Life is a battlefield…
(not to be confused with the equally important 80’s anthem “Love is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar)

Writer Robert Greene often uses the phrase “as in war, so in life”, an aphorism potentially worth keeping close, because our life could be considered a battle, both literally and figuratively. As a species we’re constantly fighting to survive – we’re only here, today, right now because of our ancestral life choices. As individuals, we fight to survive amongst our species whose plague-like population now numbers over 7 billion.
Even inside our own bodies, there’s a constant bacteria-battle raging on.

Today, like everyday, you’ll be fighting for your goal, fighting against impulses, fighting to be the person you want to be.
So what are the attributes necessary to win these many wars?

Discipline
Fortitude
Courage
Fearlessness
Sobriety
Sacrifice
Selflessness

Which attributes lose wars?
Cowardice
Rashness
Disorganisation
Overconfidence
Weakness
Selfishness
Poor footwear, like Crocs

As in war, so these attribute matter in daily life.
(REF: THE DAILY STOIC)
———————————————————————————————————————————–
Hands up who…
Has lost someone you truly love?
Ever had you heart broken?
Have struggled or struggling through an acrimonious divorce or separation?
Been the victim of infidelity?

Hands up who…
Has lived through the trauma of a natural disaster? 
Been bullied, harassed or beaten up?
Been made redundant or fired from their place of employment?

Hands up who…
Has ever had a miscarriage or abortion or struggled through infertility?
Have you or anyone you love had to deal with mental illness, dementia, some form of physical impairment or coped with suicide?
Have you or someone close to you struggled with addiction to drugs or alcohol?

Who didn’t raise a hand?
(insert your trauma here……………………..)

For me, I can most definitely identify with at least 4 of the above statements, 2 or 3 of which have profoundly shaped the person that I am now…and will probably continue to do so in some form or fashion in the decades to come.
What I am awkwardly attempting to showcase here is that we have (or are) experienced some kind physical, mental and/or emotional trauma – and the reality is, that we will continue to do so…until the day we drop dead probably.
What we do have control over in both instances of adversity is how we react, how we respond. (Stoicism 101)
I reckon, and what seems to becoming clearer and clearer by the day, as I proceed along my own 4WD, cross-terrain, bumpy mofo of a journey called life – is that adversity can either be something we choose, or, it’s something that chooses us, visits us…or is inflicted upon us, or comes our way via ‘bad luck’, ‘chance’ or whatever unknown random karmic “everything happens for a reason”life philosophy that you live by. 
 
I’ll attempt explain the later first.
When adversity ‘chooses us’, we have (in most cases) absolutely no control of it (figuratively) hitting us in the head – meaning if we fall ill, have an accident, victim of a natural disaster, get made redundant, or have an innate passion for Crocs etc – these are all instances of events impacting us that are out of our control, out of sphere of choice…or a tragically questionable taste in footwear from birth.

Alternatively, when ‘we choose’ our adversity, we’re making choices that not only predetermines our outcomes (our futureself), but predetermines our problems and the challenges that we will have to face….because we ‘chose those choices, we chose those obstacles’.
Huh!?
As I have eluded to in previous posts…“If we could agree that with every choice made, there is a corresponding problem, challenge or obstacle that comes with those choices”.
Then could we surmise that with blind or subconsciously made choices, the problems & challenges that arise from said choices will more than likely provide little or no benefit to you whatsoever? 
In fact the reality is, they’ll only further negatively compound your current life-trajectory.

(Again) alternatively, if your choices are ‘conscious‘ then the problems, challenges and obstacles associated with those choices will more than likely benefit your life-trajectory (obviously, if faced, and learnt from)…because you’ve consciously chosen them, and they’ll benefit your desired outcomes. (because, hopefully, you’re resisting making conscious decisions that are detrimental to your health-wealth…right?)
Oui? 
Simple examples could be:
Subconsciously drinking alcohol most nights (this more often than not is a automatic default habit), and then dealing with the subsequent obstacles and problems that arise from regular alcohol consumption – such as compromised motivation for health and fitness, negative/depressive moods, poor internal narrative, poor sleep, ill health, poor/lazy/unhleathy choices etc.
Or…
Consciously making the decision to learn, practice, train and repeat exercising, getting stronger, mastering your sleep, eating better, improving your serve or golf swing etc – delivers increased sense of fulfilment, knowledge, improved health, increased resilience, improved outlook, mood and motivated to pursue more challenges…because you’re getting better at something…you’re being good to yourself.
 

We learn from our mistakes, so we might as well, as much as possible, choose our lessons.
This isn’t about 6-pack abs…
The reason why I keep harping on about quality sleep, sobriety, Crocs etc is a feeble attempt to motivate individuals to improve their resilience, their grit and ability to not only make better and more consistent daily ‘conscious decision for themselves’, but to deliberately practice everyday to improve your own inner-citadel, and fiercely and proudly protect it, reinforced it, through the daily choices you make, so that you are in the best possible position to ‘deal with, and overcome’ the curve-balls that life consistently-randomly throws at us …that’s it.
Living a self-inflicted compromised life, through the (subconscious/habitual) choices you’ve made for yourself, plus the environment you choose to live within, only steals your attention, compromises your internal narrative and thus your ability to live and make conscious decisions for yourself.

As the days and years roll-by, I’m also leaning towards that we need to not only overcome our chosen obstacles, and thus improve our resilience, but we need to learn and grow from the experience.
As all-round smarty-pants Nassim Taleb, a Lebanese-American essayist, scholar, mathematical statistician, former option trader & risk analyst, tidily-winks champion (i made that up) – who now works of randomness, probability, and uncertainly (WTF!?), says in his trés interesting book Antifragile:

Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness.
The resilient resists shocks and stays the same;
the anti fragile get better.
Develop Your Character 
Building your own physical, mental and emotional resilience, in my opinion, doesn’t mean sacrificing all your ‘pleasures’ or ‘self-rewarding practices’, but it certainly requires one to acknowledge and observe what is depleting your abilities of daily self-care…just because you’ve been doing it for decades doesn’t make mean it’s either right or good for you.

Consider looking at your life choices…auditing what you do and say and begin the process of removing those things that make you weak, that make you say weak things.
Each choice you make is either stacking the deck in you favour, or tipping the scales of your physical, mental and emotional health in a downward trajectory.
We’re all too familiar when we start making ‘good’ choices for ourselves in one area of our life, and how it positively impacts other aspects of our life.
Start stacking the deck in your favour bit by bit.
Incrementally increase the things in your life that make you feel, think and behave better. 
As your personal choice-quota improves, there’s inevitably ‘less room’ in your day to day for the bad habits to exist…and by natural default your life not only becomes simplified, but it blossoms…it doesn’t make you immune to bad luck, tragedy, unexpected ill-health or global pandemics…but it puts you in a much better position to deal with it, survive it and learn from it. (handy disciplines and life-lessons to not only master for oneself, but to pass on to your off-spring and love ones)

Life is difficult enough.
Resist further compounding those everyday, and randomly-unexpected, life challenges that we have no control over, with the choices you do have control over. 
Want to be good?
Then do good.

You know what to do.

Peace

Luke