The Way of the Quiet Warrior: 90-Days to the Life You Desire is a unique hybrid of guide and fable. Mingling clear, nonfiction explanations of Tom Dutta’s revolutionary Way of the Quiet Warrior formula for success with fictional tales designed to illustrate those concepts, this book is designed to be highly readable and engaging. With more than three decades of experience in the corporate world, Dutta is perfectly positioned to identify and address the unmet needs and unresolved issues of CEOs, leaders, and executives the world over.
“A story of personal triumph with a map to empower readers to do the same. A great example and lesson for anyone wishing to improve . . . in business and in life.” —Dan Jansen, Olympic gold medalist, speed skating
“Illustrates the power of personal intention and purpose . . . interestingly illuminated through multiple metaphors.” —Ryan Walter, Stanley Cup champion, NHL player & coach, leadership/performance development expert
“In the pages of this powerful book, you’ll discover your hero within.” —Baraladai Daniel Igali, Olympic gold medalist, Canadian freestyle wrestler
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About the Author
As founder and CEO of KRE-AT Dutta is the world’s only motive based leadership expert. In concert with his business expertise, Dutta's intense travel and study of the science behind success has enabled him to create a proven coaching and mentorship formula called The Way of the Quiet Warrior. This dynamic program helps leaders manifest success by discovering purpose, taking action and living life their way.
Read an Excerpt
PHASE ONE THE SELF
What are your strengths? Limitations? Why do you do what you do?
Why did you do that?
Why did you say that?
Why are you like that?
These are questions that most of us have confronted in our lives. Sometimes they come from employers, friends, or partners. Most often, though, these questions come from deep within ourselves.
Self-help systems and business-efficacy guides are concerned with behavior: stopping negative behaviors, instituting positive behaviors, changing the behaviors of others. What these programs often miss, however, is the critical topic of motivation. I believe that no one can truly make meaningful changes to his life and behavior until he delves into his own motivations and the things that drive him.
This is very difficult work for most people. Our motivations are often rooted in deep, almost primordial parts of our psyches and it can be painful to venture into those places that we so often try to ignore. Part of the difference in The Way of the Quiet Warrior is a conviction that many of our motivations are inherent or cemented very early in life and tend not to be changed dramatically over the course of our lives. We consider motivations to be an intrinsic part of people and investigating motivations, like investigating any other bedrock of what makes us ourselves can be challenging or scary. In my experience, however, it is infinitely more destructive to pretend that dark place doesn't exist.
I say this not just as someone who has developed a system for stopping stagnation and creating personal growth but as someone who has spent years struggling against the darker parts of my nature and my past. The illustrative stories in this book are fictionalized but they are rooted in real people and real situations that I have encountered and, in some cases, that I have lived through.
My father was indeed an alcoholic. A man tortured by his own abusive upbringing, he was by turns a harsh, militaristic taskmaster who demanded the highest level of achievement and a sloppy drunk who passed out on the lawns of strangers (or, on one alarming occasion, in the lobby of a hotel) and made no attempt to hide his many adulterous affairs. He hit me. He belittled me. He made our house a place of constant fear and habitually put the future of our family in jeopardy. He was also my father, the only one that I would ever get, and no matter how unfair it felt, that was my upbringing. I did not have the benefit of a safe and stable home. I did not have caregivers whom I could trust to meet my physical and emotional needs. Instead, I had been dealt a different sort of hand in life and I developed tools that made sense for the life I had.
As I grew into adulthood, however, I slowly began to realize that the ways I had taught myself to navigate situations and relationships were really only effective for toxic relationships like the ones I had with my family. In fact, when I tried to apply my experience and my knowledge to positive relationships or situations, I found that I inevitably ended up destroying them. I didn't have the vocabulary at the time, but now, I would say that I was living within the limitations of my personality instead of playing to my strengths.
During this time in my life, I had a strong narrative about why I did the things I did and why I failed in the specific ways I consistently found myself failing. It all came back to my father. My father was an alcoholic, an abuser; he had done this to me. He had ruined me. He had made my life what it was. In this narrative, my own choices were negligible, already predetermined by the things I had suffered as a child. Years later, Tony Robbins would call this narrative my "bullshit story," my easy excuse for everything that didn't really get at the real issue.
I allowed that narrative to rule me for a long time. I was afraid to really dig into the dark places and find out the why behind the things I was doing, and as a direct result of those choices, I lost relationships (including a marriage). I trapped myself in a career that was crippling me with anxiety and depression. And I generally stalled out in my growth as a human being. My story is unique to me and my background is certainly not the only way to wind up stuck in limitations. It's not just alcoholism or just abuse or just the immigrant experience or just any one thing. There are, tragically, a million ways that a person can become damaged and get stuck in a cycle of toxic choices. I saw that firsthand with my father.
Many alcoholics never get sober, not for longer than a few months — a few years, at best. Many don't have sufficient incentive to stop drinking, while others don't have a support structure in place or the internal makeup to stay away from the bottle in the long term. Some of them die by disease or by accident, killed by their addiction in one way or another.
