There’s a war going on.

An ongoing battle inside of my skull.

Don’t do it. Do it.

No one will know. Everyone’s watching.

You’ve been working really hard. Shut up, you haven’t been working that hard.

Maybe you need a day to rest. Who the hell needs rest?

I can see the work that needs to be done, but not today. Do the fucking work.

Today is a little different and I feel that a little extra sleep is necessary. Get up!

Stay in, it's cold outside. Get your ass outside.

I’ll have enough time to do it later. I have no time!

Training, work, diet — they’re all the same.

The same conflict remains present for all.

The bombs go off, the guns are drawn, and I have two options.

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Option 1: Surrender

Go back to bed.

Stay inside.

Wait until tomorrow.

Say it’s too expensive. It’s too hard. I’m not good enough.

Eat that candy.

Give in.

Option 2: Fight

Get the hell out of bed, there’s work to do.

Make that call.

Have that hard discussion.

Make the investment.

Go to fucking work.

Every day I face the temptation of evil on one shoulder, trying to drag me down to mediocrity.

On the other shoulder awaits the light of passion, fire, and energy which leads to greatness.

Tree and debri in road during typhoon

Kenny Paul ©

The road to my desired destination is covered with obstacles.

Trees are down, fire is burning, cliffs are steep, and roads are narrow. Snow and rain are falling hard and the conditions are dangerous. Let’s call this the low road.

But at the end of this road there’s sunshine. A tropical paradise where everything I’ve ever wanted awaits my arrival.

But this road is hard.

You can take the high road instead. There you’ll travel in beautiful conditions.

There are no roadblocks; no danger whatsoever.

There are no cliffs and there’s beautiful scenery. It’s warm, comfortable, and pleasant.

But eventually, that road meets its destination, and once you get there, it’s a life sentence. You’re there forever. You can’t ever leave, and the population is more crowded than anywhere else in the world.

Although the ride in was pleasant and comfortable, you were greeted with a never-ending pain and sadness when the road came to an end.

It’s dark there — cold and cruel.

The wind is unforgiving and the food tastes like shit.

Your dreams, hopes, and vision of life are now decimated by the hands of time.

You’ve traveled on this road for a long time — too long to recover from.

On your way you thought about turning around, but decided you’ve gone too far. You envisioned the obstacles of the low road. “It’s gonna be too hard,” you thought, so the further and further you went down the high road.

As a result, 60 percent of your potential was never seen, and eventually, you’ll be laid to rest with the regret of what could have been.

Your dreams died when you did because you chose option one more often than you should have.

You chose the high road because there was less resistance.

The workouts were skipped.

You ate what was easy.

You let emotions dictate your decisions.

You tried to please everyone else.

And so you ended up here.

The outcome of your life is based upon the small decisions you make every day.

We all have the voices of good and evil pulling us in different directions.

Including me. I face that same battle every fucking day.

But there’s good news.

You have the ability to choose.

You have the ability to say when enough is enough.

You have the ability to choose which road you’ll travel on.

The painful and difficult road that leads to joy and fulfillment, or the easy road that leads to unrelenting regret.

In life, there will be pain. Period.

But when it comes to the type of pain you endure, you can pick.

It’s the temporary pain from the cuts, bruises, tears, and fear of the low road.

Or the pain endured by most at the end of the high road.

The pain of “I should have, I could have,” and a legacy that’s as common as a sneeze.

We are all blessed to have the ability to choose.

And your choices will lead to your outcome.

If you don’t like the outcome you’ve reached so far, recognize what choices need to change and change them.

Because you aren’t imprisoned at the end of the high road until it’s your time to rest.

As long as your heart is still beating there’s still fucking time.

You can turn around right now.

If there’s air in your lungs you still have a chance to be great.

The war in between your ears will still be going on. It will never end, no matter how much progress you make.

But after every tree you move, after every winding, slippery cliff you pass, you get stronger.

You develop resilience.

You gain some momentum.

And then you run into the next obstacle, but at that point you know what to expect. You’ve seen this before and now have the confidence and ability to get through it a little bit easier.

New obstacles will present themselves; it’s only a matter of time. But when they do, you’ll be ready.

Because you chose to fight.

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And fight you did, again and again, and again.

Beach with palm trees over the lagoon on Fiji Islands

 Martin Valigursky ©

And when you reach that tropical paradise, you can expect to fight some more. Because there will always be challenges.

They’re required for greatness, so don’t wish for anything else.

You shouldn’t pray for things to be easy. Just ask the people at the end of the high road.

When things are easy your soul becomes diminished.

Hard times build your spirit. Embrace them.

They’ll prepare you for the inevitable suffering that life will eventually present.

And when they do, you’ll be just fine. Because you’ve been tested.

So, with every decision you’re faced with, rather than choosing with emotion, fear, or desire for comfort, ask yourself if this choice will lead to the outcome you’re looking for.

If the answer is no, I challenge you to remember the outcome.

With the outcome in mind, you’ll be capable of handling the pain and discomfort of the low road just a bit better.

And even though the low road is dark, scary and painful, at least there’s way less traffic.

Thanks for reading.