Haters Gonna Hate…and You Should Let Them.

Not too long ago, I was the guy who wanted to be friends with everyone.

I’ve always been a people person, and I prided myself on having a large circle of  acquaintances to hang out with, go to the bars with, and take a spontaneous  road-trip  or two to some distant state or city.

Yet after I graduated college, I began to have have some troubling insights.

I noticed that the large circle of friends I once had contained more than a fair share of people who looked at the world in a fundamentally different way than I did, or quite simply, were just terrible friends.

I also noticed that there were a lot of times when I would hear one these individuals make a comment that would instantly rub me the wrong way, and yet I would stay silent, unsure as to why I couldn’t laugh along with the group. or speak up.

When I look back now at the college frat-boy I was then, the answer seems obvious.  I was afraid to stand up for, and think about, the things that mattered to me.  I was like a piece of driftwood caught adrift in a vast ocean, constantly being tossed about, with no clear direction or purpose.

One lesson I’ve had to learn over and over again as a man in his mid-twenties, is that you have to embrace purpose in your life.  You have to decide where you are headed, and what you think, about your life and the things in it.

With purpose, comes conviction, and with conviction, the results that you see in your mind, the circumstances you’ve dreamed about, become reality.  And that, gentlemen, is a beautiful thing to experience.

However, as with any good thing in life, there is a price to pay for standing up for what you believe in and doing what you want to do, what feels right. 

That price is the hate and dislike of others.  Those who don’t like your opinions about their worldviews, who disagree with your path.  If someone says or does something that is out of line to you, and you let them know as much, guess what?

You just might get into your first bar-fight.

And that, gentlemen, is nothing to be ashamed of.  Now, I’m not condoning behaving like a jackass and picking fights with some dude who just wants to drink his beer in peace.   I’m talking about backing up your values like a man.

The first time you are able to nut up and take a stand, will be a terrifying and exhilarating experience. You’ll feel the heat of another person’s intense dislike, perhaps even hate, for every core of your being.

Let them hate you.

Because you know what else you’ll feel? Intense dislike for the values that person chooses to embrace, and a deep fire in your gut that knows that you, are not going to let it slide.

There’s no feeling in the world like that. It’s like being born all over again, except instead of emerging as an infant, with no control over your body or your mind, you emerge as a man, hardened by battle, shaped by your convictions.

You emerge as a man, through trial and error, shame and doubt,  who learns to speak his mind, and to walk the walk.

That man, at the end of his life, may have his share of battle scars, and perhaps the unpleasant experience of his wife bailing him out of jail.

But you know what he has? His honor. His dignity. His values.

Protect those things my friends, and you will always be able to hold your head high

Yours in Virtues and Victory,

Jason.

 

P.S., the video above does a fantastic job of describing this mindset.  Check out Bob Seger jammin, and go take on the world.