The Harder the Battle

By Walt F.J. Goodridge

Special to the Saipan Tribune
Originally published: December 16, 2009

The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!

The games that we remember most
are those against the best
The matched opponent makes us work
and therein lies our test

The victories we savor most
are those for which we fought
through sweat of brow and tests of will
hard lessons we are taught

The triumphs that we yearn to share
of which we are most proud
are those over arch nemeses
to whom we never bowed

So revel in the game
and view the obstacles as par
a conquest without struggle
never gets you very far

The measure of our mettle
lies in what we must defeat
A victory unchallenged?'s never quite as sweet!

I'm sure you've heard the phrase “The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.” Well, recently, I had the chance to help a friend's 13-year-old daughter with an online math-based mystery/sleuth challenge. We were up until midnight struggling to decipher the clues and compute different values needed to access the various parts of the puzzle in order to find the prize!

When all was clicked and done, I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride for her, knowing that she was able to solve the assignment and present it in class the next day.

I'm sure that her confidence has been boosted by the experience and that a valuable life lesson regarding the rewards of commitment and perseverance has been indelibly etched in her mind.

Along the same line of thought, I was recently reminded by a mentor that every game is defined by three things,

1. an objective,

2. freedoms, and

3. barriers.

Anything of any value that we desire in life, love and the pursuit of happiness has all these elements. Without any individual component, the “game” doesn't quite work. A basketball game, for example, without an objective, or without the freedom to advance on the court, or without an opposing team providing barriers to our advancement, isn't quite a game at all. Our mission in life is to accept that all three elements are necessary for us to really benefit from the challenge. So revel in the freedoms, accept the obstacles, and never, never, never give up on reaching your objective!

Dedicated to Danielle.


Note: Ever wanted to direct your friends and family to a set of websites that said good things about Saipan? Do what I do: send them to!

Note: Fans and followers of the book, Chicken Feathers and Garlic Skin: Diary of a Chinese Garment Factory Girl on Saipan may now find copies here on Saipan at Fu Dogs & Qi (pronounced chi), Saipan's only Asian Antiques Store, located on the first floor of the Nauru Building (the “360 building”) in Susupe.


Until next week, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!