Showing posts with label Notes/Quotes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Notes/Quotes. Show all posts

Notes & Quotes: Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be by Steven Pressfield

The following are my favorite quotes from Steven Pressfield's Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be.

  1. The only questions I ask are, Did I show up? Did I try my best? If I've done that, then I've put my butt where my heart wants to be. I can't ask anything of myself more than that.
  2. "How much do we want it?" "What sacrifices are we willing to make to see this project succeed?" "Have we 'moved'--lock, stock, and barrel--to our inner Paris?"
  3. It is not an idle or airy-fairy proposition to declare that the universe responds to the hero or heroine who takes action and commits. It responds positively. It comes to the hero's aid.
  4. Work--day-in, day-out exertion and concentration--produces progress and order. That's a law of the universe.
  5. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.
  6. At some point the practice of our vocation moves from being a challenge that we must will ourselves into accepting and enacting to becoming simply...our life. Like a mother raising her children or a farmer tending his crops. This is our calling. This is who we are. This is what we do.
  7. Commit to a time. The goddess doesn't just want to know where we are. She wants to know what time we start and at what hour we finish. How can she come to our aid if she doesn't know where and when to find us?
  8. Leave your ego, leave your greed, leave your competitiveness with your comrades, leave your lust for glory and your fear and your self-doubt and your lack of belief in yourself. Leave everything but your will to victory.
  9. Here's my frame of mind as I sit down to work: This is the day. There is no other day. This is the day.
  10. This is the job. There is no other job. This is the job.
  11. The primary emotion of the ego is fear; the primary emotion of the Self is love.

Notes & Quotes: The Way is in Training by Matthew Little

 The following are my favorite quotes from Matthew Little's The Way is in Training.

  1. Technical skill and physical preparedness are both useless without a commensurate development of the mind. And not just an academic or scholarly one. The warrior's mind must ride the edge of a razor like a samurai's zen or a praetorian's stoicism. In the moment, unflustered, and resolute. No attachment to consequence or reward, only process and standards. It is vital that you devote yourself to the development of this, or all of your other training will prove fruitless. 
  2. Find your standards. Find your purpose. Something worth the commitment to excellence and integrity. And then you will find the best of yourself.
  3. Zen scholars attribute emotional suffering for attachment. A desire for the world to be what you want it to be rather than what it is. The stoics talked at length about the only variable truly in our control was how we react to reality, and that reacting with negative emotions to events we cannot change does us nothing but harm. This simple truth is one of the keys in my opinion to living an authentic and rich life.
  4. Overconfidence and arrogance breeds complacency. And that sin causes carelessness in combat is a potentially fatal error indeed.
  5. In life there is no stasis. There is no steady state. You are either growing and learning or you are diminishing. Challenge is the key to personal growth, the stimulus required to stave off entropy.
  6. Look for work. It's a mindset that is valuable in every aspect of life. What needs to be done right now? What work should I be doing in this moment?
  7. Survivor's guilt doesn't honor the dead. It's at its heart self-pitying and counterproductive. I've learned to honor our dead by living the life they should have had. The way to honor those lost is by accepting the loss and attacking life. Pay the cost, accept the loss, and learn to truly live.
  8. When I plan my training I build everything around the strength work. Notice I said training, not "working out." In my opinion that is an important distinction. Athletes train. Every exercise is designed to elicit a performance response. Aesthetics follow function, not the opposite.
  9. If I don't have both a deep study of and practical experience in a given topic, I won't teach it. Without personal mastery of a skill, instruction of it becomes purely academic.
  10. Another hallmark of the professional is their maintenance of their tools. For your kit and weapons to perform for you they have to be properly cleaned and maintained. Take pride in your equipment. Treat its care as if your life depends on it, because it could.
  11. Col. Jeff Cooper made many contributions to the tactics, training, and culture of combative firearms use in America. Of all his legacies, perhaps the most well known is his four rules of firearms safety. In the original form, they read like this: I. All guns are always loaded. II. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. III. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target. IV. Be sure of your target.
  12. At contact distance, footwork often trumps other elements of skill, so do not neglect it in your training.
  13. There are performance driving schools out there offering to the public. Seek this training out. It is likely to save your life, especially as a civilian, than your shooting, tactics, or combatives.
  14. The fight will be what it will be regardless of your plan, and the enemy gets a vote in how that unfolds.
  15. Fights and contests are won by the individual who makes the fewest mistakes.
  16. Every battle is won or lost before it is even fought. Battles are won in training. Make sure that when you train, every aspect of it has purpose. Every single thing you do in training should be focused and deliberate. Every rep in training, every bullet fired in practice, should be a lesson learned. Take the effort to learn how to train, and you will improve as rapidly and efficiently as possible. Proper training truly does shortcut the learning curve.
  17. What does practice look like?
    1. Practice needs to be frequent.
    2. Practice needs to be deliberate.
    3. Practice needs to be consistent.
    4. Practice needs to be playful.
  18. Train for the fight, instead of training like you fight.
  19. The categories I think of when planning training are conditioning, experimentation drills, isolation drills, combination drills, validation drills and testing, and the application of skill.
  20. Mastery is achievable. It takes not just effort, but effort intelligently applied.
  21. You have to cultivate the awareness to diagnose where your technique is breaking down and work on improving that weakness.
  22. Identify your weaknesses, focus on them in isolation, strengthen them in combination, then retest and repeat.
  23. I'll add a caveat or two to your needs analysis and selecting your performance metrics. You need to build in a buffer of performance above your real-world needs into your metrics for practice. You'll always be able to execute at a higher level when you're comfortable and warmed up than you will when you are executing a cold on-demand performance.
  24. There's a flip side to your needs analysis that has to be accounted for when you pick the metrics to use as your goals. That's your level of commitment. How much of your resources, money and time, are you willing to commit to your skill development? If your level of commitment isn't commensurate to your goals, then they won't be attainable. You can't create world class levels of skill on weekend hobbyist levels of practice.
  25. At least a passing level of familiarity with edged and impact weapons is essential for wellrounded combative skill. Spend enough training time and effort on this, and if the need arises you'll be sufficiently prepared.
  26. Above all, a good instructor:
    1. is a diligent and dedicated student.
    2. is a high performer.
    3. has a high degree of relevant experience.
  27. Conflict is chaotic, and the opponent gets a vote about how it unfolds. If you confuse the medium of the drills with the message they contain, you will be rigid and dogmatic instead of fluid and adaptable. Your techniques and tactics flow from your training and experience, they aren't constrained by them.
  28. Initiative. This is the single most important factor in ensuring victory in any arena. Gaining and maintaining initiative is key. It keeps your opponents reacting to you, fighting your fight instead of their own.
  29. Conflict is as much mental as it is physical. We need to understand that and use it to stack the odds in our favor, much like Musashi did in his duel against Kojiro. This doesn't just apply to violent conflict. The same principle holds true in office politics or a courtroom, anywhere you find yourself at odds with another. Master this, and it will serve you well.
  30. Once violence is inevitable, the time for negotiation and de-escalation is done. Your physical response should be legally defensible and proportionate to the threat, but is should also be physically and psychologically overwhelming to your opponent. Break their will to fight. Make them recoil from you in panic and fear. Take their back and keep it until the fight is done, and they are no longer a threat.
  31. Once you truly understand how easy it is to be killed or seriously injured, regardless of your skill level, you reserve violence for when it is truly needed. Only the na├»ve or arrogant long for violence.
  32. Smother the opponent. Once you gain the initiative and dominant position, exploit that advantage. Overwhelm them physically and psychologically until you've won. Give them no space to move, no room to think, no opportunity to regroup.
  33. Selection is a never-ending process. This applies academically, professionally, and athletically. It applies to warriors and police officers alike. It applies to artists and politicians, to accountants and bartenders. It applies in relationships and rivalries. It is a universal truth.
  34. What matters, what really matters, is what can I do when it counts. Not intent, not past successes, just successful action now. What can I do today to earn my place at the table?
  35. Leadership isn't privilege. Leadership is responsibility. Responsibility to the mission, and responsibility to those you lead. Mission success or failure is on you and you alone. The welfare of your subordinates, their professional development, their training and preparation, all those things become your responsibility.
  36. What is means to be a Quiet Professional is simply this--that you present what you should, remain quiet about the things that you shouldn't share openly, and above all that your public communication is professional and dignified.
  37. Never be afraid to change your point of view in order to align it with the way things actually are. Do this and your training will be better, your tactics will be sounder, and it will be harder to manipulate you.
  38. I should have the right to live as I please, but only if I don't impair anyone else's ability to do so. This also doesn't abrogate the individual of a responsibility to the greater good.

