Posts Tagged ‘life’

As I get older, I try to do the world around me some good and pass on the lessons I’ve learned in case some random souls out there have the ears to hear and a heart to understand.  I believe it’s one of our obligations as human beings to give something back, to make our personal contribution count.  So here goes, take the following as you wish.  Hopefully there’s something in it that you can take with you and make yourself a better person with that gained knowledge.

Michael Majalahti

I steadfastly believe in the adage “if the shoe fits, wear it.” (photo: Hannu Eskelinen)

HUSTLE (like your life depends on it)

The older you get, the more you both understand – and feel – life slipping away at an increasingly rapid rate. When you’re young, it feels like forever as you look ahead to your future. Waiting to hit legal age, waiting to finish college or university, waiting to find that right girl to spend your life with. It all feels so long. However, in retrospect, life goes by in a flash.

If there is one thing that I have learned here by my mid-40’s, it’s that you’ve gotta hustle. Boy, you have got to make your two cents count, for the time is frighteningly short. You have got to bust your ass and make the most out of every opportunity because most key opportunities only come by once in a lifetime. And living with regret is a bitch and half, let me assure you.

What’s Your Driver?

Nowadays, more than ever, we’ve got armchair quarterbacks galore sitting behind their computer screens living a virtual life of nil content. It’s stagnating, the sedentary prison of tech slavery that most of us have succumbed to. A friend of mine once said, ”If you look back at your life and ask yourself what have I been doing most in the past five years, and if your answer is sitting at a computer staring at a screen, you have seriously got to get yourself a life.” Truer words have seldom been spoken. And many of us need to really get busy finding that life of worth, value and meaning… especially in our age of tech gadgets, virtual reality, escapism and social media overload.

social media zombies

The bottom line is that the crucial thing that your self-respect and healthy ego hinges on is getting shit done. Period. You have to make your contribution count. You have to create value in order to feel valuable. You must put one foot in front of the other and make strides toward goal after goal in order to have a life of meaning. There is simply no other way. In order for this to happen, you must hustle and work toward achieving worthwhile goals of quality substance.

If you don’t have a driver in your life – that being an incessant need that pushes you to get shit done – you’ll simply stagnate, and that only leads to death. You cannot simply stagnate and just remain as is. No, stagnation will change you, and moreso, kill you. Like a limb left inside of a cast, you will atrophy mentally and spiritually, leading to another kind of death before your physical time is up. But in order to have a driver, you must first have a passion. Something you burn for. For a man without passion is a sorry individual, indeed. Just take an honest look at your own social circle and you’ll certainly see the drifters, the ones without aim, purpose or passion in their lives, and this point will become crystal clear. ‘Nuff said and point taken, I gander.

stagnation

The thing that has driven me in my life is something as simple as the fear of mortality. I never asked for this life but now that I’m here, I’m damn well going to make the most of it. My motto is: before you know it, we’ll all be dead, so get busy!

Who the hell are we, anyway? Just another wayfarer on this earthly trek, another generation come and gone, returning to the dust from whence we came? Before that fateful day, I want to get a lot of meaningful things done and make this one and only life worth something, if for no one else, then for myself and the sake of my own self-worth, self-respect and sanity. If they write about me in the annals of world history, great. If not, so fucking what. What counts is that I personally will have had a life worth living, a life full of meaning, brimming with worthwhile content. Then, when one day it will be my time to give up the ghost, I can do so as a fulfilled man that went out and did all he could with the time that was given to him.

My Story

I was born to an immigrant preacher couple in Canada back in 1973. The doctors never gave my mother any hopes of having a child. Her womb was too small, they said. My father, ever the servant of the Lord and a minister to the bitter end, encouraged his wife to trust in God above. I am her only child, the son that was never to be, and so she called me Michael, after the arch angel in Scripture.

