The Secret To Life In Two Words

Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 6.32.25 PM

It’s funny how we can find 40 million ways to complicate our lives and think we need 73 things to be just right for us to be happy…

…When really it can be broken down into two simple words.

Coming from a guy who writes blog posts with titles like 37 Ways To Be a Total Badass, I realize this may seem a little strange, but lemme explain…

Looking back at all the chaotic, fucked-up, and depressing shit I’ve experienced…all the losses, failures, mistakes, problems, and circumstances I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy (well, maybe I would )…out of everything that was painful and heartbreaking and seemed so horrible…I can see how it was necessary for me to experience all of it, so that I can have every gift in my life that I do today.

And the more painful the circumstance, the greater the gifts.


Lil’ Zoe helping Daddy work

For example, I would not have my 6-month-old daughter Zoe in my life, had every second, every inch, every loss, not happened exactly as it did.

And honestly, I would not know myself had I not lost who I thought I was.

When deep in the middle of the dark nights and shit storms, blinded by circumstances, it seems that all we can see is the hurt, anger, fear, and frustration.

But on the other side of each of those mountains is a valley more beautiful than the one before. Each dark night welcomes a new day brighter than the last.

What we do with the things that happen to us is our choice.

When bad shit happens, do we look for the gifts? Or do we resist it and fight ’til the death like a pitbull abused and beaten with a stick until it knows how to do nothing but kill.

It’s our opinion of the circumstance that causes our misery. It’s our negative perception of an event that makes it “bad.”

But whatever is…IS.

Who you are right now…whatever you’re going through…whatever is happening in this moment…it fucking IS.

The only way to truly be happy is to allow it. To accept it and embrace it for what it is. To decide to be happy no matter what kind of madness you’ve got going on in your life. And if the madness becomes something you no longer want, do something to change it—but don’t wait for the change to occur to be happy, because by the time the change occurs there’s a good chance you’ll have two or three more storms headed your way.

Acceptance is the key.

Resistance to anything is the fast-track to turning into a grumpy old curmudgeon years before you have the right to be a grumpy old curmudgeon. Save that shit for when you’re 80 (and even then it’s ill-advised, but at least you’ll have earned it).

It’s not what happens to us that really matters all that much…even though it seems like it matters. With a little time humans can bounce back from almost anything.

It’s the frame…or the meaning…that we give things that matters.

The Secret to Life in 2 Words
3CD9F6FE-92CF-49D4-B63A-142C899F2B12Acceptance is the tunnel to freedom behind your Rita Hayworth poster.

Now, if there’s something in your life to be sad about, denying those feelings of sadness and pushing them down with drugs, alcohol, some obsession, something or someone to replace what losing whatever made you sad—or putting on a fake positive attitude and Stepford Wife smile—will do more harm than good.

I’m not saying to wallow in your sorrows and turn into an asshole.

But if you wanna get back up on your feet and feel joy again….feel the “down” while you’re there, with everything in you.

Experience it head on…

Look it straight in the eye and make peace with it.

What you resist persists…so Face, Embrace, Erase.

When you deny what is, it grows in you and holds you back. Embrace “What Is,” accept the stuff you don’t like, allow it to be, take any necessary actions, move the fuck on, and laugh as often as you can.

There’s more than one human emotion. There’s no such thing as feeling “happy” all the time…no one is always totally fucking blissed-out.

The happiest people also get sad…frustrated…and sometimes even depressed.

66CD4202-9DCC-4642-86D8-7F0EA958B1E0If you want to be able to fully feel love, joy, and happiness…be willing to fully feel the other human emotions as well, even though they don’t feel good, by feeling them 100%. Then, when you ARE happy and joyous, you’ll be able to experience those feelings 100% as well.

Accept life for what it is.

You’re gonna have chaos, problems, pain, issues, disagreements, heartache, and conflict…it’s part of the job description.

