As mentioned in our previous article, “I Will Endure to be Burned,” gladiators underwent a vigorous regime of training, diet, and exercise. Their life consisted of being focused, determined, vigilant, and relentless.
To be a gladiator is no easy undertaking, but in life, nothing worth having is ever easy. If you want to be a success in your personal life and your dealings with others, you must be willing to take initiative. You must set aside the weaknesses and fears that are inherent in each of us and be prepared to stand the force of “fire” regardless of the outcome. Standing up for what is right is hardly ever “the path of least resistance,” but I can guarantee you this—it is always worthwhile!
In ancient times, as in today, fire was used as the key component in the refining process of metal. Metals were heated by fire at extreme temperatures for long periods of time. As the process continued, dross, impurities, and other imperfections would melt away to reveal a shiny and oftentimes brilliant precious metal.
As men, we often have many of those impurities and imperfections that define us—just ask your wife, girlfriend, or any of your close friends! But do we have to allow those imperfections to define us? Can they be minimized or even eradicated? Of course they can—but we have to be willing to withstand the fire!
Difficulties in our life can oftentimes be likened to this fire: We can be tested by illness, financial difficulties, family turmoil, and things that are often out of our realm of control. How do we deal with these fiery times? Do we cave in, melt under pressure, and fall into a state of depression, or do we come out of them victorious and refined?
It’s been said that the problem may not always be the issue, but how we deal with the problem is the challenge. It comes to a matter of perspective. Sometimes we focus on a single problem in our life, almost as if staring at it under a large microscope, constantly amplifying and making it larger than life. Or we can approach it differently by standing back and looking at the “big picture,” appreciating a larger sense of perspective, and relegate that problem to its proper relation to everything else in life.
How we react and respond to challenges in our life is key. We must have the strong, positive gladiator-like fortitude and resilience in order to be refined by fire.
Will we allow those challenges to cut through the imperfections and reveal a precious, polished, and strong gladiator, or will we cave, melt away, and allow our weaknesses and fears to get the best of us?
How do we develop qualities and strengths that will define us a gladiator? Future articles will unlock and reveal the answers.