I was the outcast since childhood, shunned by other kids simply based on proxy: I was the preacher’s kid. I became the lone wolf, the one that took the path less trodden. I went out into my personal wasteland in order to die and be born again, to reach full manhood, with a clear, personal identity, in order to be something more than the status quo.

lone wolf

Thus, I followed what my heart burned for and became a professional wrestler – the closest thing to a real-life superhero that there is. Of all the vocations on the academic palette, pro wrestler wasn’t in there. Yet, I knew I didn’t want to be anything on the list offered. So pro wrestler it was. And more than that, I became the most accomplished professional wrestler in history to date out of Northern Europe. Yes, longevity-wise and contribution-wise, I arguably even eclipsed the late Tony ”Ludvig Borga” Halme of Finland, who worked briefly in WWE between 1993-1994. I became pro wrestling champion the world over, on several occasions, and I still grapple to this day, currently holding a version the German world heavyweight wrestling championship. I’ve coached up talent in six countries to date and I’ve headlined in many of the countries and promotions that I’ve worked in over the past 25 years of my in-ring career. So yeah, I’ve done pretty well for myself and it’s something I can be happy about.

Due to the immense passion that I’ve put into my personal piece of business, I’ve had an effective driver that has propelled me to the heights that I’ve achieved and enjoyed. The reason I can hold my head up is because I’ve done my due diligence and put the time in, and therefore through true achievement I can lay claim to healthy, strong ego and self-respect. Where others have quit, I’ve persisted and fought even harder. I don’t say this to boast, I say it to validate the point made.

Brother, I have hustled and gone the extra mile time and time again for the things that my heart has burned for. And I continue to hustle, because life still continues.

Get Busy!

Life is short, so get busy! Get off your Playstation and Pornhub and start doing something worthwhile. Don’t care what the naysayers and critics think. Don’t listen to their lack of faith and disparaging remarks as to your aspirations or your seemingly, overtly-ambitious, goals. The dogs will always bark as the caravan passes by, such is the nature of the world that we live in. Maybe your wife or girlfriend will bitch you out, thinking whatever you’ve put your heart to achieve is a waste of time. Maybe your family won’t understand if you jump out of the rat race to pursue your true ambitions. Maybe the world around you will hold you to be a fool. Don’t listen, filter it out. You have to know where you are headed. You and no one else. Don’t look for affirmation from the outside. Brother, you have got to know yourself! Get your shit – and your head – together.

Will Smith quotes

You must add value on a constant, unending basis to your life in order to draw value to yourself in turn. Value always comes to value, be it on a micro or macro level, just as water always seeks its own level. If your contribution is valuable in the eyes of those around you – and I mean valuable in a way that no one can discredit or discount that value – you will be successful before long. Maybe not as fast as you’d like, but yes, you will find success. It’s the law of life, you reap what you sow. In the measure that you meet out it will be met to you, to quote the Good Book. And like Simon Sinek says: ”People don’t buy what you sell, they buy what you believe.”

A History of High Achievement

When you look back on your life, it’s not so much what you want them to say about you when you’re gone, it’s how you feel about the actual value of the life you’ve lived up till now. As long as there is breath in your body, it’s never too late to turn your ship around and start living a life of high value.

How does one live and engage in a life of high value? Simply, by pursuing high achievement.

Plain and simple, and especially as men, our self-worth, self-respect and self-value is directly hingent upon how much we feel that our contribution has been worth to those around us. This is where the self-serving, modern mindset fails in spades, as it cannot bring about value due to its selfish nature, which is all about me, me and more me. You absolutely must make it about others, about your contribution to the world around you, no matter the size of your social circle. The social mirror just works this way. It is what it is. You get what you give in the measure that you give.

