Don't listen to them
When the world was telling me I was crazy, I still believed. I didn’t need the world to validate what I knew. I didn’t need support or pats on the back to keep going. I wanted to win, nothing or nobody could knock me off my path.
In 1996, I flew to Australia and fought in a world tournament. I took 2nd. I really should have won but I was screwed by the judges. It is really my fault because I didn’t put my final opponent away. I left it in the hands of the judges and they screwed me good. Being screwed is not the point, owning that I didn’t do enough is not the point. So what is the point?
The point is, that I was 22 years old. I didn’t have a coach. I worked a full time job. I was living at my mother’s house because I was broke. On paper, I was a bum. In my heart, I knew I was a champion. It wasn’t just a feeling, it was knowing deep, real fucking deep, that I was a world class athlete. This unshakable belief was my everything. Nothing was an obstacle because I didn’t need to be anything or do anything besides fulfill what I really knew.
I didn’t do much of anything right to train for this. I had no guidance. I just did a massive amount of work. I completely over-trained, under-slept, and under fed myself for 6 months. None of it mattered. For 3 days in Australia, I left everything I had on the mat every second of every match for 9 matches. I won 8 and lost a fucked up decision in the final. I broke my hand, cracked my shin, and got a pretty nasty concussion along the way. I took home a silver medal. More importantly, I took home the knowledge that I can be who I know I am successfully.
Again, I won a silver medal at the world championships, on the other side of the planet, by doing it all wrong except for 1 thing - I believed in myself, that I could accomplish my goal, and that when my mind was right - I could do anything.
This has never left me. When the world says no when I know I need to, I say fuck you and keep going. When things are hard but I know what I want - I say fuck you and keep going. Right way, wrong way, whatever… when I need to get something done I just say fuck you and get it done. This is what you get when you become aware of your strength and come to realize things are much more simple than anyone will ever tell you.
I don’t care what you say you want. What is it that speaks to you from the inside out? Not who do you want to emulate, who is it that you really are? When you are laser focused on that inner voice and you have embraced who you are and what you really really want, nothing can stop you and you will figure out the way or die trying. This is what living is about.
I saw some report about valedictorians the other day. I don’t have a source so you can take this or leave it. Most of these people go on to get higher educations and well paying jobs but few if any become notable leaders. This is due to people that thrive in school being good followers,not necessarily free thinkers. Followers get things done but the free thinkers have the balls to change the world. I am not shitting on valedictorians either. Good for them! Be who you are. We need smart, educated, and disciplined followers to keep the machine working. But we also need people that don’t follow rules and follow their hearts to make the machine better.
If your satisfaction comes from being an upstanding member of the herd, go do that. But if you are not happy in the herd and have a different path, go take it.We all have 1 life to live. We can listen to the world and try to make it happy or we can listen to our hearts and do the things we know we were born to do. Nobody can define your success or happiness for you. You may have to say Fuck You and be yourself which is against the grain but the only way for you to find real lasting peace, happiness, and satisfaction.