This week Greg shares why having something that brings you joy and happiness in your life is so important to make sure you are appreciating your individual self.
For years Greg was lost in a world of only pleasing others, work and mundane day to day events. Take a listen and find out why it is so important to have your own thing.
“You need to decide what it is that you want your girlfriend or boyfriend to be. You need to find your purpose. You need to figure out what it is that makes you happy.”
– Gregory Kotsaftis
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Full Interview Transcript
And that’s the joke between the two of them. He’s like I got to go see my girlfriend because that’s what he’s passionate about. That’s what drives him. That’s what makes him happy on the inside. That’s it makes him feel good.
Hey, everybody, this is Gregory Paul Kotsaftis of the Pitching the Truth podcast. Please sit back relax and enjoy today’s episode. And as always thank you so much for listening.
Hello and welcome everybody to the Pitching the Truth podcast. Thank you so much for listening. I’m your host Greg Kotsaftis. And this week I will try to be not saying “and” with those filler words, you know, I’m a Toastmaster I need to get that out of the way. But this week I want to share with you a concept that came to me while listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast and an interview he had with Gabby Reese the world professional volleyball player. It had she had some great insights and I am not going to take credit for it but I think it’s an interesting concept about what’s really important for men and women in order to be happy in life and to stay interested in other things besides their work, their job, their career, there I guess those are all the same thing, right? Their spouse, their children, just the mundane stuff each and every day.
I think it’s important that you have some other interests who do some other things.
So Gabby Reese had some interesting concepts and she was talking about her husband and she was describing the fact that he has a “girlfriend.” And of course, it’s not what you think out there in the podcast world. He doesn’t have an actual girlfriend. He’s got a girlfriend. He doesn’t see his girlfriend he gets really pissed he gets really irritable because you know, she’s great.
But you know it’s great when he comes back from seeing his girlfriend? He’s just happy and relaxed, he welcomes our daughters, and he just in a really good mood.
Now I know all of you out there are kind of thinking like.” Boy, that’s kind of creepy, right?” It’s kind of weird. This dude has a girlfriend. Is she little side hustle. What’s he got going on?
But what she was talking about was surfing. Surfing is his girlfriend. And that’s the joke between the two of them. He’s like I got to go see my girlfriend. Because he has to be on the water, four to five hours that’s what he’d prefer to be every single day because that’s what he’s passionate about. That’s what drives him. That’s what makes him happy on the inside. That’s it makes him feel good. So this is something that I could kind of relate to because I think it’s really important.
For years, I never had anything like that. Never it’s something that I went to and made me feel really good about myself. Maybe feel like I was doing something for me that had nothing to do with anybody else. Didn’t have anything to do with my family, my wife, my parents, my job, my career, and everything to do with anything of that sort.
I wasn’t out there trying to impress anybody by what I was doing. I was just trying to be me.
And I think a lot of people don’t really get that. They don’t understand that. Dealing with aging parents. And I think it’s really interesting because my father, in particular, doesn’t have anything like that. He used to have it for a while he had a good group of friends, used to play a lot of golf. He used to do a lot of different things. He used to play tennis. And now he’s not physically able to do those things anymore. Some of his friends have passed away, they’re all getting older. And he doesn’t really have a set purpose or direction. He doesn’t have a girlfriend anymore. I’ve seen him get kind of lost. So I’m paying attention okay I am paying attention and 53 years old. And it’s taken me this long to really realize the importance… Important aspects of having something that you’re doing on the side. Something that’s going to make you feel good and feel happy. And I think a lot of people men and women, get lost in the trap of just doing the same mundane thing every day over and over and over again.
So for me, Okay, my girlfriend is jujitsu. I am purple belt jujitsu. It’s taken me took me a long time to get my purple belts about six years it took me to get to that point then I took a hiatus from jiu-jitsu for almost four years and now I just recently started back about six months ago. And I’ve become totally obsessed, obsessed with my girlfriend.
I got to see her four to five times a week because if I don’t get to train at least four days a week, and see the group of people men and women that I train with and share that camaraderie and share the skill and the challenge of trying to learn something it’s technically very physically and mentally difficult. I get irritable. I get cranky but like our friend, Layard, when I come back from training in jujitsu I always feel the same way.
