The Tao – The Path of Becoming

By Hanshi Terry Bryan

The Tao pertains to the natural path we find ourselves on as we pursue our goals in life.  We watch and use many signs to help us stay on this path, and try and get back on this path as soon as possible when we notice that we have gone astray. Many times, we even find that retracing our steps, and going back to a true place or principle in life, is actually the fastest way of becoming in the future. On this path the warrior becomes highly adaptable, well suited in a wide diversity of habitats. From deep forest to mountain cliffs; from quite times alone, to large social events; the warrior is at one with himself and those around him. The warrior trains in all the arts and skills necessary to obtain a wide and constantly expanding comfort zone. In all nature there is a close relationship between an animal’s comfort zone and his ability to stay alive. The basic rule is simple: The wider the comfort zone, the greater the chances of survival.

The first comfort zone is the body, patterns of movement, strength, self-defense capabilities and endurance. We also find comfort in social, cultural, psychological and political dimensions.  We surround ourselves with people that think like we do and hold the same values. In the mid-50’s and early 60’s, psychologist Abraham Maslow presented what he believed to be the hierarchy of man’s basic needs. He held that as long as lower needs remained unfulfilled, higher needs – such as a quest for greater knowledge – would not be pursued. One of the most basic needs of all is personal safety. Maslow held that everyone needed a predictable and safe world.  If a child’s need in this area went unfilled, he or she would feel mistrustful and insecure.

Mistrust and insecurity would cause him or her to seek to establish, by whatever means possible, a greater degree of security.  For many, this quest for security can lead them in a very dangerous direction.  Expanding ones comfort zone makes a warrior a successful person and a better fighter.  Ample experience allows him to tolerate higher levels of adversity and pain.  An expanded comfort zone also increases his range of tactical options. All paths have knowledge and the true warrior never rejects knowledge no matter what the source. A true warrior challenges the limits of his comfort zone on a constant basis. The only thing that we can really plan on in life is that things will change. Many people fear change because they fear that they will be worst off with this change than they are now. Brian Tracy identifies fear as standing for, “False Evidence Appearing Real”. An expanded comfort zone helps the warrior accept this change that he encounters along the path of becoming. Proactive warriors direct all change in a positive direction by constantly setting goals and ensuring that they “stay the course”. Goal setting gives us a sense of direction and path for any change. Being proactive by constantly reviewing and renewing our goals establishes the reality that we are in complete control of our own path in life.  By us understanding that we are in control, our self-esteem is higher.  Successful people avoid homeostasis and psychocyrosis (hardening of attitudes), and learn to live and prosper outside their comfort zone on a daily basis.

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