Powerful Lessons from Strong Men

This page contains a collection of “mini life lessons” on resilience, from strong men.


Not all the views represent my own but I feel they are valuable for their content and transparency – even if they conflict with my personal view on the topic. The quotes may be edited for clarity (e.g. to remove um’s and ah’s and half sentences as the speaker is thinking through the topic). The meaning and actual words are kept.  Any errors are my own.

“Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous pre-success failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do. The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn. The systems people are feeling good every time they apply their system. That’s a big difference in terms of maintaining your personal energy in the right direction.” – Scott Adams

Source: Goals Inspire Us, but Systems Transform Us

“You don’t get to escape pain. The pain that comes with action is acute, gives you scars, and makes you grow. The pain that comes from inaction is low-grade, makes you soft, and makes you decay.” – Kyle Eschenroeder

Source: 10 Overlooked Truths About Taking Action

“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.” – G. Michael Hopf

Source: Those Who Remain

“…hard work wins. You get out of life what you put into it. You cannot control the outcome but you are 100% in control of the effort. And before you moan and groan about what somebody did to you or said to you, go to the nearest mirror look at it and say to yourself ‘what could I have done to change the outcome?” – Randolph Elder

Source: Who Made Larry Elder the Man He Is Today? | Larry Elder

“I’d like to convey to somebody who is thinking about quitting, or is going through some tough times and feel like the deck is stacked up against them is just to fight through it and just to prove everybody wrong. And just to find that one person in your life that matters to you, or maybe it’s a group of people that matter to you and show them that you can do it even when things are tough when things are really hard, and it’s not supposed to work out that way. You’re going to prove to them that you can do it and hopefully give them confidence to do something that they can’t do.”

Source: Adrian Larsen Can and Will | Heavy Talk and Big Benching

“…I’m training like I want to be the best, not because I believe I will ever be the best but the fact that that that’s going to allow me to make sure that I’m on top of every variable that is within my control, that I am pushing hard to maximize what I can do, there’s going to be variables that are outside of my control and some of those variables are going to impact me, that just is what it is. And I have to accept that and make adjustments as needed. But every variable that I can control, so I don’t have to make as many adjustments – I’m going to do that.”

Marcellus Williams

Source: 512LBS Squat PR | My Best Training Total | Seek Competition

So when you’re presented with a difficulty in your life, feel the emotions of frustration and anger, but don’t assume they have any relevance to what is going to be helpful to you. Once you sort of feel them a lot, you realize they are just emotions, they go up and down. But then you go, okay, all right, I’m pissed, fine; now, given that the world has changed, how do I change my behavior to do the best thing I can do in this case? …Not what I wish I could do. What am I going to do that’s going to be the best use of my time? What am I going to look back on and be proud of myself for doing? To me, that line of action, if you pull it off, pull it off to some extent, that is the correct answer to life.”

“When you are presented with a large impediment to your initial plans, fundamentally, the temptation is to become frustrated, angry, you start to envision that there’s a discordance between the reality you want and the reality that exists. And that discordance from an Eastern religion perspective causes suffering, because it has to, because reality is just not what you want. And ignoring reality…wanting things to not have changed is an untenable road, it’s absolutely pointless to walk on. And if you don’t believe me, try walking down at a whole bunch, I promise you it goes fucking nowhere….But what you can do is try to calm down just a little bit, try to calm down is a bit of a misnomer; Just breathe. Just breathe and see the world as it is, and ask yourself the ONLY permanent question: what is my best alternative option now? What is the best realistic option I have?”

Mike Israetel (PhD)

Source: #372: Mike Israetel, PhD – Bodybuilding, Avoiding Suffering & Lessons for Life

“…You’re going to question every single motherfucking thing you do, but at the end of the day, it’s your decision. And if it turns out that that decision was fucking bad. And you don’t like it, do not regret it. You just simply move on. You remember everything that occurred there, and you take a new step forward, if that decision turns out to be really good. Don’t think that just because it was really good, you don’t have to reflect upon what occurred, reflect upon what occurred in that time as well, good or bad, and continue to take steps forward…Be a good motherfucker. Do a good job, and push the good, don’t be a negative motherfucker. Work hard and uplift everybody, because right…now we need more good motherfuckers doing a really good job.” –

