By Michael Colon
As I sit on the train in New York City while it rattles through the seemingly endless underground highway of tunnels during the morning rush, I realize how privileged I am to fight the good fight. Fighting the good fight means trying our hardest to be better versions of ourselves every day to handle life’s battles. Fighting the good fight brings integrity to our lives because the best way to conquer obstacles or personal issues is to work on our mind, body, and spirit. Fighting this honorable fight means lacing up our boots, grabbing our hard hats and lunch box, and doing our best, no matter where we are. Learning how to fight is not about practicing martial arts. It’s about engaging in the battle to turn our weaknesses into strengths. We can become black belts in redirecting the hits life throws us and turning them into something beneficial.
Look In The Mirror
Who do you see when you look in the mirror? This question is more profound than the reflection we see at first glance. To answer it, we need to take a hard look at our soul, which takes having open-minded and sometimes harsh conversations with ourselves. The truth sets us free, even if it hurts to admit it at first. We can’t fight the good fight if our mind is cluttered with junk from a broken past, an unsteady present, or the concept of a grim future. We need to disinfect the mirrors of those stains that stop us from discerning the purposes we are meant to achieve. Looking in the mirror also reveals that sometimes who we have become is not anyone else’s fault but our own. Instead of playing the blame game, we need to point the finger at ourselves, especially if the same issues keep showing up in our lives. Many people look in the mirror to idolize their clothes or jewelry. But that type of reflection is false happiness to compensate for a lack of inner character. It takes discipline of our character to fight gracefully.
I used to look in the mirror and not know the person staring back at me. I was purposeless and guided by a lack of confidence. As I gained fortitude through my faith and a growing imagination, the empty shell in the mirror became filled with life. We should not avoid the necessary conversations we have to have within ourselves. We should not try to break a mirror because we don’t like our reflection. The broken pieces of glass will constantly regenerate and make what we are trying to avoid more apparent than before. These mirrors can be a conversation we hear between others in passing, a sign we see driving on the highway, or a revelation while performing a task. Life will challenge us to look in the mirror from all different angles, exposing the ignorance and deficiencies we must improve before becoming good fighters.
We are never too old to set new goals in our lives. Don’t let anyone try to discourage you from being a dreamer. To be a dreamer is to paint beautiful portraits in our subconscious. We can bring them to life by setting checkpoints along the way. We add a creative and fun aspect to the fight by setting these checkpoints or goals. Being a good fighter means setting goals, and before a goal becomes a reality, we have to visualize that it’s real in our minds to extract it from our thoughts and place it into the world. This outlook on life will alter our entire thought process, building our confidence. When imagination starts to blend with reality, we realize that we can’t have one without the other because the world we live in today is built on ideas. The more we exercise this power in our brains, the less we worry about what anyone else is doing or thinking. There is no limit to what we can achieve.
Hard Work and Humility
Becoming a humble warrior ensures victory in our battles. We win the battle when we can smile at the ugly face of adversity, using the negatives as positives. Take the high road while retaining the desire to grind through a problem. This lifestyle has no shortcuts because to cheat others is to fool ourselves. We find along the treasure hunt of progression gems of advice when we can put our pride aside and relish in the wisdom and gifts. We become extraordinary fighters. The harder we work on a craft, the less we rely on distracting negative emotions like arrogance and jealousy. Humility keeps a level head while approaching our goals with ferocity. If we have humility without hard work, we will accept things as if they’re okay when they may not be. If we do the hard work without humility, we become blind, thrusting our talents into wasted time and missed opportunities because of a poorly molded character.
There is nothing wrong with being proud of yourself, but being prideful is a monster that will eat us alive. People sell their souls for pride. I’m not saying to let anyone take advantage of us, but we shouldn’t look down on anyone for what they don’t possess that we may have. A character rich in goodness is worth more than the pretty toys one’s pride can buy. Like in martial arts, this fight is not used to get back at someone with revenge in our hearts. I am talking about the fight to sharpen us and help others with high impact and dignity. Learning these techniques is to obtain the balance of a savage work ethic and emotional stability, allowing us not to become deterred by what may be a mountain of circumstances to climb. A tough mind and peaceful spirit will equip us to climb that mountain with excitement and joy, knowing there are infinite peaks to explore.
What is faith? Many might think it is a vague term that endorses the unknown. I follow the Christian faith, so my source of faith comes from Christ and God the father. The definition of faith is to believe in someone or something. Another definition is to strongly believe in God or doctrines of religion based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. Practicing and upholding faith is essential, no matter your religion or belief system.
Without faith in ourselves, a higher power, or some source of motive for an outcome, we are letting life push us around. Again, this is where people stop fighting the good fight. None of us wants to relinquish our control over what can place us in a better place than someone else. That sounds illogical. The power of faith is not derived from logic yet from having a vision that goes beyond using our eyes. To have faith is to see with our hearts.
You can use these four tools to bring out the best in you and learn new things about yourself. Regardless of your cultural or political differences, that purpose is worth waking up for. So whenever life gets overwhelming, these are our weapons to fight with; the more we use them, the stronger they become. The more we expand our horizons, involving ourselves with different places, people, and ideas, no matter the outcome, we will be okay because we fought a good fight.
About the Author
I am Michael Colon, born and raised in New York City. I am working on some fiction novels and getting started in the blogging world. My dream is to have my work touch the lives of many people. Read more of Michael’s work on his blog on Medium.