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The Simple Guide to Growing Some @#$%ing Balls

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You may have them. You may not.

You may have had them (at one point). You may have given them away.

Hey, you may even have had them surgically removed. That’s cool. I’m down with that.

Gentle sir/madam, I am here today to present to you an eternal truth. It is unquestionable and unalienable, unassailable, unbendable, and above all, unkickable.

If you have balls, my friend… you’re going to have a good life.

Balls are everything. They affect every part of your life from birth onward. If you got a pair early during a dice game, lucky you. But that isn’t most of us. Most of us get our balls later in life, if at all, and when we get them, it’s after scrapes, bruises and lots of scars.

How do I know this? Well, I’ll tell you. For a very long time, I did not have balls. Like most people, I wasn’t born with them. I was a big fucking wuss, actually, and I got emotionally beat down again and again by the world. This happened for many years.

But I’m not bitter. Quite the contrary, in fact. I feel good about it. Why?

It made me earn and appreciate it. It was hard, yes. I was fucked up by it for a while, sure. But I’m over it now, and when I woke up from my self-imposed miserable state, there they were.

Whether your balls are real or metaphorical doesn’t matter. Hell, real balls don’t always demonstrate themselves and metaphorical balls are often much more evident.

Women often have more balls then men, because they learn to fight for them. Men feel entitled, and so stay children their whole lives.

Whatever your gender, it’s never too late to get them. You can have balls at any point in your life. If you want them, you can get them. You can start today. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you–

The Truth About Balls

FACT 1. Balls are like medals. They are one thing, and one thing only: earned. When you have them, they are inalienable. When you don’t, getting them seems impossible. But it can be done.

You cannot be born with balls. They are not transferred from one generation to another. You cannot inherit them. You cannot buy them. And only people with the gift can bless others with it.

Therefore, you have to understand that you cannot grow balls until you act as if you already have balls! This is really important. Write it down in your handy reminder app.

FACT 2. All of your life needs more balls. Your fashion choices, your words, and your decisions– everything. Everyone is waiting for you to step up to the plate, but only balls will get you out of the dugout, time and again, so you can actually make a difference in the world.

“Balls” sounds like a noun, but its actually a verb– and so you can practice it. Every day, when you see something you want to do, act immediately as if you already had balls. That moment of resistance is actually easy to overcome, and beyond it is a bunch of actions you know you need to take.

Example! Months ago my sometimes co-author and friend Chris Brogan introduced me to Paulo Coelho, a master of the pen and sword, and yet I cannot for the love of God answer the fucking email!!! Ok, I’m going to go do it right now.

There, I feel better. Now your turn.

FACT 3. Ok, this is an important one, so listen carefully. There is fundamentally VERY LITTLE difference between people who do amazingly well and people who are normal. There are many almost Martin Luther Kings, and even more almost Vivienne Westwoods and almost Malcolm McLarens. But there is only one of each of those, and there can always only be one! Here is a Queen video to remind you of that.

The reason that I tell you this is to remind you, in absolutely every circumstance, what the consequences of having no balls actually is– a silent consequence because it is just an absence of results. But don’t let this persuade you that nothing is what was fated to happen. In fact, the opposite is true. Something is always possible– but rarely does it actually happen, because no one is willing to put in the fucking work!!!

FACT 4. Every day, people hand over their balls to others. They are never taken away– this actually cannot happen. Instead, they are willingly removed and handed to another person or institution. And if you are observant you can actually watch this happen!

Many people would think that the life is taken out of a person as they age. They become weighed down, Atlas-like, by the many burdens of the modern world– children, mortgage, family, worries.

What is not talked about is that two things actually happen when someone has a great weight on their shoulders. One is that they are slowly (or quickly) crushed. But the other is that they get stronger.

DO NOT LET THE FORMER HAPPEN TO YOU. Use the weights of the world as pressure to strengthen your resolve. As Marcus Aurelius once said:

Our inward power, when it obeys nature, reacts to events by accommodating itself to what it faces – to what is possible. It needs no specific material. It pursues its own aims as circumstances allow; it turns obstacles into fuel. As a fire overwhelms what would have quenched a lamp. What’s thrown on top of the conflagration is absorbed, consumed by it – and makes it burn still higher.

READ IT AGAIN. YES THAT QUOTE IS JUST AS AWESOME AS YOU THINK IT IS. God, I’m resorting to capital letters. I must be angrier than I thought.

FACT 5. The greatest and final fact!!! This one is the best… check this out: YOU’RE GOING TO BE DEAD SOON ANYWAY SO WHO CARES WHAT HAPPENS!!!??? This part is the most amazing of all. Seriously how easy is this.

You could die in a bed sitting by yourself having nothing to show for your life. Or you could be these guys. Your call.

