Money is often a hot topic as it’s something that’s both coveted and despised as either the answer to all the problems of the world, or the root of it all. Owner of Shop Collecta, Carlo Montes, has seen and experienced success during his teenage years. Having been at the peak, he talks about modern world problems as well as what it’s like once you get to where you want to be in life. He also tackles one of the biggest changes the society has ever been through in the past few years due to the sudden growth of modern technology.
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Modern World Problems: Buying Happiness In The Modern Times With Carlo Montes
What’s up, Carlo?
What’s up? How are you doing?
I’m doing fantastic. Thank you for being here. Thank you for saying yes. For us, it’s something that as we bring guests on the show, it’s always interesting to meet people with different backgrounds, different experiences and different things they’ve got going on in the world. Thank you for flinging yourself into the unknown.
Of course, I’m happy to be here.
The first thing I want to say is this is the first time we’re actually meeting.
You two. Carlo and I met in person, our very first time.
We met at Tesla Supercharger, the greatest place to meet people. If you do that, you already know.
I’ll give the context for that. I was charging my Tesla Model 3, the Supercharger. For people unfamiliar, you could charge your car in a number of ways. One of the fastest, most efficient ways is to go to a Tesla Supercharger.
It’s the gas station for Teslas.
They’re located across most cities. In LA, there are a few that I go to. One night I went and I saw Carlo’s Model X, which is different from my Model 3 and it is beautiful. Is it still the same color?
Yeah, for the time being.
It’s like a cool, goldish mustard.
It changes from gold to yellow-green in the sun.
Does it go from gold to wasabi-ish?
Yeah, but it also can be banana yellow. It has everything in between.You can’t rub $100 on your chest and get better. Having money is not a cure for a bad day. Click To Tweet
I’m suddenly hungry.
I love the word banana yellow.
I saw his car and I want to get a wrap on my car. For anyone who’s not familiar with car language, it basically means you’re wrapping your car in a color and there are all these different options. I want to get purple. I saw his car and I wanted to ask where he got it done. What was funny is that I ran into your dad’s first. I talked to your dad at the elevator. I was going downstairs for something and it’s in a mall. I talked to your dad and he was like, “It’s actually my son’s car. When you come back, I’ll introduce you to him.” I walked over to your car to ask about the wrap but then you and I ended up having this great in-depth conversation.
That was when we first moved here. We were living in hotels at this time because we did not have a place.
Me and Hugo. Hugo is my business partner who moved out here with me. We moved here from San Diego where we first started the business and we moved here to do some expansion. We were living in hotels at the time with extended stays and we were probably staying right there near Glendale at the time. We were staying near. That’s where we met and that was the situation that we were living out of at that time when we all got together.
You’re living out of hotel rooms and extended stays.
That was what it was at that too.
What is that experience to uproot yourself from San Diego? We’ll talk about the business and entrepreneurship and all the cool stuff you’ve got going on, but I’m super curious. That’s uprooting yourself from your living situation, living in a hotel, an extended stay in a new city. It’s a whole new situation. You’ve got your bro with you. You’ve got your business partner. What’s that on an emotional and physical level to be chilling and living at a hotel?
It’s very crazy. There’s even a greater backstory behind it because we literally were living at the time in a city about 60 miles south of there. It’s a very small city with probably about 100,000 people. That’s small to the comparison of Los Angeles being at five million. We had full lives. Hugo had a job making pizzas. I was doing some clothing sales and stuff like that. Literally we said, “Let’s apply to get jobs in LA. When it hits, we’ll pack up a suitcase and leave from our 9:00 to 5:00 lives.” This was our push. This was the risk of jumping into complete uncertainty. Let’s do it. We got jobs, it landed and we ended up for the first week and a half of our jobs living in these extended stays and that was how we worked. We would get up in the morning at 6:00, throw everything in our car, go to work, and then in the night come back to an extended stay. We did that for two weeks until we found the house.
Was this in 2019?
Yeah, and that was literally going from having a full-time job in another city to leaving there and then now coming to this brand-new city and having full-time jobs again somewhere completely new. Emotionally, it was a roller coaster. We got disconnected from friends, family, everyone back home. It was a completely new experience. I don’t know if you’re familiar, I turned twenty.
Congratulations, by the way.
Thank you. It was July 1st. For someone twenty, in general, to be doing stuff like this, it can be a bit scary to add on top of it that we still don’t have any social ties into the city. We have a few friends here and there, but it’s been a growth experience to go through and continue forward and it’s been great overall.
What’s interesting about you, I remember when I met you at the Tesla parking lot, you feel to me like you’ve had so much life experience. When I found out how young you are, it was a bit mind-blowing. Jason has very little context, but what’s interesting about the two of us is that I’ve barely told them anything about you.
All I knew coming in was that he’s a happy, positive dude. He drives a dope Tesla and he’s going to be a cool guest. I also came into this like you, never meeting each other until before the show and barely knowing anything about you. That’s why this is exciting on that layer.
To add to that rawness, I remember I read this and I was like, “I’m not going to prepare. I’m going to walk in and make this as raw as possible.” We need to make this raw. We want to make this real. That’s how I am all over the place in general. That was really interesting on how we met.
I don’t even know why we started talking, it must’ve been your dad. I remember your dad was sitting there in the passenger seat and somehow, we all started talking and we were standing there for half an hour chatting. I also remember you were telling me about social media. Maybe we connected on Instagram, that might’ve been it. You started telling me about your social media background, which is fascinating and I find you a very fascinating person.
Everyone always says you can’t get away from my father without having a life-changing conversation. He’s always been that guy and he’s touched people in ways that are unexplainable. He’s met people who talked to him for ten minutes. I honest to God tell you that I can recall once or twice when they’ve literally given us phone calls and said, “That averted me from committing suicide,” or something deeper than that. I feel I was raised in an amazing environment because my father loved to talk and he loved talking to people. What’s also very interesting is my father had me at 45. I’m 20, my father is 69 and my mother is 65.
