Don’t Just “Get By”. Be Awesome.

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While I’m predominantly a sports performance coach, I do take on a few non-athlete personal training clients on a very select basis.  One of the coolest parts of my business is that I get to work with these adult trainees who come in, get after it, and are training with me to become better at the biggest sport of all:  Life.

My clients are a rare breed.  The ones who seek out and are accepted into my program tend to be driven, focused, and accomplished individuals.  In short, they’re awesome, both as people and at life.  What makes my job so cool is that I get to be around these awesome people every day and have great conversations about success, life, and grabbing the bull by the horns, all in between them gasping, grunting, and insulting my heritage.  We should all be so lucky.

And that’s just the thing.  We SHOULD all be so lucky.  It’s not like I was handed some sort of magical pass.  I chose this vocation and made it happen.  We should all have a purpose and a means of making a living that brings us satisfaction and gives us back what we give to it.  Unfortunately, that’s not how the vast majority of people are living their lives.  Let me run down most dudes’ lives in a paragraph:

They matriculate through school to the appropriate level of their ambition and others’ expectations of them.  They then get a job that is expected of them.  Eventually they get married to someone on a similar path, replicate themselves, and repeat this process until they retire modestly. At that point they play golf, watch sitcoms, eventually get cancer or heart disease, and die.  Throw in the risk of a divorce (a chance to find someone else equally boring but on the same track as you) or some other unfortunate divergence and you’ve got the typical American life.  Oh, and throw in some back pain from years of dysfunctional movement (or lack of movement altogether), too.

Sweet.

This is what we’ve been conditioned by society to think is what we should be doing.  This is what we’ve allowed ourselves to start believing makes us happy.  You know what?  I call “bullshit” on that.  If that really made men happy, then Tim Ferriss wouldn’t be the king of “Lifestyle Design”.  Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club wouldn’t have stirred the hearts, minds, and balls of almost every male in my generation.  Seriously, ask almost any guy from 15-35 and he’ll tell you that Fight Club is one of his favorite movies.  If that’s true, then why didn’t he learn anything from it?

I say that deep down, we don’t want to be mediocre.  We don’t want to settle for what we know isn’t a life taken and enjoyed.  Deep down, we know that “getting by” sucks.  So, instead of “getting by” and just punching your daily ticket, how about you start doing something cool?  I don’t care what it is, but coming home from work, popping in a movie, and eating shitty takeout is not it.  Instead you should be finding something that you love and becoming awesome at it.

I’ve got a buddy who most people would probably describe as a “normal guy”.  If you didn’t know him you’d definitely think that, but this guy literally created his job within a major state and federal agency.  As in it didn’t exist before he made it happen.  Now he’s writing governmental policy every day.  That’s pretty awesome.  He also comes home and grows hops for his own homebrewing and is building a vineyard.  In Maine.  That’s cool.

My business has me dealing with high-quality people and making their lives much, much better.  I write my own schedule and do things on my terms.  I love doing what I do and I’m damn good at it.  Why am I good at it?  Because I love it and I make it my mission to be great.

Another friend of mine is in school to be a pharmacist.  While he’s in school he makes the equivalent of a small salary by winning poker tournaments.  I’m not a gambler, and he’s not trying to make it his whole life, but it’s hard to deny that it’s a totally badass way to dominate one of his hobbies.

What I’m saying is that a man should be good at something.  Like really good.  I’ve never met a successful man who wasn’t, to be honest.  It doesn’t need to be your job, but there should be some skill, hobby, or adventure that you feel that you confidently own.  If you’re reading this blog then you know that you should doing something to set yourself above the herd. Go ahead and find your passion.  Become really, really good at it.  And when you are good at something, be proud of it.  It doesn’t make you a douchebag, it makes you a man.

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