The Skills of the Peaceful Warrior | The Warrior in The Garden 3

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The Skills of the Peaceful Warrior | The Warrior in The Garden 3

The Warrior in The Garden 3

The Skills of the Peaceful Warrior

by Alberto Mella The skills of the peaceful warrior (TWG series 3) v.2 A lady walks into a restaurant for lunch and orders the soup of the day. After a few minutes, the server gracefully delivers the bowl of soup and summarily leaves. The lady stares at the soup for a few moments and calls the server over and this conversation ensues:

-May I help you, Ma’am? -I need you to try the soup. -I beg your pardon? -The soup, I need you to try it. -Is there something wrong with the soup? -I need you to try it. -If you don’t like it I can get you something else. -Please, try the soup. -Is it too hot, too cold? Exasperated the lady says firmly: Just try it! Matching her exasperation with his indignation he answers: Fine! He looks around and asks: Where’s the spoon? And she exclaims: AHA!

You’ve seen it in the movies a thousand times: the bad guy catches up to the good guy; the good guy turns around reaches for his gun and it’s not there! How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you knew exactly what you needed to do but you just didn’t have the necessary skills? Like the time you got in an argument and you knew you were right but your opponent got the best of you. Or like the time you saw the person with that health condition in distress and you don’t even know how to take a pulse. We’ve all been there, in situations where we lack the right skills to be effective. The warrior in the garden doesn’t go around collecting skills but he/she fosters the pertinent ones. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines skill as the ability to do something that comes from training, experience, or practice. Yes, this means that the skills that are mentioned in this article will require you to invest some effort. But keep reading, I assure you it will be worth it. Up until this point in your life, you have acquired the skills necessary for your survival. You can read and write. You have some level of proficiency in your job, career or business. But time is your most precious commodity and you don’t have enough of it to go around gathering skills that don’t add value to your life. Throughout your journey, you will fight two types of battles. Battles to defend your position (you are being attacked or encroached upon) and battles to improve your position (advancing, moving towards success). With this in mind let’s focus on skills that would allow us to accomplish these goals. The skills we need to acquire are very dependent on the enemy that we might come up against. We can divide these skills into three groups, skills you will need when it’s:

1-You vs. you 2-You vs. Others 3- You vs. Institutions

YOU vs. YOU

As stated in the previous article nothing will help you more in this battle than the knowledge of oneself. But here’s one tool that will aid you greatly: basic human psychology. The study of human psychology is very broad. What I’m asking is that you interest yourself in the subject enough to read a few articles and a paperback or two. A cursory reading of the subject will put you above many. Consider this another vehicle on your road to self-discovery. Addiction psychology, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, you name it. There are books, articles and subject matter experts that have dedicated their lives to the study of the very thing that you are fighting within you. It is inexpensive and the value added is unquantifiable.

YOU vs. OTHERS

When it comes to dealing with other humans, the skills you need the most are almost always related to communication. Therefore cultivating the following skills is a must: Public Speaking (communicating in public), Persuasion (communicating in private) and Business Writing (communicating in writing). For public speaking join a public speaking club (like Toastmasters), or volunteer to lead meetings at work or volunteer organizations. For persuasion read books by Robert Cialdini and Olivia Fox Cabane (amongst others). As far as business writing many employers offer workshops in business writing to supervisors but in my experience, you can get in just by asking. If this is not available to you a “Business Writing for Dummies” will do because business writing is not complicated; it’s about getting to the point in written form. For the longest time, I believed, like many people, that you needed the talent to be able to speak in public or have charisma in order to persuade. This is not true. Having talent helps but you can acquire these skills and work on them. Sales and marketing professionals make use of these skills because of their effectiveness. It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it. It is important that you learn to communicate effectively. These are skills that, when raised to a decent level of proficiency, will guarantee most of your victories.

YOU vs INSTITUTIONS

The warrior in the garden is confident and that confidence comes from having victories and success. For your personal life to reflect that, you will have to do battle against institutions. These are the skills that you will need: Business literacy, financial literacy, strategy. When it comes to these skills a little explanation is in order. Business literacy is about understanding what a business is, how it works and its different players. Read quick books on business like “The Ten-Day MBA”, read the business section of the newspaper and research terms that are unfamiliar to you. Watch TV shows like “Shark Tank” and “The Profit”, this will familiarize you with business and entrepreneurial lingo. At this point in time you either work for a business or you own a business, you should know what a business is (know thy enemy). Financial literacy is a little more than balancing your checkbook. You need to understand your credit score, know the difference between stocks and bonds, and spend time understanding the investment instruments you have (like 401k) and those you wish to have. Good Will and other non-profit organizations give classes on these subjects for free on a regular basis. Again, it is not expertise we want but a solid understanding of the subject because this is affecting you right now. Strategy is the fun part believe it or not. Learn to play chess or any strategy game. These “games” have real life applications in your daily battles. You’ll learn how and when to deploy resources if the sacrifice is worth the risk. Time invested in these skills will most likely guarantee results in your lifetime. Your future is the sum of your days, so from this day forward make sure everything you do adds value to your days. A warrior in the garden fights for peace: peace of mind, peace in your business, peace in your life. Knowledge and skills will increase your confidence warriors. In my next post, we’ll tackle Choices. In the meantime, start reading and sharpening those blades.
Alberto Mella is an award-winning speaker characterized for his inspiring message, dynamic and humorous presentation style. Alberto is an Army veteran and has been a martial arts practitioner for the past three decades. albertoemella@gmail.com
Photo Credits: Warrior In Full, by Michael Davis-Burchat, Licensed under CC by 2.0 Soup by Hiro Kokoro, Licensed under CC by 2.0 Vintage spoons by Allison H., Licensed under CC by 2.0

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