Coming from a pro wrestling background myself, one of my biggest inspirations early on was a fairly famous wrestler from the 1980s named Tully Blanchard. Tully was most famous for being one of the original Four Horsemen in the mid-’80s and his name has thus gone down in grappling lore. One of Tully’s most famous promo quotes was: ”Be whatever you wanna be, just be the BEST.” That’s something that has stuck with me all these years. Just choose to be as damn good as you can be at whatever endeavor you apply yourself to. Have that amount of personal pride in your doings. Don’t settle for second best. Be a leader, be an alpha.

Motion creates emotion, it’s an old adage and wisdom at that. You cannot feel good about yourself unless you actually do something to justify feeling good. That’s why drugs and alcohol fail to achieve this end. Dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin simply don’t just get triggered by any random thing. The reward center of the brain is geared to release ”feelgood hormones” only after the justifiable effort has first been put in. Of course, you can sabotage your dopamine levels, for example, through indulging in porn, playing the slot machines or winning at Playstation, but none of those will create fulfillment for you. True fulfillment comes through successful accomplishment, even winning smaller battles along the way, long before the war is ever even over.

The world today is handicapped and plagued by the social sedation brought on by technology and the virtual addictions that come with it. Simply reasoned, people today are less fulfilled than ever, due to the fact that they simply achieve very little outside of the immersion of virtual reality. Watching TV, Netflix, movies and YouTube won’t make you feel fulfilled. Playstation and gamer culture won’t make you feel fulfilled. Engaging with yourself while watching porn won’t make you feel fulfilled. The drought in your spirit won’t go away unless you feed it with meaningful, tangible action. So get busy.

To Sum It Up

In closing, ask yourself one, simple question: ”If I were to die tomorrow, what will have my life have been worth?” The answer should suffice to wake anyone up and start hustling.

Lastly, consider the words of Theodore Roosevelt from his ”Man in the Arena” speech:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Word.

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There comes a time in every man’s life, when he looks at what he has accomplished and accumulated to this point and what lies beyond, yet to pursue.  I found that when I hit the pivotal age of forty back in 2013, I took stock of my life at large and contemplated the brevity and breadth of it all.

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When you step back and take a look at your life from the outside, you can assess things at face value for what they are and what they have meant. (Photo: Hannu Eskelinen)

Forty is like a half-way marker.  It’s a brutal, unforgiving assessment of what is, for real.  It’s half-way to eighty, and eighty is an age that spells pretty much the end of one’s life here on Planet Earth.

I look back at the greatest, single influence on my pro wrestling career early on, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, the 16-time world heavyweight champion in our grand game of professional wrestling.  I recall the year 1990, when Flair was wrestling against Lex Luger at a WCW (World Championship Wrestling) pay-per-view event called WrestleWar ’90, that it also happened to be on his birthday.  The announcers tried to sell it as if it was Flair’s 40th birthday, when in reality, it was his 41st.  Nonetheless, I remember this detail speaking to me in volume even back then.

Ric Flair

When I started my pro wrestling career, I always asked myself “What would the ‘Naitch do?”

My old friend Chris Jericho currently wrestles for WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) as their US Champion, a belt that he will be defending against fellow Canadian grappler Kevin Owens next weekend on April 2nd at Wrestlemania 33.  Jericho is about three years my senior, now age 46.  He’s still doing well, hanging in there at the top of his game, arguably on one of his last runs with the company.  I applaud him.  He’s done very well, staying in shape and being able to connect with a changing audience and parlay his character across various generations of wrestling fans.  Yet, the end is drawing nigh, even for my old pal Y2J, simply based on age.

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When I started my pro wrestling career in Calgary, Canada in 1994, they used to call me Jericho Jr.  Really, I didn’t mind.  Chris has done incredibly well in the business, and I’m happy for him.

Now, back to my original point: the things left to pursue in one’s chosen career or life path.  Tallinn, Estonia was such a waypoint for me personally this past weekend, the reason being that the event I took part in was a professional boxing card.

