Posted by Glen Klassen on Sep 12, 2016
The word warrior radiates dynamism, action and risk. A warrior is someone on a mission he or she is willing to die for. In everyday life apart from war, most warriors are not expecting to or wanting to die in achieving their mission. They are often men and women in business who are engaged in a continual battle with competition and all the other obstacles hindering their attainment of what they have determined is important. Other warriors are battling what they consider as injustices. In some countries they become involved in real life or death struggles and bear arms to enforce their demands. In most countries they are using legal and peaceful means to achieve just ends.
In the following excerpt from Evansing we find an example of what it means to be and think like a warrior:
“Edwin chose to ride up front with the chief scouts to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. A half mile or so down the road Edwin noticed an unusual sight. Crows were sitting in the trees about a hundred yards on either side of where their entourage was going, but none appeared to be sitting in the area directly ahead near the road. He mentioned this to the chief scout who dismissed it as being the way it was sometimes. To him no possibility existed of there being a serious threat along this path. Edwin, however, had the advantage of not being lulled by the familiar. He knew for crows to do that must mean something or someone waited ahead. His experience as a hunter as well as a warrior had sharpened his senses to the unnatural. He mentioned his concerns again to the chief scout and said he felt it important to stop the procession and check out what lay ahead. The chief scout, sensing the urgency and also considering the respect Edwin held as a warrior, decided he would do as advised. He and Edwin and the other scouts rode back to the party some seventy-five yards behind them and advised the King they had some concerns. They felt they should be investigated before continuing further. The King rather impatient to get going was tempted to dismiss it as being too cautious. However, he had high regard for Edwin’s judgment so he agreed to stop the journey and have fifty or so troops go on and check it out.”
We see how Edwin’s experience as a warrior and as a hunter heightened his ability to notice the unusual. This ability saved lives and probably saved the life of King Erith. Without him the whole Evansing mission to unite Ireland into one kingdom would have come to a halt.
Some men see themselves as noble warriors in a battle to protect and support women and children. Others see themselves as warriors when playing sports or when engaging the world of business. A warrior perspective stimulates a battling heart-set which energizes a person to another level of determination of achievement and success.
Visualizing the outcome you want to create can help to create that warrior determination and confidence.Read More
Posted by Glen Klassen on Aug 19, 2016
Sometimes the hard thing comes in very mundane situations. For example you are in the midst of trying to get something done that you have kept putting off. Then you get a phone call from a close friend or family member. They are in a bad place and they want to talk. Do you continue to try working while sort of listening but continually wishing they would say good bye? Or do you set aside your work and give them your wholehearted attention? When they hang up and the thought comes to you to consider doing something more; like going to keep them company or bringing something to cheer them up, do you ignore that thought telling yourself you are too busy? Or do you respond to it by doing an act of kindness? These are major hard things or so they seem at the time. However when we miss the opportunity and reflect upon it later we realize how we blew it. We need to grow in awareness when we are passing up a key opportunity to deepen an important relationship. They don’t often come at times that are convenient. That is why we need to heighten ourselves to greater sensitivity to those moments so we can rise above our emotions that want us to ignore someone else’s problem and focus on our task at hand. This is especially challenging for those personality types like Dominant Directors and Cautious Thinkers who tend to be more task oriented. They need to find ways to curb their natural inclination and step back and recognize the importance of their relationships. If we compared the value of what seemed to be so important to the value of the relationship, we would be appalled at our short sightedness. That relationship investment will pay dividends for years to come. That seemingly important task will be long forgotten.
In Evansing there is an incident already noted in chapter 8 which I am repeating here to spell this out further:
“Edwin! You are going to have to focus more time on the wedding preparations. I have done most of it already, but there are some things you and I need to discuss. Besides I want it to be us deciding not just me. We can decide together on your outfit. What are you doing this afternoon?’
‘Well I had this afternoon free, but Percival and I have just received some news about the Druid we’ve been looking for. We need to meet with your father and discuss a plan of action.’
‘Hmm, it figures. You know sometimes you have to put us first.’
‘Greer, this is a matter of top state security. What would your father think if I were to miss this meeting to go check out a wedding outfit?’
‘I don’t care what he would think. There will always be something which has to be attended to. This wedding has to hit the top of your priority list or else there won’t be a wedding.”
Hard things in marriage are often overlooked. An outsider would consider it as hilarious or tragic sometimes as to what we consider too unimportant to invest an extra few minutes of effort to accomplish. Unfortunately those things we neglect can often create cracks in the relationship so that when something really difficult shows up the relationship can’t handle the extra weight. In other words there were no regular deposits in the emotional bank account to offset the withdrawals. This has often resulted in a spouse leaving a marriage when everything appeared to be okay. The spouse being left behind can often be bewildered at what to them has been totally unexpected.
