Keep Moving, Young Man

You wake up each day,
a day identical to the last,
a disheartening cycle that turns into weeks,
weeks then turn into months.

You feel yourself lost,
nothing to look forward to but work,
nothing to look forward to but boozing,
only thing keeping you sane is hope.

You know there is a light,
but the darkness consumes you,
the light is but a speck,
that you can’t make out.

That light is there,
you trek forward,
is it in the right direction?
Maybe, maybe not.

Head hanging low,
shoulders slumped,
thoughts clouded with gloom,
one foot in front of the other.

Keep moving, young man
there is nothing here for you,
keep moving, young man
maybe there is something for you elsewhere.

Remember your previous feeling of hopelessness,
the pain you felt,
defeated, battered, humiliated,
but you made it through.

One foot in front of the other,
there is nothing here for you,
One foot in front of the other,
maybe there is something for you elsewhere.

It’s OK, young man, to have failed,
It’s OK, young man, at least you tried,
It’s OK, young man, you showed courage,
It’s OK, young man, but now it’s time to move.

Head up, chest out,
No more gloom,
One foot in front of the other,
maybe there is something for you elsewhere.

~Raul Felix

Read more of my work at Thought Catalog.

3 Life Lessons An Old Man Called “Wild Bill” Taught Me

During my time working in Israel, I had the good fortune to be coworkers and friends with one of the most badass old men I have ever met in my life. While he was flawed, he also possessed traits any young man would want to have: He had tons of money in his bank account, was physically fit, and was a womanizer. Through many long work hours and discussions over the course of a year and a half, I got to learn a lot about “Wild Bill” and his philosophy. In turn, he taught me that even though you’re in your 50s doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with the young bucks.

1. Money management is very important.

“Hey! Raul! Why’d you call off work yesterday?” he’d ask.

“Well, Wild Bill…”

“Nah, nah…I don’t want to hear it. I know what you did. You went out and got drunk with your buddies.”

“Yeah…”

“What have I told you about that? Not only did you lose out the money you could have made from coming into work, but you also spent all that money at that bar. Knowing you, I know you spent at least a hundred bucks.”

“I know.”

“You say you know, but you keep on doing it. You don’t listen!”

If there is one thing Wild Bill loved, it was making money. Wild Bill was a workaholic. People knew if they wanted to take an extra day off, all they’d have to do is call up Wild Bill and he’d cover their shift. He’d cover so many shifts that he once went 112 days without having a single day off. After having that day off, he went on another 60-day streak.

He had a simple mindset: You’re either working and making money or you’re not working and you’re spending your money. Wild Bill loved receiving his paycheck and seeing it pile on top of all the money he had already saved.

“How much money you got saved up, Wild Bill?”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“Come on…”

“I’ll tell you this—I’m not a millionaire, but I’m close.”

Wild Bill had no debt, owned a house, and had a nice car back in the States. He did that by always being extremely frugal with his money and avoiding debt throughout his life. Wild Bill was a bit on the extreme side, since his diet consisted of ramen noodles, chicken, and the cheapest beer in Israel, Günther’s. Nonetheless, he never made six figures, but his financial intelligence put him in a position where we wouldn’t have to worry about money like too many people arriving at retirement do.

2. Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you have to get fat.

Wild Bill consistently worked out, which put him on a higher tier above his peers. Running and weightlifting were constants in his life. Even during our work shift, it would be common for him to do some wind sprints and knock out some pushups to get his heart rate up. While he was a heavy boozer, he knew it was important for him to counteract the physical effects. It would be common practice for him to run to the store two miles down the road because beer there was 25 cents cheaper than at the place right down the street. He’d buy three or four Günther’s, drink one in front of the store, run back home, drink them all, run back to the store, return the cans for some money, buy a few more Günther’s, and run back.

Other than a serious injury or illness, there is no reason why a person can’t keep themselves in shape throughout their lives. You don’t have to have a bodybuilder’s physique or be one of those crazy in-shape cross-fit buffs, but you can at least maintain a level of fitness that helps you counteract all the bullshit you put in your body over the years. Veterans tend to get fat after they leave the military because we no longer have that forced physical training to burn away all the booze and junk food we consume. Wild Bill showed me firsthand that you can be a boozer and a physical badass at the same time.