Notes & Quotes: How To Be Your Own Bodyguard by Nick Hughes

The following are my favorite quotes from Nick Hughes's How To Be Your Own Bodyguard: Self Defense for Men and Women from a Lifetime of Protecting Clients in Hostile Environments.

  1. It never made much sense to me to see guys buying guns and going to the range with the excuse that it was for self-defense when the same guy is 100 pounds overweight, smoking two packs of cigarettes a day and eating a diet of fried food, pizzas, and beer. He's going to die from self-inflicted heart attack or stroke before he ever ends up needing his gun for self-defense. My argument is that if they understood the concept of self-protection as opposed to self-defense they'd make moves to remedy that.
  2. How much longer does it take to sit in a seat where you can see the door versus the one you can't? About two seconds. Two seconds is not a long time and the potential return on that tiny investment of time is absolutely huge. For men, go into the stall of a public restroom as opposed to standing at the urinal. Two seconds. Put on boots or lace up shoes as opposed to flip flops. Two seconds. Take your weapon with you versus leave it at home. Two seconds. By now you should be getting the idea. Being prepared takes very little extra time compared to not being prepared, but the payoff is vast.
  3. Most victims have no plan at all. The only thing they'll say when asked about their plan is "well, I just hope it never happens to me." Hope should never be part of a self-protection plan. Ask yourself this question. Would you vote for a President who, upon being asked what his plan for national defense was, replied with "well I just hope we never get attacked." Sounds ridiculous right? But right now, millions of people are protecting themselves exactly that way.
  4. Using and understanding the acronym S.I.V.A. will help you understand the process that most attacks follow. Selection. Isolation. Verbal. Attack/Assault.
  5. One of the keys to helping control the effects of adrenalin on the system is used by snipers, soldiers trying to shoot, and hostage rescue team members just before entry into a room with a barricaded subject, and that is simply controlled breathing. By breathing in slowly for a four count, holding for four, letting out for four, and holding for four before inhaling again, one can rapidly get on top of many of the symptoms.
  6. The OODA loop is the process which everyone cycles through, over and over, be they individuals or even corporations, and it breaks down as follows...Observation. Orientation. Decision. Action.
  7. Having a self-talk "script" is a very useful tool. There are many out there and they can be tailored to your specific goals. One of the best of these that I've seen, and the one that I use all the time, comes from Dennis Martin of CQB Services in the UK and it goes like this:
    "I will do whatever it takes to win the fight. I may be hit. I may be cut. I may go down. I may feel pain. I may feel fear. But I will turn pain into power and I will turn fear into aggression. I will keep fighting. As long as I have breath in my body and blood in my veins. And I will win! Because I will do whatever it takes to win the the fight. I will do whatever it takes to win the fight!!!"
  8. Develop the habit of gathering intelligence. We do it by taking five to ten seconds when exiting a building (the mall for example) or your home to pause, survey your surroundings, and take in information. The best way to do this is to break the area you're looking at into a foreground, a middle ground, and background. Begin by looking at the foreground and do it from right to left and not left to right. Why? We read from left to right and so, as a result, we tend to skim over minor details when looking in that direction. By forcing ourselves to look from the right to the left we tend to take in more information. The other step to keep in mind is that you search the foreground first, and then the middle, and then the background last. That's because anyone in the foreground is going to be the most dangerous due to their proximity.
  9. A favorite of sexual predators at malls for example is to wait beside a victim's car in a van. As the victim approaches, the door slides open, the victim is grabbed and dragged into the car, in less than three seconds, and carted away. By pausing for the five seconds before you blindly head to your car you would have a chance to spot the suspicious vehicle and go back for assistance from mall security.
  10. Get into the habit of locking your doors within three seconds of getting into your house, car, or hotel room. If a predator is following you to take advantage he has a limited amount of time to get into where you are by following you through the door. By locking the doors immediately, you deny him that access.
  11. I know it's fun to work hard and spend your money on the status symbols, but you really do have to pick when and where you wear them. Walking around a third world country with a Rolex and you may as well wear a sign that says "mug me."
  12. Special Forces usually travel in four man teams. Executive protection specialists travel in teams of anything from two to twenty-four members, juvenile gangs and bikers all travel in packs. The common denominator here is that there is safety in numbers. I want you to adopt the same methodology whenever possible and that is adopt the buddy system and least go out in pairs. Take a workout partner to the gym, car pool with someone, go shopping with a friend, etc.
  13. Remember that criminals are opportunists, so the harder you make their job, the more likely it is that they'll pick an easier, softer target. Remember, their goal is money, not necessarily YOUR money. Anyone's will do and ensuring it's not yours is YOUR number one priority.
  14. To be blunt, it's better to be safe than sorry. If your gut is telling you something, listen to it and then heed its warning. One day you'll be hugely thankful that you did.
  15. You new empty mark on your car's gas gauge is now the half way mark. This is Standard Operating Procedure--SOP--with regards to security driving when protecting a principle and needs to be adopted by you as well.
  16. Make sure you have the following in your car at all times:
    1. A fully inflated spare tire.
    2. A jack.
    3. Jumper cables.
    4. Flashlight.
    5. Water.
    6. Duct tape.
    7. Flares.
    8. First aid kit. 
    9. Survival blanket.
    10. Tool kit.
  17. Utterly important, and oft time ignored, the Bug In Bag--BIB--is a critical piece of kit. It is a small backpack, or equivalent, packed with some simple items that will help you get home (Bug In) in the event of a breakdown, blackout, or similar emergency. The Bug Out Bag is similar in content except it is usually bigger and contains elements to camp out and survive in the wilderness should it ever become necessary to leave home and head for the hills.
  18. While the contents of your individual bag will vary depending on your needs and where you live, etc., some basic items should include the following:
    1. Walking shoes.
    2. Water.
    3. Bandana.
    4. Power bars.
    5. Flashlight.
    6. Batteries.
    7. Lighter.
    8. First aid kit.
    9. Whistle.
    10. Compass.
    11. Dust mask.
    12. Survival blanket.
    13. Mutli-tool.
    14. Swiss Army knife.
    15. Poncho.
    16. Hands free light.
    17. AM/FM radio.
    18. Handi-wipes.
    19. Duct tape.
    20. Paracord.
    21. Chapstick.
    22. Sunscreen.
    23. Gloves.
    24. Pry bar.
  19. The most important part of all the above is knowing how to use it. Do not include something in your kit that you don't know how to use.
  20. "Who's around me and what are they doing?" That's situational awareness summed up in one sentence and is the bedrock of anyone's self-protection plan.
  21. Another major part of situational awareness is not only being aware of who is around you but also your environment. Where are the exits? What improvised weapons are available? What cover is available, and what concealment? Not a lot of stuff in commercial workplaces and/or schools will stop rifle bullets.
  22. "If you knew you were going to be fighting a gunman for your life tomorrow what would you be doing to prepare for it today?" Another way to look at this is, "if the time to perform has arrived, the time to prepare has passed."
  23. To be effective there are three things someone must have to win a street fight. They must have technique, they must have tactics, and they must have the correct mindset. 

Notes & Quotes: Never Finished by David Goggins

The following are my favorite quotes from David Goggins's Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within.