I’ve lived a lot of life through them because when I was five years old, I was already at dinner parties, talking to people in suits. At five, I have lived a lot in that sense. We did do a lot with them. They were in real estate, so they moved around a lot and they did extravagant things. I remember being courtside at Lakers games and right behind the dugout at Dodgers games because the clients were there and I got to go tag along with them. In my life, I feel blessed to have done a lot of things and have lived a lot of life. That is true. It’s interesting that it shows.
On that subject, what do you feel is the power of connection? When we think about society, there’s so much talk about isolation, depression and people with mental health issues. I’ve certainly talked a lot publicly about my struggles with that. With you talking about the way that you connect, you have a big heart, you’re very open and we just met. It sounds like you got that from your father, your parents. What do you feel the power of that connection, that willingness to put ourselves in new situations with people we don’t know, with strangers and be open, be loving and be the invitation? How do you see that as being important in our society? How do you see that show up in your life?
It’s hard for many people to do that. It’s because we live in such a society and it’s hard to continue to be that person because everything is so critiqued. Everything, every single move you make, I don’t care if you have three friends and you don’t know anyone or you have one million followers on Instagram and everyone knows you. Every single move nowadays is critiqued and I think that provides a lot of pressure on people and it begins to shut people down. I know for a long time because I wanted to be this loud, lovely person, I’ve had to take so much adversity and brush it off. Every time I hear it and I hear it probably on a weekly basis, someone will say, “You’re talking too loud.”
I’m too much of a bright personality there. I have to brush it off because you have to surround yourself and focus yourself with the most positive and uplifting things and then that will follow suit. That’s how I look at it because I’m very open about it too. I’ve been through some depression, some anxiety, some trying things. It definitely is a problem. Isolation is a big issue in our society. The original conversation I had with Whitney was that social media has a lot to do with that. I’m a big firm believer in that and I’m not a psychiatrist, but I was an influencer for some time. I posted sixteen times a day on Instagram. It was basically my life.
Sixteen times a day. Is it for real?
Yeah, I posted sixteen times a day. It was probably from 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM every hour.
Was that part of an overall strategy? What were you trying to accomplish by posting that much?
Before Instagram changed its algorithm, it was 2018. They changed it from chronological over to this new algorithm that says what you like and maps it out and all that. Before that, it was how much you posted that got you on top. If I posted sixteen times a day, I got more followers. I’ve got more likes. I was blowing up. I got 100,000 followers in a year. In eight months to a year, I was up 200,000 followers.
It was insane. It was a Subaru page. We posted modified Subarus and it was one of the top five biggest in the world.
This is something that you did personally. Did you modify Subarus?There’s always knowledge to gain every time you hit a roadblock or failure. Click To Tweet
Yeah. I had five cars at once that were modified. They weren’t all super, probably two of them were, and then the rest were BMW’s, Nissan’s. I had a YouTube channel going next to it and I have five cars I was modifying myself as well as posting other people’s builds. It’s the best shots of people’s builds. It’s like a hub for Subaru stuff for enthusiasts to come and hang out. I was 15, 16 going through this, always on my phone all day doing that. I was living in this very reclusive world. I dropped out of school to pursue the business side of it because I was making stickers and banners and selling them for the hoarded crowd that was buying them. Towards I would say 2017, 2018, I started seeing a shift in Instagram to a more business side as well as I started seeing and understanding the harmful effects of what it was doing to people. That’s where I started to begin to understanding and where my anxiety and my depression in the midst of all this started happening. I started getting a broader perspective on everything and understanding that it’s becoming a problem.
Talk about that. When you look back on that period, with social media in general, what do you think was fueling the feelings of anxiety and depression? What was it like for you?
Originally it was criticism. I remember someone told me this once and it blew my mind. They said, “You can have 100 good comments and one bad one, and we will only focus on the bad one.” In our minds, we have a fight or flight response. We seek to look at what’s wrong with us and fix it so we will always focus on the bad. Someone told me that and I was like, “This is crazy.” I’m realizing that we’re creating this bigger platform to be critiqued. We’re actually hurting ourselves mentally because we’re getting all these opinions that we didn’t need before and we’re seeing them. There’s even such an aspect of personal judgment on Instagram where it comes down to, “I am not as good as this person.” That’s one of the most damaging things too. Those two aspects I think are damaging on Instagram right now.
How do you think we can manage that on a personal level? It’s clear that social media is not going away. It’s continuing to grow and mutate. Every single year, there are all these new platforms coming out. How would you suggest that we collectively as humanity manage that on an emotional, mental and spiritual level?
One of the biggest things is we need to stop making it integral. I understand that it’s integral from a large perspective for many people, but we need to value face-to-face conversations. We need to put our phones down. I don’t know if you noticed, but I don’t ever have my phone in my pocket. I will not allow it to be in my pocket at all. I usually will end up putting it on a table or near me when I sit down somewhere. It’s because I have it as a reminder that this is not where I am right now. I’m here. This is where I want to be. I’ll be there when I need to be there, but it’s not where I need to be. To me, it’s important that you capture all the moments in life and have them for you. I go to concerts and I see people living behind their phones throughout the whole concert.
That blows my mind at concerts.
It has gotten to the point where when you go into a restaurant, everyone’s on their phones, they’re not even talking. It’s getting scary and it’s gotten to the point of where I’ve been emotional and thinking, “Is there going to be no one to talk to at some point?” I’m seeing parents with little kids and they’re on iPads glued at 3, 4 years old. I live in Los Angeles. You see a lot of younger parenting here and obviously, a lot of people are out and doing things because it’s LA. You get to see that a lot more. I’ve seen that and it’s very scary to think what this world could be if it gets progressively worse.