3. You’re never too old to philander.

Next on his list of life essentials was the quest for getting new pussy to destroy. Wild Bill was a womanizer and a pretty good one at that. With a strong body in his mid-50s, Wild Bill stood out from all the other old farts who let themselves go. Combined with the air of confidence that only age and experience could bring, that made him a poon-slayer to be revered.

Whether en route or at the store, he would get the attention of some fine young things, which for him were women in their 30s and 40s. Being a man who has fucked hundreds of chicks throughout his life, Wild Bill knew how to make his potential prospects swoon. Whether it was a Moroccan businesswoman or Philippine caregiver, he knew the right things to say to get them to come over to his apartment sometime in the near future to cook him dinner while he drank beer and watched music videos.

He kept his women in line by adhering to the age-old adage of “money over bitches” and refused to ever take a day off to see them. They would work around his schedule, not the other way around. They would get pissed at him, stop talking to him, and try to knock him out of their lives. But eventually, they’d call him back and agree to be in the relationship on his terms because they realized that men of his age and caliber were rare indeed.

Wild Bill wasn’t a perfect man. He had many faults and demons like we all do. He was an alcoholic, was never loyal to a woman in his life, could be cheap to the point of absurdity, and was stubbornly stuck in his ways. Yet he worked, kept in shape, and fucked like he was in his 20s. He didn’t let the notion of being an old man stop him from living life on his own terms. In a society where too many people let their age be a hindrance and only look back on their glory years, Wild Bill decided to keep his glory years going. As he once said to me, “One day you’re going to look back at this time in your life and think to yourself, ‘You know, that old man, whatever his name was, he was a pretty badass dude.’”

~Raul Felix

See more of my work at Thought Catalog

3 Proactive Steps To Becoming A Writer

As much as some of my haters despise the fact, I’m a writer who gets paid to write. I must be doing something right. While I am nowhere near my end goals, I am proud of how much progress I have made so far. I look back and think about how I got started, and it’s pretty simple: About three years ago, I decided that I would be a writer. I didn’t seek anyone’s approval or permission. I just made it a goal and decided it was what I was going to do, no matter what the task required of me. So I started reading various books and articles looking for some tips to get started. With those nuggets of information I took the first steps to making my dream come true. Here are some things you can do to get yourself on the same track.

1. Write 1,000 words a day in a private journal.

The most important step is to actually write. That sounds good in theory, but anyone who has tried to sit down in front of a daunting blank computer screen knows that it’s tougher than it sounds. There is all this pressure to think of something useful and insightful to say. Or something funny, witty, and intriguing. Or something informative and factual. It’s a tough way to start when you don’t know jack shit about the creative process.

Instead, start a journal. This can be handwritten, on a typewriter, or it can be a text file on your computer. That shit is superficial and doesn’t matter. What matters is that you actually write. Your goal is not necessarily to write anything interesting, but rather to pour shit out. Write about your day, write about what is pissing you off, write about some chick you want to fuck, write in the first person, second person, and third person. Talk to yourself and encourage yourself to keep on writing. Hop from subject to subject. Your goal here is quantity, not quality.

This will create muscle memory for your hands and will get it used to writing prose. Your hands will learn where every key on the keyboard is and if you’re a slow writer, it will hone your fingers so they can keep up with your thoughts. In turn it will make you become a quicker and more effective writer. This process of mind-dumping anything that comes to your wee little head will encourage you to say whatever you have to say instead of worrying about what someone will think about what you are saying.

About 99% of what you write in your journal will be complete garbage. But as you’re vomiting out sentence after sentence, occasionally one will flow out that is genius. Or you will think of good subject matter to explore and develop. Remember, no one is going to read your journal but you, so you can talk about anything you want. If you share a computer with a significant other, tell them you don’t want them to read your journal. You will automatically censor your random thought process if you think someone else will be reading it. If your significant other doesn’t respect the fact that you want to keep that part of yourself private, ask yourself why you wish to remain with such a person.

