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Sam Upton is an actor and writer known for his roles in The Lincoln Lawyer, Gone, and Stand Up Guys. He is also the director and main actor in his most recent movie, Gun.
Favorite Success Quote
“The greatest revenge is success” ~Frank Sinatra
1. No One’s Going to Give it To You
We live in an era of entitlement.
The current generation is filled with individuals who have never had to work for anything in their lives, never had to sweat for a goal, and never had to bleed for their dreams.
When reality sets in, and they realize that life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, they panic and cry and loudly scream about how “unfair” life is.
Well here’s a little newsflash.
Life’s not fair… And no one gives a shit.
No one cares enough about you to make your dreams happen for you.
If you want something bad enough, then go and get it.
Don’t ask for permission, get off your ass and go get it.
The sweet nectar of success is reserved for those rare individuals just like you who make the definite decision to become the master of their own fate and the captain of their own destiny.
Those individuals who are, as Theodore Roosevelt put it, “Actually in the arena with their faces marred by sweat and tears and blood.”
Those are the individuals who shape the world, create great art, build massive wealth, and live a life of happiness and prosperity along the way.
What about you?
Are you going to bitch and moan and whine about how unfair life is, or are you going to accept your challenges and circumstances and make the definite decision to go out and get what’s yours?
Only you can decide.
2. Stop Giving a Fuck
One of the greatest truths of life is this…
The fewer fucks you give, the better life you will live.
It’s that simple.
People in the 21st century simply care too much about the wrong things.
We allow the denigrating remarks of passersby’s and internet trolls to damage our self-esteem and derail our mission.
We allow the opinions of people who have done next to nothing for us to determine what path we will take and what passions we will pursue.
We allow the push and pull of society to rope us into lives that we never wanted to live surrounded by people that we’ve never liked working for a cause that we never believed in.
And there’s a simple solution to all these problems.
Stop giving a fuck.
The less time and energy you allow yourself to waste on the petty garbage and insignificant opinions, the happier you will be.
If you are on your purpose, on your mission, and on your path, if you are doing the things that are meaningful to you and waking up each day with a smile, then the rest can fade away into the background.
3. Unplug and Spend Time In Life
We live in such a hyper-connected world that the vast majority of people no longer experience life through their own eyes, they experience it through the lens of the latest smartphone.
Instead of going out on dates and connecting with the person across from us, we waste our time Tweeting and texting and Instagramming.
Instead of spending time with our wives and children, we waste our evenings surfing social media and watching B-grade, uninspiring garbage on the internet.
We aren’t living anymore dammit!
And it’s starting to show.
Depression, loneliness, and suicide are at record highs (especially among men) and yet we continue moving through life like zombies, attached to our screens.
So let me challenge you to change that.
Put your damn phone down for an evening.
Spend real quality time with your wife and kids.
Go hang out with a friend and leave your phones at home.
Spend time by yourself with your own thoughts and no stimulation (you just might come up with some phenomenal ideas).
Learn to let go of the need for constant stimulation and I promise that your life will be better for it.
4. The Act of Doing Makes You a Success
As men, it is easy to tie our self-worth and perception of our own success to external things.
We believe that we are only a success if we have the beautiful girl, the 7-figure business, the Lamborghini, the fame, and the body.
But the truth of the matter is that the very act of doing and pursuing our goals is what makes us a success.
If you are getting up every day, putting your nose to the grindstone and your shoulder to the wheel in pursuit of a higher vision and calling, then you are a success.
You will not become a success when you achieve some arbitrary goal or ideal, you are a success right now so long as you are in pursuit.
So long as you stay hungry, so long as you put in the work, and so long as you never give up, you can go to bed knowing that you are a success regardless of the external circusmtances in your life.
5. F*ck your Feelings and Do What’s Right
There are only two kinds of people in the world, hedonists and stoics.
A hedonist does whatever it takes to feel good, a stoic does what is right whether it feels good or not…
And unfortunately, we live in a time that is filled to the brim with hedonists.
The vast majority of our society allow their whims, emotions, and feelings to dictate their actions instead of their dreams, visions, and moral code.
And the results have been pretty catastrophic.
If you want to break away from the herd, away from the men who, as Thoreau put it “Lead lives of quiet desperation” then you must master your emotions, thoughts, and actions and force yourself to do what is right even when you don’t feel like it.
No… Especially when you don’t feel like it.
Fuck your feelings.
No one cares how you feel or what emotions are going through your head.
You have a responsibility to do what is right regardless of your emotions.
So quit trying to feel good and start doing good.
1. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chögyam Trungpa
2. Crazy Wisdom by Chögyam Trungpa
3. The Spiritual Teachings of Marcus Aurelius