Sunday, February 17, 2013

If you want to reach your goals, don't sing it...bring it.

It's no secret I despise hipsters.

I hate them with a fervor that is almost shameful.  Who grows a beard, wears hand me down thrift shop clothes and then carries a fucking iPhone?  

Where are the Vikings when you need them?

But what really bothers me about them, is their smug attitude that because they sit around and talk about "things that are important", they somehow are far more intellectual than everyone else, or that they somehow make a difference.  

Here's the clue in.  They don't, and all their conversations don't make a fucking difference either.  Because talking about shit, never got shit did.  Yes, that's bad grammar on purpose.  

They didn't join the Peace Corps for a year.  They didn't venture down to the soup kitchen to feed the homeless (maybe to steal their clothes or beards).  They didn't join a team that is part of cleaning up the inner city.  They talked some politics, laughed over "ales" or coffee, and pretended like it makes them a better person for "caring".  I mean seriously, who the hell talks about world peace?  

This is why I hate them.  They are physically lazy blowhards who idolize themselves as the "greater good" because they think they care more than everyone else.  It's horseshit.  

You know who the greater good is?  It's the little ol lady who spends her Sunday at the homeless shelter taking care of Vets or others that are legit down on their luck.  

It's the guy who took a year off from school to go build orphanages in third world countries.  

It's the guy who gets out of his truck to help that little old lady cross the street in traffic.  

Ok let's be honest, I'm not being fair to hipsters.  They aren't the only ones who simply ghost walk through life, talking about all the things that really matter yet never lift a finger to change their life or environment they live in.  The prick driving the Prius isn't helping the environment, he's just being lazy.  If he wanted to make a change in his current environment he'd get out and pick up trash off the side of the highway.

Most people, MOST, never do the things they talk about "wanting" to do, or the things they would love to do, out of fear of leaving their comfort zone.  This is an old and tired cliche, so I won't expound any more on that.  That's an entirely different article.

Rather, I'd prefer to ask a question.

When did "what you do", stop mattering?  

When I was into following bodybuilding, I knew lots of guys that trained in the gym, and ate 6 times a day, and did all the things bodybuilders did, except compete.  Yet they still choose to call themselves bodybuilders.  

Here's the thing.  Until you diet for X number of weeks, do the spray tan, fill out your entry form, and step onstage with salad dressing slathered all over yourself, you're NOT a bodybuilder.  You're no more a bodybuilder than the guy that puts together the shitty entertainment center from Target is a carpenter.  Taking some cell phone pics in the gym bathroom after you've got a good pump, then posting on Facebook about how you were "killin it at the gym" doesn't make you a bodybuilder either.  

Until you get on the platform and squat, bench, and pull a total, you're not a powerlifter.  

You're not a cop until you are able to legally don the badge.  You're not a lawyer until you pass the bar.  You're not a hooker if no one is paying you for the sex.  You're not an MMA fighter until you have some kind of W/L record in a legit fed.  I've trained with MMA fighters and I'm no MMA fighter.  It takes a whole different level of commitment that I was never able to give, in order to be called one.  

You see, these things are earned.  And they aren't earned without actions.  In other words, someone had to DO something, rather than talk about something, to BE something or become something.  

What you DO defines who, and what you are.  If you murder people on the third Sunday of every month at midnight because your bag of demon possessed skittles told you to, you're a fucking serial killer.  You could also be the janitor at the local community college while you're doing this as well.  So guess what?  You're both.  

What we say defines what we think or believe, but our actions defines who we are, or what we define is most important.  

I wrote earlier this week..........

"If you want something bad enough, you'll peel your flesh off in order to obtain it. It doesn't matter what it is. Whether it's a job or a relationship or whatever it is, if you truly care about it to the very depth of your soul, you will sacrifice whatever you must sacrifice in order to see it come to fruition."

If you love someone, it can't be enough to think it, and say it.  Your love for them should be tangible in your actions.

If you have committed to something, it's not enough to talk about it, or say it.  In fact, I watched a video earlier this week where the speaker talked about studies that showed, if you spoke about your goals, you would be less likely to actually achieve them.  You see, you get a similar feeling in the brain from speaking about achieving goals, as you get when you actually do them.  So the level of commitment wanes.

Maybe it's time to stop speaking of all the things you want to do, or the goals you want to achieve, and actually store them away in your mental vault, and let your actions do the talking.  I feel like in the past I've talked way too much about goals I've wanted to achieve and then inevitably, not always been able to get the job done.  There's no one to blame for that but myself.

However, I wonder if it ever occurred to us while we lament over not reaching goals we held so dearly, that we may have short circuited our own efforts simply by speaking about our passion for them.

In short, don't sing it...bring it.  

Stop talking about the shit you're going to do, and DO shit.

I often laugh about one of my old fight coach's favorite sayings after we would whip someones ass.

"Talk shit now."  he would say.

All the shit talking in the world didn't stop a punch or throw a combination.  Eventually, actions did all the talking.  

If you want your life to matter, and you want the things you are passionate about in your life to come to fruition, then guess what?  Death is winning....don't SAY something.  DO something.  What did you think my motto meant, anyway?  


  1. Good post. Now I need some coffee.

  2. Where did you watch that video talked about the goals thing? I want to watch it.

  3. "You're not a hooker if no one is paying you for the sex?" Hillarious!!!

