Mindset is the talk of the world these days. It seems like you can not look at social media or enter a coffee shop without hearing the term at least once. But a warrior mindset is a different spin on what mindset may mean to you right now. A warrior mindset teaches you resiliency and greater strength. Who doesn’t want that?
In today’s modern world, we don’t really think of people as warriors anymore. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any modern warriors left though. There are those fighting on our front lines and there are those who approach modern challenges and obstacles with the mindset of a warrior .
But, most of us are pencil pushers and keyboard slammers, not actual fighters. Let’s be honest, it’s rare that we put ourselves in harm’s way or take on a gang of enemies.
While this is a good thing, does it result in us becoming softies?
Just because we don’t need to physically fight anymore, that doesn’t mean we can’t approach modern challenges as warriors and benefit from having a little fun by adopting a warrior’s mindset.
In this post, we’ll look at what makes a true warrior and whether you might fit that mold.
If not, then this list will help you to better understand the areas where you should aim to improve your conduct…
The warrior is someone who has a steadfast mission and who knows what they want to achieve. They have a purpose and a reason for being that way. They are driven.
A warrior doesn’t give in or take the easy route. They don’t relax on the couch and eat cake. Yummmm, cake! They don’t blame others for their mistakes. The warrior is happy to take the harder path if it takes them closer to their goal and if it helps them to become stronger in the process.
In a similar vein, the warrior doesn’t see challenges as something to be scared of. When things go wrong, the warrior relishes the opportunity to develop and test themselves.
The warrior isn’t exactly fearless, but they have their fears under control. The warrior knows how to use their fear as a motivator and how to suppress it when appropriate.
When everyone else is panicking, the warrior stays calm and focused. They know what they need to accomplish and they know that getting in a kerfuffle won’t help anyone.
While there is no need to be buff and tough for a physical war, the warrior knows that they owe it to themselves and to those around them to look after their bodies. The warrior doesn’t allow themselves to grow weak. They train, hone, and respect their bodies and minds.
The warrior is quick to take action and to make decisions. The main reason is that they are not afraid to take responsibility for their action. Pretty simple concept.
You may wonder why there is any need for you to become a modern-day warrior and adopt a warrior mindset. What is wrong with just relaxing and enjoying life? Yummmm, cake!
There is nothing wrong with relaxing! Nothing! We all need to relax and chill out from time to time. But there is a right and wrong time for chillin’.
Say you’re in a situation that needs a quick and decisive decision. Probably not the best time to curl up to binge-watch your favorite reality TV show.
But because we aren’t living out in the wild and forced to make important life-or-death situations, many of us struggle with making simple decisions. We are rusty and can feel like deer in headlights when the time comes to make up our minds and act decisively. We delay important decisions in the workplace to the detriment of our careers. We stay in relationships and jobs where we aren’t happy. We even find ourselves paralyzed when choosing what to eat.
How many of the boxes could you check off in the above list of traits? Are you a modern-day warrior? No? Here’s how you can go about leveling up!
In order to help you make decisions faster and more effectively, it’s time to think about what might be causing you to delay in the first place.
For many of us, the answer to that question has something to do with fear: fear of getting the decision wrong.
In some cases, it’s because of something obvious.
We might be fearful to decide which stock to invest in or which job offer to take because we don’t want to face the consequences of getting it wrong. Who wants to feel stuck in a job we hate and/or lose huge amounts of money?
But many of us also struggle to make decisions about smaller things. Like what to have for dinner! Perhaps your partner asked what you want and
You say: ‘Whatever you want or ‘I could eat anything
Their response: ‘just make a decision!’
Your answer: ‘why don’t you make a decision?’
The problem here is you don’t want to be responsible for getting it wrong and upsetting your partner. If you make the wrong choice and they don’t like dinner, that’s on you, sister!
Or, you might genuinely want to be polite and give them the choice. Either way, no one can say they have not found themselves in that merry-go-round conversation.
So how do you overcome this and start making decisions more quickly?
The answer is simple: you learn to face the consequences and take responsibility.
This means, offering for the other person to make a decision once and then make your mind up. Accept that sometimes you’ll get it wrong. Accept that they might indeed be in a bad mood. But don’t delay further: just take the consequences.
The same goes for choosing a job, choosing a project, opting to end a relationship…you get the idea.
Simply and quickly run through the likely outcomes of each decision. One is bad, one is worse. Stop worrying about getting it wrong and just tell yourself that you will deal with that scenario if it pops up.
