37 Ways To Be A Total Badass – Chris McCombs

Brilliant article by Chris McCombs on his site. A friend of mine shared this with me and it was super inspiring! Its a must read- from the heart.


37 Ways To Be A Total Badass – Chris McCombs.


The Official Guide To Being a Badass

Most of the articles on the internet about being a badass focus on getting laid

Now, there sure ain’t nothing wrong with gettin’ some, but this post ain’t about that. It’s not for the aspiring pick-up artist, nor is it about getting ripped or being able to kick someone’s ass

It’s about going through life as a true badass…

It’s About Being An Agent of Awesome on a Grand Adventure

… And having a helluva good time along the way


1. Be cool to everyone

One time I was in line for something at the local bagel shop and the line got kinda messy, hard to tell who was next. I was in a hurry, and felt I was next, but this other dude started walking up to the counter, kinda cutting in front of me. I called him out on it and was basically a total asshole to the guy. He turned around and said “Hey we’re all in this thing together man”

How right he was. I’m not saying let people walk all over you, but we are all in this thing together, and the cooler you are to everyone else, the cooler they’re gonna be to you.

“Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down”

Wilson Mizner

how_a_about_a_boxing_with_hemingway2. Put people before ones and zeros

It can be so easy to get caught up in making a buck. We’re conditioned to believe money will make us happy, but we forget about what’s really important, each other

Instead of trying to extract value from this world, add to it in your own unique way, in a way no one else can but you, contributing massive value to people’s lives in the most impactful way you possibly can.

When you fall down in life and climb out of the holes along the way, be the hand that reaches down and lifts the next guy up and says “Here, let me show you the way”

3. Make as many mistakes as possible

Be amazing at making mistakes, make more mistakes in the next year or two than you’ve made in your entire life. When we make mistakes, that’s when we learn.

If you’re not making mistakes, you probably aren’t learning and growing, and that which doesn’t grow dies

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”

Albert Einstein

4. Stay in your own business 

I once heard a guy say “At 18 I worried about what everyone thought of me, at 40 I stopped caring what they thought, at 65 I realized they weren’t thinking about me at all”

At some level we all care what others think, the guy who says he doesn’t care what people think of him wants people to think he doesn’t care what people think of him.

Even though we ALL care what others think to some degree or another, the more you can realize that what others think of you really isn’t any of your business, and that your business is what you think of you, and what you think of them, the more badass your life will be.

Just like your thoughts are your business, their thoughts are their business. Stay in your own business

4474D10E-7F57-462A-AB41-15B883F9E7C85. Piss people off

Don’t intentionally piss people off, remember, you wanna be cool to everyone.

But when you walk your own path in life, others will be irritated and often offended. That’s their problem, not yours

Refer to #4, their thoughts are none of your business, stay in your own business. BTW, I have to give credit for the whole “Stay in your own business” thing to a true badass, who’s teachings called “The Work” have had a profound impact on my life, Byron Katie

“The secret to success is to offend the greatest number of people”

George Bernard Shaw

2932788E-7CB6-4830-98D6-4573DCCA83416. Right Your Wrongs Immediately

Whenever you’re wrong, and someone else becomes wronged in the process, fix things as soon as possible.

For one, this will keep a lot of your relationships with people running fairly smooth, but also, as you get into the habit of righting your wrongs as you go, you’ll become much better atseeing when your wrong. You’ll notice patterns within your behavior and more and more you’ll be able to catch yourself in advance before you go and step all over someone else’s toes and end up owing them a pedi just to make things right.

Admit your wrongs as soon as possible and do whatever you can to make things right.

