Modern comforts have removed the calluses from strong working hands. The same hands that built empires are occupied by devices designed to do the same process without the work. Humans used to be builders. People love their high-speed internet but forget the struggles which led up to that achievement. Humans used to fight wars face to face, brothers standing together, spines straight like spears. 300 Spartans defended the gates of Thermopylae from hordes of invading Persians. The Persians with an army so vast legends say they drained lakes to quench their thirst.
300 mortal men, and 300 Spartan men led by their king, Leonidas, marched into certain death in the name of hope, determination, and courage. There was no fairy tail ending for the 300 brave souls.
The Spartans knew fate had come to them and they knew they had to face it, and face it they did. The doomed Spartans did not panic, they celebrated. They celebrated because they came into this world kicking and screaming and covered in someone else’s blood and they were fine with leaving this world in the same manner, a manner bathed in honor.
The Spartans died that day knowing they did what was needed of them. Many tales like the story of the Battle of Thermopylae share the same message, the message of doing not what is easy but what is necessary. In the morning it is easy to roll out of bed, leaving it in shambles, and go start the morning routine. Then finishing said routine and getting out the door in the fastest and easiest manner possible.
We do this because we are taught many times throughout our lives that “Time is money” therefore saving time equals saving money. This is not the case, in anyway shape or form. Doing something fast but in an inferior way will not save you any money. William McRaven, 9th commander of the united states special operations command once said “If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right”.
Let’s start with the first task of the day, waking up. This can be argued to be the most difficult task of the day. On paper this task seems relatively easy, if you have the necessities to do it. First necessity is a motive like everything in life, determination. If you are determined to do something you will be able to do it, you can find a way. Once you are determined to get up and out of bed, will have completed the first task of the day. This achievement will give you a small sense of pride but most importantly it will give you the necessary motivation to complete other tasks.
Motivation can get you to your limits, in some cases past, but to unlock your full potential you need another quality which is courage. Courage can come from many places. It can be found in small places like a quiet suburban neighborhood, or large war grounds. In the US military courage is a lifeline, it is required of all who serve to display copious amounts of courage wherever the situation calls upon it. A situation where this courage is truly test is in the series of swims required of navy seal recruits. The recruits are tasked with swimming through the shark infested waters off San Clemente. They are told if a shark circles them, they are to stand their ground, do not back down, do not swim away. They are told if the shark darts toward them, to summon up all their strength and punch it right in the snout and it will turn and run away. This is a great lesson the seals are taught.
It teaches the importance of determination to complete the task at hand, it teaches not backing down at the sight of a challenge, but most importantly it teaches courage. “There are a lot of sharks in the world, if you hope to complete the swim you will have to deal with them”. In life these two qualities are essential for success but there is one final quality that is needed, this final quality is faith. Faith that you will be successful, faith that whatever you are doing will be done and will not be in vain. Going back to the story of the 300 Spartans at the battle of Thermopylae. They fought until the death. They weren’t seeking glory or recognition, they were fighting for the ones they loved. They were fighting for their families back home. Walking into the battle they realized