The Wisdom of Ric Flair

As a Tampa native, we frequently see the great Ric Flair at bars, restaurants, or grabbing coffee throughout the week. Being a child of the 80s, this common sighting always sparks an adolescent remembrance of one of his iconic tag lines: “You might not like it but you are going to learn to love it”. The 10-year-old me thought that this was just a tough thing to yell before you jumped in the ring with Hulk Hogan, but my 40-year-old self sees the truth in this phrase more clearly.

Some of the best things in life are things that we learned to love after initially not liking them. In fact, it is the direct nature of that adversity “dislike” and then overcoming it is what we need in the modern culture of convenience that seeks to fill every desire in our constant pursuit of Happiness. A recent study done by the University of California at Berkley, has shown that the participants that focus the most on their Happiness tend to be less satisfied with their lives and have more depressive symptoms.

In another example of the value of friction (and hard work), one set of subjects were given a fully built, beautiful Lego dinosaur as a gift and another group was given the deconstructed assortment of Legos to build their own dinosaur from instructions. Mind you, this study was done prior to a time when the great instructions Lego has now weren’t included. As you could imagine the self-made Lego dinosaurs were not the beautiful specimens that were gifted to the other group. However, when the study designers offered to pay each group to destroy the dinosaurs, it took 30 times more money to convince the “Build” group who worked hard to destroy their dinosaur. They didn’t like it but they learned to love it 30 times more. 

This Ric Flair quote has been modified many times in more recent years. For example, David Goggins who shows that we must seek out the challenge, friction, and growth… and to continuously “Embrace the Suck”. Do something that sucks every single day of your life. The more you do it, the easier it gets and it just becomes a part of your life. 

It has also been modified by Angela Duckworth who called it Grit and showed the power of tolerating pain and discovery. Her book preaches “sticking with things over the very long term until you master them.” Once you’ve put in the effort and mastered something you originally hated, it might not be all that bad anymore. Hopefully, you’ve learned to love it along the way.

Wow, I never thought that a man in sequenced speedos and robes could be so wise. The moral of the story is that we all need to seek out the things we don’t like so we can learn to love more. Do you have a list of things that you don’t you like? Get out there and do them today!