How to Face Dragons

Like it or not, we’re all surrounded with Dragons. 

Some dragons are problems we must overcome in our personal lives, such as paying off debt, a relationship issue, or a physical injury. Others are things we must manage at work, in our local communities, or on larger, grander scales.

There are three reactions you can have when a dragon attacks.

  • You can cower, curl up, and let it eat you.
  • You can ignore it and hope it goes away (it won’t.)

But the most fruitful way to deal with a dragon is to face it head-on.

Face Dragons is more than a cool name for a website. It is your best path through life. It’s the philosophy every great person chose.

When Hannibal crossed the Alps to face the armies of the Roman Empire, he looked his dragons square in the face.

When Solzhenitsyn wrote The Gulag Archipelago, he was facing one of the largest dragons ever to exist.

Churchill showed a whole nation how to face a dragon when he said, “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills.”

Don’t think facing your dragons is unimportant when compared to the world-changing actions of others. The idea is the same.

Face The Dragon of Inaction First

Facing your problems needs action. If you’re not taking action, you’re reacting in one of the first two ways (and you’ll get eaten.)

So, you must cultivate the habit of taking action first. Then, you can face your other dragons.

The first dragon you must learn to face is The Dragon of Inaction.

This is the dragon that keeps you lazy, unmotivated, and distracted. It’s the voice that whispers in your ear, “Do it later.” It’s the reason you woke up late, and it’s why you can’t focus this morning.

This dragon takes many forms, and it will keep showing up, but there is a formula to face this dragon: to look it in the eyes and make it shrink back and retreat. You must:

  • Know what you want to achieve.
  • Know what to do. about it
  • Have access to the task and tools at the right time.
  • Have the motivation.
  • Have the energy.
  • Have the clarity of mind.
  • Have the time.

There’s a reason most people prefer to grab a snack and watch reruns on the couch! Cultivating action is tough, and there are a lot of moving parts.

Even if you know what your goal is and you’ve written down the next action to take on a to-do list, if you’re exhausted or feeling depressed, you might still be unable to take action. The Dragon of Inaction has you.

But there’s hope yet.

At Face Dragons, we have a simple map for facing the Dragon of Inaction. It looks like this:

1. Find the Road that Leads to the Dragon’s Lair

What should you do? How can you know where to put your energy and what task is worthy of your action?

First, you must know your options; going through a complete brain dump is the answer. After which, you will see a web of roads spreading across the landscape; these are your options. But you can’t travel them all.

Figure out which will make the most significant difference and **set your goals in stone**

Our Recommendation: Goals for 2023: 50 Goal Ideas for Personal Growth

2. Pick up the weapons you need

Don’t get overwhelmed by all the weapons available; you don’t need them all, and you can’t carry so many anyway. Bruce Lee said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

The same is true of your productivity tools. Pick one and master it.

Our Recommendation: A Guide to GTD in 2023: Getting Things Done This Year

3. Put on Your Armor

The Dragon of Inaction won’t leave you in peace while you arm yourself. No, she will breathe fire and whip you with her tail to slow you down, demotivate you, and make you want to give up. That’s why you wear your armor.

Your armor will protect you from tiredness, demotivation, distraction, and other things leading you off course.

You gain your armor from the quests of diet and exercise, hydration, and sleep.

Our Recommendation: “What Martial Art Should I Learn?” My Advice (After 30+ Years)

4. Get on Your Horse

You’re ready to take on the Dragon of Inaction. You know where her lair is. You’re solid and armed and covered in a shiny metal skin. Now you just have to do it. Take on the Dragon of Inaction, and every subsequent dragon will get easier.

This is the first part in a series, How to Face Dragons. Follow us on X so you don’t miss part two: The Dragon of Weakness.

Gregory Gaynor Avatar

Meet Gregory, a writer and the brains behind Face Dragons. He's the go-to guy for getting things done.

Gregory's been living the digital nomad life in Asia for as long as anyone can remember, helping clients smash their goals. He writes on topics like software, personal knowledge management (PKM), and personal development. When he's not writing, you'll catch him at the local MMA gym, nose buried in a book, or just chilling with the family.