I imagine for you that being twenty, you came out of being a teenager, your perspective on it is super interesting because that’s been such a huge part of your life so far. Do you remember much about your life before all this technology? Here’s an example for me. I remember what it was like to fly on airplanes before 9/11 and how so much changed, not just TSA, but you could go and talk to the pilot.
You could go right in the cockpit.
That was before me.
You could go to the cockpit and we’re not that much older than you, but enough where our experiences are going to be slightly different than yours. When I asked you, do you remember what it’s like? I vaguely remember what it was like because what happens is it becomes the new norm. It’s been twenty years since 9/11. Your brain starts to forget what it’s like previous to what you currently know. It’s the new world versus the old world. It’s almost like I barely remember what it’s like before I got my iPhone and how much things changed when we got our iPhones.
That’s such a scary question because that’s the first time I’ve ever thought of it like that. I definitely remember getting the first iPhone. Instagram was out in 2010, 2011 or 2012, the original platform.
It was earlier than that but people weren’t starting to use it until 2012.
I remember being on it in 2013 and seeing people have a year or two-year-old profiles. That’s when it was blowing up. I was in middle school at the time. Now that you bring it up, I remember a shift in the kids and everything. I’m being dead serious. I remember going into middle school and everyone would talk to everyone and everyone was social and out there. I’d have to check the validity of this, but they were saying that kids nowadays in schools have the same level of anxiety of people in internment camps. I’m thinking to myself, what is going on in the last couple of years? We have to shut it down whatever it is because this is the only time we have. We’re going to raise a whole generation in this and it’s going to be over. We have to look at this. This is potentially the scariest thing we’ve ever seen. We have a record of high suicide rates across the country, tons of cases of depression and anxiety being diagnosed everywhere. Insane levels of drug use are everywhere. It’s popularized by major media and culture. It’s become out of control.
What’s fascinating about that is that makes me think about how it’s common for child actors to have drug problems. I’ve thought about it at times and thinking maybe they are so used to becoming famous. I’ve talked about this before. When you get everything you want, you get all the attention you want and then it’s either taken away from you or you receive something and then you feel there’s nothing left. I wonder if that shift is happening and any of the depression and anxiety and struggles mentally that the younger generations are going through is because one of the reasons that platforms like Instagram and YouTube are addicting but also harmful is because they put people in a place of fame.
Vulnerability too, if you think about it.
Going to the fame side of it, we are hooked on it because we’re constantly getting validation. We’re constantly getting approval. We’re also getting criticism. I wonder if it’s not that far off from what child actors experience because they’re growing up in front of the camera. They’re getting a lot of fame and recognition, but they’re also getting that criticism. Instagram is changing the lives of a lot of teenagers that are getting all this success. Maybe you can speak to this too. It sounds like you’ve had a lot of success and some financial success as well. Not a lot of twenty-year-olds have a Model X with banana yellow wrap on it. That sounds cool, but what’s it like to get things like that when you’re a teenager?
Speaking on what you’re speaking on before, to touch on it, it’s interesting to see that in Hollywood in general, we have many cases of drug overdose or depression. In the last even 50, 60 years of Hollywood being around since the ’60s, there are so many names to name off, but you’re making an amazing point of that same level being given to an average everyday Joe Blow because you can have 4,000 followers on Instagram being a regular person. You could have that criticism on there. An average 9:00 to 5:00 person who works at a Domino’s can have 4,000, 5,000 followers on Instagram and can have enough people to get mean hurtful comments. That’s a true story. Asking about me, I remember being seventeen fresh off of my whole Instagram thing and driving a new 2015, 2016 M4 and having my Tesla and an Audi. I had my own apartment in downtown San Diego. I was like, “This should be what would be happiness to a lot of people, but it wasn’t.” That was probably some of my most miserable times. It was interesting because it gave me a taste into that world and understanding that money will never bring you happiness. The greatest way someone put it to me was if you don’t have enough money, it’s a stress, but once it meets your basic needs, it won’t provide you any more joy after that.
Didn’t you see that, Jason, that there’s the number?
There was a study and they updated the study. It’s fascinating.
Did the number go up? I know exactly what you’re talking about.
The number did go up.
Is it the number of satisfied people?
Yeah. It wasn’t only for the US. It was a worldwide median. Of course, it depends culturally where you’re at. If you live in Bangladesh versus Bali versus Berkeley, California, obviously the cost of living is different. Their thing was for a modern society situation in city life. It was a tick over $90,000. We have not seen past $90,000.
That’s at Wellevatr.com.
This article says you can make beyond $90,000, it was maybe $92,000. I’m paraphrasing here, but you’re not seeing an exponential jump in your happiness, satisfaction or joy beyond that number. It’s so fascinating because to your point, we hear about more money, more problems. There’s this consumeristic patterning in our society that’s bigger, better, faster and more. Get bigger muscles, date hotter women, get more money, have fancier cars. I know I’ve been definitely subject to that pressure and identified with that for many years. You’re talking about you’ve actually lived it. You’ve got these fancy cars, you’re a young man, you have this success, you have a dope apartment and you’re sitting in this apartment like, “Is this all life is about?”
What’s interesting to me is having that knowledge now being twenty, many people don’t have that new outlook and everything.
Especially at twenty, but some people never had it.
That is to me, the greatest piece of knowledge I know if anyone ever asks me, is to know that money isn’t everything. I’m going to give you two examples. I remember one was a personal example and one was something else. In 2008, you guys are familiar with what happened when the market collapsed. Many people lost their homes, including my family. We lived in Rancho Palos Verdes. I’ve never talked about this, but we did. There was a gentleman in France I believe, and he had the majority of his money in American homes and real estate and such. He had $3 billion. He lost $2 billion in 2008. He had $1 billion. That’s a lot of money. He killed himself over $2 billion because he lost $2 billion. He had $1 billion left. There are many people that I meet nowadays and I always ask them, what is it that’s continually driving you to do what you’re doing? If it ends up not being some actual purpose or reason you’re there, you can almost count that there’s going to be something that’s going to happen. It’s not going to work out. Something is going to go wrong. I don’t understand why people ever get in this game for that in the first place. There’s this artist, he’s sixteen years old. Lil Tecca, have you heard of him?
