Congratulations on Being Such a Loser, Loser!

Oh, hello out there…  Been a while.  Sorry about that.  New blog coming soon, but until then, please take a look at an entry I just posted to my karate blog:

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Obviously Obvious Friday (Feb 26, 2016)

I’m gonna tell ya some things you already know.  Nothing new, just stuff you’ve heard before.

: As you are today, right this very minute, if your dreams are grand and special enough, you will not accomplish them.  You cannot do it.  The upgraded you can, and will, but the you of today cannot and will not.

Have you ever thought of undertaking a grand adventure, a big goal, your dream, only to hear that sneaky little voice in your head say something to the effect of “I’d like to do XYZ, but…I’m just not that person…”?

Or maybe the dream-negator spoke in a much, much more subtle manner.  You see what you want or would like to be, your heart leaps, but then it sinks back, shrinks back, when you remember all the reasonable reasons you can’t, or shouldn’t, or wouldn’t be able to do such great things.

Truth is, you were right.  And, you were wrong.  You were right–you can’t do it because you are not the person you need to be, yet.  Yet.  You can in accomplish your dreams if you are willing to change.  You must become the person who can do it, and who is willing and able to do what is necessary to make it happen.

Key points-

  1. You gotta change.
  2. Start by finding the best, most awesome pic of yourself, one that makes you smile or think “wow…” every time you see it.
  3. Look at that pic every day and say, “That person right there is the type who is A, B, C, D, etc”.  Your A, B, C should be the things you feel you lack, or the thing you feel you need more of in order to accomplish your goals and dreams.
  4. Then say, “This person right here, this person is me.”
  5. Do this every day.  Every day.  Every day until you believe.
  6. Those A, B, C areas in your life that need to change, the knowledge, or skills, or experiences you need to gain if you are to become that person, go after them, get smarter, get stronger, or let #^(@ go and begin to leave the old you behind.
  7. Repeat 3-6, and then keep repeating it, even as you begin to pursue those audacious goals and even as your dreams begin to morph into reality.
  8. When you accomplish those wonderful goals, be sure to stop and take a look back and be thankful not just for what you’ve accomplished, but for who you have become through the journey!

Remember:  Humans are super-adaptable and capable of brilliant, purposeful change.  “The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.”  -Charles DuBois

There ya go.   TGIOF.

#ObviousFriday #ThankYouCaptainObvious


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Obviously Obvious Friday (Feb 12, 2016)

I’m gonna tell ya some things you already know.  Nothing new, just stuff you’ve heard before.

: You cannot do everything, but you can do something.

We all have our “should do”, “want to do”, “need to do” and “must do” lists, and most of us stress out when we don’t finish everything in a day or a weekend, or even a month.   We try to do it all, and fail to do it all, and then we get all pissed-off and frustrated.  But, when we realize success is really about having correct priorities, about doing and completing those things that matter most at the moment, we’ll begin to rest easier, accomplish more, and actually find enjoyment in the tasks and the toils.

Key points-

Prioritize your list(s) according to the following:

  1. What is the most critical item on your agenda, or what will have the greatest positive impact on you or someone else now, if you do it now?
  2. What will result in the greatest negative impact if you don’t do it now, if you put it off in favor of other things?
  3. What item(s) propel you in the direction of your dreams?
  4. What item(s) stall or push you further away from accomplishing your goals?
  5. Delete stuff that matters little in the grand scheme of your current ambitions, or shift them to a list of non-consequentials that can be dealt with later.
  6. Whatever remains, do it; work the golden list to completion.

There ya go.   TGIOF.

#ObviousFriday #ThankYouCaptainObvious


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Obviously Obvious Friday (Jan 29, 2016)

I’m gonna tell ya some things you already know.  Nothing new, just stuff you’ve heard before.

: Things will not change until you change some things.

Everyone wants to change something about themselves, their lives, their world, but few actually even begin to make the small necessary changes that yield big, positive results.  We try, but we fall, and then we give up.  Or, we never even get started; we get stuck either wishing for change, or complaining about the way things are…and nothing changes.  But why waste time and energy wishing or complaining when that energy can be channeled into making positive progress?

