41 Life Truths That Have Helped Me Live A Badass 41 Years

 

That’s Right!

It is that time of year again…

I just turned 44!

I got some great gifts and even more over the hill jokes…

I’m nowhere near washed up…

Many people think it’s time for me to slow down…Actually I am just getting warmed up.

Well I must say that my first 44 years on this earth have been one up and down crazy adventure. I have laughed. I have cried. I have punched walls and punched people. Experience is a test you get before you get the lesson.

I have started from meager beginnings and overcome great obstacles.

I have traveled the world and lived my dreams. I’ve made great friends and lifelong enemies. It has been anything but boring. Mediocre has never been my style.

I have succeeded in big ways. I have failed in even bigger ways. I never give up.

I was once told that I wasn’t smart enough to quit…

I took it as a compliment.

I have learned that life just kind of happens whether you want it to or not.

Most people just kind of exist…

They aren’t happy. They are just making it day-to-day.

They are living everyday wishing for 5 pm and Friday afternoon.

They are just getting by…

I would hate to see you fall into the same trap.

So to celebrate my 44st  birthday I am going to share 44 Truths I learned that helped me live a Bad Ass 44 years that I hope you find useful as well.

1. The world owes you nothing, it was here first.

2. Self pity is the most powerful and addictive narcotic ever made. Don’t become a junkie.

3. If you ever find that you are feeling sorry for yourself watch a Rocky Balboa speech.

4.Read every single day. Read good books like biographies, motivational stories and quotes that are designed to encourage and empower you. Never watch the news or read the paper. They are designed to depress you and enslave you.

5. Never Fear Failure. If you are afraid of losing you will never win.

6. Life will knock you down and then kick you while you are on the ground. The more you cry the harder you get kicked. Don’t cry. Get back up and dare life to knock you down again. Then get up again. Repeat.

7. When you do fall, fall flat on your back. If you can look up you can get up.

8. Most people are just living to die. Be a person who is dying to live.

9. Where you began your life was someone else’s decision. Good or bad. Where you go with your life is your decision. Make good ones.

10. The world will not break your heart. It will crush your heart. Acknowledge, move on.

11. People love to watch a fire burn. Set yourself on fire and inspire all those around you.

12. Who you surround yourself with determines your level of success and your mindset. Iron sharpens Iron.

13. If you surround yourself with morons, so that you can feel like a genius, just remember you aren’t a genius. You are just a better moron.

14. Some people are born with bigger advantages and more talent than you. Stop whining about this and just accept that you will have to work twice as hard and be twice as tough. Hard work will always beat talent.

15. We are meant to be individuals. Followers never win. Be a wolf not a sheep.

16. Stop wasting time trying to fit in or make people like you. That is investing in other people. Invest in yourself. You are worth it.

17. You never have as many friends as you think you do.

18. You never have as many enemies as you think you do.

19. Always be the happiest person in the room. It won’t make you popular, but it will irritate all of the unhappy people and drive them out of your presence.

20. Never be afraid to take action. Remember that when you take action with a big idea that things will go wrong, you will screw up. So what. You can fix them later. Massive success is a byproduct of massive chaos.

21. Never stop learning from people who are more experienced. They can help you avoid some big landmines.

22. Never stop learning from people who are less experienced. They can help you from becoming outdated and old.

23. You are never the exception. You are always the rule. Listen to people who have been through what you are going through. Over the years people do not change, only the technology changes. You are not a special exception.

24. When you tell people your problems always remember that 90% of the world does not care about your problems. The other 10% are happy that you have them.

25. If you think that other people, Republicans or Democrats, Conservative or Liberals,  your ex spouse or the city you live in is your biggest problem, then YOU are your biggest problem. None of those people care enough about you to make your life hard. If you hate the city you live in, then move.

26. Being bitter is like drinking poison and expecting the rest of the world to die.

27. If a friend, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or employee wants to leave you, don’t beg them to stay. Hold the door open for them. Let someone more deserving have the great opportunity.

28. When you walk your own path in life you will do it alone. People will be irritated and offended. Let them be. They are just crabs in the bucket.

29. If you don’t know what crabs in the bucket are read:

https://bdjfitness.com/crabs-in-a-bucket/

30. There are 3 kinds of business. YOUR business which is your thoughts and actions. OTHER PEOPLE’S business, which is their thoughts and actions. LIFE’S business which is weather, traffic and the economy. Only concern yourself with YOUR business. All the other types of business are out of your control.

31.Chase your passions not money. Never spend years sacrificing and studying to be something that does not interest you at all just because it pays well. If you chase your passion you will be great at what you do and the money will find you. If you chase the money you will not own things, they will own you.

32. People could care less how much you know. They are more concerned with knowing how much you care.

33. Shrinking yourself down so that you won’t make those around you feel bad does no one any favors. You were meant to shine. Truly great people make you feel that you too can be great. Only surround yourself with those people.

34. The most important skill in life is making people happier and feeling better about themselves. If you master this skill you are a winner. If you make people sad or reinforce their insecurities you are a loser.

