The Lone Leader Weekly
8th Feb 2023
Fight The Battle. Win The War
But choose the right battles and the right war.
#1. You Are Only At War With You.
When we deeply reflect on our true presence, we must realise that we are our fiercest enemy and greatest ally.
#2. Conflict Is Often Own Own Story.
We spend much of our time fighting with the other person or the voice in our heads. It’s not real; it’s our brains trying to limit our potential for risk.
#3. If It Is Meant To Be. It Will Be.
Many of us have some faith in humanity, a God, or the Universe. But why? Because we want to believe in something greater than our fragile bodies. That we can become more than we could possibly imagine. And that scares us.
I don’t use the word war lightly, having grown up in the British military environment from birth until I left for university at 18, I know what war does to people.
Watching the launch of the Gulf War from my deck as a 10 year old, my Dad away for weeks and months at a time, often not knowing when he would come home. For some, they didn’t come home.
While I have a deep passion for the sacrifice of our military men and women make for our freedom, I am fundamentally against war. We are no longer fighting for our freedom, but something many of us will likely never see or benefit from. Power and control.
But growing up in this world it gave me many skills that you wouldn’t necessarily have in civilian life. We moved regularly, new schools every three years, a tribe that we would deeply connect with in different bases in different contexts, resilience and adaptation was key. Something I hold proudly in my toolbox now.
We lived behind heavily guarded fences, when there was conflict in the world, we were the first to know, the alert state changed, armed guards became more prominent and certain types of soldiers would disappear in the middle of the night.
Until I was 16/17 I felt that my path was to be in the military, my chosen professional as a cartographer on spy planes.
Something that become a sliding doors moment.
Having passed the tests, I was offered a place, but my Dad had other ideas. He said that he didn’t want me to be like him and said that I should only go in as an officer. But my time with the military was done. I wanted something different, I was going to break the mould and be the first in our family to go to university.
This context is important as I spent the most formative years being protected, in the most literal sense, with barbed wire and soldiers with guns, ready to defend at a moments notice.
It was a privileged life, but not an easy one.
As I come up to my 43rd birthday I have been out of that world for over 20 years, but I can still feel it, still shed a tear when I see soldiers slain in battle, still feel immense pride in what we expect of these people as their job.
If I’m honest one of my regrets in life was not serving my country, I’m not sure why, but it is something I have recently comes to terms with. It does however prompt the next question, my identity, what is it?
I realise that so much of what makes us, us is our upbringing, our influences and experiences that leave long term impact on your personality and beliefs.
With that said my war with my current identity has been as an athlete. Over the past two years I have struggled to find myself as an athlete. While I have been making huge changes in my life and business, this is one area that I have failed in.
There have been some speed bumps that were out of my control, but it has nonetheless made me realise that when we are not aligned with ourselves and our identity we cannot be fulfilled.
This is a realisation I had this week when I went for my first run in 5 months. I was slow, fat and struggled. But as I ran I realised that this is something worth fighting for. This is part of my identity that makes me better, mentally and physically.
Due to a recent injury I have to rethink the way I train, I can no longer take on the hours of running I used to be able to do, unless I want to risk long term spinal issues, and at 43, I’m not playing that game.
But life is a game of endurance, of taking each step, carefully but with the most energy you can muster.
Every day I couldn’t run I would think about it for hours, frustrated, miserable, lazy even.
But what I have learned through my treatment is that there are different ways to be the runner I want to be, be the person I want to be. That means changing my mindset towards the battles I fight.
For me being a runner is important. It’s very much part of me being me, the best version of me. So right now I have to choose my battles, because this is a war worth winning.
A better me. Thats the prize where everyone wins.
Whatever battle you face, whatever war you are waging. Make them the right ones. Ensure they are helping you become the best version of you.
Because in the end, you are only up against, you.
Until next time. Choose your battles wisely.