How does Superman feel, when he is Clark Kent? Think about that for a moment, and then consider how he might feel if he forgot that he was Superman, and began to take the crap of the office seriously? Would his posture change and would he cringe when called into the  boss’s office? Let me take it a little further, suppose he was being reprimanded in a state wherein he had forgotten he was Superman. All the time Perry White is yelling, what kind of self-talk would Clark have?


Don’t just read that sentence, give it some thought. Have you ever gotten a load of shit from someone in power? Boss, teacher, significant other, military or police person?

What was your reaction? 



Suppose Clark, in the midst of being reamed out by Perry, suddenly remembers he is Superman. What would his mental state be? Let us say that as Clark Kent he was deeply chagrined, but with the sudden invisible change to Clark Kent-Superman he might be amused as he plays his part.   

Nothing has really changed, except that now Clark realizes his true nature. 

Try and do this now. Imagine the above scenario with yourself as Clark. Try and remember a similar situation from your life, now or in the past, even your childhood. 

How much of this kind of garbage have you stored within you? It begins with all the times as a child you were told not to do something and continues on into school where you are trained to obey and conform. The messages at first external, become internal. No longer do they whip you, but you whip yourself, and this is the definition of a slave. 

Self-talk is our jailer and slave master. All the scenarios and conversations we have within the studio of our brains give us answers to those two questions , who are we, and what are we, that we need to eliminate. 

When you fuck up, you say “that is like me..” that gives you an excuse, and a way out from the effort of change. Hence we have the mnemonic with its freeing power. 

Already, with the words “I am the man in the arena, the martial artist…” you have changed your inner-dialogue. Not completely, but you have begun.  And with that you have have begun to change your self image. And so now we begin the third position, Ronin. 

After , “man in the arena, and martial artist,” you have earned the position of Ronin, which means that you are autonomous. 

This is how Clark Kent feels when he realizes he is Clark Kent-Superman. A more text book definition would be;

Essentially, the autonomous :

“are those who on the whole are capable of conforming to the behavioral norms of their society…but are free to choose whether to conform or not.” The autonomous stands outside and above the other types; he understands them, can reflect on them, and then can freely choose when and if to resist them or act in accordance with them. He is able to transcend his culture—by turns overruling it and joining in with it as he himself chooses. – Wikipedia


Read that again and think deeply on it. And now let’s look at it again and say it another way. 

To be a Ronin, means you are a free agent in your mind, no matter what others might think. You might have employment, but your career is to be a spy for yourself. The historical ronin was an unemployed samurai, looking for a lord who would accept him as a vassal. But the Ronin of our mnemonic might take employment, but would never be a vassal. He derives great power from a unique value system that makes him free of any culture. 

Think about that for a moment. Let’s say, in the James Bond days, you had a job in Moscow, as a taxi driver. As a normal person, you drive around hoping for tips, and daydreaming of some pot of gold. As a spy you have another purpose. The tips don’t matter, you aren’t imagining something that will never happen, you are alert and collecting information. As a spy for yourself it is much the same. 

Bond is good, Ronin is better. 

How do we actualize the third position? First we need an avatar. Often computer game players will pick an image that represents them in the game, or as a sign in on the internet, an avatar. 

This is not a game, but we are going to create an avatar. And then you will become it. 

The mnemonic almost does this for you. It is an affirmation, a genetic code for creating your ideal self. Being a Ronin, Martial Artist, who is in the Arena, these words conjure up images, as they were meant to. But now we have to go a bit further. We want to actually cast the part we are creating. And we will change as we do this. 

The easiest way to create an avatar is just to pick a character from a movie that moves you. Watch the movie a number of times, groove on the way the character stands and moves. Visualize your avatar in your life situations; showering in the morning, driving, and dealing with the social situations about you. Thus you use the avatar by imagining him/her, in your place. Suppose you have to give a presentation at work. This makes you retreat mentally. Use the mnemonic, and visualize the avatar giving the presentation. 

We are growing new pathways and connections in the brain. This takes time. When you first attempt this, the improvement will be small. Write about it in your journal. Play it over again in your mind’s eye, and this time get it perfect. Now watch a segment of a movie with your avatar in it, then turn it off and again visualize him executing flawlessly the situation you flubbed. Keep this up, and you will change. 

The main thought is that if yourself-image doesn’t change you won’t. If Clark Kent didn’t suddenly change his self-image to Clark Kent-Superman, he would have been a whipped dog. 

Instead he is autonomous, he is Ronin.