Rethinking Success-For The Better

How do we define success?

How we answer this question, is more vital than we think or have allowed ourselves to believe. It is also imperative to our health and well-being. When we think about success, we typically think about how much money we have in the bank, how padded our retirement will be. The degree of education we have, where we live, who were married to. Even the level of health we have. These things, though they do carry a certain level of importance. I don’t believe that they are actually the most vital measure of success.

Think about it, does money actually make us happy? It can, but only for a fleeting moment. For me personally, I know that there is a huge propensity to always want more and more of it. And I know that I can’t take it with me when I die. Further, money cannot truly provide a real sense of joy and inner happiness. Even with a ton of money it can still make a person completely miserable. Unless you have a sense of peace and joy that is beyond financial comfort.

The same goes even with education, you can be the educated most of human beings. But if your education causes you look down on others who are less educated. Has it really done that much for you? You can the highest levels of education, and in the quiet of your mind and soul still compare yourself against someone one else. In my life, I hold having a college degree as a big deal. Because I was told that I was never smart enough for it, and I had to fight my way to get there, as well as finish.

The things that deem as being a success, might actual be doing us more harm than good. Just look at people around us, most of us hate the jobs we have, most don’t feel like we have discovered any sort of real passion and passion. We’ve been fed so many lies about what success actually is.

You know what I’ve come to realize though? While none of the things that I mentioned above are bad. I have come to the understanding that, if I can go through out my day, knowing that I’ve helped someone, woke up and managed to control the thoughts that come in and out of my head. I’ve succeeded, its been a good day! Do I stop striving an aiming up? No, but sense I’ve taken on this new perspective on success in my own life. I’ve been able to breath a lot easier and go through my life with so much more joy and peace.    

A Brief Thought on College

Thoughts on college: I think that some people should attend college, when they know they’re ready. That is not to say, that there is something wrong with one who attends college fresh out of high school. But think about how many times people change their degree paths before actually deciding on something. Especially, when college is being paid for by other means. I tried college at different times before my late twenties, and the truth is, I wasn’t ready. It made others un-happy. But you know what? I’m glad I waited until I was ready and willing to commit to the full process. If you’re not one who is ready for a four year college or longer. It doesn’t mean you can be lazy, but rather go and serve the world in some way. Go master a craft that betters the world. Also know, that college is not for all people. And that people are successful and contributing members of society, even without traditional education. Be a lover of knowledge and read everyday, knowledge is power no matter it comes from at times.

My Thoughts on Guns and Gun Control

Growing up as a kid, I had an obsession with guns, toys guns more likely. My father was a military man and even captain of an S.WA.T. team. I could even name most real life guns that I saw in movies. Yet, the distinction was guns in my life is that my father raised me correctly  in how to view them.

He would tell me things like:

“Real guns are for self-protection”


“You should never point a gun at someone unless you truly have to”.

The point in which someone is informed about guns makes a big difference, for instance, many on the left believe that guns should be taken away from people.  Or that guns should be much more difficult to get access. This way fewer shootings would happen like that which happened in Orlando and various other shootings that have taken place in our world.

I’d like to clarify one simple fact: Guns, even though they can be scary and take the life of another human being are not the primary issue. The real issue at hand is the intentions of human beings that have access to them. There is a vast difference between the terrorist that shoots up a night club and an off-duty police officer or civilian who decides to pull out their firearm.

The terrorist’s heart is filled with evil of many kinds, his objective is to take life. While the officer or civilians objective is to save a life. Do you see the difference? Yes in events such as this lives are lost. But I’d much rather have someone deploy their sidearm in the name of saving others than from having no way of fending off a wolf.

I fully understand that some in our society may not like guns or have any desire to fire them or learn about them. That is their own opinion and mindset. Yet in  no way should that disqualify others from having a concealed carry weapon on their person, simply because guns are seen as “dangerous”. That is silly… After all, even though a person might not admit it. When danger strikes surely they will be thankful when a person with a weapon on them saves their lives.

Since the very first Jason Bourne came out, I’ve been a fan. Even Matt Damon, until this meme is posted:


So even though the guy makes millions of dollars playing the role of Jason Bourne, he’s fine shooting weapons in movies. And yet he is not for them in real life? If he really did oppose them he probably should have turned down those million dollar roles. All I’m saying that one should honor their convictions to the best of their human ability.

All in all, my message is this. The more we educate ourselves on the subject of guns. The more I believe that a lot of the fears concerning guns will vanish. Take a firearms class, see how you like it. If you still are not for them in the end, that is fine. But do not hold to the understanding that guns are scary. I am more scared about the wickedness that lives in the human heart.

The Importance of Humility

“A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing.”
Albert Einstein

The older I get, the more it seems that I hold only a spec of knowledge, wisdom or counsel. This is not said in a degrading context, but is said to show in the vastness of the universe I know only tiny bit about the world around me. That does not mean that I stop learning, or asking questions, but that humility allows me to set aside any hints of ego or pride and be teachable.

If you have not guessed it, I’m going to write and reflect on the importance of humility in life and why I feel that it will take you far in life. Now first let me very clearly state that I am not the most humble human being in existence, my own ego and pride rise to the surface, thus preventing me from being the best student I can be.

Humility is an element that seems to be disappearing quickly, preferably in our American context. An old martial arts instructor of mine, once was telling a quick story about how he was on a plane home, and a man near him, spoke up and demanded that he be brought coffee right away.

My instructor, quickly got his attention and said “please, thank you?” with a very perplexed and obvious look on his face, the man then quickly recanted of his attitude and said please and thank you. This is one way that humility takes root in our lives, for me I’ve noticed that when I say the simple words of please and thank you, something in my heart softens. The simple fact is that no one has to serve us, yet serving others becomes a vocation, as others get to relax and enjoy their surroundings.

As a martial arts instructor, I watch how students act and carry themselves, and if I’m honest sometimes its very disheartening, very rarely do students say thank you for teaching and giving what knowledge I have in a certain area, I don’t want to imply that students have to worship at my feet, but when someone says that they are thankful, it not only softens their heart, but it moves something inside the person that is serving them.

I’ve also had students complain that they often do the same thing over and over in practice,and that they want to move on to “new” things. From a martial arts or athletic stand point, we must be thankful for the basics, we must be thankful that we can even do them in the first place. I don’t care how many times you have done something, you can always learn something from what you have previously done.

The problem does not rest in the performing of everyday tasks or drills that we do each and every day. But with the very disposition of our hearts and minds, sometimes we human beings feel that we have risen above the everyday and mundane, that we deserve bigger and better things. That simply is not always the case.

Everything in life is a gift, not something we deserve because we are so great and god like. Even in education, our heads can get so big because we feel we know so much compared to others, this only closes us off from actually entering into real relationships with others, in that when we feel we know so much, we tend to think “what could they possibly teach me?”

In closing, let us be every watchful of our own ego’s and pride, that way when we feel them rise we can gladly put them back in the place they belong.