The Event Doesn’t Matter. Your Reaction to it Does.

We are all given a hand in life, a set of cards that we have to play. Some hands are perceived to be better than others while others seem nearly impossible to rise from. The reality is that the hand you’re given matters little, your reaction to it is everything. Your reaction to failure can lead to success. Your reaction to loss, be it just or unjust, can lead you to freedom. The event in your life doesn’t matter, it just is, your reaction to it is everything, so choose to react to it from a place of strength not from a place of weakness.

There are atrocities everywhere on this planet. People die for no good reason. Others are killed because of their religion. Yet within every atrocity, every act of genocide, every life taken too soon, every unjust promotion or lost job, is a decision to act from a place of strength rather than a place of weakness. It’s those who act from a place of strength that shape their world for the better.

The victim cannot be the warrior.

hard work chad howseThis choice to act from a place of strength is to take your circumstances as they are, not as you wish them to be, and do all you can to make them as you’d have them be. It is not an ignorance of reality, to the contrary, it’s a grasping of reality within a firm grip and shaping it and molding it to your liking. This won’t create instant change but it will set you on the path to final victory.

But the victim cannot be the warrior.

The victim mentality that you are where you are because a system or God or the universe or a world is against you will lead you to lead a life of pain and failure, a life where you will always be under the control of your circumstances, always looking for charity instead of giving it.

The victim mentality is the entitlement mentality, or the idea that you deserve something simply for existing. It’s a distortion of the truth. You see some born into better circumstances than you and you want those circumstances. What you fail to realize is that all wealth and all success has come, originally, from hard work. Somewhere down the line that kid’s father or grandfather or great grandfather hustled his ass off to make the world a better place and his world a more successful one.

Instead of seeing the initial work that had to be done you see the reward for said work, and you willingly play the victim, seeing success and happiness and value not as things to be earned or attained, but taken or given.

You can’t be a victim without your consent.

The victim isn’t born. Just like that path the warrior is chosen, so is the journey of the victim. Being a victim is a choice, and a choice that too many men are making. It’s the choice to be a victim to your surroundings and your starting place in life. It’s the choice to be a victim to a lack of knowledge. A choice has to be made to be a victim to limited thoughts and circumstance, perceived injustice and failure. It’s a choice to be a victim, but it’s a far better choice to be a warrior.

Standing before Goliath, David didn’t quiver like every other grown man in the army did before this giant and killer of men. He saw a challenge and he saw a challenge that he could win, a fate that was in his hands, in God’s hands, but not a challenge that he had no power over though the logic in the moment would have said otherwise.

He chose to be a warrior and to do something about the sticky situation he found himself in rather than being a coward and wishing it weren’t so. (Read this: If You Want to Be Your Own HERO You Can’t Be A Victim)

You are a warrior.

We choose to look at the thousands who are in our situation and remain where we are, be it in poverty or obesity or stuck with a mindset clouded by cynicism. We choose not to see the examples of men who have climbed out, who have chosen to take the path of the warrior.

The evidence will back up your worldview. If you want to see yourself as being stuck, if you want to live a life of self-pity and self-loathing, you will see and find enough people to pattern your life after. There are more failures in this world than success stories, and more of you reading this will see the failures and choose to remain among them because it’s just too hard to rise above, to rise up, to thrive and take life by the reigns and have your way with it.

There are a few of you, though, who will read this and a light will go off in your head. You’ll see how you’re making excuses for yourself, your lack of success in any arena, your lack of happiness, and your lack of control over your life.

You’ll choose to pattern your life not after those who fail and remain, but after those who’ve climbed and hustled and risen.

This article is for you. You have far more control over your life than you realize and no matter what shitty hand life has thrown your way you can react to it HOWEVER you want. You can sulk or you can work. You can wish it were different, or you can accept it as it is and make the best of it.

For those of you who choose to take the latter road, there is nothing that can stop you save your own lack of work, persistence, or your own limiting beliefs. If you quit, you will lose. If you persist and evolve and hustle, you will win.

When you realize that you control your happiness, your value in this life, what you do with your time and what you don’t do with your time, and how you react to every moment, challenge, or piece of misfortune that makes its way into your life, you then allow yourself to make the best decision, the decision that’s from a place of strength, not of weakness.

Choose to see the giant standing before you not as an insurmountable obstacle but as a challenge that you simply have to figure out how to defeat. Then get to work on solving the puzzle that is your life. Live a large life, one where you dare mightily and dream audaciously. Take the steps of an intent warrior and claim your place, not in the pages of history, but in the present.

Read this next: 10 Qualities of a Modern Day Warrior