. . . an effective warrior understands that his greatest battles are most often within himself.
I never thought about the situation from this angle before. While the source text for the quote defines a warrior in a broader context than typical connotation, I think of a warrior as a fighter, a person or a part of a person's personality that seeks to overcome opposition. While I can rationally see a warrior utilizing other emotional states, my gut tells me that a warrior's actions are based in anger. I feel guilty about this gut reaction, and seek to remind myself that anger isn't an unhealthy emotion when dealt with appropriately. Of course, it's the appropriate use of anger that made this quote so powerful for me.
This quote led me to think about how often I am angry with people or circumstances outside of my control, because it's easier to fight the injustice they represent than it is to deal with my behavior or attitude that has brought them or the situation to my attention. Since that's the battle I know how to fight, or the battle that I've had the most practice in fighting anyway, I'm quick to engage. I wonder how many fewer battles I would have to fight if the warrior focused on conquering my impatience or my narrow perception of the world, the parts of me that only let my compassion and love for others out for short periods of time.
This quote doesn't pull any punches, stating that these are the greatest battles a warrior will face. This comforts me as much as the idea of fighting my weaknesses terrifies me. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who is overwhelmed by the idea of fighting inner demons. Even if no one else struggles with this, which I doubt, the author has my back. These are battles I have to fight, otherwise these parts of myself become an achilles heal that can be exploited during interpersonal combat. My external strength cannot be greater than my inner strength, so it's time for the warrior to learn to fight on this terrain. I don't feel I'm ready, but I think that that is the first battlefield for the warrior to engage on.