Be Intentional..

Everything you do you have the choice to be intentional. To choose what it takes to follow through on all of your initiatives. If you lose – this is how I will react.. If something isn’t going quite right then this is how I will handle it. We aren’t always thinking win win win, things will not always be going our way.  There are things simply out of our control.

Focus on being intentional of the things you can control, which will drive progress towards what that big goal and big vision is.

  • You can control Passion.
  • You can control Effort.
  • You can control Attitude.
  • You can control Focus.

We can control whether or not we choose to connect with our why and our purpose and why we are taking action. We control what kind of information and inspiration we put into our brain. We choose what we focus on.

It’s all about being intentional.

Are we doing the things that someone who has reached our vision is doing? What does our day look like? Does our day look like an MMA Champion’s day? Does our day look like a successful business person’s day? If it doesn’t then we have a disparity that needs to be corrected.

Nothing happens without being intentional. We have to constantly up our standards. Everybody goes through the same stuff. Everybody will wake up some days and not want to train. But we wake up and tell ourselves why we are doing it. Day 1 of training is a lot different then day 100.

We’re sore, wore out, dragging a bit. Writing the reason down so we can remind ourselves why we are doing it. We take the momentum we’ve built and use it. We can be intentional on building that momentum and using it. If not then feelings will take over. But when we have a certain standard we hold ourselves to then we can overcome those feelings. WE have to choose a standard for ourselves. WE have to choose to raise our own standards.

It has to be a choice.

We don’t just wake up and do what we do. Its a result of creating habits and standards base upon the mentors, clan and the people who have been there for us in the past.

It’s a decision. Tony Robbins says success is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics  – 80/20 rule. Our clan holds us to a certain standard but we still have to choose it. That choice we make is being intentional about what we do.

Practice Doesn’t Always Work

Practice has a lot to do with finding what works and more importantly what does not work, whether that be in life or the training hall. Often I see, especially in the first 5 years or so of training, people get discouraged when things don’t work during practice. As Martial Warriors and ultimately Warriors of Life our practice is a practice of truth, whether that be in combat, our relationships with others and environment or our relationship with ourselves.

People often relate things to happiness and joy and believe this to be the ultimate goal of practice. I believe for the Martial Warrior it does encompass these things obviously but the practice itself has to do more with being honest and facing what stands in the way self perfection.

If everything in practice always worked there would be no need to practice. Our practice wouldn’t do us any good. I find it useful to think of practice as being so meaningful because most of the time things don’t work. It’s when it doesn’t work that true learning begins. It’s because we lack perfection that we practice. So don’t get discouraged, it’s during these times that our practice has the potential to reveal the most meaning. The key is to be honest in looking at why it’s not working. It’s also important to realize the process of self honesty can be the most difficult, but that it’s necessary to maintain a sustainable continued growth.

Everything is due to conflict

Everything we do that’s important is the result of conflict. Not a conflict between us and the world–a conflict between us and ourselves. We want to eat another dessert but we want to be healthy and skinny as well. Who is we? Who is the self in self control, and who is being controlled? We want to stand up and make difference and we want to sit down and hide and be safe. We want to help others and we want to keep more for ourselves. It’s not a metaphor, it’s brain chemistry. We don’t have one mind, we have competing interests, all sparring it out. This conflict, the conflict between I and me, is at the heart of being human. One side creates the other.

The Mind of Form

I’ve recently began re-reading the Demon’s Sermon on the Martial Arts by Issai Chozanshi “The Hayseed Taoist”. Issai Chozanshi (1659-1741) was the pen name of Niwa Jurozaemon Tadaaki, a samurai of the Sekiyado clan. This is truly a wonderful book filled with little gems of deep meaning. One that I am particularly fond of is the tale the “Transformation of the Sparrow and the Butterfly” which offers insights into transformation. The lesson in this particular tale is that principle has no form.

In this tale we read about how the sparrow envies the butterfly, for the butterfly has transformed from a simple limiting caterpillar into a wonderfully free-flying butterfly. The sparrow is consumed with thoughts of how it expects to transform from its current free-flying state into a lonely clam, with no power of movement and forced to exist in the cold sandy filth of the ocean floor, having no eyes to see and no ears in which to hear.

The butterfly scoffs at such worries, and chides the sparrow for trying to project its current mind into its future form. The butterfly says:

The butterfly further expresses that when the sparrow metamorphoses into the clam he will only know what it means to be a clam and thus will fit in perfectly with that form.

