A Warrior’s Mindset

There’s no shortage of articles explaining how “business is war,” and they almost all start with pull quotes from Sun-Tzu’s Art of War. They go into granular detail about the strategies & tactics of warfare as a way to help you understand how to apply those lessons in the boardroom.

They explain how to deceive your enemies. Confuse your competitors. Outsmart those who want to eat your lunch.

But they’re almost all missing a key component:

Mindset.

The mind of a warrior is their most valuable weapon; this can’t be overstated.

To achieve the mood of a warrior is not a simple matter. It is a revolution. To regard the lion and the water rats and our fellow men as equals is a magnificent act of a warrior’s spirit. It takes power to do that.
~Carlos Castaneda

A warrior understands to underestimate an opponent could spell disaster. Treating everyone & everything as your equal is a way of respecting their potential to teach you something (like you’re mortal).

3 Aspects of a Warrior’s Mindset

1. Focus on Victory

The primary thing when you take a sword in your hands is your intention to cut the enemy, whatever the means.
~Miyamoto Musashi

Complete focus & dedication to success is absolutely essential in making it a reality.

If your mind is concerned with anything other than the job at hand, you will lose.

Most people are “interested in being interested.” They dabble. They dip their toe into the water. Their mind is always distracted with “what if.”

They have crippling FOMO.

Those who lack total commitment to their goals wind up drifting through life. They never enjoy the benefits of a hard-earned reward. They go for the easy route.

You, on the other hand, can sustain a laser-like focus on what you want. Dedicate your incredible willpower to making it happen, no matter what stands between you and what you want.

There will be people who will tell you ambition is unsustainable. This is their own fear of failure being projected on you. They love you, and don’t want you to suffer the pain of disappointment when it doesn’t work out (like what happened to them).

Don’t limit your life to someone else’s comfort zone.

Be of a single mind that is solely focused on success.

2. Know Your Capacity

“I was just doing what anyone in my situation would have done.”
~Every Single Hero on TV

There’s more inside you than you realize. You are capable of amazing things; both good & bad. Familiarize yourself with your potential, and then train it to a high degree.

This takes incredible mental strength that is already inside you.

The trick, then, is to create a safe setting where you can explore your inner warrior so you can learn how to call on it. Just like you can find yourself in a state of flow, you can develop a sense for your own inner warrior who is capable of fighting tooth & nail like your life depends on it.

Because it does.

What would you do differently if you found out you’re dying? Would you call the people you love? Would you finally start that hobby you’ve been putting off?

Because you’re dying. Right now. And so is everyone you know.

None of us is getting off this ride alive.

Generally speaking, the Way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death.
~Miyamoto Musashi

So don’t hold back. Don’t wait for a better time. Train your mind to be its best.

Now.

3. Advance

Approach the enemy with the attitude of defeating him without delay.
~Miyamoto Musashi

It’s an unnatural thing to move towards danger. Our first instinct is to withdraw to a safe distance.

This helps those who would do you harm.

If, on the other hand, you move towards a person/situation, it will surprise them. It stifles how much room they have to maneuver around you.

In life, every action you take has the potential to be good or bad. Only move if the odds are heavily in your favor; otherwise, stay put.

Moving with no clear purpose only serves to expend your energy, and cloud your ability to see the most advantageous options available to you.

When making a big decision, don’t rely solely on momentary consideration. Really lay out everything that could go right & wrong.

Want to start your own business? Make a list.

Want to pursue a new relationship? Make a list.

No matter what the decision, make a list.

This will keep you from reacting to momentary distractions. This will help you consider all possibilities, and avoid the pitfalls of moving for moving’s sake.

To ignore this detail is to invite disaster.

So move when it’s in your favor. Stay put otherwise.

Retreat only when absolutely necessary.

Conclusion

Most people are content with their lives. They’re fine with cruise-control, and letting others set their course.

This article was not for them.

If you’ve made it this far, it’s likely that you understand that you have to fight to stay human, & the most important part of that process is the mental part.

Hopefully you’ve gotten something worthwhile out of the article, and if you think someone you know would appreciate it to, be sure to share it with them.

