Life is a battle.
From conception to grave, every one of us must struggle.
We face difficulties at school, at work, and in our families. We deal with adverse weather, disease, and social conflict.
Life is work. Life is tough.
And like the airplane that takes off against the wind, we can use that which opposes us to our own advantage.
The reality of the struggle
The common way to deal with trouble is to avoid it, or to try walking away from it altogether.
Many people willingly submit to monotony and mediocrity for the sake of stability – they seek diversion and entertainment so they won’t have to think too much about their own lives.
Others say the answer is simply to accept things the way they are. Trudge through the gloomy tax-return-filled fog, and be grateful for the happiness that comes along in small, almost random bursts.
When we do that, though, we lose our excitement for each new day. We lose our desire to strive for better things. We settle for coffee with friends, complaining about all the trouble in the world, and nodding in agreement: “Well, it could be worse.”
When we stop trying to find greater happiness, we start wanting, almost expecting, other people to find it for us. We become reliant on other people’s successes to become our own, because we feel like we no longer have the energy or ability to win things for ourselves.
A parent starts asking a child to fulfill the parent’s own repressed dreams. A person with a dead-end job begins to find solace in the triumphs and tragedies of TV characters when their own life is no longer as exciting or fulfilling. Men with beer bellies and bad knees sit on the sofa hooting and hollering for their favourite football team.
And we get depressed. We get bitter. We blame others because they can’t bring us the happiness we need and expect from them. We blame life for not being the utopia of fulfilled dreams that children’s cartoons promised us it would be.
The warrior spirit within
But what we fail to realize is that the power to make our lives better lies not with others, but within us. We weren’t meant to be sad people trudging through unfulfilling work days on the slow road to suicide.
We’ve been fighting for as long as we’ve been alive. Our ancestors and our ancestors’ ancestors were fighting long before any of us were even close to being alive. Everything we are now is because all those who came before us had what it took to survive.
Humanity is special on this planet. We care, not only for survival, but also for our society and our future. We don’t just want to keep on living, we want to live better.
We started out with some stone tools and caves, and fought our way through the cold and the hunger and the savage animals and the disease to a world with airplanes and skyscrapers. We know from dinosaurs and dodos what would have happened if we had lost that fight.
We have a history of overcoming obstacles. Every new land explored, every new idea tested, and every major crisis averted helps prove one thing:
We are warriors.
To have gotten this far means that it’s in the very nature of humanity to strive for something greater. There’s a warrior spirit in each of us, and ignoring that spirit leads us to feel unfulfilled and depressed. Ignoring the warrior within hurts us deeply.
The first step to embracing the warrior
The first step is to accept the responsibility for the way our lives are.
Other people contribute to our happiness, but we are the ones who ultimately decide whether we seize happiness from life or lie flat and let it trample our spirits.
And we do have the power to make ourselves happy. We just need to get out there, and find ways to walk in the direction of our dreams. We can only truly be happy if we do.
It is also important that we accept reality, that we acknowledge there is suffering in this world and that it’s not likely to go away soon.
The second step to embracing the warrior
If there’s something out there you really want – a dream job, a promotion, or a relationship – fight for it and follow through to make a change. Acceptance is the key to being able to take that first step, but perseverance will see that your dream comes true.
You may not see it immediately, but when you fight, when you keep fighting, you can create change.
There is a warrior inside of YOU
You have a warrior inside you.
Though you may not know it, it is there. We’ve all been through painful things, through hardships, but we continue.
You’ve made it up to this point, and that alone shows you’re a warrior. Through troubles, through work, through facing every mountain in your way, you’ve continued to go on.
So don’t hold back: accept and follow through. It is human to will ourselves above our tragedies. Be proud of that. We’re all here because there’s so much we’ve had to overcome.
We are in competition with others, but that is not what is most important. Each has their own pace, each has their own thing. It is useless to compare a fish to a monkey and give them the same test to climb a tree.
We have our own struggles, and we must only compare and fight with ourselves, to battle with our past selves to continuously become better, and we have.
Your life is a battle. And that makes you a conqueror. A victor. You are a warrior.