Chapter 06: Tools for Growth and Resilience
We’ve talked a lot about how the warrior mindset involves greater resilience, greater patience, calmness and strength. But the real question is how you get to that point. How can you gain that warrior mindset?
Hopefully by now you understand what the warrior mindset is and what it means in a broader context but how can you overcome your weaknesses and your urge to eat cake, to relax and to take the easy options?
Here are a few powerful tools that will help you to grow and become stronger.
Meditation is an absolute must for a modern warrior. This is one of the single most powerful tools for transforming your mindset and for giving you the resilience, hardiness and sense of calm you need to choose how you react to your emotions and feelings.
Meditation is simply the practice of concentrating your mind, of emptying your brain of thoughts and of learning to avoid distracting ideas and impulses. This takes great mental discipline and in that sense, it is a perfect tool for training that discipline. Really, concentration is discipline!
What’s more, is that meditation teaches you to distract from your anxieties, your urges and your desires. Mindful meditation teaches you to let your thoughts drift by without affecting you, while transcendental clears your mind entirely.
This is a great way to calm your physiology when stressed or aroused and to take back control over your thoughts and actions. Those who meditate are calmer and less easily riled and this frees them to act in the most considered and effective manner.
Finally, meditation is a great way to recharge your batteries and gain more energy, which in turn allows you to execute your plans.
Seinfeld credits meditation with providing him with endless energy. He says that he would likely still be doing the show and wouldn’t have burned out, had he already regularly practiced TM (transcendental meditation):
I’ll get up at 6 a.m. My kids get up about 6:45 a.m. And so I do the TM before anybody gets. And how does it feel? It doesn’t feel like anything. I don’t understand it. But here’s the difference. At 1 p.m. that day, my head does not hit the decks like it used to. That’s the difference. If I didn’t do TM that morning and I’m working, then by 1 p.m. I’m shot, and I think most people are. And now, at 1 o’clock, I’m feeling good. I just sail through the day, and then I have my second TM at 3 p.m. or 4 p.m.
Another tool you can use to regain your composure and enter the warrior mindset at will is correct breathing. This means belly breathing, breathing from your diaphragm first and taking deep breaths. This calms your nervous system and puts you into the rest and digest state, it’s the perfect way to overcome anxiety.
Cold showers increase your metabolism, they help you produce more testosterone and they cause a flood or adrenaline. They can actually strengthen your immune system too. In other words, they’re actually good for you and a great way to start your day.
But at the same time, they hurt and they suck. This is a terrible shock to the system and it’s the last thing you want to do.
Which is precisely why it is ideal for your warrior training. Taking cold showers requires incredible mental discipline and if you can force yourself to do this every day, then you can achieve just about anything.
And as a fun fact, Hugh Jackman said that he used cold showers as a way to get into the mind of Wolverine for the X-Men movies. Now there’s a warrior that you could afford to be more like!
Strength Training and Martial Arts
What do all the warriors through history have in common?
They are not just mentally tough – although that has been the focus of this book – they are also physically tough. This is very important because physical toughness gives you the strength, the resolve and the power to be confident and to make a stand when you do need to fight for your, values.
It is important where possible not to fight but actually, being formidable physically will help you to avoid the need to fight.
Not only that, but it will give you the ability to protect the ones you love.
And both martial arts and weight lifting will help you to grow while also instilling great self-discipline. To increase your chances of succeeding on your journey, take up a martial art and endeavour to hit the gym 3 or 4 times a week.
As Socrates said:
No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.
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