In our last +1, we hung out with my two favorite Joes: Scholar of the Hero’s Journey (and Grandpa in my spiritual family tree) Joseph Campbell, and gritty heroic exemplar (and soul brother), Joe De Sena.
Today I want to spend a little more time with Joe De Sena.
Let’s open up his latest book . Page 14.
He tells us: “Through work and endurance racing I have come to know many people. Some of them were unforgettable. These great ones all shared the same core qualities. I call them the Spartan Core Virtues. Combine these qualities into one person and you have the ideal boss, the valuable employee, the perfect business partner, or comrade in any endeavor. Here’s a short description of each of the Spartan Core Virtues.
Self-Awareness: Know who you are and who you are not. If you don’t, you’ll be confused daily.
Commitment: Stick to it because the world is filled with people who don’t. You’re better than
Passion: If you’re not passionate about what you do, you’re not going to be great at it. Take things seriously and learn to be passionate.
Discipline: Set your rules and stick to them. Be disciplined about it.
Prioritization: Deal with the important things—important being what you define as
Grit: Get gritty. Break out of your comfort zone. Do the hard, scary shit. Find your passion and persevere.
Courage: This is the ability to stay focused and work relentlessly with both intensity and passion through virtually anything, especially through failure.
Optimism: See the world as you want it to be, not as it is. Be ever hopeful.
Integrity: If you’re not honest with yourself and others, then what are you?
Wholeness: Live the life of a complete and whole Spartan.”
There ya go. The Ten Spartan Core Virtues.
Repetition is the essence of mastery, so let’s go through them again. This time, if you feel so inspired and didn’t already do a quick inventory on how you’re doing with each, please do.
So... What’s awesome?
What needs work?
What can (and will!) you start doing differently?
Let’s remember: It’s ALL (!!!) about OPERATIONALIZING VIRTUE.
P.S. One of the things Joe and I joke about is that I’m his brother from Athens. (Hah.)
Embodying those Spartan virtues?
Well… That, of course, is what Aristotle taught us when he said that the summum bonum (the highest good!) is to live with eudaimonia—to flourish by having a “good soul.”
How do we do that?
(Again, echo, the one-word summation of ALL of our work together? Areté. Express the best version of yourself moment to moment to moment and voila! Enter: Eudaimonia + a deep sense of flourishing.)
More on all that soon (and forever)…