So you’re moving along in life. Things are better for you now. You’ve been working hard, you’ve made some decent progress and you’ve had some success. Good.
Your trajectory is headed upward and the sky’s the limit. Every month and every year you raise the bar. Your maxim is that you can do more, you can get smarter and you can become more efficient.
The future looks great and your life is very exciting. Excellent.
But be prepared. For forewarned is forearmed. Life will eventually get in the way. We are on this earth to face challenges and face them you will. And even if you’ve already had your share of difficulties, get ready for some more.
Just smile and be ready. What’s going to come is going to come. Don’t ever expect a smooth ride. Ever.
Best case scenario is that you’re able to maintain your momentum regardless. But sometimes, urgent and important matters will need to take priority and you’ll get knocked off track.
And once in a while difficulties will begin to stack up and you’ll begin to consider them as justification for giving up some of your gains. Or you’ll lose your morale completely and simply quit on your goals.
There’s a tendency when all hell breaks loose, to just let everything else go. Perhaps not such a bad thing once in your life. After all, every man has his breaking point. But with life being what it is, this type of reaction or mindset can quickly turn into a bad habit.
Let me suggest a Principle to you in advance of such a day.
Hold Your Ground.
Hold the Line
What if you fought like hell to at least maintain your gains? What if you raised the bar and doubled down, just to Hold Your Ground?
You’ve busted your ass to get to where you are. And if you’re smart you’ll do the same to hold on for dear life. After all, it’s much easier to tear something down than it is to build something up.
Never taking a step back, but only forward when the storms clear will make for a great man’s destiny.
In my opinion this is one of the keys to Personal Greatness; refusing to give up gains. Life is easy in fair weather. Good feelings beget more good feelings and momentum continues to grow. This momentum can become a healthy addiction. If feels great to keep making progress.
But then what happens when the momentum is ground to a halt and the good feelings disappear? Sometimes success can create softness. A man can forget how to fight for what he wants. He can lose his edge.
The difference, I believe, between the men who reach their goals and those who do not is how they react when the fair weather passes and the storms roll in. When the momentum stops and life gets ugly and difficult, most will bail on their Mission; and just try to survive.
Some men, however, will dig in and fight like hell to hold on to what they’ve achieved. They’ll get mean. They’ll get mad. They’ll get nasty. Whatever it takes. Because they realize this is what life does. This is the kick in the mouth meant to dissuade you from your path.
Perspective is the key. Most difficulties will pass. And certainly some will not. But time heals all wounds.
But time can also never be recovered. And the goal in life should be to live your Mission and achieve your worthy endeavors regardless of what life throws at you.
This is what men do.
When things get difficult.
And when things get ugly.
They hold the line.
Minimize the Damage
Sometimes there will be breakdowns in life. Mistakes can be made, circumstances can legitimately overwhelm and every man does have his breaking point. Shit happens as they say, even to the best of intentions and the best of men.
Loses will occur. Failure will occur. The unexpected will occur. And there is a natural tendency when things in life crater, to just throw it all away. “It just wasn’t meant to be” is a common refrain.
If your Purpose is worthy, it is meant to be. Throwing it all away because of disappointment is the coward’s way out. Even if you get stopped cold in your tracks; even if you cannot hold the line, don’t ever give up.
Hold on to something.
There is an aspect of preposterousness to our existence. Expect it all so you’ll be able to skip over the shock, denial and disappointment and get right to work in recovery.
Yes, recovery. You will endure and you will recover.
And the first step in the process is to Minimize the Damage. Hold on to what you can.
So you have to take a few steps back. So what? You’re not the first man to encounter disappointment and you won’t be the last.
Minimize the damage and recalibrate your expectations. Build on what you know, build on your mistakes and take another run at it.
Keep this concept in your mind as you progress through life. Expect the unexpected. And when it hits and you start taking some loses, minimize the damage.
Live to fight another day.
This is what men do.
It makes them stronger, forces them to become better, to become more and to evolve.
It’s not only his Extrinsic gains that a man will want to protect, but his Intrinsic one’s as well.
Over his lifetime a man will develop his Principles and Values; these are his Intrinsic gains. They will make him who he is. And they will come to define his character, which is a man’s most valuable asset. It is who he is at his Core. Everything in a man’s life will ultimately begin and end with his character.
And better to lose Extrinsic gains to protect the Intrinsic ones, than vice versa.
In other words, never sellout your Principles for material or worldly gain.
Hold your ground here as well.
Remember, you’ll leave all your material wealth and power behind when you move on to the next life, but carry your Intrinsic valuables with you.
It’s also my contention that you’ll also be better off in the now, if you live a Principled existence. Can you knowingly do wrong and still greatly succeed? Of course. We see it all the time. But then again, this is what we “see.” Who knows what price has been paid beyond the glossy veneer on the outside.
Protect your Soul by sticking to your Principles. Take whatever material loss or loss of position you must. In the end the Intrinsic is always more important than the Extrinsic.
You can always recover if your character is intact.
But the raw truth is that it’s most often not an either or choice. It’s just that it’s usually easier to sellout the Intrinsic to save the Extrinsic. This is the real temptation. The easy path is seductive.
Hold the line on your Virtue and work to find a way to still succeed; to still survive.
Consider someone you would give your life for. And then put yourself in their position. You would want them to do what’s right. Period. So then assign yourself the same level of consideration and love and do the same thing.
Hold Your Ground.
Sellout to You
Don’t sellout to difficulty.
Don’t sellout to your feelings.
Don’t sellout to the material and power.
And don’t sellout to the easy path.
Sellout to what really matters.
Sellout to YOU.
Immerse yourself in your Principles and Virtues.
Fight like hell to keep your gains, minimize your loses and hold the line in your values.
And in the end, no matter what happens, you will have a life well lived. You’ll be able to look back without regret and look forward in clear conscience to the next life to come.
Hold Your Ground.
All the best,