A humble man is also meek. But a meek man is not a timid or cowed man ... a meek man is a strong man, for he ... has power over anger induced by self-love and pride. - G.C. Dilsaver, The Three Marks of Manhood, page 79
What if I told you that almost everyone who talks about being a warrior or a protector gets this point wrong? Many who claim to be warriors do not espouse the virtue of meekness. Alas! To their great detriment! This quote by G.C. Dilsaver captures why it is folly to not espouse meekness. For a meek man is able to conquer anger. Why is this important to you? Have you ever ruined a relationship or a situation by being unable to control your anger? I know I have.
Meekness is an antidote to pride. Meekness is also connected with self-control which is of great importance to the warrior. Being able to subject your body to the mind, or as some in the warrior community phrase it, "keeping a cool or level head" is vital to survival in bad situations.
Emotions are a beautiful thing - they give life zest, enjoyment and fulfillment. But oftentimes, if they are left to themselves, emotions can get you killed. This is why self-control, which I simply define as the ability to do what you tell yourself to do, is crucial. But how does one keep a level head in a fight?
Like many things, the battle for level-headedness isn't won in the moment. It is won in the preparation. Just like your training - the time to train is before the bad situation, not during or after. Likewise, if you would have self-control, practice meekness now.
If you are someone who usually angers quickly over small things, how will you expect to stay calm when dealing with big things? Start to gain self-mastery now by forcing yourself to be meek in the small things. When someone is annoyingly tapping their feet next to you, acknowledge it, actively choose to ignore it and move on. Rather than quickly spouting off, "Can you please stop tapping your toes!" mentally acknowledge it and then move on and be silent.
Do you think in a fight everything will go as you plan? Do you not think you will be annoyed or distracted or besought with multiple stimuli? How will you train to handle that chaos? Practice calmness and meekness now in the small things; teach your body who is in charge.
When you are fighting, and you are injured, exhausted or emotionally traumatized, your body will want to quit - it will want to give up. How have you trained yourself up until that point? Do you control your temper or does your temper control you? If you are a slave to your impulses now, why do you think it will be any different on the battleground?
Remember, ALL grounds are battlegrounds, you are never off the battleground, so you might as well get used to controlling your impulses and becoming master over them. Because you never know when you will be called to fight, called to protect, or called to handle a crisis or violent situation. Therefore, I beseech you, train now!
Training is not just done in the gym, it is done on the battlefield of virtue. Today, find one way you can practice meekness. Meekness is the epitome of true strength for what is a greater measure of strenght than your ability to control yourself?
Live in the battleground,
P.S. My new book will be released soon and it deals solely with the virtues of a warrior and protector. If you would like to receive updates about the book, when it will be released, etc. Share your information in the contact form below.
Virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
There is one key component to martial science that I doubt you would ever think about. It is an old concept, an important virtue, and something that is largely neglected by the world today.
"Conventional wisdom" of today has down played its importance, but your ancestors knew it was critical to not only living like a warrior but to being peaceful and happy in any role of life.
It is one of the 3 most critical elements a warrior and martial scientist must be grounded in. Can you guess what it is? It is purity.
A generic definition of purity is: freedom from adulteration or contamination. You likely had visions con-notated in sexuality when you read the word 'purity'. This is just one aspect of purity however - an expression of it. You can be sexually pure but impure in other ways. I am referring to overall pureness of heart. Cleanness of heart.
A warrior must strive to have a pure heart. A pure heart allows one to make clear judgments, to make sound and prudent decisions. If you are impure you are likely ruled by your passions - a warrior must always strive against this. This does not mean that a warrior does not have emotions or that you cannot take pleasure in anything. Quite the contrary. As I wrote in my book, Warrior Attitude: 21 Ways to Think and Act Like a Warrior that will Transform Your Outlook on Life, warriors view all things as the last time they will do them, so they reap immense joy and satisfaction from all life because they treat it with sacredness, seriousness and sincerity.
As I’ve said, a warrior strives for a clean heart so that he can make sound and wise judgments and decisions. You will enjoy and savor life more appropriately when you view things correctly. When you see reality as it is you can more perfectly take pleasure in it and yet not be ruled by it. What are you ruled by? Is your heart clean?
Some believe that cleaning your heart is a one-time action. Hark! Let no man deceive you with vain words; cleaning your heart is a constant, never-ending process. You must be vigilant and diligent in sweeping out the home of your heart. The Wisest Man Who Ever Lived once said that it is what proceeds from your heart that defiles a man. What is proceeding out of your heart and into your life?
In regards to martial training and personal protection, a warrior strives to find only the purest of training. Training that deals with reality, and training that is "unadulterated or contaminated". Pure training is proper training. Pure training removes what doesn't work, all the fluff of modern commercialism, the myths of Hollywood nonsense and searches only for what is real and true.
In your personal life, whether you fancy yourself a warrior or a protector, you should still strive to purify your heart. How do you purify your heart?
Seek out reality and truth. Do not settle for lies and deceptions. Perhaps most challenging of all, humble yourself. A pure heart is a heart that most acutely acknowledges and recognizes its lowliness and shortcomings.