Anyone who has seen the Bourne Identity might be interested in the notion of situational awareness. There’s a scene toward the beginning where Jason Bourne is trying to work out his identity. He’s freaked out at the way his own mind has been trained to work. Within minutes of walking into a diner, he assessed the weight and strength of other diners. He memorized the numbers on the license plates of the cars parked outside, identified the exits, and even noticed that the bartender is left-handed. Woah!
This kind of training really does exist among intelligence officers and military personnel. It’s called ‘situational awareness and it essentially involves being able to quickly and easily identify key facts about your surroundings.
Situational awareness is important for everyone, and certainly for those interested in adopting a warrior mindset.
Situational awareness allows us to identify potential threats faster so that we can avoid or neutralize them. Ka-Pow!
It allows us to move quickly and efficiently when the situation calls for it and ultimately it lets us keep ourselves and others safer.
Problem is, most of us have our minds on other things: things like our office, Angry Birds, debt, relationships, and, ya know, what’s for dinner that night!
How do we get our minds back in the game and start paying attention to the things that matter to us and to those we care about?
In the excellent Art of Manliness article, writer Brett McKay describes a method used by Air Force fighter pilot/military strategist John Boyd. OODA is a four-step process that tells us to:
This can be fun to practice!
First, you have to observe. This means that you can’t completely relax and kick your feet up. In neuroscience terms, you can’t let your ‘default mode network’ kick in (essentially, be present). You should be relaxed yes, but also alert.
The next step is to orient or look for specific things. Establish a ‘baseline’ by thinking about the normal behavior and conditions for a certain area. Look out for examples of deviation from this norm. Does someone look uncomfortable? Is someone inappropriately dressed? Is there a noise that shouldn’t be there? Hmmm
Next, decide whether or not to act and how to act. Have a plan of action and do not hesitate. Trust your instinct at this stage and if in doubt, practice caution. Is someone acting suspiciously or potentially violently? Tap into the vibe
Practicing these tips could help you to adopt a warrior mentality that will be felt by those around you. Can you say, don’t mess with me?
Jason Bourne status, unlocked!
Every now and then, things will go wrong.
Your natural reaction now may be to panic. After all, why wouldn’t you?
But while panicking is natural, it’s also pretty dang unhelpful. If this is your response, then you eventually will end up making matters worse, not better.
The best response is to stay calm. Developing the habit of being present helps here. This is how you’re going to help everyone deal with the problem – you can panic, cry or run for the hills later.
The question though, is how you can overcome that initial emotional response. How can you keep cool when everything is going crazy around you?
The first thing to do is to step back and take a moment to breathe and assess the situation.
That initial urge to rush in (or out) is caused by a flood of adrenaline – your fight-or-flight hormone. This can be useful for fueling your reaction speed, increasing muscular strength, and more. Unfortunately, it also suppresses activity in the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain that we use for future planning and reasoning.
So instead, learn to control your breathing and calm yourself down. This will reactivate your ‘rest and digest’ state via your parasympathetic nervous system. So breathe in through the stomach deeply and then let it fill your lungs.
You are not in a massive rush. If you rush, you can make everything worse than they are. Even in time-critical situations, remember the adage: less haste, more speed.
Now, look for the best solution to the problem. Try to remove yourself emotionally from the situation by looking at it as an outsider. Think of this as an exercise and try to narrow down your actions to the most useful options.
While in this scenario, you might be afraid to act. Each action you consider will likely have the risk of a negative outcome and might still make matters worse. But once you’ve considered carefully the options and efficiently weighed up the best course of action, the next step is simply to act.
Even if you aren’t sure, take positive and decisive action.
Doing this means accepting the possibility that things might still go wrong and that it might be your fault. In other words, it means accepting your responsibility and being willing to shoulder that responsibility if necessary. It means being able and willing to put yourself out on a limb and face the storm that might come.
The warrior mindset might seem old-fashioned and unnecessary. Is there really a call for warriors in this day and age? Do we really need to learn to become hard and tough, when our biggest challenges tend to involve office deadlines or money management?
The answer is yes. Mental toughness, discipline, and motivation are things that can help you to excel in any aspect of your life regardless of the circumstances. These are traits we should all look to master
And if you need more proof of this, then look to the Art of War. The Art of War is a powerful, ancient text from author Sun Tsu that was written as a military treatise in the 5th Century. This is a book of tips for military leaders in the 5th Century but it could not be more relevant today. This book is still recommended for business professionals, lawyers, artists, and many others because of the relevance of the tips within. Hence, shows some proof that the warrior mindset is as important as ever.
