When your own heart asks, how will you respond?" - Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Book of the Samurai
Greetings warriors and welcome to the Martial Monday blog for this week. Let's dive in.
I put today's quote to you: When your own heart asks, how will you respond? Seriously, how will you respond? Warriors know that internal consistency is more important and valuable than any external reward. When a warrior's heart asks, he/she wants to be able to respond honestly and truthfully. The ability to answer one's own heart honestly is truly priceless. Why is it then that you ignore your heart's own questions? It is because you have been sold a lie. A very powerful, seductive and insidious lie. It is so subtle that you are perhaps completely unaware of it. It is the lie that you can have the life you desire without actually being the person necessary to acquire that life.
What exactly do I mean? I am talking about a distinction that was made years ago by Steven Covey (and undoubtedly dozens of others) in his iconic work, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It is the difference between the Personality Ethic (PE) and the Character Ethic (CE). PE focuses on how to get what you want without actually being the person necessary to get those things. PE is externally focused and does not focus on your character or who you are. CE is the opposite. It focuses on your character and the person YOU ARE and who you are becoming. It is the CE that will respond truthfully and honestly to it's heart because it focuses precisely on its heart. PE does not ask "Am I ok with the person I am and becoming?" CE does.
Essentially, PE is the lie that you can have your cake and eat it too. You can have all the things you ever wanted without actually having to become the person it would take to get those things. Warriors know this is a lie. This is why attributes like integrity, gratitude, honor, chivalry, and etiquette were and still are staples of warrior culture. Because warriors know that the person you are is far more important than the things you can acquire. Long-term success and happiness is only possible if you can answer your own heart honestly when it beckons you, when it questions you. This internal consistency is not something you can simply purchase, download, or pick up at the local Wal-Mart. It takes constant self-sharpening, brutal honesty, discipline and many daily sacrifices.
Focus more on who you are and who you want to become than on how to create the perception that you are this or that. Look inward at your own character instead of outward at everything else. Stop believing the lie that you can have it all without paying anything for it. You can't. If you want to truly live the life you desire, you must gain internal consistency. "When your own heart asks, how will you respond?"
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.