  1. The way we speak to ourselves in moments of doubt is crucial, whether or not the stakes are high. Because our words become actions, and our actions build habits that can coat our minds and bodies with the plaque of ambivalence, hesitancy, and passivity and separate us from our own lives. If any of this sounds familiar, grab your phone and record your inner dialogue as soon as you wake up. Don't hold back. Spill all your dread, laziness, and stress into the mic. Now listen to it. Nine times out of ten, you won't like what you hear. It will make you cringe. You wouldn't want your girlfriend or boyfriend, your boss, or your kids to hear your unfiltered weakness. But you should.
  2. I looked at each day as an opportunity to mine the negativity that had colonized my brain and became fascinated by the power of the mind and how it can work for us and against us.
  3. If you don't feel like you're good enough, if your life lacks meaning and time feels like it's slipping through your fingers, there is only one option. Recreate yourself in your own Mental Lab. Somewhere you can be alone with your thoughts and wrestle with the substance of what and who you want to be in your one short life on earth. If it feels right, create an alter ego to access some of that dark matter in your mind. That's what I did. In my mind, David Goggins wasn't the savage motherfucker who accomplished all the hard shit. It was Goggins who did that.
  4. Mental toughness and resilience fade if they aren't used consistently. I say it all the time: you are either getting better, or you're getting worse. You're not staying the same.
  5. To put it into plain text: when your self-worth goes away and you don't deal with or accept your demons, they will continue to own you, and you will become a bottom feeder.
  6. When a half-assed job doesn't bother you, it speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. And until you start feeling a sense of pride and self-respect in the work you do, no matter how small or overlooked those jobs might be, you will continue to half-ass your life.
  7. Allow discipline to seep into your cells until work becomes a reflex as automatic as breathing. With discipline as your medium, your life will become a work of art.
  8. From then on, whenever I had a purpose or a task in front of me, I didn't consider it done until I'd completed it to the best of my ability. When that's the way you live your life, you no longer need a task list or an Accountability Mirror because when you see the grass is high, you cut the grass right then. If you're lagging behind in school or work, you study your ass off or stay late and take care of business. When it came time to lose one hundred pounds to become a SEAL, I knew exactly what I had to do. I had to tap back into being a disciple of discipline, but I didn't need a task list. Writing it down would have only cut into my workout time, and I didn't have a single minute to spare.
  9. People who feel sorry for themselves are obsessed with their own problems and their own fate. Is that really much different than the greedy and egotistical people who want to feel better than everybody else?
  10. Whether it is a seven-mile run or a 240-mile run, we all know what it's like to bargain with ourselves to avoid having to do the very thing we said we would. We say we're overworked, overwhelmed, or just over it entirely. I never give in to that because I know there are a lot of people out there who do not have that choice to make. They cannot run at all and wish like hell they could.
  11. Once you find out who the fuck you are, the world will start delivering you care packages filled with opportunities that will fuel your quest.
  12. When you evolve, your inner circle must evolve with you. Otherwise, you may subconsciously halt your own growth to avoid outpacing and losing contact with the people who mean a lot to you but may not be able to hang with you.
  13. No matter what life serves me, I say, "Roger that." Most people think "Roger that," simply means, "Order received." However, in the military, some people infuse ROGER with a bit more intention and define it as, "Received, order given, expect results." When used that way, it is so much more than an acknowledgment. It's an accelerant. It bypasses the over-analytical brain and stimulates action because, in some situations, thinking is the enemy.
  14. Most of his work was hidden, but it is within that unseen work that self-leaders are made. I suspect the reason he was capable of exceeding any and all standards consistently was because he was dedicated at a level most people cannot fathom in order to stay ready for any and all opportunities.
  15. Think about how much information is out there on the internet. Any place you want to build your skills, from boot camp to Harvard Business School, from EMT certification to an engineering degree, is described online in granular detail. You can study the prerequisites and start on the coursework before you are even admitted. You can prepare as if you are already there so when the time comes and you do land that opportunity, you are ready to smash it. That's what a self-leader does, no matter how busy their lives are. Not because they are obsessed with being the best, but because they are striving to become their best.
  16. Setting an example through action rather than words will always be the most potent form of leadership, and it's available to all of us. You don't have to be a great public speaker or have an advanced degree. Those things are fine and have their place, but the best way to lead a group is to simply live the example and show your team or classmates, through dedication, effort, performance, and results, what is truly possible.
  17. My oath to self: I live with Day One, Week One mentality. This mentality is rooted in self-discipline, personal accountability, and humility. While most people stop when they're tired, I stop when I am done. In a world where mediocrity is often the standard, my life's mission is to become uncommon amongst the uncommon.
  18. No matter what I'm doing or which arena I'm engaging in, I will always aim for greatness I know that we are all mere mortals and greatness is possible for anyone and everyone if they are willing to seek it out in their own soul.

Notes & Quotes: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

The following are my favorite quotes from Lori Gottlieb's Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed.

  1. Change and loss travel together. We can't have change without loss, which is why so often people say they want change but nonetheless stay exactly the same.
  2. One of the most important steps in therapy is helping people take responsibility for their current predicaments, because once they realize that they can (and must) construct their own lives, they're free to generate change.
  3. Doing something prompts you to do something else, replacing a vicious cycle with a virtuous one. Most big transformations come about form the hundreds of tiny, almost imperceptible, steps we take along the way.
  4. Idiot compassion--you avoid rocking the boat to spare people's feelings, even though the boat needs rocking and your compassion ends up being more harmful than your honesty. People do this with teenagers, spouses, addicts, even themselves. Its opposite is wise compassion, which means caring about the person but also giving him or her a loving truth bomb when needed.
  5. The things we protest against the most are often the very things we need to look at.
  6. We sprinkle seeds of curiosity, because therapy can't help people who aren't curious about themselves.
  7. Whenever one person in a family system starts to make changes, even if the changes are healthy and positive, it's not unusual for other members in this system to do everything they can to maintain the status quo and bring things back to homeostasis.
  8. Most of us come to therapy feeling trapped--imprisoned by our thoughts, behaviors, marriages, jobs, fears, or past. Sometimes we imprison ourselves with a narrative of self-punishment. If we have a choice between believing one of two things, both of which we have evidence for--I'm unlovable, I'm lovable--often we choose the one that makes us feel bad.
  9. There is a way out--as long as we're willing to see it.
  10. Therapists tell their patients: Follow your envy--it shows you what you want.
  11. Regret can go one of two ways: it can either shackle you to the past or serve as an engine for change.
  12. One of the things that surprised me as a therapist was how often people wanted to be told what to do, as if I had the right answer or as if right and wrong answers existed for the bulk of choices people make in their daily lives.
  13. Sharing difficult truths might come with a cost--the need to face them--but there's also a reward: freedom. The truth releases us from shame.
  14. We may want others' forgiveness, but that comes from a place of self-gratification; we are asking forgiveness of others to avoid the harder work of forgiving ourselves.
  15. At some point, being a fulfilled adult means taking responsibility for the course of your own life and accepting the fact that now you're in charge of your choices.
  16. Research shows that people tend to remember experiences based on how they end, and termination is a powerful phrase in therapy because it gives them the experience of a positive conclusion in what might have been a lifetime of negative, unresolved, or empty endings.
  17. Even in the best possible relationship, you're going to get hurt sometimes, and no matter how much you love somebody, you will at times hurt that person, not because you want to, but because you're human. You will inevitably hurt your partner, your parents, your children, your closest friend--and they will hurt you--because if you sign up for intimacy, getting hurt is part of the deal.

Notes & Quotes: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson

The following are my favorite quotes from Margareta Magnusson's The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter.

  1. Death cleaning is not about dusting or mopping up; it is about a permanent form of organization that makes your everyday life run more smoothly.
  2. Going through all your old belongings, remembering when you used them last, and hopefully saying good-bye to several of them is very difficult for many of us. People tend to hoard rather than throw away.
  3. Your exhaustion will all this stuff may appear out of the blue one day. When someone cancels a weekend visit or a dinner, you feel grateful--instead of disappointed--because you may be too tired to clean up for their visit. The problem is that you have too much stuff to deal with. It is time to change your way of living.
  4. Do not ever imagine that anyone will wish--or be able--to schedule time off to take care of what you didn't bother to take care of yourself. No matter how much they love you, don't leave this burden to them.
  5. Life will become more pleasant and comfortable if we get rid of some of the abundance. 
  6. Even in a fairly small family, one or several members wander about looking for keys, gloves, certificates, or cell phones. Whatever. All these things have something in common! They should, but don't yet, have a place of their own. Give everything a place and you won't feel angry, irritated, or desperate when leaving the house.
  7. To hunt for misplaced things is never an effective use of your time. So, work to keep things organized throughout your life, and death cleaning will be easier for everyone. Your loved ones will not be happy people when they have to do your organizing for you.
  8. Had I cleaned with my husband, it would have taken us years. Men tend to save most things rather than throw them away. That goes for even the smallest nuts and bolts. They think, and rightly sometimes, that every little thing will be useful at some later occasion.
  9. A loved one wishes to inherit nice things from you. Not all things from you.
  10. You really can't take everything with you, so maybe it is better to not try to own it all.
  11. There's no sense in saving things that will shock or upset your family after you are gone.
  12. To let things, people, and pets go when there is no better alternative is a lesson that has been very difficult for me to learn and a lesson that life, as it goes further along, is teaching me more and more often.
  13. The more I have focused on my cleaning, the braver I become. I often ask myself, "Will anyone I know be happier if I save this?" If after a moment of reflection I can honestly answer "no", then it goes into the hungry shredder, always waiting for paper to chew. But before it goes into shredder, I have had a moment to reflect on the event or feeling, good or bad, and to know that is has been a part of my story and of my life.
  14. It is hard for me to understand why most people find death so difficult to talk about. It is the only absolutely inevitable happening that we all have in our future.

