I’m currently experiencing blissful peace in the suburbs of Los Angeles, and meditating more on life. A thought: I believe that living a happy life is more than just peace and tranquility; we also need danger, excitement, adventure, and uncertainty (war!)
Now, I don’t believe in war. I don’t believe in the senseless killing of anybody, especially when it is because of ideology, religion, or nationalism.
However the truth is that with prelonged peace in a country and nation, the citizens often get soft, flabby, and weak.
Thus I think some pain, difficulty, and battle is essential for us as human beings. However perhaps this concept of “war” can be taken more metaphorically. I like the idea that we can introduce more pain, difficulty, and meaningful sacrifice through simple things, like abstaining from certain (instant) pleasures, by fasting (fasting from food, entertainment, media, news), and through personal discipline!
The reason why I think action movies, boxing, UFC, and video games are so prevalent is because most of us are bored. We don’t have any dangerous or exciting challenges in our lives. And if we’re not introduced to some sort of challenge in our lives, we lose the opportunity to exercise our strength.
On a simple level, here’s some things you can do to introduce more “war” in your life, through challenging yourself:
- Challenge yourself by intermittent fasting: Don’t eat breakfast or lunch, and make it a game; see how long you can fast until dinner.
- Challenge yourself at the gym: Don’t do boring repetitions. Rather, challenge yourself by lifting heavier weights, or doing more challenging or dynamic exercises.
- For literature, philosophy, or reading–read more challenging texts which interest you. For example I’m a little bored with philosophy in general, and have been studying more ancient Greek and Latin poetry, and have been challenging my mind this way!
- If you play video games, don’t just do “noob stomp” games. Play really hard games against very difficult (human) opponents. Or perhaps learn how to play Go, and play against a (very hard) computer!
- As a photographer, challenge yourself! Attempt more challenging compositions, take more risks in street photography by taking photos that scare you! Push your creative limits!
Build your muscle. Your mental, visual, physical, and spiritual muscles.
And never forget,
You’re stronger than you think!