But know this: without the pain, there is no growth. Without the mistakes and problems, there is no learning. Without the heartache, there is no love. Without the scars, no stories and wisdom to pass on to those who may follow.

Open your arms to life, and resist nothing.

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And, I’d love to hear your thoughts below

I do my best to answer each and every one.

Talk soon,

Big Chris

I’d like thank HighExistence for the simple, yet awesome, infographic … as well as the post title, which I tried to top, but simply was not able to

Written by Chris McCombs

Just put your primary email in here and I’ll be sure to hook you up ( I hate spam too so I promise to keep it private and never share it with anyone) … I’ll see you on the other side


  1. I came upon your blog by way of Chad Howse. I have read a few of your posts and like him, you tell it straight forward, with no regard to censorship. I find that to be a great thing. It helps give that extra needed emphasis that we all need. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  2. The genius has spoken… I don’t know how you do it but every post is like you are talking to me. I know you claim not to have it all figured out but you sure do give some awesome life advice and you are one of the funniest mother-effer’s on the internet!!!

  3. Straight up wisdom. Excellently distilled and communicated. Well done as usual Chris. You continue to inspire.

  4. What we resist, persists!

    Great stuff Chris.

    Ive always thought that those who see opportunities instead of problems will always go further.

    We have to believe that its all happen perfectly for us, and so all we can do is smile.

    I also like where you emphaiss to look at What Is.

    Too many people are stuck on talking about What IF. Who cares what if, lets deal with what it…


    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Hey Justin, like the way you put that with the whole ‘What if’ thing

      Yeah man, I write posts like this to remind myself and do my best to stay outta that fucking resistance, that shit’ll eat you alive

  5. Chief,

    I have been noticing your posts are now kinda similar to the ones some really well meaning and alive spiritual gurus wud write with the exception that they wud rather die than say fuck in one of their posts 🙂 🙂

    That fuck and the various avatars of it make the post all the more personal and real.

    Keep them coming !

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Hey thanks Dabral, I’m a big fan of some of these gurus you speak of

      I just gotta say it in my own way ya know?

      Works out better for me

      Plus, I know there’s a ton of people who would love the teachings, but can’t get into the some of the current messengers. Some dude with sleeve tats who cranks Slayer may have a hard time relating to a Tolle or a Dyer, but I figured he may be able to relate to it when put as if it’s coming from one of his buddies

      hope that makes sense

      • agreed. I’m not a vegan or a sun gazer and I don’t like wicker or flip flops.
        What I do like is loud aggressive heavy fast energetic music. Its my job and my joy.

        What I am learning lately is peace. Guys like you and James Hetfield are role models to me, successful and stand up models to people from broken families, etc. You show there is way more than the limitations fro our roots.

        I like you dude, you really do speak to guys like me. Peace, love, but no bullshit and man up to the highest potential without being a negative beast.

        Good stuff Chris. thanks.

        • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

          Hey thanks man, I love the way you said “I like you dude”

          that got to me in a good way (=

          Was actually listening to the Death Magnetic album monday while training and wondered how James is doing

          Love that dude

  6. Keep on keeping it real, Chris. I love your “straight to the point, take no prisoners, don’t care who’s feelings I hurt” type of writing. I hope people read and digest your messages. I’m sure you help a ton of people stay accountable.

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Thanks James

      I like the way you put this “straight to the point, take no prisoners, don’t care who’s feelings I hurt”

      Damn dude, you are a big ripped mother fucker BTW, congrats on all the hard work it’s taken you to get there

  7. Big C,

    This ties in tightly with some of the research I’ve been doing on Zen philosophy. Curious, do you read or listen to any of Alan Watts stuff?

    Good read as always.


    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Hey Jason, thanks man

      Read some Watts years ago, not much… but have read all kinds of Zen stuff and similar teachings over the years

      Anything that points to truth and the now, i’m a big fan of

  8. Avatar Renaldo says:


    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Why thank you Renaldo, I can tell just by the way you put those 4 words that you’re an intense mother fucker (=

  9. Bravo! You are a modern day sage who unveils the truth for all to see. I enjoy reading you blog and your words resonate within. Thanks.

