An 'ethos' is a set of beliefs, attitudes, habits, and behaviors that are characteristic of a certain person or group.
The Samurai's ethos says that they "must be ready to die at any time and death in the service of one's lord is the greatest service one can render."
This is not negotiable. It's simply what they do because it's who they are.
And the inviolable nature of these beliefs is exactly why the Samurai is able to stick to them.
Removing room for negotiation eliminates the war in the mind. The 'should I or shouldn't I' discussion that turns making the right decision into an uphill battle.
Let's relate this concept to the average person who's trying to burn some body fat and look really, really, ridiculously good.
The average person, let's call him Jeb, doesn't have an ethos, and that means everything is negotiable.
There goes Jeb, speeding home after work because his day was the worst.
Jebs boss is a terrible human being. He made Jeb stay an extra 90 minutes to finish a last minute project. Now Jeb is in a sea of traffic with what appears to be 87% assholes. To top it off, Jeb is hangry.
Remember, Jeb wants to look like he's carved from marble, and he has a fridge full of quality food at home to help make it happen.
But Jeb just drove past Whataburger, and sweet mother of pearl, does it smell good.
The aroma snakes it's way through Jebs slightly-opened window and forcibly enters his nose. Then it forms a beckoning finger, signaling Jeb to pull into the Whataburger parking lot.
Now begins the battle of the mind. "Should I? Maybe just this once?"
This is a battle most of us lose on our best day, and this isn't Jebs best day.
Jeb pulls in, takes a seat, and does unspeakable things to a triple meat with jalapenos.
One mistake doesn't dictate Jebs success or failure, but it certainly sets him back a step. Enough slip ups like this, and Jeb is swimming in a white t-shirt this summer.
Now, we can't expect every nutrition and exercise habit to be a non-negotiable item.
Life is much too beautiful, dynamic, and unpredictable for that to be realistic.
But everyone needs something. One thing that gets done no matter what, for no other reason than it's just what you do.
I'll use myself as an example: I workout a minimum of 3 times per week. No matter what.
It's not a struggle, and there's no battle in my mind. It happens because it's what I do. It's off the table for negotiation.
I waste NO time deciding if I should workout. It's decided. Next item.
I might miss a workout. Shoot, I might park my butt next to Jeb and bust down a triple meat if I'm hungry enough.
But I'm getting 3 workouts that week, no matter what.
Perfection isn't what we're after, and we can't expect to do everything without flexibility.
But everyone needs something... that one cornerstone habit that isn't negotiable.
Take some time and think about yours. What's most important to you? What will serve you best?
Decide when and how often you'll do it. Then remove it from the negotiating table.
For Fitness, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Optimization Tips that Work (FREE), Click the Buttons Below