In parenting doing the hard thing could involve incorporating a meaningful discipline even though it makes us unpopular with our children. It is so easy to get caught up with wanting to be popular with our children. It is a temptation that needs to be resisted. After all we are their parent not simply their friend. We have a responsibility to ensure our children become responsible and successful adults with all their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual capacities intact. As ancient wisdom says, “Train a child in the way he (she) should go and when he (she) is old he (she) will not depart from it.”
In business there are many opportunities to do the hard thing. If we postpone letting someone go because we don’t want to be the “bad guy” then we are foregoing our responsibility. We don’t benefit our business or them to allow them to continue in a position that is not suited to their genius. We can still be compassionate and assist them in whatever way is appropriate to get new employment. In Europe there have been instances where governments did not raise the possibility of cutting wages and pension benefits for fear of creating an unpopular backlash. They maintained the status quo and allowed the fiscal morass to get ever larger and more intractable. Now those countries are stretched to their max as to how they are going to finance even the basics of what their citizens expect to be provided. Both the business and the government examples demonstrate the perils of making decisions with only the short-term being considered. Truly wise decisions also consider the long-term. A person’s life reflects the quality of their decisions made with the long-term in view. Steven Covey’s book “The Seven Habits of the Highly Effective Person” describes this as making a decision with the end in mind.
Posted by Glen Klassen on Aug 5, 2016
A willingness to do the hard thing will set you apart from the average person. As well it will result in you accomplishing things that others tend to avoid. In Evansing, Edwin faced difficult decisions concerning what he felt needed to be shared with King Erith. One of these was when he was convinced Evansing and its allies needed to retreat instead of continuing to do battle.
“Edwin decided he could not wait any longer.
‘Sire, may I please talk to you in private for a moment?’
Erith looked quizzically at Edwin and nodded yes. They then both stepped away from the others some distance so as to not be overheard.
‘Sire, a strong impression came to me about the time you called for a meeting. This impression indicates there has been a shift in the seasons. As you know we have been very much in a charge and advance mode for some time now to unite Ireland. We have used both military and diplomatic maneuverings to achieve that objective. There has been significant success to date. The impression I got most definitely indicated we are now in a consolidate and hold season. As unpalatable as this may seem to you, Sire, I agree with the proposal made to retreat.’
‘Traitor, you are an ungrateful traitor. How could you side with someone who wants to retreat?’ replied Erith.
The vehemence of the response took Edwin by surprise. He had expected a strong negative reaction but not this strong. He could feel a wave come over him as Erith spoke to him. Struggling to maintain his composure, Edwin remained silent for a moment.
‘So do you have anything to say for yourself, Edwin?’ demanded Erith.
‘Sire, this is not based on me deciding all of a sudden we should retreat.’ Edwin’s voice got stronger and indeed firmer as he went. ‘This came upon me on its own. It’s not an attitude I had been harboring beforehand. One moment I am flat out in charge and advance mode. And the next I am getting this strong impression the times had changed. Percival and I have had discussions about the timing of things. About how there are different seasons in life. To do what may be an excellent thing in the wrong season can be disastrous. If we are no longer in a time for us to continue the active pursuit of the uniting of Ireland, then it is time to stop. It is as simple as that. I too am much disappointed by this turn of events.’
Erith had started to calm down, but he remained quite distressed as to what he heard. This dream to unite Ireland had totally possessed him. To now come to the realization it should be put on hold, even for a while, almost devastated Erith. He continued to glare at Edwin but remained silent. Edwin could tell Erith started to come to some sort of terms with what he had heard. At least Erith’s glare had noticeably softened.”
As can be seen above, sharing sensitive information with a superior can be difficult if it is known that it will not be well received. However these are the moments, although fraught with risk, which can represent great opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to whatever organization you belong to. As well often times the person who initially gets upset at receiving unwelcome news may end up respecting the person who shared it. This is because they recognize it was done from a place of integrity and duty.
Winston Churchill seemed to savor the opportunity of looking for difficult assignments. During the Boer War in South Africa he signed on as a journalist to cover the conflict. He ended up being captured after leading the defense of a train being attacked and captured by the Boers. Subsequently he escaped and was wanted dead or alive by the Boers. Then he returned to South Africa to eventually become an officer in a South African cavalry unit and displayed further heroics. Before the Boer War when Churchill had run for political office he had lost. Now as a returning hero he was given the winning election that was previously denied to him. All those hard things he had endured now seemed of no consequence. They launched him to the stratosphere of political office.
A major benefit of doing the hard thing is it builds inner strength. Consequently when we meet difficult challenges in the future we have a new reserve of courage and confidence in handling it. This creates greater ease and higher levels of excellence due to a superior state of mind as we stay calm in the midst of doing what needs to be done. It also develops the discipline for making right choices based on what will produce the best possible outcome, not on simply doing what is easy and expedient. Dennis Waitley in his CD series “Psychology of Winning” quoted the following: “Winners make decisions based on goal achieving rather than tension relieving.”
May you have the willingness to do the hard thing that will advance your life for the long-term, not simply make you feel good in the short-term.