GO FROM WORRIER TO WAR­RIOR

Five steps to rise above the Every­man

American Survival Guide - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - By Brian M. Mor­ris

In the minds of many prep­pers and sur­vival­ists, the pin­na­cle self-reliance and apex sur­vivor skill is not to pro­cure food or build a solid shel­ter; it’s to ex­e­cute the role of the guardian and pro­tec­tor. Many of the sce­nar­ios we pre­pare for cause us to an­tic­i­pate hav­ing to pro­tect lives and de­fend sup­plies and other pos­ses­sions with lethal force, in ef­fect hav­ing to be­come a war­rior. If we’re hon­est, we hope it will never come to that. But, if we are to go down that path, be ef­fec­tive and pre­vail, there are some top­ics be­sides stock­ing an ar­mory that need to be ad­dressed be­fore the time comes.

So, you want to be a war­rior? The path to be­com­ing a war­rior is not an easy one, be­cause at its core is dis­ci­pline. A war­rior is a mas­ter of spher­i­cal aware­ness, ever vig­i­lant with their head on a swivel. They know their op­er­a­tional en­vi­ron­ment, can im­pro­vise, adapt and over­come all ad­ver­si­ties, and while they’re able to ac­cept that they aren’t in­vin­ci­ble, they never run from ad­ver­sity; in­stead, they face it head-on.

The war­rior fights with their mind, body and soul, and while they have emo­tions, they must mas­ter keep­ing them at bay in or­der to fight with­out let­ting them in­ter­fere with their clar­ity and lucidity.

None of these things will come eas­ily, so do not be dis­cour­aged. The only path to mas­ter­ing any­thing, par­tic­u­larly the war­rior arts, is via hard

THE WAR­RIOR FIGHTS WITH THEIR MIND, BODY AND SOUL, AND WHILE THEY HAVE EMO­TIONS, THEY MUST MAS­TER KEEP­ING THEM AT BAY IN OR­DER TO FIGHT WITH­OUT LET­TING THEM IN­TER­FERE WITH THEIR CLAR­ITY AND LUCIDITY.

work and due dili­gence.

It is par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult to mas­ter any­thing in the phys­i­cal world un­til you con­quer the demons in your own head that fos­ter such im­ped­i­ments as fear, anx­i­ety, panic and self-doubt. Once you are able to elim­i­nate these coun­ter­pro­duc­tive and de­bil­i­tat­ing thoughts, you can move for­ward in mas­ter­ing the war­rior mind­set.

• OVER­COME YOUR IN­TER­NAL ROAD­BLOCKS TO SUC­CESS.

The root of fear, anx­i­ety, panic and self-doubt is the lack of ex­pe­ri­ence. Hav­ing a war­rior mind­set means be­ing able to set aside or sub­due your fear and anx­i­ety so as not to panic in the face of dan­ger and to di­min­ish self-doubt and project self-con­fi­dence to­ward the eyes of any op­po­nent. Con­fu­cius once said, “He who con­quers him­self is the might­i­est war­rior.”

Once you learn to sub­due your fear and van­quish panic, you will be on your way to achiev­ing the

ANY TIME YOU LOOK AT PEO­PLE WHO ARE SUC­CESS­FUL, YOU’LL LEARN THAT IT USU­ALLY HAP­PENED BE­CAUSE THEY WERE ABLE TO GET RE­ALLY GOOD AT A FEW THINGS BY RE­PEAT­ING THEM UN­TIL THEY EX­CELLED AT THEM.

war­rior mind­set. The big­gest con­trib­u­tor to fear and panic is the un­known. The best way to con­quer the un­known is to not only face it but to dive, head first, into it. By im­mers­ing your­self in your fear, you will achieve “stress in­oc­u­la­tion,” as a re­sult of which you will be able to func­tion and think with clar­ity, even un­der con­di­tions for which your pre­vi­ous re­sponse would have been panic.

• A WAR­RIOR NEVER RUNS FROM AD­VER­SITY.

Be­ing a war­rior is about show­ing up to the fight when ev­ery bone in your body tells you to run in the op­po­site di­rec­tion. It’s about striv­ing for great­ness so that you know ei­ther the ela­tion of high achieve­ment and vic­tory or the pain of de­feat; but in any case, you can hold up your head proudly, know­ing you showed up at the fight as op­posed to run­ning.

