“I am a writer.”
“I am ronin.”
“I am a hard-charging devil-dog! OOHRAH!”
“I…I am a dancer.”
These are all declarative statements that have applied to me in the past. Ronin, in case you’re wondering, was a samurai without a master, particularly during edo-era Japan. I tend to think of it as “freelancer with skills” though some friends call it “unemployed”. “Devil dog” was an epithet given to the U.S. Marines by the Germans during the battle of Belleau Wood (translated from teufel hunden).
Of course, I’m not always any of these. But it makes it easier, sometimes, to do things by temporarily putting on these identities again:
- Ugh. I don’t want to edit this book. But I am a writer, so that’s my job.
- Gah! I hate yoga. But I have to be flexible, because I am a dancer.
- So. Tired. But I’ll keep going; that’s what Marines do.
- I don’t know how I’ll pay rent next month. But I have the skills and creativity to figure it out.
Some of you may be smirking at some of the identities. Ronin? What’s next, Gray, you gonna call yourself a Ninja? But that’s ok; I only say these things out loud because I have my super-invulnerability cloak of the Personal-Development Blogger to protect me from your mockery.
Choose Your Faction
In the NerdFitness article What Class Do You Choose? they talk about how much easier an exercise regimen can be if you imagine yourself to be exercising not because of what you want but because of who you are. Let’s say you’re trying to build stamina and strength – sure, you could be doing it as a middle-aged person with a desk job, but wouldn’t it be more fun to do it because it’s your job:
Rangers: a hybrid of Warriors and Scouts, built for strength AND endurance.
A jack-of-all-trades but master of none, Rangers are well-equipped for any situation. Their weight training revolves around varying the reps, sets, and downtime to continually force those body to adapt to new situations. Usually Rangers follow a Paleo Diet, eating things that can only be found in nature. Thanks to this type of training and diet, Rangers have incredibly low body-fat percentages.
Primary attributes: Functional strength, adaptability.
Now, the idea of me looking like Vigo Mortenson (or having even relatively low body-fat percentage) is pretty silly. I’d be much more believable as a Dwarf, or Barbarian, or even Emo Sith Lord (I’ve got the hair). Nerdfitness acknowledges this:
Sure, it’d be a much quicker path for me to become a scout (as I already have the body type), but I love getting stronger and training in things that I truly enjoy, so I picked a different direction.
Because I can, and because it makes me happy.
And that last part is why you should take the time – in private, or with the company of those who won’t mock you – to decide what your Epic Destiny is. Whether it’s a sorting hat, a faction, a house, or just your own secret mission – you are the main character in the story of your life.
What kind of book do you want to be?
Let me know what your character is
in the comments. Ask your friends, too!
Want to help support Love Life Practice? Become a Patron!