Monday, June 25, 2007

The path to Mastery. Re-post of my first article for Warrior-King

Every year millions of people around the globe, make New Year’s resolutions. They resolve to “get in shape” or “start saving for retirement”. We figure that we can just flip a switch on the first of the year and all of a sudden, we will have the self-discipline that seems to have evaded us for the rest of our lives.

The truth is, that personal change and self-improvement, is a process. We are all works in progress. David Deida in “ The way of the Superior Man” talks about giving up the need for completion. In my mind, this is one of the first steps on the road to personal mastery. You must give up the need for instant gratification. To truly give up the urge for instant gratification, we must first examine what causes us to desire it.

Instant gratification, or “The quick fix” is a test. It tests the strength of your resolve, and the content of your character. It is easy to look for the magic pill. It is also immature and naïve. I see this all the time with guys who I work with at The Mystery Method programs. Guys focus on the routines or lines to say to women, while neglecting everything else. Why is this? Because it’s easy. It’s easier to believe that you can learn the right lines or “gambits” and get the girl.

This thinking pervades every area of life. It’s the reason that pyramid schemes exist. It’s the reason that the South Beach diet became popular. People are always seeking the easy way out.

Well the truth is, there is no easy way to get lasting results. The path to mastery is long and treacherous. The life of your dreams will not be waiting for you on a bed of goose down pillows. It will be hidden and guarded and you will have to TAKE it.

Joseph Campbell talks about the Hero’s Journey, the process of self-actualization that the protagonist of any story has to go through in order to succeed. Self-actualization is the instinctual need of humans to make the most of their abilities, and strives to be the best they can. This is what life is about. The constant struggle to reach our peak potential and get all we can out of every minute of life.

There are three major areas that you will be focusing on in order to achieve personal mastery. They are Health, Wealth and Relationships. Additionally, there are inner and outer elements to each of these areas.

Health in the outer sense is physical health. How healthy, energetic and fit you are. Health in the inner sense refers to your mental health. How disciplined you are, how healthy your beliefs are, and how positive you are.
Wealth in the outer sense relates to your finances and how well you can make and save money.

Wealth in the inner sense relates to the quality of your life. How much enjoyment do you get out of life? After all you can’t bring money with you.
Relationships in the outer sense refer to your relationships with other. Not just romantically, but also in terms of contacts and increasing your sphere of influence.
Relationships in the inner sense refer to the most important relationship in your life. Your relationship with yourself.

So now that we have defined the areas that we must master to become self actualized, we can talk about the some of the roadblocks that we will encounter on the road to self-actualization.

One of the first roadblocks on the way to becoming your best self, is negative thinking. Negative thinking is one of the most dangerous and addictive roadblocks we can encounter. Your brain is addicted to the states of mind that you are in most of the time. So if you are constantly in a negative state of mind, you will find that even when good things happen, you look for the negative. Ask yourself right now; do you always look for the positive? Or do you allow yourself to wallow in self-indulgent negativity. The truth is that a positive attitude will help you in all aspects of your life. A positive attitude is the emotional equivalent of big muscles. Having big muscles, telegraphs that you are able to survive and are healthy. A positive attitude shows that you are most likely successful, as you don’t have the veil of negativity that would suggest that you have had past failures.

The first step to becoming a more positive person is to become aware of all the negative thoughts you have as you go about your day. For the next 7 days, I challenge all of you reading this to record EVERY negative thought you have. Carry a pen and pad if you need to. That’s step one. Next I want you to reframe every negative thought. Reframing is simply the act of changing the focus of the thought. So instead of focusing on what sucks right now, you should instead ask yourself ‘ what’s great about right now?” Do this for 7 straight days and see if there’s a change in your disposition.

One of the next roadblocks on the way to mastery is a lack of vision. In order to get the life of your dreams, you need to give a concrete idea of EXACTLY what the ideal life would look like.

It reminds me of a scene from Alice in Wonderland. In the book Alice falls down the Rabbit hole. And she comes to a fork in the road. She starts crying and stands there until the Rabbit comes hopping along. He asks her why she’s crying. She replies that she doesn’t know which side of the fork to take. The rabbit in his infinite rabbit wisdom asks her where she’s trying to go. When it dawns on Alice that she doesn’t know where she’s trying to go. To which the rabbit tells her, that if she doesn’t know where she’s trying to go, then any road will take her there.

I want all of you to take a few minutes right now and write down an idealized version of what you would like your life to look like, focusing on Health, Wealth and Relationships. Try to make your goals as realistic as possible, but don’t be afraid to dream big.

The last roadblock, I want to address today, is attempting to do too much at once. It’s like when I was a personal trainer. Every year, we would get guys and girls showing up in January and killing themselves in work-outs. I’m talking a full hour of cardio on level 10, after an hour of overtraining with weights. Invariably they would just burn themselves out and quit. The same thing can happen with self improvement. You want to make sure that as you go about improving yourself, you break things into small easily manageable tasks.

The way I like to do it, is to set daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals and yearly goals. That way you can small chunk things. The best way to get lasting change is to make a never ending small series of changes.

In conclusion, I want to reiterate that this article is not a complete guide, to personal mastery. Rather it is an overview of the road to mastery and the major road blocks that you will encounter in the beginning. Next month we will delve more deeply into getting started on the road to building an ideal life.


Next month, I will be writing about the Warrior's Journey and how you can initiate yourself into mature manhood.

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  1. Awesome!

    I didn't like the hype-ish sales letter behind the warrior king thing, but if you had told me who would be in there and what kind of stuff (like this) would be discussed I would have been a lot closer to buyin!

  2. Rokker2:10 AM

    Fantastic post.

  3. Anonymous7:31 AM

    This is a really good post Sinn.

    But I have to tell you that as a MEMBER of the warrior king club, I feel DISAPPOINTED that the content is being posted on a FREE blog.

    I know that you have to market, etc. but why would I PAY $100 a month when I can just get it from your blog?

    Does that make any economic sense to me? But keep up the great work . . .

  4. Anonymous3:46 PM

    Since he was a new addition to the team we decided we'd post this first article on his blog so the readers could see what he was writing about and the quality of the information.

    ~ CJ ~

  5. Anonymous6:51 AM

    Wasn't it the Cheshire Cat who gave Alice that advice? Regardless, a very good post. Sound advice and immediately useful. I may reconsider the Warrior King dealie (I was also turned off by the "hype-ish sales letter"

  6. Great post man, I enjoyed reading it.

  7. Great post man, I enjoyed reading it.