WHY WE ARE WARRIORS

A lot of us are struggling to keep up with resolutions we made a little over a week ago. Some of my friends I know have already broken theirs. This can leave you feeling like a failure. I am here to remind you it is ok to try and fail as long as you do not fail to try. Being a warrior is a daily battle. Life is about the daily battles. Some you will win, some you may lose. The goal in life is to do our best to win more than we lose.

Whether that battle is staying true to your fitness plan or even to your faith, it is a daily challenge. Even though we do our best, we may not win every day. A true warrior dusts themselves off every day and begins with a fresh and positive attitude no matter what yesterday has delivered. It is important to remember the war itself will never be won. Everyday we must face our demons and overcome the challenges not only from without, but even harder from within.

When we fail to keep a resolution or goal we have set, we must use that to fuel our motivation to do better next time. Winston Churchill defined success as “Going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” That is exactly what we must do to become successful. If your cheat day on your new healthy eating plan was taco Tuesday and that turned into burger Wednesday and pizza Friday, just start even more determined on Saturday. We all try and fail, just make sure you never fail to try. 

WHAT I GAINED BY BEING A WARRIOR 

Recently I completed the warrior dash race.  (That’s me in the middle, Siraya to the right and Deanna to the left) The warrior dash is a 3.2 mile run that is filled with 12 obstacles including, but not limited to, swimming across a small lake, running through fire and climbing through the mud under barbed wire. If you notice our fabulous appearance that is the result.

So why, on a perfectly fine spring day, would three normally fairly sane people do such a thing? The reasons vary and the best I can do is to give you some of mine.

When I first heard of the Warrior dash it hinted at adventure. The kind one cannot find by simply strolling through the park on a sunny day. The inner child in me was jumping up and down raising both hands screaming “pick me! Pick me!” It was that same voice that got me scolded for coming in with muddy and ripped clothes from some ill-planned adventure. As an adult there are very few opportunities to pursue such experiences. Although if my mother saw me I am sure she would not be happy about my clothes. So, allowing the adventure craving inner child to have some fun was one reason to do this.

Then there was the test of physical endurance. In our typical 9 to 5 world there exists very few opportunities to use the body for what it was designed for, and that is to move and utilize our muscles. Being able to see where I stand as a 41 year old man certainly was it’s own adventure. To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised with how my body reacted.

Knowing I was about to test my physical stamina brought us to the next reason for signing up for this adventure. When the day finally came I wanted to not be disappointed in myself for the way I performed. Keeping this in mind got my sleepy butt out of my warm bed and to the gym on more cold days than not. When I felt like I could not do one more rep or run one more step I thought about looking old and out of shape on the course and managed to push on. Knowing if I skipped a day at the gym that would be one less chance to prepare that I could never get back. Having this end goal in mind helped motivate me on a daily basis.

Another important reason for me doing this is to be a good example. Telling folks they can chase a goal and achieve it is one thing. Doing the same yourself and setting the example is quite another. I employed many of the tools I teach on this very sight to stay focused and motivated. ‘Walking the walk’ in my opinion, is part of being a true warrior.

All of the above reasons were very good and did keep me motivated to continue, but all of these reasons combined were not as powerful as this last one. All the proceeds of this test of endurance benefit St. Jude children’s hospital. Knowing there are so many children born without the basic abilities you and I take for granted made me put my heart into doing this. Knowing all the funds from myself and all my fellow warriors would benefit children and their families facing challenges I can barely appreciate made me feel like a winner before I even began. One finds it very difficult to complain when running through ankle deep mud, when you know it benefits children who may not even have legs to walk on. Using our strength, our endurance and of course our entrance fee to benefit these disadvantaged children and their families that share the struggle with them is what made me truly feel like a warrior.

Each step tested our mental, emotional and physical endurance, but knowing each step helped children and their families pushed us further than we could normally go. In this spirit, everyone we met on the course was so friendly and so helpful. To see such a large group of people pushing themselves so hard for such a great cause gives a warmth and fire to the heart. With that thought in mind I tip my fuzzy hat with horns on it to not only my two fellow warriors who stuck with me the whole way, but to each and every warrior who fought their own physical limits to help children who face far to many. Next year will I not only do this again, but I plan on raising even more money for St. Jude. I hope to see even more of you on the course!

THE MOST POWERFUL WARRIOR 

Who was the most powerful warrior? Ask this question to 50 people chances are you will get an equal amount of different answers. Vikings, samurais, and Spartans among many others. Still even among these different groups there are different kinds of warriors. So who is the most powerful warrior? To me it is the warrior who is fighting the greatest battle, one which can never be fully won. That is the battle of one’s own heart and mind. The inner warrior

It was Lao-Tzu who said “Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power”. Once we can control our emotions and live in action and not reaction. Once we can respond to anger with love we show the signs of an inner warrior. Are these things easy to do? Absolutely not. It may be the toughest battles we fight. It is easy to surrender to the negative emotions we are surrounded by every day. To maintain a positive disposition and encourage both ourselves and others takes a strength and courage very few have. When you meet one of these warriors know you are in the presence of someone very powerful.