Key points-

  1. Believe you can change for the better.  Believe you deserve to change for the better.
  2. Make a list.  What do you want to be, to do, to have, to experience?  How must you change in order to achieve these fantastic goals?
  3. Start small.  For example, watch less TV in favor of gaining new knowledge, or getting fitter, or spending more quality time with your family or yourself.  Save $X per day, or per week, money that you would have frittered away on things you don’t really need or that don’t really help you achieve your overriding mission.
  4. Fight for it.  Do not give up.  

Remember: if you keep doin’ what ya been doin’, you’ll keep gettin’ what ya been gettin’.

There ya go.   TGIOF.

#ObviousFriday #ThankYouCaptainObvious

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Obviously Obvious Friday (Jan 22, 2016)

I’m gonna tell ya some things you already know.  Nothing new, just stuff you’ve heard before.

: If you want to get really, really good at something, you have to do it every day, even if it’s just for five minutes a day.  You wanna be a better butcher, baker, candlestick maker, hone your craft by butchering, or baking, or makin’ them sticks every…single…day.

Every day; there’s no other way.

If it’s writing, spend a few minutes or more, every day, puttin’ pen to paper or droppin’ digits on that screen.

Cooking?  Create a new dish, new to you, or new to the world, every day.

Wanna improve some physical or mental skill?  Push that weight, work that brain, today, tomorrow, and the next day too.

Music?  Play on playa!

Key points–

  1. You’ll need to be willing to sacrifice other stuff in order focus on the main stuff
  2. That thing you want to master needs to be something you enjoy doing even when it’s boring, or tiring, or you just don’t wanna do it
  3. It must be something that you can improve at

There ya go.   TGIOF.

#ObviousFriday #ThankYouCaptainObvious


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Too Difficult, Don’t Even Try It

Over the past few weeks, I came across a couple articles and finished reading a book that, all summarized, said, “Writing is hard.  Writing is difficult.  If you’re even a little, tiny bit sane, you probably shouldn’t even try it.  But you, you’re not sane, so by all means, go for it–get naked, slather on some honey and jump right in that mound of pissed off fire-ant-scorp-spider wasps.  Enjoy the pain, sucka!”

Well, okay, admittedly, that may be how I, in my infinite weirdness, interpreted their messages.  But clearly, they did seem to infer that it’d be better to bang your head with a hammer than to try being a writer.

It’s true though, writing is not so easy.  Sometimes it is, and it’s like spreading warm peanut butter on hot toast: smooth and silky.  Other times, it’s frustrating, akin to rubbin’ cold, chunky peanut butter on dry, crusty, brittle bread.  Ever done that?  How’d it make ya feel?

But this is a given, right?  I mean, isn’t everything in this life tough at some point, or, uh, most of the time?  Don’t the things (and people) that we love drive us to wanna Hulk-out at least a few days a year, or more?  But is that reason enough not to give up, or worse, to not even try?

Those articles certainly got me thinking…

I’ve been studying traditional Japanese karate for more than twenty-five years now.  I dig it, a lot, but it ain’t easy.  It’s perplexing and the constant quest to attain higher and higher inner and outer-skill levels seems impossibly daunting.  It’s hard work, and sometimes, it’s not all that exciting.  And teaching it, trying to convey the intricacies of the art in a way that others of various backgrounds and abilities can understand…wow, that’s uber-difficult.  Maybe I should give it up, and maybe you shouldn’t even try this ^#@%.

I’ve been an engineer for many, many years now.  I dig it, a lot, but it is not so easy, and it’s downright frustrating at times.  Sometimes, the things we have to do are just stupid.  Ridiculous, I tell you.  And sometimes, when melded with reality, the science makes no sense and the results are absolute nonsense.  Maybe I’ll give it up, and perhaps I’ll advise you not to even look into this field of study.  Yeah, don’t do it.

I’ve been trying to relate to these things called “humans” for quite a while now.  I dig them, a lot of them, most of the time, but they ain’t near easy gettin’ along with.  I mean, they’re irrational, unkind, selfish, fearful, smelly, and downright weird.  Maybe I’ll just give up, find a warm, far-off island in the Pacific and become a long-bearded, karate-studyin’ hermit.  I’d ask you to join me but…

Art is difficult.  Science is difficult.  Faith is difficult.  Love is difficult.  Being loved is difficult.  Leadership is difficult.  Winning is difficult.  Creating is difficult.  Thinking is difficult.  Raising a family is difficult.  Just being you is difficult.  Learning, growing, understanding, eating, exercising, sleeping, changing, evolving, etc, etc, etc, is…difficult.

