Deke’s Top 5 Books From 2017

Back in school, I didn’t too read much (unless it was sparknotes) mainly because I was too focused on video games or watching sports. However, now I find reading to be one of my favorite things to do. This blog is about the five books I enjoyed/impacted me the most from 2017. These aren’t book that were published in 2017, just ones I read.

1. “The Four Agreements”- Don Miguel Ruiz

The first chapter is very powerful and sets you up on an incredible thought provoking journey throughout the rest of the book. The Four Agreements helped me realize society’s impact on our mind/thoughts and why we make decisions.

Ruiz used a dream analogy saying that everyone looks at the world through their own dream. These dreams are constructed early in life by our parents and involve the concepts of right and wrong. The trouble is, what is “truly right and wrong?” Do our parent’s/ teachers/ leaders even teach us what they think is right and wrong or is it the ideals that have been naturally passed down to them?

The author then goes into detail on the importance of feeling accepted vs rejected and the impact that has on a young child’s behavior. Very interesting stuff, but I’ll leave the rest to you to read for yourself.

If you need a little extra convincing, Tom Brady reads The Four Agreements every year.

2. “The Power of Now”- Eckhart Tolle

Enabled me to realize the Power of the present moment. We are not our minds. Everything in the past and future is not real. Not to say the past didn’t happen but whatever happened does not exist anymore. Usually we worry about the future- “What is this person going to think about me?” “What if this happens in the meeting?”- We spend all this time worrying about something that never actually happens instead of cherishing what is real- now.

This book also helped me dig deeper into my faith/ beliefs. A good question my friend, Jeff Winters, asked me and also ties into this book. “When do you experience God? The past? The future? or Now?” Highly recommend this book.

3. “The Alchemist”- Paulo Coelho

Man, this one was awesome. I read The Alchemist down at Siesta Key on the beach during my vacation with my friends and family. (S/O to the Nortons, Naths and Renders.) I’m honestly getting chills writing this because of how this book made me feel. To put it simply, Paulo Coehlo tells the story of boy taking a chance, following a dream and figuring out what’s most important in life.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”- Quote from the book.

4. “The Compound Effect”- Darren Hardy

Recommended to me by Steve Gardiner, the Compound Effect is profound in it’s simplicity. Literally, just so simple but I need the reminder. Our daily habits/ routines etc. add up to the person we are/ want to become. Right now I don’t have the best of habits but I’m trying to build good ones and will try to keep you updated on the process.

5. “Open” an autobiography by Andre Agassi

This guy went through a lot. He explained throughout the book that he loathed tennis, but it was literally the thing he was greatest at and couldn’t stop. Agassi was forced to play at a young age because his dad loved the game and wanted one of him to be number 1 in the world. Andre talks about the rigorous practices he endured, getting sent to tennis boarding school by himself, becoming a national name, pressures of choking, hitting rock bottom,  and then reinventing himself and playing with purpose.

So, yep those are the 5 books. Hope to read more in 2018 and excited for the New Year. Thanks to everyone who reads my stuff/ listens to the podcast. Really appreciate it.

Oh yeah can’t forget, The Apparition Saga by Dominic Bianco and Inward by Yung Pueblo. Had these dudes on my podcast and you know I gotta give their books a shout out.

Stay Chillin



Interview with Santa: A Chillin with Deke Christmas

Holiday Special: An Interview with Santa

Merry Christmas to everyone. For this edition, Santa dropped by the house and was gracious enough with his time to let me interview him for Chillin with Deke. I hope everyone has a great holiday and spend quality time with your families. Watch below and Stay Chilling My Friends!

To subscribe to the podcast on iTunes click here. To read my story and my first blog post click here.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!


Xavier Thomas (ArtLikeUs)- The Art of Hustle

Xavier Thomas started his photography journey by shooting pictures from his iPhone and shooting music videos for his friends. Fast forward to now, he is the the winner of Pittsburgh’s City Paper 2017 best photographer and shoots for guys like Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller and Fabolous. In this wide ranging episode, Xavier and I discuss: What a picture can do that a video can’t, How he got connected with Wiz, Why he won the best photographer in the city, Who/what makes someone an artist, Gary Vaynerchuk and the art of hustling + much more.

Check out Xavier’s website here.

Follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see what he’s up to next.

To listen to this episode subscribe on iTunes or listen below on the streamer.

Stay Connected with me for more podcasts, videos and writings by following my social media: (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)

Subscribe to Chillin with Deke on YouTube.

For another episode of Chillin with Deke click here.

Eileah Ohning- Taking a Chance and Living in Her Car

Episode #25- Eileah Ohning

In this episode, I speak with Eileah Ohning who is known online for her YouTube videos that revolve around her experience living in a car for a year. The videos are in a casual, down to earth, journal format and receive views in the 100k’s.  In 2015, she started looking into minimalism decided to live in her 2004 Acura Sedan and is now in the process of creating a Tiny Home on Wheels for herself in a sprinter van. Eileah can also be seen on YouTube speaking for Tedx Yearling Road touching on the topic of Rebellion and what it means going against the grain.