There are many different correlations we can make with this tale. One of which is that having our minds stuck in either some future or past place is of little use. This is because we are not in those forms. These states do not allow us to apply mindfulness in life or in our practice. If we are thinking about the next attack or the next exercise or the next rep then we can not be truly present in our current form. I have discussed this in a number of training sessions that we must be able to flow from an opponent’s attack to their next. Only by not becoming stuck are we free to respond to each appropriately. When we are stuck, we will never be able to achieve Wu-hsin (No-Mind, Mushin, Wu-wei). Instead we should stay in the present moment because this is the form we are currently in, when this form passes we should flow freely to the next.

Wisdom of the Old Cat

Since I am finding myself up at 3am I figured I’d write a quick post.

There are few practices in life that can be a reliable source of humility and lessons on egoless dedication as in the martial arts. Of course this is based on ones mindset and level of self honesty. For me personally I am forced to confront one or more of my many shortcomings every time I practice. Over the years it has become one of the things I look forward to experiencing.

I recently wrote a post called “The Mind of Form” with a reference from the Demon’s Sermon on the Martial Arts by Issai Chozanshi “The Hayseed Taoist” (1659-1741) who was a samurai Niwa Jurozaemon Tadaaki of the Sekiyado clan. Again today I will make a reference to this great book.

Here is one of the fundamental messages contained through out in a variety of ways:

“It is foolish to think that another person doesn’t know what you know. If you have spiritual clarity, another person will have spiritual clarity as well. How could you be the only knowledgeable one, while everyone else under heaven is a fool?”

I believe this is an important message. It is very often we see people who have a belief in their own specialness. Something is learned then immediately assumed that they are the only ones that has ever heard of this teaching. Or even worse, somebody else passes on their wisdom and it is internalize to such a degree that even when returned to the ‘originator’ it is given as if it was their own. I can’t count how many times I have witness people offering something as if the idea came from them. This is by no means limited to martial arts. I witness this on a regular basis in the fitness industry and my career as a engineer.

One of my mentors Sifu Ted Wong once said this during a training workshop:

“I have not created a new JKD. There is only one Jeet Kune Do and that is Bruce Lee’s. All that I have done is discovered what was already there.” 

Bruce himself said:

“I have not invented a new style, composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from “this” method or “that” method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds. Remember that Jeet Kune Do is merely a name used, a mirror in which to see ourselves.”

Another Sifu Mike Rutter said:

“When you have questions seek the source.” 

There is very little if anything I have come up with on my own, what insights I have gained I find expressed throughout the ages from various masters of the past. What I have done and continue to do is work on perfecting my craft.

Issai Chozanshi also expresses these words:

“How could anyone in the world be so stupid? A man will learn some skill, and after making doubly sure he’s got it down, will use it over and over again in vain, never understanding that the skill has now become his enemy, and that he is inviting disaster.”

There are many different areas we can apply this wisdom.

“He [the martial artist] must perceive any situation with total concentration, and act as a mirror spontaneously reflects what passes in front of it. He can harbour no thoughts of prepared action, for they will only come between himself and the external circumstances. In the same way, any premeditated action will not truly reflect or respond to the reality of the situation.”

Bruce Lee reflects this in the answer to the below questions and the following quote:

Q: What are your thoughts when facing an opponent?

A: There is no opponent.

Q: Why is that?

A: Because the word ”l” does not exist. A good fight should be like a small play, but played seriously. When the opponent expands, l contract. When he contracts, l expand. And when there is an opportunity… l do not hit… it hits all by itself.

“Any technique, however worthy and desirable, becomes a disease when the mind is obsessed with it.”

Bruce Lee also found value with this verse from the Xin Xin Ming (Hsin-hsin Ming) which is often attributed to the Third Chinese Ch’an [Zen] Patriarch Seng-ts’an (died 606) and master of Tao-hsin. Although there is also reference that the Fourth Ch’an Patriarch Tao-hsin (580-651) is actually responsible for this work and it may have later been recorded by his disciple the Fifth Ch’an Patriarch Hung-jen (601-74) or it is possibiliy that the work belongs to the maverick Ch’an master Fa-jung (594-657) also known as the St. Francis of Zen. Xin Xin Ming (Hsin-hsin Ming) is one of the earliest Ch’an [Zen] writings. Masters Seng-ts’an, Tao-hsin, and Hung-jen are honored today as the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Patriarchs, respectively, and revered as the legendary founders of Ch’an. Anyhow the below translation which can also be found in a number of Bruce Lee’s works is originally translated this way in the book “The Religions of Man” (1958) by Huston Smith which included in it a collection of Taoist views.

