"If", and only if...

Uncategorized Feb 28, 2022

"In order to succeed greatly, you have to be prepared to fail greatly. If you can’t do both of them, you’ve got a problem."

--Mike Tyson

I don't generally look to Mike Tyson as a source of wisdom...but that quote really speaks to a deep truth.

Most things that are worth something cost something.  In order to succeed you have to take a chance that you may lose something.  Money, opportunity, time, status, relationship, etc.

Do you want more for your life and for those you love? 

Are you willing to take the risks necessary to achieve what you want to? 

These are important questions to ponder... for there is always a cost. 

I think one of the important considerations is to weigh the potential upside against the potential downside.  (And I would add, I think it's more important to make sure you're willing to accept the downside than to look at the possible upside.)  Is it worth it?

When I was a young man, my father introduced me to the...

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"A" For Effort...


An "A" for effort does not ensure and "A" for outcome.

Have you noticed the trend in society these days which leans toward mediocrity?

My wife and I were recently watching a series documenting a group with mixed climbing ability and experience attempting to successfully summit Mount Everest.  We watched with keen interest as one of the "climbers" went through a startling change in attitude.  This person went from being extremely (over) confident in their own abilities -> to doubting their abilities -> to realizing their inability to complete the task -> and finally to ridiculing everyone else for their strength. 

The mental shift this person had was literally 180 degrees.  It was shocking to observe.  Here was the setting...

After reaching ABC (Advanced Base Camp at 21,000 feet), the expedition leader called for the group to do an acclimatization climb up to Camp 1 (situated at 23,000) on the North Col.  In order to test...

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Pulling The Plow

 Being a leader or an entrepreneur means that many times you're going to have to break new ground.  This is not an easy task on the BEST of days! 

Work has to be done to change environments, mindsets, and people's perceptions.  It doesn't matter whether you're in leadership, marketing, sales, etc., etc. …

We all have to deal with this fact: Leadership is challenging.

One of the things that can have the greatest direct result on your leadership performance is the TEAM you work with.  Does the team work together well?  Does the team support the leadership .. and vice versa?

I know I've referenced this great quote before ...  (If you've not seen that post, it can be found HERE. ) , but I want to touch on it again. 

It is an excerpt from "The Man In The Arena" Speech By Theodore Roosevelt at the Sorbonne Paris, France April 23, 1910.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong...

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5 Easy Steps to get Quality Critique

Are you looking in the mirror … but not really seeing yourself? 

Do you need to see how you're doing?  Are you feeling "stuck" and don't know why?  In many cases, it can be very helpful to get an outside point of view on your situation. 

It's easy for us as human beings to miss certain things which an unbiased set of eyes can see plainly.  This is where coaching, or constructive criticism, can make a big difference in your life and business.  (BUT.....make sure you understand the difference between critique and criticism!)

Here are 5 steps towards getting and implementing constructive criticism:

1. Seek out a person you know you can trust.  This is crucial.  If you don’t KNOW you can trust the person giving you the critique it will be difficult to accept it as valid.

2. Seek out a person whom you know has your best interest in mind.  This principle goes hand in hand with step #1.  (However, just because you know...

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Criticism vs. Critique

(Sorry … not sorry for that picture.  :-)

In today's information based society there is an alarming trend that seems to be growing. 

It seems to me that more and more people are feeling justified in voicing their opinions about anything and everything, without any apparent regard for the effects or damage they may be causing. 

The anonymity provided by the internet allows people to spout all kinds of nonsense without any regard for accountability.  In my opinion, in most situations, this is NOT a good thing.

One of my pet peeves is people wanting to tell you their thoughts on what you are doing when they have no idea what they're talking about.  I mean really … do people really need to hear themselves talk that badly?  Do they really need to have their opinion heard?  Are we that self-absorbed … Or have we become that needy and insecure?  I’ll get back to this in a minute...


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Food For Thought

I would like to get you to give you something to think about.... 

I hope this inspires you as it has me.

It is an excerpt from "The Man In The Arena" Speech By Theodore Roosevelt at the Sorbonne Paris, France April 23, 1910.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man
stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit
belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and
sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and
again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does
actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the
triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while
daring greatly, so that his place shall never be...

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Consistency … or put other ways … constancy, regularity, evenness, steadiness, stability, equilibrium, dependability, reliability.

I have noticed an alarming trend in many martial artists.  I want to make sure we in the Thru The Fire Training Organization avoid the same trap. 

As people make the metaphorical journey through the skill acquisition steps (Learn,
Practice, Master, Functionalize, Maintain) there is a temptation to attempt to bypass the hard steps and continue to revel in the easy ones.  Everybody enjoys the first time we learn a new skill or technique.  It’s fun!  We feel like we are growing because we have learned something new!

Yeah! (hear my sarcasm?)

We even enjoy practicing it for a little while….then the work begins and it doesn’t seem like fun anymore.  This is where many people lose focus and attempt to find “fun” again by going out and learning new techniques... again.


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Intentional Process

As you surely know by now, one of the most consistent sayings I repeat in training
sessions is, “Be intentional in your training.”  I thought it might be helpful to discuss
briefly what I mean by that in hopes to stimulate your internal learning processes as well as to invite discussions on the subject.

To me, the “Intentional Process” is made up of a series of concepts.  I will briefly discuss three of these ideas which I believe are certainly some of the most important.  Those being: Intentionality, Focus, and Expression.

Intentionality – While training (especially solo training) you must seek to be in precise control of every minute part of your body and every degree of your movement.  This is certainly part of the “self-perfection” we so gallantly speak about, and yet I see very little self perfecting going on in the JKD/Kali world at large.

In many ways, your ability to refine your skill...

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Longevity … or length of life, life span, lifetime; durability, endurance, resilience, strength, robustness.

In the mid 90's I was living in Minneapolis studying at university and training at Rick Fayeʼs MKG.  Because I was a student, I didn't usually have a lot of money to spend on training.  Knowing this, Rick was good enough to allow me to clean the gym in exchange for not paying monthly dues.  I loved this arrangement, and spent A LOT of time in the gym 5 and 6 days a week.  “Gym Rat” was a good descriptor to fit me at that time. 

During this time I suffered an injury to my lower back which caused me to not be
able to train for a period of weeks.  When I had gotten through the worst of the injury I went back to the gym to pick up my training.  As I met with some of my training partners I found out to my dismay that they had learned many new techniques while I was gone.  I now felt as though I...

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