Good, Fast, or Cheap: The Trilemma of Life

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s talk about life. But not just any life – your life. And not just any aspect of your life – but the dreaded decision-making part. Now, before you roll your eyes and groan, “Not more motivational mumbo-jumbo!”, allow us to present the situation using a simple, humorously tragic truth known as “The Trilemma of Service”.

You see, life is a lot like a restaurant. It’s open 24/7, the menu is vast, and the kitchen is perpetually chaotic. In any self-respecting eatery, you have three choices – you can have your meal good, fast, or cheap. But here’s the kicker: You only get to pick two. Let’s dish out the details…

Firstly, if you want it good and fast, it’s not going to be cheap. Think of it as wanting a gourmet steak, cooked to perfection, and on your plate in the next ten minutes. Unless you have Gordon Ramsay chained in your basement, you’re going to have to cough up some serious dough for this wish.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for fast and cheap, well, it’s not going to be good. That’s like expecting a five-star meal from a vending machine. In the real world, you’re more likely to end up with a stale sandwich and a side order of food poisoning.

Lastly, if you’re after good and cheap, it’s definitely not going to be fast. That’s like wanting a handmade, intricate piece of jewelry for the price of a soda can tab. You’ll probably have to wait till the next ice age before you see the finished product.

You see, this cheeky trilemma holds true for more than just meals and jewelry. It’s a life lesson, delivered with a side of humor and a pinch of salt. It’s about understanding that you can’t have it all, and that’s okay. It’s about embracing compromise, accepting limitations, and finding balance.

But remember, as much as we chuckle over this trilemma, we must also recognize its inherent wisdom. Life is a beautiful but messy potluck, where we can’t always control the ingredients. But we can choose our portion size, and mix and match to make it palatable.

So the next time you’re faced with the ‘good, fast, cheap’ trilemma, don’t just groan in exasperation. Laugh at its audacity, ponder its truth, and then, make your choice. But remember, no matter what you choose, make sure it’s a decision that doesn’t give you indigestion. Bon appétit, folks!

More Ass-Kicking Content Below…

Don’t Widen Home Plate: A Baseball Metaphor for Maintaining Standards and Values

John Scolinos’ (a baseball coach hall of fame inductee) famous “Home Plate” speech began with him walking onto the stage with home plate hanging from a string around his neck. He asks the audience how wide home plate is in Little League? High school? College? And finally the major leagues? The answer, of course, was 17 inches for all levels of play. In his speech, he repeats, “17 inches… 17 inches… 17 inches…”

He goes on to ask, “what is this trying to tell us?” A dramatic pause, followed by, “This [home plate] is important! For kids, for teenagers, adults, and all the old guys like me… Certain standards, certain values, certain rules stay the same!” A deafening silence sweeps across the audience as the coaches weigh the gravity of his statement.

He continues by explaining how coaches, players, and society often try to “widen the plate” by bending the rules and compromising standards to make things easier for themselves. Scolinos drives home the point of the importance of maintaining one’s ethics and not compromising one’s values, both in baseball, but perhaps more importantly, in life too.

“If you got a pitcher for crying out loud that can’t get the ball over the plate whatta ya gonna tell ’em, ‘Hey, Larry, don’t worry about it I am going to widen home plate.'” The crowd chuckles. The meaning is clear, pitchers who consistently fail to throw strikes within those 17-inches were not given a wider plate but were instead taught to improve their skills. Scolinos uses home plate as a beautiful metaphor for personal growth, responsibility, and accountability in our lives.

He goes on to ask the coaches in the room, “Let me ask you a question, and you answer it? What will profit you as a coach if you gain all the baseball knowledge and win all the games, but you don’t influence your ball players in the right direction? You guys answer that…” He concluded his speech by encouraging coaches to instill discipline, work ethic, and strong values in their players, ultimately preparing them not just for baseball, but more importantly for life. The home plate around his neck served as a powerful reminder of the importance of maintaining consistent standards, no matter the level of play, nor the challenges one may face in life.

Some More Great Sports Related Motivation…

The Navy SEAL Breathing Technique: Enhancing Focus and Mental Sharpness

The Navy SEAL breathing technique, also known as “box breathing” or “four-square breathing,” is a simple yet effective method used by elite military personnel to maintain focus, mental sharpness, and composure under high-stress situations. This technique can be easily incorporated into your daily routine, providing numerous cognitive and emotional benefits. In this article, we will explore the Navy SEAL breathing technique and its potential to enhance focus and mental sharpness.

