The Life We Choose
For me life is all about experiences…
We experience childhood and adolescents but our experiences here, for the most part are governed by the adults in our lives. Our parents, our teachers even our older siblings but they are there to protect and guide us as we navigate towards adulthood.
As adults we suddenly find ourselves with the freedom of choice which at first is exciting but with choice also comes responsibility and with responsibility, as we soon discover, comes consequence. So what happens? Our choices slowly over time become governed by fear, fear of the unknown and also fear of failure. How many times do we find ourselves fantasizing about being a kid again? A life void of responsibility, with the freedom of creativity and imagination.
This is where our choices start to impact on our life experiences, as we now search for the comforts of our childhood and subconsciously begin to choose the paths of least resistance.
Not many people choose to live in an environment that is mentally or physically challenging, it happens but not normally by choice. When career paths are chosen the majority of people unfortunately choose a path that doesn’t truly challenge them, a job they feel they can do with a certain sense of comfort and satisfaction. We also choose to yet again, be governed by adults as we were as children, except now they’re no longer teachers or parents but employers or managers.
So yet again we find ourselves with the comfort of guidance and with comfort comes limited choice and responsibilities, so we decide to settle and follow the path of least resistance. For some this will create contentment and maybe even happiness but in doing so we also remove the ability to experience so many opportunities that life has to offer. Allowing yet again the responsibility of choice to lay with others.
Experiences though are not always positive, the road of an entrepreneur for example is filled with high and lows. The experiences are often that of financial stress, uncertainty and the fear of failure. I read a statistic recently that only 6% of the world’s population are entrepreneurs and a staggering 90-95% of all start up business eventually fail. So it’s no surprise that 94% of the population chose not to take the path of uncertainty and instead decide to settle for comfort.
So why would you choose the path that most avoid?
For me it’s about freedom, freedom of creativity and the excitement of the unknown, these are experiences I chose, good or bad. I was lucky enough to learn the power of positivity from an early age when I began my journey into the martial arts. This gave me the strength of mind to ultimately follow my dreams and resist the urge to settle for average.
I left school at the age of sixteen without any formal qualifications, not because I was incapable but because I wasn’t stimulated or understood. My “success” in life stems from learning that fighting really is a metaphor for life. My training taught me so many important lessons, more than I would personally ever get from sitting in a classroom or reading textbooks. Two of the most important lessons I learnt from my training that have become mantras in my life are:
“Nothing in life worthwhile is ever gained without struggle”
“There is no learning without loss”
Understanding the need to experience failure and also to accept it has no doubt been some of the most valuable lesson in my life. No one gets good in martial arts without loss. You get knocked down, you pick yourself up and you go again until you achieve what you set out to achieve. You also are forced to learn the power of self-belief, so in life no matter what those around you think or say you are able stay true to you vision and goals. It’s all very well saying you believe in what you do when the sun is shining and you have money in your pocket but when the storm hits and the money is gone… you really do learn about the strength of your beliefs.
So how do I change this?
How can I demonstrate to people that the road of least resistance is a preventer of knowledge and blockade for some of life’s great experiences? How can I share what life can really offer, when you push yourself to be the best you can be no matter how uncomfortable it seems and despite what your inner voice of doubt is telling you?
Wimp 2 Warrior (W2W) is a 22-week Mixed Martial Arts training program I created five years ago. It takes regular men and women with no previous combat experience on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. It’s an experience that takes them way outside their comfort zone and transforms them into the ultimate version of themselves. The journey ends with them stepping inside an MMA cage at the series finale to fight their selected opponent in a sanctioned mixed martial arts amateur event.
I know what this experience can give someone, over a thousand men and women around the world will complete the W2W program in 2019 and experience the thrill of fighting without fear. But once the fight is over and their W2W journey comes to an end, a new journey begins, a journey of empowerment and understanding that life is meant for living. They now know they poses the inner strength to forego comfort and instead walk a new path, one far less trodden but infinitely more exciting.
Coach Richie Cranny
Founder, President & International Head Coach
Wimp 2 Warrior Pty Ltd.