Master Sun Tzu once wrote, “Victory is reserved for those willing to pay the price.”
This means victory comes with a price. More importantly, victory does not come without loss or without pain. It takes everything to walk across that finish line in whichever form the finish line may be.
There will be times of doubt. There will be bouts with pain. There will be times when nothing fits right and nothing seems to work. There will be days when your equipment fails (meaning you) and there are going to be setbacks and times when we fall, or more accurately, there will be times when we get our asses handed to us.
This is going to happen.
We will go against the wind and into the rain and face the worst. This is the price we pay. This is what it costs to cross that line in whichever form the line may be.
This achievement is personal and cannot and should not be subject to anyone else. Simple things to you or me are only simple because we might take them for granted. Take for example the simple flinch of your toes. Think about how easy this is and then think about someone that was told they would never move anything below their waist again.
Big deal, right? So what? They moved their toes.
Tell them this isn’t a victory as you stand in front of them, able to move your bowels without someone to come and give you a wipe.
Think about the person that was otherwise illiterate. Think about the way you or I would read a children’s book without so much as a thought. Now, think about the victory that comes to the person that couldn’t read a word and at last, they finished their first book. Think about the pride they feel in their heart. Meanwhile, to others this seems almost trivial and unimportant.
We tend to overlook our simplest victories and take them for granted. We tend to forget the fact that we can stand and we get out of bed in the morning is a downright miracle, let alone the fact that this is the first victory of our day.
We take so much for granted these days. We assume too much. We overlook and miscalculate our personal blessings, which, regardless of religious beliefs; believe me, we are all blessed in one way or another. This is all about perspective. And we lose this sometimes. We forget the world is so much bigger than what we see.
I recall overhearing a conversation about someone just getting into a union as a cleaner. I remember listening as two people put this down. Meanwhile, this person has a job, has healthcare, and although the sound of cleaning bathrooms might not have a prestigious ring to it, the fact remains that this person will have a retirement plan and his family will be taken care of.
And no, this does not mean a shot on the Forbes list but due to the shortsightedness and economic snobs, this might not be the most desirable position; but then again, no one knew this man was previously homeless. He had nothing. No place to go or live. And yet, now he has a job and a place to call home. I doubt the two men discussing the worker’s life can understand what kind of victory it is to overcome such a thing.
I’m not sure what my biggest victory is. I used to believe my biggest victory was defying the predictions that would otherwise be my life. I thought it was a victory that I made it out of a life that most do not have the chance to survive.
I thought I was victorious when I landed my high school diploma. Or maybe my best victory was the time I decided to walk away from the self-inflicted pain I put myself through. Maybe my best victory comes on a daily basis because my regrettable yesterdays are gone now and tomorrow is only a dream. So this is all I have. And thusly so, this is all I need because the fact that I am here and in the now is in fact my current and greatest victory.
There was a time when I overheard people talking about me. I was young and dumb and so terribly self-destructive. They picked me to die first.
They said I was going to be the one that failed first; that I would never amount to anything other than junkie-life and suffer the end of a junkie lifestyle.
I was told the chances of my survival in sobriety was 1 out of 33, which, at the time, I was sitting in a roomful of 35 people. This meant not even two would make it. No one had faith that this would be me. I suppose this encouraged me to prove them wrong. Or, maybe this was the victory I wanted most; to defy the odds and surpass my limitations. Maybe it took me nearly 30 years to prove to myself that I can create victories on a daily basis. The canvas is in front of me; I just have to draw the picture and make things so.
Maybe my best victory was paying my share forward to strangers. Maybe it was at a bedside in an emergency room when someone nearly died on Christmas Eve. I told them that they were a Christmas miracle. And they were too. At least to me because they were proof that I do, indeed, have an unbelievable value. So did they. We all do. And that right there is a victory: To understand one’s self, to reach a better level of awareness and to be conscious of our worth is a value above all because once we see this, we understand that no one can ever take away our victories.
Victory is reserved for those willing to pay the price.
I’ve paid. I’ve sweat and I’ve bled. I’ve lost sleep and I’ve hurt but above all, I’ve never given up, no matter how much the pain might be.
No, the secret of my endurance won’t allow me to do this because my secret is as such that I cannot now nor will I ever allow myself to defeat myself. As I see it, everything else is just a victory, which means I am the only one that can beat me. Or, put in the most basic terms, victory does not mean I am undefeated. I’ve lost many things and many times. But I never quit. And for me, that in itself is the biggest victory of all.
Know what I mean?