This conversation we talk about a lot of topics. Obviously why Eileah decided to live in her car, what she liked about it, what she missed about conventional living, reaction from friends/ co-workers, taking a chance, being curious about the world, asking why, minimalism and much more! Listen below on the streamer player or subscribe on iTunes or Google Play.

I hope you guys enjoy this conversation as much as I did. You can follow Eileah on YouTube or Instagram. Check out her Tiny Home on Wheels account on Instagram as well. To see her Ted Talk on rebellion here.

To stay connected with me. Follow on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Subscribe on YouTube.

To listen to another interesting episode featuring another person living outside of societal norms, click here.

5 Reasons Why Every Guy Should Have a Man Bun Once in Their Life

I grew my hair for 1 year and 9 months and achieved man bun status after about a year. Recently, I decided to cut it. I just thought it was time partly because long hair can be somewhat of a hassle and also I was just ready for short hair again. I enjoyed having the long hair and there were a few things I learned from growing it out which is why I’m writing this piece- 5 reasons why every man should grow out their hair to a man bun or at least man bun length in their lifetime.

So here are some reasons I thought up.

1.Persistence- setting a goal and sticking to it

One of the things that growing out your hair teaches you is persistence. Obviously, there are the so called awkward stages and during this time there are points when you’ll want to cut it all off. (This happened multiple times for me) But if you have the goal of a man bun, you overlook the awkward stages and strive for the ultimate prize. Just as we should in life. Just remember to keep on going.

2.Focus on important things in life

In those awkward stages there might be times you think you look like a fool or your friends tell you your hair is terrible. But that doesn’t matter. Who cares what you look like. What matters is how you treat people. If you feel looked down upon due to your awkward stage hair. Who cares. It’s probably because they don’t even know you anyway or it’s just your friends ragging on you. Focus on what’s important, not the hair but how you treat people, relationships you have and who you surround yourself with.

3.Empathy for Females

Growing your hair out will give you a newfound respect for women in your life with long hair. You will now understand why they make take a little longer to get ready and the effort it takes to get their hair looking good. Seeing the world from someone’s else’s perspective is always a good thing.

4.You don’t know unless you try

If you bring up long hair with your friends or acquaintances you may get the reactions like it will look dumb on me or my hair is too curly etc. etc. But at the end of the day. You will never know unless you try. So if you would like to see what you look like in a man bun or long hair, just try it out. Don’t make assumptions. You may really like it but maybe you won’t. There’s some old saying nothing ventured nothing gained.

5.Use it or lose it

Straight up. We may not have our hair forever. There are those of us that are blessed with good genes and what not but some of us aren’t. Our long hair/ man bun chances may be limited so why not grow it out before you don’t have the chance to anymore.

So that’s it. The 5 reasons why every man should grow out hair to a man bun. Thanks for reading! Stay Chillin my friends!

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My Podcasting Journey- Q/A with my brother Evan


In this episode I answer questions submitted by you guys with my brother as the host. I discuss a little bit of my podcast journey, what I’ve learned, why I’ve made certain decisions, but also explore some wide ranging topics too lol. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to submit such good questions! To listen subscribe on iTunes or on the streamer below.

To stay connected with me, follow Chillin with Deke on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Pittsburgh Kid Quits Job and Starts Podcast

A Podcast Based Out of Pittsburgh

Hey whats up, My name is Eric and host a podcast called Chillin with Deke based out of Pittsburgh. Back in February I quit my job working 9-5 and decided to start this thing. It’s tough to exactly explain “Why” other than it was on my heart and I thought I could be good at it. So I wrote about quitting/starting the podcast in my first blog post back in March which you can check out here.

So the podcast. What’s it about? I enjoy listening and learning and hope you enjoy the same. My goal was and is to hear stories and wisdom from successful/interesting/ inspirational people and see how I can apply to my life. And yes I’m from Pittsburgh and have guests from Pittsburgh but the podcast is not limited to just the city. Just as rappers like Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller are from Pittsburgh but they interact with people all over the  nation/world. I hope to do the same- have interesting guests from all over but also represent the city.

Honestly, there’s a bunch of podcasts like this out there. But what makes mine a little different is I have done nothing “noteworthy” like most people who host podcasts have. Whether it’s something entrepreneurial, in media, or radio- I have no experience in any of that. I didn’t have any connections other than my first 3 guests. I’m just an every man, chillin and chasing a dream which is to do podcasts with cool people.

With all that being said, I guess Chillin with Deke has layers. Almost a story within a story. So you can obviously listen to my podcast and hear some cool stuff from interesting people, but the other story is me and my journey to see where this podcast takes me. Where it will take me? I don’t know and that’s the fun part. However, I’ll write about my experiences/what I’m learning/ new stuff I’m on this website and also on the podcast. And hopefully by Chillin with Deke, you can be helped/ inspired on your journey in life too!

To listen to my first podcast and how Pete Rostosky went from a near death experience to become a Pittsburgh Steeler click  here.

For my most recent podcast where I share more of my story in detail about why I quit my job, lessons I’ve learned on this journey, and why I do it click here.

Stay Chillin with me on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Thanks, Peace and hope this helps.


Subscribe on iTunes below!