A warrior accepts the responsibility for his actions – even the most trivial ones. A common man never admits his mistakes, but claims any victory, even if it is that of another man. He is a winner or a loser, can become a persecutor or victim, but will never achieve the condition of warrior, for he does not deserve it.
Sometimes a warrior must be available, and at others he must remain hidden. It is useless for a warrior to be available all the time, just as it is useless hiding when all know where has hidden. By alternating availability and unavailability, he does not tire easily, and does not tire those around him.
For the common man, the world is strange because when he isn’t tired of living, he is suffering because of things he believes he doesn’t deserve. To a warrior, the world is strange because it is stupendous, frightening, mysterious, unfathomable. The art of the warrior consists of balancing the terror of being a man, with the wonder of being a man.
Acts have power. Especially when the warrior knows that each fight might be his last battle. There is a strange joy in acting fully in the knowledge that we might die at any moment.
The most difficult thing in this world is to adopt the posture of a warrior. Being sad and complaining is no use, nor is claiming someone does us wrong. No one is doing anything to anyone, and much less to a warrior.
The confidence of a warrior is not the confidence of a common man. A common man seeks approval in the eyes of the spectator, and calls this certainty. The warrior seeks to be impeccable in his own eyes, and calls this humility. The common man is tied to his neighbors, the warrior is in contact with infinity.
There are many things that a warrior can do at any given moment, and which he could not do some years ago. It is not that things have changed; what has changed is the idea the warrior has about himself.
Power always places the warrior within reach of a cubic centimeter of luck. The art of the warrior consists of being permanently fluid, in order to use it.
Everyone has at his disposal enough power to achieve things. The warrior’s secret consists of capturing the energy which was before dedicated to his weaknesses, and using it in his favor in this life.
– (This piece is one of Paulo Coelho’s adaptation of the writings of Carlos Castaneda)