Notes & Quotes: The 12-Hour Walk by Colin O'Brady

The following are my favorite quotes from Colin O'Brady's The 12-Hour Walk: Invest One Day, Conquer Your Mind, and Unlock Your Best Life.

  1. I thought of the Thoreau quote I used to open this chapter: "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." It's one my very favorite quotes, a compelling reminder that too many of us are wiling to settle--to give up on our dreams. Too many of us are held back by limiting beliefs, unable to get out of our own heads and commit to living our best lives.
  2. The Walk might sound simple--and in a lot of ways it is--but there's power in simplicity. And, one might say, magic. Without a doubt, the directions are simple to follow:
    1. COMMIT - pick a day on your calendar to complete the 12-Hour Walk by visiting 12hourwalk.com/commit.
    2. RECORD - before you set out on your walk, record a short video of yourself to verbalize your intentions. What limiting beliefs do you want to silence? Describe how you hope to feel when you complete the 12-Hour Walk.
    3. UNPLUG - turn your phone on airplane mode before starting your 12-Hour Walk. The 12-Hour Walk is designed to be taken alone, with no external inputs--no companions, no headphones, no podcasts, no music, no email, no texts, no social media--for the entire twelve hours.
    4. WALK - begin your 12-Hour Walk. Just like life, you choose the destination. Remain outside for twelve hours, walking in silence. The setting you're walking in doesn't need to be completely silent, but you do. Maintaining your silence is the key. Ambient city noise is okay.
    5. REST - The 12-Hour Walk isn't a race. Take as many breaks as you need. It doesn't matter if you walk one mile or fifty; as long as you keep moving when you can, you're winning.
    6. REFLECT - record a video as you finish your 12-Hour Walk. Ask yourself: How do you feel? What did you discover? What limiting beliefs did you overcome? What do you now feel capable of with your Possible Mindset?
  3. Moments of victory can be built only on top of moments of struggle.
  4. Too much of life is settling for good not great, with a lot of time spent in the "eh, can't complain" zone.
  5. Discomfort is often the toll that must be paid to achieve fulfillment.
  6. You'll rarely, if ever, be criticized by someone who's living their best life. Chances are, those people will know--and respect--the challenges of your pursuit. More often, criticism comes from those who're disappointed by the outcomes of their own lives and need a target for their frustration and insecurity.
  7. Why do we spend time with people who don't celebrate our accomplishments and support us in our big dreams? What are we holding on to? If you can't share your good news with an old friend and count on getting back a supportive response, then it's time to swap out that old friend for a new one. Step away from friendships that seem to be running on fumes.
  8. Prioritizing self-care is, in fact, selfless.
  9. In life, you can choose to lean toward either scarcity or abundance. Those with a Possible Mindset choose abundance.

Notes & Quotes: Relentless by Tim S. Grover

The following are my favorite quotes from Tim S. Grover's Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable.

  1. I'm rarely the first guy players reach out to when they want to train; I'm the last. In case of emergency, break glass. There are plenty of trainers who will just give you a workout. That is not me--we train for one thing and one thing only: a championship. Lots of guys say they'll do anything for that ring, but there's a difference between saying it and actually doing it. So when a guy commits to train with me, it means he's really serious.
  2. You don't have to love the hard work; you just have to crave the end result.
  3. Why should anyone want to be told what to do? The whole point of this book is that in order to be successful, to truly have what you want in your life, you must stop waiting to be told what to do and how to do it. Your goals, your decisions, your commitment. If you can't see the end result, how can anyone else see it for you?
  4. Success is about dealing with reality, facing your demons and addictions, and not putting a smiley face on everything you do.
  5. From this point, your strategy is to make everyone else get on your level; you're not going down to theirs. You're not competing with anyone else, ever again. They're going to have to compete with you. From now on, the end result is all that matters.
  6. It's not about talent or brains or wealth. It's about the relentless instinctive drive to do whatever it takes--anything--to get to the top of where you want to be, and to stay there.
  7. Why do I call them Cleaners? Because they take responsibility for everything. When something goes wrong, they don't blame others because they never really count on anyone else to get the job done in the first place. They just clean up the mess and move on.
  8. Cleaners understand they don't have to love the work to be successful; they just have to be relentless about achieving it, and everything else in between is a diversion and a distraction from the ultimate prize.
  9. When you're a Cleaner:
    • You keep pushing yourself harder when everyone else has had enough.
    • You get into the Zone, you shut out everything else, and control the uncontrollable.
    • You know exactly who you are.
    • You have a dark side that refuses to be taught to be good.
    • You're not intimidated by pressure, you thrive on it.
    • When everyone is hitting the "In Case of Emergency" button, they're all looking for you.
    • You don't compete with anyone, you find your opponent's weakness and you attack.
    • You make decisions, not suggestions; you know the answer while everyone else is still asking questions.
    • You don't have to love the work, but you're addicted to the results.
    • You'd rather be feared than liked.
    • You trust very few people, and those you trust better never let you down.
    • You don't recognize failure; you know there's more than one way to get what you want.
    • You don't celebrate your achievements because you always want more.
  10. Those who talk don't know, and those who know don't talk.
  11. Do. The. Work. Every day, you have to do something you don't want to do. Every day. Challenge yourself to be uncomfortable, push past the apathy and laziness and fear. Otherwise, the next day you're going to have two things you don't want to do, then three and four and five, and pretty soon, you can't even get back to the first thing. And then all you can do is beat yourself up for the mess you've created, and now you've got a mental barrier to go along with the physical barriers.
  12. Do the work before you need it, so you know what you're capable of doing when everyone else hits that panic button and looks at you.
  13. Make no mistake about this: emotions make you weak. Again: emotions make you weak. The fastest way to tumble out of the Zone is to allow emotions to drive your actions.
  14. We're all born bad. Sorry, but that's the truth. Born bad, taught to be good. Or if you prefer: born relentless, taught to relent.
  15. Stop waiting to be taught something you already know. How many millions of diet and exercise books are sold every year? I promise you, every single person who picks up one of those books already knows the answer: eat healthier and move your body. You can eat these calories or those calories, you can move this way or that way, but the result is the same, and you already know that. You bought that book already knowing what you had to do, you were just waiting for someone to tell you. Again. And instead of just making the decision to eat healthier and move more--for a lifetime, not just for twenty-one days or five hours a month or whatever the trend prescribes--you sat down with a book to analyze the situation. Trust me: no one ever lost weight sitting on the couch with a book.
  16. Cleaner Law: control your dark side, don't let it control you. Do you want to smoke or do you have to smoke? All that nightlife--do you know when it's time to head home, or is it crushing your game? Do you drink because you like it or because you need it to cope with the pressure you feel? Can you be decent at what you do with an alcohol problem? Probably. But you can't be great. Cleaners never perform under the influence of anything; they place too much value on their mental state to allow anything to affect their minds and instincts and reflexes. Who's in charge, you or your dark side?
  17. There's a difference between confidence and cockiness: confidence means recognizing something isn't working and having the flexibility and knowledge to make adjustments; cockiness is the inability to admit when something isn't working, and repeating the same mistakes over and over because you stubbornly can't admit you're wrong.
  18. When a Cleaner gives you an opportunity, be ready, because he won't ask you again if you blow it. It's easier for him to just do the job himself, and if he's going down with the ship, he's going to make sure he's the captain.
  19. Regardless of how you build that team--any team, in sports or business or any endeavor--no matter how you snap the pieces into place, you need that one guy who never needs a fire lit under him, who commands respect and fear and attention and demands that others bring the same excellence to their performance that he demands of himself. He doesn't have to be the most skilled or gifted guy on the team, but he establishes an example that everyone else can follow.
  20. Figure out what you do, then do it. And do it better than anyone else. And then let everything else you do build around that; stay with what you know.
  21. Interesting how the guy with the most talent and success spent more time working out than anyone else.
  22. Each of Kobe's [Bryant] workouts takes around ninety minutes, and a half hour of that is spent just working on his wrists, fingers, ankles...all the details. That's how the best get better--they sweat the details.
  23. Trust me: privilege is a poison unless you know how to manage it.
  24. That's how you earn respect. Excellence in everything.
  25. A Cleaner views people as if they're tools, each with unique, indispensable qualities. A hammer can destroy or it can build; a knife in the wrong hands can kill you, but in a doctor's hands it can heal you. A wrench doesn't do the job of a drill, it only does what a wrench is supposed to do. You're only as good as the tools you've chosen, and your ability to use them to their maximum potential.
  26. When you're an A+ person, you want A+ people around you, and everyone has to be accountable for doing A+ work.
  27. Fuck "try." Trying is an open invitation to failure, just another way of saying, "If I fail, it's not my fault, I tried."
  28. If you aim at excellence, you have to be willing to sacrifice. That is the price of success. You never know how bad you want it until you get that first bitter taste of not getting it, but once you taste it, you're going to fight like hell to get that bitterness out of your mouth.

