Life Isn’t a Journey. Life Is a Warrior Dash.

By September 13, 2011Inspiration

Life is a journey. No kidding.

I have always disliked that statement or when people say “I am on a journey…”

Being on a journey sounds so soft, uninvolved, and self-centered. “I am on a journey.” You might as well say “I am sleep-walking through life, hoping to catch a wave of understanding that takes me safely to the end.”

Life is a Warrior DashYes, life is a journey, but it is more like a warrior dash where you get dirty, bleed, and exhausted. Still, you end up feeling good about what you did and the progress you have made.

Forget this “life is a journey” crap. It is time to realize life for what it is – a thing we complicate with non-meaningful stuff; a thing we wrestle with and try to figure out how to make the most of it; and a thing we understand, if we are lucky enough, is a gift that we should not waste.

When I started to write this post, it was going to be about my journey with this blog. It was going to be about how, when I started it, I wasn’t sure how it would unfold. It was going to be about how I started the blog as Farmer’s Son, because I was fearful someone would discover what I was writing about. This post was going to be about, over time, how I slowly began to unveil who was the writer behind this blog, still somewhat fearful of what people would think. It was going to be about how I began to discover none of those concerns really mattered. After all, it is my life. If I want to write, then I should write. If it clarifies my thoughts and actions, then what more needs to be said.

Now, as I write this, my disdain for life journeys grows. I know journeys can have detours, rocky roads, and challenging climbs. Unfortunately, in today’s softening world, we think of journeys of cruising on a smooth interstate system in our well-appointed Cadillac singing Kumbaya, holding hands, and exploring our feelings.

Wake-up your soul! Wake-up your spirit! Life isn’t a journey, and it is time to get your hands dirty by doing something that is worthwhile. Life is a warrior dash – get your hands dirty making a difference!

This isn’t about quitting your job to go backpacking in Europe. This is about doing your job and then going down to some organization and helping kids who need a mentor or helping people who are trying to make ends meet or writing a book that will inspire a community to be better people.

Each of us has something inside that is just lurking to bust out and make a difference. We need to figure out what it is and then let it loose!

I know that I have not figured it all out yet. I know that I need to do more. I know that it is challenging to balance a work life with a family life and still have time to do some extracurricular, meaningful, added stuff. I know that you can life a good life by just being a good parent. I also know that you can create meaning in being a good corporate citizen (think creating jobs, think TOMS, think Warby Parker, think about other examples…).

I know there is more to do in whatever we are doing.

But, many are exhausted. This last decade has bored a hole in our soul. We have lost our way.

Today, we feel it is more important to be right than to solve our nation’s problem.

Today, we still feel it is more important to have lots of stuff rather than do meaningful stuff.

Today, we talk with little action rather than lots of action with few words.

Am I guilty of some these? Absolutely!

We are human. That is key – we are human!

We have a mind, body, and soul. We need to put the three together and figure things out. Let’s take each:

  • Mind: Learn by reading. Learn by doing. Learn by listening. Learning by having a conversation.
  • Body: Keep it healthy by eating right. Keep it durable by exercising. Keep it clean. Tune it to do the work ahead.
  • Soul: Feed your soul by quieting the noise. Feed your soul by reading poetry, the Bible, or some other works that connects your spirit and mind together to produce real actions.

Life is a warrior dash in which these three need to come together in a way to lead a life of significance.

To a large degree, it comes down to the choices we make. In our choices, at times, there is a thin difference in the directions they take us. Sometimes, our choices take us in the right direction; other times, they don’t. We shouldn’t freeze-up when making our choices; we just need to realize the power in the choices we make.

Exploring this topic is why I write. Getting our choices as right as we can is essential, and it relates directly to getting our spirit/soul and mind to work together to do meaningful stuff in our lives.

It is about engaging fully in the warrior dash of life!

Jon Mertz
Jon Mertz is one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business and highlighted as one of the Leaders to Watch in 2015 by the American Management Association. He also is the author of Activate Leadership: Aspen Truths to Empower Millennial Leaders. Jon serves as vice president of marketing at Corepoint Health. Outside of his professional life, Jon brings together a community to inspire Millennial leaders and close the gap between two generations of leaders.
Jon Mertz
Jon Mertz

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Join the discussion 13 Comments

  • julie moore says:

    Jon so glad to read your post and inspired by your words especially “This is about doing your job and then going down to some organization and helping kids who need a mentor or helping people who are trying to make ends meet or writing a book that will inspire a community to be better people.” This is what I would normally call my “journey” but I love the term Warrior Dash. Body,Soul and Spirit- love this and wholeheartedly agree. Thanks. Stopping by from Story Dam and glad I did.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you, Julie! Glad you are a part of Story Dam, too. There seem to be so many different and good voices in this developing community, which will make it a strong one. By looking through your website, it looks like you are have a very positive impact in what you do. Grateful for that, too. Take care. Jon

  • Brandi says:

    Jon, thank YOU! I so needed this post more than anything right now. Although Brandon and I are building Story Dam together I am scared to death. I have never put myself out there, never let anyone see what I have building up inside me. My life has never been a journey, but more of the warrior dash, with a few adventures thrown in. My role as the wife of an Army Officer has shown me that I am so far from the mold of typical housewife, that there really should be a new mold made, or not one at all honestly. We are all different, we all bring something to the table. Appreciating what is brought is the true journey.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you, Brandi! I have been impressed with what you and Brandon have done and are doing. Tremendous. I am glad you have put yourselves out there, because we are all better for it.

      Also, I am so grateful for what Brandon and you do for our country as well. It is an ultimate service to us all.

      Look forward to Story Dam, and joining you in the warrior dash of life!


  • You Go! I think you’ve just inspired a new post for me, so thanks and I”ll see you around Story Dam.

  • StoryDam says:

    That’s what I’m talking about, Jon. I’ve read this post before, and I think it’s a great one to introduce yourself with on Story Dam. Everything you discuss here is a writer’s life. I’m glad you are spending some time with us.

    We’ll see you around the neighborhood!


  • AjmaniK says:

    Yes, most of the time, we tend to be in the “warrior dash” phase ~ or need to get into that phase, particularly if we are in the “I’m just coasting because I’m comfortable here” phase. 

    And then there are moments, sometime long moments, when we need to pause, reflect, re-evaluate, re-energize, re-invigorate and re-connect with those who care about us. It’s an ebb and flow. That’s the law of nature.A rested warrior is a powerful force ~ just like you. Keep writing about choices and inspiration.Be well.Kumud

  • rupzip says:

    I have to say that this post is brilliant. The journey through lovely fields of flowers or walking along gently flowing rivers is just a fairy tale. It’s dirty. It’s painful. And you don’t always win.

    • Anonymous says:

      Grateful for your comment. We don’t always win, but we can always learn from the experiences. It makes us better as we jump back in and live our life to the fullest. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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