Don’t be Afraid to Fight in Life

Warden Norton

“If you haven’t found something you are willing to die for, you aren’t fit to live.” – Martin Luther King

One of the best ways to take you from where you are now to epic living is finding your fight. If you have nothing to fight for you become lazy, indifferent, passionless, and without a sense of purpose.

Everyone needs a worthy enemy.

  • Luke had Darth Vader
  • Harry had Voldemort
  • Batman had the Joker
  • Superman had General Zod
  • Andy Dufrene had Warden Norton
  • Microsoft has Apple
  • Mercedes has BMW
  • The Red Sox have the Yankees
  • David had Goliath
  • Twenty somethings have a quarter-life crisis

An enemy gives you a reason to fight. It’s a worthy opponent but beatable. It takes hard work, sweat, tears, and all your abilities.

You have to dig deeper, go longer, and fight harder.

You may get knocked down but you have to get up ready for more.

Who are my enemies? Just as superheros have more than one, I have a couple. My first battle is with insignificance. I want to be successful but more importantly I want to be significant in people’s lives. I want to be the best husband, father, brother, son and friend.

I want people who know me to walk way better than when they first met me. I want to inspire people. I want to help them battle their enemies.

My second enemy are bosses. I’ve had many bosses. Most of them have been great. The problem I have with bosses is being told what to do and when to do it. It’s telling me to what my schedule is. It’s being a follower and not a leader.

It’s asking for permission to vacation instead of taking it myself. It working for something I’m not passionate about instead of doing what I love.

Yours may be simliar or different than mine.

When you think about your enemies, let them motivate you. Your choice is to let them beat the crap out of you without a fight and give up or keep finding ways to battle.

Envision them standing in front of you, like an old western showdown. However, there’s no guns. No shortcuts. You have to use your brains.

Once you do find your opening, take action and don’t give up. You’ll soon see them in your rear view mirror chasing you. They seem to never give up. With enough hard work, consistency, and good habits, you’ll leave them way behind. If you slow down, they gain ground.

Find your enemies and let that be your motivation.

Who are your enemies? 

What are you willing to work day and night for?

What are you willing to fight through your fears for?

What are you willing to die for so you can really live?

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  • Amy

    Great article, Benny!

    Inspiration you’ve got down- I’m definitely more inspired since I first met you!

    Bosses seem to be my enemy, too. Even now that I’m my own boss, I still fight against MYSELF! I hope that’s normal…

    Keep up the inspiration, Benny! You’re really doing it!

    • Thanks so much Amy! I’m learning more every day and want to share it w/ others.

      When we are our own bosses, it’s a tough fight to actually get work done! No one is telling us to do it. We have to find the motivation to do it. Right? That’s just one of the hard parts of being your own boss, but there are many more benefits I think.

      Always great to hear from you!!

  • The most important point that you made is whatever it is that you want to do, you’ve got to be willing to do it night and day. If it doesn’t feel like work then you’ve found your calling.

    If you can fight your enimies in your sleep they’ll be easy to conquer!

    – Matt

    • It takes lots of work for sure! I’m sure the course you put together took many hours for sure. You can tell by the quality. I hope it didn’t feel like work to you. I’m guessing it didn’t cause you love anything about WordPress.

      Hope when you launch it, it goes well!

  • Sometimes I feel like I’m my own worst enemy when I let doubts and fears creep in and affect the way I view myself or what I’m trying to do with my life.

    I know what I’m working for and have to remind myself that what I’m trying to do is important, that I’m doing it to give myself freedom and that I shouldn’t listen to the doubts and fears.

    • We are our own worst enemy and critic right? We’re harder on ourselves than others are. I have those doubts and fears too! Just like w/ my app now. I have doubts moving forward in certain aspects but I know it’s cause I feel pressure to keep users happy!

      Sometimes our biggest enemies are ourselves. That stupid inner voice! I know you can push through. I know you will!

  • This post is something that speaks to me. There are definitely different things that motivate other people.

    For example, some people need a strong external motivator (beat my competition, achieve a certain status, impress my parents).

    Some people are internally motivated, or like doing that job/task inherently.

