Archive for March, 2012

What is success?

I have a professor, who, in the short time I’ve known him, has had a huge effect on the way I view life as a whole. He says, “On my deathbed, will I wish I had an extra ten thousand dollars or wish I’d done that one thing I always dreamed of doing?” Think about it for a while. Think about how certain things have left you feeling more empty than others. As Bruce Lee said, “Life is meant to be lived.” I have always believed that to truly understand things in life, one must completely abandon all preconceptions one has about that thing. Assume everything you’ve been told is a lie. Once you’ve gotten rid of everything that everyone in your lifetime has put on you, all of the ideas that they’ve held and projected onto you, you can begin to see things as they really are. When I did this, when I threw away everything that I’d believed success was (the progressive valuation of a bank account, measuring your net worth in dollars as a person), my personal definition of success became clear. I had once been overweight, now I am fit. I knew this was success, but what defined it as success? Why did it make me happy?

I was now the person I was once jealous of. I once envied fit people, felt separated from them, and resented the difference. Hard work, the will to become better, had made me into the person I was once jealous of. That seemed like a pretty good definition of success.

So find out what really makes you happy. At the core. Do not let other people define success for you. Remove what society, your family, and friends told you and chase what you seek at the very base fabric of the being you are. If at the core, you are driven by money, chase it. But remember… chasing, that’s not the hard part. The hard part is chasing the right thing.

What motivates you to work out?

Anyone wanting to look better struggles with this. Everyone who works out. Why go to the gym today? “Let’s make it a rest day,” your logical brain reasons with you. But you don’t. You go to the gym and you lift the hell out of that iron, sprint on the treadmill, do… whatever ellipticals do. It doesn’t matter what motivates you. People who aren’t of strong will will argue, “You just lift for girls,” “You’re gonna end up muscle-bound, you know.” You don’t listen to them. Don’t even question them. Sure, you could be lifting for a girl or all of the girls, you could be on the elliptical trying to tone up your butt for the guy you see all the time, you could even be doing whatever you do in the gym in the hopes you’ll find someone to fight. What does matter is this: You Are There For You. If you weren’t there for you, you wouldn’t be there. You go to the gym and fight not only gravity, not only time, but you fight yourself. The voice inside you that says you had a hard day, that you’re too sad or had too much food today to get a good workout. You’re fighting yourself for yourself. You want what you want and that’s all that matters. That you have something driving you to pick yourself up from wherever you are and make what you’re given even better. So get out there today and work out. Hard. You know what you can do, now go further today.