What a [Druglord] Can Teach You About Being Yourself

being yourselfWhat can a murderous criminal who feeds off the addictions and fears and poverty of millions show you about being a better person?  In what way can he be an example of the personal qualities you yourself should cultivate?  In this next part of our on-going series on What [Villains] Can Teach You About Being Yourself” we’re gonna talk about some of the richest, most powerful, Most Wanted men in the world…

So…what can a druglord teach you about being yourself?  A shit ton of course…

Most, though, wouldn’t see many redeeming qualities in dudes who do what druglords do.

I mean, let’s just list the shit out…

  • Peddling substances to kids and adults that ruins lives, breaks families, and kills men, women, and children?
  • Taking advantage of those people with the least education and opportunity in life, and giving them the means by which they’ll destroy themselves and others?
  • Kidnapping buses full of innocent people who are only trying to start a new life in America – either forcing them to run drugs and kill others, or outright butchering them right there on the side of the road because they refuse?
  • Admittedly and openly assassinating every politician, police officer, and news reporter who speaks out against them, or acts to thwart them – killing them in front of their families, and hanging their bodies or heads from bridges as a warning for the world to see?


Not very cool at all.

Not very right at all.

Pretty damn evil, in fact.

But think of something…

In the world of organized crime – a world of constant danger, and violence, and death – where the combined resources of the world’s largest and most powerful nations are employed every moment of every day to find you; where your success and survival depends almost solely upon people you have every need to count upon but no reason to trust; where those few people you allow in your inner circle have nothing to lose, and billions of dollars to gain, if only they’d betray you to the enemy, if only they’d sell you out to the rival boss who’d gladly trade a million innocent lives for yours alone – what does it take to not only survive this kind of business, but to rule it.

What of them holds it together, when anyone else would break under the pressure and fear of those around them, those that want them, those that spend every day plotting against them?

What about them lets them rise from poverty to riches, from poor and troubled nobodies from tiny towns, to the leaders of cartels of the most hardened criminals in the world?

What in them allows them to last a single day at all – in a lifestyle where none live to see old age in anything but the darkness of a prison cell?

Maybe you haven’t noticed…

…but there’s a drug war that’s been going on for years now.  The Narco Wars, they call them, where rival Mexican cartels have fought each other, and the Mexican government, for supremacy and territory in a wave of violence that’s killed a shit-ton of people (over 50,000 according to Encyclopedia Wikipedia).

Los Zetas Cartel.  Tijuana Cartel.  Juarez Cartel.  Gulf Cartel.

And, of course, the Sinaloa Cartel.  The most powerful (and largest) cartel in the world.

The Sinaloas are led by a man named Joaquin Guzman (pictured above).

The dude stands at a very imposing 5’6”.

He’s a little pudgy too (though I wouldn’t dare tell him).

And despite it all, he is now, and has been for years, one the most powerful men in the world (according to Forbes) – ahead of the CEO of Apple even, and the Prime Minister of Japan, and only just behind Bill Clinton and the Dalai Lama.

Because he has what few others have.

Serious fucking internal strength.

Very real toughness.

And a level of total bad-assery that you won’t see around the house, the neighborhood, school, or work.

A kind that doesn’t just instill fear, but commands respect.

I mean, think about it…

This is a dude who has to maneuver a complex world of ambitious and murderous men (about the most dangerous kinda person there is).  It’s his job, in fact, to carve markets for his products from dudes who kill hundreds to keep a few city blocks of their territory as their territory.

And he has to do it through his words, and actions, and reputation alone.

He has to do it through fear – through a heart so cold, and veins so ice – that thousands will do as he says because at their core they know and feel that this dude means the threats that he says, and is the heartless man that he claims.

And that shit isn’t easy.

Cause a gun alone can’t control thousands.

A gun alone isn’t threatening to men who have plenty.

A gun alone doesn’t earn you the respect of the world’s most wanted and dangerous criminals.  It doesn’t show the world’s worst murderers, dealers, and thugs that you’re a man not to be crossed, or fucked-with; that you’re a man they should defer to and submit to; that you’re a man – amongst men most anyone else would consider very threatening in their own right.

A gun alone doesn’t make you leader of the largest cartel in the world.

Cause You try doing the same at your local prison yard, with anything but dynamite strapped to your chest, and see if you can earn the fear of even one of them, let alone all.

You won’t succeed.

They’re a tough fucking crowd.

Cause these dudes are hard.

These dudes live and were raised in a world where fear is currency, and they aren’t afraid of much.