For the longest time, since the onset of my personal pro wrestling career, I’ve been fighting to defend the credibility of my fighting art, called professional wrestling.  There have always been detractors and shit-talkers and there always will be.  Still, I have always felt compelled to defend the honor of my business, which many see as a faux sport.  Like one of my early role models, Bret “Hitman” Hart, said in his autobiography some years back, “It seems as though I’ve been defending professional wrestling my entire life.”

Bret Hart vs Ric Flair

Bret Hart and Ric Flair slugging it out back in 1992 in the World Wrestling Federation.

For me, I’ve always prided myself on being legitimate when I step into the ring.  I take my sport seriously.  Regardless of how many people – some contemporaries included – have prostituted and bastardized our trade, for me, I’ve always strived to take the higher road of credibility.  I’ve gone the extra mile and fought tooth and nail to retain integrity in the believability of professional wrestling.  For me, it’s a matter of professional pride.

Being able to parlay my skills and take part in the Warrior Fight Series 1 event this past Saturday night in Tallinn, Estonia on March 25 was a true milestone for me.  It was history in the making.

Photo by Karli Saul 15

Photographer Karli Saul captures my ring entrance in Estonia in dazzling colors.

I was able to step into the ring in front of a virgin audience, engage them and win them over, making believers in the process, as I fought against a true athletic stud in Vladimir Kulakov of Russia.  This was an international match of epic proportions: the time-tested, world-traveled ring veteran against the younger Russian pro wrestling champion and a literal wolverine amongst his peers.  It was action and reaction, just as professional wrestling should be, in front of an audience that was there with an open mind, ready to make their initial assessment of the grappling game that is professional wrestling.  It was an ambitious endeavor to win over a new fan base and build where no one else had built or wandered before.

Photo by Martin Ahven (2)

Photographer Martin Ahven gets a good shot of the intensity of my match with Kulakov.

It is in this – venturing out into new, uncharted territories – that I take personal gratification in at this stage of my pro wrestling career.  I pioneered the business in Finland back in 2003 along with promoter Patrik Pesola, which launched an entire scene in the country.  My hallmark is set in stone as the most successful professional wrestler ever out of the Nordics and the northern sector of Europe.  My track record globally attests to that claim, and my championship reigns worldwide, along with my lengthy list of name opposition all around the world support that argument.  Now, I need a new mountain to climb.  A new challenge to contest.

Tallinn was the beginning of another chapter in my personal pro wrestling career.  I want to thank the promoter of EST Boxing, Mr. Grinkin, for having the faith to present pro wrestling on his card.  I want to also thank the Estonian media at large for covering the match to the degree that it has received media attention, which you can see e.g. from the link below:

http://sport.delfi.ee/news/voitlussport/poks/delfi-video-esmakordselt-eestis-ameerika-wrestlingu-sou-naerutas-tondiraba-publikut?id=77670846

Every one of us has the chance to build our own legacy in whatever our chosen endeavor is.  The true question is, how much heart do you really have to pursue your ambitions and goals, turning your dreams into a reality?

Life is short.  Make yours spectacular.

Today marks my 42nd birthday.  I don’t feel so young anymore, nor do I feel very old.  I’m somewhere in between.

Like most folks out there, I don’t fancy the limitations and slowing down process that age brings with it.  I’ve strived to reach the upper echelon in all things that my heart has burned after, and I have held nothing back.  I’ve been all around the world, reached pinnacles that many only dream of, becoming a star player in my chosen sport far and wide.  I’ve toured many lands with my various rock bands, been here, there and a little bit of everywhere.

StarBuck birthday

So here at 42, on April 24, I look back on what has been and ahead to what lies in wait.  As a lone wolf, not part of any clique out there, I’ve done a hell of a lot in my 42 years.  Everything I’ve achieved, I’ve earned with hard work, honesty and reputation.  Not by kissing ass, playing politics or stabbing other people in the back.  For that, I am proud.

