Anyone can be cool, but awesome takes practice.
– Lorraine Peterson
Greetings from LA and Oahu!
This week we’re sharing a process called the Accountability Mirror by David Goggins (be aware that this section has quite a bit of cussing), revealing 21 surprising nutrition myths, and discussing why the world’s most miserable people live in Palm Springs.
The Accountability Mirror (NSFW)
David Goggins had a horrible childhood, one full of abuse, poverty, and murder. But that didn’t stop him — nay, it fueled him — from becoming a Navy SEAL, breaking world records, and competing in more than 60 ultra-marathons, triathlons, and ultra-triathlons.
Joe Rogan calls Goggins “a being of pure will and inspiration.”
In his book, Can’t Hurt Me, Goggins describes his traumatic childhood and his journey toward becoming the man he is today.
In the second chapter, he describes a routine he created — called the Accountability Mirror — on the fly one night his Junior year of High School after he was rejected by the Air Force.
He’d had enough.
Here’s Goggins (excuse the language)…
That night, after taking a shower, I wiped the steam away from our corroded bathroom mirror and took a good look. I didn’t like who I saw staring back. I was low-budget thus with no purpose and no future. I felt so disgusted I wanted to punch that motherfucker in the face and shatter glass. Instead, I lectured him. It was time to get real.
“Look at you,” I said. “Why do you think the Air Force wants your punk ass? You stand for nothing. You are an embarrassment.”
I reached for the shaving cream, smoothed a thin coat over my face, unwrapped a fresh razor, and kept talking as I shaved.
“You are one dumb motherfucker. You read like a third-grader. You’re a fucking joke! You’ve never tried hard at anything in your life besides basketball, and you have goals? That’s fucking hilarious.”
After shaving peach fuzz from my cheeks and chin, I lathered up my scalp. I was desperate for a change. I wanted to become someone new.
“You don’t see people in the military sagging their pants. You need to stop talking like a wanna-be-gangster. None of this shit is gonna cut it! No more taking the easy way out! It’s time to grow the fuck up!”
Steam billowed all around me. It rippled off my skin and poured from my soul. What started as a spontaneous venting session had become a solo intervention.
“It’s on you,” I said. “Yeah, I know shit is fucked up. I know what you’ve been through. I was there, bitch! Merry fucking Christmas. Nobody is coming to save your ass! Not your mommy, not Wilmoth. Nobody! It’s up to you!
This became a sacred ritual for Goggins: “A new ritual was born, one that stayed with me for years. It would help me get my grades up, whip my sorry ass into shape, and see me through graduation and in the Air Force. The ritual was simple. I’d shave my face and scalp every night, get loud, and get real. I set goals, wrote them on Post-It notes, and tagged them to what I now call the Accountability Mirror, because each day I’d hold myself accountable to the goals I’d set.”
It might sound harsh.
But here’s why Goggins believes we need to be honest with ourselves…
If you don’t know shit and have never taken school seriously, then say, “I’m dumb!” Tell yourself that you need to get your ass to work because you’re falling behind in life!
If you look in the mirror and you see a fat person, don’t tell yourself that you need to lose a couple of pounds. Tell the truth. You’re fucking fat! It’s okay. Just say you’re fat if you’re fat. The dirty mirror that you see every day is going to tell you the truth every time, so why are you still lying to yourself? So you can feel better for a few minutes and stay the fucking same? If you’re fat you need to change the fact that you’re fat because it’s very fucking unhealthy. I know because I’ve been there.”
If you have worked for thirty years doing the same shit you’ve hated day in and day out because you were afraid to quit and take a risk, you’ve been living like a pussy. Period, point-blank. Tell yourself the truth! That you’ve wasted enough time, and that you have other dreams that will take courage to realize, so you don’t fucking die a pussy.
Call yourself out!
After all, if we can’t be honest with ourselves… Who can we be honest with?
If you want to try the accountability mirror out for yourself, you can see real-life examples of people doing it by searching for the #accountabilitymirror hashtag on Twitter.
There are a lot of marketers out there in the nutrition world — a lot of people who are trying to sell their products to consumers.
That means there’s also a lot of BS.
In fact, here’s a great article from Examine with 21 nutrition myths. Each is explained in detailed and backed up with scientific evidence as to why it’s not valid advice.
Here are a few more surprising myths included within that article…
- Myth 5: Red meat is bad for you
- Myth 11: Fresh is more nutritious
- Myth 15: Eating often will boost your metabolism
- Myth 16: You shouldn’t skip breakfast
- Myth 21: Negative calorie foods are the key to weight loss
Check out the article to learn more.
Palm Springs Misery
“The unhappiest people in the world,” Richard Nixon once said in an interview, “are those in the international watering places like the south coast of France and Newport and Palm Springs and Palm Beach, going to parties every night, playing golf every afternoon, drinking too much, talking too much, thinking too little, retired, [with] no purpose.”
He explains, “What makes life mean something is having a purpose, a goal; the battle, the struggle. Even if you don’t win it.”
Obviously, Nixon had his flaws. But on this point, he’s right.
The world’s most miserable people live in meaningless luxury.
Many of us make the mistake of chasing freedom and luxury without realizing that those things are worthless without having meaning or purpose to back them up.
You might have all the freedom in the world — financial and otherwise. But if you don’t have something meaningful to do with that freedom… then what’s the point?
It turns out, purpose and meaning are far better pursuits than freedom and luxury.
And one great way to lend more meaning to your life is to craft a mission statement for yourself. Here’s a guide on how to do that with lots of examples.
Here is some other random stuff we found interesting this last week!
- The Revenge of the Hot Water Bottle by LOW-TECH MAGAZINE
- The world feels fragile, but we can recover from the blows we’ve suffered by The Guardian
- A meander through Martian minutes and the meaning of local time by Matt Webb
This Week’s Photo
“The glow of the aurora borealis illuminates the night sky above Kellostapuli Fell in Kolari, Lapland, Finland, on January 15, 2022.” via The Atlantic
This Week’s Riddle
Here’s this week’s riddle — the answer is at the bottom of the email!
A man looks at a painting in a museum and says, “Brothers and sisters, I have none, but that man’s father is my father’s son.” Who is in the painting?
This Week’s Question
Answer this question — either privately or by replying to this email. If your answer inspires us, then we’ll ask for permission to include it in a future email!
What are the three most important things to you in your life?
This Week’s Challenge
How do you know which opportunities to take and which to decline? What is your internal filter for making decisions? That’s how a mission statement works. It gives you direction and provides you with a greater sense of purpose. Create a mission statement for your life (at least, for the foreseeable future) using this guide.
Until next week,
Mike & Alec
Riddle Answer: The man’s son.