The movie ‘Peaceful Warrior’ was a total shock to many when it first came out. Why was it so famous? Because that is a movie about seeking so-called inner peace in life, which most people lack in modern society. In this post I am not going to write a peaceful warrior movie review for you, but instead I will share my main takeaways from the movie with some peaceful warrior quotes
1. Cleaning bullshits in our head
If you have watched the movie, for sure you will remember the master talking about “cleaning the bullshits in mind”. So what is really meant by “bullshits in mind”? Traditional theory of knowledge can shed some light for us. In every single day one major way for us to acquire knowledge is through sensory perceptions – eyes, ears, mouth, nose. What we see through our eyes, hear through our ears, taste through our mouths, smell through our noses directly pass down to our brains for process. When the brain processes those information, that is when the “bullshits” comes up. Why do most guys are desperate to hug pretty ladies but stay away from ugly women? Why do we feel so different when we are sitting inside a Ferrari compared to sitting in a Ford? Why does a rich man perceive a KFC meal so differently from a beggar? The explanation of the above scenarios are closely related to our dear friend – the brain. Regardless of what information in the external world we are receiving through our senses, our brain automatically processes the information with a filter full of “subjective standards” of which we may not even notice. Not only those “subjective standards” influence our behaviour, but also our emotions. A Ferrari and a Ford are both vehicles for transportation, but we may feel better sitting in a Ferrari because “the standard” made a judgement for you that sitting in a Ferrari symbolises social status. If we realize the existence of “the standard”, we will also realize without the application of “the standard” our emotions will no longer be affected by any information we receive through sensory perceptions. “Bullshits” are the bad “standards” we apply to every single piece of information in the external world in our daily lives that causes us to be unhappy. That is why traditional Chinese Taoists and Buddhists are advocators of throwing “the standard” to the bin to achieve inner-peace in oneself.
What are you waiting for? Time to clean them up.
2. Enjoy the Journey, not the Destination
When we happen to walk pass a bookstore and search through the self-help books, most of them will tell us the importance of setting up goals. The Peaceful Warrior, however, tells us the exact opposite that the process, but not the goal, is the ultimate source of happiness. We should bear in mind the movie did not deny the importance of goals (destinations) but instead point out the fact that “Happiness in life comes mainly from the process” (journey). All of us are looking for different things in life, be it money, fame, social status, a partner or any other goals in order to fill up our hollow feelings in the hearts. However, if our “standard” only focuses on the destinations, we often walk a journey that we do not enjoy. Most of the time one of the following cases will follow: we fail to arrive at the destination and the hollowness grows even bigger; or we have obtained the thing that we thought we want, but we realize that the hollow feeling is still there within 2 weeks – then we look for another goal again. This endless cycle reflects the psychology of a typical destination-seeker. Not until we enjoy the journey towards the destinations, real happiness will stay with us forever. That is also called the art of living at the present. You don’t even have to care about arriving at your destination anymore because you have already been enjoying walking the journey. (This is also why Steve Jobs says ‘Live what you do and do not settle’.)
I hope this sharing will come handy for you in understanding the idea of Peaceful Warrior. I will continue to share more and enjoy this journey with my lovely readers.