Quiet Resolution

In The 1950’s, the military wrote a manual called “The Armed Services Officer.”   It was a plan of General George C. Marshal and General Eisenhower added to its pages as well. These were fine men and within its pages is a section on leadership and the 5 things leaders need.

We as a society, and as men, lack Leadership in our lives and we need more of it. Here are the 5 qualities named in the manual:

  • Quiet resolution. 
    1. Being effective as a leader requires stick to it-ness. The will to get things done.   Think on some of your mentors in life, they had the rock solid frame that when things got rough they were there and did not quit. Work to cultivate this in yourself. Do you wilt the minute things go bad? Or do you do as Edmond Dantés, in the great book “The Count of Monte Cristo,” did and stand upon that rock and shout into the wind; Do your worst. “Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment and be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man, is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into the storm and shout as you did in Rome. ‘Do your worst for I will do mine.’ Then the Fates will know you as we know you, as Albert Mondego, the man.”
  • The will to take full responsibility for decisions.
    1.   I served in the US Navy and am a 5th Dan in karate (5th degree black belt). I have seen and trained with some great men and women over the years. Some of the best leaders in my recollection are the ones who stood tall for their actions, good and bad, and they did not hide behind others or blame things on their superiors. Some believe that leaders, especially aspiring leaders, should hide weaknesses and mistakes. I feel this view is flawed. It is not only good to admit you are wrong when you are, it can also be a powerful tool for leaders. It can actually increase legitimacy and, when practiced regularly, can help to build a culture that actually increases solidarity, innovation, openness to change and many other positive features of organizational life.  If you would like a Fantastic primer on how to apologize, read Brian C. Rideout’s “The Art of the Apology.” The link to his blog is on my page. Brian is an amazing leader and a great mentor to me. On a side note I know he will be an amazing father as well.
  • The hardihood to take risks. 
    1. Few people lie in their death beds and look back upon their life and cherish the time they played it safe. They instead remember the experiences, the moments burned into their mind by the fire of life. My sister in law has painted on the wall in her home “Life Is Not Measured By the Number of Breaths We Take, But By the Moments That Take Our Breath Away.” Think on this. How many moments can you miss by never even playing? Get in the game!
  • The readiness to share its rewards with subordinates.
    1. Great leaders have an understanding of how to create a work environment that builds self-confidence. Great leaders don’t allow their subordinates to blame circumstances or environment for their failures.   They have an energy that is optimistic and focus on possibilities rather than problems. This “can-do” outlook becomes contagious. As a result, employee motivation and confidence continually increase, and so does everyone’s success rate. They genuinely share and bask in your success as the success of the team. Sometimes this is lost on folks, who scheme to take the credit for the actions of those they are supposed to lead.
  • An equal readiness to take the blame when things go adversely.
    1. This one speaks with a resounding tone to me. I have seen many times those who will not stand up for their decisions and attempt to pass on the blame. Bosses and leaders who take blame and then say “I took the heat on this one for you guys, you owe me.” That is weak and shows low value. I am not sure how many times in the dojo or at a tournament, I made a decision that did not work out the way I intended. However, I always, always, took the heat for “My Call.”   One instance I can recall was a tournament I was invited to attend where I happened to be the head judge: one of the competitors (the son of the promotor) was complaining of too heavy contact but I did not see this take place. I called my judges together and questioned each one of them as to what they were observing. Two of the four happened to be black belts of the promoter of the tournament. I assured them to just tell me what they saw and that I am accountable for the ring and should there be any fallout results, I will handle them. I remember both of them being visibly relieved by that. Needless to say none of my judges saw any excessive contact either and so I deemed the match continue. But the promotor was not happy with my ruling and he wanted the other competitor disqualified. I refused.   He was not happy with my decision but I stood by it, despite some hurt feeling and pride on his part. The next year I was invited back, where he called me out in front of the entire crowd and commented on my integrity.

The nerve to survive a storm and disappointment and face each new day with the scoresheet wiped clean, neither dwelling on one’s successes nor accepting discouragement from one’s failures, is what builds Quiet Resolution.

“Let me define a leader. He must have vision and passion and not be afraid of any problem. Instead, he should know how to defeat it. Most importantly, he must work with integrity.”
― A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Action Mindset

Action Mindset:

Some common sayings that refer to an Action Mindset are:

“Are you gonna talk or fish?”

“Time to get on with getting on.”

“Time to fish or cut bait.”

“Are you gonna do something or stand there and bleed?”

“You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your head.”

Walt Disney said: “The way you get started is to quit talking, and start doing.”

