Live a life worth fighting for.

I usually only read novels.

But every now and then I hit something in the non-fiction department, and there are a few of those that I would categorize as life changing:

  • “The Artist’s Way,” by Julia Cameron.
  • “Your Money or Your Life,” by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin.
  • I am just going to group all of SARK’s books together here.
  • And the most recent addition to the list, “The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy Seal,” by Eric Greitens. Totally unlike anything I have ever read. I usually avoid stuff which forces me to face that fact that we live in a world where things like war exist. It’s scary and when I think too much about it I live my life crying in a corner. I read this book because of the way my dad described it after he read it. I couldn’t tell you what exactly he said, just that I had a feeling when he said it that I ought to read this.

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I think Eric Greitens should run for President.

In “The Heart and the Fist,” he shares great lessons in dealing with one of the most crippling things that gets in our way as humans — fear — and also inspires compassion and motivation. If your life is feeling empty and you need some inspiration, I recommend this memoir. It will broaden your perspective intellectually and emotionally.

Some of the most influential quotes for me were:

  1. When working in India with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, Greitens observed, “The sisters lived their entire lives in faith, but to me, it seemed that they needed to whisper barely a word about their theology because the integrity of their work said everything.” (123)
  2. A comment on a fellow Navy SEAL in training, “He knew how to fight, and he could fight when he needed to, but he never provoked violence.” (162.)
  3. A promanent lesson during training, “…Military training clearly emphasizes the most important leadership quality of all: setting the example. Sometimes that example is physical: ‘You better be at the front of the run.’ More often, and more importantly, the example is set by the actions you take that express your values.” (172, 173.)
  4. “Warriors are warriors not because of their strength, but because of their ability to apply strength to good purpose.” (189.)
  5. “It may seem obvious, but it is often forgotten that our greatest victories come when we exercise enough courage, intelligence, and discipline to win battles without ever having to fight.” (255.)
  6. Phronesis is the ability to figure out what to do, while at the same time knowing what is worth doing.” (283.)
  7. “I knew from my experience working with Bosnian refugees and Rwandan survivors that those who found a way to serve others were able to rebuild their own sense of purpose, despite all they had lost.” (290.)
  8. After voluteering with children at refugee camps in war torn countries, then volunteering in Bolivia to work with abandoned children, Greitens writes, “For all of the violence and tragedy and pain that armed conflict brings, I thought that it might be easier for a child to lose a parent or a limb and to live through war than to grow up abused and abandoned.” (106.)
  9. And I can’t remember the page or the quote, be he talks a bit about living a life worth fighting for.

I could go on for as long as the book does.

3 thoughts on “Live a life worth fighting for.

  1. This book is on my list to read after I heard Eric speak a few weeks ago. He has the audience captive with his stories! If only more people lived a life of service like that, every day. Thanks for the review. 🙂

    • I just read your post, “A Life Lesson from a Navy SEAL,” and loved it. I remember the part in the book when Greitens talks about the people quitting and the role their minds and fear played, that scene on the beach that you described. Definitely one of the big messages in the book. A passage that really made me think was on page 194, “When I reflect back on it now, I realize that my hardest moment was also the only moment in all of Hell Week when I was alone, focused on my own pain. It was the only moment when I began to think that things were unfair, when I started to feel sorry for myself.”

  2. Your Life is Worth the Living | muchloveblog

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