Rolling With The Punches: The Only Way To Survive

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There’s so much that I want out of life — I’m sure that you all feel the same. I make plans as to how I want my life to turn out, of how I want my life to be. I have been making these plans since before I can remember. I’m pretty sure when I was still an infant I was already imagining how I would love my life to consist of warm milk bottles and silly cartoons.

When in elementary school, I had really started to find myself — slowly. From then throughout high school I was picturing my life as a professional ballroom dancer. After 11 years of training I started picturing a different life for myself; my wants changed.

Or so I thought. While I cannot deny that my wants transformed throughout my life, I have to also come to the conclusion that my wants don’t change of their own accord but do so because the circumstances require them to do so.

Life changes and in order to survive and thrive you need to change along with it. Many believe that people don’t change — and they are right, partially. People may not change, but that’s not because they aren’t capable of it; it’s because they choose not to. Life will throw punches at you over and over again. And although not being able to strike back makes it seem like a losing battle, it’s not.

It’s not about hitting back; it’s about softening the blows and being able to take them one after another. Life doesn’t play fair. Life will hit you when you aren’t looking and it will kick you when you are down. There is no way of avoiding it, nowhere to run or hide.

Living is about standing there knowing very well that you are about to get struck, knowing that it will hurt, but also knowing that you aren’t made of glass and that you won’t break. Life requires not allowing yourself to break.

Roll with the punches. Being stubborn won’t get you anywhere but nowhere. Sometimes wanting a particular thing isn’t enough. Sometimes, wanting something with your entire soul won’t be enough to get you what you want. The thing is: particulars are never guaranteed in life.

You can plan, picture and imagine all you want, but almost always the particulars that you are hoping for won’t appear — or at the very least not in the form that you hoped they would. This is why having a purpose is of the utmost importance. Having a purpose in life, having a set of standards or rules that you live by, will help you see from different vantage points.

Your purpose is all that ought to matter to you; everything else — all the particulars — are not important and will almost never appear the way you wished them to. This is the beauty of life; no matter what you plan or how you imagine things will turn out, life will surprise you.

And it’s these surprises that make life worth living. Life would be nothing short of mundane if we were able to predict future outcomes and circumstances. But as life changes and surprises you, you must also change — you must adapt. It’s our ability to adapt that has kept the human race alive for hundreds of thousands of years and brought us to the top of the food chain.

Adapting means that you have come to understand your situation and that you have found the path that you must travel in order to continue to coincide with your purpose. Adapting to your circumstances is the only way to succeed in life.

Life can be a mean bitch — but she can also have a gentle, comforting touch. Life is not simply one long beating; it has its pleasures too. Unfortunately you cannot have one without the other; you can’t have the good without the bad. In order to maximize your utility — your happiness — you must minimize the damage of each blow thrown your way.

You may not be able to run, but you can duck and lean out of the way. You can minimize the pain by changing your strategy. The end goal is all that really matters. The only way of reaching it is by changing your game plan whenever life requires it.

Life is a journey — it can either be long and grueling or long and fascinating, rewarding. You have the power to make the best of every situation; not doing so only shows lack of thought, creativity and lack of courage. If life comes at you with a right hook, don’t lean into it — duck out of the way. Roll with the punches. You only get one round and once the bell rings, it’s all over.

Paul Hudson | Elite. 

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