Why Being a Badass is the Key to Success

by Alexander Heyne · 33 comments

*** Disclaimer: This post contains unnecessarily necessary excessive vulgarity. ***

“Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.”

Wanted: Bad Boy, how to be a badass

                                              – From The Rock

“The” guy walks in the bar.

He stops.

Everything slows, people turn, no words are spoken.

His presence speaks for itself.

Nuff said. Bitch.

This is a quick guide to bandits, outlaws, bastards, assholes, and bad guys.

Why they rule.

And why you should be one too — and what all this has to do with success.

#1. Badasses don’t give a fuck

Aww mommy doesn’t like my girlfriend, my job, where I live, and how I grew my hair out.

My friends think i’m ridiculous for passing up on a job so I can go teach English in Thailand.

People all around me ask when I’m gonna settle down, have some kids, get a real life.

The proper response? Fuck all of you.  Next.

Badasses have their own paths, dreams, desires.  They couldn’t give a shit what your opinion is. And that’s what makes them successful.

A fun little quote that is (unfortunately) short on vulgarity and long on wisdom:

‎”Those people that are crazy enough to think that they can change the world – they’re the ones who actually do.” 

-Steve Jobs

The badass response? I’m moving to China. Fuck off.

This single minded don’t-give-a-rat’s-ass attitude, as douchebaggish as it sounds, is actually a key trait of successful people.

Have single minded devoted to that single purpose, path, and just do it.  End of fucking story.

#2. You ain’t shit to a badass

You ever realize that the guys who get the most pretty girls are the ones who don’t give a shit about them? 

The same goes for women – the women with the most power over men are the ones that treat men like their little brother. They don’t give a shit.

Not only does a badass not give a shit what you think, he doesn’t give a shit about one missed opportunity, travel, job or person. Except his mom.

He may have lost the battle, but he sure as fuck is not losing the war.  It’s burning the boats and charging forward, Cortes style.

Single opportunities – in every sense of the word – don’t mean shit to a badass. And that makes him powerful and desired by others.

He is the ultimate ascetic, because he needs nothing and demands nothing from the world. He fucking takes it.

#3. A badass denies himself in the interest of his greater good

Not the greater good. His greater good.

If you haven’t seen a single movie with Clint Eastwood, get the fuck off the internet and go watch one.

If you have seen a movie with him, you know his character.

Permanent scowl, hard, doesn’t give two shits about hurting himself, denies himself pleasure and gets the job done.

Badasses just get the mission done. Not just for the sake of being badass, but because they are blunt and to the point.

#4. Being blunt and to the point is the name of the game

Real old fashioned assholes aren’t going to waste your time by sugar coating what they say. They just say it.

And then then move the fuck on with their life.  And that’s how they get shit done.

The get-shit-done type of person doesn’t have time to explain. Or romanticize. Or embellish. Or declare what they’ll do.

Because while they outwardly don’t give a shit about what people think, inwardly they are intensely focused on what they are doing.

They waste no time with the pretty-ness of it all.

#5. Real good ol’-fashioned pricks feel like they deserve the world. And they get it.

This sense of entitlement – the feeling that the world owes you a fuckload, is actually a key trait in really ridiculously powerful people.

If you feel like you don’t deserve shit in life, are you going to work for things in life? Probably not.

It’s like plotting the “achievement” curves of two kids: Kid A who is told he is a worthless piece of shit his whole life, and Kid B who is told he can get anything he works for.

They are worlds away.  And the implications of those psychologically-sown seeds are incredible.

#6. To a royal douche, his word is his mothafuckin bond 

Seriously, how badass and oldschool is someone if their word actually means something? That is one of those dead traits of seriously awesome people.

When a badass says something, he means it.

And that’s why people respect & fear him (choose which ever one is more valuable to you).  Because when you say what you mean, and you act upon it, believe it or not you’re unusual.

Our society is filled with “promises” – I promise I’ll be there to see you today! I promise I’ll have it done by the morning. I promise I’ll be there  in five!

But the problem is that when someone says “be there in five” we automatically assume they are fifteen minutes away and are giving a socially acceptable response.

Be a douche, say what you mean, and you’ll earn respect (or fear).

#7. Badasses always have something new going on

Boredom is boring as fuck. That was even fucking repetitive saying that sentence.

A badass is always in search of the newest challenge (woman), proving ground (who’s the bigger douche), or fresh adrenaline-injecting circumstance (motorcycles/bungee jumping/cocaine).

Growth and drive for continual improvement is also one of those inherent traits of people who excel.

It’s like comparing the “natural” sports kid, versus the one who is training hard to make the high school team.

Talent ain’t got shit on smart, hard work.

The incessant desire to be the alpha male or king douche in search of a new challenge is the killer mindset you want to harness and cultivate.

Growth + time & application = success.

#8. A badass always has a master plan but never reveals it

“Tell the world what you intend to do – but first show it” 

-Napoleon Hill, in Think and Grow Rich

The outlaw in movies is always a little bit vague. Not only because he’s a bad guy who is usually engaged in illegal activities, but mostly because that’s part of his character.

