One very intelligent movement has had disastrous implications. Like many realizations, this occurred to me at the gym.
I was at the gym last Saturday. You know who else was there? The same people who are there - and who look good - during the week. Success takes vacations, but successful people rarely take a full weekend off. Even if you're not doing work-work, successful people are building their bodies and minds.
Yet I hear people in their early-20's talk about the need for "work-life balance." Work-life balance is something people should aspire to. Yet it's not something a young person should seek. Eventually we will be old. We are going to have less energy. If we don't have successful careers by then, what do you suppose we're going to do?
Seriously. Imagine yourself at 30. You will be 30. How are you going to feel? What would your 30-year-old self advise you? What would your 40, or 50, or 60 year-old self say about what you're doing today? Eventually that old man will be you. Then what?
As a youngling, I had no sense of balance. I really didn't have a choice. I grew up poor and was the first in my family to attend college. I always had the safety net of living in my dad's basement. Yet my life choice was to make it on my own - or not at all.
I gave up much of college, law school, and a few years thereafter to build a mind and a career. During college, most Friday nights were spent reading or writing. I would go out to get drunk once a month. Otherwise, I worked at my job, attended military training, did coursework for my classes, or studied persuasion and human psychology. I rarely had a girlfriend, as most girls are a time suck. Most guys are, too, and a large social circle is a success killer.
Today, while many are jobless, I don't have big troubles. Barring cancer or a car accident, for the rest of my life, I'll be able to make a living. I have expertise in a few things to keep me afloat, and what I don't know, I can learn. I could move to any state in the U.S., pass a bar exam, and find a job. Maybe not a great job. For a guy who grew up poor, however, it doesn't take much to keep me afloat.
Now I'm able to relax more because my life was completely out of balance for so many years. A couple of friends are coming up, and we're having a "staycation." (Even so, my friend is attending a court hearing on Friday, and he and I will discuss some cases.)
I know a lot of you are guys in your early-20's who lift weights. Look around at the old guys in the gym. At my gym, there are a lot of old guys with great bodies. They might not have much hair, or what they have might be grey: They are beasts, though, and most are dating 30ish-year-old women.
The main reason I attend that gym is for inspiration. I like the old lions, if only for the selfish reminder that even when my face is grey: I'll still be a lion.
Yet the old guys with good bodies didn't build those bodies in their 40's. They laid the foundation in their 20's and 30's. To age is to decay. Yet aging is an inevitability, and thus the only question is how to age well. The best way to set yourself up for a better life later on, is to fall out of balance early on. Dante of Dog Crapp training writes:
So what will all this hard work for the past 15 years allow me to do? I'm in my mid 30's now so for the rest of my 30's and thru my 40' and 50's i can pretty much walk around at 250lbs hard as a rock at a very low bodyfat percentage. Ive set myself up so that will be very very easy. I actually have to do much less than everything I do now (except cardio) to be there. Ill use guys in this forum for examples, Inhuman and massive G are both around 5'9", 5'10" and are offseason 280 to 300. They have spent the time and food consumption and paid their dues to get there. Massive G I believe is mid 30's and Inhuman is early 40's I believe. Both these guys will be able to crank this down and enjoy walking around with full abs, hard as granite with veins everywhere at 240-260lbs.
They have set themselves up and paid their dues in their 20's and 30's to do that. You guys that are 35-45 years old who want this but weigh 175-210lbs are playing catchup and are so behind the race its sad.
My point of this post is to get guys in their early 20's to think, to get guys who just blew 10 years of training who are in their 30's to think, and to get guys who just blew 10-15 years of training who are in their 40's to think....
You have to set yourself up early so you can be right where you want to be late. Theres alot of you guys 35-45 years old in this forum, some that I even train, that think they want it but really dont have what it takes to go get it. I see it in their workouts they send me (they take the easy comfortable road never pushing the limits) and for those that I dont train I sometimes see it in your posts---you just dont have what it takes. I can only provide a guide to get there, I cant create an inner drive for you.
Outside of the gym, this matters even more. My first boss out of law school was in his 60's. He is still a brilliant man and lawyer.
My dad is 57, and still a fierce debater. He's always read for hours each day, and thus his mind has what cognitive scientists call "cognitive load." When you push your brain harder than you need to when your in your 20's, 30's, and 40's, you'll mitigate age-related cognitive decline in your 50's and beyond.
To set yourself up for life, you can't fuck around when you're young. Worry about work-life balance later.