In your life, right now, are three invisible enemies. They assail you each and every day, hoping to defeat you. They are not always easy to defeat, because fighting the unseen can be difficult. However, as warriors, we must be ready and willing to do battle with ALL enemies, both seen and unseen. Today I want to share with you what those three enemies are and how you can be better prepared and equipped to defeat them.
1) The first (and perhaps most potent) invisible enemy is IGNORANCE. Ignorance is an insidious foe because we often are unaware of when it is effecting us. Ignorance limits our ability to achieve, narrows our vision, and is the main ingredient in many self-destructive thoughts such as prejudices, biases, and even vices. Ignorance is crippling because it blinds us to reality and as a warrior, our first task is to know and define reality so that we are able to fight.
Fear not! Ignorance can be defeated. Simply knowing that ignorance is an enemy is a giant leap in that direction! Once ignorance has been identified as an enemy, it becomes fairly easy to combat. Once you realize you have a level of incompetency (i.e.: the level at which you become ignorant) in every area of knowledge, you can begin to become more knowledgeable.
One good habit is to read about at least 1 thing you know nothing about each day. You'll be amazed at how this sparks your thinking and where it can lead. Some sparks ignite massive infernos. Read about things you know nothing about but also dive deeper into your passions each day. Few people know any subject in any great depth. Know your passions with a depth that most do not. Try to discover one new thing about the things (or persons) you love each day and the empty void of ignorance will slowly be filled with knowledge.
2) The second invisible enemy is CARELESSNESS. Carelessness can occur in any area of your life from handling a firearm to not being aware of how your words affect those around you. Carelessness almost always results from a lack of awareness (or ignorance). Carelessness can devastate relationships and cause us great harm. A warrior strives to be ever aware so that carelessness does not occur. Being aware of your surroundings and being emotionally aware of the needs of those around you is a must if you want to avoid carelessness.
Curing ignorance automatically solves many carelessness problems since many instances of carelessness arise priecisely due to ignorance. However, you can be intelligent, informed, and yet still careless. One way to avoid being careless is to constantly keep asking yourself "what are the consequences if I do/say x?" Ancient Japanese samurai who trained with razor sharp swords (katana) had to very careFUL due to the dire consequences of being careless with a sword. Modern warriors and fighters use that same level of carefulness while using firearms because the consequences of being careless are extremely high. Warriors combat carelessness through the development of good etiquette (postures, rituals, handling of weaponry). When good etiquette is forged as a habit, you are much less likely to be careless. Apply the warrior mindset of treating all "weapons" with respect to people. Treat all people with respect and make good manners a habit and you will be far less careless.
3) The third and final invisible enemy is COMPLACENCY. This enemy particularly affects one group of people; the one's who "know-it-all" already. In the warrior arena, a major cause of firearm "accidents" where people are killed or injured is due to someone who got complacent with a firearm and didn't check to ensure the firearm was unloaded or made safe before doing x activity and then they shot themselves or someone else. In these cases, it was not because this person was ignorant of firearms, nor because they were careless. They got complacent. "I already know this" was their attitude and it resulted in them not doing their due diligence which led to an injury or death.
In your own life, complacency can show up everywhere. "I already worked hard on my relationship with my girlfriend/spouse so I don't need to work hard anymore." This is a sabotaging thought which can lead to relationship ruin. You must ALWAYS work to overcome the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics: any place/thing/relationship left to itself decays and breaks down. Yes, the Law of Entropy applies to your relationships. Battle complacency by having good habits (again, good manners) guide you. Do not deviate from them. With firearms, I ALWAYS check and double check that the firearm is clear of any ammunition before putting it away. I trust NO ONE when they say "It's ok, it's unloaded." Not good enough; I check. "But I just unloaded it 2 seconds ago." I don't care. I am checking it. That process is never compromised in order to ensure that I do not get complacent. Keep the consequences of being complacent in mind and you will be far less likely to get complacent. Do you want your spouse to leave you because you stopped working on the relationship? Do you want your friends to leave you behind because you stopped working on yourself (think about it)? Complacency is an absolute relationship killer and it will destroy all the relationships you have unless you fight it tenaciously like a warrior. Fight it with good etiquette, remembering consequences always, and treating life with the seriousness that it deserves.
Keep moving forward, and always live in the battleground.
The Warrior Speaker Blog is a collection of warrior lessons Alexander has learned in addition to practical information about protecting yourself and all that you deem most personal.