“The perfect way is only difficult for those who pick and choose. Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. Make a hairbreadth difference and heaven and earth are set apart; if you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between “for” and “against” is the mind’s worst disease.”

A few more translations of this verse of the Xin Xin Ming (Hsin-hsin Ming):

Translation by Dusan Pajin’s

The best way [Great Way, the Tao] is not difficult

It only excludes picking and choosing

Once you stop loving and hating

It will enlighten itself.

Translation by D.T. Suzuki

The Perfect Way knows no difficulties

Except that it refuses to make preferences;

Only when freed from hate and love,

It reveals itself fully and without disguise

Translation by Lok Sang Ho

The Way of the supreme is not difficult,

If only people will give up preferences.

Like not, dislike not.

Be illuminated.

 

Of course I’m not suggesting here that there is no place for practice and technique. There is a relationship between practice and spontaneity and we need to dismiss any notion that one is more important than the other.

Essentially what we are learning is a repertoire of techniques, tactics and strategies while practicing to maintain guard, powerline superiority, distance control, balance, timing, evasion, counter-attacking, and so on. We must however put this aside at the moment of need, so that one’s spontaneous nature can emerge without premeditation, and so that one will respond in the manner appropriate to the unique situation.

Likewise we need to be careful of our preferences toward certain techniques, tactics, strategies and habits. If we believe that a certain technique is not useful then we will not spend time developing or refining it. Thus our initial mind of its lack of usefulness will become the reality. We will in turn believe this to be the ultimate truth. When provided possible insight to the contrary it will be quickly dismissed because it doesn’t fit into our core belief system. Having to many preferences, ideals, categories of techniques and limiting views will smother our ability to respond naturally. Although Bruce’s goal was to liberate from classical mess as he called it.. This classical mess can be equally achieved within his art.

To me…. Learning is something I do myself. It is not something that is done to me. As the old cat says in the tale “The Mysterious Technique of the Cat“:

“A teacher can only transmit a technique or enlighten you to principle, but receiving the truth of the matter is something within yourself. This is called ‘grasping it on one’s own.’”

There comes a time when you begin to realize that a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick. What we are seeking is the roots and these roots are inherent to all things.

I’ll leave you with one final quote from the Cat’s Cradle (1963) by author Kurt Vonnegut before heading off to bed:

“Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.

 

Achieving Failure! It Doesn’t Really Matter!

Failing to achieve our goals does not come down to a single, cataclysmic event. Failing to achieve our goals is the inevitable result of an accumulation of poor thinking and poor choices overtime. To put it more simply, failure is nothing more than a few errors in judgment repeated every day.

Why would we make an error in judgment and then be so foolish as to repeat it every day? The answer is because we don’t think it matters.

Individually, we do not view our choices as being that important. At most it’s a minor oversight, a simple poor decision. It may be a waste of an hour here or a choice not to train there. Could be that we believe we deserve this time to watch TV, instead of reading.  It could be that always executing proper technique in a drill isn’t all that important. This generally doesn’t result in an instant and measurable impact. More often than not, we escape from any immediate consequences of our deeds.

If we have not bothered to plan out and execute our training plan for the next 30 days, this lack of discipline doesn’t seem to have any immediate impact on our lives. And since nothing drastic happened to us after the first thirty days, we repeat this error in judgment for another thirty days, and so continues the cycle. Why? It doesn’t seem to matter. Herein lays the great delusion. What’s far worse is not even realizing that it matters!

Those who eat poorly are contributing to future health problems, but the joy of the moment overshadows the consequence of the future, it does not seem to matter. Those who skip training or give half efforts do not see immediate feedback, so it doesn’t really matter. Those who choose to watch mind numbing TV instead of investing time in continued education do not see the immediate loss of knowledge, therefore it doesn’t really matter.

The pain and regret of these errors in judgment have only been delayed for a future time. Consequences are seldom instant; instead, they accumulate until the inevitable day of reckoning finally arrives and the price must be paid for our poor choices—choices that didn’t seem to matter.

Failure’s most dangerous attribute is its subtlety. In the short term those little errors don’t seem to make any difference. We do not seem to be failing. In fact, sometimes these accumulated errors in judgment occur throughout a period of great joy and prosperity in our lives. Since nothing terrible happens to us, since there are no instant consequences to capture our attention, we simply drift from one day to the next, repeating the errors, thinking the wrong thoughts, listening to the wrong voices and making the wrong choices. The sky did not fall in on us yesterday; therefore the act was probably harmless.

