Why is nobody talking about Post-Graduate Depression?


I’m a big fan of Stoic philosophy,  so I’m not complaining as such, when I say that money is the main motivation and driving force behind a given university’s programme of degrees on offer. It’s just something you’ve got to accept and no be too naive about.

The more students a university gets, the more funding it gets. When a uni has reached it’s capacity for under-graduate funding, it’ll start to churn out a load of post-graduate Master’s degrees too; for more funding.


A Numbers Game

The more universities there are, the more entry standards drop.

Gone are the days for example, that a good 2:1 degree are required for entry onto a Master’s degree programme, any shite degree will do as long as you can cough up the £10k+ tuition fees (or £15k+ if you’re a foreign student).

In addition, the more graduates that are produced by the proverbial conveyer belt of academia every year, the more competition there is for jobs. With a subject like Sport Science for example – there must be around 10-20 graduates each year, for each decent job that becomes available. If you don’t have connections, or don’t live in the right area, you’ve got 2 chances of getting a job – Bob Hope & No Hope.

At this point I’d like to mention Jocko Willink and his life changing Extreme Ownership Ted Talk – if like me, you did Sport Science and can’t get a job with that qualification, don’t complain and be a victim, take ownership for your own actions and move forward – watch the video to see what I mean:

 

*More on Extreme Ownership later.


Manage Expectations & Manage Your Happiness

You’ve put 3+ years of hard work in (presumably, you may have just got drunk every weekend), 5+ years if you include A Levels. It’s reasonable to expect that your degree would lead to a decent job – but don’t count on it.

happiness and expectations

A First Class degree in Sport Science from the UK’s best university + a Master’s Degree in Nutrition made me unemployable

 

The potential issue of not being able to get a good job is often compounded by parents, friends and other relatives who become disappointed with you for your apparent failure and lack of effort when it comes to your career.

This is often enough to make a reasonable person go through a proper-mental ‘falling down‘ episode. Constant harranging about getting a better job – without any practical suggestions, literally made me suicidal.

Mental health is often a vicious circle, it was in my situation anyway. Mental problems can lead to pretty agonising physical pains in joints & muscles + constant headaches.

These in turn makes you feel like shit, and the associated brain-fog and inverted-constant-thinking can make you a bit of a spaced out dumbass – which attracts the ridicule and often bullying of other people (you have to Stoically accept that people will always pick on those that they deem weaker then them – but that’s another issue & blog post).

 

“Bring me solutions, not problems”

I hear you say.

 

Well, I would just try and make it clear in your own mind, and your parents mind, that a good degree, depending on the subject – often means absolutely fuck all in the job market.

Have a specific plan written down somewhere, as to how you are going to acquire experience.

Experience is everything when it comes to getting a good job, if you want to work in the Sport Science sector, then put together a shit-hot presentation on Nutrition, Strength & Condition and/or Sport Psychology, and approach a load of football, rugby and tennis clubs, offering to present it for free in the pre-season…then offer more services for free to build up some experience.

I’d also recommend that you should generally:

Try and achieve your dreams but have a watertight contingency plan.

For every Conor McGregor living the dream, there’s a 100 more fighters working day jobs that they hate in order to pay the bills.

Your dream might be to work as a Strength and Conditioning coach, but it can be very helpful to have a back up plan, whether that be to go into personal training, or to do a post-graduate course in web development, or something else that’s remotely enjoyable but also in high demand in the job market.


Be Flexible. The Goalposts Always Move

I read somewhere (sorry, can’t remember where), that people with flexible mindsets are the happiest. For example, if your plans for the day fall apart for some reason, don’t bitch and complain about it, be flexible – get on with something else. This is the underlying theme in the book – Who Moved My Cheese?

 

If your career plans don’t come to fruition like you hoped, don’t be bitter. Shit happens, re-group, re-plan and start again. There is loads of work in web development at the moment for example, if you enjoy maths, that might be something to look at. It might sound boring but believe me, when your middle aged and have kids, boring is good.

I have a number of friends now, from football coaches to Strength Coaches, who are looking for a career move because they have to work evenings & weekends and the pay is not great.

bitter

Comfort and getting what you want all the time breeds weakness. Discomfort and suffering is the only true way to build character (and empathy).

  • Don’t blame anyone else for the situation you’re in – Unless someone forced you at gunpoint, it was your decision to study a particular subject (*see the Extreme Ownership video above)
  • Find a positive way to react
  • Make a plan and get after it

In the long run I have definitely benefited from my quite horrific bout of post-grad-depression. I really appreciate my ‘boring’ job in digital marketing; I’ve managed to develop a decent level of emotional intelligence, and the depression pretty much forced me to read about philosophy, psychology and nutrition (nutrition has a huge impact on mental health).

