“When the fight begins within himself, a man is worth something.”
“Every problem is a gift – without problems we would not grow.”
Life is battles.
As you live, you will be faced with one battle after another. These battles, or problems, will vary in complexity and intensity; some of them you will choose to face and some of them will be thrust upon you by someone or something else.
The difficulty of most of these problems will lie somewhere between finding a restaurant and deciding on a career path; they will not involve life or death decisions. However, some of your problems will be tied tightly to your overall purpose in life, and your purpose driven business. These problems will be big enough that you will need to plan, strategize, and take massive action to overcome them. In other words, you will have to do battle.
Facing a problem as if it were a battle is not something to be feared or avoided. It will not make you a bad person and it will not hinder your progress in life or your growth as a person. In fact, if channeled correctly, this mindset can inspire you and provide you with tremendous amounts of energy; energy that can be used to advance your purpose of living. Being part of a worthwhile battle, one that you define, will keep you focused on the things that really matter to you. This will keep you from inventing drama when you get bored with your own life.
“Well Bob, every day of my life is exactly the same as the day before it, I think I’ll go start an argument with my wife or the guy at the checkout counter to mix things up a bit.”
Understand: there is no room for meaningless drama when you are in the midst of an epic battle.
At the same time, realize that trying to live up to impossible ideals of peace and security is a waste of energy. You are going to face problems, so instead of getting emotional and lashing out or turning sly and manipulative, turn your life into an epic battle that you can productively face head-on. Begin by figuring out what it is you want to conquer. In order to take the first step to victory, you need to determine where you are headed. Keeping the end in mind will allow you to stay focused on your long-term goals and channel your efforts and energy into one overall campaign, your all-encompassing purpose in life.
Define your battle and you will define your life. Once you know what you are fighting for, you can create a strategy that will bring you victory. Here are 5 steps that will help you launch a successful battle campaign:
1. Evaluate your battlefield.
In The 33 Strategies Of War, author Robert Greene suggests that you look at things the way they are without letting your emotions color them. This includes other people and yourself. Carefully measure your assets and liabilities, your strengths and your limitations, as well as those of others. Do this from a personal perspective, as well as from a business and entrepreneurship, or making money, perspective. Determine exactly what you want and exactly what you are willing to give up in order to obtain it. Do not evade reality and pretend that things are one way when they are really another. Learn to compensate for your emotions, rather than fight them. For example, realize that fear will make you exaggerate consequences and anger will make you take rash actions and compensate your perspective accordingly.
2. Create enemies.
The word enemy is not hateful; it merely represents someone or something that is working against you. Define your enemies and use them as a source of energy. There is a reason that many athletes will take a newspaper clipping or picture of a tough opponent and place it where they can see it every day. It is because enemies motivate you and focus your beliefs and your purpose of living. Clearly define your enemies and make sure they know where they stand. Whether he or she is a business competitor, athletic adversary or personal foe, a tough opponent will bring out the best in you. Your efforts to outmaneuver them will make you feel inspired and confident.
3. Bring your allies victory.
Help other people win. Much effort is lost in trying to hold other people back. You will gain more by generating and maintaining strong allies. An ally is someone that benefits you and from whom you benefit. When choosing these people, realize that you are the average of the five people you hang out with and talk to the most. Avoid negative, lazy and unsuccessful people. These people will benefit more from you leading by example and being a positive influence from a distance than by you catering to them and enabling their behavior. Also, do not waste time trying to make allies out of haters and martyrs, or other unsupportive “friends”. These people will most likely never support you and will merely bide there time until they can further impede your progress. Instead, create allies with like-minded people who are not in direct competition with you, and help them advance their purpose in life and their purpose driven business. They will return the favor.
4. Rise above the battlefield.
Stay relentlessly concerned with the long-term when it comes to your battle. Craft an entire campaign. Know which skirmishes to avoid. Most people are concerned with the day-to-day and can only focus on the current situation. Keep your sights on the end game and carefully choose which conflicts to engage in. Do not waste valuable time and energy on people and information when there is nothing to be won. Realize that we are bombarded with more information today than ever before: online news, cable news, reality television, magazines, books, blogs, social networking, text messages, and more. Be selective. Exploit other people’s need for constant information and communication by opting out. Don’t waste time with here today, gone tomorrow gossip and get-rich-quick schemes for making money. Instead, use your time to strategize, to entertain new ideas, and to forge effective battle plans. As you de-clutter your mind, you will increase both your creativity and productivity.
5. Do battle with yourself.
Your biggest obstacle is yourself. Quit trying to change external factors and focus on changing yourself. Attack your perspective. Everything in life depends on your frame of mind. Never get defensive about your errors or defeats; instead, learn from every misstep and search out new opportunities to face and surmount similar challenges. Create 2nd chances and conquer them. Take complete responsibility for the person that you are right now, including everything that you have or have not accomplished in life. Taking responsibility in this way will help you learn the art of self-reliance. The outcome of your battle, of your overall purpose of living, is up to you and you alone. Therefore, put stock in yourself. Strive to increase your health, knowledge, influence and personal resources. They are your greatest assets in battle.
The truth is that in order to achieve anything worthwhile in your lifetime, whether in business and entrepreneurship, or in regards to your personal development, you will have to engage in your own life. You will have to engage in battle. Other people may join the fight along the way, but in the very end, you alone will have to reach out and seize victory.