If You Die Tomorrow…

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The time is the Middle Ages, 1184 anno Domino, the year of our Lord. Balian, a French blacksmith, is haunted by the death of his son, and the suicide of his wife. He’s a defeated man; a lost man. He’s lost his faith and will to live. Whatever drive, hunger, and passion once burned in his heart was buried with his family.

Standing in the heat of his blacksmith shop, hammering steel, shaping iron, making a sword for a warrior or a nobleman in his town, a rider approaches. The man and his company appear to be strong, noble warriors. As the leader enters Balian’s smithy, he announces himself as Balian’s true father, Godfrey, Baron of Ibelin. He’s a great warrior on his way to Jerusalem with his men.

Kingdom of Heaven

Apologizing for his lack of contribution in young Balian’s life, and giving his condolences for Balian’s dead family, Godfrey invites him on a journey. This is Balian’s opportunity for freedom from the sorrow that clouds his heart. It’s his chance to live, and yet he declines. Maybe it’s the fear, or the resentment he still holds for his father. Whatever the reason, it’s one rooted in weakness, not coming from a place of strength.

A day after Godfrey has left, Balian changes his mind and rides to join his true father. The adventure that follows sees Balian become a man completely unlike the defeated soul that his father found in the blacksmith’s shop. He faces great danger, but rises to heights he’d never have thought possible of himself.

Kingdom of Heaven isn’t unlike any of our lives. We’re all called to action and adventure, even greatness, to face risk, and conquer our fears, but from a place of weakness we decline these journeys and adventures, we say no to our true life. It may be stubbornness that holds us steady in our mediocre existence. Maybe it’s skepticism or a lack of faith.

I feel, though, that what holds us back isn’t necessarily fear, but a limited belief of what we deserve, who we are, and what we’re put on this earth to accomplish, do, and be. We say “no” to a great adventure, because we believe we are no adventurer. We avoid risk because we’re too afraid to leave the safety of our current world. We do this every day, often multiple times a day.

We spot a truly beautiful woman in the distance, and as that distance shortens, we make excuses, we give logical reasons as to why we shouldn’t say something to her. She’s probably useless. She probably has a boyfriend. She’s probably selfish, we tell ourselves to rationalize our mediocrity and to protect ourselves from rejection.

We all have ideas for great adventures, it’s who we are as men, it’s in our hearts. But so few actually partake in our heart’s calling. We use our families as an excuse, a crutch, a source of weakness rather than a source of strength. We use money as an excuse; I can’t afford it. If I go on this trip, I’ll never be able to afford that car. We admire greatness, but fail to see it in ourselves.stark warrior

We limit ourselves. We admire William Wallace, Maximus Decimus Meridius, and Achilles, but never in our wildest dreams would we believe that we have their strength, power, and courage. We’d never step into the arena, instead vying for the safety of our spectators seats. But this is no game, this is life we’re sitting, watching, avoiding.

Many of you will look at that picture at the top of the web site, and see a guy that you can’t become. You may feel that you aren’t meant to have the body you want. That you aren’t worthy of the muscle, the power, and the strength – both internal and physical – that comes with it. You’ll see how you’ve lived life thus far, and think that this, the here and now, with all of it’s mediocrity and limitations, has to be your reality for eternity. You’re wrong!

Just like you’d be wrong in convincing yourself not to talk to the beautiful woman as she approaches. And just as you’d be wrong in assuming that you don’t have the courage of a Wallace, Maximus, or Achilles. You’d be wrong in assuming that you can’t, that you don’t deserve, and that you’re unable to build the strong, powerful, muscular body you have within. You’re wrong when you assume you can’t be a warrior, a Legenda man people read about for centuries to come.

The reason why I didn’t invest in myself and start this business earlier, was one part fear, one part skepticism, one part laziness, and all parts weakness.

The reason why I didn’t invest in the right trainer that would show me the way to my transformation earlier, was because of those very same reasons, disguising themselves as “reason”, when their true identity is weakness. Continue Reading on Page 2 >>>

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.lockery Michael Alan Lockery

    Another fine post Chad. One of my favorites and VERY influential on me as a young boy is the story of Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar or El Cid. He was exiled from Castile for all the wrong reasons, kept his warrior spirit and integrity intact and ended up ruling is own independent principality in Spain. He is a national hero in Spain. Portrayed very well by Charlton Heston in the film El Cid.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Great movie! Such a cool story. Thanks for the comment man, appreciate it.

  • gurprataap

    besstttt articleee till now..the besst..

  • http://twitter.com/C_level_smarts Mike Harris

    Great post Chad. Your example of service to others is inspiring and motivating.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Really appreciate it Mike – thanks for your comments!

  • Spence

    This article reminds me of something I saw in a movie. Weather you are a why guy or a why not guy….
    The why guy makes excuses like “why should I do this or that; why would I want to put myself through the pain; why why why”. He doesn’t have the stones to try, he asks what the point is.
    A why not guy is the opposite, he says “why not try this; why not go through the challenges; why not”. He has stones, he decides to try, he has no excuses.

    The question you need to ask, is which guy you want to be?

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      Well said. Love it.