The Warrior Mindset Part 1: Turn Problems Into Challenges

challenge mastery problems

Trained for Defeat

There’s a lot of finger-pointing going on in the world.  When we are constantly looking for others to blame, we never have the opportunity to examine the role each of us plays in deciding the quality of our lives.  The media and society reinforce a defeatist attitude, telling us we are cast adrift on the stormy seas of life, without paddle or compass. Statements such as "Look what he did to me," and "She broke my heart," are proof that people today are allowing others to decide the quality of their lives for them.

Warriors on the battlefield don't get to choose their odds: the number, strength and experience of the forces they face. No one ever won a fight by thinking they were defeated before the battle began.

The Warrior’s Mindset

As you might have guessed, this kind of thinking is not the warrior's mindset. Whether on the battlefield, in training, or around the home, warriors learn to never surrender control of their emotions, minds, or spirits to anyone else. To do so places their outlook (application of skills and capabilities) outside their hands and invites defeat.

Warriors take active roles. They know they can't control what fate brings them, but they can seize and embrace a power that lasts: the power to take responsibility for the quality of their lives.

When a person realizes victory and defeat is first decided within, it only makes sense to begin viewing the world from the mindset of victory. Out of this mindset comes the discipline and courage necessary to prepare for the challenges life inevitably brings. To meet those challenges, warriors rely on an ancient form of magic - a kind of internal alchemy - to prevail.

Real-Life Magic

Like alchemy, which sought to transform base metals and stone into gold, warriors possess the unique capability to turn problems to their advantage in order to accomplish great things, whether they be breaking fitness records, succeeding in business, or winning the love of their lives. They do this by taking the base metals - problems - and converting them into tools for growth - challenges. It's better than any stage illusion. It's real magic.

To begin using this magic in your own life, embrace the warrior's mindset. No matter how many opponents stand against you (evil bosses, old injuries, lifestyle changes), and no matter their strengths (or how afraid you've been of them in the past), take responsibility for the quality -  and excellence - of your moments.

Be mindful the next time you have thoughts like, “He made me do this,” or, “She pisses me off.” Once you catch yourself letting others control your mindset, embrace the challenge to transform how you see the world from a person who is 'acted upon' to someone who 'acts on' their intentions and life goals.

See the problems in your life as challenges to take responsibility for the quality of your own moments. This is how warriors find beauty in even the darkest situations.

Choosing to Live

There's no limit to your success if you see each problem in your life as a challenge to practice this mindset. The shift of focus from, “They did this to me,” to, “I am deciding what to do with this situation,” makes the difference between life and death on the battlefield, and it will mean the difference between your life and death as well: a death of 80 years in which you never stood up and chose how you were going to engage the world, or a life in which you embraced every experience as a chance to grow as a friend, employee, lover, and always, as a warrior.

 More articles and resources for training your warrior mindset and living a truly remarkable life are available at

Photo credit: Nuno R. Silva on Flickr