When I was younger, I expected that my father would be like that. I couldn't imagine he would ever stop; it was too much a part of him. When my mother told me stories of him as a young man — a teetotaler who wouldn't touch anything stronger than a glass of orange juice — it seemed like she was telling me a fairy tale or a legend about someone who had never really existed. I couldn't picture my father without his addiction; I didn't even know what that man would look like.
I did eventually find out but only after my father had hit the lowest possible point. He lost his wife, his career, any kind of respect he'd had in his community and, during one particularly terrible binge, he very nearly became a murderer, causing an auto accident that almost claimed several innocent lives. On top of all of that, the alcohol was literally killing him, poisoning his body and destroying his health. That was what it took for him to break away and get sober.
His sobriety didn't fix our relationship, of course. His sobriety couldn't erase the pain he'd caused me — every kind of pain a person can experience — but it did crack open the door and allow me to at least see him again. I couldn't connect with my father when he was drinking. Seeing him drunk, even just seeing him in proximity to alcohol, triggered that familiar tightness in my chest, that same apprehension. It turned me into a scared kid, waiting for his dad to get home and hoping desperately that he would pass out instead of come looking for a fight.
It seemed that sobriety did something similar for my father as well. It was only after he had quit drinking that he was able to be truly honest with me. Only when he was sober could he open up to me about his own upbringing, so incredibly similar to my own.
My father was born to Indian immigrants in Fiji. He was raised a Hindu but he gravitated toward the Mormon faith as a young adult. His life was all restriction on one hand and incredible, destructive indulgence on the other. His own father was completely consumed by alcohol, to the point of being nonfunctional when he even brushed up against sobriety. His mother — my grandmother — didn't question or object. She came from a background in which a woman's role in her marriage was very clearly defined: she was to be a helpmeet to her husband. If that meant brewing liquor in her own kitchen because he had drunk away their last penny, that was what she did. My grandfather never hit his lowest point because my grandmother was always crushed beneath him, cushioning the fall. Eventually, his addiction killed him. His body, ravaged by drink, gave out at the family dinner table with my father right there, a horrified witness. I never met my grandfather but, in many ways, I lived with the fallout of his choices.
My father hated his father, hated his addiction, and hated alcohol most of all. Like many children of alcoholics, he vowed that he would never touch the stuff and, like many children of alcoholics, he eventually found that was a promise he could not keep.
My father never reckoned with his childhood, with his parents and all the ways they'd failed him. Instead, he replicated the behaviors he had seen from them and rushed to the same coping mechanisms that had destroyed his family. When my father told me the story of his father's death, I saw him in a new light for the first time. He wasn't an adversary; he wasn't the architect of all my dysfunction. He was a mirror. Or, he would be, if I didn't start making some changes.
That is why the first phase in The Way of the Quiet Warrior is called "THE SELF," because no journey of any magnitude takes place without a serious, thorough accounting of your current self. When we start looking at THE SELF, we first have to confront that question: what truly motivates us? I had to look beyond immediate, specific motivations like "a year-end bonus" or "upcoming vacation." I even had to broaden the scope of my search beyond my deeper, more hidden impulses to reenact parts of my difficult childhood. It was only when I really looked at my decisions not as individual moments but as part of a pattern of values and priorities that I really understood what I wanted. Or, better yet, what I needed.
What I finally discovered was that I had long been driven by a need for intimacy. Not necessarily romantic intimacy, but a general sense of closeness to the people in my life, whether they were family, friends, or even coworkers. I habitually made choices that I believed would strengthen and intensify the bonds I had with others and I let my feelings about individuals guide me in virtually all aspects of life, even if I didn't realize it at the time.
Much later, I would come to realize that this sort of motivation was part of a suite of personality characteristics that Dr. Taylor Hartman would group together and call "Blue."
To be Blue was to be driven by closeness and depth of relationships, to struggle with anxiety and worry, and to wrestle with a strong tendency toward perfectionism. On the other hand, the natural talents of a Blue personality include "quality" and "service" as well as dependability and sincerity, and when a given personality is playing to his or her strengths — we'd refer to this situation as a "healthy Blue" — we are capable of incredible things. Each personality type is, in fact, and no one type is any more effective or more wonderful than another, it's all simply a matter of understanding what we are good at and the places where we tend to get stuck.
Dr. Hartman wrote a number of books detailing his study of how people relate to one another and the motives that drive them. I was very drawn to his ideas and was able to apply many of them in my own life. Eventually, we formed a partnership, working together to bring Dr. Hartman's motivation-based systems to people who are feeling trapped or desperate in their current lives. I had discovered in my own life and career that there were any number of vehicles that would allow me to get from one point to another and when I discovered The People Code, I recognized immediately that this was a very effective vehicle that would allow me to teach others the things I'd learned during my own journey.
