For my second interview, I spoke with Ed Latimore. He’s shares his unique life experiences from being a professional boxer to currently studying Physics.
Ed’s style of communication is direct, and always from a place of “Skin-in-the-game,” meaning he speaks about what he personally has involvement in, and not that which he doesn’t.
DS: What life experiences shaped you?
EL: Growing up poor in the public housing system is the most defining experience in my life. It’s shaped my thought processes, for better and worse. There are so many lessons about dealing with people that I took, I really can’t even say I wish I’d grown up with access to more. Yes, my life would have been objectively easier and maybe I would have avoided some of the setbacks and issues I had, but I would be without the parts of me who make me unique and add value to the world.
Admitting that I had a drinking problem was also very difficult, but it changed my life. You can’t fight a problem until you properly identify it. Until then, you’ll do everything to fix the issue except the one thing that may ACTUALLY work. I’ve been sober now for 4 years, and I will never look back. I’m able to draw on those experiences and my thoughts/feelings about them, and relate to many people and see the world is a less judgemental manner.
In short, growing up in the ghetto and getting sober have made me a better human because it’s made me better able to relate to many more people.
When was there at the time you lost your confidence, and how did you gain it back?
I used to think I was terrible writer. I was also really bad at math. Like, I have a bunch of C’s and D’s on my transcript from high school in all of the math classes I took. So that lead me to believe that I didn’t really have any mathematical OR writing ability. As you can imagine, this made me feel like a bit of an idiot. I’ve always spoken and communicated well, but I never really felt intelligent.
Well, one day I decided that I wasn’t bad at either of these subjects. I simply had been taught poorly. I was constructively placing blame. The key was then for me to take responsibility for teaching myself. I started blogging to become better at writing, and going through every tutorial and problem set I could find to fix my math inadequacies.
The trick here is not only did I take responsibility, but I did things to prove to myself that I could do it. I took baby steps. I didn’t start out as a physics major. I started relearning the basics of algebra. I didn’t start out with a book. I made a few posts on forums a few years ago. Just start working on something that provides SOME type of feedback. This is the best way to increase your confidence. If you do this long enough, you’ll eventually find that you are confident.
You’re a boxer and that you’re currently learning physics.. So I am just curious… why boxing? What’s the appeal?
So I originally started fighting because I hadn’t really done anything with my life up to that point (I started boxing when I was 23). I just was tired of being a loser with no real hobbies or talking points besides drinking. I didn’t even care about making money at that point–I just wanted to say that there’s something to me. Boxing is the thing that hit all of boxes on my checklist.
It would get me into shape, demand discipline, had the possibility of making money if I stuck with it, and most importantly, it would make me interesting. I’ve always worried about being perceived as boring or ordinary. Most people don’t box (just like most people don’t major in physics), so it was an easy choice. Also, it was free and required very little equipment to start.
This was the initial appeal. As I spent more time training, I started to love the person I was turning into (in this specific arena, anyhow). This is because I was challenging myself, and meeting those challenges. There is simply nothing on this earth that people can engage in with civility like boxing. Nothing will push you on all levels (mental, physical, emotional and spiritual) than being the only man in a ring when another trained guy is trying to hurt you. You are never more alive or more terrified than when get hurt in a fight. But it’s really the only way to learn to push through pain–by doing so.
This is the appeal now. I continue to learn more about what I’m capable of. Even now, at 32, I’m learning how to be a better athlete. Some may think that isn’t possible, but my training is proving this and it motivates me each day.
Pretend Someone just signed me up for my first boxing match ever against another amateur… Write a tweet (140-280 characters) that sums up your advice for going into the ring.
Once you get hit the first time, you realize that you aren’t fragile. You realize you won’t die. You realize you can take more than society has lead you to believe. Now you’re free to break more shackles of modern laziness.
What change is a change you’re seeing happen on the internet right now?
I haven’t been heavily involved in the internet and social media the way I am now for more than 3 years, so I don’t know if I have a sufficient time horizon to properly evaluate changes. However, one thing I’m aware of is how easily people are manipulated on the internet. It’s so incredibly easy to get people to waste time focusing on things that don’t matter.
Maybe it’s always been this way, but very few people are interested in connecting and learning. Most people are interested in sharing memes, expressing unsolicited opinions, and arguing over politics. The internet is probably the greatest gift to humanity, and at this point we’d be better off returning it.
What was something that unexpected you learned about your audience?
How varied they are. I’ve been meaning to conduct a proper demographics survey, but I am surprised at their age and how many women read me. I think this is because I started writing primarily about things that young men think about. However, as I’ve evolved and found my voice, my writing has as well.
I’m also surprised by how many people get so much out of my discussions about sobriety. That really gives me hope that people are considering control their level of consumption. This can only lead to good things for themselves and society…
What have you done to make your environment better suited to you?
I don’t waste time doing anything that won’t improve my life. This means avoid places that don’t help me get closer to my goal either. I spend my time with either my girlfriend, at school, at the gym, or meeting up with friends for coffee. My development and my personal relationships are the most important things.
I’m almost never out after 10 and I don’t go to group parties unless I have to and it’s for a specific reason (weddings, for example). In short, I’ve learned to spend my time alone or where it highly matters. This did not come easy for me, as i am highly extroverted. However, I know that the only way to live the type of life that makes me happy is to accomplish things.
This is the best way I know to get things done.
Who are your favorite online personalities?
Hmm, I’m a big fan of Naval Ravikant, Shane Parrish, and (non-political) Mike Cernovich. Victor Pride and Christian McQueen are my homies who legitimately changed my life and taught me about the online game. Nabeel Azeez has taught me quite a lot his teaching style makes a lot of sense to me. I learn so much from AJ Cortes and he’s helped me improve my online presence as well.
Pretty much, anyone who makes me think or personally helps me immediately comes to mind.
What do you plan on quitting next? (or if you just quit something, what was it?)
Haha, I graduate in May. At that point, I am done learning formally for at least 3 years. I will go to grad school to research meteorology or probability/statistics only after I’m done boxing and made more money advancing other areas of my career.
What are you streaming right now?
You can find Ed on Twitter or His Blog or check out his book, Not Caring What Other People Think Is A Superpower.