Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman – Summary

Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman – Summary
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I’m on a reading slump lately and I’ve been trying to get back to reading I chose the book, Peaceful Warrior, a graphic novel by Dan Millman. Graphic Novels are a great way to get your reading done within a single sitting and it doesn’t eat up a lot of your time.

If you are overthinking, frustrated, and dealing with some demons like me then this book/movie will certainly help you get over that hump.

Below is a short summary of Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman.

Peaceful Warrior is a part fictional and part autobiographical story of Author Dan Millman and his relationship with his mentor Socrates. Dan Millman is a gifted gymnast currently studying at UC- Berkley.

Like every young man, he is suffering more in his head than in his life and is longing for a mentor. He has a goal in his sport but he couldn’t translate that into his life.

Everywhere Dan goes he is filled with these questions in his mind:-

  • Who am I?
  • What is the purpose of my life?
  • Where is the gateway beyond the mind, beyond past and future, life and death?

One Night heading home after practice Dan meets an old man in a gas station. There was something about him and he was going to be the mentor that Dan so desperately needed. He was Socrates and he was Mr. Miyagi to Daniel San if you know what I mean.

Soon they develop a friendship and Dan opens up to him about his goals in life. Dan’s goal in life was to make it to the Olympics and secure a gold medal for his country but deep down he had something missing.

Dan had a goal but more than a goal he needed a wake-up call in life and Socrates’s purpose was to wake Dan up.

One Night Dan was unable to battle the voices in his hand and couldn’t sleep and decided to go out for a ride while his mind was all over the place which was a bad idea. He crashes into a car and breaks his right femur.

What do you do when you have a goal you are striving for with everything you got and life has other ideas?

What do you do then? Do you just give up and accept it or fight on?

Dan decides to fight on with the help of Socrates.

His chances of making it to the National trials are now bleak and he needs all the help he can get from Socrates to get back on track.

Socrates tells Dan that you are like a fly on the TV screen and you don’t see the bigger picture. The only thing you have to do is to pay attention to what you are doing right now and forget everything else.

Dan now under Socrates’s tutelage practices celibacy and has a strict diet. Although he fails every now and then he gets the respect of his mentor and makes a miraculous recovery in record time. The purpose of Socrates’s philosophy was not to be more spiritual but to be more human. To have control over one’s self.

Everyone in Dan’s life tells him to play it safe but socrates. Socrates can read Dan’s mind like the back of his hand. In a college course, you either pass or fail but in life, you do or die.

Make sure you grow up before you show up. Talk less, think less, and feel more.

Socrates is getting older and it is now time for the National trials.

Just like in Eminem’s song Lose Yourself it was Dan’s one opportunity to seize everything he ever wanted and he didn’t let it slip.

Dan wins the Nationals but Socrates sadly passes away.

Death is perfectly safe but what’s sad is very few people really live.

Dan now realizes that all this time he was battling himself. Life is not about success or failure it’s about testing your limits. It’s okay to be afraid but you can’t let the fear stop you. All of Socrates’s teaching makes sense to him now.

It’s just human nature to have a sense of conquest. Once we climb a mountain we have to get down and climb another mountain and Dan continues his journey to find happiness and Peace.

Dream big and start small. A little bit of something is better than a lot of nothing. Be Here and now breathe and relax. These are Dan’s teachings let’s practice them. Just handle what’s in front of you because past and future literally do not exist.

Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman has also been made into a movie that was released in 2006. Off course Once Hollywood gets their hands on a script they add their own spin to it. You can watch Peaceful Warrior and decide for yourself but Dan Millman says PEACEFUL WARRIOR: The Graphic Novel is the raw unfiltered version.

Dan Millman at TEDxBerkeley

If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever.

Dan Millman


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