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A Vision of Battle

  You are a soldier in an army of antiquity. Your commander entrusts you to lead troops to attack a fortified enemy contingency. After briefing them for the mission, you have a few drinks with your men then march off to the target. As you approach the target, you realize the enemy has prepared for your assault, and has eliminated your route of retreat. Without any chance of reinforcements arriving, you simply have one choice: attack. As you approach the enemies surrounding your army, you stare straight at the overwhelming forces ready to cut you down.

When you approach about 100 meters from the enemy, arrows begin to rain down on you and your men. A few men falls down but most continue to march forward. As you approach about 50 meters, you can hear the words of the enemies’ taunts and battle cries. You begin to see the faces of the men on the front line ready to intercept your assault. Arrows continue to land all around you. Most of your comrades in the rear have fallen. You press on. Now as you approach 20 meters from your enemies, you realize the majority of your troops have fallen. You see the overwhelming number of enemies all prepared to cut you down. You see the front row locking their shields and dropping their spears. The arrows have essentially stopped, but you see fallen soldiers all around you. You press on. As you approach striking distance, and with only a few comrades around you, you ready your shield and spear for attack. At this point it is more of a defensive brace than a charge. As the distance close up, weapons start to clash. You make contact with an enemy soldier, and both of you start thrusting your weapons at each other. Right at the moment of impact…

You hear you name being called. It is the secretary notifying you to enter the room where an important client meeting is about to happen. You were told to essentially “put out the fires”. You give a quick “sigh” of relief.

 

The narrative above essentially serves to show that we all tend to have moments of anxiety in our lives. Whether it is a crucial meeting, a job interview, or facing the some horrible news. In most cases, we do survive the worst-case scenarios, and realize that fear and anxiety is all in our heads. In situations like this, we benefit from our ability to see relativity. When comparing the events that cause us anxiety to the situation the solider in that army faces, most of us can conclude that our situations become a bit more comfortable. And from there, the momentum shifts. We are now able to recognize situations we have faced, and overcame, in the past that are much more arduous than the current one we face. Now little by little, as you enter into the reality of the situation, the entire problem becomes less daunting, and more similar to the other mundane events in life.