What Are You Standing For?

Ever have a song pop in your head that you have not heard in ages? Recently, “You’ve Got to Stand for Something” did just that to me. It was recorded 28 years ago by Aaron Tippin and the chorus is still etched permanently into my brain:

You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything

You’ve got to be your own man, not a puppet on a string

Never compromise what’s right, and uphold your family name

You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything

What is it that you value? Is it worth standing up for? If not, then take a moment and reconsider what is important, what is worth fighting for.

We have it within us to raise the bar. We can choose to create an incredibly high standard and in doing so separate ourselves from mediocrity. We can have the courage to always do the right thing. This is how we obtain the name that is held in reverence by others. That when they see the name Smith or Winley, they say there goes an honorable person worthy of trust. Those are the ones that are left standing when the final bell rings and all the other have fallen down.

Those who stand for nothing fall for anything. –Alexander Hamilton

Break It Down, Build It Up

Through exercise we break down the body. Our hope is that the micro tears in the muscles will heal. Once they heal, they become stronger. For those interested in fitness, this is a continual process. Break down the muscles, allow them to recover, become stronger. Repeat. We do this intentionally to our bodies. We welcome the physical trials knowing the benefits are worth it.

Are we as quick to welcome the mental and emotional trials of life? Do we intentionally seek opportunities to strengthen our souls? A bodybuilder with weak legs can either ignore it or do the hard work necessary to strengthen them. To do the hard work takes heart. We have to have the courage to put ourselves into situations that will help us overcome our weaknesses. How can we get better at anything if we do not expose ourselves to the thing we desire?

Water takes the path of least resistance for one reason. It is easier. Often, we choose to take the same path. But if we go through life always avoiding the obstacles, we will soon find that external elements are dictating the direction we should go. Would it not be better to pick our destinations and then proceed down the path of our own choosing?

Overcoming the obstacles in our lives makes us stronger. Like gold in the fire, the process refines us into a better version of ourselves. It takes courage to choose to go through the obstacle rather than avoid it. It is not the easier way. But going through it, rather than around it, will ensure that you stay on your path toward your goals.

Resistance to Fear

The little girl on the stage standing in the bright lights waiting for the recital to begin.

The boy on the wrestling mat facing an unknown opponent.

The adult at the podium addressing the audience.

Stepping on the stage, in the ring, or in front of others can cause butterflies, nervousness, or make you outright scared.  But in these situations designed to test your abilities, your enemy is not the people watching. It is not even the opponent standing opposite you.

Who is the enemy? It is the fear within you. In order to succeed when the pressure is on, you must become resistant to that fear. The big stage is an examination of your preparation and training. The work has already been done. Now it is time to show your mastery.

Fear can be healthy. It would be fool hardy to jump with reckless abandon. Therefore, we train in advance and gradually increase our level of testing. Trust your training and learn to master your fear.