One who conquers himself is greater than another who conquers a thousand times a thousand men on the battlefield. Be victorious over yourself and not over others. When you attain victory over yourself, not even the gods can turn it into defeat.
This little series is not going to be like a lot of other posts that try to ape the concept of dominance in a way that seems to come from a place of insecurity.
I am not going to denounce dominance in the way that wussies and other negative people want to, but rather I will explain it in a way that applies to your inner world as well as the world around you.
Definition of Dominance/Dominate
Though the dictionary definitions of dominance view the term in the context of social hierarchy (which is more illusory and fluid than real and immovable; and I’ll touch upon that in the next post), I want to sort of reframe dominance in a poetic way that will be more effective for you rather than in the polarized and abstract I-win-you-lose way that we are taught to think of it.
To dominate by one definition means to have control or power over something — anything really. This is a broader understanding of dominance and is how we should start to think of it.
Take that old, narrow idea of dominance and burn it. We’re going to learn real dominance today.
To dominate the world, dominate yourself
Your locus of control starts with you and your choices.
You, your thoughts, decisions and actions are your foundation for what you get and give in life.
Therefore, you must have dominance over yourself to free yourself. Or rather, you become a disciple of yourself. Self-discipline. That’s a term we’ve all heard before, right? (It’s tangentially related to the inner game concept as well.)
Self-discipline is merely the alignment of your body and your actions with your higher goals and aspirations. The more self-disciplined you are, the more power you command over urges and actions that work against you, and the less power that others’ thoughts, words and decisions have over you.
By learning self-discipline, you can hone yourself into an effective one-man army, ready to tackle obstacles and achieve goals.
These days, who has self-discipline?
Take a moment to think of all the people in your life who do the wrong things despite knowing what they should do. Or people who don’t lift a finger to take care of themselves at all. Do they have dominance over themselves? Can they command themselves, let alone anything else in their lives?
Sometimes they do make the right decisions or start something to improve their situation, but then they give up. Or worse, they make excuses and they blame others without proactively offering or thinking of any solutions. They are relinquishing control over themselves to the world.
This is something we as a species have been wrestling with for thousands of years. Many religions and philosophies have sought to conquer it to varying degrees of success.
The higher mind knows what it wants to do, but in those without inner dominance, the lower mind that wants to be lazy doesn’t take the higher mind seriously at all. It’s like an undisciplined dog that never listens to the commands of its owner and makes its own rules.
Now compare these people to people who get things done.
Usually we think of big names and leaders of nations, but there are also lone people who are effective at getting what they need without being power-hungry:
We can learn a lot from these fellows.
These guys may be ambitious, but the key point is that none of their dominance in their respective arenas comes from a place of narcissism. A narcissist’s idea of dominance comes from an insecure need to subjugate others or to always see others as the cause of their personal problems.
Anyway, what else sets these guys apart from the rest? Each of these people possesses inner dominance.
By contrast, the people who cannot take control of their lives have no inner dominance.
My point is that it is possible to become more dominant by dominating your “lower self,” the part of you that has banal, short-term urges that may not be aligned with your goals or more deeply fulfilling to you. The part of you that wants to take the path of least resistance, whether or not it is best for you.
The part of you that wants to procrastinate, the part of you that wants to grab a drink or a smoke when you know you shouldn’t, or the part of you that wants to skip out on going to the gym even though you haven’t been sore for days is the part of yourself that you need to conquer.
Those demons and vices are a part of each and every one of us. We need to understand them, become comfortable with them, and carefully and methodically dominate and/or redirect them.
I will go so far as to say that dominance over yourself is more important than being outwardly dominant, which we typically associate with the Napoleon complex (for example).
Usually people who have a “Napoleon complex” or other need to act dominant out of insecurity tend to lack inner dominance and let the stresses and tumults of the world overcome them and dictate how they act. (There are some good explanations for this, which I will explain later.)
Introverts and Inner Dominance
Now what do inner dominance or self-discipline have to do with you? As an introvert, your ability to view your internal world in depth means you are more poised to dominating yourself in terms of conquering the inner aspects of yourself that work against your external goals. More importantly, you’ll learn how much your true value is.
So with this post, I invite you to begin to practice self-discipline and become dominant over yourself.
In the following posts, I will explain outer dominance, dominance in society, submission and how it relates to yourself and other people. Finally I will explain how all of this comes together to help you become a more valuable person to others while getting what you need to achieve your goals in turn.
Stay tuned, friends.