When the day of reckoning finally does come, many fall into the trap of self-pity.  We must become better self aware then that!

What is Research?

The word research as it is used in everyday speech has numerous meanings, making it a decidedly confusing term for students who must learn to use the word in a narrower, more precise sense. From elementary school to college to fitness and martial arts studies, students hear the word research used in the context of a variety of activities. In some situations, the word connotes finding a piece of information or making notes and then writing a documented paper. In other situations, it refers to the act of informing oneself about what one does not know, perhaps by rummaging through available sources to retrieve a bit of information.

The word research has a certain mystique about it. To many people, it suggests an activity that is somehow exclusive and removed from everyday life. Researchers are sometimes regarded as aloof individuals who seclude themselves in laboratories, scholarly libraries, or the ivory towers of large universities. The public is often unaware of what researchers do on a day-to-day basis or of how their work contributes to people’s overall quality of life and general welfare.

What I’d like to do here is clarify what research is and what it is not. Possibly in further posts, should there be an interest I will write more on the subject.

What Research is Not

Research is not simply information gathering.

While this to some may seem like research it truly is nothing more information discovery or building our reference skills. These are of course important but doesn’t qualify as research.

Research is not simply moving facts from one source to another.

Although referencing sources may in fact be ‘part’ of the research process this alone does not make something a research project. Research requires us to interpret and draw conclusions from the data. We could reference this type of work as fact organization or fact summarization.

Research is not simply sifting for information.

Sifting through information will help us zero in on specific facts however this is more accurately called exercise in self-enlightenment.

Research is not collecting catchwords or phrases used for getting attention

You see this all the time… “Years of Research Have Produced a New Exercise Program That Requires NO Exercise”

The phrase “years of research” catches people’s attention. Hey if it has years of research behind it then it must be good, right?!

What then is Research?

Put simply research is a systematic process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting information i.e. data in order to increase our understanding of a specific phenomenon.

Sometimes this could be as simply as solving a problem in our everyday life. I think of this as informal research projects. Formal research projects are ones in which we intentionally set out to enhance our understanding of a phenomenon and expect to communicate what we discover to a larger community.

Although our research will vary in complexity and duration.. Most research projects have 8 distinct characteristics.

Research originates with a question or problem.

The world is filled with unanswered questions and unresolved problems. Everywhere we look, we see things that cause us to wonder, to speculate, to ask questions. And by asking questions, we strike the first spark igniting a chain reaction that leads to the research process. An inquisitive mind is the beginning of research.

Research requires clear articulation of a goal.

A clear, unambiguous statement of the problem is critical. This statement is an exercise in intellectual honesty: The ultimate goal of the research must be set forth in a grammatically complete sentence that specifically and precisely answers the question, “What problem do you intend to solve?” When you describe your objective in clear, concrete terms, you have a good idea of what you need to accomplish and can direct

your efforts accordingly.

Research requires a specific plan for proceeding.

Research is not a blind excursion into the unknown, with the hope that the data necessary to answer the question at hand will somehow fortuitously turn up. It is, instead, a carefully planned itinerary of the route you intend to take in order to reach your final destination—your research goal.

We must plan our overall research design and specific research methods in a purposeful way so that we

can acquire data relevant to our research problem. Depending on the research question, different

designs and methods will be more or less appropriate. In addition to identifying the specific goal of your research, you must also identify how you propose to reach your goal.

Research usually divides the principal problem into more manageable subproblems.

From a design standpoint, it is often helpful to break a main research problem into several subproblems that, when solved, will resolve the main problem. Breaking down principal problems into small, easily solvable subproblems is a strategy we use in everyday living.

Research is guided by the specific research problem, question, or hypothesis.

Having stated the problem and its attendant subproblems, the researcher usually forms one or more hypotheses about what he or she may discover. A hypothesis is a logical supposition, a reasonable guess, an

educated conjecture. It provides a tentative explanation for a phenomenon under investigation. It may direct your thinking to possible sources of information that will aid in resolving one or more subproblems and, in the process, the principal research problem.

Hypotheses are certainly not unique to research. They are constant, recurring features of everyday life. They represent the natural working of the human mind. Something happens. Immediately you attempt to account for the cause of the event by making a series of reasonable guesses. In so doing, you are hypothesizing.