I achieved my dream of superstardom in Japan as a wrestler in 2010-2011, which was my career goal, and everything from here on out is a bonus.  I garnered three European wresting championships during my career so far, and I am happy with that number.  It’s a magical number; three.  Anything above that is also just a bonus.  I’ve wrestled in 19 countries over the past 21 years, and I’d like to add a few more before I hang the boots up one day, so that is something to still strive towards.

My old arch-rival and Finnish wrestling veteran Stark Adder wrote a powerful blog about me to commemorate my birthday.  Take a look: http://starkadderkomorebi.blogspot.fi/2015/04/the-mightiest-adversary.html

I have no idea how long my saga on this Earth will be, but I can honestly say, that I have lived the life of a journeyman, the life of a wayfarer, the life of legend.  If all of this were to end tomorrow, I would have to be happy, content that I went out there and actualized my dreams.  I didn’t just talk the talk, I walked the walk.

So today, for me, 42 is an inverted 24.

Yesterday, Finnish pop rock act Disco Ensemble released their newest single and music video, entitled Eartha Kitt, which is based on the upcoming Spandex Sapiens (early 2014 release) documentary movie about my persona and wrestling career.

Spandex Sapiens was originally penned to be called Babyface, but the movie’s director Oskari Pastila changed the title in a more comicbook-oriented (albeit B-movie) direction.  I swear, I can almost smell the Toxic Avenger’s second coming here (no, really, I’m kidding)!  In truth, this production is looking to be quite stellar, as it was filmed in five countries on three continents over three-and-a-half years.  Both the National Broadcasting Company of Finland (YLE) and the Finnish Film Foundation (Suomen Elokuvasäätiö) are behind this project, and that means major firepower once it comes out.  This is no small budjet movie, folks!

Spandex Sapiens

“Spandex Sapiens is the story of Michael Majalahti aka StarBuck, a lonely son of a Canadian preacher man who becomes the striving pioneer of professional wrestling in faraway Finland, only to find himself contested both physically and ideologically by the young transsexual wrestler Jessica Love, who even follows him to Japan on his big break.”
www.spandexsapiens.com

Below are some photos from the filming process of the Spandex Sapiens documentary movie, taken by photographer Jan Ahlstedt.

My movie rival, transsexual wrestler Jessica Love, looks on at the filmed segments between takes with writer ilja Rautsi and director Oskari Pastila.

My movie rival, transsexual wrestler Jessica Love, looks on at the filmed segments between takes with writer Ilja Rautsi and director Oskari Pastila.

A fight or flight scene from Suomenlinna, off of the coast of Helsinki, in damp and extremely chilly October weather.

A fight or flight scene from Suomenlinna, off of the coast of Helsinki, in damp and extremely chilly October weather.

StarBuck and Jessica Love duke it out in the middle of nowhere.

StarBuck and Jessica Love duke it out in the middle of nowhere.

Join the new Facebook group for Spandex Sapiens, and get regular updates HERE.

You can also join my personal StarBuck Facebook fanpage HERE.

This past weekend on Saturday, March 9th in Helsinki, my fiancee Diana and I hosted our own engagement party.  From family to friends, folks from far and wide – as far as Jyväskylä and Pori – came out to celebrate our union.

Held at Bar Chaplin in downtown Helsinki – owned by my old Stoner Kings drummer Janne Kontoniemi – the party was attended by about 70 guests.  Check out some of the photos below from the event!

Engagement party graphic

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I was recently interviewed for GSP TV, Romania’s top sports television channel, regarding many subjects.

The interview is about 30 minutes long, so sit back and enjoy this phoner chat, where I talk everything from my own career to WWE to TNA to Japan, plus marriage and romance to boot!

Part one:

Part two:

Part three:

For a long time now, I have not bothered taking on any new protege’s in pro wrestling, as I just have not had the spark to do so.  In 2007, I took on Pasi “Salama” Suominen, whose career ended prematurely, less than two years into his pro wrestling life, after he lost heart following an elbow injury that required surgery in late 2008.  In 2010, I took on Japan’s Hajime Ohara, and our collaboration disintegrated over the summer of last year.  After that, I just haven’t had the interest to pick up the next “project”.  I have not seen the needed heart, drive and attitude in anyone … until now.