You post your picture-perfect life to Facebook and Instragram, but if I could listen to the soft, whispering voice of your heart, it would tell me that you have limitless flaws that you are ashamed of, embarrassed about, and try desperately to forget about. Congratulations, that makes you human. What separates warriors from non-warriors is that warriors admit their heart is flawed and they set about to clean it out. Just like a gardener must constantly pluck the weeds lest they consume the garden, so to must you constantly pluck the weeds from your heart lest it be overrun with vile passions, wickedness and vice.
I know what I am saying to you is a hard saying to hear - it goes counter to what the modern culture tells you. "You're fine! Don't let haters hate. Do you. Be yourself. All you have to do choose your own happiness." As a warrior who only deals in truth, I must tell you in charity, that these are lies. You cannot simply choose to be happy if your heart is impure. That's like saying, "I choose for my garden to not have weeds" when it hasn't been weeded in years. No amount of saying "I choose a garden with no weeds" will make it so. You must get down on your knees and dig those weeds out. So it is with your heart.
Perhaps you have deceived yourself into thinking you can be OK without doing the work of pulling the weeds from the garden of your heart. End this deception now! You cannot just "do you" and be happy or content when your heart is overrun with vice; when you are ruled by your passions. For this reason, warriors subject their heart to purification. Which will you choose? Purity or impurity?
Does what I am saying ring true to you? Are you really a perfect being who is good to go, or do you have work yet to be done?
A quote that my mentor and Sensei loves to say is, "When your own heart asks, how will you respond?" It is taken from a writing by a samurai, Hagakure, by Yamamoto Tsunetomo. When your own heart asks if what I have written here is true, how will your heart respond? It will tell you the truth - that you have some purification to do; some weeds to pull. Will you continue to choose to live in denial and suppress this quiet whisper which softly begs you to pull the weeds? The weeds are choking and suffocating and stealing the nutrients from the vegetables and plants in your garden. They are slowly but surely being choked to death. No amount of denial will stop that. Will you save your own heart and start pulling the weeds or will you continue to let it be choked to death?
Another mentor once told me, "There is no such thing as stagnation in life. You are either moving forward or you are moving backward." How true. So it is with your heart. There is no such thing as stagnation - your heart is either growing in virtue (good vegetables - a harvest of abundance) or it is growing in vice (weeds - a harvest of famine).
The beautiful thing is, the choice is yours. The choice is yours every day. If you failed yesterday, begin again right now. Kneel down and pull your first weed. Pull the easiest weed first, gain small, simple successes by plucking the little and easy weeds first. Eventually you will come to the giant, massive weed in the very ventricles of your heart. It will take much resolve and prayer to remove this weed. If you want to be happy, this must be done.
The choice is yours. As for me, I will strive to clean and purify my heart. I will not always succeed, and I will stumble and fall. But that will not stop me from trying. What will you choose? To pluck the weeds or to let your heart fall into ruin and be consumed?
Live in the battleground warriors,
~The Warrior Speaker
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them. - St. Francis de Sales
No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks. - St. Ambrose
The great saint and father of the Church was quite right. As we approach Thanksgiving, I wanted to offer a warrior's perspective and share a little tactic you can use (that few utilize) to show your loved ones just how much you care. I'll share the tactic at the end of the blog.
As I wrote in my book, Warrior Attitude: 21 Ways to Think and Act Like a Warrior that will Transform Your Outlook on Life, "A mark of a true warrior is giving credit where credit is due. Warriors recognize the efforts of all ... What is a General without his soldiers?"
Likewise, what are you without the support of others? You might be tempted to think you have accomplished most things on your own - but this is an insidious lie of your pride. As the saying goes, "There is no such thing as a self-made man."
Warriors know this to be true. They realize that every person has a role to play and that each one is an important spoke in the wheel. If you want to live more like a warrior and a protector, then go out of your way this Thanksgiving to really express your gratitude and give credit where credit is due.
As the Wisest Man who ever lived once said, "Give and you shall receive." When you give credit, credit is given to you. When you withhold credit, or take credit, credit is taken from you. Warriors understand this. Do you?
I told you I would give you a tactic to use this weekend to show gratitude and to give credit where credit is due. Here it is: Write your loved ones (parents, spouse, children, etc.) a handwritten letter expressing what you give them credit for and what you are thankful for.
If your wife has worked hard preparing the food, give her credit for that. If your husband worked hard around the house to fix appliances before guests arrived, give him credit for that. You must look for things to give people credit for. Do this for your loved ones this Thanksgiving/Credit-giving. Make sure it is handwritten!
It does not need to be long or complicated. Keep it simple and sincere. Remember, the only way to improve yourself on the level of virtue is to practice virtue. If you wanted to get stronger legs, you must exercise the legs. Doing bench-press would not suffice to build up your legs.
Likewise, if you want to grow in virtue (and giving credit where credit is due is strongly connected to the virtues of kindness, generosity, charity, and love) then practice giving credit this Thanksgiving.
Living in the battleground,
~The Warrior Speaker
P.S. I will say more about virtue in my soon-to-released new book. I have interviewed 73 professional protectors and warriors asking them about what virtues and characteristics make a protector the most successful.
It is a great extension from and following Warrior Attitude.
This is a historic work, the likes of which does not exist and has never been seen. If you want more information about it, please send an email to InfoWarriorSpeaker@gmail.com
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. - Cicero
Welcome to the Anatomy of a Warrior Blog!
National Speaker, author, blogger, and life-long student of warrior arts and science.