TOUGHNESS

I recently gave a speech for our local National Guard unit. I was speaking on toughness, or as the Army calls it, resiliency. In my view… toughness is something that has to be developed. Merriam-Webster’s calls resiliency “the ability to rise above adversity”. How many of you consider yourselves to be tough, or resilient? How many of you honestly can look down at your life and say unecquivocally that you have that trait? In my eyes, we all have it, but in varying degrees. In my case, I had to grow into this. It was painful and took almost 35 years. This is something near and dear to me. I love seeing people “get over”. I am all about “putting people over”. Toughness is a whole hell of a lot more than using curse words, talking loud and being overbearing. Some of the toughest people I ever met were under 5 feet tall, under 100 pounds.

I am sure a lot of you are reminiscing by now, looking at your body, looking at the tattoos, the scars, memories. If you grew up in my era (late 1990s/early 2000s), you can attest to a shift in the overall consciousness of Americans.Seems to be a less confident, less resilient people now. More groupthink, less “rugged individualism”. More victimhood rather than a “can-do” spirit. I will leave you all with this: Do not be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to be hurt. Never fear anything.

A HARSH MESSAGE TO ALL (KNOW YOUR WORTH PART 2)

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT AN ANTI-WOMEN RANT. THIS IS FOR ALL PEOPLE, MEN AND WOMEN ALIKE, SINCE PEOPLE ARE SCREWED UP SIX WAYS FROM SUNDAY IN THE 21ST CENTURY. I WILL BE VERY BLUNT. THIS ONE IS NOT FOR THE WEAK AT HEART, POLITICALLY CORRECT, PROGRESSIVE-MINDED OR ANY COMBINATION OF THE AFOREMENTIONED.

 

Earlier this year, I did a story called “How Do You Know Your Worth?”. It was simply my musing on social media memes that “talk a good game” but offer no solutions. Folks always talk about the problem, but never really get down to the task of fixing anything. Like with political people on both sides of the spectrum. Liberals, Conservatives- they all talk but have no solutions (I will get around to talking about THAT on my American Defense Teams blog and repost it here on RnL). The money is not in actual answers. The money is in the pointing fingers, demonizing and destruction of those who are deemed to be “bad” (take Donald Sterling- again, another issue for another time). When I take a look around in our society, I see so much angst, anger and hatred. Yet no solutions. Why? What we been taught over the past six decades by the so-called “brights”, “elites” and all their worshippers/hangers-on that demonstrations, “civil disobedience” is how to affect change. Note that all of that are viewpoints from dictators and despots (how they attained and kept power, mind you). Sociopolitical topics aside, the real point of this article is how does a man or woman determine their worth? It is very simple indeed to determine your worth. The way to do it is:

1) Look at what you are wanting to do in life

2) Look at where you have come from (in my case, I came from the lowest of the low- simply from the bottom)

3) What are you wanting for the future of not only yourself, but for your city, country and for the world?

4) What do you desire in a mate- and what are you not going to tolerate

5) How much value do you put into your time, efforts and ideas/ideology?

6) Who do you listen to as far as life lessons go?

Add all that up (with introspection) and you will have a pretty good idea of what you are, what you want and what your worth is. Sadly today, people do not know their worth. Academia and entertainment has replaced self-worth with groupthink, yearning to belong to a clique, or to be a part of a movement. None of the popular modes of thinking can make up for the lack of self-worth. It’s just not being taught. Social media tends to dumb people down even worse.

Self-worth is just that. The amount of worth and importance you place upon your person, ideas, ideals and everything else that is the intangible part of you. People in this era have either sold out or were brainwashed from childhood to be compliant, malleable sheep who have no backbone, spine or will other than what their masters in the Academia-Entertainment complex tells them to.

Knowing your worth is something that needs revisiting. Knowing your worth is essential in life. The concept of knowing your worth will cut down on most of the relationship ills going on today (SIMPery, women mating and chasing scumbags, etc).

