Now I understand that this is not a song for everybody, because if you’re not in the war of your life, it’s just a boxy little song that goes from E to A to C sharp minor to F sharp minor. But if you are the type - if you’ve enlisted in the war of your life - just keep fighting on, keep fighting on, keep fighting on. Just keep showing up. Even if you don’t know why. Just keep showing up, keep showing up to the party…and nobody wants you there, and they’re telling you that you’re never going to do anything right, just keep showing up.
There’s this great scene in Cool Hand Luke, where Paul Newman is fighting George Kennedy and you expect Paul Newman to get the shit kicked out of him repeatedly but then all of a sudden, get back up and beat the shit out of George Kennedy. Except, it never happens. And it’s twenty times a better scene because he’s a hero in a different sense.
He’s not the hero in the fact that he laid out the other dude. He’s a hero in the sense that he just kept getting up to the point that his enemy picked him up and slung him over his shoulder and walked him back into the little prison room.
That’s what life is. It’s not about kicking ass and taking names. It’s about bleeding and getting back up.John Mayer, mid-song monologue during a performance of “War of My Life in Bristow, Virginia. July 2010.
Autumn finally arrived. And when it did, I came to a decision. Something had to give: I couldn’t keep on living like this.Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun
Clearly define the person you want to be. — Who exactly do you want to be? What kind of person do you want to be? What are your personal ideals? Whom do you admire? What are their special traits that you would make your own?
It’s time to stop being vague. If you wish to be an extraordinary person, if you wish to be wise, then you should explicitly identify the kind of person you aspire to become. If you have a daybook, write down who you’re trying to be, so that you can refer to this self-definition. Precisely describe the demeanor you want to adopt so that you may preserve it when you are by yourself or with other people.Epictetus, The Art of Living