How do you get half your team to hate you?
I will tell you, and you might cringe or laugh.
In October 2018, my evenings got freed up, so I joined an adult rec league for basketball. It was an excellent way to play organized ball and meet new people. Anyways, I play my first game with my team.
And we sucked!
We couldn't get a rhythm at all.
With 20 seconds left in the game, we are down 20 points. For whatever reason, I was given the ball in the winding moments. So I take the ball half court. As I dribbled the ball, an unexplainable urge came.
I tried to ignore it.
But it wouldn't go away. It got stronger as the game clock inched closer to 0. With 5 seconds left, I caved into the urge.
What was this urge?
Being stupid playing basketball!
So, unprovoked, I took a three-point shot just passed the half-court line. The entire gym couldn't believe how ballsy I was. My team and opponents must have thought I was holding back my actual skillset since only a fantastic player could take a shot like that.
Everybody was looking at the ball of rubber flying majestically in the air. It was a poetic scene with everyone holding their breaths.
Time slowed down at that moment.
The ball kept going and going. Flying through the arc towards the net. Until it missed the net entirely.
Half my team was furious with my stupid shot.
The other half laughed with me. At that point, I knew which teammates I would get along with and which ones I wouldn't. Which helped make my season more fun, as I spent time with people I could laugh with. Yet, I could only get to that point by taking a big shot and risking looking like a fool.
A sure way to be a fool is to live a strict and rigid lifestyle.
What do I mean by a strict and rigid life?
It's a lifestyle that is very structured and does not allow for variations. In other terms, the idealism of the sigma male mindset.
Work/school, workout, business, eat, sleep, repeat. Or some variation of this. There is little room for friends, lovers, family, relaxation, etc.
The simple pleasures that help create a well-rounded life are missing. Following such a lifestyle is attractive for people struggling internally. Because it seems noble on the surface, but it is indeed quite disastrous
There are a lot of issues with this lifestyle.
The main one is that it turns you into something not attractive or noble.
But instead turns you into a narrow, small-minded, and stubborn individual. Things have to fit into their worldview. And if anybody doesn't jive with it, they will just leave them.
Another major problem is becoming more vulnerable to life's sucker punches. With a rigid lifestyle, you are not allowing any room for errors. And if one mistake occurs, then things will come crashing down.
On the surface, a strict and rigid lifestyle looks impressive. But in the end, it makes you vulnerable and unbearable to be around.
Potentially leaving a person broken and alone.
And this is usually realized many years later when it's too late. This isn't how life is to be lived.
Then what's the way?
Living a life of moderation. We have to realize that any extreme is usually wrong. And this applies to all spheres of life. The great Roman poet Publius Syrus put it aptly: An ultra right is generally an ultra wrong.
The only antidote is to wade in the middle with your lifestyle.
Which will help you in the long run. Because life will throw many curveballs at you and when you have varied experiences. You will be unknowingly prepared.
Being moderately social will produce a helpful network.
Being moderately fit will help you feel better.
Being moderately knowledgeable will help you create unique solutions.
Not to be corny, but Sun Tzu professed flexibility when engaging in war. And when you are moderate with your approach to life, this naturally makes you flexible. Otherwise, being strict and rigid will lead to your downfall, as did many Chinese generals during Sun Tzu's time.
However, some may feel that this moderate approach might get in the way of achieving success.
And to think so would be a sign of immaturity. A successful life not only includes material success but other aspects of life, such as relationships, health, etc.
What's the point of slaving away to some form of material success to only be alone? Or worse, to not be loved for yourself, but with what you achieved.
I hate self-help youtube because it focuses on working toward material success. But if people had great friendships, engaging hobbies, and internal peace. People would see there is so much more to life.
Or, to be franker.
What will you be thinking about in your dying moments? The material success or the people around you?
It doesn't take Einstein to answer that. But unfortunately, too many people realize the answer too late.
And one fictional character that understood this on time was Musashi.
This historical fiction novel is such a deep philosophical read. That it requires a slow read to understand, but I digress.
In the novel, Musashi follows a strict and rigid lifestyle for some time. But he soon realized it was a shortcoming. He understood that he couldn't find The Way of the Warrior without other vital factors. Such as rest and guidance from others. To reach the elusive state of the consummate warrior.
And funny enough, Musashi realized this after his string of battle victories. He had the maturity and humbleness to understand that he was missing something. So after this realization, Musashi made rest and socializing with others to be a part of his samurai training.
However, Musashi also understood he had to avoid a common mistake with this approach.
Going to the other extreme
Sometimes people can misinterpret not living a strict and rigid life as living a life of laziness.
So they are lax with their personal standards. They don't put in the hard work or discipline in their life. And in the end, they are left with nothing.
Again to bring up Publius Syrus: An ultra right is generally an ultra wrong.
No extreme will ever be the correct solution to living in reality. Moderation is the way to go with life.
So yes, work hard but also know when to chill.
Life is incredibly short when not appropriately lived. And it's our responsibility to realize this and make the most of it. To quote Publius Syrus yet again: Man's life is a loan, not a gift.
And for fun, let's quote my main guy, Gracian:
Take neither the good nor the bad to extremes. A sage produce the whole of wisdom to 'moderation in all things'. Extreme justice become unjust; an orange squeezed too hard leads to better juice. Even pleasure should never be taken to extremes. Ingenuity itself is drained to pushed too hard, and milking to excess will draw blood.
And to make sure this article's length is moderate, let's hop on to the summary.
A strict and rigid lifestyle is too structured and cuts out life's simple pleasures.
The problem with a strict and rigid lifestyle is that it turns you into a narrow, small-minded, and stubborn individual. And it also leaves you vulnerable to crash burn from mistakes.
The best way to approach life is to be moderate with all your dealings. This will leave you better prepared to deal with life's unexpected challenges.
Thinking that not following a rigid lifestyle will stop success shows immaturity. There is more to life than material success. A life with material success, high-quality relationships, health etc., is a successful life.
Musashi, in the novel, realized the importance of rest and mingling with people for his training as a samurai.
A common mistake is to take this advice of not living a strict and rigid life and a life of laziness. Again, approaching life moderately. No extreme is ever right.
Alright, I hope this all made sense.
It's so easy to get lost in the process of working hard. But it's just another way of ignoring the things we do need in life.
So as you plan your goals and all.
Remember that success is nothing without the people you love, your health, or your overall peace of mind. If you keep this in mind and act on it, your life will feel like a success, no matter the random sucker punches life throws you. More of a success than my half-court shots.
Until next time,
The Charismatic Nerd