Clint-Eastwood

How to Be Old School Amidst the Pussy Generation

Forget about the empty chair. Clint Eastwood is a man’s man. He’s a throwback, oldschool, off the cuff, snarky old bastard. With the life he’s lived, I’ll listen to what he has to say, intently, and with respect. And when Clint Eastwood calls our generation, “the pussy generation”, I look for ways to prove him wrong, but find few.

“The Pussy Generation”

The pussy generation is more than one single generation, it’s the collection of those of us who’ve been born in the last 30 years. Those of us who hate the rich because they don’t give us more of what they have – and have earned. Those of us who hold our head’s high, not because of a sense of pride, but a sense of entitlement. We deserve what we WANT – not even what we need – simply due to the fact that we’ve graced this world with our presence. Now it shall grace us with riches.

We don’t want to work. We want fast success because the evidence of said success is all around us. The truth: we’re selective in the information we take in. We see and listen to what we want to see and listen to. Our generation is wrought with jealousy of those who have more than us. We’re the occupy movement, the complainers, the whiners, the jealous, and the weak.

Instead of seeing the hard work and dedication that the successful put in. The hours away from their family. The risks. The sacrifices. We see the things, and we want. But we don’t want to do the work, make the sacrifices, or take the risks.

The mindset of the Pussy Generation has crept its way into every fascet of our existence. It’s devouring the gym. Our escape from the world, the place we can go to let off steam, and forge a better us, is decaying. Filled with plucked eyebrows and shaved legs – and I’m not talking about the women – the gym is being lost to the pussies. Talk fills the hallowed halls where hard work, and pain used to reign.

The Pussy Generation is in our workplaces. Less work and more play. Living for the now, but wanting the fruits of those who do the work to get the rewards in the future. I’m all for enjoying life, traveling, meeting people, and truly living. That’s what life is about. But we need balance. If we want success, we have to earn it. Not take it, not wish for it, receive it, but EARN IT. A fact that has been lost by a generation who stomps their feet and cries if their success doesn’t come in their twenties.

The old way of things was to have a family after high school or college, work your ass off, save, then enjoy the fruits of your labour in your 60′s. Now, we enjoy what we were paid yesterday, today, and we’re fucked when we’re in our 60′s. If we haven’t reached our dreams by the time we’re 30, we dive into a deep depression. We look without, not within. We see others with success, but we fail to see the beauty of the journey we’re on, the sacrifices we’re making that is shaping the man we’re becoming. All we see is what we don’t have, in looking at those who do have.

Each man is his own man. His path his own path. To those with the balls to work hard and follow their dreams, I salute you. But stay the course. Success isn’t a birthrite. But with hard, purposeful work, it is inevitable.

The 3 Phases of Lifeold school

A former neighbor of mine made it big in the dot com boom. He sold his company for hundreds of millions of dollars. He’s loaded. He can do whatever he wants, and everyone around him sees that success. They see the lifestyle he now lives – and has lived for some time. What they failed to see is what I saw for the 5+ years prior.

Every morning I’d wake up at 5:30 and head to my high school gym to get some shooting in before class started. And every morning, his car would already be out of the driveway. As I got home at 9 or 10 pm, as would he. His house was alright, nothing special. Any work he had to do on it he’d do himself. Financially, he had no wiggle room. Everything he had was in his company.

The guy who would one day be a multi-millionaire busted his ass, pinched every penny, even saw relationships come and go, because of his work. He worked 7 days a week, for who knows how many hours a day. He did what he had to do, and yet, if you ask him about his success today, he’ll say, “yes, I worked hard, but I also got lucky, I caught a wave.”

The wave was the dot com boom. He got out before it fizzled. Now, he’s on to other ventures in technology, real-estate, and who knows what else, but he also gives talks at colleges and universities. The main point he highlights in these talks is the 3 phases of life.

The Learning Phase 20-35

Our first 15 years in the work force, or in our own entrepreneurial ventures, are for learning. This is where we absorb. Where we perfect our craft, become GOOD at what we do. The rewards are modest, but they get us by.

This is the step that the Pussy Generation is missing. We feel that our earnings should automatically match our work output. Or, even worse, that our earnings should be high simply because we’re entitled to high earnings.

The Earning Phase 36-55

This is the phase in life where we begin to reap the rewards from our learning phase. The ages might actually be a bit older – 40-60. This is when we begin to earn some real money. When we can possibly afford a real vacation, a nice car, a home, and to put our kids through college.

The prerequisite, however, is that we bust our asses in the Learning Phase – that’s the only way to the Earning Phase.

Giving Back 60+

As we have created our mini (or not so mini) empire, we begin to find the need to give back. This isn’t just a charity giving back – although that’s often a big part of it – this is a knowledge giving back, where we seek to give back to those who are learning, and working their way through the Learning Phase.

It’s a financial, as well as a knowledge giving back.