  10. Avatar Ranger Buck says:

    Great post. Resisting leads to making excuses which leads to a negative feedback loop of failure. One of my hero’s is ADM Jim Stockdale. He was the highest ranking POW’s in Viet Nam. Shot down and captured in 1965. He survived years of imprisonment and torture by clinging to a single principle: “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the DISCIPLINE to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” I’ve applied that principle in my life with outstanding results. So..Embrace the Suck – make it work for you and you will always prevail. Rangers Lead The Way!!

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Hey Buck, damn man, that’s powerful stuff

      never heard of him man, so I really appreciate you sharing it here

      People who survive torture fucking amaze me, I had someone in my life very close to me who had survived extreme and brutal torture, and it used to blow my mind how they survived

      much respect

  11. Hi Chris….this blog is spot on, but boy am I struggling with this latest monster storm that life has thrown me. Eighteen months ago I found my 22 year old beautiful son in his bedroom dead from an accidental overdose. I’ve been doing the work of this immense grief by going into this excruciating pain when possible, sometimes with my therapist. I am looking this straight in the eye. Little by little. And I am embracing/accepting this little by little. The “erasing” part doesn’t seem to apply though. How would you apply “erase” if you were to lose Zoe? I’ve always said that I wouldn’t trade any of the shit I’ve gone through in my past, because the greatest gifts out of it all have been my two beautiful boys. No matter what growth, learning, love or wisdom comes out of my son’s death, and there have been some of those already, I would trade them all in a heartbeat to have him back. Any “opportunity” that this “problem” has for me I would trade for just one more hug. But, enough said. The “erase” word. Is that equivalent to making peace with this traumatic and tragic life event…this loss of my precious boy? If so, it’s a long ways off.

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Mary, I am so sorry for your loss

      I honestly do not know what I would do. To me, losing a child is my worst nightmare and seems to be one of the hardest things in the world to go through.

      I have no right to tell you how to deal with a situation of such magnitude because I have not gone through it and realize it’s one of the most painful things any person can experience.

      I can tell you this, I know a number of people who have overcome similar tragedies… it’s not that it ever went away, but over time, the pain healed and life go better… however, I don’t beleive the pain ever fully goes away, it’s just seems they are able to live with it better and accept it more as time goes on

      it’s a good thing that you’re out looking for answers instead of letting this permanently destroy you, as your son would not want that I’m sure

      Much Love

      Much Respect

    • Mary – I read your message to Chris and wanted to share another blog post I read recently. This was written by Paul Carter on his blog, Lift-Run-Bang and shares some thoughtful insight which hopefully will be helpful.

      Chris – I hope you don’t mind me sharing another blog on your site here… I figured you wouldn’t.

  12. GREAT stuff Chris!

    I’m always looking forward to new posts.

    Your shit keeps me MOTIVATED!

  13. Fantastic reminder, thank you, Chris.

  14. I really liked that post. Somehow, we learn about being proactive, and not reactive, being response-able and all that. I’ve read books like “Think and Grow Rich” and “The Seven Habits of Effective People” among many other things that have helped. However, sometimes, the right drawers don’t open at the right time, we forget and we sink into darkness. So, thanks for reminding us of the above Chris 🙂

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Valerie, I’m right there with you

      Massive, positive, productive action with a clear vision of what we want

      But then doing our best to remain unattached tho the outcomes

  15. Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

    Right on AJ

    I have crazy shit hanging over my head as well

    And that’s why I write this stuff, to help keep me centered and straight, cuz I too can easily get lost in the “things should be some other way” thing ya know?

    We do what we can, and then let the chips fall where they may


    I think about people who lose their houses in tornadoes, or worse, loved ones, like Mary who lost her son (a few comments up the page)

    thanks for opening your heart here

  16. Hi Chris! I have been lurking for a while and I thought it was high time I write and tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog posts. This one in particular resonates with me. I have spent a whole lot of time in the past ‘resisting’. What a waste of time and energy!!!!! Keep up the great writing – I always look forward to reading your posts!

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:


      that’s one of my favorite words

      thanks for sharing Carla, glad it resonated (=

  17. Chris,

    I have been following your blogs for almost 3 years now!! This blog relates to me and so many that struggle with so many areas of their life. I am going to pass this on for many to read.

    Thank you!


    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Hey thanks Steve, 3 years huh? thanks cool, so you’re from the kick back days, awesome man

      good to know

      I appreciate you chiming in brother

  18. You said it perfectly, “But if you wanna get back up on your feet and feel joy again…. feel the “down” while you’re there with everything in you.

    Experience it head on…”

    I experienced a break up a second time over with the same person, it was like a really bad case of deja-vu, but I knew the sadness would pass. It was really depressing, but I just let myself be depressed, I still went out and did things, but I allowed myself to feel and be sad, after a little while, other things just took over the sadness, took over my attention, my routine picked back up, and although I still had some remnants of the sadness, I wasn’t wallowing in depression or drinking myself silly every weekend. I made peace with it, and then I found something that gave me even more peace within myself.
    In case you’re interested I wrote a little blog on it.
    Anyways, your thinking and your article is on point!

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Hey Elly, thanks awesome, not dealing with that stuff, by chasing other things/people to kill the pain only pushes it down where it will creep around and come back to get us later on

      Presence is the key, glad you were able to allow it

      I’m sure you’re happier and better for it (=

  19. You had me at Rita Hayworth…one of my favorite movies of all time (Shawshank).

    I’ve heard this presented before, but you did a really good job Chris. The part that stands out to me is that you don’t have to like it, just don’t resist it and take action to improve the situation.

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Right on Johm, I wondered if anyone was gonna get the Shawshank metaphor in there, glad you liked it

      yeah, thanks prob my all time fave flick

      thanks again John

  20. Chris….thank you for your thoughtful and caring reply. You are right about what you’ve observed with others and their journeys of great loss. The pain does seem to always be there, and it does seem that I am getting better at managing it. And yes, I am looking for answers, but not to the question “why” any longer. It’s now become a question of “what.” What good can I make happen in honor of my son? What difference can I make in honor of my son? What way am I going to live my life now that honors my son?

    Again, I so appreciate your compassionate reply.

    Much love and much respect back.

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      So cool mary

      Yeah “why?” can mess us up

      Hows and what’s are much better

      I dig how you’re doing it

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      So cool mary

      Yeah “why?” can mess us up

      Hows and what’s are much better

      I dig how you’re doing it

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      So cool mary

      Yeah “why?” can mess us up

      Hows and what’s are much better

      I dig how you’re doing it

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      So cool mary

      Yeah “why?” can mess us up

      Hows and what’s are much better

      I dig how you’re doing it

  21. Avatar Allison Ross says:

    You need an editor !!!!
    Just a bit of a typo ..
    ..looking it right in the eye comment..
    Um..there’s a word missing…
    Hold on..gotta scroll all the way back up…ok..”Look it Im the straight in the eye..” should read “Look it straight in the eye..”
    Otherwise, another awesome post, Chris!
    I am a journalist .. TV news anchorwoman by trade..and I love your “schtuff”!!!! But I will never miss a typo !

  22. Avatar Allison Ross says:

    I have a typo in my comment about your typo!!! Haha!
    You put:
    Look it in the straight in the eye
    Should be:
    Look it straight in the eye

  23. Avatar wendee B says:

    🙂 when I read your posts, I can see you sitting and typing as fast as you can because the thoughts just keep coming out. I can feel your determination. This one reminds me of my favorite zen author, Brad Warren. Resist and it will persist. Struggle with that still. As always, shared!

