My Challenge To You
What’s the deal with people getting offended at everything these days?
It seems like everybody is constantly triggered by one thing or another.
It’s time to wake up. Not everybody plays fair, you know?
I look at what people complain about on social media and let me tell you, some people need to toughen the fuck up.
Sometimes you should want people to try to offend you, so you can learn to brush it off like it doesn’t faze you.
That’s why I do Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai and boxing. You want people to punch you. You invite them to punch you.
It’s called sparring. It’s training yourself to be able to take the punches. You gotta have the same mentally.
One way you can do this is find a friend and ask them to point out your biggest weakness, and to make fun of you for it. Don’t get offended, because chances are, they’re being honest with you. It should actually motivate you to work on your flaws.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of my favorite examples of building his flaws. He was a seven-time Mr. Olympia, and when he was growing up, he said he was always naturally stronger in his upper body. He had a perfect chest and big arms, but his legs were his weaker point. He said most bodybuilders were sensitive. They didn’t want people to see their weaknesses so they would cover up their weaknesses. He said some bodybuilders would wear long pants if their legs were weak, and if their upper body was good, they would wear a tank top so people could see everything good about them. Arnold said, “Forget that. I’m going to get tough. I’m going to motivate myself.” So he would wear shorts, which showed the whole world how little his legs were. He would wear baggy sweaters so the world couldn’t see his strength.
In fact, he was so self-conscious about his legs after he highlighted them to the world that he flew to South Africa. He trained under a man named Reg Park, who showed him how to do calf raises correctly. He wasn’t doing them right. That’s why he had little legs. He had been driven to go there because people making fun of him. He took the criticism correctly. He got stronger and worked on his weaknesses.
Having weaknesses isn’t a bad thing. We’re humans, we all have problems, but that doesn’t excuse you from working hard to change them. That’s what separates the people at the top from everyone else. We all have weakness; the test is whether you do something about it.
I’m talking about constructive criticism, because when I box, when I do Muay Thai, when I do jiu-jitsu, it’s constructive. They’re there sparring with you so you get better. Criticism isn’t always said in the best way, and it can have a lot of negativity behind it, but you have to be able to take a step back and say “Does this have any truth to it?” Don’t get all sad and depressed, use that to prove them wrong.
The sooner you grow up and learn that some people just aren’t gonna like you and they’re gonna call you out just to hurt your feelings, the tougher you’re gonna get.
This world is getting weaker and weaker as the tweets go by and the more triggered people get.
Look at it like this, let’s say it’s the middle of night and you’re in your house. It’s 3:00 in the morning, you’re alone and you hear a noise. You hear two people talking, you put your ear to the wall and you hear there’s two burglars. They’re in your house, and they sound drunk and on drugs. Luckily you got your cell phone by you, so you call the police. Who do you want showing up at your door to save your ass? Do you want little politically correct, dainty little police officer? No, you want a six-foot-six, 300-pound police officer with scars all over their face. You want someone who’s dealt with these types of situations.
It’s the same with the world.
Make no mistake. We need people who are nice and sensitive, but there has to be a balance. It’s okay sometimes to be politically correct and this and that. People have been made fun of over gender identity, or their sexual preferences, or their ethnicity, and I understand that has gone on for too long. At the same time you can’t get pissed off at someone if they slip up. Like I said, there’s a balance. It’s good that society is becoming aware of these things. There’s good to that, because it’s allowing groups that have been made fun of and disenfranchised to rise up. I’m all for that.
Look, I’m not 100% white, and I’ve experienced racism. I didn’t grow up around rich people. When I first started getting in business and being around rich people, kids who grew up and inherited their money, they looked down on me. They tried to ostracize me. My last name’s Lopez. There’s people who don’t like Lopez. Some people just hear the name “Lopez,” and automatically think “I don’t like that person.”
You know what I learned? You better rise through it. You better be tough, because if all you do is get offended, howl and whine, it doesn’t affect them. They’re already mean people. Scientists have found that if someone is psychotic, which is related to having no empathy and mean, they don’t respond to negative cues. So if you say to them, “You’re being mean to me,” they don’t care. They know it. They’re mean people.
Look at trolls on social media. Most of the people leaving weird comments on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook are people who have classic psychological impairments. They’re psychotic. They’re Machiavellian. It’s called the dark triad. There’s actually something called the dark dyad. There’s even sadistic things, like people who like to kill animals. 100 years ago, they were torturing animals. Now they can try to torture you on social media.
So you have to have thick skin.
Do you know why calluses form on the bottom of your feet? They form to protect your feet from rocks and thorns. That’s why we develop that. You need to form a mental callus.
If you’re one of those people that’s too sensitive or you’re always around people that are too sensitive, you gotta grow up. Life isn’t always nice.
One of the keys to brushing off criticism is you can’t take things personally, because 99% of the time, someone’s negativity isn’t even about you. Most the time it’s about them. They’re having a damn bad day. They’re a cynical person. They’re Machiavellian. They’re psychotic. Why react? Delete them. Or just read your negative comments sometimes on purpose to toughen up. Don’t do that all the time, because the human brain doesn’t wanna always be offended. It’s a process just like boxing. Let somebody punch you in the head so you learn to put your guard up.
We live in a society where we just want to remove all obstacles, all the hardships, all callus-forming ability and exposure to things that make you tough.