In closing, the reclamation of such things as a spine, intestinal fortitude, will only come with time, experience and struggle. It is part of “the process”. The process of growth, the process of maturation. Knowing your worth is so much more than a social media meme. Knowing your worth is part of a successful life.

How Far Have You Come 2014

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I am putting myself out on front street again. Ya’ll know I am not afraid to do that. This pic is of me from 1990 (8th grade). Yes, I was a stuttering, bucktoothed, short kid who lacked the self-confidence to do anything. I posted this on social media this past Thursday for a #throwbackthursday meme. I was a bit embarrassed at first, until God pulled me aside and showed me how far I have come in my 37 years of life. In fact, the past 5 years have more than made up for the previous 32 that came before it. All the things I have conquered through faith, perseverance, diligence and sheer will. The question I pose to all of you is are you still growing? Are you still making strides to BECOME something, someone great? Or are you just wanting to sail through life, make money, have fun, have friends and die? Only you can answer that question. I, for one, can honestly say, though I am just getting started, I HAVE COME A LONG WAY BABY. Never allow yourself to settle for anything less than what you want out of life.

Only through pain, strain, defeat and conflict is anyone ever going to achieve anything worthwhile. Yes, greatness is within all of us, but are you willing to suffer, starve, fight for what you want?

Desire the Pain

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It’s your boy once again- I must ask all of you to think. Ever feel like you didn’t measure up? Ever felt like a failure? Ever longed for something that you just couldn’t get, no matter how hard you tried? I have had decades like that. Now I am not fishing for compliments or sympathy. I can empathize with anyone who feels like they are “less than”. Frustrating as can be, isn’t it? Entertain the notion that the pain is for your education. I have learned that every betrayal, every setback is the setup for the come-up (thanks, I thought that one up on the fly LOL). I have also learned to desire the pain. What and why in all of God’s green Earth would you want THAT, you may ask? Seriously, check it out. Pain, obstacles and setbacks are a part of life. I understand this is the postmodern era, and we are in 2014, where things need to be as easy as possible. You all must understand that pain, conflict, distress and disappointments are simply a part of life. It’s just a big a part of life as love, food, sex and happiness. In my life, I have seen that pain, struggle is quite harsh. It is necessary. It has served me well. I remember growing up a weak, soft little boy. The hardness of the times I grew up in served only as a catalyst for me to be better, and to overcome every hardship foisted upon me. The hardness of the times I grew up in served to make me more analytical of why things are the way they are. It also made me hungry for success. Remember the article “Loser Mentality” I did around Thanksgiving? Me growing up the way I did, I desired pain and turmoil. Why? So I can say I conquered it all. My challenge to all of YOU out there in cyberspace is to not dwell on your failures- instead, try this: TALK TO YOUR FAILURES, TALK TO THE MOUNTAINS IN YOUR LIFE. It seems crazy, but know this- we as people often form our opinions of ourselves and the world around us from those closest to us, and the dominant people in our lives, whether that be parents, your favorite entertainers, athlete, whoever. Why do you think that there are so many memes and quotes on social media featuring some celebrity (i.e. B-List comedian, political theorist, writer) plastered all over some peoples’ walls? Simply because people are not taught to think critically. What do I mean by critical thinking? Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally. It includes the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking. I have noticed in recent years that most people don’t have this skill, oftentimes going off emotion as the basis of all thought, attitude, etc. Don’t feel bad, I operated that way for years until I knew better. Now what I mean by talking to your mountains is making your words craft the life you want. Do you realize you have the power to create the life you want, simply by speaking it? Ever say something about a situation that you didn’t want to happen, only it seemed to do exactly what you didn’t want it to do? I challenge you to train your brain to have a positive outlook. Don’t like your life? Change it by changing your outlook. Look at what you’re putting in your head- the music, the movies, what you read, etc. Examine yourself. Make it of the utmost importance to destroy any and everything that is potentially holding you back from having the best. If you believe that you have been held down long enough, that you deserve better- give this a try. What do you have to lose?

