Be a Fighter

This weekend I found some cheesy inspiration to post.

I’m not one of those kind of people to write about how, if you think about it really hard, then you’ll see that life is like a Starburst wrapper, or some other inane comparison for life that (hopefully) at the end has an uplifting and inspirational value to it. If you were asking my advice about something I probably wouldn’t speak about things in those kinds of terms either. To me, they just tend to be too abstract to be of any help or use.

I’m sure its productive and helpful for some people, but it just never seems to do anything for me. That said, I think my commentary for today is, at a minimum, rubbing elbows with the line between cheesy, stupid inspiration and thoughtful reflection.

Not only is this not the most thoughtful blog post you will read today, its not even original. Someone probably gave you this lecture when you were a kid and you fell down. But none the less, things we have known for a long time can sometimes become poignant years or decades later when you need the inspiration the most.

Tonight I watched The Fighter. Yes, I am way behind the movie timeline. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie because I have spent some time training in boxing (not in a serious competitive way, though), but more so for the characters and the view point of the “new me” that the movie has given me. And for the record, getting back to the boxing gym is something I was planning on doing next month and the movie has only reinforced this idea to me.

If you haven’t seen the movie, I don’t think this spoils the story too much, so feel free to read on.

Fighters, much like every day people at their jobs or their relationships, have their style and the particular way that they fight/work/love. Some people are good at their style and some aren’t. Some people’s raw skills or style or knowledge are so good that they don’t have to try as hard as others do. Some people are good at being fluid, others are not. Some people are so good at their style that they don’t have to follow it 100% of the time because they can easily recover and get back on track by “falling back on what works”. Some people are only going to have a shot at winning certain things if they stick to their style or their game plan. As a side note, sometimes people’s particular style of working or loving just plain sucks for them and for everyone else, and they are absolutely an exception to the moral of this post.

Clearly, knowing your style and skills, strengths, and weaknesses are essential. If you’re not an adaptable kind of person then quit trying to be a chameleon. Steven Segal only makes one kind of movie for a reason. He knows that he’ll never sell tickets to a movie where he plays a shy urban street guy with mild-retardation who becomes a national sensation because of his incredible ballet dancing ability. Know what you suck at and deal with it.

As a fighter, your skills may not allow you to box straight up with another guy for any number of reasons. Maybe he’s too quick, he out weighs you, or he’s stronger and punches harder. These are all short comings you’re going to have to work around.

Everyone has heard of the classic strategy of letting the opponent get tired and then going after them with whatever you’ve got left in the tank. People do it in sports, and people have employed various manifestations of the strategy in warfare throughout time. The Romans used several different ones in their battle tactics, and Sherman’s March used the basic idea behind it when he ordered his men to continue marching forward and forage for food after their rations were used up.

Anyhow, no matter when, where, or how you use this strategy, they key point is always the same. You have to understand that things are going to be horrible at some point, but the rewards can be huge.

In the fighting context, tiring out your opponent and going for the win means you’re gonna get your ass kicked for a while. But if you want to win you’re going to have to persevere.

Perseverance. It’s the key to winning whatever battle you are in. A fist fight in an alley? Persevere. Trying to quit drinking or smoking? Persevere. Fighting a disease? Trying to get that promotion at work or land your dream job? Fighting to get that first date? Persevere, persevere, persevere.

What are you gunning for or fighting against that you need to remember to persevere in order to beat it? Tell yourself every day that you know that you’re gonna take some licks, but hard work today will prepare you to be in the ring and take punch after punch until its your turn to throw the punches. If you’ve worked hard, if you’re in your best condition, and if you know that you can outlast whatever obstacle it is that you’re up against, you’ll be ready to win it.

The new slogan for my resolutions and of the Starting From Thirty blog as a whole: Be a Fighter.

And if you don’t like that slogan then just use the word “persevere”.

Come to think of it, I lied a little. I absolutely would go watch a Steven Segal movie where he’s a ballet dancer.

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About StartingFromThirty

This blog is about making myself better. There's a lot of things I am good at, and a thousand times more things than that that I need to fix. It's probably not as bad as I often feel like it is, but nonetheless, things need to change. So here I am, starting a blog with the goal of chronicling my quest to get things on the path they need to be on. The goal is to improve my life however I have to. That might be best done in small increments, an hour a day or one month at a time. Or maybe its just slapping yourself in the face and deciding to change. I guess we will find out. And perhaps someone who finds themselves in my situation can be motivated by this. Even better, hopefully I can learn from other people hoping to reshape their lives. So please, leave a comment or a suggestion on a skill to learn or a way to change things for the better.
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