Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Some rules to live by

These are not original sayings, but rather ones I've picked up here and there over the years. I can't even cite sources to most of them but the sources don't really matter that much. What matters is that these are my mottoes for my life--I've adopted them and applied them when times got tough and I use them daily for motivation and guidance. They've helped me get this far and maybe you can draw something from them too.

Who dares, wins. Motto of the British Special Air Service (SAS). If you think you can't pull something off, you're probably right. So believe in yourself and be bold. Sometimes sheer audacity can carry the day.

Never give up, never surrender. Got it from a totally stupid movie, but it's perfect for those times when the odds seem stacked against you. Dig your heels in and keep fighting. Never quit.

Do or do not. There is no “try”. Yoda said it to Luke Skywalker back in 1980. It works for me today. There are only two possible outcomes to any effort: failure or success. Which are you going to choose?

Second place is just the first place loser. Damn straight. If you're going to engage in something, be the best. Don't settle for just doing it--get out there and win it all.

You can achieve anything if you want it bad enough. Truer words were never spoken. Since losing my leg, I've run races I never could have run in before, fought to get my pilot's license back, and badgered my way into an even better job than I had before, and all while people kept telling me that I couldn't do these things with one leg. They were wrong. In each case, I wanted it, I worked hard for it, and I did it. And I'm not even close to done yet.

“Fair” is a word used only by small children and Democrats. Life isn't fair. So stop whining because you think you got a raw deal and get out there and do something about it.

Life's tough; it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne said this once. It's true, as is it's corollary, "If you're going to be dumb, you'd better be tough." Decisions have consequences. The wrong ones are liable to hurt/cost you money. Think before you act, dammit.

Every morning that you wake up this side of the grass is a gift. OK, I made this one up myself when I realized that I probably should have been killed a few years back instead of just losing a leg. None of us know how many tomorrows we have left, so make the most of every one you get and don't waste opportunities or defer enjoyment of life's pleasures.

When the crisis comes, you will not rise to the occasion; you will default to the level of your training. I've been there. When the stress and pressure really hit, you'll go on autopilot and do what you've learned to do in training. You won't magically excel just because you're special, and the ones who make it look so easy...they undoubtedly trained right and trained hard. Why aren't you training?

To achieve greatness you just need to do two things: train whenever you want to, and train when you don't. Some Olympic joker said this recently. He's right. So just do it, ok?

Improvise, Adapt and Overcome. Yes, there will be challenges and obstacles in life. Things won't go as planned. Surprise. So engage your brain, find a fix, and get past it.

Always have a Plan B. When circumstances change, well-laid plans can go out the window. A man with only one plan is like a warrior with one weapon or a craftsman with one tool. Having a back-up plan, or better yet, a whole toolbox full of back-up plans, will increase your odds of accomplishing your objective exponentially.

No matter how responsible he seems, never give your gun to a monkey.
Meh. What can I say about this one? Live and learn, right?

Now get out there and win something, dammit.


  1. One to add to your collection.......

    Winners never quit, quitters never win.

  2. All the time I say to my daughter, 'You can have anything you want, you just have to work for it'.. Right now I use it mostly for her school work.. But I'm hoping it sinks in for her future endeavors.. :)

  3. Awesome list of mottoes...well except your description of Galaxy Quest being a "totally stupid movie"...that's a classic with lots of great life lessons.

    Could they be the miners?
    Sure, they're like three years old.
    You lost me.


  4. Anonymous3:23 PM

    Awesome thanks for the list - a couple I learned from John Farnam in his classes:

    "Losers find excuses for losing, winners find a way to win."

    And, on being targeted by criminals: "When it's least expected, you're elected."

    Word Verification: "Manogr" - how you will probably spell the title of the person you will report to for the rest of your life if you don't take some of these mottoes/sayings seriously...

  5. You hypocrite. Today you publish the SAS motto, proclaiming it as somthing you live by, on St patricks day, you post pro-IRA tunes.