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 22 November 2016: The Way?

Point your kids in the right direction—
    when they’re old they won’t be lost. (The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 22, Verse 6, The Message, BibleGateway.com)

I just heard something astounding. I came across it while listening to the Tim Ferriss Show #201. It was the part where Tim shares an interview with Sam Harris about meditation. The astounding part for me is that Sam Harris expresses the wish that his young daughter experience psychedelics early enough in life to gain expanded insight. Later in the interview, Dr. Harris shares with Tim that the psychedelic experience can be either marvelous or like unto the most extreme form of mental illness one might ever observe. He indicates that even if one does have a bad trip, there is a chance that one will recover and at least experience compassion for those who suffer from mental illness. A chance?

I know Sam Harris, is published and in many ways much, much more successful than I. In fact, compared to Sam Harris, I am in the media world a cipher, a nobody. Still, I dare to espouse a totally opposite opinion.

My Sophie is five years old, soon to be six as I write this post. Would I gamble Sophie’s emotional future on some probability that she might not have a bad psychedelic trip? This does indeed sound like some worldly wisdom beyond my kin. But that dissuades me not:

18-20 Don’t fool yourself. Don’t think that you can be wise merely by being up-to-date with the times. Be God’s fool—that’s the path to true wisdom. What the world calls smart, God calls stupid. It’s written in Scripture,

He exposes the chicanery of the chic.
The Master sees through the smoke screens
    of the know-it-alls. (Paul’s First Letter to the Church at Corinth, Chapter 3, Verses 18-20, The Message, BibleGateway.com)

So I am out of date with the times. I’ll settle to be God’s fool as Sam Harris is the wise man of the age. I know that raised in the Spirit and by the grace of the God whose existence Sam Harris denies, Sophie can know compassion and great joy. So I will invest in discipline and jiu-jitsu for Sophie. I surely will not gamble her life on the luck of the trip.

And as for Sam Harris? It comes to mind that even Voltaire recognized the value of having a Christian tailor. And then at the end of his life, this great atheist called for a priest to administer the last sacraments. It ain’t over until it’s over.

Between Sam Harris’s bet on psychedelics for his daughter and Pascal’s wager, I go for the latter or better yet, I prefer knowing The God Who is There. The high when you reach that knowing is costly but free, filling the present and lasting forever.

The crux of the matter? Don’t get mad. Don’t just get even. Get ahead and above. Get high on the high that lasts forever. And bring the kids along for the ride. A really good trip.

Wisdom Day 19 September 2016: Live Well


    Take good counsel and accept correction—
that’s the way to live wisely and well. (The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 19, Verse 20, The Message, BibleGateway.com)

Where do I find good counsel? Who will give me wise correction?

Tim Ferriss says we’re the average of the five people with whom we spend the most time.

So what do I do? My plan of action (first draft):

  • Identify the top five sources of wisdom I can access electronically. Jocko Willink is already at the top of this list.
  • Identify the top five sources of wisdom I can access in person. Hmm? That’s a tough one.
  • Invest my “disposable” time there, starting today. Not sure time is like income or modern diapers, but will give it a tumble.
  • Track the time invested and report it to an accountability partner. And that would be . . . ?
  • Track the results in the most difficult problem area of my life, finances at this point. Let’s see . . . What’s a good metric? Credit score? Total indebtedness? Increase in income? I’ll go for inceased income, at least for now.
  • Re-calibrate and repeat.

Can I do it? Will Tim prove right? Can I improve my average me? Stay tuned.

Wisdom Day 20, July 2016: Clean Sweep

Hi, Jocko troopers! Today’s chapter from The Book of Proverbs is just an awesome spring of understanding and insight, especially when it comes to leadership. I hope you can find time to enjoy the whole chapter. As I have said before and will likely say again and again, I just love The Message translation of Proverbs by Eugene Peterson.

At Biblegateway.com I can listen for free as Kelley Ryan Dolan reads The Message a chapter at a time. I can follow along in the text. I can highlight, star, and add notes. It’s a pretty impressive site. Hope you can enjoy.

And hey, this is not just for “Christians.” After all, King Solomon was not a Christian, and he was the primary author. Shucks, he didn’t even speak English. Pretty crazy, huh? Well, on to one great passage on leadership from Chapter 20 (There are several others. Hope you ferret them out on your own):

After careful scrutiny, a wise leader
    makes a clean sweep of rebels and dolts. (The Book of Proverbs, Chapter  20, Verse 26, The Message, BibleGateway.com)

Well, here I am trying to figure out how this applies to me. I am not leading any company or military unit. I can see how this applies to high level leaders like Jocko Willink, Leif Babin, Tim Ferriss, Ryan Holiday, Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreesen. But to me?  Well, what comes to mind is that I am a follower of these men and many other purveyors of wisdom, including Jesus. So I guess I can start with scrutiny of myself. Yep, that works.

If I were working for me, I might have to fire me, given my high rebel and dolt quotient. OK. So today, I’ll see if I can’t line up better with operational wisdom, like being on time and catching up on my accounting. Then I can be better as a leader for the sons and daughters who call me Dad or Daddy, respectively.

Meanwhile, for improving skills as both leader and follower, I’ve found the following to be useful guides. May they also prove worthwhile for you:


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: