Paying the Man

This is my new favorite saying. I blatantly stole it from Josh Bridges. Go look him up – he’s an impressive dude. The saying is a perfect encapsulation of how the world works. Nothing is free. If you want something, be prepared to work for it.

In Josh’s world it’s physical performance, but it applies to everything. Want to lose weight? You’re going to have to pay the man. Restrict calories, follow an appropriate diet, and work out. Don’t want to do that? So sorry, isn’t going to happen. Want to excel at work? Pay the man. Long hours, bust your butt, outwork your coworkers. Want to be a successful entrepreneur, artist, student? Pay the man.

I’ve started saying it to myself when I think about doing something. How bad do I want it? Am I willing to pay the man? Sometimes the answer is no, and that’s ok. I find it helpful to clarify in my head what I really want vs. what might be nice. I’d like to learn Spanish, be a better cook, and be better at my job… but right now I’m not willing to pay the man and I’m good with that.

It doesn’t mean you don’t do those things. It just means I’m satisfied with the current state. Being a better cook would be nice, but it’s not important enough to me right now to invest in reading, watching videos, buying supplies, and practicing.

It’s a simple phrase. Start applying it everyday and you’ll find it clarifies your thoughts and actions. Focus your energies on only those things you’re willing to pay the man for and you’ll be happier and more focused.

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