Why You Need To Pick Your Own Wars

You need to pick your wars.

Of course, the question is, “Just what the hell do you mean by that?” Well, Barbarians like a good fight, that’s sure. However, for better or worse, we live in a society that frowns on fighting…to a point. What they frown on is the idea of hurting one another.

There’s another kind of fight you can engage in, though, that will be celebrated, even if a civilized society such as ours. You just need to pick those fights.

Let Me Back Up A Bit

When I first started this site, I was very dogmatic. Even when I started focusing more on trying to make yourself safe in an unsafe world, I was still pretty dogmatic. The truth is, dogmatism sells. If I tell you that going your own way is all fine, what the hell do you need me for?

The thing is, that dogmatic approach is one that I feel works in certain contexts but not necessarily others. Not now, anyway.

Back then, I respected strength and maintained that strength is something that every man should pursue. I later realized that I thought every woman should pursue it as well. Strength was good for everyone.

Yet at that time, I had a defined definition of what strength was. It was nothing more than the ability to move weight.

While I was more than willing to acknowledge that people had differing views of ways to test strength, I maintained that strength mattered more than anything.

I might have been wrong.

My Priorities May NOt Be Your Priorities

The truth of the matter was that I was interested in strength and strength training. As a result, I was convinced that everyone else should do this.

I still think strength is important, of course, but is it really the most important thing?

Well, that depends.

Using the above definition of strength, it may not be as important to a marathon runner or Ironman triathlete. They’re easily going to need to focus more on endurance, not powerful muscles.

Their priorities are different, but are they wrong?

I mean, are they? Well, not necessarily.

Sure, if they’re wanting to compete in a strongman competition, focusing on marathon training is dumb. Then again, it’s not like people are actually doing that. Someone might, but they’re the exception, not the rule.

Where I was screwing up was in trying to decide what others’ priorities should be.

Instead, Pick Your Wars

Barbarians, both historically and in fiction, were warrior peoples. They fought countless wars for riches and glory. They seemingly relished a good fight.

You need to do just that. You need to pick your wars.

However, in this context, the term “war” is more metaphorical.

What I’m talking about is picking the things that will push you, the thing you will fight for. For me, it’s a Spartan Race. Later, it’ll probably be a marathon since one of those has always been on the bucket list. Another time, it might be a strongman competition. Whatever.

My wars aren’t necessarily going to be your wars. That’s for you to determine.

Do You Even Need A War?

I’m telling you to pick your war, but the question some might ask is, “Do I even need a ‘war’?”

Truth be told, you might not. Some people are so great at finding motivation out of nothing that they’ll train their ass off and never blink. Most of us need to have some kind of goal, though. We need something to fight for.

Now, that might be internal as well. Maybe you want six-pack abs. Maybe you want to run a mile. Maybe you just want to drop a few pounds.


Some folks, however, need something else. They need a competition to give them focus. A race, for example, might be the perfect thing to direct their efforts since they’ll have a deadline for when they need to be ready and a firm idea of what they need to achieve it.

That’s how you pick your wars. You just find the next challenge that will spur you on.

No, it doesn’t matter what it really is. I’m talking about physical challenges, to be sure, but there’s no reason for you to pick your wars exclusively as physical endeavors. Maybe you want to take up quilting or something else. Whatever.

It honestly doesn’t matter.

Just pick your challenges and then work towards mastering them to the best of your ability. Decide what you want to accomplish, be realistic about it–a 70-year-old man doesn’t need to set a goal to become part of the Kenyan Olympic Marathon team, for example–and hop to it.

Pick your wars. Pick the battlefields of your own choosing and don’t let anyone else tell you that you’re wrong to do so.


Author: Tom

Tom is a husband, father, novelist, opinion writer, and former Navy Corpsman currently living in Georgia. He's also someone who has lost almost 60 pounds in a safe, sustainable way, so he knows what he's talking about.

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