Being a predator is better than living like prey

Justin Marinelli
Contributing Writer

The best advice I’ve ever been given is simple: live like a predator, not like prey. Take risks and be loyal to your friends, but go your own way when you have to, and always strive to be the best version of yourself you can possibly be. To clarify, I’d like to talk about how this directly relates to the animal kingdom that life at the University so often mirrors.

First off, natural predators, like lions or wolves, tend to take risks as it is often necessary when their prey is much larger than they are. These risks can pay off in a big way, perhaps in the form of food or potential mating opportunities. Thus, living like a predator entails taking risks that can pay off handsomely for you. Also, while some predators hunt in packs, some prefer to work alone. Therefore, living like a predator means being able to rely on a small, loyal group of friends, but also having the capability to go off and do your own thing.  Finally, the intense demands of a predatory lifestyle mean that predators always have to become better with every hunt. Replicating the life of a predator means you will always have to push yourself to become faster, stronger and smarter.

This is a direct contrast with the lifestyle of prey animals like zebras or deer. They tend to stick with the herd, never venturing far from the safety of the group. They conform because the price of not doing so is too great to ignore. Despite this, they do not feel a deep sense of connection with their fellow herd animals. Loyalty to the rest of the herd is weak, and often times it is every animal for himself. At the slightest sign of danger, the herd takes off and if any animal falls behind, no one goes back for it. Thus, being a prey animal means avoiding as many risky situations as you can, even at the cost of your friends.

To put this in perspective, next time you’re faced with a tough homework assignment, tackle it head on instead of putting it off. Write a paper with bold statements that you don’t think your professor will agree with. Go talk to that person in your class who you think is cute. Pick up a new skill or hobby. If you feel like you are stepping outside of your comfort zone, you’re probably doing it right.

For much of my life, I lived like prey. I avoided anything dangerous and never felt any drive to make myself a better person. I didn’t really start living until I started acting like a predator. I took up parkour, started working out and stopped living a life that was “good enough.” I began taking risks and discovered that I have the power to shape my life as I please. Once you really begin living and thinking like a predator, you become unstoppable mentally, physically and emotionally.

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