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:
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.
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.
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.
So don’t hold back. Don’t wait for a better time. Train your mind to be its best.
Approach the enemy with the attitude of defeating him without delay.
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.
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.