Drifting a river or overcoming enemies

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We all have people we agree with, books that we love, and schools of thought that we endorse. When you read a book or hear a speaker and agree, it is empowering and encouraging- you want to do it again. I recently read a book by Jocko Willink titled Disciple Equals Freedom.  I was all about the ideas, the drive, the motivation. There was a book, perhaps the polar opposite of Jocko’s book called Blue Like Jazz written by Donald Miller a number of years ago. Blue Like Jazz is a book that meanders its way through the story of the author through the different adventures and experiences he had over several decades. Donald’s approach to life could be summarized as going with the flow and slowly drifting down the river of life enjoying the feeling of the light breeze. Jocko’s approach is better summarized as mental toughness and meticulous planning are key (As a former SEAL, I think he mostly means in enabling you to kill all your enemies…but there are parallels to less intense things as well). People are wired differently. People who are all about intensity and discipline love Jocko’s book. People who enjoy the experience and the journey are all about Donald’s book. However this is probably opposite from what these people need to hear. Those who are drifting down the river, beer in hand, would benefit the most from the discipline and planning of Jocko. Whereas those who love the grind in their home gym and overcoming challenges would benefit from being dumped in a slow flowing river with no cell service next to Donald. The sad part is that we often skip the books that would benefit us the most and even when we do read them, we forget to take to heart the parts that would be most valuable to us because they don’t agree with our current way of thinking. So read an author you don’t see eye to eye with. Or read a book that’s not right up your alley. Ask yourself what you can take away to become a better person. After all, you can always go back to working out and plotting ways to overcome your enemies another day. And the river will still be flowing and the beer will still be there for you to come back to.

 

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