Why the Powerful Prefer Mind over Body


A lot of guys want to get swole. They spend hours at the gym. And thousands of dollars a year on protein, supplements, and hormones. They hope that by looking good, they can get self-confidence, self-pride, and women.

I would know. I was one of them. Well, to an extent. I was didn’t use any hormones nor lift a lot of iron. My exercises were based on my own body weight. A few years ago, when I was still intensely training, I …

  • cranked out 13 – 15 pull-ups / chin up per set
  • did 12 one-handed push-ups for each arm (1 set = 12 right-handed push-ups + 12 left-handed push-ups)
  • ran 5 miles a few times a week
  • rowed non-stop for 1 hour straight a few times a week
  • did 12 one-legged squats (aka The Pistol) for each leg (1 set = 12 right pistols + 12 left pistols)
pistol squat

A right pistol on a kettlebell. That is some advanced ish right there.

Yeah, I got my fair share of jealous comments and fawning compliments.

And you know what? I did get self-confidence, self-pride, and women.

But looking back, I wish I had done something else instead. Developing a Greek god physique has one main hidden cost: time. Personally, I had to spend 1 – 2 hours a day (closer to 2 hours for most days), for 6 days a week to reach my physical peak. And once I have reached my peak, I must spend time to maintain it. Let’s say that comes out to 10 hours a week, 500 hours a year.

500 hours a year is a lot of time. Do you really want to spend all that time just to maintain your physique — to tread water without going anywhere? Wouldn’t the time be better spent by improving yourself? 500 hours a year is more than enough time to get quite far in your quest for power.

Big boy, if you’re still living with your mama, it really doesn’t matter how jacked you are. Once you have moved out of your mom’s basement, then you can then start working on your dead-lifts. Who knows? Maybe after two years of hustling, you’ll have a self-running business that’s dumping piles of money into your bank account. 

Muscles ≠ Power

Being swole is not the same as being powerful. Sure … with muscles, you can attract girls and intimidate guys. But that is not as impressive as making it rain Benjamins in the club or having skills like a neurosurgeon. In fact, most powerful men do not look like a gym rat. Heck, they may even have a beer belly!

Gym rats are common. Go to your nearest college and you’ll find a bunch of them. However, finding a lion — a king of the jungle — is tough. The 1%, the top echelon of society, is truly that — 1% of the population. For every hundred people, there is only one like him. And unlike a lion, he does not have a mane. You won’t know who the elites are unless they make themselves known … or unless you are a part of their society.

Many people imitate lions. They buy fancy clothes and fancy cars. But if you dig deeper, you’ll see that they’re broke jokers — living with their parents, or up to their eyeballs in debt. They make look good and talk like they got a good game going, but they are not the real deal.

Young man. Do you want to spend your precious time to be a common gym rat? To imitate those who are powerful? Or do you want to spend your time to become powerful — like a lion, a freakin’ king of the jungle?

If you chose the latter, then you must focus on the one thing that differentiate a rat from a lion:

The mind.

True power does not come from your muscles … or lack there of. It comes from your mind.

The Muscle vs. The Mastermind

Look at two great basketball players of the 90’s: Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan. Both of them were, at one point, at the top of the game. Both were in good shape. Both had a long, healthy career in the NBA.

But now that they’re too old to play, where are they now?

Charles Barkley is a sports analyst for TNT. I don’t know how much he’s making these days. I’ll be very generous and guess $250,000 a year.

Michael Jordan is a king of his own business empire. In June 2009 – June 2010, he earned $55 million. That is more than the salary of any NBA player right now.

Not many people can be like Mike. Lots of ball players go broke within a few years of “retiring.” They don’t think ahead and don’t plan things through. Once the cha-ching starts coming in (in the form of a hefty paycheck), they quickly spend it. They are short-sighted and think that their muscle will carry them through. But that can only go so far. Old age and new injuries get the better of them. In the end, they are broke, washed up, and disappointed.

Charles Barkley is a muscle.But not Mike. He’s a mastermind.

Be a king of the jungle. Be like Mike.

And remember, favor mind over muscle if you want lasting power.

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  1. Its true you can have muscles and look like a Greek God it still does not mean you are a Lion the King of the Jungle. I want to be the Lion and not be in costume looking like one.
    Anyone can get a fancy car and nice clothes and look the part and still be a bum. I want to be a Lion a King when i walk in the room my head is up shaking hands like a politician! That my friend gives me power! I learned to Bring Out The King Inside and stop the pretending and make it happen.
    Great Post!

  2. True my friend.I see the truth in what you are saying.But lifting weights is not a waste of time to me.ONLY as long as that person has other things going on for themselves.Me personally I used to go the gym 4x per week for about 1hr 30min.it was like that for 4 and half months.But I had to stop to get my finances in order.Now I am in somewhat a better situation and plan on going to the gym again starting next week after a one month absence.

    Anyways,I was just thinking about something relating to this topic earlier this week.I was thinking about a soccer player who might become the most expensive player at around 101 euros.then I thought even though they are being paid big bucks they should find business to start so that when they retire they have something to support them.and also if their children don’t want to follow in in sports what will the children do ?start a 9-5?
    that wealth wont last forever.

    And its funny how some of these sport-starts just “enjoy the ride” and don’t plan for the future.this applies to actors,musicians,and other celebrities as well.Some are just blinded by the wealth,fame,glamor,and constant approval seeking.

    • There’s definitely nothing wrong with lifting weights, but priorities are priorities. Finances come before being buff.

      That’s why you and I know better than being short sighted. We’re set after lasting power.

      I also got an article specifically for you that I’ll post later. You’ll know what it is when you see it.

  3. “Swole but living in your mama’s basement”

    Damn right.
    I like your term “swole”, doc.


  1. The Man Who Cannot Be Contained — Alex Ding says:

    […] to start my own online company. I wanted to sell weight-lifting gear. I was into weight-lifting and being swole. (I had to look good for the ladies. You know what I’m talking about.) I spent about 6 months […]

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