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Show Some Heart

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Patrick R

Shwizzle Shwazzle
Speedway Pass
Sep 11, 2016
**Disclaimer*** It has been a rough few weeks of meeting countless high schoolers (the future of our world) that are completely accepting of a less than successful life. Kids that have given up and have no desire to try again because of one little bump in the road. As my frustrations built I mind dumped into this.
Mods: Not sure if this goes here or in Self-Development so feel free to move it.

Show Some Heart

Heart. We say it all the time in the military and it is something I scream at my Future Soldiers all the time.

“Have some heart dammit! We’ve barely even gone a mile and you’re already falling out? Dig deep, find your heart!”

People call it different things, there was even a TV show about it called American Grit. But whether you call it grit, motivation, drive, determination, or cheesecake it all boils down to the same thing: Having some damn heart.

I have the distinct privilege of being on recruiting duty currently. That means that I get to work with local high schools and the upcoming generation as well as those of my own age and above, seeing a wide variety of personalities. The one overwhelming thing that I have noticed is the lack of heart that people seem to have anymore and, quite frankly, it saddens and enrages me.
Being in the Army I know I see things differently than most people so instead of putting in a ton of military examples and such I am trying to make this as accessible as possible.

What is heart? Heart to me is holding on just a second longer than fear. Heart is putting up the barbell for one more rep even though you are tired. Heart is finishing the 5k for charity you started even though you are cramping up. Heart is making another call to a manufacturer even though you’ve been stonewalled by the last thirty. Heart is missing three hours of sleep to finish editing your blog post or novel because you set yourself a deadline.

Heart is what makes you finish what you start. It means not accepting the status-quo and becoming just one more mechanic at Uncle Bobby’s Truck Repair down the road. It means not caring when tour buddy said your business idea was stupid because it meant you have to work on it instead of grabbing a beer. Heart is what makes you matter, and matter to yourself.
Far too many times have I seen, or even been the victim of, one thing going wrong and then finding a way to justify why the whole project was stupid and scrapping it. Today’s society is all about consumption and quantity. Nothing is valued or matters anymore since it can be so easily replaced. There’s one roadblock on the path to having a successful business? Better scrap that whole business idea than and it doesn’t matter because I’ve got 74 other ones.

Adversity breeds success, it builds hard people, it builds strong people. Those people have heart. They know what it is to hit a roadblock, to fail miserably, to have their dreams crushed and then, one they have had every hope and dream destroyed they know what it is to get up and keep driving one, keep moving forward and finding another way to make themselves succeed.

It sickens me that I’ve let myself accept this before and it sickens me to see how maybe people accept mediocrity in life. It doesn’t matter if you are the lone 82nd Private digging a foxhole to make a stand in the middle of a retreat during the Battle of the Ardennes or if you’re trying to lose 15 pounds, or if you are trying to build a $100 per month business. Never stop taking steps towards your goal, never allow yourself to stop.

Dig deep, to that place inside you that you know one has seen, to the fire that everyone has and find your damn heart.

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Michael Burgess

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Sep 30, 2014
Ontario, Canada
Hey Patrick - I totally agree with your message! Heart, grit, determination, and a sense of inner resolve are the backbone for a successful life and business.

Unfortunately, it does seem like a lot of people in my generation (I just turned 23) lack it. That's definitely not the case for everyone obviously; there are the exceptions to the rule; but a LOT of young people are just spoiled, apathetic, spineless "pussy cats" (as my uncle would say haha). Life can be tough - but we need to put on our work boots and deal with it. I think having too many creature comforts (heat and air conditioning, full fridges, easygoing "role models", school buses instead of a 20 minute walk, etc) play a large role in influencing us to be soft. Without being challenged, a muscle won't grow to become stronger - more resilient and capable. Without being challenged, a person will deteriorate the same way.

At 17 years old, my uncle was flying over Germany in a bomber plane as a part of the second world war. The cabins weren't pressurized or heated, and he blew an eardrum while bombing people. As a part of that experience he developed an unreal mental fortitude. Doctors told him like thirty years ago he was a lost cause and they couldn't do anything for him, but his fighting spirit has kept him productive, healthy, and happy for many years after he was supposed to drop dead.

Without a sense of heart, you might as well bend over and just accept whatever scraps are given to you in life.

Life can be a fight sometimes, but you're not going to win without putting your gloves on and taking a few blows.

/ rant

*** EDIT***

One quick story from two days ago to illustrate this how uncommon heart can be...

I have a landscaping company and recently landed a small job rebuilding steps made from interlocking stone. The job was a two hour drive away, and I wanted to get it done in one day. I arrived by 10am this Sunday morning, laboured all day disassembling these steps and rebuilding them properly, and was invited in for dinner with the family. They made it clear - "you don't have to finish it all today!", but I wanted to for simplicity and my schedule. At 8PM when it started to become dark, the father came outside and gave me a puzzled and genuinely concerned look.... "are you okay?" he asked. After finishing some errands in town he came back with a tea for me, and asked again - "are you sure you're okay?". It was 9PM, I was working on these heavy stone steps with a floodlight, and refused to drive home until it was done.

I got home at 1:30AM that Monday morning, finished a great project, and cleared more than $1,000 in profit (not great I know, but much better than working for $20 an hour somewhere...)

The funny part of this story though is the customer must literally think I was either on drugs, had a mental illness, or something like that hahaha. The look on his face was priceless. He'd call it crazy, I'd call it heart.
Last edited:


Speedway Pass
Aug 21, 2017
new york
The funny part of this story though is the customer must literally think I was either on drugs, had a mental illness, or something like that hahaha. The look on his face was priceless. He'd call it crazy, I'd call it heart.
whats sad is thats the funny part of the story. Thats what shows the lack of heart that has become the norm. once a man would work until the job was done and he would break his back to do so. now he stops at 5 and quits if he gets a hangnail. once doing that sort of labor was simply how things were done, now only crazy people put in that kind of effort.

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