The Choice

This is an adaptation of my Twitter thread on Adversity.

Adversity can build you or it can break you. Either way, it’s a decision, and it’s one we all must make.

If you decide to identify with your adversity (a bad life situation, misfortune, mistake, tragedy, etc), then you become a victim of circumstance. You are helpless and out of control.But if you identify with what you can control; your actions, your reactions, and your God-given ability to overcome, then you become more than just a witness in your own life. You become more than a pawn to your circumstance.

You become a driving force in your own destiny. A powerful player in the game of life. No matter what happens, no matter how brutal the situation, you understand that it is only another doorway to what you are meant to become. 

Because greatness has never been born from comfort. It is only forged in the hottest fires. In the dark corners of life that are full of pain and suffering.

Accepting this fact, that adversity is necessary to become the best version of yourself, is the first step to becoming everything you were meant to be.The second step is controlling your actions and reactions in the face of adversity.

It’s not complicated, but it’s also not easy. 

Controlling your actions, deciding to act, and rejecting comfort in the face of adversity doesn’t just happen. It has to be practiced. You must train for it.

You cannot live a soft life and win the hard wars.

You must build up your resilience to adversity by doing uncomfortable things. Train your mind, your body, and your spirit. Lift weights, learn a new skill, fix a broken relationship, or maybe just clean your house.

Building resilience to adversity and developing discipline is similar to strength training. When building strength, you start with light weights that you can handle and increase intensity and volume over time. 

Discipline is the same.

Start by doing what you’re supposed to do when you don’t want to do it. Get up early. Stop eating sugar. Get 8 hours of sleep. Do your homework. Pay attention to your kids. Everyone knows what they SHOULD be doing. 

You build discipline by actually doing it.

Once you’ve nailed down basic discipline, start getting more uncomfortable. Increase strength training. Take cold showers. Learn a new language. Start a business. Take a harder class. Do something that challenges you.

The more comfortable you become being uncomfortable, the easier it will be to control your actions under distress. As the old saying goes, “the more I sweat in training, the less I bleed in battle.” This is applicable to life, because life is a battle. Life is a war.

In case you were unaware, there are plenty of nightmares on the horizon. Call it pessimistic if you like, but that doesn’t change this basic fact of life.  You’ve probably already encountered a few nightmares to some degree or another. But on a long enough timeline, we all get our fair share of reality.

When it shows up, will you cower and hide?

Or will you see it as another worthy adversary on your path to greatness?

Will you attack adversity, being comfortable under pressure from a lifestyle of challenge and self discipline?

Or will you crumble, become a victim, and spend your days living under a dark cloud of self-pity and regret?

The choice is yours, but the decision cannot be made when the nightmare arrives. It must be made months, years, or perhaps decades before.

It must be made today, tomorrow, and every day after. Be consistent. Be relentless. Be unflinching.

That is how legends are made. 

That is the way to greatness. 

That is the way of the Warpath.

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