The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert is one of my favorite books.
The book is composed of letters Gary Halbert wrote to his son from Boron AFS prison. Most of the letters are about copywriting and money advice to his son.
Nevertheless, he doesn’t neglect to provide valuable advice on other areas of life. Life is not made of independent events. Every event in life is connected to each other.
I recommend you to read the whole book because it’s full of solid advice.
For the purposes of this article, we will discuss his strength advice.
Physical Strength Commands Respect
Although Boron AFS was a minimum-security prison (which means the inmates were deemed less threatening so extensive security measures were not seen necessary), Halbert thought physical strength is still a necessary trait every man should possess.
He gives advice to his son about the importance of physical strength:
Let’s talk about that respect a little bit. The first thing I want to say is that a fat, sloppy, or skinny and weak body tends to broadcast to the world that the owner of that body is lacking self-respect. The second thing is that tough animals have a tendency to prey on weak or helpless animals.
Here is something to remember: DEFENSIVE BEHAVIOR INVITES AGGRESSIVE ACTION
What that means is that in life in general (and in prison in particular), there is very little sympathy for a weakling.
Since most of us live in a civilized society, physical strength is usually considered unnecessary. Bodybuilding is shunned and discouraged. However, no matter how much of a peaceful environment we create, we are still primitive animals. Physical strength matters.
Men Cannot Afford Weakness
No matter what you think or believe, other people will always judge you. A man should always project strength. Projecting weakness will not only repulse women, but it will also attract predators:
There’s a guy here that I used to like, but now he is starting to irritate me. In many ways he’s nice old guy (I’ll write more about him later), but he is serving a miserable 100 day sentence (maybe it’s even less) and he shuffles around like a plantation nigger trying to please “Ol Massah.” What’s going on is plain and simple: He’s scared.
Now, that’s no sin. God knows I’ve been scared many times. But this guy stays scared when there is no need to be, and it is very unattractive to watch.
Now, don’t get the wrong idea and start worrying about this guy. I am very nice to him and so is everybody else. Everybody cuts him a lot of slack. This is a very “soft” place to do your time and all I want to do by describing this man’s mode of behavior to you is to make a point.
The point is this: Bond, as you know, I am a very non-violent person and if this guy, by acting like such a pussy, can irritate me, just think how some hard vicious hard-nosed jerk in a real prison would be affected by him!
You see, this guy is sending out signals and those signals are saying, “I’m scared. I’m a pussy. I’m easy. I’m vulnerable.” And so on.
And, unfortunately, not everybody in the world is kind or sympathetic. Some men just look for guys like this guy to prey on.
God, I’m long-winded aren’t I? Anyway, finally to get to the point, what I’m trying to say is that it is far better to:
Rely on your own strength instead of somebody else’s compassion!
You see most predators, when it comes to their victims, are very practical. Let’s face it. If a couple of guys decide to go to the park and mug somebody, they aren’t going to pick on some big gnarly looking guy. No, they will go after the victim who looks like easy pickup.
Strength training automatically protects you from predators without you even noticing it.
Strength Training Improves Your Posture
I’ve talked about how strength training improves your posture. Halbert observed the same thing too:
You know what? I believe that if you have two guys of the same height and same weight, and you dress them both in a full suit of clothes, that most of the time, you will still be able to tell who is the toughest. You see, when you “get tough,” not only does your appearance change, your “signals” change also. The way you move, the way you hold yourself, your reactions to outside stimuli – all of that changes.
A strong posture projects strength even when you are wearing thick clothes and your muscles are not visible.
Every Man Should Be Self Reliant
Relying on somebody else for your well-being and safety is not a good move because even the people who genuinely care about you -such as your parents- can’t always be there for you. Halbert advises his son to learn to be self-reliant:
So I want you to start getting tough and self-reliant. By the way, I read a quote by John D. Rockefeller in “The Enquirer” today to the effect that nothing is as satisfying as self-reliance, and I totally agree.
Strength training will teach you the value of self-reliance.
Gary Halbert is a writer. Yet, like every smart man (such as Nassim Nicholas Taleb), he understands the value of strength and self-reliance.
I’ve recently written a 4 part series about the benefits of strength training.
From a book written in prison, we learned that strength training can also toughen you up, make you self-reliant and increase your safety and the satisfaction you get from your life.
Is there anything strength training can’t do?
Our days on earth are limited. You must move fast. Every day you don’t start strength training is another precious day lost.
The good news is, you can get brutally strong by training only 3 hours a week.
There are absolutely no downsides to it and the upsides are virtually limitless.
Start strength training today. You will not regret it.