* Filed by Julien at 6:10 pm under guide


Hi, I’m Julien Smith. I'm the founder and CEO of Breather.

Check out more of my blog, my free book or add me on twitter. Also, we're hiring. Check that out.

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65 Responses to “The Simple Guide to Growing Some @#$%ing Balls”

  1. Maria Says:

    A good book on…balls is Pfeffer’s “Power”.

    According to Pfeffer, no-one can achieve power without the ability to do things differently, break the rules, get our of their comfort zone and learn to play with some other more subtle rules…

    http://www.amazon.com/Power-Some-People-Have-Others/dp/0061789089/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338856662&sr=8-1

  2. Marty Collins Says:

    Great post, Julien – reminds me of this one from 2010 by another favorite blogger of mine, Danny Brown:

    http://dannybrown.me/2010/11/19/grow-some-balls/

    Must be something they put in your water over there!

  3. Michelle Sullivan Says:

    So someone you and I both know, Julien, recently wrote to me: “I just want to say, Michelle, that you have bigger balls than a silver back gorilla in heat.”

    After wiping that image from my mind and getting over the initial shock, I laughed, and loved it, because what followed was a great compliment.

    Having balls means taking risks … and doing it because you believe in what you’re doing. Yes, sometimes it means falling flat on your face.

    But god. At least you tried. At least you’ve lived.

    • Bernie White Says:

      I love the last part about “having balls means taking risks….”
      And especially “But god. At least you tried. At least you’ve lived.
      Thank you

  4. Dave Van de Walle Says:

    Only 3 people have had the balls to comment so far. I’m happy to be the 4th.

    Nice post.

  5. Sean Says:

    This shit is balls.

  6. Dara K. Says:

    Hey Julien,

    I actively keep myself unsubscribed from emails sent on a regular schedule, but if you can get the awe-inspiring Mr. Coelho (and he is awe-inspiring!) to drop me a line, I’ll resign myself to receiving your (admittedly excellent) works and type my address into the box floating at the left.

    How’s that for balls?

  7. Melissa Says:

    Your blog is amazing! I love fact#5. Honest, pure and very real. Truly refreshing, thank you! ;D

  8. Mike van Hoenselaar Says:

    If you keep on doing what you always did, you will be getting what you always got. (Or something similar :-)

  9. Javier Guillén Says:

    Thank you. No, really. Thank you.

  10. AviAvi Says:

    Actually completely useless post. The title is simple guide to growing some balls and what you have written about quite lamely let me add is why it’s important to have balls. Maybe you should actually grow some balls and actually go ahead and finish article about how you actually went about doing it.

    • Sacha Says:

      Just read it again and use your brain.

      Having balls means taking action despite having fears, so to have balls you need to act.
      What else ? It’s as simple as that.

      The whole post is just here to motivate you to actually do it.

      • AviAvi Says:

        Yes sir Mr Fanclub
        Reread and understood. The “GUIDE” to growing more balls is having enough balls to take action. Wow must be real eye opener for you guys. Have fun. BTW just by the virtue of living in a third world surroundings out here a man grows balls not by taking action but by facing consequences of his actions and choices.

        Anyways glad you felt motivated in your tiny little cubicle by this flimsy candy fluff article maybe you can go home and actually look your neighbour in the eye.

        PS Wow writing this made me feel good but seriously dude no malice if this was good for you more power to you.

        • Laura Says:

          you seem pretty uninterested in the content of this post – It sucks that your google search for “balls” didn’t return the filthy images you were actually looking for, but seriously, don’t take that out on the nice people here.

  11. Lianne Says:

    I love this. Number 5 made me laugh and struck me at the same time.

  12. Nathan Dimitriadis Says:

    Thanks man!

  13. Whitney Hoffman Says:

    All it takes is being willing to step up. Raise your hand. Stand out. Say yes instead of no to something new, No to something where Yes would be easier- It means making thoughtful decisions rather than just going with the flow and it rocks. And it makes looking at those who are still waiting to be picked, to ask for permission, to be chosen, painful. The trick of it all is that once you give up fear and are willing to swing for the fences,all sorts of other things fall into place as well.

  14. Elliott Starr Says:

    Brilliant post. Similarly, I have shared ‘the complete guide to not giving a fuck’ with so many people, you really should be proud of it, fucking awesome!

  15. James Says:

    So this post legitimately made my morning. Not to steal any thunder away from your balls, although they are great. This reminded me of my favorite Betty White quote….

    “Why do people say ‘Grow some balls?’ Balls are weak and sensitive! If you really wanna get tough, grow a vagina! Those things take a pounding.”
    -Betty White

    Great post Julien. Glad I discovered your site last week!