7. Slay that scary ol’ dragon

There is an AWESOME life, FAR beyond the inner most depths of your imagination, waiting for you right on the other side of that shit you’re afraid of

And no matter how hard you try to avoid the things that frighten you, there is no way around them, only through

Funny thing is, doing what you fear usually isn’t bad at all, it’s the thinking about it that’ll fuck with you

The big scary nucleus of the thing we’re afraid to do is like a dragon… cuz just like a dragon it’s total fucking make believe

We must approach the dragon head on, feel it’s fiery breath and do what needs to be done

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

Steven Pressfield

8. Stand up 

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, it’s a safe bet you’re of stronger body and mind than the average citizen.

When you see someone being taken advantage of, abused or wronged, who may not have the strength to stand up for themselves, do whatever you can to kibosh the injustice

When you see our planet or the people in it being given a raw deal, rise up and take a stand

I’m not talking about being some self-righteous white knight so you can get an ego fix, I’m just talking about looking out for your fellow man and doing the right thing when it needs doin’

“We live in a culture where people are more offended by ‘swear’ words and middle fingers than they are famine, warfare and the destruction of our environment.”


9. Say “no”

It’s important to know when to say “yes”, but it’s much more important to know when and how to say “no”

If you don’t know how to say “no” you’ll end up over-extending yourself, committing to things you can’t really give 100% to and spending your time running around trying to make everyone else happy. You’ll lose your focus and dilute your power.

“Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying ‘yes’ too quickly and not saying ‘no’ soon enough”

Josh Billings

10. A.B.L. – Always be learning

Read books, listen to audiobooks, take courses, read blogs, work with coaches and mentors and model others doing things that you wanna know how to do. These days you can find the answers to whatever you need, as well as the guidance, often times for free. Information is everywhere.

Choose which actions to take from what you’ve learned and take them with everything in you. And then refer back to #3 and make as many mistakes as possible, cuz that’s when the real learning begins

812C730C-5C39-4205-8941-B94251CDDA7011. Drop The Mask

Grandma was right again. Just be yourself.

If you aren’t, others will know it, and more important, you’ll know, and hate yourself for it

And what’s awesome is, being you is the one thing you can do better than anyone else in this entire world

I recommend Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” to learn more on this subject

12. Do the shit you love

Life is over quickly.

While you’re here, do some totally awesome stuff. Now, I don’t know what that is for you, maybe it’s climbing mountains, surfing, starting businesses or just sitting around writing about stuff that’s important to you. Believe it or not, it’s writing that gets my juices going more than just about anything else in the world

Maybe it’s one thing, a bunch of things or always something new.

Whatever it is, whether as a career, hobby or random adventures in awesomeness, spend as much time as possible doing the shit you love

13. Accept that you’ll never get everything done

The to-do list never ends.

Between taking actions on the goals that’ll get you to your dream life, making money, needing new stuff, getting broken stuff fixed or fixing it yourself, family obligations, being a good friend, having to do that thing you should have said “no” to three weeks ago when you were asked and now it’s too late, taxes, car stuff, house stuff, kid stuff (should you have any of those little loveable monsters), health stuff, legal stuff , bank stuff, food stuff and any of about 113,984,767.63 things that require your attention…. you’re never gonna get it all done

3EEAF0D5-B329-4185-8E12-A49788BB41CAThe ducks will never be in a row... in fast most of the time, half of them’ll be quacking their little asses off and running out in front of cars

Not only is chaos the order of the universe, tossing new shit to deal with at us every chance it gets, but to make matters worse our minds are basically machines on overdrive looking for stuff to keep us busy so our Ego remains in tact. Anything to keep us busy.

Also, Aunt Madge needs your help moving some furniture this weekend, and you’re low on almond milk and the car needs an oil change and the tires rotated… plus, looks like your website just crashed, so there’s that too.

How in the heck are you ever gonna find time to do the important stuff that gets you one day closer to your dream life?

Well, do the important stuff first, and watch out for any non-important “busy-work” or seemingly urgent tasks that like to creep up on you every chance they get so you can avoid doing the real important shit, the stuff that scares you, the actions that require you to grow and evolve, so you can become the person you need to become to get to where you wanna go.

