you're not done either. You have to keep working forever, forever.
[00:23:29] Armando Rivera: [00:23:29] It
[00:23:29] Colin Stuckert: [00:23:29] doesn't end right forever. So this is okay. Good. So we got that core, big. You know, failure, mistake, we've unpacked it. We've talked about it. I think there's some cool bits in there. Let's go through the rapid fire round. These are kind of rapid fire questions.
[00:23:44] The answers could be a few sentences if you want, but the answers might also just be like one or two things, right? So you can answer them how you want. And we're going to aim to wrap these up in a few minutes and then we'll part. So the first one is what really drives you in life.
[00:23:57] Armando Rivera: [00:23:57] One my family and that, you know, my wife [00:24:00] and also just my desire to, to, to want to be happy.
[00:24:03] It's mainly happiness. Your
[00:24:04] Colin Stuckert: [00:24:04] desire to want to be happy. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, great. What do you really want for your future? If you could paint like that idealized happy place of work of purpose of family, what, what does that look like?
[00:24:20] Armando Rivera: [00:24:20] With one word it's freedom to be able it's freedom. It's just being able to go where I want being able to be with who I want and work on what you want to work on when you want to work on
[00:24:30] Colin Stuckert: [00:24:30] it.
[00:24:30] Totally. Yep. Yep. That's good. It is actually one of the most pressing dries for humans and most people. They haven't figured that out. They keep spending money going in debt to buy things, to impress people. They don't know where like, it makes them a time and debt slave, and it's like, wait a second. You don't, why do that?
[00:24:47] So, and you,
[00:24:48] Armando Rivera: [00:24:48] you feel worse after, too, when you feed into those desires, you feel so much worse
[00:24:52] Colin Stuckert: [00:24:52] drug addiction and like a food addiction, same thing. So what are some fears, like, how will you feel if you don't reach your goals, if you maybe don't reach that freedom or you aren't successful, how will you feel?
[00:25:03] What are some fears around
[00:25:03] Armando Rivera: [00:25:03] that? There's definitely a fear. I try not to let it, you know, sit in my mind too much because I, I need that. I need that drive to take the front seat, but the backseat, that fear is definitely it would be crushing. It there's no other, I don't think there's any other option for me.
[00:25:21] Colin Stuckert: [00:25:21] You cry. You mean you have a fear of not being successful? It would, it would crush you. Is that what you said? Crushed me.
[00:25:27] Armando Rivera: [00:25:27] Yeah, it w I D I know. Aye. That is a show people and that's where the rubber breath come out. Yep. That's when their grads come out. So I don't want to be on my death bed going. I wish I tried.
[00:25:45] I wish I at least tried. Well,
[00:25:46] Colin Stuckert: [00:25:46] yeah. Well, one, everything, something everyone should read is the top five regrets of the dying. There's an article and a book written about it, but one of the top regrets is I wish I would have lived the life for myself instead of others. And obviously there's like, I wish I would have not work so hard.
[00:25:59] Right. But I [00:26:00] also think a lot of those people that were. They a lot of the people that were pulled in that specific the writer who did it, he, he used to work in nursing homes. I guess he'd be like pull people or something like that. Yeah. It was a different generation. I feel like we're actually going to have more people in this generation.
[00:26:13] I mean, I think we'll say the same thing. I think we will say, I wish I would've worked so hard, but I think we're gonna have more people saying that they at least were working on things that matter to them. The internet has kind of given us that ability, but it's the same problem. We get addicted to our work even, and then we miss out other things that matter.
[00:26:28] And. It's just like never ending. And so like, that's definitely the, a duality of kind of self-made pursuit is like, you can always do it too much and you can always do too little. You got to find what that sweet spot is. Yeah, totally. So what is your, what's your, what was your greatest achievement for 2020?
[00:26:43] Armando Rivera: [00:26:43] Oh man. A few of them, one of them was for a frugality further
[00:26:47] Colin Stuckert: [00:26:47] frugality, just stop. You just spent, spent last. We
[00:26:50] Armando Rivera: [00:26:50] spent, I mean, expenses, you weren't, we weren't able to go anywhere. And then it became part of us where it was like, Oh man, I did not enjoy go. Like we went out because we were working too hard on things we didn't like or love.
[00:27:05] And so then we were over compensated by going, let's go. Do this, do that and spend money. Totally. You get caught in that race. So I think my biggest, one of my biggest take away from 2020 or like my, or my newest skill, right. Is like your spending habits, you were spending habits and just an internalizing that like happiness is just, it's made here.
