The warrior stands defiant, spear in hand, looking over a vast plain. Below him is a world full of challenge and adversity, dangerous enemies and tempting shortcuts. Beyond is a great mountain range, full of promise certainly, but hiding even greater challenges. On the other side...who knows? Hope, transcendence, enlightenment. Or perhaps darker, more sinister rewards hide behind those peaks. All the Warrior knows is that he has decided to scale them, carve a path through the plains and over the mountains, leading the way for others who seek a better life on the other side, guiding them and defending the tribe from the dangers ahead. He knows he may not survive, but he has prepared well and is among the greatest, most capable leaders of his tribe. He is confident and eager to begin.
I write about a very abstract sort of idea here at Warrior Spirit. I write about a mentality and approach to life characterized by a group of people vaguely referred to as Warriors, but who are not fighters or soldiers in the traditional sense. So what am I talking about? Seeing as I sometimes have difficulty pinning down exactly what the Warrior Spirit is, I'm going to take this post to lay it out.
Developing Your Greatest Potential
First and foremost, Warriors always expect the best from themselves. They may not always overcome every challenge they are faced with, but they will certainly give it their all.
We all have different lots in life. Some of us are blessed with wealthy families that can send us to the best universities and give us all sorts of amazing opportunities. Others have to choose between finishing school and working to feed their families. So we all have differing opportunities for personal development. But a Warrior will make the best of her situation and seek to unleash her greatest potential given the resources available. The reasons for this are multifaceted but it all boils down to the fact that a Warrior expects to set an example to lead and inspire others. Thus, she must be ready and capable to carry that burden.
Only you can figure out your greatest potential. Nor is it terribly important that you ever actually achieve it, just that you are constantly growing and striving to better yourself.
Value Life, Appreciate Death
Traditionally, Warriors were the hunters and soldiers of their tribes. Of all the people, they were the most likely to face death on a regular basis. Thus, they learned to respect death and to value every minute of every day, knowing that life can be taken from them at any moment.
I am not suggesting that we are all in mortal danger every minute of our lives, nor that we should put ourselves in that position. I do think that we take a lot for granted in life, losing sleep over fairly trivial things and putting off the important things that give meaning to our lives. We should seek to make our days count. If you're not exciting by the prospect of getting up in the mornings and living your life, give some thought as to why. You only have one life, so treat it with reverence and fill it with moments and people you find meaningful.
For me, this means writing. For some reason, I associate writing with leaving a mark on the world, and it certainly helps me reach out to others. I like to feel the strength of my body, so I move my body at least a little bit. I want my spirit to grow with experience, not shrink from disuse. Perhaps my history with depression gave me an especially poignant lesson in the importance of daily fulfillment, but treating every minute like a gift is a good way to make your life align the way you want it to.
So stop wasting your minutes, and start moving towards whatever it is you want from your life. We can put things off forever, but eventually, we simply have to start walking or give up and turn back.
Pick the Big Fights
If I am going to invest so much in my personal development, training myself to the peak of physical prowess and honing my mind and spirit for great things, I'm certainly not going to waste all that going after small game. The greatest hunters got that way by trying to bring down the biggest, most dangerous beasts, winning the most honor for themselves and their people.
I get criticized a lot by people who tell me my theories are not appropriate for everyone. Most people don't have the determination or the motivation to work that hard, to fight for their dreams. They are simply too beaten down by their difficult lives, or they simply don't care. They don't want to be amazing. They just want to be alright, good enough.
I understand that. But I don't write for those people. I write for those who want something greater from themselves and from their lives. Anyone could tend the tribe's sheep, but it took the best and the brightest to be its Warriors. Likewise, the modern day Warrior expects to face up to life's biggest challenges. We are not talking about blending in here. We are talking about great feats.
Now, your great feats might be different from mine. You might seek to raise the best kids ever, or become a truly exceptional chef. But whatever it is you want to do, you have a vision for it, and you need to go after that vision. Nowadays, simply leading a balanced, tranquil, healthy life doing things that make you fulfilled is a pretty impressive feat, since there are a distressing number of obstacles to achieving that. Do not settle for mediocre.
So there you have it: a brief primer on Warrior Spirit. A Warrior invests in herself, seeking to become her best self. A Warrior cherishes every moment, seeks to see every minute lived purposefully, even if that means at purposeful rest. A Warrior expects to stand out, to strive for excellence, and to pursue great goals.
I suppose there is a lot more to it than these three ideals, but hopefully these three will provide a framework within which to view my life and my writings.