"A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war: wide-awake, with fear, with respect and with absolute assurance. Going to knowledge or going to war in any other manner is a mistake, and whoever makes it might never live to regret it.
When a man has fulfilled all four of these requisites - to be wide-awake, to have fear, respect, and absolute assurance - there are no mistakes for which he will have to account; under such conditions his actions lose the blundering quality of the acts of a fool. if such a man fails, or suffers a defeat, he will have lost only a battle, and there will be no pitiful regrets over that."
From The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda as found in The Wheel of Time on page 15.