One day in the early nineties after a hard night of drinking I woke up and met some people who were living in the mirror with me. The first person I met was the same person I knew since the early seventies. This person blamed all his problems on everybody else and tried to find comfort and relief from drugs and alcohol. This person was not in complete control yet but was trying very hard to take charge of the people in the mirror.
The second person I met was the person who went to work everyday and tried his best to do a good job and take pride in himself and keep that first person at bay as best he could. This person fooled himself for many years thinking he could live with that first person and keep him under control.
The third person I met was a stranger to me at this time. The first and second person did their best to keep him hidden away from view and refused to let him have to much influence on the day to day operation of the person in the mirror. For many years the first person tried his best to destroy the third person. For many years the second person refused to listen to the wisdom of the third person and kept thinking he could control everybody in the mirror.
On this day the third person took control of the people in the mirror and put everybody in their place. The first person was banished from the mirror and sent to a place where his reflection could never again shine on the people in the mirror. His voice still lingers, but his reflection is gone.
The second person was sent back to boot camp to learn how to be a productive member of society and take full responsibility for all of his actions. He was given instruction on personal and professional esprit de corps. While the second person is not perfect, he tries everyday to do the best he can at being a productive member of society live and within his means.
The third person is in complete control now. The person in the mirror is 54 years old, same weight as day he got out of boot camp in 1982. As fast and agile as he was back in those days. Eats one good meal a day, no fast food and drinks a lot of coffee. He pays all his bills on time and has great credit. Lives by his want/need list. Want list is long, need list fits on a post it pad.
Everybody needs to come to terms with the people in their mirror. These people can be your greatest allies or your worst enemies. Your personal enemies in the mirror are more fearsome than any soldier or terrorist in the world. Use the strengths of your allies to defeat your enemies in the mirror.
Remember who you are.
Guy Hollis is a U.S. Army Veteran of the 101st Airborne and 25th Infantry Divisions.