by Joseph Walker
6 min read

Date Read: September 2018
Rating: 9/10

Power is the ultimate goal of the warrior.

Prioritize learning, growth, and situations that increase personal power.

Power Sinks Ego, self-comparison, achievement, self-image through personal history

Power Leaks

Poor mental habits - placing too many pieces of gear, nervously chalking your hands which interrupts the flow of the climb inner dialogue, limiting self-talk Strong emotional reactions to unwanted events Hoping and wishing Becoming the Observer Becoming conscious requires one to separate the self from their experiences in order to become aware of their behaviors and reactions.

When faced with adversity - such as negative self-talk, being pumped on a climb, on the verge of lashing out - Delay! Even if it’s just for a few seconds, delay will take you out of the detrimental habit forming behavior you’d been accustomed to and put you in a position to make good habits.

Life is Full of Subtleties The little things matter!

The body and mind are one interlinked unit

The body has ‘memories’ called schemas


body breathing mind Posture gives you a sense of confidence.

Body Language Sends messages both outward to others, but also inward.

Facial expressions also have a great effect on the body-mind (e.g. grimacing is often a response to adversity or stress).

Utilize the soft-eyes approach. Keep your attention at depth-of-field, not focusing on any specific thing. This will minimzie inner-dialogue by keeping the conscious mind quiet and at bay. Soft eyes help you gather as much information as possible and often pick up on subtle detail and features that otherwise might be missed when focusing too hard.

Proper Breathing Influence your breath by being aware of it

Dissipate fear and stress

Bring your attention back to your body and the situation facing you

Oxygenates the blood ~ reduces lactic acid and carbon dioxide

Keeps the blood flowing

Integrates the body-mind, both consciously and sub-consciously

Mental Posture - The Mind When you identify yourself with your beliefs you become attached to them. To be truly open-minded, evaluate new information before casting it out.

Self-Talk Speak Deliberately Express a possibility attitude Use power words that are active, not passive Direct your words in an efficient direction Speak in questions e.g. replace “Don’t fall” with “stay in balance” or “keep moving”

Power words are “loaded”

Avoid “success” and “failure” because they devalue the learning process “bad” and “good” also tie outcomes in a subjective way - avoid these.

worry - to choke or struggle

Instead, be curious, be actively concerned

“take care” or be “careful” - passive


“I have to” - avoids responsibility for the choice you have made. You are in control.

“Trying is Lying” - Trying is vague and gives you an excuse. It puts a limit on your power and gives it up to something out of your control.

A warrior does. Doing is an act of applying one’s effort.

Center Yourself.

Accept Responsibility Two worst enemies: detachment from reality and passive thinking

Victim thinking is the most passive of all delusions. It can be debilitating and leave you powerless. Hoping and wishing are passive

The Warrior does not allow mortality to obscure the action of accepting responsibility.

There is no right or wrong; only pragmatism and maximum effort.

Describing Objectively Our expecations cause us to lose our objectivity.

We often deceive ourselves with fear and justification - cut out the little lies in your life to cleanse the system.

Come to grips with reality which is a much better teacher than illusion.

tricking oneself consciously

past-experience - association, metaphor, memories

Responsible Climbing phantom fear - general fear of the unknown or fear of things we can’t control

stick to the facts - precise wording and readical objectivity are important

Analyzing the Challenge - Risk Assessment

3 parts:

  • Assessing the route: holds, features, gear placements, rest points, crux areas, blindspots, etc…
  • The fall consequence: Think about the risks of a fall objectively; a fall at your current location, a fall occurring at your next destination (next clip or piece of gear), or somewhere in between. Falling is inevitable so don’t avoid assessing the risk.
  • The climber: Assess yourself - skills, technique, what you bring to the climb here and now.

Assessment requires radical honesty - don’t make excuses, hide behind illusions, or pretend something that isn’t.

Face Reality

Life is difficult. Difficulty is natural and normal. Embrace it as learning opportunities and understand its relationship to ease.

Understand and accept the duality of experience.

Action Word: Accept


The process of giving allows us to focus on what we can give to the effort rather than on the difficulty of the challenge.

We are socialized to have a receiving mindset. We slip into the notion that we have the right to be happy; that somehow we are entitled to happiness.

We have the ability to learn and grow. **The more we give, the more we receive **, regardless of the specific outcome.

Receiving mindset saps our focus and ultimately our performance. We become fixated on the things we don’t have or feel we should have rather than being grateful for the things we do and committing maximum effort to them.


You’re involved in a subtle dance with expectations. Too much expectation leaves little room for growth and learning but too little expectation may prevent you from your highest standard.

Don’t become frustrated. If you do, take it as a symptom that you are out of alignment with your goals.


Action word for the giving process is Focus

Focus your attention on giving all your effort to the challenge so that you may learn and from from it regardless of the outcome.

Focusing well is an art. We have a tendency to focus on what we don’t have and skills we do not possess.

Deficiency Motivation (Wayne Dyer)

Possibility focused thinking, applied to your effort and abilities, creates the giving attitude.

You can’t give what you don’t have.

Radical Thinking

Progress comes from possibility and creative thinking.

Security is a basecamp. It is not the field in which we play out the adventures of our lives.