Conversation No. 37 – Talking with James

James is from Chicago, Illinois, and was living there at the time of his interview. He was spending his days “working, working out, and trying to better myself.”

James’ Most Likely To Is: Most Likely to Push Himself Way Too Hard

Listen to “Conversation 37 (James)” on Spreaker.

James explained why he says he works out “like a martial artist”:

“I do a base of Judo and Wing Chun, which is a Southern [Chinese] form of martial art – a kung fu art – and it’s really all about body structure. So we do a lot of push-ups, we do a lot of holds with free weights, we pretty much fight with our entire body…So I do a lot of push-ups, a lot of sit-ups, crunches, a lot of full body exercises. Generally, you need your entire body to be strong in order to do this kind of stuff.”

He described his daily routine for making each day better:

“I try to go back [at the end of] each day and think about what went wrong today, and how I can change it. Did I have a bad attitude? Did something get under my skin that probably shouldn’t have? Is there some way I can do this better tomorrow? When I get up, is there something I can do differently?

I live my life one day at a time. I just try to keep pushing out one better day than the next; and before you know, you’ve had a perfect month and didn’t even realize you just had a good month.”


We talked about where he gets the motivation to do better:

“I used to be a very big pessimist, and I was always depressed. I was very low-confidence…at some points it felt like I was self-loathing. I was just confused all the way around, didn’t know what was going on. I wasn’t happy with my life, and I was always talking negatively. And I didn’t realize I was chasing people away.

So one day I got up and felt like, ‘let’s say I died overnight in my sleep, I do not want to be remembered as a person who was always negative.’

It’s one of those things…it was a very hard process. Even just as simple as getting up and getting in the mirror in the morning and saying three things that I like about myself. Eventually it started to grow….and eventually it builds confidence.”

James spoke about why he thinks young boys need an “alpha male” in their lives:

“Every man looks to somebody else, an older man, somebody they respect, as what I call an alpha male.  That’s who they learn from. That’s who they turn to. That’s who they need. Men need their alpha male.

Social media, [I] love it, but I don’t really follow any celebrities for the simple reason that I don’t know these people. They can come up with the greatest quotes there [are], and I’ll tell them ‘thank you, but I still don’t know you. You didn’t impact me because I met you; you impacted me over social media. I wanna feel your energy; I want to know who you are.’

The person I would follow is my uncle. He was my alpha male. He’s the guy that believed in me ever since I was a child. I always say that he always believed in me and knew I would be something…even when I didn’t see it in myself. He’s my alpha male. And now that I’ve learned that, I think I’m ready to step up and become an alpha male myself.”


He shared some thoughts about what he sees going on in Chicago:

“I’m [going to] hit two points on this one. I see a lot of death. I see too much of it…Right here in Chicago, I think we’ve already had over 300 shootings, and maybe 50 people have died off of these shootings.

They won’t march for all the shooting that goes on, on the south side of Chicago mostly. But you’ll march for something that happened all the way in Ferguson…why are you fighting a battle that’s not even near you? But you won’t fight the battle that’s right here at home. There’s a civil war going on in Chicago, and you won’t fight it. You won’t protest against it. You won’t do anything.

There’s cops…cops are killing people. See, I’m [the kind of] person that if I was a cop and I had a partner that was about to do something dirty or wrong…I would tell him, ‘Stop. Stop, and think [about] what you’re about to do, because what you’re about to do is wrong. If you break the law, I will turn you in personally myself.’ Because if you can’t trust the person [who is] supposed to protect you, what kind of a system do you have?”

Listen to our full interview with James