Notes & Quotes: Finding Ultra by Rich Roll

The following are my favorite quotes from Rich Roll's Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself.
  1. I've been there. I too bought into the great lie. Blinded by its false promise, I spent years in pursuit of a life I didn't mindfully choose. But rather than do something about it, anything, I simply medicated myself to salve a pain I wasn't even consciously aware I harbored. Drugs, alcohol, fast food--you name it. It's a path that took me to some very dark places. And it's a life that left me profoundly desperate, accelerating me to the grave without any awareness that deep down, lying dormant, was a song. A song yet to be discovered. A song yearning to be sung.
  2. If my story stands for anything, it is that the human body, mind, and spirit are far more resilient than you can possibly imagine. My testimony is that each and every one of us is sitting atop vast reservoirs of untapped potential. We're all capable of feats beyond our limited imagination. And personal growth isn't just possible, it's our mandate.
  3. From my adventures in the subculture of addiction recovery, I'd learned that the trajectory of one's life often boils down to a few identifiable moments--decisions that change everything. I knew all too well that moments like these were not to be squandered. Rather, they were to be respected and seized at all costs, for they just didn't come around that often, if ever. Even if you experienced only one powerful moment like this one, you were lucky. Blink or look away for even an instant and the door didn't just close, it literally vanished.
  4. She [my wife] understood a crucial spiritual principle I'd yet to grasp. You can stand in the light. And you can set a positive example. But you simply cannot make someone change.
  5. The idea that hard work and discipline left me solely responsible for the result--win or lose--was a revelation.
  6. I quickly became aware that I lacked a certain level of God-given talent. If I wanted to catch up and make the leap to the national level, I couldn't rely on innate gifts. I was going to have to go the extra mile. I decided to focus almost entirely on the 200-yard butterfly; widely considered one of the most difficult and draining events, most people had no interest in swimming it. This gave me an immediate advantage. Less interest and fewer competitors meant better chances for success.
  7. To the casual observer, everything seemed fine. But I was in my own private hell. Man, did I want to drink that night. Just one strong drink to numb this misery. But I knew I could never have just one drink.
  8. Armed with Skip's hall pass, I walked outside to meet the bright sun wash and headed straight to the liquor store. I had one night of solitary drinking left, and I wasn't about to squander it. Because despite all the pain I had caused others, the bridges I had burned, and the misery I had brought upon myself, I still didn't want to let this life go. That, in a nutshell, is alcoholism.
  9. All my confusing feelings boiled down to one singular emotion. Fear. Fear of people. Fear of situations and institutions. Fear of economic insecurity, the unknown, and events that hadn't yet and possibly would never transpire. All told, fear of everything. And there's only one cure for fear. Faith.
  10. I have come to appreciate that great beauty lies in destruction. Looking back, it is undeniable that the wedding that nearly destroyed me was absolutely crucial in precipitating my ultimate salvation. And for this, I am--and will always be--eternally grateful.
  11. Getting overly caught up in such minute details leads to burnout. And burnout always leads back to old habits. The name of the game is sustainability. And simply put, if it's too complicated, it's not sustainable. And if it's not sustainable, what's the point?
  12. It was this new lifestyle--not race results, finishing times, or age-group rankings--that captivated me. I reveled in the simple purity of the outdoor experience that washed over me in the midst of a trail run, the feeling of calm that enveloped me while engaged in a hard swim, and the satisfying camaraderie I discovered while pedaling with gung-ho fellow bikers.
  13. Stress + Rest = Progress. The concept seems self-evident, and, in fact, it's the current operating system for most endurance, track, cycling, swimming, and triathletes today.
  14. They're called supplements for a reason--to be used sparingly, and never as a substitute for real food. My focus is always on meeting my protein needs through whole foods, and yours should be too. 
  15. On a weekday morning that normally would have been spent chained to a desk, I mounted my bike for the first time in months and began pedaling toward the Santa Monica Mountains. Soon I was ascending Topanga Canyon, and as the sun rose into the clear blue skies above the ridgeline, I spotted a hawk. In a perfect symbiosis of air and wing, the majestic bird sailed its perfect arc across the morning sky. And that's when I understood. If I could summon the courage to pursue my passion with purpose and without fear, I, too, could experience such synchronicity. Somehow, everything would work out.
  16. Safety isn't just an illusion, it's a cop out. I know it sounds trite, but there's simply nothing like a near-death experience to remind one of the impermanence of everything. And living imprisoned by fear only to die with regret over dreams postponed was a life neither of us was interested in. 
  17. I didn't get into ultra-endurance sports to win races, beat others, or stand atop podiums. I got into it because it's a perfect template for self-discovery--a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual odyssey to more deeply understand myself, determine my purpose, and discover my place in the world. A way to tap into my unexplored reservoirs of potential--and touch the other side. This was the promise of Ultraman. And it delivered in spades.
  18. Bliss in depletion. I finally got it. It's that beautiful place of ascetic purity that is permitted to bloom only when the mind is stopped dead in its tracks and everything else is stripped away, leaving your soul--or who you really are--to forge a connection with the truth.
  19. To realize this vision, I risked everything. Because when the heart is true, the Universe will conspire to support you.
  20. My accomplishments were not won by virtue of some life-hack. Nor by taking any short cuts. I didn't leverage some "new idea" or act upon a secret previously unbeknownst to man. No, my accomplishments were wrought through pain. Through relentless perseverance and unwavering persistence. Through a commitment to being a little bit better today than I was yesterday. I am here because I embraced the journey, and all the pitches it could throw. I am here because I had extreme faith--in myself, in my song, and in something powerful beyond the self. And then, I busted my ass.
  21. Inspiration is easy. Transformation, and the heavy lifting required to achieve it, is hard.
  22. Employ what resonates, discard the rest.
  23. The search for what makes your heart beat hardest--and fidelity to its fullest, most devoted expression--is the very stuff of life. Rooted deep in our souls and coursing vigorously through our veins, it is our birthright, it is our lifeblood. And it is our sustenance. So, to repress that urge, or worse yet deny its very existence, is to squander the extraordinary gift of what it truly means to be human.
  24. Before you decide on the what, you need to know your why. To know your why, you need to know yourself. And that, my friends, is an inside job.
  25. As a precondition to freedom--the freedom to transform and manifest the life to which our higher self aspires--we must understand that this concept of identity we so desperately cling to is pure fantasy, constructed from a few isolated past experiences we improperly project as foregone conclusions to predict future outcomes. But none of this is real.
  26. The excuse that you don't have enough time is just that--an excuse. You do have time. It's a question of priorities. So turn the TV off at night. Shut down the internet. Take inventory of how much time you fritter away on non-essential activities that unnecessarily crowd your days and unjustifiably squander precious hours. Go to bed earlier. Then create a healthy boundary around your morning routine--this is your time, and you are not to be disturbed or interrupted. 
  27. Setting goals is important. They bring us focus and order to how you prioritize your resources, allocate your time, and exert your energy. They structure your day and bring intentionality to your actions and decision-making. Plus they're exciting.
  28. Although a goal must carry great personal meaning, in my experience, the pursuit of that goal is best served when it is also in service to something beyond the self.
  29. Stop being a supporting player in the movie that is your life. Become the movie star. This is a hero's journey you have embarked upon. It's high time you start acting like it.
  30. The configuration of our homes and offices, the restaurants we favor, the bars we frequent, the entertainment we enjoy, and the information sources we seek out all powerfully impact our state of mind, and thus our actions.
  31. Mood follows action. It's a simple yet profound mantra I rely upon daily to successfully combat psychic resistance.
  32. Understand first that failure indicates courage. It means you had the bravery to test yourself. The temerity to challenge your status quo. The audacity to step outside your comfort zone. That impulse is both inspiring and empowering. Hold on to it. And congratulate yourself for trying.
  33. There is only evolution or devolution. Growth or regression. There is no cruise control. Because stasis is an illusion.
  34. If my story stands for anything, it's that change isn't just possible, it's our mandate. And it's never too late.
  35. My mantra has become: Do what you love; love those you care about; give service to others; and know that you're on the right path.
  36. I can state with full confidence that an alkaline-promoting, whole-food plant-based diet is the most rapid recovery tool available to the athlete, a buffer against weight gain and lifestyle disease, as well as a crucial component in my success.
  37. Healthy gut bacteria create a craving for healthy foods, while pathogenic bacteria create a craving for unhealthy foods. Change your microbes and you change your cravings. Change your cravings and you change your life.

