“He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch.”
Hunt Adversity. Kill Weakness.
A statement of defining intent, of which the NORSE mindset is founded upon. An idea which at its core is simple: we demand of you to never prescribe to the victim mentality, to never be someone who feels defined by their surroundings – a spectator in their own lives, a simple product of what is to be.
In a time where many are happy to float along in life, bemoaning all the things that happen to them – as if fate and misfortune have a vested interest in their lives – one must take ownership of their undefined destiny. This mentality is built upon an almost accidental narcissistic quality of self. If we look at it at its core; it’s an idea that forces beyond our comprehension actually hold our mortality with any significance. These forces deemed so powerful we are utterly lacking in any control against them remain captivated by us. Like a branch engulfed by a storm, an unmanned vessel lost at sea – we give up the ability to be the authors of our fate, becoming passengers to our destiny.
This is one of the most dangerous approaches to life we have in the present day. A victim of circumstance is one who does not chase change or fight to improve their lives. The forces above them have deemed it so. Thus, they suffer. Needlessly. Pointlessly. They do not find purpose in the suffering – they are defined by it.
We see things a little differently. We hunt.
A hunter is not one who simply heads into the forest to source food for themselves and their communities. A hunter is one who purposefully seeks adversity, who finds the beauty in struggle and understands the immeasurable growth we find in the depths of the void. Rejoice in Battle, for this is a battle we have chosen to be in, treasuring the lessons found in adversity. However, at any moment in time without warning we can find ourselves thrust into a battle we deem ourselves unworthy to overcome. We find ourselves in a void – a sprawling nothingness that feels both engulfing and inescapable.
This void, this psychological place is uniquely personal to everyone, so I’ll do my best to discuss it in a way that I hope will resonate with anyone reading this. The void I’ll attempt to discuss was one built through an unnoticed depression, a creeping and slow change to mindset and outlook on life that got progressively worse in the absence of acknowledgement, Depression and other forms of mental health and struggle are present across society – affecting people from all walks of life, without obvious symptoms or physical cues to look out for, some engulfed by voices in their heads, second guessing every single move or decision made – at war with a version of themselves that constantly attempts to drag them into failure. Outwardly in control. Internally in insurmountable turmoil. There are likely many that we all know who are in their own voids, fighting invisible battles and going to war daily with their demons.
The void to me was a manifestation of a depression I didn’t realise was even present. It was a desolate nothingness, simply an absence of feeling. Imagine being underwater without needing to breathe, it was that feeling of lethargic movement and muted senses. At my lowest point – I felt like I was on the edge of the abyss. Staring quite literally into my own mortality, convinced that falling into that nothingness was the only way out. The idea of turning back, walking back from the edge and leaving this insurmountable place felt more than daunting. It felt impossible.
I was lucky. I had voices that to anyone in sound mind would be heard loud and clear, almost deafening screeches and roars. Despite my place in the void, they were loud enough to come through as whispers. These shouts, screams and guiding lights, although dimmed by darkness were exactly what they needed to be.
Present. They were there.
“The only way to escape the abyss is to look at it, gauge it, sound it out and descend into it.”
– CESARE PAVESE
The question I will always ask myself however, is what if they weren’t? What if, when staring into the abyss I was accompanied by nothing but silence? There were no voices. There were no lights. There was nothing to help me realise the way out was through what seemed insurmountable. I cannot confidently say that I would have found my way back without them. I cannot say that I would not have been lost in the void. We fear the unknown as we lack the confidence to tackle that which we do not know. In my circumstance, I was close to taking the easy way out due to fearing the unknown journey back. The journey I was more than capable of making nearly didn’t happen. The other option wasn’t something I could take back. Not all decisions in life can be fixed later with hindsight and clarity. So, we must find peace in our unknown, in our void, in our adversity. We must embrace battle to find comfort in the discomfort it brings. We forge ourselves mentally and physically so that when the dark, the void and the battle comes for us – we stand defiant. We are not afraid.
I am thankful to this void as I truly believe that I was, in every sense of the word forged here. I found not only the absolute necessity of struggle; I found my purpose. I found who I was supposed to be. My void felt like a vast inescapable nothing, a place I was destined to remain, incapable of leaving. Whilst helped no end by those around me – knowing I found a way to come back resonates with me profoundly. There is something deeply significant that can’t be replicated elsewhere – the process of overcoming, and its impact on the person we see ourselves to be. Overcoming what we deem to be impossible leads to questioning our self imposed limitations. When you realise that the voices telling you that you can’t are wrong – that you are capable of more than you allow yourself to believe – you are on the road to finding true freedom. Earned freedom, a destination shaped entirely by ones journey to it. We absolutely must put ourselves into situations of true struggle and adversity to find and build the people we are supposed to be. I do not mean one must seek depression, not at all, but hunting adversity is a must. In your training, push yourself to extreme discomfort, embrace the stoic resilience needed in those long grinding sessions. Spend time in the wild away from the comforts of home. Camp, build fires, survive the stormy night; seek discomfort. You must find the significance of hard times. With a clear mind, one can contextualise their own hardships and understand there are others fighting far tougher battles – this context alone allowing for a willingness to engage in fight. When the mind becomes clouded and perhaps this ability to disengage and contextualise isn’t quite there, taking the lessons from the dark is the biggest victory. Find the light in the dark, the good in the bad. Do not be the person defined by their struggle that becomes fearful of the darkness. When you understand the raw beauty of the growth potential these times possess – you will be fearless.
I will be forever in debt to those who helped light my way back – the people who saw something was wrong and refused to let me stay in that place. I will also be grateful to my void, my forge. Whilst I will hunt adversity and build a platform for those who seek struggle to come together, a community of wolves who live for the hunt; I will also do everything I can to be a light. I was guided through the darkness and owe a debt to the void and everyone who wanders it. I don’t want to break even, saving another wanderer who too is on the brink of their own abyss. I want NORSE to illuminate the darkness for everyone who has strayed from the path. With NORSE it is our fundamental goal to forever be that voice helping you find your way back – with that fundamental belief being instilled in every single Wolf of NORSE.
You could be the whisper that beckons somebody back. It could be as small as a message that comes through right when it’s needed, a kind gesture to a stranger who feels isolated despite being surrounded by thousands. You could be the difference, you could be one of many or even a single light offering a glimmer of hope in an engulfing dark. So what can we take from this situation of increasing variables, unknowns and unique circumstances?
Do the right thing. Be a good person. Always.
One must always strive to be a positive influence on the world and those around them, entirely selflessly. The truth is, you may never know the impact you’ve had on someone. You could be the catalyst that changes someone’s life, and never know about it. Good. None of this should be done purely for the feel good factor of helping others. You do this because what is right will never change, what is just is timeless. You do this because you know that when you are lost, the wolves will hunt for you – descending into darkness undaunted. We are all torch bearers, and we all light the way.
Everything for the pack. Everything.
Find the meaning in struggle and adversity – focus on the incomparable ability these places have to show you truly what you are capable of. It is here you will discover that you are capable of so much more than you tell yourselves, so much stronger and so so much more limitless.
Rejoice in Battle. Víg-Reifr.
And so, we go into the void to help light the way. Embrace your Dark. Be the Light. We are not victims. We are the hunters; and we enter the void gladly.
For The Pack,