Mario Villalobos


In my pursuit toward greatness, I’ve stumbled and battled with many internal conflicts, but a lost battle doesn’t a lost war make. Or something.

The one thing — well three things — the three things that has given my life stability, during both my high and low points, has been my three pillars of living: mind, body, and spirit, aka reading, working out, and writing. Every time I feel lost or anxious or dejected, I always try to steer back my life toward those three pillars. Sometimes I succeed and life is great and I’m happy and life never seems more beautiful. But other times I fail, and when I do, I hate myself for it and I feel sad and depressed and lonely and life never seems more pointless. These three pillars are my lodestar, that star in the sky that always leads me home.

Why have I chosen these three pillars? Because these are the things that have made me happy, and also because they are all interconnected to lead toward one thing, at least to me, and that’s greatness. I don’t know if I mean greatness in the something to prove vein. I don’t give a crap about that. It’s more like I just have this one life. This life is all I have… might as well reach for the stars. I want to know I lived a good life — a great life — when I’m moments before death. I don’t know why, why I have that desire, but I do and I have to live with it.

Life is short. I don’t have much time. Nobody does. When we’re kids, it seems like we have all the time in the world to be whoever we want. There’s a magic that exists in childhood that is severely tested and compromised as we get older. I don’t know if it’s cynicism or complacency or something in between. All I know is that I’ve lost that starry eyed gaze of my younger self, and I need pillars to keep me grounded and focused and these three pillars happen to be it.

I hit play on a 30 minute Insanity workout today, the first time I’ve done that in about a month. I only completed 15 minutes of it. I was out of breath and felt like vomiting and my body jiggled a lot more than I was used to (not to mention I was afraid to take my shirt off, but the heat beat my desire for secrecy). I have to go back to the beginning of my journey, and that’s simply starting. Small steps. Every day, until my routine is back.

What hurt my progress before was the burden of the daily checkmark. I had to write every day and workout 5-6 days a week and read every day because I had to. For 8 months, I did that. I felt the weight on my shoulders, that fear of not being great, and pushed through anyway. I lost my sight of the forest for the trees. I need to reverse that. I need to think in weeks and months and years and not days. This is not something that happens overnight. This is for life, and like I said, life is short and this life’s all I’ve got. Unfortunately, I’m human, and I need to have fun and not be burdened by daily routines. To be great, I have to be smart.

How do I become smart? I don’t know.