Sidenote: You might have noticed several of the quotes were from the same person, Miyamoto Musashi. He has a fascinating story. He was a samurai who fought his first duel at age 13, killing his much more experienced opponent. He eventually won 60+ duels before retiring from a life of fighting where he spent years reflecting on the nature of life. You can read his book, “the Book of the 5 Rings” to find out more.

Self Defense

When most people think about self defense, they usually think about screaming “NO!” as loudly as they can, stomping the instep, kneeing the groin, and running towards a well lit area with lots of people.

So what does self defense have to do with a mind reading blog giving business advice?

A lot, actually.

Self defense is a lot more than a weekend course on how to scratch someone’s eyes out. It’s a whole approach to keeping yourself safe from:

  • strangers
  • family
  • friends
  • yourself

That last one throws a lot of people for a loop. They forget that you can often be your own worst enemy.

Case in point: how do you talk to yourself? If someone said the exact same things you say about yourself, would you let them stay in your life for very long? Probably not, right?

How much negative news coverage to you consume on a daily basis? How does that make you feel?

Sure, you justify it by telling yourself, “I have to stay up on what’s going on in the world” but what has it done to your mental well-being to allow that much negativity into your mind? How could it not affect you?

How much gossiping do you allow? Do you let other people share gossip with you? Do you talk about people who aren’t in the room? What kind of trustworthy relationships you can build when people know you’ll talk about people behind their back?

What do you do every day to make sure you spend time focusing on the good in the world? Do you read? Do you meditate? Do you call your friends to ask how they’re doing without turning it into your personal therapy & complaining session?

How do you spend your mornings? Do you listen to audiobooks so you can be exposed to interesting concepts? Or do you listen to shockjock radio full of commercials trying to sell you on a hollow dream of happiness available for 4 easy payments of 19.99?

What you allow in your mind is a choice. You have control over your thoughts.

You can install your own mental ad blocker, of sorts.

Maybe I should say you [can] have control over your thoughts. Because if you can’t manage the quality of your internal state, how do you expect to manage your external state which has infinitely more moving parts?

Self defense starts with you.

Need some help with that? Give me a call. Let’s chat.

How to Survive The Digital Renaissance

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We are in the middle of a massive shift in human history, and it’s so big it eclipses the achievements of Gutenberg & his little press.

It’s a big claim, and it’s easier to appreciate if we get some distance from the present. Let’s travel back through time to:

400CE

If you were born in Europe back then, there’s a 90% chance you’d be born a farmer of some sort. And that pretty much holds true for the next thousand years.

This isn’t the idyllic farming either. This is the tough, back breaking, hard manual labor that ruins your body kind of farming.

This is the “It rained one too many times at the end of the summer and now we’re going to starve to death because our food will rot” farming.

There’s a small chance you’d get a cool job being a knight, but 9 out of 10 times, you’re a subsistence farmer.

1400 CE

There’s some guy by the name of Johannes Gutenberg who develops a technology that enables him to print books faster & more accurately than any time in human history.

Previously, books were so incredibly difficult to make they were prohibitively expensive for anyone who wasn’t exorbitantly wealthy. In a sense, the knowledge in the books was doubly valuable: you had to be rich to get the book in the first place, and the knowledge contained in it could easily be worth more.

Case In Point: Sun Tzu’s masterpiece of strategy “The Art of War” was kept from all but the most senior military officials. It’s dangerous to have a clever army that can think for itself. . .

So along comes Gutenberg who can churn out any book he wants at a speed & volume never possible since books were first invented.

In the small sense, he figured out how to make books faster. In the larger sense, however, he completely revolutionized the world. He released the genie from the bottle, and there was no going back.

With books becoming less expensive, there were more of them around, and more people were exposed to new ideas much more frequently.

In this new world of easily-gotten information there were clear winners (the population at large), and losers (kings, rulers, and anyone benefitting from controlling information).

Case in Point: It’s hard to believe, but there was a time in the middle ages where the information on how to make mirrors was so jealously guarded that if you were suspected of trying to steal it from the only people who knew how to do it properly, you were executed. Straight up murdered over shiny glass.

The creation of the printing press, and the consequent flood of books into the world were the first wave in a revolution that would play out over the next 500 years.

In that time we’d discover the scientific method, telescopes, medicine, and most of the leaps forward that directly contribute to our standard of living today.