Good researchers always begin a project with open minds about what they may—or may not—discover in their data. Even with the best of data, however, hypotheses in a research project are rarely proved or disproved beyond the shadow of a doubt. Instead, they are either supported or not supported by the data. If the data are consistent with a particular hypothesis, the researcher can make a case that the hypothesis probably has some merit and should be taken seriously. In contrast, if the data run contrary to a hypothesis, the researcher rejects the hypothesis and turns to others as being more likely explanations of the phenomenon in question.

Over time, as particular hypotheses are supported by a growing body of data, they evolve into theories. A theory is an organized body of concepts and principles intended to explain a particular phenomenon. Like hypotheses, theories are tentative explanations that new data either support or do not support. To the extent that new data contradict a particular theory, a researcher will either modify it to better account for the data or reject the theory altogether in favor of an alternative explanation.

The researcher usually forms one or more hypotheses about what he or she may discover. Hypotheses—

predictions—are an essential ingredient in certain kinds of research, especially experimental research. o a lesser degree, they guide most other forms of research as well, but they are intentionally not identified in the early stages of some kinds of qualitative research. Yet regardless of whether researchers form specific hypotheses in advance, they must, at a minimum, use their research problem or question to focus their efforts.

 

Research accepts certain critical assumptions.

In research, assumptions are equivalent to axioms in geometry—self-evident truths, the sine qua non of research. The assumptions must be valid or else the research is meaningless. In your own research, it is essential that others know what you assume to be true with respect to your project. If one is to judge the quality of your study, then the knowledge of what you assume as basic to the very existence of your study is vitally important. Whereas a hypothesis involves a prediction that may or may not be supported by the data, an assumption is a condition that is taken for granted, without which the research project would

be pointless.

Assumptions are usually so self-evident that a researcher may consider it unnecessary to mention

them. For instance, two assumptions underlie almost all research:

A phenomenon under investigation is somewhat lawful and predictable.

Certain cause-and-effect relationships can account for the patterns observed in the phenomenon.

 

Research requires the collection and interpretation of data in an attempt to resolve the problem that initiated the research.

After a researcher has isolated the problem, divided it into appropriate

subproblems, posited reasonable questions or hypotheses, and identified the assumptions that

are basic to the entire effort, the next step is to collect whatever data seem appropriate and to

organize them in meaningful ways so that they can be interpreted.

Events, observations, and measurements are, in and of themselves, only events, observations,

and measurements—nothing more. The significance of the data depends on how the researcher

extracts meaning from them. In research, data uninterpreted by the human mind are worthless:

They can never help us answer the questions we have posed.

Yet researchers must recognize and come to terms with the subjective and dynamic nature

of interpretation.

Research is, by its nature, cyclical or, more exactly, helical.

Why not have some Humility?

In reality there is perhaps not one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself… For even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Humility is an essential quality of great leadership. Leadership is not restricted to those who teach or manage people. We all have the capacity to become leaders within our communities, workplace, with our children and within our society. As a leader, if we focus on how humble we are, then we’re not. So what do we do?

People often misunderstand the meaning of humility. They conjure up images of someone who is weak and ineffectual, frequently putting themselves down or becoming a doormat for others. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Humility is not thinking less of oneself; it’s thinking of oneself less. It does not in any way deny our own self-worth.” ~ Ken Blanchard

Conceit has three vantage points; thinking you are better than others, thinking you are worse or lower than others and thinking you are the same as others. All three breed conceit.

How can this be?

Well, think about it…

They all lead to a comparative mind which brings about duality. With duality comes the need for security!! Security is in a constant state of flux. Our position as above, below or equal to will also consequently be in a constant state of flux depending on the group, the times, the environmental conditions, etc. Some times we will be confident while others insecure. So if we are not better than others, worse than others or even equal to others, what are we then? That’s something to consider!!!

Now back to humility…

Humility affirms the dignity and inherent worth of all. A humble leader and warrior gives preference to others and is willing to consider their needs. Humility means putting someone else ahead of our own selfish interests. Pretending to be humble is just another form of pride. How is this? The focus is still on self and people often do so with the motive of obtaining praise.

The truly humble represents strength and confidence in a quiet sort of way. They know who they are; there is no need to be better, worse or even equal to others. They are able to appreciate value and learn when the opportunity arises.

It’s people’s awareness of imperfection that often drives them to pretend that they are more than they really are. They are far too influenced by what others think; on one hand, they gloat over praise and on the other, they become discouraged by criticism. They are in a constant struggle in an attempt to prove that they are valuable and worthy.

