How many times did you hear this question as a child: “What do you want to do when you grow up?” You probably got sick of having to hear and answer that question. I was homeschooled and I still heard my fair share of it too. How many times did you hear this question though: “What type of person do you want to become as you grow up?”
I believe that you and I have been lied to by the public schools, society, and our modern culture. This is not to implicate all the people who work in public schools or other departments of public life but the overall focus of our culture has been misplaced. What do I mean?
We have focused so much on what we want our children to do as a career (doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc.) that we have largely neglected to focus on what type of CHARACTER we want our children to have.
I just had a conversation with a young mother last week (after having trained her and her 8 year old daughter in personal protection) about how character has been neglected in our society and my new book, Anatomy of Warrior (which will be released at the end of this year), is bringing the focus back to the VIRTUES of a warrior and a protector.
What is character? A totality of your virtues or lack thereof. Rather than focusing solely on what you want to do (as in a career or life occupation) spend some time focusing on virtue and what type of character you want to have – what type of person do you want to be?
What is the modern struggle that most are facing in business (for an example)? Employers cannot find “good” people – and what is a major complaint of many employees? They cannot find “good” leaders of companies that they want to work for. We have known for a long time that people don’t leave companies they leave bad leaders. Is there any doubt that your character is not more important than your occupation, skill-sets, or talents?
Warriors know that character counts WAY more than your skill. The first principle that a classical martial school states is, “1. To Strive for the Perfection of Character.” What does that mean? It can only be in reference to striving for an increase in virtue – the virtues of a protector and a warrior. My new book will highlight exactly what those core virtues are and how to practice them.
The best thing is that my new book is not just my opinion, but the condensed research of having interviewed over 100 professional protectors from across the military, police and government protection agencies – men and women who have to protect real human lives with consequences on the line should they fail.
If you haven’t paused from your American “busy-ness” to focus on your character recently, I highly encourage you to do so. “Knowing thyself is wisdom” – Aristotle. Who are you? What type of character do you possess? Are you proud of your character or ashamed? Do you need some work in the virtue department? Welcome to being human. A warrior faces this need for improvement in themselves with courage and honesty. However, both courage and honesty are virtues which if you lack sufficiently, it will be very difficult to ever assess that your character needs work in the first place. Pray and seek for self-honesty first – without that, you cannot make an accurate, reality-based assessment of yourself.
"Oftentimes the greatest lies we hear are the lies we tell ourselves." - Alexander Lanshe Sensei
Lastly, when I instruct people on how to protect themselves, I instruct them to study the enemy; think like your attacker so you can better protect against your attacker. The same applies in this case in regards to your virtue. Think like the “attacker” (yourself) so you can better protect yourself from yourself. Pursue virtue and focus on your character!
Live in the battleground,
Welcome to the Anatomy of a Warrior Blog!
National Speaker, author, blogger, and life-long student of warrior arts and science.