The Discipline of Consistency
Each warrior prepares for the battles he or she will face in life through the discipline of consistency. Warriors live in the service of those “sacred things” that are chosen through significant reflection, research, and contemplation with free will and powerful intention. In this way, warriors live, ironically, as totally free men and women in the service of something greater than themselves.
In this context, service doesn’t mean an indentured or an encumbered obligation through a debt owed nor by force at the tip of a spear. Rather service can be the highest and most powerful means of living freely, on your own terms, for your own powerful reasons (MO/OP or motive for operating), and in advocacy for something greater than yourself.
Once a warrior seizes upon those “sacred things” in his or her life, service to those things must become second nature (your first nature is fractured, broken and unworthy of any additional investment) through the discipline of consistency. In this consistency, we train our bodies, minds, emotions, intuition, and spirit (The 5 Domains to be discussed later) to act in harmony and in the service of our “sacred things” with daily devotion to improvement and total alignment.
As each warrior improves him or herself by growing in service through this alignment with the “sacred things” (articulated and structured in our ETHOS discussed later), powerful meaning making begins to occur more frequently. Each warrior begins to sense he or she has found his or her path. Life seems much more simple, decisiveness becomes more prevalent, and what once was a morass of confusion is now easily seen for what it is. Warriors are focused, become nearly immune to distraction, and begin to sense a potent purpose in life (more on purpose to come later).
The alternative, ironically, is to implicitly default to a perverted concept of the discipline of consistency through our ill-formed habits, obsessions, and addictions that have been cultivated through years (perhaps decades) of engaging in and pursuing the “destructive things” – as opposed to the highly personal and authentic “sacred things” that can singularly satisfy the near unquenchable hunger our shadow emotions can often create within us.
Our habits, obsessions, and addictions are frequently shaped through this form of worship, but the satisfaction gained is so very short lived that we are compelled to seek – nearly constantly – our next encounter with the “destructive things” in our lives for our next “hit”. This cycle, repeated thousands of times, leads to utter emptiness. In truth, we have been feeding our shadows for so long that we have failed to understand the power our unworthy, unhealthy habits and negatively charged feelings have over us.
Walking the path of obsession, addiction, and feeding shadow emotions offering only short-lived relief followed by “the need for more” becomes the cycle and slippery slope on which we all fall.
In this realization, we must all resolve to discover the shadows within each of us that drive the powerful cycle of emotional and mental sabotage – leading to the embrace of the “destructive things”. And, once uncovered, we must replace those destructive things with the worthy “sacred things” as a means of recovering what we were once meant to be, and as reclamation of our lives and amazing potential.
And so, we understand that a warrior must carefully choose what he or she will serve, centered in the knowledge that everyone serves something – either as a warrior who freely chooses or as a slave to the whims of our shadows emotions, obsessions, addictions, and/or over-grown ego.
I urge you to discover your sacred things and serve them with an ongoing intention formed in your words, deeds, and thoughts as a means of service and purpose. In the hard work of discovering your shadows, facing your obsessions or addictions, and culling your ego, you will re-center, reconnect, and rediscover the sacred things and live in a state of deep satisfaction as a warrior.
The Consistency of Discipline
Before warriors can connect to the sacred things each will eventually serve and advocate for with a focus and intention through the discipline of consistency (e.g. daily action and training), each must first employ the consistency of discipline.
Specifically, each would-be warrior must first develop and deploy a disciplined approach to identifying what he or she will serve. This discipline must be utilized consistently across the myriad of possibilities that will eventually inform and uncover each warrior’s “sacred things.”
The discipline I’m referring to is a disciplined approach that is designed to facilitate your discovery of only the most worthy of concepts and components that will make up your “sacred things”. As a foundational yet uncomfortable premise, this process must begin for each would-be warrior by identifying as many of our ingrained biases or “bad code” as possible.
We simply cannot afford to allow the improper influence of our culture, family dynamic, or past experiences (positive or negative), prejudices, or shadows to pollute this process. Co-mingled in these things are the anchors with which you struggle, the heavy chains you bare that stymie your growth, and the four walls that define the prison of your own making. This must not stand and cannot be anymore. You must see for yourself and choose for yourself powerfully – perhaps for the first time.
By taking a consistently disciplined approach to discovering what is truly important and worth serving as warriors, we will first become winners (refer to the Winners & Warriors articles) by identifying only the most important concepts, ideas, issues, and constructs that are worth considering for service as a warrior.
In this way, we identify our own worthy targets and create our own set of rules for winning everyday! From this, our personal code will emerge and will inform and develop the basis of the sacred things each of us will serve as warriors.
For example, as I developed my list of biases, it became apparent to me that I needed to disengage from the political process. The divisiveness and deceit ingrained in each political party is so profound and negative, my orientation around politics was like poison. In short, I simply could not serve as a warrior in the midst of such negativity and widespread manipulation.
This process is not easy, but it is simple. Those things worth cultivating and having rarely are easy. Be prepared to come face-to-face with some parts of your default operating system that contain profoundly broken or bad code. Much of what we have been taught to believe or have observed and subsequently concluded throughout life is only half true (or not at all).
Start with this; keep a journal with you and record all the incidents where you make a value judgment about another person or group of people (for at least two weeks). For instance, if you’re driving and the truck in front of you is painfully slow, you may make a value judgment about the person who is driving as you pass by the vehicle. Note that in your journal.
People aren’t slow (or insert irritating descriptors here), because they have a certain skin color, come from a specific geography, speak a specific language, gravitate to a certain orientation, were born at a particular date, or dress a certain way. The truth is, there are thousands of reasons as to why people do what they do. Many of these reasons are experiential and some are well reasoned and exist outside the scope of your limited perspective.
Value judgments about other people are often egoic and serve to bolster our fragile self-image. This is destructive. It is time to understand the issues each of us has in how we see the world, the people around us, and our space in it. There’s no place for hate in the modern warrior’s ethic. And, you cannot ever expect to become a warrior by holding onto the egoic (and perhaps even hateful) “bad code” guiding your perspective in a world full of people that are not like you.
As you review your journal you may be tempted to (1) reject the idea that this is an accurate accounting of the “bad code” lodged in your “default operating system”, or (2) begin to judge yourself for what is clearly broken or bad code. Don’t do either. Utilizing energy to beat yourself up simply slows the growth process. Reach past your growing edge, stay positive, and make the required changes to see clearly and widen your perspective.
This journaling process will lead to self-awareness, and in this awareness, we can each begin to self manage. It’s now that we begin to choose the quality of the warrior each of us will become. That’s amazing.
The truth is the human experience, at its core, is very consistent. We all search for and long for many of the same things. Fundamentally, we all desperately want to make meaning in this life, be loved, and discover our purpose. How we identify these, how we seek these out, and what we do in error to acquire or capture these things (if only momentarily) is where the issue squarely lies.
You are not so different. But, what will make you uncommon is your personal reclamation and transformation into a winner who intends to run (the right races) to win and a warrior determined to serve a right and powerful cause.
Remember that the path of a warrior is one of continuous improvements on the road to self-mastery (self-mastery is an impossible goal yet entirely worthy goal).
So, stay the course, do the work, and walk in peace.
A request — further expansion on how to identify your “why” and “sacred things.” In my youth, it was very clear to me what I wanted to do. In adulthood, I still feel connected to those things, but have no idea how to pursue them and be of service in the way that I’ve found meaningful (and beneficial to others/ideals). Pursuing the rabbit-hole of continually asking “why” still resonates with those prior sacred things, but a lot of it feels like it’s out of my own control. Are there any ideas/practices to create a more uniform, measurably game plan when there are pieces outside of your control?