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Showing posts from August, 2013

Heaven & Hell

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No I don't mean the Black Sabbath song (R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio)... Well, not exactly anyway.

Here is an old Zen story about a monk and a samurai. It goes something like this:

A battle weary samurai came to see a zen monk to ask him the difference of heaven and hell. To which the monk replied to him, "Why would I give a murderous bastard like you such precious knowledge? You are probably too arrogant and stupid to even comprehend something so profound. You're a maggot. No, you are even less than a maggot, you are samurai."

Samurai were never treated this way in ancient Japan, so he instantly felt his rage well up inside of him as he drew his razor sharp katana from its scabbard to cleave the monk in two.

But the monk never flinched, he merely said, "That,  samurai, is hell."

Instantly the samurai understood the lesson and realized that he was going to kill the holy man because of his own ego tears filled in his eyes as he pushed his sword back into its sca…

Situational Timing vs. Technique Timing

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They say timing is everything and I have to agree: Timing of what you do is important, but timing of when you do something is even MORE important. Techniques are more tangible and much easier to practice than situational timing so many people simply forget about its importance. This not only happens in martial arts and tactical training but also in everything in life, such as sales, management, teaching, business, parenting, dodging cars and capturing dogs.

Take sales for instance. There is good sales technique. It might look something like this:

The approach The Introduction Building Rapport Ask Questions The pitch Overcoming Objections The close
However good your sales technique is, your timing is even more important:

It's easier to sell dessert AFTER dinner. 
It's easier to sell gasoline to cars with empty gas tanks.
It's easier selling mortgages to couples who are LOOKING to buy a house, rather than AFTER they've already bought one.
Now if you have someone who is …

Are You The Problem?

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I saw his lips moving but I wasn't listening... After all, he SHOULD KNOW BETTER than to do what he did, right?! I mean really, who does he think HE is?! I felt my sense of entitlement rise up from the pit of my stomach and erupt out of my mouth. I began spewing, no vomiting my words on him at an increasing level of volume.

The situation becomes more heated as I gave him a piece of MY mind and told him the way it IS.

I think to myself that he has to EARN my respect before he gets any from me.

...and the situation escalates even more, raising to a more dangerous level.

Over what you're wondering? World peace? No. Minority rights? No. The life of an innocent bystander who was put in harms way? Nope, try again. How about a parking space, or cutting in front of someone in line at the Secretary of State or something similarly small and insignificant in the big picture of life, yet somehow of great importance to you in that moment.

How do we know when WE are the Problem?

When we g…

Keeping It Light & Playful

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When it comes to training in martial arts, defensive tactics, shooting and many other things in life, most people think that trying harder and going faster seems like it would be the best way to get better. They will say things like: "That's the way someone would really attack you." or "What if I do THIS." They think that their own performance will increase if they just go a little harder and faster. Often one's ego is tied up too much in their training and the perceived problem, so their head gets wrapped up in fear, so they resist, they hang on. What are we afraid of? Fear of losing, fear of looking bad, fear of getting hurt, fear of violence, fear of not knowing, fear of a lot of things... fear of the unknown. And that fear leads us to do strange and often counter productive things.

I have heard echos of a different method. A way that takes guts, diligent effort, perseverance and a certain amount of faith. Here are some signposts along that path:

"F…