How to Survive a Beating by an Unforgiving Universe

Simple life lessons I know now I wish I knew then

Thomas Plummer
11 min readAug 10, 2019


By Sky Nesher on iStock (licensed by author)

I messed up my life early. I did it to myself because I was the one who thought he knew it all, the arrogant one that had it all figured out, but who ended up learning the lessons of life one harsh beating at a time. And my early mistakes cost me everything I had wanted and everything I had worked so hard for through so many years.

Looking back from the safe perspective of today, I wish I could write myself a letter warning myself of my own stupidity, but I doubt if I would have listened to anyone, including an older version of myself, even though the wisdom gained could have made my life easier and a lot more productive.

I look back at the arrogant idiot I was in my 20s, the one who never listened to anyone. I grew up as a small town boy from a one of those boring states out there in the middle and thought I knew it all in life, but was so wrong, and it cost me relationships, good jobs and an immense amount of money trying to find my way past my own mistakes.

My life would have been so much easier if only I had learned the real lessons of life without a beating from an unforgiving universe. In life, you often learn by being humbled in front of others. You lose money in businesses perfect on paper, such as my first little gym company I had to sell for parts after a year of losses.

You take a dream job that turns out to be a nightmare that sets you back three years of your career. You lose relationships you should have never been in or they might have been relationships that were valuable and you weren’t mature enough to know the difference, and those relationships could have been saved if only you had the experience and maturity to handle it differently.

There were no mentors touching my life until I finally became wise enough to seek them out on my own much later after so much of the early damage had been done.

Having someone there guiding me in my teens and college days, and my early work years, could have eased the pain and stupidity of learning everything in the most difficult ways possible. My father was off to another life leaving my mother, a wonderful person who was not worldly in any sense of…



Thomas Plummer

A simple life dedicated to leaving the world a little better than I found it. Long career in the business of fitness, writer of books, speaker, personal coach.