Dan Gable is a demi-god in the world of wrestling. He’s been called “Sports Figure of the Century” by Sports Illustrated. Why?
As an athlete, he had a 182-1 prep and college record. His single loss, in his final NCAA match, infuriated him. To make up for it, he out-trained the world and won the gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics…without surrendering a single point. This is like winning Wimbledon on serves alone.
Most impressive to me, as coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes, he was able to replicate his success. He had a recipe. Here are a few stats from his 21-year career:
21-year record — 355-21-5 (94.4% wins)
Big Ten record — 131-2-1 (98.5% wins)
21 Big Ten Team Titles
45 National Champions
I watched it almost every day in high school, and it kept me fighting through all the various losses in life. Didn’t finish the SAT in time? Watch Dan Gable. Have a guidance counselor laugh while telling me I don’t stand a chance of getting into Princeton? More Dan Gable. Lost my first important judo match in 7 seconds? Watch the Iowa Hawkeyes…again and again and again. Then, return to the same tournament six months later and win.
In life, there are dog fights. You must learn to enjoy them. Few people look forward to banging heads (literally or metaphorically), and therein lies the golden opportunity.
Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. But there are factors inside your control that greatly improve the odds. Being aggressive doesn’t guarantee success, but failing to be aggressive nearly always guarantees failure. In a modern world of political correctness, glad handing, and fear of offending everyone and anyone, the art of the fight is undervalued.
Remember: It’s not the size of the dog in the fight. It’s the size of the fight in the dog.
Update: The 4-Hour Chef is now banned by more than 1,100 bookstores nationwide. T-Minus 10 days to pub date. Let the games begin…
The philosophical school of Stoicism is, I believe, the perfect operating system for thriving in high-stress environments. For entrepreneurs, it’s a godsend.
Both Seneca and Marcus Aurelius have been extensively written about elsewhere. But what of Cato, about whom Dante said, “And what earthly man was more worthy to signify God than Cato?”
One of my favorite anecdotes of Cato is from Plutarch. I quote it often (see “Practical Pessimism“):
“Seeing the lightest and gayest purple was then most in fashion, he would always wear that which was the nearest black; and he would often go out of doors, after his morning meal, without either shoes or tunic; not that he sought vain-glory from such novelties, but he would accustom himself to be ashamed only of what deserves shame, and to despise all other sorts of disgrace.”
The following article was written by Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni. At age 22, Rob Goodman became the speechwriter for Senator Chris Dodd, and then moved on to be the speechwriter for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. At age 26, Jimmy became the youngest-ever Managing Editor of the Huffington Post, reporting directly to Arianna Huffington to help oversee a global, 24/7 newsroom.
Both exemplify the power of Stoicism when applied to a world of modern noise.
Below are the five practical lessons they’ve distilled from Cato’s incredible career and legacy.
Enter Rob and Jimmy
Julius Caesar wanted to end him. George Washington wanted to be him. And for two thousand years, he was a singular subject of plays, poetry, and paintings, with admirers as diverse as Benjamin Franklin, the poet Dante, and the Stoic emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Yet, for all that, you’ve probably never heard of him… Read More
The following post is co-authored by Ben Casnocha and Reid Hoffman. In the conclusion, there is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be mentored by both of them.
Ben Casnocha is an award-winning author and serial company-builder, whom BusinessWeek has labeled “one of America’s best young entrepreneurs.” Reid Hoffman is Co-founder and Executive Chairman of LinkedIn, a Partner at iconic venture capital firm Greylock Partners, and #3 on Forbes’ 2012 Midas List. Last but not least, he’s often referred to in Silicon Valley as “The Oracle” for his seemingly prescient start-up-picking abilities… Read More
Peter Diamandis explaining X PRIZE economics. (Photo: Hubert Burda)
Dr. Peter H. Diamandis is the Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, and co-Founder and Chairman of the Singularity University, a Silicon Valley based institution partnered with NASA, Google, Autodesk and Nokia. Dr. Diamandis attended MIT, where he received his degrees in molecular genetics and aerospace engineering, as well as Harvard Medical School where he received his M.D.
He’s no underachiever.
I’ve known Peter for several years, both as a friend and as advising faculty at Singularity University. He is known for being incredibly resourceful. And, true as this may be, it’s his ability to teach resourcefulness that impresses me most… Read More
Chip Conley is the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, which he began at age 26 and built to more than 30 properties in California alone. In 2010, Joie de Vivre was awarded the #1 customer service award in the U.S. by Market Metrix (Upper Upscale hotel category).
Conley has also been named the “Most Innovative CEO” in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times, and I’m proud to call him a friend.
We’ve shared many glasses of wine together. He doesn’t know what I’m about to tell you, but it’s true (Hi, Chip!). When we first met, and after reading his first book on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I wondered “Is this Chip dude for real? Implementing self-actualization in a company?!?” My curiosity drove me to visit a few of his hotels, including Hotel Vitale, where I eventually concluded: these are the happiest employees I’ve ever met.
He has figured out what makes people tick.
The following post is a guest post by Chip and based on his new book, Emotional Equations. Be sure to read to the end, as there is a chance to win an expense-paid trip to SF to spend an entire day training with him.
Deal-making? Empire building? Self-fulfillment? He’s your guy.
Just a few weeks ago, I received the following from Ryan Holiday:
“…in the last 6 months, I’ve lost 15 lbs and am in the best shape of my life. From adding in sprinting to my running regime, using kettle bells once a week, using a weighted vest while taking long walks, and the cat vomit exercise, I now have abs and — like I said — lost weight in places I didn’t know I was storing fat. It was all from your book and keeping to the slow-carb diet. Here’s the part I really have to thank you for: by changing the way I thought about running, I ran the fastest mile in my life, and that’s after four years of cross country and track in high school. Last Friday, I ran a 4:55 mile. A month before my 24th birthday, I shattered my all time best from track: 5:02. Being that close to breaking five minutes had always haunted me.”
Those of you who’ve read this blog for a while know that Ryan is 24-years old and works directly with Dov Charney as his online strategist for American Apparel. He takes more heat, makes more high-stakes decisions, and takes more risks in a given week than most people experience in any given quarter… and he does so with an unusual calm. Unbeknownst to most, he largely credits this ability to his study of Stoicism, among other practical philosophies.
How did this philosophical bent accelerate his physical changes?… Read More
At age 21, Ryan became Director of Marketing at American Apparel, the largest clothing manufacturer in the United States. He gets more done than five average people combined, and practical philosophies help to make it possible. His previous post, entitled Stoicism 101: A Practical Guide for Entrepreneurs, has nearly 300 comments.
In this post, Ryan introduces another of his guiding mentors, the fascinating (and practical) Michel de Montaigne… Read More