Notes & Quotes: Endure by Cameron Hanes

The following are my favorite quotes from Cameron Hanes's Endure: How to Work Hard, Outlast, and Keep Hammering.
  1. Some people live their whole lives never finding their true passion. I was twenty years old when I first tasted bowhunting success and that marked the time I discovered my purpose. Suddenly I had something in my life to focus my energy on. I quit college and quit about everything else just to be able to bowhunt more.
  2. I don't tell people what to do, nor do I try to speak for others. I just share what I do and what I'm passionate about, because life without passion is simply existence in my opinion.
  3. You just need to get out the door and worry about today only. Don't worry about tomorrow. Don't worry about a week from now. You worry about today. Win the day. Do something positive. Worry about tomorrow tomorrow.
  4. Average effort yields average results.
  5. We all have struggles, and those struggles can define who you are. It's all part of the journey.
  6. Don't ever prejudge who can and cannot make an impact in your life. Even the most unlikely of people can turn out to be instrumental in your journey. Maybe the villain in your story is actually just an antihero in disguise.
  7. There are so many crutches people want to use to justify themselves, but for me, you have to eliminate every single one of them. Get rid of all of them. Then tell yourself it's up to you. What you are you going to do now hat you've let go of those crutches?
  8. We all have routines. They can be productive or they can be poisonous.
  9. Mountains are the great equalizer in life. Roy and I believed this, so we sought out more rugged country than anybody else, knowing that would give us an advantage because in the regular world, the people with money or connections had an advantage over regular guys like us. But material success, money, and reputation don't mean anything in the mountains.
  10. My success isn't all about what I do. It's also about what I don't do. I don't drink, fish, golf, play poker. We haven't taken any family vacations. Nothing distracts me from being disciplined. Most people won't give up all I will. It's as much about what I don't do as opposed to the daily work I put in.
  11. Don't make excuses. Give it your all. Show up when you're supposed to show up. Speak your mind. Own up to your mistakes. Think with perspective. This is how you live a life worth remembering.
  12. The truth is that I've always worked really hard because I've never really felt like I had a ton of natural skills or talent. It would feel unnatural to me not to have a regular job. I feel like such a life is reserved for someone who's a star, and I don't think I've got that, so I grind it out. I grind it out at training and I grind it out at work.
  13. I've always been a hard worker, but that's just the start. You can't just have a work ethic; you have to earn it. Discipline and excellence aren't something you can just think about and achieve. Decide to do something every day for a year. Whether it's running a mile, reading a chapter, writing a paragraph, eating breakfast, or drinking a gallon of water: find something that will help you improve yourself and do it every day for a year.
  14. Those who work that hardest are successful, period. Get to work.
  15. Training hard is not easy. It'd be really easy not to run every day. It'd be really easy not to lift every day. It'd be really easy not to shoot my bow every day. Only problem: Easy sucks!
  16. For those who says it's "too much" to hammer every day with all you have, I can't relate to that mindset. And I don't want to. Life ain't easy. Just gotta keep grinding.
  17. The only way to make dreams possible is to sacrifice. 
  18. All I know is that you don't need anyone to believe in your dream. With tunnel-visioned focus, you can be whatever you want to be.
  19. What brings you fulfillment and a sense of purpose? Focus on that and foster a life built around it. Study your craft and spend time excelling in it, whatever "it" might be. Find others who share your passion and follow their footsteps. Love the journey and ignore thoughts of the finish line, as this is a race that never ends.
  20. Nobody really cares about your goals. Nobody cares about your excuses for not achieving what you said you would or what you thought you deserved. You want people to care? Then do something special. Do something that people can't ignore, easily dismiss, or one-up.
  21. I'm not blessed with insane talent. My secret is time. And I've been grinding for years to get where I am at.
  22. Easy seldom makes memories.
  23. Your "bowhunting" is out there. I promise. It will open doors for you as well. But be warned: when you become obsessed, it takes over your life. This obsessive approach works for me. It has changed my life, impacted others positively, and most importantly has taught my kids that anything is possible.
  24. "Mediocrity feels so fucking good!" [David] Goggins posted. "If you have to wake up and don't want to work out, all you have to say is 'Fuck it, I don't give a shit!' And if you're mediocre, you are probably handing around other mediocre people, so they are happy that you don't add pressure to their life! One big happy soft-ass family!!! People don't like hanging around that motherfucker who makes them feel uncomfortable or life an underachiever on a regular basis! We stay away from the fucking savage who wakes up at 0330 regardless the weather, if they got a good night's sleep, if their life sucks and times are hard. People stay clear of that cat! Those kind of people make you question yourself. They also let you know where your life ends and their life begins!"
  25. "No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable." Socrates
  26. Surround yourself with those who push you to be a better human. Strive to find people you can model yourself after and you can see qualities and characteristics that you want to possess yourself.
  27. Doesn't is seem odd that "winners" seem to find a way to win at everything they do? They win at life. I think it's because they put the same amazing energy, effort, and focus into everything they touch...work, training, their craft, mental strength/growth, diet, etc. They never make excuses. Instead, they will push themselves to excel and win.
  28. All I have...All I can bring to the table...All is can do is to outwork everybody.
  29. If you're not the hardest-working person you know, you're not working hard enough. An outlier will never allow someone to outwork them.
  30. I recently negotiated a new contract with one of my best sponsors, Hoyt, which is the brand of the bow I shoot. I was underpaid and knew it, but for years I wasn't worried about it because I'm not motivated by money. However, when the time came to sign a new contract, I decided to be more serious about my value, because if we aren't our own advocate, how can we expect someone else to be?
  31. All I ever say to them is, "Do you love shooting your bow?" "Yeah," they might say. "Okay, then shoot your bow. A lot. Get good at shooting your bow. Worry about all the other stuff later." You can't design a hunting boot before you destroy your first few pairs.
  32. I always say to make sure your journey is fueled by your passion. Don't set the goal to be a great marathon runner unless you really love to run. Unless your passion is there, it's just not going to work.
  33. If you want to make it in any field, including the hunting industry, get to work. And do it with a smile, because every day is a gift. Honor that gift.
  34. Know what your weaknesses are and don't play into them. Concentrate on your strengths. My strengths are: I'll put in the work every day and I won't quit. I do things that enhance my strengths. That's running. That's lifting. That's hunting.
  35. Your body gives what you ask of it. Don't ask much and it won't give you much. Ask a lot and it will give you a lot. I haven't found my limit yet, but I am trying.
  36. Maybe some people don't believe me when I say I'm not that talented. It's like, no, I'm just working harder than you. That's all there is to it. Maybe you're better than me, but you're not sacrificing. That's how I've always felt.
  37. If you love animals like elk, moose, and deer, death by a hunter is about the best they are going to get. Man has compassion, animals don't.
  38. Life is too short to be bitter, prideful, or vengeful. Tell them how you feel sooner rather than later as tomorrow isn't guaranteed.
  39. My alarm is set for 4:55 a.m. because getting up "in the fours" sounds better in my head than getting up in the fives, more committed, but I never make it to the alarm. I turn it off before it goes off. I don't dread getting up; I love it. It's another chance to hammer.
  40. The saying goes, the greater the sacrifice, the greater the reward. Always has been true. Always will be true.
  41. Tomorrow's never guaranteed. I could have big goals and dreams down the road, but I could be dead tomorrow. So I pretty much take one day at a time. I give the best I can every day.
  42. Be obsessed or be average, I say. Sometimes it takes obsession to succeed at difficult tasks.
  43. You have to work hard and sacrifice. You have to stand out to succeed. You have to pick and choose what you're going to be, what you're going to excel at. You can't excel at 100 different things, because you have to be obsessive to excel. So if you're obsessive about business, you're probably not going to have time to be obsessive about archery. Because that's what it takes. Obsession to be the best at one thing.
  44. I live every day feeling like if you're not giving all you got, then you're not really honoring the gift of life.
  45. No excuses, give your all, show up when you're supposed to, speak your mind, own your mistakes, think with perspective, and live a life worth remembering.

