There are two types of badasses in this world: idiots and heroes. We all know an idiot or two: the friend that, especially when drunk, is willing to do crazy things with nary a second thought to their safety. Their bravado is simple: fear is simply not part of the equation. But there’s a second type, too: the heroes. These are the average Joes whose life is punctuated by real danger and fear, but who fulfils their true duties despite the presence of fear.

Idiot badasses have no fear at all. It is as though they were born with a part of their brain missing. Or maybe they simply give no heed to the consequences of their actions, as though thinking further than 10 minutes into the future is beyond their capabilities. Or, most insidiously, a bigger fear overshadows every other fear: the fear of being exposed as a scared wuss. The idiot will chase cheap thrills (see: trainsurfing) without a trace of fear, but will never attempt the big challenges of life.

The idiot badass has a big disadvantage over the rest of us: with no fear, he has no compass that points towards what he should be truly doing. When you’ve got a set of goals in front of you, and you’re wondering what to do next, the easiest way to prioritise is to consider which one scares you the most. That is your internal compass pointing you towards which course of action is what you truly should be doing with your life. However, the idiot badass cannot rely upon this, because they have trashed their compass.

True badasses look like you and me. An average life, full of the normal big challenges we all face. These big challenges carry real danger: What if i can’t find a job? I’ll lose the house. These dangers gives rise to fear. This sprinkling of fear is what prevents most people from rising to the challenges they face, and thus they check out, and settle for a second rate existence. But a true badass sees these fears for what they are: hollow bullies that, once confronted, will crumple like a paper tiger. And thus the life of a true badass consists of moving from challenge to challenge, facing and feeling fear the whole time, but fighting forwards with the knowledge that ‘I have what it takes to beat this’.

It is a truly satisfying life, beating increasingly larger challenges and fears, free from the need to chase the cheap thrills that an idiot badass will do. Who needs to go train surfing to prove their bravado, when day in and day out you’re kicking ass when it comes to what is truly important? Personal demons, financial troubles, marriage woes, problems with the kids – all these are the challenges that you were put on this earth to beat. Your life is a hollywood blockbuster. These problems are the stereotypical eurotrash bad-guy, wreaking havoc on the people you love. You’re mission is clear – face your fears, overcome these challenges, do it scared, and kick his ass. Do that, and you’re a true badass in my book.

Thanks for reading! And if you want to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you: chris.hulbert at gmail.