[00:27:28] Yeah. Made in the current moment. Yeah.
[00:27:30] Colin Stuckert: [00:27:30] And it's a choice. You have it at any second, 100%. So aside from the comedy thing, what was the greatest challenge of last year and how did you overcome it?
[00:27:39] Armando Rivera: [00:27:39] The greatest challenge of last year was not just being the funny guy. Okay. What do you mean by that? There was enough time to get back into things that I also love doing, like watching movies and because at some point, you know, because comedy is just another thing under the entertainment umbrella, at some point I wanna make movies at some point I wanna make [00:28:00] shows.
[00:28:00] I want I'm on production company. I, when I'm on media media company and it got back to, you know, Before that it was just, I want, I want, I want, and this year it got back to, this is what this takes. You have to be the guy that knows how to do these things. You need to know, you need to be a student of every single part of the craft.
[00:28:21] You, you don't, you don't just go, well, one day I'll be able to hire some people to do that aspect. You want to at least know You know, the inner workings of what you're doing. And that, that happened for me this year. Understanding, and actually being able to create a roadmap to a production company going, this is what it's going to take.
[00:28:39] It's going to take being a media company and then a media company when enough pull with a production department and, and building that up. So
[00:28:48] Colin Stuckert: [00:28:48] you, you realize you had some kind of dormant goals that you weren't. Like actively pursuing. And so you brought those to the forefront. You may be create a plan and now you have like at least some kind of roadmap.
[00:29:00] Yeah. Completely. Yeah. So a goal without a path is like, it's like a fairytale, like, is it, it does, it's nothing, you know, it's just nothing. It's like air in your head. Right. It's literally nothing. So that's, that's, that's good. What is an unexpected source of joy last year?
[00:29:18] Armando Rivera: [00:29:18] Oh man. Wow walking in my neighborhood.
[00:29:23] Oh, dude walking
[00:29:24] Colin Stuckert: [00:29:24] so, so huge. I picked up a walking habit too. It's so good for you. Yeah, it's so good.
[00:29:29] Armando Rivera: [00:29:29] We have a dog too. So I took my dog out with me and me and my wife took a nightly walk at 10:00 PM to the point where after like three or four days, my dog was waiting by the sliding door. Like yup. You guys ready?
[00:29:40] Or what. Yeah,
[00:29:41] Colin Stuckert: [00:29:41] dogs are good for routines too, for Billy habits like that. Like when you get the dog used to that, they'll get you. That's that's really good. Yep.
[00:29:47] Armando Rivera: [00:29:47] And she pesters us to do it, so that's it.
[00:29:50] Colin Stuckert: [00:29:50] That's good. What is a favorite book of 2020? Yeah, just favorite book, other impactful book.
[00:29:58] Armando Rivera: [00:29:58] The people's history [00:30:00] of the United States.
[00:30:01] Interesting Howard Zinn. Yeah. I really liked it. I think it was good. I think it was important. To just, just to find a balance. Cause I started to lean more towards you know, history is written by the Victor, right? Yes. And
[00:30:20] so you'd want to be able to. I just want to at least see what the other story was. I, you know, cause obviously we grew up in the United States education system and it's been
[00:30:30] Colin Stuckert: [00:30:30] for the most part. Yeah,
[00:30:32] Armando Rivera: [00:30:32] 100. Yeah. Yeah. Creating workers and you know, to instill, I totally think people should have pride in their country when it comes to just country's strength and how you deal with people in your community that helps.
[00:30:45] But. You know, there was a dogma, we were taught in school about how awesome we are as a country.
[00:30:52] Colin Stuckert: [00:30:52] And now look at our history. Hello. Yeah. Yeah,
[00:30:56] Armando Rivera: [00:30:56] exactly. And so even stuff like, you know, Samuel Adams going into like the founding fathers and who people thought the founding fathers were, and then who, who, who, you know, separating who, who the guys actually were, who people thought the other people thought they were totally two different people and I'm not talking about yeah.
[00:31:14] People confusing Thomas Jefferson on people. Like people thought that like Samuel Adams was one of the founding fathers. Yeah. Well,
[00:31:21] Colin Stuckert: [00:31:21] yeah. I mean a lot, like a lot of their, I think it's like one in four or five high school students don't even know what the Holocaust is. Like. I mean, don't even get me into like ignorance of history and then the history.
[00:31:31] If there's issues and there's also, you know, the times are, are, are different. Like in the biblical times, you're, you're, you're stoning people to death. It's like an average Tuesday, like there's, there's stuff going on. Like it's not like eye for an eye, you know, it's like we have to understand that humans have been evolving We've been involved.