The bad guy always gets the things done he has to – even if it results in his death.

And he never talks his “stuff” up on the way.  People ask, and he gives a vague response.

Derek Silvers gave a talk on TED  called “Keep Your Goals to Yourself.”  He cited studies showing that when people share their goals with others, it psychologically elicits feelings of satisfaction and makes us less likely to follow through.

Talk is cheap.

Shut your mouth, be a badass,  and be deliberately vague when talking about your goals.

Once you’ve reached “that point” people will suddenly freak out: “What?! Since when were you working on this? How???”

Instant respect.

#9. Badasses have killer confidence

“I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”

-Alexander the Great

When you stare at that guy you don’t want to fuck with, his eyes automatically say: “the fuck do you want?”

So you look away. What do you want?

Confidence is the prime attribute of the cool, calm & collected killer.

But there are so many other attributes that overshadow the confidence (the whole art of badassery) that you don’t notice.

Beneath it all, the badass is just one solid motherfucker more confident than a lion.  He talks slower, looks slower, and reacts slower because, after all, there’s no rush.

Who’s going to mess with him anyway? He owns the whole damn world.

Confidence can single handedly undermine all your efforts towards success if you lack it.

And ultimately, the badass is not the guy who can beat up the bullies or defend his girlfriend, but the one so unrationally calm that people are afraid of him.

He stops fights before they start – and not because he’s a wise man or pacifist. It’s because no one fucks with the lead of the pack. And he knows that too.

Confidence turns you into the Lion. So go be one.



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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Timothy October 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm

That’s a nice one too buddy ;) !!
i’m sure a lot of people think they’re pretty badass but are actually the sheep… this article could slap some of them, its good :)
for myself i’m gonna keep on wearing clown suits too visit my neighbourhood’s infants ! Seeee ya !!!


afheyne October 8, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Haha being a badass doesn’t mean you have to look scary or be mean. It’s a psychological state


Alison October 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Great points Alex, and surprisingly applicable! Makes me think to Nancy Botwin from Weeds. If you not watching.. she’s a very badass female character! Even hunted down a facebook group, shamefully, of ‘What Would Nancy Botwin Do?’ She is defined in most, if not all, of you points.

“It’s better to live one day as a lion, than a thousand years as a lamb.” Just have to remember to live that way! Once again, enjoying you posts!


afheyne October 16, 2011 at 11:35 am

Amen Alison.

I wanted to write something that was hopefully thought provoking, slightly offensive, but also contains kernels of wisdom. And yes, I completely agree that living one day as a lion is better than a thousand years as a lamb. Whose quote was that, btw?


Craig November 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Well…in my almost 50 years on the planet I have met maybe 5 TRUE ‘badarses’ over 16 countries worth of travel…and all of the above is dead true.

And I am still working on becoming one of their exalted ranks…;-)


afheyne November 4, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Haha Craig, workin on it myself!



Steve Rice June 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Love it, Alex! This is really powerful, underneath the “excessive unnecessarily necessary” vulgarity….love it! :)


afheyne June 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Hahah thanks Steve! Wrote it back a few months ago in a fit of excitement and have loved it ever since ;) . How are you these days?


Marcus January 2, 2013 at 4:46 am

Haha, this is not an easy task but probably well worth the effort :)


Alexander Heyne January 5, 2013 at 11:08 am

Hahaha yessir working my way towards it bit by bit every day:


Elin April 3, 2013 at 8:25 am

Funny, but definitely true. I also got hit by the “compare the kid who is told he can accomplish anything he to the kid who’s told he’s a worthless piece of shit”. I was in the latter category and it definitely hampered my progress in life.

I also think the point about keeping your word is very strong. We live in a world were making excuses is second nature. Especially in my family. When we arrange to have lunch at 1pm, I know for a fact they’ll show up an hour (or more) later. I caught myself being the person who’s too eager to say yes (and a very bad planner) and therefore prone to breaking my promises because I find out too late that I can’t keep them. I’m definitely going to work on that because it’s something I hate about myself (especially because it’s pointless to be that way)

Keeping goals secret or vague is basically the only thing on this list I’ve got down pat. I learned to do this when I was 16 and wanted to lose weight and get in shape. I told my family this and they were even more hell bent on stuffing me with calorie bombs. Now I keep them vague, so basically no-one knows what I’m doing and if I succeed, I won’t need to tell them and if I fail I won’t have to suffer through any “that’s too bad” stuff from people.


Alexander Heyne April 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Elin –

Yeah I totally agree – keeping your word is one of those long lost virtues these days. People impulsively say yes even when they don’t mean it. It take a lot of practice to stop for a second, think, then give an honest answer.

Congrats on your weight loss journey ! That’s another tough one, especially when family and friends start seeing someone eat healthy. A lot of people get offended and tell you to “just live a little.” Ironic, huh! They’re totally envious of the major decision you’ve made and will do whatever it takes to stomp on your dream.