In his 1910 “Cit­i­zen­ship in a Re­pub­lic” speech, Theodore Roo­sevelt said,

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stum­bles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them bet­ter. The credit be­longs to the man who is ac­tu­ally in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, be­cause there is no ef­fort with­out er­ror and short­com­ing; but who does ac­tu­ally strive to do the deeds; who knows the great en­thu­si­asms, the great de­vo­tions; who spends him­self in a wor­thy cause; who at the best knows in the end the tri­umph of high achieve­ment, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while dar­ing greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know nei­ther vic­tory nor de­feat."

What de­fines you as a true war­rior is your abil­ity to face dan­ger. That doesn’t mean you want to be a hero or that you’re some kind of a su­per­man, be­cause I can tell you from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence

that one of the most dif­fi­cult things to do is to over­ride the ba­sic hu­man in­stinct to pro­tect your­self. You must have the dis­ci­pline to counter your in­nate in­stinct for sur­vival to then run to­ward the gun­fire. It’s hav­ing that men­tal­ity that you’re go­ing to put your­self into the fight, par­tic­u­larly if you are con­nected to those who are in the fight, to get in there and to help them, no mat­ter what.

• A WAR­RIOR MIND­SET MEANS HAV­ING THE DIS­CI­PLINE TO BE­COME EX­TREMELY GOOD AT DO­ING JUST A FEW THINGS.

Any time you look at peo­ple who are suc­cess­ful, you’ll learn that it usu­ally hap­pened be­cause they were able to get re­ally good at a few things by re­peat­ing them un­til they ex­celled at them. A cou­ple of the other traits of suc­cess­ful peo­ple are that they are able to learn from other peo­ple’s mis­takes and can look at other suc­cess­ful peo­ple and un­der­stand why they suc­ceeded. They then ap­ply those learn­ings to their own life.

I try to do that as much as pos­si­ble. When

A WAR­RIOR’S HEART IS NOT AFRAID OF DEATH AS MUCH AS IT FEARS A LIFE LIVED WITH­OUT HONOR, LOY­ALTY AND STAND­ING UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT.

there’s some­thing I don’t know about, I find some­one who is good at it. I ob­serve how they do it, and then, I just try to, ba­si­cally, mimic what they are do­ing.

We’ve all heard the term, “Jack of all trades, mas­ter of none.” One thing I have al­ways tried to do is stay good at a few skills. The way to do that is to pick out the skills that you be­lieve are most im­por­tant to main­tain and then make prac­tic­ing those skills an in­te­gral part of your day.

The way to mas­ter a skill is to learn how to do it the right way, es­tab­lish the proper tech­nique and prac­tice it reg­u­larly. If you’re prac­tic­ing bad tech­nique, you’ll just get re­ally good at do­ing some­thing wrong. In ad­di­tion, it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that all skills are per­ish­able: Just be­cause you are the mas­ter of a skill to­day does not guar­an­tee you will be a mas­ter five years—with­out prac­tice—from now. Ded­i­ca­tion to daily prac­tice is the best way to main­tain your skills.

• A WAR­RIOR IS FLEX­I­BLE AND KNOWS HOW TO IM­PRO­VISE, ADAPT AND OVER­COME.

It’s also im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that tech­niques some­times need to change when sit­u­a­tions change; it is up to you to learn or re­learn what you need to know in or­der to main­tain mas­tery of your cho­sen dis­ci­pline.

For in­stance, when I was in the Spe­cial Forces, it was im­per­a­tive that I be highly pro­fi­cient at tran­si­tion­ing from my ri­fle to my pis­tol as rapidly as pos­si­ble in case my ri­fle ran out of bul­lets or mal­func­tioned.

Now that I’m re­tired from the mil­i­tary, pro­fi­ciency

in this skill is no longer nec­es­sary, be­cause I don’t carry a ri­fle all the time. I do, how­ever, al­ways carry a con­cealed pis­tol. The phys­i­cal act of draw­ing a pis­tol from a con­cealed hol­ster is much dif­fer­ent than draw­ing from a leg hol­ster, so it was back to the draw­ing board for me. I had to learn and prac­tice a new tech­nique to be­come as pro­fi­cient and lethal as I had been in the past.

Re­mem­ber: You can’t just rest easy and ex­pect skills to stay with you for life be­cause you knew how to do them a long time ago. You should con­tinue to prac­tice, mod­i­fy­ing your tech­nique if nec­es­sary, no mat­ter how good you are at any given dis­ci­pline.

• NEVER QUIT!

