Toughen Up
I live in Hollywood. The city where dreams are made. Or I should say the city of broken dreams. For years, my neighbor on the right was Katy Perry. And my neighbor on the left is Cameron Diaz. Why did those two celebrities get their dreams instead of the 1,000,000 struggling actors and musicians who left Hollywood empty handed? I asked myself that question when I was still a teenager. I wanted to be someone who got what they wanted.
Tai Lopez Apr 16, 2014


We all WANT something...

The first answer I got came in the form of a 'mental framework' I memorized (a fancy way of saying a quote I memorized).

It was from the famous Columbia historian Will Durant: "A nation is born Stoic and dies Epicurean."

Stoics were people who believed in sacrificing the now to get something better later. Epicureans lived for pleasure.

They believed in "YOLO" - you only live once - so get what you can today without thinking about tomorrow.

Durant was saying great nations and great businesses are built by people willing to sacrifice present luxury for a future benefit.

It also means nations and businesses and lives fall apart once they get into the hands of 'soft' people.

Victor Hugo said, "Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters."

Ask Yourself...

So my question to you is, "How soft are you?"

When's the last time you went a day without eating, went camping and slept on the hard ground, or sat down and read a business book without getting up, went a month without going out to eat, did 100 push ups, or walked to get groceries instead of taking the car?

An Amish old farmer once told me, "Tai there are 3 types of people in the world. People who make things happen; people who watch things happen; and people who WONDER what happened."

If you are wondering what happened to your dreams there is a simple answer.


Toughen Up...

I learned it when I lived for 4 months in New Zealand. I learned to shear sheep to pay for my trip. If the sheep shearers ever heard me complain about the 12 days they would look at me and say, "Harden up mate."

That's the simple answer. We are all too soft these days. Modern

convenience is great but it comes at an expense. The expense of weakening our will to create, to survive, to build, to dream.

The world is on a fast path to reaping the results of luxury gone wild: 50% diabetics, 60% obesity, and 20% of people on depression medication...

And I will tell you why. It's because of the media. They are trying to SELL you something. They sell us convenience in the form of big Macs and stupid music and cheap clothes with fancy labels on them because they want your money.

It's the wealthy using capital to prey on our basic instincts to seek the easy way out. So they build big companies that make frozen dinners and big gulp sodas to fill their pockets at our expense.


The Rule Of The Sucker...

Remember this, "When you are in a room and you don't know who the sucker is, YOU are the sucker."

You never want to be the sucker. Stop being the sucker.

You should WANT life to be a little hard. Like Tom Hanks says, "...The hard is what makes it great."

The world doesn't need 50,000 more Paris Hilton/Kim Kardashian's running after the newest Louboutin high heels.

It needs 300 Spartans. Spartans embraced being stoics.

I was reading about how the Spartans trained their children: "the students... were fed just the right amount for them never to become sluggish through being too full, while also giving them a taste of what it is not to have enough."

Compare that to our schools where we fill up the cafeteria with sugar, fat, salt, and soda.

Spartan Rules...

The Spartans had 8 rules for training their children:

1. Spartans had to prove their fitness even as children.

2. Spartan children were placed in a military-style education program.

3. Fighting was encouraged among Spartan children

4. Spartans were expected to be lifelong soldiers.

5. Spartan youths were ritualistically tested.

6. Food was intentionally kept scarce, and poor fitness was cause for ridicule.

7. Spartan men were not allowed to live with their wives until age 30.

8. Surrender in battle was the ultimate disgrace.

Sounds crazy? Yes. Not something I would recommend in our day and age.

But there is a valuable lesson here. As Shakespeare said, "Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course."

Forget Drake and Lil' Wayne. They are trying to sell you something. YOLO - You Only Live Once - is for suckers.

There is a balance. You must find the balance. Maybe it's one part convenience, two parts challenge. Or maybe you are a little softer. Start out three parts convenience, two part challenge.

Whatever balance you choose, choose a little more 'toughening up.'

Take a cold shower, take the stairs not the elevator, lift something heavy, run around the block, turn off the air conditioning for a day, read a hard book, do a hard math problem, take a martial arts class, do 100 push ups, go a month without buying any fancy clothes, go a week without any sugar.

It won't hurt you. In fact according to Martin Seligman, the famous happiness psychologist, it will make you a hell of a lot happier.

And as Charlie Munger says it will make you a hell of a lot richer too.


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Question:  What can you toughen up with in your life? (Leave your answer in the comments below!)



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