Did 2005 absolutely kick the stuffing out of you? It did? That’s gotta hurt, now doesn’t it? Hey man, I feel your pain. For me, 1999 wasn’t as pretty as I would have liked it to be. Twelve months of suckiness kind of makes you want to get plowed this holiday season and just forget about it, eh?
Look, if this past year was lackluster on one or many different fronts, please forego becoming a pouting poodle curled up in the fetal position bemoaning your existence and get a Bulldog Attitude for “06. Yeah, Dinky, you can trade in your temporarily tortured existence this coming new year by bouncing off the pavement from “05’s face plant, if and only if, you get the Bulldog Attitude.
Regardless of how in the red you might be financially, how you might have blown it relationally, or if you have just mucked up your professional life—if you still have a little game in you and you want to jerk the slack out of your sagging life and cease to be a Poodle, then boy, have you landed on the right column today.
It can be done, and here are five surefire things that’ll help you make the leap out of being a whiny, non-productive, deficit-addled poodle and into a scrappy Bulldog.
1. Find Your Groove. What flicks your switch? If you could do whatever you wanted, and it was righteous and somewhat feasible—what would you do? You have got to define your passion. Take the time to figure out what stirs your heart. Pinpoint it. Write it down and do it now. Don’t play around. Bulldogs aren’t indecisive. Quit floating around about being a philosopher or an army man or a secret agent or a brain surgeon, OK, Jethro? People with the Bulldog Attitude know exactly what they want, and they don’t mess with anything else.
Yeah, bulldogs might have a few side interests, but principally they jam to a solid, funky, bottom line bass note that is clear and unchanging. You must be able to spit out with absolute clarity what you are all about, that which you live for, what you want from life . . . personally, familially and vocationally. Define what you want, when you want it and in what quantity. If you don’t—you will be a “woulda-shoulda-coulda” Poodle the rest of your life.
2. Cut The Fat. Fat will kill you. Fat is the excess baggage that is detrimental to your future progress. A good place to start is with the 50+ hours of TV you watch a week. Get this into your brain: Television is an E.I.R.: Electronic Income Reducer. TV has killed more dreams and visions than crack could ever hope to.
The longer the TV stays on, the longer you stay a Poodle. Who wants to sit for hours watching other people live out their desires while they drink warm beer on their titanium-reinforced, duct-taped Lazy Boy in their double wide trailer home?
Also, cut the fat on all non-productive relationships. Dad, quit hanging out with your going-nowhere “buddies” that resemble the cast on King of the Hill.
Mom, don’t let a messed up, gossiping, sexless, needs-desperately-to-get-a-life, soap opera devotee who eternally ties up your phone line and life, rule your day.
Young person, don’t hang around with a some punk who wears Che Guevera t-shirts and has so many body piercings he looks like a tackle box blew up in his hands. You must get away from kids who walk around holding their crocthes, calling girls bad names and using their heads for the sole purpose of housing dope smoke.
Queequeg, if you don’t want “06 to smell like ’05, then you must immediately get away from folks who want to remain Poodles.
I know this is hard and I seem unloving; nevertheless, I firmly believe in loving thy neighbor—but chose your neighborhood. Get around people who have vision, great families and a positive direction, and avoid being a part of another person’s carnage. As R.A. Dickinson said, “Love your enemies just in case your friends turn out to be a bunch of bastards.” Which is a good segue into point three. . . .
3. Change Your Crowd. Since some of your friends (or family members) could be your greatest hindrance, you might have to make some new relationships. But even if you don’t have to end many of your current relationships, make yourself develop new ones, especially with those who have the Bulldog Attitude.
Add sharp, solid and smart people to the repertoire of those who immediately affect your life. Sure, it will initially be uncomfortable, but wouldn’t you rather have the temporary discomfort of hanging out with the accomplished verses the convenient coddling that comes from running with the slackers?
Hey, Fee-Fee, there are a lot of cool Bulldogs out there who can really challenge and enlighten you. Go find them, and you won’t stay a Poodle for long.
4. Set Killer Goals. Outrageous, hard-to-reach targets will motivate you far more than reasonable ones. Never pick a small fight. In the Bible, David challenged and killed Goliath, not his ugly and skinny bearded sister. What challenge is it for a Bulldog to whip a Rat Terrier? If you can do what you’re currently doing with your eyes closed or snackered on tequila, well then, you might need a fresh challenge if you want “06 to eclipse “05. You’ve got to demand of yourself that which stretches you like a water-ski rope with a fat woman on the other end of it.
Don’t live your life by that which is reachable and feasible to the natural mind, nor by what other people are doing. You’ve got to go for the “Mission Impossible.” Go for that which incites the timorous poodle’s ridicule and use their derision to spur you on into greatness. Your Bulldog success will be the sweetest revenge.
5. Live Tooth, Fang and Claw. In the process of re-tooling your life for ’06, don’t quit. It took time to get into the mess you’re in, and it’ll take time to get out. Yet, at the same time, don’t be passive about being a widdle Poodle. Like my blood brother Ted Nugent says, “Live tooth, fang and claw.” Aggressively attack your hindering deficiencies and work on your strengths until they’ve become even stronger.
Lastly, if you have really blown it in “05, suck it up and move forward. Don’t get freaked out. Don’t despair. Don’t get snot slingin’ drunk, run out in your front yard naked and start screaming at God that He hates you and will never allow you to be successful. God doesn’t hate you, so dial down. I don’t know if He likes you very much right now, but I know he doesn’t hate you. That’s too extreme.
So then, don’t let your past kill your newfound Bulldog Attitude. Take a good look over your right shoulder . . . then your left . . . and make that the last time you look back. From “06 “til Jesus returns, you’re a Bulldog. Now go and live tooth, fang and claw and be determined to succeed.
“Failure is only postponed success as long as courage “coaches’ ambition. The habit of persistence is the habit of victory.”
– Herbert Kaufman.