Book: Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
Today I'm sharing my book summary of "Way of Peaceful Warrior" by Dan Millman. The author shares his own story of transformation: finding happiness and answers to the hardest life questions.
This book will inspire you to start looking within yourself when searching for happiness. You’ll find some questions that will help you identify your own truth about this world.
Biggest lesson: Find joy in every moment of life journey.
My rating: 8 of 10
My own thoughts are in blockquotes.
Way of Peaceful Warrior
As the days passed I started to notice more and more differences between us. In the office, I'd devour candy bars when I got hungry; Soc munched on a fresh apple or pear or made himself herb tea.
Soc was doing better choices to show Dan a better way of living. On the other hand, each person lives their live like they want. But usually, the bad behavior is communicated to us via TV and advertising.
As I realize later in book, there’s no better or worse. There’s only a choice. And each choice has it’s benefit and price. You need to choose for yourself whether the price is worth a benefit.
Softly, he said, “It is better for you to take responsibility for your life as it is, instead of blaming others, or circumstances, for your predicament. As your eyes open, you'll see that your state of health, happiness, and every circumstance of your life has been, in large part, arranged by you - consciously or unconsciously.”
Everything that we have in our lives right now is the result of our own past decisions. And it’s totally our responsibility to own and change it if we don’t like something. The first step to change is accepting what your life looks like right now.
On a construction site in the Midwest, when the lunch whistle blew, all the workers would sit down together to eat. And with singular regularity Sam would open his lunch pail and start to complain. “Son of a gun!” he'd cry, “not peanut butter and jelly sandwiches again. I hate peanut butter and jelly!”
Sam moaned about his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches day after day after day.
Weeks passed, and the other workers were getting irritated by his behavior. Finally, another man on the work crew said, “Fer crissakes, Sam, if you hate peanut butter and jelly so much, why don't you just tell yer o' lady to make you something different?”
“What do you mean, my o' lady?” Sam replied. “I'm not married. I make my own sandwiches.”»
The guy was doing the sandwiches himself and didn’t like them afterwards. But with daily complaining, he didn’t make a choice to change this. Why? Most people are so used to complain that they can’t even notice that there’s a way to change something.
Sam could easily change the way he makes his own sandwiches, but he doesn’t realize that he’s the only person responsible for his own complains.
When you become fully responsible for your life, you can become fully human; once you become human, you may discover what it means to be a warrior.
Becoming a warrior is training in everything in life: in eating, fighting, serving people. But first of all - it’s realizing and accepting yourself.
I felt the first signs of what was to become a growing sense of alienation from my everyday world. “I should feel good,” I thought, “but my mood was grey like the fog outside.”
“Life is not suffering; it's just that you will suffer it, rather than enjoy it, until you let go of your mind's attachments and just go for the ride freely, no matter what happens.”
It’s not the events that happens in our lives matters. It’s how we react to those events.
“If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold onto it forever.”
Doesn’t mean that you don’t have to “want” something. For me it means that you should not be attached to things.
Life has three rules: Paradox, Humor, and Change.
Paradox: Life is a mystery; don't waste your time trying to figure it out.
Humor: Keep a sense of humor, especially about yourself. It is a strength beyond all measure.
Change: Know that nothing ever stays the same.
For now, however, you're to eliminate all foods that contain refined sugar, refined flour, meat, and eggs, as well as drags including coffee, alcohol, tobacco, or any other non-useful food. Eat only fresh, unrefined, unprocessed foods, without chemical additives. In general, make breakfast a fresh fruit meal, perhaps with cottage cheese or yogurt. Your lunch, your main meal, should be a raw salad, baked or steamed potato, perhaps some cheese, and whole grain bread or cooked grains. Dinner should be a raw salad and, on occasion, lightly steamed vegetables. Make good use of raw, unsalted seeds and nuts at every meal.
Consuming food as natural as possible will make your body clean and allow the energy flow though your body easily.
All these years I had been sustained by an illusion - happiness through victory - and now that illusion was burned to ashes. I was no happier, no more fulfilled, for all my achievements.
How often you say things like “When I will get X - I will be happy”? For the past couple years I have set and achieved a lot of great goals. But as I was closing more and more of those goals I wasn’t feeling the same as always. Especially powerful feeling I got when money became not a problem for me and my family.
As a child, all this would appear before your eyes and ears and touch as if for the first time. But now you've learned names and categories for everything. That's good, that's bad, that's a table, that's a chair, that's a car, a house, a flower, dog, cat, chicken, man, woman, sunset.
You now see everything through a veil of associations about things, projected over a direct, simple awareness. You've “seen it all before”; it's like watching a movie for the twentieth time. You see only memories of things, so you become bored. Boredom, you see, is fundamental non-awareness of life; boredom is awareness, trapped in the mind. You'll have to lose your mind before you can come to your senses.
To complete the though above, I started feeling boredom right in the same time when I felt that I don’t get any happier about achieving my goals. But how do you loose your mind? How do you train your mind to be more aware about the things that surround you?
“A warrior is not something you become, Dan. It is something you either are, in this moment, or something you are not. The Way itself creates the warrior.”
The way is in this moment. Here and now. You either act like a warrior, and are a warrior. Or you are not. Only the food complains. Warrior acts.
Embody what you teach, and teach only what you have embodied.
“What would I teach other than gymnastics?”
"Gymnastics is enough, as long as you use it as a medium for conveying more universal lessons,” he said. “Respect others. Give them what they want at first and, perhaps eventually, a few of them will want what you want to give them."
When you gain some life experience and become more aware of what is that thing that you’re doing and how this thing can help others - you can start using it as a medium for conveying more universal life lessons. Combined with embodying what you teach - this is a very powerful tool to make impact on peoples lives.