  1. Clement Stone said: “Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will.”

So it is said, we, as humans, have the capacity to use our thinking mindset and our action mindset. Through a recent study, (I cannot find the study right now) it has been determined we can only do one mindset at a time.

How many times have we been caught in an analysis paralysis, over thinking an action until the opportunity has past us by is an example of a Thinking Mindset. Take Action Peeps!

John Boyd is famous for developing the O.O.D.A. loop, Observe-Orient-Decide-Act, which is an example of an Action Mindset.   Too many times, in my observation, people have a mental model of how things should be, but They fail to Orient and move on. Applying the 2nd law of thermodynamics tells us a closed system will get more entropic over time. That means getting stuck in an observation loop will result in chaos, always.

I have experienced this first hand. I have worked in a hostile work environment for some time, where pressure and stress continually builds up. At the end of the work day, I would go home with headaches, upset stomach etc. Even though this was difficult to endure, I failed to move on for fear of the unknown. I was stuck in observation mode. By finally breaking free of observation mode, steps could be made to move on to better pastures. Adopting an action mindset, I finally oriented and decided and acted.

Another way of looking at this is to change the terms to “Abundance Consciousness” and “Scarcity Consciousness.” By creating an abundance consciousness, you can avoid the scarcity consciousness, also known as the freezing paralyzing mindset.

Here is a chart showing examples of how your thoughts can put you into one consciousness or another. Never underestimate the power of thought: Your thoughts create your reality.

Abundance Consciousness Scarcity Consciousness
*Attitude of gratitude *Worrying mindset
*Receive graciously *Critical behavior
*Give willingly *Hoarding behavior
*Want others to succeed *Secretly hope others will fail
*Set goals *Never set goals
*Take inspired action *Blame others for failures
*Develop life plans *Blame circumstance for things
*Exude happiness and joy *Exude anger
*Embrace change *Fear change
*Continuously learn and grow *Have a sense of entitlement
*Forgive past mistakes & others *Holding grudges
*Allow positive energy to flow *Feeling you don’t have enough
*Think positive thoughts *Know it all behavior
*Express positive ideas *Feel that things can’t change

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.

― Thomas A. Edison 


Sgt. Stubby: Hero Dog of WWI

I love my dog, but if she hears fireworks, rustling paper, or the sound of a broom, she runs and hides. Not so with Stubby, a little stray bull terrier found by J. Robert Conroy and smuggled into the 102nd Infantry during WWI. Sgt. Stubby was originally intended to just be a mascot (he could do a little salute!), but soon proved far more useful. After suffering a mustard gas attack, Stubby became ultra-sensitive to its odor and was able to run through the trenches, barking and biting soldiers awake before an attack. The dog could locate wounded Americans on the battlefield by listening for the specific sounds of English amid the fracas. He’d stay and bark until the medics came, or lead the soldiers back to the trench.

Once, when a new soldier in the trench called to him, Stubby’s ears went flat and he charged. The man ran, and Stubby bit him on the leg, causing him to fall. Stubby kept attacking until soldiers came. The man he bit had been a German spy who was mapping out the trenches. Eventually, Stubby was injured and unable to return to the front line. He spent the rest of the war on duty in the hospital, improving the morale of the wounded men. By the end of WWI he’d been in 17 battles. Sgt. Stubby lived out the rest of his life comfortably with his master, Conroy.

Borrowed  From : http://mentalfloss.com/article/56157/11-incredible-acts-courage

Challenges and Growth

Slow Death

I see them every day, lemmings clutching the steering wheel in a tense rage. Screaming and cursing their fellow traveler. Driving at speeds far exceeding their ability.

“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.”

– Ellen DeGeneres

For what?   Fathers are you involved in your kids’ lives, or are you stuck at the office most times? Mothers, are you involved in your children’s lives, or are you stuck chasing the dream as well?

Know this, we-you-me are programmed from an early age. Trillions are spent getting us to contribute to the cause and lose focus on what is important and   Stay-In-Debt.

Break free my friend, Break Free.

I understand the need for money as a tool to purchase. My point is the pursuit of it and missing the lives going past.

Perhaps our money problems are not Income problems, but Spending problems?

Allow me to share with you a story, some may consider this sad, maybe it was or maybe it was a transmogrification.

