Urgent: Stop Suicide

Thank you, Tim Ferriss, Jocko Willink and Echo Charles . You just gifted me the most urgent podcast message I have ever heard: Jocko Podcast Episode #50.

For the love of God, share Jocko Podcast Episode #50 NOW. And if God is not among your loved ones, for the love of them, share it NOW! This is a message every teenager should hear NOW, every Veteran should hear NOW, every college student should hear NOW. Every ________ should hear NOW. Fill in the blank. Share, share, share, NOW! Why?

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas some years back, my cousin Tyler killed himself, all alone. He had reached out to me and to my sons, just asking what we were doing over the holidays. We sensed he was fishing for an invitation, but we were busy.

We never heard from Tyler again. Instead my aunt called. She could not handle it. I flew out to California and cleaned up what Tyler left behind. He never saw the New Year. And every New Year, I try to forget it could have been different. But I can’t because it could have been.

You don’t need to carry a burden like this the rest of your life. SHARE Jocko Podcast #50 NOW. Listen for the quiet desperation that may lie behind the polite question or phone call of a friend or relative, and SHARE Jocko Podcast #50. Share yourself, your ear, your heart, your time. A false positive carries little risk, but a false negative can mean a death to be borne forever. You can make a difference you may never know you made until in due time you yourself pass over.

 

 

Wisdom Day 26 September 2016: Beware: Tigers!

Loafers say, “It’s dangerous out there!
    Tigers are prowling the streets!”
    and then pull the covers back over their heads. (The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 26, Verse 13, The Message, BibleGateway.com)

I can relate! I never considered myself a loafer, but there have been times when I woke up ready to get up, then thought of all the tigers, not in the street so much as in my life. The tigers were circling. Bed seemed a safe place to be.

That was before Extreme Ownership, before The Tim Ferriss Show podcast with Jocko Willink, before 40 + episodes of The Jocko Podcast, before joining the #0445club, and before the recent #fastingsavages sally.

Now, it’s no longer Beware: Tigers! It’s Tigers, beware! Now when I wake up, I feel the spirit of hundreds, maybe thousands of fellow Troopers around the world with me. And I think of the servant of  the prophet Elijah:

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (The Second Book of the History of the Kings, Chapter 16, Verses 15 & 16, The New International Version, BibleGateway.com)

And today it is true. There are more and more of us. We are the tigers in the streets. Get it on, Troopers!

Oh, if you’re not a Trooper yet, you can fix that. Or maybe better just cover your head? Wait for the tigers to spring? No slack.

Some homework?

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Wisdom Day 14 July 2016: Flee Fools

First of all, Bonne fête de la Bastille, i.e., Happy Bastille Day! Lots of fireworks in France tonight, which on the French clock is just about now. My older son and his family are in Paris to enjoy it all. Would love to be with them, but here I am with you, which is not all bad. So here goes.

Escape quickly from the company of fools;
    they’re a waste of your time, a waste of your words.

The wisdom of the wise keeps life on track;
    the foolishness of fools lands them in the ditch. (The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 14, Verses 7 & 8, The Message, BibleGateway.com)

The take away? Roll with the wise. Let fools roll with fools. As Tim Ferriss warns:

“ . . . you are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.” (Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek, Amazon.com)

At this point in my life, it seems I associate most with Jocko Willink and Tim Ferriss, maybe sometimes even more than with my immediate family, i.e., wife and children. I invest numerous hours weekly listening to Jocko and Tim Ferriss podcasts and hours more on Twitter following Tim, Jocko and Jocko’s colleague, Leif Babin. These guys seem to be diminishing little by little my native foolishness. Some actual face-to-face would be even better. I’ll work on that.

In addition to the Jocko and Tim Ferriss podcasts, the following are some resources  that have helped in the quest to enhance strength and wisdom:

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Wisdom Day 12 June 2016: Wise Counsel

Without good direction, people lose their way;
    the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.
(Proverbs 11: Verse 11, The Message, BibleGateway.com)

Since I am by nature a fool, I need lots of wise counsel. In some ways my IQ has been a stumbling block. Smart does not equal wise. Along with wisdom, I need inspiration as well as an occasional kick in the pants to actually put the wisdom into action. At JockoPodcast.com I get plenty of all three essential ingredients: wise counsel, inspiration, and the boot leather to the butt. Wishing you the same. Not always pleasant but can be quite productive.

