Difficult things make your life easier and build character

Difficult things make life less difficult.

Joe Rogan

I just got back from a workout. I started it with 10 pull-ups. No, not half ass but all the way down then all the way up. In one set.

Then did the other stuff.

Several months ago, I could do 8. I’m super proud of myself because I thought I would have to hire a personal trainer to get me to 10 again. My high is 14 but I was 10 pounds lighter at the time. I can’t see myself ever getting that thin again. I like where I’m at now.

Anyways, weightlifting is great because it’s easily measurable. You lift weights. You got the numbers right there. Weights and reps. If you go up in one or the other, you’re making progress. Super simple.

What’s not simple? Anything art related.

How do you know if your second book is better than your first book? Your first book may outsell your second book but you in your heart feel you became a better writer and you think your second book is better. Sales say otherwise though.

It’s like – I produce paintings. I never know which ones will sell and which ones won’t sell. The buyers decide that.

I just did some cute closeups of Allie and Roxy. I love how they turned out. Will the buyers? Who knows?

Allie and Roxy

Regardless though, you know if you’re improving. Let’s get to the meat of this article though.

Difficult things make life less difficult

Rogan also said that those who have never been punched in the face don’t really appreciate safety.

I’ve been clobbered numerous times. I was a mediocre boxer but pretty good wrestler.

Sure in a street fight, I’ll kick the guy’s ass with punches alone. But if against another fighter? I ain’t gonna trade punches because I know that’s not my strength. I’m taking it to the ground.

I’ve seen a consistency with the people who are panicking over covid-19. They’re not tough guys. They’re wimps. And they don’t understand why I’m not scared of a virus that has no way in hell of killing me. They simply don’t get it and they project their fears onto me. They think I’m the one who’s crazy because I’m not scared like they are.

Even before this virus, I’ve seen other comparisons as well. The biggest proponents of gun control for instance generally live in the safest neighborhoods. Imagine that. It’s funny that I learned that in my sociology class. The ones most scared of crime are the ones least affected by it.

You have these idiot celebrities who often literally have armed guards and they send their kids to private schools, yet, they want you and I disarmed.

The solution?

When you start pushing yourself, you become less scared. And life gets much, much easier.

I started taking art lessons when I realized that if I wanted to sell million dollar paintings, I’m going to have to get some help to take me to the next level.

Same thing with weightlifting. I had two personal trainers and a dietician. (Well, the dietician was one of the trainers so that’s really just two people).

Same thing with music. Luckily with music, it’s super easy. All the music I study is in public domain and I can simply study the notations.

With music, we’ve had excellent music teachers who wrote books on how to orchestrate. I highly recommend Walter Piston’s book and also Berlioz’s (the one that was updated by Richard Strauss).

You push yourself to get better. And when you get better, life gets easier.

Same thing with money. Too many people don’t manage their money right.

I don’t know what I’m doing with taxes so I pay someone else to do it. My current accountant is cool as heck and also doesn’t wear a mask, which is a huge plus. He doesn’t give into this fear thing.

He did wonders with our taxes. I was dreading tax day but apparently, I was doing a lot more things right than I thought.

A story of a douchebag

Ok friends, this has nothing to do with the rest of this article. Other than a note to not be like this guy…

Awhile back, some boomer asked me why Metalheads banged their heads. I told him that I did it to keep time.

He immediately replied “no, that can’t be it,” to which I responded that it was it. Then he started an argument. I just let him ramble on.

(We’re obviously no longer friends because I don’t keep douchebags as friends).

When you ask a question and don’t like the answer, don’t be that guy.

I’m currently working on a Lullaby. It’s in 6/8ths. It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever written a piece in 6/8ths.

Just like when I played guitar for Metal bands, I move to the music when I play the piano. Instead of headbanging though, I sway. It’s to help me keep time as there are too many ritardandos to use a metronome.

This upcoming EP will be entirely Classical with one orchestrated waltz, a nocturne, and a lullaby. It’s featuring me playing piano on the lullaby. It will be out late this year.

Tying this back into the rest of the article – I wrote the lullaby last year for Roxy. There was no way in hell I could play it.

I do that intentionally. I make things that are ridiculously difficult for myself. Then somehow pull it off.

Well, half a year later, I can play the whole piece except with plenty of mistakes. I have several more months where I’ll need to be able to play it in a recording studio.

Make things difficult on yourself, whether they are physical or mental. If you want to get good at a discipline, keep pushing yourself to get better.

I like the analogy of getting punched in the face or bodyslammed. I’ve wrestled with superior wrestlers before and one time, got slammed so hard that I saw stars. Yes, I had my eyes wide open and only saw blackness and stars. Luckily, I was wrestling a pretty cool guy on a wrestling mat and this wasn’t on the street. Had it been on the street, I’d have broken ribs.

Same thing with being punched in the face. I had a boxing helmet on and the others were wearing boxing gloves. I’ve sparred too many times to count.

I’ve always said you can tell when a man has never been punched in the face.

If you need to, buy some handwraps and a mouthpiece, and join a boxing gym. Do difficult things. At worst, it builds character.

And if you’re an artist, work on a piece that’s “too hard” for you. The more you push yourself, the better you’ll get. And also a wonderful side effect – the other difficult things in life become more manageable because your mindset improved.


    1. Yes Sir.

      I’m now noticing that I only want to be friends with men who also push themselves. Or at the very least can appreciate someone else’s success rather than being envious about it, like soft men usually are.

        1. Yes. That’s why I’m making a point to actually meet a lot of my online buds. I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who are also improving.

  1. Making comics is difficult. You’re essentially writing a story out of thin air then express it with illustrations that fit with the story. It will definitely be a grind, but it’s sure as hell wholly satisfying when you get to see your story come to life for people to be entertained and indulge. Start small then work your way up.

    1. Yup. I learned the hard way just how much work animation is. I imagine comics are about the same amount of work.

      That said, I love ink. That would be my favorite part of creating the comic – doing all the inking.

      I can’t wait to see what you produce!

      Btw, remember when you mentioned One Piece? Well, boxed set 1-23 arrived from the UK. Hope she likes it.

      1. I have a rough draft done for an 8-pager based on a joke told by my father.

        Inking is a real treat because that’s how the comic comes to life!

        As for the One Piece, she will enjoy it, and you might too, trust me. Volumes 1-23 is a solid start.

        1. My wife sent pics of the boxed set to my son and he said he’s seen the cartoon.

          Ping me when your piece is done. I really want to see it!

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