The Mindset of the Warrior
I was talking to a friend about trading and the correlation between life, trading and warfare and got an idea of starting a section on warfare in this blog. If you can clearly understand how the wars are planned and executed, a lot of gates open up in your life. Yes, I used the word life. For those, who don’t have any knowledge regarding warfare, this article might give you an introduction on a few aspects which you can apply right away in your day to day life. For those who are obsessed with strategic warfare (like me), this will help as a quick recap of the forgotten things. Let’s jump into the meat of the top.
What picture comes into your mind when you listen to the word ‘Warrior’ ?
If I am correct in my prediction, you most probably get an image of a person (most likely a man), dressed in army uniform with a weapon in his hands or a soldier with attire of the king’s age. Mental images like these completely misguide us from the truth behind the word ‘Warrior’. I used to think the same way before until I came across a book, titled, The Art of War by Sun Tzu. This masterpiece has completely enlightened me about the internals of warfare which is now the core principles behind my life and also my everyday trading. Later, the book titled, The 33 Strategies of War made these understandings much more practical. Now I am obsessed with Napoleon Bonaparte and reading every damn book which has his name in the title. But in reality, a warrior must be a strategist before he becomes a fighter. In fact, it is more apt to call him as a strategist rather than using the word fighter as almost 70% of the battle depends on the strategies he used, not the execution part. Mahatma Gandhi is a warrior, but he never used violence to win the battle.
According to the book, The 33 Strategies of war, there are six fundamental ideals we should aim to transform ourselves into the mindset of a warrior.They are-
1) Look at things as they are.. Not as your emotions color them..
We have been listening to this sentence from our childhood but we never took it seriously. Our mind forms an opaque screen that stops us to see the reality/truth. When something happens, it immediately searches for the relevant events which are stored in the memory records and project them on the opaque screen which is normally called as perception. Then our mind will give us a conclusion about the event happening in front of you when the projected mental image characteristics seem relevant to the event that is happening. This, in turn, restricts us to see the event as it is as our mind already gave a conclusion using the memory records without interpreting the event properly using the senses. Don’t you believe me?? Then try reading the following paragraph which I got from http://www.ecenglish.com/
I cnduo’t bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whoutit a pboerlm. Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey ltteer by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Aaznmig, huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghhuot slelinpg was ipmorantt!
There is no doubt that you have successfully completed reading it. Now my argument makes more sense. How can you read that even though the alphabets are not properly arranged ?? Read this article from the start and you will get the answer. If you have noticed it clearly, The Matrix movie exactly talks about this illusion.
So all this comes down to a single point. What we believe is the reality is not actually the reality. It is the perspective that forced us to believe so. Gita, Bible and teachings of Buddha say the same thing. Then what is a problem?? It is a perception of the mind. What is a disaster? It is a perception of the mind. What is the past? It is a perception of the mind. What is the future?? It is a perception of the mind. Damn!!!
Then what is the reality and what is the truth? The present moment is the only truth. It is not the next day, the next minute or the next second. The truth is the moment you are witnessing with your senses. Surrender to that moment. Do what you have to do and accept what it is. Stop perceiving things with the mind. Interpret the information by witnessing the present moment. Use the mind only when it is utterly needed. This is the first fundamental ideal of the warrior.
2) Judge people by their actions :-
You are what you do. Not what you say. I don’t remember the one who said that. But this perfectly suits the context of this subheading. Deeds don’t lie. But words do. Never judge people and never trust people based on the words they are uttering from theirs. Their footprints scream about their capabilities if you have the skill of interpreting them for the information you are looking for about them.
3) Depend on your own arms:-
Take responsibility for everything happening around you. No matter whether you are directly involved in it or not. If something happens in your life, you are responsible for that. Global warming??? You are responsible. Pollution?? You are responsible. Acid rains?? You are responsible. You might ask me what happens if I say to myself that I am responsible for everything happening around me?? Here it is.
The moment you start being accountable to everything happening with you and around you, you are creating a space that can attract a solution for the cause. Lets work out this with an example.
Just imagine that you haven’t achieved the goals you set. When you blame your partner or the subordinates for that, you are actually limiting the chances of improvement which changes nothing in the process you followed. When nothing changes in the process, nothing changes in the results. You must do it differently to get different results. So, you will be disappointed again if you are transferring the blame to someone else. But instead, when you blame yourself for not achieving something, you are activating the thinking muscle. You will search for the mistakes, weaknesses and the leaks in the process you followed and that improves the plan and execution part in the next attempt. The results might not be satisfactory again, but they will be different. Repeat the process again and again, then the sun raises with a shining light. Remember, it all started with being accountable to yourself.
Trust your own abilities and depend on no one except you. Blame no one except you for everything happening around and that will push you closer towards your goals.
4) Worship Athena, not Ares..
Athena is the Greek god of strategic warfare. Ares is the Greek god of direct or brutal warfare. The effective way to win a war is avoiding the direct war as much as possible. This saves a lot of resources (both living and non-living). It is only possible if you are really good at plotting the plans and strategies before the commencement of the battle. Napoleon Bonaparte and Sun Tzu are the masters of this art. Your goal must be to blend philosophy and war, wisdom and battle, into an unbeatable blend. This ideology is the one that improved my trading results drastically.
5) Elevate yourself above the battlefield :-
We use the words strategies and tactics as synonyms in our real life. But they are entirely different if you see them with a magnifying glass. Strategies are plotted before the commencement of the war. Tactics are framed by interpreting the information during the battle. The former is based on anticipation and the later are on reaction to the events. In general, most of us are tacticians but not strategists. Be a strategist before the battle commences and frame your tactics around that strategy and never take decisions completely on the reactions to the events. Know what you are doing is where you are going before actually doing that thing. This keeps you in the track towards your goals, otherwise, you will be lost and that increases the effort and resources to get back into the track again. Anticipate… But never react…
6) Spiritualize your warfare :-
Sun Tzu says,
“If you know your enemy and know yourself, you don’t need to think about winning the battles.
If you don’t know your enemy and know yourself, for every win you will face a defeat.
If you neither know your enemy nor know yourself, you are doomed to failure.. ”
If you don’t know about your strengths, weaknesses, interests and stuff like that, you can never win the battle. Remember, I am using battle, life, trading as synonyms in this article. When you spiritualize your life, you will know how to use your strengths and how to hide your weaknesses from your opponents. You will also know how to control your emotions and when the emotions are out of control so that you can plan for a retreat. In our life, we are our enemies. To declare war against yourself before doing that on others. If you win the battle against yourself, you will handle the challenges and combats in the outside world with ease without causing any damage to the fragments of this universe.
Every warrior must master these six fundamentals ideals before taking a step forward. The looks simple like everything, but hard to master. Use these six ideals day in and day out, and witness how the world starts to work for you.
This ends this article. As I am obsessed with strategic warfare and application of warfare principles in life and in trading, I will be writing more articles like these under the category warfare when I get time.
Hope you enjoyed it and have a good day.. 🙂
-Jagadeesh Chandra Kolli.
The ideas for this article are taken from the books,
The Art of War,
The 33 strategies of war and
Military Maxims of Napoleon.