Sunday, March 23, 2008

Whada Week

So this last week was completely a life changing and growing experience in more ways than one. I think it was the time I had the most going on and the most changing all at once. I take guitar lessons now even though I have been playing for years and my instructor has been amazing and has showed me some new tricks that I feel were really holding me back. I went to Daughtry/BonJovi on Tuesday with my sister which was really cool to see her reactions because we had really close seats and it was really fun. I had two interviews the day of the concert and found out on Wednesday one of the companies was interested and I was also in joining them so I will be starting on March 31. That was all put in place due to the fact that my contract at my current company was ending on Friday 3/21 after a year. I had been renewed several times but I knew this time was coming. And to top it all off on Saturday I started Olympic style sparring training for Tae Kwon Do. I just wanted to spit this out quick since I haven't updated this in a while and this is a good quick way to remember, it was a great week.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Book of Five Rings Part I

I have recently read the Book of the Five rings. It is a comprehensive yet almost esoteric form of learning hand to hand combat strategy. Miyumoto Musashi is the writer of this excellent exercise of learning, my copy was translated by Stephen Kaufman. In such a straight forward manner it is hard to believe it is so deep. In this writing the creator makes even the simplest of statements mind blowing. It is a short book but one that takes many hours of thought. I have read it through once to get the basic concept and am working on my second time around to actually begin the understanding of his message.

I was brought to this book as I am studying Tae Kwon Do, I am a middle belt and just beginning to see the theory of strategy at work. In hand to hand combat it is a quick game of skill, knowledge, confidence and lack of fear that will give you the edge, I have only begun this journey. In many ways I want to jump to the end and know all the moves and be able to perform them with precision, but I know that to master any of this is going to take many hours of practice. I have an incredible instructor who is able to perform feats I could only imagine and that really keeps me going. As we were sparring one day in practice I realized he had a much better plan for his fighting and style than anybody else did, in watching him I knew I had to research strategy much further. Surprisingly enough the very next class we started working on strategy a little more, but I had already picked up the book and was glad I had done so.

There is quite a lot to the book of the five rings, it is broken into a course of 5 chapters encompassing each aspect of the authors theories on strategy. Broken into Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and No-Thing each section has it's own intricacies that extend far beyond basic thought of strategy and combat. Each element is extremely useful for everyday life. I will be going through this book as a series of posts, to keep my thoughts in tact and also as an easy reference for the future.


Monday, March 3, 2008

Changing Your Stars

I want to write bit on what Heath Ledger had meant to me and maybe in doing so come up with some deeper insights into life and synchronism's. I first came across him as the son of Mel Gibson’s Character in The Patriot, in that movie you really get close to the character and him in understanding who he was, and he played the part great.

Where he really struck home with me was in the second film and one of my favorites A Knights Tale. It was in this film that I saw that I didn’t need to live the same life I had been. I could "change my star’s" and young William Thatcher said in the movie. He didn’t know that was his path, he didn’t know that by being a squire for many years he would have this opportunity, he didn’t work and work and work in the hope’s of becoming a Knight as that is not how that happened in those days. You either were Nobility or you weren’t, there was no middle ground on this. He, after being in the position to pretend for a day, took the opportunity which was better than never even having it at all. This turned into a whirlwind of fortunate events that opened doors for him to become something he was not born into but something he was born to become.

"We are not creatures of circumstance; we are creators of circumstance." -Benjamin Disraeli

This really struck me in the sense that I always felt that I was on the outside looking in to becoming something I had always wanted to be, but never having the opportunity or sometimes the guts. This was in many aspects of my life at the time, previously and since. Now looking back it is amazing to think what an actor can do to put your mind into that realm of opening doors for yourself. This is why we revere them so much, much like musicians. It isn’t so much the story but the story we take from it to become something better. Are we born into something, are we born to do something, be something, strive for something.

I have been reading a lot about synchronicity and understanding them, this is why I feel this strikes such a cord with me as well. I feel this is a waking point as well as an ending point, it is time to shed the old and wake to the new. Those who have come before and are no longer with us were here to teach us something, as well as learn for themselves, when that teaching and learning was done in this life they moved on. What is good or bad right or wrong depends on the time in which you lived, weather you left your mark is left to the time that is yet to come. I think that most will see they have learned much from those that have come and gone in their lives.