    • Brett Says:

      This post reminded me of another great quote from Betty White:

      It’s amazing how much fun you can have if you’ve got the balls.

  16. Jack Says:

    I am comfortable with my balls – however, this post has rekindled in me the desire to get some more epic tattoos! ;)

    • danielle Says:

      hahaha me too! ok i have a full back piece but i still have plenty of untouched territory. this post really made me wanna change that. epic indeed!

  17. Kyle Reed Says:

    One thing that helped me grow a set was moving to a town that was completely unfamiliar. Only way to survive is to grow balls, man up, and do it.

    Julien, you think there is a limit to how big your balls can get…metaphorically speaking of course.

  18. Stefanie Says:

    so grateful that I can always count on you to shake my tree… thanks.

  19. celinecelines Says:

    Balls are soft, fragile and weak. When kicked in the balls, a man cannot breathe. What you need to learn how to grow is a pair of ovaries and a @#$%ing uterus. A uterus hold a human being for 9 months without breaking. The line is you should grow a vagina, these things take a pounding. :)

  20. Kevin McNamara Says:

    Personally, very timely. Glad I subscribed. Thanks

  21. Eric Says:

    A beautiful manifesto for the very essence of “no guts, no glory”. Keep it up, Julien. I can hear the brass ones clanging from here. I personally dug the aspect of the past emotional scars leading to bigger balls.

  22. Matthew Says:

    I love that photograph!!

  23. danielle Says:

    I flippin love this post, this made me wanna high five someone but I just high fived myself instead. I especially love the end picture of the old tatt’d dudes.. since that will be me one day, but a female version of course. I had the strong urge to shout, “FUCK YEAH!” as I read this and acted on that impulse with some agression. thank you, and thank you for disturbing my quiet co-workers.

  24. rick mason Says:

    very good balls,say the way it really is.

  25. Sandra Rand Says:

    Awesome. There should be Homework III tied to this one.

  26. Jonny Says:

    Balls it shall be !

  27. Brett Henley Says:

    Dude.

    That is my only reaction, honestly.

    I’m going to go find the jar or pants or fanny pack that I left mine in … please hold.

  28. Kenny Rose Says:

    This is real. The essence of life captured and shared with passion and heart for consumption by the few so they can become many.

    Peace.

  29. Daniel Says:

    This.is.awesome.

  30. Jo-Anne Says:

    I don’t know what all the fuss about balls are they are soft and get hurt easy…………….I don’t need them…….lol

  31. Christine Says:

    As per 19, I grew balls the minute I birthed my first child. And like the kids, they just keep getting bigger. Thanks for this!

  32. ryan Says:

    just realized I need to grow a pair, bend the world over and unload! Thanks

  33. Laura Lear Says:

    Thank you for this freaking great post. This is why I’ve become such a fan of yours. I get and lose my balls more frequently than I’d like to admit, and today is one of those days where I’m ball-less, so I’m going to print this out and grow a pair tonight!

  34. Chris Says:

    Thanks for the post. It encouraged me to make the jump: i’ve just resigned my job today, and am going to try to start a business making ios apps.
    If you have any advice you’d like to email me, i’m all ears!

  35. Mika Says:

    Do the deed, then gain the courage. This piece deftly captures that crucial idea…well written. Although, I’m tempted to take a few points away for the part in the beginning where you feel the need to reflexively put down men by saying we’re like children our whole lives…last time I checked, just about everything significant in the world was invented and continues to be invented by carriers of the y chromosome.

  36. Maureen Says:

    I didn’t even realize how atrophied my metaphorical balls were until I read this. They used to be spectacular, and now I’m determined to make them so again! “[I'm] GOING TO BE DEAD SOON ANYWAY SO WHO CARES WHAT HAPPENS!!!???”

  37. Virendra rajput Says:

    Awesome post dude !!!

  38. king Says:

    This was very f@$%^&* inspiration and very true

  39. Tacotruck Says:

    You lost me when you capitalized ‘god.’

  40. Rob F. Says:

    I’ve been trying it for the past couple of days. Whenever I start feeling nervous about doing something or when something lands on my plate and I resent it, I ask myself: “Okay, Rob: Assume you have balls. What will you do?” And I get it done sans resentment or anger.

    And if I start worrying how acting as though I had balls might look and / or whom it might piss off, I find myself thinking, “hey, I’m going to be dead soon.” And it doesn’t feel nihilistic.

    Something I realised quick is that acting as though I have balls isn’t the same as acting like a dick. That helps.

    Is it odd that I got this at around the time I got a helpful e-mail from Stin Hansen at My Thought Coach about breathing when stressed? The two techniques seem to go great together.

  41. Susan Cooper Says:

    Words to live by :))). Thanks for sharing your thoughts … LOL

  42. Niels Fogt Says:

    really awesome post…really awesome closing pic!

  43. Stacey Says:

    Inspiring… And I did think hard on the “Use the weights of the world as pressure to strengthen your resolve.” So often I crawl away and hide from pressure, but it is the only thing that will build muscle… Resistance, pressure and hard work. While I could care less about actual balls and agree with Betty White, I get it and am embarking on real time application… I’m gunna go grow a set!

  44. Nise Says:

    Amazing and inspirational as usual! I am a fan and love the fact that I feel like conquering the world after I read your posts. Thank you.

  45. ali Says:

    homework 3 could not have come at a better time… my boyfriend of almost a year treats me extremely poorly, but because I love him I want to stay with him.. your blog is so helpful though in building my confidence, just wanted to say thanks :) and keep doing what you’re doing!

  46. Brett Relander Says:

    The most important words in this entire article “act as if”
    Now go get it done!

  47. Charlie Says:

    Great post. Just in time.

  48. Zac Says:

    This was a great article. You could use other words besides balls but honestly I think it gets the point across. I really enjoyed this quote here

    “Our inward power, when it obeys nature, reacts to events by accommodating itself to what it faces – to what is possible. It needs no specific material. It pursues its own aims as circumstances allow; it turns obstacles into fuel. As a fire overwhelms what would have quenched a lamp. What’s thrown on top of the conflagration is absorbed, consumed by it – and makes it burn still higher.”

    and it reminded me of this blog post here:

    https://driftermiles.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/my-outlook/

    It is amazing how many people just give their “balls” away. Many people enjoy kneeling for others over standing for themselves though. It’s easier.

    Great post.

  49. Eva Says:

    Thank you for your free book the Flinch. I could not put it down.

    This is exactly the missing link I needed to do what I want to do: to finish my bestselling science theory book.

    I could not figure out what held me back from working on it. It was the Flinch :)

    Once it is published and I am world famous, I’ll give you a signed copy :)

    God – or whoever you prefer – bless!

  50. Anonymous Says:

    Very much disagree with this article, or at least where comments are taking it. Having balls means standing up to people, willing if not always able to physically fight someone. You can have all the imagination, initiative, motivation, creativity, generosity, empathy, etc. You can achieve academic “greatness,” live alone abroad, run a business. None of that matters unless you’re willing to pop someone. Hopefully in your youth, you either did so, or practiced it and walk around knowing you could if you had to. People can literally smell that confidence or the lack of it. And if it’s the lack, be prepared for a life of being pushed around and hating yourself.

    • Patricia S. Says:

      So are actually saying you’re afraid someone might pop you for standing up for yourself if they smell fear from you so to speak? If so, you really need to grow some @#$%ing balls…

  51. Steve G. Says:

    Exactly what I was looking for tonight! Thank you! Consider yourself bookmarked…

  52. Robert F Says:

    This is what I’ve been looking for! I pretty much agree with this article 100%, or almost. This motivates me to grow my own set and keep them for life. Others can only help you so much. Other than that, you got nobody but yourself… But goddamn it, that’s all you need! Now get some fucking balls, believe in yourself, and get what you want!

    Matter of fact, I just told myself that.. Working on it. Thank you so much!

  53. Andi-Roo (@theworld4realz) Says:

    I loved #1 — takes balls to grow balls. And how true! Thanks for that reminder.

  54. Kate Says:

    Reading this was so enlightening for me. It reinforced many things that maybe I knew all along deep down but had been too “ball-less” to face.

    I have been wanting to make coconut bread for over a week and have been avoiding the initial process of whacking the coconut (that has been sitting on my counter day after day) open with a hammer because I live alone and it takes quite a bit of force. I know this may sound insignificant, but this morning your words drove me to whack the hell out of that coconut and it took probably a solid 7 or 8 minutes of trying before it finally cracked! I ended up laughing at myself for how long it took and in the beginning after the first 4 or 5 whacks I started to doubt myself. Now I have the entire coconut shredded and the bread is going to be delicious not just because it always is, but because it felt so empowering to grow a pair to finally get the job done- even though it was a small task in the grand scheme of life. Thanks so much.

  55. Ellen Moore Says:

    Recently I was told that I was a “ballsy” woman. Hadn’t heard the word in years, and considered it a high compliment.

  56. Anonymous Says:

    You’re kidding me saying women have more balls than men. Women in general, expect to never lift a fucking finger for anything and get what they want. they are the entitled ones, feminism only emasculate men these days by making men feel guilty for being men and unworthy. Hogwash Article. Another creative arts guy putting pussy on a pedestal. And yes, I have the balls to post this.

  57. James Eckelman Says:

    I want to confess to burning down the original pancake house any tips on growing some balls so I can confess to arson?

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