This short ebook is the starting point to living a more joyful and tranquil life by becoming a happy warrior. You might ask, what is a happy warrior? It’s what the English poet William Wordsworth calls anyone who confronts every daily challenge of life with joy and confidence. This short ebook is the starting line for living a more joyful and tranquil life.
It is hard to tackle challenges with joy and confidence when life’s burdens sap one’s freedom and vitality and when each new day seems to present toil and adversity.
Transforming turmoil into tranquility means wrestling to integrate the many competing demands made upon one’s only truly limited commodity—time. Like me, you’ve been advised to establish priorities in one way or another. For instance, some individuals try to find peace by carefully distinguishing between important demands and urgent demands. Others respond by clever time management techniques, finding ways to make every minute count. There are those who bring themselves a sense of control by meticulous list management. Sometimes the lists register the things to do, other times they catalog the things that will be left undone. These are all practical ways to organize our time.
In the final analysis though, there are only so many hours in a day. We want to spend time with our families and friends, grow our businesses and increase our skills, nourish our souls and exercise our bodies. If we put in overtime on the job, we feel guilty about missing supper with our kids. If we participate in a Bible study, we don’t have that hour for preparing a healthier meal. If we go to the gym, we miss out on having coffee with a friend. At the end of the day, or the week, or the month, we sometimes feel like we were constantly busy and we still missed the mark. But there is another way of looking at all our tasks: instead of treating life and its demands as a zero sum game in which energy and resources devoted to one area mean that less is available for other areas, it is possible to integrate life so that effort invested in one area supports all other areas too.
The nature of we human beings is that we are known and we know ourselves only through our connections and relationships. In other words we can best align our identities and our images into one coherent and comfortable personality not by separation but by integration. In this, we humans are quite different from all other items in the universe. Twentieth century physics discovered Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle which confirms that it is difficult to truly know and measure everything about an object, whether it is an electron or a rabbit, because the very act of observing it changes its behavior.
Couldn’t we build, or at least imagine, a super microscope through which we could watch both an electron’s position and its motion? No, because any microscope must “use” some light for seeing. If we are to see the electron at all, at least one quantum of light must bounce off it into our super microscope. That collision would upset the electron’s motion changing it from what it had been before we began observing it. Similarly, a zoologist investigating a rabbit never has a truly normal specimen because his very act of experimenting modifies the animal being tested.
However humans are completely different. We can only be known and we can only know ourselves, through our interactions with the world around us. How we relate to everything and everyone as well as how we experience the myriad of stimulations that we call reality is precisely how our personal identity is formed.
This is exactly what sculpts that which we call our self. Unlike electrons and rabbits, we get to know that self only by scrutinizing, experimenting, and modifying all those relationships. Is it really possible to change a life of stress into the life of a happy warrior? The answer is yes, but like attaining anything of value, it isn’t quick and you have to know how to do it. However, I shall not only provide you with the roadmap for this journey, I would like to be your guide.
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