Friday, June 8, 2012

A Treatise on Strength: Part 4

The purpose of this series was to give you a practical definition of strength, and I will give you what it is shortly. First, let's look at a few things.
"He who overcomes others is strong. He who overcomes himself is mighty" - Chinese Proverb
The De-strengthening of society:
The history of humanity is a history of the strong. Our ancestors have had to survive every possible terrain and climate you can think of. Look at where people live now. I come from Minnesota where the winter weather will sit 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit below zero for weeks at a time. Living in a home with central heating and double-paned windows makes this easy, but the pioneers who settled the land did not have these luxuries.
The settlers made houses out of the earth, and before them, the Native Americans had animal hide shelters. In prehistoric times, Man had to fight for every scrap of food, for the right to mate, and to protect his home. During the Industrial Revolution children, would work up to 14 hours a day 6 days a week in coal mines and cotton mills. We have survived every natural disaster that has ever happened, and continue to live in places plagued by earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes. These feats require strength. Not only has humanity survived these grueling situations; humanity has thrived!
At one point in time, it was survive or die. As stated in the previous instalments, this is no longer the case. The current generation is the unhealthiest group of humans to have ever existed! We no longer have to kill or grow our own food. Now, we don't even have to walk in the grocery store. We can take a scooter. There is no more need to challenge the mind and no struggle to enliven the body. Life is about convenience. We are becoming weak. That is, unless we decide to change it.
"To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear." -The Buddha
Need vs. Want:
"Strong people are hard to kill" - John Wellbourne
Do we need to be strong? No. As seen in my previous examples, strength in the modern world is not a necessity for survival. If you live in a first world country, you will probably live to a ripe old age no-matter your physical or mental capabilities. So is there any point to being strong?
Yes. Why would we want to be strong? To thrive. To surpass.
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Geniuses will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
- John Calvin Coolidge Jr., 30th President of the United States of America
All of your natural talents will go to waste if you do not have the fortitude to take the first step towards what you want. Once you start on the path of achievement you will need every ounce of resilience and strength to keep moving and surpass all that stands in your way. This is what gets you into the history books.
Do you want to know the definition of strength?
"Strength is the mental and physical fortitude to endure, resilience to bounce back, and force to create change to thrive in any circumstance and during any adversity. " - Me
So what do I do with this knowledge? I build upon it. Every day is a starting point, which I use to improve myself. It doesn't take much. Every day I learn something new, and I am always building up my body. I use my time to progress towards my goals. Each day I am stronger than the last.
It won't take much for you to become stronger. Read through the previous installments and add in something new each day, eat healthier, lift something heavy, remain calm, and breathe. Become stronger and reach your goals.
Take this knowledge and run with it. Life will knock you down, but now you can get up swinging. Take your new-found strength and get stronger. Don't merely drift through life and survive; thrive!

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