We have, for years, been told that each of us must find balance in our lives.
We’ve heard that, without balance, our health and happiness would suffer. And while I am all for balance, I started thinking years ago about what the operational and practical aspects of balance might be for a warrior – someone who lives to protect his or her “sacred things” through thoughtful intention and service.
As I worked through this process, the concept of service continued to capture my attention. Primarily because, in my experience, life without service feels empty, and in the emptiness, we (as humans) often seek out more of those things that lead to the same empty place. The irony of this circular trek is tragic when glimpsed across a lifetime of effort chasing one empty goal after another. I was once headed down this road – the road to nowhere or worse.
Yet, today I am free from the delusion that I must chase the things of this world. This is the first step towards freedom. Freedom begins with the awareness that you will not find meaning in things – a new luxury car or truck, the best camera, the most expensive diamond, a designer purse or handbag, or the coolest watch on the market. In fact, chasing these meaningless things is to worship at the alter of your own destruction. Only regret and despair await you here.
For a warrior, balance equals alignment. Alignment, in this case, means living in a consistent harmony and intention (words, deeds, and thoughts) that reflect the warrior’s choice to serve his or her sacred things.
To begin to discover your sacred things (those things that you would fight for without doubt or hesitation), start with a three-step process that definitively identifies these concepts:
- Prioritize the things in this life that matter most (i.e. family, freedom, equality, etc.),
- Simplify your life, your goals, how you spend your time, and the space around you to reflect your priorities (this is a primarily purging process), and
- Organize your life and your efforts around your priorities.
While this process sounds straight forward, it is not easy in concept or practice.
Once the process of “Prioritize / Simplify / Organize” is complete, the warrior can move forward with a clarity that facilitates the formation of his or her operational blueprint. This is the warrior’s ETHOS. And, while this is a deeply personal and complex process, the idea is powerfully simple:
The ETHOS allows the warrior to act quickly and decisively, because his or her decision matrix embodies his or her priorities, is complete and pre-set.This is the goal of the warrior.
In summary, a warrior’s balance is simply his or her ability to align with and live out a powerful, personal code in the service of sacred things. To give oneself in service in this way is the ultimate freedom and a powerful way to make meaning in this life.
Remember that balance can only truly be achieved through alignment.