10 Things I'll Never Do Again
Failure and learning to do better.
I have not succeeded at everything that I have tried to do in my life.
I have failed a lot.
I have lost a lot of grappling matches. I have made terrible investments that have not worked out. I’ve broken my body. I’ve done plenty of things that I am ashamed of and embarrassed by. I’ve told people I love to “fuck off” in public and I’ve cut off friendships with good people in the name of “competitive grappling success”.
I am not going to sit here and tell you I know everything there is to know about living a good life. I have not lived perfectly.
But at the same time, I have put myself out there in different capacities more than most people ever will. I haven’t always done right, but every single time I have tried to do what I thought was right in that moment. I acted wrongly, but never evilly.
I’ve tested myself and learned from those tests.
I’ve competed in thousands of athletic competitions, each one testing my physical abilities and my mental fortitude. I’ve written thousands of articles online and had ideas written to shreds more times than I’d like to admit to you.
I try everything that I can to be the best I can be.
But sometimes, that isn’t enough.
Here are 10 things that I’ve done that I swear to myself that I will never do again.
Think that “sleep is for the weak”.
When I was in the early days of my writing career, I’d sit at my computer for hours late into the night to churn out more “content”. In the short term, I improved my skills a bit. In the long term, I did a number on my mental health.
Just go to sleep. If the quality of your work matters in what you do, you need to rest properly to perform well.
Go to school.
Somehow, I got a bachelor’s degree. I will never go back for my master’s degree. I learn every single day through reading, writing, training martial arts, working out, and talking to interesting people, but I’m done with paying lots of money to sit in classrooms.
This point is about self-awareness, not the school system.
Put off until tomorrow what I can do today.
You don’t need to do everything today, but if you can do something and are choosing not to because you’re lazy (not tired or overworked), why? Just give the best you can every day. Your best does not always need to be the best.
Allow anxious thoughts to determine my actions.
Anxiety creates a scarcity mindset. This scarcity mindset forces you to think about the world from a limited perspective. It makes you look for what’s safe, instead of what’s possible. Anxiety seeks comfort, but greatness seeks pain.
Great people can withstand discomfort.
Let what’s happened determine what’s possible.
Crazy shit happens all the time. Don’t let your preconceived notions of what’s possible limit your mind. You’ll probably also find that reality is a bit more fun when you choose to ignore your limits for a bit.
Act recklessly in relationships.
I’m more cautious in relationships now. I’ve been burned too many times. I’ve experienced too many empty promises. I’m in a loving relationship now, but the way that I navigate conflict is so much more cautious.
I humor myself by thinking that this is because I’m more mature now.
Skip my warm-up.
Every time I go to the gym and forget to warm up, something bad happens. Even if it’s not directly related to me skipping a warm-up, it’s at least a little bit related. When you’re going to do intense exercise, make sure you loosen everything up.
“Work hard play hard.”
Highly accomplished people don’t think this way.
If you want to be exceptional at something, “work hard play hard” isn’t a thing. Yes, you can play, but the second your play starts affecting your work, you have a problem. I play, but I don’t play “hard”. I am a hard worker.
Neglect my mental health.
People romanticize and stigmatize mental health treatment. It’s honestly not that big of a deal and we shouldn’t demonize anyone who struggles. If you struggle with mental illness, you need to work on it.
It’s worse if you don’t.
Skip leg day.
It’s corny bro advice, but there’s a metaphor here: leg day is the hardest day of the week — if you’re doing it right.
Don’t skip hard things. Embrace them. Do them first. If you do nothing in a day, do the hardest thing you can.
This week’s premium article:
Get 2 weeks of The Grappler’s Diary Premium for free using the button below.
If you enjoyed reading this post, share it with friends! Or, click on the ❤️ button on this post so more people can discover it on Substack!