We are living in unprecedented times with a pandemic that is affecting all of our lives, some much more severely than others. A line from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War that always stuck with me:
“Being unconquerable lies with yourself”.
The Art of War goes beyond warfare in that its principles can be applied to many aspects of life. My personal takeaway from this has –and continues to be- that no matter the situation, a person can choose to be unconquerable.
Psychology will tell us that life is perception; the same events can happy to 2 different people however those individuals can ultimately have different outcomes depending on their perception of events. Carl Jung famously said, “I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to be.” Viktor Frankl spoke of while he was being tortured in a Nazi internment camp during WW2, that he would learn from the experiences and teach them to his college students when he got out (never really knowing if he would leave).
While there is much pain in the world right now, I would not compare it to the atrocities that Viktor Frankl and many others had to endure during WW2. However, we can still learn from many like Sun Tzu, Carl Jung, Viktor Frankel, and others that life is what you make it, no matter the circumstance. That is not to stay times are not difficult, but we can always learn from our situations and choose to be unconquerable.
Dojos and gyms across the US (and the world) have closed. However, I assure you that humans were able to work out, practice healthy habits, and of course, practice fighting skills before commercial dojos and gyms existed. Accountability, responsibility, and certainly discipline start with ourselves. We cannot blame a pandemic for an excuse not to work out when you can as easily do pushups, situps jumping jacks, squats, etc in your home, without the luxury of a gym. You also do not need a dojo mat (or even a partner in many cases) to practice combinations, drills, form, etc. With the number of resources, even free resources on the internet (i.e. YouTube), you can easily find workout routines and/or virtual classes to attend to stay active and continue to sharpen your skill.
We can always create excuses why we cannot do something: a pandemic, work, low energy, it’s a Monday, etc. And granted, those can all be valid reasons. However, instead of complaining about a situation or making excuses, let’s choose to look for results instead. Be the person that says you’ll find a way rather than a reason not to. Be unconquerable.