Monday, August 5, 2013

Apologies, Critics, and Application

I want to relay a message a great friend of mine told me recently, and something I've written about a few times as well.

1. Live your life in a way that you rarely have to apologize for your actions. It will happen at times, but the less you do and say that you have to apologize for, the happier you will be and the happier the people you care about will be.

Before you make a decision, or open your mouth....think. For just 5 seconds think. If you are angry, hold your tongue or at least be mindful of the things you let loose from it. Once words leave your lips they can never be taken back. No matter how much or how little you meant by them, they forever exist in the mind of the person they were directed at.

2. Never apologize for who you are. You have flaws. You may be fucked up sometimes. So are the people you care about. Love them the same way you want to be loved, even though you may be terrifically unlovable at times.

So long as you are TRULY adhering to rule #1, never apologize for what you do to shape the life you dream of. Be selfish with your happiness and the people you share it with. Be selfish in a way you give that love out. Not everyone is deserving of it. And if you hand it out freely, it will mean less to the people that truly deserve it, and there will be less of it to go around.

The people in your life that are going to love you unconditionally will accept you for the flaws others cannot. And you will do the same for them.

Honor them by adhering to rule #1, and honor yourself by adhering to rule #2.

3. Ignore your critics; don't silence them. Anything you ever do worth a shit will be frowned upon by others. This comes with the territory. Laziness hates a winner....a worker. People that can't do will always lambaste those that can. That is their job. It is your job to ignore them, and pour your energy into carving out your own path, your own present, and your desired future. The more time you spend arguing with your critics the less energy you will have to blaze your trail.

4. Embrace and apply ideas, don't just think about how good they sound.

Anything known, or learned, that cannot be applied isn't worth the space it is taking up in your head. Throw it away, or learn how to apply it. It does no good to know all the mottos and motivational sayings about living out loud if you're not actually doing it.

If you believe that doing the right thing is often the most difficult, yet you never put those into practice, then you don't REALLY believe that. What you believe can be seen in your actions and words on a daily basis. Not just what you think sounds good as an echo in the walls of your mind. If you want to better yourself, make a choice to live those choices in a way that others can see, and that you can see when no one is looking. Apply the virtues in your actions, so that what you believe about yourself, and what people see are the same thing.

I write these things for myself. I am a work in progress. As we all are. I share only my own personal burdens, and ideas about them. I do not point a finger. There is no judgement.


  1. number 4, so true, fuck all the diets and protocols in my head, when i`m not applying them

    it takes active approach to change, it won't happen over night

    great article Paul

  2. "Never apologize for who you are"
    This to me is problematic. We are who we make ourselves to be. We are what we do. And when we eff up, make mistakes, or act like jerks, we should apologize to those we have wronged and try to make it right.
    I think I get what you are getting at PC, but I have experienced too many people not apologizing for their assholery by saying "that's just the way I am."

    1. Read rule #1 and take it in the context with that.

    2. I would say to add to that: There's a difference between "living your life in a way where you rarely _have to_ apologize" and "living your life in a way where you rarely apologize." I would say an asshole is the latter.

      The other thing is perception. I think owning up to your actions is a positive thing, but the more you apologize the more people begin to expect you to do anything but the right thing. It starts to turn against you.

      In fact, I was just responsible for ruining a relationship for disobeying rule #1. Some of the worst decisions I have ever made in my life were things I decided to say. Now, there's something to be said for forgiveness..but if I had just stopped to think and err on the side of kindness that person would still be my friend. Have to live with that now. That's not a cheap price.

      Obey these rules!

  3. Fuck my life. This couldn't have come at a better time. My brother's wacko girlfriend now lives with my parents (along with my bro) because she managed to manipulate my bro, he in turn manipulated my parents to have her live there, and I of course, had to say something because she is a very, very bad woman. I didn't cuss at her, didn't raise my voice at her, but I said something that was sharp as a knife, but in the most "diplomatically" way possible (aka a little bit of playing dumb and sarcasm). And now I'm the bad guy according to my bro. I feel bad but at the same time the truth had to be said. My parents are really overwhelmed by the situation. She's pregnant.

    On the side note, when a guy is whooped, it is the most saddest thing ever. She has his balls in her purse and man, I just cannot believe it is happening to my older brother.

    But thanks Paul, reading your shit clicked with me and I've got some work to do....

  4. Paul,

    This is a fairly off-topic question. How, if at all, have your views on training for a powerlifting meet changed? Or, to put it a different way, if you were to start training someone (say, your daughter) for a powerlifting meet, would you do anything different then what you've outlined in the past?

    Thanks for your time.


    1. They haven't changed. I mean, if you're a total novice it's a little different, but otherwise the principles are all the same.