No.The only time you fail is when you stop. Click To Tweet
He made this brand-new track. I’ve only heard his one song, I believe it’s called Ransom. He’s a 16-year-old kid, he got on Instagram Live and he said, “You are right now happier sitting where you are than your favorite rapper.” He told everyone that. He was saying, “This is not it.” He has one big song and he’s saying, “This is not happiness. The money, the girls, the cars, it’s not it. This isn’t what it is.” He said so many of them are depressed and he opened the door to see a little bit inside of maybe some of his friends or people that he knows. It was crazy to hear that and to understand that for some reason, all everyone wants it seems is money, fame, girls and cars and all that, but it’s a distant hope that keeps you going until you get it and they got nowhere else to advance to. That’s the most important part. Once you’re done getting to where you need to go, once your company is the top ten of Forbes list and you made it, you’ve still got to challenge yourself. There still has got to be somewhere higher you’ve got to go. You’ve still got to keep the challenge going. If you cut it off and coast, you head straight to the bottom quicker than you could ever think. You’re going to tumble down the hill.
Jim Carrey talks about that. That’s one of Jason’s favorite quotes. I’m sure we’ve talked about this in the show, but let’s repeat it.
Jim Carrey, it’s interesting to see him as an actor having this spiritual awakening the past few years. I saw a lot of the stuff that he’s talking about.
It’s been interesting. I’ve heard some of this stuff.
He’s dropping stuff that people in Hollywood are not ready for. You see the reactions in interviews and people are like, “This guy is off his rocker,” but when you examine what he’s saying, it is very deep and very real. One of his quotes is, “I wish that everyone could be rich and famous so they could see that’s not the answer.” I remember when that quote came out a few years back, everyone was like, “It’s easy for you to say, Jim Carrey. You make $10 million a movie. You’ve got a McLaren and a Tesla. You live up in the Palisades, a big shot.” Everyone is judging him. In interviews, he’s like, “You’re not getting it.” You as a human being, there’s more to your evolution and growth on this planet than just collecting things. You’re collecting things.
That’s part of the problem with Instagram and YouTube too. Like Jake Paul, you go on YouTube to see him. I feel like he’s somebody that I have mixed feelings about because there’s part of me that’s like, “He seems like a really nice guy. I know people that have met him and say good things about him,” but then you see what he’s perpetuating. He’s perpetuating the teenage dream of having the house, the cars and the money. You go on Instagram and that’s what works. There are lots of people in their twenties, some in their teens that are living these lavish lives that look attractive. It’s all the superficial materialism and it’s perpetuated.
It’s brainwashing the kids too because they’re watching it and all that. Here’s the thing that’s amazing, that people think money, fame, or cars or any of those are going to make everything better. We’re people. We have emotions and we have bad days. When have you rubbed $100 on your chest and felt better?
Have you tried it, Carlo?
What is this that it’s going to wipe all of the anxiety? The $100 has taken it, and now we’re going to throw $100 away. Where did that come from? Who thought that the cure for a bad day was driving a Ferrari down the street? What is that about?
Even those that didn’t grow up with Instagram, they grew up with the movies that perpetuate that. A lot of teenage movies are based on this same mentality. I remember the first one of the first that came to mind. Do you remember this movie called Blank Check, Jason? For me, I remember Blank Check. It was about this kid that is somehow given a blank check to write out and he writes it out for some crazy amount of money. He goes and he lives a lavish life but it was that concept. It was a really simple concept of a kid and what do you do if you could have any amount of money you want? We have many films like that. I’m sure you guys can list them off. There are so many films about kids, preteens, teenagers and their lives before and after.
This is what happens when I get money and how exciting it is. We fantasize about that so much because we think money is freedom. We think money is happiness and we think money is success. If we don’t learn these lessons that you’re learning, Carlo, then your whole life is based on whether or not you have that money. Part of the problem too is that some people never get money so they don’t even get to experience what you’ve experienced. They don’t ever learn that money is not the answer. They spend their whole lives feeling they’re not happy because they don’t have money.
That’s the biggest issue right there because as a person, you can sit in a room and create your own problems. You can do that. You can sit inside a room and figure out what’s wrong and create stuff. That’s how good we are at creating our own problems. When you think of it like that, that’s why it blows my mind. It’s interesting to me, I see some people use it to motivate themselves. “I need more money. I don’t have a lot of money in my bank account,” and that’s good. What are you going to do after that once that’s done? Are you going to go stir crazy? I ask this question to so many people, and it’s funny that I get the same response almost every time.
I say, “What would you do if you had all the money in the world right now?” I usually tell them not even billions, but trillions. You’ve got so much money that you couldn’t spend it if you tried. What would you do for the rest of your life starting right now? They will say travel. You saw everything in 10 years, 5 years, I don’t care, what now? You are not just going to travel all the time. You can’t just be riding jet skis in the Caribbean. It’s going to get exhausting. You’re going to have something that you’re going to have a dedication or passion to do something you care about. That’s what it’s going to boil down to, but many people neglect that for chasing the money.
If that seems too big for you as a reader to think about, you can think about anything that you wanted and what it felt like when you got it.
You moved onto the next thing. I remember being a little kid and getting a toy. I remember being 6 or 7 and thinking, “I really want this toy.” I was in Disney World with my family and I wanted a model train set from Disney where I remember this. My parents said, “No.” I sat there and I was like, “All my other toys at home, I don’t care about anymore. Why do I want this one so much?”
That’s evolved of you because maybe that’s part of the issue too. A lot of kids grow up getting whatever they want in whatever capacity that means. Your parents say yes or there’s the opposite where they don’t get what they want. I feel those are both challenging things. If you get everything you want and you’re used to being told yes and you don’t learn how to appreciate things, that’s almost worse than somebody who doesn’t get what they want so that they appreciate everything.