Understanding the Navy SEAL Breathing Technique

The Navy SEAL breathing technique involves inhaling, holding the breath, exhaling, and holding the breath again, each for an equal duration, typically four seconds. This creates a “box” pattern, as each part of the cycle is equal in length:

  • Inhale for four seconds
  • Hold your breath for four seconds
  • Exhale for four seconds
  • Hold your breath for four seconds

This process is then repeated for several cycles, usually for a few minutes, until a sense of calm and focus is achieved.

Benefits of the Navy SEAL Breathing Technique

There are several benefits to practicing the Navy SEAL breathing technique, which contribute to enhanced focus and mental sharpness:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety: By regulating your breathing, you can activate the body’s relaxation response, counteracting the effects of stress and anxiety. This helps to clear your mind and maintain focus during high-pressure situations.
  • Increased oxygen supply: The technique promotes deeper, more controlled breaths, ensuring that your brain receives an adequate supply of oxygen. This can help to improve cognitive function, including focus, memory, and problem-solving abilities.
  • Enhanced mindfulness: The Navy SEAL breathing technique encourages you to bring your full attention to the present moment, promoting a state of mindfulness. This heightened awareness can help to sharpen your mental faculties and maintain focus on the task at hand.
  • Improved emotional regulation: By practicing this technique regularly, you can develop greater control over your emotional responses, enabling you to remain composed and level-headed under pressure.

Playful Seal

Incorporating the Navy SEAL Breathing Technique into Your Daily Routine

To reap the benefits of the Navy SEAL breathing technique, it’s essential to practice it consistently. Set aside a few minutes each day to practice the technique, gradually increasing the duration and frequency as you become more comfortable with it. You can also use this technique in high-stress situations, such as before a presentation or during a challenging conversation, to maintain focus and composure.

To further enhance the effectiveness of the technique, consider incorporating visualization and positive affirmations. As you practice the breathing cycle, visualize yourself succeeding in your current task, and repeat positive affirmations that reinforce your confidence and focus.

The Navy SEAL breathing technique offers a simple yet powerful tool for enhancing focus and mental sharpness under pressure. By incorporating this technique into your daily routine, you can develop greater resilience, emotional regulation, and cognitive function, allowing you to tackle high-stress situations with poise and confidence.

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Wise Cowboy

A Cowboy’s Guide to Life: Humor and Some Damn-Good Advice

I came across these nuggets of gold during my undergraduate work. I found them humorous and filled with very good advice for living a fulfilling and successful life. The Cowboy’s Guide to Life (at least the version I copied down in my journal many years ago) is reproduced below with our interpretations beneath each. We hope you like!

“Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.”

Worrying too much about the future is often pointless, as many of the things we worry about never actually happen. It can be better to focus on the present moment and take action to address any real problems as they arise.

“Life ain’t about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.”

Resilience and adaptability in life are paramount to living a fulfilling life. It’s not always about achieving great success or reaching the top, but about being able to handle setbacks in a constructive way.

“Words that soak into your ears are whispered, not yelled.”

Effective communication is more more about how you say something than what you say. Speaking calmly and respectfully can be remarkably persuasive.

“Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.”

A practical, problem-solving approach to life will get you much further than trying to tackle every single problem that arises. Instead of trying to remove every obstacle or challenge that comes our way, sometimes it’s easier and more effective to simply work around it.

“Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.”

Forgiveness can be a powerful tool for both the forgiver and the forgiven. It can be difficult to let go of anger and resentment, but doing will almost invariably lead to greater peace and happiness.


“Don’t sell your mule to buy a plow.”

Avoid impulsive decisions that sacrifice long-term stability for short-term gain. It’s important to consider the consequences of our actions and make decisions that will benefit us in the long run.

“If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there with ya.”

Remember to stay connected to others and not become too focused on our own goals and desires. As a leader it is important to ensure that the people following you have bought into your vision of how to accomplish the task at hand. Additionally, being aware of how your actions impact others is important to becoming respected and loved.

“Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you. You cannot unsay a cruel word.”

In other words, choose our battles wisely and be mindful of our words and actions. Once something hurtful is said or done, it cannot be taken back, so it’s important to act with a healthy dose of caution and kindness.

“Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.”

The power of restraint and choosing not to engage in unnecessary conflict or drama is a very useful skill. Sometimes the best way to handle a situation is simply to stay quiet and let things play out. Another humorous way to approach this is: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.” (I believe it was Jefferson who said this, but I could be wrong…).

“Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t botherin’ you none.”

Don’t go searching for a fight! The most elite special forces in the world know this; it is better to walk away from a fight than to actively encourage it, especially when there is nothing to gain.

“Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.”

Circumstances can play a big role in whether or not someone is successful. It’s important to be aware of the factors that may impact our success and to be strategic in our actions. Often times, we cannot control these factors, but nonetheless we whould still do our best! Food-for-though: would Bill Gates have been Bill Gates if he was born in the year 1200???