In his epic novel, Gates of Fire, about the Spar­tans and the bat­tle at Ther­mopy­lae (which is taught at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy and in the U.S. Marine Ba­sic Course at Quan­tico), au­thor Steven Press­field wrote about how the Spar­tans trained:

"The hard­ship of the ex­er­cises is in­tended less to strengthen the back than to toughen the mind. The Spar­tans say that any army may win while it still has its legs un­der it; the real test comes when all strength is fled and the men must pro­duce vic­tory on will alone."

Hav­ing the will to fight on and not quit is more of a trait than it is some­thing you can “learn” through con­di­tion­ing. A war­rior never leaves a fallen com­rade be­hind and only needs to look to his left and right to find a rea­son not to quit and to keep the will to drive on un­til the war is won.

ONCE YOU LEARN TO SUB­DUE YOUR FEAR AND VAN­QUISH PANIC, YOU WILL BE ON YOUR WAY TO ACHIEV­ING THE WAR­RIOR MIND­SET.

The samu­rai are re­spected as great war­riors of their time. They be­lieved that “to­mor­row’s bat­tle is won dur­ing to­day’s prac­tice.”

Right: ‘You can pre­vent your op­po­nent from de­feat­ing you through de­fense, but you can­not de­feat him with­out tak­ing the of­fen­sive.” —Sun Tzu, renowned Chi­nese gen­eral and au­thor of The Art of War

Left: Learn­ing to con­trol one's emo­tions, main­tain in­ter­nal or­der and find ways to achieve the ob­jec­tive dur­ing the fog of war are skills a per­son must mas­ter to be­come an ef­fec­tive war­rior. (Photo:

Chris Hon­dros/getty Im­ages)

Above, left: Sun Tzu, renowned Chi­nese gen­eral and au­thor of The Art of War, wrote, “Vic­to­ri­ous war­riors win first and then go to war, while de­feated war­riors go to war first and then seek to win.”

Above, right: As Bruce Lee once said, “I fear not the man who has prac­ticed 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has prac­ticed one kick 10,000 times.”

Be­low: Spe­cial Forces sol­diers of­ten jump from air­planes at al­ti­tudes in ex­cess of 30,000 feet. This is to ei­ther de­feat radar sur­veil­lance by de­ploy­ing their chutes at 4,000 feet or fewer or to pi­lot their para­chutes to a dis­tant land­ing zone. Jumpers must use GPS way­points and ter­rain fea­tures and cor­rect their cour­ses to nav­i­gate to their ob­jec­tive.

Left: "If you are short of ev­ery­thing but the en­emy, you are in the com­bat zone.” —Murphy’s Laws of Com­bat

Be­low, left: Win­ston Churchill was a noted and re­spected states­man, but per­haps his high­est calling was as a mo­ti­va­tor of his peo­ple and his armed forces. He is quoted as say­ing, “Suc­cess is not fi­nal, fail­ure is not fa­tal: It is the courage to con­tinue that counts.”

Lu­cius An­naeus Seneca was a 1st-cen­tury Ro­man philoso­pher who said, “A gem can­not be pol­ished with­out fric­tion, nor a man per­fected with­out tri­als.” In other words, if we don’t get out of our com­fort zone and over­come se­ri­ous chal­lenges, we will not be­come bet­ter than we are.

Near left: Ge­orge S. Pat­ton Jr. was a renowned bat­tle­field gen­eral who is known for be­ing suc­cess­ful be­cause he was ag­gres­sive when the sit­u­a­tion called for it. There is a lot to be learned from this com­ment: “Lead me, fol­low me, or get the hell out of my way.”

Right: Be­cause we see it on t-shirts and stick­ers doesn’t make Ge­orge Or­well’s state­ment, “Peo­ple sleep peace­ably in their beds at night only be­cause rough men stand ready to do vi­o­lence on their be­half ... ,” any less true. And to­day, he could add “and women” to his as­ser­tion.

Above, right: "No com­bat-ready unit has ever passed in­spec­tion.” — Murphy’s Laws of Com­bat

Above, left: Be­ing a true war­rior with honor is a dif­fi­cult and com­plex chal­lenge, es­pe­cially in en­vi­ron­ments that are short on morals and ethics. This Ja­pa­nese proverb pro­vides some sim­ple, but worth­while, guid­ance: “Be strong when you are weak, brave when you are scared, and hum­ble when you are vic­to­ri­ous.”

Right: HALO (High Al­ti­tude Low Open­ing) and HAHO (High Al­ti­tude High Open­ing) parachutists jump from heights be­tween 15,000 and 35,000 feet. This ex­treme form of parachut­ing is not for the faint at heart and would cer­tainly pose a great chal­lenge to any­one with a pho­bia of heights!

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