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      hey thanks Wendee

      gonna check out Brad’s stuff

      yeah, I TRY to type fast, but since I peck, it’s actually pretty ugly til I clean it up (=

  24. This is one of the best explanations of my own life philosophy that I have ever read! Better than I can explain it! Posted to my Facebook

  25. Resist Nothing… is basically the motto of the Japanese martial art Aikido. It is also known as the art of non-resistance because you accept the attack and energy of your attacker and then re-direct it or neutralize it. I studied Aikido for a couple years and really loved it. Both the martial techniques and philosophy. Luckily I had a good instructor who was a 5th degree black belt in Aikido, an ex-cop and military so the Aikido he taught was solid and combat tested. I would really like to get back into someday.

  26. Right no man. Resistance only causes frustration and anxiety. Something I have to remind myself every day. If I let every little thing that goes wrong get to me, I would be a nervous wreck… like this past week 😉 Thanks for the reminder!

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Yeah man, resistance is mother fucker

      Crazy, it took me well over three decades to even know it existed

      What an awakening it can be

  27. Your blog has come into my life and the exact right moment with this article being particularly poignant for me – I love your writing and life philosophy. The more I read, the more empowered I feel – thank you for putting this wonderful stuff out into the universe for the rest of us to ponder, reflect and apply to our own existence xx

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      You’re welcome Emily, and thank you for your kind words, I’m glad you’re finding the site helpful (=

  28. Man I tell people this all the time. I lost my little 6 year old boy and two others in a terrible accident 3 years ago. I’ve been through the worst shit storm imaginable. Do I have pain? Heck yes. Do I want pity? No. The only reason I tell people my story is to put things in perspective. Drama is just that. Suck it up and put your big boy/girl boots on. The shits gonna come. How you respond and move forward is what impacts lives around you. That’s what this game of life is all about.

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Hey Steve, losing a child is my worst nightmare

      Damn brother, I’m at a loss for words

      Something like that puts everything else in perspective

      I do know that I respect and appreciate your attitude BIG TIME

      thank you so much for sharing this

  29. People spend a lot of time searching for the big answers and it’s always right inside us all along. Thanks for the blog. Glad I discovered your writings. I googled something about being miserable and one of your posts showed up and help lift my spirits. Thanks.

  30. Thanks Chris, I needed to read exactly what was written in this blog today…I appreciate it.

  31. Thanks Chris,

    Your post affirms what I learned earlier this past year when things were not going well for me at all.

    1. Embrace the bad circumstances.
    2. Then examine the circumstances and learn from the experience.
    3. Make the necessary changes and move forward.

    After nearly a year of quite a few failures and missed opportunities, as of this week I am now on the doorstep of several major successful business ventures.

    Quote I have embraced this past year, “God has given me the ability, the rest is up to me, believe, believe, believe.” Billy Mills, 10,000 meter run Gold Medalist, 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

    Thanks again brother for all your words of inspiration over these past 10 months.

  32. Avatar MOMO PANTS says:

    after this year of losses. and fear. i finally looked at it accepted it and felt it. i thanked it for coming to teach me what i needed and said goodbye to what was gone and smiled in peace knowing i won. once i let go opened up. and loved showed up. because i knew i could survive anything because i had me. and i am fucking awesome. the stokers celebrate the anniversary of the stroke calling it a rebirth day. I’m calling it i am alive today.Nov 15 Th the 1 year anniversary of my life from hell festival journey i will declare it the end of what was and the beginning. O all things alive and well

  33. Our friends’ 12 year old daughter was brutally raped and murdered on her way to school. She had cut across a empty building lot at 8am and was viciously attacked. It’s impossible to accept child rape as anything other than evil which must be hunted down and brought to justice. The grief our friends felt lasted for the rest of their lives. They knew they would see her again, but the heinous crime haunted them.