I don't usually like nerding out this much but I recently read an article about how energy can not be destroyed it can only be changed. A great metaphor for what happens after we die is placed nicely in the Lord of the Rings; when Dumbledor the Grey becomes Dumbledor the White. He is the same yet he is on another plane of consciousness. Even though you may see him in the same dimensions, he has changed his entire mind and in this it has given him more knowledge and also more power. I think that as we grow we grab onto new things and gain levels just like this, on the outside we may change slightly but everyone still recognizes us as the same. We move up to different levels, we are able to do different feats and becomes something new.

Reality is in a constant state of flux and is very fluid, so much so that we sometimes don’t recognize it and become stuck in a swirl of currents going different ways. I find myself challenged to find direction and move forward and get out of the swirl to get onto the next level of consciousness, and to a new stage in life.

From a Knights Tale:

Wat: You have been weighed.

Roland: You have been measured.
Kate: And you have absolutely...
Chaucer: Been found wanting.
William: Welcome to New World. God save you, if it is right that he should do so.


Friday, February 29, 2008

Brick Walls

If you haven't seen the video of Randy Paush's "Last Lecture" I urge you to check it out. It is long but it is excellent. The short one is alright but I felt I got much more out of the full lecture.

If you ever run into a brick wall like randy talks about you will know, it will hit you like a ton bricks, your heart may well, the lip start quivering and you really want to hit something. when someone tells you that you can't do something, in their mind it is impossible. Don't let their thoughts limit your abilities. Sometimes our Friends and Family can be our worst enemies, no matter how much you still love them. There are times when you need to go with your instinct and ingore the consensus. Have you ever seen the experiments they have done about how people will fall in line with what the others around them are saying. It is creepy to think that we can all be that gullible. If everybody around you is running in one direction you might want to step back and take a look, You may even want to run the opposite way.

One of my favorite books is Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, by Susan Jeffers. This goes extensively into how we stop ourselves from doing things, all in our heads, how others stop us and how we believe what others tells us that we can and can't do. It is sometimes disheartening to come to the realization that the ones closest to us can stop us in our tracks, and that our brains don't always work in our favor. I have seen this happen many times in my own life as well as witnessed it happening to others.

"Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it."
- William Penn

This is one of the main reasons I tell most of the people I know to not pay attention to MSM(main stream media - for the unknowing). It is propaganda that most of the crowd is going to go for but is more than likely way off base. I must say to this watch what goes into your head it may not be what you thought it was.

I am still working out the kinks of writing this and getting into the swing of this so bear with me. I will go more extensively into many things I touch on in these first few posts once I get more comfortable posting.



Is strategy used anymore at all? I have recently gotten in to thinking about strategy, as i have just read Miyamoto Musashi: Book of the Five Rings. I never thought of it much until it hit me one day that I was never a very good strategists myself and thought I should learn something about it.
It seems that more recently though people are giving up on strategic planning and following through on those plans to make them work correctly, they just want to get it done. They figure they will deal with the consequences after they occur, and consequences will occur, often for a very long time to come. Goal planning is a part of strategy but without a goal you can not plan properly how to implement anything.

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them."– Albert Einstein

I take into account my recent start in Tae Kwon Do, I have been practicing this for only a year and am at a blue belt status. This has opened my eyes to many things I have come to believe. More than any, and what is a reoccurring theme is that everything is in your head. I started thinking I couldn’t do very much and that I was out of shape. Now I am in better shape but have gained weight. I lost control of my strategy, I felt that by simply joining Tae Kwon Do I would loose the extra weight I had put on, but I started eating unhealthy and not paying attention to what went in and as a result I need to reformulate the plan again. All this even though I have lost weight in the past doesn’t mean I had the best strategy to keeping it off.

I keep searching for things that can help me change and challenge myself; I have been studying several things for the past few years. I have read several books on psychology, learning, self help and life in general. Some are great others not so, but most of them you can get something out of. I feel that anything you do, anything that has come into your life has done so for a reason. These things guide you to your next step help you down your path. They can open your eyes for new adventures and help to close doors on things you want out of your life. You must recognize this and figure out how to use it, than get out of your way to use it.

"Our greatest battles are with our own minds."- Jameson Frank

Now finally on my opening thoughts, I would like to say that this is a first for me. I am a very quite person, I don’t like to stir the pot but I felt things had to get out of my head and this may help others. I like going off in tangents and finding crazy links to things that I feel sync up. If you can catch on great, we are on the same wavelength. If not don’t get upset at me for loosing track, I will get back to the point eventually pay attention. As I read about the professor who lied to his class to get them to pay attention, people only pay attention if you are interesting and throw them off once in a while.


"Others won't believe in you until you believe in yourself"

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