    I think a little bit of both are best — external motivators will only be there so long. You can’t always rely on being better than someone, you know? Fighting to beat the competition only will provide you with fire and inspiration for so long, in my opinion.

    internal motivation is something hard to come by too. It’s just a challenge for each of us to find that special balance between the two, in order to get things done.

    Good stuff,

    Alex

    • Hey Alex.

      Different people get motivated in different ways. Just as we learn in different ways. Some learn better by seeing. Others by hearing. Some by doing. So finding our motivation is the same. However I think internal motivators are the strongest out of the two. We have to find out WHY we are doing something. That’ll give us the most satisfaction. However some have people they want to prove wrong, or lose weight to look great for their reunion.

      You’re right that it takes a mix of both. We can’t just rely on one the whole time.

      Thanks for making me think! Great comment.

      • Totally, if you can help it, then being internally motivated will keep you going the longest. That’s for sure. It’s hard to get to that state too!

  • Great post Benny and I also agree with both Amy and Matt.

    You continue to inspire me too. Just reading your posts, hearing what you’ve been through in your own life, watching you grow and develop and knock down those walls. Who wouldn’t get inspired learning from you!

    I agree with Matt when he said “whatever it is that you want to do, you’ve got to be willing to do it night and day. If it doesn’t feel like work then you’ve found your calling.” You KNOW I love hearing that and that’s where I am in my life so I’ve finally been able to escape so in that respect, I have no more enemies. None that I have to fight anymore.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. I always enjoy seeing what you’ll post next. And congratulations again on your app success. I am just so darn thrilled for you.

    • After reading the comments the more I think we don’t always need enemies. Some people just need to find their motivation. Once they’ve reached the level of success they want, they can find ways to keep the momentum going. It’s not always about having to fight and find an enemy. So like you said, you don’t have anymore enemies.

      I’ve always wanted to find something that didn’t feel like work! I’m getting closer to make that dream come true every day!

      Great to hear from you as always!

  • I can answer that one…….to be the person i am, believe in myself and of my ability to succeed in life, and not be diverted off course by negative comments and empty advice, another great share Benny, many thanks

    • Thanks Andy for sharing yours!

  • Do you need to have enemies to be passionate about life? Is it necessary to ‘fight’? I loved the post Benny; very provocative, but I’m not convinced. For me, the ultimate goal is in finding equanimity. I’m not sure I would use the battle/fight metaphor. It’s a challenge, for sure. Life can be difficult and awful; it can also be joyous and thrilling. I seek balance, especially in the face of those experiences that shake me.

    • Hey Ruth! I thought I had replied to you but it’s showing I didn’t. Don’t know why. But you’ve made a great point that got me thinking. Not everyone has to find their fight. Some find their motivation from being calm. Some don’t need motivation from the outside. Reminds me of professional athletes. Some listen to loud music before a game. Some sit there and think. Others watch a funny movie to relax them. We’re all different. I think some people need to find their fight if they don’t have motivation to do the hard work.

      Adrienne earlier said she has no more enemires. She doesn’t need any motivation to do what she loves every day. That would be the ultimate goal.

      Great to hear from your Ruth!

      • I would consider the love of what you do the ultimate motivator. Just thinking of the opposite, which is hating what you do and causing you to dig deep for a reason/motivation to get out of bed.

        To have the reason you get up every morning because you are in LOVE with what you do? That to me sounds perfect -good thing we are all striving towards that, a life that we deem perfect 🙂

        • Yes. I like to think of it as getting up every morning cause you’re excited about what you do. Exciting = love. That would be the ultimate feeling!!

  • I think there’s a common enemy that we all have and its called Resistance. It’s what Steven Pressfield wrote about in The War of Art. It’s a good read. Lindsay is definitely right. We have to overcome so much in ourselves. We tend to stand in our own way a lot of the time. Its amazing what we achieve if we just got out of our own way.

    • Hey Greg,

      I read that book this year and loved it! At first I didn’t think I would cause it’s an older book but has so many great points in it. Some people have said in the comments their biggest enemy is themselves. It’s so true if we did just get out of our own ways.

  • Great stuff!

    Whatever a person’s fear/enemy is in life, we must learn to face them and start to overcome them. Life is a constant battle – but if we just give up and let our environment walk all over us, we will never improve in our life.

    I am much like you when you say “I want to be successful but more importantly I want to be significant in people’s lives.” I love to inspire and give people an ‘aha’ moment that triggers an awakening. That’s the best feeling ever.