    Numbing ourselves to the reality of evil creates passivity. One child rapist- murderer in the community is untenable and must be fought relentlessly. Where does that relentless energy come from? Anger. Righteous indignation.

    Currently pedophiles, people who are sexually attracted to children, are pushing for the same rights as gays. They want to live openly and form clubs without anyone discriminating against them. Pedophilia is now considered a “sexual orientation.” They want to be hired as teachers in schools – as long as they don’t have a criminal record. A sexual orientation is not a crime. Who will stand up to them? Someone who accepts the reality? Or someone who says, “Hell, no.”

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Hey Su, first of all what you’re speaking is a heartbreaking and evil act and a parents worst nightmare

      I’ve never experienced that kind of loss so I can’t speak to it directly

      I think you misunderstood me a little, or I didn’t communicate my message clearly

      I’m not saying don’t stand and fight for what’s right

      I’m just saying, internally, we need to come to some kind of peace and acceptance of what is

      that said, the loss of a child, especially through something like rape and murder is probably one of the hardest things to cope with anyone could EVER face

      And personally, I’m not sure I’d ever be able to make peace with something like that

      I hope I never have to

      My heart goes out to family

  34. Big Chris,

    That is some straight up kick-ass wisdom! Just how I really appreciate it, no sugar-coating, and put out there with some humor.
    I wish I could share this with my soon to be ex, who is resentful, regretful and angry, but, I can’t… I’ve been hooked into trying ‘to help’ my partner for years, and… It doesn’t work!
    I am finally NOT RESISTING that reality, and I have a shit-ton of time, energy and love to focus on what I can enlighten, ME!
    Thanks for the good reading and inspiration for the journey.

    Feeling damn grateful.

  35. Chris, I’m a long time reader, first time commenter 😉

    Thanks. Just thanks. You know when you’ve read all the self help stuff, you go through your good days being present and grateful and your bad ones telling yourself “just breathe, be kind, this will pass…” or some other jargon to help yourself along… and then you have a bad day that hits you for a six. Well then I reveived this blog, and now I feel reminded and equipped to get in with looking forward to the better times, not just assuming there’s the shit storm of shit storms hovering on the horizon. Cheers. You really help people :))

  36. Just want to say…you rock!
    I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog.
    thank you…more than you know!

  37. Damn, Chris….. right when I was enjoying my one-man pity party and being pissed off at the cops in my town, you hit me right between the eyes. Sometimes, you’re so spot on, it’s like you’re reading the journal I don’t even keep; touche’ and THANKS, I’LL SURRENDER! LOL. LOVE IT!

  38. chris i wanted to ask whats your opinion on people that use anti-depressants or substances like marijuana to help themselves? is that weak?

    Thank you

  39. So fuckin’ good to find your site! Find through — I will read every single words. So let’s go!

  40. Avatar Peachey says:

    I could not need this advise more right now. Thank you for your insight, you are helping me.

  41. Hi Chris,

    I came accross your blog by tyoing on google: how to not take life seriously…this is who I am and yes, I guess I am no fun to be with… 🙁 I take all so serious and personal and I see life could be much easier, I should enjoy, who knows, maybe tomorrow I die…
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You are so write, I will print it out and read it every morning before getting up from bed.
    Cheers mate, take care and keep blogging!


  42. googled don’t treat life seriously, clicked some links and here i am! feeling lucky to find your blog. keep writing good stuff! i’ll be sure to keep reading ’em ^_^

  43. The truth of your concept will be tested when its your child that is being……(insert anything here)
    For ourselves, yes, we can endure, move on rise above, let go…but can we follow our ideals when its our own child at the crux?

  44. Dude, thank you for sharing your mind from the heart. First time reading you, but it feels totally genuine, like sitting down and shooting the shit. Resistance is futile! Thanks for the reminder.

  45. If something bad happens i always accept reality (it already happened) and life’s absurdity). Thanks for interesting post Chris.

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