From discipline to prudence, fortitude to faith, The Warrior’s Book of Virtues uses the battle-tested principles of the United States Marine Corps to help everyone live their best life in practical ways. It returns virtue to the forefront, restoring time-honored values like honesty, integrity and perseverance, courage and self-restraint.
Conceived and written by Marine Corps veterans, The Warrior’s Book of Virtues is a discussion—not a sermon—on how to develop and embrace the skills of self-respect, respect for others and self-discipline. It is an essential guide for anyone looking to live their best life, created with tested principles for succeeding through understanding and developing character.
Virtues represent a person's moral excellence. To begin learning how to access them, check out these ten key rules from the book below:
1. Make discipline a habit and an application in all things. Doing so will provide you with freedom in your life. You must discipline your behaviors, daily desires and daily routines.
2. Face your fears. Take immediate responsibility for yourself and your actions. Hold yourself accountable. If you mess up, acknowledge it and file it away.
3. Put your phone down and turn your television off. Evaluate your time spent on recreational activities with family and friends and decide whether this is the best use of your time.
4. Develop an operational plan. Write out your daily intentions, short-term and long-term goals. Eliminate excuses and replace them with productive action.
5. Model yourself after those who are successful in the spaces you want to occupy and excel in. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and make you a better person; avoid those who tear you down.
6. Embrace exercise. Our bodies were meant for movement. Evaluate your eating patterns and your nutrition and make necessary changes. Take sleep and nutrition seriously.
7. Develop your talents. Identify and hone your passions. Eliminate self-absorbed and gratuitous behavior.
8. Get up early. Start your day at 0430 (yes, that’s 4:30 am) and go to bed early in the evening. Quality sleep will never be a concern when you live a structured lifestyle filled with actionable items. Keep charging ahead throughout the day, even when it gets uncomfortable. Take necessary breaks—even a nap, if you need to—and finish the task you started. Allow yourself to push through the pain now and again.
9. Believe in yourself. Take the time to get to know and trust the people who love you.
10. Make sound decisions for the sake of your physical and mental well-being. Focus on your mental and physical health. The two are inseparable. Having a strong body has tremendous positive effects on your overall health and sense of well-being. When you are well, you can take on even the most difficult tasks.
Nick Benas, USMC, is a former United States Marine Sergeant and Iraqi Combat Veteran. He is the co-author of The Warrior's Book of Virtues, Mental Health Emergencies and Tactical Mobility. He now travels around the United States training individuals on how to respond to emergency mental health situations.