“Head Down, Into the Fire”


“It is OK to scream. It is OK to cry. But do not give up.”

I don’t remember exactly where I read this quote. It was years ago. Often I find this statement on repeat in my mind, as if somebody is talking to me in a physical conversation. I suppose it’s just one of those things you hear or read that sticks with you. “Do not give up.” Those four words can be powerful, motivating one to take action, brave all odds, circumstances, dangers, threats, losses, disappointments, and unknowns that life has thrown at them. When a mindset to never quit is adopted, that internal command can turn the most average of a human being into the raw, carnal primate they’ve evolved to be. It can yield unshakable resolve and unstoppable momentum. Such an individual is surely a force to be reckoned with. Quitting is simply not an option for them.

As a species, we don’t live without knowing some form of pain, loss, or sense of defeat. The progress and development of our character requires us to experience all forms of emotion – including the unpleasant. A parent or child passes away. A friend, brother, or sister, is murdered in the line of duty while serving their community. A teammate, a brother, is killed in action via a roadside bomb while serving their country. A child, father, and friend takes their own life – something that is unfortunately too common in the first-responder and military communities. All forms of emotion, including sadness, are occasionally just our cross to bear as a human. That we may have perspective, to fully appreciate the good and precious moments, the universe exists to serve our development and growth by acting as a roller-coaster; there are ups and downs. We know happiness, and joy, simply because we know what it is not. Pretty heavy stuff. We are forced to deal with the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of life and, usually, the order and frequency of those three is outside of our control.

When the happy helm of life is commandeered by the irreversible circumstances of moving matter, you have three options: scream, cry, or do not give up. Maybe all of those responses are needed in the moment. Just keep the last part together.

Just don’t give up. Don’t quit.

You owe it to yourself to not quit. None of us came this far to give up. So, whatever your struggle is, whatever you are fighting – internally or externally – win. Make a conscious decision that no matter what, you will be the victor. If you have to, look at yourself in the mirror, stare dead into your own soul, and verbally kick yourself in the ass. “I can do this. I can handle this. I’m going to handle this because I’m in control here.” Assess your situation, construct your thoughts, identify what you need to do, and convert those thoughts into words. Then take action. Make your actions habitual. This simple formula is one for success.

Nothing exists that is more powerful than your mind. It is the most valuable weapon you will ever carry into battle. Condition it to believe you are endlessly capable of doing anything – and, combined with determination, resolve, and action – you will be.

It is important to understand that planning to be successful without taking action is only wishful thinking. If you want to be better at something, you must take a course of action that facilitates betterment. Whatever you mean to improve, you have the means to improve it. For you, the reader, you know exactly what this is for you, specifically. Plan. Execute. Rinse and repeat.

While you are in the storm, put your head down, focus, keep moving, and crush every obstacle in front of you.

- AVR Defense, signing off

1 thought on ““Head Down, Into the Fire””

  1. Great article reminds me of the words of Winston Churchill to the people of Great Britain at the outbreak of the second World War.

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