The project you’re working on; the goals you set this year; the strategy you spent months planning – all of it will break.
This goes for everything tangible in this life:
The factory you built: at some point in the future, time and the elements will collapse it – another will come and take its place.
The product you crafted: someday the hardware will degrade and stop working correctly; the software will become buggy and obsolete; your brilliance will be a used trinket in the back of a storage space.
Those relationships you developed when you were in middle school: people change; you and your friends will move apart, or, if you do stay connected, your relationship will alter and morph.
People, places, projects: they all eventually break.
Heroes and Champions
This shouldn’t come as a shock – it’s simply restating a simple principle of life, one that we all intrinsically understand: nothing stays the same.
But – and here is the thing that might shock you – this is a good thing.
Life is good because things can break.
What would be the point of setting a goal with 100% certainty of its attainment? With the steps all laid out? With a guarantee that there will be no hiccups, setbacks or failures along the path? That everything you see before you is precisely how it will be when you get there – perfect, safe and everlasting?
If this were the case, if uncertainty (and thus the possibility of things breaking) were taken out of the equation, you would be left with exactly what you see, no more, no less.
There would be no struggle. There would be no dragons to slay. There would be no risk.
And if there were no risk there would be no need for courage or boldness.
In a world without dragons, there would be no heroes or champions.
In a world with no breaking, no uncertainty, no possibility of failure, there would be no struggle, no need to try (it would already be a guarantee), and ultimately no need for virtue.
We don’t read the story of St. George because we know he wins.
We read the story of St. George because he might lose – things might break – and because of this his actions are courageous and bold.
If there were no chance of breaking, there would be no dragons to slay; just imitations easily ignored.
We don’t build empires because we expect them to turn out exactly how we planned.
We don’t build empires because they are guaranteed to work.
We don’t build empires because we expect them to last forever.
We build empires because deep down in our hearts there is something goading us, something compelling us, something pushing us…
We build empires because deep down we must build…
We build empires because deep down we were made to be heroes and champions.
there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear. [G.K. Chesterton]
This something might just be our ability to struggle for something worthwhile, to fight and slay our dragons while they try to destroy us, and to build our empires even if they might break.
What empire are you building?
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