Our hero grew up in middle class America, happy childhood, lived in the North. Let’s call the standard of living a lower middle class. Somewhere in there, unbeknownst to our hero, his mom and his dad met to plan the future as many parents do. You see Dad was an instructor at a company called Boces. He taught basic hands on job skills to folks like welding, plumbing, electrical, etc. He liked his job, although he did not make much in the line of salary. So it was decided he would get a better paying job to afford the Better life for the family. He did what many men have done since the dawn of time, he went out, sacrificed himself, and as it turned out, his happiness, for the good of the family.

Fast forward a few years, and the family moved to FL. They now have a 4 bedroom, 2 ½ bath house with an in-ground pool, and have now promoted to upper middle class.   But this came with the cost of DEBT. So now Dad works A LOT. Consequently, he cannot attend kid’s school functions and football games and wrestling meets because he is too busy with work. This increases his stress levels and to compensate, he begins to drink and keep in mind that this is All for the good of the family.   But the effort to achieve the advertised American dream has effected Mom too. She has to work extra hours as well, as the stress of debt and bills builds, she starts to drink too. Gotta keep running faster to stay ahead of the debt boulder, gotta allow bad supervisors and bosses to belittle you and demand more and more time because they have the mortgage and bills and Debt to consider.

Completely sold on this life and the consumerism that masks itself as the ideal dream, decisions are now based on the imaginary specter.

Fast forward a decade and now Mom and Dad are trying to hide their habit, but it eventually kills them. Son is 23 now and both parents are gone, lost to the pursuit of a dream. But parents had life insurance, not a lot, and so life goes on for the son. But, because he grew up, immersed in the dream that his parents were pursuing and so never learned true money management lessons, and so repeats many of the same mistakes.

He did learn some lessons though. He learned that life is short and that memories mean more than things. So he uses the insurance money to gather experiences: NBA Finals, Travel to Korea, chase his own dream in life to open a martial arts school. But he repeats his parent’s mistake of the lifestyle dream as well: too big of a house, dining out too much, living large, etc. Eventually, he is forced to make a choice between the lifestyle and the dream. So he sells the house that he can no longer afford anymore, and continues to chase dream. He is forced to live in back of the school for some time.

It was during this time of low economic success that he finds personal fulfilment. He discovers and observes the societal programing to work long hours in the Hope of financial freedom. He comes to a conclusion: You have work for yourself, and not for someone else. You either work to live or you live to work.

“Make space in your life for the things that matter, for family and friends, love and generosity, fun and joy. Without this, you will burn out in mid-career and wonder where your life went.”

― Jonathan Sacks

“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”

― Dolly Parton

Please understand that I do not intend to preach or condemn or belittle.

This is a painful subject, not just for myself, but for everyone, I believe. We are constantly bombarded with advertising in one form or another in our lives. This works to program us to feel the need for bigger and better. But is bigger truly better?

Your house may be small and your family large, but does that truly mean that you must upsize your house? Well, maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t. Think about this: Can you afford your current house payment without a strain on your budget? Will moving into a bigger house put a strain on your budget that requires you to increase your work load, maybe force you into a second or third job to compensate? I have met people who live in small houses, where children have to share bedrooms and bathrooms, but they do not want for food, clothes, or toys and they have plenty of family time with their parents.

By the same token, I have seen families in the same situation that made the choice to upscale and give the children their own bedrooms/bathrooms and more indulgent toys. The clothes are a better quality and the toys are more expensive, but the family time virtually disappears as both parents are consumed with work hours and are exhausted when they get home. Children are involved now in before and after school activities that keep them away from home too.

Is this truly the American Dream that we are being sold?

“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”

― Niccolo Machiavelli

Dark Passenger

Dark Passenger

There lies within us that sneaky voice, it whispers or maybe it is louder. It speaks and slithers as a serpent and wraps itself around your psyche.

It whispers “you cannot do it” “you will fail” “you’re too fat” “no one likes you” Pervasive it is.

I am sure you have heard the tale of the frog in the boiling water; Take a frog and drop it in boiling water it tries to hop out. Put a frog in cold water and slowly turn up the heat… it never leaves and dies in the pot.

This is how the dark passenger attacks you; Slowly and Methodically building a self-made prison of doubt and fear. Confining thought. The dark passenger is slow and methodical, it is rare that it speaks during great times; instead it waits and speaks when times are lean. Slow and methodical, it waits for opportune times, times rife with uncertainty.

One of my teachers would say: “Good self-talk is good, Bad self-talk is Real Bad.”

It is going to attack you through fear; Fear of failure, using tools of indecision and “you tried this already and failed” and “you have to much responsibility to do this now” and “you cannot do it right or perfect yet” all these ways it will sub verse you.

He may even get you to “just take one hit” or “one drink cannot hurt” It tries to replace “love” with addiction.