“The easiest way to eat crow is while it’s still warm. The colder it gets, the harder it is to swaller.”

This quotation encourages us to take responsibility for our mistakes and apologize as soon as possible. The longer we wait, the harder it can be to make things right. Taking responsibility for our actions is always appropriate!

“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.”

Pretty good advice! In other words, if things are not going the way you were hoping, it is probably better to stop doing what you are doing and re-think your strategy.

“The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with looks at you in the mirror every mornin’.”

It usually isn’t the world that gets in the way, it is our own short-comings. Get out of your own way!

“Don’t worry about bitin’ off more ‘n you can chew; your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger’n you think.”

Take risks and push yourself outside of comfort zones, even if it feels daunting. It’s important to remember that we are often capable of much more than we realize.

“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.”

You will make mistakes in life! This is unavoidable. Fortunately, mistakes serve as valuable learning experience. It’s important to approach failures or setbacks with a growth mindset and use them as an opportunity to gain wisdom and improve in the future.

“Remember: Don’t squat with your spurs on.”

This humorous quotation serves as a reminder to be mindful and intentional in our actions, rather than rushing into things without proper preparation or forethought.

“Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.”

This quotation encourages us to prioritize living a life of integrity and purpose, rather than simply pursuing wealth or fame. By living in a way that aligns with our values, we can find deeper meaning and satisfaction in life.

“If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.”

Ain’t this the truth! Stay humble and don’t let success go to your head. It’s important to treat others with kindness and respect, regardless of your “status” or accomplishments.

“Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.”

This quotation encourages us to be mindful of the potential consequences of our words and actions. It’s important to think before we speak or act, because once something is said or done, it can be difficult or impossible to take back.

“The best sermons are lived, not preached.”

This saying emphasizes the importance of leading by example. Our actions speak louder than our words, so it’s important to strive to be a positive role model for others.

“Keep skunks and politicians and lawyers at a distance.”

Treat everyone with respect, but reminder to be cautious and discerning in your relationships and interactions with others. A corollary to this is that it is important to surround ourselves with people who uplift and support us, rather than those who may bring negativity or drama into our lives.

“It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.”

Let go of anger and resentment towards others; holding onto grudges only harms ourselves in the long run. It takes strength to forgive and move on, but doing so can bring greater peace and happiness into our lives.

“If it don’t seem like it’s worth the effort, it probably ain’t.”

It is important to be mindful of where we invest our time and energy, and to focus on pursuits that truly matter to us. If we don’t follow this rule it is easy to get distracted and flounder in life.

“It’s better to be a has-been than a never-was.”

This quotation encourages us to take risks and pursue our dreams, rather than letting fear hold us back. Just by trying at something you are already proving your worth in life.

Ulysses Grant

Battlefield Success: Ulysses Grant’s Strategies for Life

General Ulysses Grant is best known for his military prowess during the American Civil War. Grant’s success on the battlefield can be attributed, in part, to his strategic approach. Here is a look at how General Grant might have developed a strategy to achieve his goals:

  1. Define clear objectives: Grant believed in setting clear and specific objectives. Why are we marching south? Why do we need to take this town or city? Defining clear objectives helps prevent the “fog of war” from paralyzing action.
  2. Assess the situation: Grant was a master at assessing the situation around him. He would analyze the terrain, the enemy’s strength, and the available resources in order to determine the best approach for achieving his objectives.
  3. Develop a plan of attack: Grant believed in developing a clear plan of attack. He would identify the key actions needed to achieve his objectives, assign tasks to his troops, and establish timelines for execution.
  4. Execute with precision: Grant believed in the importance of precision and execution. He would ensure that his troops were properly trained, well-equipped, and disciplined. He would closely monitor progress and make adjustments as needed to ensure that his plan was executed with maximum efficiency.
  5. Maintain flexibility: Grant understood that plans could change quickly in the midst of battle. He was prepared to adjust his strategy as needed, and was always ready to adapt to new situations.
  6. Analyze results: Grant believed in analyzing the results of his actions, whether they were successful or not. He would evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of his approach, learn from his mistakes, and adjust his strategy accordingly.


By following these principles, General Ulysses Grant was able to achieve his goals on the battlefield. His strategic approach emphasized clear objectives, careful assessment, precise execution, and flexibility. This approach can be applied to other areas of life as well, whether it be business, politics, or personal goals. By defining clear objectives, assessing the situation, developing a plan of attack, executing with precision, maintaining flexibility, and analyzing results, individuals can develop effective strategies for achieving their goals.

“The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who have helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.”

“In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten. Then he who continues the attack wins.”

