Originally published for xcii on 10.24.17
Here’s a friendly heads up and a reminder for all of you reading this right now who are taking no prisoners on your way to living a strength-filled life of purpose:
When you start to get stronger, more successful, wealthier, healthier, or better in any way- there is a certain type of individual who can’t stand it.
Any positive change you make, there is going to be someone who hates you for it. These people are ruled by resentment, jealousy and anger. Their life is driven by a feeling inadequacy, so their ego creates an external enemy in order to insulate them from the truth:
their only real enemy is THEM.
When they see someone doing more than they are, it creates a venom-release within them. This bile rises up and they spew their vitriolic poison anywhere they can do so, as long as they can do it safely and anonymously.
These people have many terms attributed to them- you’ve all seen them, right?
Internet warriors, keyboard cowboys. Trolls.
What they really are, though, truly, at their core- are cowards. Failures.
These are people who have not been able to succeed on their own at whatever it is they wanted to do in life, whoever they wanted to be, down in those places they were too embarrassed tell anyone about, and too pathetic to go out and achieve: Leaders. Ladies men. Charismatic. Wealthy. Successful. Muscular.
They couldn’t become this, because they are their own worst enemies. They couldn’t get it together enough to make it happen, for whatever reason. Lack of willpower, dedication, or intelligence.
They see others receiving praise that they want for themselves. Others leading people that they wished they could have led. Giving up habits that they never had the strength or determination to give up. Putting in sweat equity to look and feel the way they can only imagine. Making the money they desperately wish they had- and the venom rises, and they lash out.
They use the weakest possible formats available to them. Safe, anonymous, protected places in order to work their weak will from behind a mask against those who wear no such protection against the world, because they do not require it.
Their arguments against strength are always the same, and make their resentment transparent every time. If you are muscular and fit, they will call you vain, or vapid. If you are charismatic, they will call you a conman. If you are financially successful, they will call you greedy and unscrupulous.
They will more than likely not use terms like this- their reckless anger and feelings of inferiority manifest in drooling, wild condemnations, and long, rambling outlines of all ways they feel you live life wrong.
Somehow they imagine that their petty words and verbal stone-throwing will result in some kind of change. They imagine that you, like them, are a coward, and that you will be swayed by their poorly stated rhetoric. They think that those who support you will see their evidence, and come over to their side of things.
In reality, they don’t believe any of these things.
They know that their words are hollow.
They know that no matter what they do, they cannot stop your meteoric rise to meeting challenge and overcoming it. Those who must crawl will always despise those with wings- this awareness of their own impotence is the very thing that makes them hate you so much in the first place.
You have, and are doing, everything they want to have and do. So they will hate.
If you find yourself falling into this trap of envy and jealousy and resentment, take a moment and consider:
Would you be better served by being jealous of someone with an enviable life, or viewing them as a teacher and yourself as a student who could be learning?
Every successful person’s rise to where they are now can be seen as a puzzle, a narrative to untangle in order to see the patterns and steps that they took to get where they are now.
When I spend time with someone who has more success in the gym than I do, or has a business plan that I admire, or is a high level martial artist- it doesn’t evoke resentment from me.
It evokes respect.
It makes me want to emulate whatever character trait they possessed or unlocked within themselves in order to be more like them in the ways that I wish I was.
I have taken to using the phrase “None Ascend Alone.”
What I mean by this is that somewhere along the way, all of us modeled ourselves after someone else that we admired, or took advice from someone smarter than we were, or emulated an individual who had already achieved what we were looking for.
Success and achievement does not happen in a vacuum. I believe it is fostered through challenge and networking with people who are accomplished and live lives worthy of emulation.
Strong people admire and emulate, until they are admired and emulated.
Cowards resent, sabotage, and ultimately- fail.
View every day as an opportunity to learn, to improve, to succeed. Against the reckless hatred of lesser men, your success is the boiling oil poured down on their heads, from the high walls of the castle that is your utter indifference to their very existence.
Always remember: I’m pulling for you.