Written for Operation Werewolf by Terence Mitchell

Every single day, throughout the day, we are faced with options; these are either soft options or hard options; and it’s our choice in the matter that determines our trajectory. It’s our choice wether we continue along our evolutionary paths toward a greater knowledge of self and exploration of potential via a revolution of spirit, or if we stagnate and further entrench ourselves within a quagmire of self-sabotage and self-deception, thus culminating in self-loathing.

Soft options are instantaneously gratifying; they petition to our perversities by appealing to our epicurean tastes, our shameless desire for comfort, ease, and first-world convenience. Soft options delay the inevitable; they hold us hostage to an ideal that cannot be maintained; they anchor us to an ideology that will eventually weigh us down and facilitate our demise. Soft options perpetuate that which we wish to overcome: addiction, apathy, obesity, disease, dependency, toxic relationships, eating disorders, and even personality disorders.

Soft options are weekend-long Netflix binges that offer zero value to our lives, and junk food binges that offer zero nutritional value to our bodies; they raise our cortisol levels, increase our estrogen, and lower our testosterone. They render us weak and incapable; they make us less than men by forcing to the surface that which is most deplorable in men.

But there exists another option, albeit a less popular one. An option that demands discipline; an option that is unwavering and thus unwilling to negotiate with resistance- an option whose only desire is to destroy it. One choice at a time. One day at a time. This is the hard option. And this is the option we must choose.

The hard option is choosing to live vigorously while the overwhelming majority live vicariously through the lives of other men and fictional characters. It’s the choice to move daily, without exception. It’s the choice to eat nourishing foods that heal and repair our bodies, despite the preparation required, and inconvenience thereof. It’s the choice to make the time to write down our thoughts and ideas so as to bring them into existence, and to read real books when it would be much easier to watch something mindless on TV.

Men are defined by the options they entertain. Hard options make harder, more resilient men; and it is these options that provide unlimited potential for physical, mental and spiritual growth, along with a deeper knowledge of Self. It is this knowing that leads to further doing; and so we do what we must.

We do this in the seemingly insignificant battles that belong to a greater war, fought in the dark and uncomfortable places- during the lonely hours while our loved ones sleep, and the rest of the world dreams.