35. People who are born with stripes do not die with spots. When someone tells you who they are, believe them the first time.

36. Once is a mistake, twice is stupid. If you pick a rattlesnake up 5 times it will bite you 5 times. Leave the rattlesnakes alone.

37. Being successful means you have to break away from the pack. It is scary and painful but you can’t take everyone with you. You are only able to push people. If you try to pull people they will only drag you down.

38. There are no secrets or magic formulas. Nothing is natural or easy. You won’t make money sitting on your ass and you won’t get healthy and thin eating fast food and popping pills.The magic formula  is hard work. The secret is getting off your ass.

39. If you are fortunate you may have 3 or 4 friends in your entire life who want you to succeed. The rest are just acquaintances who never want you to have more than them.

40. Never beg the world to let you…Dare the world to try and stop you.

41. Love your life and love yourself…the days you are wasting right now you will soon be begging to have back.

42. Complain about this country all you want…It is not perfect but if you are born into the worst ghetto in Detroit, you are still a thousand miles ahead of the rest of the world. This is the only country on the planet that provides you the opportunity to change your station in life.

43. Just because you have been hurt, mistreated and lied to, do not let that turn you into a hammer. If you only have a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail.

44. Letting the way people have treated you in the past influence how you treat others in the future is a sign of weakness. True strength is trusting after you have been lied to, being happy when everyone would understand if you were sad. It takes strength to believe in yourself when others have made you question your worth.

BDJ

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. ROLLINS

henryrollinsIn the mid 90’s I read an article that summed up everything I had ever thought and felt about fitness and life. I have been through countless personal training seminars, read numerous text books,read every Arnold and Joe Weider book that had been published and never missed an issue of Muscle & Fitness, Flex, Iron Man or MuscleMag International.

But when I read Iron and the Soul in Details magazine in 1994 I discovered the compass that would guide the path of my career. I finally discovered truth and validation for my goals in fitness and my career as a personal trainer.  I truly believed that working out was about more than getting big, drinking protein shakes and looking good in a tank top. Unfortunately at that time early in my career it was an unpopular philosophy. When I read Iron and the Soul I found myself nodding my head with every word and saying to myself yes…exactly…that’s what I’ve been trying to say all along. I had found myself feeling the way he felt and in the same situations with the same challenges and obstacles. Sometimes while reading I was thinking wow…is he writing about me? I believed then, just as I believe now more than ever, that fitness is more than losing weight, getting six pack abs, looking good in your favorite jeans or having big biceps. All of those goals are based in vanity and external validation. Fleeting and empty. Flawed. The focus is always on the end result, never on the power and rewards of the process.

The process is what makes you stronger. The discipline the dedication and the determination to be better on Tuesday than you were on Monday is the only goal. Those are things that aren’t empty or shallow. The confidence you build in yourself as you make the changes day by day can’t be taken away by anyone or anything. I take great pride and feel accomplished when I help people lose 20 pounds or push them to set personal records in the weight room, in the ring or on the running trail. However that isn’t what keeps me up late at night and awake early in the morning working on new workouts or ideas. My passion to spend 12 hours a day in the gym is fueled by watching people change from the inside out. Seeing someone who used to wear baggy clothes and look at the ground transform to someone who is excited to wear their new workout clothes to the gym and show up motivated with their shoulders back and their head held high proud of who they are, confident in their abilities once again or for the first time ever. Seeing someone excited because they have definition in their arms or a flatter stomach is great. Seeing someone who has used fitness to improve their life, their confidence or to help survive tough times is priceless…a feeling that can not be described in words. That is the fuel for the fire that lights my passion. I hope you find this article as inspiring as I did.

“Muscle mass does not always equal strength. Strength is kindness and sensitivity. Strength is understanding that your power is both physical and emotional. That it comes from the body and the mind. And the heart.”

Iron and the Soul – By Henry Rollins

I believe that the definition of definition is reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself.

Completely.

When I was young I had no sense of myself. All I was, was a product of all the fear and humiliation I suffered. Fear of my parents. The humiliation of teachers calling me “garbage can” and telling me I’d be mowing lawns for a living. And the very real terror of my fellow students. I was threatened and beaten up for the color of my skin and my size. I was skinny and clumsy, and when others would tease me I didn’t run home crying, wondering why. I knew all too well. I was there to be antagonized. In sports I was laughed at. A spaz. I was pretty good at boxing but only because the rage that filled my every waking moment made me wild and unpredictable. I fought with some strange fury. The other boys thought I was crazy.

I hated myself all the time. As stupid at it seems now, I wanted to talk like them, dress like them, carry myself with the ease of knowing that I wasn’t going to get pounded in the hallway between classes. Years passed and I learned to keep it all inside. I only talked to a few boys in my grade. Other losers. Some of them are to this day the greatest people I have ever known. Hang out with a guy who has had his head flushed down a toilet a few times, treat him with respect, and you’ll find a faithful friend forever. But even with friends, school sucked. Teachers gave me hard time. I didn’t think much of them either.