I think I am reasonably well-rounded person, but more importantly I’m on the proverbial path to self-development and constant improvement. If everything had have gone perfectly for me after graduation – I think I would have been a bit of an arrogant prick.


MMA Saved my Life


MMA is not just for meatheads, there’s many a life-lesson to be learnt in the physical and mental turmoil that can be part of the path to MMA-proficiency.

The goal posts always move – people are always improving and new techniques are always being developed. Whilst I was probably half decent (for someone in the UK) at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 10 years ago for example, I’m terrible by today’s standards.

You think You’re Good, then Find out You’re Not – the few times I let myself think I was decent at MMA, I would always come crashing back down to reality. This can force you to avoid comparisons with other people and just focus on your own constant improvement.

 

In MMA you need to take an objective look at your skills and where you have short-comings – you should do the same with your career.

The best thing I did was to take a logical & objective look at the job market, rather than have a loose plan based on emotional goals.

 

MMA also taught me the importance of physical health when it comes to mental health. By reducing certain foods that cause inflammation and prevent recovery between training sessions for example, I found my mood improved considerably. This led to me cutting out dairy, wheat and eventually sugar. Gut health is also crucial for reducing inflammation and also for mental health.

MMA also got me into yoga and meditation – both great for overall wellbeing – there’s definitely a link between physical tension and muscle-stiffness, with mental levels of anxiety.


For more information on diet & depression please see this blog post.

Finally, if you are suffering from any form of post-graduate-depression, I’d encourage you to watch this podcast with Tim Ferris (who became suicidal after an issue with his graduation from Princeton)

 

Whether you’re disillusioned with your career, or the BS of the workplace in general, I’d definitely recommend a read up of Stoicism. Remember you’re not on your own, this is a temporary problem that you can work through and grow from.

Oh and from a personal point of view, thanks to Ben for giving me a chance to change careers at the age of 32.

Peace x

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Airistech Nokiva Dry Herb Vaporizer Review (2018)


I have NO affiliation with this product or with Amazon. Honest review!

Excellent piece of kit.

You have to press the on-button 5 times to get it started up, and 5 times to stop it.

Very little smoke is produced, so ideal for vaping indoors. The smoke is clear and virtually odourless.

It heats up between 149 and 224 Celsius, it takes approximately 1 minute to get to the max temperature.

You can buy from Amazon here.

 


You can use a range of herbs including lavender, damiana and even catnip. Not sure about that last one!

I imagine most people will be looking to vape cannabis however, I’m reliably informed that it is excellent for this too.

The issue with a lot of cannabis is that it is bred/grow to have lots of THC and a much lower level of CBD. Whilst THC does have some medicinal benefits, the ratio of THC/CBD is far from ideal. In addition, unless you are, or you know the grower, there’s a good chance that chemicals such as pesticides may have been used on the herb, making it more unhealthy and minimising any medicinal properties in regards to inflammation etc.

If you are interested, here’s an infographic I made about the benefits of non-psychoactive CBD oil.

 

cbd oil infographic

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Nose Tork Smelling Salts Review UK (Surprising!)


I personally didn’t feel much of anything…not sure if I bought a fake or what but definitely no huge motivation to lift and move things.

Please see video below for further info:

 

I’d love to hear what others think of this product (in the comments below).

 

 

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Bruce Lee Fighting Style


Bruce Lee took the concepts of different fighting styles including Wing Chun Kung Fu and fencing and modified them to suit his particular preferences and skills.

He created the concept of JKD – arguably the best style of fighting for self-defence (other contenders include MMA & Krav Maga). JKD was effectively a philosophy regarding the martial arts – cross train in different styles, adapt & modify techniques and never been restricted to one particular art.

This was a pioneering mindset & approach at the time – even today you see people brain-washed into thinking their one particular style is the ultimate martial art.

Below is an interested video of Bruce Lee sparring/fighting in an exhibition. He is right-handed yet fights in the southpaw stance with his right hand & foot in front.

 

See also Bruce Lee’s 5 Ways of Attack.

