Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hey Tough Guy, This One Is For You

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.--Thomas Sowell

First things first. In this entry I will use the phrase tough guy. This will include both men and women.

I like to fashion myself as a tough guy. What is that exactly? Hollywood will tell you what they think it is just like magazines will tell you what beauty is. Unfortunately, like mice to the Pied Piper, we will follow that piper wherever he tells us even if it ends in an ocean. That might be another story but you get the gist.

A tough guy, as defined by this guy, two thumbs pointing to my chest, is the person that just does what needs to be done. The tough guy is not a hero. He or she could be a hero but that is not the goal nor is it usually the result of the tough guy's actions. Just get it done is the mantra of the tough guy. Bouncers at clubs are called tough guys. No one wants to end the fun but this guy's job is to do just that... if it needs to be done.

The tough guy is not the chest pounder. The tough guy isn't looking for recognition. He just does the work. The tough guy makes that decision that sucks for everyone else but needs to be made. Tough guys aren't born in the same places and don't have the same backgrounds. There is no set system of how to become a tough guy. The only thing I would say is necessary is sustained consistency in doing the tough thing. One tough decision does not a tough guy make. 100 tough decisions, now we're talking. In the movie "Knockaround Guys" Vin Diesel had this long monologue about what he thought a tough guy was. He said, "Five hundred... 500 fights, that's the number I figured when I was a kid. 500 street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that's what you are."

I am not telling anyone to go out and have 500 fights. But who is going to make the tough decisions? Who will take that last second shot? Who's going to be the tough cop parent? How many times will a CEO have to fire people and justify it. Whether it is right or wrong, it's tough. What about that person that has to cut the red or blue wire? Who wants to do that? Who wants to do 4 years undergrad, 4 years of medical school, 5 years of residency and 1 year of fellowship while having two children? Yes Adriana, I'm talking about you. That's tough. Who would get an Ivy degree, an Ivy law degree and then come out to do "good work" for the "people"? Yes Julia, I'm talking to you.

This isn't one type of person though. What about the girls that grow up being told... you're a girl and this is why you can't. Then they just go and do it. I'm not talking simply about the amazing ones in the spotlight. I mean the women that are just like, ok thanks for telling me I can't, seems pretty much like I can so here I go. What about the "statistic" kid in a bad neighborhood with dead friends and dean young relatives being told that they aren't supposed to make it? Then they just do. It's tough to just get it done and buck the trend. Or perhaps the rich kids that are raised to be "a certain way" and they just say, "ehh, I'm going to do this instead"

Whether you are poor or rich, black or white, male or female it is not easy to just get it done. Running is a beautiful sport that gives me great joy. It is not hard to go a and do a run. The hard part, the tough part is doing it when it hurts a little. Doing it early in the morning, late at night, or on weekends. I was already a tough guy... ask around. Running has made me tougher. Running is a quiet, blue collar, daily grind type of thing that forces humility and makes you understand the guy in the mirror. What does a runner do on the road after a fall, 3 miles from home? They get up and make it back. The tough decision is whether or not they will call and get a cab or have someone pick them up or will they just get it done? The tough guy doesn't always make the right decisions or take the right course of action but they will do what is necessary at the time.

No comments:

Post a Comment