“You realize that we’re the only species that protects the weak?” – Bill Burr
For this post I’m addressing a topic that on the subject of something I find critically important: Personal Accountability. It seems as we become more an more progressive, we stay away from a core principal of life, which is survival of the fittest to “subduing the fit to ensure the weak survive.” This post is more of a pep talk, so please use it for a reminder or motivation go out and live your life to the fullest. Here’s my take on some universal truths and some motivational lines from pop culture to help relate them:
1. Life is not fair. Plan and simple, yet this truth is something we as a society continuously refuse to except and instead attempt to bring the successful down. Everyone is dealt different cards in life and it’s all matter of how you play them. I know people with every advantage going for them and can’t seem to stay afloat, and I know people from nothing that have built sand achieved greatness. And I’ve seen people with every advantage and they use them brilliantly to expand themselves. Life isn’t fair…and it’s not fair for to everyone, which actually makes it fair.
As our society becomes more feminized, we’ve shifted our focus to protecting the feeling of everyone. Unfortunately a harsh truth is life does not care about your feeling and neither do results. Sports is one of the few places where this truth is allowed to shine, in that there is a winner and a loser, a champion and then everyone else. The idea that we all get trophies for participation sets a false expectation, because in life you may try your best and still fail or come up short. That is how life works. It’s better to fail and use the pain of it for motivation to succeed in the future than try to hide or downplay the simple truth that sometimes our best isn’t good enough. Another great line said by Sean Connery in the Rock (which he was a boss in that role) sums up this sentiment perfectly:
“You’re best? Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.”
Take this to heart: Losers whine and winner get it done. Some days you will lose, and that’s ok, because the greatest teacher is failure. It’s not that you’ve failed but it’s the fact that you wallow in the failure that makes it a horrible thing. But if you fail, learn, pick yourself up and continue to push you will be successful and you will have an appreciation for those wins.
2. You are responsible for your situation. In your life, you have to accept that the 1 factor that that you have absolute control over is you. You can get caught up in headlines, what the latest new from Washington is or a million other things happening in the world. But the fact is, at the end of the day you need to decide what you have to do for you and you have to dedicate yourself to that. It doesn’t matter if you where born into a million dollars are born with 2 cents to your family name.
We presently live in the best time in human history. The world has never been safer, had more access to resources available to people and any thing you could want to know are a few keystrokes and clicks away. The only thing that gets in the way of your success is you. Own it, and watch yourself do wondrous things.
3. No one has it easy. Celebrities, billionaire or other highly successful people don’t have things easy. Everyone in this life has their hardships and issues they have to deal with. Just because you can’t see their struggle does not somehow make your own struggles somehow special. To quote the musician Guru of Gang Starr, “Actions have reactions don’t be quick to judge, you may not know the hardships people don’t speak of.”
Now this is not to downplay the validity of your own struggles, but that doesn’t give you the right to disregard what others are going through. Some people are so poor they have no idea when they will eat again, other people are so rich they are isolated and can’t trust anyone as they have “friends” and family that are continuously trying to take from them. We all have struggles, so it’s best to focus on overcoming them and leave the jealousy of other peoples perceived easiness of life in the wind as it’s not a productive use of your energy or time.
4. “Do or do not, there is no try.” Ironic how words from a movie character (Yoda) can contain some powerful life wisdom. You either find a way to get it done or you find an excuse why you can’t. Plain and simple. If you have a goal, you need to make that your mission in life to get it done, come hell or high water. Now, you can adjust how your approach achieving that goal as go along the way, but at the end of the day it all becomes binary: Did you achieve it, or did you not achieve it?
Only you can answer that question and it’s up to you to hold yourself accountable for that. The best way to stay motivated is to never have a Plan B. Once you have a Plan B you’re subconsciously telling yourself that accepting failure to achieve that goal is an option. A personal mantra I use comes from a brilliant line delivered by John Trivolta in The Taking of Pelgham 123:
“Plan B is enforcing Plan A.”
That line is brilliant because it says he’s dead focused on a singular purpose and all of his being is working to execute it…even his “backup plan” is pushing through to execute and realize the vision of his main objective.
That’s my pep talk for today. I don’t know who you are or your story in life, but it is my sincerest hope that you live the life of your dreams and that you achieve your goals. I believe that we all can achieve greatness together and we won’t succeed by living solely to cut others down. I’ll leave you with another quote from the brilliant Felix Dennis (if you don’t know who he is you should google him), which reflects a core belief I hold:
“A swelling tide raises all boats, including yours.”
Go be the champion of your life.