I Suck, Therefore I Succeed

Being the best is overrated…

  “My main goal in life is to help people to, um, how should I put this – not suck. Or, maybe I should say – be better at being them.”

Often people who are the most talented, have the most potential, or are “genetically gifted” often struggel just as much(if not more) to accomplish their goals. There are exceptions to this, of course, but for the most part it has more to do with a concept that Steve Jobs(co-founder & former CEO of Apple, R.I.P.) stated back in the early days of Apple.

WAIT!! What does Apple have to do with anything? I mean they do computer stuff, and Steve Jobs was some kind of genius!

Hold your horses… it’s really not about the computers, it’s about the IDEA behind how he viewed life and succeeding…

Here it is(it’s a long one…)

“…When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is, and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money….

That’s a very limited life, life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you…

…and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use…

And the minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, if you push in something will pop out the other side, you can change it, you can mold it… that’s maybe the most important thing…

To shake off this, erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just going to live it. Versus embrace a change, improve it, make your mark on it…”

…”Once you learn that you will never be the same again”….

Here’s a link to the video(with a few other good bits of advice)

So, yes, not so fitnessy or sexy(like my gooder english…), but it definitely applies to life as we know it. Not to be fit into a box predefined by yourself or someone else… (although, we often put the biggest limitations on ourselves.)

My biggest limitations I’ve ever faced I put on myself…

When I started my martial arts training, let’s be honest – I sucked. I would literally fall over practicing kicks and footwork drills because my balance and coordination was so terrible. I got discouraged, frustrated, angry, and even considered quitting a few times. Probably the biggest turning point in my training is when, frustrated as I was, my then instructor, (now friend) Michael Olds, told me while doing some bag sparring “Man, I can tell you’re going to be really good at this”. He doesn’t remember telling me this out loud of course… but he says he always knew soon as he started working with me I had it in me to be very good at this TaeKwonDo thing.

I had honestly at that point never thought of myself as good at anything(and I still suffer from this), so I started training as if I was going to be as great as he told me I was capable of. My physical skills dramatically increased, my attitude changed, I started practicing more at home. And really, out of all the people I’ve trained over the years, I see what he saw then, that we all have the ability to be great if we put our minds to it and really give it everything we’ve got!

So, did this high school aged assistant instructor magically give me this ability and found some way to physically improve me, or did my mental image and beliefs of what I was capable of accomplishing change? I would hope you agree with me that it was the later…(although Master Olds is damn good!)

And, to paraphrase what Mr. Jobs said, once you realize you can poke life and something actually comes out the other side your life will never be the same. And that’s what happened with my training, I poked, pushed, prodded, and got the results I deserved for the work I put in.

Am I now the best? Well, no, not really… not even close(I’m no Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris) Am I better than I would’ve been if Master Olds had not had that 1 second pep talk with me? Hells yeah! Oh, by the way, he is a whopping 1 year older than I am, so really the age of the “coach” or  “role model” makes no difference. His confidence and experience in his field that gave me reassurance what he was saying was true.(He used to be one of the top ranked TKD fighters in the country and has a knack for teaching the art too, a rare combination)

To contrast, another student who started at the same time as me and was quite talented(doing backflips and crazy kicks most of the black belts wouldn’t dare attempt for fear of failing) used to be quite discouraging to me… partly because of his “natural talent”, but mostly, it made me want to quit because I didn’t believe it was possible to be at his level. But after my little pep talk, I started pushing myself to go beyond him. (By the way, he no longer trains and never really improved from day 1…)

I could go on about other areas in my life that this same story has played out and I unnecessarily banged my head against the wall, but I think you get the point… It’s all a matter of perception, take the bad and find an opportunity in it.

This all boils down to my main point…

My main goal in life is to help people to, um, how should I put this – not suck. Or, maybe I should say – be better at being them. And I hope that, even if you never step foot in PostFit or train with me ever, you can take something away from this and change your life.

So, why should your life be any different? (I mean, after all, I told you how I was when I started out…) Find a way to make things work for yourself through hard work, discipline, and constantly pushing yourself to try things that scare the hell out of you (as long as they don’t literally kill you – be smart!).

Just try one thing this week you’ve always been afraid to try, just one(ask out that girl – or guy, try working out, join the adult soccer league, jump out a plane – my personal favorite, please use a parachute), and you’ll be amazed at the feeling you get just in the trying of the thing…(succeed or fail, you’re still breathing). Just keep the mindset that you will succeed no matter what!

Your Life Will Never Be The Same – Live Your Dreams

~Justin