“Write That Down” – The Van Wilder Moments


A few days ago I posted a quick question to my Facebook Page
which read:

“What is one thing the (now older and wiser) you of today would like to tell the you of 5, 10, or 15 years ago… assuming that young you would actually follow the advice?”

I got some great responses (great enough to post it to my personal page, too, for more input) and some of them got me thinking about what I’d say myself. I honestly hadn’t thought of any of my own answers when I posed the question as I was curious about others’ thoughts. However, given that I went ahead and asked, I guess it’s only fair that I come up with my own answers.

In light of answering questions of wisdom and posterity I’m reminded of one of my favorite slacker comedies of all time:  National Lampoon’s Van Wilder. If you’ve not seen it, you should.

For the sake of brevity until you make it to the video store (or Netflix) just know that the premise of the film centers around the main protagonist, Van Wilder, who is a very gifted but exceptionally lazy college playboy eventually forced buckle down in order to get his degree. He enlists the aid of an Indian student named Taj to become his personal assistant (and to train in the mysteries of the “pink taco”). Throughout the film, whenever Van drops a particularly poignant piece of wisdom, he turns to a usually rapt but slightly bewildered Taj and says “Write that down”.

Well, write this down:

One Piece of Advice for:

Stick to your scheduled deloads. I have a tendency to set up a four, eight, or twelve-week training cycle that runs very smoothly until along comes my scheduled deload. At this point I feel great and decide to keep pushing it. So sure enough… come week 14 or 15… BAM, I get hit with an injury and lose a few weeks or months of training.

I don’t do this with clients (I always deload them when appropriate), but as usual, seem to think that I’m above the law and continue to pound myself into the ground. Dumbass.

You’re not cool enough to find life uninteresting. It wasn’t too long ago that I definitely had a bad case of too-cool-itus (probably not that cool a word) and it had me locked up in a little, dark world. I used it as a defense mechanism and it kept me from some great things that my life has offered me.

Is every aspect of life the greatest thing ever and every person worth your unblinking attention? No, of course not, but there’s a lot out there that you’re going to miss if you’ve got your shades on, arms folded, and are leaned against the wall staring into the distance.  Trust me, I used to be that guy, too.

Be nice and do nice things for other people, but don’t live your life for them. I spent a long time in a couple of relationships fighting who I was and what I wanted to become because I was trying to make the other person happy. It made me miserable and damn near crazy.

Guess what? It didn’t fucking work.

It made them miserable and damn near (or even fully) crazy, too.

Your life is too short and too precious to be living it for someone else. Help them whenever you can. Be their friend, lover, and companion as per the situation, but being any of those roles does not mean that you have to give them the reins to YOUR life.

Keep track of money, don’t worry about money; If you’re doing the right things and helping people, then you deserve to be paid for it and the money will take care of itself. Do I want to make more money? Sure. Have I had times in my life when I’ve made WAY too little money? Absolutely. During most of those (very) dark times I was too busy trying to chase money rather than giving people and life a reason to send money my way. It was during those times when I started losing myself in hopes of an exchange for that money. There’s some strong lessons there.

See? Vegetables! And meat from something that ate vegetables! Win-win!

Eat your damn vegetables. They’re good for you.

In the words of the man himself:

“You shouldn’t take life to seriously. You’ll never get out alive.”
-Van Wilder

So now I’ll pose the question to you:

“What is one thing the (now older and wiser) you of today would like to tell the you of 5, 10, or 15 years ago… assuming that young you would actually follow the advice?”

Answer below!

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