If 1,000 words seems too daunting to start off with, write 500, 250, or 100; it doesn’t fucking matter. All that matters is that you get the process started and steadily increase your output. Aspire to write every day, but if you can’t do that, do it every other day or every third day—whatever you need to get some sort of pattern started. Once you develop consistency in frequency and output for about a year, you will have developed your skill set significantly and will be ready to actually get what you have to say out there.

2. Start a blog.

When I had been writing in my journal for a little under a year, I decided to read the first blog post of one my favorite writers. He fucking sucked. “I’m a way better writer right now than that motherfucker was when he started his blog,” I thought to myself. That’s when I knew I was ready to start my blog.

You have to define your blog’s goal. Is it where you want to launch your career, or is it a blog where you’re just going to write about bullshit that no one outside of your immediate circle of friends will care about? This is where you start thinking about quality over quantity. What value do you bring to the reader? Why should they care about what you have to say? How can you say it in a way that’s insightful, funny, or witty? What makes your perspective unique? What can you say that no one else can?

One big piece of advice I’ve consistently read is that your blog has to have a theme: travel, make-up, gaming, cars, the military, picking up chicks, fitness, etc. This implies that the only way you can succeed is by being an expert in something. Unless you’re trying to build a business around the concept, that’s bullshit advice. By giving your blog a theme, you pigeonhole yourself into writing about a limited range of subjects. You need to explore different subjects and styles to truly develop your voice.

Your goal your first year as a public writer should not really be to thrive, but rather to survive. Maybe you post two articles a month like I did or you’ll post 20+ like my first writer friend Katie Hoffman was able to do. Ever since I started writing my blog a little over two years ago, I have seen many would-be writers come and go. They’ll get all excited, hitting the ground running and write five blog posts their first week. Then as quickly as they came, they disappeared.

I’ve seen many wannabe writers say things such as, “Well, if someone gave me the opportunity to write for their site, I’d write a lot.” Fuck you, no you wouldn’t, you fucking lazy piece of shit. Writing is merit-based, and an audience is not an entitlement. You must earn the readers’ respect and attention. You must create your own opportunities rather than just wait for someone to hand them to you. Starting a blog is how you create your own opportunity and get your work out for the world to see. Go through your first year consistently producing content without quitting.

3. Grow some rhino skin.

Writing is subjective. What one person believes is a wonderfully crafted piece, another will think is total crap. Understand that even if you write a technically sound piece, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be interesting or capture anyone’s attention. What matters most is the content.

You will be insulted. You will be told you should go kill yourself. You will be told you can’t write for shit. You will be told that you should quit. You will be told that you have no talent for this. You will be told that your articles are mundane and unoriginal. You will be mocked and laughed at. You will be trolled. Or perhaps worse of all, you will be ignored.

Fuck them. Keep your head up, be tough, and with an almost delusional attitude, keep your eyes on your goals. Remember, you didn’t need anyone’s permission when you decided you wanted to be a writer, and you sure as hell don’t need anyone’s permission to keep walking on the path. The only person that can stop you is you.

Some articles that you pour your heart and soul into will be complete flops. There will always be someone who is more successful than you. Instead of being jealous of their accomplishment, read what they write, analyze what they do, and try to figure out what you would benefit from incorporating it into your own style.

Becoming a skilled wordsmith is not something that happens overnight. It’s a long process that requires many lonely nights in front of the keyboard. Self-doubt, frustration, and writer’s block will always be looming. Yet if you’re willing to do what it takes, you will earn the right to call yourself a writer.

~Raul Felix

Check out more of my writing at Thought Catalog.

How To Find The Greatness Within You

You will never become anything great or do anything in your life worth a damn if you seek permission from external forces. It is up to you to search deeply within yourself, to find what you truly want from this short life you’ve been given, and to take the appropriate steps to achieve it. The world has nothing planned for you other than to be a cog in already established channels. Your fulfillment and development are none of its concern as long as it gets to squeeze you for every drop of human capital it can.