You’re never gonna get everything done, so just do what you can do today, focus on what you’re doing right now, and ease back a little into the seat of your being instead of losing yourself in the ever-growing to-do list

14. Never relent

Life will try to beat you down, others will try and take what you have, your own mind will tell you that your not good enough…

… Set your sights, move forward and keep punching

“If you have an idea of what you want to do in your future, you must go at it with almost monastic obsession, be it music, the ballet or just a basic degree. You have to go at it single-mindedly and let nothing get in your way”

Henry Rollins

imagese15. Adapt

Stay on your path and trudge forward with big strides, but be flexible and adapt to the conditions of the road

If you’re too rigid life will feel like it’s against you, sometimes you gotta adapt a little and go with the flow. Be like water, not cement.

“Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative”

H. G. Wells

16. Take Bold Action Yet Remain Unattached to The Outcome

Do your part, do everything you fucking can, go after your goals like you have a gun to your head and unless you give it your all, that trigger is gonna get the squeeze… but then let the chips fall where they may

You can only control what you do, NOT how things turn out

Worrying about the outcome will tear you apart inside with anxiety… that anxiety will create even more worrisome thoughts, feeding more anxiety in the body, creating a big mind-body loop of stress reeking havoc on your system like a mosh-pit in the bottom of your soul

pam17. Realize life is about relationships with other people

Put and keep good people in your life

Cherish and nurture the relationships you have with the ones you like and love

Start new relationships with the giving hand. Be a friend rather than looking for friends.

Life is about others. Again, going back to number two, put people before numbers and zeros.

18. Cut out the crap

Less is almost always better.

Hoarding possessions that you can’t take with you after you breathe your last breath is a futile activity.

The only exception are book collections… books can take you to another dimension of existence, and since I collect books and love having a massive library of them, I figured I’d write in this little exception to the rule (=

“Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions, is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.”

George Carlin

3BBF92FC-A44B-4A92-AB4B-93A0BB9EA41119. Make The World a Better Place

The world is fucked up, and it needs our help

Do strategic as well as randomly awesome shit that makes the world a better place for all of us, and do it as often as you can.

Go through life looking for ways to make this planet and your community more awesome for everyone in it now, and for generations to come

Leave a legacy you’ll be proud of

“When Paris Hilton can top the bestsellers’ lists, we are one more Connect Four move closer to Armageddon.”

Corey Taylor

20. Dig your flaws

You’re a flawed creature… we all are.

We have bumps, lumps, scars and moles. We have insecurities, back problems and daddy issues. We doubt ourselves, we try to be things we are not and when we look in the mirror all we see are the things we don’t like.

We are human. We’re not a fucking magazine cover.

We aren’t Men’s Journal, Cosmo or Details, and none of use will ever be as cool as The Fonz, Matthew McConaughey and Samuel Jackson in Pulp Fiction

Accept yourself as you are, warts and all

Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 4.00.15 PM21. Don’t buy into your own bullshit

When you start thinking you’re cool or something, life will show you just how uncool you are.

The wise dude, or dudette, chooses the humble path.

Maybe you have a public persona, that’s ok, keep it as authentic as you can and if people start telling you how great you are, thank them but don’t let it go to your head. When you start believing the praise, buying into your own marketing, thinking that you and your awesome Facebook profile are one… life will show you that you’re just like everyone else

If you don’t stay humble, then you just may have a date with the grueling process of humiliation… which can suck, I speak from first hand experience, better off just be humble in the first place

22. Do a lot of the right “little” things

Constantly strive to make small improvements.

There’s no ONE THING that’s gonna come along and make every thing better… no magic bullet, no book with all the secrets to life, no seminar where you’re gonna walk in an asshole and walk out the Dali Lama, no perfect mate, no perfect mentor, no one big action.

It’s about doing a lot of things right and constantly making small improvements. The little stuff adds up. Kaizen!