    Thanks for posting!

    • Hey Brock, yes I’ve enjoyed that feedback that I get when people say something I wrote gave them some inspiration. With my app story, so many have written me and felt like they could do the same thing. I love that! I can tell you wake up each day hoping to give people that moment that awakens them. That’s awesome!

  • Benny,

    Great post.

    I think the only enemies one has is the ones we create in our own mind. Most people tend to give power to the people, things, or circumstances that negatively influence us. We are all guilty of that. Of course if you’re a dictator or gang leader, then those enemies are real and you better have your AK-47 loaded and ready for action.

    If you can change your view of this world and see that the only true enemy is fear, then you have won the battle and will eventually win the war.

    Love for myself and my family is what I fight for. There truly is nothing else. Sure I’ll do my part to contribute to the world in positive ways, but at the end of the day, it’s my wife and children that I’ll wield the sword for and fight any foe that stands in our way of happiness.

    Man, you’re hot like a volcano with your writing my man. Keep the good vibes rollin!

    -Brad

    • Brad, leader of the Kingdom!

      Thanks for leaving your wisdom here. Fear is probably most people’s biggest enemy. It’s that inner voice that keeps talking to us. It’s being scared to try something new. It stops many people but it can be beat!!

      Of course I know you’ll fight for your family any day. You’re an awesome family man I know.

      You’re rocking on those headers. The one you did for Julia was great. She was stoked about it!

  • Who are your enemies?
    Money & The System – by reducing the requirement in living costs for money (the enemy) it will allow freedom.

    What are you willing to work day and night for?
    To lead a tribe of awesome people to create incredible things.

    What are you willing to fight through your fears for?
    Freedom.

    What are you willing to die for so you can really live?
    Love, health and freedom.

    This is one of your best posts yet Benny…

    • Thanks for sharing your answers Chris! I know you’re taking one step closer towards each of those areas you just mentioned. I know you’re that determined!

  • Very interesting post, I too feel that my boss is enemy and am looking to change but boss don’t know as yet. 😉 I like to give him a surprise.

    You’re very correct here, your enemy or someone you hate most inspire you to do well in your life so that they won’t able to say anything to you or don’t make fun of you.

    • Thanks for sharing! I hope you give your boss a big surprise!

  • When I saw Harry Potter(Part I) I was so excited to be like him but now I know it’s not possible there are many imaginary characters which actually inspire you in your childhood but as your grow you find it’s all imagination and can’t be true.

    People usually face many challenges in their professional life and start tackle them, though they even don’t know if they would succeed or not but they still fight. Challenges are something which makes your life interesting and you feel proud when you come up as winner.

    • Hi Priya,

      Yes we can’t be exactly like Harry Potter but we can relate to his story. He was a seemingly ordinary boy living with a family that didn’t love him and he discovers he’s a wizard. We have something inside us that makes us special to the world. Something we can use to help other people live better lives. It’s a special gift.

      Thanks for your comment!

  • Vernon

    Hello Benny,,

    Very interesting post and lots of ideas to be gain by just reading on it. Each of us has deferent ways to be motivated.. In my case I will be more motivated if their are things or memories that I remembered. Those happy or sad moment will keep me more stronger to do more and more.. Sharing this is very impressive.. Keep it up ben..

    • Thanks Vernon. We do have different ways to be motivated. Some need to find something outside of them, while others need to find their reason from deep inside. I’m glad you’ve found yours. Thanks for sharing with us!

  • When I think about what inspires me to be motivated, many factors come to mind. One of my main motivators to simply do well so that I can be proud of myself and what I am doing. I was literally shocked when I started working as a teacher and was told not to expect to get everything done. (Told this in every teaching job by many people)I am the kind of person that if there is something to be done, I need to do it and it needs to be done in the best way possible. When I think about why, it is because NOT using all of my energy and intelligence to get something done correctly, efficiently and fully would drive me nuts! I feel like if you can, you MUST.

    • Hey Julia,

      That’s a great trait to have! That’s why I know when you offer your services, you’ll give the 110%. You want to make sure it’s done but done well!

      I agree that I want to be proud of myself and what I am doing. It goes back to being proud when people ask me “What do you do for a living?”

