By John Sonmez November 22, 2017

Becoming a Bulldog: How to Build the Bulldog Mindset

Man, oh man… It’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog post.

Seems like ages.

The last “blog post” I wrote was when I was working on the last chapter of my book, “The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide,” which had to have been almost a year ago.

I miss writing. Writing is… well it’s a bitch. But, it’s also fun in a wiggle-your-loose-tooth-until-it-hurts kind of way.

The reason I’m writing this blog post now is that we couldn’t find a guest writer to submit a quality article in time for today's deadline.

So, I decided to blow some dust off the old typewriter and see if I could still hurl a few words on a page.

Oh, a quick side note before we get down to business here with the real topic of this post: people suck at writing.

I’m in the process of trying to hire a ghostwriter of sorts to take my YouTube videos and convert them into eBooks for Amazon and I’m reading through so many submissions of “decent writing,” but not good writing.

The main reason their writing sucks is because it has no pizzazz — it has no voice.

Too many people are afraid to take risks in writing — and in life — and because of it, they don’t fall on their face… but they don’t really fly either.

They just sort of run full speed to the end of the cliff and instead of leaping and flapping their wings, they just unceremoniously… fall off.

Now, I realize not everyone writes like me, in my style or my voice, and I’m not the best writer in the world by any means, but FUCKING TAKE A CHANCE. Really, take a fucking chance…

… with writing

… with your life

… with you relationships

BLOW SOME SHIT UP… pick up the pieces, stitch it back together, and repeat until you are either dead or feel like you are alive.

Oh, will you look at that? Go ahead, step outside, we just happen to have landed exactly where we wanted to be.

So, take a big fresh gulp of air, let it sting your throat a little as it goes down and…

Prepare to become a fucking bulldog!

One of the most popular topics I’ve ever talked about on my YouTube channel is “How I Became A ‘Fucking Bulldog’ And Changed My Life.

I’m not just going to rehash that video here though, because, let’s face it, that would be lame.

Instead, I’m going to dig into it, give you a bit of a different perspective on it and tell exactly how you can start changing your life around to be more bulldogish.

I'm gonna teach you how to take a really fucking hard bite of what you want out of life — really sink your teeth in — and hold onto that shit no matter what obstacles or other bullshit comes your way.

Does that sound good?

Do you want to be a bulldog?

Good. Let’s do it then.

Do shit that sucks, just because it sucksbulldog mindset

Sometimes, when I’m in the middle of a 10 mile run, having not eaten for 2 days, having run 10 miles the previous day, with no shoes on, a thought goes through my mind…

“WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING THIS JOHN? WHY?”

In those moments I have to remind myself that bringing pain upon yourself — voluntarily — is what makes you stronger.

Often when pain or struggle is thrust upon you it has the opposite effect — it breaks you down.

Again, not always. I’ve had some hard shit in my life that I didn’t bring upon myself that forced me to grow.

But, if you REALLY want to grow and I mean REALLY grow, you’ll bring that hard shit upon yourself.

You’ll do things that suck, just because they suck — for no other reason.

The more you train yourself to embrace the suck, to actively seek it out and dominate it, and conquer it, the more you’ll grow, the stronger you’ll become and the less you’ll fear the shit in life that you have to do, but don’t want to do.

You want to really develop mental discipline? This is how.

So pick out challenges, physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, challenges of every kind that will push you beyond your limits — well beyond them.

Fucking run into the cave and poke the dragon with your sword. Not because you want to take his treasure, but because you want to feel how hot his breath really is.

Let’s face it, life is pain.

Pain is coming on you, whether you like it or not.

You might as well go out and meet the pain, face it on your own terms, rather than have it thrust upon you.

Then, when it does come — and it will — you’ll be ready.

Take responsibility, regardless of whose fault it is

But, but.. Yes, I know excuses, excuses.

Shit happens, life happens, we all have excuses.

Some excuses are of high quality, some excuses are of low quality.

But guess what?

It doesn’t matter if you didn’t set your alarm clock and so you didn’t get out of bed in time this morning, or your house caught on fire this morning, the end result is the same: the shit didn’t get done.

I’m sitting here writing this blog post this morning because some shit didn’t get done. So, what am I going to do about it?

Am I going to whine? And I going to bitch and say “oh, it’s Thanksgiving week,” or “oh, it’s not my fault?”

No, it’s my company, it’s my blog, I want a post to go out today. A post will go out today. I will write one.

It’s not about right or wrong or whose fault it is. It’s about getting shit done — making things happen.

You see, we can always play the blame game. We can always make excuses, give excuses, reasons for our failures or why circumstances are out of our control, or we can just forget all that shit and take action instead — massive action (as good old Uncle G, Grant Cardone, would say.)

