Unclear about your direction? Pick a Fight.

5 min. to read.

When our life is in the balance, or we have to protect someone we love, our adrenaline pumps and we put up our fists. We won’t go down without a fight.

But what about when there’s no threat? When it’s just day-after-day of normal life? What then? Are you living without a fight?

If you spring out of bed with a clear sense of direction, you are already part of the lucky few. You’re fortunate.  For some every morning is a painful experience.

I’ve been there. I’ve had days that felt like an assembly line. Paying the bills, keeping everyone happy, avoiding drama, trying to make it back into bed without failing, or looking stupid. Those days start with an ache.

Sometimes I’ve been able to bootstrap through it because I. Am. Responsible. Other days I’ve run or hid any way I could. The dull dry ache of days without meaning is a slow and painful death.

This is not what you were made for. You may never be a morning person (although, I’d bet you could be!) but you don’t have every morning be painful.

You need to pick a fight.

Your fight is your focus.

Ready to Fight
Are you ready to fight?
Photo Credit: Unknown

I’m slowly working my way through an online course called TribeWriters taught by Jeff Goins. I’m learning to improve the clarity of my writing. One of the lessons this week posed a question that has been worming its way through my mind.  I’ve not been able to stop thinking about it.

What’s my fight?

When a writer knows what they are fighting for, they can be much more focused. They can be provocative in a meaningful way, taking a clear stand. They also can avoid attractive detours.

But as I worked through this idea, it was clear to me that this matters for more than just writers. This can change the way you get up in the morning.

When you know what you’re fighting for, you know where you’re headed. Whatever you are fighting for, that’s tied to your values, your identity, your sense of purpose. You might think of it as your cause or your passion.  It might be a certain long-term goal that matters to you enormously.

  • The immigrant parents who get up at 4 AM working 3 jobs in order to save money to send their college have a fight.  They are fighting to change their children’s future.
  • The Best Buy manager who hates his job but is taking night classes in order to get his teaching license has a fight.  He is fighting to shift his life so that he can spend his days doing something that matters to him.
Word art by Marc Alan Schelske.  Photo Credit:  Unknown
Word art by Marc Alan Schelske. Photo Credit: Unknown

Your fight may be to build a vibrant marriage, to write a book, to fund new water wells in sub-Saharan Africa, or a thousand other things.

To be your fight, it just has to move you.  When you think about that goal it changes the way you see your day.  It changes your energy level.

5 questions to help you find your fight

If your days are filled with more fog than forward motion, you need to find your fight. Questions like these can help you get clear:

1. What hill are you willing to die on?

2. What battle are you willing to fight?

3. What line won’t you cross?

4. What payoff would make all your investment of time and energy worthwhile?

5. What impact do you want your life to have on your family and friends? On the world?

Get clear on your fight, and you’ll find the fog lifting. When the sun comes up and you roll out of bed, you know where you’re headed and why it matters that you get there.

To give you an example, here’s what I came up with as I thought through these questions for myself.

What’s my fight?  I fight against the meaningless day, the opportunity lost because of fear. I have been alone and afraid. I have faced days drained of meaning.  I know how painful that is.

But I believe that we were made for more than this. Through Jesus Christ, I have found God speaking to these very things.  “Don’t be afraid,” Jesus says, “I have overcome the world.”  (See John 16:33)  “You are not alone,” Jesus says. (See Matthew 28:20)  You have value, made in God’s image.  You have meaning, art handmade by God.  You have a purpose, sharing God’s grace and maturing into the image of Christ. (See Matthew 28 and Ephesians 4)

My fight is to push back the fear, isolation, and lack of purpose that gets in the way of who God made you to be. When I take up this fight, not only am I fighting for you, I am fighting for me, for my own sense of purpose.

This is my fight.  I don’t want you to be alone, or afraid, or without purpose.  And so today, I’m asking you this.  What’s your fight?

12 thoughts on “Unclear about your direction? Pick a Fight.

  1. Marc, I’m so thankful you were obedient to God’s leading to post this today. I am to the point of just going away and hiding. I will sit down and answer these questions. I pray God will use them to bring my mind back to where I can focus and help me to remember the things in my life that are worth fighting for.

    1. Sherry, thanks for showing up today and reaching out. I’d love to hear what comes up for you as you work through the questions. You *are not alone.* Many days are hard, but the truth is that God created you and won’t abandon you.

  2. Strong post Marc. Thanks for the clarity. As a man, I know God wired me a specific way. We all know when we’re “in the zone” because we’re using the unique talents which He gave to each of us. John Eldredge’s book, Wild at Heart, describes how boys and men need challenges and battles to realize who they are. Your theme is a create introduction to that concept for both men and women. Keep up the good work! Time for me to go be a Daddy Warrior again today.

    1. Right you are. I know that I feel a much stronger sense of satisfaction and more at peace with myself when I spend days doing those things that matter. Have a great day. Loving your kids is a great fight!

  3. Great application of the “fight” exercise. I appreciate the practical application you give your readers at the end. I love how you mentioned the fight we feel when “we have to protect someone we love.” I think that’s me.

    I’m a mother bear with cubs when it comes to the people I care about more so than even myself. I think my fight has a lot to do with standing up for people who are not easily heard.

    1. Shelina, thanks for your comment. Being able to identify “my fight has to do with standing up for people who are not easily heard,” is such a great platform to operate from. So many good things can come from that place. I’d enjoy hearing how that shows up in your life and community.

      Thanks for the affirmation for the practical application. I’ve been experimenting with ways to make things more do-able and concrete. I want to equip people with more than just a short blog read!

  4. Marc, what a great fight! Love the action steps at the end it really helps the reader get involved and shows your passion.

    1. Marc, I’m an encourager. I’ve been working through tribe writers with you and my biggest challenge has been giving valuable feedback. Your post resonated with me because just a few years ago it was painful for me to get out of bed. I had lost all passion for living and resigned myself to a survival mentality. It’s so great to see people stirring others up to love life and that’s what I see here. There were a few editing errors, but it drew me in and the action steps were great! Sorry, I can’t be of more help…maybe as I learn more about the craft.

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