The Warrior Ethos [book review]

I’ve really been loving youtube.  I like finding interviews with interesting people.

The other day I saw an interview with Mad Dog Mattis.

He mentioned the Commandant’s reading list.  I love to see the books that other people are recommending.

One that jumped out to me was The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield.  You’ve probably heard me talk about the The War of Art by Pressfield, it’s probably one of my top 5 books, so I was excited to see another shorter book by him.

I’m fascinated by these elite fighting forces and the self discipline they carry, able to do seemingly impossible tasks, pressing through super hard circumstances.  I’m also interested in their training.  I’ve been slowly reading through The Warrior Elite which follows the training of Navy Seals in Class 228, I’ll write about that soon.

Here were some of my take aways:
Early on in the book Pressfield talked about the wives and mothers in Sparta, and how they championed their husbands and sons as warriors.  This stood out to me because for that to happen, the culture had to have been so clear on it’s vision and values  that it created this unity and willingness to sacrifice.

It reminded me of the Morvaian missions movement which tithed 10% of it’s people, they loaded up their caskets with them because they knew when they were going to foreign lands to preach the gospel they would not return.  And as they shipped out their missionaries the whole community would stand at the shore and send off the young men with a chant of “That He would receive the just reward of His sufferings.”

Another take away was about salary.

For the warrior there are 2 types of salary.  Financial, and psychological.

The financial salary would be meager for the warrior, but the psychological would be pride, honor, integrity, being part of something that serves a great purpose, a community of valor and glory and friends that would lay down their lives for you.

It also talked about how the warrior is willing and eager to embrace adversity, and how the payoff of a life of adversity is freedom.

Again, I totally see the similarity between the warrior ethos and the missionary ethos.

Here are 3 quotes that I liked from the book as well.
“The will to fight, the passion to be great is an indispensable element of the warrior ethos. It is also a primary quality of leadership because it inspires men and fires their hearts with ambition and the passion to go beyond their own limits.”

“The warrior ethos commands that brute aggression be tempered by self restraint and guided by moral principle.”

“Let us conduct ourselves so that all men wish to be our friends and all fear to be our enemies.” – Alexander

This is a short book, about 90 pages I think?  I wouldn’t say it was amazing, but I did have some great take aways which I shared above.  Have you read it?  What do you think?

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