Going through life, facing different challenges and obstacles, it’s sometimes interesting to take a look back to see how you dealt with certain situations.
Many times you can give yourself a big pat on the back for sacking up and doing the right thing, but other times you are left with a pit in your stomach because you feel like a coward for taking the easy way out.
I’m with ya’ll. I’m nowhere near invincible. None of us are. There are many things I’ve done where I foolishly went with what was easiest, not correct. I feel bad sometimes for those mistakes. I have, however, learned many precious lessons about how to be a man, how to be tough, and how to step up when I need to most.
I’ve been meaning to write this article for awhile, because everyday I’m constantly reminded either by myself or others, that we aren’t perfect. We sometimes pick or almost pick the most comfortable thing, not the right thing.
Below is a list of actions we take which I believe are mental shortcomings. These are issues in our life that keep us from being who we want to be. This is a list to let us know what chinks we might have in our armor that we need to patch if we want to succeed and become better humans. It’s really blunt. Really to the point. And honestly. I hope I offend you because it will make you better.
That’s all I care about and so do you…
1.) You simply don’t do what you say you’re going to do – It’s number one on the list because this is the first that came to mind. By stating you will in fact be there or do something for someone else should mean it will get done…no matter what. Too many of us can’t keep promises or follow through because we are too wrapped up in ourselves, or realize it is just too damn hard. It sounded promising when you said you’d be in the gym at 6am to train when you were at the bar till 2. But you didn’t show up. Situations like these weed out the weak really quickly.
2.) You’re afraid of confrontation when it’s necessary – Sticking up for yourself is never as easy at it looks. Asking for a raise when you believe you deserve one, I’m sure, isn’t comfortable. Talking through a blowout fight with your significant other the next day is probably pretty rough. It says something about your character when you back away from these situations though. No one on earth enjoys awkward or uncomfortable confrontations like these. So be aware next time this happens so you can jump right in and get things resolved the way you want them to.
3.) You’re late – When being late is what you’re known for, you are mentally soft. It’s laziness to plan and inconsiderate. We are all guilty at some point or another, but let’s make a better effort to plan tighter.
4.) You press snooze too much – I understand you didn’t get your 8 hours. Boo hoo. The bed feels so good, but you have work to do. Get your ass up and stomp the floorboards in appreciation for a new day and another chance at life.
5.) You don’t stick to the plan – Do you skip days in the gym just because you aren’t feeling 100%? Do you program hop from new trend to new trend instead of embracing the work of your initial plan? Do you make plans to get things done, but get side tracked by less important tasks? We all can attest to days where we just get lazy and realize we don’t feel like working, but if you can get into the habit of adhering closely to plans you make in life, there’s no question your best work will get done. Things always sound good on paper until we get to work and realize painful effort is sometimes necessary. Embrace it and see things through the right way.
6.) You give in when you are tired – You have so much more left in the tank when you quit. I’m serious. We always seem to negotiate for rest in any situation, and it upsets me because I do it from time to time. I know that I truly don’t need the extra sleep. I know that I don’t need 8 hours. I know that I’m strong, and capable of incredible action in my life. Yet, sometimes I’m lazy. I know that I shouldn’t put things off, but I do. Why? To fucking rest. It’s ridiculous. I think it’s important to realize that being tired is your body telling you to quit. Sometimes its the right move, but many times you can get to a whole new level in productivity if you shrug it off as just a feeling, nothing more.
7.) You don’t show appreciation – Being humble and gracious shows me a lot of character. You can easily tell how a person was raised by the way they say thanks or take things for granted. Sincere gratitude for someone else’s generosity is a sign of a strong person, in my opinion. People who show outward entitlement are weak. I don’t get along with those types too well. Start noticing and appreciating small gestures of kindness. Start giving them out too.
8.) You’re afraid of pain for the greater good – Good pain. Pain that won’t injure you, only toughen you, is essential in our life. A great friend of mine and I decided once to dedicate a whole winter to throwing ourselves into painful situations for mental toughness development. We swam in freezing cold water, trained until we couldn’t go any further, woke up ridiculously early, and made our lives both miserable and unbelievably rewarding at the same time. I recently completed a month of cold showers only. 10 percent of the days I loved it. I was fired up about it. The other 90 percent of the time, turning it a little warmer entered my mind. I never did though. It taught me that a little discomfort can bring about a great reward of a job well done, and a job completed.
9.) You can’t handle the truth – Your whole life were you told you are the greatest. Mommy and daddy think you are the best thing in the world, and for them, rightly so, you are. You are their biggest achievement, no matter what. But no-one else thinks about you this way. Sometimes you just aren’t so spectacular after all. Sometimes you do a shitty job. Sometimes you just plain suck. But you don’t think so, so when someone gives it to you bluntly, it hurts. You can’t take it. You run and hide. Have some humility for God’s sake. You aren’t that great sometimes. Learn from your shortcomings, absorb the criticism, and come out a new and improved creature.