Our society is built on competitiveness, whether business, sports, educational institutions, etc. This inherently creates conflict and where pride rears its ugly head. It’s much too easy to point out the faults, weaknesses and mistakes of others than it is to face our own. The resultant is people who should otherwise be able to enjoy working, training, and accomplishing common goals instead find themselves in bickering, belittling, scheming and skeptical environments. In contrast, the humble are free to praise, encourage and empower others. They don’t insist on getting all the credit nor being rewarded for their achievements.

They have no need to brag or gloat but they also have no need to hide talents or accomplishments. They are secure in the person they are, because the need for that security is not there. They know themselves, there is no need to prove anything or to tear anyone else down.

Humility distinguishes a wise leader from an arrogant power-seeker.

Jealousy, envy, pride, strife resentment, prejudice, gossip and greed divide and conquer people. Arrogance has been at the root of many wars and lead to the death of many people. It has been at the root of companies collapsing leaving employees without a means to provide. It has torn whole communities, societies and even countries apart. Leaving it’s people separated and divided.

What is wrong with admitting mistakes? Instead of arguing and defending, why not take responsibility. What is wrong with working together and sharing credit? What is wrong with not being perfect or having all the answers?

As leaders we should know our strengths and weaknesses. Knowing these creates for us great opportunities to grow. If we stop growing so to do the ones we lead. Truth is you will connect at a much deeper level with your peers, students, employees, athletes, etc. As they see us making progress they can start to envision their own progress. We set the tone for how people view personal development.

As leaders we do not want to fall in the situation of being in competition with others, especially those we lead. Instead we want to empower people, help them develop, learn and advance. You want them to be their best, achieve their goals, while rejoicing with them when they do.

As humble leaders we acknowledge and recognize those who can fill the void in an area of our own weaknesses.. Humility and leadership is not a weakness, but the greatest strength of all when coupled with discipline.

I have discussed the Win-Win philosophy in a number of posts in the past to which I am a big proponent. By operating from a win-win perspective you will feel good about your leadership and the decisions you make.. If you’re compassionate and committed to helping others succeed, willing to share recognition, willing to admit mistakes; you’ll take a giant step towards cultivating humility. Your circle of influence will grow and your impact will spread. Your quality of life, relationships with other and inner joy will grow.

The humble leader knows they do not have all the answers. They look for the opportunity to learn something new and they use every opportunity to make others feel valued. The humble leader knows the world around them is changing faster than they can keep up and is grateful for the opportunity to learn something new or reinforce knowledge they might already possess. This is not to say that you need to act stupid to be humble. There is no harm in someone walking away knowing you are knowledgeable so long as the process did not leave them feeling “less than you.” Sharing your wisdom is important, but must be done in a way that “lifts and empowers the other person.”

In the act of being humble, you make others feel important and valued. That is the gift of the humble leader. Focus on your humility and you will find it can lift a weight from your shoulders. It takes a lot of effort to pretend you know it all. Besides, it is more refreshing being around people with some humility. Arrogance gets old fast.

Humility and leadership is a state of mind. It is a decision that you must make for yourself. Only you will be able to implement leading from humility.

Thought On Temptation

The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins. -Bob Moawad

If you approach training by simply going through the motions, sitting idly by and not actively participating in your own development, then you may have been better off not training at all. This seems like a harsh statement but this lack of personal responsibility, of active participation, of initiative demonstrates that which is are already being ingrained through everyday society.

The purpose of our training is to go beyond our current selves. To go beyond what society deems as acceptable output and as acceptable personal responsibility. It is to go beyond what we ourselves thought was possible.

Rationalization is ever tempting us to not drive forward. It is tempting us with excuses on why not to put forth our best effort, day after day, minute after minute.

It’s ok… to slide through this workout. I’ll make it up next time.

It’s ok…. I worked hard today so I ‘deserve‘ to kick back and not train.

It is tempting us with worry that leads to depression which derails our training. We are tempted with too much planning, too much research and not enough action.

Planning and research are important but they can’t derail taking action, of putting in the time actually ‘doing‘. This self-temptation will cost us in the end. Like any weed the more it is fed the more it grows. Then one day you wake up and find that not only has it taken over your mind’s garden but you also gave up on your dreams.

Viewing temptation as separate small acts doesn’t seem so bad, but they build up and create our habits. These habit lead to much bigger problems. Now beating ourselves up over the past is counterproductive, this leads back into the cycle. Overcoming these things is part of our training. It is something we all must face and overcome.  It is something we all must face and overcome, day after day and moment after moment.

The question is …

Will you master it or will it master you?