“This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man”
William Shakespeare, Hamlet
The concept of the Impeccable Warrior and his associated behaviour is something I learned from the books of Carlos Castaneda, a Californian sociology student who went to learn the secrets of the Yaqui Indians of New Mexico.
There his teacher, Don Juan, versed him in his secret knowledge of shamanic sorcery, including a teaching about the Behaviour of the Impeccable Warrior. I found this an inspiring metaphor for how to live and I’ve never forgotten it. The Impeccable Warrior became my imaginary role model.
My book, The Five Pillars of Happiness, contains a 10,000 word chapter on this, but to summarise, the teaching shows how the Impeccable Warrior acts with absolute integrity, that is, in accordance with his core beliefs and values, his gut feelings, instincts, intuition and hunches. He never abandons his values and never succumbs to the temptation to adopt anyone else’s. Above all, he is always true to himself. Thus he never has anything to reproach himself for, whatever happens.
Sometimes following your heart seems too risky. You can’t guarantee success, and if you do become successful it has to be by your own efforts and you may doubt your own ability or motivation. It’s easy to surrender to self-doubt, that little voice of your conditioning that tells you, ‘you might not be good enough, you might fail’ if you insist on following your chosen route, especially if it’s unconventional.
The gaping flaw in this argument is eventually you will discover that the so-called ‘comfort zone’ you are tempted to opt for is anything but comfortable. That’s why the Impeccable Warrior consistently follows his heart.
The Impeccable Warrior is acutely aware that his conditioning has nothing to do with who he really is. Following your heart is old-fashioned common sense – you wouldn’t be genuinely drawn to doing something you didn’t have an aptitude for, so in fact the risk is minimal because you are far more likely to be happy and successful doing what you love.
This applies to all aspects of your life – love, relationships, daily chores, looking after you home and children, social life, friendships, daily tasks – not only work. It’s crucial in how you relate to others and to yourself too.
Remember what you are aiming for, while at the same time allow yourself to enjoy your journey. Ultimately, your hard work will fulfill you when you respect yourself by developing your passion.
Regularly ask yourself, “how do I feel about this?” NOT “What do I think about this?” This tiny distinction is vital because only your heart knows what is right for you and you can only identify what’s right by consciously noticing how you feel.
Your mind, by contrast, is the source of all self-doubt, negative conditioned responses and self-limiting beliefs, and if invited it will give you hundreds of reasons not to do something (“it’s not sensible, it’s too risky, it’s too difficult, I’m not good enough, etc.”).
And whenever well-meaning people give you advice remember, though their input might be valuable, your answers from your heart are the only valid ones for only they contain the truth about what is right for you.
See for yourself. Try behaving impeccably for a few days and you’ll be amazed how great you start to feel about yourself.
See Dave’s blog at www.heavenlyvibrations.wordpress.com and feel free to leave a comment.
You can e-mail Dave Robson at [email protected] or ‘phone him on 0208 374 7911.
Dave’s book, The Five Pillars of Happiness, is available from Amazon.