So, whatever happens in life — your life — remember it’s your fault. It’s your responsibility.

Remember no one else gives a shit about you as much as you do. So, whether you directly caused it, indirectly caused it, or it hit you from behind while you were parked at a light, even though it might not be “your fault,” it’s still your responsibility, because it’s “your problem.”

If you are going to own the problem, you better own the solution too.

And the only way to do that is to take responsibility — full responsibility.

If you start it, finish it

Most people fail in life because they give up too soon.

They are literally “3 Feet From Gold.

All they have to do is just hold on a little longer, grit and bear their teeth just a few more minutes, stay in the race just a few more miles and they’ll hit success, but instead, when the going gets hard or the path isn’t paved with golden fucking lilies, they throw in the towel.

Well, let me tell you something about life. Life is hard. Life is a bitch.

The path to greatness has a lot of fucking potholes, there aren’t any lillies and for many miles the only sign post you’ll see is the one that says “TURN BACK NOW.”

If you are going to walk the path, take it to the end. Don’t go halfway and then turn back.

You get exactly 0% benefit from building half a bridge.

You get exactly 0% benefit from building a bridge 90% of the way.

Can you guess how much benefit you get from building one 99% of the way?

You get zilch! In fact, less than zilch — you know why?

Because you not only don’t get to cross the fucking river, but you LOSE all the time and materials you put into building the bridge up to 99%.

A complete WASTE of time and EFFORT!

So, if you aren’t going to build that bridge to 100% completion, don’t even start building the bridge at all — just don’t.

But, when you do decide to build a bridge, or take up a fitness program, write a book, code up that mobile app you’ve been dreaming of, start that business, whatever it is, FUCKING FINISH IT!

Take risks, big risks, accept the consequences, grow and move on

Remember when I said many writers are shitty writers?

It’s because they don’t take enough risks.

They are so afraid of breaking a few grammatical rules, of sounding like shit, of being laughed at, of not being professional enough, blah, blah, blah, etc, etc, etc.

Life is a fucking risk. It’s all a big fucking chance.

You never know what is going to happen.

You never know if the door of a 747 is going to fall off mid-flight, fall thousands of feet through the air and crush you while you are sitting in your car at the stop light.

A fucking meteor could hit the earth at any moment and wipe out all life as we know it.

Yes, if you take a leap, you are going to fall flat on your face — it happens to the best of us.

But, guess what the “best of us do?” We get the fuck up!

And, we do it again. And again, and again.

As one of my favorite writer’s Nassim Nicholas Taleb says in his excellent book, “Antifragile”:

“A Stoic is a Buddhist with attitude, one who says ‘fuck you,’ to fate.”

Let’s all be stoics of this caliber. Let’s all hold up our middle fingers in unison and tell fate where she can shove it.

In order to do that you are going to have to start taking risks.

You can’t just play it safe all the time and hope it all works out.

Write something worth writing, do something worth doing, leap a leap, jump the fucking shark.

You are going to fail a lot.

You are going to skin your knees.

People WILL make fun of you.

You WILL look like an idiot.

But, so the fuck what?

You want to be a bulldog?

You want to be successful and get what you want out of life?

Then, just do it, accept the consequences, learn from them and move on.

Stop thinking small. Stop thinking about what can go wrong.

Instead, think about blowing shit up.

Think about walking directly into the storm, just to see what happens.

Run, don’t walk, directly into the shit other people would do anything to avoid, because when you are fearless, you are peerless.

Finally, don’t let anyone tell you “no”

I’ll leave you with one final piece of advice:

Ignore what other people say.

It’s fine. They mean well. They want to protect you from yourself, from disappointment, unrealistic expectations.

Or perhaps they just want to hold you down, or they don’t want you to show them up or remind them of the failure in their own lives because they’ve abandoned their dreams.

Or maybe they just really, honest-to-god just don’t think you can do it.

It doesn’t fucking matter.

It doesn’t even matter if you succeed. It just matters that you gave it your all, did what you believed and held nothing back.

That, in my book, is the greatest measure of success anyway.

Hard work doesn’t produce success, hard work is the success.

In the Bhagavad Gita it’s written, “You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions.”

This means you do what you do BECAUSE you choose to do it, because it is what you are meant to do, not because of the result you’ll get from doing it.

You’ll find a lot more joy in life failing at the impossible than succeeding at the trivial and mundane.

And those few times that you do pull of the impossible… fucking gold!

So, when someone tells you “no,” “you can’t do that,” “it’ll never work,” “you aren’t qualified,” “who do you think you are?” or anything else you don’t like, just smile and do it anyway…

That’s what a bulldog would do.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."