If you should find yourself feeling defeated, or falling victim to the emotions of fear and anger as we all do at times, know you must speak to and heal your inner warrior. Also when you see friends that fit this description see them for what they are, fallen warriors. We are fighting demons that many know nothing about. When you stand beside a friend who is struggling. when you offer an encouraging word to someone full of doubt you are literally fighting beside a fellow warrior.

So as the weekend approaches let us all work with our inner warrior and learn to become the master of the space between our own two ears and not the victim.

SUNSHINE WARRIOR 


After learning and teaching ways to be more positive in life I have come to a important conclusion – it is a constant struggle – for anyone who has embarked on this journey this is not too shocking. When you make the decision to live a more positive, loving and passionate life something strange happens. At first people pat you on the back and say things like “good luck” and “that’s great”. It all starts off well and good. Fast forward at most a week or so and things change. People begin to get less comfortable with your decision. I’m not sure why this is.  I have a theory or two. Perhaps they realize how much their own lives are not full of joy and fulfillment. Perhaps in some strange way they feel if you succeed it somehow means they fail.  Another interesting thing people tend to do, even well-meaning people, is they begin to show you examples of how dark the world can be. You begin to hear things like “How can you be positive when ___ happens?” or look how bad the world is getting and they sight some recent negative event the media is feeding off of. The truth is there is good and bad in the world. Light and dark. Positive and negative. Whether you are spiritual, or not that is easy to see. You meet nice people and experience nice things and you also face challenges and meet people so unpleasant conversations with them leave you wanting a shower.

So what side are you going to be on? Make no mistake, what you choose to focus on decides a great deal of your life. What meaning you assign to things decides how they make you feel. This is the most important decision you can make in your life. Why? It determines how you feel. There will always be wins and loses what they mean to you will determine how they affect you. If you believe the world is out to get you and always to expect the worst you will feel one way. We all know some people who actually do not allow themselves to be happy even when something good happens. They always look for what could go wrong. I knew a man who won an all-inclusive vacation. I was happy for him, but he did not seem so happy. “Yeah, but I have to pay the taxes” he informed me. The taxes amounted to $100. He, and his wife, were going to Jamaica airfare, hotel, meals and cocktails for a week for $100 and he was sad. These are the people who fall victim to the world around us. The negative mind programing we see on TV, online and in the papers everyday. Still, we all know people who remain happy no matter what. If they get a flat tire they muse that it may have prevented them from being in an accident further down the road. Some people call this naïve, but it is no more fanciful than focusing on the negative.

So what side do you find yourself on? Daily in the news we hear of tragedy, hateful speech, how the environment is falling apart, how morals are decaying and a host of other dark and negative events. Seldom to we hear about the people that come together to help the victims of violence, a new inspiring speech that was given, or how some high school students are coming together to clean up a river. These things are not ‘good news material’ they do not sell.

So what do I believe? What does the man who brings these words to you think? Here is what I believe. Make no mistake, your joy, your well-being, your very spirit is under attack. We are in the eye of a hurricane of hate and negativity. The world has become darker in many ways. I think a lot of that is owed to the focus on what is wrong in the world. It has dimmed the light of hope in the hearts of many. Which is why my motivation for writing only grows stronger. We need more people to spread joy, to focus on what is just, good and right. We need more healers of all kind. We need people to bring us together to stand against those trying to tear us apart. Before you jump to sign up let me assure you of one thing, this is not for the faint of heart. In order to be a source of light in a dark world you must be brave. You will find yourself ridiculed. You may often find yourself being attacked by those closest to you and on occasion even standing alone. Many souls find themselves negative and uninspired because today that is the easy way. To be an inspired soul and even greater to inspire others takes courage, takes inner strength and not everyone is up for that.

If you find yourself disgusted with both what you read and see in the news as well as on the streets I urge you to become a sunshine warrior. Put on the armor of positivity. Be warned, however, we are out numbered and the fight will be both long and difficult. You will not come out unscathed. The reward for this fight is your life, and the lives of those you care about and come in contact with. Whether we live in a world of darkness or a world of light depends greatly on whether we choose to join this fight. There will be many who will complain about the world as is, but there will be very few who are brave enough to do their part to change it.

If you find yourself tagged in this post you are a sunshine warrior. Do your part and share and tag those you feel show the courage to bring light to our world.