Clear headed, focused, happy, you know, just wrung out, just physically challenged, mentally challenged, happy about the fact that all the people I’m around are smiling and they’re happy, too. Because they all enjoy the same thing I do and it makes me feel wonderful.
My girlfriend fulfills me. Now I’m engaged and I shared this story with my soon to be wife, Julie. She kind of laughed at first right and then she sat there and we were talking and I could see she was thinking and she said,’. “You know what? I need a boyfriend.”.
I’m a like you sure as hell do. Everybody needs a boyfriend. Everybody needs a girlfriend. Everybody needs something that they’re passionate about. Resonated with her quickly. That’s why I wanted to share in on today’s podcast because I think it would resonate with all of you.
If you don’t have something that really truly interests you, and makes you happy and brings you joy outside of work, outside of family, outside of I don’t know the mundane things you do every day, outside of your car, outside of the amount of money you have in your bank account, outside of you know the nice clothes you have.
If you don’t have something that’s driving you and making you feel really fulfilled, my friends you are destined to eventually be unhappy.
I truly believe that I think if you do not have something going on that’s going to make you feel energized, and fulfilled and happy that eventually, you’re going to wake up one day you’re gonna be really old, you’re gonna be looking around. Most people are either be gone, or not somewhere else, or doing something else, and you’re going to feel like crap.
As a counter, a counterexample to my father who you know right now and I feel bad for him but at the same time, unfortunately, this is the choice he made.
So today, give me another inside story of my life. I had to go to traffic school today. I had to go to. I’m looking behind me at the folder, Attitude Dynamics of Driving.
I had a speeding ticket in 1989 in Massachusetts. Nineteen eighty-nine folks. Long long time ago. I went to renew my license in Colorado, and they told m,e “Hey pal, you can’t renew your license. You’ve got an outstanding ticket in Massachusetts.” And I’m like ok sure. I call Massachusetts. Like well yes you do have a ticket but you’ve paid it. I am like my great let me reinstate my license. So we’ll know you can’t because you didn’t have a court appearance. I am like why do I have to appear in court if I pay the ticket because of the timing of it. Well since you’re out of state you just have to pay this reinstatement fee. That was 120 dollars then I’m like Great. Let me get my license. Like well no you can’t. I need a copy of your driving record from Colorado to show that you haven’t had an offense in the last I think it was a year. And then we need a copy of all court documents from Quincy, Massachusetts for the dismissed hearing for the same ticket.
So I got all that together which cost me a little time and money. And I said okay give me my license and they said no you can’t have your license yet you have to take this Attitudinal Driving Course which is a federal course, it’s regulated in all 50 states. It’s a six-hour, cannot take it online, you have to go in person course and sit there and once you’re done with that course you mail that into us or fax it in because they don’t take e-mail, I’m sorry. This is Massachusetts for old friends. They’re like fax machines old school where you can mail an original copy and then we’ll let you reinstate your license.
So I go take this class and I really didn’t want to take it because I was like “Man, this is going to waste my time.” You know whole Saturday beautiful Saturday. Weather was great. Show up there. Got all the like don’t be late to a former state trooper in Colorado. So I got down there at the Colorado state patrol to sit in this class.
Here this is all guy he’s in there. He’s 62. He told us all these 62 and he’s a retired state trooper retired in 2008. So we go through this whole class and it’s monotonous, it’s boring, it’s mundane, but I’m of the mindset that you’re always gonna learn something. So I quickly said Greg you’re gonna learn something today. I know it’s not what you want to do but make the most of it. Because you have to make the most of every opportunity, folks. Can’t sit back and pretend that it’s not going to be what you want it to be because you have to get something out of it.
So here I go I sit in classes 15 of us in there. Probably I wasn’t the oldest one there but I was pretty close. Bunch of young kids in there going you know 120 miles an hour in a 50 mile an hour zone. Young guy, a bunch of young guys in their 80s talk and go and the whole deal. All right.
