Show me the quality of your battles — and i’ll show you the quality of your life.
The quality of your life is directly proportional to the size of the battles you’re engaging in.
Yet most of us are fighting battles so petty and worthless, that even victory itself bleeds us dry and bankrupts our souls.
Most men fight 10 cent battles — yet expect an abundant, flourishing life.
Instead, wInning 10 cent battles earns you a life of equal or lesser value.
We fight to be right.
We fight to be accepted.
We fight to meet the expectations of others.
We fight to defend our rigid positions and worldviews
We fight to silence the inner voice of longing.
We fight to justify a grudge and exact revenge on others.
But most absurdly, we fight to find meaning within a set of dreadful circumstances that we mistakenly perceive to be fixed and imposed — rather than tap into our capacity to free ourselves from them altogether — and in that freeing, discover true meaning.
Put another way — we desperately search for meaning within the prison walls — rather than break out altogether and revel in the beauty beyond it.
In manufacturing meaning — we let our captors off the hook.
In creating false meaning, we become complicit in the oppression — adding to the “bearability” we spoke about in the last chapter.
So why do we do it? What’s the payoff?
If we can identify with our captors — we can avoid the confrontation.
It’s a temporary delay from an inevitable battle that MUST eventually be fought and won — a shitty peace treaty that’s easier to sign than to awaken the inner warrior, initiate the process of overthrowing your captors, and escaping the damn prison.
In short — it’s postponing the necessary reclamation of your sovereignty and the radical self-responsibility that comes with it.
And instead, pumping hyper-oxygenated blood back through the scapegoat of victimhood of which you can continue pinning your lack and suffering on.
Truth is, any fool can create meaning from anything.
But to require meaning in a world gone mad would require madness upon itself.
No amount of meaning you manufacture can ever trump your ultimate meaning of fully expressing your truth as a man — and the conquests you must engage in to liberate yourself from all inner and outer oppressors that obstruct it.
If you’re fighting to find meaning within your current reality, you’re devoting yourself to the wrong battle.
Instead, use your energy and resources to boldly escape to a place where meaning is self-evident, and ever-unfolding in new, awe inspiring ways.
A close cousin, and equally condemning corollary to the 10-cent battle is the Pyrrhic Victory.
Named after King Pyrrhus, who in 280 BC, led his men into battle against the much larger and better resourced Roman empire, it’s a victory that inflicts such devastating and irrecoverable damage, that it may as well have been considered a defeat.
A victory only by name — but not in experience or in any measure of practicality.
Pyrrhus did indeed beat the Romans, but both his army — and its morale — was scraped down to the bone — bludgeoned beyond repair — and rendered defenseless against future attack.
How many of us are still fighting battles, which even if won, will have bludgeoned our souls into deathly submission?
On the surface, a man who grits his teeth to bear 50 hour workweeks at a job he hates in support of a growing family, is “winning”.
But the cost of such a war is too great for both the man and his family to endure.
This isn’t doing them a favor — your kids needs to see you RISE — that’s your imperative — they can give two fucks about getting a Playstation 5 — there’s no greater gift you can give him than to be a free man in an enslaved world. Your wife the same.
Modern man may decorate himself with ribbons won from 10 Cent battles and Pyrrhic victories — while the only battle ever worth winning goes unwaged, and we all suffer for it.
Conquest is the richest war you’ll ever wage. A lifetime of sovereign kingship, the reward.