This morning I witnessed Columbian weightlifter Oscar Figueroa Mosquera win Olympic gold in the 62kg weight class. This was incredibly impressive to watch, but what happened next was inspirational. Although missing his final clean and jerk attempt at 179kg, Mosquera dropped to his knees in tears of joy, his elation at just becoming an Olympic champion embodied in his unapologetic celebration. He then removed his weightlifting shoes, placing them under the bar, signalling his retirement from the sport. He then kissed the weight plates that he has grappled against for so many years, showing love and respect to the equipment that has brought him so much joy, passion and success.
This act of pure euphoria is a perfect encapsulation of a man who has fought for decades to live this very moment. All of the years of blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice have culminated into one single lift. I cannot begin to imagine the happiness that he felt at that moment. It brought me to tears. A man who has worked relentlessly and purposefully to master his craft. Spending evening’s in the gym when he could have been out socialising. Taking every possible measure to optimise his recovery and performance. Toiling against gravity day after day, when his body was screaming at him to give up. Repeatedly battling adversity in the form of missed lifts and injuries. This is a man who has conquered his mission. The beautiful symbolism of removing his shoes, letting himself and the world know that his work is done is an absolute stunning moment. He has fulfilled his purpose.
This wonderful sporting moment epitomises what it looks like when you one has dedicated their life to a transpersonal goal – a devotion to a purpose much bigger than oneself. It is the loyalty to something you love, a sense of duty and the ability to bear the unbearable in the service of this transpersonal devotion. Not only at this moment did it dawn on me how important this devotion is to mastery and success of a skill or goal, but it resonated with me just how much this is missing in modern society. It is this warrior energy that inspires people to work ceaselessly to achieve success in every area of their life, and is something that must be present if one hopes of reaching their full potential in any endeavour.
The warrior in his/her fullness
The warrior has historically moved forward with controlled aggression and purpose. Warrior energy is a stance to life that rouses, energises and motivates. It pushes is to take the offensive, and move out of a ‘holding’ position about life’s tasks and problems. The warrior is aware of his/her imminent death, and recognises the temporary and fragile nature of human existence. Instead of becoming frightened and depressed by this, this awareness leads to an outpouring of life energy. Every moment counts. Each deed is done as if it were the last.
With this knowing, they set out a mission to achieve their desires and dreams, recognising the value of leaving a legacy on this earth. They set out to achieve a transpersonal mission – a mission much greater than himself or herself. These lofty ideals alter ones life in such a way that petty squabbling and personal ego matters no longer matter much. Frustration, anger, negativity, hatred, sadness, apathy, mediocrity all cease to exist when one is embodying their life’s purpose. There is simply no time for these things. Warriors doesn’t discuss people, they discuss ideas, plans, visions for the future.
It is this very energy that is abundant in professional athletes, successful CEO’s, talented musicians, PhD graduates, doctors, surgeons, military generals, sensei’s, accomplished authors, or any profession or endeavour in which an individual has mastered a particular field. They have found a passion, made it their purpose, and worked with consistent discipline and dedication to fulfil this purpose. This can be attained in ones career, relationships, hobbies, friendships. Everywhere.
If you don’t know your purpose, discover it now
Without a conscious life purpose, we are lost, drifting and adapting to events instead of creating events. Everything in ones life must be purposeful, must have meaning and a deep desire for consistent growth. Without this, we are constantly lost in ultimately meaningless distractions and detours. We are detached and disassociated from our core, making everything a chore and a means to an end instead of filling us with love and excitement. Our career will be unfulfilling, our relationships will be void of romance and passion, and our friendships will be weak and fruitless.
When I watched Mosquera on his knees in pure joy at what he had just achieved, it further reminded me of how important the warrior energy is in modern society. In an age where avoidance of all challenges is encouraged, where mediocrity is the norm, and where becoming the lion amongst sheep is shamed and often ridiculed, it is time that more of us embody the warrior energy in our own lives. Perhaps we should stop acting like victims and unconsciously reacting to life, and instead start to consciously take control. Perhaps we should embrace the challenges and opportunities that this beautiful life gives us, and work everyday to fulfil our deepest purposes, for the benefit of our own lives, and for the progress of humanity.