Find the Dragon: be Responsible

[May 12, 2022]  “Be true to yourself.”  “Do your best.”  “I’m okay; you’re okay.”  No!  Wrong.  You are far more than you are; you are much better than you could ever believe you could be.  This is the old idea of personal responsibility; compete with yourself to better yourself, find truth where you can (and don’t be easily misled), stand up for yourself, face your fears, and be prepared to go places you might not want to go.  Find the Dragon.  It’s a hellava lot better to find the dragon in its lair than waiting for it to come and eat you.

If you want to put yourself together properly, you will find what you need where you least want to look.  We see this idea in the many ancient stories where the dragon or monsters or the devil threatens, but at the same time possesses the gold, those things of great value.  The idea is deep, ancient, and wise and perhaps why it persists.

We have to go out into the world and face reality to gain what it offers.  It is frightening but necessary if we desire to make things better.  It pushes us to our very limits, and why not?  If we are not pushed to our limits, there would be nothing of value to gain.  You don’t get one without the other; you don’t get support from the world (the gold) without the prospect of experiencing the fear (the dragon).

There is a complex and challenging choice, and you do not have the freedom to ignore making a choice.  This is also a very strange, primeval concept with great wisdom within it.  If you don’t deal with your problems and challenges today, they will become large later and potentially destroy you.  Ignore those things you know that you need to do, will eventually harm you.  This is a lesson we all know but also ignore more than we should.

There’s an old ‘blues’ music idea that you meet the devil at the crossroads.  This idea is really exciting.  A crossroads, the metaphor works because a decision is required, go one way or another.  Even no decision, to not chose, is a decision.  This is where you will find your greatest challenges and opportunities.

Do you choose willful ignorance, envy, victimhood, succumbing to temptations, and vindictiveness?  Or, do you choose the pursuit of the good; truth, honor, the noble cause, and responsibility?  The good choice is not always so obvious.

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Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

24 thoughts on “Find the Dragon: be Responsible

  1. Stolen Valor

    Find Gen. Satterfield also on LinkedIn and other social media.

    Reply
  2. Eagle Eye

    Gen. Satterfield says, — “Be true to yourself.” “Do your best.” “I’m okay; you’re okay.” No! Wrong.
    This is one of the best lines I’ve ever read. So right!!!

    Reply
    1. Lady Hawk

      Yes, great comment Eagle Eye. I agree, as a long-time reader and making comments here, it is refreshing always to come back here each day to see what is posted.

      Reply
  3. Bernie

    Wow, enjoyed this article immensely. Gen. Satterfield, you sure know how to put together a great article. Lately, you’re really hit the ball out of the park with your blog.

    Reply
  4. Bryan Z. Lee

    Meet the Devil at the crossroads. Now that is some analogy, Gen. Satterfield. What I think you are saying is that there will be a time to make a choice, a big choice that is very very hard. You can either chose the hard, difficult path full of obstacles and disappointment but the goal is the moral one or you can chose the easy path that is full of flowers and smells good but is immoral and will make you feel good temporarily but is in reality bad. The Devil will be there to push you to the easy path.

    Reply
    1. American Girl

      YES! Bryan, you nailed it. We do have choices but we don’t want to be responsible when something goes wrong. We want a “do over.” We want another chance. And, when we knew the easy path was the wrong path to begin with. And now we want the moral path, but still don’t want to sacrifice for it.

      Reply
    2. Autistic Techie

      Bryan, excellent ideas from Gen. Satterfield. Thanks for highlighting them. ✔

      Reply
      1. Willie Strumburger

        Yep, this is why I read the leadership forums. You can gain a lot more perspective and the ability to see another view of these articles.

        Reply
  5. Janna Faulkner

    Gen. Satterfield, nicely done. I really liked today’s article.

    Reply
      1. Adolf Menschner

        Hey Desert Cactus, great to see you back in the leadership forum. Always good to see that regular readers keep posting. I’m not a regular (well sometimes, I am) but I always read the comments. They add often to what Gen. Satterfield is writing. Also a great place to speak with other folks who want to learn more about leaderhsip.

        Reply
  6. Cow Blue

    Too many young people willfully chose victimhood and all the downside that goes with it. Why? They think they can gain moral standing by doing so. WRONG! (to use Gen. Satterfield’s judgment). They are, indeed, wrong to do so.

    Reply
  7. Nick Lighthouse

    “Do you choose willful ignorance, envy, victimhood, succumbing to temptations, and vindictiveness? Or, do you choose the pursuit of the good; truth, honor, the noble cause, and responsibility? The good choice is not always so obvious.” Wow, great comment.

    Reply
    1. Ernest

      76 Wife and Nick, you’re going to always find some real gems in this leadership blog.

      Reply
  8. 76 Wife

    “We have to go out into the world and face reality to gain what it offers.” A great quote. Gen. Satterfield, you nailed it. Simple, effective words. Now, if only folks would pay attention. Oh, I love how you link this to the symbology of the Dragon, an ancient story.

    Reply
  9. Max Foster

    Selling ‘responsibility’ is a hard sell. Our kids have been indoctrinated since birth to constantly call for their ‘rights’ and zip, nadda about their responsibilities. What? You mean they actually have to do something? No way, the will say! We want what’s coming to us and screw everybody else. Anyway, they say, it’s just government money. But of course, they don’t realize that it’s the people’s money, there is no such thing as government money. Another excellent article.

    Reply
    1. Dead Pool Guy

      Well said, Max and I am in full agreement with you. Oh, I bought your book Gen. Satterfield, excellent piece of work. Hey folks buy “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” by Gen. Satterfield. Great book.

      Reply
        1. Eye Cat

          Got my copy, get your’s today. I think you will find in his book many of the same ideas we are reading about here. ‘Our Longest Year in Iraq,’ is surely a best seller. Read it. Learn about what really happened in the Iraq War. Don’t ever believe what you read in the newspapers.

          Reply
  10. Danny Burkholder

    Cool article today, Gen. Satterfield. Hey thanks. Sending this one to my adult son.

    Reply
    1. McStompie

      I agree, I was first attracted by the title but then, it’s classic Gen. Satterfield (tell the truth and adopt responsibility) but I like how he wraps the idea around the dragon symbology.

      Reply
    2. Frontier Man

      Me too, sent it to a few friends for comment. Love it. That is why I keep coming back to this leadership website. Keep up the wonderful blog posts you are doing for us, Gen. S. THANKS. 👍👍👍👍👍

      Reply

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