The 3 Phases Continued

The 3 phases in life that my former neighbor speaks about are in stark contrast to the Pussy Generation’s view of how life should work. Success, to them, comes immediately – with or without work. The things, the cars, the houses, the vacations, are all now.

Are the 3 phases set in stone?

No. The guy who gives the speach skipped them. I have a number of friends who have skipped them. Yet, without exception, all who have acheived their success have earned it. There are those who haven’t, technically, but no man should be at fault for what he is born with. Good for him. Now get over it, and hustle.

old school clint

The Way of The Old School

Our generation is weak. We’re a jealous. We hate hard work, demand what we don’t deserve, and crumble under the weight of what life burdens us with. Yet there is hope.

My best friends are hard-working, focused, ambitious people. Odds are so are you. We train expecting pain, venture into business expecting and ready for years of hardship and hard work with little pay. We know that life is a barter, that we can’t get something great without giving up something greater. 

Old school is a term that eludes to toughness – both the mental and physical sort. Toughness, however, hasn’t rid itself from this planet, it still exists. But where it used to be a roar, it is now a whisper. The tough, strong, old school men of today are outnumbered. We’re drowned out by the whining of the new school, as Clint puts it, “the pussy generation.”

But that’s fine by us, because to be old school is to be stoic, silent and calm amidst a storm. The old school warrior is the silent fighter. The one who’s bite far outweighs the volume of his roar. The old school is alive and well, you just might not hear about it, but you’ll know it when your paths cross.

Be old school. Don’t whine, complain, or wish you were elsewhere. You are where you are for a good reason, as am I. What we have and where we are right now is where we deserve to be – good or bad. But this is not where we’re going to end up. Keep pushing. Whatever you want to accomplish in life, whether it be career, family, or fitness oriented, hustle. Focus. Let nothing stand in your way, not even jealousy, laziness, or our burning desire to complain.

The old school simply puts their head down, doesn’t complain, and out hustles those that do.

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  • turling

    The pussy generation. I love it. Damn skippy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.stephens.1481 Aaron Stephens

    Chad, first time I’ve been compelled to comment on an article. Love this style of writing from you. Keep it up and don’t hold back.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Aaron, I’m glad I could be your first… That didn’t come out right haha. Good to have you with us man. Thanks a lot for the feedback, appreciated.

      • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.stephens.1481 Aaron Stephens

        Yeah that didn’t sound quite right.

  • Hodds

    Great article Chad, telling it like it is. If the pussy generation doesn’t snap out of this ‘entitlement attitude’ we will be the jobless generation. The pussy generation needs to stop looking for handouts from their parents or the government and start making their own destiny by as you say “perfect our craft, become GOOD at what we do”

    Take pride in the quality of work you do, how hard you work and the amount of calluses on your hands…

    Look forward to seeing more articles like this from you

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Well said man.

      Love this: “Take pride in the quality of work you do, how hard you work and the amount of calluses on your hands…” Couldn’t say it any better. “Calluses” on your hands was once respected, now it’s scoffed at.

  • Rob

    Today at school, I saw a guy sagging pants that had an elastic waistband… This distressed me because this is the same generation in the article and this generation thinks it is cool. I think it is incalculably stupid. Amazing article Chad!

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Thanks a lot Rob! Hopefully the guy’ll grow up. We’ve all gone things as kids we don’t look back on fondly. These days, few are growing up, facing the facts of life, and making something out of themselves; rather, waiting for something to happen, or a hand-out to fall in their lap.

  • Jason

    One of your best articles. I will be sharing this with friends.
    I don’t consider myself a member of this generation (even though I am) because my mindset is completely different. I earn what I get, I work hard for it and I don’t complain or whine when I don’t.
    Life doesn’t owe me anything. I owe everything to life.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Well said Jason. I actually think most – if not all – guys who read this site aren’t a part of this generation, or else why would you be visiting a site like this? We do, however, all need a wake-up call and a swift kick in the ass every now and then. Glad you like the article man, this seems to be a popular one already.

  • John

    Great article Chad. This attitude your talking about is the reason for the current economic climate. We need a huge culture change now, or else i’m afraid to say we’re doomed.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      I agree completely. Not just America, but the world. We need to change in a big way.

  • nate

    This one and your recent Superman one are awesome Chad! Love ‘em.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Thanks Nate! Glad to hear it bro

  • Sanket

    Great Article..Loved it

  • http://twitter.com/unacomn unacomn

    I’m part of the “up yours” generation. The one that crawled it’s way out of the dirt, knowing nothing but endless toil for the comforts you would call commonplace, and having all plans, dreams and hope shattered by the thieves, crooks and liars of the world who believe money gives them the right to ignore all laws and own the lives of others.
    On behalf of this generation that guides it’s life trough the blood and sweat poured into the ability to live the next day, every day, not a political message inspired by some movie star, meant to belittle those fed with being the puppets of psychotic driven by hate, greed and ignorance, I say, up yours.

