The Weapon Or The Warrior?

Whenever someone gets worked up about their personal safety, the first thing they do is arm themselves. Frankly, this isn’t a bad thing since firearms are one of those things that if you need, nothing else will replace.

However, most of those folks tend to just go to the range every so often, pop off a few rounds, and then call it a day. While I’ve already noted that’s not the best way to do things, it’s simply what I see from most gun owners.

But here’s the important thing, something I’ve noticed through my work, and that whether it’s about the weapon or the warrior…and I’m not just talking about violent encounters, either, but life in general.

In my professional life, I’m a writer. In particular, though, I write about guns, self-defense, and things of that sort. I don’t dispense advice in that professional life, by and large, but I do report on what I’ve found.

During that time, I’ve written a lot about people using a firearm in self-defense. However, I’ve also written some awesome stories about people who weren’t armed but who also defended themselves in situations where they probably shouldn’t have.

So what gives? Are guns useless?

I’m not saying that. At all. However, I am saying that the presence of a firearm isn’t the only way to defend yourself.

A few months back, I wrote a story about a group of young girls who defended one of their number from a would-be kidnapper. Their weapon of choice? The hot coffee they had in their hands.

When the older man grabbed the young girl, her companions responded swiftly and aggressively, eventually chasing the attacker away.

Gen. George Patton once said, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” In other words, naked aggression can overcome a whole lot of sins.

In the case of these young girls, they took a plan that was less than ideal but all they had to work with and followed it through as violently as they could. They unleashed all the aggression they could and successfully defended their companion.

The thing is, this doesn’t just apply to violent encounters, either.

I am a professional blogger. I get paid to write for political sites. Millions of people read my opinions and either agree with them or not, but they read them and I get paid for it.

It’s a pretty sweet gig, let me tell you.

However, for years, I often joked that if I were to write a book on how I got here, the first page would read, “How did I manage to become a full-time, paid, political blogger? Damned if I know.”

The truth, though, is that I kind of do know. Now, there was a fair bit of luck involved, but a lot of it was not being afraid to reach out for opportunities.

When I first started writing politics, a buddy of mine and I wrote about local stuff on a political website he created. I eventually became a partner on the site and it did fairly well. We never monetized it or anything, but we had influence and access to local politicians. They either loved us or feared us, but they all knew us.

But the thing was, I wanted a little more than that. I liked what we did and kind of hated having to stop writing and go to work. I didn’t like not having the flexibility to hit breaking stories as they happened.

Then someone I knew through that site was taking over a nationally-focused blog and asked for writers. He kind of knew my work, but I sent him some of my clips (an industry term for selected stories to showcase my ability) and he put me on the “staff.”

It was generally unpaid, though they did send me a check once, but it was cool. I was mentioned in a well-known commentator’s book because of my work there.

I then got an opportunity to buy a newspaper while I was also running a different locally-focused blog. It made me the first blogger to buy a newspaper anywhere in the world so far as I could tell.  It didn’t work out well–running a business is difficult and I sucked at it–but it was still an awesome experience.

While I was trying to figure out what to do when an acquaintance hit me up on Facebook. He and another friend of mine were involved with a start-up blog and they needed someone.

Again, aggression kicked in and I went for it.

Shortly after that, I got aggressive and started hitting people up for opportunities to work.

Before I knew it, all that aggression paid off. I was working full-time and supporting my family on my work. It’s how I manage to have time to write some books, write way-too-long blog posts here, and how I’ve managed to purchase all my home gym stuff.

Look, I’m not about to ignore the fact that I got lucky along the way. A case could be made that a single meeting opened up virtually every doorway I’ve gone through in my career, and it wouldn’t necessarily be wrong.

The thing is, I’m not the only one who started writing for that local site, yet I’m the only one who is making a living off of that work. I’m not the only person who wrote for that national-level site I started working with, but I’m one of only two who makes their living doing this stuff.

Fortune is a thing. Yes, you can get a fortunate break here or there that others don’t get.

But that’s not what defines success. Fortune doesn’t mean squat if you don’t make something of it.

Take, for example, all the people who win massive jackpots in the lottery. Studies show that most of them end up broke in no time flat. Some have managed to create a life that was worse than before they hit the jackpot. How is that possible?

The truth is that they received a golden opportunity, then rested on that laurel. They didn’t do anything with it. There was no aggression involved, just a surety that they would never be able to spend all that money.

But they did.

Yet if you hand that jackpot to someone who is hungry? They can do the exact opposite.

In the end, it’s the warrior, not the weapon. Being aggressive and executing a plan now rather than waiting until everything is perfect can often be superior to just kicking around and waiting until a better opportunity arrives.

Whether it’s a violent encounter or someone trying to make the most out of their lives, I can’t help but believe that being aggressive with the opportunities you’ve been given will, ultimately, benefit you more than waiting for that perfect chance.

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