It’s a tough fight, but the most worthwhile one in existence – if you ask me.

– Alex


Elin April 3, 2013 at 8:29 am

Oh one more thing, this piece kinda reminded me of Ryan Gosling’s character in the movie Drive. He manages to get the info he needs by just standing there and saying little to nothing at all–because he knows they’ll start talking eventually.


Alexander Heyne April 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm



Kashif Ansari September 27, 2013 at 2:44 pm

a good person feels very bad and guilty inside. in fact he feels miserable. like a total failure. and paradoxically a bad person feels really good about himself. his personality shines out and via conflicts and friction with the environment he builds his character in the crucible of adversity. though he may feel pain it makes no difference since he has made a friend out of pain and wears it like a crown of thorns. a bad ass person has the world in the palm of his hand. and he doesn’t give a damn what anybody thinks about him. they can go to hell as far as he is concerned.


Leather Lion September 30, 2013 at 2:50 pm

A badass is not an asshole or a douchebag.


shar November 22, 2013 at 5:18 pm

You were on to a wonderful article here Alex, until you celebrated how treating men and women poorly in a relationship is a virtuous characteristic. When truthfully, people who treat others poorly simply partner up with the weak, thereby enhancing their own illusion of being a self-important “badass.” For sake of argument, these men could never maintain a truly fulfilling relationship as a KING who would have their highly-desired, self-confident woman worshipping him and kissing his balls every night. Your writing would have had way more weight and authority if you left the immature teenage-boy dating rules out of it. (If this article could be renamed, I’d call it “Why Assholes Date Needy Girls” or “Why Bitches Date Losers.”)
Damn. Now I can’t share it.


goose June 13, 2014 at 9:03 am

Since my teenage years, I have been treated like shit by everyone around me because of my 0 CONFIDENCE in myself. I have felt like a sheep all these years. Now let me try to live life like a badass lion without hurting anyone of course. I just hope to God it works.


Alexander Heyne June 13, 2014 at 11:03 am

You got it goose!


Mike August 31, 2014 at 11:37 pm

I did two months in an Arab prison in Abu Dhabi and it turned me into a bad ass,I was forced to face fear of death daily and even learned to cope with it and brush it off…I was not a bad ass when I went in.


pinches November 12, 2014 at 9:07 am

NB:walk slowly but not lazily,talk slower and gaze into peoples eyes slower making sure u maintain it =that a badass


Baklabemin February 7, 2015 at 12:39 am

Your articles’ve really had my eyes opened about the importance of being bold, and actually, finally doing something, not just dreaming. But being badass, the way it’s described almost seems like there’s no room for vulnerability; or admittance to fears, or being ok with sharing with others and letting know you’re uncertain if you’re uncertain or scared if you’re scared. Isn’t it extremely connective to live like so?
I’ve learned a lot from Brene Brown’s Ted Talks on vulnerability and such. Being vulnerable is a key to happiness, and I’m wondering;
Is there a hypothetical line you can cross between being ‘too put together’, or too imposing or calm? Wouldn’t people respect the honesty and connection in the vulnerability of someone and the open passion of someone rather then someone calm who holds back?
Where does daring to be vulnerable lie on the scale of bravery; is it a beneficial risk?
Does being vulnerable make you just as strong if not stronger then someone who strives to be or seem super collected?

Your articles have helped me so much. They’ve really opened my eyes in a way nothing else has before. As a recently so, so, extremely unmotivated and lost person; I’m actually beginning to kindle my old fire again. Yes, actually starting to take action is the hardest thing. Thank you


Alexander Heyne March 6, 2015 at 4:53 pm

you’re welcome Baklabemin! keep rockin

And yes, vulnerability = connection and trust. Be real with people.


Kameron September 5, 2015 at 3:58 pm

What a plain stupid, infantile and selfish way to think. Soo stupid…NEXT!


Jager February 16, 2016 at 11:21 am

THIS is what’s its all about.

You summed up a lot of what I believe and write about. I don’t use any profanity on my site, but not knocking it on here – sometimes it gets right to the point. But this is what being a man should look like. Be bold. Have a “ZFG” attitude. Go after the things you want in life. Make your own life. Don’t make excuses. And don’t apologize.

If I could sum it up in one single word, it would be “confidence”.


Alexander Heyne February 18, 2016 at 10:45 pm

Love it Jager! Agree 100%.


TheTruth May 20, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Well Career women are the Worst of all women to get involved with do to their Greed And Selfishness that they carry around with them Everywhere they go since it is all about them Unfortunately which certainly Explains why many of us Good men are still Single today.


Lyra June 11, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Thank you for this article! Enough whining and sugar-coating, time to reload my guns and go kick some ass.


Alexander Heyne June 12, 2016 at 9:30 am



TheTruth July 19, 2016 at 12:55 pm

This is why Good men like us are still Single today.


Nick the greek August 30, 2016 at 4:23 pm

You are great, I love it


Alexander Heyne August 31, 2016 at 4:03 pm

Haha, thanks Nick.


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