How to Fight a Good Fight in Your Career

In the post Keys to Success from The Dip, the first point is “Aim to be the best in the world.” Don’t be satisfied with being good enough. Don’t settle for mediocrity. You need to push yourself forward until you become the best in the world in your field.
I’m not yet the best in the world in anything but there’s one thing I know: to be the best in the world, you must become a good fighter. You need to know how to fight a good fight. This determines how far you will go and how much you will achieve.
Here are some lessons I learned on how to do that:
1. Have a cause
How to fight a good fightTo be a good fighter, you need a strong source of motivation from within. If you don’t, it’s easy to get discouraged in the face of difficulties and challenges. External motivation like money or fame is not enough. Your source of motivation should be something you believe in. It should be something that makes a difference and gives meaning to your life. Whenever you are tired or discouraged, you can go back to your cause and get your motivation renewed.
2. Choose the right fight
Good fighters do not fight the wrong fights. They save their time by fighting only the right fights. Your cause is the guide that helps you choose the right fight for you.
3. Have clear goals
A cause is something that drives you from within and gives you the power to move forward. But you also need concrete goals in front of you. Just imagine a runner in a competition. He may have a cause that put him there. Perhaps he wants to contribute something to his country. Perhaps he wants to become an inspiration to others by being someone who can overcome difficult challenges. But he still needs a clear finish line in each race. Similarly, you should have clear, specific goals in front of you to reach for.
4. Keep your cause in your mind
In your race toward being the best, it’s important to always remind yourself of your cause. Otherwise it’s easy to get distracted along the way. For that purpose, it’s helpful to have a one-liner to help you remember your cause easily.
5. Have the discipline of winning athletes
Athletes who want to win gold in Olympics can’t just live the way they like. No, they need to train hard and control themselves strictly. Similarly, if you want to win, you need to have the discipline of winning athletes. You must train hard whether you like it or not. You must improve yourself regardless of your mood.
6. Aim to break your own records
Training prepares you for the race but nothing can replace being in the real race. Once you are in the race, you must fight hard. Be the best that you can be. Aim to break your own records. While it’s tempting to compare yourself with others, the one you need to beat is yourself.
7. Be smart
A good fighter doesn’t just fight blindly. Instead, he always watches the situation and tries to get the most out of it. He always looks for smarter ways to do things.
One important part of being smart is finding leverages. Find ways to use what you already have to propel yourself forward. Build upon what you have built. It will make you grow faster and faster over time.
8. Focus on what you can control
There are many things that won’t go as expected along your journey. In such cases, it’s important to direct your focus to the right things. Don’t focus on what you can’t control. Instead, focus on what you can control. Here is a simple question to help you:
Is there anything I can do about it?
If the answer is no, then forget about it and move on. Having this attitude will save your mental energy from unnecessary leaks.
9. Keep your life balanced
Maintaining your life balance is important to be able to fight in the long term. Being the best in the world is a marathon, not a sprint, so you need to be able to fight for long time. If your life is not balanced, sooner or later you won’t be able to fight anymore. Maintain the balance between your career and other aspects of your life. Maintain the balance between your work and rest. Be focused but not obsessed.
Photo by Available_Light


  1. If life is a battlefield, I must have been a defensive or passive fighter, most time I fight with myself. To be a good fighter is a chanllenge to me. Thanks for this enlighting post!

  2. It sounds kind of egotistical to want to be the best at anything, doesn’t it? But, that’s 90% of the problem. If we can’t say it, then we can never achieve it. However, saying it, even to ourselves, puts things in motion. And, that’s always good! : )

  3. It is not good to fight against the world as having such attitude will only create more obstacles. It is better to be have a creative mindset where you can create your way to success rather than compete for what is not yours.

  4. Jade,
    Being a good fighter is challenge for all of us. You are definitely not alone 🙂

    If we can’t say it, then we can never achieve it.

    Well said. There’s no way we can achieve something if we can’t even say it.
    I think we actually fight and compete against ourselves (#6). In the process of doing so, other people will eventually recognize us as the best in the world in our specific field. I agree with you that creative mindset is important.

  5. Wow! With all this talk about fighting, let’s all take a deep, cleansing breath!
    Maybe I’m splitting hairs here, but do make sure the word ‘fight’ is not adding negative energy to your life. What I mean is that sometimes “to fight” is Ego’s need for control…”to fight” tends to be a need to overcome insecure feelings over one’s place in the world. So, just be sure you know what the ‘fight’ is doing to your inner world.
    You can still reach your Highest goals by allowing your Spirit to deliver you to the place you’re supposed to be.
    take care,
    Louise Lewis, author
    No Experts Needed: The Meaning of Life According to You!
    FREE Read at:
    (Simply my way of ‘giving back’…)

  6. I agree that in all endeavors we should always go for the best. Thanks for sharing! Once in a while in feels good to be reminded of these things.

  7. Donald,
    I think choosing the right fight is the most important step in your article.
    If you can’t fight your own preconceptions and self-limiting behaviors the it’s guaranteed that you won’t ever be the best in the world at anything. After that, the hardest part is maintaining that train of thought.
    Don’t sweat the details at this stage, because it’s always much easier to imagine the 1000 ways something won’t work than the handful of ways it will. Maintain the big picture and the small steps you need to take will present themselves as you progress.

  8. What great lessons and thanks for sharing.
    I’m going to pass this along to my friends 🙂

  9. Adventurous,
    In my case, I need to remind myself again and again because I forget easily.

    If you can’t fight your own preconceptions and self-limiting behaviors the it’s guaranteed that you won’t ever be the best in the world at anything.

    This is very true. It’s perhaps the biggest enemy you must defeat if you want to be the best in the world.
    Glad you find it useful 🙂

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