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Take No Prisoners!
I desire to be successful. I’m sure you do too.
Many, I’ve discovered.
Sure they wish to be successful, they dream about it, they even talk about it. But they don’t really desire it; because if they did, it would show in their actions and habits. And one of the most instructive habits I’ve found in successful people is what I’m going to share with you today- it’s the habit of taking no prisoners.
‘Take no prisoners’ is a military term. It’s an instruction given to troops as they prepare to engage the enemy in combat. In simple terms, it means ‘kill them all’. Spare nothing. Save no one. Take them all out. Crush them. Annihilate the opposition. Vanquish the enemy. Knock the living daylights outta them. I could go on and on but I’m sure you get the idea.
When it comes to dealing with challenging/unpleasant situations, successful people have formed the habit of taking no prisoners. They spare no aspect of the problem. They refuse to pet it or try to use it to elicit sympathy from others. They take full responsibility and accountability for the outcome of their lives. They don’t blame parents, their country of origin/residence, the economy, their education (or lack of it), the ‘leaders’ or any other thing for their station in life. They are masters at self-awareness.
And when they’re faced with a challenge, they fall on it with the full weight of their spiritual, mental and emotional energy resources. They don’t dabble at life. They take the bull by the bull- not just the horn.
It’s an attitude. A way of thinking. Taking no prisoners means forgetting the outdated cliché of ‘saving the best for last’. Those who take no prisoners DON’T save the best for last- they give in their best the first time, every time.
In the 1997 movie, Gattaca, Vincent Freeman (played by Ethan Hawke) had a younger brother, Anton who was physically stronger than him. As kids, they played a game called ‘chicken’. The idea was simple- swim as far away as you can out to sea. Whoever first got scared and turned back was tagged the loser. Despite his ‘obvious’ physical limitation, Vincent held out against his much stronger kid brother and kept going. Eventually, they ended up so far out at sea that they could barely see the shoreline behind.
As the ‘game’ grew intense, Anton started drowning. He marveled at his elder brother’s ability to keep going despite his well-known lack of physical strength (due to a heart condition which he had from birth).
“How do you do this?” he asked with trembling lips, now struggling to stay afloat.
Vincent’s reply carried the essence of the take-no-prisoners attitude- “I leave nothing for the journey back”
He put the full extent of his powers into the journey ahead and that propelled him beyond the seeming limits of his physical prowess.
Dear young person, stop saving the best for last. Those who do hardly last long enough to eventually give that best. Give it your best shot from the start. In handling your tasks, leave nothing back- put it all in. Forget about saving that strength/skill for tomorrow. Tomorrow’s resources are embedded in itself.
Live your life to the max- 100% every day. Stop dabbling. Take no prisoners!