Seth Feroce

Source: Why I Quit Taking Steroids | Seth Feroce

“…as a person serving life in prison. I won a motion that required the state to transport me from a maximum security prison to the prosecutor’s office, never happened before, this is the first time that something like this ever happened…and, and he was forced to allow me to look through his files, and this is this is extremely important for you to understand what this means, I am a prisoner I was escorted to the prosecutor’s office in chains, I ducked walk my way into the elevator, you know, escorted by five or six cops and law enforcement officers into the prosecutor’s office with all these boxes in a room, and I sat there all day looking through this man’s files as a prisoner. While I’m looking through his files. I knew that he was going to sanitize it in other words, I knew that he was going to take out anything that I may nead, so in my mind, I knew that I had to find something that was insignificant, but I had to look at it in a way that I know they weren’t going to look at it, so that I can use that insignificant piece that insignificant piece of material is to me a piece of paper to entrap them in a way that was going to be devastating to them…It  took me another wait, almost four years for the opportunity to use that paper, four years”

Isaac Wright Jr.

“My strategy shifted to making sure that when I went to prison, they wasn’t going to be able to keep me. And so everything I did was not for the day, everything that I did was for years down the line.”

Isaac Wright Jr.

Source: He Was Wrongly Imprisoned for 20 years, This is How He’s Finding Justice | Isaac Wright Jr. On Impact Theory

No matter how nice you are people are always going to talk shit, no matter what you do people gonna talk shit…if people are going to talk shit regardless I may as well just say and do what I want, and just be authentic and have fun with it.

Gordon Ryan 

Source: JRE MMA Show #109 with Gordon Ryan

…You are not controlling the storm, and you are not lost in it, you are the storm

Sam Harris, Free Will

Source: #185 – Sam Harris: Consciousness, Free Will, Psychedelics, AI, UFOs, and Meaning, Lex Fridman podcast.

“A man always, will look to take on the arduous, we want to take on difficult challenges , we want to create some level of of mental fortitude…make sure that your’e strong minded, go through some difficult situations, put yourself in a position to have to strive for new beginnings, for new goals, to get better at being able to withstand those challenges. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Make sure that you’re finding a challenge each and every single day to make sure that you’re gaining and practicing fortitude.”

Phil Daru

Source: 4 Things Every Man Must Do

“Most people will not fail due to being physically unable but rather mentally. In many cases – it’s due to not having the mental fortitude to weather the storm. Sometimes starting over, making the hard adjustments needed and the commitment required for the long run are factors that many people cannot handle.”

– Brian Carroll

Source: 10/20/Life Second Edition: The Professional’s guide to building strength

“Stop thinking of life as punishment and reward and just start thinking of it as choices that you’re making and get back to the choices that are going to help.”

– GormyGoesKeto

Source: Mark Bell’s Power Project EP. 546 – Losing 300lbs TWICE – Gormy Goes Keto 

“…That’s how people treat death. They’re afraid of it. They need to find a fairy tale that makes them comfortable with it. And the reality is if you would embrace death, you can actually have a fuller life…” – Carl Lanore

“…I didn’t choose to have cancer but I can make a choice to better my life from that experience…”  – Pablo Isaiah Kelly

Source: Brain Cancer: Beating The Odds

“…people need to figure out that their ego is not who they are. Once you realize that your ego is your enemy, and not who you are, the thing to be protected, then you’re free. If you can’t learn to embarrass yourself in front of other people. You are a prisoner….If the only things you can do in your life are the things you think will look good to other people, because, you need to make sure other people are having a good feeling about you all the time. If that’s the world you live in, you’re in a prison. It’s just a prison that you created yourself and your ego is what’s keeping you there. You need to break free of that your ego is your jailer, it’s not your friend. It’s your jailer, get rid of it.” – Scott Adams

Source: Episode 1458 Scott Adams: Come Have Some Laughs About the News and Learn Some Persuasion Tricks Too

“I’m scared like everybody, and that’s in the beginning but I’ve learned how to get over it. To be scared is very natural – because it shows something dangerous is happening and you should be prepared. So when I’m prepared then this fear will go away. Then I know I’m ready. I’m not afraid to die, I’m a afraid not to live FULLY.” – Wim Hoff

Source: Altered State – The Iceman – Wim Hoff