“There are but few important events in the affairs of men brought about by their own choice.”

John Wooden

The Wizard’s Pyramid: Wooden’s Surefire Path to Success

John Wooden, also known as the Wizard of Westwood, and arguably one of the greatest coaches in the history of basketball, developed a philosophy of life known as the Pyramid of Success. The Pyramid of Success is a set of principles that Wooden believed were essential to achieving success both on and off the court. How can the Pyramid be used to drive success for your team? Let’s find out…

  1. Industriousness

Industriousness is the foundation of the Pyramid of Success. It is the first step in achieving any goal, as hard work and perseverance are necessary to overcome obstacles and achieve success. As a leader, it is important to encourage industriousness in your team by setting a positive example and recognizing the hard work of others.

  1. Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm, or the passion for what one is doing, is a key component of the Pyramid of Success. When individuals are passionate about their work, they are more likely to put in the extra effort needed to achieve the team’s goals. As a leader, it is important to foster enthusiasm in your team by sharing your own passion for the work and encouraging others to find their own sense of purpose.

  1. Initiative

Initiative, or taking the first step towards a goal, is essential to achieving success. When individuals take initiative, they are demonstrating their commitment to the goal and their willingness to put in the effort to make it happen. Encourage members to take ownership of their work and provide them with the resources they need to be successful.

  1. Friendship

Friendship, or the ability to build strong, positive relationships, is a critical component of the Pyramid of Success. When individuals work together in a supportive and collaborative environment, they are more likely to achieve their goals and reach their full potential. Ask yourself one simple question: would you rather work with complete strangers or a group of close friends to achieve your goals?

  1. Loyalty

Loyalty, or the willingness to remain committed to a goal even in the face of adversity, is essential to achieving success. When individuals remain loyal to a goal, they are demonstrating their commitment to their team and their willingness to put in the effort to make it happen. As a leader, it is important to foster loyalty in your team by promoting a sense of unity and encouraging members to stay focused on the goal, even when faced with challenges.


  1. Cooperation

Cooperation, or the ability to work together towards a common goal, is a critical component of the Pyramid of Success. When individuals work together in a cooperative and supportive environment, they are more likely to achieve their goals and reach their full potential. As a leader, it is important to foster cooperation in your team by promoting open communication, encouraging collaboration, and recognizing the contributions of all team members.

  1. Adaptability

Adaptability, or the ability to change and adjust to new situations, is essential to achieving success. When individuals are adaptable, they are able to overcome challenges and find new and innovative ways to achieve their goals. As a leader, it is important to foster adaptability in your team by encouraging members to embrace change, providing opportunities for growth, and promoting a culture of continuous improvement.

  1. Patience

Patience, or the willingness to wait for the right opportunity, is a critical component of the Pyramid of Success. When individuals are patient they take the time to fully consider their options. Encourage members to think critically, make well-informed decisions, and avoid rushing into things. Additionally, it is important to recognize that success may take time and to be patient in the face of challenges and setbacks.

  1. Industriousness

Industriousness, or the willingness to work hard, is the foundation of the Pyramid of Success. It is the first step in achieving any goal, as hard work and perseverance are necessary to overcome obstacles and achieve success. As a leader, it is important to encourage industriousness in your team by setting a positive example and recognizing the hard work of others.

  1. Faith

Faith is a critical component of the Pyramid of Success. When individuals have faith in themselves and their abilities, they are more likely to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. As a leader, it is important to foster faith in your team by encouraging members to believe in themselves, promoting a sense of purpose, and recognizing the importance of spiritual growth.

  1. Poise

Poise, or the ability to maintain one’s composure in the face of adversity, is essential to achieving success. When individuals are able to maintain their poise in the face of challenges, they are more likely to make well-informed decisions and overcome obstacles. As a leader, it is important to foster poise in your team by encouraging members to remain calm and composed in the face of challenges and setbacks.

  1. Confidence

Confidence, or the belief in oneself and one’s abilities, is a critical component of the Pyramid of Success. When individuals are confident, they are more likely to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. As a leader, it is important to foster confidence in your team by encouraging members to believe in themselves, promoting a sense of purpose, and recognizing the strengths and abilities of others.

By applying these principles of the Pyramid of Success, you can help your team strive towards a common goal. It is important to remember that success is not just about achieving a particular goal, but also about the journey and the growth that comes with it. As a leader, it is your responsibility to provide the guidance, support, and resources needed to help your team reach its full potential.

In conclusion, John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success is a powerful framework for achieving success and helping others do the same. By applying these principles, you can foster a positive, supportive, and collaborative environment that will help your team thrive. Whether you are leading a team in sports or business, the Pyramid of Success provides a roadmap to greatness.