why i fight.

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a fellow entrepreneur once asked why i was fighting so hard for something. it’s true things were looking grim but i was still puzzled by the question.

it reminded me of something Quintus said in the opening battle scene in Gladiator.

Quintus: People should know when they are conquered.

Maximus: Would you, Quintus? Would I?

Maximus understood the psychology of a warrior.

there are warrior-entrepreneurs, and i am one of them. we fight until the bitter end. we don’t always know when we have been conquered, when to give up. to voluntarily stop fighting would be disengaging from who we fundamentally are. it is simply in our DNA to fight and we will until we have no other choice.

to me, passion ≡ fight. the two are cemented together. in fact, the very question “why do you fight so hard?” is tautological: what else does a warrior-entrepreneur do, but fight for causes / ideals /people?

if we stopped fighting for these things, who would?

(and what happens when entrepreneurs of any kind decouple their passion from their ideals? they give up. and giving up does something to an entrepreneur. part of us dies. we become demoralized and along the way our startup dies, too.)

so i pondered hard and later found my answer to that puzzling question about my motivation to fight.

i fight for what is precious to me. for what is intrinsic to my happiness, even if it is an investment in future happiness. i fight for the things i have committed to. i fight because i care. and there is no other way i can, or would want to, be.

so the next time someone asks you why you’re fighting so hard, simply ask:

“why aren’t you?”

p.s. applies to relationships, too.