So, what can we learn from this text in particular? Here are some of the best quotes from the book and some ideas as to what they might be teaching us.
This tells us of the folly of war and of the importance of finding a swift resolution to our problems. These are both lessons that are very true today in a range of scenarios. In particular, prolonged stress is incredibly bad for our health and for our psychological well-being. While any kind of struggle – whether it’s the slow breakdown of a relationship or a battle of office politics – is likely to cause more collateral damage the longer it goes on.
So how does one shorten a battle and reduce unnecessary bloodshed, cost, and damage? One of the most important answers is to plan ahead and to be well prepared.
Better yet is to avoid confrontation entirely. This way, you can conserve your energy avoid damage on either side and maintain the moral high ground. Consider Bruce Lee’s ‘art of fighting without fighting in the film Enter the Dragon. If you can subdue a situation without struggle, that is an example of being a true warrior.
This describes what it is to have the warrior’s mindset: to be able to put aside your personal whims and needs and instead focus on something greater than yourself. And when you work toward a greater cause, that is when you can become a greater individual.
While the news might lead you to think differently, the reality is that we live in a time with the most peace ever around the world. There are fewer wars than there have been at any other time during history and most of us here in the States have shelter, and food, and don’t necessarily have to fear for our lives when we walk down the street.
The stress we face takes a very different form than it used to.
But adopting a warrior’s mindset is still important. There are still battles to be fought and there are still huge benefits that can come from instilling discipline, drive, and a code of honor.
There are reasons to continue to grow, to learn, and to improve yourself. Becoming a modern warrior means being ready for whatever challenge might come. It means being able to protect and fight for your family. And it means having the means and tools to influence your circumstances rather than letting them shape you.
So, keep learning, keep growing and keep getting tougher. Prepare for the storm, even if it never comes. Become an unstoppable force for good in your own life.
These are some of the skills and abilities that will help you to do that…
Many of us walk around in a daze, thinking about things that have no bearing on our current situation. We daydream about things we need to do for work. We worry about debt and we worry about our jobs.
But the warrior takes a different approach. The warrior is ready for what might come, they are ready to respond to a dire situation. And they give all of their attention and focus to the matter at hand.
To reach this point, practice meditating. This will strengthen your ability to focus and concentrate and it has many other benefits too.
Most of us live fairly boring and uneventful lives. Think yourself lucky: for the most part, an ‘exciting’ life will mean trials and hardships that you would be better off not having to face.
But while we don’t have to live life as warriors, it’s true that many of us will look to warriors as role models and for inspiration. For example, just how many people look at someone like Batman and think of them as a hero?
In short: who doesn’t want to be Batman?
When you consider just how far removed most of our lives are from Batman’s, it’s pretty strange to wrap your head around. Consider just how different the things that benefit him are from the things that would benefit us. The traits that make a great ‘Batman’ are not the traits that make a great Father, Mother, employee, friend…
Or are they?
In the comics, Batman is referred to as a ‘peak human’. He has the strength, the brains, and the skills of someone at the peak of what’s possible for a human. He is said to know 127 martial arts. He can compete with record holders when it comes to his weight lifting skills, he is ambidextrous, he knows forensic science, he can pick locks…
Yes, Batman is a fictional character, but the fact that we all respond to him as we do suggests there might be something deeper going on here. Maybe, Batman offers a blueprint for us to follow.
The question is how we can apply the ideals of Batman to our modern lives…
In order to accomplish all the things that Batman has in the comics and films, we would need to dedicate our entire lives to training, exercising, reading, and developing our minds and bodies. In short: it would be impossible. Also, no thanks.
We all have other things and commitments that we want to accomplish. Sometimes we need to just relax and enjoy our lives.
Batman is able to get up every day and do all that because he is incredibly driven by his mission. It consumes him.
The point is, if you want to become a warrior in your mindset, you need to find what drives you.
Your battle might not be on the streets of Gotham but in the courts, in the office, or in the gym. But the motivation and the drive must be the same.
To many of us, having a warrior mindset means having strength, determination, and discipline. The warrior mindset is about knowing what you want, knowing how to accomplish it, and being willing to make sacrifices. It’s about being in service of something greater than yourself: a goal or objective in your career, looking after your family, or working to make the world a better place.
The warrior is able to put aside their creature comforts, their personal desires, and their weaknesses. The warrior does what needs to be done.
