Let me tell you what it means to be a Viking. It means that you follow what I like to call The Law of Highest Resistance. I have lived by this rule for most of my adult life and in this blog post, I will try to explain what it means.
As we all know, life is not always easy. But it’s human nature to choose what seems to be the easiest way out of difficult situations. We all know people who tend to do that. It could be your co-worker who always wants to go for the easy, short-term option, or it could be that alcoholic who always chooses another drink instead of sobering up. We see people like that every day. Among our friends and relatives, among politicians in the news. The human population seems to have a very high percentage of what I like to call «easy way out individuals».
I am not one of those people. And if you’ve read this far, I would guess you aren’t either. Choosing the easy way is rarely a wise decision in the long term. The «easy way out individuals» rarely live successful and happy lives.
But what if you take this to the extreme? What if you’re always drawn to the biggest challenges and the most demanding tasks? And what if you find yourself extremely motivated by statements like «You can’t», «You won’t make it» and «It’s impossible.»? If you are one of those rare individuals, you are probably following The Law of Highest Resistance, and you’re also entitled to call yourself a Viking.
The world is full of people who will try to limit your achievements. You must never listen to them. Your challenges may seem like a wall sometimes, but as a Viking, you must crush that wall. It doesn’t matter how thick it is. If it is very thick, it just takes a little more time. And you might need a bigger hammer.
Being a Viking is about self-confidence, and as a highly confident person, you are attracted to challenges where you will encounter extreme resistance. You are the person who walks out on that bridge, and when the advancing army tells you to move, you answer: «No. You move.»
You might come across stubborn as hell, but personally, if someone calls me stubborn, I take it as a compliment. Being stubborn has always given me results. So has following The Law of Highest Resistance. By choosing to do the things others say I can’t do, I have gotten to places where they said I couldn’t go. And quite early on, I started to see a pattern. I learned that whenever I go in the direction where I encounter the highest resistance, good things happen. I learned this first through sports: As a child, I was never good at sports and as a teenager, I developed a somewhat limping gait. So I became a powerlifter (that sport seemed to me very challenging, and it is) and started collecting national and international medals. When I had my neck fractured in a car accident, I was told I wouldn’t even be able to lift a shopping bag again. I was back in the gym after one week, and even if it took me a long time, I got back into competitive powerlifting and got me another national record, and I plan to collect more of those. So sports taught me that if I follow The Law of Highest Resistance, I am going in the right direction. I see this in my professional life as well. My most successful novels are the ones that encountered the most resistance among publishers.
Some say that giving up is not an option. I say that giving up is impossible. It’s the only thing I can’t get myself to do. It’s the Viking mentality. Go where the fight is. Go where you’ll encounter the Highest Resistance. And trust me on this: It will be hard. It will be difficult. And it will be glorious.
-Bjørn Andreas Bull-Hansen
Read more: Is a Viking mentality for you?