We all have times in our lives when we exude great strength. Discipline becomes easy, and we find ourselves thinking things that make us proud, because of how we deal with the world. When problems arise, we are unusually positive and strategic. Life is good during these points in our lives. Everything runs smooth. . .until it doesn’t.
If there are going to be good times, then there are going to be some bad times. Times when discipline becomes hard, and we find ourselves thinking things that make us feel sub-par, because of how we deal with the world. When problems arise, we are unusually negative and lazy. Life is hard during these points in our lives. So what can we do?
Today, I woke up at around 5 am, and it was not easy for me to get out of bed and start writing. I kept telling myself thoughts like, “Eh. . . you’re body’s tired, just let it go back to sleep”, “You should just sleep in on the weekends~”, or “You won’t be able to create anything good, so why don’t you just go back to sleep?”. It was a battle of the mind, which I was not use to. For the past few weeks, I have been waking up early in order to get work done, and this was the first time where my thoughts worked against me. And it is within writing this post that I realized something. It is during our times of strength when we have to prepare for our times of weakness.
“One hour of preparation will save 10 hours of work in the long run.”
I wish I could give you some magical way to stop those times of weakness, or to halt them in their tracks, but anything I tell you would be useless if you didn’t have the strength to do so. What you need to do for yourself is to prepare before the battle when you still have the mental vigor and strength. Your aim during these times should be to grow and fortify at the same time. So you should not solely be trying the expand the territory that is your persona and skill set, but you should also make sure that whatever skill set or personality trait you gain is there to stay, and can stand the unforgiving weather that is to come.
Some skills will be easier to maintain than others, such as waking up early, you can assure that you do just by making sure you have some water next to you, so that as soon as you wake up, you have something to chug. But skills such as practicing a language, reading, or building a business requires that you work on your inner voice, and make sure that it has default defense mechanisms to combat the negativity that is to come.
Your mind is a battlefield, and every thought is a soldier. As a general you must know that soldiers are not automatons that you can control. The navy seal platoon leader, Jocko Willink, described how a soldier is not a robot that will blindly follow orders. He explains how if he did EARN the trust of his comrades, then it would be much harder for him as a leader to accomplish his missions. So you need to respect your thoughts, and understand that right now, you do not have control over them, but you can. Like Jocko Willink making every effort to understand every one of his soldiers within his platoon in order to be a better leader, you have to understand every angle of every degree of your thought patters in order to be a better and a more strategic thinker.
Be the better man, by being the better thinker. Prepare for war before the war.