    • Go out there and earn it

      Stop looking for someone else to write your failings off on. It’s not the ones with money that prevented you from achieving success. Its you. End of story. If you’re an American, you’d had, and still have, the same opportunities as anyone else to earn success and money (if that’s how you measure success). You’re the one holding you back. Not me, not some diabolical evil group of wealthy men plotting to keep people like you down. Its you.

      • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

        Well said!

  • TMorton

    Great article Chad! If that doesn’t light a fire in you then your wood is wet! I love reading all your articles they give inspiration and motivation! God Bless!

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Thanks bro!

  • MJ

    Nice one Chad.

    I have read a few of your articles and I perhaps missed something. Have you written anything about patience? I suppose all the cool, old school tough guys had to be patient to get where they are now.

    I guess it’s tough to be patient when you’re in your 20s and you’re not sure if you are doing the right thing. Heh.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Hey man, no I haven’t covered that topic. I like it and will look into getting an article done. Thanks for that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/millerindustries Miller Matthew

    gotta say, chad, that i agree with what youve said. i don’t know if i’d call it “the pussy generation” or not. I’m of the idea that perhaps it isnt ENTIRELY our fault for this behaviour/mindset. the previous generation spoon-fed us entitlement. they made us the way we are. they did us wrong by this. Frankly, i believe this is because the have substituted the ideas of opportunity for exploitation, but that’s another conversation for another time. i digress.

    like i said, we arent fully to blame, YET if we have come to the conclusion that we’re living in a way that is unproductive (to self and society) we have a moral responsibility to change. we must fix ourselves. and you know where this starts?

    with me.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Well said Miller. We look outward far too often to place blame. There’s no benefit to this line of thinking.

  • Your Mom

    Maybe you just live in a pussy town. Those of us born in Louisville, KY in the past 30 years aren’t a pussy generation. We do work.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      haha maybe man. I’ve yet to visit Louisville, I’ll have to get there one of these days.

  • Cyrel Tyler

    Chad, love your stuff man keep it up. I found your blog via Art of Manliness and have been learning to box based on your videos – and I love it, so thank you!

    But, I will have to say I think your premise is off on this post. I think it is the easy route to generalize and label an entire generation. Even the “Greatest Generation” was full of thieves, lazy people, drunks, etc. Ken Burns noted this in his documentary on WW2. Just as so, this generation is full of hard working, hustle, no excuses people, amongst the “pussies.” There have been numerous studies done to show that this generation is incredibly productive and industrious – just like your neighbor. This article is dripping in nostalgia; it reminds me of themes in the movie, “Midnight In Paris.” (Which you should see if you haven’t)

    Is there really anything broken? And is so is it fixable? I’d probably argue no. Because none of these problems exist on the generational level – just with the individual. We as individuals just need to keep trying to do the things most people won’t for a short period of time, so we can live like most people can’t for the rest of our lives. Everything else will take care of itself. I agree with your point, just not the way you arrived there – I think it does a disservice to those who do hustle in the here and now. But I still love your stuff and appreciate you striking a chord with your writing. Well done friend!

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Hey Cyrel, it is definitely on an individual level. And the article doesn’t attack or downgrade those who do hustle – those who do should be proud in their work ethic and discipline – if it does, I sincerely did not mean it to do so. What it’s meant to do is take a firm stance (not easy to do when you’re flip flopping from one side to another) and inspire. Hopefully it inspires just a few to look in the mirror and hustle.

      It’s also not meant to point a finger – I’m in no position to be doing so. Yet I do see a lack of discipline in our generation, a lack of hustle on the whole, and a sense of entitlement that wasn’t in previous generations (as much as it is in this one).

      Thanks for the comment, I think we agree, but have different opinions on how it can be approached. And I haven’t seen Midnight in Paris! Here I am thinking I’m a movie buff – I’ll grab that this weekend, thanks!

  • http://www.jdiperformance.com/ Jesse Irizarry

    Hey Chad, a little late to the party here but great post. I completely agree with you. One of my mentors is an older strength and conditioning coach at a college most people have never heard of. He is the smartest and best at what he does and yet almost no one knows his name. Young interns come in and call him a “genius” and “workhorse” and then leave without learning the lesson in that.
    The truth is he MADE himself a “genius” in his field by putting his head down and doing the work through years of coaching and learning from everyone he could. The young interns that come to him cannot fathom hard work like that. Thanks again Chad!

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/blog/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Hey Jesse, thanks bro.

      What’s his name? I’d love to look him up.

      • http://www.jdiperformance.com/ Jesse Irizarry

        No problem, his name is Dave Williams. He is a master strength coach through the cscca. Unfortunately he’s never really put any literature out there but prefers to just help hand on those who are lucky enough to work with him. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him.

  • Sumeet S

    This article as with many of your articles reaffirms what we must do as men to win at life. Amen brother.

    Sumeet Singh