What we’re talking about right is this imprinting, this patterning from all of our childhoods. As a kid, we see what works, what gets us what we want and what doesn’t work. As adults, a lot of us for the most part, we’re like children in adult bodies with technical education.
We are never not children because we’re always learning whether you like it or not. You’re always going to have some capacity of learning or else you’re going to sit at home all day and stare at the wall.
Which some people do.
That’s completely true. We have a basic understanding of what we’re doing here and we run with it for the rest.
One of the best things to this point we’re talking about is if you’re a person who was used to getting what you want all the time and as an adult, maybe as a kid, you noticed that badgering your parents or badgering your loved ones like, “Please, come on.” I know as adults, we have friends that we know employ the same methodology. It’s like, “If I badger someone enough, they’ll give me what I want.” There’s such a tremendous value and I want to speak to this and how this shows up in your life. When you don’t get what you want, when your dreams don’t come true, when you’re not handed the thing that you’re so desperate to have, how has that shown up in your life and what do you see as the value in not getting what you want in life?
It has such immense value as getting it because there’s so much to learn. For example, if you’re attempting to do something and you’re failing, then you can reevaluate what you’re doing and go from there. There’s so much knowledge to gain from any time you hit a roadblock or a wall or some failure. That’s why I always think that there’s no such thing as failure. It’s just another chance to go out there and get it. The only time you fail is when you stop. What we were speaking on before too, I’ve seen the cookie-cutter best guy out there. We’re talking about a guy who has his whole life figured out.
Maybe he’s got a couple of girls after him. He drives the new BMW M4 and he makes $150,000 a year. He lives in the West Hollywood apartment. I always say that their life is so cookie-cutter patterned and they’re chasing that. At some point, I always see guys like that break and something happens along the way. That whole mirage that they’ve maybe built up since childhood of, “Everything’s okay, everything’s fine,” one day comes to a halt. You’re left puzzled because you’re like, “Really? That guy got into some trouble?”
It usually ends up that because it’s too much of a pattern. They’re staying in that rotation so long. They’re used to exactly what you’re saying, “I’m going to use this same tactic. I’m going to keep doing that.” Eventually either they’re not satisfied anymore with what they’re doing or it doesn’t work because everything’s changed around them. It’s that ever-evolving person who understands how to adapt. That was one of the greatest lessons my father taught me. It’s to step back and look and understand everything. Get the full picture.
Where did your dad learn those lessons? What’s the story that made him wise?
I don’t even know because I remember my father, they were about 5 or 6 years old. They were born in Mexico and their parents, their mother and father, my grandparents, they came to America to migrate and to make more money. They said, “We’re going to work jobs in the US and send a paycheck back.” They came here and they were working. For five years, my parents didn’t see his parents. That was five years as a little child and he remembers it all, which blows my mind. He moved to the US at the age of eleven and they started their first little front, which later became the restaurant but he never spoke to his father too much.
They didn’t really have a close connection, him and his father, nor his mother. He went to USC, UCLA and NYU. I don’t attribute that level of knowledge to that. Honestly, the greatest thing was his ability to want to read people and to talk to people. He gained that knowledge of the millions of people he’s spoken to. I’d imagine how many times he speaks to people during the day. That’s where he gained it all. It’s from reading and being in tune with everything. He always brings up so many points that I don’t quite understand or know where they came from. He’s so attentive.
You should have a podcast with your dad. That would be so fascinating. I remember you telling me that your dad could talk and talk. Get him on the podcast. You could do a YouTube channel if you want. That wisdom is interesting because my dad is a lot like that too, but my grandfather and his dad was a lot like that as well. He basically was blue-collar. You’d think, “Where does this wisdom come from?” Some people gain wisdom, either they have a natural ability to absorb information, but they also are very conscious and aware. We’re very passionate about consciousness and awareness. That’s something that we encourage people to focus on in their lives because that’s how you can elevate and feel better. One of the themes of this discussion we’re having is the unconscious life that a lot of people live.
The routine I was talking about, that’s how to become detached and unconscious through falling into that routine.
It’s not stepping back and saying, “How can I make some adjustments?” Also about your dad, how can I listen? We are in this time where everything is like, “Me, me, me.” Social media is making everybody have a voice and the problem is now there’s so much noise. Everybody wants to get their opinions out there. We’re surrounded by opinions and a lot of things we don’t agree with. People use that as an opportunity to argue with each other. Instead of sitting back and listening to one another, it’s like, “I’m waiting for my turn to talk.” Most, if not all of the things we learned are from listening and absorbing information, not just putting it out there all the time.The greatest way to start reaching out is to follow your passion. Click To Tweet
I feel like we’re in such a binary system in our culture of one choice or the other. You see this in every aspect of culture. You’re rooting for a sports team. It’s LA versus New York. You’re vegan or you’re paleo. You’re Christian or you’re Muslim. There are a million diametrically-opposed things we can have and if everyone’s shouting at each other and no one is listening, I can’t get to the heart of the fact. I really believe to the core of my being that the people we label as evil or wrong or the people that our society tells us to hate, all of that is learned behavior. If you sit down with a human being and you find out what makes them tick, I think at the core, even though the methods and the strategies are different, people want to be safe. They want to provide for their families. They want to know they can live in a safe, healthy environment. They want to know their interests and beliefs are protected.
Some people might go through some violent or subversive methods to try and do that, but if we just sit down with the people we “oppose” or people that are different from us, we find that we have a lot more in common with each other. Part of the reason that there’s so much divisiveness is people aren’t sitting down to your point and talking to each other on a basic human level. What are you afraid of? What makes you uncomfortable? What are you scared of? What keeps you up at night? It’s probably the same stuff.