What is your purpose? You don’t have one predestined for you. You have inclinations and perhaps even talents, but that doesn’t mean they are your purpose. Your purpose is not selected at random by some mystical force and given to you to discover at some point in your life. Your purpose is something for which you consciously decide to make emotional and physical sacrifices. If you’re not willing do that, it’s not your purpose.

You must harbor an intense disgust for those who tell you’re not capable of being what you wish to be. Who the fuck are they to tell you no? Do they have what you want out of life? Do they live a life worth mimicking? Or are they cold, bitter, and distraught souls who take pleasure in seeing others fail because it validates their own shortcomings? If they are close to you, purge them from your life.

Instead, keep and allow those in your life who are supportive and believe in you. Those who allow you to discover, experiment, and fail until you get it right. Those who challenge you to be better rather than berating you for trying. Those who give you solutions to problems instead of focusing on the problem. Those who notice when you’re beaten and battered, reach down, help you up, dust you off, give you a slap in the butt, and tell you get back at it. They are the ones who matter and whose loyalty, friendship, and camaraderie you must not only preserve, but cultivate.

What are your obstacles? Financial? Physical? Emotional? Societal? Each one can be overcome if you are willing do whatever is necessary. Not everything can be solved with a simple head-on approach. Some things take cunning and shrewdness, others require you to take risks, and some only require you win the war of attrition by stubbornly chipping away at it. If it was easy, anybody could do it. If anybody could do it, there is no greatness in it. Greatness is not reserved for the few who are destined for it, but rather for those who are willing to work for it.

Only you can bring out the best in you. Only you can decide whether you’re willing to deal with the emotionally rattling and jarring journey required to reach the top. Only you can motivate yourself to keep fighting and slugging away as you face one crushing defeat and failure after another. The pain and turmoil you will encounter once you decide to go on a path of greatness will test what you’re made of. It makes you go into the dark sections of your soul and heart and makes you question your ability. It will make you cry and hurt. It will make you doubt yourself. Each time you confront those parts of yourself, you’ll become stronger. You’ll remember the failures you had before and how you overcame them. You’ll remember those feelings of doubt and hopelessness that once consumed you and how you crawled out of it bloodied and wounded, but alive. You’ll remember that exhausting yet glorious moment of triumph you had when you made it out of the seemingly hopeless abyss.

Greatness will not be in your life if you wait for her to find you. Greatness knows her value and rarity and will not be won at a bargain price. She’s elusive, tricky, and hard to tame. Greatness does not go to those who seek approval, but to those who are bold, audacious, and decide for themselves they are worthy of possessing her. Greatness doesn’t believe in those who don’t have the confidence to believe in themselves. There are too many cowards in the world, and greatness feels no sorrow for them. Greatness is a stuck-up bitch with high standards. As with any bitch, only those with a strong force of will are able to wrangle her and put in her place.

~Raul Felix

Read more of my work on Thought Catalog.

Why Men Look Up To Tony Montana

Scarface

Tony Montana is one of those rare figures in popular culture who crosses racial boundaries. He’s played by Al Pacino, who is an Italian acting as a Cuban who would later inspire a generation of black and Hispanic guys to create hip-hop tributes that will be listened to by white suburban kids.

He is the kind of world-class criminal a lot of men would aspire to be if they were ambitious enough. They envision living the fast life of cocaine, killing cockroaches that cross them, and having scantily dressed women fucking them because they have tons of cocaine. Most give up those high ambitions and settle for mind-numbing office jobs with free snacks and synergy.

Yet Tony’s inspiration lives on. Single males across the country have a Scarface poster hanging on their bedroom walls this moment. So why does this ruthless criminal inspire so many of even the most upright of young men?

 

1. He’s Self-Made

scarface_41

Take one look at a guy like Tony Montana and you know he didn’t grow up in the suburbs. His default facial expression consists of a scowl, and his trademark scar is an indicator of his street-thug roots. Like many people seeking to escape Castro’s grips, he headed to America to start a new life via banana boat to engage in free black-market capitalism.

