” 12 Rules For Life ” Series, Part 3

Rule number 3 of Dr.Petersons book is “Make Friends With People Who Want The Best For You”. Again, I don’t like to give too deep of a summary because I don’t want to steal the knowledge or deprive anyone the opportuinty to purchase the book and read it themselves, but I like this chapter in particular because Dr. Peterson gives some insight into the town in which he was raised and uses a close personal example that I had a very easy time relating to.

He told the story of someone he know that was not able to live up to the potential that seemed to be very obvious to the people around him. A lot of things played into that such as inability to function productively while stoned, low aspirations even just in the job he had and also chose friends who didn’t push him to be better than he was. It did not take me long at all to find paralells to these in my life.

In Highschool I had a friend that we will call Thomas. I was introduced to him through another friend I had who we will call Hillary. The two of them were dating and we all became best friends. We spent everyday together and shared all of our drugs and cigarettes and alcohol, but not exactly equally. For whatever the reason was Hillary generally went along with whatever Thomas said, which became a problem after a while. Thomas had some emotional problems that I was never 100% clear on but for which he took fair amounts of very heavy drugs including calonopin, xanax and things of that nature and to this day I’m not convinced they were all correctly prescribed.

After they were together for a while Hillary took on the same positions and opinons of Thomas and in turn was much more difficult to have deep emotional conversations with and even speak generally about what we might do with ourselves. Thomas and I would make trades if one of us had cigarettes and the other had weed, but I always had to give away more cigarettes and never got quite as much weed. The argument was commonly made that becuase at the time I had been stealing to support our habits, the drugs or alcohol I was providing were not as valuable as what they were providing because they were earning money doing chores or what-not and then purchasing the drugs.

None of this ever made sense to me, but because I didn’t have a good view of myself I was able to subconsciously convince myself that’s what I deserved, because that is what I had. It took Hillary and Thomas having a baby about two years after him and I had met and them continuing on with the unhealthy habits we had, for me to see that I didn’t need that in my life, and that we all deserved better than what we had.

At the same time that all of this was happening I had another friend, my best friend, who I am proud to honestly say his name is Trent’n. He has been my best friend for 10 years, amd my son will bare his name. Not even a week ago, Trent’n and I nearly got into a screaming match in a mexican restaraunt because he felt at the time that I may not be trying as hard as I can to reach my potential, and specifially that I may be allowing people in my life to deny me opportunities before I had asked for them.

We took a break from the conversation and finished later on a much more similar page and fully understood what the miscommunication was and what the other was trying to get at. I was only ever frustrated because I knew at a certain pont that we were talking about different things and maybe the beers we had been drinking were making it hard for us to see that. I also knew and never ever doubted that that only happened because my best friend wants abolsutely nothing but the best for me. The whole thing started because he thought maybe I should be making more money. In a world where my largest stresser and generally largest concern is dollars, it is nothing but love for me to hear my best friend want me to be valued the way he sees me.

It is layed out extraordinarly clearly in this chapter how vitally important it is to make friends with people who want the best for you. A set of people who care deeply for eachother will always do everything they can to make sure the other is in an advantageous position in their lives. It allows you to see the true value in yourself and in turn begin to identify a viable and legitmate path for your life. After having realized that Trent’n is the best friend I could have asked for and is the one I deserved the entire time, I could never go back. And I could never ask for anyone better for a best friend.


-Donavan Phillips

Episode 30!

In episode 30 Offie and Don go over the anonymous OP ED from the New York Times, the new book ” Fear: Trump in The White House “, the first day of Brett Kavanaughs confirmation hearing, and Nikes new ad campaign with Colin Kaepernick, the blue wave may actually be legit, why no one deserves more than anyone else, getting high at work might be acceptable at some jobs, rest in peace Mac Miller and Burt Reynolds, and of course, SPORTS!!


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Episode 28

From the dark underbelly of NYC and the smoke smother PNW Don and Offie catch up on Offies trip to New York, The Book of Mormon, Cape Cod and fevered cough syrup dreams, the differences in homelessness in NY and Seattle, Dons Century Club and interview with Mackrayz and touch on Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort and what it means to you.


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Episode 27!

Special guest Mackrayz joins Don for a one on one interview style pod. The two go over how Mack was raised and the differences between his experience and Dons, the start of Upper Left and how they got to where they are, Macks personal views on Trump and the country, systemic racism, Confederate era statues and their place in this country, some of their favorite movies and actors and much much more.

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Find the UpperLeft music on THEIR SoundCloud and all of the social medias are tagged on Dons Twitter and the Salt of The Streets IG.

Episode 25 is dropping!

This week Don and Offie take it easy while they kick back and watch the Hall of Fame Game and discuss how easy it is to be misinformed, the rarities of a black punter and kicker, the pro and cons of young fiery candidates like Joey Gibson and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the logic based argument for being pro-life and the place of religion in politics, the possible implication of term limits and shrinking the government.

Check out the podcast on SoundCloud, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts or anywhere else you can get a podcast. The Pre Shows and Full Show Livstreams are all on our YouTube! Leave us a comment and a review and let us know what you think!

