Most men go through life by just winging it.
They dont have a plan, philosophy, or strategy that guides them to live in a more efficient and effective way.
This article is about strategies to help you develop and live your life in a more effective way.
This will lead to a more fulfilling life.
The reality is that there are certain ancient fundamental strategies that will empower you if you put in the time to develop them and today we are going to look at these overarching strategies.
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”- Henry David Thoreau
Develop A Personal Ethos or Code.
Developing excellence in life starts on a foundation of a personal philosophy or a code.
This philosophy is your personal ethos.
If you dont have a code to live by you will find yourself drifting along aimlessly with no direction.
The absence of such a code is the reason why so many men drift around aimlessly in life without knowing why they are here and where they are going.
The process of developing your code starts by eliminating the noise and distractions that block your inner voice.
We do this by making time to figure out why you are here and by contemplating what you are passionate about.
You might not know exactly why you are here now but the point is to start the process by spending time alone and then writing down on a piece of paper why you think you are here.
You must develop your own code but using ancient Asian warrior codes is a good place to start as a foundation:
- Avoid violence towards others when possible. Only use force for self-defense and for the protection of others.
- Speak and act with truth.
- Don't hoard unnecessarily. Keep your life simple and minimalist.
- Balance your energy between work, play, and relationships.
- Don't get too attached or clingy to ideas, material objects or relationships.
- Develop purity of body and mind.
- Contentment with one's circumstances in life. Work methodically to improve your circumstance in life but dont expect magic or favors which is a direct result of not being content with the moment and working for what you want. Be willing to working for what you want.
- Take control of your desires. Most people grasp at only pleasure and try to avoid pain. Pain and pleasure are not bad things individually. But it's the constant craving for pleasure and constant avoidance of pain that makes it bad. The focus on pleasure and avoidance of pain can destroy your life.
- Self Study and the Study Of Sacred texts.Find time to read the great ancient books of our time. Read great philosophical and religious texts and books. See what resonates with you and what you can learn.
- Live Guided By a Higher Power.Basically, this is the concept of God. This is not about being religious or not. You can call it the Tao, the Force, the Spirit, or whatever you want, but the reality is there is a higher energy that runs through all of us. If you develop yourself you can connect to this energy or force and live a more fulfilled life.
As you develop your personal ethos ask yourself these questions:
Who am I?
Why am I here?(purpose)
What unique passion can I give to the world?
Who and what do I love?
How can I serve my team, family, country, and the world?
What do I value and want more of in my life?
What do I want less of in my life?
Develop Functional Conditioning.
The next strategy for you to develop is to develop your functional movement capacity.
In other words, develop your body into a tool of power and functionality.
We do this by a blend of functional fitness exercises and practices.
The mistake many men make is to focus on just one aspect of their fitness and neglecting the others that create an unbalanced body that is not ready for the battles life will throw at you.
With the reality of life challenges in mind, we want to develop natural movements that mimic movements in our daily lives.
For example, digging, lifting, shoveling, hiking, or chopping wood.
The functionality exercises should be focused on high intensity, building cardiovascular endurance, strength, stamina, and power.
We do this by following three basic exercise forms:
-Yoga (3 times a week)
-Weight Lifting and Body Weight exercises (3 times a week)
-Cardio (3 times a week)
Develop Mental and Emotional Control.
One of the defining qualities of being human is experiencing emotions and having feelings about things that happen in life.
Most people in the world allow their emotions to control their decisions and the actions they take in everyday life.
Using mental disciplines like meditation and visualizations we can train the mind to get control over our emotions.
There is nothing wrong with feeling and experiencing emotions, it's what makes us human.
However, when you allow emotions to lead and dominate you is where the problems start for most.
For example, when you are in a physical confrontation in the streets and the fear emotion comes up in your body how will you react to that emotion.
Well, if you haven't trained your body and mind to deal with the emotion and the situation then it might end very badly for you.
So it's very important to take control of this key aspect of being human.
Develop Control Of Breath.
Breath is something most humans take for granted.
Most people dont even think about breathing and never consciously think about how their breath influences everything they do.
Of course when we stop breathing we die.
However, most people dont realize how breath influences our experiences and quality of life.
The big difference between the breathing systems and other systems in the body is that the breathing system has both a voluntary and involuntary system that we control.
For example, I can't stop my digestive system voluntarily, but I can slow down or speed up my rate of breathing.
I can even stop my breathing for a while if I choose to do so.
The bottom line is this:
If you get better control and understanding of your breath you can improve the quality of your daily life and also use your breath in stressful situations to overcome whatever is in front of you.
In my book Self-Discipline, I talk about Box Breathing and how to use it as a tool to influence and control your breathing.
Box breathing leads to lower levels of stress, better focus, and a calmer mind.
Breath mastery will make a massive improvement in your quality of life.
You can also use breathwork in your yoga practice and start experimenting using different types of breath.
Develop Your Senses.
All humans have 5 basic senses.
These senses have incredible power.
But like anything else in life they need to be sharpened and trained to be used to their full potential.
Unfortunetly in modern life where men have been domesticated, it has led to men's senses becoming dull and lazy.
You need to develop your senses to the point where you are able to have the ability to uses your senses to sense in a nuanced and sensitive way.
This means receiving more information and not just superficial information.
Many experienced warriors like soldiers and law enforcement have experienced a heightened sensory experience in high-stress situations.
The body automatically turns up your sensory awareness in life and death situations.
But when these men go out of their combat situation these sensory doors close again.
The key for us is to train our senses so we can voluntarily open and close these doors.
How do we do this? Well, we do this with mindfulness training.
This means being purposefully more mindful in everything we do.
For example, when you go for a walk focus on every movement you take.
Focus on your leg lifting your foot off the ground and then moving through the air and placing it on the ground.
Or when you go for a walk on the beach, sit down for 5 minutes and only focus on your hearing.
What do you hear?
Try and hear every small sound.
You can do this with all your senses by rotating the sense you will focus on.
The idea is to develop all your senses.
Now, this might sound like it's crazy and sound like effort but start doing this for ten minutes on a walk or when you are lifting weights.
The idea is to train it as a discipline and then later this practice will start flowing into everything you do in life.
All the strategies I talked about in this article are very important.
However, we need to integrate everything to see the real powerful effect it can have on the quality of our lives.
When you start living in an integrated way you will feel like you are living an effortless success.
It will feel like the whole world is conspiring to support your goals, mission and purpose in life.
Internally you will feel like a calm, powerful, monk warrior walking around earth.
You will experience a high conscious mastery of your mind and emotions.
In Japan, they call this state effortless perfection.
You will be able to effortlessly go into what people refer to as a flow state.
This flow state will be accessed by your practice of breathing, a powerful Alpha mindset, visualization, and focusing on your mission.
Flow is a psychological term coined by the author of the book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
The author describes the flow state as a state of absorption with the moment and with what one is doing.
He specifically makes a comparison to Yoga: “The similarities between yoga and flow are extremely strong; in fact,it makes sense to think of yoga as a very thoroughly planned flow activity. Both try to achieve a joyous, self-forgetful involvement through concentration, which, in turn, is made possible by a discipline of the body.”
He later describes the flow state in a Wired Magazine article as “The ego falls away.
Time flies. every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz.
Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost.”
Like with everything in life and on this blog these warrior lifestyle strategies will only get developed through self-discipline.
To build power in your life you need, discipline and focus.
So integrating these strategies into your life will take hard work and one day at a time.
So start today!
Until next time!