Some sources of wise counsel:

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Wisdom Day 25 June 2016: Deep, Broad Leadership

Like the horizons for breadth and the ocean for depth,
    the understanding of a good leader is broad and deep. (The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 25, Verse 3, The Message, BibleGateway.com)

As shared in several previous blog posts, I am a fool by nature. That does not mean I am stupid. My IQ when tested in high school was 160. It’s just that I have quite a track record of doing foolish things. So, since I have so much experience with foolishness, you can count on me to recognize the opposite–Wisdom, a quality to which I do aspire.

Jocko Willink
Jocko Willink from Amazon.com profile

Wisdom is what I have found in Jocko Willink via the Jocko Podcasts. The guy continues to amaze me, like in Jocko Podcast No. 27: Jocko Willink was never once late in his 20 year career as a U.S. Navy SEAL. From early in his work life, he really understood  the importance of punctuality. Jocko said in the podcast that not only was he never late, he always planned to be early, so early that even if he had an auto accident on the way he would have time to deal with it and still make it on time. To me that is understanding that is both deep and wide. No wonder he has become such an exceptional leader.

As for myself, I have been late so many times it shames me to tally the percentage. Let’s just say I have been far below the Jocko bar. One possible excuse is that growing up I heard speak several times of a guy in the community who “would be late for his own funeral.” That appealed to me. I guess I just set about life with that goal in mind and gave it no deeper thought. Now, even though it may seem a bit late in my game, I’m going to see if I can live up to the zero-defects Jocko standard of timeliness. “That being said,” as Jocko might say, I still wouldn’t mind showing up late to my own funeral. It would be so cool to sign that book and do my own eulogy: “Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you, a man who has achieved his life’s goal. So now you can all go home. Funeral cancelled until further notice.”

Picture of young man in church
Photo by Karl Friedrickson from Unsplash

And here are some good sources of wisdom both broad and deep:

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Wisdom Day 11 June 2016: Wise Counsel

Without good direction, people lose their way;
    the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.
(Proverbs 11: Verse 11, The Message, BibleGateway.com)

Since I am by nature a fool, I need lots of wise counsel. In some ways my IQ has been a stumbling block. Smart does not equal wise. Along with wisdom, I need inspiration as well as an occasional kick in the pants to actually put the wisdom into action. At JockoPodcast.com I get plenty of all three essential ingredients: wise counsel, inspiration, and the boot leather to the butt. Wishing you the same. Not always pleasant but can be quite productive.

Some sources of wise counsel:

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Brain Warrior

Here’s a couple of things you might find useful. The first is short fused as I write this post. It starts next Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 online at 5:30 pm Pacific Time. So check it out now if you might be at all interested.

“America is in a war for the health of our brains and bodies. According to the Harvard Business Review, ‘90% lack focus or energy. Depression has increased 400% since 1987.'”

This next one is a great long-term discipline program as well. If you agree with Jocko Willink that “Discipline equals freedom,” check this out, too.

The Daniel Plan is framed around The Essentials: Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus and Friends – life areas that all work together to restore and sustain your long-term health.”

Wishing you great victory in health, wellness, and abundance of good.



 

Jockonian Dichotomy, Babinian Dialectic

The Jocko Podcasts make me more and more aware of the power of dichotomies in taking Extreme Ownership of one’s life. Dichotomy awareness makes one humble. Dichotomy awareness pushes one toward mindfulness in every situation. The dichotomy is central to much of what Jocko Willink and Leif Babin present. It is an essential concept because dichotomies beg a dialectic thought process: thesis vs. antithesis. At least this is what I am finding in my life. I have long been a believer in the necessity of the dialectic for moving closer to truth and effectiveness. The dichotomies Jocko and Leif put forward trigger in me dialectic analysis, helping to keep me humbly mindful and thoughtfully present.

So is it not time to enrich the English language with two new concepts: The Jockonian Dichotomy and the Babinian Dialectic? But where to introduce them? Introductory philosophy or graduate seminars? How about both and more! Let’s own even the academic and philosophical high ground.