“Don’t try to be 100% better, rather 1% better a hundred ways”

Ann Mitchell

D154D7A1-B4C9-4ACA-AFE8-5761D41BC5FD23. Learn from your mistakes and move on

Everyone’s life is chaotic, problematic and bad shit happens to all of us.

There is no ultimate destination in life where everything is gonna be perfect. Learn to be reasonably happy no matter what you’re going through… and realize that whatever it is, you probably caused it.

Your mistakes can beat you down, make you sick, turn you into a bummer of a person and kill you… or they can make you stronger, more humble, more loving, more giving and more badass

There’s a gift in all your mistakes and everything you’re going through. Look for it.

24. Choose a career path that you burn for deep inside

Far too many people settle on whatever comes their way just to make a buck and maintain their false sense of security. The looking within, listening for the call to adventure and putting one foot in front of the other, tearing that little security blanky to shreds and putting it all on the line, is just too much for them.

I think putting your destiny in someone else’s hands, like working for some company, corporation or boss who could kibosh your ass any second they want, is a lot riskier than working for yourself, but hey, maybe that’s just me.

Some people weren’t meant to work for themselves, nothing wrong with that, but at least spend your work week doing shit you love. There are plenty of badasses with day jobs.

But trading your dreams and your time for a check on Friday, whether it’s minimum wage or a cool 7-figures,  at least in my opinion, sucks. But this is what most everyone does, settling for the “steady pay” instead of going after their dreams with relentless vigor, focus and intensity.

A25F3DBA-7A53-4ED8-A873-B888D2E04F27Do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. Find and do what you feel called to do. Do what you know with every cell of your being is the shit you’re supposed to be doing.

The badass refuses to settle for 9-5 mediocrity. If he ever sat in a cubicle, chances are he burned that thing down a long time ago, unless of course, his dream career somehow involve cubicles… in that case, I say burn that fucking thing down anyway

Now, there are a few exceptions to #24… 

If you’re a single parent or father of 10 who just can’t afford to risk the steady income to go follow your passion, hey, I get it, it’s cool. If you’re working your ass off cuz you have more mouths to feed than the old woman who lived in the shoe, I don’t care what you’re doing for a living, you my friend, are a badass.

And, kids or no kids, if you spend you’re free time engaged in some kind of hobby that you love, and are happy putting in your 40 doing just about anything to pay the mortgage… you too, can keep your official badass membership card

But by and large, the badass spends most of their time doing the things their intrinsically motivated to do, are passionate about and get fulfilled by far more than just money. With this path, you’ll be much happier and have a much bigger impact on far more people than the stuff that you do for extrinsic motivation (money)

In the short term, the extrinsic stuff might pay more, but it can also rob you of happiness and rob the world of the gifts that come from you doing what you love.

Jam your tunes, even if you’re in garage band, crank those amps on ten and fucking jam

“Find what you love and let it kill you.”


CF75B63A-3346-4D60-BED7-C81451D00F3D25. Go with your gut, it’s right, but only 100% of the time

If someone or something feels wrong to you, or a project just doesn’t feel right… listen to what your intuition is telling you, it knows a helluva lot more than you do

There’s a part of you that knows what’s best… it KNOWS what path you should be on

I discussed this in detail in my Stranger Than Pulp Fiction Post including some pretty crazy things that happened to me

If you’re having trouble getting in touch with that part of you that knows best… try meditating, going for more walks and dropping any substances that may be blocking or jamming up your inner compass… I know Fat Burners were one that really seemed to disconnect me from my intuition. ECA stack = Little or no serendipitous experiences… at least that’s been my experience

“We always know which is the best road to follow, but we follow only the road that we have become accustomed to.”

Paul Coelho

EBD4B64C-FBB5-4CDA-8474-AE842DBE874326. Know who you really are

You’re not your designer jeans, t-shirt, shoes, haircut, car, house, bank account, income, business, job, biceps, abs, butt or face.