So here’s my point. So this guy shares some pretty good stories that are relatable to his career as a state police officer and stuff like that and it’s kind of interesting. But at the break at one of the breaks, I went out and chatted with him and I said Hey my daughter’s turning 16 tomorrow which she is. On Monday. And you know does she have to take this kind of class. I think it’d be valuable. And he said Well no she took something that’s a little bit less a little more watered down than this one. And but she did have to take a class I think it’s drive safe before 2025 and alive. Arrive and alive at 25.
I cannot remember what it was. Anyways, she took the course and we talked and quickly I said, Well yeah that’s great. During the day he’d mention all these different things he’d done and he’s obviously riding this class and giving back to the community.
So as we’re sitting there talking, he shares with me that you know he got a motorcycle accident and almost lost his leg. You know he sure is because he was up stretching and I have a bad knee so we’re both stretching talking and then he’s like,”Oh yeah, you know, what? Well,I can still fly my plane.” I’m like really? And he’s like well don’t have a plane anymore. He goes but I got my pilot’s license when I was 15. And then after that, he’s like I soloed when I was 16. I soloed a plane before I got my driver’s license. And he goes and never left me. I love flying. I’ve flown my whole life. Because I don’t own a plane anymore. I finally sold it about 10 years ago because the upkeep was too much money. He goes but I’ll go lease a plane and go flying every once in a while just to get up there and experience and feel it again.
So that’s one thing right.
There’s a guy that maybe that’s his girlfriend. Maybe flying was his girlfriend I got a really good suspicion it was. Because he talked to me about a lot of different airports in Colorado and he’s thought about flying back to Boston because that’s where he has relatives he goes but the airspace is so jammed up he’s kind of doesn’t really feel like it’d be enjoyable. Whereas now he can shoot down to Arizona where his relatives live or California, and he’s like it’s easy, it’s quick it’s safe, you know it’s not as risky not as much traffic more open space I guess.
So we talked about that. I thought that was fascinating and then he also shared the story at the very end of the class. He shared the story as to why he does what he does why he teaches this course and he’s been teaching it for since 98. He’s been teaching in a long time. Folks we’re talking when we talk in there 20 years he shared with me that his nephew died. Sure the whole class died in a car accident because the school bus had run a stop sign or run an intersection and slammed into a car that contains his nephew and four of his friends that were all driving back from high school.
So it was a pretty gut-wrenching story especially when he described that his nephew hung on for five years after his body was completely destroyed until he eventually passed away. And all the people that came and his sister you know he had taught his nephew twice in this defensive driving class because his nephew had been a little bit of a troublemaker and gotten some trouble driving speeding one time in a DUI. So he taught him twice in his class and then, of course, this happened to him and his nephew passed away and he once he retired from the state police.
They said you can’t teach to teach the class anymore because you no longer state trooper and his I think it was his sister got really upset and said You know I can’t believe that you’re not going to teach this course anymore you have to. You have to do it for my son. You have to. You have to continue to help people. I really think this is your calling and again that to me resonated again with a little bit of a girlfriend aspect that this is what he was meant to do this is what made him happy. And you know he said I don’t need to be here. I have no reason to be here. He goes and they go I’ll tell you what. Every time I come here, I get something from you people. You give me something. I teach you something, and you give me something back. And I think that’s worthwhile. And that’s why I do it. So I thought that again was powerful. So all of you out there.
Boys and girls, men and women, you need to decide what it is that you want your girlfriend or boyfriend to be. You need to find your purpose. You need to figure out what it is that makes you happy. It can be the smallest thing. It could be volunteering as I do at Project Angel Heart. It could be flying a plane. It could be traveling the world.
I don’t know what it is. But it’s out there somewhere there’s something there just for you.
And I think it’s really important that you figure out what that thing is. For me, as I said, it’s jujitsu. Right now, I’m sure that’ll change. It’s not going to be that way for the rest of my life. But for now, every time I go, I feel nothing but joy when I’m done. And I think everybody out there can understand what I’m saying. They just haven’t may have found it. Maybe they haven’t. But if you have found it pays attention to it and be grateful and thankful for it. And if you haven’t found it go out there and find it right away. It’s all I got for today. Thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate all of you. And until next time we’ll talk soon.