Many people are keeping it bottled up nowadays. No one will talk anymore. That’s one of the biggest things. We have many people who have been conditioned to keep moving fast in your head. Don’t pay attention to everyone. It’s this loner mentality that they’re driving nowadays and it’s creating this, “I don’t want to talk to anybody. I don’t want to hear my problems. No one’s going to hear it. I’m going to bottle up inside,” and it gets worse.
They might use social media as an outlet in a negative way. When you were talking about the negative comments that we get on social media or YouTube as content creators, everybody gets them. If you’re on social media, there’s a very high likelihood that somebody is going to say something mean to you, something that you interpret as hurtful, whether it was intended to be or not. Sometimes that’s just people airing out their frustrations and they’re bottling it up and it has to go somewhere. It’s either going to go into your body and cause disease. Many people are struggling with stress, sleep and illnesses and a lot of that is these unreleased emotions. We take it out on one another because we don’t know what else to do.
It can charge someone up. Not saying that this is the direct result because I don’t know a lot of these cases, but we’re seeing these immense tragedies across the US where people are bearing arms. They’re gunning down innocent people. I read something saying that a lot of things that they had in common was a general loner type of vibe that they all produced. I’m not saying that could have been adjusted or fixed. I don’t know each one of those individuals, but it’s insane to see that correlation. On top of it all, there was no one around them. With everything else that could have made them tick to that incident.
It’s crazy to see that and to see that all happening. These immense tragedies that are happening as a result of it is insane and it ends up tying into all of it in some way, shape or form nonetheless. It comes back to people feeling alone and it’s amazing that in a society where we are connected online, we’re also feeling lonely. Many people don’t want to open up, don’t want to talk and don’t want to figure it out. Also, how negative the conditioning is to people. You hear people being more verbally negative. We need to put more positivity into the world, into the culture.
It starts with thinking positive. It starts with only projecting things that are positive, that starts to recondition your brain in a better direction. These are things that I did personally that worked for me. I remember I was having days and days on end where I felt depressed and defeated. I felt angry toward people, which is weird. Everyone was bothering me. There were five people in front of me to get a burrito and I’m like, “Why are you guys here?” I’m angry. I shouldn’t even be mad.
To go into that, why do you think that bothered you? What was going in your head that caused that to bother you so much?
I was in this position where in my mind I was putting everyone else as the enemy against me at that specific time. I was in this lone wolf type of mindset of being on the lookout for people doing wrong to you. That bleeds back into something I didn’t touch on, which was when I was younger, I had to move around schools 8 to 9 times because I got bullied so much. When I was very young, maybe from elementary at the beginning to the beginning of high school, there were probably eight different schools I moved to. That was across different cities and counties because we couldn’t find anything that would work.
It was that I felt attacked by everyone at the school every time I went. It was this loner-ism mentality. That’s why when I bring it up when I talk about it, it’s crazy because I felt very pushed aside for so long. I never became the bully. I never wanted to. I almost did. That was probably the closest it came in my head for so long, I felt so thrown aside that it resulted in me having that outlook on people of making sure they weren’t going to hurt me or being frustrated or feeling that it was me against the world. That’s where a lot of people are feeling nowadays. It’s that me against the world mentality.
I was in West Hollywood and I remember I was driving straight. There was a Starbucks drive-through on the right. I pulled in and this lady to the left of me, she was driving forward trying to make a left into the Starbucks, but the space was already there open. I pulled in and she’s yelling at me, “You cut me off.” I didn’t even see her and she starts yelling, killing. She’s like, “I’m going to kill you.” She started telling me this verbally right there at this. I’m sitting there hearing all this. Hugo is in the passenger seat next to me. I don’t normally bring this up. I’m not really an advocate of how you don’t really have to say the things you do in life, but I bring this up to inspire people. I actually ended up paying for her order and I bought her a gift card. She was behind me.
This woman was verbally berating you and you bought her order and you paid for a gift card for her.
How did you make that decision?
Why did you do that?
It was a pretty immediate decision.
Did you talk it over with Hugo at that time?
No. My father is a Christian. He used to tell me, if anyone is ever mean to you, love them and it’s like pouring hot coals on their head. That’s what he used to tell me because love is something that people can’t comprehend when they’re angry and it’s very frustrating. It wasn’t something that I was trying to frustrate her or hurt her in any way. It was more of I wanted to show her, that she may look at her situation differently and understand and take a step back and look at that bigger picture. That was a decision that I made of, “Let’s see if this can reprioritize her and see if it can help her in her life.”
This is absolutely amazing and fascinating by the way. What did you do? You’re in there. Take me through this process in a little more detail quickly and how did she react to what you did?
We went up to order. She was behind me yelling at the person who was ordering and she was literally yelling at the employee cussing, continually saying, “I’m going to kill you. You don’t know who I am. I’ve got your info.” She was taking photos of me. It was pretty serious if you asked me. There were photos taken of me in my car and such. When I did it, I remember I pulled out to the end of the drive-through and the last I saw was she looked at me very confused after they told her and that was it. I drove off. That was the end of it. There was nothing else to hear after that. That was the end of the entire thing.
That was basically it in its entirety. That was a very interesting experience. I’ve never had anything like that. Something inside of me prodded to do that. It was, in my opinion, a good move but it’s not the normal reaction you’d expect for sure. It’s interesting to see people. I couldn’t help but think and be sad for her while I was experiencing that. That was the only feeling I felt. I couldn’t help but see someone who was internal hurt yelling out everything because there was no one else there. It was me feeling bad for someone who seemed they were in a lot of pain. You’re not going to be saying that stuff if you’re not yourself in a lot of pain.
One thing that makes me think of are the times that I have felt really frustrated towards a stranger, but I didn’t express it to them. I was internalizing it. There are two sides of it. There are the people that lose their minds, lose their cool and take it out on somebody. There are people like me who might feel that but have the self-control or whatever you want to call it to not do that but yet, what happens to those emotions if they don’t get let out? It’s interesting to me that it’s not only the people that are expressing it but what about the people that aren’t expressing it? All of us can relate. You got frustrated with that guy getting the burrito before you.