And to accomplished philosophers, I apologize if my grasp of the dialectic seems rudimentary. It may well be. So I welcome insight from those more knowledgeable than I, which is truly a vast throng. Own it and bring me in line. Bring it on! Meanwhile, just in case you need further resources, here are some links.

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Jocko Owns Evil

At first I was repulsed. Even now, I must take care not to listen to some things too late in the day. Why is Jocko Willink bringing the evil of human behavior in war to the front in Jocko Podcast after podcast? Won’t this turn away listeners?

Now, though, I begin to get it. Jocko is not toying with popular subjects. He is facing into the ugliest subject of all: evil. Jocko is owning evil. He is executing in keeping with the philosophy put forth in Extreme OwnershipHe is a leader owning his world.

First Principle: Great does not equal popular

The most important missions are not necessarily popular missions. In fact, quite to the contrary. That is the essence of leadership. If everyone knew where to go and how to get there, we would need no leaders. A true leader knows how to set the objective, get the right people on the forward team, charge the hill, and take it. Later more and more followers can occupy the high ground. So Jocko is aiming to seize, clear, hold, and build on that hill we all confront: Mount Evil. To do this, he clearly is not trying to pander to the masses, hence the second principle.

Second Principle: Gaggles rarely take the hill.

Weed out the lukewarm troops. They may make great occupation forces. Save them for that. Take the hill with Chosen Warriors. The story of Gideon provides an example:

Then the Lord said to Gideon, “There are too many people with you for Me to hand over Midian to them, otherwise Israel will boast [about themselves] against Me, saying, ‘My own power has rescued me.’ So now, proclaim in the hearing of the people, ‘Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men returned [home], but ten thousand remained. (Judges 7: 2-3, AMP, BibleGateway.com)

With 10,000 remaining, God ordered the final sort:

Then the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many people; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water, and the Lord said to Gideon, “You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels down to drink.” Now the number of those who lapped [the water], putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men, but all the rest of the people kneeled down to drink water. And the Lord told Gideon, “With the three hundred men who lapped I will rescue you, and will hand over the Midianites to you. Let all the other people go, each man to his home.” So the three hundred men took people’s provisions [for the journey] and their trumpets [made of rams’ horns] in their hands. And Gideon sent [away] all the other men of Israel, each to his tent, but kept the three hundred men. And the camp of Midian was below him in the valley. (Judges 7: 4-8, AMP, BibleGateway.com)

So what was the result of this counter intuitive move? The 300 routed an army of Midianites that were “as countless as locusts; and their camels were without number, as numerous as the sand on the seashore (Judges 7:12, AMP, BibleGateway). Well, yes, even in the Bible war stories get “amplified.” And yes, there is more to the story. And, yes, it makes good reading, even if the Bible is not your favorite field manual. And yes, one asks why those who lapped water from their hands were chosen over those who knelt to drink. Well, somewhere I found the explanation that those who lapped water from their hands had their heads up and could drink while maintaining situational awareness. Those who knelt were for a few moments all engrossed in quenching their thirst and thus vulnerable. Check it out.

There exists another historic example of a great leader who weeded out his followers in preparation for battle, in this case prolonged societal and spiritual warfare. When Jesus talked about his body as real food and his blood as real drink, people were outraged. It’s still tough to take such talk.

60 When many of His disciples heard this, they said, “This is a difficult and harsh and offensive statement. Who can [be expected to] listen to it?”  . . . 66 As a result of this many of His disciples abandoned Him, and no longer walked with Him.

So only the die-hards remained. The result was a movement that persists today.

Conclusion?

It is the die-hards, the hard core who change society. These are the ones who lead and own their worlds. They are the ones who face into evil. Some die and some live. But the movement wins.

What’s the point relating to Jocko’s Podcasts? You can get more and more insight on this if you choose to listen to the podcasts. My interpretation is that Jocko is after an elite following, those who will own their worlds, lead, and win. He is not talking to make himself famous. He is talking to make a difference in an evil world. Just my take.

And the take away? Hang with the Jocko podcasts, even if you find them sometimes repulsive. I think you will gain much insight. I know I am. So I will keep on listening, albeit not right before bedtime.

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