Fight For Your Life.
Do you ever feel like other people are always letting you down? And that you’re surrounded by idiots? Even worse, that nobody will be honest with you?
It’s probably because you’re overly sensitive and they are afraid to be themselves around you because they are worried that you’ll fly off the handle and have a meltdown. Loosen up a bit for god’s sake and give people a chance to communicate with you.
Emotions are like friends. We have to accept them or we won’t have any.
The idea of what we’re supposed to feel like dominates what we actually feel like. We are ghosts in our own bodies.
I think about performing a simple squat. I bend my knees 90 degrees and hover my ass above an imaginary chair. And then my legs start to burn and I act like I have just been shot 6 times in each thigh. I build up a big story in my mind that the burning is so awful and I am a victim of some great crime. I will do anything to not be squatting anymore. I want out and it’s all a bunch of mind games really, my little self-doubting thoughts taking over because I’m tired and scared of failure so I’ll let anyone talk me into quitting. But really my body could physically squat for minutes, maybe hours longer.
Sometimes I tell my students that I will give them bundles of cash if they can hold a posture for a minute. Or I’ll make it a competition. As soon as this happens they all act like they’ve just taken loads of steroids and can kick the shit out of any physical challenge I put in front of them.
But no challenge or money means they have to do it for themselves and since people don’t generally give a shit about themselves they quit as soon as their brains get the first indication of a fight from the doubting side of things.
I get mad at them for this. I think about walking around the room and screaming in their face and karate chopping them across the shin. But really I just want to give them the little push they need to be self-governing greatness.
Sometimes we quit on ourselves and then go home; and when we get home we don’t like who we are.
Animals will fight until death but humans find any excuse possible not to fight at all. And I’m not talking about bare-knuckle brawling; I’m talking about fighting for anything. There’s nothing wrong with a good struggle, or burning thighs that make you second-guess yourself for a moment. Taking a good look at yourself in these situations will only help you move forward.
Doubt is great. Fear is great. It means we get to prove to ourselves why we matter. We get to stare doubt in the face and give it a dirty-ass look that would scare a terrorist. It’s there because part of us wants us to be miserable, so we can have pity parties and blame everyone else for our own problems. And most of our lives we have let that small-minded fearful talk run the show.
The thing is, fear and doubt are the biggest cowards of all. They can’t stand up to us; we’re way too fucking crazy. Let’s stand up and show them how crazy we are. We’re strong enough to torture ourselves every day by living a half-assed, borderline miserable lives — I think we’re strong enough to sit our asses down in a squat for a minute or two and not give in to the first thought that gets us out of a battle.
Challenge is growth. No challenge is stagnation, Prozac, and hours of television every night. It’s fucking miserable and it’s killing your soul. You should be arrested.
I should be able to come to your house and smash your television on the ground and take you away and unlock you up somewhere near a tree or a body of water and give you a pen and a notepad and tell you to start writing and not stop until you know what inspiration feels like. And you know that it comes from inside and not outside of you. You don’t need anyone but your goddamn self to realize who you are.
Is it because we are afraid that when we’re tested we won’t have what it takes to pull through? Are we scared that we’ll fail and nobody will like us anymore?
First of all, nobody cares about us that much, they are too busy worrying about their own damn problems. The world can be ours to experiment with if some other people want to spend their time burying their head up their ass.
Who really cares enough about failure to let it run their life? That’s old news. The most successful people in the world fail every day, and they learn to love it. It’s learning, it’s living. It’s so simple I want to reach through your screen and slap you in the face.
Get up and start doing the things you know you should be doing. I don’t care about your family or your job or bills. It’s all going to pass you by one day, maybe tomorrow.
Animals don’t quit because they don’t care what they look like; they care about surviving. It’s not an option whether or not they give their best effort, irrespective of what other, gossipy animals might be whispering behind their backs. Animals don’t give a fuck, they are going for it.
We aren’t fighting for our survival the way we should be. We’re humans and we’re just a little different than other creatures. Food, water, and shelter take care of our cells but not our souls. In order to survive we need to take care of our body but also our imagination. If we don’t feel the painful beauty of life every day then we are (slowly) committing suicide. We are letting our souls die and our bodies won’t be far behind.
I think we care too much. About the wrong things. We care too much about our feelings, about other people’s opinions, about politics, and about Taylor Swift. And I’m certain we care too much about feeling sorry for ourselves. It is some kind of spell that we are afraid to break. A lot of people live under this spell to avoid the work that lies ahead of them in their quest to be happy.
We’re all tired of the game. We’re just waking up in the morning and mailing it in. Our hope is diminishing. But at the first sign of rebellion we become wide awake. We remember it’s not buried too deep. It just needs a little push. Just a nudge.
Don’t wait for it. Someone else is waiting for you to do it. Just be the one and do it already. You won’t be alone and you’ll know exactly what to do once you start.
Kirk Hensler was raised in metro Detroit on a steady diet of meat, potatoes and team sports. As a competitive athlete, he relied on his power and dominant attitude to excel. Years later, when he took up martial arts, he was tossed around a sweaty dojo for months by various women and children. This led to an exploration of ancient Eastern philosophies, which, in turn, led Kirk to Taiwan, where he taught English, studied martial arts and ate a lot of delicious and strange street food. Today he owns a yoga/kickboxing/green smoothie studio in San Diego, and is the Co-Founder of the Hale Foundation — Yoga/martial arts/creative arts for at-risk kids. Check out his blog, Kale & Cigarettes to keep dibs on his journey to becoming a hip-hop dancer, connect with him on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram and sign up for his bloody updates & contradictory life advice here.