I think you should strive to lead a life of ownership, where you take responsibility of everything that happens to you, good and bad. I think hard work is a lost quality. I think people are weaker now and more dependent. I think eyebrows should be considered facial hair, if they aren’t already. And I think the coffee at Starbucks is pretty bad – OK, fucking appalling.
I bring this up because people are lost, confused, clingy and afraid. They come to me looking for answers, like I’m the pope. I’m not the pope. Not yet, probably never will be. I’m not a guy with answers for everything. I don’t know how to solve the world’s problems, don’t even what all the world’s problems are. If I did, I’d be the pope. And I wouldn’t mind being the pope, so long as it came with the hat.
But I do believe the start of any solution begins at the level of personal responsibility. In other words, it starts with you.
I read a lot about classical cultures (like Sparta), and it gets me excited and a little nervous. I mean, my God, here were people who took ownership to a whole nother level – to the extreme, really. They didn’t have a lot, but they did have focus. They were hard and tough and snarling and mean. And they were after something. So I am trying to live my life in a more austere and rugged way because of this.
And if you want to know what I think, well(!)… I think your life will improve in direct ratio to the number of things you can get out of it that shouldn’t be there. Even Pokemon Go. I think you should lift, pray (even if you’re not religious), and unapologetically follow your dream. I think you should meditate. I think you should eat lightly. I think you should work hard, suck it up and follow through. If I were the pope, this is what I would say.
The art of suffering, of toughening your mind, body and soul. Spirit: That thing that floats around. (We’ve been over this.) It hurts to improve. You have to take hard looks at yourself and be put through a slog.
This is happening to Christine right now. She’s on the third draft of her third attempt at a novel. She is suffering for her Great Work and sometimes wants to quit. She is also on Fast Fitness and Pocket Sized Workouts, so it’s like holy cow, how are you doing all of this?
But she is one of the toughest cookies I know, and it’s ok to want to quit. Anytime you are doing something worthwhile you should want to quit. That’s how you know you are doing something worthwhile.