“The key to possessing supreme power is to assume the active mode in dealing with your fears. This means entering arenas you normally shy away from: making the very hard decisions you have been avoiding, confronting the people who are playing power games with you, thinking of yourself and what you need instead of pleasing others, making yourself change the direction of your life even though such change is the very thing you dread.” — 50 Cent & Robert Greene
It’s 2002 and on a cold winter afternoon, friends message me to check out this rapper who roasted Ja Rule (who at the time was at the top of the hip-hop market).
I played the song recommended to me before getting ready for basketball practice. It's an infectious beat that you can’t help but nod your head to.
I know what you’re thinking, this is a health and performance site—not rolling stone or some other entertainment site.
The thing is, 50 Cent can teach you effective mindset principles that are transferable to your health and professional life. 50 Cent (aka Curtis Jackson III) is much more than a rapper. At 12 years old, I was crushing everyone at Madden and first-person shooter games. And 12 years old, was selling drugs during the 1980s crack epidemic.
A typical person would turn a blind eye and think nothing can be learned from a rapper. But you're not anyone because you're down with the AFL and you understand that gold can be extracted from the most unexpected places.
Fast forward the story, Jackson gets shot nine times and bounces back to become this wildly successful entrepreneur crossing over into multiple industries.
With that said, last year I read his book that he co-authored with Robert Greene titled ‘The 50th Law‘. I've read hundreds of books, but this is currently my favorite as of right now.
Often times, in fitness and business, we’ll seek surface levels tactics in hopes of alleviating our problems. But, all the “hacks”, strategies, and tactics mean very little if your mindset isn't where it needs to be at.
With that said, I’m going to share five of the top lessons that I received from this book. If you’re trying to develop the art of mental domination and adopt a fearless attitude toward your goals, ingrain these five principles into your head.
1. See things for what they are
This lesson is about intense realism. Often times (myself included), we fail to see the current picture because it’s either too painful or we feel embarrassed about it. Think about people who avoid looking in the mirror because of their current physical shape. Think about people who avoid logging into their online banking due to the disappointment of their current finances. Think about people who avoid looking in their partner's eyes because they don't like what they see anymore. In all of these situations, they feel disappointment, hurt, sadness, and a host of other feelings.
Don’t avoid these feelings. Avoidance will suffocate your potential and the chances of being a top performer. Avoidance doesn't accomplish anything other than increasing your stress levels and making you anxious. Face your current reality for what it is and use it to grow.
You look in the mirror and don't like what you see. So what, what are you going to do about it?
Once you know your current reality and have sat with that pain, you'll be able to more effectively move forward because you have urgency and emotional resonance with improving the situation.
As 50 states, “If you have a long-term goal for yourself, one that you have imagined in detail, then you are better able to make the proper decisions in the present. You know which battles or positions to avoid because they don’t advance you towards your goal.”
Assess your daily habits and decipher if they will lead to a better future or keep you existing in your current reality.
2. Things that come easy and fast will leave you just as fast
“The only way to gain self-reliance or any power is through great effort and practice. And this effort should not be seen as something ugly or dull; it is the prices of gaining power over yourself that is the most satisfying of all, knowing that step-by-step you are elevating yourself above the dependent masses.” — 50 Cent & Robert Greene
In relationships, the intense flings are fun but they also dissipate just as quick. Make a lot of money & you aren't ready for it, it somehow disappears (I know this story). Rapidly lose loads of tummy fat on a gimmicky diet but didn't learn how to properly eat and take care of yourself, the weight returns often with more pounds than before.
Nothing and I repeat nothing comes easy in fitness, business, nor life in general. The only way to achieve anything worthwhile is through intelligently placing your effort on important things and deliberately practicing it. Embrace the hell out of boredom and consistent, but meticulous action. Operate with surgeon-like precision, be calculated, and aggressively patient.
3. Keep moving forward no matter what
“Don’t see change and chaotic moments in life as something to fear, but rather as a source of excitement and opportunity. Often what seems like chaos to us is merely a series of events that are new and hard to figure out.”— 50 Cent & Robert Greene
1% daily improvement is my goal and anything extra is icing on the cake. When you keep moving forward, the past can't stop you because you’re too focused on growth.
Miles Davis continually reinvented himself and his music to stay fresh and relevant. When people were trying to emulate Miles, he was literally ‘Miles Ahead (shout to those who get the reference)’ of the competition and industry. Today is the perfect day to write those first 200 words toward your book, make that healthy morning shake to kickstart that summer body, start saying “no” more often to guard your energy.
Every day is a new day to start anew and create momentum no matter what happened yesterday.
4. Master your craft and embrace boredom
“Most people cant handle boredom. That means they can’t stay on one thing until they get good at it. And they wonder why they’re unhappy” states 50.
An example of this is someone whose impatient with their nutrition plan and jump from plan to plan. Instead of hopping from plan-to-plan, the focus should be on mastery of core nutritional behaviors that are universal in principle. Practicing habits such as eating slower, consistently eating the proper amounts of food daily, making that morning smoothie, and other simple behaviors should be prioritized.
Accept that learning and transforming any aspect of your life requires a process that is often times ugly and disjointed at times. But, displaying patience and the ability to endure is what will separate you from the masses and get results unlike everyone else.
When it comes to the process, use these quick tips to help:
- Continue to plow ahead through trial and error
- Master simple habits before attempting mastery of advanced concepts
- Learn the basic rules before customizing
- Ruthlessly pay attention to the details
- Remind yourself of the mission daily to help stay persistent
5. Push yourself beyond your limits
The hustler's ambition:
“Your sense of who you are will determine your actions and what you end up getting in life. If you see your reach as limited, that you are mostly helpless in the face of so many difficulties, that it is best to keep your ambitions low, then you will receive the little that you expect. Knowing this dynamic, you must train yourself for the opposite—ask for more, aim high, and believe that you are destined for something great. Your sense of self-worth comes from you alone—never the opinion of others. With a rising confidence in your abilities, you will take risks that will increase your chances of success. People follow those who know where they are going, so cultivate an air of certainty and boldness.” — 50 Cent & Robert Greene
That quote is absolute fire and something I read on a daily basis.
Be mindful of the language and way you treat yourself because how you do this is ultimately how the universe will treat you along with the results you get from life. Your opinion of yourself becomes your reality.
“If you have all these doubts, then no one will believe in you and everything will go wrong. If you think the opposite, the opposite will happen. It’s that simple” states 50.
When it comes to expanding your limits and forging a new paradigm:
- Don’t let people box you into an old and stagnate identity
- Strive to move faster pace in life
- Be unapologetically contrarian
- Make the mission bigger than you
- Always bet on yourself