A lot of us go through that and we have the tools, the three of us here are very passionate about consciousness, awareness and conscious languaging. We’re trying to stay positive. That doesn’t mean that we have it all figured out all the time. There were definitely times that we either lose our cool or we get upset, we react to things. My heart goes out to somebody that doesn’t have those tools yet. It’s an even bigger struggle and they might feel very conflicted about how to handle it. You wonder, “Maybe that manifests into massive amounts of violence or maybe it manifests into the suicides or to the abuse or all of these different things that we struggle with as human beings.”
I bring it up because on the way over here, I was viewing this program, it’s on Comedy Central called Alternatino if you guys have heard of it. It’s a new program out on Comedy Central. It was interesting because normally it’s a comedy program, but I was watching a YouTube snippet. It was like those courses they have if you come and migrate to the US. You have to go through a course to be a US citizen. That’s the course you take. He was in the course and they were discussing a new topic.
Is this a skit?
This is a skit. They were discussing the topic of mass violence or mass shootings and this one gentleman up, he goes, “I’m from Mexico.” He said that in his country, there are the cartels and they act in violence for cartel matters. For example, if you are against the cartels, you have the potential to get gunned down. He was asking the teacher, “What cartel was the El Paso thing? What was the story?” They’re very confused. He didn’t get anything out of it. They’re like, “What do you mean?” He was like, “No, it was just loneliness. There are feelings that they were going off of going in there and doing it and hurting innocent people.” It was this boggling back and forth. There was no humor attached to it. It was this mind-opening thing of people not even understanding what was going on. People will say, “There’s someone killing other innocent people for no reason, they’re just walking in somewhere.” The reason is behind the person who’s doing it and that’s what we don’t know, but it’s obviously atrocious and horrible. It’s insane to think, but that also brings it to a level that’s understandable of what is going on here. There is a problem that we can understand and even now with the tax becoming greater, which is good amongst the people, it’s understanding what it is.
Of course, some gun reform and other things could help us and take us in a progressive direction. It is not only to address that issue but also address the people themselves, to address the people’s mindset and understand how we can have outreach programs or other outreach that we can offer for people that have mental issues or that are going through something like that. There are so many things. There are so many mental diseases that are coming up and out. I believe there was one I was turned onto that I did not know previously that I was looking at. It was bipolar schizophrenia. It was noises and things and voices you can hear. It’s amazing to me that with everything that we have nowadays, why wouldn’t people want to be more open? Even though everything that I’ve been through with people berating me for so long, I always wanted to be open. I felt that being open and talking is the first step to fixing it or trying to fix it because you can bounce back and forth with other people. You can see what they have to say or if they face similar issues and then you can see if they have the answer to it potentially.
What’s interesting is that when I think of that, I think back to being in school. I feel fortunate that I went to a school with good teachers and there was a level of consciousness there, whether it was intentional or not. A lot of us develop our sense of selves, not just from our family, but from the school system. We also know in the US in particular that the school system is not always that great. It’s a luck of the draw for you bouncing around like so many different schools. There are many factors. It’s not just the system but it’s the teachers, it’s the other students there. It’s many things. When you’re talking about this openness, I think back to be in the classroom and you’d raise your hand, you’d ask a question and sometimes you would feel it was a stupid question.
You’d feel ashamed for it, or you’d be in a situation and you get laughed at for something. It’s all these are emotional challenges and suddenly some people start to shut down in school. That’s one of the biggest challenges because schools are so focused on educating us with facts, but very few schools are focused on the emotional experiences for the students and how to aid them. If you shut down when you’re ten or younger or even eighteen and younger, your brain is still evolving so much at that point you’re so susceptible that if you never learn how to get through that, your whole life is going to be a challenge unless something else happens that can shape you.
It’s so amazing too because when you think about that, that could be one of the greatest options too is, offering courses in schools that are required to be taken that offer basic support. You can go in there and you can have conversational skills or you can have mindfulness, basic things of trying to be better as a society together because it should all be about love and loving each other. If that’s the driving force, you’d be surprised how much further we can go. It’d amazing if these courses were provided. We don’t know if it could have been averted. We don’t know what could have changed. Who could have gotten some support that shifted their mindset? What’s amazing is there actually has been some school shooters that decided not to. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen these. There was one gentleman, and I remember he was in his 60s. I don’t remember his name.
He specifically said that he had a weapon purchased and everything, but he decided not to go through with it. It was a very trying experience and it all led around him feeling very individual and everyone was against him and no one loved him. It all led back to that. It was interesting because it was proven that he said those were the feelings that got him to that point. That manifested in a dark manner that he allowed to get there. With some of his choices, he almost went through with that. It’s interesting to hear that and then understand. We would know the potential benefits of what something like that could do.Your comfort zone is this weird thing that lives inside you that makes you feel uneasy. Click To Tweet
The other thing is that because school systems, at least in the US, are regulated by the government. If you disagree with the government or even if you agree, there are so many politics that go into schools that as a reader, if you’re a parent, you can take the initiative to educate your child at home at least because you might not be able to control what happens at school. For you, Carlo, the impact that your dad had on you is massive. Your story is empowering to remind us what we can do with our family members. You don’t even have to be a parent. You could be a sibling, you could be an auntie or uncle. This could be your friend.
It’s the impact to that one person can make on your life by holding space. Being a great example, teaching you things, listening, allowing you to be yourself and encouraging you to evolve is huge. We can’t change it in the schools that easily. A lot of this is privileged too. It’s the privilege of going to a good school system. It’s the privilege of having a good family. A lot of people do not have that. There are so many factors. We could go on and on about this. I would love to hear from you, Carlo, before you wrap up. Based on everything we’ve discussed whether it’s the specific topic or other things that we’ve touched upon, what’s your best piece of wisdom? You can come back to what you said.