[00:31:47] I mean, physically a little bit, but mostly culturally we've been evolving for 10,000 years. I mean, like this sort of takes time anyways. It's not going down that deep rabbit hole. I was like, cause
[00:31:56] Armando Rivera: [00:31:56] I can jump right on that. And we can, that's another,
[00:31:59] Colin Stuckert: [00:31:59] I guess [00:32:00] another day, what's one huge principle for life that you've learned in your life.
[00:32:06] That's that's that's, you know, Something that you've internalized that's based on like something major in your life dealt with or whatever, not as somebody reading a book or you saw a quote somewhere, but like what's a big, an important principle in your life that you think other people would probably find out.
[00:32:22] Armando Rivera: [00:32:22] You can always do what you want. Okay. Explain that you always have the choice to, you know, I love my wife very much. If at any point. She wanted to end our marriage Fe 20. I wanted to end the marriage. If at any point we needed to go somewhere else. If at any point I had to quit a job, you always have the choice.
[00:32:43] To, to end a relationship with someone, not even, not even your significant other say, that's great. You always have the choice to end a relationship with someone who's toxic. You always have the choice to be happy. You always have the choice to the, you always have a choice to do what it is you want to do, and you can make the choice to do one or the other.
[00:33:05] And you try to be stoic about it and I'm not using good or bad because that means different things for different people, but things you know, me and you are, are, are people who believe that things just are as they are. And I'm, you know, I come from a religious background and I, I was even raised understanding that things are neither good or bad they are.
[00:33:25] And it, it depends on how you react to them. So you always have, you just always have a choice. You can make good something good. You can make something bad. Yeah.
[00:33:33] Colin Stuckert: [00:33:33] And I think also what you're saying is it's always your choice and thus your responsibility totally. Right? Whether it's happiness, unhappiness, how you respond to anything, literally everything in your life is a belief or a thought or an emotion.
[00:33:50] Right. And most of us believe we're passive observers of our brain and we're just like, so we just respond, right? We have no control over our subconscious. We have no control of our monkey [00:34:00] mind. We have no control over the elephant. They say that's like driving us. We're just like a passive observer. But the reality is that's all our decision and our choice.
[00:34:08] If you don't unpack your trauma, And therefore it makes you live in victim mindset and then you blame people and then you, and then you like cause drama for no reason. Cause you're insecure. Well, that might feel like it's just like is the way it is, but guess what? You're letting it happen and you're not fixing it.
[00:34:23] You're not doing anything about it. So you're choosing that way. Right. It's actually a lot of what I've been talking about in the better human school, which I'm building right now. And that's what this podcast is going to be helping promote. But it's just like, it's amazing how something, as simple as that big idea, like what teacher.
[00:34:40] Teacher or mentor growing up or even, I mean, parents not to take anything away from them, but like they weren't even equipped with how to live a functional, productive, happy life. Like we're, we're literally a bunch of monkeys running around with no operating manual for this, for the most complex machine in the universe, which is between our ears.
[00:34:57] Like, it's, it's actually fascinating when you think about it, like aliens observing us. Probably it's just probably like the best reality TV show ever for them, you know? Like it's just like what that person did that, what
[00:35:10] Armando Rivera: [00:35:10] they're watching us
[00:35:15] rain. Yes, eat them. And now they're black making cars and stuff. What is going on? And they still don't get, and they
[00:35:25] Colin Stuckert: [00:35:25] still don't understand the opposite sex. They still don't understand like just basic, well, they
[00:35:33] Armando Rivera: [00:35:33] believe politics. They believe the politician now going
[00:35:36] Colin Stuckert: [00:35:36] to do good things. I
[00:35:37] Armando Rivera: [00:35:37] know they've never done good things.
[00:35:39] Colin Stuckert: [00:35:39] This yeah, this, this term is going to be different. Totally right. Like, it's just like, Oh my gosh, right to present anyways, we could go on and on and on about that. And I'm sure we will probably do around too. When you, when you make another big mistake in your life, or if you have one that comes up that you remember, we can spend another show on that in the future.
[00:35:57] We'll be doing more of these every Monday and Friday. I've [00:36:00] heard Mondo appreciate you. Coming on the show. We'll have links to everything in the notes. Sweet man. And you know, keep writing those jokes and when shit opens up, get out there. Thanks for having
[00:36:08] Armando Rivera: [00:36:08] me on man. Stay safe.