Embrace the sharpening
№ 28 ☼ Fortitude ☼ Growth ☼ 2 minutes ☼ 501 words
Life chooses the path of least resistance. Sometimes that is necessary. Oftentimes, we choose that path because it is easier.
Like a knife, we need constant sharpening. The sharpening comes when we engage with resistance. Resistance builds resilience, character, and discipline. There are consequences if we avoid sharpening. We become dull, stagnant, and complacent in body, mind, and spirit.
Those who depend on us (family, friends, employers) need us at our sharpest, at our best. We have duties to fulfill and relationships to uphold. Our communities need our contributions, if they are to succeed.
Our culture is centered around convenience and avoiding resistance. We are obsessed with indulging ourselves.
From our phones, we can have all our needs met on demand. With a few taps and swipes, any urge, any appetite can be satiated. We are consumers in every sense of the word. This mentality permeates our entire existence and it weakens us, sapping our fortitude. We do not take care of ourselves as we ought to.
Consequences are coming.
The pandemic showed us just how harsh and resistant life can be. Millions of us suffered more than inconvenience, losing jobs, loved ones, housing, and health.
The world is recovering, though. Things are looking up, aren’t they?
But what will happen when you are faced with unprecedented hardship? If you have deferred the sharpening, your weaknesses will cause you to falter.
Though it will be difficult, you must develop fortitude. There is no version of reality where you get everything you want. That is not the way of things.
You cannot be physically healthy without exercise and a good diet. You will not have mental health if you’re careless with what you watch or read. You cannot have good relationships if you neglect them. We cannot strengthen our character if we are obsessed with satisfying our cravings.
Undisciplined behavior produces a life of chaos, weakening the mind, body, and spirit.
Growth is never comfortable. Growth comes when we deny the path of least resistance and choose what is more beneficial.
Growth comes when we embrace the sharpening.
Choose character, not comfort. Strength, not craving. Become a mighty ocean, not a shallow puddle.
Submit to sharpening now, while the daylight remains. Feed your mind and body with healthy nutrients. Water the garden of your soul with pure, wholesome goodness. Guard your heart — it is precious and susceptible. Tend to your relationships. Learn new skills. Exercise. Be mindful.
You will feel yourself strengthened, sharper each day. When adversity strikes, you will be like a redwood in a great wind — resilient, strong, and a shelter for others who need you. You will not be overwhelmed by hard times.
You will be a light in the darkness. You will be a source of strength and hope to those who depend on you. You will be full of life and love, unshaken and unwavering.
Brace yourself. It is not a matter of “if,” but “when.” You can do this. You must do this.
"We are consumers in every sense of the word. This mentality permeates our entire existence and it weakness us, sapping our fortitude." &
"You will be a light in the darkness. You will be a source of strength and hope to those who depend on you. You will be full of life and love, unshaken and unwavering."
Wow Joel, just wow. I'm in awe with your poignancy and flow. What a beautiful advice to ponder on as the year ends! Thank you for writing this.
What a good reminder Joel! Yes, we need to be sharp and alert! Life is too short for it to pass by without being on our “A game.”