    I was reading your post today and getting all hype and stuff, then I came across the above sentence...LOL... Anyway, I love your posts... Have a great one...

    1. Thanks. Some of my stuff is hyperbole but inside of it I try to deliver a cleverly disguised message.

    2. Great post Paul. Def need to talk less and do more.

  4. Great post, as always.
    On a side note, are you still doing the podcast's with Jamie? Apologies if this has already been answered elsewhere.

  5. Good read.

    I'm moving back to the States so I can complete an academy and become a Law Enforcement Officer. I'm giving up a lot of family and comfort zones, but ultimately gaining a life long ambition. Sure it's easier to stay put, but then I become just like the majority never taking a chance and forever wondering what if?

    Take care.

  6. If someone asks me what I want to hit at a meet or how heavy I'm going during a workout, I always answer "We'll see" or "I'm just gonna play it by ear". The times where I have talked about my goals, it seemed to take a little fire away from me, this goes for other pursuits as well. Awesome post Paul, this and the "Earn it" post really hit home.

  7. Been thinking about this very topic a lot lately. You articulate it perfectly. Keep up the great work.

  8. You're always a swift kick in the ass man.

    "If you want something bad enough, you'll peel your flesh off in order to obtain it. It doesn't matter what it is..."

    This brings me back to
    1. Priorities
    2. Level of effort.

    I talk all the time about my priorities, but my level of effort don't reflect that. Lately I've been peeling my flesh off for my vices ... putting all my effort into being consumed by my vices, and talking about nice goals so I'm really just in a fantasy land. Carve me a new asshole with a rusty shovel made out of super aids.
    Erg. Time to stop thinking and start doing.
    Got any tips on always being anxious overwhelmed by life? That feeling when everything seems so much and so heavy and you just want to give up and quit. How can I stop being a fucking pussy and man up and be the fucking lion. I feel like I am trying so hard, but Im 19 with barely any direction and Im burnt. In lifting and in life. fuck.

    1. I can remember being 19 feeling the same way. It is, I think, fairly common. Not every 19 year old has their life laid out for them in their mind. Some of us, myself included, had no idea what they wanted out of life professionally.

      You don't have to decide tomorrow what you're going to do with the rest of your life. If anything, I'd say, get a part time job, save up as much as you can, and travel the world while you have no real responsibilities. See the world, get your education on through books while you're traveling, and soak up as much of the world as you can. Eventually, it will come to you.

    2. I'm 24 and still have no idea where I should go professionally. It's depressing, really. But posts like this are encouraging to step out and try something instead of talking or overanalyzing in my head. Thanks Paul.

    3. Honestly, Mr. Long, what Paul said sounds like a good idea. Maybe you'll go back to school after you travel (if you're not already enrolled). I went back to college a few years ago and i'll be obtaining my degree in bio-chemistry pretty soon. Then I'm off to graduate school for synthetic organic chemistry.

      When I was 19, I sure as hell didn't plan on pursuing anything in the physical sciences, lol. Things have surely changed.

  9. Relevant to this discussion:

    This is actually the first post a 3 part series. That's a very interesting blog in general (not me, not plugging myself.. whoever writes it is much, much smarter than me). Be warned, though, the posts are often long. It deals a lot with narcissism. Many of the same themes are covered. A lot of people form these identities in their head, then they resist doing anything because it puts their self-formed IDENTITY at risk.

    One of the points the writer constantly drives home is what Paul is talking about here: you are your behavior. Identity is behavior.

  10. Hi paul,

    I'm a medicine student from belgium and posts like this + SLL have really inspired me to DO SOMETHING. I'm now going to the kilembe mines hospital in uganda for 6 weeks to help out however I can.

    I can honestly say I wouldnt have considered doing this if it wasn't for SLL and some of your blog posts.

    Thank you,

    1. That's awesome, Thomas! You'll be a better person for it in the long run. God speed.

  11. great post!!

  12. Steven wrote:
    "I'm moving back to the States so I can complete an academy and become a Law Enforcement Officer. I'm giving up a lot of family and comfort zones, but ultimately gaining a life long ambition. Sure it's easier to stay put, but then I become just like the majority never taking a chance and forever wondering what if?"

    Good luck with the academy Steven, stick it out to the end and show 'em your the best! I went through fire academy and everyone thought I was going to be the weak link because my father died right in the first month. Knowing this I just dug deeper and gave it all hell.
    I think it helped me get a little respect. So always show them your ready to work and learn and be there for the guys who are having trouble.....actions speak louder than words.

    @Paul My photo isn't taken after I got my pump on in the gym , its before I went on the gym floor. I did push ups and then walked around and talked to people for 30 min and pretended I was training and then just went home. Ha Ha . Good post keep up the writing!

    1. @ F. Mohr, thank you for your words and sorry about your father. Lost mine as well in 2005, I'm sure he would have been proud.

      Good luck with your career, and may you always be safe.

  13. Paul, really nice article!

    Even though this post of you is different in many aspects, the bottom line is similar in my opinion and it reminded me of Jim Wendlers "Time to man up" article (which i f*cking love).

    Seriously, i think it would be great if you could write more stuff about being a man, being the lion. When i just saw that Hipster pic, man it really shocked me how i´ve become a f*cking hipster in many ways. Not just inside and through my personality , but also on the outside via clothing...seriously!

    Need to buy some lumberjack shirts and grow a beard. Wait, you don´t have a beard and look like a man, what´s your secret haha?