boyd crowder on table in log cabin

Here is an honest admission: I’m a total sucker for FX’s Justified. I was literally put onto it by a rocket scientist from Mississippi. Aside from my rocket science needs, he advises me on good Scotch and TV dramas.

If you haven’t seen the show, Boyd Crowder, played by the legendary Walton Goggins, is the eloquent badass who makes up the second anti-hero role (because really, isn’t Raylan an anti-hero throwback to The Man with No Name if ever you’ve seen one?) of the show, as well as the primary antagonist.

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Antagonist and part-time arson that he is, he has actually got a fair bit of life figured out. I mean, sure he kills people, does shady deals, runs aground of the law and whatnot, but aside from those minor indiscretions, life = figger’d out for Boyd Crowder.

The following are a few quotes from the show that, for former viewers (the show is now over) will bring back memories, and for future viewers, might kick you in the direction of watching. These are quotes I find are directly applicable to those of us on the #SELFMASTERY journey. So, grab the nearest bottle of bourbon, relax, and enjoy as Boyd takes you into the holler…

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1. “A man who speaks…

…out of both sides of his mouth deserves to have it shut.”

Say what you mean, and mean what you say, dammit! In this world of litigation and assholes who litigate, people don’t believe in the sanctity of a man’s (or woman’s) word, anymore. “Yeah, I’ll be there on Sunday to help you move, Champ!” Then, crickets. Honor. Integrity. Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. And if you say you’re going to do something, then do it. Don’t chump out.

2. “Truth always…

…sounds like lies to a sinner.”

For me, this means, “Don’t ever be so steadfast in your convictions of this or that to not be able to consider a new idea.” Was that too much of a flying leap? Consider this: If you’re the “sinner” in this situation, then the truth will sound like a lie. However, if you’re not the sinner, and you hear a lie, how will you know if you’re hearing lies, or hearing truth and are actually a sinner? Rare is the man (or woman) that knows they’re doing wrong and is sure they’re doing right. So, since this saying bends the mind a bit, the safest place you can be is open to feedback. Analyse what you perceive as a lie, to see if you’re right, and you are so far ahead of the game, the game is chasing you.


3. “Some men lead…

…and some men follow, and when you can’t lead and you refuse to follow, you die alone in the desert.”

I believe this was a reference to military service, but let’s think slightly bigger than that. You might not be the leader, yet. But, if you’re on the #SELFMASTERY journey, it won’t be long before you are. Until then, get in line, follow the leader, and learn everything you can. When you feel it’s time for that leader to be either supported from the side, or take over for lack of movement, get your ass in gear and do the job. The world is looking for people like you. They aren’t going to find their way out of the desert on their own.

4. “That’s what assholes do…

…They get old and die from being assholes.”

Don’t. Be. An. Asshole. I mean, we’re all going to die, right? And as far as I’m concerned, it’s never too late to change the pucker of your giant asshole. (Pardon my graphic description.) But, if you’re currently dying, and you’re an asshole, you can rest assured you’ve been an asshole for quite a while, and it’s probably killing you. Assholes only get so many tries before that which created us all decides to end their sorry existence.

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5. “Always remember your ABC’s…

…Always. Be. Cool.”

Oh, wow! Did anyone ever say it as cool as Boyd did when he delivered this line? I’ve been trying ever since, and have made it my mantra. Because what have you done if you’re not being cool? You’ve lost your cool. Gone nuts. Flipped out. Karate chopped the deli guy for wrapping your pastrami too tight. Whatever. That shows a lack of self-control, and if you’re not controlling yourself, you sure as hell ain’t mastering it.


6. “You’re talkin’ to…

…a man who’s sleeping with his dead brother’s widow and murderess. So, if you’re lookin’ for someone to cast stones at you in this matter, I think you’ve picked the wrong sinner.”

Cut a generous amount of slack to those around you. Remember, you’re not perfect. Never will be. No matter how hard you try. And further: You’re never going to have mastered yourself. It’s a journey where the destination is not attainable. But walkin’ it is a lot better than deviating. That’s why we need to tolerate with a strong amount of grace the ones that have deviated, or haven’t started, yet. You’ve been there. Measure with the same cup you hope is used for you.

7. “…I know who I am…

…Do you? You’re a slave, disenfranchised, don’t even know what. You drive your shitty truck to your shitty house, live out your shitty life. You think you’re better than me cause you play by the rules? Whose rules? My life is my own…”

There’s going to be a lot of people out there that aren’t pleased with your desire to better yourself. They think that what you’re actually doing is trying to be better than them. But, you can’t listen to that noise. It’s just tall poppy syndrome. Even though there’s plenty of sun for all, they want to cut you down. Forget that. Solidify your purpose in your heart, and be an example for the one poppy amongst the nasty ones that is looking to you as inspiration.

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8. “Procrastination…

…has never been a part of my nature.”

Got something you need to handle? Get it over with. This is something I work on all the time. I was in revelation land the other day when I realized that all those sayings that I’ve heard all my life from the people who’ve got it “figured out” are actually true – they just require diligence in their application. Total mind blower. Don’t let, “I should have done this a long time ago,” be something you say too often.

Boyd Crowder Quote for #SELFMASTERY No. 8: Procrastination has never been part of my nature. #Justified

9. “I once stood…

…where you’re standing now, mistaking my own hubris for God’s touch. That’s called self-glorification. Best you’d leave this one alone.”

Stay humble. Yes, we each have tremendous power and ability imbued within us to create the world around us. However, just because you’re creating doesn’t mean you’re creating anything good. It requires alignment to do that. In the words of the prophet Ice Cube, “check yo’self before you wreck yo’self” – backed up by Boyd in #2.

10. “I don’t believe in fate…

…I can’t believe in fate. Not anymore. I believe you dictate the river of fate through your own actions.”

There it is, folks. That’s the secret that you’ve either stumbled upon already, or won’t stumble upon until the future.

In that moment in the future, you’ll look back upon this moment and realize what the hell Boyd and I were talking about. You’ll be tempted to kick yourself for not having seen it sooner – but then you’ll cut yourself some slack, knowing that the you now (in the future) is connected to the you then (the you right now) and that it’s all perfect. You’ll then toss back a whiskey, and start dictating.




Boyd wasn’t perfect, and he knew it. But, his imperfections were just expressions of him trying to achieve what we’re all trying to achieve: Happiness. Can you blame him? (If you can, reread #6.)

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