"I need to be continually upgrading myself." - Henry Rollins

I have been a big fan of Henry Rollins going back to the Black Flag days and have seen him perform several times, but this was the first time I saw him give one of his spoken word performances.


If you know anything about Henry Rollins, he is an intense person.  He has fashioned his life upon discipline.  Doing the same routines day in and day out.  Henry has said it himself that he attributes the majority of his success to just showing up every day regardless of the situation or how he might be feeling or not feeling.  The “I don’t feel like it” resistance that comes to all of us.   As someone who attends Toastmasters every week and aspires to be a great public speaker, I was blown away that Henry spoke for two and half hours straight without a break.  He didn’t even take a drink of water, not once.  Henry talked about it at the end of the speech.  It is somewhat of a superstition.   The superstition being that if he takes his attention off the audience or turns his back on them, they won’t be there when he turns around.  He does hundreds of shows every year.  How is he able to do that?  By establishing long-standing routines and being disciplined.  Discipline is a habit. 

Upgrading Yourself

Henry talked about a lot of things that night, but there was one thing in particular that resonated with me and has stayed with me since.  What has carried him through the years has been his belief in “continually upgrading myself.”  When he said that I immediately remembered the same thing that Dr. David J. Schwartz expressed in the book “The Magic of Thinking Big.”  "Think progress, believe in progress, and push for progress. Think improvement in everything you do.”  

Creating the upgrading habit

If you want to live a life of continually upgrading yourself, it is critical that you establish the habits and routines to accomplish this.  If you don’t create the habits and routines, you will be fighting an uphill war with yourself that most likely will be lost.  You may win a few of the battles, but overall you will be cheating yourself.  Routines allow us to accomplish more without relying on willpower and to avoid the constant flow of distraction. Choosing yourself and seeking to improve yourself is not selfish.  The best thing you can do for others is to advance yourself.  If you want to change the world, you must first change yourself.  Remember, we only have control over two things.  Our thoughts which take a lot of daily work, and our actions.  Everything else is out of our control.

Until Next Week,
Rich Decker – Mindful Accord