Kill the Dragon

Start your day with full intensity and kill the dragons holding you back from success

Troy Erstling
4 min readOct 2, 2018


I believe that how you start your morning is largely a predictor of your ability to dominate a day.

If you wake up early, have a consistent practice such as exercise or meditation, and take conscious effort to gain control over your body and mind first thing when you wake up, you will be better positioned to perform well throughout the rest of the day.

I also believe that the ability to get weird is an important part of overcoming fear, anxiety, and self-consciousness. If you can’t embrace the ability to get strange, there’s usually something deeper lying under the surface.

Today we’re going to get a bit weird and stretch the imagination a bit :)

I was recently introduced to a philosophy called “Kill the Dragon

The philosophy believes that the first thing we should do every morning is to kill a dragon.

The “Dragon” is a representation of our difficulties in life. The things that are going to distract us, frustrate us, or prevent us from doing the things we need to in order to conquer the day ahead.

Our bad habits. Bad decisions. Temptations that will arise throughout the day, and the negative effects that those decisions can have.

So what do you do to a dragon that is trying to prevent you from being your best self?!


How does one attempt to kill a dragon?

Depends how weird you want to get with me, but I have two ways that I like to practice this technique.

1) I literally kill an imaginary dragon -

I will pretend that there is a massive dragon sitting in front of me. I will take out my sword as if I am the dragon killer, and then with all of the energy in my body let out a yell as loud as I possibly can….and attack that motherfucker.

The key here is to actually pretend that you are fighting a dragon. You must do it with all of the intensity you can muster. Scream at the top of your lungs. Swing your sword as if you are fighting for your life. Get into it.

For me it helps to imagine all of my struggles, doubts, worries, and anxieties sitting in front of me, in the form of a dragon. By screaming at the top of my lungs and fighting with all of the intensity and energy in my body I am subconsciously attacking all of the things that I must fight for in life.

If this is a bit too out there for you, the 2nd way is a bit less intense.

2) Exercise at full intensity for 1–2 minutes -

I generally like to do a light workout every morning. I will do some stretching and yoga, maybe sometimes go on a jog or get a few light runs in on my slackline.

After learning about the “Kill the Dragon” technique, I’ve added an end segment where I go full blast in an activity for as long as I can handle. Push yourself to the limit type of thing.

For example if I go for a run I will sprint full speed for as long as I can as the way to finish my workout.

If I’m doing yoga I will hold a plank (or a series of them) until my body is shaking and convulsing — I push myself to my absolute limit. Or I’ll do pushups until my maximum. Or run in place doing high knees or burpees.

The key here is full intensity for as long as you can handle.

If you want to kill the dragons of life, you have to be willing to go hard. To attack them. To attack yourself and all of your weaknesses. Intensity is an embodiment of this effort.

It’s a symbol that you can push yourself harder than you think. You can reach limits within yourself you didn’t know existed

Side Dragons -

I also believe that there are smaller ways of killing a dragon throughout the course of the day.

You kill a dragon every time you wake up early, get out of bed, and get to whatever action you needed to take for the day.

You kill a dragon every time you start your day with meditation or exercise or a positive habit.

You kill a dragon every time you choose a healthy meal over something you know you shouldn’t be eating.

You kill a dragon when you resist the urge to get into a confrontation, and you resist the impulse that will get you in trouble.

You see, dragons are all around us, in many forms. Throughout the course of any day you will fight multiple dragons.

Therefore, we must get in the habit of how to fight them. We must train ourselves to become dragon warriors, and chop those fuckers down like a Samurai every opportunity you get.

We must learn to take delight in killing the dragons of desire, distraction, aversion and avoidance.

This is why, every day, the first thing you should do is kill a dragon. Muster up all of the intensity in your body and show yourself just how powerful you are. Show the world that you don’t give a fuck what dragon comes your way, you are going to slice it apart from head to toe.

Now go out there and kill some motherfucking dragons!!!!!

Originally published at Troy Erstling.



Troy Erstling

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