Did you know there are two deadly enemies that you face each and every day? These enemies are often subtle and attack you (oftentimes) seemingly out of nowhere.
Do not delude yourself by thinking that just because you don't put on a soldier's uniform each day that these enemies won't come for you - they do and they will. Why do you need to be aware of who these enemies are? Because they will sabotage anything you ever do if you fail to recognize them. Thankfully, these enemies have been clearly pointed out by learned warriors of the past - all that falls on you is to make yourself aware and set about living a life to combat them.
Desiderius Erasmus was a Catholic Priest and he penned a great work called the Manual of Christian Knight. Even if you are not Catholic, his words can benefit you greatly - but only if you live by them. Erasmus listed 22 principles in his work, I shall share with you his eleventh principle in which he names the two enemies are in this blog.
What are these two enemies? Erasmus says you must be always on guard against these two - Surrender and Pride.
Let me be clear, surrender (at times) can be a good thing. Fleeing from a stronger and well-armed enemy might be the best way to survive. However, this is not the type of surrender Erasmus had in mind. He is speaking of the surrender of giving up, of giving in. Fleeing from a stronger attacker isn't surrender, it is an active tactic at ensuring survival. Giving up is when you are being beaten by someone and you simply resign yourself to lie there and to not fight back. This is the type of surrender to guard against.
How does this apply to you? Have you ever struggled to get up out of bed in the morning? I know I have and still do at times. Use this struggle as an opportunity to train and program yourself to not give up. What do I mean? I mean when that alarm clock goes off, get up quickly and set about your work for the day. This begins to make you master of your body and programs you against giving up, against surrendering. When the alarm goes off, and you look at the clock and whine, "How can it be 8am already?" and then you proceed to lie there for another hour, you are training yourself to give up. Begin today to set this right. Rise with speed and with an attitude of perseverance.
The other enemy is Pride. After having interviewed over 100 professional protectors from all different branches of military, police, government agencies and real-world survivors of violence, one thing continues to come up - pride cometh before the fall. Pride and ego gets more protectors and warriors into trouble than almost anything else.
Have you ever experienced a profound defeat in your life that resulted from being too prideful? You may have said something really hurtful to someone you love, or lost a high school sports game for pridefully underestimating your opponent. No matter what your situation was, I know you can think of a time when pride hurt you. Relive that moment now in your mind – close your eyes and picture it. How did you feel? How did the other people involved react? Do you want to repeat this situation?
Begin today to squelch this ego - this narcissistic pride. A warrior must constantly strive to purge it from him - for pride is very tempting and easy to imbue. I see many trainers in the martial world who suffer greatly from this pride - they know all and they make sure you know that they know all. Such men, despite all talent and knowledge, are actually failures. For though they lecture and lord their knowledge over others they have failed to conquer the most important person in the room - themselves. You know someone in your life who is like this - always right, knows everything, and has to make sure you know that they know. Perhaps you are this person? I pray not!
Pride surely cometh before the fall. How many have died simply because they gave up? Pride and surrender. Erasmus was wise in pointing these two enemies out. Now it falls to you to look to your own life and stand guard against these two insidious evils.
Live in the battleground,
Alexander Lanshe Sensei
Welcome to the Anatomy of a Warrior Blog!
National Speaker, author, blogger, and life-long student of warrior arts and science.