The Joy of Fighting

I was once delivering a workshop with a friend which goal was to help the attendants to reconnect with the purpose of the organization we were all working in. Many graphic elements and inspiring quotes were used but the most revealing moment to me came when I asked the audience:

“When the challenges that your position presents to you day-by-day get bigger and tougher, how do you motivate yourself to keep fighting?”

This guy raised his hand and said:

“I remember that the reason I joined was the fight itself. Because this is what is going to develop me and it will also help other people develop themselves.”

I was blown away. A two hour session could easily be summed up by that sentence. More than that: by that feeling.

I believe that people are inherently strong. We are all fruit of millions of years of evolution and, more than that, I abide the precept that we were all created in the image of God. But how come does some express that strength more than others?

When I worked in AIESEC, there was (and there is still) this simple concept that some of the key elements in your journey towards self-development included a challenge role and environment and individual goals and responsibilities.

And that’s the key thing to me: the strength is already there but the tenacity with which you hold onto the goal you are aiming to is what is going to nurture it to come out. And the stronger you get, the more tenacious you will be able to hold onto next challenges. It’s a symbiosis of growth that we often kill with fear.

Because having been there, I know that the laziness, that lack of motivation and the “I think I have other priorities” often hide fear. And it is the worst type because it doesn’t feel like it. It is the fear that don’t come up in self-reflection moments because “you’re just not into it.” And it is the fear that kills people and, therefore, organizations. Worse: it makes them zombies.

But let’s talk about the beauty in here. After all, what this fear is telling you is that to live up to your strong self you might come even stronger to the battle you are facing now. And that’s probably gonna hurt. So, you see, as always fear is trying to protect you. But you know better. You know that on the other side of fear it is your stronger self.

Now, let me tell you a secret about this process: it goes in an infinitesimal but constant way. You set yourself a goal and it looks really far. You attain to that and take the first step which already demands a lot from you. Pay attention to this moment and I bet you can already feel stronger. But you haven’t reach your destination already, so you need to take the next step witch I guess by now you already realized that will demand more than the previous one. But then, you will become even stronger.

However, although this is the optimal process, it is not how it happens always in real life, right? And the reason is that we lose momentum by wasting energy in complaining, blaming that it’s taking longer, that this is not the road you were meant to take when you already forgot your initial destination.

We don’t notice the strength growing inside, so we invest less and less. We loose ourselves to what we should be rather then to realize that we are already being. And that’s the worst battle to lose because we give up on becoming what you already are inside: a powerful and radiant soul.

And because the world needs more strong people so we can do better, I urge you to pay full attention to this powerful force inside you, breath it and hold on to the next challenge. After all, we all joined the same fight. Close your eyes and envision that huge army of passionate warriors, fighting madly the joyful battle of becoming a more real version of themselves. You are one of us now.