Good news though.

It is all imaginary. You made it up.   Many times the journey is worth the destination.

My purpose here is to empower you to move beyond the fear that is blocking you, that self-made prison of doubt, limiting beliefs and deception that tricks you into staying still.

Dr Wayne Dyer says something to the effect of “when you change the way you look at things, The things you look at change”

The juice is worth the squeeze.

My friend Mac would say ” Fear has No place in a fully focused mind.”

One of my treasured quotes by Albert Camus ” In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

Kick it and his weak ass inbred brother, fear, in the piss pump people, make it only useful as a dust flap to keep dust out his butt crack!

Life is a Journey, Where are you on your journey?

Life is a Journey, Where are you on your journey?

So, My first post.

Welcome to “QuestPursuit” my friends.

This will be a place where we can learn and travel together for however long on our journey is.

I will start, as we gather around the campfire, it is a custom among tribal cultures to have a talking stick. This ensures politeness and decorum

We will follow that tradition here. We will converse in a polite manner. We can disagree   but we will be civil. I, nor, you have any place for prattle.

I am a martial artist; besides my wife I would say it is my reason to be on this earth to help people conquer their fear. My friend Richard Machowitz shared with me some years ago a saying I would like to pass it on to you

“two thing stop you from doing something

*hold up 2 fingers in V shape*

*index finger: Lack of knowledge* *middle finger: Fear*

*push down your index finger.. once you have knowledge*   * continue holding up middle finger.. FORNICATE FEAR*

(I am told swearing will tick off wordpress, so we will comply..for now

I try to live and kick fear to the curb, it is an obvious point here Fear and Stupidity are two different entities. Such as walking out into traffic without looking is foolhardy. It may show an absence of fear however it shows an absence of something else as well

How many times in our everyday life are we ruled by fear.. Afraid to ask for a raise, afraid to speak out at injustice, afraid to talk to women or ask for what you want. As the shoe company says Just do it.

I will share with you my journey. A few years ago I had a martial arts dojo, I loved it, I was unfortunately not a business success and had to close.

I slipped into depression, I gained Way Way too much weight, I did not have much gusto left. As a result my relationship and marriage started to sputter, I of course was a fat slob….Sexy.. so of course my wife started to avoid being physical . I slipped more. To the point .. I wanted nothing to do with MA. My life essence was leaving my body slowly. I am ashamed to admit. I was ready to die.

I had a wakeup call; I remember getting one of those free life insurance offers from my work along with the offer to increase coverage. My wife suggested we take more coverage; I was against the idea as I finances were already strapped.   I recall her getting very upset very quickly as she ran to the bathroom, my wife has difficulty sharing her emotions she would rather cry in private and discuss it later. On this occasion she started to sob and was very frantic on how she did not want to lose me

This struck me, Quite suddenly.   The pain I was causing her.

As she was in the bathroom, I started to think about the direction I was going and the choices I made.

Sometimes in our lives something happens that can change our course direction in an instant. This was one of those times..

I was sitting there on the bed I had an itch on my shin, I scratched it, I noticed about an inch indentation on my shin! I pushed again.. It was if my shin had about an inch of play dough! Being a karate master and understanding Chinese medicine rather well I knew the signs of impending heart trouble!

I knew I was in trouble, I also knew I was a hypocrite! I had a wife who wanted me around, I was Not A Failure! I had students who wanted me around, what kind of leader was I fading like this?

I vowed right then and there to be a better husband to my wife and to be a better man.

My point in dredging this up? Where are you on your journey? Are you stopped as I was and waiting for the buzzards?   I can help you, you gotta walk on your own though.

We Will Climb Out Of This Pit


We all need help from time to time, I did, Do You?   I got my help. Athol Kay, Brian Rideout, Dave Bowmann (put down the whiskey Brian!) SF64, Tennee, Chief, Serenity, Angeline, Jelly Bean, BlueWolf, Middleman, BlackWolf, Katt,

My Wife Ann Quest ( she thought I lost my damn mind, now she loses her mind and breath..if ya know what I mean.

My Martial art family as well: Jack Hogan, George VonWaldner, Bruce Chui, Jerald Carter, David Jones, David Hogan, Ken Onimus, Cindy Onimus, Mike Thompson, Michael Sinnett, Keith Foskey, Mark Fusco, Mike Matthews.

There are so many.. You ALL Saved my life! So many I am sure I am forgetting, I am emotional at these peoples caring hand.

To those I callously forget here.. I cannot thank you enough for your help as well.