You’re not a magazine cover. You’re not who they think you are, who you think you are and you’re not your tweets or your fucking facebook profile.

Never fool yourself into thinking who you are is what you do for a living, how much you have, what you look like, who you’ve fucked, how many of them you’ve fucked and what you put on your “about me” page

Smash the trophy case and burn it to the ground

Money, possession, status, sex,  your body… everything comes and goes and it has nothing to do with who you are at your core. Our egos love to attach to these things as a way to compare us to others… and it’s all bullshit

Your heart and your deeds are way better places to hedge your bets when it comes to defining who you are, but the awesomeness of who you are is even FAR greater than that, yet it’s so simple it’s impossible to define.

You are just you. The space where your entire life happens.

You’re not your fucking khakis

Tyler Durdin

D9E37BAB-899B-40BF-A306-9FCC6477C2E927. Forgive yourself and forgive others

When you forgive, you’re not actually doing something for them. The karmic cause and effect of their life will work itself out on it’s own. You forgive them for you

Usually when you have something against someone and need to forgive them, it’s actually something in yourself you need to forgive, the other person is just holding up a mirror for you and you don’t like what you see.

Sure, you still may need to go up against them and handle whatever business needs to be handled. But do it from a place of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the path to peace

Resentment is the road to misery. And it’s toxic as a motherfucker.

It’s like putting a gun to your head, pulling the trigger and hoping the bullet hits them. But it never does.

This is one I’ve struggled with a lot personally, and all I can say is when I stay in resentment I’m all clenched-up inside and angry. When I’m in forgiveness, I’m in total peace

brucelee28. Be grateful

When you’re in gratitude, you’re in the opposite of regret, resentment, envy and longing, all of which make it REAL hard to be a badass

I know you have a ton of problems, I get it, I do too.

But I bet you have food in your belly, a roof over your head and there isn’t a tribe of bad mother fuckers on horses coming over the hill to burn the village down tonight.

Be grateful, even for your problems, for they’re all just gifts in disguise AND most of em’ aren’t nearly as bad as your ancestors probably had it and other people all over the world are having right now.

And when you’re grateful, you’re happier, life flows better, you get better stuff in your life and you get to live like a true badass

29. Tell it like it is

Secrets and lies poison every cell of your being.

At minimum, be honest to your friends, family and the people you care about. I haven’t always been this way, and I’ve paid dearly for it.

When you tell the truth life will treat you better, because YOU are treating life better.

And if you’re honest, you’re never really wrong. Sure, you’ll still make mistakes on the reg, but when you’re transparent about everything and admit your wrongs and flaws, the fear that comes from trying to be something your not is taken completely out of the equation

A true badass is open and honest about their intentions in everything they do

4F362B61-1582-47B9-ACF0-0C0C4A3A732330. Treat the following people extra-awesome…

Servants, waiters, bus boys, baggage handlers, cashiers, counter attendants, house cleaners, dishwashers, cooks, bathroom attendants, gardeners, helpers, tellers, the poor, the abused, the homeless, the handicapped and the elderly

Be super cool to them leave big tips when appropriate

Say “hi” to people most people ignore, like the landscapers who mow the public greenbelts

Give a few bucks to those who need it more than you

Understand old people move slower than you and are often in a lot of pain, make their life easier in any ways you can

Again, refer back to #1 and be cool to everyone, but be extra cool to these people and anyone else you can think of you could use a little dose of your awesomeness

31. Be Funny

Being funny is a great way to put a smile on people’s faces and make their day a little bit better

The silent mysterious type who can’t crack a smile is only a bad-ass in the movies and at picking up females who have monstrous size father issues. And that dude actually ain’t all that mysterious, he just usually doesn’t have anything intelligent to say, that’s why he’s so silent

A TRUE badass loves to laugh and make others laugh

It doesn’t matter if you’re the only one who thinks 80% of the shit you say is funny, that means 20% of the shit you say IS funny, and this is enough to make you a badass

So be funny, even if you’re the only one laughing

9DFDB4D7-3855-4C72-ADD0-0BB6F31977F932. Realize you don’t know shit

None of us do.

