Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.― Theodore Roosevelt
I was listening to a wonderful podcast the other day called the Jocko Podcast. If you don’t know the name, Jocko, you need to. Jocko Willink is a man; a former Navy SEAL, Jiu-Jitsu master, fighter coach, business coach, and author, the man has lived through experiences that give him a unique perspective. The same goes for his guest on this episode of the podcast, Tim Kennedy.
If you don’t know Tim Kennedy, he’s an active duty Ranger, Green Beret, while also moonlighting as a top ranked Martial Artist in the UFC. How the fuck this guy isn’t the poster boy for that organization is beyond me. He fights for a living and for his country, and he’s damn good at both.
Having these two guys sitting down to answer questions and go on tangents about whichever topic is brought up is a rare treat. Both guys are very smart, but not only with acquired knowledge, but big picture intelligence, grand scheme stuff. At one point in the podcast Tim was asked to give advice to young people who are just graduating high school. He sat, thought, then came up with his answer.
Try to do things that you don’t think you can accomplish.
He referenced mountains and hikes he could go on around his home in Texas. Most he could do without much training on top of what he can presently do. Same with most mountains in America. When you get into the Himalayas, the Everests and K2’s, do those. Those are the mountains you should aim to climb, he noted.
This shouldn’t just be advice for teens, but for all men. Each of us have fallen short of this simple call to action. We’ve all fallen into uninspiring modes of living. We’ve slid into mediocrity as if it were our only choice. Most of you reading this, no matter your age, will think it’s too late to change or you’ll say that you’ll get at it tomorrow.
But you won’t. You won’t because that’s just not what we do. We read a book, watch a video, hear a speech, get inspired, then fall back into our routine minutes or days later. Thus, most of us never truly live. We exist in a purgatorial state somewhere between life and death but not in the spine-tingling, butterfly producing existence of action that is life.
We won’t dare mightily because it isn’t easy.
Training to climb Everest takes years. Training to win a world title takes decades. Quitting your job and starting a business almost ensures a complete lack of security – at least momentarily – combined with 16 hour days. Being a man of action dictates that, at the end of every day, you have nothing left in the tank. It’s a tiring existence, but it’s far more than just an existence. This is life.
The mountains that call you must be claimed. The adventure, the hunt, the skill, the job, the book you set out to write must be written because of their difficulty. It’s this resistance that you’ll face when you take that first step toward an unlikely and audacious goal that must call you, draw you in rather than giving you a reason not to move forward.
Whenever I write something about aiming higher or working harder I almost think it’s pointless. We’re so set in our ways, conditioned to see limitations instead of opportunities or to think that we are working hard when we lay our head’s down at the end of the day with far too much energy left to give that words like this will only impact a fraction of those they should.
If all you do after reading this is aim for something that you don’t think you can accomplish and actually set out to accomplish it, without quitting, without complaint, then you are a man. If all you do is that, then you’re in the 1% of the 1% in the history of our species. You’ll be one of the few who can lay their head down for your final nap knowing that you deserve this eternal sleep because you’ve given life everything. There isn’t an ounce of you left to be given. (Read This: Always Be The Best)
It would be so easy for you to gloss over these words as motivational, inspirational, and leave them there. But if you at all care about living, if you in any way want to pay your parents back for raising you as they did, or to pay the gift of life back, your Maker back, a friend you once had who died too young, then you will make audacity habitual. You will make immediate action routine. You will hunt down those things that the masses will shy away from and you won’t quit until they’re claimed.
About The Author
Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live. He’s a former 9-5er turned entrepreneur, a former scrawny amateur boxer turned muscular published fitness author. He’ll give you the kick in the ass needed to help you live a big, ambitious life.
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