“Me, I want what’s coming to me,” says Tony as he drives his Cadillac.

“Oh, well, what’s coming to you?” asks his right-hand man Manny.

“The world, chico, and everything in it.”

Tony is a man who is going places and is nearly delusional about his potential. He doesn’t let the fact that he is without education, power, money, or influence become roadblocks. Tony uses the tools he has—balls, decisiveness, and street smarts—to help him overcome every obstacle.

He’s shrewd and cunning, quickly moving up from a small-time crime syndicate’s foot soldier to running Miami’s most powerful criminal empire. He epitomizes a version of the American dream to which many downtrodden youths can relate: coming from absolutely nothing and transforming yourself into a total boss.

 

2. He’s A True Family Man

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Tony shows up at his mother and sister’s house one quiet night. It had been years since he had seen them. He had purposefully held off on seeing them until he was a success. He wants them to be proud of him and know that he has made it.

He proudly gives his mother $1,000. “Who did you kill for this, Antonio?” she inquires. She knows well what kind of man her son is. She rejects his blood money and ends up kicking Tony out of the house. Even after that, Tony has tremendous love toward his mother and tells his sister Gina to slip her some money a little at a time so she won’t notice.

He’s highly protective of his little sister, Gina. He constantly keeps his eye on her and attempts to prevent other men from getting close to her. This speaks volumes to men who feel extremely protective toward their little sisters or cousins. He may be overbearing in his protection of her, but it shows that his love for his blood is true and strong.

3. He Sets His Own Values

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“All I have in this world is my balls and my word and I don’t break them for nobody, you understand?” It is an outlaw ethos that has been echoed for the last 30 years by many an inspired male. Tony lets you know that even though he is a criminal, he is the type of criminal who does crime the right way. He only fucks over those who deserve it. If you weren’t Tony, you know you’d want to be in his crew because you’d have one of the best bosses around.

“In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.” Tony knows business comes before bitches, that a man must focus on what is good for himself and his future. Figure out how to get yourself ahead of the game and not worry too much about random pussy. This is tougher to do for some men than others, as his his sidekick Manny is constantly giving in to la mamacitas.

Nowhere else does Tony exemplify his rock-solid values more than when he refuses to allow the killing of the wife and kids of a man he was supposed to assassinate. He feels that’s the coward’s way of conducting business and refuses to let the assassin detonate the bomb by placing a bullet through his skull. It was a fine case of hip-pocket executive decision-making.

 

4. He Got To Fuck The 1983 Version Of Michelle Pfeiffer

showcase_scarface

While any version of Michelle Pfeiffer is sexy, feminine, and alluring, the 1983 model of her was a pristine example of female beauty.

“I say she’s a tiger. She belong to me,” Tony states to her. While Tony knew to put money before bitches, he also knew that if had the right one by his side, he could go to the top. When he saw the one he wanted, he went after her. He was not too shy or nervous. He didn’t wait for her to give him hints. He didn’t care that she wasn’t interested in him. He went for her for like the boss player he is.

No one intimidated Tony. He had a high sense of confidence in himself and displayed it again and again and thus winning over such a fine woman. He had mountains of coke and she was addicted to coke, so he kept her rolling in it. It was a coke dealer’s style of bringing your girlfriend flowers every day.

Maybe he wasn’t the good guy in the legal sense, but he was the best at what he did. He told off the true bad guys, the corporate thieves and corrupt politicians: “You need people like me so you can point your fuckin’ fingers and say, ‘That’s the bad guy.’ So what that make you? Good? You’re not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie. Me, I don’t have that problem. Me, I always tell the truth. Even when I lie.”

He died in a hail of bullets, taking out as many motherfuckers as possible, his body center stage for all the carnage surrounding him. Most men would dream to go out with such style.

~Raul Felix

You can read more of my work at Thought Catalog

Images – Scarface

The Jack Off Line: How To Decide Whether It’s Better To Hook Up Or Jack Off

In a man’s ignorant youth, when he is a horny boy who will fuck a pile of rags, he tends to be indiscriminate regarding pussy. All he knows is that hooking up with a subpar chick is better than jacking off.