We need to be loving and have a lot of support for people. If we’re very open with it and we’re very verbal as people, if you feel reclusive and you understand that the people that love you around you will most likely listen to your problems and they’re not going to think that it’s wrong or amiss. We have to understand something. Us being humans, we’d go through 99% it’s all the same stuff across all of us. If we can understand that and band with that unity, there’s comfort in there. Having a group of people, friends, and family, loved ones in general that you come together with and that you can confide in and go through with, that’s one of the greatest things. That’s the greatest piece of resource I can advise someone with because if you can have enough love in your circle around you, everything is going to be fine.
How do you get there? I feel that most of the audience are going to get that. There might be someone reading who doesn’t feel they can do that. Do you have any tips for somebody who feels they don’t have any friends or nobody cares about them? You went through bullying, which I didn’t experience. I don’t know if you experienced that, Jason. There are so many people that say, “I’m lonely. I don’t know what to do. Nobody cares about me.” Whether that’s true or it’s their perception, what is the simplest way that you could help them figure out how to start reaching out?
The greatest way is to follow your passions because through that, I’ve met so many amazing people. If you like to paint, if you like to draw, try to find a painting or a drawing class locally. I literally do these things. I literally go to local painting classes. I do. It’s something that if you can find commonality in someone else in the same thing, you can start up a great friendship and have a great foundation to lay that on. That’s truly one of the greatest places.
You wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have Tesla in common.
That’s the thing about people. I’ve always said, it’s weird that in this society, we don’t walk up to people randomly and say hello. If you walked up to someone randomly, they’d be a little weirded out. You’re like, “Hi,” and they’d be like, “What do you want from me?” I don’t like that. Why can’t we have a society where when you walked down the street in your neighborhood, you say hi to somebody and it’s normal? We need to have that everywhere. If we can have more of that open platform, we can have people give and receive more love. That’s the issue. Many people feel that the walls are closing in. Either they feel, “I don’t want to say these things because I feel people judge me,” or they’re feeling, “I don’t want to share it. I don’t want to put it out there,” but that’s never really the case. It’s all up in their head.
The commonality is huge too. You could see someone with a t-shirt or a hat, maybe your favorite sports team. That’s a common thing.
You start up conversations with that.
It sounds scary, but what you’re saying is just to do it.
I used to do when I was younger too. I used to challenge myself. Usually, I did it when I was at an event or something where at least there’s some common ground there. I would have my friend point at someone and I would have to go talk to them.
There’s that fear and the discomfort that arises from that.
You begin to overcome it. You have to start figuring out ways. I remember starting conversations about bathroom lines and then it would go from there.
There’s this great book and TED Talk about this man that overcame his fear of rejection simply by practicing getting rejected. There’s a great TED Talk, but if you want to read the book, he talks about all the different ways he forced himself to be rejected and what he learned. Rejection became less scary and more comfortable because he was used to it. To your point, you got into that situation. You forced yourself to do something over and over again and it became easy over time. That’s a great lesson too.
Some people feel they don’t have anyone, that they can’t develop those skills. That’s a cool trick. Practice makes perfect. You’ve really got to get out there and do it. That’s one of the greatest things.
The whole theme of this is about getting out of your comfort zone. The best things in life are on the other side of discomfort.
It’s weird because your comfort zone is this weird thing that lives inside of you that makes you feel uneasy. At the same time when you’re in there, it’s like, “I’ve found a no. That’s a good place to be because you’re learning.”
Many times when we are faced with a situation or talking to someone or starting a business or all the things we do as humans, it’s that idea of pain, the idea of discomfort. When you talk to the person or start the business or do the thing on the other side of it, you’re like, “That was all in my head.” Literally, it’s all in your head.
If there was something you worried about last week, if you think about it right now, it’s like, “What was I even thinking?” That’s the cherry on top with that. Don’t worry, be happy and live in love. That’s the greatest way to say it.
It’s phenomenal advice, Carlo.
That will continue to make the world a better place. Have conversations as much as possible. Put your phone down and talk to people. That’s a great one because you can gain so much from it. You can do your phone all night. When you’re in public, live in the moment. That’s what I always tell people. Live in the moment and enjoy.
Carlo, if people want to find you, dig what you’re doing in the world, how can they find you? Where do you want to send people to?
The easiest thing ever. It’s my name, @ItsCarloMontes. That’s it and everything is on there. Instagram is my main one. I don’t have anything else public besides that.
For all the downsides of Instagram, it’s also a wonderful way to connect with people when you do it correctly.
It is. It’s straightforward and it’s a good tool. We have to remember it’s a tool and not integrated so much into our lives. That’s one of the greatest things. To end it all out, it’s been fantastic.
You have a podcast too.
I do, it’s coming.
Does it have a name yet?
No, but it’s part of this other thing that’s big and I haven’t announced it yet. Hopefully around that time, I’ll be there to come back.
Let us know and we’ll put it in the show notes.
It’s big. It’s going to be tied into the store as well. It’s going to be fun and coming soon as well. It was fantastic. Pretty much my best advice to give is to live in love and enjoy and do what you love to do and have fun with it. The person who’s having the most fun wins. Someone once told me that.
Carlo, you are an open, beautiful, loving human being and it’s such a pleasure having you on the show.
Thank you so much for having me. You guys are doing such great stuff and I look forward to watching all your guys’ other podcasts. I’m going to be tuning in. I’m one of the audiences. I want you guys to know that I am going to be one of the audiences for sure. The best of luck with what you guys are doing as well.
We appreciate that.
- Carlo Montes
- @ItsCarloMontes on Instagram
- How Much Money Do You Need To Be Happy?
- Alternatino on Comedy Central
- TED Talk: What I learned from 100 days of rejection
About Carlo Montes
20 Years Old, Dreaming & Achieving. Owner Of @ShopCollecta.