Ever met a happy or badass know-it-all? No, cuz they don’t fucking exist

Stay open, you’ll learn more, you’ll be happier and you’ll be WAY more of a badass

Recently I heard Joe Rogan put it like this…

“We don’t know shit, yeah we know a lot and are brilliant in comparison to cavemen, but compared to understanding just the very nature of the universe, with sub-atomic particles, all rules go out the window when you go subatomic… to say we know a lot, yeah we know a lot FOR PEOPLE, but there’s some shit we don’t understand at all… they don’t even know why the universe stays together, they don’t know why it doesn’t just fly apart!”

“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.”

Frank Zappa

33. Realize everything you do affects everything else

We’re either putting positive or negative out into the world… every thought we think, word we speak and everything we do

We affect not only our life, but the lives of the people we touch and the lives of the ones they touch

There’s no such thing as a small insignificant action, everything we do effects everything else. Period.

“Every act creates a ripple with no logical end”

Scott Adams

34. Enjoy the ride… it’s short

Seriously… we’re all gonna be dead soon anyway… at least the you and me as we know ourselves to be right now, so live it up and have a helluva good time while you’re here.

Life is short. I’m 47 years old. I’ve got 10 years to go where I can be the best I can be. I want those 10 years to be precious, not like before, cranking two or three movies a year. I’ve made a ton of movies in my life, but so what?

Jean Claude Van Damme

Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 6.19.03 PM35. Train 

To be a true badass you need to train your body and make it strong and it can make you feel sooo damn good, it’s the best anti-depressant around

Training has done so much for me. A few days without out it my body cringes and screams at me “Fuck you Chris, fucking train mother fucker!”

It opens the pressure valve and releases the demons. It takes me out of my story, my life and my problems.

It puts me into the moment. A single point of focus. One rep at a time. One set at a time.

I’m never more alive, more ready to take on the world, than when I’m training.

Look at old people who don’t workout… they’re slouched and brittle.

And look at old people who’ve been training for years. They’re spritely. They stand up straight. They smile. They look like they just got laid. They are able to outrun death one more day

Training gets rid of stress, anger and anxiety.

Training teaches you the value of sacrifice, hard work and discipline

It moves you in the direction of something greater

When you train. you’re carving out a better existence for yourself

36. Eat Good Healthy Stuff

Every thing you put in your mouth can either give you better health, or cause you harm.

It’s hard to feel dialed in like a badass when you’re living on fast food, Cheetos and soda. If it’s 5% or 10% of what you eat, that’s one thing, but it if you’re living on 40, 50, 60 or 70% plus crap, that’s another story.

There’s plenty of ways to make healthy food taste great, so there’s never an excuse not to eat at least mostly good

Most of the time, stick with high octane foods

johnny-cash-finger37. Read this blog as often as possible

This one is a must if you wanna be among the baddest of the bad. In fact, 4 out of 5 doctors recommend ChrisMcCombs.net for getting rid of inner-wussy and becoming a straight-up badass

And you REALLY wanna be bad ass, subscribe to this blog here and I’ll be sending you more cool blog posts just like this one

If you liked this post, would you mind doing me a quick favor and push some of those social media sharing buttons like the Facebook and Twitter buttons up top and share it with your friends… or maybe emailing it to your friends or posting it on your timeline?


I’d love to hear your comments down below.

I do my best to respond to each and every one

Comments are moderated so give yours a little time to show up ok? Don’t worry, they didn’t get eaten by the machine, it only looks that way

“Your mind, this globe of awareness, is a starry universe. When you push off with your foot, a thousand new roads become clear”


Talk soon,

Big Chris

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