It’s a fair system: Mediocre girls get to fuck around with guys who won’t settle for their likes once they grow and become more accomplished, while guys get some practical, hands-on experience with real chicks. These are glorious times for subpar chicks, because they get to ride a cock carousel of overeager young men who have yet to establish a set of standards. Even if he isn’t really into her, he’ll find a few features to focus on: big ass, big boobs, cute face, or a cool personality coupled with the ability to suck a mean cock. It’s a golden era of sexual exploration that is filled with grand victories and embarrassing hookups for the budding male.

Then there are the dredges of the female gene pool, the ghastly hags who scour the Earth in search of weak males. Their mere presence is enough to cause any self-respecting man’s dick to crawl up inside his body in self-defense lest he accidentally trip and fall into the fatal abyss that is her vagina…they lack any type of redeemable feature that could possibly give a man a chub…they are somehow able to weigh 300 pounds without having tits or ass…they are ugly as fuck, have a terrible personality, and no enthusiasm for sucking cock. These females fall below the Jack Off Line.

The Jack Off Line is a litmus test where a male has to ask himself one simple question: “Would I rather jack off than hook up with this girl?” It’s the bare minimum acceptable level of attractiveness a female must possess to make her worth a one-night stand.

Most of the time, the answer is obvious. Of course we would rather fuck a girl who looks like Halle Berry and has hint of wonderful Chanel perfume than jack off. Of course we would rather jack off than fuck a girl who is morbidly obese and whose breath reeks of McDonald’s, boxed wine, and Cheetos from two days ago.

Where a man’s Jack Off Line begins is subject to variables such as age, experience, personal tastes, degree of desperation, and the quality and quantity of his sexual prospects. While there is a small percentage of guys who are studs from the get-go and can secure some pretty hot chicks at an early age, most guys are not like that. In fact, when they’re first starting in the hook-up scene, most guys’ Jack Off Line lies somewhere between girls who are a 3 to 4, as I’ve illustrated in this handy chart:

JOLChart1

The Jack Off Line’s threshold is tricky and treacherous terrain for a young man to navigate. Alcohol and desperation play a critical role in transforming a chick that is horribly unfuckable into a valid candidate for a hogging mission. Alcohol lowers his initial inhibitions and standards enough to give this female monstrosity a fairer shot than she deserves. In long dry spells, desperation for a female’s warmth and contact override his common sense and sense of sight, smell, and taste.

The Jack Off Line is never 100% static. Only through many years of trial and error is a male able to finely calibrate where on the 1-10 rating spectrum his own personal Jack Off Line lies. He learns to not only focus on the orgasmic payoff of getting laid, but to also consider the cost—time, resources, reputation, or the chance to hook up with a more attractive female if he had only been more patient.

Those of us who are able to survive the early trials and tribulations of fucking fat chicks, butterfaces, and shady bitches without knocking them up or becoming trapped in their webs of deception become hardened and salty. We slowly develop a newer, higher set of standards for ourselves. As we grow and more women begin seeking our attention, our Jack Off Line likewise rises. Where before we would have fucked a 5 without giving it a second thought, she now is no longer even worth investing the amount of time needed to get her into bed for even the few minutes it takes to fuck her.

JOLChart2

Fucking a girl who is on the cusp of The Jack Off Line is not the goal of any man who actually gives a fuck about the quality of his life. When he’s out to get laid, of course he’s going to go for the big prizes, but there will be times where he fails to catch such chicks’ attention. Then he’ll look at that homely—but for some strange reason, slightly sexy—5.5 across the bar. He’ll know that he can snag her with minimal effort. Then he’ll ask himself: “Would I rather jack off than hook up with this girl?”

~Raul Felix

Keep reading my stuff on Thought Catalog

3 Ways To Use Obstacles To Your Advantage

Dreams and aspirations—we all have them, whether you want to be a world-famous writer, a doctor, a captain of industry, or an international playboy. You set off on a journey to fulfill your dreams because you’re a fucking Billy Badass and nothing is going to stand in your way.

