Life is a fight. At?times I find myself grumbling or whining. Not usually to anyone else, but to myself. I rarely even realize I am doing it. It is a subconscious hum…?Why am I doing this?? ?Why is this not working?? ?I am so tired and run down.? ?I wish I was just lying on a beach somewhere.? ?and many other ridiculous thoughts.
To counter this noxious melodrama of my spirit, I remind myself to stop whining and start fighting.
For some reason, we think life requires us to?fight until we reach some milestone, and then we’re done. Then we can relax. Once we get our college degree; once we get married; once we achieve financial security or retire; once we are healthy and fit; or once our kids leave home, we have arrived. But I have observed this about life and leadership: the fight never ends. There is always something that seems to push us into battle. We may get better at the fight, but the fight doesn?t end because we achieved our next goal.?
I see this clearly in my medical practice. I treat?thousands of people each?year, and there is no one I meet who doesn?t have a challenge of some sort. Some huge. Some crippling. Some trivial, at least from my perspective. But everyone seems to have battles to engage. And so, our goal must not be a life absent of challenge as most of us may hope, but to develop a ferocious attitude and prepare ourselves daily for the fight.?
There are eight key things?I fight for often. I also witness?many around me fight for these same things in their lives and leadership. I hope this encourages you to?know that you are not alone in the battle. You are in good company!
Fight to Experience God
As a person who believes in God and in the message of the Bible, I must fight. The Bible is clear that we must stand, and resist, and carry our cross daily. It describes the opposition of the spirit against the flesh. Evil fighting against Good. Devil fighting against God. There is a tension in the spiritual dimension that affects us. And in our world of uber-materialism, focusing on the things of God requires an internal fight.
Fight Your Own Emotions
We all deal with a variety of emotions. None of us are immune to fear, sadness, anxiety, disappointment, regret, or jealousy, just to name a few. Our physical bodies affect our feelings. And our feelings affect our thinking. It?s easy to surrender to our feelings and flitter about?like a kite on the wind of our emotions. So it is a?fight to gain control over our emotions.
Fight Your Beliefs and Perceptions
Our beliefs and perceptions form our thoughts. We are wired to think that our beliefs and perceptions are truth. But that is a major fallacy. Wisdom says that we must be humble and let others speak into our lives. ? When asked, “If you could go back to an earlier time in life, would you change anything?”?people?often reply, “No, I wouldn’t change anything. It’s what made me who I am today.”
That answer bothers me. Have?we not learned something, now that we have matured, that we would do differently? Now that I am approaching 40, I am learning of a major error in my life that I wish someone would have advised me against when I was 15. And I wonder what errors I am living with now that I will wish I had done differently?when I am 60. We must seek wisdom. In fact, we must fight for it.
Fight Your Habits and Urges
Here is another major fight we have. Our habits become so normal to us, we become desensitized to them. They are automatic responses that shape who we are and what we do. Our physical and emotional urges are extreme forms of habits that rule over us. When habits and urges become destructive, fight back. We must destroy them before they can destroy us.
Fight to Control Your Time and Calendar
As I am writing this article, I have been interrupted at least five times. Actually I was due to turn it in at 10:30am. It?s now 12:15pm, and I am still at my desk finishing it because of the interruptions. It takes purposeful intention to get things done. How do you honor your priorities and continue to be flexible, but still accomplish your required tasks? It requires a fight to manage our time.
Fight for Your Family
Your family is worth fighting for. And families must be fought for?because strong relationships don’t happen automatically. When life bears down on the ones we love, we must be their reinforcements. We must do whatever it takes to stand alongside them. But we get so consumed with ourselves that it’s easy to neglect?others, even family. Families are hit hard with the demands of life. Fight for yours.
Fight for Your Health
How many of us can win a fight against a hot apple pie with vanilla ice cream on top? I rarely can. We all know our limitations and weaknesses. We must not neglect to recognize the value of our health and the constant attention required to keep ourselves in good condition. Fight to be fit.
Fight for Your Dreams
Your dreams are exclusive to you. God put them inside?you. Don?t give up on them because things get?difficult. Fight for them! See them through.
Next?Step:?Friend, life is a fight. Leadership is a fight. Step into the ring everyday. And until your last, give it your best. If this resonates with you, write this statement down to read when you are facing a fight. Read it to yourself in that quiet moment when you are contemplating surrender: stop whining and start fighting. Or,?stop whining and?keep?fighting.?
Book I just read:?The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong?by Laurence Peter and Raymond Hull
For Further Reading:
When Things Go Wrong: It’s Time to Evaluate Maturity
Do You Feel Discouraged?