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As stated before, pain is merely a part of life. Bottom line, I wish people would get this. Life is nothing more than a fight. I do these quotes called BATESisms, touching on things in life and the living of it. I had once posted on facebook that ‘life is nothing more than a fight- so hit it in the mouth repeatedly until it submits”. Our society has become so detached from reality, so over-indulged in excess (nothing exceeds like excess), and generally soft by general standards. The “offended card” is overplayed, as our nation has sunk into a nitpicky, politically correct pose. Not much freedom of speech to be had now. I am off my soapbox (didn’t really intend to go there LOL) now.

In closing, I ask you- what’s it gonna be? Life, or a slow downward spiral of pain, shame and hiding from achieving your potential because of the fear of loss, the fear of looking dumb, the fear of rejection? It is time for you to take control of your life.

 

Loser Mentality

fearisaliarOne thing I have been seeing a LOT of lately is people with what I call a loser mentality. It is something I cannot stand ONE BIT. People have gone brain-dead. Folks are so soft now. Every now and then, I take a walk on the streets. I see a lot- like fashion, attitudes, stuff like that. I wish people would toughen up. Now what I mean by a loser mentality, is the attitude of “small thinking”. It soon morphs into a lifestyle. It is based on the fear of loss. The fear of loss is something most people have. I used to have that kind of thing rule me. One day, after losing everything, I made up my mind to never ever live that way. Once I woke up to just how my life was controlled by fear (thanks be to the God in Heaven), I was repulsed. I was scouring my life, looking at everything. When I say everything, I mean everything. Every experience, I scrutinized (I am my toughest critic) EVERYTHING. I ended up making a list of personality traits that I wanted, and still remember going to the dictionary, looking up words that I liked- like dominate. I ended up coming up with a laundry list of words. Then the words I meditated on religiously.

After looking up the words, I started implementing words, quotes, even imitating a few people I admired (in my life, and from television to a degree). If you follow my blog, you know I am not ashamed to talk about myself. This subject/topic has always been one “near and dear” to my heart. I hate seeing people fall to fear. I hate seeing people not be able to break through to realize their dreams and goals.

In closing, I will say this: for those of you who are “religious”, you can pray to whoever your diety is and gain strength from your higher power, still drawing from your experiences and conquering your fears. For those of you who claim no religion, you’re gonna have to dig deep and get it in that way. In any case, your life is “all on you”. There is no way around this fact of life: there is, was and always will be conflict, change, things of that nature. That much is clear. Cowering, hiding behind fear, your past, whatever- is not going to help you accomplish anything.

Have You Ever….

Yes, that is a lead-in to an old Brandy song… but what I am talking about here is.. well… life itself. Have you ever caught yourself doing something you swore you would never do? I have. I remember in the past, I have done many things I swore I would never do. Just sitting and thinking about things in life, I can almost read myself like a book. I would like to think I am not some revisionist trying to save face with myself and others… I also would like to think that I stay real with myself… besides, you can lie to others, but you better not lie to yourself. I can see where I was a teenager, making dumb mistakes as all teens do, transferring into adulthood, making even more “guy mistakes”, raising hell, talking LOTS of “ish”, making few friends, relishing being a villain… now into my 30s/late 30s, for some reason, people look to ME as some kind of voice of reason… imagine that… just a short time ago (the 90s are not that long ago LOL), I would have been buried under the institutions that I somehow have come to represent to a degree.

When I go back home to GA, I am blindsided by change… it’s like I was never there. Everybody marrying, having kids, moving away, getting divorced– the stuff of life. Sitting back in my present city (I am all over the West Coast now), it is looking pretty good for me… Memory Lane isn’t easy to go down at times… makes me more hungry to get things done in life. When I think of where I have come from… the backwoods in West Georgia, miles away from anything it seemed like… to going worldwide at least 3 times in under 4 years. It humbles me.

I wanna ask ALL of you in cyberspace who are reading this to do the same thing with your own life. It is something to behold, especially for those of you who have had to overcome some stuff to get where you are in life.