A reality for those that set their standards based on tangible results and stuff such as money, size of their house, the car they drive, and how they look in the mirror? False Ego.
When times are good… things are awesome! I used to work with young single guys that would rent out hotel rooms at the Westin downtown on a Friday night to celebrate their kick ass week and how much money they put in their pocket. Not going to lie…..I was basically engaged and married or I may have been one of them. Even though it was short-lived it became a lifestyle. They consumed shit loads of drugs and alcohol just to celebrate their success and feed their ego. After all they had arrived! These guys came from all different backgrounds but the ones that were always the worst were the ones that came from nothing. Rather than being satisfied for a job well done. They needed to be loud, cocky, and almost too intense at times in order to make people see how great they were doing. Almost like they have been carrying around this big chip on their shoulder for years and now it was time to let that fucker loose.
I’ve spent the last 21 years of my life surrounded by people who were programmed to achieve results. Most of them have either been in some sort of commissioned based sales position or in the fitness industry. Both require a tremendous amount of Ego to be successful. Unfortunately most of it is false ego. The odds of it eventually being followed up by some sort of depression or anxiety is very high. Very few are wired to sustain a high level of achievement over a long period of time. Some of the best salesman I know eventually succumb to father time. What have you done lately becomes the reality because nobody cares about what you did yesterday. There will always be someone who wants it more than you and will chase you down. Before you know what hit you they are already so far ahead there is no way you can catch up. At that point you have two options. You can do what unfortunately most do and start to lose confidence and eventually give up. I’ve seen this often in my own business over the years. Another option is you can prepare yourself mentally beforehand that you will work to do your best but one day your best may not be good enough. Get as much out of it as you can but know ahead of time that eventually you will have to figure out what life is like without it. Look at how many athletes get hurt, retire, and get fired from the professional level. Within years they are filing bankrupt and selling insurance or financial services for a brokerage firm or some other type of sales position.
If you look closely at the people you know in these industries you will notice a high turnover rate in friends and center of influence. It becomes a game of who can help me reach my goals the fastest. There is very little loyalty when it comes to helping others achieve success. #1 rule in business is that it’s always about business. The joy ride starts to slow down as people that depended on each other to keep up their ego end up becoming victim to the example I gave above. You slowly see people around you drop away like flies. The pressure or bullshit eventually gets to them. Their support system breaks down because everyone is out there trying figuring out their own fucking problems. They are then left to figure shit out for themselves. This leads to a whole new set up issues.
Too much time gets spent sucking up bullshit being spewed by the people around them. It becomes one big circle jerk. They start to feed off each other. The bigger they build up the people around them the more important they became… Here in lies the problem. When this starts to happen the people around you own your ass mentally. As fitness professional Joe Donnelly once said. The ability to dismiss the accolades and compliments as quickly as dismissing the negativity will be critical to long term happiness. Here is the first problem with motivation. Nobody can motivate you long term. They can threaten you or incentivize you but its all short term and eventually dies with ego. You end up in the same state you were in before you started the journey.
You want to see what a lot of future disappointed people look like before they become disappointed? Go open up an IG account and add 1000 people currently in the fitness industry. In 3-5 years go back and see how many of these want to be fitness professionals are still around posting current up to date pics of themselves. What you see will be a bunch pictures with the hashtags #fbf or #fbt. For those not on Instagram they are pictures of what life used to look like when life was good. Many will get lucky and defy the odds trading fame for fortune. I’d love to see what that true statistic looks like but Im willing to bet the odds are greater for a 5’10’ white point guard making it to the NBA.
So why did I write all this? Because over the last 20 years I was this guy minus the drugs. I’ve never tried an ounce of drugs in my life other than marijuana. I’ve been at the highest point. To have the ability to do whatever the fuck I wanted and to buy whatever I wanted in order to make myself feel great about myself. On the flip side I’ve also felt what it was like to be at the bottom when those that used to call you for advice barely say hi when you pass them in a hallway or see them at the grocery store. It takes time to mature but when you do you start to be more observant to the things around you. Specifically ones that you have experienced yourself. I continue to see people enter the sales industry. Many become successful fast…. Almost as fast as their ego. I wish there was something I could tell them that would help them out before they go down the same path that many did before them.
My best word of advice is not to seek happiness in physical tangible things. Create a foundation for yourself that nobody can take away from you. Focus on family, friends, and faith. Enjoy the simple things in life. I get it… money is important and a necessity. Go ask the person that has money if they really think it’s what gives them happiness. People value things they don’t have. Go ask a wealthy woman that’s not fertile who always wanted children if she would trade her fortune for an opportunity to have a family of her own if you want true perspective.