And this demands minimalism.
Ultimately, the more stuff you have, the more you have to lose.
Whether it’s upsetting your boss, having your house robbed, or anything else… more items mean you have more distracting you from what is really important and more ways you can be damaged.
Then there’s the more direct way that ‘stuff’ can hold you back.
When you’re used to living in a certain kind of luxury, your standards go up. You become accustomed to having more, you become less able to live with less.
And now, when you find yourself without all those creature comforts, you’re going to find it harder to live without them.
Now imagine that you come home every day and do pushups in an empty room. Or that you sleep on the floor. You adapt and suddenly, you can make do in any situation. You never complain, you never feel sorry for yourself and you have nothing to lose.
I’m not saying you need to go that far, but I am saying that a little minimalism will help you to be less vulnerable and more focused.
Focus on the things that MATTER in your Business!
When you have less clutter, you will be freer. Now you can up and leave and travel the world with no need to find a place to keep your items. At the same time, you will need to spend less time in your evenings cleaning! Can you say, “winning”?
Having less can also free your mind up to be able to concentrate on more important matters. A cluttered home is a cluttered mind! Gross!
Want to cultivate a warrior’s mindset? Want to become more formidable, more impressive, and more efficient?
Then a simple ‘hack’ that you can use is to take cold showers. A cold shower is a useful tool that allows you to improve your health and fitness. It also helped to fortify your mind and hone your discipline.
Here’s why taking a cold shower is a cool thing to do (see what I did there?)…
Many of us start our day feeling groggy, tired, and miserable. This is certainly not how a ‘warrior’ should begin their mornings. Not to mention it’s not exactly conducive to productivity or a positive day ahead.
Cold showers will trigger a release of adrenaline and norepinephrine, which will accelerate your heart rate and encourage blood flow to the brain.
This can quickly wake you up and increase your energy levels so that you can start your day in a way that’s productive. Again, “winning”.
The warrior mindset is all about having the discipline to sometimes do things that you don’t want to do. It’s about being able to ignore the desire to eat snacks from the kitchen and it’s about going to the gym when you’d rather hit ‘snooze’ on that alarm.
Being able to step into freezing cold water takes a ton of discipline. Keeping yourself there takes even more self-control.
And think of it this way: if you have the self-control to stand under a freezing shower, then how much easier will it be to make yourself do some things you have been putting off?
Another benefit of taking cold showers is that they put you in a certain frame of mind. Did you know that when Hugh Jackman was the first cast as Wolverine in X-Men, he used cold showers in order to get into the feral mindset of the character?
Believe it or not, cold showers are actually good for you.
Not only do you benefit from the increased blood flow and alertness, but taking cold showers can strengthen your heart and toughen up your immune system by making it work harder – like a workout!
Oh, and did you know that you can burn calories by taking cold showers? That’s because a cold shower will increase your metabolism and burn energy as your body tries to stay warm.
At the end of the day, most of us are not out there fighting off enemies, hunting for food, or living a life that compares to Jason Bourne. (shame). But adopting and maintaining a warrior mindset can help you excel in all areas of life. you begin to trust yourself more, your assertiveness skyrockets, people look to you to take control and you are overall calmer and more collected.
We have forgotten what is it like to truly pull out that inner baddy we all have inside and by practicing these tips above, you will get closer and closer to becoming more alert, making decisions, and kicking butt every day!
I would love to hear what areas you fall into the warrior mindset and where you can apply some of the tactics I have discussed here.
Hi, I’m Tiffany, an Alignment and Productivity Strategist for creative entrepreneurs.
Your behind-the-scenes, silent productivity partner who allows you to grant yourself permission to work fewer hours in your business while getting more done and making a bigger impact, and feeling good while doing it!
I spent too many (12) years in corporate America as the Director of Process Improvement and Implementation, improving multi-million and billion-dollar companies… their way. Boring, stuffy, and outdated.
As a creative entrepreneur, there is nothing, anywhere that says you have to follow someone else’s rules. Therefore, I refuse. It’s time to break the rules. Close our ears. Open our hearts and thrive! YOUR way!
I hold space for you to open up and look inside yourself, learn who TF you are at the core, and how to bring THAT version of yourself out into the world through all you do.
Everything you did, thought, felt, said, and experienced was filled with positivity and joy?
No matter what you did, thought, felt, and said came from a place of intuition – straight from the soul?
Instead of TRYING or DOING, you just WERE and things flowed with effortless ease and love?