Notes & Quotes: Scars and Stripes by Tim Kennedy

The following are my favorite quotes from Tim Kennedy's Scars and Stripes: An Unapologetically American Story of Fighting the Taliban, UFC Warriors, and Myself.

  1. Your life only gets better when you do a few things:
    1. Take accountability for it. It's your fault.
    2. Failure is going to happen. When it does, see number 1. If you want to fail less, see numbers 3-7.
    3. An ounce of prevention prevents a pound of cure. The best time to start preparing is right now.
    4. You cannot mass-produce elite people. They need to be forged from hard experiences. If you want to be one of them, you need to seek these challenges consistently.
    5. Take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. For some people that means therapy. For some people that means yoga and a cup of tea or fishing with the family. For me that means embracing a constant struggle. Rejecting comfort makes me... well... comfortable.
    6. Surround yourself with good people striving to also improve themselves.
    7. Build goals and pursue them to the end of the earth.
  2. Do the right thing, even when there's negative consequences for your actions.
  3. My parents did what they always did in a crisis. They helped. People always told us that the Kennedys were good at death. And I guess they were right. When everyone else was mourning, or didn't know what to do, we took action. It's not that we didn't hurt. It was just better to be useful. So I learned from my mom and dad to always be useful.
  4. Suffering is the great equalizer. The cadre, the missions, the lack of food and sleep, and the elements bring everyone to a place where they no longer hide their real feelings. You might be my best friend in the world in real life, but so help me God if you fall asleep on that SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) one more time, I am going to murder you.
  5. I generally live by the rule that you don't rise to the moment but rather fall to the level of your training.
  6. I am very proud of being a sniper. I'm proud of the training I put myself through to be able to do what I do. I'm proud of our profession. We save a lot of lives, and I'm convinced I saved American and Czech lives that day, but there's something most people don't understand about our job. Our kills are up close and personal, even though we're often very far away. We see their last breath through that scope. We see their faces. It's one thing to kill a man who is actively shooting at you, or even to shoot a leader responsible for atrocities. I never lost any sleep about those shots. But these shots are awful. There is no satisfaction. There is no rush of knowing you quieted the gun that was hunting for American lives. This is just killing. With every trigger pull, I lose a little bit more of my soul.
  7. I wanted it to feel better when I killed these guys--these pieces of human garbage who used women and children as a shield. I desperately want my pain to be washed away, but it isn't. This isn't like the movies, where vengeance is the cure. Reality is awful. The pain of what I have done is overwhelming, so I descend into an emotional void. There is no Hollywood moment of vengeance and them getting what they deserve and me getting my hero moment. The kids are still wounded or dead. These deaths cure nothing. Help nothing.
  8. We're taught over and over again that a good hasty plan executed violently is far better than a flawless detailed plan executed with hesitation. We hit them hard with absolute violence of action and we destroyed their will to fight. We took them from "kill mode" to "flee and regroup mode." We aggressively took the high ground and key terrain features and cleared everything from that point to the main supply route (MSR). And if you were a man and you were outside, you are probably dead. It was absolute dominance.
  9. When you think about other people, you tend to take less risk. You don't want to get anyone killed, and you also realize if you get killed or injured, you put the rest of the team in a bad spot.
  10. Whether anyone likes it or not, in 2003 we simply do not have enough SF (Special Forces) guys to do the mission, so the 18 X-Ray program is needed. And the situation will keep getting worse. From 2012 to 2020 the average age of a Special Forces soldier will drop by seven years. That means the average team will lose eighty-four years of tactical experience in less than a decade.
  11. I could see his exactness and attention to detail in every range card, laying out the fields of fire for each weapon system. Seeing his signature on this beautiful setup made me proud. He whole-assed this job just like he did everything.
  12. There is a recurring pattern that is forming in my own life, and I don't like it. I don't necessarily run from my problems, but I'm definitely not addressing them either. I've always found a path around the thing that scared me, hurt me, or upset me. It is the same unhealthy coping mechanism that I have used ever since Jared died. Fireman problems? Cool, no big deal. I'll become a cop. Screwed up my chances of being a cop because I paintballed a kid? Cool, I'll go Army.
  13. Every dead man is someone's father, brother, or son. Every dead woman is someone's mother, sister, or daughter. Every time you kill someone, you create five new passionate enemies. 
  14. I decide as I board the plane to fly back home to Fayetteville, just as the UFC Fight for the Troops event is starting at Fort Bragg, that I am going to spend the rest of my career stacking the deck in my favor so the men around me will never have a liability in their midst. I will never live up to being the man I once thought I was. And I will certainly never be perfect. But I can be better.
  15. After three years of Hunting Hitler, I'll tell you this: Hitler probably didn't get out, but his ideology did, and that is how he truly escaped.
  16. If we do this right, we can hurt the big boys. We don't care about the local pimps. We want the power players who bribe politicians and serve the Harvey Weinsteins or Jeffrey Epsteins of this world, for lack of a better term. It's shocking to me our government doesn't have an organization who chases these cretins, but the more time you spend fighting trafficking, the more you realize how many wealthy and powerful people have a lot to lose by breaking the whole thing apart. The blatant manner in which power and money have been used to stop us from bringing these people down is appalling. I don't generally condone vigilante behavior, but if I ever lose it and go full "Punisher" mode, these guys are at the top of my list.
  17. Failure isn't final. It's necessary. It's the fuel that allows you to advance, to succeed.

Notes & Quotes: How to Be Perfect by Michael Schur

The following are my favorite quotes from Michael Schur's How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question.