LIFE is difficult.  Period.

Accept this, really and truly come to grips with this inconvenient truth; until you do, life will be unnecessarily difficult.  But once you’ve accepted this, move forward, ’cause you know what?  For all its difficulties, life is pretty @#%#(&! amazing, pretty %#^& rewarding.

Writing sparks me, and I find it rewarding.  Studying karate sparks me, and I find it rewarding.  Relationships spark me, and I find knowing others rewarding.  Science and engineering, winning, losing, learning, eating, leveling-up, etc, etc, etc, are rewarding, and all are, in their very own ways, simply amazing.

Yep, it’s all tough.  Even so, don’t be afraid to venture out just because a thing you desire to do, or to be, is difficult.  It’s all difficult, but it can all be very, very rewarding too.

So, I guess I’ll keep on trying.  I guess I’ll keep on writing, training, dreaming, stretching, etc, etc, etc.

Will you keep dreaming too, keep trying, despite what others say or think, and despite all the challenges that you’ll surely encounter?

I hope you will, ’cause you’ll find something special on the other side of those challenges.

Please try.

Yeah, please do.

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You’re Dead. I’m Dead.

Hey you…  Watch this: A friendly reminder

How was that for a morning greeting!?!

Go ahead, watch it again, let it sink in.  I dare you.

Yeah, you, me, in 100 years (just to be optimistic), we’re dead.  Our buckets done been kicked, the farm will have been bought.  Moved on to the great and wonderful Beyond.  Here no more.  Dust.  Ghosts.  Poof, pow, gone.  How’s that make ya feel?

Hopefully, it’s not a total downer.  Don’t let it be.  Instead, use it as motivational fuel and tap into your Everyday, to live, to breath and to move in, and to the fullest, while you have life.  Let it drive you to go after everything you dream, everything you desire to be because, you have nothing to lose, and because, you have everything to lose.

A few months ago I arrived at my dojo well before any students and went through my normal Thursday pre-class routine.  First, of course, I switched my mind from work-mode to teaching / training mode by playing a few rounds of Tetris on my flip-phone.  That’s right…flip-phone…  Tetris…  Anyway, after that, I sat in the observation area, thinking deeply about classes and writing, and all the other crazy dreams and goals hoppin’ around in my heart and head.  I wasn’t quite in training / teaching mode yet, no, I was in full-on dream-questioning mode.  Things weren’t going according to plan, so I was examining it all.

Can I really do this, I wondered.  It’s all crazy, right?  Is it even possible?   Nothing’s happening…can’t seem to get anywhere…  Should I keep going?  Why should I continue?  I mean, why?

I got quiet and I listened, and eventually, in the midst of that state where you’re partially awake and just entering the land of Nod, I heard, rather clearly, in a dry and droll tone, “You might as well try.  You’re gonna die anyway.”

My eyes popped open.  I laughed out loud, long and loud.  Not sure if that was God or my own subconscious, or a combo of both, but I found those two sentences absolutely hilarious!  Why?  Because it was funny.  It was freeing.  It was straight to the point and eye-opening, and, it was sobering, because it was truth.

Why shouldn’t we pursue our dreams?  Because of fear?  Fear of what?  Will any of that what kill you, make you dead?  Probably not, but you are gonna die eventually.  Is frustration or doubt enough to stop you?  Can be, if you let them, but surely they’ve not the power to annihilate you and scatter your atoms to the four winds.  Other obstacles, real or imagined?  Yep, if you don’t find a way through or around them, they’ll definitely stop you, but guess what?  Unless the obstacle in your path is a real, live, rampaging bull or hungry lion, or something  else that will actually killify you, it probably ain’t gonna  waste ya.

But you…you could waste yourself, your life, all by yourself, and it’s too easy to do…

What are your dreams?  What’s been stopping you?  Excuses?  Bulls(hit)?  Fake-ass lions?  Even worse, total obliviousness or apathy?   Whatever may be holding you back or keeping you down, please, please keep in mind this friendly reminder.

You might as well try.


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