Will Arnold is a martial art instructor, trained in Systema by former Special Operations Unit professional, Vladimir Vasiliev, and former Navy officer, Mark Jakabcsin. Systema (Russian Martial Art) is a comprehensive system of study that improves the function of all physiological systems of the body and all three levels of human abilities: the physical, the psychological and the spiritual.
Through Zen Warrior Training, Will guides practitioners to let go of fear and tension, using Systema to strengthen the body, mind, and spirit.
1. Expand Your Awareness to Deal with Fear
One of the common problems we face when up against a stressful or “fight or flight” situation, is that we narrow our awareness to the problem. We focus only on the immediate threat, stressor, struggle or issue and do not open our awareness enough to see the alternatives that are available.
The key to mastering your fear is to open up your awareness, become aware of all of the opportunities within the situation and take action accordingly.
In the interview, Will talked about his Systema training, and how whenever he would train to defend against an attacker with a knife, his focus was not on the knife (the immediate problem) but the attacker as a whole and all of the space around him (the opportunities).
We can take this and apply it to any area of our life that we are currently struggling with, whether it’s finances, health or relationships.
Instead of focusing on the problem, instead of losing perspective and forfeiting your control. Detach yourself from the situation, look for the opportunities within it and move forward from there.
2. Realize that Everything Will End
One of the most painful truths of life, and also the most liberating, is that everything will someday end. No matter how amazing a relationship is, no matter how successful a business is, the very nature of life warrants that it will someday end.
Instead of fighting this and trying like hell to change it, you must accept this and use this knowledge to live fully in each moment. Instead of stressing over a relationship and wondering whether it will end, accept that it has already ended (if not today, sometime in the future) and live fully in the moment, being present and authentic with that person.
Fearing the end of things is fearing the inevitable. In the end, we all end up in the same place, the only difference is how well we lived and how openly we loved.
3. Realize that Many Qualities Seen as Bad Are Merely Misused
Often times when men start diving into personal development we find a number of qualities about ourselves that we feel guilty of and need to change. The thing we often don’t realize is that even characteristics like aggression and over confidence have their place in our lives, but only in certain situations.
4. Happiness is a Choice
Plain and simple. Happiness is a choice you make moment to moment by what you choose to focus on. You can choose to focus on the negative aspects of your life, on the pain, heartbreak and struggle, or you can focus on the positive and be thankful even when it may seem there’s nothing to be thankful for.
Choose happiness in the moment, because at the end of the day, that is everyone’s ultimate goal. To live a life where you were happy more than you were sad, where you smiled more than you frowned and laughed more than you cried.