Then It Happened Again

The year is 1946 and the world’s first computer is turned on.

It’s a monstrosity that takes up a whole room. It weighs 50 tons. It’s clunky. It’s awkward. It can do simple calculations used in figuring out artillery angles.

And it can do it faster than anyone else alive.

Then it’s the 60’s and we send men to the moon and back with computers that have less computing power than the phone you have in your pocket.

In the late 70’s we figure out how to get the increasingly capable computers to talk to each other. Now, instead of being limited to a single machine, you can now access the processing power of a whole network of these things.

The internet is born.

The creation of the internet is the second renaissance and we’re not even beginning to see how profoundly it’s changing our lives.

We are now living in a world that is almost entirely post physical. When was the last time you:

  • Held an actual dollar?
  • Mailed a real letter?
  • Gotten a postcard from someone on vacation?
  • Looked something up in the Encyclopedia?

This new dynamic is more than having any answer at your fingertips & a computer. This is way beyond Googling a trivia question.

Not only are you able to consume information, you can create & share anything you think of at the speed of light.

Our world’s most important events are happening in a virtual world that doesn’t exist.

We have a president who enacts “diplomacy” via Twitter.

Technology Took Your Job

People like to blame free trade for taking their jobs overseas. While that might have been true for a short period, what’s really to blame is automation. Artificial Intelligence. Smart robots.

Technological advancements have made millions of human jobs irrelevant.

It’s cars vs horses all over again, and we’re the horse.

And there’s no going back.

History of Labor

Back in ancient Egypt you probably moved rocks. Through the dark ages you moved dirt. Through the industrial revolution you got paid to move goods.

Now?

You move information. Ideas are the new economy.

Future of Thought

For the few who recognize this massive shift in the world, they are going to win big. It’s the value of your idea that will make or break you.

Never before have Carnegie’s words of “Think and Grow Rich” been truer.

Those who don’t adapt to the post physical idea economy will be left with little or no means to create something the economy finds valuable. Human labor jobs are simply too expensive to continue. They may not disappear completely, but they’re on their way out.

After all, I guess horses are still around (for novelty’s sake). . .

The way of life we’ve been sold our entire lives has disappeared. The offer on the American dream of working hard and retiring with the same company is null and void.

But there Is A Solution

With the very technology that has destroyed the labor & goods economy, you can create an incredible life.

Just like fire; it can destroy, but when used properly it can be incredibly useful.

In the idea economy it doesn’t matter where you live. You can be on a beach in Borneo or at a coffee shop in Iowa.

In the idea economy it doesn’t matter how hard you work. Your muscles have very little to do with how much you get paid. Sweat not required.

In the idea economy you’re not limited by space & time. Your ideas can be in all parts of the world instantly, and it can happen thousands of times a second, every second.

So What’s Next?

With the Post Physical Economy Mindset you transcend the limitations of physical reality. Your success is no longer tied to a desk. A location. Time.

None of it matters anymore.

The new future is complete & total freedom.

Absolute control over how you spend your time & attention.

What Are You Lacking?

You need no more resources than you already have access to this instant, so it isn’t a question of more stuff.

It’s the mindset. You don’t have a deep understanding of the new reality.

But you can.

Allow me to introduce Ken Wrede.

Ken is a client of mine, a friend, and phenomenal storyteller.

When we first started working together he knew he had a lot of experience & useful knowledge that could make a huge difference in the lives of young leaders everywhere. What he didn’t know, was how to communicate that valuable experience in a way that would position him as the expert he is.

Using tools that are available to you right now I helped him build a platform that he now uses to get scheduled on radio shows, write a book, promote speaking engagements, and more.

He now understands how to leverage his experience (which the robots will never have) in a way that allows him the freedom to choose how he spends his time, and where he chooses to do it.

How About You?

What’s your story? How are you surviving in the new economy?

If you’d like some help, I’d love to be there for you.

Because, really, who better to guide you through an economy of ideas than a mind reader?

Let’s book a time in the next couple days where we can chat on the phone. I call them “strategy sessions” and it’s an opportunity for you to pick my brain, and for me to see how I might be able to open your mind to new possibilities.

Just click the button, and you’ll be taken to a service that allows you to see open slots in my calendar, and choose the best time that works for you.

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