I need to clarify something.
Heather Gabel’s comment a few posts back has made me realize that I have failed to explain why I use battle language. Motivation is not the primary motivator. My reasons are inextricably intertwined with my history.
Let me (try to) explain.
From an early age I have had a profound need to live a purpose driven life. The circumstances surrounding my diagnosis hastened the advent of this need, while other life experiences were an accentuating influence. This need would, in the course of time, strengthen and give direction to my intellectual curiosity.
Given my disposition, I was, quite naturally, inclined towards philosophy and spirituality. Pope John Paul II passing when I was 12 pushed me further in that direction.
In the ensuing years, I found meaning and purpose in faith. I became religious – extremely religious at times.
These years left an indelible mark on my future unfoldment.
It was during this period that I began to see my life as being a journey. Rising above my current situation was seen as a solemn duty.
The desire for complete transformation and the theme of spiritual warfare have been abiding influences. Due to these influences, I continue to see inner conflict and self-development as being inseparable.
Sun Tzu’s Art of War, which I read when I was 16, proved to be a further influence.
Noting the applicability of Sun Tzu’s advice to life in general, I started to, intermittently, explore the similarities between life and warfare, and began using lessons learned from the latter to assist me in the former.
In the language of war, I found a set of metaphors that were useful in helping me as I moved forward in life. They proved to be conducive to transcending the obstacles I ran into.
To expect the unexpected, the fallibility of even the best plans, the role of fortune, the importance of distinguishing between what is & is not in your control and of focusing on that which you can control – these are some of the lessons that have stuck with me.
These lessons are, I believe, beneficial to us all.