This 1 desire is the ultimate cause of all your pain and suffering and you don't even know what it is
What is that desire? I had a moment of clarity when I was reading about the myth of romantic "soul mates". What started out as only applicable to romantic relationships suddenly became relatable to all relationships. Then it became apparent to me that this desire not only affected all relationships but it affected your behavior. Yes, yours. The desire was staring me in the face for how many years and only tonight did I fully see it and unmask it. The desire that is the ultimate cause of your pain and suffering is this: The desire to be served.
Like all truth, it really is that simple. Your desire to be served is why you have all the problems you have in your marriage, in your business, in your personal life and in your academic life. It is this desire that fosters an attitude of entitlement and it transforms you into someone who is easily offended. How so? Because you filter all things through the lens of "ME". You are so preoccupied with being served that you neglect being the servant; the server. This relates to warrior culture and history immensely.
Many of you will be shocked to learn that true definition of the word "Samurai" does not mean "Warrior." It literally translates as "One who serves." Ponder the significance of this for a moment. Ok, maybe a few moments, then continue reading.
For a warrior, there is only one way to live: as a servant; as one who is not concerned with being served. This attitude is starkly contrasted with the attitude we see prominently on display by many people today. The whole world revolves around them and their concerns. They are hell-bent on being worshiped (celebrity idolatry) and on BEING SERVED. Is this you?
A very famous man once said, "If any man would gain his life, let him first lose it." He also once said something that I have paraphrased thusly: "If any man shall receive, let him first give." Do you see what the focus is here? It is on serving. The servant is the one who gives something away. The servant is the one who lays down his life for others. That is the life of a warrior. That is the life of the True Warrior.
Purge yourself of the desire to be served. How? By serving others. Personally, I serve God first, family and friends second. I cannot tell you how to live. You must make your choice.
However, if you are tired of feeling empty, unfulfilled, alone, unappreciated and unloved than I have the remedy: Fill someone else first. Be there for someone else first. Appreciate someone else first. Love someone else first. And live like the True Warrior and let go of the need to be served. Lose your life in service and by doing so, gain the greatest life you could ever gain.
When was the last time you took time out of your day to go help someone else? When was the last time you helped someone who had way of paying you back for what you did?
The last question isn't entirely true is it? We think of money when we hear that question, but I submit that people can pay you back in many different ways.
The quickest way to revitalize your day is to stop what you're doing and just go help someone else. Put the checklist away, turn off the phone, and just go help another human being.
A great book named the Bible says that those who give receive in greater measure than they give. How true this is. Giving is actually meant to do very little for the receiver. It is meant largely to change the heart of the giver. Doing enough giving, true charity, will change you from the inside out. It is one of the most powerful transformative acts on the face of the earth.
In our world of checklists, quotas and big data, it is easy to forget about old notions of nobility, virtue, character and honor. Being a giver and helping another will transform your character into a character worth having and striving for. It will make you into a man or woman of honor.
This Labor Day, pause your never-ending checklist and to-do items and simply go help another person. You will be amazed at the health it brings to your bones and to your spirit.
I want to share with you a very important and little thought about distinction when it comes to goals. Most people know or understand on some level that their goals are too small. We are told all the time to have "bigger" goals. "Go big or go home" as the saying goes. However, just as there are 3 dimensions in the physical realm, goals have another dimension as well.
Bigger is this sense is classified as width. "Go bigger" could also mean "Go wider." I submit to you there is a whole other aspect to goals; height. I implore you to go higher with your goals, not simply wider. Here is what I mean.
I recently had a conversation with a friend and I asked him about his vision for his life. His response blew me away. The impression that conversation made on me cannot be overstated. Whereas most people have "big" goals, he had high goals. Goals so high and personal that he isn't even sure he can achieve them in this lifetime. But that's when it hit me, those are the goals worth living for; the one's you aren't sure you can complete.
Of course, why you have the goals you have is of the utmost importance. For this conversation though, I will forgo the why and simply focus on the reality of his goals. They were higher than any of someone I have ever spoken with. Most people want to go from $50,000 to $100,00 or a small house to a big house. Notice that word again, big. Would it even make sense to say "I want a higher house."? Higher on the mountain? What would that mean?
I have come to understand that "bigger" goals usually deals with material things. More stuff. I want to go from 1 million to 10 million. From this side of the neighborhood to that side. Those are not the type of goals my friend elucidated to me. They were higher than that. They were spiritual, emotional and communal goals. They were of an expressly higher nature and it was inspiring. I looked at most of my feeble short-term goals and felt rather embarrassed and ashamed. He is daring to attempt a thing that is so high above him, he may never succeed. And that is precisely what motivates him.
Warriors, I submit to you that we should all have a goal or goals such as this. Something so high above us that the very thought of attaining it seems ludicrous. My friend has inspired me to rethink everything I thought I knew about goals. I have discovered another dimension. Height. How is height different than width? Height deals with your spirit, morality, emotion and intellect. It transcends simply the physical attainment of things and stuff. It is about the acquiring of things you cannot see, things you cannot put into a test tube. Things that are immeasurable. These are precisely the things we should strive for. These are the goals that fill our soul with fuel. Do you have soul fueling goals? Not just a goal about how large of a bank account you want to have or how many fancy cars you want to drive. Those goals don't fuel the soul. We don't want money or fancy cars for the money or cars themselves. We want them because in some misplaced way, we think they can bring us what we really want ... peace. Happiness. Contentment. They can't. I think a soul fueling goal might just do it. I don't believe true happiness can occur until we are standing in the presence of Almighty God, but until that point, I think having a soul fueling goal can be about as close as we can get on earth.
The next time you are setting your goals, don't just ask "Can I go bigger?" Ask yourself "Can I go higher?" Ask yourself "Am I setting any old goal, or is this a soul fueling goal?"
Welcome to the Anatomy of a Warrior Blog!
National Speaker, author, blogger, and life-long student of warrior arts and science.