Mental toughness is one of the fundamentals to being successful. Every single billionaire I’ve ever met is mentally tough.
I’m going to tell you one of my favorite stories. Shaquille O’Neal was one of the biggest basketball players around. He’s a big dude. He played at seven-foot-one and about 300 pounds. When he came into the league, he was used to being the biggest person around. So he goes into his first season, and he’s playing against a guy named Hakeem Olajuwon, who was a bit older than him, but a basketball legend. Shaq said during the game he would try to intimidate his opponents buy throwing an elbow, and he’s a pretty big guy so people would back off pretty quick. He was guarding Hakeem Olajuwon and threw a an elbow, but Hakeem just ran up aside Shaq the next time down the court and said “Good one” and laughed it off. That psyched Shaq out. He thought “Oh, my God, this dude’s so tough, I throw my worst at him, and he’s laughing.”
That’s why I said you gotta train yourself to laugh at adversity.
We live in a world where everybody wants somebody to pat them on the back when they’re crying because of adversity. There’s a time to be nice and there’s a time to be tough. People don’t like to hear that in the modern world.
If somebody makes fun of you, use them to toughen up. If there’s some truth in what they’re saying, use that to adjust your life. If someone makes fun of you for being too skinny, for being too fat, or whatever, ask a doctor if they’re right. Don’t ask me. I’m not a judge. I’m not a medical doctor, but your doctor will tell you. Some people are big-boned, and some people are fat. If you’re super overweight or super underweight, it ain’t healthy. You die younger. You get metabolic problems. Let’s not kid ourselves. If you go in to the doctor and he checks you out and he goes, “You do need to lose 20 pounds,” or, “You need to gain 20 pounds,” then listen to the damn doctor and be thankful you got those negative comments, because they pushed you to health. Nowadays we live in a world where we’re people are gonna argue with their doctors. Some people do that. People will actually argue with their doctors.
Use it as fuel. If somebody says, “You’re broke, you’re stupid” read a book, work hard to make money. Find the motivation in that to prove them wrong.
When I was young, one of the pivotal moments in my life was when I was just getting into business, and I really hadn’t made it. I was with five of my mentors who were 20 plus years older than me. I had made 10 or 12 grand in my first business. These guys were multi-millionaires. So we were at a hunting lodge, and they had been drinking, and they asked what I wanted to do. I said “I’m gonna be a businessman.” These five guys looked over and said to me, “Tai, you’re gonna be an entrepreneur? You gonna make money? Do you know anything about money?” I was like, “Yeah, yeah, I do.” Then they said, “Okay. What’s IRR mean?” Which now I know means internal rate of return, which is a way to measure the return on your investment.
At the time I was like, “I don’t know.” I’ll never forget, these five guys that I looked up to, they just started laughing at me and they said, “You probably ain’t gonna ever be anything, Tai.” Man, I’m not a dude that cries very much, but that was one of the times where I felt like crying, but I didn’t. You know what I said to myself? I said, “If these smart guys who know about business have that opinion of me, they’re probably right. I’m gonna change my life so no one can ever say that about me.”
So I began studying finance. I went on and worked for GE Capital. I started to self-study, because formal education will make you a living, but self-education will make you a fortune. I said, “I want to make a fortune, not just a living.” I went on, I got certified for financial planning. That was a phase in my life. I no longer do financial planning.
I did it just so I could do it. That way if anybody ever said to me, ‘You’re an idiot, you don’t know about business,” I’ll be like, ‘Oh, yeah? Let’s talk.'” Now I sit down with billionaires. I sit down with some of the top business people in the world, and I’ve never once had them tell me that I don’t know anything about business. They might know more than me, I don’t know everything, but nobody thinks I don’t know about business anymore. Nobody. That’s because I vowed to myself instead of getting too weak-willed, too offended and shut down, I said, “These guys were right. Yeah, I’m offended, but I’m gonna use it to build a mental callus to strengthen myself and get stronger.”
Now if you want to be offended, go be offended at major injustice in the world. Major injustice is what I feel like we should be offended about, not whether we accidentally use the wrong pronoun or whatever.
One of my favorite authors and one of the wisest, smartest people of all time is a man named Will Durant. He won a Pulitzer Prize. He was a professor, and he wrote a series of books called “The Story of Civilization.” If I could own one set of books on a desert island, it’d be “The Story of Civilization.”
He talks about the lessons of history, and he says the second lesson of history is that life is a competition. Life is a struggle. Some problems you just gotta roll with the punches. Somebody in your family or close to you will probably get a disease in your lifetime. Are you offended at the microbe that caused it? Are you offended at the virus?
No, don’t be offended. Use that anger to come up with a cure. Devote your life to science and medicine. Use all that pain from losing somebody close to you or that you see millions of people dying of cancer and say, “One day, I will solve this problem.”
That’s the world I want to live in.
Most people aren’t gonna be remembered throughout history, and part of it is because people are too weak-willed. So next time you feel like pulling out that big emotional sensitivity card, say, “Is it time to balance out with a little toughness?”
Here’s my challenge to you: next time you feel ridiculed or personally attacked, don’t dwell on it and be upset and sad. Use the criticism and negativity to fuel you. Grow thicker skin, and prove them wrong.
P.S. This week I have an announcement for those of you on my email list. Keep an eye on your inbox, you aren’t gonna want to miss this!