Episode 21 Power Hour Livestream Special

A SUPER special episode this week with a super special guest, Case Bohls is back in the house and with him Offie and Don take it easy and let the TV be the guide, Ostrich racing, Home Shopping Network, wheelchair ballroom, Big Cats go hard as hell, a successful power hour to finish it off regardless of Offies lack of belief.

We also messed around and live streamed the entire show this week so make SURE you check that out on YouTube later tonight, you can always find all of our pods on SoundCloud, and you can find our musical guests there as well. Let us know what you think of the episode and the content on ANY of our platforms.

Donavan’s Dissent

This last month for me was pretty interesting. As most of you probably know, around the time the Upper Left guys came on, I lost another member of my family and then the next morning discovered that my wife and I were having a baby. This dissent, even though we announced the new style, for me won’t yet be a well-done, research piece but the next one definitely will be. For now I just want to talk about what I think fatherhood is.

First off, I’m terrified. Regardless of the reality I couldn’t feel any less prepared to be a father. I have no idea what it takes. My parents were divorced when I was two, and my dad wasn’t solidly in my life after the age of six. I grew up in a house with my mom, my sister – who is seven years older than me – and my grandmother. The home I was raised in was incredibly loving and I’m not sure I could have asked for a better one but it wasn’t filled with what could be considered “standard masculine energy”.

My mother loves football, but learns from me now. She had me open her radiator once RIGHT after she drove, we didn’t know any better. My grandma taught me how to shave by describing to me how my grandfather did it when he was alive. I learned everything I could from every boyfriend my sister ever had, no matter if it was good or bad. I’ve always had a hard time fitting in with males and making strong male friendships, even to this day in my current place of work. I don’t say these things to try and get some type of strange sympathy, because I am by no means unique in the case of not having a present father in this country, but simply to highlight some of the things that I had to teach myself and continue to learn today.

I am not concerned about what some might tell me are “socially constructed” ideals of what a man is. These are some qualities that I would also attribute to what I think is a strong and well-rounded male; qualities that I wanted for myself when I was younger and hoped desperately for someone to teach me. As simple as auto mechanics, the fine details of football of base, how to put the chain back on my bike when it falls off or even how to talk to a girl I liked. Some times I did learn things from other men but a lot of these things I had to teach myself. I have fully considered and feel comfortable with the possibility that my child might not identify with the same qualities that I do when it comes to being a male, but the qualities I considered to be strong were identified the same way with my wife, which was the goal in the long run even if I didn’t know it.

I don’t think I’m afraid of not knowing these things when my child arrives, I feel totally comfortable learning things WITH my child. I am still learning much for myself, for example, everything I know how to do on a vehicle are things that have broken on my cars and I have had to repair on my own. My fear, I think, is not in the skills I feel I may lack but in my deep concern that without HAVING a solid and strong father figure in my life how could I possibly be one to my child? And I think I’m starting to come up with an answer. To borrow a phrase from the far left, fatherhood is not linear. That’s why people can grow up with two moms or two dads and still be normal functioning members of society.

I think that with that, there are only a few things that a child needs in that non-linear definition of fatherhood that are vital, and the rest I theorize could be played by ear, for lack of a better term. I could not by any means provide a list of those vital characteristics, but a few could be love from a masculine force to help the child understand that won’t only come from a mother, the feeling of obligation and responsibility to protect your family and those around you and to respect women and their choices and feelings in this world. The rest, as I said, I think are easier to choose for yourself.

By these “non-vital” aspects I mean having an opinion on your child sexual preference of choice of career, caring what sports they play even if they don’t, the college they want to go to if they want to go at all, or even the hobbies that they choose to occupy their time. And by non-vital what I really mean is if you take an objective look at these possible aspect of the child’s life, what do they matter? Sure there are outliers like your child COULD choose to occupy their time by taking copious amounts of acid or torturing your dog, but chances are they won’t. It’s much more likely that difference I speak of is that I love football and my kid might hate it.

Ultimately I think it’s these things that cause men to buy books on how to be a father. As most of you probably know I’m not innocent of that judgement, but the book I chose was chosen for a reason. It was written by a PNW native that mostly discusses how to help support your partner while they are going through pregnancy, because being a man, I have NO idea what that is like. He also explores how to act independently in order to make choices that you feel as a couple are best and to not be pressured into making the decisions others think you should, because everyone has an opinion on how to raise your baby.

As terrified as I am I also feel confident – confident that I will do my absolute best to teach my child all of the vital pieces of existence that I can, and that I will also do my best to not let the non-vital aspects of my child affect my life, because I don’t think they should. I feel comfortable and confident saying that I will love my child to the fullest extent possible until the end of my life, with no exceptions. I also believe this is what will get me through, and has gotten every great father through, since the beginning of time. Confidence. Confidence will allow me to follow my heart, and always do what I think is best for my child and my family. And from the eyes of a man without a father figure that is doing his best, that’s what I think fatherhood is about.

  • Written by Donavan Phillips