      Thanks Julia!

  • Interesting timing on you post Benny. I’ve been trying to squash the sense of fight I’ve been feeling lately over a ‘done me wrong’ situation. It’s something that stirs such anger in me, at a moments notice, that it worries me. I’m usually fairly level and have that water off a duck thing going. But not with this one issue.

    After reading your post I’m thinking I might be looking at it wrong. Instead of trying to squash the anger, maybe I should use it to motivate me in a who-cares-about-that-cause-I’m-doing-this kind of way. Things that make you go hmmmmm

    • Hey Kathy, maybe you should use it to your advantage! If the anger isn’t going away, use it to motivate you if it helps.

      Definitely an approach to think about. 🙂

  • Nice post again Benny. I guess my inspiration is the need to live an interesting life so in that case my enemy is boredom!

    • Thank for sharing Ramy. Bordem is a worthy enemy! I know you will find ways to make your life exciting!

  • The first thing I noticed about this article was the picture. The Shawshank Redemption is one of my most favorite movies. I a wondering if it has significance to you because of the name of your blog. I remember when Doc and Red both said “Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying”. But on to the article… This past year I battled one of my most ferocious enemies. I basically enrolled in a graduate level life course in dealing with difficult people and learning how to forgive, accept and acknowledge them. My current enemies are getting my finances in order and becoming more organized in my life. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for finding my blog! Yes you’re right the blog name came from the quote that Andy says to Red right before he breaks out of Shawshank. That sounds like a really interesting course. Too often people hold grudges forever. It holds them back. They never forgive. I bet you learned a lot from that class. Getting your finances in order and being more organized are worthy opponents but have been defeated by many people! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Thanks, Benny! To be honest, I haven’t thought about enemies this way — being motivated by the enemy to do better, to win, to not give up. I guess, it’s a good thing to have an enemy then. Instead of giving in, we should keep up our momentum to stay ahead of the game. It makes so much sense!

    Love your post.

    • Hi Allyson,

      Sometimes the biggest enemy is just ourselves! We stop ourselves from doing the things we fear the most. Some people don’t need to find motivation. Others need to know why they are working hard, making sacrifices, and putting in the time.

      Great to hear from you Allyson!

  • Nice benny!

    My one friend puts it a very similar way. We talk about figuring out life direction and so he asked me what is it in life that you love so much that you would do for free. I love this because then you know where the motivation is coming from – inside you.

    Enemies…umm Voldemort of course. But really my biggest enemy is inadequacy. Not being good enough to do something. In work it could be talking to a prospective client about our service, in life it could be talking to a friend about their trouble stories. Either way I want to provide the very best conversation and make it worthwhile – sometimes I feel like I won’t and it trips me up.

    The thing about enemies is that in order to defeat them you must confront them! And that I have.

    Great post Benny!

    • Hey Chris,

      That’s a great way to find the motivation. Finding enemies is a way I wanted to highlight because some people don’t have motivation. They’re looking for it but don’t know where it will come from. Others may not need it. They push themselves.

      I’m sure you show your enemies who’s the boss!

  • I love this outlook on life. Embrace your fear, failure, and enemies… use them to grow and get better at what you do. For every ying there is a yang. The world runs on balance.

    • You are correct! Use them to your advantage. Let them motivate you.

  • Who are your enemies?
    Myself-being too passive.

    Willing to do whatever it takes to show people that without the ability to turn up the assertiveness, then you’re not living. You’re just existing.

    Past regrets are a good symbolic enemy.

    Keep fighting Benny!

    • Keep fighting too Matt! I know you’re always pushing yourself past your comfort zones. It’s been exciting to follow along.

  • Yes, don’t be afraid to fight. There is always someone willing to swallow you up at a moment’s notice.

    • That’s right Jon. Someone’s always willing to take you down if you let them.

  • Inspiring stuff as usual! My enemy is similar to yours. An unmemorable life. I will continue to improve myself, live the best life I can, and inpsire others so they can, too!

    • Hey Buck! I’m glad we both agree about living a memorable life. We want the best for ourselves but also bring out the best in other people. Keep up the good work!

  • Great post mate, I think the fear of not living is what finally got my butt into gear.

    Your blog is quite pimped out also, going to hang around and snoop what plugins you use :).