Academic standout and funny guy Mikko Maestro might fool a lot of people with his comical shtick, but underneath that exterior image is a kid whose heart burns for this business.  He might not be the most talented kid out there, he might be a bit rough around the edges, and he might be a jackass for real, but this kid has the one thing that a lot of people in this business are missing: Heart.

TS7 tag match

I faced Maestro this past summer in Kerava, Finland, and tested the kid good and proper.  He lost rather decisively, but he didn’t lose heart.  Instead, he’d continue to ask me for advice on how to improve his personal game time and time again.  When I proposed to my fiancee Diana this past January 4th in Lohja, Finland, I even decided to ask Maestro to bring the engagement ring to the wrestling ring, so I could take care of business and ditch the bachelor life.  It was a big moment for Maestro, who understood that out of everyone in the FCF Wrestling locker room, I chose him to the courier in that memorable moment.

SB proposes

You can teach someone to wrestle, you can teach someone the psychology of mat warfare, you can teach someone proper etiquette … but the one thing that you cannot teach is the intangible element of heart.  You either have it or you don’t.  When push comes to shove, when injuries arise and when the business and those inside of it treat you like shit, your real passion and drive come to light.  Some just wither and fade away in the heat of those negative barbs, whereas others rise to the occasion and work through the disparaging elements.

When I started out in the wrestling business as an active competitor in January 1994, I was not the most talented guy out there.  In my second or third match, I recall my coach Lance Storm and my friend Chris “Y2J” Jericho sitting in the audience of an indie wrestling card in North Bay, Ontario.  I took a leap off the second turnbuckle out of the corner at my opponent, attempting to hit him with a clothesline.  My well-meant attempt was met with Jericho’s disparaging remark after the match, when he asked “Did you slip off the ropes?”.  Yeah, that was not the message I was trying to get across.  It took a long time for me to become a world-class athlete and one of the best out of Europe today.  It demanded years of immersion, a humble attitude, incessant tunnel vision and TONS of heart … but I “got there”.  I became a 3-time European wrestling champion, and a titleholder in many other countries.  I faced the best of the best, and ultimately I was pushed to become the best at my chosen game and profession.

TVII_maestro_info_card

Now, at Talvisota VII on February 2nd in Helsinki at Sokos Hotel Presidentti, I will take on a new protege in Mikko Maestro.  We are up against my old nemesis and Finnish wrestling veteran Stark Adder and his new protege, Ricky Vendetta.  After all, it was Adder to whom I lost the Finnish title back on May 26, 2006 in Helsinki.  Now, it’s the old dogs and the new pups on both sides of the fence.  It’s a matter of mentorship, and moreso, a matter of personal pride.  As Vendetta is to Adder, so Maestro is to me: They are our personal investments, and we are their impresarios.

To many, Maestro might still be a joke.  It is my personal agenda to make the wrestling public take note of Mikko Maestro as a serious competitor, to push him to become more, to show the world that under the right guidance, he can become a force to be reckoned with.  It might be a rocky road ahead, but dammit, I have walked the straight and narrow all my life.  I am used to the hard road.  Now, Mikko Maestro has the opportunity to learn through integration, and he is willing to sweat, bleed and pay the price, as 16-time world champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair so aptly coined.

Prepare.  February 2, 2o13.  Talvisota VII.  Helsinki.

Talvisota VII

02.02.2013 @ 18:00

Sokos Hotel Presidentti

Eteläinen Rautatiekatu 4, Helsinki

Tickets in advance: 12e, at the door: 15e (+ door charge)

Pre-order tickets here: www.fightclubfinland.fi/kauppa

Pre-orders close on 27.01.13