You must decide who you are, what you want, what you do, what you won’t ever do—you need to know clearly, backwards and forwards, your worldview’s DNA.
When one knocks over a glass of water, sand doesn’t pour out. Whatever is inside of our hearts will spill out when we get shaken. Hardships helps us see what our de facto values are—our values at their core, the ones we may not even admit to even in our own minds.
We must clearly resolve whose team we’re on, which game we’re playing, what our target is, and where our boundaries are. Know them, think them through, imagine worst case scenarios. Imagine someone blackmailing every member of your family and each of your friends in the worst way. Dwell on it. Imagine the cost of what you believe. If it’s not worth believing, then change those beliefs now—only believe in something if you have truly thought through the greatest cost for believing it.
If you can’t think of something worth paying your most feared price to keep believing in, then your life will come to a shameful end and you will eventually be unwittingly recruited to the ranks of people who do what they hate, to help wicked people destroy the lives of millions through corruption.
If you don’t stand for something—anything—then you will fall for anything. If you believe that there exists a belief that could never cause anyone pain, that belief would likely cause the most pain. The best chance you have of victory and protecting those you love is if your mind is already made up, so your mind won’t change when the hard times come—because you are a person who seriously, truly, thoroughly, fully, completely, painfully evaluates your ideas all the way to their end. No one is safer to be with—no one is more sober—no one has such a clear mind to focus on actually keeping people safe—no one has the faculties to navigate through challenges and dodge retaliation fire.
When you stand, you will offend one and befriend another. Will you choose your friends or wait for your enemies to choose you?