Then reality decides to be a dick and stands in your way. Your submission to XoJane gets rejected because it wasn’t angry enough and only mentioned rape culture twice…or you fail your Intro to Biology class…or you can’t even work up the courage to talk to that cute Latina chick. You sit there deflated, wondering how the gods could be so cruel to little special snowflake you.

Luckily for you, Ryan Holiday’s new book The Obstacle Is the Way provides a time-tested formula inspired by the great Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. It teaches you to not just overcome your obstacles, but to leverage them to your advantage. Drawing from historical examples of people who were way more important than you or I, he separates the book into a series of characteristics, philosophies, and values that a person must have to hopefully join their ranks or at least give it the good ol’ junior-college try. Here are three that stuck out to me.

1. Follow the Process

You’ve got to do something very difficult. Don’t focus on that. Instead break it down into pieces. Simply do what you need to do right now. And do it well. And then move on to the next thing. Follow the process and not the prize.

When we read an enriching novel or an article that makes us think and see things from a new perspective, we are experiencing the fruits of the writer’s extensive labor. We don’t see the process. We don’t see the writer as he reads book after book, learning from his mentors who may have long passed. We don’t see his first attempts of forming an original thought or sentence that is totally unreadable. We don’t see him as he learns the difference between the overreaching of vocabulary and using it in a seamless fashion. We don’t see him as he struggles, staring at the blank screen to formulate his next witty phrase.

By focusing on the little things, the fine details, the nitty-gritty aspects of what you’re trying to accomplish, you make the task much more manageable and feasible. Those little mundane parts—when done right and compounded together over the course of time and constant repetition—will create a road to the grand success of which you dream.

2. Do Your Job, Do It Right

Everything we do matters—whether it’s making smoothies while you save up money or studying for the bar—even after you already achieved that success you sought. Everything is a chance to do and be your best. Only self-absorbed assholes think they are too good for whatever their current station requires.

When I was in 2nd Ranger Battalion, there was the Ranger standard that must always be met or you would be kicked out and sent to the big Army. It governed our lives: how we conducted and trained for combat, physical fitness, appearance, and acceptable behavior. In every aspect of being a Ranger, you were expected to do your job with a high level of motivation, competence, attention to detail, and eagerness to improve. It didn’t matter if you were going on a direct-action raid, doing a live-fire exercise, jumping out of an airplane, cleaning the barracks, policing up brass, mowing the quad’s lawn, fast-roping out of a helicopter, or doing your morning physical training session. Your ass better be giving it your all, or you were going to get your balls crushed.

I was a mediocre Ranger who barely survived being in battalion; nothing exceptional compared to some of the no-shit legendary men with whom I got to serve. But it instilled a strong work ethic in me. Taking pride in doing even the simplest jobs right—however trivial, mundane, and unglamorous they are—prepares you to take on the larger and more glamorous tasks when they are set before you.

3. Build Your Inner Citadel

No one is born a gladiator. No one is born with an Inner Citadel. If we’re going to succeed in achieving our goals despite the obstacles that may come, the strength in will must be built.

The world doesn’t give a fuck if you succeed or not. In fact, the world wants you to fail. If you want to attempt anything grand and not live a life of quiet desperation like so many poor souls, it will require you to be physically and mentally tough. Neither one of these attributes is built overnight.

Physical strength and toughness will better prepare you to deal with the obstacles life places in front of you than if you are scrawny or fat. Many “intellectual” douchebags who look down on the physically fit fail to see that the discipline needed to get to that point helps strengthen the mind and will.

Mental toughness will let you handle and overcome any obstacles that seek to wage psychological warfare on you. It gives you the capacity to think through them and find solutions. It gives you the ability to face down the naysayers, the haters, and the nonbelievers. It will help you say, “Fuck you” to them and drive on.

You need to change your mindset in how you view obstacles. They aren’t always negative; they can bring opportunity if you’re bright enough. This book will help you forge a mind that not only can power through them but can also squeeze out every drop of benefit from them.

~Raul Felix

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