  1. Single Attack – e.g. a Jab
  2. Attack by combination – e.g. Jab, cross, inside leg kick
  3. Attack By Drawing – e.g. Anderson Silva with his hands-down
  4. Indirect Attack – e.g. Throw a jab, note your opponent’s reaction. Throw a second jab, counter your opponent according to his initial reaction
  5. Hand Immobilisation Techniques/Hand Traps – e.g. pushing your opponent’s left hand downwards to lower his/her guard before throwing a right cross. Fedor used to love to ‘trap’ his opponent’s hands before throwing a right overhand

 

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Chilli Muscle Rub / Capsicum / Capsaicin chilli for Tendonitis


It’s like Tiger Balm on roids.
It’s fairly hot when you apply it on dry skin, but as soon as you get your skin wet, even if that’s 11 hours later, your skin burns like hell fire!

Take a look at the 2 videos below for more info…

Hot chillis and capsaicin have all kinds of benefits for health – just don’t get it in your eye or privates.

Study 1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12531428

These findings suggest that the anti-inflammatory action of capsaicin may occur through a novel mechanism, not by a VR-1 receptor-mediated one. Both capsaicin and capsazepine may be a promising drug candidates for ameliorating inflammatory diseases and cancer.

Study 2

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3824481/

Capsaicin in both forms (CFE and CPF) produced anti-inflammatory effects that were comparable to diclofenac in the experimental rat model at p<0.05. It may be concluded that capsaicin has both analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

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Training Goals for Summer 2018


I basically want to become an enlightened, humble MMA meathead.

Training Goals:

Outcome Goals

  • Fix Back & Neck (make them less, painfully stiff)
  • Fix Golfer’s Elbow – so it’s not constantly painful
  • Improve Left Hip mobility so I can do a left high kick/roundhouse
  • Improve Cardio (not sure of precise goal on this yet, will update)
  • Complete 15 Full Reps – Bulgarian Split Squats with 5kg Vest
  • Complete 10 Full Range Reps on Dumbbell Bench Press with 46kg
  • ‘Keep in touch’ with MMA (currently prioritising sorting my neck, back & spending time with the family but don’t want to drift away completely from the sport)

–Complete/Achieve by July 1st–

Process Goals

  • 30 minutes of yoga every day & 2 yoga classes per week (1 can be via youtube)
  • 10 minutes of foam rolling every day 
  • Watch TV in Paleo squat or Cobra position
  • Use trigger point techniques & stretch left hip every day
  • Ice elbow every night & avoid press ups & barbell bench press
  • Complete 2 sets of Split Squats, Twice a week in work’s gym

MMA

  • Complete official Griffiths MMA circuit once per week (get up techniques, chest 2 chest sweeps, triangles/ab exercise, Wrestling clinch to double-leg, over/under technique, side-control escapes, mount escapes). Try with 5kg vest.
  • Practice boxing southpaw – 1 round per day at least
  • Attend either Thai Boxing or a Grappling class at least once per month

 

Also be mindful in work more – focus on tasks as a form of meditation (kind of)

 

machidaHeadkick

Me Throwing a Left High Kick in 2019

 

At some point I also need to fix my IBS once & for all…it’s a million times better but still think it’s the limiting factor in my recovery (leaky gut = inflammation)

 

Home Workout 1 

  • Sumo Squats – Tabata interval with 8kg kettlebell
  • Resistance Band Military Press x 2
  • Bridge Presses x 2
  • Kettlebell push press x 2
  • Overhead lunges x 2 (for mobility as well as strength)
  • Bulgarian split squats x 1 on each leg

 

Home Workout 2

MMA Circuit:
– Chest 2 chest sweeps
– Triangles
– Get Ups
– Sit Throughs
– Over/under technique
– Double Legs
– Sprawl Counter
– Front Kicks
– Side Kicks

Gym Workout

  • Cardio of some description
  • Military Press x 2
  • Dumbbell Bench Press x 3
  • Front Squats x 3
  • One Arm Row x 2
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DIY Viagra & Natural Herbs to Boost Fertility & Testosterone


To Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally*

Zinc – 50mg to 100mg per day
Fenugreek – 1 to 2g per day

Optional Extras:

Magnesium
D-Aspartic Acid – 4-6g per day (take for 10 days, then take 10 days off)
Tongkat Ali – If you can get the genuine stuff

To Increase Male Fertility

1g of Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Make sure it’s the Acetyl form. Test with a 500mg tablet – it can upset your stomach if you are prone to IBS extra

DIY Viagra

Add L-Arginine and/or Yohimbine

*At your own risk. Be careful with Yohimbine which can increase blood pressure. More info here – https://examine.com/supplements/yohimbine/

 

Velvet Bean AKA Mucuna Pruriens may also be effective. It should not be taken continuously due to the L-Dopa content.
More info here – https://examine.com/supplements/mucuna-pruriens/

 

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