But they are all afraid of him – short, pudgy little Joaquin Guzman.

And that says a lot about him – who he is, what he is.

A while ago (no clue really)…

…I put up one of my favorite quotes, once said by Pablo Escobar, who himself is considered by many to be the most infamous druglord who ever lived, and some say is second now only to…Joaquin Guzman:

“There are two hundred million idiots, manipulated by a million intelligent men.”

being yourselfIt’s a sick quote, and some serious wisdom.

But people don’t usually quote druglords, right?  They don’t see anything inspiring in them.

But anyone who can achieve what they’ve achieved does so, I guarantee you, because of an uncanny understanding of the human psyche.

And there’s perhaps no one who better understands the actions, behaviors, thoughts, and fears of men than dudes like Guzman and Escobar, who are able to instill fear in everyone and obedience in so many; who could ruthlessly control the lives of thousands with nothing more than the same arms, and legs, and minds that we all have; that we’re all given.

Cause, look at them.

They aren’t superhuman.

They aren’t 30 feet tall, or stronger than 10,000 men.

They’re just men.  Just one man, each of them.

Think of what that takes, then, to become what they became and have become.

The iciness.

The toughness.

The cunning, and daring, and scheming required to be a druglord; to rule and dominate the drug world; to become a Pablo Escobar, or a Joaquin Guzman.

But – more than anything – think of the strength.  The complete lack of fear, of nervousness, of belief that anyone is more capable, more dangerous, more anything than themselves.

The total and unshakeable confidence.

Every day, Guzman meets with, and surrounds himself with, the scariest dudes imaginable.

Do you think he does so afraid of what he’ll say that might piss them off, or what they’ll do that might hurt him – as we do so much every day, or as we definitely freaking would if we were him?

Do you think he walks in there meekly and timid – feeling like they hold the power, or they need to be impressed – like we do so much every day?

Do you think any person he might meet or do business with makes him feel any more nervous, any more scared, any less his total and uninhibited Self – as others do to us every day?



He is always the most confident in the room.  He is always the most sure of himself in the room.  He is always the one whose voice never wavers, whose eyes never flinch, who never ever feels reluctant to say what he wants, or do what he wants in the company of men who are so used to being feared.

He would have never have become what he became if this were not the case – if he had shown even the slightest weakness in the face of their intimidation.

He wouldn’t have survived a day.

And that’s a damn respectable thing – from a person who’s otherwise so unrespectable.

So what can a druglord teach you about being yourself?

That the weak defer to the strong.

That your best Self is your strongest Self.

That the will of a few who possess strength, shape the behaviors of the many who do not.

That strength.  Always.  Wins.

It’s why we can be so affected or hurt by our parents, and our family, and our friends when we’re young; by bullies and cliques and popular kids in our youth; and by bosses and coworkers and whoever else for the rest of our lives…

Cause we care.

Cause we try to be what they want us to be.

Cause we’re weak.

But…you either control or are controlled.

There is no in between.

What kind of person, then, would you rather be?  Strong, or weak?  An Escobar or Guzman, or…one the nameless, faceless people men and women like them step over every day to reach success?

You needn’t sell drugs, though, or join gangs, or kill thousands.  You don’t wanna be wanted by every nation, and neighbor, and “friend” for the bounty on your head.  You don’t wanna be like these men in any other sense.

But…you can be a little stronger today than you were yesterday.

You can do a little more that scares you, so you have a little more that doesn’t.

You can realize that every day you’re weak is another day you’re not your best Self, not your Self at all.

And you can chalk this wisdom up to murderous, dangerous, and damn evil druglords…


Share and comment below.  And if you see Guzman…run.


4 Responses to What a [Druglord] Can Teach You About Being Yourself

  1. marco says:

    Nice post of yours, I Really dig the whole articule, It came to me at the right place at the right time. So true about having “inner strenght”.

    Kudos to you adam, Have a sick week.

  2. Ernie says:

    Very well written! Yeah, despite the painful and collateral (sometimes irreversible) damage brought by these guys, your point is still valid: it takes “real” guts to became “el capo”. I wish to have at least 1% of brass balls they have. Nevertheless, your argument opens another debate: What about the rules? Can you simply underestimate them?. Certainly, inside the mafia ruling might have different (and fascinating) logic.

    • Adam Austyn says:

      I think we’d have to join to find out, Ernie. And I’m not sure either of us are ready for that kinda stress.

      Thanks for reading though. Appreciate it.

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