Speak Softly but Carry a Big Stick

I live in an industry of “tough guys.” 

That’s in quotes because I want you to imagine the stereotypical big dick man-talk that is overblown in the world all too often…that caricature of what would happen if Jocko Willink made a baby with Arnold Schwarzenneger and it came out wearing 5.11 gear.

Everyone in the self defense world (and even in the fitness world) thinks they can solve everything through “BDE” (Big Dick Energy). There’s not a lot of thought, communication, humility, or intellect.

They like to let everyone know, or at least think, they carry a big stick. 

And this gets them places for sure. There is definitely an appeal to the rough and aggressive approach. Admittedly, it works in a lot of places.

That said, in my experience, the most impactful people are the ones that can be tough when needed, but they know that the real magic comes in knowing how to talk with people, how to empathize, to relate. How to truly connect with people to deliver their message. 

The most successful people and in real honesty, the scariest ones out there as well, don’t puff their chest or play the aggressive card in most cases. 

They speak softly. Intelligently. Sometimes not at all. 

The smartest person in the room is usually the one that listens more than talking and speaks with purpose, not to hear their own voice or dominate the room. 

In that same regard, those people know how to put their foot down when needed, leverage their circumstances when necessary, and be aggressive when it makes sense strategically. 

There’s a power in knowing how to analyze people and adapting to the circumstances. That power takes practice.

If you’re too far one direction or the other (too passive or too aggressive) you can get a certain distance in certain circumstances, but knowing you can pull from either side can give you confidence to adapt. 

Learn to listen, and to show sincere interest. Learn to be humble and caring. In the same regard learn when to stand your ground. Learn when to be aggressive. Learn how to take control. (and learn how to be violent when needed – but that’s for another post)

I am often brought back to a favorite quote of mine:

“The nation that will insist on drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking done by cowards.”

-William Francis Butler

It seems more and more most debates and arguments are fought between tough fools and intellectual cowards. Their limited experience keeps them from finding common ground and not only does that limit their success but it continues to create polarizing tribes that do nothing but feud over things they don’t truly understand. 

In an era where we have access to every method of self improvement, there’s very few excuses to be ignorant and incapable.

I guess the perfect example is from The Avengers. Don’t be Hulk. Don’t be David Banner. Be Professor Hulk.

Insanely smart and capable of fucking up anything in his path!

Be good, train hard stay safe


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