In my youth, I’ve always been an introverted guy who avoided any kind of confrontation, especially physical. Strangely enough, my first passion for fighting developed completely accidentally. I was attending my usual cross-fit class in San Francisco. There was a BJJ class afterward. I decided to try it out. I was soundly beaten and left with a bruised ego. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it so much that I continued to train ever since.
Throughout years of training all over the world, I noticed something interesting. The times I was eager to train, I went home as a brand new person. I literally felt on top of the world. The times that I didn’t want to train but trained anyway, I also went home and felt on top of the world. Training on the mats was the only time when I forgot all my problems and worries and found peace with myself. It was my form of meditation and escape from reality.
Thus, regardless whether I felt shitty or great beforehand, I always felt fantastic after fighting another human being (in a friendly and controlled environment). In fact, the harder I fought, the better I felt. Training hard even felt better than sex.
The fact that I felt so good after fighting somehow meant that the act of fighting must be an integral part of the human condition.
There’s a famous scene in Fight Club, where Tyler says, “How much do you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?” I’m not quoting him to make you fight random people on the streets. It’s just that most people wouldn’t know the answer because they’ve never engaged in a physical confrontation. As a result of a higher standard of living enjoyed all over the world, our main problems are no longer feeding ourselves but making sure we don’t eat too much. In this post-industrialized society where we produce more than we consume, the world we inhabit is increasingly becoming void of any meaning or purpose. We’re rich in a financial and material sense but completely broke in a spiritual sense.
Fortunately, there’s still one way that you can fight: by carving your own path. Building a business or a side-hustle that takes all your ingenuity and creativity and generates value is like outwitting a heavy guy on the mats. Becoming an entrepreneur is the only way you can fight the mediocrity of status quo. It’s your way out of the mediocrity of nothingness. It’s something you must do. This is why you must fight.
You must fight because the world is quickly becoming an interconnected village and, as an employee, you’re on the fast track to becoming a commodity that can be traded, outsourced and eliminated at the whims of global capitalism.
You must fight because if you don’t, your wages will be eaten up by our inflationary monetary system that rewards those who take risks at the expense of those who don’t.
You must fight because automation and artificial intelligence are advancing at breakneck speeds and will soon replace simple, menial jobs.
You must fight because there’s nothing like starting an ambitious project, powering your way through it while resisting the urge to give up, and finally unleashing your creation onto the world.
You must fight because a much higher quality of life can be had overseas, beyond the developed, politically-correct West, but to get there, you must develop streams of location-independent income to support your endeavors.
You must fight because, while it’s still possible to build a successful business later in life, it’s a lot easier while you’re in your 20s or 30s, and are young, agile and aren’t saddled with a family and kids.
You must fight because you’ll never be financially-independent and self-sufficient while you’re working for another man (or woman). They will pay you exactly what they deem necessary and not a penny more. The company you work for is getting rich by extracting surplus value from your labor.
You must fight because unless you build something yourself, you don’t set the rules. It’s not your house. It’s not your business. You’re just someone who’s borrowing or enriching it. And, all of that can disappear at a moment’s notice.
You must fight because you’re not alive until you have a reason to live. You’re not alive until you’ve failed and bounced back. You’re not alive until you’ve fallen down and gotten back up.
You must fight because, just like a muscle that’s not being actively used atrophies, your creativity and mentality will also decay unless you’re constantly exerting force on it.
There’s a fighter inside all of us. But just because you choose not to fight, it doesn’t mean this innate desire simply disappears. It will still be there. Except you won’t be doing it for yourself: you’ll be enlisted to fight someone else’s cause. Right now, your boss and the company are doing just that. Moreover, you’re also being enlisted by political parties, cultural movements, news, celebrity gossips and other forms of entertainment. They’re crowdsourcing and monetizing your fighting instinct. There’s a war out there whether you realize it or not.
You’ll be surprised how quickly you can go from feeling apathetic about the world to being driven to get your piece of the pie. It was just two weeks ago that I complained about my lack of motivation to hustle after making enough passively to keep the lights on. But right now, I’m hungrier than ever because not creating and growing businesses is like not fighting real people on the mats.
This is your war. This is your call to arms. Don’t think of it as some optional step in the game of life that you can avoid. Think of it as your existential struggle. It won’t be easy. It will test you. You’ll learn exactly who you are and what you’re made off. And it’ll finally satisfy those deep cravings for purpose and meaning inside your soul in this meaningless world.