Dr. Hartman has identified four main "types" of people who were associated with a different primary fundamental motivation and gave each of them a colour: Red, Blue, White, and Yellow. You could call these people by many terms (if we were living in the Middle Ages, for example, we might say someone was "choleric" or "phlegmatic" rather than Red or Blue) but I like Dr. Hartman's assessment and find it generally useful for identifying, broadly speaking, common sets of strengths and limitations that we see recurring together in many people. Blues, like myself, make up about 35 percent of the population, while Reds comprise roughly 25 percent. Superficially, these colours can appear to oppose one another. When we talk about how these personalities work, we often talk about them in terms of how they manipulate or control people, but this is not exactly as Machiavellian as it seems. Most group dynamics in the world hinge upon some members of the group influencing other members to act in certain ways. The Reds and Blues of the world tend to spend their life controlling others with logic and emotion; the Whites and Yellows tend to spend their life trying to avoid being controlled. All personalities have a place in society but, when people indulge in the worst aspects of their character, toxic environments can emerge.
A Red personality type is motivated by power, not being good or bad, but in the sense of getting things done, moving from A to B; this is how they love the world. In the abstract, this can sound negative, even sinister, but that is not necessarily the case. Certainly, there are toxic Red personalities who selfishly use and abuse others in order to meet their goals, but Reds are also confident, assertive, motivated, decisive, and often have a natural talent for vision and leadership. If you are lost in a strange city, you want a Red personality by your side because, within minutes, they will have found the nearest landmark and mapped out a route and they won't stop until the problem is solved. Similarly, a seemingly benign Blue personality can be incredibly destructive if they allow themselves to obsess over perfecting a project to a point of paralysis or overwhelm others with their emotional intensity. When Blues are firing on all cylinders, they can be incredibly loyal, caring, and intuitive leaders, but their flaws can be just as destructive as Reds' flaws, under the right circumstances.
The late Steve Jobs was a classic example of a Red leader, someone with an incredible vision that he was able to realize, but often at the cost of alienating, hurting, or even destroying the people around him. Many Reds are emotionally immature and in Steve Job's case, he struggled to deal with traumas inflicted early in life.
I, myself, have seen all sides of motive-based leadership. I personally have been an effective and a very ineffective Blue-style leader. I have used my impulse toward relationship building to create close-knit teams that were able to achieve incredible things, but I have also overwhelmed people with a need for perfection and anxiety about the future.
When a person gets stuck in his or her worst impulses, we call that "living in your limitations." Each of the personality types has potential trouble spots, places where people can become stuck and wind up acting out the same negative behaviors over and over again. The Way of the Quiet Warrior is designed to allow people to clearly see when they are living in their limitations and give them the antidotes to those destructive patterns.
White and Yellow personalities each comprise about 20 percent of the population. People with White personalities are driven by the motive of peace, not in the sense of a cease-fire in a war, but in terms of generalized harmony among the people around them. I often ask folks to imagine their "happy place," perhaps a stream meandering around rocks beneath a sky dotted with fluffy, marshmallow clouds, and that is where a White personality wants to live all the time. They avoid conflict whenever possible and they tend to be somewhat opaque, retreating into themselves in challenging situations.
There are many White types among our diplomats, doctors, and lawyers — jobs that require clarity, reason, and an aptitude for defusing tense situations. My Whites have a natural talent for clarity of thought and they are excellent voices of reason. They are even-tempered and patient, and their natural avoidance of conflict leads them to make peace between warring factions. A White personality at the top of his or her game is exactly what you would want in a caregiver or advocate: kind, patient, empathetic, and an excellent listener. This same type of people, however, can also shut down in the face of a difficult decision or simply because they feel overwhelmed. They can be uncommunicative, especially when they are struggling, and it can be incredibly difficult for outsiders to guess what is going on behind their neutral expression.
Yellow personalities are driven by pure, unadulterated fun. They are joy-seekers, relentless optimists who have great reservoirs of enthusiasm and optimism. A person with a Yellow personality type is always very "present," very in the moment. This makes them very vital and engaging, but it also often means that they are poor long-term planners who can quickly get in over their head in difficult situations. As you might expect of folks driven by the pursuit of fun, Yellow personalities also get bored easily and can be notorious for leaving projects half finished. Staying committed, whether it is to a person, a job, or even a career is a challenge for many people with a Yellow personality type. When I think of a Yellow leader, I think of Richard Branson, a thrill-seeker who flits from industry to industry. They are enthusiastic, optimistic, and great at drumming up excitement, but they often don't know what to do with all that momentum once they've created it. Follow-through is a real challenge for Yellow types.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Way of the Quiet Warrior"
Copyright © 2017 Tom Dutta.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Introduction On the Format of This Book xiii
The Boy 1
Phase 1 The Self 15
The Axeman 30
Phase 2 The Vision 43
Road Trip 59
Phase 3 The Path 75
A Meeting With The Goddess 89
Phase 4 The Blueprint 99
Phase 5 The Launch 121
The Bend In The River 133
Phase 6 The Community 143
Family Tree 157
Self-Assessment Quiz 168
About the Author 169