Then came Mr. Pepperman, my advisor. He was a powerfully built Vietnam veteran, and he was scary. No one ever talked out of turn in his class. Once one kid did and Mr. P. lifted him off the ground and pinned him to the blackboard. Mr. P. could see that I was in bad shape, and one Friday in October he asked me if I had ever worked out with weights. I told him no. He told me that I was going to take some of the money that I had saved and buy a hundred-pound set of weights at Sears. As I left his office, I started to think of things I would say to him on Monday when he asked about the weights that I was not going to buy. Still, it made me feel special. My father never really got that close to caring. On Saturday I bought the weights, but I couldn’t even drag them to my mom’s car. An attendant laughed at me as he put them on a dolly.

Monday came and I was called into Mr. P.’s office after school. He said that he was going to show me how to work out. He was going to put me on a program and start hitting me in the solar plexus in the hallway when I wasn’t looking. When I could take the punch we would know that we were getting somewhere. At no time was I to look at myself in the mirror or tell anyone at school what I was doing. In the gym he showed me ten basic exercises. I paid more attention than I ever did in any of my classes. I didn’t want to blow it. I went home that night and started right in.

Weeks passed, and every once in a while Mr. P. would give me a shot and drop me in the hallway, sending my books flying. The other students didn’t know what to think. More weeks passed, and I was steadily adding new weights to the bar. I could sense the power inside my body growing. I could feel it.

Right before Christmas break I was walking to class, and from out of nowhere Mr. Pepperman appeared and gave me a shot in the chest. I laughed and kept going. He said I could look at myself now. I got home and ran to the bathroom and pulled off my shirt. I saw a body, not just the shell that housed my stomach and my heart. My biceps bulged. My chest had definition. I felt strong. It was the first time I can remember having a sense of myself. I had done something and no one could ever take it away. You couldn’t say shit to me.

It took me years to fully appreciate the value of the lessons I have learned from the Iron. I used to think that it was my adversary, that I was trying to lift that which does not want to be lifted. I was wrong. When the Iron doesn’t want to come off the mat, it’s the kindest thing it can do for you. If it flew up and went through the ceiling, it wouldn’t teach you anything. That’s the way the Iron talks to you. It tells you that the material you work with is that which you will come to resemble. That which you work against will always work against you.

It wasn’t until my late twenties that I learned that by working out I had given myself a great gift. I learned that nothing good comes without work and a certain amount of pain. When I finish a set that leaves me shaking, I know more about myself. When something gets bad, I know it can’t be as bad as that workout.

I used to fight the pain, but recently this became clear to me: pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness. But when dealing with the Iron, one must be careful to interpret the pain correctly. Most injuries involving the Iron come from ego. I once spent a few weeks lifting weight that my body wasn’t ready for and spent a few months not picking up anything heavier than a fork. Try to lift what you’re not prepared to and the Iron will teach you a little lesson in restraint and self-control.

I have never met a truly strong person who didn’t have self-respect. I think a lot of inwardly and outwardly directed contempt passes itself off as self-respect: the idea of raising yourself by stepping on someone’s shoulders instead of doing it yourself. When I see guys working out for cosmetic reasons, I see vanity exposing them in the worst way, as cartoon characters, billboards for imbalance and insecurity. Strength reveals itself through character. It is the difference between bouncers who get off strong-arming people and Mr. Pepperman.

Muscle mass does not always equal strength. Strength is kindness and sensitivity. Strength is understanding that your power is both physical and emotional. That it comes from the body and the mind. And the heart.

Yukio Mishima said that he could not entertain the idea of romance if he was not strong. Romance is such a strong and overwhelming passion, a weakened body cannot sustain it for long. I have some of my most romantic thoughts when I am with the Iron. Once I was in love with a woman. I thought about her the most when the pain from a workout was racing through my body.

Everything in me wanted her. So much so that sex was only a fraction of my total desire. It was the single most intense love I have ever felt, but she lived far away and I didn’t see her very often. Working out was a healthy way of dealing with the loneliness. To this day, when I work out I usually listen to ballads.

I prefer to work out alone. It enables me to concentrate on the lessons that the Iron has for me. Learning about what you’re made of is always time well spent, and I have found no better teacher. The Iron had taught me how to live. Life is capable of driving you out of your mind. The way it all comes down these days, it’s some kind of miracle if you’re not insane. People have become separated from their bodies. They are no longer whole.

I see them move from their offices to their cars and on to their suburban homes. They stress out constantly, they lose sleep, they eat badly. And they behave badly. Their egos run wild; they become motivated by that which will eventually give them a massive stroke. They need the Iron Mind.

Through the years, I have combined meditation, action, and the Iron into a single strength. I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts. Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate. I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind.

The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it’s impossible to turn back.

The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.

 HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. ROLLINS AND THANK YOU!!!

Thank you for reading as always…

BDJ