This life is trial and ordeal:
You will be tested.
This world will try everything in its power to extinguish your flames and leave your ashes cold.
Opposition will rise up against you, and the struggles that you experience may sometimes threaten to overwhelm- the storms so violent and sudden that they will seem without end.
The truth is, there is no end to struggle save death.
While we live, we must commit ourselves to this understanding, and allow it to shape our approach to life as one that always comes from a place of strength.
When faced with danger, with opposition, with naked aggression, we must take care to not be caught in the cycle of constant reaction, always on the defensive and never the attack.
Act, do not react!
Assess the situation tactically, choose a battle strategy, think on your feet, execute a plan.
Do not think that everyone who smiles at you or offers a kind word is your ally- question everyone’s motives, including your own.
Know yourself through and through by examining your internal processes with a calculating and clinical eye.
Cultivate a calm strength that is confident and free of false bravado- always maintain a healthy ego that unifies who you are with who you say you are.
In a world of falsehoods, telling the truth is an act of liberation- be honest, especially with yourself, and remember not to get caught up in your own bullshit.
Separate yourself from drama and people who always seem to be surrounded by it. Avoid the perpetually broke, low energy, low motivation types, or those who are always partying.
Surround yourself with those who are intelligent, confident, successful and disciplined. It will rub off on you, if you’re lucky and smart enough to allow it.
Always push yourself a little harder each day to improve, but never apologize for who you are or what you believe in, or you’ll never stand for anything again.
Try to learn something new every day.
Practice meditation, good nutrition and exercise regularly.
Take up a martial art.
Study a language other than your native one.
Travel often, and far.
Keep this one close to your heart, and never forget it:
We have this one life to live and our time here is short and precious. We owe nothing to our enemies but our scorn, but we owe it to ourselves to live healthy and whole, all the way alive, eyes wide open and searching the horizon for the eternal.
If you’re reading this, you are one of the rare ones, and I’m talking directly to you when I say
NEVER LET THE BASTARDS GET YOU DOWN.
I’m pulling for you.
-Paul Waggener, 9.5.2016