The Martial Virtues

Vigilance in watching opportunity; tact and daring in seizing upon opportunity; force and persistence in crowding opportunity to its utmost of possible achievement – these are the martial virtues which must command success.” ~ Austin Phelps

You cannot be vigilant if you are upset by your immediate circumstances or worried about what might happen in the future. You cannot display tact and daring if you do what you do out of fear or reaction. You cannot apply force or persistence in relation to the large opportunities if you’ve failed to martial your forces in relation to the small ones.

Success is optional.

11 thoughts on “The Martial Virtues

  1. Your words are timely. I appreciate your vigilance. It is apparent that when we are not vigilant things happen that shock us and seem unbelievable. No use fretting about what could have been done or said. Only to take to heart in a deep sense what has been learned for a life to be lived from this point forward that makes for readyness and success.

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    1. Gregg Hake

      Vain regrets about the past are meaningless. Life lessons may be bitter or painful at times, but they can all be employed to prepare you for a brighter and more productive future.

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  2. Colin

    I think that training for a difficult situation is something that is overlooked far too often. Usually the sentiment is either that you have it or you don’t, but I think that is a cop out. You can train in two ways: the first is to actually set aside time where you simulate a stressful situation. The second is to live your life in a way where you always challenge yourself to exist outside your comfort zone. In these two ways, you can always be ready, and never react to a situation out of fear. I like Will Smith’s quote on this: “If you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready”.

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  3. David R

    Poise, alertness, dynamic balance…these are characteristics of a listening heart, attuned to the appropriate impulse of the moment. Living life from this place of equilibrium provides the best possible starting point to meet both the expected and the unexpected.

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  4. MMc

    Fear does dumb us down and makes us cowards. Much of what I read on the Internet as comments or personal experience seems born of reaction, laced with fear and beneath what I expect is anywhere near what people are inherently capable of. The inspiration to live courageously meeting circumstances with the spirit of having sufficient wisdom to engage successfully or at the very least see what is the next step; is the most useful application of it. Thanks for your continued effort to encourage the best from us, I know it’s there.

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  5. Ricardo B.

    I can see that developing good habits is key to being successful. Everything comes under the scrutiny of these martial virtues and gaining success in one stagnant area of one’s life can certainly help catapult another different area, for success builds on success via momentum. Shoring up loose ends is no small matter!

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    1. Gregg Hake

      There is always a balance point, a golden mean, from which we can move. Developing the sensitivity to know if you are there or not is more important than most might imagine!

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