The Warrior stance I call “existential impeccability” means that you are path-oriented rather than goal-oriented. Your focus is on being impeccable in the moment. The emphasis on impeccability is not so much on gaining recognition or rewards, but on being impeccable for its own sake. You are focused on the path — on being humble, alert, efficient, and adaptable as you follow your path. When your emphasis is on the goal you tend to disassociate from the present as you gaze longingly toward the future. Ends can justify the means as the future becomes more important than the present. With goals foremost in your mind you tend to step out of the present to anxiously check for progress. Goal-orientation can actually undermine your results. The runner who is thinking of the finish line is not as engaged as the runner focused on his present stride. Similarly, an overweight person who is obsessively focused on the goal of reaching a particular weight is likely to sacrifice the present and take on an extreme and uncomfortable diet. The present is turned into a ghetto for the sake of an imagined, glittering future when the ideal weight is reached. Eventually various aspects of the self will rebel from a present that feels oppressed and deprived. The overweight person who instead focuses on eating in the moment in a way that would make sense in the long term has a better quality of life in the present and will gradually achieve a healthy, sustainable weight.
The Warrior aims to perform every action in a way that is as whole and complete as possible. Since any action could be your last act on earth you must focus on doing it as beautifully and efficiently as possible.
For those willing to read a little more: The term “existential impeccability” came out of the following journal entry I wrote in the Eighties:
“The immature attitude toward transformation is to see impeccability as a sacrifice to gain a reward. It degrades the present into a sacrifice for an imaginary “transformed” magical future. The immature approach turns all efforts into their opposite, light into dark. True impeccability is existential; it is done for its own sake, not in the expectation of anything. Only such a stance has the detachment from result to achieve the fluidity and adaptability to mean a lasting value. This type of impeccability is not ‘for’ transformation. It is in itself the revolutionary transformation you seek. Transformation occurs when you strive to give up the expectant attitude and replace it with a lasting effort to seek impeccability as an end in itself.”
Some other writings that discuss the stance of existential impeccability: