Visualization is important, but you still gotta do the work

Romantic Metal says you still go to do the work

In a previous post, I talked about definitions and specifically said you still got to do the work. I talked about how I didn’t start producing good art until I started to call myself an artist. That definition means so much. It’s how you see yourself, so of course, define it!

Do the work

But, you still gotta do the work.

I do want to talk about why I brought this up in the first place. As you probably already know, there’s something online called “the manosphere” where men help out other men. This can range from everything from financial, masculinity, how to dress well, how to get laid, to how to become an alpha male.

And like anything, there’s also a backlash against it. I’ve read plenty of people hating on the manosphere for one reason or another. Sure, you have your misogynists. No matter the group, you’ll always find someone to take it the wrong direction. Hell, you could write about turnips and you’ll find some turnip nut who would try to convince everyone else that the only thing you should ever eat are turnips. Like I just said, you’ll always find nuts in any group.

Overall though, men helping other men is great. Just like women helping other women is great. I love to see people help each other.

So back to my statement, if you want to get good at anything, first visualize what it is you want to get good at. Visualize yourself becoming good at it. Then, get to work on that thing.

This applies to anything worthwhile

If you want to be good at anything, you have to bust your ass. This applies to anything from skiing to lifting weights to chess to playing a musical instrument. I don’t believe natural talent helps that much. All natural talent means is that you have to work 5-10% less than the average person. Then of course, you have your super naturally talented people who are 10-20%, but they’re quite rare.

Is natural talent a curse?

I even argue that natural talent could be a curse. And my argument comes from NFL quarterbacking.

Let’s take the quarterbacks who have won the most (in no order) – Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Bart Starr, and Terry Bradshaw. Of those four, Tom Brady was a 6th round pick. He wasn’t supposed to even make the NFL. He was too skinny, too unathletic, and too slow. In a 100 yard sprint (the length of a football field), even at my advanced age, I’d make Tom Brady look like a fool, and I’ve never made a penny playing football.

Joe Montana was a 3rd round pick. Remember the quarterbacks picked ahead of Joe Montana? I don’t either.

Those two are perfect examples. And let’s also take Russell Wilson and Drew Brees, two top tier quarterbacks who were technically “too short” to play quarterback. Drew Brees will be a first ballot Hall of Famer and will retire with every meaningful record for a quarterback. Russell Wilson will also make the Hall if he stays healthy.

Now, let’s take some genetically superior quarterbacks. JaMarcus Russell was the ultimate physical specimen. 6’6″ and he could throw a football on his knees over 50 yards. From his knees!

Besides Russell, Colin Kaepernick was the best physical specimen of the past decade. Let’s put the conspiracy theories and politics aside. Once opposing defensive coordinators figured out how to put a spy on him, he stopped winning games. He relied too much on his physical attributes.

Now someone who is “physically inferior” like Brady or Montana relied on studying the playbook, studying opposing defenses, and working within the system (both Belichick and Bill Walsh are top tier coaches). And that got them wins.

This can apply to anything

You can have your genetically superior people. I’ll hire the guy or gal with a chip on the shoulder. Something to prove. Someone with an insane work ethic, who wants to show the world what they can do. I can guarantee the latter group will go farther in life, because they had no choice. They had to.

Funny that I’ve seen this first hand with everything from models to musicians. Some of the most successful models are not necessarily genetically pretty. They’re “good enough”, but they have that insane work ethic that takes them to the next level. That work ethic opens doors because they know how to force doors open.

The same applies to musicians. I can’t tell you how many musicians with superior natural talent to what I got failed and gave up. They were so smart and so talented that everything was easy for them. Then what happened? When they found out that you have to bust ass to make it, they gave up. They never developed that insane work ethic you need to make it. They never had that chip on the shoulder.

All this self-esteem bullshit is making soft kids

I fucking hate the self-esteem movement. It’s made kids soft. Parents and educators coddle children instead of teaching them how to bust ass. Then, when the kids become adults, they can’t make it because they never learned how to do the work.

They find life to be too hard. And they cry because they can’t make it. As adults, they’re crying instead of busting ass.

See, that’s what I’m up against. I’m trying to create a world where people value work ethic, determination, and resilience. Yes, you will fall flat on your face. Yes, things will go wrong. And sometimes, things will go very wrong.

Then get back on your bike and try again! That’s the mentality I want to work with.

You see? This “you have to be nice to your kids” concept is one of the worst things you can do to your kids. I wasn’t nice. I was firm. And consistent.

How I parented

“Your grades are slipping. So, I want you to take a year of boxing.”

What? That sounds counterintutitive. What does boxing have to do with improving grades?

Well, everything. You learn to work hard and bust ass. In boxing, you have no choice but to do the work. You have to bob and weave consistently. You have to do combos over and over again. When you learn how to bust ass at that level, your work ethic becomes second nature.

Now, my son is young, and is already kicking ass. He’s got the job he’ll be in probably for the next ten years. He’s financially stable and in the black every month.

Meanwhile, I’m hearing from other parents, parents that were telling me that I was too harsh, that their kids are failing in life. They can’t get their kids to move out of the house. Geez, I wonder why!

These parents were more concerned with being their kids’ friends rather than being their kids’ parents. You know what? They suck as parents! Kids need fucking parents, not friends. They can get friends from school. In the home, they need parents to guide them.

I’ve lived almost half a century now and I can tell you first hand that a lot of parents my generation are complete tools. They’re shitty parents and they’re producing weak kids. They’re more concerned with how their children will view them than actually raising their children to succeed.

Is it because these parents themselves are lonely, pathetic creatures? Yup. You hit the nail on the head.

If you had shitty parents that taught you how to be weak…

So rather than teaching them to visualize what they want, then do the work, these shitty parents were nice. I’m really starting to hate that word “nice.”

I’ve never respected someone who thought it’s more important to be nice than to be honest. Seriously, I have no respect for people like that.

If you want to succeed in life, first, figure out what you want. Then take some time to visualize it. Figure out how to make it work. Then do the work.

You will have roadblocks. Things will go wrong. Sometimes, things go very, very wrong. That shouldn’t stop you though from getting what you want out of life.

Look, there’s only one truth in life – you’re going to die. It will happen to me. It will happen to you.

Imagine, being on your death bed and thinking “damn, I really wish I pursued my dreams.”

Or imagine this instead. Imagine being on your deathbed and your last thoughts are filled with smiles as you actually accomplished some pretty fucking awesome things in your lifetime. You spend your last days reminiscing about all the awesome things you did.

Choose wisely, friends.


Roman is an artist, composer, writer, and travel junkie.

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