  • This article made me realize that my main enemy is not my boss, is not my neighbor, or my friend, but myself because it is my being a pessimistic that holds me down in order to achieve my dreams. I do really want to improve myself and dream of achieving my goals. Thanks for putting this up.

  • Nice article- my greatest enemy was my own lack of self confidence- undermines many things in life- I have been fighting back and have confidence in my work and my private life. Experience brings this and I find martial arts lets you better and strengthen your mind.

  • Nice post Benny!

    I think most of us here that our is our enemy. But we must show them that we are not afraid of them and let them know that they need us more than we need them.

  • “A man with no enemies is a man with no character.”

    Not that you need a PERSON to be your enemy, but having a rival is good because it keeps you sharp.

    My personal enemy is uncertainty, with blogging in particular I’ve been uncertain about branching out into things like podcasting and videos, and I’m finally accomplishing both of these soon.

    • Hey Gregory!

      An enemy doesn’t need to be a person but having something that pushes us to greatness is what we need. That enemy reminds us why we put in the hard work. Congrats on moving into podcasting and videos! I want to get started on both as well. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cal

    Good stuff man. I really enjoy your blog. You are always so inspirational, thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks so much Cal! Been a pleasure to have you a part of the community here!

  • Hi Benny, All the 3 articles that I read till now on your blog have been really inspirational. Thank you. I will be back.

    • Thank you very much! Look forward to hearing from you more often.

  • Hi Benny,
    Excellent post!
    I completely agree with finding the enemy and letting that be match to ignite the motivation within yourself.
    I couldn’t comment on the about page about the Shawshank Redemption movie when Andy says to Red “Get busy living or get busy dying”. It is by far one of my greatest quotes, I listen to it to keep me going sometimes. It’s a great that someone thought to input into a website.

    • Thanks Ryan. I knew “Get Busy Living” was the title I wanted for my blog. So many people love the quote but don’t take action to make sure they are. Thanks for your comment!

  • My chosen enemy is my own past bad choices, many of which have had consequences that take a lot of time and energy to fix/heal. And it’s a really tough truth to face: that you’ve done far more harm to yourself than anyone else ever could. It’s a huge challenge to know that you MUST forgive yourself, while at the same time, fighting to overcome the consequences of those past choices… to be defined by your future, by the choices you make now, not by your past.

    • I agree bad choices are easy to obtain but hard to get rid of. Thankfully those choices are in the past and our future is a clean slate for us to explore. I know I still have bad habits I can’t get rid of, no matter how much I try. It’s just so easy to fall back on those habits. Thanks for sharing Scott!

  • Magali

    Hi Benny. First of you need to know a bit about me i`m a teenager who believes that life is completely pointless. Now before you freak and tell me i`m suicidal, well i`m not. Never have been. so please don`t bother telling me to go talk to a professional. been there done that no one can help. well here goes.
    -My enemy numero uno is my brain telling me that nothing i do will ever matter because nothing matters.
    -My enemy number two is the world around me proving this fact everyday.
    – Number three, i have ADD which means my brain has problems focusing on anything and as such i have bad grades in anything i don`t like and as such i have bad self estime and then both my parents are teachers and put constant pressure on me to do well in school and i do. But i hate it. having ADD is not just about not being able to concentrate. It makes my hormones almost twice as bad as a normal teenager and makes me extremely self conscious. i have tried pills, coucilling, taking a break, extra time on projects finding tricks to help me ~cope~ (ya right. bs)
    but it sucks.
    so my qeustion for you is… once you find your enemy, what if you realise you can`t do anything against it? that even if you do it ultimately doesn`t matter because all there really is, is a beginning and an end. the middle doesn`t matter because it will end and then fade away.
    again i`m not suicidal just cynical and slightly depressed. i`m not cruel enough to cause the people around me pain by being suicidal. i`ll die one day. today or tomorrow it really doesn`t matter. Heard enough of how depressing and oh poor poor me i sound like? ya well me too. i wish someone could motivate me into believeing that if i fight for what i want it will be worth it. no, more lke i want someone to prove it. and i can`t help but wonder if you can do that? i`m your challenge now. Prove me wrong please. I want you to prove me wrong and show me that you are right. That its worth it. tell me to fight. please.

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