  1. We get better at the thing by doing the thing, and if we stop doing it, we'll get worse.
  2. Extreme deficiency or excess of any one quality then becomes a vice, which is obviously what we're trying to avoid.
  3. If we take the time to mull over what we've done, if we really commit to examining both our own actions and the actions of those around us, we can eventually come to understand what's too little, what's too much, and what's "just right."
  4. The best thing about Aristotle's "constant learning, constant trying, constant searching" is what results from it: a mature yet still pliable person, brimming with experiences both old and new, who doesn't rely solely on familiar routines or dated information about how the world works.
  5. Utilitarianism often runs into problems like this, because human beings, it turns out, are weird, so searching for actions that create the most "total happiness" can create bizarre situations. It doesn't seem fair to prefer a ton of pleasure for one Hawaiian pizza-loving sociopath over smaller pleasures for a large number of more decent and stable people, who understand that the proper places for ham and pineapple are in sandwiches and fruit salads, respectively.
  6. The most important idea in Kantian ethics is fairly simple to understand. It's called the categorical imperative: Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.
  7. In 2006, Nelson Mandela was asked to define ubuntu and said this: In the old days, when we were young, a traveler to our country would stop in our village, and he didn't have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food, and attend to him. That is one aspect of ubuntu, but it [has] various aspects...Ubuntu does not mean that the people should not enrich themselves. The question, therefore, is: Are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to be able to improve?
  8. Buddhist philosophy suggests that true happiness comes from remaining focused on the things we do, and doing them with no purpose other than to do them.
  9. Whataboutism is most commonly deployed as a defensive strategy. Someone is caught doing something bad--anything from an actual crime to saying something mildly offensive on the internet--and then instead of owning up to it, he says, "Well, what about [Way Worse Thing X]?!" or "What about that bad thing you did?!" or "What about the fact that I also did [Good Thing Y]?" It's a way to throw sand in the eyes of the people making the charge, blinding them momentarily and giving the accused a chance to wriggle free. Nearly all whataboutisms are indefensible, because by definition they fail to address the moral shortcoming the bad actor has exhibited.
  10. Shame has a function in a healthy world, because it gives us a weapon in the war against bad behavior. If people were incapable of feeling shame, they would do whatever they wanted with impunity, never worrying that their reputations might suffer in the public square.
  11. No one--not even excessively rule-following dorks like me--follows every rule. It's impossible. But if we're trying to be good people, we should know how to deal with the moments when we actively choose not to be.
  12. The choices we make may be our own, but the life into which we're born, and many of the events that befall us after that, are things we often have little or no control over.
  13. It's not a meritocracy if some runners start the race ten feet from the finish line and some are denied entry to the race because of systemic biases within the Racing Commission.
  14. People who achieve (or inherit) a high level of wealth and success are invested in the idea that they earned it. That belief allows us to feel like we have control over this big dumb scary world--that if we're smart and work hard we will be appropriately rewarded and everything will be fine. Conceding that a lot of this dumb luck--including, most significantly, embryo-related stuff that happened before we even conscious beings--is to concede that there were other factors at play beyond our own incredibleness, and that we're maybe not as amazing as our lot in life would indicate.

Notes & Quotes: Tough by Terry Crews

The following are my favorite quotes from Terry Crews's Tough: My Journey to True Power.

  1. When I promised [my wife] Rebecca to walk away from that fight, I took the first step on a road to becoming a completely different person, and to become a completely different person, you need more than a promise. You need therapy. You need mentorship. You need love and support and patience from your family and friends. More than anything, you need time.
  2. Half the reason I kept chasing my football dream was to get out of Flint [Michigan] and away from the guys like Juice and the Top Dawgs. So, needless to say, I was surprised to find out that joining the NFL meant I hadn't left the streets at all. I had teammates who were gang members. And I'm not talking about "former" gang members. These were guys with active ties to the Crips and Bloods, and they brought all that macho bullshit into the locker room with them.
  3. Something needed to change, but looking at yourself in the mirror and facing your demons is the hardest thing you will ever do in your life. You will duck it and avoid it--and make excuses for ducking it and avoiding it--for a long, long time.
  4. The purpose of being tough is not to attack, but to protect. The purpose of being strong is not to dominate, but to support. The purpose of having power is not to rule, but to serve. What I've learned is that to be a true man is to be the ultimate servant. With any talent or advantage that life has given you, whether by birth or by circumstance, your duty is to use that advantage in the service of others.
  5. Between [my dad] Big Terry and [my mom] Trish, I caught it coming and going. If my father was addicted to alcohol and anger, my mother was addicted to religion and fear. Neither of them knew how to overcome, and together they made for a toxic pair. When they went at it, it was legendary. It was always brutal, and we were always in the middle.
  6. The way addiction works, whether it's alcohol or heroin or food or sex, is that you latch onto a thing or a habit or a substance that gives you a reprieve from reality. But when more problems arise from the substance you're abusing, that substance then presents itself as the solution to the same problems it has caused. And round and round you go, not even recognizing the cycle you've created for yourself. It's only looking back now that I can see the pattern.
  7. HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired). If an addict is feeling any of these emotions, those are the times when he's most likely to slip. So I learned to examine my feelings and create new triggers for healthier behaviors.
  8. Luck doesn't always fall from the sky. You can't just name it and claim it. Yes, it's luck, and you don't control when or where it happens--or if it's good luck or bad--but it comes only if you're working for it. It comes as the fruit of what you're putting out into the universe. For a long time, the only vibe I was giving off was arrogance, selfishness, and entitlement, and nothing came my way. After my experience at Labor Ready, I was giving off only exuberance and enthusiasm and dedication, no matter how menial the task. People noticed.
  9. We always tell ourselves we don't have time to spend an hour exercising every day. We're too busy with work and with family. But the thing about the hour of exercise is that it makes you feel so much better that the other twenty-three hours of the day become that much more productive. Giving up that hour of time actually gets you more time, because it gives you better use of your time. You sleep better. You work more efficiently. You eat better, too, and not because you're forcing yourself on some diet you hate, but because your body doesn't want that unhealthy food anymore. More than anything, it forces you to manage your time to make sure you have that hour for the gym, and that fact alone ensures that you're paying attention to your days and making the most of every moment.
  10. Tithing helped me understand that money doesn't really exist. It's a symbol, a representation of value given for value received.
  11. The best way to become successful is to serve people. The more people you serve, the more valued you are. The more valued you are, the more you receive, which can come in the form of more money, or it can come in the form of other intangibles that are worth more than money, like happiness, respect, and a sense of purpose. Work becomes its own blessing. So now, the question I ask myself every morning is not "How do I make more money?" The question I ask myself is "How do I increase my value?"
  12. Somebody's always jacked in. Which is why you always have to be cognizant of who that person is and how much power they have over you. Like my son with his iPhone, whoever's got that cord controls what you hear, which means they can set your mood. If they can set your mood, they can influence how you feel. If they can influence how you feel, they can change the way you think. And if they can change the way you think, they can control the way you behave.
  13. The kids who were misbehaving, they weren't that different from me, actually. When you see poor kids in the hood acting out, a lot of them are trying to find out if anybody gives a damn about them, because their whole lives they've grown up with the feeling that nobody does.
  14. We should always strive to create a world that is just and fair, but injustice and suffering will always be with us. We cannot will them out of existence, and we cannot control when or how they will be inflicted upon us. We can only control how we respond. Power and agency come from within. Dignity and self-worth come from within.
  15. Letting someone else make you angry is giving them too much control over your life. You cannot control what happens to you, but you can always control how you respond. You are never powerless. You always have a choice.
  16. An insult hurts only if there's a ring of truth to it; it only hurts if you believe it. My mother calling my dad a broke-ass drunk cut him to the bone, because it was true. But if you called Bill Gates broke, you wouldn't be insulting the man, because he knows he isn't broke. He'd laugh at you and shrug it off.
  17. As the city started to crater, the newspapers salivated over every detail. If it bled, it led, and if a black man was responsible for it, all the better. Anytime a black man did anything, the headlines would literally read a black man killed three people today or a black man has crack den or four dead in crack den, with several black people. If it was a white man, he was just a man, but if it was a black man, his race was always called out.
  18. Seventh grade was the year I went from being treated like a black boy to being treated like a black man, and the difference was stark. I noticed it the minute it happened. My mother loved going to the big department stores at the mall. As a kid, I hated it because she would spend all her time trying stuff on but then never buying anything because we didn't have any money. As an adolescent, I hated it because I had white salespeople on me all the time. "What do you want? What are you looking for? What do you need? Can I help you?" Even after they backed off, I could feel their eyes following me around the store, like I was about to steal something.
  19. Every situation carries with it the potential for social miscues and misunderstanding. If you go into those interactions expecting the worst, you're going to get it. Because all you get back from any situation is what you put into it.
  20. Frederick Douglass understood power and agency in the same way that Viktor Frankl understood power and agency. They come from within. We can and should protest and call out injustice in the world, but we cannot control or stamp out every injustice that exists. What we can control, what we do have power over, is ourselves. We can always choose what we say and how we respond. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X and Fannie Lou Hamer and Shirley Chisholm understood that, too. Those men and women were able to endure everything from segregated rail cars to prison cells, because nothing the world threw at them could dim the light they carried inside themselves. That is true power.