10.) You can’t go without being connected – I hate to break it to ya, but no one cares if your girlfriend liked your most recent post on Facebook…And you shouldn’t give a fuck either. I think its scary how in touch we are with social media sometimes. It really is a distraction to the output of our highest contribution. No question there is immense upside to being in touch with friends and family, but almost all of us take it to far. Put your phone on sleep mode or try this app called “Self Control.” <– But really check it out.
11.) Your day can be ruined over someone else’s problem or opinion – You’re too sensitive sometimes. Does the fact that your colleague called you a piece of shit because you didn’t make the coffee the right way make you go home and sulk about it on the couch? Did your boyfriend or girlfriend leave in a pissed off mood for no apparent reason today? Do your family members bring you down with their negativity or inactivity? It’s time to stop allowing others to have such a big impact on your destiny. You are the hero of your story, not them. Yes, they might play a big role, but your attitude doesn’t need to be brought down because of them.
12.) Tough times break you – It’s one thing to say you can’t be beaten or adversity only makes you stronger, but when faced up close and personal with heartbreak, tragedy, loss, and other gloomy parts of our life, it strips us naked and shows who we really are on the inside. I’ve hand my fair share of adversity, and I’m sure you have too, but what’s most crucial is that you realize it’s how you show up for those around you that really makes you tough. It’s also how you react and rise to the challenge is difficult times.
13.) People know you as a complainer – People who whine like there’s no tomorrow when the going gets tough, but are happy and giddy during the good times piss me off like no other. If you like to complain to hook into sympathy from others, you are soft. Complaining is only necessary when it’s beneficial for getting something taken care of or issues resolved. It doesn’t have a place most of the time.
14.) Grueling or tiring work makes you upset, whiny, or quit – This goes back to pain for the greater good. Sometimes you’re gonna need to get your hands a little dirty. I love people why have incredible stamina simply because they just need to get something done. They don’t find ways to take shortcuts. They persevere without hesitation to accomplish something. It could be as simple as completing a a days worth of yard work or as tedious as hiking up Mt. Kilimanjaro. Being unbreakably positive is the best thing you can focus on during grueling activity.
15.) You don’t know how to say no – In the book Essentialism, Greg Mckeown discusses the importance of “tradeoffs” in finding the root to your highest contribution to the world. Basically, he means that sometimes you need say no, even to great or appealing things, in order to pursue a higher calling. Committing to something should mean you’re in for sure. Don’t feel bad and say yes to everything. Sack up. Say no to things that aren’t making you and others better or aren’t going to be fulfilling.
16.) You aren’t willing to sacrifice yourself for your family or friends – You’re all about you. People sure might like hanging out with you when all is smooth, but when a brother or friend needs you in a crucial time, you are nowhere to be seen. Don’t let this be you.
17.) You need an instant reward and are afraid of the process – You see this a bunch with fitness and health. A perfect example is the disgusting life of Kim Kardashian, and her marketing to the millions. <—Brutal article alert. Folks out there like her make a ton of money because they prey on the people who are afraid of hard work. Millions of us want the magic pill or cleanse, or workout, and these millions of people are afraid of working hard to see results. They wanted to lose 10 pounds and they wanted it yesterday. My advice is to embrace the fact that nothing worthwhile comes overnight. Understand there will be good times and bad. Just roll with it, and become wrapped up in the process of daily improvement. It’s way more rewarding in the end.
18.) You are comfortable with being average at something – Are you ok with being a crappy student? Are you ok with your decent, but not ideal job? Are you fine with being a so-so lover? Fine with fitting into the status quo and being unremarkable? I understand that we all aren’t natural geniuses or incredibly gifted athletically, but when you can control the effort, your progress, and your learning, there is no excuse to be mediocre or stagnant in how you stand with most things. Certain aspects of your being are 100 percent up to you with how good you become, so fuck mediocrity, and start improving today.
19.) You treat your body with disrespect – You are born with a Lamborghini that has the most capable computer system known to mankind. Yet, everyday we are confronted with a million ways to trash it. I’m talking about yourself, your body and mind you’ve been blessed with. You put in cheap fuel, and never update your software. Your body is soft from poor nutrition and lack of challenge, and your mind is weak from lack of stimulation and . It’s time to get yourself back. Train for life. Learn to grow.
NOT DEAD…CAN’T QUIT
20.) Quitting is an option – Above all else, never quit. It’s easy to quit, I know. We are faced with the opportunity everyday. Never will we escape the grips of the resistance to give in. Never will quitting stop to try and force its way into your head. Train yourself with small victories. Decide that you will complete something to the best of your ability. Shout it out loud if you have to. It doesn’t matter if you are tired, hungry, cold, or weak. You already decided you will never quit. So don’t.
P.S. Andrew and I wrote a book on conquering fear. It could change your life. Check it out here.